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. [We can’t generate electricity from sand, you know.]

    actually adam i understand there is a project assessing the heat differential in desert sinks.

    all theoretical at this stage.

    but once you throw off the shackles of coal/nuclear the sky and the sea,hot rocks etc etc etc are the limits

  2. I think Adam is right when he says that “Of course the issue is different in Australia”. We aren’t buying gas off of the lovely Mr Putin. Also, we have MASSIVE solar, wind and geothermal resources available, and a small population though the low density creates and distances creates issues. There are many technologies available now to exploit these resources, and some with good prospects to provide baseload power at much lower risk than nukes. I’ll unhappily concede that in some countries nuclear fission is a viable option, but to advocate it for Oz in the foreseeable future is in my opinion, simply silly.

    Oh, and i can surely sleep better without being subjected to any self commentary regarding your bottom thank you Glen.

  3. [the average person knows nothing about the technology and so when they think nuclear they think something negative.]

    That’s because we have a great track record of getting it wrong – claiming things are safe when it turns out they are not safe. The public has every right to be sceptical.

  4. [Australia has huge untapped resources when it comes to solar, wind, geothermal and tidal.]

    People have been saying this for more than 30 years now, and we don’t seem to be getting any closer to making any of these technologies genuinely viable as replacement sources for the volume of electricity we need. At least nuclear has been proved actually to generate electricty, whatever its other problems may be.

  5. Adam @ 1198

    As you know I am a bit of climate obsessive – have been studying it for years. I would not be in principle against the nuke option and in europe I would be onto it as soon as possible simply to get out from under that well known band of gangsters further east. The best short summary of the potential future of global nuclear as a solution is that by Lowe, referred to above somewhere. According to Lowe, globally, the nuclear figures just don’t stack up as a response to CO2.

  6. Nuke power exists , and is growing despite th nuke deniers here About 400 billion watts ar generated today from nuke power

    30 countries with nuke power, and th % electricity supplied by nuclear 78 % France 54 % Belgium 39 % Korea 37% Switzerland 30% Japan 19% USA 16% percent Russia 4% South Africa 2% China expected future increase

    France ar into 15 billion thermol nuke project to build a nuke fusion plant Problam with nuke plants is ‘time’ to build , and that ‘time’ issue seems problam with all fossil alternataves to reduce Co2 Fo me solar farms is th way and start now with future fund

    Tell me how many watts RE generates today ?

  7. People have been saying this for more than 30 years now, and we don’t seem to be getting any closer to making any of these technologies genuinely viable as replacement sources for the volume of electricity we need.

    Yes, but it’s only been for the last five years that the imperative has been clear, and for the last -5 years that the economic incentives have been in place.

    It’s quite possible that nuclear power will end up the most cost-effective environmental option. But there’s good reasons for thinking that the potenital of wind and solar technologies have not yet been exploited as fully as that of nuclear.

    In any case it is overwhelmingly likely that the energy mix of the future will include contributions from all of these.

  8. The policy problem with any alterantive to coal, on costs alone (because environmental costs are not internalised) is that coal in Australia is virtually dirt cheap.

  9. [At least nuclear has been proved actually to generate electricty, whatever its other problems may be.]

    You could use that exact same argument for coal…

    [Tell me how many watts RE generates today ?]

    This argument is pathetic. “Renewable energy doesn’t generate as much power today as nuclear therefore it cannot, therefore nuclear is the superior option”.

    You can’t see the problem there?

  10. We can’t generate electricity from sand, you know.

    The 8 panels of made from sand crystalline silicon solar cells on my roof have generated over 1,400KWh of it since they were installed on the 28th January.

  11. Glen

    There is only ONE nuclear power station being built in Europe (in Finland) and that one the makers are losing money on. England hasn’t built one for 20 years. If they were cost effective in the UK, they would be putting them in. It takes 20 years from planning to completion.

  12. [It takes 20 years from planning to completion.]

    Add fifteen years in opposition if the planning is from Glen’s side of the political fence. What is Ziggy doing for a living now?

  13. Glen @ 1193

    The site still exists. It makes an excellent car park for people wanting to launch a boat from the nearby ramp during southerlies.

    Joanna Gash did not like the thought of it being used for its original purpose at all, at all.

  14. Diogenes @ 1213
    I am not sure how are being built but there is definitely one being built in France. Costs are already 20% over estimates and still some way to run. Britain and France have also signed an agreement becuase Britain is after France’s skills and technologies and France is after a piece of the forthcoming nuclear power plant building program in England.

  15. Boerwar

    The article I read was Dec 2005. It may have changed since then. But at that time Olkiluoto in Finland was the only one under construction. Lots of companies say they are going to build them but words are cheap. The power stations are not.

  16. Maybe if there is an economist on pollbludger we could hear whether there is enough capital to replace coal stations with the nuclear option, say, within the next 20 years? Or, for that matter, with any of the other options? Is there enough capital around to buy a solution in time?
    If not, time for those sulphur droplets, methinks.

