Newspoll: 55-45

Perhaps to mark the first anniversary of the Rudd government, The Australian has come good a day early with the latest Newspoll. It finds Labor’s two-party lead steady on 55-45, from primary votes of 42 per cent for Labor (down two) and 38 per cent for the Coalition (steady). The Prime Minister’s personal ratings are his best since early May: his approval is up two points to 67 per cent, while his disapproval is down one point to 20 per cent. Rudd’s lead over Malcolm Turnbull as preferred prime minister is up two points to 42 per cent. However, 56 per cent of respondents said they would be “concerned” if the budget went into deficit.

UPDATE: Graphic here.

UPDATE 2: Essential Research has Labor’s lead at 56-44, up from 55-45 last week. Also included are leadership approval and preferred prime minister ratings and, interestingly, retrospective evaluation of John Howard, whose prime ministership is rated above average by 47 per cent of respondents and below average by 24 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.

419 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. This is a bit of a surprise. I like a couple of others thought it might get to 57.5.

    Still, it does show that the support is pretty solid. It will take some deft work by the Libs and some major clanger to shift this now.

    Definitely moving into fairly settled marriage territory now after the longest honeymoon in history.

  2. Under these economic circumstances I’m sure the government can make a case for going into deficit. It’s interesting that far more women than men are against a deficit. In fact a majority of men say it doesn’t bother them.


    “This is the worst sequence on record for the Coalition, which even in the dog days of Opposition in the 1980s consistently polled in the mid-40s.”

    And that was WITH the Democrat leakage, who attracted more support from disaffected coalition voters than the Greens do.

    Coalition opposition for another 13 years? You betcha. Especially while they stick to the hard right and ignore people like Petro.

    It’s obscene.


    One thing is sure, at that sort of cost with the low wage costs in China,projects like this, are well out of the ability of a small economy like ours to afford them.

  5. the two points labor went down went to the greens so its no real loss, i can hear the knives beeing sharpened in the liberal back rooms.

  6. “the two points labor went down went to the greens so its no real loss, i can hear the knives beeing sharpened in the liberal back rooms.”

    To be replaced by who exactly?

    Turnbull is the best they’ve got, which says a lot about the current state of affairs in the Liberal Party.

  7. Bob i’m sure they’ll find a sacrifice to install, one thing the libs ar’nt short of is egos who think they’ll make wonderful PM’s and bring about universal acclaim from the adoring public, they’re delusional but there it is, i dont see them getting anywhere untill all of the old school dead wood resigns en masse and they bring in young eager blood with new ideas.

  8. So we get to hav a ‘gender’ deficit , that makes me feel more alot more comfortable econamicaly Under a Keyne types we should be heading that way anyway productiveley given downturn trends

    Th Centrists ar back in town , as long as one remembers tinks auto plants ar really McDonalds franchises , everyone wants one on there corner Although McCoffees ar consumer led So therefore if you want a green car , realistic scales of production and technical expertize base ar chips you don’t fold on for interest to guarantee future export levels Its all in th coffee

    I note that this site has ‘fair and balanced’ rated Liberal oposition members , just wonder how many opposition members from any Party outside of shawdow cabinet ar Media stars with 5 star ratings Also see subject to MOE Labor is down 1% Primary since th electon good and bad , hasn’t consolitaed to home base but then out there in left wilderness further away for Libs to reach to catch

  9. GP @ 13
    Agreed as a good start, especially the notion that there is a need to do some policy work.
    But I would suggest that until you get some Wets and small L Liberals back inside the broad church, you are going to struggle putting together a primary vote above 40%. I suggest that there are two or three per cent whom you have lost, who are not necessarily pro-Rudd, but just have nowhere in the Liberal Party that they can call home.
    Re: the specifics of your suggestions, the trouble is, whom would you promote? Presuming Tip says ‘No’, Abbott, probably, maybe Hockey? But how would you keep the largish WA Division on-side? You are going to need them to hang on in the next election. Golly, the cupboard is looking fairly bare. For the election after next it would have to be Dutton or Hunt? The former has some runs on the board, and, as was pointed out in the previous thread, the latter has to do some spade work in an economic portfolio, noting that he has the brains.

  10. Would the 56% who don’t want the budget to go into deficit prefer that Australia go into a full on recession? I think that it might be a communications problem with some sort of confusion after twelve years of waffle from the previous Liberal government.

