Newspoll: 52-48

Big shock from Newspoll: Labor’s two-party lead has slumped from 59-41 to 52-48, their smallest lead since the last poll prior to the 2007 election. The shift on preferred prime minister is much more modest, Kevin Rudd’s lead slipping from 65-19 to 63-19. It’s apparently also been reported both sides have shifted seven points on the primary vote, which would mean they are level on 41 per cent. More to follow. UPDATE: Graphic here. Rudd has had four points transfer from approve (59 per cent) to disapprove (32 per cent); Turnbull’s approval is steady on 32 per cent and his disapproval is down three to 51 percent.

It’s a very different story from Essential Research, which has Labor’s lead steady at 59-41. Supplementary questions show mixed messages on asylum seekers: one shows support for a tough line and an apparent belief that the Rudd government is delivering, but 55 per cent rate its handling of the issue “not so good/poor” against 36 per cent “excellent/good”. Significantly, a further question shows people do not think the Liberals would do any better.

UPDATE: Newspoll history records six reversals of comparable size. The poll of 6-8 November 1992 saw a 46-54 Labor deficit turn into a 54-46 lead, for what looked to be no readily obvious reason at the time. On 20-22 August 1993, immediately after John Dawkins’ horror post-election budget, the Coalition’s lead went from 51-49 to 60-40. On 23-25 September 1994, Labor went from 57-43 ahead to 51-49 behind in what looked like a correction following two consecutive horror surveys for Alexander Downer. When John Howard took over from him at the end of January 1995, the next survey of 10-12 February saw Labor’s 54-46 lead turn into a 53-47 deficit. The poll immediately after the 1998 election saw the Coalition turn a 53-47 deficit at the last (evidently inaccurate) pre-election poll into a 54-46 lead. Finally, on 28-30 May 2004, Labor under Mark Latham suffered a short-lived slump from 53-47 ahead to 54-46 behind.

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.

2,123 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48”

  1. The moment Howard stopped listening to the people and started trying to introduce things they didn’t like (Workchoices) it was bye bye. Case in point.

  2. [that’s right, because governments don’t always follow majority opinion!]

    And nor should they. The job of a government should be to do what they believe is right and attempt to convince people of its utility.

  3. [And nor should they. The job of a government should be to do what they believe is right and attempt to convince people of its utility.]

    HEAR BLOODY HEAR!!!

    It’s just a shame that all the CLLRs on this forum think otherwise. I guess it really shows just how much Howard has had an effect on the Labor base. It’s quite sad really. The Labor base needs to stop being so chicken shit and start to pressure on what’s right, not what’s popular.

  4. Even the Libs say they should have ratified Kyoto. That eventually became one more nail in their coffin, although it wasn’t powerful enough to do the job by itself.

  5. [The moment Howard stopped listening to the people and started trying to introduce things they didn’t like (Workchoices) it was bye bye. Case in point.]

    Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Howard attempted to introduce WorkChoices in his first term. The end result only came about (a diluted WorkChoices) because the Dems held the balance of power.

    Really, if you’re going to try and make such points, at least know your facts, otherwise you just look plain stupid.

  6. [And nor should they. The job of a government should be to do what they believe is right and attempt to convince people of its utility.]
    Absolutely. Bugger the voters. Stuff them. Give them the medicine and then spend 40 million on an advertising campaign. It will work everytime. Oh, wait on …

  7. [Absolutely. Bugger the voters. Stuff them. Give them the medicine and then spend 40 million on an advertising campaign. It will work everytime. Oh, wait on …]

    That can also apply to our Friends in The Greens as well with their “All or Nothing” approach to issues such as the CPRS & the ETS. 🙂

  8. [Howard constantly changed policy tack when reaction showed that a policy line was unpopular]

    There’s some short memories here!

    Howard reacted constantly to polls and was obsessive about them. Crosby/Textor conducted almost daily “Focus Group” sessions and issue polling, which Howard used to guide his daily media blitz both live and through scores of daily media and press releases.

