Newspoll: 55-45

Mumble reports Newspoll has Labor’s lead dropping from 59-41 to 55-45, with primary votes of 44 per cent for Labor, 39 per cent for Coalition, 10 per cent for Greens and 7 per cent others. More to follow.

Meanwhile, Alexander Downer confirms he will quit parliament to take up a job as United Nations special envoy to Cyprus. Mayo by-election to follow.

UPDATE (2/7/07): Today’s Australian provides further figures on standard of living expectations, which have plunged shockingly – “get worse” being up from 18 per cent to 43 per cent since December. While I’m here, a belated link to yesterday’s graphic.

UPDATE (3/7/07): Newspoll has released its quarterly aggregated poll which provides breakdowns by state, gender and age. It suggests the Rudd honeymoon effect has been especially strong in South Australia and in metropolitan areas, is fading quickest in Victoria, and did not further increase support for Labor in the 18-34 age group. Two of these four are consistent with the result of the Gippsland by-election.

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.

631 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. No surprises here. About what one would expect with state newspolls being produced in each state last week, most showing a drop in support for Labor.

    It gets tougher for the Opposition over the next little while with no parliament sitting, taxcuts coming in from tomorrow, and the focus shifting to the weakness of the environment later this week when the Garnaut Report is released on Friday.

  2. Steve,

    Yep, the Govt’s response to Garnaut & Emission trading will be interesting. They will end up somewhere between two extreme’s

    1) Doing juuuuust enought to wedge the opposition but not sending energy prices souring.

    2) Doing enough to actually make a differnece and sending a 50% energy shock through the economy (my own guess based on the european $80/ton price of carbon).

    There are plenty of Machiavellian devotees advocating 1) and plenty of idealists advocating 2)

    Its unclear to me who will win.

  3. We are entering the period where the really important stuff begins re Environment. Rudd & Co have been fairly quiet post budget, not defending it to the extent that would be normally expected. Labor relatively quiet Gippsland. It is as if the main game is yet to come. Time seemed to be spent excessively on the fuel issue but perhaps with the main aim of educating the public that fuel was a Global issue.

    Rudd out-thought and out-manouevred the “unbeatable” Howard last year in a time of low inflation, high employment against general expectations. The recent interpretation that the Press put on Rudd’s performance does not line up with Rudd’s past performance, and Rudd did not retaliate much to set the record straight. I think the important part is yet to come.

    55/45 is still pretty good. PPM is pretty good. We have not got the approval ratings as yet. Brendan is still in a low postion. Opposition will get some false hope with the help of media mates. Money will start to flow into people’s pockets from this week. Ground gained by the Opposition by populist proposals, untested by the Press surely must be short lived.

    Because of the Garnaut Report polls will be volatile for awhile as people make up their minds on the Government’s proposals.

    We will see what happens.

  4. I think what is surprising William is that we haven’t got the conservative supporters out in force either. They know this is not a great result given the circumstances we find ourselves in. A drop from a previous outlier poll is not all that exciting or significant I would have thought.

  5. I’m not surprised!
    These factors are working against Rudd:
    1. Petrol prices
    2. N.S.W Labor/Iemma/Iguanagate Affair
    3. A very biased media, largely dancing to Nelson’s tune! The ABC in particular are hardly covering themselves with glory right now!
    Labor needs to stop worrying about Fuel Watch, in fact it might be better to let the thing fall over in the senate. Get the focus off petrol, and don’t leave Nelson any room to play populist, short term politics, which I must confess is working for him right now!

  6. 4 “Curious how quiet these threads get when Labor drops four points.”

    William, I think they all anticipated it too! There was not the chatter this week that there was before the Newspoll a fortnight ago.

  7. So, in other words, Rudd needs a new script, if I was to criticise him, I’d say he’s been too reactive lately, he has to lead and set the agenda, wedge Nelson!

  8. Actually William, were really all just one sock puppet, and I got scared off by what you did to Honest John…

  9. Or maybe they have seen the results from the Superannuation Funds this year and have slunk into bed depressed before Newspoll came out. The Share Market, Property Market and Superannuation Funds seem to be the only branches of business in Australia that don’t put their prices up willy nilly these days.

  10. Progressive,

    Nelson is irrelevant. Garnauts report comes out on Friday. The selling of ETR will decide whether Rudd and Co survive. They have to sell increases in living costs to the average Australian family.

    Good luck Mr. Rudd.

  11. I think Doug @ 6 has nailed it. Most of what Rudd has done since being in government is just preparatory groundwork. The main game is yet to start, but will soon.

