Newspoll: 59-41

The parliamentary year has ended with a striking result from Newspoll: Labor leads 59-41, up from 55-45 last fortnight, with Kevin Rudd leading Malcolm Turnbull as preferred prime minister 66 per cent (up three) to 19 per cent (down two). Kevin Rudd’s approval rating of 70 per cent is one point shy of his previous best from April, while Malcolm Turnbull’s approval and disapproval have both gone five points in the wrong direction, to 47 per cent and 32 per cent (The Australian offers a graphic and a nifty preferred prime minister tracker showing figures back to early 2006). Nonetheless, the leadership ratings suggest voting intention would have been even worse for the Coalition if Brendan Nelson was still leader. Turnbull’s approval rating is still seven points higher than Nelson’s best result, and the 47 per cent gap on preferred prime minister is roughly equal to what Nelson managed when Rudd’s approval was in the mid-50s. Elsewhere:

Essential Research also has Labor leading 59-41, up from 58-42 last week. Also featured are questions on the performance of Julie Bishop as Shadow Treasurer, the relative popularity of Julia Gillard and Julie Bishop and “global terrorism and international unrest”.

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a paper providing statistical details from every election since federation, along with a precis detailing the circumstances of each election.

• Sky News, Foxtel and Austar have announced that a public and political affairs television network called A-APAN, along the lines of the American C-SPAN, will be launched on January 20 next year. It will feature coverage of parliament and committee proceedings, industry meetings, and congressional and parliamentary coverage from the United States and the United Kingdom. It will be available on pay TV and digital free-to-air, the latter initially only in Sydney.

• Colin Barnett says the proposal for fixed terms in Western Australia will feature “a mechanism if there is some catastrophic behaviour of a government that you might be able to bring on a poll”. It will also provide for flexibility in the announcement of a date in either February or March, rather than fixing a precise date.

• Antony Green has weighed in on the recent criticism of New South Wales’ system of fixed four-year terms.

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.

1,313 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41”

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  1. Some people have short memories:

    Wednesday, 14 May 2008

    Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered on the Rudd Government’s promised tax cuts as part of a $55 billion package for its core constituents, working families.

    The tax cuts, worth $46.7 billion over the next four years, will cut the tax paid by a worker on $80,000 a year by $21.15 per week from July 1, 2008. That saving will rise to $24.04 on July 1, 2009 and $29.81 on July 1, 2010.

  2. When are the Tories ever going to learn that disunity is death. They should never work on a Friday either it always damages them.

  3. wtf? Chris U on ABC newsbreak refers to the $10b “sugar hit” as though that is a fact.

    and “santa won’t have a surplus next time”. Sorry, but the guy is a dolt.

    Adam, from the previous thred, the only reference to PJK’s quote is wikiquote:
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Paul_Keating (which has it ‘uncited’), but I seem to recall reading it in The Hawke Asendency.

    And way off topic, geez that vision of Raelene Boyle reacting to Kerryn McCann’s death is heart breaking.

  4. I posted on the previous thread, but I found it interesting:

    Love this from Samantha Maiden:

    [Despite the success of Mr Rudd’s “sugar hit” economic stimulus package, Mr Turnbull is arguing that tax cuts, not cash handouts would have been a better way to go.]

    err success?? oh, we’re only caring about political newspoll sense. dopey.

  5. The best part was at the end. Watching Kirribilli Removals clearing out the refuse from Kirribilli House.

    That must have been Fran’s Parthian shot.

    Scorpio never feel constrained to check the spelling of word you don’t know how to spell in Google.

  6. Perhaps the voters have seen through Turnbull’s “I fully support it except for everything single thing about it” line…

    Let’s be honest he’s gone to that well a few times in the last couple of months. It would work better if he started off with a “we’ll wait and see”, instead of going way over the top as usual and declaring unconditional support… and THEN (too late… too late) he picks it to death.

  7. The sad thing is that i dont think in the history of polling that any Coalition government has had such support in polling at most they get 54-46…oh dear 🙁

  8. Only one word needs to be changed in the first verse:

    The Liberals was having trouble
    What a sad, sad story
    Needed a new leader to restore
    Its former glory
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me

  9. 1966 yes we did and 1975 but still how the heck are we suppose to make up this much ground!

    I can understand the electorate liking Rudd, we just need to get some policy out there.

  10. [Mr Turnbull’s rating has dropped by two points from 21 per cent to 19 per cent]

    Brendon, all is forgiven, please come back. Miss your tearjerkers.

  11. True Glen. Would it really kill you lot to actually come up with a policy? I honestly can’t think of a single one you’ve released this year.

  12. Was reading on Jack the Insiders blog tonight that he doesn’t understand the Rudd phenomena, but everytime he has a shot at him, he gets flooded with angry responces (mainly from women!) Have to say I don’t quite get it either. Maybe voters just do like the boring ones

  13. Keating on Lib/Nationol party Leaders

    National Party leader Ian Sinclair “a political carcass with a coat and tie on”
    Hewson “an abacus gone feral”
    Malcolm Fraser “like an Easter Island statue with an arse full of razor blades”
    Costello “th tip”

  14. [Howard had huge leads through most of 1996-97, and again in 2001.]

    So best case (for ALP) is we’ve got another 10 years to go; worst case – 6 years?

  15. I guess i have a short memory but still…

    We have Dio, its just that they were adopted by Labor (bank deposit guarantees ect)…but we havent anything new really and that’s the trouble.

