Newspoll: 57-43; Nielsen: 56-44

Liberal MPs have been given plenty to chew on by polling agencies as they prepare for tomorrow’s leadership moment of truth. The Australian have unleashed Newspoll a day earlier: it finds Labor’s two-party lead up to 57-43 from 56-44 last fortnight and 52-48 in the famous rogue poll of a month ago. The Fairfax broadsheets have also seized the day by sending Nielsen out into the field a week ahead of schedule, finding Labor’s lead unchanged from three weeks ago at 56-44. Both polls were conducted on Friday and Saturday. (UPDATE: Dennis Shanahan has been in touch to point out that Newspoll continued to survey throughout Sunday, with The Australian releasing the result at the end of the day.) Interestingly, Nielsen has the Greens vote up four points to 13 per cent, with Labor down three to 42 per cent and the Coalition down one to 37 per cent. We’ll have to wait and see if this is reflected in Newspoll.

On the question of who should be Liberal leader, Joe Hockey is on 33 per cent in Newspoll and 36 per cent in Nielsen; Malcolm Turnbull is on 30 per cent and 32 per cent; and Tony Abbott is on 19 per cent and 20 per cent. There was less accord between the two pollsters when respondents were asked to choose between the two declared candidates, Turnbull and Abbott: Newspoll had Turnbull with a slender lead of 42-41, but Nielsen had it at 51-37. Both Nielsen and a small sample (400) Galaxy poll published in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph indicate Hockey is particularly favoured among Coalition voters, his lead among them respectively registered at 41-27 and 39-25. Galaxy’s total result was somewhat more favourable for Turnbull than the others, putting him equal with Hockey on 29 per cent and ahead of Abbott on 22 per cent.

Another theme to emerge is that Turnbull’s stocks have risen among Labor voters and slumped among Coalition voters. Hockey’s aforementioned 41-27 Nielsen lead compared with a 35-36 deficit three weeks ago, while Turnbull’s approval rating has gone from 57 per cent to 45 per cent among Coalition voters and from 24 per cent to 39 per cent among Labor voters. Overall, Turnbull’s ratings have risen slightly: Newspoll has his approval up two to 36 per cent per cent, while Nielsen has it up four to 41 per cent. His disapproval is steady at 50 per cent from Newspoll and up two to 51 per cent from Nielsen. However, his preferred prime minister rating has slumped to a new low of 14 per cent (two points beneath his Utegate nadir), no doubt reflecting the fact that Labor voters have driven his improved personal ratings.

On the question of an emissions trading scheme, Nielsen had 49 per cent supporting a delay until after Copenhagen and 39 per cent wanting it introduced as soon as possible. Galaxy advanced only the former proposition for a result of 60 per cent. Newspoll found 53 per cent supported Turnbull’s backing of the legislation against 26 per cent opposed, but there was a wide gulf between Labor and Coalition supporters, the latter opposing the move 48 per cent to 35 per cent. Nielsen had overall support for an emissions trading scheme at 66 per cent.

On top of all that, The Weekend Australian reported breakdowns on a question Newspoll posed in September regarding the scheme, which found 63 per cent of metropolitan Coalition voters believing the government’s bill should be passed against 28 per cent, whereas in rural areas the figures were 50 per cent and 41 per cent.

UPDATE: Essential Research has Labor’s lead at 58-42, up from 55-45 in the past two weeks. However, a question on prime ministerial approval has Kevin Rudd’s “strongly approve” rating down five points to a new low of 9 per cent, with “strongly disapprove” up two points to a new high of 15 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull’s ratings are surprisingly static, although mildly approve is down three points to 23 per cent and mildly disapprove is up three to 33 per cent. Joe Hockey is clearly favoured as Liberal leader 22 per cent to Turnbull’s 14 per cent with 9 per cent for Tony Abbott. The partisan divide here is less sharp than the other pollsters.

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.

1,767 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43; Nielsen: 56-44”

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  1. This should send a shudder through the Liberal party today


    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ‘open to idea’ of an early federal election

    KEVIN Rudd’s chief strategist at the 2007 election says there is a “buzz” around a possible early poll and believes the PM is open to the idea. Former ALP secretary Tim Gartrell, who now heads polling company Auspoll, said today he had written the “fine print” of the Prime Minister’s recent comments that he was conservative about going to the polls early and he did not rule it out.]

  2. The Nats are completely delusional:

    [Brad Henderson – National Party Federal Director:

    “Particularly in the last fortnight, it has developed into a torrent to the point where we are taking literally thousands of calls on a daily basis in each of our MPs’ and senators’ offices,” he said.

