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. Scorpio @ 6458

    [It is up to her and the people who made her transition possible, to make it work. Not a lot of what I have seen so far leads me to think they are even remotely achieving that.]

    I agree! I think things have been a bit better in the last couple of weeks but only time will tell.

    I remember well the excitement of the 2007 election and the elation all of us Labor felt when we won.

    Call me a strange but I held a warm spot for Rudd and forever will. The exit of Howard was a great day for all Labor supporters and how quickly some of us forget.

    His dismissal was a great shock for many and the reasons never fully explained to my satisfaction. The meme that he was unapproachable and his office a mess just doesn’t cut it for me.

    Some on here may be able to cope with that major change and “get over it and move on” in that cliched form of expediency but many ALP voters have not and will not. Some people actually still feel some loyalty to the man.

    The polls are telling you that what has been done since Rudd is not working well!

    Julia is slowly doing a bit better and hopefully will continue to do so. I wish for that because I want a Labor Government not a Coalition one.

    Hopefully some of the mongrels who think they own the show are being put back in their box and never to be heard of again. The NSW Right for those of us who have had to deal with them are not easy with the “common good” arguement they are more into the “what’s good for me” meme.

    ALP voters thought it was them who voted in a PM and them who voted one out.

    The recent polls maybe point to the fact that they don’t like their right to vote being usurped by largely “faceless men”.

  2. [That’s all well and good, but the bill in question is not a money bill.]

    Yes it is. It effectively amends part of the government’ money bill, in that it alters the eligibility (therefore sum paid to recipients) for Fed Gov allowances. It was also included in Budget papers. If non-NewsLtd media thought for a minute that it would survive a High Court challenge, they’d have been all over it like a fatal rash. They ignored it.

    Here’s the latest:

    [The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said the Bill breached legal opinion that Budget Bills should not come from the Senate.

    “Under our constitutional principles, this Bill cannot be introduced into the House of Representatives,” Mr McClelland said.]

  3. Mytwobobsworth 6501 – Keep fighting the faction war old son. If enough people hang on to this crap you’ll get exactly the thing you don’t want to see. You’ve acknowledged an improvement – go with it.

  4. BB 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?]
    The price of stupidity. Our fatal car crash rates before compulsory seat belt laws were similar to the USA. We realised that was dumb. Our rates have plateued since 2000 after decades of falling. Too many large 4WDs driving around suburbs don’t help here. Several European countries have car crash rates as little as half of ours. The USA is just crazy. The only countries with worse crash rates are in the 3rd world.

  5. Gary

    I and a few others on here know the meaning of loyalty and fair play – you may not!

    I am a mother of two and grandmother of three. Would be bit difficult to be both of those and an “old son” as well.

  6. Abbott can’t explain why it won’t work. Actually starts saying wtte that activity based reform is good. The question is repeated. Gets back to activity based funding. Starts talking about community-based hospital boards.

    Hah. First question about divisions in the leaderships. wtte, Where’s Bishop? A. On a plane to WA.

    Constitutional Bill question. Abbott questioned about whether he is being mischievous. Another division question. Abbott, wtte, he has a good, focused, trustworthy, focused team. Follow up question. Abbott deflects the question. (Does false laugh) Reckons he has had a productive week. Do you have a tin heart? Abbott, wtte, let the public decide, I am not going to do a runing commentary on himself.

  7. Abbott uses war allegory from event where thousands of Australians went into captivity – you have got to be kidding me. he uses a war allegory this week! You have got to be joking.

  8. someone thought Abbott’s analogy was amusing

    [CHRISBERG | 1 minute ago
    health: the biggest surrender since the fall of rome]

  9. Abbott’s presser approx 10 mins before he ran. If they had a good policy to replace it they could have seaized the opportunity to spruik it today.

  10. [Western Australia’s Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett, who did not sign up to the original plan, says he is confident a health deal can be struck if the GST funding model is abandoned.

    “The critical issue for Western Australia is that we talk about health, not about taking away a share of the GST revenues of the states,” he said.

    “I don’t believe it will fall over. I’ve had a discussion with Julia Gillard this morning. If the Federal Government concentrates on health I believe they can achieve an agreement on health.”]

  11. I know, I know… His departures are so abrupt he *always* looks as if he is fleeing.
    Gillard gives the impression that she waits for everyone to have a shot before she leaves politely.

  12. Bradford asks where does the buck stop. Independent body sets standards and market determines prices. If States do not cough up 50c then no 50c from Commonwealth.

  13. Baillieu- tick

    [Vic close to agreement on health reform

    Posted 3 hours 57 minutes ago

    * Map: Melbourne 3000

    The Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu is close to agreeing to a deal with the Federal Government on health reform.

    The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is expected to drop a demand that the state’s surrender 30 per cent of their GST revenue as part of the health reforms.

    State and territory leaders will discuss the reforms with the Prime Minister at a COAG meeting this Sunday.

    Mr Bailleu has told Fairfax Radio he is willing to cooperate with the Federal Government.

    “We want to make sure from a Victorian point of view, that we’re not left with big bills as a consequence of reform,” he said.

    “We’ve got some other concerns about clarity. We’re working through those with the commonwealth.”]

  14. [andrewtillett You think after the week he had, Abbott would avoid military analogies by likening health reform to the biggest surrender since Singapore ]

    Abbott made himself the issue.

    Tee hee hee.

  15. Abbott was jittery, lots of head shaking and head nodding, rambling, gave Dutton funny intense looks, gave a false laugh, delivered a few set lines, and then seemed confused and scattergun when asked to explain why it was all so bad. Then, to a chorus of unanswered questions from the gallery, ran.

    Plus, he thought he had had a ‘good’ week which was an outright lie. I hope he has plenty more good weeks just like this one.

  16. b-g

    Abbott is a creature of habit. If everyone cares to look, they will see he is the same hollow man he always was. There is no substance to his policy making. He plays politics. Remember he was a journo in a past life. He plays the game of politics. Not the actual hard work of politics. Remember when he had the debate with Rudd on Health. He came unprepared and tried to fight his way with slogans and negative barbs.

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