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. [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.]

    Because it’s all they’ve got

  2. 48 Stewart J – local councils mean nothing politically here in Victoria. I couldn’t careless if the conservatives ran everyone of them. I’ll be very surprised if the Libs end up in control in the ACT.

  3. Stewart J I find it hard to imagine Labor will lose government in the ACT. Although I’m sure the people aren’t thrilled to bits with the government the Opposition is at various times completely dysfunctional or completely invisible.

    Add to that the fact their leader is Zed Who? and I don’t think I’d bet anything on them winning this year.

  4. ABC Radio news said there were about 3,000 postal votes. So I guess there are only about 5,300 Liberal Party members in Qld. Of these about 2,600 want a merger, 2,700 could not be stuffed voting or are opposed. If the ABC report was accurate.

  5. As for Jasmine, the Rudd Government certainly spins a lot but… so far… a lot less than the Howard Government did. With Howard we got wall to wall adverting (read propoganda) and remarkably little of note after 11 years in Government as far as pure policy is to be concerned. The largest policy moves of the Howard Government, the GST and Work Choices were understandably spun til they could spin no longer.

    Then we have a look at migration policies… again mostly spin. You’d get them talking about doing something which would have little effect or that they’d end up doing nothing about.

    Then you get the laughable nonsense with the Opposition ridiculing the Government for setting up reviews and committees when:

    a) they did this as well (for instance Costello’s ACCC fuel inquiry, now they have a tax review, which you’d think they would’ve thought about while they were in Government rather than in Opposition);
    b) The Coalition constantly set up committees and inquiries in the Senate (into bills… and now they have 5 Select Committees); and
    c) it must be acknowledged that good policy usually involves a fair degree of research and consideration… this is why firms do market research rather than just making decisions brashly and regretting them… bad policy almost always comes from a lack of consultation (e.g. the $10 billion back-of-the-envelope water plan, the NT intervention etc.).

    The problem, I think, with the Rudd spin is that it’s so transparent and far too inflexible when it’s seen for what it is. Rather than adapting their spin to suit what’s being thrown at them they just keep repeating it as if we don’t all see the flaws in the logic.

  6. Dario, thanks for the reply, just wondering if you could be a bit more helpful for poor ol me. Is there anything at all resembling either logic or fact that might support such an obviously flawed assertion?

  7. re: ABC

    two Newspolls ago (ie. 4 weeks ago) which showed a slight improvement in Nelsons pref. PM but a static 2PP for Libs. Oilyman on abc 7pm TV news had the briefest of reports, no graphics, which mentioned the former but nothing on the second. Last Newspoll (ie. 2 weeks ago) which showed an improvement in preferred PM and 2pp for Rudd and Labor recieved NO MENTION AT ALL from Oilyman despite the previous f/night being all about petrol/Fuelwatch and how it spelled electoral doom for R and L. Given this Newspoll has shown an improvement in both PPM and 2pp for Nelson and Libs. heres predicting both will be mentioned complete with graphics.

  8. Gary Bruce Says @ July 1st, 2008 at 2:12 pm: Its just the start. The votes are still coming in I’ve been told.

  9. Oh and its “57 percent of eligible members took part in the ballot” on the merger. Many ineligible members = dead, so it will actually be a larger proportion.

  10. Yeah, and I’m not going to get into whether any of it is good public policy or not, but anyone that has been awake since Rudd won, knows the Government has been working very hard right across the very full and details policy position they took to the last election. You may not like action on climate change, you may not like the fizzypop tax, you may have missed or disliked the budget, you may not be a fan of fuelwatch. You might have missed public servants groaning under the pressure of work. But it would take a pretty narrow focus to say there is no substance at all. Hate the substance by all means, but no need to pretend it isn’t there.

  11. dovif @ 39 –

    it will be interesting how many jobs (union jobs) the carbon trading scheme will cost Australia.

    Yes, but what about the opportunities?

    The above is the type of thinking that prevailed under the former government. While Howard was valiantly holding back the sustainable energy tide for his coal mine owning cronies, the West Germans built a multi billion dollar solar industry using technology developed at the University of Melbourne, providing jobs for over 56,000 Germans.

