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”

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  1. I guess it is possible but does a nation change that much in such a short space of time over one issue? Whilst two other pollsters record things us unchanged in basically the same period. I think not.

    So which poll is next?

  2. Psephos,

    Might be a timing issue with essential. Something has changed over the weekend?

    First payments at higher interest rates?

  3. [Does that mean: “Give us more money and we will make this problem go away”? Are they holding out for a bigger bribe before they make the SLs disappear?]

    Herr doktor, the top two commissioners of the Indonesian Anti Corruption Commission (ICAC) have been retained for possible bribery. Do i need to say anymore?

  4. [The worst part about it is that it gives the Libs validation for the disgusting way they have behaved. Watch them now.]

    Well that has always been their problem. When they run across something that seems to be an opportunity they go way over the top and turn it to favour Rudd.

  5. [No other issue is giving the Libs any traction.]

    That’s been the only issue getting any air this last week. It’s a single issue poll. No reason for the ALP to be too worried though.

    The next election will not be fought on asylum seekers.

  6. Dario and Psephos

    You’re probably not interested in metaphysics now but…

    [ That’s a conditioned reflex, rather than learning.

    What’s the difference?]

    Not quite as much as I thought about 5 minutes ago.

    The very murky question of consciousness arises. You can have a conditioned reflex as described in your experiment without having consciousness and my understanding is that consciousness is a prerequisite for learning. Mrs D has studied this and says it’s very complicated and that humans are biased against animals like flatworms and that the jury is still out.

  7. What a huge change. It cant be ignored, even of Essential and Morgan dont show a change, its Newspoll that gets the attention
    Any chances methodology changed or push polling with boat people question??

  8. Seems Soft-touch Rudd’s soft touch policies are biting him on the butt.

    Well he was warned by people such as myself. The silent majority are being ignored(and censored I must say) and they aren’t happy.

    We voted for strong border protection back in 2001, a few chardonnay inner city Canberra snobs with their pinkies think they speak for all Australians and it’s complete BS.

    Turn back the boats or get ready to be tossed into the dustbin of time. This is Kevin Rudd’s Workchoices.

  9. [William, any thoughts on why the dramatic shift?]

    Gus, just scratch below the surface. The yellow hordes have never been away. 🙁

  10. There is no issue of note.

    Everyone knew rates would go up at sometime. Cataracts would have only caught the attention of a few. The boat people issue Rudd straddle the line as best he could as the ER poll reflects. So the poll seems incredible.

  11. [The worst part about it is that it gives the Libs validation for the disgusting way they have behaved. Watch them now.]

    I’m not looking forward to the next few days. They’ll think they’re onto a winner (they might be right) and they’ll ramp up the racist rhetoric.

    Have no clue how Labor will respond, whether or not they think this means they should go harder or just change tack.

    It’s also possible that this due to a massive collapse in The Greens vote.

  12. Their ABC News Online has had the asylum seeker “issue” prominently placed at or near the top of the front page every day for around three weeks.

    I can’t remember any issue getting THIS much coverage in recent years, even Turnbull’s forged email affair.

    Perhaps now they’ve achieved the objective of knocking the gloss off the Labor government they might balance their news site coverage with OTHER stories????

    There’s gotta be more going on worth reporting than bloody asylum seekers.

  13. Whilst the ALP are a long way in front, this poll actually is good for them for i had picked up a slight voterland mood change towards the Rudd Government starting with the continuing ETS debate.

    Voters have cooled a little with Rudd and with talk of Interest Rate rises and while some here will disagree but Malcolm Turnbull ís doing an okay job as Liberal leader.

  14. [Gus, just scratch below the surface. The yellow hordes have never been away. ]

    but even among the most boganish bogans i know and have a drink with,this has been a non issue.

    something aint quite right




    No dont fear I havent gone crazy. 1 newspoll doesnt count for anything especially since all newspolls for the past 2 years have been 55-45+.

    Still it’s nice to see even if I cant take much solace in it.

    Nevertheless perhaps some of the immigration issues have bitten every so slightly 😀

  16. It’s probably worth remembering that News Limited love referring to Newspoll as “their poll”. “We own it” etc.

    It suits their line perfectly, this poll.

    Wow, now I sound like one of you lot.

  17. Diog my understanding is there is a continuum of neurological sophistication, with flatworms at one end and us at the other. “Consciousness” is just the sum of electro-chemical events in the field of neurons – the bigger and more complex the field, the higher the level of consciousness. So flatworms have a little bit, we have a lot. They have enough to remember that when the light comes on, an electric shock will follow. We have enough to argue about Newspoll on the internet.

  18. While Rudd stays at 63%, you know that things are fundamentally strong. No doubt they’ll be “honeymoon is over” stories. BUt with Rudd still at 63%, the public still like him as PM.

    Look at MYEFO out today. The economy is kicking arse and taking names.

    Let the Libs have their asylum seekers. I’ll take the economy. We’ll see who wins.

  19. Actually Glen Newspoll have made a mistake its the Greens beating the Liberals in Higgins 52-48

    They didn’t bother doing one for the ALP v Liberal Party 😉

  20. Shrek will be shouting from the rooftops tomorrow that it’s because of the recession we didn’t have and the high interest rates and taxes to come.

    There have been quite a few issues in the last week – the OV, more boats here, the oil well problem, cataracts, dodgy pink batts and now today the arthritis injections.

    None Kev & Co can’t handle but the Oppn. have been making lots of noises and they get enormous air time on radio news bulletins.

  21. [Nevertheless perhaps some of the immigration issues have bitten every so slightly ]

    So why didn’t it bite Rudd personally? Be interesting to see the satisfaction ratings

  22. Don’t forget besides the OV the media have been pushing the fact that Christmas island is going to double it’s capacity for asylum seekers. They have also been stressing the point that more boats are arriving too.
    Not to mention the fibs about all the benefits the govt gives them etc

  23. The next few days are going to be sickening.

    A good resolution to the OV using the Tamil Nadu Solution would sort out this little blip which will be temporary. As GB said, this issue won’t go on forever.

  24. but note this was BEFORE the relevations of them being already being granted Refugee status, and I believe Newspoll don’t poll on Sundays.

  25. When i say i have icked up a slight mood change i didn’t expect a poll showing this close a result but i can’t find many people who say great things about Rudd.

    In fairness the langague used about Rudd is streets ahead of that being used against PM Howard

  26. [At this stage, only this: quite a few of you owe Laurie Oakes an apology]
    Not if you believe Morgan and Essential Research.

  27. [As GB said, this issue won’t go on forever.]

    It will go on as long as boats keep coming. As Finns noted, the Indonesians can turn the flow of boats on or off, depending on who bribes them the most. No doubt Rudd will now be upping his offers.

  28. [He has good instincts or good sources.]

    Has he also been pushing the line against Rudd lately? I don’t see Ch9 or read the Daily Terror.

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