Newspoll: 54-46

The first Newspoll survey after the end-of-year break shows the Coalition recovering to 54-46 after the shock 59-41 result of December 9. The Australian spruiks this as the Coalition clawing back support, but a more likely explanation is that the previous poll was a rogue. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 66-19 to 60-22.

UPDATE: Graphic here. Rudd’s approval is down seven points to 63 per cent; Turnbull’s is down two to 45 per cent, his weakest result to date.


• Essential Research’s weekly survey has produced a status quo 59-41 result, along with a 56-20 preferred prime minister lead for Kevin Rudd that marks little shift from the previous time the question was asked in late November. Also featured are questions on expectations of the year ahead economically and for the Barack Obama presidency. Most interestingly, respondents were also asked to name their favourite prime minister since World War II, which produced a win for John Howard on 28 per cent. This is largely because those supporting Liberals (45 per cent of the total) showed no interest for contenders other than Howard and Bob Menzies (11 per cent), whereas the Labor loyalist vote was split between Kevin Rudd (20 per cent), Bob Hawke (12 per cent), Gough Whitlam (9 per cent) and Paul Keating (8 per cent).

• Former Tasmanian Tourism Minister Paula Wreidt has retired from politics, creating a vacancy in the electorate of Franklin that will be filled by a countback on February 2. This provides a clear entry to parliament for Daniel Hulme, the only remaining unelected Labor candidate from the 2006 election. My election guide entry tells me Hulme was an “Australian Taxation Office worker and former Young Labor president described by Sue Neales of The Mercury as a ‘right-wing pro-development campaigner’”. Hulme was the last man standing after Paul Lennon’s exit in the middle of last year resulted in the election of Ross Butler – who, according to Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics, has raised eyebrows with his performance. If Hulme declines to nominate, or if any further Labor vacancies arise in Franklin before the next election, we might see the unprecedented activation of the clause which would allow Labor to initiate a by-election rather than have the seat go to another party. Still more from Peter Tucker.

• More casual vacancy news: the last remaining Australian Democrats MP, South Australia’s Sandra Kanck, has been replaced following her retirement from her upper house seat by David Winderlich. More from Andrew Bartlett.

• The NSW Nationals have intriguingly announced they will preselect a candidate for a yet-to-be-determined winnable seat at the 2011 state election by conducting an American-style primary, open to all voters enrolled in the electorate. Peter van Onselen notes in The Australian that “parties in countries such as Britain and Italy have increasingly embraced primary contests, more often than not with electoral success to follow”. The most likely electorates for the trial are said to be Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Tamworth, each traditionally Nationals seats currently held by independents.

• Counting continues in South Australia’s Frome by-election, on which I have written an overview in today’s Crikey. Read about and comment on the progress of the count in the post below.

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.

850 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46”

Comments Page 16 of 17
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  1. Judith, I agree about the need to outgrow symbols which are no longer relevant. The problem with some conservatives is that the idea of growth, progress, whatever, is not to be countenanced under any circumstances. .. It makes me wonder how they can keep a straight face while singing along with (the first verse of) Advance Australia Fair. Advance?? Come off it, they want to stay put, thanks very much.

  2. traitors–patriots, Glen it all depends what side of the fence your on, the facts doesnt show them as traitors, actually the crown betrayed them.

  3. Oh Lor!

    If you are such a patriot Glen, what are you doing in front of a computer when you should be out on the river foreshore somewhere watching fireworks to the sound of head banging music, stubby in hand, drunk, and expressing your fervour by yelling oggi, oggi, oggi, oi, oi, oi to anyone who cares to listen?

    You’re unOrstrayan. Go back to where you come from!

  4. WB @ 715,

    “On the other hand, it seems from the latter link that 77 per cent want one of the worst songs ever written to remain as our national anthem against 6 per cent who would prefer one of the best”.

    You da man, William! The tune of Advance Australia Fair is embarrassingly pedestrian – sort of like something from an Eastern European country circa 1960. It’s terrible!

    Matilda is great and should of course be our national anthem. Who cares about the eccentrically violent words – that sort of thing doesn’t stop the Marseillaise or the Star Spangled Banner being amongst the world’s most inspiring anthems.

  5. Cuppa, if they had their way we’d still be driving horses and buggies, thered be no modern medicines, we’d still be in slavery to our liege masters and we’d consider living past 40 as being long lived.

  6. Yes, we British do have a lot to celebrate over our colonial rule. Damn those cheeky foreigners and colonials who don’t know their place.

  7. freihans

    There are several versions of The Scream. The most famous one is in the National Gallery in Oslo, which was stolen in 1994 (the thieves left a note “Thanks for the poor security”. The Munch Museum also has a version which was stolen a couple of years ago. Both were returned.

    Steve’s gravatar is the National Gallery version, not the Munch Museum’s. So the Munch Museum’s copyright has not been infringed. 😀

  8. Glenn, your oh so English Winston Churchill was prepared to let the Japanese have us in world war two and your hero pig iron Bob hid out in England for the duration and was prepared to let him.

