Newspoll: ALP favoured for government 47-39

The Australian has published a Newspoll survey of 1134 respondents which finds 47 per cent of respondents want the rural independents to back Labor, compared with 39 per cent for the Coalition. There is, predictably enough, “almost unanimous partisan support among voters for the party they supported” – which can only mean primary vote support for the Coalition has taken a solid hit since the election, at which they polled 43.7 per cent. Hopefully more to follow.

UPDATE: We also have another JWS/Telereach robopoll courtesy of the Fairfax broadsheets, this time of 4192 respondents, which has 37 per cent for Labor, 31 per cent for the Coalition and 26 per cent for a new election. However, on voting intention the Coalition leads 44.9 per cent to 35.4 per cent on the primary vote and 50.4-49.6 on two-party preferred, suggesting most of those in favour of a new election are Coalition supporters.

UPDATE 2: Full JWS-Telereach release here, courtesy GhostWhoVotes. I gather the poll targeted 55 seats with post-election margins of less than 6 per cent, and the vote results above extrapolate the swings on to the national results. On Coalition costings, 40 per cent of respondents professed themselves very concerned and 19 per cent somewhat concerned, with only 35 per cent showing little or no concern. People are more concerned about the Greens balance of power in the Senate (49 per cent say “bad for Australia” against 39 per cent good) than the value of the Labor-Greens alliance (opinion evenly divided). Julia Gillard only just shades Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, 43 per cent to 41 per cent, and respondents are evenly divided on which party would prove more “stable and competent”.

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.

3,161 comments on “Newspoll: ALP favoured for government 47-39”

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  1. I can’t help thinking the three independents will be much less interested in this Australia-wide poll than the thinking in their own electorates.

  2. I know I am a newbie at stats, but I fail to see how if Lab 37%, Coaln 31% and 26% new election, the coaln would get a higher pv and 2pp?

  3. [alias, I think the newspoll was done in the three electorates.]

    No, I think it’s national. Shanahan’s piece is confusingly written, but the last four paras are talking entirely about their poll from last week.

  4. There’s the clue – he disguises himself by writing in a confusing fashion.
    Ghost’ll strip that mask off one day and reveal …

    Dennis Shannahan!

    Truth is stranger than fiction.
    It’ll rock your collective worlds 😉

  5. SO – if only 1 indi goes Labor (say Oakeshott) and the other 2 coalition that makes 75-75 right?

    Is this a new election?
    (Noting unlikely since they seem to want to band somewhat)

  6. @10. I asked that question here on this blog and the answer I got was no, you can’t go to an early election without a PM being appointed (however temporary). However I never got a clear and detailed explanation as to why.

  7. Soooo – something like Gillard gets first chance to test numbers – can’t elect a speaker… back to GG – then coalition is invited to try … still can’t … THEN GG disolves again assuming deadlock?

  8. [Julia Gillard is currently the Prime Minister and if the Parliament has proven itself to be unable to function she can advise the Governor-General to call a new election.]

    So she is the only one who can advise the gg, actually no, its ambiguous.

  9. @13, that’s my belief. Certainly if I were the GG I’d want to (be able to) play it that way.. Just would love it spelled out in black in white from the Constitution.

  10. 18

    It is called a “simple majority” when it is compared to 39%

    It’s the same expression in the House of Representatives when a “simple majority” of say 74-73 (with 3 abstaining) is all that is needed to pass a bill.

    (Compared to an “absolute majority” which would be 76-74 or greater)

  11. That’s a great PDF cud. It looks like we’re even more ready than I thought.

    The cover image is great. A network of those would be very useful for us.

  12. 20 by cud chewer,

    The caretaker conventions require Julia Gillard to obtain the approval of Tony Abbott before making any changes to Government policy, however she is the Prime Minister and will remain so unless the Opposition makes a formal agreement with the Independents that would give the Opposition a majority in the House or the Government is defeated by at least 76 votes for a Motion of No Confidence. If the House is unable to function due to a deadlock then as PM she would have the authority to advise the Governor-General to call an election for the House.

