Newspoll: 57-43

Lateline reports tomorrow’s Newspoll shows no change on the previous fortnight. Brendan Nelson’s rating as preferred prime minister is back into double figures, at 12 per cent, while Kevin Rudd is down from 72 per cent to 70 per cent (hat tip to B.S. Fairman). More to follow.

UPDATE: The Australian reports Kevin Rudd’s satisfaction rating is down 5 per cent to 63 per cent, with dissatisfaction up 6 per cent to 23 per cent. Forty-nine per cent of respondents thought the budget was good for the economy, against 23 per cent bad.

UPDATE 2: Graphic here. It helpfully includes budget reaction figures going back 16 years, which if nothing else reminds us what an extraordinary political event was John Dawkins’ final budget in 1993 (wherein the Keating government reneged on its “L-A-W – law” tax cuts).

Other news:

• A poll by Galaxy Research had only 23 per cent of voters saying the budget would leave them better off against 33 per cent worse off, but interestingly showed Wayne Swan was considered the better economic manager by 36 per cent against 25 per cent for Malcolm Turnbull.

• A poll by Essential Research squares the circle between the Newspoll and Galaxy budget results, The Age reporting that “most people did not think the poll (sic) would be good for them personally, but they thought it would be good for Australia’s long-term future”.

Hat tip to Democratic Audit Update for everything below:

• “The case of the disputed election in the Division of McEwen is set down for hearing in the Federal Court of Australia, Melbourne, in courtroom 8D on 21 and 22 May at 10.15 am.” UPDATE: A detailed report on the disputed ballots from The Age.

• Disclosures of donations from last year’s election, such as they are, are available for viewing here.

• In other donation news, 800 donors from the 2006 New South Wales election, including “many of Australia’s biggest companies”, are to be prosecuted for breach of disclosure laws. An inquiry into donation and disclosure by the Electoral Matters Committee of the Parliament of Victoria is receiving submissions until June 27.

The Australian reports: “Talks have again broken down between the Bligh Government and the Queensland Opposition over a referendum on fixed four-year terms.”

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.

80 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43”

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  1. I see this a good result for the ALP, Rudd and Swan. A tough budget, all its so-called negatives highlighted over and over again by a right wing Press, and the positives passed over and still the ALP is a long way ahead.

    It seems by the other Polls the people have basically got the message- it is aimed at the long term. But many will be pleasantly surprised by the personal benefits once they start coming thru. Some votes will drift back.

    The latest in the Libs Leadership problems would not have been highlighted before the Poll was finished.

    Libs had it all their own way and still could not make any real inroads. Their policies(if at all) are very thin and since Rudd has taken the centre ground, they have only the right wing area left. Once exposed and shown for what it is the Australian people will turn away as they have proven over and over again they do not like extremism.

    Reminds you of what Menzies did in 1949 but from the Right rather than the Left.

  2. Nup, marky marky, I have an opinion. It is not about crawling and saying nothing, as you put it.

    I am as ready as anyone to critique the party of my choice, Labor. Do and will.

    Ongoing. If they get it wrong, or if it seems to be so, according to my judgment.

    The Liberal Party faces the difficulty of not even knowing what they represent. The interesting thing is that they now say they accept divergent opinion, not something they have had any bent for, oh, some ten years.

    It is as if they have been released, suddenly, into a playground where the rules have changed. Having to think for oneself, defend or attack, as needs be. Little wonder it is tricky and that fights break out.

    They are allowed to fight, it is the way of life. There will be losers. The Liberal Party, though, must work against promoting bullies. The bullies who would do dirty work against the electorate in general.

    The Liberal Party needs to learn that they must represent the whole electorate.

    Not the select few. Only in that way will they regain any kind of reputation.

  3. Crikey

    I agree that promoting bullies is part of the Liberals problem. Howard was fond of the kiss-up/kick-down types but they are now a liability. It is all very well to use ruthlessness to climb your way up the political establishment, but once you get to be pre-selected you have to actually convince 51% of voters that you are a reasonable person to represent them. Being a bully then is a liability. Labor has had problems with people like this too but usually has the sense to dump them once they cause too much embarrassment. Yet in the Libs such beahviour seems to be the norm.

  4. “Next day, in one of various discussions on the issue, Mr Turnbull and Dr Nelson’s chief of staff, Peter Hendy, had a conversation in which Mr Hendy said Mr Turnbull had earlier advocated a 10 cent cut. Mr Turnbull rejected this. He then shot off an email to Mr Hendy, saying it was bad policy.”

    Good to see Hendy on the losing side again.

  5. 45
    Kina Says:
    Tanner is a very competent performer, articulate and in control of the detail.

    I’ve always thought Tanner is one the most under rated pollies this country has produced.

