Newspoll: 57-43

UPDATE: The Australian reports no change on two-party from last fortnight, and only a moderate shift in preferred prime minister from 70-12 to 66-17. Full press release from Mumble here, and further polling on petrol price issues here.

Peter Brent at Mumble says he hopes to be first to air with tonight’s eagerly awaited Newspoll result. We have also had a poll today from newcomers Essential Research (who a fortnight ago produced encouraging post-budget intelligence for the government), which shows Labor’s two-party lead down from 61-39 to 56-44. If I heard correctly from SBS, it also showed the Prime Minister’s approval rating down from 67 per cent to 60 per cent. Interestingly, 50 per cent of respondents said Peter Costello and Alexander Downer should retire.

Other news: Former Victorian Police Minister Andre Haermeyer has announced he is quitting politics, initiating a by-election in his rock-solid Labor seat of Kororoit.

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.

541 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43”

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  1. 492
    I reckon Garrett has one of the hardest jobs going at the moment. Under his current portfolio his public effect is minimal, while the relatively minor issues are extremely important to the people directly involved.
    Most of his battleground is against the selfish and small minded – formidable opponents indeed.

  2. ABC National was talking about education today.
    3 speakers.
    1.Head of Teachers Union
    2.Some education prof.
    3.Somebody from the CIS. Hang on….who are the CIS?
    Centre for Independent [sic] Studies.
    This mob:
    “The most influential Australian think tank, according to both its allies and its enemies, is the Sydney-based Centre for Independent Studies, which raised $2 million from private donors in the past year. Its funding, says founder Greg Lindsay, is “a matter between the individuals or the organisations that give to us, and us, and it’s a private thing, it’s nobody else’s business………..

    Asked about the regular media description of his organisation as a “firm favourite” of John Howard, Lindsay says: “I have spoken to the Prime Minister six times and one of them was when I ran into him in a lift in a hotel in Melbourne. If we are a firm favourite, that’s nice. I’d rather they like us than not.” Supporters of Centre for Independent Studies projects include Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, J. O. Fairfax and McDonald’s Australia, while BHP, Shell, ICI and Western Mining are among companies that provided funds when the centre started in 1976. Its current subscriber base includes 70 companies and 1200 individuals.”


  3. We’ll have to build more jails to lock up these theiving pensioners!
    We could always reopen the detention centers i suppose…..

  4. 486
    BK Says:
    Just compare him [Tanner] to his opposite number, Dutton.

    He he. Dutton is a genuine dud, IMHO.

    Socrates 492

    Garrett has the problem of being perceived as an outspoken ‘radical’ in his youth, and, at least in the short term, that historical baggage will be hard for him to shake as he makes the inevitable compromises needed to work within a party based system, and build up his support base within the party. However, I agree that he is smart, informed, tough and committed, and I think there is a good chance he will end up a solid long term Labor asset. Despite the disappointment that many of his (less realistic) former allies will feel at his move into the political mainstream, I don’t think anybody can seriously doubt his underlying passion and integrity. Whitlam’s observation that “only the impotent are pure” springs to mind.

  5. B.B.482 – Spot on. Antonio is talking through his proverbial hat. The ABC is becoming woeful in all areas – online news, telly and radio. I hear so many Opposition voices that I could swear the ABC thinks they are still in control of the country. Antonio needs someone there who can count – there is no balance in the number of interviews in a week.
    The photos they put online and on 7 pm News of Kevin Rudd are always woeful. I notice the photos of the Opposition are usually much better. Antonio may be able to tell us if it is a case of picking the worse photo they can find.
    He also needs to remember that it was mostly centre/lefties who joined with Friends of the ABC at meetings all round the country to lobby the Howard mob hard. Without us there would be no ABC.

  6. BB

    “A long interview with Alexander Downer today on The World Today, and last week, and the week before, on Lateline, on the news spouting on as if he was the Foreign minister still.”

    Just more of Downer demonstrating “No relevance deprivation syndrome here”, nope absolutely none at all.

  7. Poor old Solartec, a small business run out of the home of a guy who “installs” solar panels. He makes nothing, he is a glorified sparky.

    Lets ask BP Solar, who he buys his PV panels from, if they have seen a downturn in business. In fact I did – no they have not.

