Newspoll: 58-42

The first honeymoon Newspoll has Labor leading 46 per cent to 35 per cent on the primary vote and 58-42 on two-party preferred (hat tip to James J). Kevin Rudd has a predictably massive 68-11 lead as preferred prime minister, and personal ratings of 59 per cent satisfied, 11 per cent unsatisfied and 30 per cent undecided. However, Brendan Nelson has also started well with a surprisingly strong 36 per cent approval rating – although his 19 per cent disapproval is also high under the circumstances, as demonstrated by this table showing earlier opposition leaders’ ratings at their first Newspolls:

Satisfied Dissatisfied Undecided
Andrew Peacock (June 1989) 22 50 28
John Hewson (April 1990) 33 15 52
Alexander Downer (May 1994) 31 12 57
John Howard (February 1995) 45 23 32
Kim Beazley (April 1996) 39 15 46
Simon Crean (December 2001) 30 25 45
Mark Latham (December 2003) 32 17 51
Kim Beazley (February 2005) 40 22 38
Kevin Rudd (December 2006) 41 10 49
Brendan Nelson (January 2008) 36 19 45

The only point of comparison for an incoming government in Newspoll’s historical data (which goes back to 1985) is the Howard government’s debut entry of 52 per cent to 34 per cent on the primary vote, with no two-party figure available. Past incoming prime ministers’ ratings were Paul Keating’s 21 per cent satisfied, 42 per cent dissatisfied and 37 per cent uncommitted, and John Howard’s 45 per cent, 12 per cent and 43 per cent.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

374 comments on “Newspoll: 58-42”

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  1. Zoom darling-
    we do not advocate good environmental policy to win plaudits or otherwise, but to ensure the survival of the species. And so should all parties, regardless of who does or not get the credit.
    And don’t say I’m holier than thou – one of the least holy people around, let me assure you.

  2. TW
    i was merely hoping to inform (umbrage be damned) TEV by referencing your post

    ps i generally look forward to your enlightened comments and quips 🙂

  3. “You haven’t seen any albino monks lurking in the shadows at Spring Street have you?”

    I saw Extreme Makeover last night, after watching what they did I’m sure they could turn an albino monk into whoever they so desired.

  4. Jen, if Tony fronts the bring back Frank Zappa sideshow @ the next Tamworth, I’m up for & will believe anything. Nelson & Slim…weasels ripped my flesh…

  5. Jen as the H word recedes into the sunset the song sheet will change but Tony as the new Malcolm, on trainer wheels? Don’t think so. I’m off to see if Billie Bowden can count to six! Bush & read is an oxymoron.

  6. Scotty

    News to me, don’t think it has been posted.

    Good idea to challenge, it is not on a technicality like with Kelly over citizenship or holding an office of profit, but purely on the grounds that votes were wrongly excluded.

    “The ALP believes that if the AEC’s ruling stands it will mean that voters in McEwen, and in future elections, can be deprived of their vote because of poor handwriting despite their voting intention being clearly marked.”

    Fran Baileys response is amusing seeing that she was the one to challenge in the first instance.

    What happens next, a recount that follows voters intentions giving it to labor or a new election for the seat? either way it looks like it will be a labor seat.

  7. Federal election preference flows…

    The AEC website shows that in the recent 2007 federal election, the Liberal to ALP leakage was 14.55% whilst the National to ALP leakage was 21.88% (19.31% in Qld).

    This would mean that roughly speaking only about 60% of the National Party vote should be added to the Liberal vote when predicting results. It also suggests that running a National and a Liberal candidate is counterproductive, as the votes lost through leakage are probably multiples of what might be gained by either party from having their own candidate on the ballot paper.

    Also of interest was the leakage of Family First votes to the ALP… Nationally 39.71%… NSW 49.55%… VIC 35.80%… Qld 36.08%… WA 44.07%.

    Going the other way, Greens preferences flowed to the coalition… Nationally 20.31%… NSW 19.22%… VIC 17.11%… Qld 24.69%… WA 24.15%.

  8. In comparison here are the 2004 AEC figures…

    The AEC website shows that in the 2004 federal election, the Liberal to ALP leakage was 13.94% (18.07% in Qld) whilst the National to ALP leakage was 13.54% (15.85% in Qld). A big increase in the leakage from the National Party therefore from 2004 to 2007.

    The leakage of Family First votes to the ALP in 2004… Nationally 33.43%… NSW 41.70%… VIC 32.83%… Qld 30.45%… WA 45.90%. An increase therefore of about 6% from 2004 to 2007 in Qld and Nationally, although a slight drop in WA.

    Going the other way in 2004, Greens preferences flowed to the coalition… Nationally 19.21%… NSW 17.68%… VIC 16.86%… Qld 25.12%… WA 22.65%. An increase of about 2% from 2004 to 2007 Nationally.

    Also of interest, One nation preferences to the ALP increased nationally from 40.1% in 2004 to 45.1% in 2007 (43.6% to 47% in Qld).

