Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in Queensland

A very well timed Newspoll survey of 752 respondents shows Anna Bligh’s Labor government looking well placed with a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred – although this may be based on an unduly generous preference estimate. On the primary vote, Labor holds a narrow lead of 43 per cent to 42 per cent. This marks a correction from an aberrant looking result in the last quarter of 2008, when Labor led 45 per cent to 37 per cent (57-43 on two-party preferred). Normally Newspoll’s Queensland surveys are quarterly, with samples of over 1000 – obviously this one been cut short and rushed into service.

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.

212 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor in Queensland”

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  1. Dovif, “On 2PP terms, the Carpenter WA government’s opinion poll was better than Bligh Qld ALP before calling an early election.” Just not true. Best poll WA Labor got in the last 3 years was 54, twice, more normally 52.

    And another key point from WA, taken from my election summary, “Of Labor’s 13 most marginal seats, only four are being contested by a sitting Labor MPs. While the Carpenter government has the advantage of incumbency, it does not have the advantage of incumbent MPs defending its key marginal seats. Indeed, three of the four most marginal Labor seats will be contested by a sitting Liberal MP.”

    Labor lost 12 seats but only 5 sitting MPs. Labor does not have that disadvantage in its marginal seats in Queensland.

  2. “PAULINE Hanson will again try to capitalise on voter disenchantment by contesting the March 21 Queensland election.

    In a move that will at least improve the One Nation founder’s public profile, and possibly provide her with another public funding boost, Ms Hanson today confirmed to AAP she would be standing.

    But the former Ipswich fish and chip shop owner and disendorsed Liberal candidate declined to say which seat, preferring to improve her chances with a gala announcement later in the campaign. ”,25197,25100446-5013404,00.html

  3. Fredex, that is a really silly comment. Newspoll does its state polls by accumulating results of state questions conducted at the same time as the fortnightly Federal polls. So NSW and Vic are done every 2 months, QLD, WA and SA every 3-4 months. It’s all a matter of accumulating enough surveys to have a big enough sample. So any state Newspoll is an accumulation of many weeks of polling, not a fortnightly snapshot like the Federal poll.

    The normal quarterly Newspoll would be out in early April. Seeing it is currently late February, it is hard to see how Newspoll could have had a quarterly Newspoll waiting. Given the cost of doing opinion polls, the Australian pay for a single parse Newspoll in the last week of the election. And if they think the election is interesting enough, they also conduct a poll at the start of the election campaign.

  4. “I’m sorry that I’m quite evasive about this at the moment, but there’s a lot happening and I just can’t say too much,” Ms Hanson told AAP.

    Maybe Pauline’s UAP will stand candidates in multiple seats???

  5. [“I’m sorry that I’m quite evasive about this at the moment, but there’s a lot happening and I just can’t say too much,” Ms Hanson told AAP.]

    What’s happening, do you think? Is she going to flip a coin or roll a die?

  6. “If, at noon on the cut-off day for the nomination of candidates
    for the election, a person nominated as a candidate for
    election for the electoral district is also nominated for election
    for another electoral district, each of the nominations is of no

    So no.

  7. Oz, it does beg that question, but I don’t see anyone complain when Newspoll publishes the state polls accumulated over time. There is no alternative. Opinion polls are expensive. Why do you think we haven’t seen a Fairfax poll publich an opinion poll for a long time.

  8. AC Neilson were doing a poll for the Qld Govt (ALP) a couple of weeks ago, so I am sure that Ms Bligh has a good grasp on current feelings about, health, education, public transport, infrastucture, ambulance, police, economic and water issues.

    We may get a Galaxy poll next week, but Qld is notoriously difficult to poll accurately without a huge sample. It is more likely we will get some polling on some marginal seats.

  9. One Nation candidate in Condamine is Rod Watson, was announced months ago.

    As long as I’ve been doing Qld elections, the polling we see is little 200 vote samples in marginal seats. From memory, they are done by the advertising staff of the Courier-Mail and Sunday Times and usually get a run in the Sunday papers. Such polls are lifelines for Sunday papers, who have to try and come up with a headline on a Sunday that nobody elese has ferretted out during the week.

    For state elections, newspapers in good times will pay for one poll, in the last week. If the election is thought interesting, a second poll will be done in the first week or two. The Australian did one in the first week of the WA election, but that was the recent exception.

    Galaxy polls have usually been payed for by all the state News Limited papers pitching in and sharing the cost. One model has been to do a Federal poll as a leader on all state Sunday papers, and Queensland could try piggy-backing a state poll with it.

    The C-M may pay for a seperate Galaxy poll but may baulk at the cost. Better to do what they have always done, the 200 sample polls in marginal seats.

  10. Anthony,

    What makes the polling so expensive? I’ve never understood why there isn’t more of it

    From the numbers on this newspoll, @750 respondants. Say Newspoll get 10 hang ups in their ear for every single person who agrees to take part,

    7,500 calls at $0.30 per call makes $2,250. Hire a few students at $10 per hour.

    what am I missing?

  11. ruawake – what’s the minimum wage? Would it change the picture materially?

    My guess is that polling isn’t expensive, its that there is no payback to the origniator of the poll for their outlay..I do you control the content?

  12. The minimum wage for full time employees is $14.31 per hour – higher for casuals. So the wage cost just for the callers would be about $20,000.

    Then you need the data to be input into some kind of system, I would suggest compters are invoved.

    Then the company needs to make some profit – at a rough guess I would say a poll of the size you suggest would cost around $50,000.

