Newspoll: 61-39

The latest Newspoll shows an increase in Labor’s federal two-party lead to 61-39 from 59-41 a fortnight ago. Kevin Rudd’s lead over Brendan Nelson as preferred prime minister has narrowed marginally from 73-9 to 71-10. No word yet on the Liberal leadership preference questions which Newspoll was apparently asking respondents over the weekend (see the update on the previous Morgan post).

UPDATE: Graphic now available. The favoured Liberal leader is Malcolm Turnbull (25 per cent) ahead of Peter Costello (23 per cent), Brendan Nelson (15 per cent), Julie Bishop (13 per cent) and Tony Abbott (6 per cent). Support for the three proposed leadership teams (Nelson/Bishop, Turnbull/Robb, Costello/Turnbull) divided about evenly, while Turnbull leads Wayne Swan as “preferred Treasurer” 35 per cent to 29 per cent. In spite of everything, Brendan Nelson’s satisfaction rating is a presentable 38 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.

484 comments on “Newspoll: 61-39”

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  1. The wowsers are at it again. Thinking a distasteful pseudo-sexual act is sufficient for resignation.

    Can’t see the fuss over this Sniffergate thing.

    Plenty of worse things than that have happened in this big wide world.

  2. The public must be getting totally bored with politics by now, that we have had our campaign, election, Rudd’s tour, 2020, the US elections and so on…people are totally full. The May budget will be just about the limit of it before people switch off entirely, content that Rudd is in charge and seems ok.

    Sniffing chairs is kinda embarrassing. Well at least he waited for the person to vacate the chair first (I hope). Hope she hadn’t had a meal of baked beans before hand.

  3. I SNIFF the strong SCENT of defeat in the air for the Libs in the upcoming WA State election.

    Many SEATS maybe at risk, with many ARSES on the line for the Liberal Party. West Australians may finally give the state libs the BUM’s rush over this affair, while the Labor Party comes out of it SMELLING like roses.

    Thank you, Thank you.

  4. 451
    I certainly don’t consider myself a wowser BB, but I do think that it’s unacceptable behaviour.
    Do you seriously think you could get away with that in private industry?
    I agree that plenty worse has happened. I’m not sure that the bar should be that low though.

  5. I’m a wowser, then, BB.

    Such behaviour is enough to wonder at a person’s fitness for office.

    Standards, BB!

    Whilst it is not the lowest of behaviour we have been forced to endure. Same as, however. It doesn’t really matter whether its sniffing chairs, gaoling without trial, detaining without reason, deporting because you feel like it. All the same.

    Complete disrespect. Indicative.

  6. onimod at 448. I am just as annoyed at Tony Jones. But I am filled with anxiety about the Murray Darling. And the Murray, as far as SA is concerned. Whatever Labor does, common sense, tough action and water are the imperatives.

    The political thing is the absolute neglect of these imperatives, the neglect of which is assignable not only to the Howard Government, which helped drive it out of office.

    Sanguine, that Government, but all Governments, it seems. The people have been far ahead in perception of the looming disaster.

    This Government has to pick up on the very, very hard tasks. I hope that they can and do. And I hope that the people can handle it. As we must.

  7. Well, BB, it is not so much that act itself that is the issue, it is the hypocrisy of it that this is really all about. I mean, aren’t the conservatives supposed to be the bearers of (absolute) moral standards in our society? They certainly never pass up any opportunity to tell us that they are, and that we should follow their noble example.

    So when it turns out they are not, I say give ’em hell over it. In this case, for about a week. Then forget it. The damage will have been done, and Troy SniffSeat will never recover.

  8. The Liberals in Brisbane city Hall have just given us the best example of voodoo economics and planning in Australia’s history with the release of the revised plan for the much despised Hale street bridge fiasco. Now the Liberals announce a massive scaling down of the project but with increased costs, increased rates for the ratepayer. can someone explain how such a ludicrous thing can occur. surely if a program is scaled down it becomes cheaper. Or were the maths and the planning always dodgy? The whole proposal is so dodgy it should be scrapped immediately.

  9. I’m not saying that what Whatshisname did in WA wasn’t gross, but we’ve all done those kinds of things in the heat of the moment. I’d like to see anyone on this blog claim otherwise. I’ll be the first to put my hand up as being a sinner, but I hope I’ve benefited from my mistakes and made proper restitution to anyone I’ve offended.

    Life (if youse will excuse the philosophy) is a series of good and bad behaviors. We learn from the bad, and hopefully the good outweighs the bad.

    I guess I’m annoyed that a few disgruntled Lib apparatchiks can simply release the news of a questionable act or a You Tube of the event and expect – accurately in this case – that the public will react with moral horror. The ease with which minor sexual or social mishaps can be morphed or manipulated into public indignation is what disappoints me. This is what happened in the Brogden and Andrew Bartlett cases.