    He had total control of “all” material released from Minister’s offices which had to have prior approval from his office and in most cases originated from the Prime Ministers Dept through the Minister’s office!

    Howard constantly had his hand on the pulse of public opinion and was clever in the way that he was able to incrementally redirect public opinion on issues that the public were uncertain about.

    He was often credited with being an instinctive politician with regard policy and reading public opinion. Bulldust! He had a massive political machine sounding out opinion on issues which they then formed strategy on to better serve Howard’s nefarious political motives, the primary one being for him to keep on being Prime Minister of the country!

  9. [Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Howard attempted to introduce WorkChoices in his first term. The end result only came about (a diluted WorkChoices) because the Dems held the balance of power.]
    Why the name calling aggression? It doesn’t help your case you know. Obvoiusly the watered down version (if you can have such a thing) wasn’t distasteful to the electorate therefore it doesn’t apply to this argument. The full version was and he paid for it.

  10. [Absolutely. Bugger the voters. Stuff them. Give them the medicine and then spend 40 million on an advertising campaign. It will work everytime. Oh, wait on …]

    The test of a true Prime Minister and his government is to legislate what they think is right, not what they think is popular, convince the people that it is in the country’s best interest, and enact it properly so that the people see it for themselves.

    Even Kevin Rudd says this – it’s more or less his response when right-wingers ask him about asylum seekers!

    So in one form or another, you disagree with Rudd!

    OH THE CONUNDRUM! 😀

  11. Personally I can’t wait to see the contorted positions the CLLRs put themselves in, in replying to my last post. I can feel the agony from here.

    🙂

  12. Bob1234
    [The problem with your lot GB is you don’t know what you stand for anymore. ]
    Gary Bruce
    [ Bait dispatched to the fence. ]
    I think Bob1234 has a bit of a point here. According to wikipedia the ALP stands for “Democratic socialism, social democracy, social liberalism and the Third Way”. However it must be said that only social liberalism and the Third Way hold any sway in cabinet these days. What the ALP really stands for is pragmatism. They hate to rock the boat or change anything. What changers they have made have simply been to undo a few of the more absurd policies of Howard. The Liberals at least tried to change this country into a Tory paradise with the worker treated little better than s/he was in Victorian England. The ALPers are the true conservatives in that they don’t want to change anything for better or for worse. This of corse is an impossible task because the contradictions in the system mean that change of some description is inevitable.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Labor_Party

  13. [Even Kevin Rudd says this – it’s more or less his response when right-wingers ask him about asylum seekers!]
    But you’re arguing he isn’t doing this. Which is it? He is or he isn’t?

  14. [But you’re arguing he isn’t doing this. Which is it? He is or he isn’t?]

    No, he’s not doing it. But he’s saying he is, which we all know not to be true.

    But thanks for refusing to answer the question, it just shows you couldn’t stand to take a contradictory position.

  15. [Which will NOT be reported by the usual suspects]

    Morgan’s never reported in the media. Who would? Morgan always has been a pile of shit. I’ve never read in to a Morgan poll in either direction.

  16. The MSM would only report Morgan polls if they supported the narrative of a resurgent Liberal Party.
    Tuesday’s Newspoll is very much what I suspected: an outlier, or a bunch of statistics manipulated to assist Uncle Rupert’s conservative associates.

  17. A view on the likely outcome of Copenhagen from India:

    http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/blog/possible-elements-copenhagen-agreement

    [In other words, it will be a nothing more than a ‘pledge and review’ agreement, signed by the most powerful of the world. Leaders will pledge what their countries are prepared to do domestically. The world community will sign off on it, with an agreement that there is a review (or scrutiny) to check how countries are delivering on their promises.

    This agreement as it is only ‘pledging’ domestic targets will not distinguish between historical polluters – those who are required to take action first – and the rest of the world. This will be a politically binding agreement. It will set the framework for negotiations on a legally binding single agreement post-Copenhagen.]

    So, if Sunita Narain is correct, and the agreement will be about pledging domestic targets, where does that leave Australia’s proposed range of 5-25%?

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