Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition

A bad result for the government in the latest fortnightly Newspoll, with the Coalition’s two-party lead out from 54-46 to 57-43. The primary votes are 28 per cent for Labor (down three) and 47 per cent for the Coalition (up four). Julia Gillard at least has the consolation that her personal ratings have improved from the previous fortnight’s dismal result, with her approval up three to 31 per cent and disapproval down four to 58 per cent. Tony Abbott’s ratings are unchanged at 32 per cent approval and 58 per cent disapproval, and there is likewise essentially no change on preferred prime minister (Gillard leads 40-37, up from 39-37).

Another consolation for Labor is the possibility that a bit of static might be expected from a poll conducted over the same weekend as a state election such as the one in Queensland. They can be fortified in this view by the fact that their standing improved in this week’s Essential Research poll, the most recent weekly component of which was conducted over a longer period than Newspoll (Wednesday to Sunday rather than Friday to Sunday). Very unusually, given that Essential is a two-week rolling average, this showed a two-point shift on two-party preferred, with the Coalition lead shrinking from 56-44 to 54-46. Given that Essential spiked to 57-43 a fortnight ago, and the sample which sent it there has now washed out of the rolling average, this is not entirely surprising. Labor’s primary vote is up two to 34 per cent, and the Coalition’s is down one to 47 per cent. Further questions featured in the poll cover the economy, its prospects, best party to handle it and personal financial situation (slightly more optimism than six months ago, and Labor up in line with its overall improvement since then), job security, Kony 2012, taking sickies and the impact of the high dollar.

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.

3,757 comments on “Newspoll: 57-43 to Coalition”

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  1. Hi

    Possibly stupid question, but where could I find the most recent averaging of all the federal polls? I’m wondering if eg the latest Essential and Newspoll actually mean that flatlining is continuing?



  2. Newspoll shifted dramatically in favour of Coalition and
    Essential shifted dramatically in favour of ALP

    …but in the end they are within a rounding of each other in the TPP.

    I suspect the previous Essential (57-43) was an outlier and so was the previous Newspoll (53-47) and both are returning to the longterm trend (I suspect the next pollytics trend will be 55-45).

  3. Just as well, as someone has said, the Federal election was not last weekend!

    However, this far out, the polls are of only modest value. Of course, the Australian will see it otherwsie.

    Has there ever been a time when both leaders have been viewed with not much enthusiasm? I wonder which party will break first and go for a “popular” leader?

    While it might be that the PM is sort of safe, the trouble she faces is the low PV.

    Also, it seems 25% of the electorate are in the “Other” category – among which, I would think are the missing 8% of so-called Labor voters who can’t quite come at voting Labor.

    What an odd situation.

  4. [Very unusually, given that Essential is a two-week rolling average, this showed a two-point shift on two-party preferred,]

    So Possum’s observations about the volatility of cross-pollster results are plausible? It certainly feels that way given the differences of various pollster results in the last few months.

  5. sprocket_

    [ Possum Comitatus ‏ @Pollytics

    @GrogsGamut That’s actually a pretty uber-fucking-bizarro thing to happen

    Possum Comitatus ‏ @Pollytics

    Cross-pollster volatility is up the wazoo at the moment.They’re all off in different directions, different magnitudes, diff personal ratings

    Possum commenting on Newspoll tonight ]

    Looks like Possum is into the same cheap wine that I’m struggling to finish off! 😉

  6. Gillard, being in government, has the opportunity to improve her personal polling figures. Abbott doesn’t have that opportunity.

  7. I’d like to see the state breakdowns of the Newspoll for a QLD or mining state anomaly.
    Certainly good news about ppm.
    I reckon Bailleau is our biggest asset right now and Jay W is doing a really good job in SA which will help our comeback.
    When is Neilsen due out? That should really show the trend.
    BTW how on the nose is Abbott the mad buggers should be miles in front if it wasn’t for him being such a full on Goose!

  8. Sorry, double checked my figures, and it would be a 62 seat majority if translated into a nationwide swing not 56 as I stated in the previous thread.

  9. adam abdool,

    [ God help us if Barnaby becomes deputy PM. What a terrible performance on LL. ]

    The libs are probably thinking the same thing! 😉

    Has anyone ever seen a “good” performance from Barnaby Rubble?

    I think he has been playing the class clown for so long now, he doesn’t know any better.

  10. So Katter’s party pulled a bit of Labor’s vote off, especially in the regions, in the Qld election. Is it possible we may see this flow through to federal polling numbers, going specifically to the Others, but with preferences ultimately coming back to Labor but not being reflected in the two party preferred?

  11. [gusface
    Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    if it was only 9% of the vote, then you could chortle

    otherwise you just look stupid]

    Someone who predicted an ALP win on Greens preferences at the Qld election should probably not be throwing that word around Gus.

  12. I wouldn’t put too muck stock into this individual poll. It could be a rogue skewed by the gravity of QLD.


    If it is a rogue, the real numbers are probably still around 54-46 which is not good news for Labor at all. I know, 18 months and all that, but it’s still a bad position to be in against an opposition leader the public clearly do not care for.

