Newspoll breaks it down

The Australian has published another set of geographic and demographic breakdowns, combining two weeks of polling (the 52-48 from yesterday and last week’s 50-50) to produce samples of about 670 per state. The results thus include half the polling which contributed to Newspoll’s geographic and demographic results from last week.

The table below provides an artist’s impression of how state-level polling has tracked through the campaign week-by-week, based on an aggregage of Newspoll and Nielsen results. The results appear to suggest that the swing to Labor has faded in Victoria and that Western Australia is weaker for Labor than generally supposed, but the margins of error is high enough that this should be treated with caution. Samples for any given observation were 765 for NSW, 665 for Victoria, 585 for Queensland, 465 for WA (865 in week three, achieved by throwing in the Westpoll result) and 445 in SA, producing margins of error ranging from 4.6 in South Australia’s case to 3.6 for New South Wales.

Perhaps the greatest point of interest is an implausible Labor collapse in New South Wales in week two. Most likely what this tells us is that unfavourable samples for Labor there dragged down their overall results that week.


As well as that, Roy Morgan has produced one of its quite useless Senate polls. This draws on 5000 face-to-face interviews conducted over the last two months, but for all its massive sample is of far less use in predicting the Senate result that an ordinary lower house poll would be. Of greater interest is Morgan’s Polligraph worm results for the treasurers’ debate. Amusingly, the pattern for Labor-supporting and Coalition-supporting participants forms a perfect mirror image. The Greens line is consistently quite close to Labor’s, but a gap emerges when Wayne Swan spruiks “Labor initiatives to assist housing affordability”.

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.

2,030 comments on “Newspoll breaks it down”

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  1. Amazing that kerry was the only interviewer I’ve seen to point out the 3% BER complaints (half for waste) to Abbott.

    Victoria, I think the NBN is a major asset in QLD, particularly the “youre going to miss out” angle. Along with Rudd campaigning in marginals, this should help

    And I simply dont see how an opposition can sneak over the line when they are behind with 1 1/2 weeks to go, especially when they are led by non-tech head.

    Quite apart from his religious and sexist views, the scariest thing about Abbott for PM is his policy laziness. he knew he was on 730 report and would be asked about Broadband, but he didnt prepare and showed no interest or command of the details. Not PM material

  2. [well dear william as i am not part of australia, i may as well stay here and help
    abbott stay out of your beautiful country o dear
    its happened again lol]

    Ya poor kid, we know you’re part of oz even if the media ignores you.

  3. Andrew

    Thanks for your response. I have been reading papers online, such as SMH, The Age, and Herald Sun. Most reporters are dissing the Liberal policy and stating that it is no good and going backwards. They are all in favour of Labor’s policy.

    I wonder if the NBN Policy alone can be the turning point in this election??

  4. [You really need to drill down and provide a similar graph for the two main parties for each of the crucial 17 seats.]

    I assume that by “crucial 17 seats” you mean the 17 most marginal seats. The trouble is that that assumes a uniform swing, which won’t happen, so we don’t really know which are the most crucial seats.

  5. Not only journalists are seeing through Abbot’s broadband non-policy:
    [”Under [an] NBN [scenario], our target price is $3.90 … The Coalition’s plan would not change our $4.05 valuation materially,” a Goldman Sachs analyst, Christian Guerra, said. But the policy would be damaging to Telstra’s competitors because it introduced new regulatory and infrastructure planning delays, he said.]
    So the final price to consumers is the same, but the service is much less, while Telstra’s monopoly is preserved. Brilliant! (If you are a 50 yr old with a lot of Telstra shares; not for the rest of the nation.)

    Now that the press are finally starting to scrutinise coalition policy, I can’t see their vote improving from here. Labor just needs to stay on mesage (economics, stability, we avoided the recession the others wanted us to have) and not get caught up in the boat people garbage, to win.

  6. [And I simply dont see how an opposition can sneak over the line when they are behind with 1 1/2 weeks to go]

    Perhaps because they’re not necessarily behind in the seats that count? We won’t know the full picture until election night. What I’d do to grab a copy of each party’s internal polling 🙂

  7. [victoria
    Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink


    As I have already mentioned, can the NBN policy alone sway voters to Labor?]
    It will if enough media personal are annoyed by the mishmash broadband policy.

