Newspoll: 57-43

The Australian reports tomorrow’s Newspoll will have Labor’s two-party lead at a relatively modest 57-43. However, Liberal hopes of positive headlines have been dashed by a preferred prime minister rating showing Brendan Nelson back in single figures at 9 per cent, compared with 72 per cent for Kevin Rudd.

UPDATE: Graphic here.

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.

169 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43”

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  1. 100
    I like the story doing the rounds that there hasn’t been a wages breakout for some time and that the new government is going to cause it.
    It might or might not be statistically significant, but obviously executive salaries is the elephant in the room there. It’d also be interesting to compare the productivity graph placed against the executive salary graph for the last decade so we could see if it’s all been worth it?

    Does anyone know a source of these statistics?

  2. The welfare card is a case sign of the hopeless state that is the Liberal party. Any half-decent opposition would be making hay with such an uncosted policy. And they could have used the fact they were in government only 6 months ago to their advantage. I’ll now explain why:

    The policy is really just extending step taken during the NT intervention of restricting half of payments to indigenous people to being used on food and estisentials. The goal is to increase this to the wider community. The primary reason for this is stop the arguement that the current policy is only targetting the indigenous population.

    However, there is a major different between remote indigenous communities and the population of Australia that lives in Cities and regional areas. That is the commerical marketplace in remote Indigenous communities is fairly small. Even the large towns in NT, still only have a relatively small number of shops (in comparision to larger cities). Even with this advantage, the NT intervention has cost almost a billion dollars already and a fair chunk (millions/tens of millions) of this is likely to have been spent on putting in place a system to do just these communities.

    As the opposition was in government only 6 months ago, they can argue that they even looked at doing something like this policy but figured that it would have been unworkable and not cost effective. They could highlight the fact $17 million is not going to be anywhere near enough, the ongoing adminstration is going cost a bomb as well and clearly the budgeting was done by some second grade accounting monkey who doesn’t have a clue. They could even argue that it is one more step on road to the nanny state and it is a restriction on freedom of choice. And there is a whole load of questions around what would count as essential and what is not; as well as what payment types are going to restricted (ie stopping people playing the pokies with their age pension?).

    Of course, they won’t make any of these arguements as they think their (strinking) supporter base probably supports the idea. But the only way, they are going to get back onto the field is to outflank the government. And this one of these issues.

  3. After reading Possum’s latest on Crikey (excellent as per usual) where he shows that the Libs have been burning their base at a faster rate under Nelson, it struck me as wonderous strange how the little darlings (sans Bracket Creep) flocked to resurrect Howard from the formaldahyde and do a strange Liberal ritual of self-abasement.

    Here’s a ‘leader’ that left their party in complete ruin, after a decade of playing Costello for a whoopee cushion, a ‘leader’ who’d let the state parties fester into supturating irrelevence, and who’d super-glued his backside to the throne!

    These sad little f@ckwads are still in complete denial!

    Taking out Howard’s political corpse from the embalming fluid and carrying it aloft twice a year is going to be their new affirmation ritual?

    What kind of hallucinogen do these people serve at these functions?

    The FIRST Liberal to stand up and say that Howard was a creepy little gnome who had hypnotised them all into thinking his petty reign was ‘leadership’ will be the next real leader of the conservative side of politics, and it will take cojones and hard work to then bring them all back to their senses.

    Only then can they leave the corpse in the glass case for a reminder of what a real leader should NOT look like.

  4. 102 B.S. Fairman – I can’t believe it is only the cost that is getting up your nose. What is it really? If the cost was not a problem would you be in favour of it?

  5. A welfare usage restriction system such as is in opperation in the Northern Territory would be easier to introduce if cash was abolished and replaced with an electronic card system. (Just an idea)

  6. 104- I was arguing the case that the Liberals should be putting. There are many issuses with the policy, but cost is the easiest for the Liberals to attack with as it doesn’t go against their ideology.

    Personally, I am paid not to think on these issues. I just get sick of being asked to produce miracles from the petty cash jar.

    105- Like the soviet style ration books?

  7. 106 B.S. Fairman – so you’re not against it other than cost?
    “Personally, I am paid not to think on these issues.” Aren’t you already thinking on this issue?
    Surely if you’re wanting the opposition to take up the fight there must be something you’re against. What are those other issues with the policy?

  8. 107 The policy reeks of Pearsonism being mainstreamed to me. I just don’t think the Pearson model is the best for dealing with Social security payments. If people want to live in a nanny state where every item purchased is ticked off by a bureaucrat then Pearson is fine.

    Having watched the petrol price ripoff by the big supermarket chains, I wouldn’t have to much faith in their being able to handle a process of this nature. The costs and charges are sure to be far more than anybody could imagine at this stage. Are the supermarket chains going to be able to refuse service to customers?

