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. Hmm Possum,

    Labor splits dont tend to be isolated. Any student of the Great Split would say the destruction of the QLD and VIC state governments were enormous elements in keeping federal Labor out.

  2. The split has occured, its called the Greens and they deliver 20% of the ALP vote, are distrustful of the Libs and are soaking up the young vote year after year. The Greens have more real members than the DLP or the DEMs ever had and are there for the long haul. Its just a shame that the ALP operates on who is up who and not merit. They will implode in NSW as they can not clean out their rump.

  3. Eddy, The Labor party aint what it used to be – of which most of them in Canberra are no doubt quite thankful.

    NSW is such a farce, an outbreak of open warfare can only become an improvement. Strangely, if a good old fashoned coup takes place – the new leadership will probably be as populist as hell, and knowing NSW voters, they’ll fall for it in spades.

    “We saved the power industry”, “we purged the developers” etc etc.

    All stark raving nonsense, but since when has that ever stopped the NSW electorate from lapping it twaddle they want to here?

    (No offence to the Mexicans reading or course :mrgreen: )

  4. You were going OK ESJm for a couple of minutes until the wishful thinking bit started.

    Settle in for the long haul in Opposition, mate. It’s the best way to avoid disappointment. Your darling Libs won’t be back any time soon, not until they face up to reality and reform themselves and their party’s attitudes. They need to quit the stunts and start the policies. And an uncosted 5c a litre ain’t a policy, especially to fight Global Warming.

    The rest of your fantasy eminates from the bilious pens of Pies Akerman and Glenn Milne… with hangers on chorusing “Yay!”. They’re wet-dreaming, ESJ.

    Don’t fall for it… for your own sanity.

  5. Or alternatively for those of you not using a bablefish, optical edition, that second last line should have read:

    “All stark raving nonsense, but since when has that ever stopped the NSW electorate from lapping up twaddle they want to hear?”

    Many apologies. The dysfunction of NSW Labor is contagious just by talking about it.

  6. BB.

    I agree that it would not hurt Rudd to speak a bit more plainly, and get into some detail (although Rudd did note today that the climate change devil is in the detail, and did point out that there will be at least some economic pain which has to be addressed iin some way, so he is both aware of these things and acknowledging them). I also agree that his political capital is not infinite. But neither am I too concerned about any of this at this point in the proceedings. It is early days in both the political cycle and the development of climate change policy. The difficult climate change policy debate (including the government’s response) is only just starting to move into the details phase. Rudd has said all along that they would start seriously acting once Garnaut’s report was in, so give the government a little more time, the report only came out 3 days ago.

    I am no personal fan of Rudd. For example, I do not like his wowser element. He was just a far better choice than the alternative. But I think that overall he is handling the climate change issue reasonably at the moment, certainly WAY better than Howard (or the current opposition mob) ever did or would, and I am prepared to withhold serious judgement on Rudd and his government’s handling of this issue for another 12 months or so. I think there is a good chance that they are going to pleasantly surprise a lot of people.

    I also think that many people, especially professional pundits (see most of the MSM in Oz), are still stuck in a conventional view of the human political, economic and social landscape. But make no mistake, once the general population accepts the fact, seriousness, and urgency of climate change, and start to feel personally threatened by it, (and I think they are just about there), then the political landscape will also change profoundly and quickly, with a lot of ideology disappearing in a puff of insubstantial rhetorical smoke. Rudd has positioned himself and the government far better to take (legitimate) advantage of that shift than the opposition has.

    I’d be suitably chastened and repent my sin of Questioning The Rudd…

    Don’t be so melodramatic. Nobody is suggesting Rudd is above fair and substantive criticism, I just haven’t seen much of it yet. (Though I have no doubt shortcomings and failures will emerge over time, all leaders and governments have them.)

  7. I have been posted for a long while that future Australian politics will be approx:

    Centre/Right Labor = 50 odd %
    Firm Right Liberal = 30 odd %
    Left Greens = 20 odd %

    Labour are happy to shed the Left to pick up the moderate conservatives.