  9. I hate to say this Judith, because I agree with your views about conservatives, but Lincoln was a republican and indiginous Australians gained the right to vote while under a conservative government. Hell, I sound like Glen. Someone take me out and shoot me.

  10. Glen, mate,my ancestors had them both as colonial masters, and you know what, in the end it really didn’t make much difference who was pulling their chains.

  11. Judith it may be a surprise to you but we had units fighting in Europe and the Middle East and Robert Menzies there to oversea their duty and the conduct of the War against Hitler. I suppose you’d not have sent anybody to defeat Hitler judith???

  12. The problem wth Gallipoli was that the British should have been prepared to suffer bad losses with their ships trying to force their way through to the Sea of Marmara but they werent so they went with a land invasion.

    If they’d sent first rate ships and enough of them and been prepared for 50% losses they’d have gotten through and been able to shell Constantinople…

  13. [Just sticking up for the fair citizens of Cronulla, but this latest race riot was in Manly.]

    Whoops my bad I misread the opening paragraph which mentioned the comparison to Cronulla.

    But still it does prove my point about the jigoism of the day.

  14. Glen,

    If your mama had a moustache………….

    Winston was no friend of Australia unless you count the whole Gallipoli experience as ‘character building” and creating the environment for the the US Alliance in World War 2 as “masterstroke bastardry”.

  15. pmsl Gary, cant shoot you we need you here, Glen there was no need for Menzies to be over there, the allies had very capable people to manage the Australian forces, actually there wasnt much Menzies could do.
    I suppose you’d not have sent anybody to defeat Hitler judith???— dont load that on me Glenn, i come from a family of soldiers a couple of generations back who fought Hitler and the Japanese, i married a career soldier and i have family serving now, it still doesnt change the fact that Churchill was prepared to hand us over to the Japanese, much as i hate to admit it it was the Americans being forced into the war that helped save us.

  16. GG

    At least Churchill was sacked for the Gallipoli disaster. I think the problem was that he ran out of alcohol and was going through delerium tremens when he rushed the Gallipoli plan through the War Cabinet. 😉

  17. Diogs,

    20 years on the sideline to comeback and try to f*ck us over again. We should have given the sous his own swimming pool sized vat of scotch. Maybe he would have dived in three times and only come up twice.

  18. Glen, here’s a few home truths about the man you are so proud of.
    [And Robert Menzies, a leading light of the United Australia Party (UAP) —
    forerunner of the Liberal Party — and Attorney General in the Bruce
    Government, shared the same class admiration for the Nazis. He returned
    from a visit to Germany in the mid-’30s full of praise for Hitler and what
    he had supposedly done for Germany.

    His partiality for fascist regimes was not limited to Germany, either. His
    notorious nickname of Pig Iron Bob stemmed from his shameful use of
    legislation to force waterside workers to load pig iron for shipment to
    Japan at a time when Japan had actually invaded China.

    The pig iron was wanted by the Japanese imperialists for the making of
    shells and other weapons, to be used against the Chinese people.

    The Wharfies could also see that if China fell, Australia could be on the
    receiving end of those shells, but Menzies was apparently confident that
    Japan would fulfil the promise of the Anti-Comintern Pact which it signed
    with Germany and Italy, and attack the USSR.
    In early 1939, the Japanese Government publicly thanked Menzies for his
    help in keeping them supplied with pig iron for their war effort. If Japan
    did go to war with Australia, their good friend Menzies would be in no
    Menzies is also irrevocably associated with the plan to appease Japan by
    giving her the northern part of Australia, down as far as Brisbane (the
    notorious “Brisbane Line” plan, subsequently vehemently denied by Menzies’
    supporters). On April 22, 1940, Labor MHR Mahoney told the House (referring
    to Menzies): “At heart he is a Nazi.

    “When I walked along one of Canberra’s streets with him some time ago he
    said: ‘I have a great admiration for the Nazi organisation of Germany.]

  19. [Menzies is also irrevocably associated with the plan to appease Japan by
    giving her the northern part of Australia, down as far as Brisbane (the
    notorious “Brisbane Line” plan, subsequently vehemently denied by Menzies’

    Whoa! Hang on a minute there. I’ve never heard that before. That has to be the single worst thing I’ve heard from an Australian politician.

    Is that true???!!!!

  20. Judith Barnes provide me evidence that Churchill ever said he be happy to let Japan take Australia! You cant so stop making such accusations!

    Churchill was fighting for his life against the Nazis and so needed every bit of man power in Europe hence the British forces in Asia were not first rate…i hardly think you can criticise him for that!

    Judith if Britain had surrendered to the Nazis in 1940 i hardly think Australia would
    have done well out of the changed world…Britain won the war for the Allies by not surrendering to Hitler.

    Vera your post does not warrent discussion since your source happens to be the Communist Party of Australia i hardly think that article is fair or balanced!

  21. Vera, thankyou, my dad and uncles {those who came back} used Menzies’s pic as a bullseye when playing darts, they referred to him as “that traitor” maybe it’s fitting that an amoral person such as Howard idolised him.

  22. Vera the ALP fabricated that story to help them win the 1943 Election. Menzies had nothing to do with such a plan and was exhonerated by the Royal Commission.