    But, as already stated, 18 months to go. Anything’s possible.

  13. ML from previous thread

    You do not usually come out with inane and stupid comments.

    I have plenty of friends who misguidedly vote Liberal but I don’t hold that against them any more than I hold it against you!

    It is just the rank nut cases who turn up here and leave their calling cards like a dead mouse on the door step, who give me the habjabs.

  14. [ Sorry, double checked my figures, and it would be a 62 seat majority if translated into a nationwide swing not 56 as I stated in the previous thread. ]

    Ah! That’s all right then. I think we can handle that ok! 😉

  15. [Sorry, double checked my figures, and it would be a 62 seat majority if translated into a nationwide swing not 56 as I stated in the previous thread.]
    All academic and pretty useless really.

  16. Mod Lib,

    [Don’t fear scorpio, that would never happen federally.

    ….would it? ]

    All going well, I won’t live long enough to find out.

    And I’m not in much of a hurry to get wheeled out the door feet first! 😉

  17. I think it was Finnigans and Zoomster in the Queesnland tread who made the good point that actually compared to Qld Labor over near 3 years, Federal Labor is much closer (ie at around 45-46%) to being able to make up the difference in the next year & half.

    The only question mark tho’ – has the electorate like NSW & Qld, already made up it mind, and won’t be shifting?


  18. William Bowe,

    [ I would expect Labor’s polling trend would have ticked down a bit since the leadership challenge. ]

    Yeah, I was thinking that the polls in the interim have been a bit early to pick up any adverse or otherwise effect from that.

    Although I would think any effect will be very short term with so many other things happening that will catch people’s attention.

    Saturday night for one.

  19. William:
    If ALP voters are now going to Katter we won’t be seeing their preferences flow back to Labor in the two party preferred – they’ll be languishing in the Others column and mostly going to the Libs.

    Sorry, I know there’s a bunch of assumptions in there and not much to do about it when using the preference flows from the previous election. Also, this particular poll has direct changes in the primary vote so it’s probably not applicable. Maybe something to consider for the future?

  20. [zoidlord
    Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink
    Seems to me that Labor at Federal level is stable-slowly increasing.]

    Stable and slowly decreasing you mean surely?

    Since Pollytics last trend in early Feb which had ALP @ 54 there have been
    Essentials: 56-56-57-56-54
    A Galaxy and Neilsen: 53 and 54 I think
    Newspolls: 55-53-57

    (and I assume the trend doesn’t include Morgan F2f, it certainly shouldn’t, and there haven’t been any Morgan phone polls)

    So there is no way the trend will stay at 54, it has to head towards 55…

  21. And in relation to the volatility it should not be forgotten we are essentially half-way through the current term.

    The Oz political scene has just been so dynamic that I suspect that the populace are actually bemused to the point of shutting off.

    They know they don’t like the Carbon thingy as they have been told this by the conservative media and the opposition, they think that maybe the MRRT is not such a bad idea (except in WA and Queensland where it is seen as some kind of larceny) while there is grudging acceptance if not admiration for the PM. Loved she is not. They are realizing that ‘stopping the boats’ is more than saying ‘stop the boats and the kind of realise that Oz is doing a lot better than other places.

    The Oz electorate certainly does not like Tony Abbott and really don’t want him a PM though they might suffer him, perhaps.

    Meanwhile, according to the poll, 25% of the vote is in “Other”. Conventionally, these are spread between the parties but as this group is getting to a sizeable one, I wonder if this is not telling us something else? That is, people really don’t know who they want and what they want – other than the glued on supporters of either the tories or Labor.

    I sense a long way to go yet. Abbott must feel every day that his chances might just become a little less definite. Eighteen months in and as far away from government as he started.

    Worse, who knows what is around the corner which will tip the “Other” and 8% missing Labor vote away from him?

  22. [Meanwhile, according to the poll, 25% of the vote is in “Other”.]

    25% other is not that unusual (given that you are lumping Greens with other).

    Previously the Coalition would get at least 10% of that, but the point is, from a 47% base they only need 3% to win government.

  23. [Has anyone ever seen a “good” performance from Barnaby Rubble?]


    Barnaby was interviewed on ABC radio this morning and was asked about his move to the HoR , in particular Bruce Scott’s seat.

    Barnaby said he’s always been clear that he’d seek to contest his existing ‘electorate’ in the House, then where he’d been born (or grown up, can’t remember), but would ultimately leave it to the members of whatever the Nationals’ equivalent of preselection is.

    Very different from his assertive claims last year that being born/raised/whatever in Windsor country meant he’d naturally seek preselection there (or wtte). I wonder if Barnaby has been delivered a rude shock about his chances of winning preselection for New England, hence the targetting of Maranoa?

  24. [zoidlord
    Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
    @Mod Lib

    I wouldn’t call that a decrease.]

    Going from 46% TPP to 45% TPP is quite a significant decrease actually, because it is factoring in a dozen polls or so.

    It is different to looking at 1 poll with its individual margin of error. Particularly given the polls are universally showing a gap of at least 6% in TPP terms (its just that some are showing a gap of up to 13%). There is no volatility showing it being even stevens in any poll, and hasn’t been for a year, with who knows how many dozens of polls that is.