  13. And let us not forget Rua the costs of wining and dining the polling bloggers, the lavish trips, the brown paper bags of dosh and the odd sports car or two just to get us to write about their wares 😀

  14. RUawake

    $20K labour costs??? at $14.31 per hour = 1,398 hours

    For 750 calls???

    Jeez – I should have been a pollster – I think I just found a new career aspiration

  15. Squiggle

    I think your original comment mentioned a few more calls than 750?

    Then these “students” need some kind of “office” to make the calls from, then someone has to pay for the telephony infrastructure – ever heard of Lucent – they make sh*t hot stuff.

    Or do you think polling is done by someone sitting in their loungeroom with a $15 mobile cap??

  16. I wonder if anybody has told the Young Nationals that there is an election campaign in progress yet? It seems sacking the President might be more important.

    [The Young Liberal National Party (YLNP) this weekend looks certain to sack its president Simon Ingram – even though he will contest the seat of Bundamba in the March 21 State election.

    In an agenda obtained by for a YLNP meeting this Sunday, secretary Roderick Schneider told members a motion would be raised for Mr Ingram to be removed.

    “The Management Committee of the Young Liberal Nationals of Queensland removes Simon Ingram from the position of President of the Young Liberal Nationals of Queensland,” says the third point on the meeting agenda.

    However, it is understood Mr Ingram – who will stand against long-time Labor incumbent Jo-Ann Miller for the Ipswich-based seat – did not wish to relinquish the presidency.]

  17. Fargo, it’s not the first time he has expressed that view on that subject. He is also on record as claiming volcanoes are the cause of global warming. Denial of the existence of major problems is one area where he is consistent and why he has been in Parliament a long time and achieved little.

  18. Mr Squiggle

    I was going to ask the exact same question. Then I thought by the time the pollster took the age and sex and asked their questions, they might only get 10 per hour. That means 100 hours of labour at say $20 per hour with on-costs. Then you need the analysis, weighting by demographic, rent and say 3000 calls at 30c. I thought it might be about $8,000 for a single decent poll.

    I’d love to know what it really is. Blogs like the Daily Kos did it for the US election. Crikey must be thinking about it. Perhaps William and Possum know.

  19. [“A LIBERAL National Party candidate who praised himself for putting in solar panels at his campaign office has installed them facing the wrong way.
    They are facing south – away from the sun”…]

    You cannot be serious…

  20. This poster would struggle to get a job as a pollster or psephologist.

    [Eccles of the coal cellar seems to have forgotten that under Sir Joh, when he won 55% of the vote, he won about 55% of the seats. If you look at the last election Beattie won about 52% of the vote but won something like 70% of the seats. Joh’s supposed gerrymander was a figment of the ALP’s imagination.],25197,25097851-5013457,00.html

  21. Diog

    Excuse me if I am wrong.

    You say 1 person may get 10 people per hour. So to get a sample of 1000 would take 100 people an hour?

    100x $20 = $2,000 sounds reasonable.

    What is the cost of having 100 phone lines into a premises? Look at your phone cost per line per month. Lets err on the low side and say its $20 per line.

    20×100 = $2,000 per month, the cost for a phone system that can handle 100 lines, yes I used to sell them, $200,000 minimum.

    The cost just to install a phone socket in an office $30 plus cabling at $10. Another $4000

    So hardware costs about $204,000, line rental $2,000 per month, wages $2,000 per day call costs about $900 per day.

    Yearly costs about $1 million plus $250,000 plus in just telephony equipment.

    If you think a poll can be done for $8,000 that goodness you are a doctor.

  22. Re survey costs.

    Interviewer costs are much higher than some have suggested. The market research industry negotiates an award with the NUW – current hourly rates for interviewers are $21.72 casual, $17.38 permanent. And higher rates apply depending on time/day. Most research companies conform to these rates – the main exception being Morgan who has a long history of ripping off his workers – he treats them as contractors rather than employees. For details see

    No way would interviewers get 10 and hour – the refusal rate is actually quite high. Maybe 4 or 5 an hour. So just in wage costs that’s about $5K. For 1,000 interviews you would need to make 10,000+ calls. Add on management, sampling, analysis, phone costs, rent etc. For a sample of 1000 you would be up for around $20K. Pus profit margin.

  23. ruawake

    I was thinking more of about 20 phone-lines/ people getting 50 respondents over a weekend. Winston’s $20,000 looks a lot more realistic than my $8,000.

    So how often can political parties afford to do polling at that rate? They must rely on mini-polls and “focus groups” with pretty huge margins of error.

  24. Has the LNP said they will be putting Pauline Hanson last on their How to Vote cards?

    If they don’t they could upset a lot of urban voters.

    Any idea which seat she is going to run for?

  25. If Hanson wants to win a seat she will head for Gympie, if it’s just another money making scam anywhere else basically. One Nation held Gympie until the last election but their campaign came adrift once the Member for Gympie made her famous “A dog ate my Popsicle” speech. Hanson will let us know what her decision is next Monday, I believe.

  26. Dio,

    Research is expensive. Political parties actually don’t do much research at all between elections. It’s only during the campaign that they get serious about research – usually polling a small number (~200) per night to build a rolling sample.

    Focus groups are usually used to test messages and advertising – but they aren’t cheap either – around $5K per group.

  27. [Political parties actually don’t do much research at all between elections. ]

    Would Bligh have run a poll before deciding whether to call an election or just used the last Newspoll, which we’ve learnt was really quite dated?

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