Newspoll: 63-37; Nelson preferred PM 7 per cent

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.

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.

836 comments on “Newspoll: 63-37; Nelson preferred PM 7 per cent”

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  1. just been browsing a few news storys. Here’s a couple to make the Libs jealous

    By James Grubel
    Saturday, March 8, 2008; 10:40 PM
    CANBERRA (Reuters) – Hong Kong-born action film star Jackie Chan paid tribute to his late parents and his Australian roots on Sunday by funding a new science education centre at the country’s top cancer research institution.

    Chan and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd opened the Jackie Chan Science Centre, at the Australian National University, paid for by Chan’s donations to cancer research in honor of his parents, who were long-time residents in Canberra.
    Chan’s parents settled in Canberra in the early 1970s, where his father took a job as the head chef at the United States Embassy before becoming a successful local restaurant owner.

    Before his career in film, a young Chan lived in Canberra for a couple of years, attending college and working as builder’s laborer, where he was given his now famous name Jackie as a nickname by fellow workers, who struggled with his Chinese name.

    Rudd, who was elected to power in Australia last November, hosted a dinner at his official residence on Saturday for Chan and his family, as well as diplomats from China and the United States.

    Rudd, who speaks fluent Mandarin, discussed ways Chan could help Australia strengthen its ties with China, which is now Australia’s biggest trading partner.
    Chan, who is an ambassador for the Beijing Olympics, invited Rudd to attend the Olympics later this year, and said he would be available to help Rudd at any time, but he refused say how.
    “There’ some secret, I cannot say it,” Chan said. “I’ve known Kevin for a few years. Whenever he calls, I’ll be there.”

    From The Age
    Before they were famous and influential both lugged bricks in Canberra to feed themselves.
    Now, in a surreal moment 30 years on, the worlds of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Jackie Chan collided today.

  2. If Pies wants to be taken seriously you’d think he’d at least come up with a plausible scenario, wouldn’t you?

    Julia Gillard tipped to be the favourite for Labor leadership over Rudd?


    Lovely, capable, amazing person that she is, Julia would not stand a snowflake’s chance in hellfire over taking over from Rudd, today or tomorrow or next year. Also, she would not want the job with a PM so well-ensconced with the public as Rudd is.

    Where in the bejeezus does Pies get his ideas from? ONE person allegedly said Julia would win a leadership spill and he PRINTS IT as gospel?

    They clearly have nothing to write about and are suffering from Relevance Deprivation Syndrome.

    Funnily enough, the wingnut journos seem to be the ones having the most trouble adjusting to the new reality. Worse than the Libs and Nats and worse than Labor and its fluffed lines, the journos are wallowing in a bygone reality, too stupid or too desperate to notice the world has passed them by.

    Like Johnny Rocco from Key Largo they’re fully expecting the old days to come back, better than ever: Prohibition, Howard and Sly Grog, all mixed up into a fantasy world where up is down and left is right, where what they would otherwise have called “dole bludgers” are lauded as heroes deserving of every handout they can muster. But THIS time the Mobs will co-operate… see? No blasting away at each other… see? It’ll be just like the old days… see?

    But only in Pie Heaven.

  3. Dyno, back at 695. Some, like me, get cranky when dolts spread rumours that hurt people. There’s no doubt many people who are carers and those on aged pensions would have been distressed by the rubbish being touted as news over the last couple of days. I’m not concerned about the gov’t. They’re perfectly capable of looking after themselves. But you can bet on it that it wouldn’t even occur to the likes of the sham and the rest of them who peddle such crap, that what they were doing was going to hurt people and was unethical.

  4. I know I’ve said it before, but I’lll say it again: Labor will win the next election with a swing in its favour. The Liberals have no idea what is going on. Have a look at the Piers Akerman Forum or the Andrew Bolt Forum. It doesn’t really matter which thread, as they are all the same people saying the same things over and over – a bit like the Howard haters of last year, really – but try “Poll: Costello vs Turnbull for leader” for a starter. They think it’s a media beat up, that the opinion polls are rigged, that Labor has no policies, that Kevin Rudd has – even though he has no policies – broken them already, that the Liberal IR laws were a positive, that the Liberals should ditch their left wing (their what?), etc, etc. Some are still going on about Brian Burke and Kevin Rudd’s childhood. It’s a re-run of the Liberal reaction to Steve Bracks’s 1999 win.

  5. Chris Curtis, I don’t know how you stomach reading that stuff. I had a brief look at what being posted on the sham’s blog when he wrote about the razor gang supposedly taking to the carers payments, and couldn’t proceed past the first page.

  6. Hi Chris Curtis of the 70’s…I actually spent a weekend over at the nuts and Bolt tapestry of the thredulous and I was amazed at the warped perspective!

