Newspoll: 59-41

The third Newspoll in consecutive weeks is another disaster for the Coalition, showing Labor’s lead widening still further despite the government’s recent discomfort over boat arrivals. Labor is now ahead 59-41 on two-party preferred, compared with 58-42 at both last week’s unusual poll and last fortnight’s usual one. Kevin Rudd’s preferred prime minister rating is down two points to 65 per cent while Malcolm Turnbull’s is up one to 19 per cent. UPDATE: Graphic here: interestingly, 4 per cent has marched from satisfied with Kevin Rudd to dissatisfied, but Malcolm Turnbull’s disapproval rating is up six points as well. Labor leads 48 per cent to 34 per cent on the primary vote.


• Labor’s lead is steady at 58-42 according to the latest weekly Essential Research survey, which seems to be more closely resembling Newspoll than it used to. There are also various questions on the parties’ approaches to the global financial crisis and the rise in interest rates.

Sue Neales of The Mercury reports Matthew Groom, son of former Premier Ray Groom, has nominated for Liberal preselection in the state lower house division of Denison. Neales suggests the “corporate lawyer with Tasmanian state-owned wind power company Roaring 40s” is likely to win a spot on the ticket when the party finalises preselection on Monday, which it earlier deferred because party leaders were “concerned by a lack of high-profile talent” (UPDATE: Kevin Bonham clarifies the situation in comments: Elise Archer, Michael Hodgman and Matt Stevenson were preselected in March, and the remainder of the ticket is to be finalised on Monday). Others reportedly seeking preselection are veteran incumbent Michael Hodgman, who is 70 years old and battling ill health which recently forced him to relinquish the Shadow Attorney-General position; Jenny Branch, a Glenorchy alderman who polled strongly as an independent against Treasurer Michael Aird in his upper house seat of Derwent in April; and Elise Archer, a Hobart alderman. Another Hobart alderman, regular independent candidate Marti Zucco, has been mentioned as a starter, but appears to face powerful opposition in the Liberal organisation. The result in Denison at the 2006 election was Labor three, Liberal one and Greens one; Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics rates the Liberals a solid chance of taking a second seat, possibly at the expense of accident-prone Labor incumbent Graeme Sturges.

• The Queensland Greens have preselected their unsuccessful Senate candidate from 2007, Larissa Waters, to head their ticket at the next election. Waters prevailed in a three-way contest over Jenny Stirling and Libby Connors, party activists and frequent candidates respectively based in Townsville and Toowoomba.

• Republished courtesy of Peter Brent at Mumble, Malcolm Mackerras in the Canberra Times lambasts Peter Dutton and his supporters over his reluctance to stand and fight in Dickson, and confidently predicts he will now not only contest the seat but win it.

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.

1,214 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41”

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  1. At the moment there is this thing called the Liberal Party but nobody is sure what it is.

    Has the Liberal Party ever been more irrelevant? Well they will be soon, when having negotiated amendments with the Govt a great swag of the Liberal party then vote against them(selves).

  2. Shannahan seems to be at his wits end regarding Turnbull. All the support he has been provided by the Oz seems to all have been in vain.

    [Newspoll blow for Turnbull]

    [What’s more, there’s been more than just the effluxion of time since those dog days for Nelson; the government has produced a highly contentious ETS, the global financial crisis struck, debt and deficit are now a concern of most Australians and, once again, people-smugglers are threatening Australia’s balanced and orderly immigration program, leaving the incumbent government torn inside and open to emotional blackmail.

    Yet, today’s Newspoll figures are all bad for Turnbull: Liberal and Coalition votes down to what they were early last year; Rudd dominant as preferred prime minister; and dissatisfaction with Turnbull again at 54per cent.

    Even the drop in Rudd’s satisfaction and preferred prime minister ratings – from high levels – haven’t helped Turnbull, because his dissatisfaction jumped back to levels worse than Nelson’s.

    Turnbull’s problems obviously arise from his internal critics on climate change, but there is also his own failure to use the past year to actually arrive at a workable Coalition ETS position and to exploit the government’s weaknesses on economic management and boatpeople.

    Rudd’s own rhetoric and spin are being exposed on asylum-seekers and yet Turnbull can’t make headway.

    Indeed, the numbers show that even if Rudd goes backwards, Turnbull slips further.],25197,26233729-7583,00.html

  3. With Costello out the door the Liberal’s last connection with any vestige of economic credential has gone. We are down to the rusted-ons.

