Newspoll quarterly breakdowns

Newspoll published its quarterly geographic and demographic breakdowns on December 29 (full tables from GhostWhoVotes), aggregating all its polling from October to December to produce credible sub-samples by state, gender and age. This period neatly coincided with Labor’s mild late-year recovery, with the overall two-party lead recorded for the Coalition at 55-45 compared with 57-43 for July-September. The shifts proved fairly consistent across all states, such that the relativities are much as they have been since the election: Labor holding up relatively well in Victoria and South Australia (two-party preferred in both now 50-50), hardest hit in New South Wales (6.5 per cent lower on two-party than at the election), still in dire straits in Queensland (41 per cent two-party against an election result of 44.9 per cent) and not appreciably weakened from a disastrous election performance in Western Australia (43 per cent against 43.6 per cent).

The weakening in support recorded for the Coalition was, to a statistically significant extent, greater among women than men. The current gender gap on the Labor primary vote is 6 per cent – equal to the April-June quarter and the final poll before the 2010 election, but otherwise without precedent since Newspoll began publishing quarterly breakdowns in 1996. Of borderline statistical significance is the distinction between the capital cities and non-capitals: the Coalition’s lead is only down from 54-46 to 53-47 in the capitals, but from 61-39 to 57-43 elsewhere.

Newspoll also offered us an abundance of state polling during my fortnight off, which you can read about in the posts below.

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.

1,830 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdowns”

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  1. BK
    I got to watch yesterday’s clip on Romney/Bain/BCG. Tax avoidance is pretty much par for the course for the PE industry – use of tax-transparent LLPs, in offshore tax jurisdictions, with high leverage = low tax. (It always shocks me how paying tax seems to be a bit optional in America: another example is Tim Geitner’s issues on his confirmation hearings). The running down of businesses, again alas par for the course – though a lot of this does rely on, depending on your preference, (a) asymmetrical information on the true condition of the business when the PE firm looks to sell compared to the buyer, or (b) stupid institutional investors, or (c) deceptive sales techniques.

    The commentary on asset stripping/bankruptcy to avoid liabilities (pension funds was mentioned) strikes me as downright illegal; I doubt that Australian directors would be able to get away with that.

    The BCG 4 quadrants reminded me of a droll pisstake business analysis of the fictional Corleone Family mob’ activities:
    [1. Escort Services…A fundamental, irreversible change in the marketplace has taken place; the Corleone’s competition is already pricing its services at zero…Recommendation: Pretty page the financial statements and sell…This business is clearly a Dog

    2. Recreational Substances Ltd…Use the cash throw off from opium products to finance the tremendous growth in those youth lines. We suggest you gradually let your retail sales network decline, by attrition, and concentrate on the defensible positions of importing and wholesaling. This business is clearly a Star]

  2. Hi Laocoon
    Yes, Romney’s less than philanthropic corporate past will surely come back to bite him during the campaign.
    And now it’s off to the fang doctor.


    [Bligh rules out calling poll next week
    January 12, 2012

    QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has categorically ruled out calling an election next week.
    Ms Bligh will be in regional Queensland on Tuesday, the day some observers had speculated she might go to the governor.

    Asked today if she would rule out calling an election next week, she said: “Yes”.

    At about the same time, the man who wants her job, Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman, said he was kicking off the election campaign, and wouldn’t wait for Ms Bligh to set an election date.

    “Today marks the kick off of the state campaign, whether the premier has confirmed it or not,” Mr Newman said in the Brisbane seat of Ashgrove, which he must take from Labor if he wants to become premier.]

  4. victoria

    Glad you found that link, victoria. I couldn’t find it reported in newspapers. It implies a nice little split in Lib/Nat coalition, and bears out the comment that Abbott is siding with the Nats.

  5. lizzie

    Precisely. The coalition have more cracks than Labor imo, but to date they have been papered well. Whilst they were sure of gaining power in the short term, they held it together. Now that this option appears unlikely, what is going to happen to the coalition?

  6. I am not really in a position to judge the impact of climate change versus other factors (such as just more people), but this tends to indicate that there is a cost to “doing nothing” on climate change:
    [Mr Frank O’Halloran, QBE’s Group Chief Executive Officer said, “While catastrophes in the second half of 2011 have attracted fewer headlines than those earlier in the year, the frequency of events continued at an unprecedented level. In the United States, this included Hurricane Irene and further tornadoes, wildfires, hail, flood, wind and snow storms.

