Newspoll: 55-45

The Australian reports the latest Newspoll survey, the first in three weeks, shows Labor’s two-party lead steady on 55-45. Kevin Rudd’s satisfaction rating is up six points to 56 per cent while his dissatisfaction is down five to 32 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull has also performed well on his delayed first set of Newspoll leadership ratings (for some reason the question wasn’t asked last time), with 50 per cent satisfied and 25 per cent dissatisfied.

The weekly Essential Research survey has Labor’s lead down from 58-42 to 57-43. Also featured are numerous questions on attitudes to the financial crisis.

UPDATE: Further detail on Newspoll from Dennis Shanahan: primary votes are 41 per cent for Labor, 38 per cent for the Coalition and a record 13 per cent for the Greens. Kevin Rudd’s preferred leader rating is steady at 54 per cent, while Malcolm Turnbull’s is up two points to 26 per cent. Turnbull in fact has a 1 per cent higher net approval rating (satisfaction minus dissatisfaction) than Rudd, whereas Rudd’s previous worst result relative to his opponent since becoming Labor leader was a lead of 28 per cent.

UPDATE 2 (14/10/08): The West Australian today carries polling on federal voting intention from the same 400-sample survey that produced yesterday’s state poll. Andrew Probyn reports:

The latest Westpoll survey showed the Federal coalition leading Labor in WA 51 per cent to 49 per cent on a two-party preferred status. Though it is the first time the coalition has led the ALP in a Westpoll since last year, it is still well below the 53-47 two-party preferred vote in the Federal election on November 24. However, it showed a significant turnaround from the two polls since the election. In June, when Brendan Nelson was Opposition leader, Westpoll showed the ALP leading 53-47 on the two-party preferred vote, down from a peak differential of 62-38 in April … The Westpoll survey of 400 Western Australians by telephone on the evenings of October 6-8, found that the coalition led on primary vote 46 per cent to the ALP’s 41 per cent (in June it was 42-42). After undecided votes were allocated according to previous elections, the coalition had 47 per cent to the ALP’s 42 per cent. On the measurement of preferred prime minister, Mr Turnbull had eroded Kevin Rudd’s lead. Mr Rudd, who had a preferred PM status of a massive 69 per cent in April against Dr Nelson’s paltry 14 per cent, was down to 54 per cent. Though Mr Rudd’s lead was still commanding over Mr Turnbull on 35 per cent, the gap had narrowed significantly even since June when he led Dr Nelson 59-21 … Asked who was better able to manage the economy, 44 per cent of respondents said Mr Rudd, while 40 per cent said Mr Turnbull. Among men, the leaders were evenly split 43-43. Among women, Mr Rudd was clear favourite, 46 per cent to 37 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.

760 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. [Zero interest rate a possibility]

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say nope.

    BUt the fact that it is even being mentioned, pretty much destroys Turnbull’s “economic concerns” (of course! He’s a concern troll!)

    [Malcolm Turnbull worried about inflation
    “We trust that the Government has taken into account advice from Treasury and considered the impact that this stimulus may have on the Reserve Bank’s ability to continue reducing interest rates.”]
    Yes, I note your concern Malcolm…,25197,24495260-601,00.html

    If Turnbull were a blogger, he would be one here writing:
    “I’ve been an ALP supporter all my life, and I have to say it is good that Kevin Rudd is FINALLY doing something other than holding review after review, and I think the $10b is need, but you have to wonder what this will do to interest rates.

    Surely he should be thinking about struggling workers paying mortgages. Great that he is FINALLY helping pensioners and carers, but why did it take so long for him to do something???? I have to wonder at times whether he is really a true ALP PM… If only Lindsay Tanner were Treasurer. Wayne Swan is so nervous, I don’t think he’s up to the job.”

  2. Hopefully the NSW by-election results will be balanced out by the ACT election. If there’s anything worse that NSW State Labor, it’s the NSW State Liberal and National parties.

  3. Grog,

    I was referring to News Ltd and ABC bloge in particular. PB and Possum’s are of course an exception barring a few suspects who shall remain nameless.

    They know who I am talking about though.

  4. TP 692
    I think thats pretty optimistic (0% interest rates). Of course, this relates to official interest rates – what the government loans money to banks at. We will never get 0% interest from a bank ourselves.

