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. JV, I couldnt agree more with your statement: Governments of the day should be challenged at all times by intelligent inquiry, with contrary views put to them strongly.

    Unfortunately this is NOT what the ABC does these days

  2. Guy Rundle of Crikey is not paying:

    [Sorry Rupert, we’re not paying for content – Are we seeing something of the same thing with Rupert Murdoch’s arsed-up relationship to the internet? Five years or so ago Murdoch thought that the internet was never going to threaten papers, then he suddenly rushed pell mell into it as a feed to papers, then three months ago someone showed him Google News, and now he’s talking about trying to corral content back with paid online subscriptions…..

    Does the man actually have a clue what’s going on? Of course not. He’s a smart businessman, who made some astute early decisions such as turning the boring trade union paper The Daily Herald into the page three stunna gotcha Sun in the 1960s but in terms of wider analysis, he’s an obvious man who thinks obvious thoughts.]

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/05/08/rundle-sorry-rupert-were-not-paying/

    I am not paying too. “Rupert said people should pay for the contents. I am not prepare to pay for data, information, knowledge anymore, they are commodity, they are available everywhere. I will pay for wisdom. Sorry Rupert, your publications do not have any wisdom and you have missed the bus many times and still missing. Adios Amigo.

    It also reminded me of a couple personal experience when I was working on the Internet/Web way back in the 90s:

    1. A senior IT manager said to me that the “browser” would never take-off

    2. The CEO of a very large Financial Services Company said our proposal to establish “Commsec” is a waste of money, that was 2 years before Commsec. He literally threw our proposal into the rubbish bin.

    They are people that just dont get it.

  3. Fielding and Xenophon might as well join the Coalition, they are virtual Liberal hacks posing as independents.
    Paul Keating said it best, the Senate is a bunch of “unrepresentative swill”.

  4. Psephos

    Disturbingly, I agree with everything you say. The projected figures for the increasing % of State’s budgets being taken up by Health are frightening. By 2030 I think they are projected to be 50% of the State budget.

    I don’t know the best answer but it’s going to involve a huge reform of the health system. You are totally right when you say “Something will have to give eventually”. We can’t go on as we are forever.

    Possibilities include (1) reducing the public’s expectations (which would be political suicide). (2) Services might have to be rationed. (3) People will have to pay more of their health costs as in a coughing up $50 a day in a public hospital or $100 for a procedure.

    Andrew

    After a while, you need more stimulation than your job can give you.

  5. [Fielding and Xenophon might as well join the Coalition, they are virtual Liberal hacks posing as independents.
    Paul Keating said it best, the Senate is a bunch of “unrepresentative swill”.]

    No they are not and no it is not.

  6. Scorpio 1277 – I remember reading somewhere that the Future Fund had already lost more than $15 billion before Christmas 2008. Do you know what the actual losses are today? And can you tell me why we can’t tap into that resource during this recession?

  7. Psephos [Something will have to give eventually.]

    Until Diogenes gets out of theatre again, some possibilities off the top of my head:
    1. An ‘affordable health care’ model reminiscent of ‘affordable air safety’. That is, less money to hopeless causes.
    2. Charges/levies (from earners) for medical costs due to poor self-care/lifestyle (eg cancer in smokers, heart attacks in slobs & Mac addicts, cirrhosis in heavy drinkers etc.)
    3. Encouraging less of 2. with incentives like, say, tax rebates or pension bonuses where attendance on medical services is limited to regular check-ups and non-lifestyle illnesses. Also greater involvement of health services (particularly local GPs) in monitoring lifestyles (difficult I know). This is already being used by health funds to an extent.
    3. Cut out access to public facilities and funding for non-critical medicine like cosmetic surgery/ enlargements, IVF etc.
    4. Legalise controlled euthenasia.

    Anyway, we baby-boomers will help fix it up soon enough now we are starting to die off.

  8. Health- introduce a broad based co-payment system, for every service across the board, $14 per service, $8 for pensioners. Scrap the private rebate entirely and pump that money into the public system. Take control out of the states and move to a federal system. Increase the medicare levy as required to fund the entire system up to 5%. Reform emergency departments and have dr’s working side by side with physios and nurses, effectively triage with clients seeing only the practioner required (lets face it the average doctor knows didly squat about musculoskeletal which can represnt up to 60% of presentations to casualty). That ought to do it.

  9. Mr X got 15% of the vote in SA which was 150,000 votes. To say he is “unrepresentative swill” is just plain stupid.

  10. Just received this….

    They once said that a black man would be president when pigs fly. His first 100 days and wham!! Pig’s flu!

  11. My understanding (limited, but I was on a hospital board for several years) is that it’s not all doom and gloom health-cost-wise.

    Firstly, many proceedures are much much cheaper, easier, quicker, etc now – many proceedures you were once hospitalised for are now done in a doctor’s surgery. Many proceedures you once spent weeks in hospital for you now go home the next day (new anaesthetics are awesome – can’t believe the difference in post operative recovery with my nose op two years ago and the one I had nearly twenty years ago).