  13. The OO‘s Agenda:

    # Clubs to fight pokies changes: The government faces resistance over its plan to tackle gambling 26 minutes ago via twitterfeed


    Miners urge rural MPs to nix rent tax: The mining industry is concerned at Labor’s deal with the Greens 26 minutes ago via twitterfeed

    Black rights top Bob’s list: INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter has declared that indigenous policy will affect his decisio… 26 minutes ago via twitterfeed

  14. GHV @24, I just spent a while reading the constitution and its pretty sparse tbh.

    It talks about the GG being able to appoint ministers. I assume that includes the PM. It also talks about the Parliament having to sit within 30 days of writs being returned.

    From what you’re saying, Julia cruises along as (caretaker) PM and when the Parliament sits, they first have to vote or a speaker and then comes the confidence/no confidence vote.

    I guess my problem stems from the bookmakers. On Sportingbet they have a bet called “Which Party Will Form Government”. On the face of that its not clear exactly what event causes a government to be formed. They then go on add the explanatory text “Payout on Party that Provides Prime Minister”.

    Problem is that there is seemingly no specific event that determines when such PM is “provided”. Here’s a couple of concrete examples.

    Suppose Julia is able to go to the next sitting of Parliament and calls for a vote for speaker. Is Julia then acting as PM – thus settling the bet?

    Next, suppose a speaker is appointed. Presumably the next step is either a confidence or no confidence motion. That fails. What then? Can Julia at that moment ask for a new election? Or is she compelled to resign? Or can the house proceed directly to a no confidence motion in Abbott?

    If the bookmaker says no, at this stage Julia hasn’t yet been “provided as Prime Minister”, you get into awful strife. In theory at least you could end up with a new election leaving all bets so far unsettled. But that would end up in right royal mess because the bets were placed on this current election, not the next.

    Originally I was lead to believe that before Parliament sits, the GG chooses the Ministers. I’d always thought that was the point at which a caretaker PM becomes a ‘real’ PM. In the constitution it merely says the GG appoints ministers. It doesn’t take care say when. I assume that’s in the conventions.

    Anyhow, I’m not the only one to wonder this. There must be some point at which “a government is formed” or Prime Minister is “provided”.

    Now I’m confused as ever.

  15. [Suppose Julia is able to go to the next sitting of Parliament and calls for a vote for speaker.]

    She doesn’t do this – after the members have been sworn in the election of the Speaker is conducted by the clerk.

    [ Presumably the next step is either a confidence or no confidence motion. That fails. What then? Can Julia at that moment ask for a new election? Or is she compelled to resign? Or can the house proceed directly to a no confidence motion in Abbott]

    After the failure of a no-confidence motion the PM could indeed ask for an election, but the GG should only grant it if satisified that an alternative government couldn’t be formed in the existing parliament. Under the circumstances, the independents would consider that Gillard had reneged on the deal in asking for an election and could then switch their support to Abbott. Given the possibility of that outcome, I expect the GG would not automatically accede to an election, but would instead send the PM to face the parliament again.

  16. [Originally I was lead to believe that before Parliament sits, the GG chooses the Ministers. I’d always thought that was the point at which a caretaker PM becomes a ‘real’ PM. In the constitution it merely says the GG appoints ministers. It doesn’t take care say when. I assume that’s in the conventions.]

    Normally the GG swears in the whole ministry after the election, and I guess the same thing will happen after the rural independents announce which way they will jump, if indeed they do so in a way that resolves the situation. If it ends up being that the PM will have to test her numbers in parliament, I presume it wouldn’t happen until after it expresses confidence in her.

  17. [THE Greens will use their alliance with Labor to prosecute their push for same-sex marriage and liberalising the treatment of refugees by bringing forward their legislation and demanding it be debated, possibly with conscience votes, in the new parliament.]

    They could do this if Labor were in Opposition too. Having a conscience vote on Labor’s side is pretty irrelevant if Abbott refuses one on his side. Blatant fear mongering.

  18. How’s your appraisal of the situation, ltep? I must confess I’m being quite bipolar as of late. I have gone from optimistic, to pessimistic, to optimistic again. No doubt I’ll go back to pessimism before too long. Just hope KOW make a decision before too long. While the country is in fine shape to look after itself with its caretaker government in the mean time, political junkies like myself need resolution!