    This guy installs PV systems in Canberra (the highest income city in Australia) so he is probably the worst case scenario.

    Lesson to small business – do not base your business model on Govt. subsidies. 😛

  8. passion and integrity

    Now cmon, your should have said “power and the passion” lol

    Ok, I’ll stop now, that was just silly

  9. So Antonio you think the story about Rudd’s illness is a bit of fun by the Telegraph?

    Unfortunately “Dr” Andrew Bolt and “Dr.” Tony Wright took it seriously and told many many listeners their views. “Dr” Tony Wright even said his colleagues around a water cooler at the Age all collectively thought the same. It must be true then!

    The story won’t have legs unless Rudd gets food poisoning again or something and then they will all say it was his heart, remembering as “fact” the “turn” he supposedly had in May. And, you know, sort of like the “Honeymoon Over” stuff. These journalists are not very original.

    Glad to see the Telegraph doing some investigative journalism. Pity they cannot apply it to something that really matters!

  10. ruawake @ 504:

    I’ve sent an email off to the major tv channels and asked them will they be having a story on the thousands of people who lost their homes because of the incompetence of the former govt, and will they be asking Brendan Nelson to explain to these people to their faces,why they don’t have a home any more.

    I also emailed the Opposition leader himself a few weeks ago about this but he seems reluctant to reply.

  11. ruawake 504 (Lesson to small business – do not base your business model on Govt. subsidies. )

    Spot on! Garrett’s line today was entirely correcyt in that is is their intention to establish a sustainable industry for solar home electricity in Australia.
    That cannot be achieved when there is “feast or famine” demand impressed upon it by government policy that invariably changes radically and without warning. His approach is to create a smoothed acceleration over time.

  12. Why is this small business person (Mr Solartec) in Queanbeyan? Because he could not run his business from home in the ACT.

    Were the people he laid off in his main business, or in his Narooma business?

    Why did Brenda not go to a dunny divers house when Allbull introduced a means test on solar hot water?

  13. Losing what job Thomarse?
    They’re all electricians – they’re no going to be unemployed that’s for sure, and if a sparky is earning any less than $100K in the current building industry he’s a mug.

    There’s plenty of evidence suggesting individual solar panels are in fact an environmental negative.
    The way the current green points systems are set up for housing the inclusion of panels just means the builder can take a shortcut somewhere else in the thermal performance.
    Double whammy – subsidising poor building performance.
    Also – the subsidy in no way checks the panels are installed in a way to be productive at all.

    The problem with the issue is that if you look at it from a really, really simple or uneducated viewpoint it doesn’t make sense.
    The deeper you go the more sense it makes, but I doubt that’s the message that’s ‘cutting through’.

  14. The solar schools thing excites me. If done properly surely it would bring about the economies of scale to make the panels cheaper/better? Why not include a ‘solar lab’ in the installation, then use the green, sustainability aspect to lure students toward science/engineering? A lab would be a half size panel in a frame where it can be tilted, a light and a power meter, even computer interface/software so experiments could be done by the students?

    Any plans to start mandating solar panels on commercial buildings? Talk about energy ineffficient!

  15. Anybody see Brenda using a baby again? with those witless folk giggling all over the place … over solar panels

  16. What Bushfire Bill said back at 482 has been pretty much my thinking on the ABC reporting. There are some notable exceptions, though. Ally Moore is very good, obviously does her research, asks intelligent questions, allows the interviewee to respond and follows up with more intelligent questioning. Big tick from me. Also like In the National Interest on RN on Sundays. Again intelligent, well researched. This is what I expect from the ABC. Not the stenographer style so well described by B.B. or endless pontificating by Dolly and negatively framed headlines.
    The sooner Rudd gets the legislation up for an independently appointed ABC Board, the better. Get those public service types working, I say.

  17. 518 – Have a look at the incentive system for California:

    At least they seem to be working the incentive from the energy derived which encourages efficiency, unlike a cheque for $8k.

