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. 396 Glen

    The authorities still got pretty riled up by Rudd’s speech!

    I wouldn’t want an FTA with China either, until their workers were paid a fair wage. Howard must have wanted an FTA with China to help drive down wages.

  2. Kina,

    I reckon Pyne could give Nelson a real run for his money in the search for Australia’s Least Preferred Prime Minister. The Libs would have to be crazy to nominate someone on such a small margin to lead them to the next election. A 1% swing against him in his seat and they’d lose their leader again!

  3. I heard a farmer whinging about the way that the coalition used to go about arranging Free Trade Agreements. First they would agree that the US could sell there products here and later they would try to bargain for US farm subsidies to be reduced. As usual back to front in their efforts too help Australian farmers one would think.

  4. 406 [A 1% swing against him in his seat and they’d lose their leader again!]

    A change of Liberal Leader is always a good thing Al. I’ve been a bit disappointed with how long this bloke has hung on. I like to see about four per year.

  5. Apart from a brief flirtation with Lord Dolly of Mayo who was the last Liberal leader not to come from NSW or Victoria? (electorate wise – not state of origin).

  6. steve

    I had a chat to a nice lady who was part of the FTA agreement negotiations with China, she said the biggest hurdle in agriculture was getting the Chinese to understand that they were supposed to buy stuff from Australia – not just the other way round. (That and having to eat deep fried scorpions – a delicacy apparently). 🙂

  7. Queensland Treasurer thinks interest rates have risen enough.

    [INTEREST rate rises have “smashed” demand in the economy and it is time for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to give families a break, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser says.

    Mr Fraser, addressing a Queensland Media Club luncheon in Brisbane today, said family budgets had taken a battering because of rising interest rates and grocery and fuel costs.

    The bank has lifted rates eight times in three years, with many mortgagees now feeling financial pain.

    “Indeed, my assessment, and thereupon my plea, is for the reserve (bank) to relent, to stop. I think its work is done,” Mr Fraser said.

    “I think they haven’t just curtailed demand, I think they’ve smashed it.

    “The reserve has slayed the discretionary spending they needed to target.

    “There is, therefore, a strong case for them to sit tight and in due course to begin descent.”],25197,23517635-5006786,00.html

  8. 413
    If only the RBA measured it’s intervention against the ‘working families pain index’…
    I think the RBA will say ‘enough’ when inflation is back below 3% and not looking like getting above it for 12 months or more, but he’s a treasurer, and he knows that, right?

  9. So interest rates rises are the fault of the reserve bank? Before the election they were the fault of coalition, now its the fault of reserve bank. Could someone tell me who is to blame? To me it is the coalition, the banks and the Labor Party for adopting policies which will hurt working people and farmers and not the rich one bit.

  10. Marky at 417, I blame Murdoch myself (and am quite surprised you don’t).
    Of course it could be the fault of Bracksy for building that Southern Cross station instead of distributing the money froma hot air balloon over teh most deprived areas of Melbourne.

    You don’t think rich people work, or there are no rich farmers?

  11. Sarcasm i love it…
    To me interest rates hurt people paying of homes and small business people the most. The government should instead raise taxes for the wealthy because the ones who are fuelling this economic boom if such the thing presents itself. Taxes are a much fairer way to controlling economy than interest rates.
    Yep now you mention Murdoch, a person who has brought down Labor governments whom do not do as he says, and the railway station well for all those people living on the fringes of Melbourne whom do not have public transport sorry but we must refit a beautiful station in the city first.
    Meanwhile Lynne Kosky travels and her entourage travel the world first class, and for fifteen days cost the Victorian taxpayer some 93,644 dollars for a fifteen day trip, so much for not having the money for homeless shelters, or public housing or new railway stations in Mernda or outer Melbourne. And i thought these people were Labor people…

  12. 417 MM
    The blame is easy – each person who has massively increased their debt in the last decade (or two).
    Is it not obvious that most things bought on a credit card are close to 20% more expensive than the marked price?
    When a house is advertised at $350K, it is in fact not worth $350K. Generally is at least twice that much.
    Now we could just save up and not double the price of real estate or fridges from Harvey Norman through GE Money, but apparently that’s unfashionable.
    Now I agree that the RBA toolkit is blunt. The more leveraged you are, the more blunt the result.
    I actually blame the education system that can’t seem to teach these rather simple facts that can be expressed in less than 150 words. The eduction system is about training, not education. Principles people, principles.
    Whole Systems Thinking.