  9. Geoff

    Those Lib and Nat votes look like votes from 3 cornered contests and are very small totals, around 27,000 and 35,000, so don’t think can extend to overall contests.

    I was surprised to see the amount of Family First preferences Labor got, a lot higher than I would have expected.

    The green votes to the libs is interesting, lib protest vote in there? It is a large amount of votes for them. The amount of Green and Australian Democrat votes for the libs is almost equal to the amount of Family First, One Nation and CDP votes they got. Green votes easily the biggest minor party vote for the libs.

    One Nation is deceptive as their vote plummeted so it can skew the preference flow.

    Also of interest was the CDP vote, it increased with @ 70% of votes going to the libs. I thought some of the One Nation votes may have gone there given the noises Fred made.

  10. Dear Arbie Jay…

    Thanks for your response. You could be right about a Liberal protest vote being at least partly to account for the Greens to Liberal preference leak, but I would have thought that the choice of an independent would have been a more likely vehicle for such a vote.

    Maybe I have just always assumed that there is some sought of broad ‘leftist’ closeness as between the Greens and the ALP in everyones eyes, whereas perhaps about a quarter of predominantly environmentally concerned (Greens) voters are actually ‘rightist’ orientated and hence preference to the Coalition?

  11. Dear Arbie Jay…

    Re the preference leakage of preferences from the National and Liberal parties away from each other.

    It was as you said from only a few seats that were three cornered contests, but nonetheless I think that it has potentially large ramifications.

    I put this down to the increased opportunity for three cornered contests at the next election. This arises as a result of the 2007 election, as there are now nine less sitting coalition candidates then there were in 2004, due to the gain of nine seats by the ALP. To these can be added any seats with retiring Coalition members at the next election.

    If there are separate Liberal and National party senate tickets next time, the Nationals in particular may want to run in as many lower house seats as possible, regardless of their chances of winning any of them, simply to boost their senate chances, by maximising the exposure of the electorate to the National brandname.

    Potentially adding further fuel to the fire is the fallout from what I think will be a total breakdown of the already difficult relationship between the Liberal and National parties at a state level in Qld, once the Liberals get around to rejecting the ‘United Conservative Party’ nonsense being bandied about. The same nonsense that National Party leader Lawrence Springborg has effectively staked his reputation on, and which has been supported by his deputy and the current Liberal Party leader and his loyal deputy.

    Some details from the 2007 election highlight the potential problem…

    In Flynn the ALP won by 0.16%. The Nationals polled 33.56% to the Liberals 14.78% and 14.39% of the Liberal vote went to the ALP. That is 2.13% of the total vote. The Liberal leakage was therefore more that the ALP margin. (Also of interest was that 36.97% of the Greens vote of 1.97% (0.73% of the total vote) went to the Nationals).

    In Forde the Nationals polled 12.20% to the Liberals 33.95%. 23.37% of the Nationals vote went to the ALP, which is 2.85% of the total vote. The ALP margin is only very slightly greater at 2.91%.

    In Leichardt the Nationals polled 3.98% to the Liberals 38.81% after the Nationals candidate made a complete goose of himself. 24.80% of the Nationals vote leaked to the ALP, which is 0.99% of the total vote. A tight contest next time and an increase in the Nationals vote a the expense of the Liberals could make the difference, even though the ALP margin is currently 4.03%.

    In Wide Bay the Liberals did not stand in 2007 but in 2004 they polled 20.87% to the Nationals 27.83%. Given continuing demographic changes, we can expect that upon the eventual retirement of Warren Truss, or perhaps even earlier if thing turn nasty, there will be a no holds barred three cornered contest there.

    The leakage of preferences has the potential to be in the 3% to 5% range (15% to 20% of 20% to 25%). The current National Party margin is 8.47% but a swing to the ALP and a bitter three cornered contest could cause an ALP upset there.

    Other seats which could be three cornered contests next time, and which could cause a problem for the coalition parties if they are, are Blair and Dawson.

    Finally, the current Qld state redistribution could also be another cause of fighting between the Liberal Party and National Party, over which party will contest which state seats, once the new boundaries have been decided. As could the next redistribution of federal Qld seats, when Qld gains another seat.

  12. Geoff

    Thanks for that.

    Very interesting and certainly cannot assume where preferences will go.

    My initial read was that FF had cost labor some seats but having a closer look could just as well say that it was green preferences going to libs that cost labor some seats.

    FF going to labor and green going to lib, people not following how to vote or making their own decision or different HTV cards issued?

    Cannot even assume that libs will vote nat and nat will vote libs.

    The lib and nat coalition looks like it could be headed for a very rocky ride with more of these 3 cornered contests coming up.

    Tuckey was almost unseated in WA through labor preferences as was Goward in the NSW state election. Would be a smart strategy to target these type of vulnerable members to further splits between the libs and nats.

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