    What do people live on if the card gets lost or stolen? How practical is it if people forget their pin numbers and we are talking the most socially and medically deprived people in Australia here. How long is it going to take from application until the card is delivered to the customer? Bridges could have some big queues of people living under them due to this proposal.

  9. 108 steve – It’s amazing how, when someone is against a government funded and run system, the term “nanny state” comes up. Yet when they like that system its not a problem, its something the government should be involved in. Maybe its a “nanny state” handing out various benefits to people. Hell, we have a government health system, does that make us a “nanny state”? We try and educate and restrict people from smoking and gambling does that make us a “nanny state”? We have laws against taking drugs does that make us a “nanny state”? So just what is and isn’t acceptable as government involvement in our lives and who decides?
    If this card isn’t the answer what is?

  10. I must say Steve you make some good points but this is stretching it – “How practical is it if people forget their pin numbers and we are talking the most socially and medically deprived people in Australia here.” We all have pin numbers and cope very well with procedures already in place.

  11. Gary, a huge proportion of chronically homeless tend to be because of associated mental health problems and you can ditto that for the chronically mentally ill being sacked regularly if they relapse into their illness. By definition many of these people don’t cope with what the rest of society can do readily, including things like remembering pin numbers.

    Anyhow why did Rudd send all his caucus members out to check out homeless issues for themselves if he is going to just implement the old tired Pearson and Brough type policy?

    The Queensland Government is currently trialling the Pearson model in four remote communities in Cape York and I fail to see why the Feds wouldn’t wait for those results to come in before spreading the program Australia wide.

  12. Another classic Nelsonism: No to a tax cut. The Medicare surcharge should have been indexed and it was one of the many faults of the Howard government that they left it kicking in at $50,000 for singles when it feel below average annual income (about 57k now). It was designed to hit the rich but started to get the average earner in recent years. A smarter move from Nelson would have been to admit it needed to change.

  13. Had to laugh when I read that Downer was indignant in relation to Rudd offering $3m to the Burma relief effort.

    His complaint that it is insufficient, looks a bit lame when France, a country with a much larger economy than Australia, is also giving $3m.

  14. Here’s an excellent comment from Shannahan’s Blog where he is still sounding off about Rudd not including Japan, India & Indonesia in his recent whirlwind trip.

    [Fantastic! Discussion, commentary, reportage, and opinion is lively and at times controversial, as it should be. Critique gives us all something to think about, whether we like it or not.

    I really miss it! ]

  15. Well it will be interesting to see where the Pineapple and chicken Party go from here. It is difficult to see the Queensland Liberals sticking to any program laid out before them. Even if they are successful in forming the new Party what happens if the week after full proportional voting is re introduced?

    I’d say that even if the Liberals vote the proposal down the members for Kawana and Noosa would probably join the new party. I’d expect the other six would remain as Liberals.

    If the Liberals vote for joining the Pineapple and Chicken Party then policy differences such as daylight saving, tree clearing, drinking purified water, solving urban traffic gridlock and health policy will become unmanageable.

  16. Onimod 101

    Executive salaries is my thesis topic, and what a rich vein of failed right-wing rhetoric it is. The first thing to say is that despite the many claims that executives earn their huge pay packets, there is amazingly little independant research in Australia to prove it. Most such claims rely on selective ad-hoc examples, and tend to involve circular arguments. Of the few quantitive studies done, that by John Shields at Uni NSW proved that the correlation between Australian executive pay and company performance was actually negative. That is, the higher paid the CEO, the poorer performing the company! In percentage terms, executive salaries have been rising faster than GDP, average wages, and corporate earnings. There seems to be NO indexical base that they can be linked to which justifies their growth.

    IMO the current level of executive salary is simply an abuse of positional power. That is, boards of directors do not provide effective arms-length control over CEOs, and the latter stack remuneration committees to ensure the pay outcomes they want. See research by Lucian Bebchuck at Harvard Law School (that den of socialism) for detailed research on the US situation.

    Regretably this is alos an area where Australia “punches above its weight”, or shoudl I say, “pays beyond its means”. Our CEO pay is not the highest (IS is by far) but we are in teh tophalf dozen, even ahead of Japan and Germany. Why should our highest paid CEOs be paid more than the world heads of Toyota or Daimler Benz? Its absurd.

    Radical right theory is that the market will solve it. So we had reforms a few years ago to provide more information to shareholders. It made no difference.

  17. Socrates, it all seemed to come to a head in 2004 when the interest in any public disclosure of Executive salaries as a whole just seemed to be taken off the Australian agenda.

