Newspoll breakdowns and related matters

The Australian offers geographic and demographic breakdowns of the last two Newspoll surveys, achieving reasonable samples from each subset due to the unusually large samples (around 1700) Newspoll uses during the election period. Age breakdowns offer the interesting finding that Labor has bounced back under Gillard in the 35-49 bracket, but if anything gone backwards among the young and old – or rather, remained stable on the primary vote while the Coalition has picked up a few points. The gender gap is four points on voting intention, seven on Gillard’s approval rating and ten on preferred prime minister, and appears to have widened steadily through the year on Tony Abbott’s approval.

The state breakdowns give us a useful opportunity to confirm their findings with Nielsen, the Fairfax papers having conducted a similar exercise from the three most recent polls (extending it to four for South Australia and Western Australia to boost the sample). I also offer a third measure of what the betting markets think, which involves a rough estimate of the statewide swings suggested by the odds SportingBet and SportsBet are offering on individual seats (more on this subject from occasional Poll Bludger commenter Dr Good). The table shows Labor’s two-party preferred vote:

2007 Newspoll Nielsen Bookies
NSW 53.7% 49% 51% 53%
Vic 54.3% 59% 54% 54%
Qld 50.4% 46% 47% 47%
WA 46.7% 46% 46% 46%
SA 52.4% 56% 51% 53%

Some further (alleged) intelligence courtesy of internal polling:

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports Liberal polling in NSW has them doing “well” in “about five Labor-held marginal seats”, which include Macquarie and Robertson and to a lesser extent Dobell. The other two presumably include Gilmore, with a fifth harder to identify: the pendulum suggests Bennelong, Eden-Monaro and Page, where in each case the markets favour Labor. However, they Liberals were also said to be in trouble in Hughes and Macarthur. In Queensland, Leichardt and Dawson are said to be at risk, but Labor looks set to hold Longman and Flynn.

• The West Australian reports Nationals polling has Wilson Tuckey leading them in O’Connor by just 51-49, from primary votes of 38 per cent for Tuckey, 23 per cent for Nationals candidate Tony Crook, 21 per cent for Labor and 8 per cent for the Greens, with 10 per cent undecided.

• Markus Mannheim of the Canberra Times reports Liberal polling in the ACT shows the Greens vote actually falling since the 2007 election, which if accurate would put their dream of a Senate seat well beyond reach, if the Democrats’ decision to direct preferences to the Liberals hadn’t done it already.

We’ve had conflicting reports in recent days on party finances and campaign spending:

Richard Gluyas of The Australian today reports the Liberals are struggling to raise funds. A media-buying source is quoted saying Labor ad spending has been especially conspicuous in the past week, with $19 million in advertising commitments for the length of the campaign splitting “55:45 in favour of Labor”.

• The Sydney Morning Herald, by contrast, reports Liberal television advertising has been 51 per cent more active than Labor’s, “as measured by audience exposure”:

Labor officials wondered aloud where a cash-strapped Liberal Party had managed to find the money, an answer which will not be disclosed officially for a year and a half. And the Liberals were struck by the fact that Labor had all but withdrawn from the advertising market in the second week of the campaign. After an active first week, Labor advertising airtime fell to zero in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, and near zero in Sydney, in week two. Labor continued normal campaign-level advertising only in Brisbane, presumably reflecting the high concentration of at-risk seats in Queensland. In a week in which Labor was taking a hiding in the news media and in the polls, the party decided to stop trying to reach voters with paid advertising as it husbanded its resources. “Labor have obviously come off for a reason,” Mr Durrant said. “I can’t see that it would be because they have run out of money but more likely it is a strategic decision to perhaps blitz the market in the final stretches when people are closer to making a decision, which could be quite smart given how much coverage and PR is being generated by them both.”

I can only say that the the Liberal Party doesn’t seem starved for funds in Western Australia. As well as running highly visible campaigns even in Labor’s safest seats, there is talk the state branch has found $1 million to spare for the national campaign.

So much for what they’re doing with their own money – here’s some of what they have planned for ours.

