Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition

The latest fortnightly Newspoll offers the government a mixed bag: its best result on two-party preferred since May, with the Coalition lead cut to 54-46 from 57-43 last time, but a 10-point net decline in support for the carbon tax since late July. The two-party shift is entirely down to a four point drop in the Coalition primary vote to 45 per cent, with Labor remaining stuck on 29 per cent. The Greens have leapt three points to 15 per cent, their best result since March. Julia Gillard is up on both approval (three pionts to 31 per cent) and disapproval (one point to 61 per cent), while Tony Abbott is down two on approval to 34 per cent and up two on disapproval to 55 per cent. Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 40-35 to 39-36. Support for the carbon tax is down four points to 32 per cent, with opposition up six to 59 per cent.


• The federal redistribution for South Australia has been finalised, with no changes made to the draft proposals from August. The biggest changes are the transfer of about 10,000 areas in an area around Aberfoyle Park from Mayo to Boothby, and a redrawing of the northern end of Port Adelaide, which has gained 8000 voters around Burton from Wakefield and lost a projected 7200 voters in an area of rapid growth around Salisbury Park to Makin. None of the changes is too remarkable in terms of likely outcomes at the next election – Antony Green has as always calculated notional margins on the new boundaries.

• Antony also reviews the finalised state redistribution for Western Australia, where the main change on the draft is the reversal of a plan to move Mandurah from the South West upper house region to South Metropolitan.

• There’s also the finalised redistribution for the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, which on this occasion has proved a slightly less dull subject than usual.


• The Sun-Herald reports a “fractious meeting of the 17-member Liberal state executive” has narrowly endorsed a plan to hold preselection primaries in federal seats yet to be determined. According to Niki Savva on the ABC’s Insiders program, it is “only a decision that’s been made in principle and they might try it in one or two seats to see how it goes, and that’s something that will be negotiated between the NSW and the federal divisions”. The Sun-Herald report also says nominations for most Liberal-held seats will be open tomorrow (Monday) and settled by next month.

• With respect to the state’s Labor-held seats, the federal Liberal Party is fast-tracking preselections for eight key seats: Dobell, Robertson, Lindsay, Greenway, Reid, Banks, Parramatta and Eden-Monaro. The Sunday Telegraph reports “local builder Matthew Lusted” is the front-runner in Dobell, and that Tony Abbott has approached unsuccessful 2010 candidate David Gazard to try again in Eden-Monaro. The Telegraph has elsewhere reported that Ross Cameron, who held Parramatta from 1996 until his defeat until 2004, is contemplating a return to politics depending on the state of his business affairs. However, he is not interested in recovering his old seat, instead having his sights on Dobell, Robertson, Kingsford-Smith or the Senate. Cameron is encouraging Rachel Merton, daughter of former state Baulkham Hills MP Wayne Merton, to contest Parramatta. Di Bartok of the Parramatta Advertiser reports that the candidate from 2010, engineer Charles Camenzuli, is also interested in running, as are “Martin Zaiter, Brett Murray and George Goivos”.

• Michelle Harris of the Newcastle Herald reports Jaimie Abbott, a former media adviser to Paterson MP Bob Baldwin and RAAF reservist who has served in Afghanistan, has emerged as the front-runner for Liberal preselection in Newcastle.

• The NSW Nationals have changed their constitution to allow local party members to determine what kind of preselection they want, including the option of “community preselections” along the lines of US-style open primaries. A trial in the seat of Tamworth before the 2011 election attracted over 4000 voters and produced a winning candidate in Kevin Anderson.

• LNP campaign director James McGrath has confirmed his interest in succeeding Alex Somlyay as member for the federal Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax. McGrath has recently been embroiled in controversy over his role in paying former Labor candidate Robert Hough to compile dirt files on party figures. In 2008 McGrath was sacked from a job as adviser to London lord mayor Boris Johnson after making an allegedly racist comment about the city’s black community.

• The Burnie Advocate reports Glynn Williams, “Poppy Growers Tasmania president, legal practitioner and Hospice Care Association North West president”, has nominated for Liberal preselection in Braddon. It is presumed he will face opposition from Brett Whiteley, who lost his seat at last year’s state election. The Advocate reported on September 17 that an internal Liberal poll of 220 respondents conducted from August 22-25 had the Liberals leading 60-40 on two-party preferred.

