Newspoll: 59-41 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll has the Coalition’s lead out from 57-43 to 59-41, with the Coalition up three to 50 per cent, Labor steady on 27 per cent and the Greens down two to 12 per cent. The worse damage from the Malaysia solution wreckage is for Julia Gillard personally, who has recorded the fifth worst net satisfaction rating in Newspoll history: 23 per cent approval and 68 per cent disapproval, surpassed only by four results for Paul Keating in the months following the 1993 budget (a pattern emerges of voters reacting unfavourably to unpromised tax initiatives). On the question of preferred Labor leader, Kevin Rudd is apparently up 21 points to 57 per cent – although I’m not sure when the earlier poll was conducted (UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes once again does my homework for me: it was conducted in mid-April). Gillard is down five to 24 per cent. Tony Abbott meanwhile is up three points on approval to 39 per cent and down three on disapproval to 52 per cent, and his lead as preferred prime minister is out from 39-38 to 43-34.

The first tranche of the Newspoll was delivered by The Australian yesterday, with two questions on asylum seekers which were predictably unfavourable to the government. Just 12 per cent were willing to rate its performance on the issue very good (2 per cent) or somewhat good (10 per cent), against 25 per cent for somewhat bad and 53 per cent for very bad. Even as the issue began to escape Labor’s control in 2009, the party was able to maintain a 37 per cent good rating in April and 31 per cent in November, with respective bad ratings of 40 per cent and 53 per cent. However, the current poll shows the Liberals failing to yield a dividend: Labor have plunged 17 points to 12 per cent since a week before the 2010 election, but the Coalition too are down five points to 38 per cent: “someone else” is up five to 13 per cent, with none/uncommitted up 25 to 37 per cent.

Meanwhile, today’s Essential Research had the Coalition going from 56-44 to 57-43 from primary votes of 30 per cent for Labor (down two), 49 per cent for the Coalition (steady) and 11 per cent for the Greens. It should be remembered that Essential Research is a two-week rolling average, meaning half the survey sample comes from before last week’s High Court ruling. The poll also finds 48 per cent favouring an election now against 40 per cent for a full term. The wording of the question, “do you think the Labor government should run its full term until 2013 when the next federal election is due”, is greatly preferable to the somewhat leading effort from last week’s Queensland Galaxy poll, “would you be in favour of or opposed to holding a fresh election to give voters an opportunity to elect a majority Labor or Coalition government”. Similar questions to Essential’s from Newspoll produced 42 per cent each way in May, and 40 per cent for and 44 per cent against in March.

Among the other questions are one gauging levels of recognition and trust in eight media commentators, which I’m pleased to say they took up on my suggestion. Strong results for Laurie Oakes, George Negus and Tony Jones bear out a well-understood tendency of this kind of inquiry to favour those in the medium of television. It might thus be thought all the more remarkable that Alan Jones is rated the least trusted of the eight: he has a near universal recognition rating of 84 per cent, and those outside New South Wales would only know him by television. Andrew Bolt scores a much more modest recognition rating of 52 per cent, but rates quite a lot higher on trust; Melbourne radio rivals Neil Mitchell and Jon Faine record mediocre results, and Michelle Grattan rather better ones. Also in Essential is a question on best leader to handle another global financial crisis, which has 40 per cent choosing one of the three Liberal options (20 per cent for Tony Abbott, 13 per cent for Malcolm Turnbull and 7 per cent for Joe Hockey) and 37 per cent the two from Labor (Kevin Rudd characteristically well in front of Julia Gillard, 24 per cent to 13 per cent). Forty-six per cent support the government’s mineral resource rent tax against 34 per cent opposed, and mining, agriculture and tourism rated the most important industries for Australia’s economic future.

Further afield, yesterday’s Launceston Examiner published results from an EMRS poll of 300 respondents in Bass, which found Liberal candidate Andrew Nikolic leading Labor incumbent Geoff Lyons 46 per cent to 31 per cent on the primary vote after distribution of the undecided. Distributing the 14 per cent Greens and 6 per cent others as per the 2010 election result, this gives Nikolic a lead of 53-47 (the Examiner has figures based on arbitrary preference splits which are slightly more favourable to the Liberals). The poll was conducted from August 22 to August 25, from the same sample that produced EMRS’s recent poll of state voting intention. Comments thread chat suggests EMRS preceded the question on voting intention with attitudinal questions on the carbon tax and detention centres, in breach of fairly well established polling convention which says such questions can influence the responses that follow. However, the suggested swing of nearly 10 per cent is fairly well in line with the national trend.

