Newspoll: 55-45

The latest Newspoll confirms the trend of recent Morgan and Essential Research results in showing an easing in Labor’s lead, from 58-42 in the previous two fortnightly surveys to 55-45. Labor’s primary vote has dropped five points to 42 per cent, its lowest level since November, but the Coalition’s is up only one point to 38 per cent. The Greens’ account for two points of the difference, up from 9 to 11 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating has dropped a further point to a new low of 36 per cent. Kevin Rudd’s preferred prime minister rating is down three points to 64 per cent, while Malcolm Turnbull is steady on 19 per cent.

UPDATE: Graphic here (how long have they been waiting to use that photo of Kevin Rudd?). Interesting supplementary question on what the government should have done with the stimulus package money – 78 per cent say they would have preferred it be spent on infrastructure, which is the kind of opinion poll response political operatives hesitate to believe. Opinion is divided on whether promised tax cuts should go ahead as planned.

Other news:

Essential Research has Labor’s two-party lead nudging downwards for the fourth week in a row. It’s now at 57-43, compared with 63-37 on April 6. The survey also reveals slightly more optimism on the economy than was recorded in mid-March, mixed messages on what should be done in the budget, a persistence of illiberal attitudes towards asylum seekers, and a widespread belief that Pacific nations such as Fiji should be “left to sort out their own affairs”.

• An anonymous business figure tells Glenn Milne of The Australian that “major business donors” have a hit list of 14 MPs who must make way for new blood if the Liberal Party is to get their donations. These are Bronwyn Bishop (Mackellar) and Philip Ruddock (Berowra), Kevin Andrews (Menzies), Alby Schultz (Hume), Joanna Gash (Gilmore), Judi Moylan (Pearce), Wilson Tuckey (O’Connor), Margaret May (McPherson), Andrew Laming (Bowman), Michael Johnson (Ryan) and Alex Somlyay (Fairfax), along with Nationals John Forrest (Mallee) and Bruce Scott (Maranoa) plus one lone Senator, former Howard numbers man Bill Heffernan. Some of these point to the Coalition’s undoubted surplus of MPs past their use-by date, as noted in detail recently by Peter van Onselen in The Australian. Others on the list fall well below van Onselen’s nominated cut-off point of 60 years of age, the most striking examples being Johnson (39) and Laming (42). Milne’s source also reckons Barnaby Joyce is “divisive and not a team player or a regional centre vote winner” – the latter judgement at least seems a very big call. While Milne describes the list as “non-factional”, Liberal sources are evidently putting it to Andrew Bolt that responsibility for the article ultimately lies with party treasurer and Turnbull ally Michael Yabsley, who scores an indirect compliment from Milne’s source.

Submissions for the redistribution of New South Wales federal elections have been published, compelling the major parties to suggest which electorate they think should be eliminated. The Liberals have excitingly decided the axe should be wielded on their own turf, suggesting Kay Hull’s seat of Riverina and Alby Schultz’s seat of Hume be merged into a new seat called Bradman. Schultz has reacted by calling for a return to rural malapportionment. Ben Raue notes that the Liberals want territory transferred from Wentworth to Sydney, which would at once make Malcolm Turnbull safer while leaving Tanya Plibersek more vulnerable to the Greens. Labor’s submission calls for the abolition of Pat Farmer’s seat of Macarthur further to the north, where the Liberals propose to strengthen their position by adding territory from Hume.

• Swoon over the new-look Crikey. Now no longer featuring my goofy 2004 vintage mug on the front page, praise the Lord.

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.

1,434 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45”

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  1. 55-45: A more realistic poll number, although I guess Shanahan and the conservatives in the media will try and talk up a supposed swing back to the Libs.

  2. [And the Prime Minister was rated the better leader by 64 per cent of voters against 19 per cent for Mr Turnbull, whose support was unchanged from the previous poll a fortnight earlier.]

