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. Legal recognition is one thing and i support to the fullest financial rights. However the State Governments’ have gone too far on surogacy laws and IVF laws that allow same sex couples who biologically are unable to conceive children to have them, which IMHO is wrong. Financial rights for homosexuals is a just thing but children either by surogacy, IVF or adoption is out of the question and my views are not the minority here they are the silent majority. I suppose the only party that would come close to what you desire would be the Greens or Democrats, you wont find much support from the Libs, Nats or ALP.

  2. Glen, thank goodness for someone sane! I totally AGREE with you! I think that you are spot on! I am ALL for leaving anything to do with children to the other gender! I simply want the right to have my relationship recognised under the law. I think it would be a minority of a minority that would want to have the laws that you have mentioned.

  3. To the all the United Preservatives out there…doesn’t the wicked witch of the north already call her party the United Australia Party.

    Maybe there should be few more United Australia parties…hell the more the better for that matter. …I would be happy with at least 17 of them.

    Here’s some for starters

    Pauline’s United Australia Party (the naughties retro version)
    Laurie’s United Australia Party
    Barnaby’s United Australia Party
    Brendan’s United Australia Party
    Mal’s United Australia Party
    Julie’s United Australia Party
    Wilson’s United Australia Party
    Maybe even Tonys “the people person” United United Australia Party

    Aren’t you forgetting one itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow, polka dot bikini point here…you have to actually be UNITED to form a United Australia Party

  4. 53
    Brenton – my mistake.

    stark – of course stark and if and when the Liberal and National Party join together to form one political party then wont they then be united?

    The question is how united is Gillard to Rudd or Swan to Rudd?

  5. At the start maybe joining will creating the illusion of a united front…but come on…who’ll lead this united movement?

    If they do as you say then we will probably see the remergence of the Country Party before the next election

  6. Before the establishment of the Liberal Party in 1945 the main urban anti-Labor party in Qld was called the Queensland Peoples Party. Perhaps this name could be revived. It has a better ring to it than the Disorganised Demoralised Discredited Rabble Party.

  7. Afraid I don’t share Glen’s obsession with unifying the conservative forces.
    The National Party is dying a natural death but will probably still hold (a few) HoR seats for another 20-30 years. How is it in the conservatives’ interests to sacrifice half of those seats now when they could hold them a bit longer?
    Seems to me that the main thing a “unification” will achieve is to highlight how little the average Nationals’ voter has in common with the Liberal Party, at which point many of the National voters will leave for Labor (or Country Labor, or whatever).

  8. #49

    > I see no reason why there need be 2 Conservative parties its almost like
    > when the ALP shot itself in the foot by splitting up in the 1950s.

    Overall (with a few notable exceptions – like the crazy “Joh For PM” thing) the 2 conservative parties get along fairly well, and do preference each other in 3-cornered contests. Lib v Nat stoushes don’t quite have the venom of the DLP v ALP. Having a dedicated rural-based conservative party (at least in name) does help the standing of that side of politics in the bush.

  9. charles @ 47

    The Australian Conservative Party name is a good idea however the initials ACP could cause confusion as to which organisation was representing media, communication and gaming interests and which organisation represented political interests.

  10. Hello Brenton. I think there is pretty widespread community acceptance these days that gay couples are entitled to legal recognition of their relationships, and deserve equal treatment in financial matters such loans and superannuation. It’s a great think that our society has this tolerance for gay relationships. But I absolutely draw the line at allowing gay couples to have children-all children are entitled to grow up in a family where there is a mother and a father present. (Yes, I know there are many single parent heterosexual families, but that’s a different issue). The chances of a mainstream political party supporting gay marriage (as opposed to legal recognition short of marriage) or supporting gay adoption are nil, as there would be strong community opposition to both of these. I think it’s a bit unfair to castigate the ALP for not supporting the extreme positions I think you are advocating.

    As for a single right-wing party in Qld, won’t there be there be big problems in reconciling the interests and attitudes of low income social conservatives from the bush, with those of the high income business/private school types from the city? We may well see Tony Windsor/Bob Katter style right wing independents emerge in the bush, or maybe someone will try to tap the One Nation sentiment that seems to lie just below the surface in Qld-leading ultimately to a fragmentation of right-wing representation in the parliament, and continued electoral dominance for the ALP.

