Newspoll quarterly breakdown: February-March

The Australian has published its quarterly geographic and demographic breakdowns of its federal polling data, compiling the results of the four polls it has published this year (it took January off). The national figures are therefore no surprise to us, as they are merely an average of this year’s polling: Labor on 34 per cent of the primary vote compared with 38.0 per cent at the election, the Coalition on 42 per cent compared with 43.6 per cent and the Greens on 13 per cent compared with 11.8 per cent (remembering that phone pollsters seemed to have acquired a tendency to overrate the Greens and underrate Labor). The Coalition holds a two-party lead of 51-49, compared with 50.1-49.9 to Labor at the election.

The real interest in the figures is in the various breakdowns offered, particularly by state. The most distinctive result on voting intention is the solid recovery for Labor in Western Australia, from a dismal base of 43.6 per cent at the federal election to 45 per cent in October-December 2010 to 48 per cent this time. A Labor hike in Queensland from 44.9 per cent at the election to 48 per cent late last year looked rather too much at the time, and sure enough the latest poll has it moderating to 46 per cent. Labor’s decline overall has been driven by NSW/ACT, from 49.5 per cent two-party at the election to 48 per cent in both quarters, and Victoria, from 55.3 per cent at the election to 55 per cent to 53 per cent. In South Australia, where Labor has nothing in the way of tight marginals, they have gone from 53.2 per cent at the election to 51 per cent and 52 per cent.

If such swings were uniform, the Coalition would gain Greenway, Robertson, Lindsay and possibly Banks in New South Wales, plus Corangamite and La Trobe (but not quite Deakin) in Victoria. Labor would gain Hasluck, Canning and Swan in Western Australia, and Brisbane in Queensland. Other things being equal, and leaving Banks with Labor, there would be a net shift of one seat in the Coalition’s direction: from 73 Coalition and 72 Labor to 74 and 71. This of course makes the notably unsafe assumption that all sitting cross-benchers would be re-elected. Furthermore, the capitals and non-capitals breakdowns suggest it would be worse for Labor than that. In the metropolitan areas which are home to most of the marginal seats, the two-party vote is at 50-50 compared with 52.5-47.5 in Labor’s favour at the election. In the non-capitals Labor has gained ground, now trailing 52-48 rather than 53.4-46.6.

On personal ratings, the most interesting finding is that both leaders have soured among the 50-plus age group. The results for Tony Abbott defy some of the stereotypes about his support base: his 52 per cent disapproval among the 50-plus is the highest of any age group, and a once substantially higher approval rating among this cohort has fallen right back to the field. He has also lost ground among 35-49s, as has the Coalition on the primary vote. Gillard is down four points on approval and up five on disapproval among the 50-plus, a situation which is reversed among the 18-34s, now clearly her best cohort.

New South Wales and Queensland are about equal as Julia Gillard’s worst state, owing to a post-election recovery in Queensland. Victoria and South Australia are roughly equal as her best (although her disapproval is up in South Australia), with Western Australia surprisingly close behind. Tony Abbott’s ratings have been consistently mediocre in New South Wales and Victoria and consistently neutral in Queensland, but he has weakened considerably in South Australia and Western Australia: from net neutral to minus 14 and minus 12. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is only six points in Queensland, elsewhere ranging from 15 points in New South Wales to 23 points in Victoria. Gender splits lean in the expected directions, though not as heavily as you would think. An exception is disapproval of Gillard, with women notably more reluctant to give her the thumbs down.

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.

3,128 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdown: February-March”

Comments Page 1 of 63
1 2 63
  1. Morning all, seems like only William and I are up. It’s a beautiful day,the world still seems to be turning and the glass is half full!

  2. From Previous thread:

    [David, you are a remarkably unintelligent person. You plainly haven’t understood a single thing I’ve said.]

    Bilbo, you have fallen on your own sword. Lately, you have resort to calling people who disagree with you as “unintelligent”.

    You are no longer a “fair and balance” moderator/umpire on PB. i am beginning to lose respect for you. shame on you.

  3. The Coalition of the Billing has always claimed that they are neutral in the Libya’s civil war.

    What happen if the “rebels” start attacking the civilians who are Gadaffi supporters.

    Will the Coalition of the Billing offers the same “protection”?

  4. One question regarding this quarterly poll: does it show there was any “missing” Newspoll data the Oz did not report, or were all the fortnightly polls reported?

  5. Greens to oppose Company tax cut, that is to be funded by the Mining tax

    THE Gillard government’s mining tax has been thrown into doubt with the Greens resolving to oppose the billions of dollars in company tax cuts the minerals impost was to fund.