    Secondly, yes, people are living longer but they’re generally healthier, too. Once upon a time you fell apart when you were sixty (hence the retirement age). Now that happens at eighty plus.

  12. The RBA is predicting the recession will last until the end of the NEXT financial year:
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,28124,25447689-5018001,00.html

    I hope for that reason alone the Government makes NewStart and Youth Allowance “acceptable activity” criteria looser for the next financial year, before reverting to the current system.

    It is unfair expecting people to look for jobs that don’t exist. They should be able to do community service or ANY charity work instead.

  13. [2. Charges/levies (from earners) for medical costs due to poor self-care/lifestyle (eg cancer in smokers, heart attacks in slobs & Mac addicts, cirrhosis in heavy drinkers etc.)]
    I still think our health system should be UNIVERSAL. Everyone pays, everyone gets access irrespective of if people smoke, drink too much, don’t exercise.

    Anything that moves the system away from being universal would be wrong IMO.

  14. Showson
    [Anything that moves the system away from being universal would be wrong IMO.]

    I also support universal health-care – the same public funded medical services for all, no private funding. And the last thing we want are any ‘lifestyle police’ rounding us up.
    But some lifestyles are almost guaranteed to cost the community more – smoking and base-jumping for example. We all pay for those decisions. If the choice is between losing critical medical services and levying those who deliberately cause extra costs to medicare (or rebating those who don’t), then it is fairly clear to me. As long as it never means those who are just unfortunate in having poor health are slugged in any way.

  15. [Labor Senator Mark Arbib was the sensible-speaking centrist]

    I found him to be pretty unimpressive on Q&A last night. Mind you he was better than Stone but that’s no great achievement.

  16. centaur @ 1309
    Do you know how those $14/$8 per service figures would translate nationwide to overall funding costs?

  17. TCEPSER,

    [Do you know what the actual losses are today? And can you tell me why we can’t tap into that resource during this recession?]

    Just quickly glancing at the figures in my post @ 1278, then your figure of $15b loss would be pretty close to the mark. I can’t really understand why the Govt haven’t looked at using the collateral in the Future Fund to assist in the current GFC difficulties. Perhaps they are relying on it as a fall-back position if the current strategy doesn’t work. Although current events seem to imply that it is working and working well.

    The Annual Reports can be viewed here.

    http://www.futurefund.gov.au/about_the_future_fund/annual_reports

  18. JV #1299: Re Stephen Long’s article, as I repeatedly said to Shows On please read carefully. This was not a discussion regrading ABC bias it was about poor reporting. And there were subsequent retorts in the blog. If you listen to the report (reading the transcript does not portray completely a radio piece) Long is clearly incredulous about the UE numbers. If I want incredulity I’ll listen to the phone in radio. Even using the transcript shows a poor report, I mean really, including a snip from a person that compares Austrlaia’s UE position to the phoney was of WWII was risible.

  19. [Labor Senator Mark Arbib was the sensible-speaking centrist]

    Except for the fact that everyone else seemed to take great delight in talking over the top of him throughout the segment.

    At times he was never even allowed to get started on an answer. Rundle was appalling with that. He seems to enjoy hearing the sound of his own voice.

    Sheridan was worse. I now know why I don’t bother to read any of his rantings any more and cannot understand how he can keep his job.

  20. Arbib is vastly over-rated. I assume he’ll be a minister some day but I don’t see what the fuss is about.

  21. I can never understand what Helen Coonan is all about, in all regards. Between her and Andrew Robb, two of the weakest sales persons on the Turnbull’s team.

  22. centaurs model looks very well thought through and would address many problems. Euthanasia should never be a cost saving mechanism. I also don’t agree with financially penalising people who are smokers or overweight.

    Psephos should read the book “Boomsday” by C Buckley. It’s a US satire where a party has the platform of people voluntarily entering a scheme where they get free top level health care and cash payments in exchange for agreeing to be euthanised when they reach 70.

  23. [agreeing to be euthanised when they reach 70.]

    But many people live well beyond 70 in perfect health. My mother is 82 and makes no demands on the public health system at all. What they should do is state that the older you get, the fewer the non-essential demands that you will be allowed to make on the public health system, and that once you’re 80 all you will get is palliative care (tho even that can be very expensive).

  24. [Helen Coonan on Sky Agenda – bumbling, stumbling, empty.]

    The thing is with ex ministers is that often they don’t have the energy or interest to work hard in opposition. Bumbling, stumbling and empty describes someone who no long has public servants handing her prepared speeches. Coonan would know her best days are behind her. She should of course make way for fresh blood but she doesn’t know what else to do with her life. She needs to be shown the door along with quite a few of her ex minister colleagues.

  25. Stan S –
    [Long is clearly incredulous about the UE numbers. If I want incredulity I’ll listen to the phone in radio.]
    Fair enough, but the guest’s WW2 analogy seemed reasonable to me (he could just as easily used ‘the eye of the storm’ I suppose), and it was just his explanatory tool (as it were). Anyway he isn’t the ABC, he was a guest expert.

