Newspoll quarterly breakdowns

Can’t see full online results anywhere at this stage, but GhostWhoVotes and The Australian relate the publication of the latest quarterly Newspoll figures providing breakdowns by state, gender and metro/regional from the past three months’ polling. The state figures are always the most interesting from my perspective, and it’s only Newspoll and Nielsen which offer this level of detail. Nielsen publishes full breakdowns for its monthly polls, but these are from much lower samples than the quarterly Newspoll. To even the playing field, the following discussion uses quarterly averages of Nielsen’s results.

The resulting samples are substantial for the biggest states – over 2000, in the case of Newspoll for New South Wales – but correspondingly smaller for Western Australia and especially South Australia. It is presumably no coincidence that for the two biggest states the two pollsters are currently in agreement, with swings of 8 per cent in New South Wales and 6 to 7 per cent in Victoria (although as the charts below show, it was a different story in the previous quarter). It is also agreed the swing in Western Australia is around 4 per cent. With Queensland however, a gap emerges: Newspoll says 6 per cent, Nielsen says 10 per cent. There is a still bigger gap in the case of South Australia, but this can be put down to small samples and the latest obviously anomalous result from Nielsen.

To establish whether there has been any consistency in these distinctions over time, the charts below show the Labor swings recorded in each quarter since the election. Despite poll-level peculiarities, both broadly suggest that Labor enjoyed a post-election dead cat bounce in the resource states. In the case of Western Australia, this gave Labor a buffer which is still evident in the relatively slight current swing. On the Nielsen chart however, the most recent result sees the lines for New South Wales and Victoria cutting across Queensland’s – remembering that the prevous quarter’s results for these states were very different from Newspoll’s, the only serious interruption to a broadly similar picture for these two states since the election.

Conveniently, Galaxy has also conducted one poll of 800 respondents in each quarter in Queensland, and these accord perfectly with the Newspoll and Nielsen results from this state. In each period, Labor is slightly higher in Newspoll and slightly lower in Nielsen with Galaxy in between, and there’s not much in it in any case. In the current quarter, Galaxy’s 63-37 two-party preferred splits the middle of the previously noted four-point gap between Newspoll and Nielsen. The only other state-level results I’m aware of are two Western Australian polls of 400 respondents conducted by Patterson Market Research. One of these was as long ago as October last year, which accorded with Newspoll and Nielsen of that time in showing a Labor recovery. However, an unpublished poll from two months ago was solidly worse for Labor than either, pointing to a swing of about 7 per cent.

What the polls would appear to indicate then is a big enough swing in New South Wales to account for Greenway, Robertson, Lindsay, Banks, Reid, Page, Eden-Monaro, Parramatta, Dobell, Kingsford Smith, Werriwa, Barton, Richmond and McMahon, and a slightly smaller swing in Victoria that would take out Corangamite, La Trobe, Deakin and possibly Chisholm (UPDATE: I originally included McEwen, but as noted in comments, the redistribution has made this safer for Labor). Since Galaxy splits the middle in Queensland, it seems best to apply its 8 per cent swing there – which, as was noted at the time the poll was published, would leave only Kevin Rudd standing in Griffith. Gone would be Moreton, Petrie, Lilley, Capricornia, Blair, Rankin and Oxley. In Western Australia, Labor currently holds Brand on 3.3 per cent, Fremantle on 5.7 per cent and Perth on 5.9 per cent: the Newspoll and Nielsen poll swings would put the first in danger while sparing the second and third.

Results from South Australia are small-sample and inconsistent, except that they have broadly been at the higher end of the national spectrum – perhaps around 8 per cent. However, this is coming off the high base of last year’s election, which gave Labor very handy buffers in a swathe of traditionally marginal seats. The lowest Labor margins are 5.7 per cent in Hindmarsh (where Labor has weakened relatively over the last two elections), 7.7 per cent in Adelaide, 12.0 per cent in Wakefield, 12.2 per cent in Makin and 13.9 per cent in Kingston. The last three seats, remarkably, were all in Liberal hands as recently as 2007.