  8. [Last night Kerry asked Abbott how many hundreds or thousands wireless towers will have to be built, Abbott of coarse could not answer and did not answer]
    As well as the defeaning silence on “what spectrum?” for the Abbott wireless broadband

  9. Victoria

    I doubt it, or if so only some, but it will contribute to an overall perception that is emerging (accurately) that Abbott does not know how to run the economy. That will sway voters.

  10. [54 victoria
    Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 8:35 am | Permalink
    my say]

    o its a long running joke down here u proably all miss it but it happens a lot.
    Oh says sometimes dont care we just keep paradise to our self.

    but what would i do about the occassiona trip to Melbourne to shoes at sheaphersd

  11. ltep, with all due respect we heard the same crap in 2007

    and why does the OO not add the first week to produce three weeks of breakdowns?

  12. Radio Face decided to editorialise whilst reading the news headlines from an autocue this morning. I’d complain, but it would be a waste of time.

  13. [and why does the OO not add the first week to produce three weeks of breakdowns]

    Perhaps they’ve taken the decision to do 2 week aggregates throughout the campaign? There’s certainly nothing wrong with this.

  14. I think the campaign has already turned-the polls last Sunday showing that Labor had clawed back to a narrow lead, and a string of blunders and bad media every day since then. But I still feel very nervous. It looks like NSW and Qld are Labor’s softest states, and that is precisely where there are a whole heap of Labor marginals. The betting markets have certainly turned towards Labor, but the only seat they are clearly favoured to gain is McEwen, while there are about 10 they are favoured to lose, with several others on a knife-edge. Labor really needs to keep positive momentum going in these states, it only needs the campaign to falter for a few days and it could be a very tight result yet.

  15. Socrates
    [Conversely this promise might help Federal Labor in Sydney; this rail line is desperately neeed, though I don’t know if its priority one.]

    I heard about this announcement on News Radio this morning: ABC announcer intro-ed, then JoHo started bellowing that it was an outrageous bribe for just one seat, namely Bennelong, and finally Albanese tape played so I could find out what, where etc the railway was…so I got the Liberal complaining response before I knew the subject mater…

    Anyway…this rail link is actually designed for very traditional Labor areas/seats of Parramatta and westward, not really Bennelong at all. It will facilitate access to the North Ryde office precinct (now the 3rd largest in Sydney Metro after CBD and, just, North Sydney) and its jobs, for those living out west, without a car

  16. [ night Kerry asked Abbott how many hundreds or thousands wireless towers will have to be built, Abbott of coarse could not answer and did not answer]

    to be honest when people realise that they may have a great big tower in their neighbour hood or in their town its enough to even frighten a rusted on

    I hope we do a good job informing people in remote qld nsw they may not have broadband at all but may have great bit tower ( gee thats the same initials as tone favourite saying) coming to spot near them

  17. You know when Shanahan is constructing bizarre scenarios about the popular vote going one way and the number of seats going the other that the Torys are in trouble. Besides, Labor is starting with 88 seats so its unlikley in a close election that they would be the ones with the fewer seats given the head start and the advantage to sitting members.

    And 1998 is a rubbish comparrison. One Nation preferenced against sitting members that year and the seats with the largest populations of One Nation voters were safe Tory seats. The Tories at the time had about 90+ sitting members. While this served to reduce the margins is safe seats and make for an interesting 2PP it didn’t actually result in that many seats changing hands….

  18. Listening to ABC radio just now. Jon Faine was interviewing member for Bradfield, who is architect of Libs broadband policy, who mentioned copper is good and affordable.

    Great quote by Faine. “Copper is the technology of the steam train, how can it be compared to optic fibre”?

    Faine also suggested “are you the member for Optus”?. Apparently, this Fletcher guy had some role with Optus before this gig.

  19. [82 victoria
    Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink
    Listening to ABC radio just now. Jon Faine was interviewing member for Bradfield, who is architect of Libs broadband ]

    well perhaps we could win a few more seats in ViC , is that possible to counter some lost in qld nsw

  20. Amazing that kerry was the only interviewer I’ve seen to point out the 3% BER complaints (half for waste) to Abbott.

    See my (as usual) long-winded email on the previous thread @2121 whew I pointed this out to a small businessman who’s doing some work for me. He’s a smart guy, especially at his work (multi-axis CNC machining) but takes too much notice of newspaper articles, in this case, on the BER.

