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. [It’s like calling Labor Party people unreconstructed communists. It’s aint right.

    It’s an attack from th gutter to call someone a fascist.

    The cheering and support for such degrading and unbecoming behaviour is striking really.]

    Reith is an unreconsructed Facist, so whats your problem ?

  2. [Reith is an unreconsructed Facist, so whats your problem ?]

    Because you don’t understand the meaning of fascist let alone spell it.

  3. David WH
    [JV 5368 it will be an interesting situation if the Labs and Libs team up to create a policy that combines Pacific Solution with Malaysian Solution. ]

    It wouldn’t surprise me given how low Labor has gone – to the point where it rivals the Libs and they are considering embracing each others’ policies. Who, 10 years ago, would have thought that could happen? Labor is truly an empty shell, if that is what they are going to do.

  4. [Major story is developing….
    Looks to shake the scene.
    More details to come.]

    Come on Wal. We need a bit more than that. Who or what does it involve?

  5. The Liberals won a big share of the “muslim vote” in the recent NSW election – why the Libs made unlikely gains in traditional Labor territory(Western Sydney).

  6. According to the MSM, the Libs have backed down on refusing to pair Craig Thomson(when his wife gives birth) – apologies if this was mentioned earlier on in the thread.

    Also, can I thank everyone here for the kind words last night – much appreciated!

  7. Darn,

    Robb retires from politics. Glen gains pre selection for Goldstein. Declares undying love for Abbott. He thanks PB for his political education.

  8. Glen don’t be so ridiculous. You are choosing to take a very obtuse reading of the word fascist.

    Fascist as epithet
    Main article: Fascist (epithet)
    Following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II, the term fascist has been used as a pejorative word,[49] often referring to widely varying movements across the political spectrum.[50] George Orwell wrote in 1944 that “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless … almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist'”.[51]


    Reith was loudly applauded for his bullying tactics during the waterfront dispute by the Right. Those tactics have been used by actual fascists in the past. It was not the Liberal party’s finest hour.

  9. Boerwar

    [The most moving bit for me was when the Syphony Orchestra got back together]

    Among the parts which moved me most were those relating what was done to keep radios going, giving people something to keep their spirits up: Submariners, frozen into the Baltic, reading Tolstoy and other great novelists; the orchestra continuing to perform despite players’ dying as it did; staff keeping fire watch on the roof (?Hermitage) though some froze to death; the university continuing to teach and examine without abating its rigour; staff at the Fortress of Sts Peter and Paul successfully stopping Germans crossing the river into the city by firing the museum’s antique weapons: cannons and muskets.

    The city’s unquenchable humanity did not stretch a small percentage of utter scum; just enough to emphasise the strength of the vast majority: food thieves; cannibals – less those who attacked the dead, or didn’t want to know meat’s origin; than those warped & twisted insults to humanity who did it for pleasure.

    Andropov was in power when I left a reddish carnation in the little wire basket then under the blue & white Cyrillic sign that is the City’s true memorial: “In the event of a raid, the other side of the street is safer”. One of my casual photos of the Nevsky Prospect (taken during a banquet at a gov building on the other side of the Neva) captures the tops of submarine fleet coning towers as they resurfaced for summer leave (luckily, no one checked my camera). “So that’s where their WW II comrades were frozen in,” I thought.

    I’m sure that most of my love of London, and England, is that comparison between their defiance of the Blitz with that same, quiet, “keep on keeping on” Who do you think you are fooling Mr Hitler humanity that pervaded Leningrad’s. They prove to me that, even slammed down to level where basic needs can no longer be met, ordinary, decent people – no matter the time or place (or race or beliefs) – can still triumph.

    To me, that is one of history’s greatest lessons.

  10. [Because you don’t understand the meaning of fascist let alone spell it.]

    Betchya I my understanding of Fascism is just as good as yours Glen.

    BTW you realise that if the only thing to can debate on is spelling, it means you have no counter argument at all ?

  11. vic,

    Brandis: Watch me pull a conviction out of my hat!

    Abbott: Again? That trick never works.

    With apologies to Rocky and Bullwinkle

  12. Vic Re 5414 Hang on, but according to the latest “allegations” it was someone else who miss used their card, whats it got to do with Thompson ?

  13. MickGCollins

    According to the Age yes. But Thomson is somehow implicated. No one has made any complaints, but Brandis has referred it to the Police. I find this whole situation an absolute joke

  14. Very interesting if said reporter is interviewed by police re latest allegations against Mr Thomson and she cannot provide evidence.

  15. The 2 year, 3 year & 5 Year Australian Government Bonds have been inverted to the 90 Day Treasury Bill since mid July 2011.

    An *Inverted Bond Yield* is when long-term yields fall below short-term yields.

    Earlier this week the 10 Year Australian Government Bond also became inverted to the 90 Day Treasury Bill.

    Inverted yield curves in the US have accurately forecast 6 out of 7 U.S. recessions since 1970, two to six quarters ahead of time.

    The US Federal Reserve’s two Quantitative Easing programs totaling almost $2 Trillion since 2009 have aimed amongst other things at pushing down yields on US Government Bonds in order to reduce the cost of servicing those Bonds.

