Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition

Newspoll has Labor narrowing the two-party gap from 54-46 a fortnight ago to 53-47, with Labor on 32 per cent of the primary vote (up three), the Coalition on 44 per cent (down one) and the Greens on 12 per cent (down three from an aberrant result last time). On all measures, this is Labor’s strongest and the Coalition’s weakest result since May 27-29. Tony Abbott is up two on disapproval to a new high of 57 per cent, with his approval steady on 34 per cent. Julia Gillard is on 30 per cent and 60 per cent, down one in each case. Abbott leads as preferred prime minister 40-39, narrowing from 39-36 last time.


• The latest weekly Essential Research poll has Labor up a point to 35 per cent, the Coalition down one to 46 per cent and the Greens down one to 9 per cent. Two-party preferred has also edged a point in Labor’s favour, from 55-45 to 54-46. This is Labor’s best result on two-party since June 14, and on the primary vote since May 16. It exactly replicates Morgan in finding 35 per cent approving of Qantas’s shutdown, but disapproval is 53 per cent rather than 61 per cent. A question on who is to blame substitutes “workers” for “unions” and includes a “both equally” option: the results are 41 per cent management, 20 per cent workers and 31 per cent both. Respondents were also asked whether they approved or disapproved of various parties’ handling of the matter, with pretty much equally bad results for the government, opposition, management, workers (although here the “strongly disapprove” rating was relatively low), Alan Joyce and “union leaders”. Julia Gillard and the government recorded 30 per cent approval and 59 per cent disapproval, against 27 per cent and 45 per cent for Tony Abbott and the opposition. The one party that emerged favourably was Fair Work Australia, with 55 per cent and 21 per cent. There are also questions on media usage which point to an increasing use of the internet as a news source, but not to the extent that respondents would be willing to pay for the content (9 per cent say likely, 88 per cent unlikely).

Roy Morgan has published preferred Labor and Liberal leader figures from last week’s phone poll. Kevin Rudd leads Julia Gillard 31 per cent to 24 per cent, which sounds better for Gillard than recent Galaxy polls (which unlike Morgan didn’t provide the option of other candidates) which had Rudd leading 53-29 in mid-October and 60-26 in early October. However, it’s almost exactly the same as the result of a similarly framed question from Essential Research in May, which had Rudd leading 32-23. Malcolm Turnbull leads Tony Abbott 38-24, compared with 25-22 from Essential in May and 28-24 from Morgan in March.

• Michael McKenna of The Australian reports LNP treasurer Barry O’Sullivan is “being mooted as a candidate to replace one of two Queensland senators likely to leave the upper house ahead of the next federal election”, namely Barnaby Joyce, who is plotting a move to the lower house, and Ron Boswell, who recently confirmed to The Australian that he is considering retiring. This emerged before yesterday’s reports from Steven Wardill of the Courier-Mail that O’Sullivan “allegedly held a bet at the last federal election where the winner was promised a trip to Bali with two virgins”, and that he “boasted to colleagues about calling one of Queensland’s top cops during an investigation into financial irregularities within the party”. O’Sullivan has also made headlines recently over his robust handling of a recalcitrant state election candidate and involvement in procuring “dirt files” on Labor identities.

Phillip Hudson of the Herald-Sun reports the Greens will run an “open” how-to-vote card in Adam Bandt’s seat of Melbourne, rather than direct preferences to Labor. But given the certainty that the Greens will make it to the final count in this electorate, the destination of their preferences is neither here nor there. Antony Green further dissects the limited impact of Greens preference recommendations.

• Heath Aston of the Sun-Herald reports that the Greens’ Senate preselection in NSW looms as a turf war between Bob Brown and Lee Rhiannon, who are respectively said to support state upper house MPs John Kaye and Jeremy Buckingham.

• An opinion piece by William A. Galston in the New York Times cites the Australian example in advocating compulsory voting to redress America’s “intensely polarized politics”, which he says “impedes governance and exacerbates mistrust”. If the recent tenor of political debate in Australia might cause one to look askance at such an observation, it should be noted that American academic Shanto Iyengar observed after a recent trip to our shores that “Australian political discourse appears relatively elevated, at least by American standards”.

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.

4,989 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. [CO

    Posted Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Mari @ 4897

    A number of years ago a cricket-mad friend of mine in England strongly suggested something along these lines.]
    That is awful

  2. Nielsen will be interesting (well as interesting as any single poll ever can be). Is it my imagination or has Nielsen consistently been ‘stronger’ for the Coalition over the past year or so?

  3. Peter Roebuck taught me English in the mid 80s briefly. He was not very good and was unpopular generally because of his weird ways.