Last and probably least, the Courier-Mail informs us that a Galaxy poll shows 23 per cent of respondents saying they are “likely” to vote for Bob Katter’s Australian Party. It transpires that voters were specifically asked if they would be either “very likely” or “quite likely” to support the party after first being presented with a more normal question on voting intention, which turned up very little support for it. Beyond that, it is not clear whether this is a foretaste of another Galaxy poll of Queensland or, as I assume more likely, an extra question held back from last week’s poll.

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.

5,512 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41 to Coalition”

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  1. *Breaking News*

    HMAS Gillard struck by Newspoll torpedo off coast of Malaysia…

    Captain Gillard last heard message on wireless…Damn the Torpedoes Full Steam ahead…to Nauru 😀

  2. [GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Preferred ALP Leader: Gillard 24 (-5) Rudd 57 (+21) #auspol #qanda]

    And there’s your media narrative for the next week, ugh.

  3. [James J

    Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Preferred ALP Leader: Gillard 24 (-5) Rudd 57 (+21) #auspol #qanda

    Bootstrap question – pure and simple

  4. Is 12792 a record.

    I got THE best comment on the last thread.

    Bears repeating “Sophie is truly fugly!”

    Howes is burying Palmer.

  5. [Gary Sparrow

    Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    *Breaking News*

    HMAS Gillard struck by Newspoll torpedo off coast of Malaysia…

    Captain Gillard last heard message on wireless…Damn the Torpedoes Full Steam ahead…to Nauru

    Primary vote steeady – Green primary on the other hand…..

  6. [And there’s your media narrative for the next week, ugh.]

    rinse and repeat…always repeat.

    Not to mention Disapproval of 68% :0

  7. [Primary vote steeady – Green primary on the other hand…..]

    Frank don’t mention to JV could cause heavy flak over the target 😀

  8. [Try 2 years (or sooner if she is replaced/an election is forced)]

    Thank you for compounding my misery about people gloating about how popular Rudd is as PM because he isn’t PM. 😉

  9. South Aussie Laborites have something good to take from this: if Labor do lose the next election and Weatherill governs well enough, the life of the government will probably extend another term.

  10. Ms Mirabella intones the Do-nothing lines. Now is not the right time to put a price on carbon.

    They had 11.5 years. It was never the right time then. It is not the right time now. It will never be the right time.

  11. Once again i must point out for Abbott to be PM, he would have to alot of stuff to convince the Indies + Greens, including $70 billion black hole, reverse the NBN etc.

    Not worried at this point in time.

  12. Frank

    [Those ratings are beyond horrific for Gillard.]

    [Two Years people, Two Years.

    Don’t fall for the BS.

    I won’t]

    Actually, if Labor tosses Gillard you will be the first to say they did the right thing.

  13. [rummel

    Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Two Years people, Two Years.

    Don’t fall for the BS.

    I won’t

    Frank, think NSW Labor.

    Australia doesn’t start and end at the NSW/Qld and NSW/ Victorian Borders 🙂

  14. [Carey Moore
    Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
    Your post-poll talking points:
    If worse for the govt:
    “All within the MoE”
    “Not bad considering a bad week.”
    “Labor finished. Writing on wall.”
    “Kev would be miles ahead.”
    If the same:
    “Not bad considering bad week for the govt.”
    “Peak Abbott has been reached.”
    “Labor are finished. Writing is on the wall.”
    “Kev would be miles ahead”
    If better for the govt:
    “The numbers are bouncing back!”
    “Labor are finished. Especially if this is what you consider a good poll”
    “Movement within MoE”
    “Kev would be miles ahead.”
    If Govt leads the poll:
    “HAHAHA! Looks like the Lib supporters spoke too soon!”
    “Probably a rogue but part of me thinks it’s true”
    “Kev would be miles ahead”]
    Choose your response.

  15. what! Piggy talking about respect for the office of PM!!! Hypocrite!

    PM rings the OO and demands newspoll be removed and an apology printed for defaming her :lol:)

  16. [zoidlord

    Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Once again i must point out for Abbott to be PM, he would have to alot of stuff to convince the Indies + Greens, including $70 billion black hole, reverse the NBN etc.

    Not worried at this point in time.

    Neither am I – but if I were the Greens, I’d be worried that my primaries are leaking towards the Libs 🙂

  17. Yep! The polls are bad, but I’d rather go down fighting than giving up & handing it to the Rabbott. Why make it easy.
    Do him slowly, make him wait for his expected victory. 😉

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