  17. Diogenes @ 1218

    Yep. One difficulties for investors is the same as the one facing the biofuel industry today – the supply, and hence the price, of oil can be changed virtually overnight by suppliers. The result is that it is extremely difficult to make cost assumptions underpinning the competitiveness assessments when comparing the costs of various sources of energy. A lot of the debate is therefore necessarily based on questionable assumptions about cost comparisons. The other variable sometimes not factored in is that the costs/rewards need to addressed whole-of-life. Unless both these issues are specifically addressed assessments should be treated as suspect.

    But nuclear power stations are not all bad! They achieved something that two world wars had failed to achieve – they sent Krupps broke.

  18. steve

    [With the prospective need to import much more uranium, China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (SinoU) was set up by CNNC to acquire uranium resources internationally. It is setting up a mine in Niger and is investigating prospects in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Namibia and Algeria. Canada and South Africa are also seen as potential suppliers for SinoU.]

    Those bastards!!! Uranium’s all we’ve got in SA and they’re looking elsewhere. That bloody Rudd had better make nice with them!!


    Imagine starting a $20B project on a marginally profitable venture which will take 15 years before you start seeing a cent and you have no idea how valuable your product will be. Dunno if the banks will be shelling out for that at the moment. Sounds very risky.

  19. Ron “Tell me how many watts RE generates today ?”

    OZ “This argument is pathetic..”

    You OZ ar absolutley pathetic I ask a queston , you EITHER don’t know th answer or don’t know how to answer….because th answer to th queston makes you look a fool

    You compound your foolishness by assuming an argument put thats not even put

    After you accusing Glen of no credibility , if you cann’t front up with RE watts produced today , then obviousley you know little about RE (Nuke produces is 400 billion watts today)

  20. France is after a piece of the forthcoming nuclear power plant building program in England.

    Britain started decommissioning its first generation plants 3 years ago. It will take up to 12,000 workers 80-125 years to clear the sites, at an estimated £72-100 billion (almost certainly a gross underestimation). Assuming humanity survives that long, of course.!emgfk?mode=displayprofile&adno=19400

  21. Ronster

    Renewable Energy has a slightly higher share of the global energy market than nuclear. Hydroelectric is the largest component of RE at the moment. If you want to be pedantic, it’s all nuclear due to heat liberated by fusion in the sun being converted to coal, tides, solar, wind etc. Ironically, nuclear reactors are the only energy source we use that isn’t reliant on nuclear fusion.

  22. Meanwhile, back at the outback, it’s good to see Australia is still No: 1 at the USA box office:

    Top Box Office

    Tomatometer Percentage Movie Gross
    ROTTEN: 1 53% Australia $4.1M
    FRESH: 2 67% High School Musical 3 $3.9M
    FRESH: 3 65% Quantum of Solace $2.5M
    ROTTEN: 4 25% Four Holidays $1.8M
    ROTTEN: 5 17% Big Stan $0.3M

  23. Glen did not deserve some of cr.p served up tonite

    Glen is arguing for Nuke power , and had some reasonable points Then Glen gets told by OZ he’s got no credibility…after OZ earlier tonite says a few experts including him should be discussing th issue , rather arrogant

    Well Glen does hav support in world nuke usage , which is what I pointed out in#1208 listing numerous counries with % of electricity geneerated from nuke power from France at 78% (look at list , its impressive) As I said 400 billion watts todat ar generated by nuke power I ask how many watts ar generated from RE and OZ an RE suporter …embarassment

    RE’s problam is its informed suporters know its so far behind in desired time frames , desired output , capacity & resources alocated (and politcal will) , and nuke is established , with people like Ziggy onside

    Diog what is th RE wattage generated

    As I said in #1208 , “fo me solar farms is th way and start now with future fund”
    and th sun is free , and always there everyday

  24. Tomatometer Percentage Movie Gross
    ROTTEN: 1 53% Australia $4.1M
    FRESH: 2 67% High School Musical 3 $3.9M
    FRESH: 3 65% Quantum of Solace $2.5M
    ROTTEN: 4 25% Four Holidays $1.8M
    ROTTEN: 5 17% Big Stan $0.3M

    Is th % listed above th % ROTTEN …(and th % FRESH)

  25. [after OZ earlier tonite says a few experts including him should be discussing th issue , rather arrogant]

    I didn’t actually say that, I said people like Glen who get their incorrect ‘facts’ from Andrew Bolt should concede when they can’t even find a single source to back them up.

  26. This was th comment about Glen I think Glen has credibility , just that I don’t fully agree with all his points:

    OZ #1174
    “Glen, no offense, but your credibility on the issue of nuclear vs. renewables is 0.”

    This was your comment setting yourself up , and indicating other bloggers should not comment , rather arrogant:

    OZ #1122
    “I don’t wish to sound arrogant but I don’t care either. People who are not scientists or engineers and thus no nothing about the subject more than what they’ve read on blogs should concede to those who know exactly what they’re talking about.”

  27. [and indicating other bloggers should not comment , rather arrogant:]

    No, not “other bloggers”. Just Glen. Because he was spouting off nonsense as “fact”, being proven wrong, and then doing the same thing again.