    What really got in my crawdad was the constant wishing that this country will crash and burn and can not wait, so they can themselves, on their collective spineless backs, pat themselves and say “I told you so you idiots!”

    Best if they stay there in their little askew liberal creche!

  7. Harry,

    I like to keep in touch with the political climate. I even post occasionally, most often when there is an attack on teachers, when I present a few facts. The facts are never challenged – of course, you say – but I do sometimes get a response and other times my facts are left hanging in the air.

    One problem that the Victorian Labor Government still has is the survival of Liberal ideology in the public service, which is why the government has not reversed all the bad things done by the Liberals and probably never will now. The leak re the carer’s bonus could have been kite-flying by the government (which suggest its political judgement is very poor) or an attempt by a Liberal bureaucrat to create mischief for the Rudd Government. Who knows?


    The 70s is where my mind is. I think of 1970 as the beginning of the modern era. But then I realise that it was 38 years ago, which is like some old codger telling me in 1970 that 1932 was the beginning of the modern era.

    It’s easier to post on a blog than do something about the world. You can type away about the dreadful government and feel superior. Meanwhile, those with the real power are out exercising it. The world is run by those who turn up.

    Labor needs a strong opposition, so I hope that the Liberals get their act together and start providing one. At the moment, they are just lost.

  8. Chris Curtis…I’m sure many here are active in pursuing a better nation, I suspect.

    The point you raise concerning the weak opposition is a worry to me also.

    For a democracy to function at it’s optimum, a strong and vibrant opposition is imperative.

  9. Polyquats

    I am making some assumptions here but if you have a disabled child under 21 and rent you are eligable for $862.66 per fortnight. Consisting of carers payment, carers allowance, rent assistance and youth disability supplement. I am assuming the lowest figure for the person being cared for it could be upto $295.10 pf.

    Including the $1600 “bonus” this means a tax free income of $24029.16 plus you are still able to work 50 hours per fortnight. So lets say that another $650. making a legit $1512.66 per fortnight or $756.33 per week.

    I am not saying this applies to you but it shows there are huge problems with disabilty payments.

    Put this into context, a single disabled person who relies on nursing care with a mortgage gets $537.70 per fortnight and dreams of a washing machine. 🙁

  10. Chris, I appreciate you’re wanting to keep in touch with the political climate, as do I and have noticed your letters and postings.
    The reporting of the supposed cuts to people’s money, just had me so angry, as I think a lot of people have been unnecessarily worried by it. I didn’t think it was something the gov’t would do, as I don’t think they’re either heartless or stupid. I think Rudd is the real deal as I was very impressed that he would, off his own bat and no media in tow, go out during some free time in Melbourne to visit a homeless shelter and hear first hand about it. It seemed likely to me that it was mischief from someone inside the public service.
    I’ve also been angry, like others posting here that the ABC mostly just parrots the talking points from the MSM, and I’m heartily sick of the spin they put on it. I think it was Fred who did a tally and quoted a string of reports, providing evidence of same.
    The fed. Libs. have serious problems, not least being Nelson is clearly not the leader. Clearly, Downer, Costello, Vaille, Turnbull and Abbott, all think they can do pretty much anything they want, with the usual suspects just waiting to get out. So, no discipline and a leader with no authority. Further, if you read Possum’s piece on the twin power bases, I think he made a pretty compelling argument for their differences being greater than their similarities, and therefore, considerable internal tension. Howard had whatever it was it took to manage this tension, but since he’s gone, no one else comes close to being able to manage it.

  11. Just looked at the figures again, the maximum is $1197.16 pf plus $650 from wages = $48026.16 per annum.

    Or $923.58 per week. This would be an unusual amount and the person cared for would need to be between 18-21. When they turned 22 the payment would be less.

    Just shows what a dogs breakfast we have in disability support.

  12. ruawake,
    A disabled child is an adult at 16. Unlike my able-bodied student child, who will not be an adult until she is 25.

    If someone on a carer’s payment earned $650 per fortnight, they would start to lose 40 cents in the dollar for every dollar over about $132.00. You have to be able to find a job with the appropriate hours and flexibility.

    The $1600 is a bribe, can’t be guaranteed till the end of the year, cross your fingers and hope for it.

    There is often no end in site for many carers. And even if there is, what then for the carer, with no super, no work history.

    I am well aware of the situation for the disabled, I care for one. I’m not suggesting that payments for the disabled are OK, or that carers are worse off than other pensioners. I’m appalled at the amounts paid to many others, particularly single pensioners. If your numbers were right, I wouldn’t be complaining. But they are wrong.

  13. Polyquats er wrong.

    “For Disability Support Pension, applies if over 21 only”. This is the income test.

    My figures are accurate for a theoretical scenario, as I stated the payments would be less when the person cared for turns 22.

