Newspoll: 59-41

The first federal Newspoll in three weeks has Labor’s two-party lead steady at 59-41. Kevin Rudd’s lead over Brendan Nelson as preferred prime minister has widened from 60 per cent to 64 per cent, having gone 73-7 to 70-10 to 73-9 over the past there surveys.

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.

494 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41”

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  1. What is Nelson on about with this subsidy business in an interview on his Listening Tour today? Once there used to be a subsidy to encourage people to use LPG because it was a cheaper, and cleaner fuel.

    In the 2003 budget Costello introduced an excise on LPG and ethanol that is to begin on 1 July 2008. I do believe that the “subsidy” that Nelson is on about is to protect people from the costs associated with the increased prices due to the new excise the Liberals imposed.

    “But the truth of it is, Joseph, that when we get emissions trading, carbon trading, we will almost certainly see the price of petrol go up further and I think we need also to make sure that that LPG subsidy is maintained and kept. We just can’t afford to lose that $2000 subsidy for people who want to go to cheaper fuel.”

  2. This is typical of another tactic the Liberals used year after year. Set up a program with great fanfare but fund it shortterm so it will collapse. From ABC interview in Goulborne.

    Well, speaking of losing things, there’s a local Pharmica therapy programme that has been federally funded and that funding continues up until June this year. It’s based in Wodonga and among other things it coordinates local nurses and GPs to help addicts get off drugs like heroin. When that funding runs out there’s no state-based funding, there may be no federal funding and it may be forced to close its doors. What’s your suggestion about what should happen to programmes like that?


    That sort of programme must be maintained at all costs. I cannot for the life of me understand why it wouldn’t be and I will be very, very happy to take that cause up personally. I know that our local MPs would be working on it but look I’ll do whatever I can. I’ll get the details of that, Joseph, and get stuck into that.

  3. ominod, my solution: a few hundred 20 story apartment buildings near railway stations in melb. lets get em built, chuck in all the singles and service workers. problem solved, done and dusted.

  4. 452 nath
    It’s not quite that simple but you’re not far off.
    New York is the most ‘sustainable’ city on the planet; Australia has well and truly outgrown our open space addiction.
    And back to marky’s problem with provision of services: here in Australia we’ve sold off our public space too, which means we get whatever the minimum that the developers think they can get away with. Having said that, if we don’t allow density then the developers have even less to spend on the public space, so it’s almost like shooting your second foot off.
    Density has to rise if we’re going keep up our living standards. How profitable (to the city, society) do you think the squinty’s are who drive 2hrs into the Sydney CBD each day and 2hrs home each night?

  5. There was an article in The Age a couple of years back by Kenneth Davidson (maybe? I can’t remember), where he asked why there weren’t multiple storey developments along the bay all the way to Frankston along the Frankston railway line. Upgrade the line to one that goes at a decent speed like anywhere else in the western world and you have effectively created a growth corridor.
    I think it’s only NIMBYism and groups like SOS (Save our Suburbs for any non-Melburnians) taht prevent govts taking difficult decisions like that. It makes sense to me. I have an apartment in a 5-storey block in Fitzroy – I certainly don’t mind living in a high-density environment.

  6. Classified
    I’m totally atheist and come from a Protestant background anyway but find (as my Proddy mother did before me) that St Anthony is still the saint to pray to when it comes to finding things.
    I think it might be ‘cos he’s so miffed that the Catholics desainted him.
    Otherwise —
    (i) look in the car (on the sunglasses theory)
    (ii) visualise where you last had them. If necessary, go back and stand there and think about what you did next.
    (iii) ask spouse/significant other/cat/dog/child whether anybody moved them
    (iv) pick things up.
    (v) throw a tanty (I always thought these were childish and a waste of time. However, last time I lost something irretrievably, I decided to throw one…picked up something from the floor to throw and found missing item underneath…)

  7. Oh, and I spent hours looking for something the other day. Had looked in the ‘obvious place’ (a drawer) half a dozen times. KNEW it wasn’t there, but tried again anyway…emptied contents of drawer and put them back one item of at a time.
    It was there, after all – I just hadn’t looked properly.