    In the age of Climate Change, a Rightward Labour and a Left Greens(including some Unions and Progressives) will be making most of the deals.

    Where does that leave the Tories?

  8. Oh BB,

    Of course and then the fuhrers miracle weapons will throw the bolshevik beast from the gates of the Reich and Berlin will be German again. U R dreaming sport.

  9. Ruawake at # 497…

    As far as I know the federal gov’t makes no money from coal as such, but they would be rakeing in a fair bit of company tax from the coal companys (more or less 30% of the adjusted annual profits, because 30% is the company tax rate, but subject to the net effect of didvidend imputation and marginal tax rates applied to the company’s resident shareholders).

    Of course they would also be collecting GST (except in respect of coal exports), but that would be passed onto the states and territories.

  10. Kevin Rudd papered over the union problem last year. Dean Mighell was actually a godsend for him.

    The problem which NSW exposes is that the interests of governing are in direct conflict with the ALP’s union base. Electricity is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of Labors public sector union base – there are approximately 20,000 union members in electricity in NSW out of a total of 600,000 union members in the State. The public sector is half of this total.

    Already weakened unions will go under if the public sector is “reformed” because potentially public sector reform like the other states already experienced in the 90’s will probably take out about a quarter of that 600,000. Many of the unions are on life-support as it is – take WorkChoices lite AND public sector reform and its over.

    Surprisingly many in the unions arent prepared to be driven to the funeral home and are resisting hence the conflict.

  11. ESJ the real fun begins with the proviso that the Queensland Liberals don’t implode during the constitutional conventions on July 26 and 27, when Federal Parliament next sits. The sight of Queensland Nationals being able to sit in the Liberal Party room and vote for the next Liberal Leader is something to be cherished.

  12. Kevin Rudd would LOVE to take on the Unions more. More moderate Libs will drift over to his side. Labour haven’t been seen as friends of the Unions since the days of Hawke. That’s about the timeframe that Possums drift away from the Libs started happening.
    Only old idealogues see Labour as loonie lefties. Increasingly among the bulk of the electorate Labour are the “sensible Centrist” Party while the “Right” and the “Left” have their own Parties.

    Climate Change is a death knell to the Libs unless they awake from the slumber. But even if they awake, which flank can they attack from?

    As Piping Shrike writes( i hope i use his thoughts correctly) Labour are all about capable management now. Manage things satisfactorily and turnover personel when necessary and they will reign.

  13. I figure Rudd is marching to a predetermined plan, (although I agree BB, something to sell at dinner party’s would help)

    1. Get elected

    2. Find out WTF is in the detail, regarding various issues during the first 12months… ( for a freebie, let the opp, msn, fart to the wind during that time)

    3. Decided on a way to go…

    4. Hit it in September …

  14. Follow the Preferences,

    The Diamond Valley Branch of the DLP, which covered only part of the old Diamond Valley electorate, had just on 100 members. The Victorian DLP had close to 20,000 people who, while not members, would hand out how to vote cards, do letterboxing and/or be on the donations list. How many members do the Victorian Greens actually have? How many workers do they actually have?


    The NSW ALP Conference vote against electricity privatisation was overwhelming. If all union delegates voted against it, then the branch delegates were three-to-one against it. The question it poses is how democratic is the Labor Party. Vince Gair got expelled for delaying the implementation of party policy. He didn’t even go directly against it.

    You are right about Labor Governments being prepared to take on the union movement; e.g., in the recent Victorian teachers’ dispute The unions are much less relevant today, basically because they have won, but workers pay a price for the weakness of unions; e.g., in the historically low percentage of national income that goes in wages and salaries.

    I am glad to see that you put “reform” in quotation marks. It is one of the most misused words in the language, “flexibility” and “data” being the other two members of the Unholy Trinity.

  15. Chris @516.
    look at the voting results of Greens and DLP results.
    It will be on the AEC website for each electorate and every booth.
    I think the last count for the greens was about a million votes nation wide.
    Not sure about the DLP….

  16. jen,

    The DLP polled 11 per cent of the national vote and 19 per cent of the Victorian vote in the 1970 Senate election. (I am not talking about the current DLP.)

