Newspoll 56-44; ACNielsen 58-42; Galaxy 56-44

An unprecedented triple whammy of opinion polls is disastrous enough for the Coalition to lend force to Dennis Shanahan‘s assertion that “Malcolm Turnbull’s political career has been smashed in just one week”. In turn:

• Arriving a day earlier than usual, Newspoll shows that the Coalition recovery detected a fortnight ago has come to a sudden end, with Labor’s lead back out from 53-47 to 56-44. The parties have also exchanged three points on the primary vote, Labor up to 44 per cent and the Coalition down to 37 per cent. However, the real shock is that Turnbull’s personal ratings have suffered what Shanahan calls “the single biggest fall in the survey’s 25-year history”: his approval rating has plunged from 44 per cent to 25 per cent, while his disapproval is up from 37 per cent to 58 per cent. Fifty-two per cent do not believe that John Grant received preferential treatment from the Prime Minister against only 24 per cent who do. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is up from 57-25 to 65-18.

ACNielsen, which is hopefully back to monthly polling as we enter the second half of the term, has Labor’s two-party lead up from 53-47 to 58-42. Labor’s primary vote is up two points to 46 per cent while the Coalition’s is down six to 37 per cent. Fifty-three per cent say the OzCar affair has left them with a less favourable impression of Malcolm Turnbull, whose approval is down 11 points to 32 per cent with his disapproval has shot up 13 points to 60 per cent. Turnbull comes third as preferred Liberal leader with 18 per cent, behind Peter Costello on 37 per cent and Joe Hockey on 21 per cent. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is up from 64-28 to 66-25, and his approval rating is up three points to 67 per cent.

Galaxy has Labor’s primary vote up a point to 44 per cent and the Coalition’s down two to 30 per cent. Sixty-one per cent believe Kevin Rudd has been open and honest about the OzCar affair, while 51 per cent “believed Mr Turnbull had been dishonest or somewhat deceitful”.

Once again, Victoria dominates the latest round of electoral news:

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has tabled two major reports which I haven’t got round to sinking my teeth into: the regular conduct of the federal election report, and that into the Commwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that complicated quarreling in the Victorian ALP has thrown up “rogue challengers” against at least ten state MPs. Keilor MP George Seitz, who faces enforced retirement in the wake of the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into Brimbank City Council, is said to be largely reponsible: Andrew Landeryou at VexNews identifies his state nominees as Tomislav Tomic (against Bundoora MP Colin Brooks), Seeralan Arumugam Gunaratnam (Carrum MP Jenny Lindell), Raymond Congreve (Lara MP John Eren), Rosa Mitrevski (Mill Park MP Lily D’Ambrosio), Philip Cassar (Mordialloc MP Janice Munt), Teodoro Tuason (Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan), Teresa Kiselis and Mate Barun (both taking on Northcote MP Fiona Richardson), Josefina Agustin (Prahran MP Tony Lupton), and Blagoja Bozinovski (Thomastown MP Peter Batchelor). For good measure, Seitz candidate Manfred Kriechbaum is taking on federal MP Maria Vamvakinou in Calwell. Other challengers are explained by Wallace in terms the “stability pact” forged between the Left and the Right forces associated with Bill Shorten and Steven Conroy, and counter-moves by rival Right unions seeking to forge ties with some of the more militant unions of the Left. This presumably accounts for Australian Manufacturing Workers Union candidate Andrew Richards joining the aforementioned Kriechbaum in a three-horse race against Vamvakinou in Calwell, Lisa Zanatta of the Construction Mining Forestry and Energy Union challenging Lynne Kosky in Altona, and Kathleen Matthews-Ward of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association joining the Seitz challengers to Fiona Richardson in Northcote. The option of referring preselections to the party’s national executive remains available to John Brumby, who must be sorely tempted.

