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. Judy @ 399 and the linked item from ninemsn

    Where would this extra billion dollars come from that Horatio is spruiking about. As I understand if the Federal Government’s excise is fixed at 38.5 cents per litre. There is, of course, a windfall from GST but this belongs to the states so that can’t be used. I guess he’s just hoping that the great uneducated out there don’t understand how Treasury collects and distributes taxation and that would include himself.

  2. So Nelson wants to give any extra petrol taxes collected over $1.60 per litre to pensioners, just like they did when he was in government for nearly 12 years. Oh, that’s right, they didn’t.
    I think I heard that would work out at 2 million dollars a year. If so, there are about 2 million pensioners. That would work out at, ah, let me see, $1.00 extra per year.
    Of course I could be wrong there, it may have been 200 million dollars per year. 2 million pensioners, that’s 100 dollars per year, about an extra $2.00 per week.

  3. Ok let’s be real generous and say 1 billion a year. That’s about 10 dollars a week. Given the difficulties facing pensioners now would 10 dollars per week solve their problems or is that a token gesture?
    Some may argue of course that not all pensioners should benefit from such a generous off by Nelson. I haven’t seen him saying that he would put any limits on it. Details please Brendan.

  4. Trouble is next years crop is planted and the single desk issue really does need to be sorted out before the harvest, which won’t wait for politics.

  5. steve

    To be fair,the coalition didn’t neglect pensioners entirely, the following is from the west article you linked to.

    “Mr Costello said all tax had been abolished on superannuation pensions and lump sums for people over 60”

    The reforms of the coalition also enabled people to arrange their tax affairs so that they could also claim the old age pension of $273 a week on top of their tax free super pension and/or lump sum.

    I think being in opposition and suffering a wage drop of around $100,000 a year or more and being forced to survive on their basic wage of only $120,000 has made some in the coalition realise that it is tough in the real world.

    More importantly as they get out in the community, like Nelson’s listening tour, they are finding that many pensioners do not have the old age pension as a top up or savings account for a holiday or new car but have to actually live and survive on it without any other income.

  6. There is a fair amount of misinformation going round about the impact of the change to the Medicare rebate. As though everyone is going to get sick and require the public system. Adults or kids. Rubbish. Garbage. Nonsense.

  7. There has not been any journalist who has criticised the Labor party more for jeopardising our alliance with the US over foreign policy than – Piers Akerman.

    Column after column after column, garbage after garbage after garbage, supporting Bush and Howard and denegrating Labor foreign policies.

    Well, well Piers. Obama is on track to become president of the USA.

    Now, why don’t you tell us how damaging it would have been for our alliance with the US if Howard had won the election and Obama becomes president, after the Dessicated Coconut refered to him as the leader of the party that the TERRORISTS wanted in the white house???

    You see, that’s way nobody can stand the sight of you – you Dessicated Rice Bubble!

  8. HSO @ 414,
    Still, 900,000 is quite a lot of people, isn’t it?
    Sure, there might be more money available for public health, as a result of less rebates being paid. But it will be a pretty bumpy ride turning the money into actual doctors, nurses, operating theatres, MRIs and so on.
    Still not sure why the Govt moved the threshold up by so much in one fell swoop.

  9. The role of colomnists or journalists is to be non partisan and unfortunately Piers conservackerman is far from it. His articles are out of touch and not worth reading and whenever he is on the insiders it is best to either watch something else or switch the tv off. Do not encourage these twits to continue talking nonsense.

  10. yep bugger the health funds i agree totally Gary. And doing what they did regarding the threshold is a great step and should be warmly supported.
    Public health care should be the goal and private funds should be shutdown.

  11. marky, I would like to see Akerman, even if he is only half a man, acknowledge that the worst result for our US alliance would have been a Howard victory last year.

    But he won’t, he is not half a man – he is a full dessicated Rice Bubble lol.

  12. Are the estimates are what the numbers who would be eligible to leave or will leave? 400k or 900k. If so that doesn’t mean that many will leave.

  13. I believe it’s the number who’d be eligible to leave, Kina.
    They won’t all leave, and even those who do so won’t all go on 1 July or anything like that. Still, you’d think there’d be a noticeable exodus over, say, 1-2 years.

  14. The truth on health insurance is that Howard hated Labor’s public health system, remember he was the Treasurer in the Fraser government that killed off the original Whitlam created Medibank, but knew the voters wouldn’t let him get away with doing the same to Medicare (even though for much of his time in opposition he promised he would) so he tried to slowly strangle it by forcing people to join private funds.