    In other parts of the world, catastrophe claims included bush fires in Western Australia, storms in Melbourne, floods and riots in Europe and the extreme floods in Thailand. Our US crop insurance business produced a below average underwriting profit due to the severe hail and flood claims.”]

    QBE’s share price has collapsed, down 22% on the news of the profit downgrade of 40-50%. That 22% is about $3bn in equity value

  7. Someone this morning on commercial TV was quoting Dorothy McKellar again. Seems to be the “defensive McKellar position” against AGW belief.

  8. lizzie

    Yes at state level. Although as shown on the report, the Federal Lib senators and MPs want the Plan to be implemented. They are at odds with The federal Nationals

  9. Laocoon

    Yes indeed.

    Speaking of insurance costs. Here in Melbourne, the xmas hail damage has been very costly for the insurance industry. My oh had to get our vehicle assessed at a centre specifically set up by those who specialise in hail damage. In one part of the centre, there were countless prestige vehicles ie Mercedes, BMWs etc. Assessor advised my oh that those vehicles were being investigated for fraud. Damage has been deliberately inflicted on those vehicles to mimick hail damage, but forensically it has been done by hitting golf balls etc. These are vehicles that were insured on agreed value. Ie vehicles that have a market value of 60,000 but insured for 90,000.

  10. More on the Private Equity/Romney situation from Ian Verrender in Fairfax media…
    [For months, Wall Street has been fretting about the possibility of Romney’s past – as head of the private equity firm Bain Capital – being aired in public by the Obama administration. Their fears have come to fruition, and in a far worse fashion than they could ever have imagined…

    Private equity and hedge fund founders top the lists of newly created US billionaires, and donate heavily to both sides of politics.

    While their choice of parties may differ, their goal is uniform – to maintain the coveted tax treatment that has given them a competitive edge over other companies.

    Australia led the attack on this rort two years ago after the US-based TPG sold Myer to the public via a sharemarket listing. The American firm paid no Australian tax on its $1.3 billion windfall, which was allowed under international tax treaties signed by Australia. But the profits from the Myer sale were not repatriated to America, rather they wound their way through a series of Caribbean and European tax havens, prompting legal action from the Australian Tax Office.

    Philosophically, there is nothing wrong with the concept of private equity, or venture capital as it was once called. As an industry, it should be a vital cog in the financial system, offering capital and financing expertise to fledgling businesses unable to raise money from banks or sharemarkets.

    But in the previous decade, it mutated into something far removed from a vehicle to improve economic efficiency, transforming itself into an acquisitive monster with a voracious appetite, cleaning up anything in its sights, fuelled by bank debt and aided and abetted by that lucrative global tax loophole….

    You need to look no further than Pacific Brands for a good example. Sold by private equity firms in 2004, it has never performed since it was re-listed on the stock exchange.]

    Read more:

  11. victoria,

    I used to work the data to pick up insurance fraud. Working with the assessors, they told me the typical method is to put a golf ball in a sock and repeatedly hit the car. A well known trick that is always checked on all cars.

  12. Victoria

    I had a splendid experience at a comparable centre set up after the big hailstorm in Sydney in the late 90s…the inspector gave me a choice, write it off or repair it. I chose the former (I was keen to get rid of it anyway), they organised a taxi for me, I went on my way, and cheque arrived a few days later!

  13. SK

    Apparently this is what these people did. Red flags for assessors are vehicles insured on agreed value. Apparently the owners of these vehicles will be asked to collect their cars, insurance revoked and blacklisted on the insurance registry.

  14. Speaking of economics, the SA and Federal governments decisions to cave in to the car industry yet again has drawn amazingly little press criticism. Here a former Mitsubishi Australia boss thinks it is a great idea:
    [The former head of Mitsubishi Australia has cautioned against comparisons between Holden’s current plight and Mitsubishi’s situation before it closed its Adelaide factories.

    Tom Phillips was chief executive of Mitsubishi Australia at the time the company announced the closure of its Lonsdale engine plant in 2004.]

