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. I bet Possums pollytrend continues to show a flat line around the 54.5% level. It’s been remarkably stable for many months now.

    Nothing to see here.

  2. Last post before bed:

    If its 47-28-11 Greens and therefore 14 others, its lucky the TPP wasn’t 58-42 actually.

    (yes I know, rounding, but on the face value figures its 57.6:42.4 by my calculations)

    Good night all.

  3. @Mod Lib you’re still trashing the Fed Labor regardless what anyone else will say.

    @DavidWH – I think this is small outliner – reaction towards QLD Election.

  4. [but Abbott hasn’t recovered a thing, he’s been -26 three Newspolls in a row.]

    He is stagnating, and has been for a while now.

  5. Anythang here who predicts a landslide to the neocons federally has certainly got their hands on it.NSW, Vic & Queerlander govs will remind enough of us why these knuckle draggers are untrustworthy ,spineless spivs. Ah Queensland, sunny one day,AGW victims the next

  6. Comic Gold from Franklin. Loving the brand stuff.

    [LABOR hopes that voter contempt for its brand is confined to Queensland have been shattered by the latest Newspoll, which shows the party’s national support has plunged close to the record lows returned in the weekend’s election rout.
    The latest Newspoll survey reveals that federal Labor’s primary support has dropped three percentage points to 28 per cent in the past fortnight just one point above the 26.9 per cent figure achieved in its devastating loss in Queensland.]

  7. DavidWH

    Made the same point myself a few post back.

    It is an odd situation where the electorate does not seem to have a high regard for either leader.

    On the one hand, as some have pointed out, a poorly performing leader of a party leading in the poll, is not of itself electoral death.

    On the other hand, the incumbent tends to get the “devil we know” vote as we saw many times with Howard.

    I do myself wonder which party will make the jump to a “popular” leader?

    While I would like to see JG see it through to the election as she is a tough cookie, if a Turnbull came on the scene, and despite his Grech affair, he would have the “look” and “sound” of a traditional PM.

    Meanwhile if Rudd was resurrected from the dead, he has, in the past, captured the interest of the Australian people – many of who feel cheated in the way he was deposed – and has wiped the floor with Abbott in debate and in parliament.

    A tough call.

  8. Zoidlord probably but based on Essential, Morgan and Newspoll there are signs of a small move back to the Coalition. At best for Labor they have leveled out at 54/46.

    I think both the leadership war and QLD make it hard to be confident about much so we probably need a few more weeks of polls.

  9. I think the sheer size of the LNP victory in Qld will be giving Labor MPs conniptions (ie sending out for additional Poise).

    I suspect the next election in Tas will give Labor a walloping too.

    I think it is possibly a bit early for any adverse Newman effect to show up federally (he can expect a honey moon effect for 6 – 9 months) and O’Farrell is not scaring the horses. Baillieu on the other hand??? seems pretty dopey.

  10. Poss has tweeted that Newspoll has been the most volatile of pollsters over the last 18nths.

    Which pollster has been the most stable?

  11. And another thing from the OO………when it suits them……..the emphasis on Labor’s poll vote when it is down, while emphasis on Preferred Leader when it is going up.

    At least they are consistent.

    Unfortunately for the conservatives, there is no federally election, all other things being equal, for 18 months. In some respects the polls don’t matter – though it would be better for morale for Labor if higher.

    Mind you, Newspoll is not the only story in town but it does get the full treatment on the ABC. I wonder why?

  12. OC

    Others is high but includes independents, Katter, FF, DLP etc. I think that others are normally about 4% and the assorted tiny parties about 3-5%. Seems that Katter is attracting 5-7% (I think he got 11% in Qld)

  13. OC

    Even with just Q, they have 20% of our population. 11% of that gives him 2% to start with. He’s prob got some NSW support as well.

  14. News flash: Abbott is not going anywhere, as long as the Coalition are well in the lead. Regardless of his personal ratings, the Coalition will be hesitant to do anything to jeopardise that lead.

    Turnbull will not be Liberal leader again. His party room doesn’t want him and, really, there is nothing about his leadership record to suggest he’d be a wise choice.

  15. If the polling stays this strong for the LNP and Katter support is still high Labor will probably go to the polls in June 2013 – to avoid a senate election.

    I think realistically when thinking timing it must be recognised that we are probably 15 months from an election, with a possibility of stretching to 18 months. I think the chances of going beyond September 2013 are small – public reaction is likely to be hostile to going much over the 3 years.

  16. OC

    Just setting the scenario of “what if” regarding a leadership change – point made by DavidWH.

    I could only think of Turnbull as a surrogate for Abbott. Who else have they got?

    It is Abbott who is helping keep Labor in the game and I just wondered what the reaction would be from Labor to changed leadership in the Libs.

    Quite frankly another leadership change by Labor would be a disaster as the party would have no credibility at all. Ipso facto it is not just a leadership change but a policy change would have to be in the offing as well.

    If Labor did change course on its hard won policies it would deserve to be deserted by its friends as well.

    I am happy for Labor to go on putting policies in place. Just so easy for the conservatives at the moment as all they have is “No”. If after an election campaign they cannot convince the Oz electorate to re-elect them well so be it. That’s democracy and I guess we will all suffer the fate of Queensland but with an Upper House!