Owing to insufficient sample size, neither Newspoll nor Nielsen provides state-level breakdowns for Tasmania. We did however have an EMRS poll from Bass a month ago which pointed to a 9 per cent Liberal swing, but this was from a small sample of 300 and there were questions raised about its methodology. A swing of that size would nonetheless be enough to take out Bass (6.7 per cent) and its neighbour Braddon (7.5 per cent). The territories of course are pretty much excluded from the polling picture altogether, although Warren Snowdon’s hold on Lingiari in the Northern Territory would have to be open to question given its margin of 3.7 per cent.

None of this should be read as a prediction: first term governments notwithstanding, its a rare government that doesn’t plumb mid-term polling depths far removed from the result eventually produced by the election. This is especially so in the modern environment, when weakening party loyalties have produced an ever-swelling contingent of swinging voters. Even so, the drumbeat consistency of dire results for Labor since April is hard to ignore, and it has no precedent for any government which lived to tell the tale. Labor’s leads during the early part of Mark Latham’s shooting star trajectory were never higher than 55-45; only once in early 2001 did Kim Beazley get as high as 57-43, and was usually solidly lower; and the relevant Newspolls for the great Houdini act of modern federal politics, Paul Keating’s win in 1993, look fairly benign compared with Gillard’s recent numbers. The Fightback! polls which toppled Hawke at the end of 1991 were in the order of 56-44 and 57-43, and Keating wrestled them back to the low fifties by March. Only from November 1991 to February 1992, after John Hewson remodelled his GST to exclude food and clothing, did the Coalition reach such peaks again.

Another lesson from history is that when the electorate ejects Labor from office, it tends to do with a force which the conservative parties are spared. With few exceptions (a handful of those in New South Wales plus Brand, Lingiari and arguably Oxley, which Pauline Hanson won in 1996 as a disendorsed Liberal), the seats listed as Labor losses on the current results have all been lost to them before.

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.

7,134 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdowns”

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  1. [poroti
    Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
    Boerwar

    10. Restoration of collective bargaining rights to Australian farmers. Where a majority of farmers in an industry request collective bargaining arrangements, they be provided. (maybe. Don’t know what it means)

    Could be to do with the BIG mistake Australian cow cockies made by cashing in their co-ops. Their Kiwi brethren did not and continue reaping the benefits from Fonterra whislt the poor Aussie cow cockies get screwed over by Coles and Woolies.]
    Or was it anything to do with the scrapping of the single desk in the wake of the AWB scandal? Seem to remember the farmers weren’t too happy about that either (in terms of wheat prices, not the $300 million illegally given to Sadam).

  2. my say…NBN is getting closer to your door…

    PM Julia Gillard says the National Broadband Network is coming next to ‘Burnie, Devenport, Launceston and further sections of Hobart.’

  3. v

    The mining tax might be negotiable if he were to get a disproportionate share of the goodies.

    The ETS is the deal breaker.

    The reason I flicked through the 20 point list was to demonstrate that MSM journos who spend more than a syllable of their precious space on a Rudd-Katter deal are playing silly buggers. They are making mischief and playing their small part in the attempt by the MSM to show that it is a player in the leadership ‘game’.

  4. [Latika Bourke
    @latikambourke
    Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon’s 3 page letter to Channel 9 boss David Gyngell: latika.me/pNvrVE #pokies]

    [Latika Bourke
    @latikambourke
    Wilkie and Xenophon ask Gyngell if the Nine Network approved Ray Warren and Phil Gould’s rant threatening to take it to ACMA. #pokies]

  5. [Did Mr Hockey just tell a lie?

    Are Australians really paying more tax than ever?

    I know I am not.]

    It’s not lying, it’s campaigning. All Oppositions do it!

    Sorry, was just channeling the inner-stooge.