    Prove me wrong. 😛

  14. Tom 677
    I’m certainly not bagging faith full stop – just the place it is assuming in the political process. I’m more than happy with the moral compass of Kevin Rudd, and I know he’ll attribute a lot if not all of it to his faith.
    I was mostly just objecting to JWH’s call for it’s increased influence in his speech in Washington.
    There’s no doubt about it’s influence in the US and it’s apparently becoming optional to be either educated or Christian. I find it more than a little concerning. Having said that, the leadership and actions of Rudd thus far are enormously encouraging.

  15. ruawake:

    Carer’s Allowance: $100.60 pf
    Carer’s Payment: $648.90 pf (including rent allowance)
    Total Carer’s income: $749.50 pf.

    Disability Support Pension 18-21 years, living at home: $334.00 pf

    Total Household fortnightly income: $1083.50

    Rent: $540 pf, which is about 50% of our income.

    In reality, my daughter pays half her pension to me for board and lodgings, the rest goes to meet her own expenses.

    It is only my daughter’s pension that is not subject to a means test (ie a test on my income). This is a ‘welfare for the rich’ tweak – disabled children of the stinking rich get to have a non-means tested pension from 16. Doesn’t make much difference to those on average income.

    I think you are double counting somewhere. If only I could make $48,000 collecting the pension and working within the means test and time allowed. Perhaps if you can tell me exactly what it is that I am missing out on, I’ll print it out and take it to Centrelink tomorrow to demand the rest of my money.

  16. Heh, I too have commented on Piers & Bolt’s blogs. Piers is a nasty little man, a request by me for some actual figures on evictions of subprime mortgage holders in the US I got a reply implying I was weakminded! Nice! NOT! My posts don’t seem to appear anymore.

    Some of the neanderthals that post there obviously only read Piers or whomever. How else could numerous posters there keep crapping on about more and more people losing faith in Rudd/ALP??? hello? Rudd 70% PPM???

  17. Polyquats

    I am not saying you do not deserve every cent you get, but you obviously get more “test on my income” so you have an income above the $541.75 per week you get tax free. ( I will ignore the $1600 bribe).

    Compare this to many others and stop complaining. Imagine if you were a person who had a $150,000 mortgage and were single. You suddenly get a diagnosis of a life changing illness. Payments of $330 per week, income of $268.85. Why should renters alone get help?

    Our whole system of disability/welfare payments is stuffed. That is the point I am trying to make.

  18. I wonder if Polyquats is one of these “Carers” who have been parroting the Opposition Orifice’s Talking points ?

    Oh and before you attack me again, I am a disability pensioner plus I have 2 sisters who have special needs children – one of my sisters has 2 , one with Autism, and one with Downs Syndrome, plus another sister who has a 21 yr old with Cerebal Palsy.

    Note the sister who has 2 children only qualifies for the Carers Allowance of $98.00 per fortnight for I’m assuming each child.

    [Our whole system of disability/welfare payments is stuffed. That is the point I am trying to make.]

    I totally and utterly agree.

  19. [Our whole system of disability/welfare payments is stuffed]

    You will love this little pension rort.

    Recipients of the Blind Pension can get it income and asset test free.

    Which means you can be a multi-billionaire with a full time job and still get a pension which allows you amongst other things free public transport.

    When Howard first introduced Welfare to Work, the Blind pension was included – public outcry by Vision Australia saw Howard grant them an exemption.

  20. The merger debate has caused friction between Nelson and Pyne.

    “A Coalition frontbencher has disagreed strongly with Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson over a possible merger of the Liberal and National parties.

    Dr Nelson says that he strongly supports the parties amalgamating at some point in the future, if it has the support of party members.

    But Opposition justice spokesman Christopher Pyne has told Sky television the Nationals and the Liberal Party are too dissimilar for a merger to work.

    “They make no pretence about holding together any Liberal philosophical strain within their party,” he said.”

  21. Yep, all is fine at LNP Central. Still think the Possum proposition about the distantly related twin support bases is a pretty good one.
    If the folk at Labor Central are in fact having a good hard long look at Disabilitiy and Aged pensions and associated entitlements, they’ll do it properly, if it’s the pollies who are driving it. Again from my experience, it’s often the State based bureaucrats, (apart from my son who’s a paragon!) who are the problem.

  22. Dyno I got upset when they were accused of being ‘good economic managers’, ‘friends of workers’, ‘compassionate conservatives’ etc. I have never believed these rumors to be true for a second.

  23. Polyquats at 715

    ”A disabled child is an adult at 16. Unlike my able-bodied student child, who will not be an adult until she is 25′.

    Whilst I am not equipped to argue Polyqat’s personal case on disabilty, I reiterate.

    Yet another weird, convulsive twist, introduced by the Howard Government.

    On what grounds could a person be a dependent up to the age of 25?