• Other challenges appear more obscure. A third Labor Unity candidate, Rick Garotti, is listed as a nominee against incumbent Craig Langdon in Ivanoe, in addition to the previously discussed Anthony Carbines. In Preston, Labor Unity MP Robin Scott is being challenged by Moreland councillor Anthony Helou (once of the Socialist Left, but more recently of Labor Unity) and Tamer Kairouz, said by Landeryou to be backed by upper house MP Nazih Elasmar, a principal of a Right sub-faction also linked with Theo Theophanous (not sure if any relation to Kororoit MP Marlene Kairouz). Two Socialist Left members are under challenge from factional colleagues, which Andrew Landeryou suggests can be put down to dealings between the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and unions on the Right: Yuroke MP Liz Beattie faces a challenge from Colleen Gibbs, an official with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, while Darebin councillor Timothy Laurence has nominated against Steve Herbert in Eltham. Andrew Lappos, who in the past has been associated with the Left, is listed as a challenger to the Right’s Telmo Languiller in Derrimut, but it was reported last week that Languiller’s preselection had been secured by the national executive.

• The preselection contest for Brunswick has taken on new significance with the news that Phil Cleary will contest the seat as an independent. Cleary defeated the Labor candidate in the federal seat of Wills in the 1992 by-election that followed Bob Hawke’s retirement and was narrowly re-elected in 1993, before losing to Labor’s Kelvin Thomson in 1996. He has more recently worked for the Electrical Trades Union, which under the leadership of Dean Mighell has disaffiliated with the ALP and given support to the Greens. Three candidates are listed for Labor preselection, each a colleague of outgoing member Carlo Carli in the Socialist Left: Jane Garrett, Slater and Gordon lawyer and former adviser to Steve Bracks; Enver Erdogan, 23-year-old Moreland councillor and staffer to House of Represenatatives Speaker Harry Jenkins, said to be aligned with the Kim Carr sub-faction; and Alice Pryor, also a Moreland councillor, aligned with the rival Left sub-faction associated with federal Bruce MP Alan Griffin. Former party state secretary Eric Locke has proved a non-starter; Andrew Landeryou reports he has withdrawn in favour of Garrett, who would appear to be the front-runner. According to David Rood of The Age, Garrett also has the backing of John Brumby.

• Andrew Landeryou further reports that National Union of Workers state secretary Antony Thow has been “elected unopposed” for the third position on Labor’s Victorian Senate ticket. If that means what it appears to, it’s a significant story the mainstream media appears to have ignored, as Labor would seem very likely on current form to repeat its 2007 election feat of winning a third seat.

• The Moonee Valley Community News reports it is “not expected” that Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden will be opposed in the Labor preselection for Essendon, to which the party has assigned him so sitting member South Eastern Metropolitan MLC Bob Smith can be given a safer seat in Western Metropolitan. Mark Kennedy, a former mayor of Moonee Valley, was earlier reported to have ambitions to replace the retiring Judy Maddigan.

• Federal Liberal MP Chris Pearce has announced he will not seek re-election in his Melbourne seat of Aston. Pearce gave his party a morale-boosting by-election win in the seat in July 2001, limiting the Labor swing to 3.7 per cent – which has since stood as exhibit A in the case that the Howard government’s re-election the following November could not entirely be put down to the subsequent Tampa episode and September 11. He was closely associated throughout his time in politics with Peter Costello, and the fact and timing of his departure have inevitably been linked to Costello’s shock announcement early last week. No discussion yet that I’m aware of as to who might replace him. Dennis Shanahan of The Australian reports that “another swathe of resignations” from federal Liberals is expected when New South Wales and Queensland redistributions are finalised early next year, although no names are named.

• The ABC reports that three Western Australian state Labor MPs, headed by the factionally unaligned Alannah MacTiernan, have moved at state conference for preselection reforms allowing “compulsory secret ballots for preselections, with delegates completing their own papers”.

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.

1,641 comments on “Newspoll 56-44; ACNielsen 58-42; Galaxy 56-44”

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  1. “nasty-horribles bloggses”

    History will mark this day, when ‘I can say I knew him when’

    Ebay ? ….perhaps a bit more time

  2. Brace yourself Glen. I think a lot more is going to come out of this e-mailgate when the AFP finish with their investigations. Rudd and some of his front benchers just look too happy at the moment I reckon.

    What about Clark and Dawe! They were hilarious tonight. They reckon Turnbull is finished and won’t be coming back to the stumps. 🙂

  3. Keith
    afore wilhelm bans me, and cos poss never replies to me(boo hoo hoo)
    one last comment re the blog wars pt the second: (revenge of the if)

    Hartigan is John Clarkes evil twin, he is not acting, its real!!!!

    think about it.