    Such artificial manipulation of the US yield curve is preventing this valuable forecasting tool from warning of a likely approaching US recession.

    Nevertheless there are enough signs of massive trouble anyway – QE’s 1 & 2, with QE 3 being jawboned weekly by Bernanke at most public presentations plus President Obama’s stimulus announcement today, IF he can get the Repubs to agree to another $450 Billion in spending.

    Australian Market commentators have been quietly cautioning for months about our flattening bond yield curve, saying this never ends well.

    With all the longer maturity bonds now inverted this is even more likely the case.

    Basically the flattening of the Australian yield curve has been picking up steam since April ie the most recent higher high for the All Ords which has been headed down ever since.

    When the slow moving train wreck that is Europe comes off the rails and the US continues to struggle with its own problems, Australia will also be effected.

    Thats what our Bond market is continuing to signal.

  16. [Vic Re 5414 Hang on, but according to the latest “allegations” it was someone else who miss used their card, whats it got to do with Thompson ?]

    I think the insinuation is that he shouldn’t have had a card from a supplier in the first place.

    If Brandis stuffs up on this one he’s gotta be history as Shadow AG. A second failed referral will amount to an abuse of power. A real stitch-up job. Sicking the cops onto someone repeated without a result is a public mischief.

  17. The latest allegation is wtte that Mr Thomson and one other union official received as a gift personal credit cards from a company that was providing services to the union at a cost much, much more expensive than the market.

    Shorter allegation: Mr Thomson received an illegal bribe as a kickback.

    The allegator has not been named.
    The other allegatee has denied the allegation.
    Mr Thomson has said nothing.
    Mr Brandis has referred the matter to Mr Scipione.

    It is probably not an accident that this allegation surfaced as soon as the other one was put to bed. It appears to have been saved for just such a purpose.

    I wonder whether there are other allegations in the pipeline should this one also bite the dust?

  18. So the HSU spends $690,000 for a newsletter to be sent to 72,000 members 10 times a year. This includes artwork, production and postage.

    Can anyone explain to me why this is excessive? Or did the Fairfax ‘journalist’ just think it was?

    Sounds bloomin’ cheap to me.

  19. [She said she has suffered from panic attacks including at a news conference last year about the federal inquiry into the home insulation scheme.]

    This bears a little scrutiny. Was the Senator centre stage or just present? Did she have to speak? If she genuinely has a panic attack when faced with the media, perhaps she should go on a sabbatical for a while.

  20. [Desperate move from Brandis.

    If the police chuck it out, he should resign as Shadow Attorney General immediately]

    If the police chuck this one out it’s going to be very bad for the opposition.

    Anyone know what it’s all about?

  21. That kind man Mr Abbott has indicated that Mr Thomson will be able to attend the birth of his child, ‘briefly.’

    I suppose they could do ‘briefly’ by forcing a caesar on the mother-to-be?

  22. [I think the insinuation is that he shouldn’t have had a card from a supplier in the first place.]

    But, If he hasn’t done anything illegal, then he hasn’t done anyhting illegal.
    Simple as that. There comes a point when it all starts to become farce.
    Brandis latest stunt, along with the way Abbott stuffed up in trying to deny Thompson a pair to attend the birth of his child, is making the Libs look meanspirited and farcical.

  23. victoria,


    Shows us evidence of illegal acivity or shut up.

    Did she and the SMH expect Brandis to refer the matter is also another question.

  24. Libs fallback position seems to be: there are still questions to answer.
    And if there aren’t any obvious ones, we can rely on Brandis to think some up.

  25. Fairfax is going down so I guess the boss thinks that gossipy stories will get him a bigger circulation or online clicks. It may just lose them a few faithful readers as well.

    SMH was the last bastion of fair reading until Walker (former Liberal Party Treasurer) came on the scene. How quickly the paper has descended since then.

  26. The latest story about Thomson has been moved from the headlines by the Age.

    For this to be improper it would have to be the case I guess that the “gift” of the card amounted to an inducement to continue with this company as the supplier.

  27. [SMH was the last bastion of fair reading until Walker (former Liberal Party Treasurer) came on the scene. How quickly the paper has descended since then.]
    Ron Walker. Now THERE’S a nice type of bloke!

  28. Boerwar
    [I wonder whether there are other allegations in the pipeline should this one also bite the dust?]

    Looks as if this is part of a carefully choregraphed set of accusations to keep “govt in disarray” in the headlines.

  29. [… the way Abbott stuffed up in trying to deny Thompson a pair to attend the birth of his child, is making the Libs look meanspirited and farcical.]

    In backing down Abbott had the hide to say “obviously the Coalition will provide that,” he told reporters…”

    “Obviously”? There was nothing “obvious” about it until the nasty bastard was forced to pull his head in.

    And the ABC entitles its story “Change Of Heart” rather than “craven backdown”. Yes, Mr. Abbott has such a big heart. He changes his heart once day on just about everything.

    When is the media going to hold this coward and serial liar to account?

  30. [Libs fallback position seems to be: there are still questions to answer.]

    plus the latest really hard push by the Oppn. Thomson has wasted worker’s funds. It seems that they are hell bent demonising the Unions out of existence by playing the good guy theme aided and abetted by the likes of Steve Lewis and the gossip from SMH today. Whoopee do!

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