    If you’ll note that at the time contingency plans were made in the late 1930s we had just 5 divisions and 3 were battle ready so to sacrifice land to be able to defend populations areas would not have been a bad thing. That said there is no evidence that Menzies ever agreed to such a plan or that he made up the plan himself so you are totally wrong and out of order.

    Judith criticised Menzies for overseeing our troops fighting Hitler so she was not in favour of them being there…nuff said.

  23. [It’s in Wikipedia so it must be true.]


    [Churchill was fighting for his life against the Nazis and so needed every bit of man power in Europe hence the British forces in Asia were not first rate…i hardly think you can criticise him for that!]

    True, and you can’t criticise Curtin for wanting the best forces back here becasue surely he was fighting for his life against the Japanese…

  24. [Glen if ALP hadn’t won the 1943 election we would all be speaking Japanese now]

    what, you don’t think the yanks would have liberated us??

    The bastards! Last time I ever get excited about the Super Bowl.

  25. Well vera not enough of the vets hated Menzies like your Dad because he won the 1949 Election, the 1951 Election, the 1954 Election, the 1955 Election, the 1958 Election, the 1961 Election and the 1963 Election…i guess enough of those who fought in WW2 didnt hate Menzies at all!

  26. Glen,

    16.7 million references on google is plenty of evidence. Maybe it was an early version of “We shall decide who comes to this country and how they arrive”.

  27. HAHAHAHAHAH Vera you crack me up!

    Im not criticisng Curtin for wanting our Divisions back here we needed them then Grog.

    Yes sure Vera if the UAP won the 1943 election we’d have surrendered lol what a joke!

  28. 7.30 REPORT TONITE

    Interview with Mick Dodson and Ali Moore mostly about this 26th Jan bit

    Ali pressed Mick Dodson firmly as to his attitude to th 26th Jan date and that some people wanted it changed Mick Dodson said quote “I hav no problam with th 26th date

    When Ali pressed some wanted it changed Mick Dodson said “I hav no problam with th 26th Jan date , I understand some indigenous people and white people do but I do not”

    Then Ali pressed what did he mean about having ‘a discussion’ did that mean he favoured a date change Dodson says “ no , it means to have a discussion I don’t hav a problem with 26th Jan date I’m not fussed about th 26th Jan date or any date , but some ar so we need to have a discussion to see if we can accommodate them”

    Ali asked what Austalia Day meant to him After mentioning personal reaction on himself , Ali pressed and Mick Dodson indicated it means a celebration of who and what we ar He also said Reconciliation is a generrational thingy , to be passed down for later ons to worlk on re there then situations and thoughts

    Then Ali changes subject to Constitutionol preamble bit

    At interview end , Mick Dodson says to ali:
    “ Happy Australia Day to you ….and to all your viewers”

    Pretty black and white to me , and what I’d pre suggested here last nite ie Mick Dodson has no problem with th 26th Jan itself

    Furthermores in wishing a ‘happy Australia Day” Mick Dodson is displaying a positive view of th day of what it stands for That’s my opinion as previously said here
    and what I thought Mick Dodon thought from quotes and his acceptance of this Award As to accommodating those not happy that Mick Dodson referred to , then as per my earlier post today , perhaps a yearly ceremony on 26th simalar to what Aboriginal elder with leaves etc did ala apology day in Parliament may make more inclusive

    And happy Australia Day to you as well Mick Dodson …….Australian of th Year

  29. vera,
    Menzies denied the existence of the Brisbane Line.
    Curtin said he didn’t believe in it.
    But still, why would you believe the two of them when Eddie Ward (and the Communist Party) say it’s so!?

  30. [I’m not criticisng Curtin for wanting our Divisions back here we needed them then Grog.]

    no worries Glen.
    I have my problems with Chruchill, but when you get down to it, you can’t complain too much about what he did in WWII – we’re a big coutnry, we could stand up for ourselves (and Curtin did). Churchill did what he thought was best for his own country, can’t blame him for that.

    Plus I’m reading his “History of the English Speaking Peoples” at the moment, and it’s a damn good read.

  31. I think Ron is right about what Dodson said. Certainly the comments on 702 this morning were not “let’s change Australia Day”.

    All the fuss about Dodson seems to be just the MSM doing what it does best: spreading misinformation in the name of a “good story”.

  32. Vera so was my uncle, he never came back, my dad was fighting the Japanese along with his other brothers, my mums brothers were fighting Hitler and her dad was in france, we lost a few family in those wars, my husbands dad put his age up for the first world war and then he fought in the second world war, John signed up directly from school for Korea and eventually seven of my cousins joined him, we have family serving now, i became a fairly young widow–thank god for legacy they’ve been good to me.

  33. Churchill was wrong about most things in his life.
    Still, he was persistently right about one (very important) thing: the Nazis were a menace that needed to be stopped. We tend to be blase about this now but it wasn’t at all obvious to many Westerners till about 1938.

  34. “And I think I’d take Communists over facists as well.”
    Ok, but if you believe that stuff about Menzies, you’re also (by implication) saying the Communists are more credible than both Curtin and Menzies.

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