    This is becoming tiresome.

  28. MayoFeral@1225

    Thank you. The third link is SNAFU.

    Bottom line, though, is exactly right. The pronukers rarely take decommissioning costs properly into account. In the same way the pro-oilers and the pro-coalers do not like to count either environmental or human health costs. The figures end up looking nasty.

    All the same, if Europe decides that its investment margins in the future are to be protected from a simple transfer to Russia and Arabia by way of oil/gas tariffs, I’m not sure if it has any other long term option than nuclear.

  29. No , thats not quite how th EU hav decided They ar full on on RE for initaly CC reasons and ar most committed of all large econamic blocks , meaning weaning off oil

    Thy were happy to take increasing gas from Russia as th additional source , but now find Russian bear has become aggressive and was prepared to double kraine’s price under threat of stopping th gas coming , which has created a National Security energy issue and nuke power may be there part alternative Problam is price disparity , and capital costs of new nuke plants…making future RE capacity increases even more important France with 78% & Belgium with 54% electricity from nuke power is best placed in this econamic , CC and national security mix

  30. Well perhaps those Quartley breakdowns will giv a more realistic breakup than th unnatural high 59/41 national figure …and showing only 7% showing for Greens which is also unnatural low I feel at moment with Libs off colour

    Imagine first thing Labor strategists will do is look at NSW and if Rees has hurt at all , and Rees makes th 59/41 even more remarkable notwithstanding voter traditional distinctons of State vs Federal

  31. [It appears we will be getting the Newspoll quarterly state breakdowns today.]

    It would be interesting to see if WA still has a love affair with Howard, despite there being a minority Barnett Government and some of their antics regarding Ministerial Spuses with Shares.

  32. [Even in Western Australia, where Labor had a net loss of seats last year and Coalition support has crashed below election levels, federal Labor has bounced back in the past three months and is more than three points higher. This despite Labor being kicked out of government for the only Liberal government in Australia.]

    Hmm, it seems once you remove Howard, the Liberal Vote goes backwards in WA 🙂

  33. I thought people might have some interest in the following stuff on the Olkiluoto Reactor being built in Finland by a German/French consortium, and referred to by Diogenes. This one is more significant than usual because a lot of people (who before the Crisis had plans and capital) are watching it to see how it goes.

    It is a third generation European Pressurized Water Reactor.
    It is the first biggie being built in Europe since Chernobyl went pear-shaped in 1986.
    It has 10 000 types of components.
    It is designed to use 17% less uranium fuel than its predecessors.
    The original completion date was mid 2009. The completion date is now 2012. The latest delays appear to have been caused because, someone has claimed, “the consortium has no drawings, no plans of what to do for construction [of the double containment].” (I find this difficult to believe). Other mooted causes of previous delays: quality of some of the concrete and the quality of some of the forgings.

    Design output is 1650 Megawatts.
    4000 people are working on it. There are three eight hour shifts, seven days a week.
    There are a 100,000 pages of engineering documents.
    The original cost was to be $3 billion but there is chat about provision for an additional $2 billion. Formal arbitration has apparently been sought.

    China has ordered a couple of these plants for 8 million euros a pair.

  34. Diogenes “Ronster…..Can I go to bed and read about arsenic poisoning?”

    just saw that post ….no wonder you scampered off to bed to arsenic after quoting that “undefined” RE wattage figure

    Now R E proponents normaly talk power , geothermal energy , and ocean energy and wind power I wonder how much of your 440 b watts is in those 4 (and especialy first 3)

    I suspect most of that energy is less glamourous R E sourses like woodburning type biomass & hydroelectricity Do you hav breakup of 6 sourses and Country spread

  35. Diogenes

    Set your heart at rest. Of course the billion or so Chinese have a deep and abiding love and concern for that little corner of sand, heat, the Crows, dessicated rivers and submarine construction facilities that is South Australia. Beyond that, of course, the Chinese are doing the usual, excellent capitalist thing of diversifying their sources of uranium supply so that they can set the producers at each others’ throats, with the usual dire conequences for the proletariat who actually do the digging.

    Rest assured comrade, that if needs be, the above paragraph can probably be set to the tune of the ‘Internationale’.

  36. Boerwar @ 1236


    Thank you. The third link is SNAFU.

    Try It’s a short profile/jobs ad for Sellafield Ltd, the company doing the decommissioning giving an indication of the scale of the task.

    Diogenes @ 1229

    440 billion watts.

    But how much would it be if renewables had received the huge subsidies nuclear has had, and continues to get?

    Can I go to bed and read about arsenic poisoning?

    Good idea. It could soon be coming out of our taps as the acid sulphate soils along the Murray and Darling now becoming exposed leach large quantities of the stuff (and other nasty chemicals) into the rivers when (if?) the rains return.

  37. William

    Will you please ban Ron until he switches on the spell checker in his browser and/or learns that the red line under a word indicates a spello.

    We all make mistakes (well AiC doesn’t) when typing but the definite articles without an “e” etc etc render his postings difficult to read as well as comprehend.

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