  13. onimod

    Its the lack of housing supply that’s the cause of it all. people could afford to pay off fridges and plasmas if they are not paying these housing costs.

  14. MArky, with Labor governments in every state and federally, how has Murdoch bought down Labor governments? Can you give examples?

    And as for Lynne Kosky – do you really think $93K builds a railway sation or a homeless shelter? She stayed in a 370-euro a night hotel, which isn’t excessive for Paris. Sure I’ve stayed in places that were cheaper than that, but with no internet connection, no room for working and certainly I’d be pissed off if my work made me stay there. So you expect her to backpack and use a Eurailpass?

  15. So what we do Chris is accept it. Yep bad public policy gets the contempt it deserves. Public policy should be about improving our economic base and our values instead it is now about helping certain people above everyone else. The facts need to be highlighted because what we have now are governments and people accepting the stupidity of poor planning and policy and people who use our taxes for their benefit and not for the overall benefit of the community.
    Sorry cannot accept people who go into government with good intentions and leave where they are the only beneficiaries. We deserve better than this.

    What upsets me is the good old IMF, who got is all into this economic pickle we are in concerning debt in the western world through their economic rationalists nonsense and they have the gualle to state that the large private indebtness in the western world including Australia could cause severe economic problems in future. Fantastic

  16. That’s right Chris, we cant have our people running around Europe like backpackers. But the fact they can get taxpayer funded alcahol makes me mad.

  17. C’mon, you can’t be serious? You expect someone to go on an overseas trip looking at transport systems and have to pay for her own food and drink? Far worse happens in business. I don’t think it’s unreasonable. Imagine the outcry if it had been paid for by one (or both) of the bidders.

    You guys need ot find out what doctors and lawyers get upto with ‘conferences’ that are then tax-deductible and we end up paying for. $93K is nothing for at least 3 people for 15 days.

  18. 423
    Yes and no nath
    Housing growth has outstripped population growth for some time now.
    It’s the fact that culturally we’ve decided to live in smaller groups, or on our own which is the underlying cause to your simple supposition.
    House sizes have doubled, while occupant numbers have halved in the last 2 decades. The fact that a lot of us can afford to have a second holiday house is skewing these figures a little, but the population within established Australian suburbs has been on a steady decline for some time.
    And back to Marky’s blame game – no-one seems to have noticed that block sizes have halved too – where do you think the IMF’s 62% overvalued figure comes from?

  19. I wasn’t really thinking about overseas trips, fair enough then. But when in Australia a cardinal rule should be: buy your own f***ing piss.

  20. onimod

    ‘Housing growth has outstripped population growth for some time now.’

    this cant be true. at least not in melb. we’ve got a thousand people a week coming in.

  21. Onimod, whilst i totally agree with your views, i must add that the simple problem is the move away from government doing and owning things has not helped the increase of indebtness. Regulation is also another reason and the very lack of it.
    If governments owned assets or supplied them we would not have to raise money to buy them, hence i can remember the times when our governments did things for us now it is all about the market. It is strange the rise in indebtness seems to be a common problem in the western countries to have massively deregulated their economies over the last three decades. Time for governments to start providing things again like university education, phone services( broadband) and expecting the wealthier groups our their to pay higher taxes.
    And Chris politics is about perception and this may be simple for you and me to understand but the average punter well they will look at it and start to wonder is this government becoming arrogant and aloof and i am afraid to say it is.
    Water- problems is their area in regards to policy planning and development and be able to negotiate and compromise with people.
    Transport- wasted dollars on big projects which are now causing significant problems, overall.
    And then their is the Channel Deepening and a Safari Park at Werribee Zoo,
    put simply the perception is starting to occur that big business comes first and the people second.

  22. Must applaud Rudd for showing immense courage over Tibet, it took guts to tell the Chinese what they are doing and yep on this he at least stated the facts, unlike Howard who rarely said anything.

  23. 396
    Glen @ 396 –

    If Rudd really was upset with the treatment of the Tibetans then he should raise it with Hu Jintao or the Chinese Premier not a bunch of students that’s a cop out!

    Rudd has indeed raised it publicly with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in the political epicentre of China, the Great Hall of the People. Do you ever get anything right, Glen?

    Makes a big change from the bloke you revere who back in 1997 agreed to limit criticism of China’s human rights record to a behind closed door annual meeting between minor officials in some backroom. I’m guessing that neither of the flunkeys spoke the other’s language.