  6. k2

    [Or was it anything to do with the scrapping of the single desk in the wake of the AWB scandal? Seem to remember the farmers weren’t too happy about that either (in terms of wheat prices, not the $300 million illegally given to Sadam).]

    For reasons that were not clear to me at the time, substantial numbers of wheat farmers preferred not to have a single desk. Whether they outnumbered those who wanted to stick to a single desk, I don’t know. From what I know about the international commodity trade, farmers as a whole were far better off with a single desk, the odd bit of nasty bastardry with dictators aside.

  7. yesterday afternoon I watched some of the NRL final. The prematch entertainment was great. Put the AFL entertainment this year to shame. But the commentators of the NRL are a pain to listen to, and as much as I admire the brute strength of the NRL players, it is not for me.

  8. CM

    [It’s not lying, it’s campaigning. All Oppositions do it!]

    I would actually like to know the answer. My federal taxes have gone down. My territory taxes have gone up. My local taxes have gone up.

  9. Boerwar

    [p

    That would make sense. Mr Katter is a protectionist rural socialist.]

    Fonterra is an uber Dary Co-op but also an uber capitalist mob.

    [A leading multinational dairy company, owned by 13000 New Zealand dairy farmers and the world’s largest exporter of dairy products
    http://www.fonterra.com/wps/wcm/connect/fonterracom/fonterra.com/home/ ]

    Fonterra meant that when Coles etc come calling farmers say “You’ll pay this much,take it or leave it” where as the poor Aussies are told “We’ll pay this much.Take it or leave it” . The prices paid to farmers for milk as the supermarkets fought for market share was pathetic.

  10. BW

    Thanks for the great post re Katter’s 20 points. Don’t think I’ve ever read the complete list before.

    [The ETS is the deal breaker.]

    Which is ridiculous considering his request at 15 will be compensated (if it’s ongoing) in an ETS, not to mention that most of these things are already subsidised anyway.
    [15. Government-provided solar hot water systems and/or other measures to reduce the money problems on our older generation caused by rapidly escalating costs for rates, electricity, insurances, car registration and other similar charges, which, increasingly, they are unable to meet. (yes)]

  11. [Tony Abbott presents the sort of brash, utterly baseless confidence that you get from media executives like John Hartigan or David Leckie, and journos are drawn to that like flies to shit.]

    I’d also add the Sydney Footy Show goons; that blokey, anti women projection. I can’t speak for other women, but it repulses me.

  12. BW

    Not sure what you intended but it looks to me as if a Katter – Rudd deal would be very possible.

    As you said there are two main issues ETS and Mining tax. The ETS will already be in place so presumably it would be off the agenda. That leaves the Mining Tax- Lotsa room for negotiation – eg the money raises spent on his port idea.

  13. [My federal taxes have gone down. My territory taxes have gone up. My local taxes have gone up.]

    Same here. Plus increases in things like electricity and gas.

  14. daretotread

    I would rather the govt did not need to rely on Katter. He is too unpredictable. Sometimes he Does not bother to show up and vote.

  15. D

    [The ETS will already be in place so presumably it would be off the agenda.]

    Why would it be off the agenda? Mr Abbott has promised to get rid of it. Why wouldn’t Mr Katter go with Mr Abbott?

  16. [ABC95 couldn’t be bothered showing JG live.]

    Yet, amusingly, they race to make sure TA’s “Uh….ahhh…. this is a bad policy from a bad government. No questions, please.” speeches are given as much exposure as possible.

  17. CM

    Of course, and there are some that say the msm having nothing to answer for. Seriously, I am surprised the govt still has any support in the community

  18. [The ETS will already be in place so presumably it would be off the agenda.]

    The party Katter has currently given his support to has pledged to repeal it.

    The carbon price is most certainly NOT off the agenda.

  19. My Say
    [Wish I could tell u the questions. Why don’t u all register]

    I tried but did not hear from them, tell me how!.

  20. [My federal taxes have gone down. My territory taxes have gone up. My local taxes have gone up.]