    Q. If the Liberal Party had been in power over the past two years, do you think they would have done a much better, somewhat better, somewhat
    worse or much worse job than the Rudd Labor Government has done in dealing with the economic crisis?
    Total better 36%
    Total worse 41%
    Much better 9%
    Somewhat better 27%
    Somewhat worse 24%
    Much worse 17%
    Don’t know 23%

    I guess the Liberals will have to use all their dog whistles just so they can keep their red-necked rusted ons.

  4. This won’t help the internal divisions within the Coalition either if their supporters become critical of their divisions and inability to stand for anything.

    [THE Nationals have put themselves at odds with their traditional constituency by rejecting a National Farmers Federation demand they scrap their trenchant opposition to carbon emissions trading.

    And the Liberals have put climate change mavericks on notice that bucketing their own party could lead to disciplinary action, amid claims of disloyalty and threats to preselection.

    A day after opposition MPs authorised Malcolm Turnbull to negotiate with the Rudd government on amendments to its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, climate change dissidents in both the conservative parties came under increasing pressure to toe the line.

    While all Coalition MPs agreed that the Opposition Leader should negotiate with Labor on the legislation, the Nationals and at least 10 Liberal MPs have made clear they will not support any ETS, even if it includes the Coalition amendments.

    Last night, as the government and opposition began early talks on compromise, NFF national president David Crombie backed the Turnbull amendments, which would make agriculture exempt from the ETS, but include potentially lucrative agricultural offsets.

    Mr Crombie told The Australian he wanted the Nationals to back the scheme if Labor agreed to Mr Turnbull’s amendments. ],25197,26233953-5013871,00.html

    Pass the popcorn.

  5. Did anyone watch the documentary on the ABC called Oasis? Very moving story about the trials and tribulations of a Salvos officer running a shelter for homeless kids with drug addictions.

  6. [Rudd’s own rhetoric and spin are being exposed on asylum-seekers and yet Turnbull can’t make headway.]

    Well what can Turnbull do on that front? He can either go back to the xenophobe dog whistles which may only appeal to the rusted-ons or, go to the left of Rudd and totally confuse their identity.

    The irony is when people complain Rudd is being too hard and hurtful to asylum seekers it makes him seem tough on the issue and, when they try to make him seem to soft it raises the spectre of Howardism. Children over board, SIEVX and Tampa. The Howard legacy is one big wedge against the Liberals.

  7. [National Farmers Federation]

    The stupidity of the Nationals is that it is the farmers who will suffer more directly if nothing is done on climate change. They should be out their with the Greens pushing for big change, globally so they can still have an industry in the future.

  8. [He can either go back to the xenophobe dog whistles which may only appeal to the rusted-ons or, go to the left of Rudd and totally confuse their identity.]
    Like the ETS, what to do with asylum seekers is another policy where Turnbull thinks Rudd is doing the right thing. Of course Turnbull can’t say that, but the Liberals’ criticism of Rudd has been very weak. I mean Sharmane Stone keeps going on TV and can’t actually say what the Liberals would do differently. (I don’t count ‘hold an independent enquiry’, that is exactly the thing politician’s say when they don’t know what to do).

  9. Its quite easy to attack Rudd on his weakened Immigration laws – it’s simply a fact that. Turnbull is completely hopeless at mounting the argument.

  10. [The stupidity of the Nationals is that it is the farmers who will suffer more directly if nothing is done on climate change.]
    My prediction is that the next federal coalition government (which could be a decade away) will have the same climate change policies as Labor.

    I mean look at the UK where the Conservatives are expected to win the next election, their climate change policy is the same as Labor’s.

  11. I wonder just how keen some of those Coalition members are about pushing Labor into a double dissolution election now.

    [Support for Liberals slides to just 30pc: Newspoll]

    [According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, primary vote support for the Coalition dropped to 34per cent, the lowest since June last year, when Brendan Nelson’s leadership started to come under fire before the global financial crisis, and just after the Rudd government’s first budget.

    Labor’s primary vote was 48per cent – equal to its second-highest primary vote recorded since the election, with only the weekend after the apology to the Stolen Generations in February last year showing a higher support of 51 per cent.

    On a two-party-preferred basis, using preference flows at the 2007 election, Labor’s support rose to 59 per cent and the Coalition’s fell to 41 per cent. The government’s support was last at 59 per cent in December last year, when the Turnbull-led Coalition opposed the Rudd government’s $900 direct payments to low-income earners as part of the economic stimulus to combat the global financial crisis.