    [While Labor’s two-party-preferred lead of 55 per cent to 45per cent was an improvement for the Coalition from Labor’s 58-42 lead two weeks ago, the Coalition’s vote was still below its 2007 election return of 42.1 per cent.],25197,25430179-601,00.html

  3. Bull butter.

    Has anyone seen the details of how the ETS Mark II has made allowances for reductions in household emissions, like the GreenPower alternative? The press release of Adam’s at 371 talks about it and it looks like they will partly subsidise GreenPower and they will also take into consideration the number of people taking up GreenPower when working out the yearly caps.

    It looks pretty good to me and answers a lot of the criticisms but I don’t know the figures well enough to work out if it’s a fudge. Strangely, none of the MSM have picked up on this part of the new package.

  4. [Dario, can you lift the standard of your contributions please (see 478, 499 and 543)]

    Aye aye Cap’n. All my future factless derision of posts that assert opinion backed by no facts will now be padded to appear as though they assert an opinion but will still contain no facts.

    [And Dario, I always love your comments, you’re much missed at the other place where I post.]

    Cheers Ev. Sadly the boss wants more meat in the sandwich…

  5. Interesting that Newspoll has Labor’s primary below its election primary with the greens apparently on the receiving end, the libs are really in a hole. Methinks that leaking to Glen Milne might not get them out of it, nor attempting to set up three-cornered contests for their own seats.
    Where’s the political genius? (snigger)

  6. [Judi Moylan (Pearce),]

    Hmm, I wonder if she is being targetted because of her moderate views on Asylum Seekers ? And I wonder if the Libs will draft City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino into the seat ? or will it be Rod Henderson ? who stood in West Swan for te Libs at the last State election ?

  7. Ruddock is going to contest Berowra(where I live) again, because otherwise the seat will fall into the hands of the religious right, and Ruddock is supposedly on the left of the Liberal Party.

  8. That Oz article seems to have been written by an anti-Shanahan. These are classic Shanahan lines but the writer has the wrong party.

    [KEVIN Rudd has retained a strong lead…]

    [Only 36 per cent of voters … expressed satisfaction with the Opposition Leader’s performance]

    [Mr Turnbull’s failure to make significant ground…]

  9. Andrew
    [GG, I think today’s events have established that there is NOTHING the government can do to get the senate numbers. I just wonder why they didnt just go with something more ambitious in the first place. Although I guess at least today’s events have helped diminish Turnbull even further]
    SO NOW WHAT? Turnball looks like a dill, the Libs were asking for an ETS to be postponed a year, now they still say ‘no’! The Greens want something which will actually stop run-away climate change, but is something totally unacceptable to the ALP. Plus if they try going down the cross benches route then there is still FF and Mr X to contend with. So are we all in agreance this will be voted down? If so, THEN WHAT? WHAT NEXT?

    We political tragics love the idea of a DD, its bloomin’ exciting. I remember it being mentioned during ‘the howard years’ (not as in the ABC) in government when he got triggers and nothing happened. Circumstances are very different now but are we exagerating the chance of a DD coz its fun?
    A DD wouldn’t even make the passage of the ETS definate. Even with the Greens monopolizing the balance of power, they and the Libs would still block it. So it would have to be passed during a joint sitting of both chambers. This means the ALP has to win 114 of the 226 seats. Thats likely but not VERY likely. It also means that the Alco-pops bill cant be used as the trigger for a DD, it needs to be the ETS or there will be no joint sitting for it. Is an ETS triggered DD possible this year or is there no time?

  10. I’d be interested to see the figures from New South Wales, no wonder Rudd is distancing himself from Nathan Rees.

  11. [Only 36 per cent of voters questioned in a weekend Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, expressed satisfaction with the Opposition Leader’s performance, while 45 per cent were dissatisfied.]

    Oh dear, another notch down for Malcolm, not a good look with the party room due to meet next week.

  12. Penny Wong said this on February 20, two months ago.

    [ Climate Change Minister Penny Wong will today assure business economists in Sydney that an Australian trading scheme will begin in July 2010.