  11. Only one punter in thousands would know what (if any) consequences there would be from a deficit budget. Most wouldn’t be able to define the term. It would be salutary to point out, for the man in the street, that taking out a mortgage is indeed going into deficit.
    Oh no, can’t buy my first house. I would be going into deficit.

    On Newspoll, Labor would be tracking 56+ on these figures. Pref distribution for Greens would be based on last election. The increased Green support would more likely be close to 100% Labor pref, but discounted because of the polling methodology.
    No joy for Liberals here.

  12. There was a Newspoll?

    And Labor is still streets ahead?

    Oh, yes, but the polls narrow as the election approaches, according to George.

    Just like they did the last time.

    Back to sleep.

  13. [Turnbull should immediately dismiss Bishop as Treasury spokesperson. Secondly, a policy document would not go astray.]

    GP,what have you got against Bishop as Shadow Treasurer, she is doing exactly what Liberal shadow treasurers have always done? I can’t see she is any different than any other shadow treasurer in the history of the Liberal Party.What’s your problem they have always been this bad.

  14. Scorpio @ 202 (previous thread),

    Posted Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    This article has a good wrap-up of the US automobile industry problems. Doesn’t look too good for your dad’s retirement & healthcare benefits though.

    Thanks for that. I knew it wasn’t good in the long term but reading it in print makes it more obvious. Despite what the story says though (harking back to Chrysler’s example of the employes giving back benefits), I don’t think that the current crop of employees will do this. I’ve been there as recently as the 04 election (moved to Oz in December 04) and the mood of the state then was “whats in it for me?” not “how much can I give back?”. I don’t think that the current economic climate will have changed anything at all. If anything, it will have hardened their feelings. People employed in 2004 will be laid off now and counting on unions unemployment cash to go with their unemployment benefits. The unions unemployment cash that I refer to is what you might have read in some quarters as the “jobs data bank” or similar. It is more or less as I understand it, a line of unemployment pay but from the union not the state. So autoworkers, unless I’ve missed something, are getting two lots of unemployment pay. They won’t give this back nor anything else either. It is the “protect thy mates syndrome”

  15. Re #4,

    Coalition opposition for another 13 years? You betcha. Especially while they stick to the hard right and ignore people like Petro.

    It’s obscene.

    No, it isn’t ……… I say let them continue on their merry way down the path of ignorance. More time for Labor to straighten out their messes and put the country on the right path ……. it would be more appropriate to use that word to describe the government between 96 and 07 rather than the prospect of their remaining out of power for at least that long.


  16. all mention of the poll including George’s article has disappeared from the Australian on line, whoops looks like someone made a boo boo releasing the data prematurely, if you’d have blinked you’d have missed it.

  17. Minnesota is looking like McEwen did at the federal election …..

    With Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman clinging to a reed-thin lead over DFL challenger Al Franken — 180 votes as of Saturday night — the issue of how and when absentee ballots should be counted has election law experts everywhere closely tracking the Minnesota recount drama.

    In a race this tight, the difference could come down to clerical errors on absentee ballots or even a challenge of Minnesota’s law governing such ballots.

  18. [I think that it might be a communications problem with some sort of confusion ]

    Probably, as some would equate deficit as true confirmation of bad times, so would be concerned of this confirmation.

    And shouldn’t the 1 year anniversary be 3 December when labor govt was sworn in?

  19. “if the federal budget were to go into deficit as a result of further government spending in the new year”.
    That is the question asked re the ‘56% of people are against a deficit’.Why did the question not include the words “to save us from a recession”.
    Would the result have been different?

  20. The Oz on-line might have pulled GM’s article but the horse has bolted. The ABC on-line had it up last night and it is still there.

    [Today’s Newspoll has Mr Rudd on 63 per cent as the better Prime Minister compared to Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull on 21 per cent.

    On a two-party preferred basis, the Federal Government also has a 10-point lead over Coalition on 55 per cent.]

  21. [The increased Green support would more likely be close to 100% Labor pref]

    How do you figure that?

    In the recent WA election the percentage of Green preferences going to Labor went down.

  22. ltep #20

    Labor down 2, Greens up 2 and Libs no change.
    Given Rudd moved up in ALL categories as well, I reckon the Green +2 would split 95:5 for Labor at worst – not split ~65:35 as in 2007.

  23. Generic Person then who would be Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer???

    You couldnt get rid of Bishop as Treasurer and not remove her from the Deputy Leadership…

    Hunt – Deputy Leader
    Hockey/Dutton – Shadow Treasurer

  24. [Swan is doing a great job in very difficult circs, unlike Costello who just rode the boom for eleven years.]
    And who managed to pull a deficit in the 2001 – 2002 financial year, midway through a boom!

