Newspoll: 52-48 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes tweets that the first Newspoll of the year offers more grim news for the government, with Labor’s primary vote down a further two points from the final poll of last year to 32 per cent and the Coalition up three to 44 per cent. No two-party result has yet been provided, but past experience suggests it will land at either 52-48 or 53-47 depending on rounding. This compares with 50-50 in the final Newspoll of last year. More to follow.

UPDATE: Full tables here. The two-party result is 52-48, which probably flatters Labor a little due to rounding, while the Greens’ primary vote is steady on 14 per cent. Contrary to the findings of an Essential Research poll which gave Labor much better figures on voting intention, the poll also shows a fairly solid majority supporting the government’s proposed flood levy: 55 per cent are supportive (26 per cent strongly, 29 per cent somewhat), with 41 per cent opposed (25 per cent strongly, 16 per cent somewhat). Despite this, Tony Abbott has managed to claw back seven points on preferred prime minister, on which he now trails Julia Gillard 48 per cent (down four points) to 35 per cent (up three). Gillard’s approval rating is steady on 45 per cent but her disapproval is up four to 42 per cent, while Abbott’s numbers are little changed: approval steady on 42 per cent, disapproval up one to 44 per cent.

All told, a most curious set of numbers.

UPDATE 2: Essential Research has the Coalition maintaining a 51-49 lead, with both major parties up a point on the primary vote: the Coalition to 46 per cent and Labor to 38 per cent. The Greens are down one to 10 per cent, further widening the gap in their ratings between Newspoll and Essential (“others” are also consistently higher in Newspoll than Essential – in both cases, the latter has been much closer to the last election result).

My favourite of the supplementary questions is on the party with the best approach to funding flood reconstruction, on which Labor leads 36 per cent to 28 per cent. However, the Coalition performs significantly better on “who would you trust most to manage the program of rebuilding infrastructure”, on which Labor’s lead is 36 per cent to 35 per cent. Respondents were also asked for their opinion on each aspect of the government’s efforts to pay for flood reconstruction. Significantly, this shows strong support for the scrapping of “cash for clunkers”, a program that evidently contributed to perceptions of ongoing government wastefulness. This time the flood levy had 44 per cent support and 50 per cent opposition: better than last week’s Essential, but worse than Newspoll. Cuts in solar energy programs and the scrapping of the higher education capital development pool were strongly opposed.

Questions on leaders’ attributes show a deterioration in perceptions of both leaders since October, in similar ways: both are down sharply on intelligent, hard-working, capable and visionary, but Julia Gillard has also suffered on arrogant, out of touch and narrow-minded. The only question on which Tony Abbott performs better than Gillard is “superficial”, though in many cases there’s not much in it.

UPDATE 3: Essential Research has again set aside a further question for release later in the day by Channel Ten, this time relating to whether the independents should continue supporting Labor or switch to the Coalition. It finds 43 per cent favouring the former option, against 30 per cent for the latter. Breakdowns by age and party support go much as you would expect.

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.

6,579 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Coalition”

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  1. Bushfire Bill@6439

    Just heard an interesting statistic, which is worse than I had thought: 117 people per day die in auto crashes inthe US. This is 42,000 per year.

    Normalized to Australia (divide by 15) this comes out to a 2,848 equivalent.

    Seeing as our road deaths are about 1400 (1,464 in 2008) that makes roads in the States about twice as deadly as ours.

    The price of freedom?

    I heard a tragic comparison recently –

    Each and every year over 3000 children in the US die from GUNS ,
    ie more than the total killed in the 911 attacks.

  2. Boerwar#6549

    Such an accurate assessment. Abbott is a man trying to hold together a cracked coalition. All of his own making, I might add.

  3. Once again it is not the comment – it is the man’s lack of judgment. Who on earth after Shitgate would think it appropirate to use a metaphor like that.

    He seriously has lost the plot.

  4. Talking of Singapore, Abbott reminds me most of Governor Shenton Thomas who, on 7 December 1941 said, ‘Singapore will never be bombed by the Japanese.’

    Less than 24 hours later, at 4am on December 8, Singapore is bombed by the Japanese.

  5. dave

    I see you have been reading up on the current state of the US. You may be interested to see a doco that is being released here in Melbourne. Inside Job. It details the GFC, and the major players involved in the financial collapse.