    Either way, this all underlines how silly (and inappropriately alarming) the coments of Turnbull and others about the dangers of high interest rates and inflation were earlier in the week. Those worries are completely off the agenda now. Provoking fear only increase the risk that the stimulus package will not do enough to increase confidence. Be alert but not alarmed. The coalition should know the words to use, if they cared about the national interest.

  5. Some kind of fusion of Tanner and Albanese would be the perfect Treasurer. Tanner knows how to break down economic information and is extremely well-spoken and confident. Albanese comes up with classic lines like “The Merchant of Venice”.

  6. Btw if people weren’t aware, Switzerland’s two biggest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, are the latest to require emergency funding from the Government.

    Central banks are pumping liquidity into Hungary and Ukraine. Shows how completely off the people calling “the bottom” were. It hasn’t bottomed out, it’s spreading.

  7. I think it is very possible that interest rates could fall to zero. Their is so much debt, America 18 months ago had house prices seven times the rate of incomes now it is three times thus it takes three average yearly incomes to buy a house. Australia has seven times at present and this will collapse and once it does it will have a mulitplier effect… Think of all that investment housing negatively geared at exorbirant prices, hence those people if they have large investments to pay will be in trouble because rents will also fall, due to competition and prices…. Sorry the Mr Richardson from Access Economics still does not get it.. Does he understand the amount of private debt we have… fewer jobs, less money and possibly people foreclosing on debt hence the banks may some debts to handle hence as the asset prices falll they get less funds from the assets they own.. And the householder well they will be living on street.
    The slowdown is dangerous and will worsen… Nonetheless it will not be depression because our economies, people and politicians are little bit more intelligent and have far more advanced social welfare policies. However their will be a alot of pain.
    And Vera sit down and have a bex because you really are silly.

  8. Where are governments of the world getting their money.
    Nonetheless government borrowing is far more cheaper than private borrowing and i want to see much much more of it.

  9. [On next Insiders
    “Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull on the Government’s response to the financial crisis. Also, results of the ACT election and NSW by-elections.?]

    Is this the program?

    Turnbull? FFS.

    No need to set the alram.

  10. Yes UBS and Credit Suisse announced some of the largest losses earlier in the year. around $8B US for UBS I think. I thought it might have been getting close to bottom in the financial markets, but clearly I was wrong. I suppose one of the difficulties in forecasting this crisis is that there is a lack of data – the CDS/CDO market was set up to avoid normal reporting so we just don’t kow how much bad assets the banks are holding! They aren’t telling either. When you think about it, a drying up of credit flows between banks basically means that banks don’t trust banks!

    That being said, I still think the apocalyptic language people are using is unrealistic and harmful. First there is no inherent reason why the rest of the world (outside the US) has to go into recession. Second, there is a lot of “herd instinct” in economics, so pessemistic predictions can be a self-fulfilling prophesy and vice versa. From irrational exuberance to irrational reticence!

  11. Grog @ 707,
    Yeah, I knew that. I just wanted to clarify the reasonable, knowledgeable and well informed posters at PB including your good self. lol

  12. OZ 703
    Centrebet seem to think Ryde will be only loss and we were told last weekend of 20% swing there so no surprises.

    Cabramatta By-Election –
    LABOR 1.05
    LIBERAL 9.00

    Lakemba By-Election
    LABOR 1.02
    LIBERAL 12.00

    Port Macquarie By-Election
    NATIONAL 1.50
    BESSELING, Peter (IND) 2.47
    INTEMANN, Lisa (IND) 7.50

    Ryde By-Election
    LABOR 2.28
    LIBERAL 1.60

    Australian Capital Territory Election
    LABOR 1.19
    LIBERAL 4.35

  13. Economist on Lateline Business – Inflation is not an issue.

    marky marky – There’s a point I’ve been trying to make for quite some time in this thread but it still doesn’t seem to have sunk in. Regardless of the relative costs of house prices in the US and Australia, comparisons are silly. The US had ridiculously low interest rates meaning credit was easy to get, the banks lended money to people who couldn’t afford it, increasing the chance of defaults, and there was a huge oversupply of housing.

    On the other hand, in Australia we have moderately interest rates, well regulated banks with decent standards (ie no subprime) and an undersupply of houses. These things are going to put a pretty hard floor on our house prices.

  14. This might have something to do with the pessimism evident in the markets over the past couple of days. Maybe the punters are better informed than we give credit to.