  24. 432
    regionally nath, you are right, but you’ll definitely find that the population of most of the established Melbourne suburbs is definitely dropping, and that’s not helping.

    here’s some back of the napkin figures:
    Australian population: 20,743,300 (26 January 2007 – ABS)
    Australian population growth: 1.4% (March 2008 – ABS) or roughly 300,000 people
    Residential building approvals: 13,000 per month (reference below – this one needs more verification) or roughly 156,000 new homes annually.
    Simple calculation says that’s enough home if each home is to house 2 people doesn’t it?

    The unspoken problem is that there’s massive cultural change happening that’s resulting in less people in each dwelling. Divorces, Grannie doesn’t live out the back any more, and people just choosing to live on their own are things that that are affecting us all.


  25. Howard said when questioned about housing affordability “I don’t hear people complaining that their house has increased in value” .

    Thank goodness he is now in the garbage can of history. 🙁

  26. interesting stuff onimod, but what about infill, that must make a difference in melb with all the units being made from formerly single detached dwellings. I see your point about lifestyle changes etc, but there cant be a thousand homes in melb being built in a week. And even if these facts are right we still need more houses. buggered if i can work it out. my head hurts.

  27. 433 marky
    yep – agreed
    I just worry about the idea that a ‘smart’ government can drag a ‘dumb’ population along. I think we’d all be better off with a ‘smart’ population because I rather think that a lot of people on the government side of the equation fit in to the ‘dumb’ side of the ledger.
    We’ve all had experience here in trying to take someone from the ‘dumb’ side of the ledger along on the bus ride, haven’t we?

  28. Posting from him indoors machine tonight as mine is off at the machine doctor, my confuser having said “no”, in no uncertain terms, to functioning in any way. Anyway, Marky, sport, while the Victorian health system and its mental health system, about which I know something, might benefit from some extra $, I think the relevant Ministers (Health & Mental Health) are entitled to do some overseas learning, and I don’t begrudge them those opportunities. The initial reforms in mental health service delivery in Victoria was informed by what was being done elsewhere in the world, at a time when the internet was less available, and so, travel to inform yourself, was important. How much knowledge of what actually works these days that is available via the net, and specifically Library databases, add much to policy makers capacity to form reasoned and informed policy, but I’d still argue for eyeballing things directly, much like I argue for psychiatrists doing home visits, and when they do, they’re converted to the direct experience.

  29. Opposition backflip on aged care.

    THE Federal Opposition has left the door open for nursing home residents who need high-level care to pay “bonds”, overturning a decade of staunch opposition to the controversial idea.

    The Opposition spokeswoman for ageing Margaret May said new funding approaches were needed to rescue the industry, which faced crippling overheads.

    The industry says such “bonds” or deposits would not seriously financially disadvantage most people.

    Nursing home residents who could afford it would hand over a lump sum allowing the provider to draw annual interest, then return the capital to the patient’s estate.

    A financial analysis of the industry by global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers identified a $5.7 billion funding gap opening up over the next decade as a direct result of the spiralling costs of high-level care.,23739,23512669-953,00.html

  30. From Howard’s bio on the Washington Speakers Bureau website:

    He delivered economic vision and strategies for international security that raised Australia’s profile on the world stage while gaining the respect and gratitude of the world.

    A better version:

    He terrified his constituents with economic voodooism and reckless, allegedly alliance-strengthening, ventures in the middle east that raised Australia’s profile on the world stage while gaining the mockery and disgusted disbelief of the world.

    Okay, this is a tad dramatic, but …

  31. 441 nath
    This is really general, but the infill in most capital cities isn’t keeping up with the population reduction in those same areas. Where did you grow up and move to when you left home? How many schools are in Hawthorn now compared to 15 years ago?
    Sorry I haven’t got up to date figures for most cities, but I did see the figures for Canberra less than 6wks ago and I can absolutely confirm population reduction in almost all of what used to be the extent of Canberra 20 years ago.
    School closures are usually the best way to track it – see a school close and you know you’ve got a community and population problem. The catch 22 is that once the school is gone you’ve just confirmed future population reduction as it becomes extremely unattractive for young families..
    A former boss of mine used to refer to those areas as ‘God’s country’ – the area where eventually the almighty plucks souls at will….
    It’s not JUST a supply or affordability problem – it’s a cultural problem.
    Whole systems thinking.

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