    The Greens leader, Bob Brown, will tell a welfare conference today the 30 per cent company tax rate in Australia is low enough and the mining tax revenue slated to fund a 1 percentage point reduction should be used to fund a national dental scheme or bolster welfare payments.

    The government will introduce legislation for the minerals resource rent tax after July 1, when the Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate.

    The Coalition opposes the mining tax, meaning the Greens’ support is crucial.

  6. [One question regarding this quarterly poll: does it show there was any “missing” Newspoll data the Oz did not report, or were all the fortnightly polls reported?]

    Did it mention that flood-affected areas were not polled?

  7. I mean, when the biggest political and general news stories at the time were the Queensland floods and cyclones, you’d think not polling the affected areas would make the Queensland results a little skewed.

  8. [the only saving grace is “The Drum”, dependent of course on the quality of the panellists.]

    Yes. Last night’s, for example, had reasonable panellists. OTOH, sometimes they have the likes of Tim Smith, who is nothing more than a Liberal wind-up robot.

  9. Coalition was “dripping with shameless hypocrisy and inconsistency”.
    Why was this headline not used in this article.
    Instead of this : Nats say NBN deal sells out the bush.

    [Mr Oakeshott said yesterday the Coalition was “dripping with shameless hypocrisy and inconsistency”. He accused the opposition of moving an amendment that would push up the cost of the $36bn network despite having long argued the government was already spending too much on broadband.]

    This is a reason why the ALP cannot get their message through to the public.

  10. Good Morning, Bludgers.

    After yesterday’s “flat” reports, I see today’s Murdocracy’s answer to the NBN’s passing is predictably negative Nats say NBN deal sells out the bush and The Age’s NBN rollout deadline pushed back 2.5 years – less than congratulatory until the last 3 paras, featuring “faint praise”.

    NewsLtd is also running
    Cyber spies hack into computers of Julia Gillard and ministers

    BTW, the ABC’s current poll’s topic is Are the Federal Independent MPs ‘backing the wrong team’?

    No one could ever accuse Australia’s MSM of a pro-ALP bias

    Meanwhile, the latest on the UK Murdocracy front reveals, Surprise! Surprise! Phone hacking: News of the World locates ‘lost’ archive of emails Millions of emails from 2005 and 2006 are likely to include those by Andy Coulson and three former editors implicated in affair

    [The News of the World has revealed that its computers have retained an archive of potentially damning emails, which hitherto it had claimed had been lost.

    The millions of emails, amounting to half a terabyte of data, could expose executives and reporters involved in hacking the voicemail of public figures, including former deputy prime minister John Prescott, actor Sienna Miller, and former culture secretary Tessa Jowell.]

  11. Mumble on the message for Gillard from NSW

    The most important thing the federal government needs to take from this is that finally the NSW albatross is gone.

    And the worst thing Gillard could do would is ‘react’ in some way, for example with another of those blasted western Sydney tours that federal Labor leaders seem obliged to take.

    She should just get on with governing.

    Did the carbon tax have an influence on some votes? Probably. And so did petrol prices and all sorts of things.

    But if Gillard hadn’t announced the carbon tax would the result have been noticeably different.

    If Tony Abbott had formed government last year would Keneally’s vote have been higher? I think probably yes, just as the Howard government depressed Coalition state support in ways we don’t really understand.

    On the other hand, if the NSW election had happened a year ago the Gillard government would probably have taken an extra seat or several in NSW last year and perhaps be governing in its own right.

    Federal Labor dodged a bullet in Victoria last November when the Brumby government narrowly lost office.

    They should be encouraging Bligh to take the early election option.

    These are the appropriate messages to take from the election.

    Of course federal Labor is going to make appropriate noises about Saturday’s result.

    But no one thought this was a referendum on the carbon tax or the Gillard government before election day.

    To now believe it was is just wishful thinking.

    Irrational exuberance.


  12. [13 Muskiemp
    Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink
    Of course the headline in the above article is to confirm that the ALP does not care about the Bush.]

    in their comments box ask why they didnt have the last part of the story first.

  13. the Federal Independent MPs ‘backing the wrong team’?

    Yes 40%
    No 60%
    2751 votes counted

    See Past Polls

    my question is to the abc how come you are allowed to be political and even have these polls
    or do i belong in the 1970. 80 when the abc belonged to the people well it still does because we pay for it

  14. Current Poll Results
    Are the Federal Independent MPs ‘backing the wrong team’?

    Yes 40%
    No 60%
    2751 votes counted

    See Past Polls
    how come the polls out there dont reflect this, so left wing people still read the abc more than the others ?????
    any thoughts. but as usual these polls are not polls as such. but still interesting.
    so if so far 60 agree the ind. should be with labor , the abc dont get it do they

  15. morning all


    In essence Mumble thinks Liberal State govts are good for Federal Labor 🙂

    my say

    I listened to Andrew Wilkie on the conversation. It was very good. Thanks.