Other polling:

• Market research company ReachTel has recently published two results from automated phone polls, the first targeting 850 respondents in Labor’s most marginal Queensland electorate of Moreton and published on October 12. The poll put incumbent Graham Perrett 54-46 behind on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 35 per cent for Labor, 48 per cent for the LNP and 9 per cent for the Greens. The poll also asked respondents about the carbon tax, finding 39 per cent support and 54 per cent opposition.

• The second ReachTel poll, published on October 19, was a national survey of 2428 which canvased three attitudinal questions. On the future of the present government, three options were offered: 50 per cent went for an immediate election, 36.5 per cent thought the Gillard government should serve out its term, and 14 per cent believed that Kevin Rudd should take over as Prime Minister. A question on same-sex marriage produced a very much more negative response than previous such inquiries from Essential Research and Westpoll: 43 per cent were in favour and 47 per cent were opposed. The Transport Workers Union’s industrial action against Qantas had 36 per cent support and 44 per cent opposition. Results on all three questions showed strong distinctions according to voting intention.

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.

3,048 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition”

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    [Labor points behind but finally kicking with the wind
    by Mark Kenny

    They are reluctant to discuss it but Labor insiders see reasons for hope – however slight. One reason, surprisingly enough, is the polls. Obviously, they still show the Government facing a shellacking yet they also suggest that Labor’s poll dive may have bottomed out.]

    More in the article, covers a few factors canvassed on PB before. PB is ahead of the journo meme curve.

  2. Good morning bludgers!

    Two good media stories today – am flabbergasted! Will be interesting to see if:

    visit of queen; stories; Abbott’s nonsense actually has an effect on the upcoming Essential.

    My ‘prediction’ is that if things keep heading upward for Labor — the unhinging (which appears to have started in earnest) will reach feverish levels pretty quickly.


    [Fairfax retains metro radio stations
    BY: MICHAEL BODEY From: The Australian October 28, 2011 10:10AM

    Fairfax Media has confirmed to the ASX that it has withdrawn from the sale process for its radio assets, 2UE and 3AW.

    Media understands the long process had attracted at least two suitors of varying interest but John Singleton’s Macquarie Radio was the final buyer aiming to offer a premium price.]

  4. jaundiced view:

    [George Pell believes in miracles but says we need more “scientific evidence” to believe in man-made global warming

    If he Eminence’s views were not enough, I just love the his Holiness’s (Benedict XVI) comment that the Church had ‘right on its side’ when it imposed house arrest on Galileo for endorsing Copernicus’ heliocentrism.

    Moreover, the Church seems to be going backwards:

    [In 1939 Pope Pius XII, in his first speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, within a few months of his election to the papacy, described Galileo as being among the “most audacious heroes of research… not afraid of the stumbling blocks and the risks on the way, nor fearful of the funereal monuments”.[132] His close advisor of 40 years, Professor Robert Leiber wrote: “Pius XII was very careful not to close any doors (to science) prematurely.]

  5. charlton

    Paul Keating’s description of the less visionary as ‘pre-Copernican’ applies most aptly to Pell in so many ways. And to Ratzinger as well – I didn’t know he had retrospectively approved the persecution of Galileo! No wonder he and Pell get on.

  6. Great links this morning Bludgers. Many thanks.

    Stephen Fry – I could give him a big smacker right now. He wouldn’t appreciate it but his comments about Twitter and journos are another nail in the coffin for media lies and deceit. Now we just need ACMA and a decent media enquiry to do their jobs.

  7. [I just love the his Holiness’s (Benedict XVI) comment that the Church had ‘right on its side’]

    To be fair, I’m fairly certain Ratzinger (as head of the Curia’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) either led or was involved in John-Paul II’s exoneration of Galileo. He’s also, remember, pro-Climate Change and CPRSchemes.

    Pell is far to the right of Ghengis and too far right of the current Pope even to endorse that papal stance, with a mind as broad as a nano particle. If ever you should wonder why the Papacy handled Luther so badly & lost the Counter-Reformation, IMO because they had the Pell/ Pyne/ Abbott touch!

  8. jaundiced view:

    I was referring Ratzinger’s 1990 endorsement in the article you posted, not to any he may or may not have made since getting the nod as pope.

    However, it stands to reason that if he held those views as a Cardinal, it’s unlikely they would’ve changed.

    Pell & Benedict getting on maybe an indication that the former has wider ambitions.