    I have no problem with Long’s tone of incredulity either- it was the tone of the day because the figures were totally unexpected. Hence the intelligent inquiry into what the figures really meant. All hangs together for me. Good quality ABC current affairs as usual. Sure beats Channel 9 or Alan Jones (not of Jonestown).

  26. This looks very good on paper and video. How and where to secure it? especially when there is a tsunami.

    [Anaconda wave-power generator snakes into next stage of production – Giant rubber sea snakes could harness the plentiful clean power off Britain’s coasts within five years, according to the inventors of a new type of wave-energy generator.

    Yesterday, Checkmate Sea Energy unveiled the final stages of a proof-of-concept trial of its Anaconda device, seen by many experts as at the forefront of the next generation of robust, cheap wave-power machines that could slash the costs of making renewable electricity.]

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/06/anaconda-wave-power

  27. [Giant rubber sea snakes could harness the plentiful clean power off Britain’s coasts within five years]

    The problem is training them. They will keep swimming away and chasing cruise liners.

  28. thanks Diog. i will just come up with a costing and i should be good to shoot over to Roxon. i know that it’s around 5-6 visits to the GP a year for the entire pop, so it’s about 100 million. With a co payment system the number of visits woukld reduce and where services were previously bulk billed 9is it at 30% or more?) then there would be significant money saved.

  29. Did anyone hear the free kicks in front of goal Neil Mitchell was giving John Cobb this morning? The final question Mitchell asked was, “Who would you more likely believe, Kevin Rudd or members of the armed services?” What answer did Mitchell expect to get from a member of the opposition?
    The whole tenor of the interview was that Rudd was lying.

  30. Psephos

    [But many people live well beyond 70 in perfect health.]

    There will be winners and losers in every system. 😉

    Actually, they did make allowances for people who changed their mind. They just had to pay up big or agree never to darken the doorstep of a hospital.

    The person who put up the policy in the book did it as a stunt to highlight the way the baby-boomers were bankrupting their progeny who had to pay huge taxes for the healthcare of these people who just refuse to die. In the end the bill almost passed.

  31. Centaur – Discouraging people from going to the GP just for a whinge and a chat would be a start. I knew of a local doctor some years ago – via the pharmacist who got the scripts – who wrote prescriptions for some patients of a certain age (he said they were mainly women, but I couldn’t possibly say that) with ABT written in large letters on the sheet. This stood for ‘Any Bloody Thing’ and the pharmacist would duly dispense a placebo. Now that’s a drain on the system!

  32. Yesterday’s unemployment figures may have been more realistic than the media would have us believe.
    [The pace of decline in the Australian labour market appears to be slowing, an employment index shows.

    SEEK employment managing director Joe Powell said the data was encouraging, but it was still too early to say whether the trend was an indicator of an improving situation.

    “However, these results do parallel some signs of better trends in the economy, including better than expected employment figures in Australia,” said Mr Powell.

    “The SEEK index was also one of the first indicators in Australia of a slowing economy, so well certainly be paying close attention to the results over the next few months.”]
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/pace-of-labour-market-decline-slowing-20090508-axtq.html

  33. 1303,

    [
    Paul Keating said it best, the Senate is a bunch of “unrepresentative swill”.
    ]

    Where is Paul when we need him? 😉

  34. One small victory for rational health policy to be in the budget, as miniscule as the reduction is:

    [Budget Removes Safety Net For IVF Parents]

    We’ve discussed this before, and it’s good to see a move in the right direction. Just why this procedure should be publicly funded at all is beyond me, when critical health care can’t be adequately addressed. I’d like to see it made more difficult for health resources generally to be used for this indulgent bs. No wonder the article is in the ‘Lifestyle’ section of the paper, because that’s all IVF is about. I know people say it’s to make it fair for the poor, but that doesn’t address the central issue of the misuse of public funds and resources for the indulgence of those who demand progeny as a ‘right’. Because a rich matron can afford a nose job doesn’t mean poor women with big noses should get public money for cosmetic surgery, either. Life’s tough, I guess, but we have to heal the sick first. I say if you don’t get it naturally, then ‘…take it and like it’, as Bogart said.
    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/budget-removes-safety-net-for-ivf-parents-20090507-awlx.html

  35. [How do dolphins mate?]

    Psephos, if the basics of sex elude you. I am truly sorry

    [Do they leap in the air like whales do?]

    Only when they’ve finished
    😉

  36. Here in SA I have limited interaction with Catholics but those I do know are politically conservative. Has the ALP recovered the Catholic vote since the death of the DLP or are Catholics now COALition supporters? By Catholics I mean people that actually rock up on sunday and believe, etc, as apposed to the phonies.

  37. Despite the distortion caused by the equal representation of each original state the Senate is more representative of the way the voters voted on a party basis that the House of Representatives.

    Paul Keating`s comment was a case of the pot and the kettle.

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