  18. Speaking of dodgy right wing economics, I just read a story about Malcom Turnbull’s rection to the reported raise in luxury car tax as “the politics of envy”.

    Turnbull suggested that raising the tax on cars over $57000 will increase the cost of all cars. What nonsense! In economics there is a theory of substitution that if you raise the cost of A, and B is a substitute for A, then rises in demand for B will increase the cost of B. But these examples are not substitutes. Does anyone think that a rise in Mercedes’ prices will increase the sales of Kias?

    So in economic terms Turnbll’s comments are nonsense. In political terms, talking of the politics of envy after ten years of wedge politics and tax cuts to the wealthy is pretty good material for satirists. They are desperate and pathetic; Turnbull as well as Nelson.

    I said before that Labor faced some risks in this budget. They did. But if they stick to their guns and the Liberals respond in this predictable and easily disproven way, then Swan will have an armchair ride. And this is before all the dirt comes out in estimate hearings about all the cost blowouts and spending on last years election pork. Still plenty of Liberal embarrassment in store there.

    On this form the honeymoon won’t be over before the next election. Once Labor actually starts delivering on major promises (eg tax cuts, climate change & health reform) the window of opportunity for the opposition to recover will close until Labor make their first major stuff up in office.

  19. Steve 125

    You are right but this is where the hypocracy of the previous government about productivity, never mind equity and justice, really showed. As I said ther has been little comprehensive study of CEO salary in Australia. But in the US Bebchuck showed that by the end of the 90s executie salaries consumed about 10% of all the profits of major comporations in the US (on average; top 800 listed companies studied). So they have become so big that they really are a huge cost to share owners, and a source of inefficiency. Hence, why no government action?

  20. I did see one study in passing that found the more CEO’s are paid, the poorer the performance of the company.

  21. Thomarse, post 2004 costello and Howard just came out tut tutting every time an executive payrise hit the headlines. It was typical of the era, claim to have fixed a problem with no measurable outcomes to say the problem was fixed.

  22. The computer for every HS student seems to have been made in haste, with no thought re the needed rewiring/cabling/security/consumables. Parents having to fundraise to meet these additional costs.

    Could that be the reason re ALPs lower support in this Newspoll?

    Any Bludger involved in this?

  23. Thom

    Re computers, I don’t know whether made in haste as I have seen articles that say Fed labor give computers and state handle the installation.

    But as for negatives, my kids are seeing more come into their schools and is great as has beefed up on my classes on line and other online stuff letting parents and kids check work and assignments due.

    Definitive improvement on computer access on previous years and don’t think many complaints on this.


    Had to laugh at Turnbulls idea of tax on luxury cars increasing inflation,

    So Turnbulls idea? Remove tax on luxury cars, Rolls, Jags Mercs and inflation will drop, they should take this as a policy to the next election, “No tax on luxury cars to keep inflation low”.

  24. Steve 129

    Yes I was aware of that, but my point is the “CLERP 9” reforms haven’t worked as promised. CEO salaries are still going up faster than inflation or the share index.

  25. Can someone explain to me how upping the tax on luxury cars will automatically mean all car prices will go up as Turnbull says.

  26. 135

    Great to hear the policy is delivering computers and consequent results. Obviously your state govt is picking up the tab for the associated costs.

    When Rudd & Co spent an hour deciding policy before his policy launch, delaying that by an hour, and ended up not matching Ratty’s spending spree I think a lot was cut/not announced re the education revolution–surely that was more than just more computers?

  27. It was more than just the computers Thomarse – great big wads of education funding, which means education announcements in the budget is where some long term policy action might be come Tuesday night, but considering the fiscal environment, we might all have to do a bit of reading between the lines to get a handle on what might be coming further down the track.

  28. Thx Poss

    Will do some reading between the lines Tue!

    Education is so important! I believe that since education is about the best investment a state can make in itself I would even supprt some funding going into even the wealthiest private schools (on a per student basis) with extra funds for the poorest public schools. Hopefully the budget will impose an efficiendy dividend on the schools currently getting embarassingly large amounts of public money.

  29. 137
    Gary Bruce

    I guess if the argument goes if the least of the prestige cars rises in price by x dollars the top non-prestige car might also go up by x dollars (or some fraction of it) and so on down the line. Depends on whether buyers of cheaper cars would wear the extra cost or drive their present old banger another year or two.

  30. Thom

    With some schools there may be no extra work/ cost needed, ours uses a wireless network, so buying extra laptops just means adding extra to the network, minimal time and no cost, but extra time and benefits for the kids.

    With other schools I know that parents jump in and help create the networks, from their experience and background, it is a bit like the working bees of old where you helped on fixing/ building new playground equipment or on the discos for fund raising.