  12. Right, Possum @ 2: It’s the Narrowing -eight months too late, or two years too early. Milne and Co may kid themselves that Nelson is some kind of political genius who ‘won the petrol wars’ for the Opposition, but most of his front bench is on record repudiating the 5 cents tax policy. And there are a lot of shadow ministers -‘aspirational voters’ maybe- who just know they could do a better job than Brendan. If the Coalition does consistently look like they could be a real chance at the next election, just watch for the flashing of the knives -and then the crashing of the polls.

  13. Downer lets fly on the big issues:

    Pointing out that he is a cigar smoker, Mr Downer goes on: “It just incenses me and it even encourages me to think about going into state politics – that’s how much it incenses me – to have state governments tell us where we can smoke and where we can’t smoke.”,25197,23949822-601,00.html

    Forget world peace, the big issue of our time is the threat to our civil liberties caused by stopping people getting cancer.

    He also has a go at Nelson:

    “They need to build policies around that narrative. It is one thing to start barking on about reducing fuel excise by 5c, but what’s your point?”

    “Why would you want to do that? You need a broader narrative. The Liberal Party does not have a story to tell at the moment. Just a bunch of ad hoc comments.”

  14. The way I understood the theory behind the ETS was that the fuel excise would probably go to offset the increased costs, in much the same way as GST replaced sales taxes. No mention of that possibility from Sham – I – am.

  15. Thats almost a balanced acticle from the Shanahan, who has taken his place? He doesnt even have a “the honeymoon is over”

    interesting the polls about the ETS, perhaps Australians arent as stupid as the coalition thinks they are

  16. [The way I understood the theory behind the ETS was that the fuel excise would probably go to offset the increased costs, in much the same way as GST replaced sales taxes. No mention of that possibility from Sham – I – am.]

    But won’t the ETS offset slowly increase as the cost of carbon increases?

    That could mean we have this stupid debate every single year, instead of the price increase making people change their habits.

  17. Well I blame the OZ, for not letting that hilarious Dennis Shanahan do their initial write-ups anymore. This new one is not nearly provocative enough.

    Ruddster needs to tread lightly with his punitive pricing model for fixing greenhouse emissions. He may like to play the guy making the tough decisions, but an election platform based on repealing a too tough ETS would be a very easy decision for the Libs to make.

  18. hmmm lower result for Labor = Nelson keeps his job. I fail to see how this is bad for Labor?
    Same with the Nationals result in the Hicksland By-election really.

  19. The “honeymoon” is still on me darlings. Shag session 1 is done & getting ready for shag session 2… such longevity!! Love is in the air!!!

  20. Votes by the Queensland Liberals to be taken over by the Queensland Nationals who were taken over by Clive Palmer…are counted today. With the supposed 10 000 members of the National Party turning out to be 40% Sheep, cattle, goats and racehorses, it will be interesting to see what proportion of the alleged 5500 Queensland Liberal Party members have their addresses overseas and forgot to vote.

  21. Well, it has taken 7 months to arrive to near where the polls where just before the November elections. All this while Rudd is doing nothing, working too hard, making the Public Service work to hard, letting a Public Servant take 5 week annual holiday,not doing enough, pushing 42 bills through the Senate,oh as well as the Word wide steep rise in fuel and food.On and on and on it goes. All with the help of the MSM while Nelson gets away scott free to do and say whatever enters his silly head.
    Yes it sounds the same as in ’73-’75 what was done to Whitlam and how he ruined Australia, yet after 8 years of Fraser and Howard the economy was in worse shape by ’83.

  22. Does anyone have a link to the newspoll pdf? I get a 404-Page not found error on The Australian link.

    The tpp looks a bit weird. I will explain when I see the full results. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Thanks James J – I’d been having the same problem as ruawake

    Hard to know what to make of this one

    The Nats number is higher than usual, you don’t often see it that high outside of election results.

    If you discount the last newspoll, and compare this one to May 30, it looks like this poll has overshot the LNP primary a bit,

    maybe 56-44 would be more like it

  24. As I thought 4 points of “the narrowing” are from others and the greens the other 2 points are off labor’s primary.

    The June 13-15 poll seems to overstate labors lead, this one is basically back in line with all the others.

