Newspoll: 54-46

The Australian reports the first Newspoll of the year has Labor’s two-party lead down from 56-44 to 54-46. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is down three points to 57 per cent, his second lowest rating since the election. Labor are down three points on the primary vote to 40 per cent, which has gone to the Greens (up one to 12 per cent) and other (up two to 10 per cent) – the Coalition is steady on 38 per cent. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is down six points to 52 per cent, disapproval is up two to 34 per cent and uncommitted is up four to 14 per cent. Also featured are Tony Abbott’s first personal ratings from Newspoll: at 40 per cent his approval rating is similar to Turnbull’s pre-Utegate, while his 35 per cent disapproval is slightly lower. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is 57-25, down from 60-23 on Abbott’s debut in the final Newspoll last year and exactly where it was in the last poll before Utegate.

This chart shows the number of times Labor has recorded particular two-party results in the 48 Newspolls conducted since the 2007 election, which places the latest poll among Labor’s five weakest results:


Today has also seen the first Essential Research survey of the new season which has Labor’s lead at 56-44, down from 57-43 on December 21 and at the lower end of Essential’s usual range. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating of 55 per cent is the lowest yet recorded by Essential, although his 33 per cent disapproval is two points lower than the November 30 survey. Tony Abbott’s ratings have improved slightly on his December 14 debut, his approval up three to 37 per cent and disapproval up one to 36 per cent. Further questions find respondents optimistic about economic prospects, though less so than late last year (note the stunning turnaround on this measure from early to late last year).

Note of caution: Possum has observed that “when you look over the history of polls that happen in the Christmas/New Year period going back forever, you find them being more ‘all over the place’ than you tend to find at any other period (with the possible exception of Easter)”. Not sure how late into January this applies.


• Karen Brown, chief-of-staff to WA Opposition Leader Eric Ripper and unsuccessful state election candidate for Mount Lawley, has scotched suggestions she will run for the marginal Liberal federal seat of Cowan. The West Australian has reported party state executive member Alex Banzic, who is “understood to work for Melbourne-based EG property group as an investment manager”, is the only nominee so far, although it last week reported staffer Sam Roe as a possible entrant.

• The Northern Star reports Tweed councillor Joan van Lieshout has won the local ballot for Liberal preselection in the north coast New South Wales federal seat of Richmond, although there remains the formality of endorsement by the state executive. The Liberals have never held the seat, and have not contested it since 1996, although its increasingly urban character is such that they would be as likely to win it as the Nationals if it returned to the conservative fold. Labor’s Justine Elliot has held the seat since defeating Nationals member Larry Anthony in 2004. The Nationals candidate will be Pottsville pharmacist Tania Murdock.

• The Esperance Express names Ian Bishop, former adviser to state government ministers Kim Chance and John Bowler (the latter now an independent aligned with the Nationals), as Labor’s candidate to run against Wilson Tuckey in O’Connor.

• The ABC reports Queanbeyan councillor John Barilaro and New South Wales Farmers Association executive councillor Mark Horan have nominated for Nationals preselection in the state seat of Monaro, which Labor’s Steve Whan retained in 2007 by a margin of 6.3 per cent.

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.

970 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46”

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  1. [Maybe they’ll telecast actual parliamentry sessions other than Question Time and move QT off ABC1 – and therby not upsetting those who want to watch repeats of The Bill and perhaps they will not be restricted by the timeslot when showing QT as well – if you recall recent events.]

    Frank – that’s another reason I watch A-pac. They show the full QT plus debates so you can see when the TV grabs are taken out of context . And you can see that most of the silly Oppn antics stop the minute the ABC QT finishes at 3pm. Pyne et al get their dopey stuff in before that and then they usually quieten down.

    ABC4 could do the same and show it all.

  2. [my fave is ‘all things considered’]
    Thanks for the tip, I’ll look for it in pod form

    [FK has become an oppositionist]
    Having been a looonnnngggg time listener of RN, I am reasonably confident that FK is (was) a Peter Costello accolyte, who has been cast adrift by his premature retirement.
    Hence her obsession with ‘gotchas’ on the Rudd crew, particularly Swannie, who are largely responsible for her hero’s demise – that is, to the extent the PC is not responsible for his own demise.