  6. They say keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. With Hendy at Nelson’s back he should watch it closely. It’s also very interesting that Hendy as the former head of The Business Council (union) who before last years election was advocating that Labor was poor economic managers from the whole WC thingy. Would today, as Nelson’s chief of staff would be advocating a fuel tax cut, while not having it costed and not stipulating what areas the coalition would cut spending to pay for this brain fart of an idea. Hendy the hypocrite.

  7. It is a good thing, I think, Kina, that petrol should be reduced, however fantastically pointless, by 5 Cents. The Liberals had every opportunity and is it not fabulous that they have come to their senses. I am not talking about petrol being cheaper, merely that the absurd tax impost be cut out. Particularly as we no longer have the faintest idea where that money is going. Not to mention whatever other excise is being doubly charged.

    On the other hand, being fatalistic, petrol should still cost a mint. I am sure the market will handle that. The sooner we are off it, the better.

    Kev PM will be doing it right if he painstakingly, meticulously, gruellingly overhauls the whole damn tax and reward system. Pensions included. And comes up with something that balances.

  8. The liberals need to get their act together quickly as the country needs an effective opposition, or the federal govt , through lack of scrutiny will become like their NSW labor counterparts .
    They should draft Costello back to the leadership. They probably wouldn’t win the next election but they could be competitive . They need to be disciplined and united otherwise the Greens will become the official opposition(heaven forbid!) within a couple of elections.
    The Federal govt , although appearing to be indestructible, have a vulnerable underbelly, and they need to be scrutinized.
    Unemployment will rise sharply within the year , and I am sure Brendan Nelson will add to those statistics, personally.
    I love politics ,but I long for a contest. This is like watching Australia play Bangladesh in Cricket (actually make that Rugby League)
    It is time for Nelson to declare before Rudd enforces the follow on.
    Some people are calling Nelson “dead man walking”. I disagree he is already in the coffin!

  9. Well, aj yes, and Stephen, Hendy may be the answer to your prayer. Why Brendan, if he hoped for survival, would have recruited such a hard man, is beyond me. Kind of shows his confusion.

    Yet for sure, we need a counter balance. Against any Government. Hence my earlier comments directed to marky marky.

    Cannot ever allow any party to get away with much, at all.

    Shows, in my South Australia.

  10. I’m terrible at constructing sentences this late – evidence @59, but you get the gist.

    Crikey, I think that at the moment the media are propping the opposition up, and as a consequence they will find it harder to find their feet. At the moment more bad policies is not what the public want to hear, ie fuel tax cut. With energy prices set to soar, cutting one tax, only to set new taxes to compensate for the $2b hole, is bad economics. I think Nelson is not the leader for the coalition, I also think Turnbull isn’t either, too green. Costello forget it. Minchin maybe, Robb??

    I’m enjoying politics without the frustration of Howard’s face being in every media release, every hour of the day, spinning BS. Which brings me too another point on Rudd’s quiet on media releases. Possum probably puts it best, about Rudd being the policy wonk etc, and the media haven’t caught up with the changed narrative. Mark Banish also say’s on Rudd “He wants to de-ideologize (if there’s such a word) politics”.

  11. there is as much chance as Harold Holt turning up alive as Nick Minchin or Andrew Robb being successful leaders.
    there is only one person that can give the coalition credibility, and although I agree he is somewhat unpopular, and that is Costello. The times could suit him, as with a deteriorating economy later this year/next year the voters may say “we weren’t too bad under Costello’s treasurership”. but the key is discipline, unity and credibility. Probably too much to ask for, and I am not sure Costello would really want to take it on. But why is he hanging around if he doesn’t have some longer term goal?

  12. Costello is hanging around because he can’t get a job in the real world. As for leadership qualities he’s got none, guttless and didn’t have the ticker to take on the rebuilding job of his party when they needed him after the Rodent got the arse.

  13. It is interesting to see the different agendae that the News Ltd and Fairfax press have in relation to their respective poll results even though they have the same result 57 to 43 2PP. Whichever poll you read, the bottom line is it is bad for Dr Nelson and the coalition. He must see the writing on the wall and stand aside for the good of the party, and ultimately democracy in the country.
    Simon Crean was never taken seriously as leader of the Labor party, and Nelson is in the same boat. He shouldn’t take two years like Simon did to realise that it may be better in somebody else’s hands,although it may be a bad analogy with Latham replacing Crean .
    Brendan is a nightwatchman……he should now give his wicket away so the coalition can start to score some runs

  14. Was it lack of ticker, or good political strategy to go to the backbench after the last election, for Costello? The next few weeks will tell us the answer.