    That’s good. It means better local micromanagement. We’ve seen what happens when the Federal government holds the purse. Canberra makes grand gestures. Everywhere else becomes mismanaged because the money dries up. Or it gets unfairly distributed or whatever.

  21. I agree Confessions(7066) the footy Goons repulse me, which is why TA is also repulsive to me I guess.
    Re Essential Poll, I comments last week the Essential should go to 55/45 when I looked at the figures, so quite happy, just a point or so even every 2 weeks will make me happy. Must have been your vote My Say?
    My comment was published on Phil Coorey’s leadership article in the SMH

  22. Once again I ask the question, what are the advantages for Labor, other than maybe a lift in the polls, of changing leaders now?

  23. Do Newspoll publish their fortnightly poll a week after their Quarterly release or do they wait another fortnight?

    More simply, is Newspoll due tonight or next week?

  24. Send ess an. Email they then send. This. Company. U may not. Recognize. ,somthi g. Point. But. To. My surprise. The actually. Don’t do. The polling. Its sub contracted. Out. Which. Un. My opinion makes it even more. Idependant
    They told me they. Use. Few on line companies, so I also get. Other surveys. Which. I don’t. Mind going

    The one that came on. Friday. Does. Not. Identify what. Its for, just keep. Going with. It. And. Low. And. Behold. After finish something. Mundane. There it. Is. So. I have become. Very. Good at. Workin. Out. If it may. Be. It. As. It arrives at. The end of week. So. No. U want. See. Ess, on. The. Email

  25. [daretotread

    I would rather the govt did not need to rely on Katter. He is too unpredictable. Sometimes he Does not bother to show up and vote. ]

    I feel part of the reason for this theory is that media types (and Coalition ones too) would rather Katter being a player than Wilkie.

  26. confessions

    One thing I noticed during the national anthem yesterday at the NRL. One player put his fingers behind the head of another player as the camera panned them. If an AFL player did that. It would make front page news!!!

  27. Gary

    [Once again I ask the question, what are the advantages for Labor, other than maybe a lift in the polls, of changing leaders now?]

    I have listed below, in order of importance, all of the advantages. 🙂

    [.

    .

    .

    .]

  28. [Once again I ask the question, what are the advantages for Labor, other than maybe a lift in the polls, of changing leaders now?]

    There are none. Absolutely none.

  29. [More simply, is Newspoll due tonight or next week?]
    Next week.

    Today is a public holiday in S.A. and I think also NSW. So they won’t bother polling because long weekends tend to corrupt the results.

  30. [Agreed. Despite what some say I prefer wilkie supporting the govt ]

    I can see why sometimes people get annoyed with him, but he’s principled. As are Oakeshott and Windsor. I’ve said it before but I still think the minority government is probably the best outcome we could have got policy-wise. Which is probably why its attacked so much.

  31. victoria:

    The NRL just screams brash. I can’t think of one NRL commentator who even remotely has gravitas. There is no Dennis Cometti in the NRL.

  32. [Once again I ask the question, what are the advantages for Labor, other than maybe a lift in the polls, of changing leaders now?]

    I don’t see any.

    Gary, I am interested whether you see a case for changing leaders before the next election if the PV stays where it is; and if so, when and to whom?

  33. rishane:

    I get annoyed with him because he tries to be too cute and you get the feeling he’s playing games. Unlike O and W who are straight shooters and simply call it like it is – mind you they’ve been in parliamentary life longer than Wilkie, so perhaps that experience matters.

  34. [victoria:

    The NRL just screams brash. I can’t think of one NRL commentator who even remotely has gravitas. There is no Dennis Cometti in the NRL.]

    Warren Ryan on ABC radio is very good.

  35. confessions

    That is a shame. The commentators really make it hard to listen to. I think i shall stick with aerial ping pong!

  36. [my say

    do ipads automatically enter a “full stop” after every word?]
    Only if you press the space bar twice after each word.

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