    The result has been a lot of folk paying for insurance they didn’t want and couldn’t actually use because the co-payments would bankrupt them. It was a protection racket, pure and simple. The Mob can only dream!

    It doesn’t really matter if its 400k who’ll drop out, or a million. Almost all of them did/would have elected to be treated as public patients anyway.

  15. the private funds bandied the 900K figure about.

    even including kids the 900K figure is too high–a lot of the 400K are young people whih these days means no kids. Add in gays, sterile couples etc would leave say half with 1-2 kids, so of the 400k 200K will take 1.5kids with them out the health funds, 300K

    So something like 600-700K adults & kids leave the healthfund. Does this blow the budget surplus or increase it? Would people with kids leave the helathfunds?

  16. I believe you’re asking the wrong question, Thomarse. Its not how many leave, but how many that would have actually opted to be treated as private patients that leave.

    As per my 423, IMO most that leave would have used the public system anyway so their affect on the budget and waiting lists will be minimal. Plus the government will save bucketloads of cash on the 30% subsidy, though I assume most of that will now go to the public system

  17. Its not how many leave, but how many that would have actually opted to be treated as private patients that leave.


    Many people only took out the absolute bare minimum of private health insurance needed to avoid the Howard government imposed penalties for not doing so, but these people still basically relied on the public health system.

    The public system is not going to crash because of any (alleged) sudden flood of ex-privately insured patients.

    It will not happen.

  18. “The prime minister and his deputy are about to begin a potentially dangerous popularity contest, auctioning themselves off for charity.
    Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard have offered themselves as prizes in an online auction being run by press gallery journalists as part of their midwinter ball, to be held later this month.

    Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson also has offered the coalition leadership team for dinner to the highest bidder.”

    Dinner with Brenda anybody? better take a sick bag.

  19. years ago at the Advertiser the cane toad was a contemptable little drop kick and he certainly has’nt improved with age, hmmm i wonder what Rudd did to upset him at the dinner he so graciously invited Rudd to, it must have been something close to home to make him spray the constant poisonous vitriol he dumps on Rudd at every opportunity, perhaps Rudd refused to pander to the little toad’s ego, or perhaps knocked back the toad’s offer to be Rudd’s press secretary!

  20. I’ve just been listening to some lightweight, fill in interviewer on Lateline putting a series of Liberal Party Psalm Book attack questions to Peter Garratt.

    Garratt squatted her her for the annoying insect she is, and his answers were probably the most focussed, game-plan responses he has ever given.

    The question has to be asked however, why do Government ministers feel the need to appear on programmes which are so blatantly anti Labor propaganda tools, and why the Government doesn’t address the bias issue in the ABC with the same determination that former Liberal minister Alston imposed it?

    Why does a Labor Goverment allow the likes of Albrechtsen and a legion of other smarmy right wing toadies to continue to infest Government Boards, spreading their malignant influence to the Goverment’s detriment?

    Permitting fair, independent commentary is one thing, but giving unlimited free kicks to your opponents on a public network is entirely another. After all, the opposition have Rupert’s flunkeys to do the scoring for them already.

  21. I agree and have suggested before that they could keep their promise and keep Howard’s thought-police but divide ABC into entertainment and News/current affairs segments and, put them in charge of entertainment, appointing another group to oversee and manage news/current affairs.

    ALbrechtsen can have neocon playschool, and Kerry O’Brien can head up news/current affairs.

  22. Spewgate indeed, just how low can the pathetic media in this country sink? Another case of too many pikes, not enough heads!

  23. It’s not that the ABC is biased… well, it is, but that’s not my point… it’s that the ABC has gone down the road of being so terrified of being accused of bias that they’ve settled on simple regurgitation of Opposition spin points as “news”.

    What the Opposition says may not be factual, but it is a fact that they said it. The ABC makes no judgement on the content of the message, or the identity of the messenger (any backbench hack at a Parliament House doorstop will do) merely postmarking the envelope it is contained in as “Received in good order and condition.” The opinion of some obscure Coalition Senator at an Estimates hearing is given fully equal weight (measured by time) compared to the Prime Minister’s opinion. To make any comment or perform any critical analysis on content is regarded by those who run ABC’s News department as interfering with the news about the news. In other words: bias.

    That’s their excuse anyway. Their job is to be stenographers who make no comment either way on what they are writing up.

    The basic position that the old Howard government put the ABC in was for them to be mere purveyors of whatever spin the (then) government wanted to put out on any subject. Woe betide any mere journo – sucking off the public teat – who in any way changed or challenged the message. That was not the ABC’s job. Indeed, I seem to remember Alston even criticised “tone of voice” on a few occasions as typifying bias.