    As the Opposition Leader argued yesterday that the Coalition would not delay the ETS bill in the Senate as a “tactic”, which could be taken as grounds for triggering a double-dissolution election, the latest Newspoll survey suggested the Coalition would lose 25 seats if an election were held now. ]

    I wonder if Rudd’s “tough guy” line regarding the asylum seekers had something to do with this drop in satisfaction rating contrary to what his intention was. Have the electors finally shaken off the dog whistle odour of the Howard demonisation of refugees arriving by boat?

    [satisfaction with the way Kevin Rudd is doing his job fell for the first time since the beginning of August. Satisfaction with the Prime Minister’s job fell from a near-record high of 67 per cent to 63 per cent, the lowest in two months.],25197,26233948-5013871,00.html

  12. I have a fair amount of faith in these polls but 59-41 just seems too good to be true. Could it be that on election day we will actually see a 59-41 result? I’m tempted to think that some on the centre-right are more rusted on to the Liberals than they are willing to admit and that they will return to the flock once the election is called – when in the booth they just won’t be able to make the switch. We might just have a “standard” landslide, something like 54.5-45.5. 59-41 would be epic, it would signal a new era in federal politics. It is almost unprecidented, isn’t it?

  13. [it would signal a new era in federal politics. It is almost unprecidented, isn’t it?]

    I bet when those ex Liberal Ministers who met during the APEC Conference in 2007 to decide the future of Howard as leader and whether or not to go with Costello, now regret their decision!!!

  14. [It is almost unprecidented, isn’t it?]

    back in 2007 I was hoping we could do a canada and totally obliterate the conservatives. The tip then varied between 100-120 seats.

    Now I feel I was one election too soon


  15. With the COALition an absolute mess, I suspect many conservatives will turn to the “Other”. But who in the Other? FF isn’t polling well and looks like a joke – if it wasn’t so scarry. Even so, they may keep their 2% due to Liberal voters needing a new home. But One Nation and the Democrats are finished. Most of the Right-wing minor parties have awful names such as the Citizens Electoral Council, non custodial fathers party (or something like that) and the Fishing and Shooting Party. None have nice sounding names. Whereas on the Left we have The Australian Sex Party, Climate Change Coalition, What Women Want, Socialist Alliance, NDP etc. In the senate (less so in the HofR) I suspect the Left wing minor parties will do better, purely due to better names and this will transfers conservative Liberal voters parking a protest vote over to the Greens and ALP after preferences. The big winner in “other” though will be the Independents.

    How accurate does the polling for ‘other’ tend to be? Will the polls under or over value them as a whole? The COALition is looking bad which would tend to drive ‘other’ up but on the other hand there are no conservative minor parties with credibility. Maybe Independents will go really well.

  16. Other got 6.8% last time and is apparently up since then. I suspect that more Other voters will be former COALition voters than normal – they will be lodging a protest vote. The question is: will they just preference back to the COALition or will they use ‘Other’ as a stepping stone on their journey away from ‘The Dark Side’ by preferencing the ALP?
    Will the ALP get a higher or lower % of 2PP preferences from Other than usual?

  17. Corp News must have read my post from re the last newspoll because they’ve changed the header from “Interactive war on Gaza”. Well done Corp News, took a while though.

    I suspect these numbers are a result of Australia surviving the GFC better than anywhere else. Most people vote with their hip pockets after all.

  18. Well, let’s see, MT will succeed in only getting a few minor amendments through. After doing so, he’ll vote for the ETS along with a minority of his party.

    Net result, MT goes up in opinion polls and the LP goes down. Fun.. fun.. fun…

  19. [One Nation voters can look to Joyce]

    [These are today’s forgotten people, Australians of all generations who know their history and are embittered as they see their heritage, values, institutions and way of life devalued. Under Labor, the rapid-fire arrival of boatloads of illegals has, until recently, failed to generate the banner headlines of the past, no doubt heart-warming for those Greens, Laborites and Liberal marshmallows who favour the madness of some sort of open borders policy],25197,26232382-5013479,00.html

    when you read it with a sam kekovic voice, it is almost acceptable.

    where does ltd news draw the line?

  20. Gusface @22. Yep, the healing power of schadenfreude. Bring it on 🙂

    As I was saying here on this blog before the last election, the Liberal Party need not just a defeat but an undignified and total defeat, for them to truly understand just how far beyond civilised norms they had gone.

  21. if i was a betting man i would say that the same 5% of people changed there mind to being unhappy with both leaders over immigration but stayed with labor, i dunno the labor elite supporters i guess.

    Question to all bright people if dutton loses Dickson is that seen as a gain or a held for Labor officially i get mixed responses from people i personally feel it should be a gain as Labor doesn’t and wont actually hold the seat before election day and the libs styill have the advantage of incumbency in those seats. but some (including the great anthony election calculator) seem to class redistributions as holds for labor (swan). So would people doing there election tips put them in the gains columm?