    The government’s media spin has been very good on this one, pretending this is a long term solution ( 😀 ) and good value for taxpayers. Here is Patrick Conlon:
    [“This is thousands of jobs in South Australia, manufacturing is very important and it’s incumbent upon us to do our best and it should not be the subject of silly invention and throwaway lines about whether we don’t really need the car industry or not.

    “There are some scorched-earth economists out there that believe you should let the cards lay where they fall but we’re talking about jobs.”]
    Well, call me a scorched earth economist! We are not talking about protecting the whole manufacturing industry, or even the whole car industry. We are only talking about local car manufacture. Less than 10,000 jobs, or about 2 weeks worth of jobs growth. Without it, people would still buy, sell and maintain cars in Australia.
    [According to Productivity Commission estimates, the car industry received more than $1.6 billion in 2009–10 ($721 million in budgetary assistance and $903 million in tariff assistance). With around 55,000 workers in the industry, this amounts to around $29,000 per worker per year]
    Every car industry assistance package is said to be temporary, including those by the Fraser, Hawke, Keating, Howard and Rudd governments. Howard’s deal was going to run out in 2015. But every following government caves in and tells the same lie as they extend the deal. This time Kim Carr, Julia Gillard and Jay Weatherall are repeating a new version of the old lie.

    In the long term the Oz car makers are doomed anyway. Ironically, the rest of Australian manufacturing (for agriculture and mining) is going OK now, and the workers would get better paid jobs in other factories. The real jobs being protected are of a few marginal seat MPs, their advisors, and a legion of industry policy officers at State and Federal level. I’ll believe they have a long term plan for anything when they explain howthe former Mitsubishi plants will actually be cleaned up, rather than adding to Adelaide’s world class colection of ugly, derelict buildings.

    (The article I quoted is from the CIS, which I normally avoid. But their conclusions are based on Productivity Commission data.)

  15. laocoon

    They are doing this at the moment as well. If the cost of repair is greater than the market value of the car, you leave your car at the centre, get a taxi home, and wait for a cheque in the mail.

  16. Socrates
    [The government’s media spin has been very good on this one]
    Perhaps abetted by the federal opposition who do not appear to have a policy position on this (surprise, surprise).

  17. laocoon

    That is what the owners of the prestige cars were hoping for. If these type of vehicles are under two years old, and damage substantial, usually the insurance policy allows replacement cost. If the current market value of these vehicles is for eg 60,000, but the agreed insured value is 90,000, the insurer would need to pay out 90,000. Therein lies the incentive for fraud.

  18. On 1774, I should have added this cracker of an example of the principled postition of the Liberal Party (ROFL)
    [But the Coalition’s acting industry spokesman, Eric Abetz, said Australians “don’t mind some support from the government”]
    Or this one, from Ian Macfarlane:
    [We do need sophisticated manufacturing in Australia and the car industry, on a broad scale, is the epitome of sophisticated manufacturing in Australia]
    As mentioned above, this “position” is front page in the AFR – scandalising the grandees of the natural business constituency of the Liberal Party. So much so that the proverbial pressure has been “ramped up” on Tony Abbott

  19. [Hi Mari,

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Thanks very much for your kind words, and for taking the time to write. I’m glad you were enjoying the program at the time you wrote, and hope I didn’t go on to disappoint you terribly.

    As it happens, I’ll be presenting a Drive program on Radio National starting on January 23, so feel free to listen in!

    Thanks again,


    This is the nice email I received after I emailed RN last month saying I had heard Waleed was the breakfast presenter and decided to listen again to RN, and if Waleed stayed as presenter I would continue to listen to it.

  20. Laocoon

    Yes this is a case where the choice is between bad policy and no policy. The fact that the opposition can’t blow this one to shreads in a few sentences at a press conference shows how bad at economics they are. The same issues would have been discussed in the Howard cabinet when they formed their $6 billion plan for Aussie cars, but Abbott must have been asleep that day. Still, when it comes to economic reform, Gillard too has shown here she is no Paul Keating, carbon tax aside.

    It still annoys me. There are any number of more viable industries we could establish with a fraction of what we waste propping up Aussie cars.

  21. Hi everyone!
    Happy New Year to William and everyone else here, looking forward to another year of stimulating political discussion and debate.
    Hoping everyone is well.

  22. Google “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” and watch the 30 minute movie. Released today. In a word: devestating. Not made by Democrats, buy by Newt. Will it make a difference? Probably not. Romney will still be the Candidate – and could still win in November. It makes our politics look like happy kids at a kindergarten.