  4. My great-great-great-great-great grandfather was a black slave on a plantation in British Guiana in 1798. His son was freed and his son came here in 1839.

    This ancestry explains why I have always hated “da masta”.

    Besides, it really irks the freckle-faced, red-headed, Howard Battlers side of the family when I tell them, “We’re black.” To the point now where I am no longer invited to my cousins’ family gatherings. A small mercy for being the g-g-g-g-g grandson of a slave.

  5. So, my old man and Harto were sculling a coupla four-exs in the old Sun building in the Valley when who should pop up but Gerry Bellino …

  6. Why should i apologise? You should know us tories never apologise…

    That statement was based on a fake email, how is that my fault???

    If the email was real his PPM rating would have been 20%…

  7. Got me beat why people laugh at Fuelwatch,my friend is a courier and checks it every morning see where the cheapest fuel is,and it is still running in WA under Bumbling Colin

  8. Socrates
    [I don’t think as a society we will do that till the evident harm to us becomes too great to ignore]
    Yes, exactly. That’s the tension – between inexorable scientific truth and the 3/4 year political cycle. At what point do ‘governments of the day’ – knowing the scientific truth – make happen what they know to be the only ethical, responsible, practical thing to do? How long can they say privately to themselves that nothing needs to happen because they will be forgotten by the time the water laps at the door of the starving voters of 2030 or 2050 or 2100?

    These are the real questions for Copenhagen.

  9. Go Ruddy! 😀,27574,25725670-29277,00.html

    [ PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd is considering taking his famous ute along to the popular Deniliquin Ute Muster.
    Mr Rudd became the best known ute-driver in the country after he was accused of doing a favour for the man who lent it to him.

    The claim was debunked because it was based on a fake email.

    The organisers of the Deni ute muster, which draws 20,000 ute aficionados from around the country to the town in southern NSW, are concerned the iconic ute is getting a bad rap.

    They have formally invited Mr Rudd to drive his ute to the muster on October 2.

    “I’ve received an invitation to attend the Deniliquin Ute Muster, and so anyone who’d like to come along, Swanny and I are thinking of taking the drive down to Deni for the Ute Muster,” Mr Rudd said.

    “Come and join us.” ]

  10. Agreed JV. At least with Franken in the US Senate now Obama has a fillibuster proof majority so he might act. I hope no policy advisor out there thinks this one will be solved at the last minute by some scientific or engineering miracle. It doesn’t exist. we basically need to restructure the western world’s energy and transport systems, and it will take twenty years from when we start to seriously do it (hasn’t happened yet).


    My compliments on your excellent analysis of Turnbull’s slump, and how historically bad it is – worse than anything “achieved” by Downer, Latham or Nelson. Also your point about distinguishing betwen his vote and the Libs. They talk about Zombie banks. Here we have a Zombie Opposition leader.

  11. “Swanny and I are thinking of taking the drive down to Deni for the Ute Muster,” says Kev.

    “Fair shake of the sauce bottle, Kev!” Swanny says. “Ya don’t want be doin’ burn-outs in front of the bogans – we’ve got our shiny trackies on!”

    “Jeez, mate, wot was I thinkin’?” says Kev. “We’ll get the flannies on, eh. Bogans won’t know what hit ’em. Now, Treasurer, how does one use a manual transmission?”

  12. [No matter how hard Rudd tries to relate to the common man he’ll always be seen as a Canberra bureaucrat…]

    With a 65% approval rating!

  13. [No matter how hard Rudd tries to relate to the common man he’ll always be seen as a Canberra bureaucrat…]

    Yes, damn the record Newspoll 73% Preferred PM, 71% approval, and 63% Labor 2PP ratings.


    Compared to Howard Keating and Hawke, Rudd’s da man!

  14. [No matter how hard Rudd tries to relate to the common man he’ll always be seen as a Canberra bureaucrat…]

    As opposed to John Howard looking like that uncle that you want to avoid at Xmas Dinner and has the akward sleazy laugh:-)

  15. Incidentally, did anyone see that dorky padded flak hat Turnbull was wearing in Afghanistan? Holy hell, it was a shocker. Especially when the army types around him either had a baseball caps on or were completely bare-headed.