    “Our Government remains undeterred in our determination to implement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme because we know it is the economically responsible course of action for Australia,” Senator Wong will say at a lunch.]

  13. Seems nothing has changed with Turnbull’s approval [64 per cent of voters against 19 per cent for Mr Turnbull] but as the polls have come down it must be the dog whistle that worked to some degree. So I guess there will be more of the call to xenophobia unless Rudd nips it in the bud with some pseudo or otherwise action that seems tough.

    The lesson in this for Rudd is to not quietly deal with those old Howard wedge issues as they will have some effect on public perception. He needs to learn the Howard double face technique but put it to a good cause. Saying how tough and nasty and inhumane they will be to this and that issue whilst their actions are somewhat the opposite.

    Rudd of course would have preferred the polls to stay high leading into the budget, putting more pressure on the Senate players to let it through.

    Labor peaked a few weeks ago. So now it is the hard slog into the election. But there is the little problem of an acceptable opposition leader and I am also guessing the narrowing/widening if it occurs close to the election would be toward the incumbent govt.

  14. I suspect the last 58-42 poll was a bit roguish. You’ll recall we were expecting Labor to be off a bit because of the asylum seeker issue and it didn’t happen, despite evidence it’s a dangerous area for Labor.

  15. Why wouldn’t the dog whistle send people back to the coalition? The coalition’s vote has hardly moved.

  16. [Why wouldn’t the dog whistle send people back to the coalition? The coalition’s vote has hardly moved.]

    Unless the rise in the Green Vote is the result of Rudd mentioning that People smugglers are Scum and should Rot in Hell upset a few of the more leftish labor supporters.

  17. While it looks like the leaky boat dogwhistling would be the main influence on the drop in primary vote, the surprising thing is that it only put the Liberal primary up one point. It seems to work but not quite in the same way it once did.

  18. Another stroke-victim’s performance from Andrew Robb on Lateline. How this guy gets a portfolio boggles the mind.

  19. I guess we’ll see in the next Newspoll which poll is the rogue. IMHO a drop of 5% in two weeks is a tad over the top. Two or even three but five?

  20. [Dio – what is the reaction to the ‘bag ban’ in SA. Are the stores still allowed to charge for plastic or are they banned completely.]
    It has not caused me the slightest heartache, its very easy to adjust. Only problem is that some places (a nursery I got a shrub from for one) have started using thicker, bigger bags because a loop-hole in the legislation says that makes them re-useable so thats slightly counter-productive but isnt very widespread. The rest of Australia should also adopt our 10c for a can or bottle policy, it has both environmental and social benifits.

  21. Dio 4

    If that is true I agree it is a significant improvement – at least it means individual action does not give a perverse reward to power companies. Structurally this ETS is not bad now, targets and free permits for big polluters aside.

  22. Both Andrew Robb and Penny Wong always sound so boring, scripted and lifeless. Limited vocabluary, just stock phrases. Is it the subject matter or are they both just awful speakers?

  23. Q. Thinking about the Government budget set to be announced soon, which of the following is the most important thing the Government needs to
    Cut spending so we don’t go further into debt 24%

    do these idiots want us to go into a deep recession instead?

    how will we get revenue back to normal if the recession is deep and long?

    A grade idiots!

  24. [Has anyone seen the details of how the ETS Mark II has made allowances for reductions in household emissions, like the GreenPower alternative?]

    The only thing I’ve seen is that they’ll create something called a “Carbon Trust” that will allow households to work out where they make savings.

    The Greens press releases on the issue seem as though there’s still no recognition for voluntary abatement. But they could be as confused as us.

    [Structurally this ETS is not bad now, targets and free permits for big polluters aside.]

    I’d also throw in the absence of the agricultural and transport sectors.

    Andrew Robb was a joke on Lateline. He’s part of the reason Labor can be comfortable with such a strategy. You compare him to Brown and you realise not only does Brown have a harder case to prosecute from a much smaller position but he does way better than Robb ever could.

