Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition

The latest fortnightly Newspoll has the Coalition’s lead at 53-47 on two-party preferred, but this obscures a lot of movement on the primary vote: Labor down four after a curious aberration a fortnight ago to 31 per cent, the Coalition down two to 43 per cent (its lowest result in almost exactly a year), the Greens up one to 12 per cent and “others” on 14 per cent (“last that high in September 2006”, GhostWhoVotes advises). Julia Gillard has recovered a preferred prime minister lead she lost two surveys ago, now leading 39-37 after trailing 38-36 a fortnight ago, but this is very much a case of the lesser of two evils: she has recovered only two points from the slump on her approval rating in the previous poll, to now be at 28 per cent, with her disapproval also down two to 62 per cent. Tony Abbott is respectively up one to 32 per cent and up one to a new high of 58 per cent. The incurably spin-happy Australian is selling this as “Wayne Swan’s attacks on the nation’s billionaire mining magnates (having) failed to lift Labor’s electoral support”, despite the figures offering no basis of any kind for making such a claim.

Meanwhile, Essential Research advises: “Because of public holiday in Melbourne our data processing people weren’t working today so report will go out tomorrow. And it will be worth the wait.”

UPDATE: Essential Research continues to part company with the phone pollsters, with its Coalition lead out from 56-44 to 57-43. Labor is down a point on the primary vote to 31 per cent, and has dropped three points over the past four weeks, with the Coalition steady on 49 per cent (up two on four weeks ago) and the Greens steady on 10 per cent. As in Newspoll, the monthly measure of personal ratings has Julia Gillard taking a hit in the wake of the leadership spill, her approval down four points to 32 per cent and her disapproval up eight to 61 per cent. Tony Abbott’s figures are little changed at 36 per cent (up one) and 52 per cent (down one), and he has narrowed his deficit as preferred prime minister from 41-34 to 40-37. Approval of Bob Carr’s appointment to the Senate and foreign ministry is evenly divided at 37 per cent approval and 36 per cent approval, with strong disapproval (17 per cent) heavily outweighing strong approval (7 per cent) (which to my mind doesn’t reflect too well on the insight of the punters).

Other questions included an amusing experimental effort in which half the respondents were asked if they agreed with Wayne Swan that “Australia’s wealthiest individuals are using their wealth to try to influence public opinion and government policy to further their own commercial interests”, and the other half if they agreed with the statement without it being attributed to Wayne Swan. The results were extremely similar – 58 per cent agreed and 26 per cent disagreed when it was attributed to Wayne Swan, compared with 60 per cent and 24 per cent when it wasn’t – but it became so because strong partisan effects cancelled each other out, with Coalition voters especially far more inclined to reject the assertion (36 per cent agree, 51 per cent disagree) coming from Swan than when it was unattributed (55 per cent agree, 30 per cent agree). The poll also finds a decline in support for the mining tax since the question was last asked in February, with support down three points to 52 per cent and opposition up six to 34 per cent. Respondents were also asked to identify what constituted “middle income” ($60,000-$79,000 getting the highest response for individuals), “well off” and “wealthy” (with responses here very widely spread). Eighty-six per cent believed social class still existed in Australia against only 8 per cent who didn’t.

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.

2,394 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. One thing that got lost in all the hoo-hah today was the question..

    Why would the board of the Future Fund want Costello?

    The only reference I heard was to the effect “they wanted in insider”.. what the heck does that mean and does it have any legitimacy?

    Is it possible the board has some innate political leanings too? In other words its motivation isn’t that pure.

  2. Bemused I am drawn to the dark side in QLD because the light has gone out on the other side and the age of enlightenment has turned into a dark age. I am sill in the shadows elsewhere waiting for my Jedi Knight “Malcolm of Turnbull” to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix and save me from the shadows.

  3. Bemused,
    I fear you’ve got me. I’m still trying to preserve the illusion of youthfulness, running regularly. I’m hoping to contest the Great Ocean Road marathon in May. However, even with my poor bathroom lighting and my fading eyesight, the evidence hits me each morning when I shave.

  4. Bemused

    On the primaries there were not many preferences to share. it was 44, 49, 5 so it looks to be a 4/3 split. This is to be expected because the Green vote is very low – I assume they are putting in effort in Bardon next door.

    Hope this poll is NOT true. The Green vote is listed as 5% which seems rather low given that they got 21% in the federal polls.

  5. cud

    Given the poor performance they’ve had so far, I think they wanted an insider, because an outsider might put a boot up their arses, if not give them the order of the boot.

  6. Gee, Glen

    That was pretty dopey of me.

    Did not realise it was sooooo long in the posting.

    Summary: Relieved and delighted to be in a place of my own.

  7. Addendum: I was at Monash in the late ’60s, peripherally involved in the Labor Club. Memorable moments included the protest against Sir Henry Bolte’s honorary doctorate, which took the form of a mock ceremony in which a live piglet was so awarded.

    I also have a bitter-sweet memory of a Labor Club-Liberal Club football mismatch. I was one of the few lefties who regularly played (no better than park level, I stress), so I was identifiable as one of the best of the worst in the hopelessly outclassed red team.

  8. DavidWH @ 2299

    Bemused I am drawn to the dark side in QLD because the light has gone out on the other side and the age of enlightenment has turned into a dark age. I am sill in the shadows elsewhere waiting for my Jedi Knight “Malcolm of Turnbull” to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix and save me from the shadows.