Petrie (Labor 2.3%): Last week Labor promised to spend $742 million building a fabled rail line from Petrie to Kippa-Ring. The Liberals responded by bringing forward their own planned announcement that $750 million would be put into the project. This evidently came as news to LNP Petrie candidate Dean Teasdale, whose initial reaction to Labor’s announcement was that this was not the time for such an expensive project. Tony Koch of The Australian notes the rail link has been the subject of fruitless election promises for 40 years, and it was first proposed as far back as the 1890s. The state government dropped plans to build the link six years ago after a study suggested it would be unviable, but last year was reported to be pushing to get the project “shovel ready” so it could be considered for federal funds. It emerged as an issue in the state election last March when Shadow Transport Minister Fiona Simpson flew solo with a promise it would be built by 2016, causing great embarrassment to her party.

Leichhardt (Labor 4.1%), Dawson (Labor 2.4%), Flynn (Labor 2.3%), Herbert (notional Labor 0.4%) and Hinkler (Nationals 1.5%): Queensland’s regional coastal seats were clearly the target of Tony Abbott’s announcement last week that they would limit the future expansion of marine parks, by requiring “peer-reviewed scientific evidence of a threat to marine diversity”. The announcement was made at Mackay in Dawson. Mackay has also been the scene of a bidding war over the construction of a new ring road: Wayne Swan promised $10 million for a feasibility study into a new ring road one week into the campaign, and Tony Abbott trumped him two days later by promising $30 million for design and engineering work.

Hasluck (Labor 1.0%) and Swan (notional Labor 0.3%): Labor last week promised to provide $480 million of $600 million sought by the Western Australian government to improve roads around Perth Airport, which will include widening Tonkin Highway to a six-lane freeway. There was also an as yet uncosted promise to provide funding to an upgrade of 4 kilometres of Great Eastern Highway.

Bass (Labor 1.0%): Last week Labor promised $11.5 million in finding for Launceston’s flood levees as part of the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.

Sturt (Liberal 0.9%) and Makin (Labor 7.7%): The Prime Minister last week announced $100 million in funding for stormwater harvesting and reuse, the first cab off the rank being a $10 million contribution to a pitch for $33 million by councils in eastern Adelaide. With the councils to fund half the cost, this left a $6 million hole which Labor wanted filled by a previously reluctant state government. The next day Tony Abbott trumped Labor by promising to put up the full $16.5 million. The Coalition has also promised $7.5 million to improve Fosters and Gorge roads in Sturt.

Gilmore (notional Labor 0.2%): Late last week Tony Abbott promised $20 million to upgrade a notorious section of the Princes Highway between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay.

Legal action:

• The GetUp!-sponsored legal challenge against the law requiring the electoral roll to close on the day the writs are issued will be heard in the High Court tomorrow. According to the Australin Financial Review, GetUp! will be supported by most of the legal team that acted for Vickie Roach in the 2007 action that overturned a Howard government law prohibiting prisoners from voting.

• A “Tasmanian antique dealer” has launched a legal challenge against Eric Abetz’s right to sit in parliament, arguing he remains a citizen of Germany, from which he emigrated in 1961 at the age of three. Constitutional expert and Labor preselection aspirant George Williams tells The Hobart Mercury there are “numerous pitfalls for any politician born overseas, or whose parents or even grandparents had been born overseas, to fall into, unawares and without intent, which could make them ineligible to sit in Parliament”.

Finally, there has as always been some interesting wash-up from the unveiling of Senate group voting tickets on Sunday, which I have summarised for an article in Crikey. Note the launch of the new awareness-raising website Below the Line, on which voters are encouraged to order and then print out their own Senate “how to vote” card.

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.

1,187 comments on “Newspoll breakdowns and related matters”

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  1. Michael Wilbur-Ham,

    You Abbott-fancier you! Story for you…

    [Abbott’s cuts to aid budget a broken promise to world’s poor

    Oxfam Press Release, 31 July 2010

    Coalition costings submitted to Treasury yesterday show Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has broken his promise to match the Government’s commitments on overseas aid, Oxfam Australia said today.

    Mr Hewett said the Coalition also must urgently clarify how it would fulfill Australia’s commitments under the Copenhagen Accord, to provide fast-start finance to help developing countries adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change and develop on low carbon pathways.]