    That said he was a great cricket writer.

    For Vexnews to be hinting/suggesting that Fairfax/ABC were part of a coverup as to acts on Roebuck’s part is pretty embarrassing if it is not going to put up the evidence.

    Linking an event at the end which is well known is lame.

  4. [Anyone know how Mal gets on with Reith? They’re both putting themselves about atm.]

    Apart from borrowing his phone card, balaclavas and rotweillers i believe he has a good workchoices working relationship.

  5. GG

    [Turnbull does not have any “dead, buried and cremated” rhetorical baggage. So, a more nuanced response may be forthcoming.}

    Turnbull does not have any “dead cats, buried and cremated” rhetorical baggage. So, a more nuanced response may be forthcoming.

    Fixed it for you GG.

  6. [This little black duck

    Posted Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink


    No one on the reactionary side would read Antony Green: 2015 at the earliest.]

    They do but they don’t want to admit it
    re 4905 Take whichever one you like

  7. Gaffhook That is such a beautiful photo, about what year would it have been taken, I was looking at the clothes your uncle was wearing. All Ok with twitter now you have accepted and your followers are are increasing quickly

  8. Gaffy,

    I’m pretty sure that Turnbull will not have any thoughts for dead can’ts like Abbott once the switch is made.

  9. Whilst I’m happy things are not so bad lets not get carried away.

    The trend is there, but we (probably) haven’t crossed the 53/47 mark, and as it gets closer to the magical 50/50 things get a bit tougher. No longer the “fluff” and more actually changing hearts and minds.

  10. [chris murphy
    Treachery by Turnbull.Destroy Abbott by declaring a vote for him as one for uncertainty&chaos to repeal CarbonTax…]

  11. Can I re-post a question from last night..

    Who would you have as Liberal leader, not because of being least electable, but because of being the least dangerous/damaging if they got elected. Things like keeping the NBN, not being religious about “workplace reforms” etc.

  12. [Who would you have as Liberal leader, not because of being least electable, but because of being the least dangerous/damaging if they got elected.]

    Robert Menzies

  13. tlbd

    The more vacuous they are, the more likely they are to be influenced by a hardline RWer. I don’t trust any of them. Look at Baillieu in Victoria.

  14. cud chewer –

    The problem answering your question for me is that I can’t say for sure that I know what any of the frontbench of the Liberal party actually believes, or what type of leader they would be.

    Post-Howard independent thought has been a rare luxury in the Liberal camp.

    What would Julie Bishop do about the NBN? Who knows? Would Greg Hunt’s long repressed belief in climate change and ETS’s resurface, and would the current Liberal party both support him as leader and allow him to articulate his beliefs?

  15. The big thing about cud’s Q is that we know zip about any of the backbenchers except for the like of Kelly O and none of those screamers would qualify as “least damage”.

  16. that raises and interesting question..

    Has anyone done any research on who the climate deniers are in the Coalition?

    For a start are there any non-climate-deniers in the Nationals?

  17. adam abdool at 4845
    [I make the following points about Malcolm Turnbull…At th end of the day, MT is all about himself and his elders in the party have told him that the job is all his but he has to be patient. So it has been said and so it will happen. Except they might have just underestimated the tenacity and strength of JG.]
    I don’t have much time for Turnbull; a pathological wide boy.

    However, in the election, Wentworth delivered the second highest swing to the Liberals of any seat, +11%. Yes Wentworth is a rather unusual seat and with a tricky history vis-a-vis swings over the last few elections. But (the 2010 edition of) Turnbull did appeal at least to a large percentage of his constituents.

  18. BK,

    The Q was who would be least likely to “rescind” Labor’s progressive stuff. I reckon BishopB fits the bill (of a very large pelican).

  19. [This little black duck
    Posted Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
    Who would you have as Liberal leader]

    I think if you support labor without question, Abbott is your man, and I think you will get your wish. The Liberals will have to accept rebuilding for Turnbull to get another run. That isn’t going to happen until the next election. Abbott was the best of the rest.

  20. Bronnie would be Miss Haversham from Great Expectations. Phillip Ruddock would be Bernie from “Weekend with Bernie”.

  21. lizzie,

    You are over our little “engagement” the other night? I thought it was fun. I promise not to repeat.

  22. To put it another way. If Rudd got draft back as the leader he would go through the Labor party like a dose of salt, won’t happen. Turnbull is the Liberal parties laxative, won’t happen unless they lose another election and the mad right exit stage left.

  23. fredn,

    I think we need Abbott in for at least another year, but if he stayed to the election, and won, we might seriously regret it.

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