  16. BB
    [Incidentally, did anyone see that dorky padded flak hat Turnbull was wearing in Afghanistan?]
    Did he say “Mission accomplished!” ? I guess not, that was last week. 🙂


    [ONLY an early election can save our present crop of federal MPs from rivalling the most unruly since Federation.

    Halfway through this stormy parliamentary term, there have been 107 suspensions from the House of Representatives.

    That’s on track to challenge the previous Parliament’s record of 223, the Herald Sun reports.

    Official figures show the main offenders are Opposition frontbenchers Peter Dutton and Joe Hockey.

    The combative duo have been sent packing from the chamber nine times each – under the one-hour “sin bin” rule – since the 2007 election.

    But veteran bomb-thrower Wilson Tuckey is on course for the biggest record of them all. The fiery West Australian Liberal MP sits just one “red card” away from the most 24-hour suspensions in a career. ]

  18. [Those figures reflect not on Rudd’s popularity but on the dismal performance of the Libs post 2007 IMHO.]

    Preferred PM and 2PP, perhaps. Approval rating, independent of their opposite, no.

  19. [Official figures show the main offenders are Opposition frontbenchers Peter Dutton and Joe Hockey.]
    It’s all about a lack of respect for the parliamentary majority (‘Born to rule’). I remember they were the same rabid dogs ignoring convention immediately after Whitlam was elected. I seem to remember similar antics after 1983 but someone with a better memory might be able to assist with that period. It is also a symptom I think of the duopoly we have had here for too long. It’s like an Alice ‘Though The Looking Glass’ syndrome that diminishes the representative system we continue to prop up, despite its clear failure every parliament these days. Every election we have the new Leader of the White Cars recite “The Walrus and The Carpenter” and on they go, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

  20. [It’s all about a lack of respect for the parliamentary majority (’Born to rule’).]

    I’m certainly hoping they keep it up. It all ensures a lengthy stay on the Opposition benches.

  21. Dario
    My prediction is that as long as the government doesn’t stuff up on anything big, or have really bad luck on the economy, they will get through three terms with ease. The opposition really has little to do with the tidal flow of new governments on our two party sytem. The tide comes in, and the tide goes out – eventually. The voters get sick of the sight of the incumbents and eventually vote them out after a few terms.

    The LNP have only to get their act reasonably in order by 2016 on that scenario. What they do in between probably doesn’t count for a hill of beans. They can put a cardboard cut-out of Menzies up as leader for a couple of years if they like, with a recorder spouting old speeches for the parliamentary sessions. In fact that might be a better idea than the current crop of baggage handlers they have on the front bench. When they get a new bunch of talent into the house they can ditch Menzies and go with whoever – the ‘new’ LNP’s version of Rudd. Cynical aren’t i?

  22. ShowsOn
    Prohibition of unhealthy chemicals in food works because there is no market for them anyway – there is huge demand for weed and until we fix up the ills of our consumerist workaholic alienated unhappy society the demand won’t disappear, it can only be minimized. As for the health care costs associated with grass use that is independant of it’s legality – rather, it depends on useage rates. So until you can provide evidence that the authoritarian “tough on drugs” approach actually minimizes use you cannot argue legalization puts more strain on the system. I’d have thought that was pretty obvious. I don’t know what effect a legal market would have on the blackmarket price but I am fairly confident that blackmarket sales would drop fast. When you go to Amsterdam do you buy your marijuana off of a dodgy guy down an allyway or go to a nice warm cozzy coffee shop?

  23. I don’t smoke grass personally but it being illegal plays no part in that decision – I just like to keep in charge of my thoughts. I don’t think many would suddenly take up smoking if it was legalized. My associates in NZ didn’t touch the legalized extacy until I peer-group pressured them into doing it, which has far more of an effect than legal status seeing as no-one ever expects to get fought anyway..

  24. [PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd is considering taking his famous ute along to the popular Deniliquin Ute Muster. Mr Rudd became the best known ute-driver in the country after he was accused of doing a favour for the man who lent it to him.]

    I sent an email to the PM Office to suggest that he should auction the UTE and give the proceed to charity and make it a big event.

  25. [ marg
    Posted Friday, July 3, 2009 at 8:10 am | Permalink
    “auction the UTE and give the proceed to charity..”

    What Bob Brown said weeks ago.]

    And give the proceeds to Bob to save him going bakrupt! Hippocrate.


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