    BTW even know its early and i don’t think it will happen but if an election was around now i currently have libs picking up 2 and Labor picking up 19, cheers

  22. 27
    Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 2:29 am….where does ltd news draw the line?

    It beggars belief that Murdoch could be giving a platform to the racist Pasquarelli. This is putrid muck and does nothing but further degrade the News Corp brand.

  23. GP@11. I wondered what you were on about regarding the Oasis program until I saw it for myself. Very disturbing but inspiring stuff. It made me feel very humble.

  24. [Generic Person
    Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Its quite easy to attack Rudd on his weakened Immigration laws – it’s simply a fact that. Turnbull is completely hopeless at mounting the argument]

    Generic Person

    You may recall you stall have a few liberals in the Liberal party who opposed Howard nonsense. You used to have a few liberals that voted for the Liberal party. They are gone and you are not going to get them back rerunning Howard’s disgrace.

  25. Gusface@27:

    [when you read it with a sam kekovic voice, it is almost acceptable.

    where does ltd news draw the line?]

    Gf, did you scroll to the bottom to see who wrote it?

    [John Pasquarelli, a former senior adviser to One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, was a parliamentarian in Papua New Guinea from 1964 to 1968.]

  26. [Did anyone watch the documentary on the ABC called Oasis? Very moving story about the trials and tribulations of a Salvos officer running a shelter for homeless kids with drug addictions.]

    That was the best opening line you could think of to ease your way in to this new Newspoll 59-41 thread?

    Shocking effort, even for you GP…

  27. [Newspoll, published exclusively tomorrow in The Australian finds Kevin Rudd’s government is maintaining an 18 percentage point lead over the Coalition in two-party preferred basis.

    The Rudd government actually improved its two party preferred vote by 1 per cent to 59 per cent since the last survey. ],25197,26233473-601,00.html

    Well then Labor didn’t maintain an 18% lead did they?

    I realise that 1% is well and truly within MoE so statistically this individual Newspoll is insignificant, but at the same time it is also incorrect to say the “government is maintaining an 18 percentage point lead”…

  28. It seems Indonesia will take those asylum seekers picked up yesterday by the Australian navy – according to ABC radio!
    I’m guessing Rudd will give the Indonesians a whole lot of extra money to build new detention centres.

  29. [Shocking effort, even for you GP…]

    Interesting that Glen hasn’t been around here in recent days, I think even he’s given up on the Liberals.

  30. [Well, you couldn’t expect the OO to admit that Labor had improved its vote, could you, Bob?]

    It’s worse than the usual OO articles that people cry on about.

  31. So, I wonder what Fran Kelly (I almost write Bailey, is there much difference??) has to say about this poll after breathlessly predicting on Insiders that the boat people issue could see Rudd’s support drop. Mmmmm

  32. BTW, I’m sure others have noticed the OO’s new sub theme – that it is to the Nationals, who are (according to the OO) doing so brilliantly, that conservatives should look to.

    From Shanahanahanan:

    [Liberal support, as opposed to the Nationals as part of the Coalition, is essentially as low as it has been since the election loss of 2007.]

    Er…the Nats polling, according to Newspoll, is lower than it was at the election, Dennis.

    And we’ve had Glenn Milne in recent days saying much the same sort of thing, as well as Pasquerelli’s musings today.

    Mind you, if the OO is trying to create a new political force (or rejuvenate an old one!) on the basis of a 4% primary, they’ve got a bit of work ahead of them.

  33. It once again demonstrates this massive disconnect between the media and the Australian public(or the majority of the public), but we’ve had this since November 2007.
    Fran Kelly this morning was only raving about the 4% dip in Rudd’s popularity, it was Michelle Gratten who mentioned that Turnball got no bounce out of the boat people scare campaign.

  34. I think what he’s saying is that at a 30% primary for the Liberals, it hasn’t been that low since the first days of Rudd’s government. It’s only been lower once – the 28% Liberal primary 37% 2pp poll when Rudd apologised to the stolen generations.

  35. Dennis of the Shananigans must be depressed.

    [The latest Newspoll survey contains not one good number]

    Well not quite, as Turnbull’s Preferred PM went up 1 to 18% of the electorate. Sure, it’s well within MOE, but maybe it’s a trend. Imagine, if maintained, Turnbull could reach the dizzying heights of 30% Preferred PM by May . . .

  36. [If Rudd’s in Indonesia today does that mean Gillard will be acting PM in QT?]

    Yes, and I look forward to it, because Julia is too good for them.

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