    This nonsense was connected in someway with Austudy and Newstart. Living away from home allowances and qualification therefore. The kiddies running away from home. Heavens, forbid that some would wish to escape a situation.

    The rule specifically intended a parent to bear the cost of their adult child’s education, by which I mean a person over the age of 18.

    Must keep the kids at home. I know, punish the parents. The whole thing typifies the Howard approach. Solve a contemporary issue by hammering the parents and kids into financial submission.

    It specifically was and it remains, directed at the less financially able.

    But aimed at pleasing the voters who think the moral, social and physical objective has been solved.

    As usual, under Howard, it is based not on reality, but political twists and turns.

    Wedge politics.

    Again, Kev, on with it.

  24. 721
    Frank Calabrese Says:
    March 9th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    I wonder if Polyquats is one of these “Carers” who have been parroting the Opposition Orifice’s Talking points ?

    Certainly not!

    I just take exception to the ‘creative accounting’ being used by some on this discussion. Yes, the disability support system is broken – but spare me the line that ‘carers shouldn’t complain because the disabled are worse off’ or ‘renters shouldn’t complain because people with a mortgage are worse off’ or ‘couples shouldn’t complain because singles are worse off’, or – God forbid – ‘you can afford to spend the bribe on a washing machine, what luxury’ – bullshit. We are all in this together. After all, every carer is a carer of a person with a disability or major illness. So how about some creative ideas to fix the bloody system, instead of whinging at carers.

    Such callousness from the left. Is this the new face of socialism in Government? Or just the inteligencia trying to feel relevant – hey wait a minute, that was an OO talking point. What have you driven me to?

  25. Okay, Polyquats 728. Get on with it.

    Have a look at the ALP policy on Disability and Carers. I have posted the link above. Ask yourself and them if they are adhering to the policy.

    Lobby your local MP, Kevin, whomever.

    Go for it!

    You clearly have an opinion, make it heard beyond this thread.

    We are on your side.

  26. This from that rag, The Daily Telegraph, “Labor brawl over plastic bag tax” The problem for them is that Iemma and garrett are in fact on the same page with this. For heaven sake who are their reporters? Don’t they gather facts first or are they just in the habit of making it up as they go along?

  27. Dyno at 725. Upset about lies peddled about the former gov’t? There was too much that was real they did to upset me.

  28. Peter Costello. ABC 7.30 report 23/10/2007.

    “PETER COSTELLO: Well in fact we did. We gave a pension bonus of $500 in June of this year and we gave a carers payment bonus of $1,000. In fact we did Kerry, we did return to carers and pensioners. Now going forward, what we’re saying is we will now permanently build in that $500 for pensioners, for self-funded retirees and for those on the carer’s payment and indeed in addition to that, those on the disability support pension. So what we did in the past is we declared a bonus and we paid a bonus, what we’re going to do in the future is we are going to build that in so it will be an annual entitlement and this is the way of distributing the proceeds of a strong economy to pensioners, to those on the disability pension and to carers.”

    Read the weasel words – The Coalition policy was to dump the payments. In black and white.

    More astute commentators heard this at the time – others were duped.

  29. [It is becoming amusing to see the State Libs tripping over themselves to try to get former Ministers to overcome their perceived problems. Brough in Queensland, Downer in SA and now Hockey for NSW. ]

    You forgot to add Bishop in WA 🙂

    Ohand the WA Nats aren’t too impressed about merging with the Libs, in ffact here they are running 100 miles AWAY from them and standing candidates in all rural seats making them 3 way contests.

  30. Frank, it is the Nationals Opposition Leader Springborg who is driving the agenda in Qld but so far it hasn’t had any more success than in the west and getting the Libs in Qld to agree to anything is near impossible as I am sure Nelson will find Federally.

  31. Go Kevvie 🙂

    [Asked about the merger, Mr Rudd said: “I think the problem for the Liberal Party and National Party is they don’t know what they stand for.

    “The problem that these two parties present at the moment is it’s quite unclear to the Australian people what principles they stand for.”

    Mr Rudd said the Nationals were a “declining force” which had not represented the interests of rural and regional people for quite some time. ],21598,23349940-5005361,00.html

  32. “When it comes to the bonuses system, carers and pensioners will not be any worse off under the budget,” – Kevin Rudd. 😛

  33. These mongrels just won’t let up. What more do they want Rudd to do, present the budget now? Aren’t his reassurances good enough? Do they believe they’re still dealing with Howard and can’t believe a word he says?

  34. At least the problems with the Liberal leadership, for want of a better word, and the merger controversy are keeping the sharks busy.

  35. 748 Frank – and the scaremongering goes on. Of course you realise that no matter what the government does from here on in this matter it will be considered a “backflip”, “backdown” or a “cave in”. Just bloody dirty politics, that’s what it is.

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