    NEW YORK: Even as the U.S. government and its counterparts around the world readied an ambitious financial bailout, more signs emerged on Wednesday that the economic downturn had taken a darker turn in the United States.

    Retail sales fell sharply in September as consumers shunned department stores, auto showrooms and shopping malls, ratcheting back spending for a third month. Economic activity slowed, according to a report from the Federal Reserve. And the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, warned in a speech that a recovery “will not happen right away.”

    Each bleak economic report compounded on the last, and by the end of the day the Dow Jones industrial average had fallen 733 points. Many investors fear that corporations — and by extension their workers and shareholders — will face harder times.]

  15. [Did you read that bloggers Vera a Labor Voter]

    Without getitng into the middle of a blogwar, I always thought she was – she’s been ripping into Turnbull tonight

  16. Oz the undersupply of houses has not increased prices and besides their was never an undersupply- a line from conservatives- house prices increased due to demand pressures such as the stupid grants measures and negative gearing. And yes the banks are well regulated but they were still making people borrow, thus i would as house owner ( don’t mean spruik) get phone calls possibly one every fortnight to borrow on my equity and it was banks who would ring me and why because of the bonuses paid to banking staff to get more loans… And then their are those credit cards which people can get.. and have used to buy plasma tvs and cars and furniture and renovations to homes…

  17. {our economies, people and politicians are little bit more intelligent and have far more advanced social welfare policies.]

    MM, the people of Australia made a “wise” decision on November 24 last year.

  18. Grow up Vera.

    Correct Scorpio, but they cannot make up all those borrowings at one time. And at present all governments everywhere are trying to get funds and what they are finding that like Mother Hubbard the cupboard is bare…

  19. [Oz the undersupply of houses has not increased prices and besides their was never an undersupply]

    Marky, you are quite wrong on this. The increase in immigration levels in the past 7 years or so by Howard has meant that there has been an increase of 100,000 extra dwellings per year just to meet this need without the extra demand by an increasing birth rate over the past few years (natural population increase).

    In addition to this the tax breaks and Capital Gains breaks which have encouraged so many people to move into the investment property market, but generally into existing homes has meant that new property investment has lagged far behind what is necessary to satisfy market requirements.

  20. marky marky in your post you accept the law of supply and demand so why say this:

    “the undersupply of houses has not increased prices”?

    Lack of supply obviously increases prices. You would be the only person arguing to opposite.

    “their was never an undersupply”

    Where do you live…?

  21. bullies don’t like being confronted do they Marky. if you are going to start making snide comments to me and then gutlessly about me and then start giving me orders don’t expect me to sit quietly and cop it.

  22. Scorpio is right – we are not building houses fst enough to match population growth. Australia’s population growth rate is one of the highest in the OECD. Here in Adelaide about 8000 homes were built last year. We neede about 7000/year just to replace old housing stock. Add in 1.0% population growth and we need about 4000 houses a year just to match demand. Hence prices stay high.

  23. Hmmm an interest only loan at 0% the stuff of dreams.

    If rates get near that low people wont be keeping their cash rotting away in banks and will want to start investing. I guess that is the idea.

  24. I agree with the law of economics thesis. But in this case supply has not in my view increased prices. For rental properties yes.. So i suppose in the rental market for investment properties their has been an undersupply. But for new homes no.
    Here in Melbourne homes are being built everywhere in our outer sububs but people cannot afford to live in this areas because they are to far away. Hence they live in the inner suburbs where yes their is a undersupply where prices have increased but they have also increased because of infrastructure and services which in our outer sububs is not existent. i suppose i got my argument wrong or mssplaced by suggesting only demand took of- admittedly stupid me should have said that demand took off and it created a lack of supply… Which you are all correct… But in Melbourne the government was building significant amounts of new housing to meet the expectations…

  25. Yep can;t make money on my shares or in a bank.. What then horses or pokies — ah gold gold gold and of course government bonds…

  26. I thought we already had 0% interest rates. That’s pretty much what I get on my bank account. Then they take fees which means my return is negative. It’s not the stuff of dreams.

  27. [I thought we already had 0% interest rates. That’s pretty much what I get on my bank account. Then they take fees which means my return is negative. It’s not the stuff of dreams.]

    Change banks!

  28. Rudd’s not the only leader concerned about outrageous renumeration packages for company executives and golden parachute arrangements even when companies fail.