    China’s richest man is also building his fortune on UM solar technology. He used to work there but couldn’t get any seed money from either the Australian government or business to commercialise what he and his colleagues had developed so turned to the Chinese. Interestingly, the amount the Chinese government coughed up was less than what Turnbull authorised for the infamous rain machine!

    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

    I hope you’re wrong because if we don’t bite the bullet now we’ll pay an even bigger price later. The cost of petrol will go up anyway. The only salvation is turning to alternatives and that won’t happen without encouragement, or the funding gained from taxing carbon.

    As for the cost of food, most of the recent increases are due to shortages caused by droughts and other weather disasters, and the diversion of grains to bio fuels. We’ve had what, 5, 6 years of drought in much of the Murray Darling system that produces the bulk of our food and things aren’t looking good for this year’s crops either. In WA annual rainfall has dropped some 60% in the last 30 years and the trend is accelerating. In VIC and NSW rainfall deficits aren’t quite as bad but the same trend is evident.

    Australia is the continent that will be most effected by global warming. Unchecked, we’ll be producing very little food within decades. If you think food is expensive now, and frankly, it’s dirt cheap which is why we waste so much of it, wait until we’re competing for it in a world were food is increasingly scarce!

    The Bush’s and Howard’s of the world have cost us a decade in solving the problems we humans have inflicted on the world. We probably can’t recover if another decade is lost. The expected melting of the North Pole ice within the next month or two, which was predicted wouldn’t happen for decades, provides stark evidence of how limited our time may be.

  12. Stuart J

    the ALP in Victoria hardly ever endorses in council any more therefore most ALP councillors are not identified.

    However the greens do endorse and therefore it will be interesting to see how their vote goes

    One thing everyone seems to be missing is when carbon trading comes in, what taxes will be abolished?

    Could the fuel excise go and be replaces with a carbon tax?

    We all know if Australia was to be re federated today the tax system and powers would look completely different

    Our current Federal tax system, raises $16 Bill from fule excise, $40 Bill GST, $65 Bill from company tax and acout $120 Bill from PAYG and yet has a surplus of $22 Bill

    Can anyone see a system of say abolition of fuel excise and replacement of a carbon tax ie abolish 38 cents per litre fuel excise and replace with an initial 30 cpl of carbon tax, no gst on carbon tax thus another saving and the government wearing some loo of revenue. On top of this tax cuts all round to make up the differance for the excise on other things.

    The Liberals seem to talk about carbon tax increases only, and forget that a new tax will be off set with other tax reductions / abolitions, just as they did with the GST

  13. Well, a very intriguing position the Queensland Liberals have got themselves into again. As usual after years of factional fighting and brawling the same old story. Fifty one percent of Queensland Liberals either voted against the merger or abstained. About forty nine percent voted for the merger. Their problem is that the Liberals must have a constitution for the State Division that sets out exactly what percentage is needed to allow constitutional changes . I have serious doubts that that percentage is less than two thirds of the membership if not even more.

  14. MayoFeral

    The Divine Miss O is back from the naughty corner at the Oz with a very good article on Dolly, who she kicks very hard.

    So, it’s goodbye and farewell to Alexander Downer. He’s off to solve the small crisis that is Cyprus, and there’s just enough time to assure us that he has no regrets, not a one.

    But come now, Alex, surely there’s room for a little modesty?

    For example: Iraq? It used to be ruled by Saddam Hussein, a man that Downer once described as a “grave and gathering’’ threat to the mighty West.

    No, really, lest we forget, Downer once told the Australian public that Saddam’s regime posed a threat to the “security and safety’’ of no, not just Australia, but to the world.

    As far as Saddam’s nuclear program went, it was a minute to midnight. Saddam could use them at any time.

    That wasn’t quite right, obviously.

    Why, it is even possible that Iraq was no threat to the West, ever. A brave soul once put this idea to Downer, who chortled, and said: “Well, they’re no threat anymore!’’

    No, indeed. But enough of the jokes. What about the weapons, though? Could it be there never were any?

    It took a while for Downer to admit this. A year after the war, he was still saying things like: `There’s been a lot of debate about the intelligence, and whether it was accurate or not ….’’