  25. I agree Swan is doing fine. He has also obivously established a good working relationship with Stevens and Henry. As Adam said, he is under more pressure than anyone in that role has had to face for a long time. Does anyone remember John Kerin in the early 90s recession, or Howard in the early 80s?

    To prove the point, how many times has Swan bested Bishop? The score is embarassing. As GP said, Bishop should go, not Swan. If Labor should dump anyone it should be Conroy, with McKew and others still well worth trying.

  26. Just one more comment – if Swan is performing so poorly, then why does even Newspoll give a clear, steady improvement on the (Labor) governments rating for ability to handle the economy? Obviously, Swan is besting Bishop in the public’s perception, and in the observation of any journalist who sees the two compete.

  27. GP 35

    To be fair, I’d agree with both of those calls. I have heard both Dutton and Hunt speak and they are both intelligent and not ego-maniacs. The coalition needs to find ways to get both more air time if it wants beter ratings.

  28. [yet another dominant Newspoll for Kevin Rudd and Labor]

    Is George Meg in danger of getting a pink slip from the OO for this sort of unspun reporting?

  29. For godsake Adam…look Costello had to deal with 9 budget deficit and 96b of net debt and the Asian Financial Crisis so i hardly call that riding the boom…Swan has made no tough calls and had a massive surplus that he didnt create to get him out of hot water…also Costello brought in a new tax system…so Swan is probably the worst Treasurer we’ve had for a long time…

  30. [Swan has made no tough calls and had a massive surplus that he didnt create to get him out of hot water… …so Swan is probably the worst Treasurer we’ve had for a long time…]

    He’s been in the job a year. Your statement belongs at the bottom of a bird cage.

  31. Glen

    “so Swan is probably the worst Treasurer we’ve had for a long time…”

    Impossible! You really have forgotten how bad Howard was! Here is the Wikipedia reference to Howard for this period to refresh your memory:
    “During Howard’s tenure as Treasurer, the 90-day cash rate peaked at 21% on 8 April 1982 at a time when loan mortgage rates were capped by legislation at 13.5%, and inflation peaked at 12.5% in September 1982.[17] Peter Costello commented, in 2007, that “The Howard treasurership was not a success in terms of interest rates and inflation… he had not been a great reformer.”[18]”

  32. Howard would have to have the record of worst treasurer.

    He achieved the trifecta of double digit inflation, unemployment and interest rates at the same time, never been done before or since, also got the highest ever budget deficit as a % of GDP.

    Costello would come next, drove the $A to its lowest ever level, even lower than Keating’s peso, also has record of most number of consecutive interest rate rises, easily an Aussie record and maybe a world record.

    With those 2 at the helm we were fortunate we had the resource boom as we would be in a far worse state than 83 when labor had to clean up the last disgusting mess left by Howard.

    Third worst treasurer, Lynch.

  33. The federal budget is already in a ”structural deficit” and its much-vaunted surplus is disappearing fast after the former government wasted the boom years, according to a new report.

    Access Economics’ Budget Monitor, out today, says China’s demand for Australian commodities has been artificially boosting the budget’s bottom line, and Australia is running a $17.8billion structural deficit this financial year when this is taken into account.

    Thankyou very much Howard and Costello! Aren’t your legacies already trashed enough as it is? A plague on both your houses.

  34. Glen – at one point I was afraid Australia was becoming a place where people who had no perspective and were never going to see through the bed of roses the last government planted in front of them. I really though you were representative of a larger part of society.
    Maybe we’ve just become a more cynical society, enough to immunise ourselves against the cheap propaganda we were happy top be fed before, but at least I’m not worried about you being representative of anything mainstream any more.

  35. There is one difference between me and many left of centre people on pollbludger i can actually find things that ALP Prime Ministers have done that is good for Australia…you and others think anything and everything a Liberal Prime Minister does is poison and that is not just a shame but it is sad too.

    We have seen cheap propaganda by many of our Prime Ministers including Howard and Rudd so i hardly think you can blame just one side of politics for that.

    Socrates Swan is no good for several reasons…firstly he doesnt know his stuff (evident on many occasions), secondly he is a bad parliamentary performer, thirdly he is a bad media performer and thus he is terrible as Treasurer because he doesnt ooze confidence he oozes weakness and this is not helpfull especially in the guy pulling the leavers and not good for perceptions of the economy…Swan will make Costello out to be the greatest Treasurer we have ever had by comparison.

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