Newspoll: 56-44

This fortnight’s Newspoll shows Labor’s two-party lead unchanged on 56-44. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is down three points to 62 per cent, while Brendan Nelson’s is up two to 16 per cent.

The weekly Essential Research survey has Labor retaining its 59-41 lead. Peter Costello is rated best person to lead the Liberals by 26 per cent against 13 per cent for Malcolm Turnbull, 8 per cent for Julie Bishop and 7 per cent for Brendan Nelson. However, Kevin Rudd is preferred to Peter Costello head-to-head 53 per cent to 27 per cent.

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.

916 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

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  1. I think Brendan should cut his losses and resign. I’ve had enough of the leadership speculation and the Liberal Party is severely haemorrhaging the longer it persists.

  2. It will be very interesting to see what happens in the Senate if the budget bills are sent up again and these numbers keep up for much longer. The maths are clear: at least 20% of coaition voters must be preferring Rudd to Nelson! ROTFL

  3. Revberse argument is 56/44 is only 1% diference to Newspolls poll 2 weeks out from last 2007 Electon , and so let honeymooon run and install a new Leader 18 months out from next electon , so any party has tactics available Queston is who to lead…ca not see anyone

  4. GP depends if you really want to lose the next election by a big margin. Being obstructionist is not what the voters want in their favorite rabble according to Newspoll. If the rabble were in front in the polling I might agree with you.

  5. Generic Person

    Am struggling to see whether th ‘oz’ newspaper moved into Comedy Company teritory

    Firstly dear Brendan’s name was mispelt in th Headline & Brendan’s improvement is 2% from 14 to 16% PPM , with Rudd down from 65% to 62%

    HEADLINE of Newspoll

    “Brandan Nelson improves slightly as preferred PM”

    Samantha Maiden, Online political editor | September 08, 2008

    Surely Generic Person you see above reporting as fools & comedy gold

  6. Sorry Steve, but the Rudd government has no mandate to increase taxes. The “percentage of GDP” argument that Rudd is trying to run is quite untenable and surreptitious to say the least.

  7. What will these polls be like after another interest cut or 2? And after the taxation overhaul resulting in a pension increase in the next budget?

    Hi Ron
    Speaking of polls Oils ain’t looking so flash lately

  8. ‘oz’ newspaper hav corrected th misspelling in last minute !

    This is what ‘oz’ online paper DID hav a minute ago with Brendan’s name misspelt !!

    “Brandan Nelson improves slightly as preferred PM”

    Samantha Maiden, Online political editor | September 08, 2008

  9. No 8

    It’s not that funny. It’s just sad. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Brendan at a few Liberal functions and he is one of the nicest people I’ve met. He is also a good orator compared to hapless Rudd. The problem is that Costello is being cynical and refusing to make a final statement of his intentions, which is simply killing Nelson’s leadership potential. The best thing for the party right now is for him to fall on his sword and force a leadership spill. At least we will finally gauge Costello’s intentions.

  10. 12 “Costello is being cynical and refusing to make a final statement of his intentions”

    That’s a bit harsh GP, Costello has made it abundantly he clear that he is writing a book and intends to sell it.

  11. GP @ 12,
    Costello’s actions moved into spoiler territory quite a few weeks ago. Not sure why Nelson hasn’t forced the spill yet.
    He might as well as wait now for the ridiculous book launch (next Monday, I think). If Costello doesn’t show his hand then, then Nelson really ought to force a spill.

  12. Oh dear, another Newspoll that doesn’t fit the media narrative of a supposedly deeply unpopular Labor Government! Who would have thought that the likes of Shanahan and Milne could get it so wrong?

  13. No 14

    I think Nelson should force a spill now mainly to demonstrate that the party will not be held ransom to an arbitrary book launch!

  14. No 15

    If Labor was so wonderfully popular, they’d have fielded candidates in Mayo and Lyne. Clearly they don’t want their egos bruised.

  15. Well the Libs were crazy – politically – not to let Labor have its first budget just as they wanted it, in all its half-baked glory.
    Now we’ll have two years of the Maroon twins Rudd and Swan telling us that the lack of an alcopops tax (oh, and cheap BMWs) is the reason for all Australia’s woes. The Liberal Party should have taken the moral high ground, let the new Govt have its way and let the voters work out that all this stuff is just window-dressing.
    This is the problem with having such a parlously weak leader as Nelson.

  16. Rod Cameron made an intersting comment on Lateline tonight. Brendan Nelson’s job is secure for a while, regardless of the polls.

    Costello is probably leaving parliament. Why would he stay, it looks most unlikely Rudd will be thrown out after one term. If interest rates fall even further Rudd’s grip on the mortgage belt seats tighten, assuming unemployment doesn’t spike.

    Malcolm Turnbull will wait until next year before he challenges. Why would he go sooner? Let Nelson absorb the punishment until Turnbull’s ascendancy is greeted with relief and enthusiasm.

    I’d say Nelson is safe until just before the budget. Then Turnbull will make a grand entrance.

