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. [At this stage, only this: quite a few of you owe Laurie Oakes an apology.]

    And maybe even to someone who said the OV was turning into a fiasco, although I didn’t think it would swing anything like this. 😉

  2. Time for the government to start talking about Industrial Relations again. A few mentions of SerfChoices here and there, references to the Liberal record of attacking workers’ pay and conditions.

  3. [The boats coming has not been the main issue, the OV has.]

    Exactly. And the boats will stop (temporarily at least) when the monsoons come which is soon.

  4. hmm:

    [# GrogsGamut

    Wonder if the ALP heard about the drop which was why Rudd did so many interviews this arvo?19 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    * Reply

    # GrogGrogsGamut

    So the LNP goes up 7%, but Turnbull stays at 19%… how you feeling Joe Hockey?20 minutes ago from TweetDeck ]

  5. [At this stage, only this: quite a few of you owe Laurie Oakes an apology]

    I don’t know why. His article blatantly hedged his bets.

  6. [The charming types such as Sharman Stone and Sophie Miraballa will be unbearable!]

    Yes, they’ll all be saying that this poll proves that Rudd is wrong. Of course, when the polls jump back up again they will say that they don’t pay attention to polls…

  7. [Oh well, the Libs were due an outlier to go their way!]

    There’ll be a few bottles of bubbly getting cracked open tonight.

    If they have been keeping it on ice since 2007, it could be a bit vinegary by now though! 😉

    I don’t think they will be as fortunate in the next couple of Newspolls though, somehow!

  8. Finns is right I feel, the racism is never buried very deep. The mention of Howard’s Pacific solution and memories of “we;ll decide who comes’ has lanced the boil and the puss is flowing.

  9. [ @latikambourke so Labor’s polling drops and Rudd remembers he needs the media. #sopre2007

    Is this person a journo]

    Fairfax Radio “Journalist” – replaced Alison Carabine, who of course is now with “their ABC”.

  10. Why’s Tony Jones saying “the polls” the bad for the Government?

    *A* poll shows a big drop. Two polls don’t show any significant movement.

  11. Hey Cilla – I’ m with you. The dog is getting dragged out of bed early tomorrow for a walk until all breakfast tv/radio is over. It won’t do my blood pressure any good thinking that this is on the back of some poor devils on leaky boats.

    Of course, as some PBers have said – the Libs started this campaign with their survey stuff to the electorates about 6 weeks ago. They’ve actually been quite clever with this and then the OV helped it along.

  12. Goodnight all.

    Happy to put all Cup tips up first thing tomorrow. Just post your selection.

    You may be able to prove your intellectual superiority without boring everyone with your political iinsights. Hurry, offer closes tomorrow.

  13. [Why’s Tony Jones saying “the polls” the bad for the Government?

    *A* poll shows a big drop. Two polls don’t show any significant movement.]

    The only poll they take seriously is the one which favours the Libs – note next to no mention of Morgan, and only the Asylum Seeker portion of Essential.

  14. Winston, I actually think Morgan and Essential Rearch are over the top but I also believe this poll has probably gone too far the opposite way. The truth will lie in the middle. But who knows. We’ll know more in the coming months.

  15. For those suggesting it’s a “one poll issue” are assuming the boatpeople issue is going away.

    I’ll disagree with this and say it’s not going away, it’s getting worse. There are going to be more deaths, more drownings, more hunger strikes, more blackmail attempts… heck we may even see Woomera days of riots on Christmas Island including the possibility of attacks on guards and burning buildings.

    How can an issue be a one off when it’s actually getting *worse*? The problems not actually being fixed by Labor, so much like driving a car with no oil and water it doesn’t get better with time, it simply gets worse until the motor explodes.

  16. This proves that the public are still susceptible to scare campaigns run by the Liberals and the media. Why Aussies are so petrified by boat people is beyond me – it must be this being on a large island in the middle of the ocean, and the fear that the hoards from the North are coming to get us.
    We can be sure of one thing: the boat people and refugees don’t play well for Labor, they never have.
    Rudd has got to change the subject, move the focus back on the economy and safer areas for the ALP(education, social issues, housing etc).
    Thus, it’s time to end the standoff in Indonesia, use force if necessary to get those Sri Lankans off the boat.
    And the monsoon season is coming soon, the boats will stop coming!

  17. Well, the extreme left can now cower in the corner. The Coalition has been right all along on border protection. The Australian people agree.

  18. I’ll probably avoid all media tomorrow(except the SMH, which is delivered to my house).
    I couldn’t bear to watch the rest of Lateline – I assume Jones gave Hockey a very soft interview.
    I won’t dare to listen to commercial talkback radio in Sydney, they’ll be in party mode!

  19. Latika Bourke is REALYY rubbbing it in – oh and therei’s a bit of Leigh Sales as well.

    [# latikambourke

    It could actually be quite a show watching Rudd hyperventilate as the polls fall…less than a minute ago from TweetDeck

    * Reply

    # Leigh SalesLEIGHSALES

    Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian has Labor support down 7 pts on 2-party pref. alp 52, coalition 48 (via @australian)2 minutes ago from mobile web

    * Reply

    # Latika Bourke latikambourke

    don’t rub it in Tony. Most of this polling was conducted while Joe was away….#lateline.5 minutes ago from TweetDeck ]

  20. [@latikambourke ]

    Frank – Does she write under that name?

    [Howie, all is forgiven, please come back.]

    Finns – he did in those Hardtalk interviews and there must have been some who absolutely lapped it up – he had no regrets and was as hardnosed as ever and they would have loved it.

  21. I bet Matty Franklin’s hands were trembling with excitement when he was typing that piece.

    It was pretty small. Probably instructed to leave the heavy lifting to Shannahan and Milne!

    Probably be wise to give the News Ltd rags a miss tomorrow.

  22. Is anyone serious concerned by this poll! as i previously wrote it actually is a good one for the Government for it will focus it on the task of Government.

  23. [scratch below the surface. The yellow hordes have never been away.]

    Yes, and you don’t need to scratch too deep.

    I read the extract relating to dark victory that someone linked to on the previous post and one thing had me puzzled.

    Downer going hysterical at the Norwegian minister to order the captain of the Tampa to turn the ship around.

    Downer, Howard, Ruddock did not want it in Aussie waters. All the stuff that came after would not have happened if the captain turned the Tampa around.

  24. About 12 months ago! when there was a serious question mark over the Australian economy, actually it may have been after we recorded our one quarter of neg growth. (but don’t quote me on that)

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