    Actually, there’s no debate. It wasn’t accurate, not that Downer would ever say so. No, he told ABC in 2005: “I think the broad intelligence picture was right.”

    Broadly right, except that it was … dead wrong.

    He has no regrets – neither should we

  15. Steve @ 52. That’s the problem with stats, they can be spun any way you want. By your reckoning, a mere 8% of their members oppose the merger.

  16. Ken, funny that at State Council meetings the two thirds majority rule applies and only members present can vote. Obviously here as everywhere else in the sane world abstaining is counted as effectively a no vote.

    State Council may make, by a majority of no less
    than two-thirds of members present at a meeting,
    Rules consistent with this Constitution including any
    Rule adopting a Code of Conduct dealing with the
    manner in which party members shall deal with each
    other. Rule 159 (a)

  17. Steve you don’t need to worry to much about the Queensland merger now we need to await the joint constitutional conventions on July 26 and 27 for your so called palmer franchise to become reality. The new look LNP will give the Bligh Labor Government a run for its money.

  18. PN – I await with glee. Indeed, but nobody has nominated the 25 seats they are going to win over and above what they hold now, have they?

  19. I would put significant money on Bligh winning the next state election. It will be with a reduced majority I believe but a loss this time round will be beyond the opposition no matter what form they take.
    Qld Labor is not in the same ball park as the NSW mess.

  20. PN and there is a very good reason why the 25 seats have never been nominated. The theory of a Palmer Franchise team win is Pie in the sky when you look at the seats required.

  21. I hear on the grapevine that Fiona Simpson is not a happy camper and that she will challenge for the deputy leadership of the Liberal National Party if the amalgamation goes through.

    The Queensland opposition – the gift that just keeps on giving. 😛

  22. ruawake, I’m expecting them to split into more factions than the IRA. We will have the Pineapple Party, the real Liberals, the Western Suburbs Liberals and another faction loosely called ‘the rest’. It will ensure many independents in the next parliament is the most likely result.

  23. If anyone’s still interested, I’ve added this to my Kororoit by-election thread:

    I am reliably informed that the Victorian Electoral Commission has conducted an unpublished Labor-versus-Liberal preference count which puts Labor at 71.5 per cent. So the real swing against Labor was only 4.1 per cent (The Age has been saying 16.5 per cent by making a false comparison), a good result for a third term government with a big majority. There was troubling news for the Brumby government on Saturday, but it came from Gippsland, not Kororoit.

  24. There hasn’t been a byelection in the other electorates as yet and the Newspoll for Victoria has been very impressive. Labor had trouble with Gippsland last election, I’d expect it will next time too.

  25. Not if she wants to be sacked first. What makes you ask that question Edward? I can’t see the circumstances where that could happen.

  26. ESJ

    The DPP will find insufficient evidence to lay any charges and you can go back the reading the Terror and watching ACA. 🙂

  27. “the Qld Branch of the Liberals may be insolvent!”

    How can that be they always said they were good economic managers. It is their main claim to fame.

  28. Diogenes @ 66 –

    Yeah, Saddam presented such a grave threat that when Downer was told AWB might be paying Saddam several hundred million dollars in bribes, money that could be used for WMDs, Downer couldn’t even be bothered asking a minion to check it out. Or so he says.

    But whether Saddam had or didn’t have WMDs is immaterial. There is a strong prima facie case against Downer (and others in the Howard ministry) for Waging Aggressive War/Crimes Against Peace. A hanging offence. Depending on how much of the material canvassed in the Downing St Memo was known to him, he might also have a case to answer on Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War, also a hanging offence. Most military legal eagles believe the torture and illegal detention of David Hicks constitutes a War Crime, and that Downer may have a case to answer. Again, a potential hanging offence.

    However, having seen the aftermath first hand, I believe the strongest condemnation should be reserved for his actions/inactions in the months leading up to the independence vote in East Timor. I’ve already detailed them in a previous post so won’t waste bandwith on it again.