    And if you were wondering about the name of the little Canberra guy:

    Last government motto:
    “Australia – inventing the wheel all over again, for a higher price than you ever thought was possible…”

  18. 520
    Onimod. I know from him indoors that you need to design a mix of energy efficient houses and organise a mix of low/no carbon energy production, depending on geography and climatic conditions. For instance, if you have a look at the information over at Larvatus Prodeo on the current knowledge about climate change impact on Australia, you’d be thinking about different energy production mixes in different parts of the country. Geothermal is clearly going to be a goer in some parts of the country, tidal power would be definitely be a goer here in Melbourne with Bass Strait just over there.

  19. Continuing on from what BB wrote at 482, I heard Tony Wright talking to Matt Abraham on Local Radio 981 this morning and he was talking about KR’s upset stomach and brought up the business of as we all know of him eating that particular type of hot dog which as has already been well publicised as not being available at the venue he visited and that basically, KR was lying. Now it has been stated that this information (what caused his upset stomach) was given by a spokesman for the PM. I have read that in a couple of newspapers and if I have read it I’m damn sure that Tony Wright would have read it and so would have Matt Abraham. Yet Wright makes no attempt to have us believe that the upset stomach or whatever it was not caused by the hot dog and Abraham made no attempt to correct him. This is typical of a great number of ABC journalists who let a lot challengeable statements go straight through to the keeper (Abraham and Bevan are very good at this). Why are they so timid? The Liberals are no longer in government. I cant see them losing anything by spouting the occasional positive slant for the current government.

  20. Anybody who doesn’t believe the Queensland Liberal Party is a ludicrous rabble, check this out. Here the Liberal Member for Robina, Ray Stevens, asked a question to the wrong minister during question time in the Queensland Parliament today.

    My question is to the Minister for communities and disability services. I refer to the Strengthening Non-Government Organisations Strategy which was launched in August 2005 and to the collaboration between the Department of Communities and the Department of Housing in the One Social Housing System plan for 2006-11. Why has the minister cut funding to the Queensland Disability Housing Coalition, the only peak body dealing specifically with disabled homeless people?

    Mr Schwarten:
    Why don’t you ask me?

    I thank the member for the question. I think it might be a little misguided in its direction, however, and I think the member would get a better response from the correct minister.

    A government member:
    You are the shadow minister.

    That is right. Since you are the shadow minister I guess your understanding–

    Mr Stevens:
    I am not.

    You are not? Then what are you?

    Mr Schwarten:
    You are the shadow minister to me.

  21. One way to beat the lies of Australian media is to switch to the UK.

    Let’s copy Kevin
    “The media have missed an event of real significance: the Australian decision to withdraw its forces from Iraq. Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister explained his decision in a wide-ranging statement (pdf) in parliament which deserves to be read.

    Why doesn’t Gordon Brown invite his new Australian colleague, a Labour prime minister who has just ended umpteen years of Conservative misrule, to come to Britain and – celebrating our historic links with Australia as the military have done so eloquently – give an address to parliament?
    His subject could be “how to get out of Iraq”.

  22. Kev on Henson:,23599,23819616-29277,00.html

    “I … said what my views are as a parent, I don’t budge from that. But I’m not about to go around and start dictating to the legal authorities what they should or should not do,” Mr Rudd told Channel 9.

    “Organisations like that are at arms length from politicians. It’s a matter for those bodies independently, including the legal authorities, to evaluate these matters and reach their own determination.”

    A better response than last time, but a no comment originally, followed up by a simple explanation of the difference between ‘governing’ and ‘ruling’ the land, and why his personal view was meaningless, would have been better.

  23. #482

    Bushfire Bill, I actually agree with you completely on the two points you raise, re newspaper journalists on the ABC, and Alex Downer getting over-exposed at the moment.

    I have actually fought a largely unsuccessful battle within the organisation for the ABC to use its own correspondents more. One of the problems with the ABC’s political reporters is that they tend to operate to hourly deadlines, and can’t guarantee (in advance) to be able to talk to programs at particular times. Hence some of the local radio programs take the easy option and talk to a newspaper correspondent, who’s more available. I disagree with this approach. And I also think there’s no excuse for Radio National (or ABC-TV) to resort to as many newspaper columnist interviews as it does. It dilutes the ABC’s role as an independent news service.

    As for the Opposition getting over-exposed at this moment…there’s some truth in this, in all the media. But the government is actually making it rather difficult for all media to get access to ministers at the times they want. There is as much manipulation and spin going on with the current government than the previous one (if not more), and it’s a straight out fact that Howard was more available to the media than Rudd.