  11. Parramatta Moderate – does that mean you would support a child being raised in a gay household provided the birth mother and father lived together under the same roof? Oh, and why is heterosexual single-parenthood any different to homosexual single-parenthood? Why should a single heterosexual woman be able to have a child on her own but a single homosexual woman not?

    It really annoys me when people talk of “what’s best for the children” when every child is different and every family is different. Some heterosexual people should never be allowed to have children, and yet the law places no restraints on them doing just that. Some homosexual people would be wonderful parents, but they aren’t allowed to, unless they do it off their own bats. Any many are. All the adoption laws do is prevent gay people from accessing adoption services. There is no law, however, preventing them from finding a willing woman or man to have a baby for them. Gay parenting isn’t going away; if anyone wants to have children they will find a way.

    And from my personal experience of working at a camping ground where we dealt with all sorts of children: the children on the “gay parents” camps were more friendly, polite and well-socialised than any I’ve ever seen before. I saw no fighting at all – unheard of in any group of 20 children aged 5 to 16 on a camp – and the contrast between that and the school camps is stark. Even the Christian school children weren’t as well behaved as these children who, the Christian fundamentalists will have us believe, will be scarred for life because they have two mummies or two daddies.

    I know this is probably pretty off-topic for what is a pseph forum, but someone else started it 😉

  12. KAABBOOM……………SHOCK waves have ripped through the Victorian Liberal Party with Upper House Leader Phil Davis quitting this morning.

    He announced his decision at a press conference and refused to give full support to Liberal Leader Ted Baillieu.

  13. Brenton Says:
    January 22nd, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    charles, I have to laugh at your ignorance! Did the few people who fought for the end of Slavery, force that recognition????? Did the Suffragettes force their recognition of the right for women to have the vote etc ?????

    Both I think good examples of social change. In the latter case I would argue there were hard fort efforts for political support and the changes happened after there was social support. I think the former (slavery) is too wound up in Economic arguments to be a valid comparison.

    I think what we are arguing here is, should you condemn a party for not pushing social change, and ignorant or not my view is no you should not, it is not their job.

    Be honest, when it comes to sex the laws pretty much codify cultural accepted norms. One wife ( or one husband if thats your point of view) for example, it’s not something handed down from high, it’s just something that works.

    If I was pushing the cause I would be argue as you, stable relations are good for society. As it happens I would also argue, stable relations are good for children and stability trumps having one of each sex, but thats only my ignorant view.

    I do find it strange you want to condemn a party for not supporting marriage but do not lend your support to same sex couples that want to raise children. I would have thought both issues are about where you draw the line.

  14. Fred @ 14 – The problem the Greens face is that same as the one that did in Hanson – as soon as one or other of the big 2 move onto their turf they are finished. Given the overwhelming evidence that what we are doing to the environment will likely soon do us in unless we make drastic changes, its inevitable that one of, and possibly both the majors will take up most of the Green’s environment policies and may well go further if only to be hairy chested. I doubt other policy differences will be enough to sustain the party.

  15. #66
    “….its inevitable that one of, and possibly both the majors will take up most of the Green’s environment policies and may well go further if only to be hairy chested.”
    Sounds good to me.
    Hope you are right.

  16. A Liberal/National merger in Queensland on the Nationals terms is not a good thing.
    Such a party would struggle to win over the sort of voters living in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Cairns and Townsville who would vote for a strong Liberal Party.

  17. 68 Tristan – Yes, but only if there is a “strong Liberal Party” in Queensland. Which there is not.

    McArdle is a compromise, placeholder leader; the whole situation with the party is extremely unstable and I’d be surprised if he lasts the year. A united party dominated by ex-Nationals would might dilute the power of the Nicholls and Flegg factions just long enough to develop some actual policy substance. Or it might lead to further instability and hijinx, but that’s pretty much what’s going to happen if they do nothing anyway.