  29. Selling National driven policies (for the newly formed party) to urban Qld Liberals will be a big ask.
    Many Lib party members may think amalgamation is the only way forward but whither the votes of the small L brigade out there who hate the Nats?
    Effectively leaving your lifelong constituents with no party to vote for is incredible.
    There will, of course, be a rash of (Lib) Independents at the next election trying to take advantage of the vacuum, and with opt pref there will likely be a high exhaustion rate.
    Who knows – a future Qld parliament with a number of Ind (Liberal) members may form their own party!!! LOL
    Mighty worrying times ahead for the non-Labor side in Qld.

  30. Hmmm, also don’t understand the brouhaha about this Newspoll, and very much appreciate the update from William on Kororoit. Rudd, in my view, has been preparing the groundwork, is a very determined pollie, let’s call him the Northern ear wax Wombat, if you like. In my view, he’s going to take climate change adjustment on with the same determination we have seen since he became leader of the then opposition. If the global economy doesn’t tank (see AM Report from BIS), he’s got a truly tremendous amount of money to use, and he’s also got the power recognised by the Fed. Court as to how widely the C’wealth can act under the Corporations Law.
    While Nelson et al. mess around with populist shots aimed at whoever will listen to them, for short term gain, the gov’t has been very carefully laying out the future game plan. You just had to listen to Penny Wong on local ABC this am to be taken by how coordinated an approach is being taken.
    BTW, loved the loving send offs from the gov’t for Dolly’s new, as yet unconfirmed gig with the U.N and Cyprus. Don’t know how they kept from cracking up, and good luck with that Cyprus.

  31. ABC News tonight reported that Ms Neal has decided to enforce her legal right as an MP and decline to be interviewed by police about the matter of the stat decs. I didn’t know she had such a legal right.

    If true then she has confirmed a lack of genuine transperency and has wounded her claims of being victimised. Not a good look.

    Ditto for her husband who is doing the same.

  32. True sceptic – terrible look one would think in a functioning democracy that would be it for the pair of them.

    An introductory primer below:

    Belinda has lived in Woy Woy Bay with husband John for over 20 years. Together they have raised their two sons on the Central Coast.

    Belinda has experience as a Gosford City Councillor and as a Senator. Her priorities have always been local jobs, roads, services and infrastructure. She has a practical working knowledge of government to offer the electorate of Robertson.

    Belinda established and ran a small business in Erina. Belinda knows that viable local businesses and a strong economy mean more local jobs.

    She was a Foundation Board member of Central Coast Mariners, and is deeply committed to the Umina United Soccer Club. Belinda has been involved in many local groups including the Community Tenancy Scheme, the Central Coast Women’s Health Centre and Child Abuse Prevention Services.

    Belinda was elected as the Member for Robertson at the 2007 election.

  33. Eddie and Sceptic, agree it’s pretty stupid, particularly because I think Rudd will hang them out to dry. I’m quite partial to The Piping Shrike’s views on this affair and recommend you read them. Just wonderfully Macchiavellian, and ring true. There’s nothing like the convoluted machinations of political party’s for good old-fashioned entertainment.

  34. Neal has been savaged in the media and it has been a frenzy. She’s been ripped to pieces without a fair defence and it has been over the top.

    But she refuses to talk to police. Why? I’d be fighting them like crazy if it were me.

    It doesn’t look good for her if she won’t defend herself.

  35. Who cares?

    Meanwhile in Iraq bombings continue, in Zimbabwe people are getting tortured and in the Gaza Strip people are digging tunnels to get essential needs.
    But here in Australia we have Belinda terrorising us, better watch out folks she could around the corner waiting.

  36. They’ve both given written statements and I read where 5 of those who provided stat decs refuse to be interviewed.

  37. [They’ve both given written statements and I read where 5 of those who provided stat decs refuse to be interviewed.]

    It ssems Iemma has forced Della Bosca to subit to an interview.

    [New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has ordered suspended Education Minister John Della Bosca to be interviewed by police over the Iguanas nightclub incident, even though the MP had earlier refused.

    Police have revealed that Mr Della Bosca and his wife, Federal MP Belinda Neal, had refused to be interviewed over the nightclub dispute.

    Mr Della Bosca has defended his decision, saying he had given a written account to police.

    But Mr Iemma says it is essential that Mr Della Bosca be interviewed to satisfy the commitment he gave that he would cooperate fully with investigators.

    He says Mr Della Bosca has now agreed to be questioned by police.]

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