    The reason I wrote the email to him was because he said to me that the condemnation of the BER in articles on the Report was so universal that they MUST be right. That many articles couldn’t get it wrong. In other words, he fell for the Big Lie. “BER Debacle” was the only story in town, so he believed it. He was predisposed to believe it, I guess, as he’s a Liberal voter, but I thought I’d give him the chance to see for himself.

    So I asked him if he’d actually read the Report, to which he replied that he didn’t need to. It was all in the newspapers. He also mentioned that it was very difficult to find, even for a net savvy guy like him (I actually agreed with this, unless someone here had found it for us I wouldn’t have known where to look, buried as it was in a sea of media articles on the subject when you Google it). Which is why I sent a link to him direct, with my own version of an “Executive summary”.

    I don’t know whether it will do any good, but surely sending him the actual Report is beter than “He-said, She-said” arguments over the phone about what the Report was supposed to contain. He may not read it at all, but I’ll be checking. He may still think he doesn’t need to read it, but I’ll be urging him to do so. I’ve even given a few page citations to help him get into it.

    Someone yesterday said they felt sorry for him because I’d deluged him with a long email and lots of detail (as well as the Report itself), when he usually would receive porn from his mates and colleagues (i.e. much more interesting!). To me that’s just giving up. I suppose I could have sent him a bunch of Labor Party stickers and a sheaf of slogans, but what good would that have done?

    It’s an election and there’s 10 days to go. He’s never read the report, but is intelligent and likes to think of himself as “informed”. So I informed him, sure with a few ideas on interpretation of my own, but with the “raw intelligence” – the Report itself – as well.

    Come to think of it, in all the on-line reports and articles I’ve seen on the Report (including Ross Gittins’ piece supporting Labor’s position) I’ve never seen even one link to the document itself. You’d think that in the internet digital age it would be easy to slip a link in to the head or the tail of on-line newspaper articles on the subject so that readers could judge for themselves whether the article was an accurate summary, wouldn’t you? But nary a link to be seen.

    It’s a sad reflection on the media’s inflated view of itself that it does not consider actually providing information to its readers (other than its own opinions) as important, or even useful. They’re giving us “all we need to know” (in their minds), but in fact are misleading us and treating us like peasants, requiring only bread and circuses.

    Same thing with the NBN fake “controversy”. “He” is saying a lot, and so is “She”. The media – who you’d think would have to know better – are actually giving Abbott’s tech-lite scheme, which will give us a hodge-podge of contradictory services even worse than the mess we have now (and then only in 6 years) equal billing with the brilliant NBN policy, which will be the backbone of how our society communicates for decades, perhaps even centuries to come. As switching technoligy gets faster and better, fibre is the only option to absorb the extra bandwidth. The NBN will have to be built someday. Why not now?

    Abbott has used it as the centrepiece of his “overspending” criticisms of the government, but claims to not be across the “techhead” details. The media goes along with this, slavishly. The aim is to muddy the waters enough until election time, when, if Abbott wins, we will wake up to the sound of bulldozers physically ripping up the NBN and find ourselves condemned to almost third world communications, especially by the time his option is up and running.

    It’s a terrible shame it’s come to this.

  21. BB

    As I have said on previously occasions, the BER success will be determined at a grassroots level.

    Think of all the families, students, tradies, architects etc. that have benefitted from this program. Real evidence and jobs is what people see, not the OO reporting doom and gloom about it!

  22. [I hope we can pick up a few marginal seats in Victoria. It would help counter losses elsewhere.]

    La Trobe and McEwen are the ones commonly referred to, but there’s also the chance of a loss in Corrangamite and/or Deakin. Haven’t heard much about Deakin and theres some jostling from Geelong Football Club to get matched funding from Labor for an oval upgrade in Corrangamite. You’d expect that result to be tight, but the Gillard ascension may have just held that seat.

  23. [I tell you this broadband policy is the sleeper of the election!!]

    It certainly exemplifies the contrast between the backwards-looking Abbott and the “moving forward” Gillard.

  24. Victoria, I’m not sure Abbott helps the Libs in Victoria either and its very telling they’re using Isobel Redmond in South Australia rather than Abbott. It’s one divided country by the looks of it.

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