    I must say the present Govt in Qld has done some stupid things and Andrew Fraser alienates me.

    But is there anything that makes you think the other side would not be worse?

    As far as I remember, all of your opinions on issues have placed you firmly in the ALP voting camp. So where does the disconnect occur? Is it just filial rebellion against your good mother?

    Sadly, your putative saviour, “Malcolm of Turnbull” has sold his soul to the dark forces of “The Mad Monk” and will tear up your NBN.

  9. How much did you lose by bum used? and after all these years have still not gotten over it – sad, do you want to talk about it? (even more….)

  10. Bemused it could be rebellion however it had more to do with raising two small children during the Whitlam era which changed me. I actually voted for Gough the first time but changed during that period although I did vote for Beattie around 10 years ago. I guess I am a Liberal voter who occasionally wakes up to myself and votes for the good guys.

  11. Peter Fuller @ 2303

    Interesting. Well you won’t find me in any marathons, I was never into running and a knee injury when I was 20 stopped me playing rugby and a lot of other sports. Fortunately I was also a swimmer and kept up that and waterpolo for quite a while.

    My fondest memory of Henry Bolte was a Lib election meeting at Malvern Town Hall which I attended with a lot of other protesters. There were some great placards of Bolte there.

    Funniest of all was some bloke who got into the hall and sat right up the front. Every time one of the Lib speakers said something particularly nauseating and all the Libs applauded, he would jump to his feet and unfurl a banner with words on it like “Stifled Vomiting” or “Sheeplike Noises” and hold them up to the audience.

    Of course he was eventually chucked out but it was hilarious while it lasted.

  12. Mainly the cost of living pressures of an out of control economy and inflation has on a young and struggling family bemused. It was only years later I learned to appreciate the social reforms Gough was responsible for.

  13. DavidWH,

    I’m curious about that thought.

    Firstly, I was in primary when Whitlam was around. I don’t recall there being anything particularly bad about it at the time, though I do remember the sacking. What I also remember is Howard coming as treasurer and costing my parents thousands on their home sale. As an adult I look back and what I see are Whitlam’s major reforms (despite an opposition about as bitter and unhinged as this one). Of course, I grew up with Labor parents.

    So tell me, what terrible thing happened to you under Whitlam? I mean actually happened, as opposed to the all the hysterics in the media at the time.

    And secondly, why does it matter? When presumably one might vote based on the simple question “what would this mob do.. vs.. what would that mob actually do?”.

    On that score Abbott and his goons are beyond even a simple comparison.. they’re just plain dangerous. I can’t think of one thing they have even hinted at doing that isn’t destructive or stupid.

  14. DavidWH @ 2327

    And you were oblivious to the Oil Price Shock?

    That caused similar effects around the world and Australia actually fared relatively well.

  15. Talk about desperate. This is the longest bow I’ve seen drawn for some time trying to make an improper link to somebody from the CMC to Labor.

    Almost like somebody’s second cousin’s husband’s sister in law’s brother being a Member of the ALP 230 years ago for one year. The teaser is next, followed by the Header.

    [ Labor linked to corruption watchdog ]

    [ CMC tainted by political link: LNP ]

    [ THE state’s corruption watchdog has been jolted into the election spotlight with a revelation that one of its highest ranking misconduct officials is married to a former key Labor official.

    The Courier-Mail can reveal that the Crime and Misconduct Commission’s Kathryn Ellis, who has been acting Assistant Commissioner for Misconduct for most of this year, is the spouse of Mark Nolan, a former senior adviser with the Federal ALP and the party’s former Western Australian state secretary.

    Mr Nolan is also a director, along with Labor’s state campaign manager Bruce Hawker, in the company Campaigns and Communications, which has been on the Labor payroll.

    The revelation comes as the CMC continues to probe business dealings during the period when LNP leader Campbell Newman was Brisbane’s Lord Mayor. Mr Newman is trying to win the seat of Ashgrove and become premier in eight days. ]

    I know it technically should be on the Qld thread, but because of the tenuous and Aust wide so-called connection, it surely deserves a spot here.

  16. [ gusface
    Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    sloppy is getting HUGE

    and I mean HUGE]

    Mr Creosote?

  17. Mainly the cost of living pressures of an out of control economy and inflation has on a young and struggling family bemused. It was only years later I learned to appreciate the social reforms Gough was responsible for.

    I don’t disagree there were some bad economic times in the early 70s. What unfortunately gets lost is all the external factors. And of course we got there at a time when the previous government had been effectively sleeping at the wheel. I’m not saying Whitlam didn’t make mistakes. But we were an economy that suffered from a host of issues – few of us went to university. The nature of work was changing. The nature of our imports and exports. And so on. Plus it was a whole different world back then. Lots of tariffs, a non-independent Reserve Bank and so on. Huge issue. But one thing is for sure, I very much doubt the conservatives with their do-nothing attitude would have made it any better.

  18. gusface,


    but u are a fairweather lab supporter anyways

    why so angry? ]

    Blimey Gus! Ease up on the Helium.

    Never voted anything except labor all my life. never will.

    Not angry at all. A bit tired though & intend to hit the sack directly.

    ps; On a promise, I think! 😉

  19. Cud Chewer and bemused it was the cost of living pressures with inflation pretty well out of control. It was a really tough struggle. At one stage I was doing a morning milk run as well a working full time and studying at night. It probably wasn’t all Whitlam’s fault and I probably blamed him unfairly but it sort of got burned in my brain.

    Often these things don’t make sense they just happen.

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