    The incident inthis case was between the bloke and the woman in question and she has apparently forgiven him for it. No harm was done (it wasn’t a violent act), so the consequences are essentially personal. It was closer to a faux pas than a hanging offence (in my opinion) and I think politicians – or anyone for that matter, male or female – should be allowed the odd transgression before community opprobrium winds itself up into full high dudgeon… as long as the path to redemption is generally in the forwards direction for the transgressors.

    If there was a pattern of this kind of behavior it would be a different matter. But that’s not alleged as far as I know.

  10. Andrews is distancing himself from the AFP investigations into the Haneef affair which begins today. Mick Keelty will be left to carry the can – unless of course he rats on the Rodent and his minister. Keelty is in this position because he was willing to act as a mouthpiece for the former toxic government – serves him right:,25197,23620701-601,00.html

    “Mr Andrews will tell the Rudd government-ordered inquiry into the bungled case, which opens today, that Australian Federal Police did not inform him of evidence debunking allegations against Dr Haneef’s second-cousin Sabeel Ahmed – allegations that had led to the subsequent terrorism charge against the Gold Coast doctor.

    The testimony of Mr Andrews to the inquiry, headed by retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke QC, will raise questions about whether the AFP ignored the vital information or, in fact, if it was ever passed on to Australian investigators after it is believed to have been discovered by British police, days after the failed London nightclub and Glasgow airport bombings in June last year.

    Mr Andrews’ evidence to the inquiry will effectively leave AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty on his own in explaining the detention and charging of Dr Haneef, given that the case against the Indian-born doctor fell apart soon after his arrest on July 2 as he attempted to board a flight out of Brisbane for his native Bangalore.”

  11. New NSW Newspoll available today – except that its more of the same…

    March 24 2007 39.0 26.9 10.1 37.0 9.0 15.0
    Jan – Mar 2008 34 34 5 39 14 13
    Mar – Apr 2008 35 35 3 38 14 13
    * 4 percent “uncommitted” and 1 percent “refused” excluded

    But story in the Tele does suggest that Morris is heading for a train wreck over electricity privatisation:,22049,23620033-5001021,00.html

  12. “With attutudies like this he just might receive free and fearless advice from the public service – something that Howard and Co neither welcomed nor tolerated.”

    The fearless and frank public servant is a bit of myth, like the “noble savage”, idealised but never found.

    Public servants look after themselves, Rudd knows this as he said.

    “I should warn you that when it comes to my dealings with the public service, my background probably doesn’t make me more sympathetic – just more suspicious.’’

  13. Bill – 39 years old is a bit late to be learning those lessons. In fact I’d say the chances of him unlearning that behaviour at that age is pretty slim without an awful lot of professional help.

  14. Umm, actually, Bushie B. it would seem that the high jinks and jolly japes perpetrated on female persons in the vicinity of the honorable leader of Her Maj’s Opposition in W.A., is not an isolated event. Evidence is drunken bra snapping Labor person in October last year – probably only tip of a completely different iceberg! I agree with Onimod, and frankly, another narcissistic personality disordered individual on my couch would be one too many.
    Sure people are just flawed humans, but if the W.A. Libs. have nothing better to offer, they’re on wood.

  15. Having just the footage of Buswell crying for the first time, Did his mascara run? And why on earth is he wearing mascara?

  16. Oh and Brendon Nelson has come out in support of Sniffwell.

    Watch his support fall into negative figures, especially amongst female voters.

  17. B.S. Fairman. I admit to mascara dependency, however, Buswell’s psychopatholgy is not something I’d want to explore. Would you?

  18. 472
    Harry – just check out the specific language that the Sniffwell used in his press conference and tell me he’s not ‘on-the-couch’ on a regular basis?
    Not that that itself is necessarily a bad thing.

  19. Sniffwell may be challenged as Leader.

    [WA LIBERAL Party whip Graham Jacobs will call for a leadership spill tomorrow after Opposition Leader Troy Buswell’s chair sniffing incident, a senior liberal MP says.

    Party whip Graham Jacobs will call for the spill tomorrow morning during a press conference outside Perth’s parliament house, says opposition treasury spokesman Steve Thomas.

    If Dr Jacobs has the numbers to support his move the spill motion will be put to a party room meeting next week, Dr Thomas said.

    Mr Buswell has been under intense pressure after admitting to sniffing the chair of a woman Liberal staffer in a Parliament House office in October 2005.