  19. That would sum up how I feel too Pebbles. I think every comment the independents have made is able to be read both ways. The cynic in me is saying they’re just trying to get the best deal out of the Coalition. On the other hand I think Abbott and his minders must think there’s a good chance it’s going the other way since it’s obvious this ALP-Greens deal scare campaign is being waged on orders from the top. Current gut feeling is 45/55 as to the likelihood of Labor/Coalition forming government but that’s come down from 25/75 around a week ago.

    I’d be surprised if the independents felt swayed at all by either of these polls. I wonder if the robopoll is biased in favour of the side who looks at most danger. People might feel more inclined to answer a robopoll if they felt things weren’t going their way.

  20. Am I the only one who has noticed that this Poll is pre-black hole? They may have been a further shift since then.

    I wonder why the OO sat on this until Saturday. Usually they release the polls in a day or two. It’s as if they waited until it seemed their side would lose.

    On another point , the black hole is the same amount as that which Howard taunted Beazley for years, with the added charge that it was hidden from the voters. Revenge is sweet, and I hope it gives Labor the confidence it needs to finally take the fibs on wrt economic management

  21. The robopoll seems to me quite a lot worse for Labor than Newspoll. If Newspoll has 39 per cent wanting a Coalition government including 92 per cent of Coalition voters, and the 14 per cent “uncommitted” obviously dominated by non-major supporters, then it can’t have the Coalition travelling all that well on voting intention. JWS on the other hand has a primary vote gap 3.9 per cent wider than at the election. That more respondents backed a Labor than Coalition minority government is obviously because Coalition supporters were more inclined to back the third option, a new election.

  22. my dad says we are going to win.
    He’s 75 and knows everything. He thinks Julia is the best.
    More guts than brains he said once then quickly corrected himself in case he had a feminist trip laid on him.
    He hates that.
    Keeps quoting ratios.Said rudd lost it when he picked a fight to prove he was ballsy when he wasn’t in the first place.
    He picked Keatings demise also.
    The first budget after he got back keating was history.It’s the L.A.W.
    He said, ‘all he had was trust’, they won’t elect him again.

  23. Yes William and Jws was so much better than Newspoll in predicting the election result too. I can see why there would be a shift to the coalition since the election – costings fiasco, budget black hole , bully boy tactics…

  24. These polls are meaningless to the indies in any case, but at least will do something to counteract the seat based polls in voters minds and hopefully blunt the coailtions inevitable illegitimacy line.

    I wonder why it has taken two weeks to get a poll on who should govern? It seems those engaging the pollsters were too scared to ask the question. Same reason we never got a Dennison or Melbourne poll. I wish reform of media ownership laws was on the agenda

  25. William the newspoll was Monday – Tuesday. Alot has happened since then. Iveould be surprised if Labor couldn’t do better on polling this weekend

  26. Well, I think this.

    Last I looked. Julia Gillard was and is the Prime Minister.

    Electoral Division of Lalor (Vic)

    The Hon Julia Gillard MP

    Awaiting declaration of the poll in this electoral division.

    Title: Prime Minister.

    Julia Gillard IS the Prime Minister.

    It is the GOVERNMENT which is in caretaker mode.

    I expect on this occasion Parliament will resume.

    Maybe it must.

    Establishing authority to go to the GG.

    High risk strategy to do otherwise, even if, given a certain precedent.

    In the meantime…….

    The Hon Julia Gillard MP. The Prime Minister of Australia.

    Little wonder the forces seek to describe the position as otherwise.

    Little wonder the forces seek to question the impartiality of the Governor General.

    Little wonder the forces seek to discredit the represented Party’s claim to re election.

  27. I think it’s in the bag actually judging by the almost hysterical pleading from the LNP and universal condemnation from the right wing MSM.
    Abbott hasn’t done anything since the election that enhances his chances to form govt IMHO. On the contrary the ALP and particularly Julia have handled things perfectly. Getting Wilkie onside without selling her soul was a masterstroke as opposed to Abbotts massive bribes. It makes you wonder how Abbott has been dealing with the Amigoes in private.


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