  15. aj, there is simply not a single person in the Opposition who would cut it, as they say. Robb, out of the question, not to mention your rejections.

    The Liberals need a brand new face, with some brand new thoughts, and one would hope, ethos. Paying a little attention to goings on in England, rather than the USA…

    I am undelighted, for one,at the overthrow of Ken Livingston in London, and his replacement by a barely known and Tory Boris Johnson, and dismayed but unsurprised at the devastation which the electorate has delivered to Labor in the recent Council Elections. But…if the Party, maybe seriously the Leader, ie Blair made its his business to be so out of of touch, so full of hubris, it is a little difficult to blame anyone but he for the total collapse in support as far as Labor is concerned. Gordon Brown is bearing the result. As intended, perhaps. A bit like Nelson, or any of the current crop who would attempt leadership following such intentional destruction. Pinpoints. Iraq springs to mind.

    The end result will be it is all over for Labor in England.

    Now, this Boris person, is apparently charming, intelligent, and a mover. Whether or not that shapes it for London, or England, or the Tories is an unknown. But, they are getting the numbers.

    The Liberals in Australia, federal and state, have no hope unless they countenance some new persons, I suppose of the like of our Kev. And great Julia.

    Someone who maybe, inspires. Who has some new ideas, the personality to carry the Party (as did Blair) conviction enough, at least, to be believable. Who is not associated with say, Iraq.

    The action looks all Tory in England. The momentum is palpable.

    Same as we experienced. Except here the Liberals were scalped. And will remain scalped. Until they can find a Kevin or Julia, or maybe a Boris type person for their Tory hopes. But they still have to get it.

  16. Oil is a diminishing resource, the way to cut you fuel bill is to buy a smaller car, not to harp on asking the government for tax cuts. Five cents or ten cent cut is bad policy.

  17. On the McEwen dispute, Rob Mitchell’s reported comment just about sums it up (and provides a convenient headline grab when the case is over): “It’s a long-standing legal principle that you take into account the voters’ intention. It’s not a handwriting test.”

    If the court awards the election to the ALP (as all indications so far suggest it should), then this will be the first electoral case of this kind, where the responsible authority, the AEC, broke its own rules on formality. Shame.

    This suggests there should be a further reference to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, when the case is finalised, to find out why.

    First witness before the JSCEM would have to be the man who made these biased formality decisions during the recount, the Australian Electoral Officer for Victoria, Daryl White, appointed by the Howard Government.

  18. On media strategy:

    You can just imagine the conversation in Liberal HQs across the nation: “Look, guys, I know things look grim, but we’re dominating the news cycle. Sure, a lot of it’s negative stuff, but it’s keeping our name out there.”

    In Rudd’s: “People don’t want to hear about us. They just want to know that the government is governing. No news is good news.”

    The media, of course, want the first approach: news at any cost, it fills columns and sells papers.

    I would argue that the average Aus wants the second. They’re not interested in politics and they don’t want to be. They just want the job done.

  19. To add to Zoom’s hypothesis, there’s another strand to this news cycle. A spat has broken out between SA stablemates Downer and Minchin over the former’s imminent retirement. Minchin spilled the beans this morning on ABC radio, and now Downer’s having a hissy fit.

  20. Why do people think Costello is the answer? He behaved like a schoolboy the other day at his doorstop interview. Sorry to all those sensible schoolboys out there. I say bring him on, Rudd needs a bigger majority. The press love him but the average Joe thinks he’s a gutless clown. Anytime anyone can produce a poll showing he’s popular I’ll stand corrected but don’t bother trying to find one from the past, they don’t exist.

  21. If Costello is the answer, people are asking the wrong question. That seems to be the lot of an Opposition though; “well that’s enough about me, what do you think – about me”?

  22. A spat has broken out between SA stablemates Downer and Minchin over the former’s imminent retirement. Minchin spilled the beans this morning on ABC radio, and now Downer’s having a hissy fit.

    To me that whole wank was pure “The West Wing”. The Opp needed something to break the whole Nelson/Turnbull nightmare

    They tried to break the news cycle and it sorta worked

  23. McEwen:
    Richard Tracey is the judge. H R Nicholls Society, RC into the Construction Industry etc. etc.
    I heard somewhere he has NCC ties and he might have appeared for the FCU groupers agaisnt Tanner.

  24. #77

    Classified – Sure, it was a wank; but I think you’re giving the Libs too much credit by suggesting it was deliberate strategy. As the chief headkicker/bovver-boy of the parliamentary Libs, Minchin is known to be aggro about Downer & Costello sitting interminably on the backbench, offering their lofty opinions (even when they’re not solicited) but not much else. (Kind of like Waldorf and Statler, without the sense of humour.) So a spat doesn’t need to be contrived.

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