    The staffer at the centre of the sniffing incident, who has asked not be named, said Mr Buswell, then deputy to former Liberals leader Matt Birney, lifted the chair and sniffed it in front of her and other people “to get a laugh”.],21598,23625563-5005361,00.html

  20. onimod from last night at 474, sorry I didn’t respond, had to check out due to much on today. If Buswell has been in therapy, it’s clearly not doing much good. It reminds me of a cartoon of a woman on the couch, with therapist on chair nearby, saying, ” Miss Brown, my summing up of your problem, after ten years therapy, is that you have more money than sense”. Boom, tish. Or another, of man saying to therapist, “Then she called me an egotist, and went home to my mother in law”.
    Love Half Nelson’s support for Buswell. Could his PPM drop to where the MoE is meaningless?

  21. Very VERY, disappointed tonight to see Rudd commenting on the Sydney Harbour tragedy.

    Can someone please tell him he is NOT the “Father Of The Nation”, and does not need to punctuate our daily lives with homilies on how our wonderful harbour can bring forth tragedy as well as joy etc. etc.

    Next thing he’ll be answering quetion on disputed State of Origin tries.

    No more, please!

    (Faint hope of that, I think).

  22. Catalyst had some pretty stark info on the MD tonight. Acid mud, pyrites ,when a flood comes the pyrites oxidise forming sulphuric acid. Can we really afford to allow all that irrigation in the headwaters of the Darling? Can we really afford to allow dairies living of MD irrigation water?

    Think Rudd/Wong/Garret have much more thinking to do and hard decisions to make. The national party will howl the roof down if irrigated dairies are told to shut up shop. Compensation I guess will have to be paid? I always thought $10Bn over 10 years was petty cash. $100Bn this year be more in line with reality.

    Akermann is discussing the Stolen Generation. Don’t go there, the half caste kids were happy to go, to leave their family where they were mistreated because they were half white. What a retard.

  23. 478 agreed
    That was one of the worst parts of Howardism.
    I suspect he’ll be doing anything he can to keep things off serious politics until the budget hits. They seem to be leaking crumbs in the hope that the journos won’t concoct a big negative. They’ve so far managed to keep the FOI story under the covers.
    there’s obviously very little going on in the Nation at the moment. Who didn’t make a comment on the Harbour today?
    5 people a day lose their live on the roads. That’s a tragedy and an outrage…isn’t it?

  24. Tragedy and outrage, I suppose so… but no suitable material for Prime Ministerial commentary.

    Rudd should steer away from this or else he’ll be being asked fatuous questions about stray dogs biting pedestrians, cricket controversies, third umpire decisions, trains running on time, driving hoons and potholes in Blacktown streets.

    The country should be able to get on well without this kind of trivia eminating from the PM’s mouth. The Federal government does NOT run the country down to the smallest nut and bolt. Permitting local minutae to be put under the Rudd-O-Scope will come back to bite him and his government, as the delving into trivial detail by journalists for comment by the PM becomes more and more irrelevant to national affairs.

    I personally don’t give a toss about the Harbour tragedy. I care about the young next door neighbour of mine who was killed instantly at a local black-spot intersection because I knew her well. I didn’t know any of the victims of the Harbour incident. Therefore, hard nosed as this may sound, their fates are of little import to my life.

    People die in tragic circumstances every day. I am unlikely to ever be on the Harbour at night with fourteen other people overloading a glorified tinny without navigation lights (as alleged). I don’t like to see, “Sandy was so full of life” headlines as I did yesterday in the Telegraph. Sandy who? Someone called “Sandy” was killed in the accident. The Telegraph treats her as if she was Australia’s Sweetheart, overly personalising the whole situation.

    It was the same as the woman who took bribes from developers at Woollongong Council. She had a first name too (which, thankfully, escapes me) and – in terms of this first name – was turned into some kind of heroine because she was swindled into having sex with a millionaire who wanted to get his development up and running under allegedly corrupt circumstances.

    Every moment spent commenting on local storms in local teacups by the leader of the country diminishes him. It’s simply a matter of professionalism on Rudd’s part and, in my opinion, it was and will be a mistake for Rudd to fall for this Daily Telegraph approach to minor affairs, “tragic” as they may be in the local news environment.

  25. As a post script to my last comment, think of what they did to Latham over the tsunami a coyuple of years back. The man was in agony with pancreatitis, doubled over in pain (although I hear even doubling over doesn’t help much). Yet he – as a recently heavily defeated Opposition Leader – wasn’t given the leeway that such a sick man deserved. No, he had to “comment” on the tsunami. He had to express the Opposition’s “condolences”, as useless as that would have been.

    It wrecked his political career, all over a pointless exercise in pretending to be “horrified” and “prostrate with grief” about something over which he had no control and over which he would never have any control.

    Latham, at the time, had other, real things to be prostrate over, yet no quarter was given to him by the press.

    OK, so you can say there was a hidden agenda to get rid of Latham by hook or by crook. But Howard’s legitimising of this kind of running public heart-on-his-sleeve act made any hatchet job on Latham all the more possible.

    Rudd should not fall for this, or else it will get him in the end too.

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