  8. Zoom a big thank you!

    After much searching and retracing steps (this method I also use and habitually preach to family members) as a way to find things… I came up with zero… So I traced back in my mind what happened AFTER I noticed the keys where missing….

    ::sets a scene::

    ME: Anybody know where my keys are?

    Kid 1 : nuh

    Kid 2 : what?

    Anybody seen my car keys?

    K1 : nuh

    K2 ;whaat?…um na

    Me: mutter mutter, “where the f%^$K are they, jebbus …mutter mutter

    Me: Get up of the couch and LOOK… at this point both kids get off the couch and hurriedly pretend to be concerned and look for missing keys… next bit is important : THE CAT is swooshed off the couch too (with usual nasty looks from said cat)

    Nothing is found… much searching goes on by me (kids go to bed etc) but nothing appears

    I think… sh1t, I’ve got to be at airport in 1hr, must leave in next 10mins or will be late… search more…mutter a lot and eventually decide to post “missing keys” on PB

    Time drags on…search everywhere but FAIL to notice EVIL CAT looking slyly at me…

    At wits end give up and decide must organize taxi for airport pickup… just one more search b4 I call cab…

    F#(K I yell loudly scaring everything for miles around… INCLUDING EVIL CAT!!!… Who jumps up and runs away

    Exposing keys it was lying on …!!!!!

    I really really hate that cat but I have to admit…

    This time it won 🙂

  9. 456 Chris
    You know it doesn’t even have to travel a current corridor – you can unlock a whole new development corridor with the right planning.
    Vancouver is a wonderful example of a new transport link can invigorate a city. their monorail built for the 88 expo runs diagonally across a traditional grid city that gave tremendous development impetus. You can live in an apartment anywhere down the line and you are a maximum of 40 minutes from the centre of town.

    the Classic statistic I heard was that there were more trains and greater frequency in Melbourne and Sydney in 1930 than there are now.
    It’s almost like the rail administrators have never seen a decent train system. Bigger trains aren’t the way to increase patronage – frequency is. Smaller trains, every 5 minutes – simple & predictable, but then the way the contracts are set up there’s no incentive to increase patronage; just the opposite.

    What happened to Uhlmann’s attitude tonight – he’s given it a holiday! Yipee.
    Oh, and Gosper is a first class git

  10. Steve,

    Thanks, I saw that article, but the original was talking more about the fact that the potential of the strip running all the way down to Frankston is pretty much untapped. The problem is upgrading the line to a standard that could cope with the numbers involved, increasing the speed and frequency of the trains.

  11. Glen @ 396,

    I appreciate that the Chinese government is a regime that democrats should hold in deep distaste. But I would be very wary of saying that Rudd should abandon efforts for a free trade deal just because that government abuses its citizens’ fundamental rights. A lot of people (including me) genuinely believe that the more China integrates with the rest of the world economically, the greater the internal reform pressures on the Chinese government will be. Remember that in Indonesia it wasn’t the destitute who challenged the Suharto regime on the streets, leading to its demise. The protests started in the Jakarta universities, with the sons and daughters of the new middle class.

    We should be even warier of promoting a free trade deal with India simply to indicate our displeasure with China. An agreement with India may be a good idea in and of itself – I’m a free trader. But I’m concerned by the way some people (largely conservatives) are starting to openly canvass the idea that we draw India into an informal alliance against China. I can think of few strategic developments that would be worse for us than a confrontation between India and China. That particular relationship will be delicate enough without the West trying to egg on the Indian China-hawks (in the process making the Chinese government even more suspicious and allowing that government to rally its people against encirclement). In my opinion, Australia should be doing everything it can to convince the Americans that this idea is dumb, dumb, dumb and will be directly counterproductive. We certainly shouldn’t be doing it ourselves.