    If we had our time again perhaps we would look at [having candidates in the seats of Bradfield and Higgins.”]

  3. Psephos # 35. I disagree. Abbott is Santamaria’s heir, as is K Andrews; Minchin and/or Robb & a few others, are Howard’s heir/s. Either way, they’re bad news for the Coalition and very good news for the ALP (& possibly Greens – preferences in the Senate to keep the BoP from both ALP & Lib) Taken in consideration with Possum’s “Liberal Trainwreck” demographics and polls showing GenY as overwhelmingly pro-CC, that should be 2.5 terms for Rudd before he hands over to Julia. Could beat the 1949-72 record, for updated versions of the same reasons!

    One would have thought Gen Boomer taught Libs a lesson about alienating a generation; although, in the 60s, Libs’ liberal attitudes, esp over Aboriginal Rights, scrapping WAP (both Holt), and liberalising censorship (John Gorton) meant some Boomers weren’t as ‘rusted onto’ the ALP as GenY is onto Climate Change. Possum shows Boomers (a poor description, as Boomers’/ Youthquakers leaders -the first hippies, Anti-nuclear/ antiwar protesters, Mary Quant & her Minis, Beatles etc – were pre-Boomers) are still pro-Left, and with the first war babies turning 70, the Oz Libs look like following the UK Liberals into near oblivion as (mainly through Howard’s approach to emerging issues) their causes drift into perpetual night.

    GenX support was, I believe, softer, until Climate Change (& workchoices). They were the first generation obsessed by what Conservative letters-to-the-editors labelled Land rights for Gay Whales (some older bloggers will remember that slur’s being around from the late 1970s) So my guess is that the Coalition’s CC stance might just be rusting them onto the Left too.

  4. Kit 52

    I thought he was bailed. If not, he’s only in jail because of his honest opposition to the Tasmanian Labor Government’s appallingly unethical handling of the environmentally damaging and hopelessly uneconomic Gunns Pulp Mill. You can buy a premier quite cheaply in Tasmania. And we don’t have as much right to free speach here as we wish.

    I’d rather Rudd invited Cundle to a garden party than the Tasmanian premier.

  5. This is a no brainer.

    Hockey will be destroyed by Minchin and Abbott. There’s no way he’ll be able to control them if he doesn’t do what they want him to do, and if he does do what they want, then Rudd will smash him at the election.

    Hockey is deluding himself if he thinks otherwise. It’s a pity, for him, that he didn’t listen to Nick Greiner’s advice.

    If it was me, I would have let Abbott run, let Abbott take the leadership, let Abbott get smashed at the next election – and then come in fresh on his terms.

    Taking the lead now will only get him smashed at the next election and then it will be him the party blames for the loss, not Minchin nor Abbott.

    Hockey is a fool. It’s already all over for him.

    [For a candidate considering running for the leadership of his party, the fact that most of his colleagues want him to would, in normal circumstances be a blessing. Even Tony Abbott, the only other declared leadership candidate, says he should. These though are not normal circumstances. Not even close.

    Nick Greiner understands this. Greiner, the former Liberal NSW Premier gave Joe Hockey his first job in politics as a staffer. He’s his political godfather.

    As well as going to see John Howard on Saturday, Hockey also called Greiner to tap into what he calls “the corporate memory of the party”. Greiner’s political memory is acute and his advice to Hockey was blunt: “No. Joe. No,” was how he put it.

    As Greiner explains it to me: “No for the party. No for him.”

    “What I mean by that is if you want to be the leader of a party then you must have a chance of winning. And if you have a chance of winning you should run.

    “But you have to run on your own terms.

    “Margaret Thatcher would not have run on a platform in defence of unionism”.

    Greiner’s point to Hockey was that if he becomes leader now on ETS terms dictated by the climate sceptics in the party he can never be his own man, his own leader.

    “For Joe to take the job now based on what he’s said before would amount to standing for a lie,” says Greiner. “That is, he’d be standing for the reverse of what his previous view has been, in favour of an ETS. It wouldn’t be his leadership it would be someone else’s. “They (the right-wing sceptics) want two bob each way. They want to impose their view then have someone electorally saleable and moderate like Joe sell it.”

    Turnbull has seized instinctively on Greiner’s argument as the fundamental weakness of Hockey’s candidacy.

    Yesterday Turnbull savaged Hockey’s credentials. Throwing decency to the winds, he revealed that in a private conversation on Saturday, Hockey admitted his position on an ETS remained the same as Turnbull’s.