  9. Sprung Badly, Dennis.

    Shanahan today (behind paywall, but you can use the Google trick to read it all):

    THE Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth this week is the beginning of the most intense and testing period of foreign policy and diplomacy so far for Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. How she handles it could determine her future as leader of the Labor Party.

    Despite improved awareness of the need to work more closely with our neighbours and a recognition that the Indonesian leadership, for instance, may see some of her actions very differently from how she has intended them, Gillard has suffered in comparison with Kevin Rudd’s image of an experienced diplomat and Mandarin speaker.

    It wasn’t always thus, however, for Dennis. Once he thought Rudd’s diplomatic experience was a positive disadvantage to him, and a self-induogence the nation could ill afford, not much use for anything else but showing off in Chinese restaurants….

    Shanahan on April 13th, 2007:

    “KEVIN Rudd’s ability to speak Mandarin has been one of the strongest selling points for a new leader in an age when China is emerging as an economic, political and military superpower.

    He is the first Opposition Leader to speak Chinese and, if elected later this year, would be the first Australian prime minister to do so.

    Along with his foreign affairs background, it gives Rudd some more foreign policy credentials when international relations and national security play a much larger role in elections than they have for decades.

    Yet for all of these positives there is a real policy and political problem for Rudd in being able to order duck pancakes and fried flounder at Portia’s Chinese restaurant in Canberra, where he indulges in his linguistic and culinary pastimes.

    Simply put, Rudd is seen as being too close to China for Australia’s comfort.

    Shanahan is erecting yet another “test” for Gillard, this time foreign affairs. “How she handles it” will, presumably be determined by none other than Dennis himself.

    And in all this talk about how Foreign Affairs experience and performance is necessary, I am yet to see ONE SINGLE INSTANCE of any newspaper or TV program seriously discussing CHOGM and the issues raised therein.

    It’s been “Mae West” (Tony Wright), Ruddstoration (Michelle Grattan), Fake Tests (Shanahan), More Ruddstoration (Speers), and Trying To Embarass The Malaysian Prime Minister (the entire assembled Press Gallery).

    The pieces Grattan and Wright in particular wrote yesterday and today could have been written with a laptop on their knees in a pub in Melbourne while drinking pints. They had zero content, 100% speculation and trivia and total cynicism. Why The Age bothered to pay their airfares to Perth is a total mystery to me.

    Next week they will no doubt tell us “how boring” and “pointless” CHOGM was, and that Gillard “did not shine” , therefore being “unfit to be Prime Minister”.

    All from the pub, or as good as from the pub.

    What annoys me is that I might spend an hour writing one of my tomes (yes, yes, I know), just as any other interested blogger or poster would do, and we do it for free.

    Doing exactly the same thing – dashing of 800 to a thousand words discussing their own oipinions on who’s up up or what “could” happen next is what the Wrights, Grattans and Shanahans get paid outrageously large salaries to do.

    For me it’s a daily pleasure to pontificate and then I get on with my real life.

    For these cretins it is their entire day’s work, if you don’t count receiving phone calls from “Labor insiders” whose names they never mention anyway.

    A couple, maybe three, of these unhinged collections of speculation, invention, belly-fluff gazing and opinionation comprises their week’s work.

    And yet we are none the better informed of the subject they are ostensibly writing about, in this case CHOGM, except for us to learn the breathlessly exciting news that the Foreign Minister of Australia, the host of the whole CHOGM show, actually did his job by speaking to the CHOGM Foreign Ministers.

  10. OzPol Tragic

    [I just love the his Holiness’s (Benedict XVI) comment that the Church had ‘right on its side’

    To be fair, I’m fairly certain Ratzinger (as head of the Curia’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) either led or was involved in John-Paul II’s exoneration of Galileo. He’s also, remember, pro-Climate Change and CPRSchemes.]

    A possible Paulian conversion in light of overwhelming scientific evidence?

    If you’re right, it still amazes me that a Prince of the Church would, even if indirectly, condone Galileo’s treatment.

  11. BB

    [Good stuff Laura. It reads like she’s had a brain snap and can’t stand the bullshit anymore.]

    Tingle is consistently good, independent and has a very good nose for the political winds of change. I loved how she described Abbott as the “negative, opportunistic and hollow man”.

  12. OzPol Tragic:

    [Pell is far to the right of Ghengis and too far right of the current Pope even to endorse that papal stance, with a mind as broad as a nano particle. If ever you should wonder why the Papacy handled Luther so badly & lost the Counter-Reformation, IMO because they had the Pell/ Pyne/ Abbott touch!]