  6. [Each and every year over 3000 children in the US die from GUNS ,
    ie more than the total killed in the 911 attacks.]

    A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under.

  7. [Gillard scraps national health reforms ]

    This certainly gives Labor’s opponents another baton to bash it over the head with now.

    How many back-downs now?

    How many under JG?

    How many more to come?

    Does Labor stand for anything?

    This is turning into a bigger retreat than Gallipoli or Dunkirk!

  8. victoria @ 6544

    Not the ABC, I fear.
    I’m waiting for “this is the greatest backflip since they invented synchronised swimming”.

  9. scorpio

    calm down. Things will work out! have some faith. This is not the Rudd govt. This is a minority govt. If Abbott were in Gillard’s place, do you think it would be any better?

  10. [As she left, Ms Bishop was asked whether she enjoyed Mr Abbott’s support.

    “Absolutely,” she said.

    She said she and Mr Abbott would host a press conference later today to take further questions.]

    From earlier- “she said”.


  11. Very authoritiative statement from Rudd earlier about the Egyptian situation – at least our government didn’t prematurely start celebrating the supposed overthrow of Mubarek, as Obama did. 😉

  12. victoria,

    You’ve gotta admit, it’s not a good look, is it?

    Shooda waited to Monday. The Fibs would have had all today & the weekend to tear itself apart.

    Labor has let them off the hook & made itself the story now & the MSM will gleefully oblige.

  13. dave

    I have yet to see it myself. But have read extensive reviews on it. I daresay, it will be frustrating to know that so many people got away with shitloads of money on the back of the poor and vulnerable.

  14. scorpio

    I understand your concerns, but I think the govt has to stop being scared of its own shadow. They need to show that they are getting on with it. What is wrong with this proposal by Labor. It is a good alternative agreement. Good, if it makes Labor the story. It shows they are a government making policy decisions.

  15. OMG- a big tick from the medical cartel

    [PM’s COAG health deal gets health reform back on track
    11 February 2011 – 2:30pm

    AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today that the COAG health deal that the Prime Minister will take to COAG on Sunday contains sufficient positive elements to get much-needed health reform back on track.

    Dr Pesce said that the deal is still light in detail in key areas such as Medicare Locals, but the introduction of a single National Funding Pool, a commitment to local control, and a greater decision-making role for clinicians are very welcome changes.

    “It is vital that the funding from the national pool goes directly to Local Hospital Networks (LHNs) and does not end up in State Treasuries,” Dr Pesce said.

    “Overall funding must also accommodate clinical demand and the local circumstances of the workforce.

    “The funding formula and ongoing levels of contributions from all governments must be locked in and the pool must be administered simply with the funding going as directly as possible to the local services with an absolute minimum of bureaucracy.

    “We welcome the increase in the number of Medicare Locals to make them more local, but more detail is needed about the management of Medicare Locals and how they will interact efficiently with the LHNs.

    “It is vital that Medicare Locals do not negatively impact in any way on GPs and the services that GPs are currently providing to their patients and communities. They must not divert patients or funding away from general practices.

    “The Prime Minister has recognised the importance of local control of hospital services and the value of clinician input into hospital decision-making.

    “We hope the States all move quickly to reorganise their hospital governance arrangements. To date, New South Wales is the only State where the necessary framework has been put in place, with full consultation with clinicians, and this would be a good model to follow.

    “It is also vital that LHNs and Medicare Locals become properly integrated so that primary care and hospital care are able to evolve efficient high-quality services that don’t start and stop at the door of the GP surgery or public hospital.

    “This deal has the potential to restart the health reform process. We will watch the outcomes of Sunday’s COAG negotiations with interest. It is important that the health needs of all Australians are put ahead of the traditional health blame game between the Commonwealth and the States. It is time for our political leaders to lead and take responsibility for meaningful health reform.’]

  16. Boerwar,


    Why so sad? ]

    I think that Presser this morning made me realise that since July last year, I have been watching a slow motion train wreck.

    Possum’s graphs just reinforce that Labor is like the duck swimming upstream.

    Calm and confident on top and paddling furiously underneath and getting nowhere.

  17. [I and a few others on here know the meaning of loyalty and fair play – you may not!]
    On the contrary. How does supporting the present leader and recognising the past leader’s contribution translate into not recognising loyalty and fair play?

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