  25. Mod Lib:

    In yet another poll the coalition appear on track for an election win.

    Given your publicly declared objections to most, if not all of the Abbott-Credlin-Loughnane agenda, this must fill you with horror.

  26. I had logged off and was going to bed, but you have reeled me back in!

    [Given your publicly declared objections to most, if not all of the Abbott-Credlin-Loughnane agenda, this must fill you with horror.]

    I am banking on a Turnbull take-over before the next election. If that happens a NSW / Qld result is on the cards and it would be the ALP worst nightmare…

    If it doesn’t happen and Abbott goes to the election he will win comfortably, but not in the NSW / Qld ilk, and then he will be dumped for a Turnbull Sinodinis dream team.

  27. This is the really odd bit. Late Feb, Gillard takes a Newspoll hit of 13 points to her second worst result ever (netsat) when there’s a leadership stoush with Kevin Rudd in which Gillard’s supporters are saying some really ugly stuff about the ex-PM (for probably very sound strategic reasons in terms of the contest, but that’s another story).

    At the same time Abbott takes a hit of 10 points to his worst level ever.

    Two polls later Gillard has recovered 11 points – but Abbott hasn’t recovered a thing, he’s been -26 three Newspolls in a row.

  28. [zoidlord
    Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink
    @Mod Lib

    Not really, Abbott is flat lining while Gillard approval is going up.]

    Honestly zoidlord, this just takes my breath away.

    A little note about approvals:

    Abbott has basically beaten Gillard on net Approvals for 12 months in the Newspolls (apart from 2 polls were she just sneaked in front by a few points).

    Gillard’s approval ratings are appalling. Yes, she increased a notch or two, but (reality check) she is on 31%!!!!!!

    31% approval means she is barely getting approval from rusted on ALP voters.

    Yes Abbott is not getting approval either, but he is a LOTO, who almost always have low approvals, right up until they become Prime Ministers.

  29. I still maintain a high “Other” means uncertainty.

    What the polls come down to are 60-70% are prepared to make a call on their vote, and who could rely on this anyway, there is another 30%, by and large, not even willing to make a call.

    Now I know full well that all kinds of assumptions can be made about where this 30% may or may not go, but when we already factor in a 4-6% MOE and that more than half the electorate do not even decide which way they are going to vote until election day, I am at least careful about being too definite about what 56-44 says or 43-57 says or even 50-50.

    I think it would be fair to say however, as in Queensland, a week out from a federal poll and it was 60-40 for the coalition, there would be a likelihood they would win.

    However, at points say 54-46 upwards downwards I would not put money on anything.

  30. [I think it would be fair to say however, as in Queensland, a week out from a federal poll and it was 60-40 for the coalition, there would be a likelihood they would win.]

    The Qld and NSW results were pretty much set in stone a year in advance.

    There is no way a federal election would be as catastrophic as the recent Qld one, the nature of the seats and swings just don’t fall that way, but still, a 54-46 result federally would be one of the largest landslides in history (and we have had a few “largest in history” results recently).

  31. [zoidlord
    Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:15 am | Permalink
    @Mod Lib, read Kevin @Bonham’s post @ 41]

    Could be as easily explained as the winner gets an approval rebound and looks just that little more Prime Ministerial, but the public is sick of the party and its vote sinks.

    My approach is to look at the TPP and concentrate on that. Its where the money is.

    The rest is of academic interest, but the election is decided on TPPs not PPMs or approvals.

  32. I was not trying to suggest the polls would be like the Qld ones federally, I just posited that there is a certain inevitability about 60-40 for long periods of time and right up close to the election itself.

    You are quite right about NSW and Qld – the writing was on the wall for a long time and for a variety of reasons.

    I was trying find the source of the volatility that the poll experts are bemoaning, and I just feel the “Other” group supports a view that I have, that people are either switched off, don’t care or are just not giving federal politics that much attention.

    One can only read and reflect on what one sees and hears.

    At most social functions I attend, politics doesn’t get much of a run and it’s all pretty basic – about how much power costs have gone up and how much more the might go up, the price of petrol, what a tough job JG has, how negative Abbott is, why can’t something be done about the boat people and like topics. Interestingly, there is not a lot of passion about it all. Almost a resignation.

  33. CIA Clive has just bought himself a state, the way things are going, he’ll soon have bought himself a country.

    Wot ?
    Me Worry ?

  34. I think we can say now that the trend back to Labor has stalled and perhaps reversed a little although the leadership challenge has muddied the situation somewhat. It’s also obvious the leaders of both parties are problems for each side. If either of the majors blinks and replaces their leader it could break things decisively their way. However Labor locked themselves into Gillard in February and are basically stuck until after the next election and the Libs are unlikely to change while they hold an election lead.

    Looks like we go to the next election with two leaders neither of whom is trusted or liked.

    Still could go either way or end up locked up again.

    We need a circuit breaker but I can’t see where one will come from. I wonder if Newman is interested in leading the Libs from outside parliament.

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