  25. Here we go on the Carbon Trust:

    “Households would be able to calculate their energy use and then make donations to fund which would then buy and cancel carbon permits.”

  26. [Penny Wong said this on February 20, two months ago.]

    Yeah but the economic situation has severely declined since two months ago, Diogenes.

    Get with the program.

  27. Perhaps it would be in the best interest of the coalition for them to just cut their losses and support the ETS. If it gets knocked back and a DD ensues they could lose alot of seats.

    However, by some miracle the Libs could win and as Bob Brown (what a champ!) just pointed out on Lateline, Bob Hawke’s ALP did less well at his DD than the earlier polls would indicate. So the Libs could then be in office. So what do they do? There would be tremendous pressure on them to bring in a CPRS but also tremendous pressure on them to make it piss weak. So we would end up with the same “lame” ETS. I doubt very much that the Libs would win though.

  28. 16 April 2009

    [The Government’s climate change strategy is being implemented step by step, recognising the urgency of the environmental and the economic imperative for action. The economic imperative is becoming clearer and clearer, as Australia is among the first nations in the developed world to feel the economic impacts of climate change.

    The Government believes that the economic cost of inaction on climate change is far greater than the cost of action and that sustained inaction imperils our economy and the global economy]

  29. Sorry for the millions of posts, but everyone else has a life it appears.

    The ABC was reporting on private Labor polling which suggested that despite the recession there’s still significant community support for acting on climate change. This could be a factor in their decision to increase their efforts to try and get it through (even though it doesn’t look to have worked). They also talked about the Liberal polling suggesting they would be hammered at an election called over the ETS.

    Does anyone know who the Labor Senator is who threatened to resign? Is it because the new scheme is too weak or they think it is too strong?

  30. Ack sorry, one more!

    More info from Newspoll.

    [Forty-seven per cent of voters interviewed on the weekend for a Newspoll said the Prime Minister should reduce the size of the 2009 budget deficit by scrapping tax cuts to take effect on July 1.

    And 78 per cent said any new stimulus package should avoid Mr Rudd’s strategy of one-off payments to individuals and instead be spent on infrastructure such as new roads or schools.],27574,25430758-5007133,00.html

    Next polls really need some ETS questions.

  31. [Does anyone know who the Labor Senator is who threatened to resign?]

    Given that the ‘source’ was Graham Morris, I doubt even he knows…

  32. Just watching Lateline two hours later than the rest of you (Laterline). Bob Brown boasts about his long political memory before recalling that Bob Hawke got stung when he pulled a double dissolution in 1984. But he’s wrong! The DD was a year earlier under Fraser – 1984 was a normal House and half-Senate (well, not quite normal – the “half”-Senate was for seven seats per state to facilitate the increase from 10 seats per state to 12). Where do I collect my prize?

  33. Graphic here (how long have they been waiting to use that photo of Kevin Rudd?). Interesting supplementary question on what the government should have done with the stimulus package money – 78 per cent say they would have preferred it be spent on infrastructure, which is the kind of opinion poll response political operatives hesitate to believe. Opinion is divided on whether promised tax cuts should go ahead as planned.

  34. I’m confused as to why it’s called “War in Gaza Interactive”…

    It’ll be interesting to see what the general response from the media and the Liberal Party would be should Turnbull’s dissatisfaction rating hit 50%. The chances of that happening, though, seem to be somewhat slim, in the short term at least.

  35. No 43

    That 78% number is quite sobering to all those herewith who chastised me for having the temerity to suggest the handouts were an egregious waste of money.

  36. As for Rudd’s backdown on the CPRS – I have to say that this was to be expected. The GFC gives him the perfect excuse to delay the timeframe for introduction and he wasted no time in taking advantage of it.

    That said, given his statements prior to today on the supposed damage that a delayed introduction would have, his backdown is somewhat humiliating. Wong looked idiotic on the 7.30 report and Kerry was absolutely right.

