The Australian reports Newspoll has Labor ahead 63-37 on two-party preferred, with Brendan Nelson’s preferred Prime Minister rating down a further 2 per cent from last fortnight’s headline-grabbing 9 per cent. More to follow.
UPDATE: Two-party records on the Newspoll site only go back to January 1996 (the company goes back to 1985); before tonight the best result was Labor’s 61-39 from 16-18 March 2007, the top six all coming from Rudd’s killer run from March to October last year. The Coalition’s best result was 56.5-43.5 from 5-7 October 2001.
UPDATE 2: Graphic here. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is at 69 per cent, up 1 per cent to beat the record he set a fortnight ago. John Howard’s best ratings were 67 per cent from 10-12 May 1996, and 65 per cent recorded in the aftermath of the Bali bombing on 1-3 November 2002. Pollsters other than Newspoll had Bob Hawke over 70 per cent in 1983-84. I have derived two-party figures for Newspoll from 1985 to 1995 using preference distributions from the preceding election, and none comes close to 63-37. The Coalition’s best result was 59.9-40.1 from 20-22 August 1993, immediately following John Dawkins’ horror post-election budget. Labor’s was 58.0-42.0 from 12-14 June 1987, at the onset of the campaign for the July 11 election.
UPDATE 3: Rather embarrassingly, this post originally claimed Brendan Nelson’s approval rating was 7 per cent. This figure is in fact his preferred prime minister rating. Nelson’s approval rating is 29 per cent, which is not much to write home about but nowhere near the record-setting level of his preferred PM rating.