    (Incidentally, this view is shared by at least one Indian diplomat in Australia, who I met. I mentioned a Greg Sheridan article promoting the India-against-China line and he just about bit my head off denouncing it (and Greg Sheridan). He was genuinely peeved, it seemed, and quite open about it. The Indians, one suspects, know full well when they’re being used and don’t much like it.)

    Thomarse on the China FTA,

    I think ruawake’s comment on the actual negotiations says it all. Australia is pretty much open to Chinese manufacturing already – nothing will change on that front. From our side, there’s much to be gained in sectors like agriculture, if we can pull it off.

    The main thing I fear is that Nelson and co will try to twist any success to promote their idea that Rudd is somehow downgrading the American Alliance and kowtowing to the Chinese just because he supports good relations between China and the West and is prepared to do something about it.

  12. From D.T.D’s wire

    Dennis Spam-in-a-can

    Reports are coming in that local PB poster’ Classifieds’ family pet life may not be all that it seems. “Local tray litter” reports are saying…

    Source’s report (Dog’s name removed by court order) “hey, he‘s an ass but at least I get free biscuits”..

    Other reports are coming in that “the cat” has lodged a protest via channels.

    These are testing times for Classified and his cat. Whilst always happy to encourage the hosting of “the games” the latest bout of “hide his keys” has caused some difficulties in a meeting between the two.

    It’s is well worth noting that whilst “the dog” has seen a huge improvement in his PPM (preferred pet measure) due to his general cuddliness and not shitting in flower pots lately.. “The cat” has been basically pissing Classified off…

    ” The dog” also impressed this reporter with the following when he was quoted as saying “well, my opponent is pretty slick, good looking, smarter and much better at politics, not to mention getting himself seen in all sorts of right places around the neighborhood. Me personally, I’ve been sticking around home, not saying or doing much and generally keeping people’s blankets warm”

    Over to you

  13. Ahh, so the cat is out there engaging with the wider world whilst the dog is an isolationist, who keeps its tenuous hold on power by sucking up to the boss.

  14. Two staggering poll results from Rasmussen in Montana and Alaska, bearing in mind that Bush won each of them by over 20 points in 2004. I don’t put that much faith in them, but maybe it’s a sign of the 50 State Strategy that Obama has been trying to push.

    It’s no surprise that John McCain leads Hillary Clinton by twenty-five percentage points in Alaska. After all, George W. Bush won the state by twenty-five points in Election 2004 and by thirty-one points four years earlier.

    However, it is surprising to note that Barack Obama starts the general election trailing McCain by just five percentage points, 48% to 43%.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Montana shows John McCain leading Barack Obama 48% to 43%. However, he enjoys a much more comfortable lead over Hillary Clinton, 54% to 36%.

    It would be truly stunning if Obama could turn Montana into a competitive state this November. George W. Bush won Montana’s 3 Electoral College Votes by twenty percentage points in 2004 and by twenty-five points four years earlier. Even Bob Dole managed to win Montana, albeit by a narrow 44% to 41% margin (Ross Perot picked up 14% of the vote).

    I doubt either of these states will turn blue in November, but polls like this could force McCain to spend a lot more time shoring up red states than attacking the purples (much like Howard was forced to do last year).

  15. We usually find the TV remote under the dog.

    Other good places (for future reference):

    1. In the laundry.
    2. On the basin next to the dunny.
    3. The most unlikely spot you can think of.

  16. Penny Wong is also in Beijing. Does anyone know if she speaks Mandarin? (Chris Uhlmann just said on ABC radio that he didn’t know. He said he was going to ask her yesterday but instead complimented her on what she was wearing.)

  17. These so-called MSM political experts never learn. After having been shown to be so out of touch and biased with their coverage and commentary in the year leading up to the election, they continue to look for something to spin against Rudd. At what point might they realise that, hey, he has record poll numbers, a good team, sound policies, and maybe he might just be doing a good job??

  18. Al: the Democrats won a Senate seat off the Republicans in Montana in 2006, so it’s not completely unlikely that Obama could make things competitive there.
    Chris Ullhman, or Chris “Toolman” as I prefer to call him – has there been a more inept ABC political correspondent in the history of the national broadcaster?
    I’d take David Spears over Chris, and that’s saying something.
    I guess the MSM is pissed off Rudd’s trip is going so well, that’s why we’re getting more crap today about some company Terese Rein owns(rolls eyes).