    In Malcolms world when the price of the roller goes up $5,000 because of the new car tax, then the local Kia dealer will automatically increase the price of the Rio by $500 to maintain the all important stock broker/ account clerk car index valuation parity.

  31. I understand the problems with the computers policy and how it may not have accounted for dotting all the i’s and crossing the t’s but it really had to start somewhere. 100% policy effectiveness is never reached, so there will always be good and bad stories, but the big picture must be kept in mind – we have been going backward on education; getting back to parity with the rest of the developed world will be an achievement in itself. We are probably 2 generations or more behind the education thinking of the countries we rank along side in living standard and our natural advantages that give us that ranking are diminishing at a rapid rate.

    captain Allbull strikes again – the corollary of his statement this morning, that a reduction in luxury car tax will reduce inflation, is just soo intuitive it’s

    Seriously, there’s no way many of our politicians would be let anywhere near the helm of our top 100 companies. The later interview with John Stewart was a consumate media performance – he delivered certainty by his delivery of statistics, used them to suggest reasoned future positions and stayed right away from the sort of absolutism with which Allbull and crew seem determined to jamb down our throats.
    John Stewart looked conservative and credible; Allbull looked liked an overcaffinated doomsday merchant with a ‘the end of the world is nigh’ placard.

    Oh and while we’re on car tax, if the concession that’s caused the proliferation of Toorak tractors on our roads isn’t removed I’ll, I’ll, I’ll…probably do nothing but continue to be pi$$ed off with it.

  32. Re: exec salaries, there was a TV proggie last week about the interesting fact that when companies are going belly up, productivity increases, often substantially. A good recent example being Mitsubishi where the last car rolled off the line a week earlier than planned.

    It sounds counter intuitive because the workers would appear to have little incentive – they’re about to get the bullet. But the explanation appears to be that the bosses are focused on the winding up instead of bossing which allows the workers to simply get on with it in relative peace.

    Often management are a hindrance, not a help.

  33. 145 Mayo

    To be fair in my research I have found examples of good executives who probably do earn their money. The trouble is they all get millions, even below average performers. It is the latter cases that prove the market for them is rigged.

    143 Onimod

    I strongly agree with you on the 4WD concession – here is a subsidy to imported vehicles with far worse than average outcomes for fuel consumption, emissions and safety. More than 80% are registered in cities now too – its got nothing to do with helping farmers.

    Thinking further about Turnbulls nonsense, if it is true then its like saying “if you raise the tax on high paid CEOs then workers’ wages go up”. If only.

    I had only just gotten my BS meter fixed again since Howard retired. Every time he used to open his mouth the needle went spinning off the dial. The poor thing was permanently bent by his second term. Now Turnbull has proven that no matter how often I fix my BS meter, the next Liberal politician to open his mouth will test it to the limit again.

  34. I’m starting to get sick of all the whingeing over the slightest change to any tax, levy, surcharge or even just rhetoric.

    It’s Costello’s “Ferrari” analogy come to life.

    Change the Medicare system a bit and fees are set to double.

    Change the luxury car tax and the price of ALL cars goes up(eh?).

    Talk about inflation (something that Howard refused to do for 11 years) and you let the inflation genie out of the bottle by increasing “inflationary expectations”.

    Change or question anything in the finely-tuned turbo economy that economic genius Costello under the guidance of Australia’s greatest ever Prime Minister, Howard, left us and the lot falls in a heap.

    It’s just so stupid. Why do they print this crap?

  35. It’s going to be an interesting week in the Queensland Parliament this week with talk of the Liberals scuttling the Pineapple and Chicken Party within three weeks. Some Liberals just can not see the funny side of a fully fledged National Party takeover apparently.

    “BRISBANE’S Hilton Hotel will be the venue for a showdown in three weeks over whether to merge the Liberals and Nationals in Queensland.

    Opponents are planning to scuttle the latest proposal to unite the parties and install former MP Mal Brough as state president during the Liberal’s state convention at the Hilton.

    The move comes just a day after current Liberal president Gary Spence and his Nationals counterpart Bruce McIver announced an in-principle agreement to band together permanently.”,23739,23680727-3102,00.html

  36. Interesting to read the latest on the Pineapple Party, I reckon Anna Bligh must feel just the slightest twitch of election fever. Give ’em a good kicking while they are down!

  37. Bushfire Bill @ 147:
    “I’m starting to get sick of all the whingeing over the slightest change to any tax, levy, surcharge or even just rhetoric.”
    Come off it mate, Rudd’s had a pretty easy time of it so far. Good for him, too, that’s fine, but you must have an incredibly thin skin if you reckon he’s copped a lot of whingeing so far.

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