  3. Peter Young@950
    There is actually nothing bad about the text. In fact, if all CCP members stuck to this message China would be a immeasurably better place.
    The Falun Gong people hate everything associated with the CCP, and this slogan is just about as symbolic as it can get.

  4. The health bill is Obama’s 9/11 moment to either prove his metal or see him badged as a perpetual under performer. He has to put away the lawyer/diplomat talk that considers all points and positions in soft language.

    It will be Obama and the Democrats that will be seen as too weak to rule if they run away from this. Obama will probably be safe…but the Democrats days of basking in the sunshine will be over if they still try to play games or simply run from it.

    [He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For]

  5. I won’t be making judgement on ABC4 until I give it a try out.
    They will still have lightweights like trioli and Crabbe trying to be amusing and fawning over Abbotts budgies.
    And even leigh who all are enamoured of was pretty nasty to swanny when he was on line from london with the few second satelite delay. Cutting in on him before he heard the whole question.
    Cassidy who hates Rudd will still have a job I presume even if Bolt, Milne and Piers are got rid of.

    As for the female midday newsreaders and their sneers everytime they have to mention labor, well if they are on every half hour for news updates hmm i’ll wait and see.

    Now I’m feeling depressed, Sky is looking good 👿

  6. Peter Young, William has my permission to give you my email address. I may be able to offer some specific suggestions for your 80 year old woman. You can indulge the political fight to your hearts content otherwise.

  7. [I suggest that PC is anathema to frannie]
    Well, I was listening to her all through the Peter for PM days, then Peter to save the ousted Lib days, and she sounded positively sycophantic. It was sickening. She really laid into any opposition to Pete within the il-liberal party.
    The straw for me was when she was snorting in delight at the prospect of getting Swannie over utegate. She had run her colours well and truly up the mast.

  8. Vera

    without disclosing confidences, i can assure you the ABC is way more energised than under howie.

    with apols to any japanese poster here, this is Iwo Jima

    in other words the abc is doing its own burn em out

    I actually have no complaint at all

    let the howardistas burn at their stake


  9. Gusface, I hope you are right. I wait to see it reflected in the airwaves.

    In the meantime, I continue to listen to podcast of programs unaffected by the recent ‘troubles’ in the ABC – The Science Show, All in the Mind, The Book Show, and others.

  10. on’ya gusface
    No need for disclosing confidences, I beleive you and feel better now 😀
    Good on ABC if they are doing it for themselvses now!

  11. wRONg , and lies Diogenes

    you hav relentless critisised Rudd for his 5% target as TOO LOW , for 12 mths You ar a liar if you deny that fact

    Now today you defend a NIL cut , and you avoid & riggle as to why a 5% cut was no good yesterday but a nil cut is ok today

    You and th bob Brown Breens Party ar hypocrits & th Greens Party a CC mitgaton fraud

    you hav suported th Greens 25% cut polisy , as you said you did not 40%

    and then to claim tonite to forget your 12 mths nasty critisism of Rudds 5% for bein too low , but now all of a sudden (again) defend anothr but oposite Greens polisy nil cuts (whilst claimin not to be a Green , closet green , well you can beleiv what you post)

  12. Its understandable that Labor Party people and supporters are a bit non-plussed about how to proceed at present with Global Warming strategy. Unless the the UN gets its act together there is a problem internationally. And here it looks like an agreement between Labor and Greens after the next election is the best chance.
    Calling on the Libs to support Labor policy might be good politics but it is disastrous to move towards their position. Concentrate on putting the heat on the Libs.
    Ron and others trying to pretend that the Greens are the problem and getting all excited about it is rather farcical and counter productive to trying to get a reasonable compromise down the track. If you think that the best chance still is for a Labor Lib deal then say so but it don’t see it getting much support at present.

  13. Polly

    few things

    Howie’s acolytes are embedded

    FOA (friends of abc) are the silent mover here

    I was the most vocal anti abc’er her a while back=not anymore as I fully recognise change is an incremental process

    The vibe is good,as one old timer said, the shackles and fear are slowly dissapating

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