    [PARIS: When economic turbulence shakes companies off course and investors demand bosses’ heads, executives worldwide have long known what to do: yank the ripcord on their ‘golden parachutes’ and sail to safety.

    But in the global economic meltdown, governments are launching an assault on these multimillion dollar severance packages — and already some executives are finding that the chutes no longer open.

    Under heavy pressure from government officials, the head of French-Belgian bank Dexia SA, Axel Miller, was forced to renounce a reported €3 million ($4 million) payout when he was ousted last month.

    The bank had made bad bets on U.S. investments, and only survived thanks to a €6.4 billion ($8.72 billion) bailout from the governments of France and Belgium.

    In handing over taxpayers’ money, French officials insisted that Miller renounce his golden parachute. That episode snowballed into a movement in several countries against big payouts for fatcat bosses who have led their companies to the edge of ruin.]

  29. 732
    Marky, this theory would be OK if those outer suburban houses weren’t being lived in. They obviously are.
    The undersupply problem isn’t only in inner city Melbourne but across the State.
    The difficulties in the rental market are directly related to the undersupply of housing; many renters are potential buyers, who at present can’t afford a house.
    Victoria is growing at a rate unmatched by any time since the gold rushes. This obviously puts strains on both housing and infrastructure.
    So your post is incorrect; there is an undersupply of houses in Victoria.

    One aspect of the housing shortage which isn’t discussed much is the dramatic increase in single member households – pensioners, divorcees, etc. So where once a 3 bedroom home might house five people, the equivalent house today might only have one. This creates another strain on housing supply.

  30. Although this is not new news…

    [AUSTRALIAN interest rates are tipped to fall to the lowest level since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks as the central bank worries about a recession.

    One Sydney academic is even forecasting an unprecedented zero per cent interest rate by 2010 on the premise that debt-laden consumers will close their wallets and threaten to push the economy into a deep economic contraction.

    Macquarie Group interest rate strategist Rory Robertson said the Reserve Bank of Australia would cut the cash rate, now at 6 per cent, to 4.25 per cent over the next year.

    This would be equal to where the cash rate was in December 2001, in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. ],25479,24509141-5016110,00.html

    it got me wondering about the phrasing, in particular, “…debt-laden consumers will close their wallets”.

    If interest rates go down, these consumers won’t be as debt-laden as they might have been. Expand “consumers” to “mortgagees” and, just considering their mortgages, they’ll actually be in a great position to make some more progress on their mortgages with lower interest rates, wouldn’t they? Comparing their positions between February’s rate rise and their position after large interest rate decreases, say by next year, and it’s a lot better next year.

    So why would they suddenly stop spending? Isn’t the idea that low interest rates lead to a splurge in spending? Or will they be cutting back their spending because they’ve learnt their lesson as a result of this year’s RBA rises and the anti-inflation rhetoric of Rudd and Swan earlier in the year?

    I guess what I am asking is: have long term patterns of credit bingeing stopped and are we getting more sensible? Have the government’s and the RBA’s policies advocating conservative spending habits actually worked? Did people get such a big fright from the interest rate rises that they have finally got the message?

    And is this not a good thing?

    In the light of Turnbull’s claim that the government and the RBA got it wrong by talking up inflation, articles like this suggest precisely the opposite: that the government got it exactly right, and just in time too (they couldn’t have acted any sooner than November 2007 in any case). The problem was that we spending money we didn’t have, which was both inflationary and plain stupid (and was also based on false optimism, as we can certainly see now). The solution was for the RBA to raise interest rates and for the government to hammer over-spending at every opportunity. The meltdown has accellerated the process, for sure, but I can see that this lesson needed to be learnt, and learnt hard, and I believe it has been. The new atmosphere of fiscal rectitude is exactly what we need now to survive, and we had it dished out to us totally appropriately. Turnbull is wrong.

  31. BB
    Guys like Macquarie execs are precisely some of those most in the firing line from the market fall and seeing the world from their own (risky) point of view. This analysis is far too pessemistic. If interest rates fell to zero % (not going to happen) then the “debt laden” consumers won’t have any repayments, so why wouldn’t they spend??!! No doubt our next quarterly account figures will show a drop in spending, but this isn’t the 1930s.

  32. BB

    Sorry I missed a critical paragraph of your post when I responded. Suffice to say we agree.
    I stik to my first point – Macquarie execs are some of the biggest losers from this, so they are runnign around panic stricken. But those of us with normal (productive) jobs are quite safe.