  2. [You only needed to look at Penny Wong’s expression when Christine Milne was speaking on QandA two weeks ago to realize how hard it would be for her to negotiate with the Greens.]

    MWH — I pulled faces when we heard Christine Milne on Q&A too.

  3. [Pretty much everything Labor has done (or failed to do) over the last few years has proven to me that they never ever intended real action. Labor may still have some spin saying that they are slightly left or progressive, but unfortunately the reality is that in substance there is little difference between Abbott and Gillard.]

    We had this argument last time you popped up her MWH.

    You’d be talking a different tune if Abbott hadn’t beaten his predecessor. You’re talking rubbish — but you’re entitled to your opinion.

  4. Itep
    [Dee I don’t want the Liberal spambots that infest the News Ltd comments sections here thanks]
    Surely, there must be a way to get the word out to boycott News Ltd.

  5. [I notice the Coalition mentioned planting a hell of a lot of trees. I was in the audience of Q&A on Monday night and saw both Larissa Waters from the Greens and Goose Emerson laugh it off as ‘doing nothing for Climate Change’.]

    It sounds like a good idea but we don’t have the land, or the water

  6. ltep
    Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Ron, if you’re asking me whether I was convinced by Gillard’s statements on the Citizen’s Assembly …”

    no not asking that , as i knew your views
    What I was trying to ask is Hulia mentioned 3 other KEY (and to her more VIP) parts of Labor’s CC polisy aslisted in my #1078 , but Red Ted kept interupt her a few times befor she finished those extra parts of Labors CC polisy So I was asking you put on undecided black hat and with that hat on re if you thought those other Labor polisy points got messaged or did you think they got lost in overall interview ?

    “The Citizen’s Assembly will do very little, if nothing, to actually create a community consensus for action on climate change. Perhaps a significant proportion of the 150 people will be convinced of the need to act, but HOW will this filter into the broader community?”

    Its acircuit breaker ….its both a pr exercise to use Media to say consensus is a price on carbon , an thru that persuade public it is a reasonable thing to do at a price not at scare levls Liberls ar saying Then to use both politcaly to talk to a (new 2011) Senate Altrnative to such process is 2011 Senat will end up PRESENT intractible separate positions (like 2009) , and no CC deel as each too scared politcaly to move

  7. ACOSS just doesn’t get it. They pat Abbott on the back and suggest he also extend the plan to the young unemployed as well. They should realise that won’t happen and that the unskilled workers aged from teenage years to people in their forties could face the sack to make way for a government ‘subsidised’ older person.

    [The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has welcomed the Coalition’s plan to give employers an incentive to hire older workers but the group wants it to go further.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today unveiled a policy that would see employers receive $3,200 for taking on an unemployed worker aged over 50 for at least six months.

    ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie says the plan could also be expanded to help other people who have difficulties finding work.

    “For example we know there were some young people who were really affected by the economic downturn last year who would now be seen as being out of a job for an extended period of time,” she said.

    “This kind of financial incentive could really encourage employers to give that young person a go.”]

  8. [Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
    Any thoughts on the mystery ‘matilda’?

    Don’t know enough people here to know — but Matilda spells as badly as my say (no offense my say) and, I think, Ron (same Ron)]

    how funny u lot are do you know i am just lazy my hands ache my body aches
    thats RA for you well my father would say “Girl dont blame any body but yourself a good workman never blames his tools”
    or some crap like that. any way

  9. [Dee I don’t want the Liberal spambots that infest the News Ltd comments sections here thanks 😉 ]

    The Liberal spambots don’t only swamp the comments sections at News Ltd, but also at their ABC, and Fairfax. Crikey is just about the only big(gish) media presence that is relatively free of them. Rorting of online polls by presumably the same crowd is widespread, even extending to Fairfax online polls, which, until recent months, had been relatively unaffected.

    Spin … spin … spin … it’s all in the spin ….

  10. [It sounds like a good idea but we don’t have the land, or the water]

    I see Wong has challenged Barnaby to a debate on water. If he takes it up, she should press this him on this aspect of their climate change policy.