  19. #476
    I thought Uhlmann was very good on AM in the election campaign. He went in hard at everyone, even to the extent that I wouldn’t be surprised if some pollies were shaking in their boots at the prospect of facing up to him.

  20. Rudd was right and Shanahan was wrong… says Shanahan.

    I nearly choked on my boiled egg this morning as I saw the Shanahan headline, Coup for old China hand.

    Talk about fulsome praise! And from Dennis himself! The article concludes:

    “So, Rudd has been able to get gushing support at home for his tough stand on Tibet, he’s avoided being seen as kowtowing to China and he’s also avoided seriously embarrassing the Chinese leadership. The wider relationship has been enhanced and he’s deflected pressure over Olympic boycotts.

    It’s a political and diplomatic dream come true. “

    But we should cast our eyes further back, to another second Friday of April: Friday, April 13, 2007 – exactly one year ago – to see what Dennis predicted would happen:

    One-man band Rudd risky as China’s mate
    … there is a real policy and political problem for Rudd in being able to order duck pancakes and fried flounder at Portia’s Chinese restaurant in Canberra, where he indulges in his linguistic and culinary pasttimes.

    Simply put, Rudd is seen as being too close to China for Australia’s comfort.

    The bottom line for Rudd is that it is too early for him as Opposition leader, never mind as Prime Minister, to commit to one side or the otherin the vexed question of China’s rise in the reason.

    Indeed it would be better for Rudd to enjot his pancakes at Portia’s and sup on a little sushi in Tokyo on his way back from Beijing.

    Indeed lining up the US, China and Japan as his trips overseas as Opposition leader would give Rudd far more credit than obscurly supporting Beijing in academic speeches.”

    I guess Dennis hoped we’d forget the earlier article I (found here:, in favour of the latter one from today (,25197,23520990-5013871,00.html).

    Well, I didn’t.

    What with Henderson and Albrechtsen both dismissing Salutegate as a storm in a teacup, Greg Sheridan raving about Rudd’s brilliant success on his world trip, Chris Uhlmann being almost decipherable in his dispatches from overseas, and now Shanahan doing a quiet change of horses on Rudd and China, we are only left with Brendan Nelson waffling on about Rudd being too “public” in his criticism of China over Tibet, Brandis shaking with rage at Rudd’s not bowing to the Queen (he did, anyway), plus a few troglodytes at Pies’ and Bolt’s blogs raving on into empty space about how Kevin is a national embarrassment and should be shot for treason immediately upon his return. As the swamp drains competition for the remaining water becomes intense and loud, but ultimately they’re arguing about a speck in the middle of the desert. I saw that on the Disney channel. Everybody knows it, but the RWDBs.

    It seems there is a re-alignment in the stars of our Commentocracy. Perhaps word has come down from upon high (Murdoch for one is, uhm, “interested” in China), perhaps the scales have been lifted from their eyes. Whatever the mechanism, Rudd is suddenly – and almost universally – flavour of the month, and you don’t need to book a table at Portia’s to sip from the bowl.

  21. BB @ 479,

    How long before they claim that it is good that Rudd has finally got on board with their view on life?

    It seems that some of our free thinking independant political journalists like backing a winner. Probably keeps them in a job.

  22. But now, shock, horror, Rudd has failed to decare a dormant company (which belongs to his wife) in the register of interests.There was no obligation for him to have done so, but what a scoop!.Ninemsn has it as banner headlines.

    Graveyard shift in the fertiliser factory.

  23. I hope your right BB but I think they simply had no choice but to bend-over a bit, they will be back to being d!(ks in no time. Unlike a lot of people though I don’t see the dodgy anti-Rudd reporting as a problem, it’s been that way for awhile now and the Ruddinator just keeps on going, clearing all before him and getting on with his thing.