  16. Hurray! The voters have seen through Turnbull’s destructive fear campaign and noticed that farce in the Senate. I said a month ago that the polls would improve with the stimulus. Not only has the government also cut taxes (as Adam said) but they still have the long term meaures (infrastructure funding) coming as well. Australia may yet come out of this credit crunch OK but either way, as long as Rudd and Swan can say that they have done all they can, they won’t be blamed. Note that teh PM figures mean that at least 5 of 41 Coalition voters prefer Rudd!!

    At this point I only hope Rudd takes a decent break over Christmas. He has earnt it, and the best thing he could do for Labor right now islook after his health – he might be PM for a long time 🙂

  17. [We have Dio, its just that they were adopted by Labor (bank deposit guarantees ect)…but we havent anything new really and that’s the trouble.]

    early day Glen.

    Turnbull has to get out and do some hard yards and meet people (ie out of Sydney). A listening tour wouldn’t be out of order.

  18. Since Rudd became leader in Dec 2006, the Newspoll ALP 2PP has never dropped below 52%, and it only got that low just before the election, when the floaters were having last-minute palpitations. Most of the time it’s been between 55 and 60. Strange as it may seem, Rudd is becoming of the great phenomena of Australian political history.

  19. I guess i have a short memory but still…

    Comes of being a Liberal party supporter. You have to have regular senior moments to be able to join.

  20. I think this poll is a symbol of how much political orthodoxy has changed in the last six months. The late 1990s suited Howard because he had been left with a low inflation and growing economy. He didn’t have to do anything except wait for taxes to roll in.

    But now the orthodoxy of balanced budgets and low government investment in education, health and infrastructure is dead. Now Labor policy is orthodox, yet Turnbull is fighting against the Howard faction in his own party who want to continue late 1990s Liberal policies (cut tax, don’t invest).

    The times won’t suit the Liberals, they have the wrong philosophy at the wrong time.

  21. I think it has to do more with us than with Rudd as smart a politician as he is we have just as much to blame if not more so for our current position in the polls.
    What would you expect really after 12 years of Government and the 1st year of a new popular one, who would want to change now?

  22. I think the people have gone cold on the Liberal Party because the last thing they would want during an economic slowdown (or any time) is for their pay to be cut.

  23. [What would you expect really after 12 years of Government and the 1st year of a new popular one, who would want to change now?]

    eaxaclty right – and why I stil think the Libs were dopey to ditch Nelson so soon. For what? Think Turnbull has any gloss left now?

    But then Insiders on Sunday did remind me of just how bad the Tarago lad was.

  24. [It’s not an opposition’s job to have policies out in their first year out of power]

    It is their job to work hard and consistently though and this year they have not done that. It has been cardboard cutouts and silly stunts with neverending angling for changes in leadership, while talking down the economy that have been the outstanding features of the first year of conservative opposition.

  25. Cuppa that’s not the reason we changed IR ok for god’s sake why would anybody want that to happen, you obviously dont understand our IR policy and are duped into believing Union/ALP rubbish think for yourself!

  26. [What would you expect really after 12 years of Government and the 1st year of a new popular one, who would want to change now?]

    Of course that’s completely correct. Your only hope for 2010 is that we have a really nasty recession and that by 2010 people have started to forget that it’s all George Bush’s fault and started to blame Rudd. That is certainly not impossible – it’s what happened to Scullin. But I don’t think it’s very likely.

  27. Adam, desperate times call for desperate measures! Glen a policy to at least score a good converted try would be to; abolish capital gains tax as an integral part of tax reform.

    God, what am I doing helping the other mob?

  28. [It’s not an opposition’s job to have policies out in their first year out of power. It’s their job to suffer through the valley of despond until the next election looms.]

    Well then they should do it with a bit more style and grace. It’s like watching the self-flagellation monks during the Black Plague at the moment.

  29. [Glen a policy to at least score a good converted try would be to;]

    Failing that they could abuse ALP policies by using 30 year old references to events that two thirds of the voters don’t understand.

  30. Thinking about Adam’s comments I reflected on why he has done so well in his first year. One thing he has done (and what Obama is doing now in terms of naming high profile people to his Cabinet) I will offer: it isn’t just him. He has picked the best people for the job in all the key roles. Swan, Tanner, Gillard, and Wong have all performed well. There are a few factional hacks but they are in teh second row spots. However much I may criticise Turnbull and Nelson, the Libs don’t look a strong team. Labor does. I think it reflects credit on Rudd that rathe than banish his rivals, he has built the best performing inner circle he could. I hope he keeps going that way.

    At this point the only thing more I hope Rudd does is have a good break and look after his health. That would be the best thign he could do for Labor – he could be PM for a long time 🙂

  31. The strange thing is that Turnbull still has high personal approval ratings for an Opposition Leader with only a 19% PPM. That suggests that the punters actually like Turnbull, although they like Rudd even more. Given the grisly alternatives, this suggests that the Libs should stick with Turnbull.

  32. [It’s not an opposition’s job to have policies out in their first year out of power. It’s their job to suffer through the valley of despond until the next election looms.]

    Especially when it was 12 years in power. This isn’t really a surpise to me. When times get tough the incumbents usually get an early boost regardless of their actions as voters are a little scared to change things. Longer term the government’s fortunes will depend on how those tough times pan out of course.

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