  17. jen,

    Not really. I still have my flairs, my purple paisley body shirt, my high heel boots, my loud ties, etc, but the flairs have shrunk quite a bit over the last 33 years. However, I quite liked the 70s.

    FTP said “than the DLP…ever had”. I might add that there were 6,000 people at the DLP’s 1958 policy speech in Victoria in 1958. No, I wasn’t one of them, but I have the photo.

  18. ESJ, I’m dreaming/i>?

    This is how politically successful the Libs have been of late:

    * 48 Newspolls lost in a row. Ditto for the other polling organisations.

    * Out of power in all states and territories.

    * Government thrown out of office last November, including the Prime Minister losing his seat.

    * Current leader polling on 15%.

    * Current party polling on 45%.

    And you say I am dreaming that the Libs don’t need reform? That there mightn’t just possibly be a problem with them?

    Or is salvation just around the corner. “Darkest before the dawn” and all that?

    Because it’s pretty dark right now, sonny.

  19. BB,

    I analyse in absolute terms not relativism. By way of analogy your view seems to be akin to an alcoholic being dismissive of a drug addict.

  20. Oh dear…had a conversation (polite) with a Young Lib member the other day.

    I said part of their problem was that they didn’t know if they were Conservatives or liberals.

    His response was,”Well, that’s what we have to sort out before the next election.”

    I know one rose does not a summer make, but if the Libs don’t know what they are NOW, they’re in deeper trouble than I thought.

    (He also said conservatives believe that people should be able to have whatever they want if they can afford it. He presented this as a core belief. The whole conversation was very worrying).

  21. Zoom

    Re libs not knowing if they are conservatives or liberals.

    When a couple of libs jumped ship recently to Family First they said it was because the libs were not conservative enough and that Family First was the true conservative party.

    Interesting statement for them to make, seeing as how majority of Family First preferences went to labor. Are they out to alienate a large part of the FF support base or aiming for a takeover ala the old NDP?

  22. ESJ, don’t know what drugs you’re on yourself, but if you think the Libs are going to make a comeback any time soon – without reform and without policy – then take some more. You’ll need them to get you through the pain.

  23. To Chris Curtis,

    Thank you, now I understand why the ALP machine in Victoria gave preferences to the DLP at the last State election, holding out a Green member and putting a high performing DLP member in.

    There does seem to be a disconnect in the ALP in their dealings with the Greens and not surprisingly at the Gippsland byelection the Greens did a split ticket.

    Oh as to history, wasn’t the DLP the party that kept the ALP in opposition fro years?

  24. 533 dovif – “ONLY” 10 years. That’s a bloody long time in the wilderness, as the Libs may very well discover if they’re not careful.

  25. dovif, you quoted a blog by Janet… that in itself is a worry. How is there not being debate on this? The media has being bagging Rudd from pillar to post since taking office, beating up practically everything he does and any point he puts forward. Now, if that isn’t criticism and ‘debate’ from the opposing view of the government then I don’t know what is. It’s a lot more debate than we ever got when Howard was in power and ramming legislation through the senate with NO debate whatsoever.

  26. Just Because Janet has a different political view does not make what she say any less valid, you can probably make the same comment about Maxine before she became a pollie.

    and Chris Uhlmann works for the ABC and Janet is reporting his view

    For the record, do not put me in the skeptic category, I think CO2 need to be reduced but not for Global warming, but because lack of sun causes draughts

  27. RU

    Comment from that Keating article.

    “I think I need a cigarette after that. Can The Australian please give Paul Keating a regular spot?”

  28. [Interesting how George M finishes this piece…]

    Yeah, I don’t really see what the point is in going out and interviewing Liberal voters on their opinions of Rudd. He killed off their messiah, so what would you expect them to say?

    Worst major poll figure currently 55-45. I rest my case.