    Apparently, Andrew Wilkie will be at the National Press Club today I believe. 12.30pm

  16. [western Sydney tours]

    It’s time for federal politicians to just forget about western Sydney, or at least pay it no more attention than anywhere else. Anyone would think that it’s the only place that matters. If Gillard has $2b to spend on a railway and O’Farrell wants to spend it on a different one than she had in mind, then let him. What’s it to her?

  17. victoria on the same sight is another lady by the name of Kath Venn

    now there is a great labor lady.
    was secretary for the party for many years and took no pay so they could get ahead with their finances , you wouldnt find that these days.

    Kath is a local lady.

  18. does the press club get repeared any where have an appointment today,

    dash i am going to have to learn how to use the timer and record things.

    any one got any ideas how to do that.,

    panasonic hd tv.

  19. One point: Oakeshot being induced to change sides, on the promise that he can run unopposed by the Nationals next time in Lyne, would be illegal.
    Ain’t gonna happen. 🙂

  20. A mate of mine in the NSW public service received a surprise email yesterday.

    The mate used to be pretty political. That’s how we got to know each other. He was working a second job in a store nearby to make ends meet for his new family.

    Lately he’s gone off the boil, as the domestic situation expanded with the birth of a second daughter, unfortunately with a mild disability, which however requires expensive therapy.

    His job in the public service is rural industry related and he spends a lot of time educating farmers on how to improve their farming techniques with new technology. Has had great success after the initial (and inevitable) suspicion that farmers had for him due to being (a) from the government and (b) from the Labor government. As word spread he was inundated with enquiries and now does a fair bit of o/s travel delivering white papers, sitting on international committees etc.

    The email he received was from his Director General. It was sent to all members of the department.

    The message: get ready for sackings.

    My mate is distraught as he loves his job and is doing good things, not to mention the growing family aspect… he needs the money.

    Welcome to O’Farrell World, where the only good public servant is a tame one and sackings are the measure of how tough you are on bludging public servants.

  21. [If Gillard has $2b to spend on a railway and O’Farrell wants to spend it on a different one than she had in mind, then let him. What’s it to her?]

    A bargaining chip.

  22. one other thing would be good to notify the ind, of the vote when its finished.
    just gives them something to smile about, provided of course it stay this positive

  23. Cootes-Trotter is getting sacked because he’s married to Tanya Plieberseck – didn’t O’Farrell promise appointments on merit?

  24. [One point: Oakeshot being induced to change sides, on the promise that he can run unopposed by the Nationals next time in Lyne, would be illegal.
    Ain’t gonna happen. :)]

    That’s another reason, but the most compelling was his final speech yesterday in the House.

    There is no way he’d be changing anytime soon. His speech made that perfectly clear. He loathes the Coalition.

    Ditto for Windsor and (at least on their opposition to the NBN as an example of the Nats abandonment of rural interests) Katter.

    Yet we are still being asked to “vote” on whether they should swap sides? Speculative stories on this topic are everywhere. NSW has “changed everything”.

    Who’s kidding whom?

  25. Highly conflicting information in the media re: Japan this morning.

    Cutting through the bulldust –

    There is a high level of radiation in trenches outside reactor building number 2. They are still saying “we dont know where it came from” but very clearly it is leaking through the walls/floor of the building, which is not meant to be a containment layer.

    Is this concerning? Probably. The isotope levels in the same fluid in the reactor is high. Most is short lived, but a lot of longer lived cesium too. If some gets to sea, it wont be a big deal, but if a lot does, or even a lot leaches into the ground, it means containment just got a step harder

    The workers have been discharged from hospital without injury. This just shows the inadequecy of the levels we are talking about … they apparently got exposed to 3 Sv of radiation, and didnt get burns? Does not compute. I suspect they are extrapolating whole body effects and applying the same ‘dose’ to the legs, which is artificially raising the numbers. Legs don’t get hurt by radiation very easily.

    So the fact there are no casualties yet is nice.

    The plutonium in the fields is nothing yet … considering all these other isotopes have been released it is only reasonable some plutonium and uranium has been … levels are described as low enough to be negligible. Will wait and see on the numbers, but dont expect any nasty surprises here.