    In a scarifying array of soundbites that will form the basis of Labor’s next TV ad campaign should Hockey become leader, Turnbull made the deadly assertion that if Hockey ran and won he would be the creature of the climate change deniers and sceptics. The subtext; his integrity with the public would be shot before he even started. This is Greiner’s point, too.]


    Religion = BAD

    Anything to do with that MUST be BAD.

    So this chaplincy that is funded must have some merit for what they do in order to be funded. Has any one reseached what they do and what programs are runned and what bench marks are acheived rather than the blind critcism that is aimed at it?.

    Spare me the “GOD COMPLEX” There is money spent and wasted on a lot of programs that I find distateful aswell but I’m not here to rubbish them either. Where do you start!

    Greetings from Coorparoo in in the heart of KR’s electorate from a Labor voter too!

  7. Evan14 – have to go out shortly but couldn’t resist agreeing with you about Steve Price. It’s been ridiculous. I just had to switch it off because I couldn’t stand it any longer.

    All oldies ringing to say they don’t believe the polls. Price says they’re not right because he’s got more callers than the people polled and his callers are on the money.

    Let them have Joe Hockey – he’ll soon have to worry about his own back but in the meantime Kev and Penny have to get out there and answer the nutters with their new world order rubbish.

  8. Can anyone point ot a presser or press release that hockey states he is running for the leadership?

    or are the MSM engaging in a circlejerk cos they are out of the loop?

  9. ru

    I’ve been in the Hockey and no ETS camp since Friday. I haven’t seen anything to change my mind yet.

    Perhaps Rudd twittered his church group “Thinking of upping the school chaplaincy budget from $120M to $160M. I really want to know what you think.” 👿

    On a more serious note, it may look like a bad decision by Rudd on the school chaplaincy program but it may be evidence-based. Perhaps the God-botherers are well trained in kids problems and counsel them well and have been shown to have good outcome and are cost-effective. Until I knew whatevidence there was one way or the other, I wouldn’t make a decision one way or another.

    And I disagree with the paedophile arguments completely as their is no evidence that has been a problem.

  10. News Radio broadcasting from the House Of Reps today!
    So we’ll miss all the drama in the Senate, but on the plus side, Stephen Smith is there & Julia.

  11. Here another thought,

    Perhaps Hockey thinks it’s ok to take the leadership, because (atm) there’s no one left to roll him even if he performs badly etc. Installing Abbot would still be insane even then.

  12. [or are the MSM engaging in a circlejerk cos they are out of the loop?]

    I think this is the case.

    If Hockey was smart and didn’t intend to run then he should have said so yesterday after the meeting with Dutton. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for the media to be confident he’s running given the pressure that’s been applied by Abbott and Co; the meeting with Howard; the meeting with Dutton and especially his silence throughout.

    I want to hear from Hockey his version of the phone call with Turnbull on Saturday night. T says H backed him in that call.

  13. Further to the above, Aussieguru sarcasm aside, your post completly reverses the burden of proof. I am not the one who introduced the chaplancy funding. It was not a traditional part of our school funding. Why does it deserve funding? Surely it is up to those who support it continuing to get public funding to show that it serves a purpose? Given that I haven’t seen any analysis of it, how can I disprove it?

  14. [Further to the above, Aussieguru sarcasm aside, your post completly reverses the burden of proof.]
    Ie, you have no idea whether it deserves funding or not but you’re against it anyway.

  15. [If you have to think this long and hard about taking the leadership then surely the sensible answer is “NO”.]


    the libs have form running “blindside issues” also they defer attention away from

    Inother words via their friends in the MSM they are determining the agenda

    The lack of critical analysis of the libs POLICY failings is a sad indictment of the MSM

  16. Socrates,

    A refined Greek name too. Being a Greek aussie myself. No sir their is no absolutism here just a POV for fairness thats all. May be some research may be warranted as it is our tax money just to sure.

    If they are giving it out freely I’ll give Swanny my A/C no & BSB no!

  17. I don’t really get the greens amongst all this. I trust they are expecting that the ETS will be bombed, there will be a DD election and they will hold the BOP in the senate. And then what? Do you think that ALP will introduced a suped up ETS and committ political suicide? The people are not ready for massive increases in power and goods. try and hit them with a sledge hammer and they’ll not only block it but take it away from you. Why don’t they they get it through their thick heads that if you don’t introduce things gradually then you won’t survive in politics. Something is better than nothing. Pass the bloody bill, and push to make amendments in the near future. It is not going to be set in stone!!!

  18. Aussieguru01

    Has any one reseached what they do

    Yes, and presented a paper at a Class A national conference; but I admit that was pre-retirement. QLD state schools, via a referendum early last century, allowed what were deliberately designed as secular primary schools to have 1 hour of religion a week; half as bible reading, half as RE conducted by local ministers. The latter was extended to SHSs; but on both cases, children had to attend the classes offered by the sect designated on their enrolment forms, unless parents specifically requested, in writing, that they attend either a different sect’s, or no RE.