  18. Before the election for Labor it was and rightly so industrial relations and ensuring workers are protected and after the election it is mass funding cuts to the public service and that means job losses. Labor as i stated yesterday a party without vision and without a care in the world. I hope all those dills who voted for them are satisfied. Public service cuts will do nothing to inflation instead it is about making the big business happy, the exact people who hate the party and campaigned against it during the election. Time for a new party simple.

  19. The Australian population is NOT opposed to gay marriage. It is now a myth. Things have chnaged. It is a shame that supposedly progressive people haven’t moved with the population on this one.

    The poll bludger community should be willing to accept the polls.

    According to last year’s Newspoll gay marriage is supported 57 to 37%.

    Get over it. We (the Australian public) have moved on but most of our politicians have not.

  20. Marky Marky at 70

    What do you want you f$%#*n idiot – a workers paradise. Nothing but whinge whinge since the election. Get a grip of yourself you utopian wish is never going to happen. Just be thankful we have a party in power that at least will be more sympathetic to workers than the opposition.

  21. No need to get abusive and personal that is uncalled for.
    So Enjay it is okay to lay off people, people who have families, mortgages, debts and a life to live.
    Just been discussing suicide on another thread take note such actions to peoples’ lives cause such problems.
    And yep my utopian wish, i will continue to espouse it, because i believe in it unlike yourself. Money does not run my life.
    I want a party that cares for all workers and not just a few select individuals. The Labor party was formed on that principle and should act accordingly.
    Utopia if it is alright for Liberals to enact far changing policies why can’t Labor? Why fund private schools and private health subsidies to the wealthy is that okay then?

  22. Many people toyed with voting Green yet voted for labour for the soul reason to get rid of the Howard government. This can explain the “tightening” of the greens polls of 10+% down to 7.8% on election day. It certainly happened in the blue collar and mortgage belts of my local seat.

    This Labour party has moved significantly to the right and will probably dissappoint those thinking this government was going to be pro-worker, pro public schooling and pro public health. Those that voted for labour thinking they were going to address global warming are also in for a rude awakening. The key for the Greens is to hold on to that pre-election double digit poll result – an far easier task with a right of centre labour party.

  23. I am flattered Gusface, no doubt sarcasm.
    I think most people on this site would rather lynch me for speaking my mind and caring about where we are heading in Australia. We have become a self-centred bunch who care little for each other and put greater faith in how bigger cars and houses than other people.

  24. “We have become a self-centred bunch who care little for each other and put greater faith in how bigger cars and houses than other people.”

    Rubbish – at least rubbish if you are referring to the average lefty supporter on this site. You need to pull your head out of your largest orifice and take a broader look at what’s been happening in this country. Rudd is part of a solution, not a continuation of the problem.

    There’s no place on earth called utopia so unfortunately I can supply supply you with directions.

  25. All you need is lerv.

    BTW did a whole post disappear? I remember writing something this morning and can’t find it.

    Had a lost of posts about people most likely to die.

    Is that something to do with Heath Ledger, William?

  26. Why do people become silly and rude when replying to comments.
    Your comment Steve made little sense and did not provide anything of value.
    Steve, last year big cars and big houses continued to increase in demand. And have you been to a big retail store lately big everything, tv’s, furnture, computers.. and we are buying it.
    Steve saw a news item two weeks ago on how a persons body was discovered in a house a full two months after they died with letters and bills coming in and no one bothering to see if they were home. More people live on their own and more people have no one to talk to. Sorry Steve our priorities are wrong and Rudd who intends to cut funding and provide tax cuts to the rich and allow private health benefits and private education funding to the rich schools for the next four years to me seems likely to continue to provide a country of greed and wealth for the haves and nothing for nots.

  27. Good Lord, polls again! Didn’t these people have the decency to close up shop after the last election? And why is Bowe still reporting their rubbish?

    Anyway, looks like we’re in for a fun 3 years as Krudd’s one term is engulfed by economic chaos. Suffer, twat! And has anyone noticed how fat he’s getting? Doesn’t look well at all….

  28. marky (or should that be marxy)
    ‘why are people so unkind”
    no sarcasm intended -with your obvious passion and deep social conscience why not form a party that looks after everyone and makes sure everyone is looked after-last attempt was by some guy called marx so maybe your channelling some residual socialism.