    Agree & it’s a worry that Pell, by reports, is Abbott’s spiritual adviser.

    [Pell is the type of Catholic Abbott likes – someone who excelled at sports, is not introspective and takes a close interest in politics. He is a divisive man who was at the centre of a controversy over his maladroit dealings with victims of sexual abuse by priests. Pell is intelligent but no intellectual (like Howard, in this sense), which suits Abbott. Pell’s articles, however, have none of Abbott’s clarity; they are frequently full of platitudes and non sequiturs as he rails against the “aggressive paganism” of contemporary society. Vegetarianism makes him uneasy and he loathes the Greens because they can cause thousands of people to lose their jobs when they set out to save “turtles who breathe through their bottoms”. As for climate change claims, they are “a symptom of pagan emptiness”.

    Pell acts as Abbott’s personal confessor. But Abbott is very touchy about his close friendship with him, no doubt because Pell pushes hard, like Santamaria did, for Catholic intervention in politics. A few years ago, at a conscience vote overturning a state ban on therapeutic cloning, Pell announced: “Catholic politicians who vote for this legislation must realise that their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the Church.” This was a thinly veiled threat of excommunication, running completely counter to secular values.]

    – Source, Louis Nowra, The Monthly, Feb., 2010

  13. Anyone else not seeing the thread divided into pages since the shut down? I’ve just got one loooong page with 3000 posts on it. I’m also not getting Preview.

  14. [Tingle is consistently good, independent and has a very good nose for the political winds of change. I loved how she described Abbott as the “negative, opportunistic and hollow man”.]

    I loved the image of Abbott leading the coconut clicking Hockey, Robb, Morrison, Dutton, Pyne, Bishops x2, Mirrabella, et al. That is a classic for a cartoonist.

  15. This can’t be right, surely, given Abbott’s closeness to Pell? 😀 :
    [ @cyenne40Tom Cummings

    Breaking: Tony Abbott has vowed to rescind feudalism. #StopTheMoats ]

  16. There are three things missing since the site was closed for maintenance:


    Preview tab; and

    And post posting, automatic reload.

  17. jaundiced view:

    [Anyone else not seeing the thread divided into pages since the shut down? I’ve just got one loooong page with 3000 posts on it]

    Yes, that too.

  18. Charlton, John Paul II’s (& the Curia’s) exoneration of Galileo was (from memory) unequivocal – not a hint that any of the 1990s Curia condoned what was done; far from it.

    It should have been done more than a century earlier, when there was no longer any doubt (inc mathematically) that Galileo (& Copernicus & Tycho Brahe) were right; but at that time, the Papal States were involved in Garibaldi’s Risorgimento revolution (which the Papacy lost) and proclaimed the doctrine of Papal Infallibility (post-dated to St Peter); meaning that Pope Urban (Barberini) (1568-1644) couldn’t have been wrong about Galileo in 1633.

    Jesuit-educated Urban was old enough to remember the Armada’s defeat; lived through the Elizabethan & Jacobean Jesuit Trials (inc for the Gunpowder Plot), and spent the last 24 years of his Papacy embroiled in the appallingly vicious RC v Protestant 30 Years War (1618-48). What would transpire during the 1990s was that most of those involved in Galileo’s persecution thought he was right. The Church, however, has already gone so hard on supporting the Geocentric theory, that even to ignore (much less support) Galileo’s Heliocentric theory would seriously undermine the Papacy at just that time when Swedish intervention in the 30 Yrs War (1630–1635) was driving the Catholic forces out of Protestant lands it had conquered. To back-flip on the “centre of the solar system” theory could have given the Protestants a huge propaganda advantage.

    It took a Polish Pope (Copernicus’s theory was associated with Galileo’s) to overcome Papal/ Curia intransigence.

  19. [awelder Andrew Elder
    Vic Lib MP who quit yestday reps the area in State Parlt that Sophie Mirabella reps in Fed Parlt. Memo Vic Libs: stop preselecting dickheads]

  20. [rishane
    Posted Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Its not just Grattan in the SMH keeping up the RUDDSTORATION crap.]

    I happen to believe a Ruddstoration is a possibility…. BUT…. only under circumstances that don’t remotely exist now.

    It would require the election to be approaching, the ALP doing dismally in the polls, a majority of caucus to be convinced that Rudd had learnt his lesson and changed his ways and that he was a better leadership prospect at an election than the current leader.