  29. 541
    dovif Says:
    Just Because Janet has a different political view does not make what she say any less valid,

    It does if Janet is allegedly basing her views on science, and is completely wrong. She is entitled to her own opinion, but not her own facts. You will notice that in today’s rant she offered not one jot of substantive evidence against the science supporting anthropogenic global warming. Indeed, the only ‘evidence’ she did offer was totally wrong, by any vaguely rational standard. All she had was superficial rhetorical analogies about belief in climate change being religious in nature. Truly pathetic stuff.

    you can probably make the same comment about Maxine before she became a pollie.</i

    Are you seriously claiming that Albrechtson’s wilfully ignorant, partisan rantings are the same high quality journalism that McKew practised during her time in the profession? Puhleese.

  30. Of course, that should read:

    you can probably make the same comment about Maxine before she became a pollie.

    Are you seriously claiming that Albrechtson’s wilfully ignorant, partisan rantings are the same high quality journalism that McKew practised during her time in the profession? Puhleese.

  31. Just me
    – don’t you just love it when people useteh old -“I, entitled to have a different opinion” line to defend the indefensible. Like “I believe the earth is flat” when it just bloody well isn’t.
    Climate change is unfortunately as real as you can get, and the naysayers are arrogant fools of the highest order.

  32. Janet’s is another bootstrapping routine.

    Uhlmann (and he should know because he was a seminarian, you see) is uniquely gifted to recognize a religion when he sees one. So therefore we should listen to this uniquely gifted man and take his words as Gospel. He is a voice in the wilderness, like Moses. He dares to speak the truth, like Jesus. He is telling us that the Old Testamant of Global Warming orthodoxy is OK to pooh-pooh. Why? Because he’s an ex-seminarian.

    It goes round and round in circles.

    How long until we hear them all quoting each other?

    Janet mentions 6 of the hottest 10 years since 1934 have occurred before 1998, with the other 4 after that. That would make it one hot year in about every 11 (6/64) before 1998, and one hot year in every 5 (4/20) since 1998. That’s only more than a doubling of the rate of hot years in the past two decades, compared to the previous three. Nothing at all to worry about. Janet’s got a right to her opinion, and her opinion is that this increase doesn’t mean anything. Anyway, Uhlmann says it’s all hocus-pocus anyway. And he’s an ex-seminarian.

    What I reckon we should do is…. do nothing. That way, when the last of the polar ice caps have melted and the sea levels have risen a metre or so, at least we won’t have been suckered into acting too soon by those other countries who are now hammering at oru door to let them in… or else.

    If we’re going to f*ck the planet by inaction, we make as well go the whole hog and party instead. Let’s build more coal fired stations, buy bigger cars, leave all the lights on. Global Warming’s a myth, right? We shouldn’t even contemplate that we could use the opportunity to do something about changing the technology we currently use to keep ourselves warm, or that moves our cars about. Let someone else do that. We dig holes here inaustralia. that’s our job in the world. That, and refusing to accept that there could possibly be any kind of benefits to an ETS.

    I mean, we’d be suckers if we didn’t have a good time before we hand the Planet back to the cockroaches, wouldn’t we?

  33. Bob,

    How’s heaven?

    The ALP recommended preferences to the DLP in the last state election in return for the new DLP’s recommending preferences to ALP candidates in the Northern Metropolitan, South-East Metropolitan and Western Metropolitan regions. The ALP and the Greens are not allies – they are competitors, and neither party is obligated to help the other. They, like all parties, do deals that they see advantage in. The ALP’s main aim is government. Its secondary aim is an Upper House that will co-operate with it. Given the unlikelihood of the ALP ever controlling an Upper House (nor should it), the ALP’s best practical option is to seek to create an Upper House in which it can choose its partners. Thus, a Victorian Legislative Council with 19 ALP, 2 DLP and 2 Greens is better than one with 19 ALP, 1 DLP and 3 Greens, but one with 19 ALP, 1 DLP and 3 Greens is better than one with 19 ALP, 0 DLP and 4 Greens. This is practical politics and should be surprising to no one.

    The left-wing controllers of the ALP in the 1950s kept the ALP out of office for a generation by their stupid decision to expel the party’s anti-communist members. The DLP unsurprisingly recommended preferences to the Liberals as a way of pressuring the ALP to reform itself, which it eventually did.

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