  25. Some suggest that the latest Newspoll is “the narrowing we had to have”.
    Another way of viewing these figures, drawing back on the psephoscope ever so slightly, is that ALP won the last Fed. El. with 52.7% 2PP, so 55/45 is an improvement in their position.
    The Nightwatchman in PPM terms has consolidated himself in double figures and threatens to bat on till the luncheon adjournment. A concern for the tory “brainstrust” is that compared to Tin-Tin popularitywise, if the electorate was a Lonely Hearts Club, Brendon would have his photo returned in a plain paper envelope alonside a “with compliments” slip:

    “Thank you for your paticipation, Dr. Nelson. We regret that we don’t have any participants on our files who are quite that lonely.”

  26. I is an interesting period, Australian is not europe, most european country does not have coal mines and petroleum explorers, Australia has them, it will be interesting how many jobs (union jobs) the carbon trading scheme will cost Australia.

    It will also push up the cost of transport, cost of petrol?, cost of grocery etc, so I do not think the ALP will make the really hard decision

  27. Listening to Turnbull on Lateline last night, he was using the Newspoll to drive his narrative. It seemed a very dangerous thing to do; four weeks ago we were looking at a 57-43 split, then a 59-41 and now a 55-45. If the actual split is something about 56.5-43.5 the last few polls could all be merely noise, in which case Turnbull and Nelson are going to be accused of doing something dramatically wrong over the next two weeks if the next Newspoll bounces back to Labor.

  28. The results of the questions on climate change and petrol are very encouraging and surprising. I would say the government stands a very good show of taking the people with them on this.

  29. Re those polls on the ETS: my suspicion is that in general people lie regarding this issue. There are many things that people could do that would cost them a few more dollars a week but would significantly help the environment if lots of people did them. But the evidence is that people are not doing those things. It is all very well to say to a pollster, ‘Oh, of course I’d be happy to pay a little more and do my bit for the polar bears,’ but when it comes to shelling out the readies there is a different tale to be told.

    So, while I think that radical action is needed, radical action will not be taken unless Rudd is thinking of committing political suicide.

  30. Very interesting…(he said stroking his beard)…with three elections still to come this year (yes, I know most bludgers don’t think Council elections are real, but they ARE happening) the latest sets of numbers must be a little worrying for the ALP in Melbourne and Sydney (and potentially on country councils too). While Councils may not have the clout of state or federal govt, they are often a training ground for future pollies, so maybe we’ll see the start of a new tranche of ALP young bloods (where old faces disappear) or will it just be the same old hacks staying place, going nowhere? The Libs must be quietly hoping for some new faces coming through, especially as there will be need to fill potentially winnable seats come Mar 2011 in NSW.

    And what of the ACT – any chance of any polling showing anything there prior to October? Stanhope must have been thinking he was on a winner with Rudd, but the gloss seems to have come off and may end up losing him control of the Assembly.

  31. 43 Stewart J – all this based on a Newspoll showing Labor would win an election in a landlslide. Hell, I’m glad he’s not trailing.

  32. Gary Bruce
    Ah, but I was considering the series of polls not just this one, and the implications of a falling ALP primary vote. If you consider that most Councils (and the ACT) are elected from multi-member electorates the 2pp has less relevance. Now, while the Libs might think their day in the sun is coming (well, in NSW anyway) a rising Green vote could catch them out. Consider also that certainly in NSW you have optional preferential voting so Councillors can be elected on less than a quote (depending on the wards, whether their is an above the line option and so on). So Greens soaking up ALP votes could deliver split wards and councils.

    The ACT is also an interesting case. Stanhope was not travelling that well on his own, but was bouyed by two factors:
    1. Howard’s general unpopularity with public servants (prior to the federal election), and
    2. Rudd’s general popularity (after the federal election).

    As the gloss comes off Rudd the spotlight will fall more on Stanhope’s Govt and its achievements. This isn’t sky is falling stuff, but may point to re-alignments in 2 states (for Councils) and a territory Government. And I personally wouldn’t right off Councils as unimportant – they provide many important services and activities and electors know that. The interference in residential planning by Sartor here in NSW is one of the reasons for the NSW ALP’s fall in popularity.

  33. I am increasingly annoyed by the ‘all spin no substance’ tag that the opposition are running. Now I’m biased in kinds of ways but the Libs tried this (unsuccessfully) against the Gallop Govt in WA which IMHO was almost entirely substance and needed a hell of a lot more spin.

    On the other hand, again IMHO the Carpenter Govt spins massively, still has some substance but certainly less than Gallop, and no-one accuses them of spin.

    Of course Rudd has some spin, it would be stupid not to be, but I don’t understand why the line ‘all spin no substance’ is used so much when it is obviously a silly line.

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