  29. William,

    The great thing about Democracy is every one has the right to be a w*anker.

    It is just that people like Steven Kaye exercise their rights more frequently.

  30. I don’t comment often, but i do keep up on this blog as it got me through the nervous-novembers. seems the current comments lack focus – uniting conservatives but no uniting of gay parents – i completely fail to understand the vitriol that surrounds suggestions of gay couples raising children – my father did NOT deserve to raise one much less four children and he was VERY hetrosexual.

    and as for heaping calumny on st kev – give it a rest people – it hasn’t stopped raining since election day 😉

  31. The blowback from WorkChoices will continue smudging the windscreen of the Liberals for years to come, possibly even through the next election when Labor raises the spectre of the Coalition just wanting to get back in so they can screw workers again.

  32. Rx I agree – the emotive “17% interest rates” will become the equally emotive “work (no) choices” – should do for at LEAST 2 further elections 😉

  33. Otiose, the good thing is that there is nothing the Libbos can say in their defense. The evidence of what they knowingly did to employees, and how they intended to go even further with the abuse if re-elected in 07, is all on the table. Indisputable facts. They won’t be able to just say, “We’ve changed”, because after the tawdry WorkChoices try-on, no one will believe them.

    WorkChoices will be the gift that keeps giving – to Labor. 😀

  34. Rx I’m looking forward to the lame excuses/reasons that will surely emanate from the deluded (mostly young private school BOYS) that will continue to flap their hairless jaws

  35. Sorry, popped out for a while….
    Brenton, I note you haven’t contested any of the complaints I made about the Green party. If the Greens had any chance of forming government, their stance on gay rights would be exactly the same as the majors (their language might be a little more lovey dovey, that’s all).
    Senator Conroy’s ability to change the IVF laws to be more inclusive are an example of the simple fact that an individual has more power to bring about social change as a member of a major party than any one – even the party leader – has in a minor.
    If you’re serious about gay rights, you’d get involved in the ALP and work to change its policies.
    (I am not being utopian here – my reason for joining the ALP was to make certain things happen and my run rate is good so far. Of course I’ve had to compromise and of course I haven’t got all I wanted, but that’s what living in a democracy is about).
    As for your comments about womens rights and the end of slavery, you show dismal ignorance about the century long fights for both – and the suffragette movement involved women going to jail, hunger striking and, ultimately, dying for the cause – don’t see similar commitment from the gay movement, there seems to be a ‘we’re victims so give it to us on a plate’ attitude there.
    Slavery was fought over centuries and still hasn’t been eliminated. Again, advances were won by people making real sacrifices, including the ultimate, to gain their ends.
    I am, by the way, an advocate for gays to have the same rights as the rest of the community – which means that, unlike you, I support their right to raise children as a family. This is the only logically consistent (if dangerous politically) position – either gays do not have equal rights or they do. Yours seems to be a ‘some are more equal than others’ position.
    By the way, I am very much a rural based ALP member. Until the Greens have REAL understanding of country life, their chances of electoral success are limited. At present, their support base out here tends to be treechangers and other urban escapees.
    If they want to be an inner city party,fine, but in that case could they please restrict their environmental policies to inner city issues?

  36. I object to the “honeymoon” tag for this poll. Rudd has worn that tag for over a year now. The honeymoon is over. We are settled in for a long happy marriage

  37. I think zoom put it well. And I would argue if your going to argue for gay rights you have to go all the way.

    It used to be you needed one of each sex to tango, but it’s over, science and a female can now generate a result, and it may be within my lifetime that the issues looked at in “brave new would” will have to be looked at ( and I think I will be dead in 30 years).

    Do we get our guidance from a book written by a bunch of bronze age men 2000 years ago or do we think about it? Do we look at “brave new would” to see just how badly things can turn out if we don’t face these issues in a open and honest way.

    To claim we are the only species that has sex within a sex is plain ignorant nonsense that can only be dished up to people that have never lived on a farm, however I think it’s pretty safe to say the ability for one sex to have children without a partner is reasonable unique ( ok snails have the whole issue sorted out).