  23. Have to agree Socrates. Unless the Australian car industry can rapidly adapt to the switch to smaller/greener vehicles then it’s hard not to suspect the government is throwing good money after bad. Consumers are voting with their wallets and buying imported vehicles at an increasing rate. Majda 3 is now our leading selling vehicle something which would have been unthinkable a short while ago.

  24. Gorgeous Dunny @ 1741

    Now if only we could win over Bemused … – just joking! Bemused is a Labor loyalist even if a Gillard sceptic.

    Thanks GD. Now if only everyone could be so respectful of others with whom they hold a different opinion!

    Yes there are all types of ALP loyalists with varying shades of opinion on leaders past and present.

    And a measure of doubt or scepticism about particular individuals or some of their actions does not equate to disloyalty to the overall cause.

  25. Global Warming and the Insurance Industry

    Prof Lovelock,from Oxford Uni. in his noted book”Gaia’s Revenge” dealing with Global Warming and it’s effects.lists the insurance industry as one of the first major industries to fall victim to climate change

    For reasons which are obvious ,he believes that the growing list of disasters notably storms and flooding will lead the industry to limit and finally exit from insuring property from storm and flood damage,so that while they will still provide other forms of insurance,such as cover against burglary and theft ,etc…they will exit from any sort of climate based damage claims…so those who sufer damage to property,as did one of my family, will be on their own in the aftermath of damage like that seen in Melb. on Xmas day in the hailstorms and floods
    The problems of Q’Land insurance is a foretaste of this problem….as shown by a huge fall in their share value.and a warning to us all…and of the prospect if an insurance-less world !

  26. DavidWH

    In fact only fleet sales to government and corporations have propped up Falcon and Commodore sales for some years. Neither has been the highest selling car to private buyers since before the GFC. But yes, our local industry plan put all the eggs in one basket (large cars) and, sure enough, it was the wrong basket.


    I’d partly agree, but that is future. I think the biggest current issue is the high Australian dollar. It is here to stay. Transport costs for imports really aren’t that high – under $2000 per car. With the mining boom fuelling a higher Aussie dollar, and that being likely to continue indefinitely (Treasury Sec Parkinson’s latest advice) we have no chance competing with imports from Japan, Korea or Germany, never mind China.

    Plus the industry is getting more globalised, and they are talking about comon platforms. So local niche makers are dinosaurs, even with a low dollar.

    Our current policy costs us a lot, because there is a flow on cost to the whole industry. Importers price their cars more expensively in Australia to match prices of the local cars. A Prius costs $23000 to $28,000 in the USA, yet starts at $34,000 in Australia. The US dollar is less than or equal to the Australian dollar….

  27. Further to Laoccon at 1768.

    This may be a point of semantics, but the SMH article article is not correct. It stated that “Australia led the attack on this rort two years ago after the US-based TPG sold Myer to the public via a sharemarket listing. The American firm paid no Australian tax on its $1.3 billion windfall, which was allowed under international tax treaties signed by Australia. ”

    In fact, the Howard Government amended Australian CGT rules with effect from 2006, to pretty much exempt ALL non-residents from tax on capital gains realised on disposal of Australian assets, except for real estate (or shares in land rich companies). Australia’s tax treaties did not generally provide for capital gains tax exemptions for non-residents, and the original 1985 CGT legislation quite specifically sought to tax non-residents on capital gains eg, from the disposal of shares in Australian companies.

    The exemption TPG took advantage of had nothing to do with tax treaties – it was a gift from Howard!

    The ATO, however, sought to argue that the profit realised by TPG from the Myer float was NOT a capital gain, but rather ordinary income (ie, on the quite reasonable basis that PE houses make investments with the intention of re-selling at a quick profit, which under Australian tax law would be treated as income, not a capital gain) but by the time the ATO acted, it was too late – the money had already left the country.

    Nevertheless, the ATO’s position was by no means a slam dunk and has not really been tested – TPG would still have had a strong case to argue that they, like many PE houses, hold assets for relatively long periods, and the Myer float was merely realisation of a capital investment. The revenue v capital distinction for asset sales was always very much a grey area under Australian tax law in the pre-CGT days, so it was by no means certain that the ATO would have won if the matter had ever gone to court.