    The despair in the opposition, the International reception, the strut in the Gov’s stride, even the grudging respect he occasionally. gets from the MSM all tell me that this boy is firmly in his groove

  24. GB (482) I think you should also allow credit to the SMH for covering The Independent’s editorial and for it (SMH) giving prominence to the story in its online editions this morning.

  25. 484 David – I agree David. I don’t have any problems with the SMH, it’s that Daily Pornograph, it’s a rag.

  26. GB (486) Greetings Gary I hope you are enjoying life in a ‘Howard-less’ Australia. My favourite newspaper is the Mx which I pick up at Wynyard station here in Sydney just before my afternoon commute on Morrie’s (poorly administered) public transport transport system. If I want to read about politics I go to the internet including but not limited to, this splendid site.

    The Mx (no doubt there is an equivalent in Melbourne) has excellent coverage of just about anything except politics (gossip, travel, sport and the occasional ‘pornographic’ news stories). During last year’s election campaign, the Mx very helpfully ‘warned’ its readers on the front page whether there were any ‘election stories’. Usually there were only one or two (sometimes none at all) and surprise surprise those election stories were mostly favourable to (then) Opposition Leader, Kevin Michael Rudd. This is a newspaper which many ‘low involvement’ voters read so any favourable stories for the ALP during an election campaign came to the attention of a key segment of voters at just the right time.

  27. Rudd has done very well indeed and I think the proof of the pudding has been the sideshow “issues” by the press and Nelson’s silence.

  28. Eh?

    Next to the story on Therese Rein’s defunct company, the ABC web site has the following box full of goodies:

    Also Of Interest
    Labor ‘sidelining’ Gillard on IR consultation
    16 Aug 2007 – 34 weeks ago

    Labor adviser defends Rudd’s business cred
    16 May 2007 – 47 weeks ago

    Voters reject Govt’s attack on Rudd: Gillard
    6 Mar 2007 – 57 weeks ago

    Gillard denies Labor shift on IR laws
    2 Feb 2007 – 62 weeks ago

    AWAs details wil be released before election: Rudd
    16 Aug 2007 – 34 weeks ago

    What the…..?

    How in the world are early-2007 pre-election “scandals” that came to nothing at all except increased poll numbers for Labor in any way relevant to today’s story?

    “34 weeks ago”, “47, 57, 62 weeks ago”?

    Either someone has seriously screwed up at ABC On Line, or they’re so far gone in the head with disgust that Labor won the election they can’t seem to forget that it’

    I wrote earlier this week that the aim of the Howard Hugging Journalists was to publish every tiny scrap of “news” that had even miniscule potential to be called “scandal” about Rudd, in the hope that one day they could all be published side-by-side to establish “form” on Rudd’s behalf; a sort-of we told you he was no godd” litany of non-events that together they hope might equal more than the sum of the parts.

    This is a perfect example of it: one story about Therese Rein’s defunct, non-trading company, and we get all the trimin’s, icing on the cake, hundreds-and-thousands plus a dollop of Burkegate Ice Cream with chocolate sauce next to it, supplied in the name of “balance”, ABC-style.

    Seriously weird and seriously outrageous.

  29. According to Antonio some time ago its just the work of a search engine and nothing at all sinister.
    Its just pure coincidence, random and unbiased, that nearly all the headlines have an anti-ALP slant.
    Its all in your mind BB!

  30. 488 David – Sounds like a good read David and not because of the favourable treatment given to Rudd. If there is a similar type of paper here I haven’t found it yet.
    I’m not critical of papers or journalists for criticising the government, governments should be scrutanised but I’m getting the feeling at the moment that Rudd is being unfairly dealt with by some because they don’t like him personally, not for what he is doing or saying. Some criticisms have just been downright purile. A paper like Mx is probably the way to go at the moment.
    Our transport system is not much better than yours. The government is trying to do something about it. If only we had a strong opposition that would try to provide solutions rather than just criticisng everything the government tries to put up. We need answers. If anyone has the magic solution please provide it. The trouble is noone has.

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