    Now that’s one hell of a lot of conditions to be met and if the dimwits in the media can’t detect that none of them exist, and in fact may never exist, then they are taking their pay under false pretences.

  21. [Now that’s one hell of a lot of conditions to be met and if the dimwits in the media can’t detect that none of them exist, and in fact may never exist, then they are taking their pay under false pretences.]

    Exactly. I do feel a little bad for Rudd in it too. He probably just wants to do his job being Foreign Minister, but the media keeps propping him up with the Ruddstoration myth.

  22. Hello again; I can only hope PB is back to normal by Monday. These pages are painfull, with loading times akin to what the net would be like under a coalition communications minister.

    A prosecution psychiatrist expert witness has challenged parts of Mary Jo Fischer’s depression defence:
    [A forensic psychiatrist has told the shoplifting trial of Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher her behaviour at the supermarket was not entirely consistent with a panic attack.

    The prosecution has been allowed to reopen its case to call evidence from forensic psychiatrist Ken O’Brien.

    He has told Adelaide Magistrates Court Fisher may have been suffering from a panic attack but her behaviour in unpacking and repacking her trolley before she went to the checkout seemed rational and organised.]

    I’m off again for a while; have a pleasant wekend all.

  23. Completely off topic but this is really interesting and I bet Rod Hagen will appreciate it.
    [Engineering heritage celebrated in Victoria

    Two engineering projects were honoured this month in Victoria by Engineers Australia for their heritage value.

    The engineering expertise of the Gunditjmarra people, who developed and managed the hydraulics required to farm and harvest fish in southwestern Victoria for more than 6000 years, was celebrated at Tyrendarra. The ceremony, hosted by the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation, included the unveiling of an interpretative panel and engineering heritage marker for the Budj Bim Aboriginal hydraulic works.

    Engineers Australia’s national president Merv Lindsay said that when reflecting on engineering achievements in Australia it was easy to talk about what has been built over the past couple of hundred years, and what might be needed for the next few generations.

    “What is truly remarkable about the Budj Bim engineering works is not only its ingenuity, but also that at its core was the delivery of a sustainable outcome for hundreds of generations.

    “Attaining sustainable engineering outcomes by today’s well-resourced engineering profession remains a challenge, and here we can see how it was achieved for thousands of years,” Lindsay said.

    A detailed article on this water system appeared in the October issue of Water Engineering Australia, to read this article click here.]

    The link is to here:

    This area is worth a visit if you are down in western Victoria and it is quite a remarkable testament to the achievements of the Aboriginal people who led a settled life there, for many generations, based upon aquaculture.

    The bloke running the Condah pub has a wealth of knowledge about all of this and my wife and I enjoyed lunch there enlivened by his accounts.

  24. Sorry William, but another voice here for the unwieldiness of this format. I hope you can return the numbered page feature at least (post numbering and comment preview would be nice too please!).

    On the other hand, if you were looking for a bit of a reduction in traffic, this might be it judging by the lack of comments this afternoon.

  25. OzPol Tragic:

    Thanks for the research.

    It seems to me that although there were a number of cogent religious and political reasons to denounce Galileo during his lifetime, it sure took a long time to restore him & his science; for it was not until 1992 that the Catholic church admitted it had made a ‘tragic error, again confirmed in 2008.

    I rather like Jeffrey Hamilton’s take on forgiveness:

    [I find the events ironic because we have the ones who did a man wrong telling the victim (long after his death) that he is forgiven. It is supposed to be the other way around. The wrong-doer receives the forgiveness of ones he wronged. Only the victim can release the wrong-doer from his debt created by his wrongful action. It would be Galileo who could offer the Roman Catholic church forgiveness, not the other way around.]

    Impliedly in keeping with your argument, Galileo was not very politically savvy, for had he simply presented his observations in a hypothetical way, rather than as fact, he probably would’ve avoided persecution.

    Paul Barry’s article, posted by jv, says wwtte that the current Pope said in 1990 the church got it right in denouncing Galileo. Yet some two years later, as a member of the Curia & under the leadership of John Paul II, he appears to have changed his view 180 degrees, most probably the result of papal infallibility dogma?

  26. bemused,

    That’s a great story.

    It’s interesting that we never hear of these sort of Aboriginal achievements – our only image is of the semi-nomadic hunter gatherers but here was a group in permanent settlement farming eels for 6000 years until Europeans came along and took the land and imposed our water management systems.


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