    I think mankind is going to have to face some pretty serious issues about what society looks like, two guys getting married is only the start and two gals having a child is little more than another step in the road (at least the two gals still use two different strands of DNA, one X and one Y).

    I think stability of relationships is a solid rock to hold the debate together. The fact that Brenton wants to marry a guy and not have kids is a personal thing, it’s not a good basis to argue for change, nor in my opinion a good reason to condemn a party.

  38. apparently our PM has got rid of the menzies desk and chesterfield lounge in his office at parl house,restoring the original furniture-good sign that

    ‘the broom sweepeth as the scythe reapeth’

    i think RuddK is set for an extended bit of spring cleaning and not just the furniture and fittings will be replaced

    tee hee hee

  39. 92

    Zoom, I’m gobsmacked. One party in this country calls for fully equal relationship rights irrespective of the sexuality of that relationship. That would be The Greens.

    Your response is to say that these would be watered down if The Greens were to have a realistic chance of governing – in other words the party’s policy is unpalatable to the electorate and unrealistic and should therefore be ignored. And then you go on to say that the best hope is to ignore those policies, join the ALP and seek to change Labor from within.


    Debates such as climate change, reaction to the erosion of civil liberties and a host of others show how important a real alternative voice is. The majors respond to externalities much more readily than ‘grassroots’ pressure from within. And the pressure has to be maintained to effect real – rather than marginal – change

  40. I was way ahead of you in realising that my logic was not pristine, however I would still argue (using the Conroy example) that you have more chance of achieving something real working from within one of the majors than you ever have as a member of a minor party (and that the Conroy example shows that it doesn’t have to be in the party platform prior to an election for major changes to be made).
    Senator Conroy has achieved more for gay rights than Bob Brown ever has or can (and that’s not bad for someone seen as a conservative within his own party).
    I would like you to nominate one policy issue where the majors changed because of Green pressure (and by changed I mean brought in legislation which is active today, rather than just saying they would do something and then quietly dropping it).
    John Howard actively campaigned against gay rights and euthanasia, using Federal powers to block or limit legislation in the territories on these issues. Rudd has made it clear that these are not Federal issues and are up to each State to legislate on, thus giving the States far more freedom of action in these areas.
    To suggest that nothing would happen with issues such as climate change and civil liberties without a real alternative voice is – to use your own term – bollocks.
    Removing cattle from the High Plains (an issue I was involved with) owed nothing to Green pressure; Greens are non existent when it comes to putting the case for windfarms, when the Vic Labor government faces real community and political pressure in promoting them; climate change policies adopted by both the State and Federal parties come from grassroot members (I have had a number adopted, as I work in this area, so can attest to this); Greens were missing in action when it came to supporting the Vic Govts stance on the National Water Initiative (and the Green candidates I heard speaking on it had little or no understanding of the environmental issues involved).
    As for civil liberties, I would point out that the ones we enjoy at present were introduced by the major parties, not the Greens. Greens leaping up and down about the erosion of these have had no effect (if you disagree, again, provide examples), whereas a Rudd Labor Government will achieve changes (maybe not as quickly as any of us would like, but that’s where internal party action is important – and this kind of action is only effective if there are people in the party doing it!)
    Of course, if all you do is go to branch meetings and pass resolutions, not much will happen. You have to be a bit more active than that – but not much.
    So far, I would point out, I have used specific examples of real issues when putting my case. I would appreciate if those attacking my arguments would attempt the same. (Fairy floss is hard to refute).

  41. Zoom, what you are saying is their is no point having minor parties because it is the 2 majors that make all the rules. Your arguement of the Green’s irrelevance the

    It is the minor parties, particularly the Greens that bring issues such as climate change, gay rights, the war in Iraq, civil liberties and many human rights issues to the public’s consciousness. Once these issues appear in the polls re public opinion THEN the majors react. Bob Brown said back in the 90’s climate change needs to be addressed by Australia. Now its 2008 and the labour government are what? positioning themselves to possibly act?

    As for civil liberties, I would point out that the ones we used to enjoy at present were diminished by the major parties, not the Greens

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