    Sometimes the only way you can get the government to comment on an issue is by going to the Opposition first. But I’m thoroughly sick of hearing Dolly rabbiting on.

  24. So Antonio, the ABC picks the issue, gives it to the Opposition to set the agenda and the parameters of the discourse, and then sets the Government up to have to respond to the Opposition’s talking points.

    What ever happened to the ABC deciding on issues worthy of pursuit, investigating them, presenting the facts as they find them, and allowing the Government to respond to objective factual situations as distinct to having to defend itself against pejorative spin generated from Liberal Party headquarters?

    You have only confirmed how pathetically compromised the ABC has become.

  25. Well, Antonio, I’ll concede a couple of points to you.

    There are still some great journos at the ABC. Posters above mentioned Allie Moore and Mark Colvin. I’d throw in Heather Hewitt (sic) and Quentin Dempster. You might add in George Negus too, and Chris Masters (just abotu anyone at Four Corners). That young Economics reporter is fabulous too (Lateline, Fridays). They don’t always say things I agree with but they’re willing to have a go and get stuck into both sides. I can’t ask for more than that.

    I’m also willing to concede that government speakers may be less willing to come on shows for interviews than Opposition speakers. This had occurred to me, and could well explain some of the apparent deficit. I’m reminded of La Trioli who once famously said on her now defunct Sydney radio show (to Malcolm Fraser) that her job was to present both sides of an argument. Well, Virginia, if the then government wanted to have their say, you should have got them to turn up at the studio, like Fraser did. Your job is not to do their spruiking for them. Likewise, if Labor ministers won’t turn up then it’s their own fault the Opposition gets a continual free-kick.

    As to Dolly: the man’s a has-been with nothing to sustain him but an ill-concealed personal hatred of Rudd that sticks out like a stallion’s dick in a paddock. If he was an Opposition shadow spokesman, you could forgive his constant presence on ABC radio and TV, but he’s not. He’s just someone who articulates a particularly spiteful line against Labor and rudd in particular. It seems the powers that be and Downer himself can’t get used to the fact that he’s officially a nobody, with nothing useful to offer.

    Perhaps the ABC doesn’t use its own correspondents more because for a correspondent to offer criticism of a politician or a policy therefrom would be classed as “bias”. This is the downside of the politically “neutral” mantra at the ABC. Whatever the government does that’s good has to be balanced against a carping, whingeing Oppo spokesman crying crocodile tears about Taragos and wheelchairs, or giving a “MasterClass” in economics/foreign policy/industrial relations/parliamentary protocols/pi$$ing-up-agaist-a-wall or whatever to an allegedly “L-Plate” government minister. It’s not so much that these are factual or serious criticisms of the government, it’s just that they are played dead-pan to the mug punters here in Listener Land, as if they were the words of a philosopher king, totally above politics, not some weasel from the back benches. The ABC isn’t allowed to have an opinion, except when they do have one, and then it’s usually against the government (Uhlmann is a case in point… how did he get to his vaulted position?).

    I can’t help thinking that this is because there’s a cadre of Howard appointees (or appointees of appointees) pulling the strings and making sure that although the Howard government is dead, it’s fetid memory and the putrid consequences of its standover tactics against the ABC live on.

  26. Well in the category of entirely predictable decisions GM Holden has announced 500 jobs will go at its engine plant at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne. See

    The announcement of the closure of the Ford engine plant is major too. Mitsubishi closed its Adelaide engine plant about 18 months before closing local production entirely. it is valid to ask if Ford is headed the same way. Ford are going to assemble their econmical four cylinder Focus model here from next year, which is good. However note that is assemble (from imported components) not manufacture. The amount of heavy engineering, let alone development, is very little.

    Maybe in the current economic climate its not such a bad thing; any skilled employees should easily get new jobs. However once again, its shows the previous gvoernment’s car industry policy was $6 billion wasted. It works out at around $200,000 each for every job protected, only as this shows the jobs are no mroe secure anyway. Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to give every single worker $100,000 to pay off their debts and some retraining? I don’t entirely believe the productivity commission report, which is a bit economic-rationalist in its assumptions, but the current strategy must change.

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