    What interests me more is the quite deliberate watering down of Australia’s CGT rules over the term of the Howard Government – most notably, the automatic 50% CGT discount in lieu of cost base indexation.

  28. Victoria @ 1761;

    [Doing nothing about climate change, apart from being an environmental disaster, will be an economic one as well.]

    Precisely. And Lord Stern nailed that very issue in his report on climate change in 2006 which was pooh-poohed by JWH when PM before a Damescence conversion in time for the 2007 election only for the Noalition, driven by deniers like Minchin, to do a 180 degree about face under the ‘truckwit’.

    In summary Stern said;

    [The benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs.
    The scientific evidence points to increasing risks of serious, irreversible impacts from climate change associated with business-as-usual (BAU) paths for emissions.
    Climate change threatens the basic elements of life for people around the world — access to water, food production, health, and use of land and the environment.
    The impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed — the poorest countries and people will suffer earliest and most. And if and when the damages appear it will be too late to reverse the process. Thus we are forced to look a long way ahead.
    Climate change may initially have small positive effects for a few developed countries, but it is likely to be very damaging for the much higher temperature increases expected by mid-to-late century under BAU scenarios.
    Integrated assessment modelling provides a tool for estimating the total impact on the economy; our estimates suggest that this is likely to be higher than previously suggested.
    Emissions have been, and continue to be, driven by economic growth; yet stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere is feasible and consistent with continued growth.
    ‘Central estimates of the annual costs of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550ppm CO2e are around 1% of global GDP, if we start to take strong action now. […] It would already be very difficult and costly to aim to stabilise at 450ppm CO2e. If we delay, the opportunity to stabilise at 500-550ppm CO2e may slip away.'[3]
    The transition to a low-carbon economy will bring challenges for competitiveness but also opportunities for growth. Policies to support the development of a range of low-carbon and high-efficiency technologies are required urgently.
    Establishing a carbon price, through tax, trading or regulation, is an essential foundation for climate change policy. Creating a broadly similar carbon price signal around the world, and using carbon finance to accelerate action in developing countries, are urgent priorities for international cooperation.
    Adaptation policy is crucial for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate change, but it has been under-emphasised in many countries.
    An effective response to climate change will depend on creating the conditions for international collective action.
    There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change if strong collective action starts now.]

    And here we are – still arguing. As Socrates or Laocon pointed out in a later post the insurance industry will just walk away from insuring ‘natural disaster/act of Dog’ events if a do nothing policy is the global result.

    Listen to the rightards howl with rage then. 2GB land will go into conspiracy driven meltdown.

  29. [victoria
    Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Nice reply from Waleed]

    Yes I liked it, starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the Grandsons, 2 leave tomorrow and one is staying until next Thursday, been to the beach this morning, then played pool and out to the Pizza place tonight. One by himself he is 14 will be easy, no fights between him and his younger brothers

  30. Since I am likely to miss Alan Kohler’s efforts this evening, I have had to find a new target of innumerate, sensationalist financial “journalism”, today from that sad, faded dowager, Sydney Morning Herald…
    [Australian credit card debt has struck a new record high of $50 billion, ballooning by almost a third in the past five years.

    The amount of credit card debt owed by Australians has increased sharply over the past decade, blowing out by more than 30 cent in the past five years alone.]

    Ballooning! Blowing out!! Yikes. Hoo-ha, head for yonder hills. Fear. Panic. Occupy Martin Place.

    But looking at the last 5 years, the average annual rate of increase was, was, was…actually, 5.6%. Ballooning? Well. I don’t think so. Maybe a bit of bubble gum.

    One comparative benchmark would be economic growth over the last 5 years. Well in the 5 years to Sept 11 (latest ABS data), nominal (like credit card debt is nominal) GDP grew at…7.0%. Right. Have you seen all those stories about economic growth “ballooning” over the last 5 years? No, me neither. So credit card debt grew at less than economic growth. But I guess that does not make an interesting story at all.

    The more interesting aspect was the first 5 years of the decade, when credit card debt grew at an average annual rate of 17.3%, which is a very high rate indeed, and of course we all know where that led to (GFC and all that)…but something that “ballooned” 5-10 years ago, I agree does not make a very interesting story in 2012.

    Ultimate problem for these media companies – a low quality, rubbish product.

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