    To a certain extent this stenographic attitude has become part of the culture, backed up by the ultimate sanction of Board disapproval if it is violated. Antonio a few months back detailed this mindset perfectly (only he was defending it as perfectly OK with him).

    Interestingly, Janet Albrechtsen (for example) feels comfortable with being both a board member and one of the Liberals’ more strident cheerleaders. When she’s cheerleading, see, she’s working for a private newspaper, which can be as opinionated and right-wing agenda-driven as it likes. I am amazed she sees no conflict (or claims to see no conflict) between her dual roles: on the one hand a raving looney right-wing ratbag and on the other accusing others of being raving left-wing ratbags if they deviate from the daily script they are served up for uncritical propagation to the organisation of which she is a Board member.

    Sad, really.

  24. So the coalition offer aged pensioners $250 million as a non core promise just before the election last year and demand Labor pay over a $Billion to age care pensioners a few months later. Very consistent Brenda,

  25. So Brendan’s going to link pensioner payouts to fuel prices?

    That’d make life interesting for them, wouldn’t it? One week flush with cash, the next in debit to the government.

    Still, it’d make them look forward to public holidays, and be a big help around Christmas.

    On a more serious note, this is Nelson’s explanation (my capitals):

    “In relation to windfall tax gains for petrol over the coming financial year, the Government in its Budget papers budgeted for oil to be priced at US$115 for West Texas crude. That equates to around $1.30 or so a litre in Australia. At the moment oil is at about $128 a barrel. If oil continues at that price and petrol averages $1.60 a litre over the next year the federal Government will have a windfall gain of in the order of $175 million in the PETROLEUM RESOURCE RENT TAX. And in addition to that the states will get an unbudgeted windfall gain of in the order of $975 million.

    Given that these are windfall gains, based on the assumptions that are published in the Budget papers, Mr Rudd could consider along with the states of making sure that that extra money goes to Australian pensioners at least to provide a bit of short term relief.”

    So that’s $175 million to throw around – on Gary’s figures, less than $1 a week.

    On pensioners: my dear old mum was irate after the Budget, saying that there was nothing in it for her and that she too would be willing to strip down to her underwear to make a point (not much of a threat, she’s always had a tendency that way, we try to keep her under control). Wouldn’t listen to any explanations I made (I’m a Labor ra ra person and thus not to be trusted, the MSM – especially talk back radio – being a far more reliable source of information, please note in future, PBs).

    Rang me last night and asked me very quietly if the $500 bonus payment was in addition to the rise in Utilities. When I said it was, she said, “Well, they’re a terrific government, I take it all back.”

    The trouble with ‘burning’ people this way is that you MAY get a short term popularity bounce out of their misinformed indignation, but when they realise the truth (a) they’re going to jump the other way again and (b) they’re going to be harder to move next time.

    Anecdotal, I know, but she’s always a good indicator of mainstream thinking.

    On people leaving Medicare: are the current figures for private health membership calculated on the actual number of people entitled to use private health or on the number of policies sold?

    If the former, then the Opposition have a point; if the later, then it’s playing with statistics.

  26. giving unlimited free kicks to your opponents on a public network is entirely another. After all, the opposition have Rupert’s flunkeys to do the scoring for them already.

    For what it’s worth – and I admit it’s not much – I no longer click on any articles or read any hardcopy editions.

  27. “the MSM – especially talk back radio – being a far more reliable source of information, please note in future, PBs”

    I’m shocked, the MSM more reliable than PB info!!!

  28. {If the former, then the Opposition have a point; if the later, then it’s playing with statistics.}

    This has greatly interested me since the Coalition and Health Care Industry started to loudly proclaim these figured in contrast to the Treasury estimate.

    In my case, we have had one policy which covered 6 people. ie., mum, dad & 4 young ones although since early this year the eldest has taken out her own policy and mine now covers 5 people.

    So in our case, would the Health Care Industry figures calculate our position as (two) policies or take it as still being 6 people covered by separate policies which clearly is not the case?

    Me thinks that there certainly is a miss-use of statistics going on here.

    Take note, Health Minister and force them to concede their rhetorical nonsense.

  29. Zoom

    The interesting bit about Nelson and the libs proposal on petrol is that at the same time they are proposing to block the

    * Removal of Woodside Petroleum tax exemption on condensate (worth $2.5 billion in revenue over four years).