    The radiation in the seawater is also a beat up. The levels 30 metres from the plant are (last I saw) 100 Bq/L or so … which while “1000 times higher than normal” is totally safe. The level in the plant, which is too high to be safe in in the BILLIONS of Bq per MILLILITRE, so to make it sound similar that there is 100Bq/L is crazy.

    Long term the risk is of bio-accumulation of course, but no news service is discussing that. They are all just screaming “deadly ocean!!!!”

  26. [If Gillard has $2b to spend on a railway and O’Farrell wants to spend it on a different one than she had in mind, then let him. What’s it to her?]
    And people wonder why Sydney’s transport system is stuffed? One of the great frustrations I experience in transport planning is people (politicians and economists) who know nothing about how transport systems work, imagine you can shove money in and out like a magic pudding and still expect it to work with perfect efficiency. It doesn’t.

  27. Soulman

    While I agree that many safety concerns about Fukushima are overblown, the company really has brought the hysteria on itself with its transaparently false statements, which are consistently proven wrong. Evidently, the containment vessel on reactor 2 has failed. Evidently, some degree of partial meltdown has already happened. They should just come clean, but they never do.

  28. On the UK AntiCuts march, the Independent has an excellent article that’s all too reminiscent of my days in the Moritorium, antiApartheid … well, antiJoh sums it up. No matter how peaceful the march, we could bet that agents provocateur (usually Special Branch members) often posing as marchers, or police stripped of their numbered ID badges, would start a brawl – an excuse for the heavies to wade in, batons flailing.

    Recently (last few weeks), UK online papers have revealed the activities of police agents provocateur and police informants.

    The Trafalgar Square kettle: these are the facts, I was there

    Yep, been there! Been done to like that!

  29. [No, I have taken to calling unintelligent people unintelligent. I have frequent disagreements with others that do not end this way.]

    Bowe, you frequently resort to personal abuse. I pointed this out several threads ago.

  30. [people (politicians and economists) who know nothing about how transport systems work, imagine you can shove money in and out like a magic pudding and still expect it to work with perfect efficiency]

    Well, you can’t make it work without spending money.

  31. triton

    The problem is, when money is allocated on purely political grounds, the problems don’t get fixed.

    Imagine if while running an election campaign, the money allocated to each seat was decided by an engineer who knew nothing about poltiics. The result may not be very good. The campaign manager would be right to complain.

  32. Nobody has mentioned Brown’s carbon tax statement.

    Is Bob attempting to destabilise? Or is he naively thinking he has more power than he actually has?

  33. The recover by Labor in WA is welcome.

    Hopefully next election they can put up another great candidate and take Canning off that useless seat warmer Randall.

  34. [latikambourke Latika Bourke
    Treasurer Wayne Swan holding presser in Canberra at 10.45 following Greens opposing company tax cut as part of mining tax]

    This might be an interesting development in the ALP / Greens relationship.

  35. I’ve posted a comment on Dennis Shanahan’s article on this today. His theory is that the carbon tax has caused Labor’s vote in Queensland to drop by 3 points. I haven’t mentioned the margin of error, but I have asked if this means the carbon tax is wildly popular in WA.

  36. a few observations from the last time a LNP govt (Greiner’s) took over from a long term ALP government in NSW. the playbook is to have within 6 months, a total refocus of the public service onto the new government;s agenda. this outcome will be achieved through restructuring and re-badging the departments, sacking 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier public servants too closely identified with the previous regime, and picking some high profile fights with the unions -preferably in state business enterprises.

    what is needed is “cultural change” in the bureacracy, and keeping everyone in the same spots won’t achieve that. another reasonable observation is that the NSW public service to some extent has mirrorred the growing incompetancy of the political leaders, and a “don’t care attitude” which exists there can do with some real shakeup.

  37. for those who were wondering comments are enabled again on the 7.30 page of the ABC web site.
    Poor toolman cops a rightful pasting for his rabbit interview.

  38. BB:

    Howard achieved his public service…{ahem}… ‘refresh’ by offering voluntary redundancies in the first instance as a way of culling staff. The problem with this is that naturally redundancies favoured those with lengthy service, meaning that experienced staff were among the first to leave, leaving the APS bereft of experienced staff in the new govt’s first term.

    Other positions were simply abolished but affected staff found other positions, even in different agencies if they did not want a redundancy. ‘Job swaps’ with people who wanted a redundancy were common.

    Assuming the rules around abolition of positions in the NSWPS are the same as the feds were back then, if BOF takes the same approach, your friend might still keep employment. It might not be the same job he has now, or even in the same agency though.

  39. jenauthor

    Bob Brown is opposing proposed Company tax cuts from the proceeds of the mining tax. He would rather the money go to some type of dental scheme.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 63
1 2 63