    BUT, my main concern is the fact that Turnbull has simply opposed the scheme, even with the Government’s concessions. What on earth is he thinking? Rudd’s given him what he wanted, except a spare room in the lodge. Whoever is the mastermind of this strategy in Turnbull’s office should be sent out the back and shot.

  37. Bronwyn Bishop, in a bout of sense and reason, asks quite rightly: What does the Liberal Party stand for?

    [The veteran politician denies she’s history, and has told 2GB’s Jason Morrison Mr Turnbull is not standing up properly for the values of the Liberal Party.

    “For people to give money to support the Liberal Party, be it big people or little people, they’ve got to know what they believe in,” Ms Bishop said.

    “Therefore you’ve got to have a leadership who can push it – it is very ambiguous at the moment… people say all the time ‘we don’t know what you stand for.’”]

  38. I’m pretty sure the following song is about events leading up to, and including the Dismissal in 1975.

    I’ve emailed this to William, but for those who remember the first year of Countdown back in 1975, here is the only song which is about our Nation’s capital and it may well be The Poll Bludger’s theme song 🙂

    Note that the title of the thread goes to an external link to download the mp3.

    Here is the text:

    [Dalvanius & The Fascinations – Canberra We’re Watching You
    Dalvanius was born in New Zealand on 16 January 1948, the sixth of 11 children, In 1967 Dalvanius moved to Wellington, working as a cook by day and as a musician by night. By 1969 he had formed the Fascinations with his brother Edward and sister Barletta. Together they won Talent Scope, a national talent quest hosted on 2ZB by Philip Sherry. Dalvanius travelled to Australia in 1970 with the Shevelles, but gigs were limited due to their dislike of travel and a religious objection to performing on Sundays. When Barletta arrived a year later, the Fascinations reformed. Their vocal talents meant the Fascinations were in demand recording backing vocals for Australian stars such as Johnny O’Keefe, Reg Lyndsay, Renee Geyer, Richard Clipton, Gulliver Smith, Col Joye. In 1976 he joined the Australian rock band Sherbet’s tour “Life Is For Living”. Sherbet’s Clive Shakespeare and their New Zealand-born keyboardist Garth Porter encouraged the Fascinations to record their own material. Shakespeare and Porter produced and played on the Dalvanius single “Canberra We’re Watching You”. The single’s release resulted in his appearance on ABC’s pop show “Countdown”. Now days when he is not on stage somewhere around the world he is in a New Zealand recording studio producing his latest project for his MAUI Record Label or touring the world giving lectures on MOKOMOKAI (preserved Maori Heads). Here for you to download is their 1975 single for Infinity “Canberra We’re Watching You”. (K 6210)]

    and here is the direct link 🙂

  39. Was at dinner on Saturday night with some old friends. He lost his job when his contract ran out and hasn’t been able to get another one. Or hasn’t tried too hard, in any case. She has had to get a low paying job to accommodate the mortgage they’ve just taken on. Times are tight.

    She received her $900 and put it to the mortgage. But she doesn’t believe in payouts like that. Says the money should be spent on Big Infrastructure. When I told her there were no plans ready to go due to the previous government’s lack of foresight she was incredulous. Surely there should be something they could do. I replied, yes, keep retail alive in the meantime and do a lot of small infrastructure jobs that don’t require batteries of structural engineers and years of planning… like they are doing (and the big stuff to come along later, when it’s properly designed). I pointed out that the $900 is only a part, and a relatively small part of the overall plan, but I got that look from her like she didn’t believe me.

    He just said (not particularly helpfully), “Bloody politicians. They’re all out for themselves.”

    Both have voted Labor in the past (did so last time, especially her and reluctantly him).

    These are the people the latest Newspoll is picking up on.

    They deserve the money, but nobody else does.

  40. As a post script to my post #49: the dinner cost $120 a head. I didn’t have the gall to point out that they were probably spending their $900 anyway.

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