  33. Not sure whether to say “thanks” for that dose of verbal castor oil from Shanahan, SpamB, or damn your eyes.

    What outrageous twaddle. The poor bugger is so blinded by his hatred and confused by those little pieces of paper he has on his desk he’s become incoherent.

    Lete’s see here’s one piece of paper with:

    [“Labor risks damaging its image of fiscal conservativism”]

    scribbled on it. Although Dennis agrees with the plan, on the whole, it’s always a goodie to pull out of the shoebox when a bit of Labor-bashing is called for. Anyway, it’s all about nuance, and Dennis is a nuance man, hence the…

    [“Short Term Sweetner”]

    piece of paper is produced, smoothed out and placed on Dennis’ desk, along with that old chestnut (always guaranteed to get the conservative juices flowing

    [“Spend, Spend, Spend”]

    especially when uttered in the context of a Labor government (little matter that every other bloody government in the world is doing roughly the same thing). Shannas must have lost the “Whitlam” card, because he didn’t produce it this time. Must have used it for toilet paper.

    Here’s anothery:

    [“Of course, the Government does want people to spend the money and put their new television up against the wall to watch the Christmas reruns of all the biblical stories, but it can’t be too overt about it.”]

    Get the picture? The Battlers are going to go out and buy plasma TVs so they can watch old (and presumably crappy) Xmas re-runs. Not only are they wasting taxpayers’ money, doing something or other with it up against a wall somewhere (as Barnarby hinted), but they’re not even watching anything decent on them as they do! Presumably these would be new plasmas, that is, they’d be the “Full Hi-Definition” updates replacing the old ones bought with Johnny Howard’s Baby Bonus, pension handouts, one-off pork-barrel extravaganzas and profligate tax-cuts. But we come not to bury Howard, we’re here to kick Rudd in the nuts. See him squirm!

    Finally (but not exhaustively) we have this triumphant conclusion, where all those little pieces of paper take on an almost supernatural arrangement of their own, Ouji board style:

    [Ironically, if all this spending comes to naught and there is a recession in Australia, the Government will be blamed by some for not averting it.]

    Gee, c’mon Bludgers, one guess as to who that’d be.

    Incidentally, as Dennis is reputed to have a whole bunch of kids, I wonder whether he’ll be sending the cheque back. I mean, according to him, he’d only piss it up against the wall.

  34. Turnbull has just been interviewed on local ABC radio here. The last question was about his most gullible moment. He agreed there probably was a few occasions when he had been dudded, but couldn’t off hand recall one.

    Strange how he couldn’t remember the $10,000,000 to the rainmaker. It wasn’t that long ago. Almost exactly a year. So, can’t he remember because, to him, $10,000,00 is such an insignificant amount, especially as it wasn’t his money, or a sign of early-onset Alzheimer’s?

  35. [So, can’t he remember … especially as it wasn’t his money]

    Reminds me of how the Liberals are always claiming credit for “paying off Labor’s 96 billion dollar debt”. (Yawn). It wasn’t their money that paid it off. They were just carrying out the job we paid them to do.

  36. Speaking of BS, I saw a story in the Oz this morning (sorry my eyes are burning) that business leaders are already trying to back away from restrictions on exec pay. What self-serving garbage! They are pulling the oldest trick in the sophistry book – reversing the burden of proof. In other words, there is no evidence that exec pay in Australia has caused this mess, so why restrict it? It should be the other way around. Exec pay is far more tahn for any other occupation. The average ASX top 100 executive couldn’t afford the cut in pay to become Prime Minister, or a High Court Judge (or even world head of Toyota!!). The onus should be on them to prove that they deserve those huge pay packets. They can’t of course. As I said previously, the only empirical studies I have seen show that the correlation is negative – the higher the exec pay, the worse performing the company.

    The justification for a restriction on exec pay for banks is clear: if they benefit from a government guarantee on deposits, then the government is entitled to put restrictions on it. The fact that it will benefit the shareholders they supposedly serve, should make them happy to accept it, if they were not merely sef-serving careerists with no umpire on their own excesses.

  37. The editorial in the SMH today was extremely against the idea of restricting enormous payouts and linking them to capital adequacy (Something like that?).

    The argument was essentially “It will create a brain drain”. Good, who cares. Let the greedy execs run away to countries that reward greed and let us have executives who care about something other than their own bonuses.

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