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. Jeepers!

    What with all the (un) natural events, including Martian interference with William’s site, this is almost the last of straws!

  2. CW – Earlier today Frank was providing updates that the fire near him was burnign away from him. sadly i think that is the fire that has danaged homes and even more sadly tomorrow is the anniversity of Black Saturday.

  3. crikey


    I think he is safe but the powerlines went down

    as much as we fight we still care for each other

    frank sounded OK so I wouldnt worry

    ps am trying his mobile at 12 EST to check if he is OK


  4. [The shock jocks are inning the battle]

    Well, the shock jocks might’nt find it so easy, if there wasn’t so much ammunition on offer

  5. Yeah, that doesn’t look that great. Then again it is just one poll. I wonder if there will be a Nielsen out tomorrow. Having three polls to look at would be interesting.

  6. Oh, this sounds disastrous, Puff.

    Can’t you get your hands on something a little more powerful?

    Dolls, voodoo, feathers, whatever?

  7. spur212,

    [Does anyone think the New South Wales state election combined with the flood levy might be effecting this a bit? ]

    Not me! I reckon it is 95% Labor hostile/Abbott friendly media.

  8. Pebbles,

    RAbbott’s approval ratings will be all important. If they have held, the leadership spill might be delayed. If they are in the toilet, that spill will be sooner rather than later.

    Not worried about Gillards no’s as the indies made it quite clear that they didn’t want another leadership spill from the govt and if there was one the gloves would be off.

  9. c-w
    I suggest hold steady in the lines. I find this NP right when rabbott stew is the special on the menu board very ‘interesting’, and I remember how lucky Mr Rabbott is like this.

  10. It’s bad enough to have floods, cyclones, bush fires, 40 degree c and now the effing newspoll. i am migrating. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  11. crikey whitey,

    [Regarding Frank.

    What a scarey thing for him. He is not exactly physically able, is he?]

    But those typing fingers are sure in good shape! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. No surprise with the poll – this will fall on the back of the Julia is wooden and the politicising of the flood levy. People are concerned about their hip pocket but there is no denying that tough choices will have to be made. Interest rates are on hold. Employment is sound. But climate change is going to be a volatile period of political angst for many.

    So I repeat my question for Mod Lib from the end of the last thread:

    What is his current view on climate change?

  13. [Itโ€™s bad enough to have floods, cyclones, bush fires, 40 degree c and now the effing newspoll. i am migrating.]

    I am becoming used to the idea the many of my fellow Australians are simply greedy and stupid.

  14. Only 52 – 48 okay Tone would be happy to be in front but i would have expected nothing less than that but there is an arguement that Tone should be closer to 55-45.

    Based on the so called unpopulary of the levy and Jules style.

  15. [Newspoll on flood levy. Voters back Gillard tax. Support 55 Oppose 41. Strongest support among 18-34s, most against are over 50s.]


    so why the drop in support?

  16. [Newspoll on flood levy. Voters back Gillard tax. Support 55 Oppose 41. Strongest support among 18-34s, most against are over 50s.]

    So why is Abbott’s leadership stocks improving. Opposing the tax, philosophically was probably the only thing he did that could be perceived as a good move.

    Otherwise, it has been blunder after blunder.

  17. PhillipMHudson via twitter

    Newspoll on flood levy. Voters back Gillard tax. Support 55 Oppose 41. Strongest support among 18-34s, most against are over 50s.

    Newspoll 2PP. Coalition 52-Labor 48. (At start of Dec it was 50-50).

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