    It looks like Woodside’s exemption from this tax was compensation for the gas deal that Howard personally negotiated with the Chinese, something like 3c a pound, fixed over the next 20 years. Gas now sells for about 20 times that rate. At the time Howard trumpted the deal as a major triumph that he had taken a personal iinterest in. 3 years ago Howard announced he would try and negotiate more commercial terms with the Chinese. Of course the Chinese fell over laughing at his suggestion “you want us to pay more money than what is stated in the contract? ”

    The Woodside boss said at the time that there are some things you do for your country, but looks like they did not miss out entirely overall.

  30. Rod
    I was not referring to PBs, but myself – and warning PBs that, in my mother’s eyes at least, I am not a reliable source of info (and certainly not when compared with talkback radio).
    I’m sure there are PBs out there who have already made that judgment!

  31. Well anyone who wishes to read previous ABC Media Watch items that dealt with Albrechtsen will be well informed as to the person.

    We have Labor governments in every State and Federally. The press has been on the anti-Labor side of the argument for a long time, yet with no good result except maybe for helping Howard extend his terms.

    Maybe the Liberal press might want to sit down and think why they have been unbale to change governments the way they have been trying. Hopefully they will come to the answer that has been obvious to the electorate for many years. You may be able to damage the name of something over time thorugh continual misinformation but, if the alternative is worse it wont matter. Just look at NSW.

    The Liberal party is obviously damaged goods Australia wide and, has been for a long time.

    Instead of trying to dishonestly run down every Labor government and lamely spruik the incompetent alternative they would have had more success and, have been more beneficial to Australia, if they had instead turned their focus on the Liberal party.

    The Liberal party Australia wide has escaped the deep examination that maybe the press should have given it. Exposed you would think that they would have been forced to reform themselves and make themselves into an acceptable alternative or be consigned to eternal oblivion.

    As it is the Liberal press and other media helping out the Liberals are holding them back from the truth about themselves and from changing.

    Where fundmentalist neoconism is taking a dive in the USA it seems to be spreading within the Liberal party. As time goes by the press will be having to support even more extreme versions of Liberal party.

    If the OO types really had some guts and could turn from mindlessly trashing Labor because it is Labor they might have some success instead by doing to the Liberal party what they are trying to do to Labor.

  32. Regarding the unstacking of places like the ABC board and others, would Rudd consider dumping incumbents for professionals from that field or non-political types, such as career journalists with a reputation for impartiality for the ABC, or even ask the relevant union for nominees? People like Quentin Demster or Paul Barry come to mind who would be seen as independant.

    I think it is a great modern nonsense that only career managers can manage. People who know an industry well and are respected within it can usually also manage it quite well. If the replacements were not seen as partisan to either side, then few could argue with the removal of the incumbents hence political fallout would be very low. Apart from being unbiased, they might just run it more efficiently too.

  33. ‘Australia Talks’ on Radio National this pm will be discussion on irrelevance or otherwise of MSM and journos as against the web. Might be interesting for PBs to email their opinions to the program this arvo.
    Did something awful yesterday and read Farr’s piece on Rudd in that awful paper – still trying to recover from it. What kind of journalist is he now.

  34. I remember when Paul Barry started his stint on “Media Watch’.
    The program started with a previous MW expose of Barry on a commercial channel doing something wrong and silly, can’t remember exactly what.
    Barry’s first words after the clip were “Guilty as charged Your Honour, I’m Paul Barry, welcome to Media Watch’.

  35. The ABC’s idea of not being perceived biased: regurgitating every bit of anti-Labor crap from the News Ltd hacks and bashing Rudd on a regular basis!

  36. The Daily Telegraph is still on about Rudd’s lapse of memory as to what he ate at that footy match. They have now produced the menu of what he had to choose from. Is it just me or are these people mad? What do they hope to achieve with this BS? He lied about what poisoned him? Are they serious?
    This is the same bloke they have been criticising for the last week or so for working too hard.

  37. I am one of many people that I know who would have saved by taking out private health but have refused on principle. I think it is morally abhorrent for a government to use tax payers funds to increase the profits of their mates in private industry. An absolute disgrace.

    Having said that, I would nearly guarantee that the Private Health Lobby are quoting ALL THAT QUALIFY instead of all with policies. Any lobby group representing such unscrupulous businesses (accepting the rebate – aka government sponsorship) is not to be trusted.

    The fact that the MSM are alos pushing this barrow is a reflection of the honesty and integrity of those organisations and journalists doing the pushing.

    Tom (The REAL first one)

  38. at least with aunty,they sometimes put your comments on

    05 Jun 2008 12:30:03pm

    hey Joe Hockey
    you sure made your staff work longer hours

    ps aunty abc,please stop being the fibs mouthpiece

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