  11. CH7 says Morgan poll shows Abbott more popular with women than Julia and has a higher approval rating.

    If this is the good news for the ALP, then go figure.

  12. Ron, the points would’ve got lost. To be honest I don’t even remember her making them because it got overshadowed with all the silly “did you call Kevin” questions.

  13. Dee,

    [So what do we do if the Murdoch empire are successful with the Rabbott’s campaign & he gets elected???]

    [We should all do a ‘dump’ on News Ltd. Go viral on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube.]

    I will “never” again look at “any” News Ltd website again, paywall or no and I shall totally boycott every ABC program that has “any” news or current affair or political commentary.

    I think a fair bit of book reading is on the agenda for me while I try and shut most of the rest of the world out.

  14. [CH7 says Morgan poll shows Abbott more popular with women than Julia and has a higher approval rating.]

    So no change in the 2pp I take it.

  15. [If this is the good news for the ALP, then go figure.]

    Abbott’s small target has paid off.

    Gillard’s campaign has gone downhill ever since her stupid announcement of the Citizens’ Assembly – Medicare Gold moment eat your heart out.

    Gillard looks like blowing this election. I cant understand her opponent is Tony Abbott for crying out loud?

    I’d never have though Abbott would even get within a sniff of victory.

    Rudd wouldnt have lost this election as he’d have done something on CC before the poll (prob held in Oct).

  16. Mark Simkin seriously flubbed it on ABC news last night. The take away message was that Abbott inadvertently made a comment once that was seized on by the feminazis of the Labor and Greens to discredit him. No mention that he used it four times in various ways. He is a walking talking Liberal stooge.

  17. Interesting Morgan.

    Abbott approval up (simply means he’s doing about as well as most think him capable of – me included) but JG still the preferred PM.

    That’s how I read it.

  18. ltep,

    [Dee I don’t want the Liberal spambots that infest the News Ltd comments sections here thanks 😉 ]

    There’s more than enough of them coming here now on hit & bait trolling missions now.

  19. Scorpio
    It is not enough just for us to boycott. There must be a way we can get Labor voters Australia wide to do the same. They, News Ltd. are responsible for the ascendancy of the Rabbott.
    He virtually claimed victory on 9 News.

  20. Tom Hawkins
    [Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
    Interesting Morgan.

    Abbott approval up (simply means he’s doing about as well as most think him capable of – me included) but JG still the preferred PM.

    That’s how I read it.]

    and once again he is keeping his pp points to him self like he did last time

    this may be the only negative bit they can find. b ds

  21. BK

    Gillard’s Citizens’ Assembly was the beginning of her downward spiral.

    I cant understand why Gillard and Labor arent 55-45 over the Libs???

    This is Tone we’re talking about?

  22. [… I shall totally boycott every ABC program that has “any” news or current affair or political commentary.]

    That’s me too, Scorps. Been completely turned off. I feel a deep sense of loss and betrayal because I was raised on the ABC. Some of my earliest memories are of listening affectionately to “Aunty”. Will never forgive Howard or the Liberals for trashing something of such importance.

  23. [-uppa the 2pp won’t be revealed till tomorrow. This is all looking awful though. Ah well.\

    may be still 50 / 50 i think is disgraceful the way they do this itis like mental torcher
    they may think it makes people watch their news they are idiots if they think that

  24. This large swing is behind the fall in the overall ALP Two-Party preferred vote to 50% (down 3%) to now be exactly even with the L-NP (50%, up 3%). Tony Abbott’s efforts in recent weeks to win over the women’s vote are starting to ‘bear fruit.’”

    50-50 Morgan.

    Looks like the Liberals are pulling ahead.

  25. [Analysis by gender clearly shows a large fall in the ALP vote amongst women is behind this week’s overall fall in the ALP vote. Women now marginally prefer the L-NP (50.5%) cf. ALP (49.5%) on a Two-Party preferred basis while men lean slightly towards the ALP (50.5%) cf. L-NP (49.5%).]

    Bullbutter Gary Morgan. 😛

  26. It’s just one poll, and it looks dodgy too me.

    Why would women turn off Gillard in the last week?

    We’ll see when the others hit news, but I don’t buy this one yet.

Comments are closed.

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