  17. Hi Vera ,

    how ar you , will make comment on other matter in a little while , but my take on cossie & Turnbull is alittle diferent from others

    First should say here Cossie on my info is NOT going for jugler on Howard …which is consistent with Mr Smirk’s whimpy history , AND that he has ‘stayed in th ring’ to discourage toffyiness Tunbull from challenging

    But Mr Smirk’s game is drawing to an end , and toffyiness has been trying to out last Cossie credibiliy remaining in Parliament (and probably will succeed Then cossie is free to attack

    Brenda will not lead Libs next time , and politcal strategy says for Labor that quicker a replacement is made th earlier Kevin07 can undermine his/her credibility during Kev’s honeymoon period

  18. Generic Person: why waste money on two byelections you have zero chance of winning?
    Hey, you should be celebrating Brenda leaping to a massive 16% approval rating LOL

  19. Generic Person, is there anything at all that can get a laugh out of you? Any favourite jokes? A genre? Political idiots I have known? Anything? For goodness sake, stop taking it so seriously, or you’ll go nuts!

  20. Sceptic,
    I think you’re right. I actually think Nelson is trying to do the right thing by the Party, hanging on and taking the heat.
    That’s ok in theory but in practice the only way he can keep the job is to pick fights about nothing. If Labor’s great economic plan is to tax 15 year-olds on their drinks and the North Shore on their chariots, fine, let ’em do it! Who cares?

  21. GP #18

    It is not new for a government not to contest by-elections in safe opposition seats.

    The Libs didn’t contest the previous 3 by-elections held in safe ALP seats: Isaacs in 2000, Cunningham in 2002 and Werriwa in 2005.

  22. ahhh Progressive, Shanahan’s been writing sort of positively {for him} glowing articles about Rudd the last week or so, perhaps he’s seen the light–or else he’s been awarded a moonlight writer to do his writeups for him.

  23. No 26

    I wasn’t losing too much sleep myself until Rudd decided to play cheap class wars in Question Time.

    He’s a communist.

  24. No 18
    labor knew they couldn’t win a blue ribbon Fib seat and Oakshott was a shoe in to win Lyne. So why on earth would our fiscal conservative PM throw good money away on unwinable by-elections?

  25. Dyno

    you ar rather naughty when it gets to this time of mite For moment will simpy register ‘engagement’ on your claim for later discusion , but in meantime hope you hav expalnations on Liberal Policys that ar pro CC , pro Kyoto , pro medicare , anti 3 billion tax cuts , anti Private health rebate encouragements , pro capital works in All Schools , pro fast speed broadband , anti Iraq…all presumably Libela polcys in 2007 wanted to allow you advance info

  26. I’d forgotten the “Rudd is Liberal Lite” blather. In that case there would be no reason to be obstructionist in the senate now would there?

  27. No 33

    Sorry Ron, I’m having a lot of trouble understanding your pathetic grammar and spelling. Looks like Labor delivered an education devolution.

  28. Dyno, have you had a look at “The Piping Shrike” s blog? I’m a sceptic, lefty type person, but find the Shrike’s analysis one of the most astute around.

  29. Judy, Shana, Milne and Lewis (to name a few) want Costello. if they can make Nelson look bad they will. It’s all in a good cause.

  30. That idea about a mandate is an interesting one. So a government can’t do anything unless it has a mandate? Does anyone recall Howard having a mandate to send troops to Iraq?

  31. Generic Person:
    The Liberals stand for Oil Companies, Porsche drivers, the private health industry, and teenage binge drinkers.

  32. 37 The Liberal Party stands for lower taxes on principle.

    Yes GP, we noted that the Liberals became ” The highest taxing government in the history of Australia.” Well done!

  33. Generic Person

    tabular form , same words & spelling for your Liberal understandings

    Liberal Policys that ar
    pro CC
    pro Kyoto
    pro medicare
    anti workchoices
    anti 3 billion tax cuts for Rich people
    anti Private health rebate encouragements
    pro capital works in All Schools like solar panels & computers

    pro fast speed broadband
    anti Iraq

    These Liberal policys were taken to last electon , think not

  34. The Liberals want to maintain a tax slug(in the form of the Medicare levy) and rob many of up to $1200 per annum – yeah, obviously maintaining their belief in low taxation!

  35. Did the Libs introduce the luxury car tax in the first place? If so, did they take that to an election first so that they had a mandate to do it?

  36. But Gary, my good mate, how can we discriminate against those poor suffering Porsche drivers? Nelson is on a winner with this one, surely, if we follow Generic Person’s logic(sniggers to himself)

  37. There is a Canadian election on, maybe more joy there.

    56/44 seems to be Labor’s natural base now. Can’t imagine it will move permanently unless something is shaken up, like a new LNP leader. I guess the months of negative media campaigning cost Labor 1%. Would have cost more but no viable alternative to turn to at the time. Thus the OO and others blew their bolt in the dark and are now looking for some viagra in Costello.

  38. No 42

    An oft-repeated, but oft-disposed argument. The Liberals delivered 6 rounds of income tax cuts such that most people by the end of their term paid no more than 30c in the dollar. Also, tax revenue increased mainly due to the 2 million jobs created under the Howard Government.

    Communists need to come up with a new argument.

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