    I don’t remember taking part in any QLD referendum altering that reality.

    I objected strongly to having my offspring approached, in the local SHS’s grounds, at lunchtime, by ‘evangelist’ ‘chaplins’ from sects I’d describe as USA RW ‘Southern’, and protested even before the one responsible for the ‘1993 Rapture’ event was later, in a town not much over an hours’s drive away, run in for the usual reason clergy tend to be. Nor, indeed, was he alone. Sadly, not by a long shot.

    Fully-trained, on-site, secular counsellors are cheap at the price!

  19. [Ie, you have no idea whether it deserves funding or not but you’re against it anyway.]

    Yes GB I am against it on principle. I’ll tolerate it if it can be shown that it works, but as we both know there is no proof of that. But overall, I am against Rudd cynically buying votes from religeous types just as much as I was against Howard cynicism. I don’t ask him to fund the free dstribution of copies of Richard Dawkins to high school students.

  20. By the sound of Bob Brown, the Greens will oppose sending the amended bill off to a committee.

    That would mean if 1 Liberal crosses the floor, the Liberals would be forced to vote the bill down.

  21. Oz Pol 81

    Agree 100%. The old Qld. solution for religeous education in schools was a fair compromise. The Howard chaplaincy arrangements go a lot further and are much more open to abuse. Hence my point: why can’t we see some proof of efficacy before we spend another $140M. You could build two high schools with that cash.

  22. OzPol Tragic,

    Is that the substance of it. I’ll do some research of current facts to assess myself if this a worth while program or political sweetner. BRB,

  23. Best possible scenario for everyone:

    Malcolm sticks to his guns and remains leader. ETS passed. Liberal front bench consists of moderates, loonies sent to back bench. Sane liberal party goes to next election – still loses, but the opportunity for true renewal and rebuilding is created.

    Worst: Joe elected, refers ETS to committee (on what grounds? which of the 300 plus amendments are the committee to consider? If the bill hasn’t been passed, aren’t they all equally valid?) and reappoints loonies to frontbench positions, promoting some of them (he’d have to). They have his cojones in their hands. Liberal party goes to next election and is completely obliterated (or worse: only a handful of Libs remain, all from the Minchin camp).

    And I’m curious as to why anyone thinks a DD would produce a better bill. Surely a DD means that Labor would not have to negotiate with anyone but could just pass it as is?
    A DD simply makes the Greens more irrelevant than they are already.

    The Greens best chance of getting closer to what they want is not a DD but a full election, when they can use (presuming they have it) BOP to negotiate new legislation with the government.

    The Greens best course would be to support the present legislation, knowing that they had a good chance of changing it after the next full election.

    If we go to a DD, the bill will be passed as is by a joint sitting of the HoR and Senate – and the HoR will overwhelm the Senate vote.

  24. [The funniest scenario would be if the leadership contest was Kevin Andrews V Tony Abbott.]

    Don’t ask Andrews to don the budgie smugglers, like the Mad Monk did yesterday! 😀

  25. Laocoon: So the Liberals are trying to bring on the vote to send the legislation off to a committee?
    Can’t be long before Hockey makes the inevitable announcement!

  26. Also I found this..

    If a school is participating, do all students have to be involved?

    No. It is not compulsory for students to participate. Schools must ensure that students and parents understand the voluntary nature of the Program and have the option of whether to utilise the services of a school chaplain.

    Do chaplains have to be Christian?

    No. School communities will also determine the role, faith and, or denomination of the chaplain. The services provided by a chaplain should be appropriate to the school community and student context in which they will operate.

    Chaplains will be expected to respect the range of religious views and affiliations, and cultural traditions in the school and the community, and be approachable by students of all faiths. While recognising that an individual chaplain will in good faith express his or her belief and articulate values consistent with his or her denomination or religious belief, a chaplain should not take advantage of his or her privileged position to proselytise for that denomination or religious belief.

    It is recognised that for some religious affiliations, a more suitable or appropriate term may be used, such as Imam, Rabbi, lay leader, or religious worker.


    How will I know my child is safe while participating in the Program?

    As persons being considered for the role of school chaplain will come into contact with children under the age of 18, school communities will be required to obtain evidence that these persons satisfy the child protection requirements that are outlined in the Program Guidelines. No funding agreements were entered into without this evidence.

    All chaplains are required to sign a code of conduct which outlines the expected behaviours.

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