    The fools in the press are likening Queensland to the federal scene which is not the same.

  17. [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.]

    Actually the history of the last few decades is that LOTOs with poor approvals don’t become Prime Minister in that term as LOTO at all, even if they are flogging the government senseless on 2PP. Rudd’s ratings as LOTO were stratospheric, and during his winning term Howard’s median result was approve 46 disapprove 38 (netsat +8) with a worst approval of 37 and a worst netsat of -12.

    Hawke wasn’t in the job long enough for meaningful figures so if you want to find a PM with low approvals in their winning term as LOTO you’ll have to go back to at least Fraser (and I’m not sure if he fits the bill, from what I’ve seen Whitlam had quite decent ratings shortly before winning, etc).

    Of course it is fully possible that Abbott will break the mould and win despite very bad ratings (this is a bottom of the table clash after all, where the Government generally seems hellbent on losing) but it’s something worth keeping an eye on.

    I’m going to check some ratings history for successful state LOTOs.

  18. So DTT Labor will go early to a poll that they know will be a disaster to ensure that there is a half senate only election within 12 months of the poll? Not quite following the logic of this.

  19. I don’t buy the argument that state Liberal governments will scare the voters away from phony tone.

    Victoria doesn’t require the big reforms that Jeff introduced therefore the Liberals have less to upset people with and its finances are in better shape than in the early 1990s

    NSW Barry O’Farrell seems to be doing an okay job compared to how the previous let performed and I am yet to see any poll movement against him

    Queensland If the ALP win three to five seats seats next year they will be doing well.

    I think the ALP are in serious trouble federally for the economy is flat-lining (yes I know the BISCON) the government will only see an up turn in its poll numbers when we start to see it improve.

    I think we need at least half a % off interest rates by mid year and before anyone starts talking about a break out of inflation need to be mindful that due to the Chinese decision to grow slower the mining boom will slow a little and we need to use this window of opportunity to reinvigorate the non-mining economy.

    This economy slow down played a large part in the SEQ result

  20. [ Tricot Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:36 am @ 58

    While I would like to see JG see it through to the election as she is a tough cookie, if a Turnbull came on the scene, and despite his Grech affair, he would have the “look” and “sound” of a traditional PM. ]

    Malcolm Turnbull is not going to be LOTO in this term, if ever. The Liberals would more likely go for someone like Christopher Pine or Scott Morrison if Tony Abbott was removed.

    Right now the basis of the Coalition’s tactics is to call the CPRS a tax, oppose it and to allege that Julia Gillard lied about it at the last election (which in itself is a lie).

    Malcolm Turnbull has advocated an ETS for years. It’s the very policy that cost him the leadership. It’s the policy that he still believes is correct. His support for an ETS, even after his party dumped him as leader, is the reason why he’s considered a conviction politician (and goes along way to explaining his popularity IMHO). There is absolutely no way that he could become LOTO and adopt a policy opposing the CPRS. I doubt that he would do it and I think it would destrou his creditability if he tried.

    So, a Turnbull led coalition would have to drop their opposition to the CPRS (and all the associated carbon tax nonsense). That would effectively mean that their “Juliar” campaign also goes out the window.

  21. OK, here is everything I could find on Newspoll concerning the popularity histories of successful state leaders of the Opposition and their ratings during their winning terms. Bear in mind that polling in some states has been pretty sparse so it is not quite a comparable level of detail and sensitivity to bad patches as federal:


    Nick Greiner: LOpp for five years of which Newspoll has data for last two and a bit. Generally positive netsats during this time with a worst of -3 and lowest approval of 41.

    Bob Carr: LOpp for seven years (!). High uncommitted rate for first couple of years of term leading to some low positive approval scores, but worst netsat in all this time was -6 and lowest approval once the undecided rate dropped below 20 was 39 (and that during his winning election campaign). In positive territory far more often than not.

    Barry O’Farrell: LOpp for four years. High uncommitted rate throughout his time but generally positive netsat; worst netsat was -2. In last 15 months before winning, consistently with positive netsat, often over +10.


    Jeff Kennett: LOpp from 1982 to 1989 then deposed by own party. During this time polled very badly. Returned in 1991 winning a year and a half later. Only polled one positive netsat on return with a worst of -26 (Abbott’s current!) and a worst approval of 32.

    Steve Bracks: LOpp for only about half a year. Only a handful of Newspolls, all with positive netsats, most with very high undecided ratings, was +52-24?24 (net +28) just before winning.

    Ted Baillieu: LOpp for over four years. Generally positive netsats with a worst of -9 and a generally high undecided rating.


    Wayne Goss: (Question asked about satisfaction as leader of the Labor Party) Satisfaction generally way over 50 and netsats all hugely positive.

    Rob Borbidge: LOpp for a bit over four years for which Newspoll data exists for three and a bit with the question asked in the form “Leader of the Opposition” and before that with the question asked in form “Leader of the National Party”. Generally slightly negative netsats with some positives and a worst of -9 with the former wording but with one -18 with the latter wording early in term.

    Peter Beattie: LOpp for over two years. Very popular with generally >+10 netsats, dropping off as election approached to low of -3, lowest settled approval was 39.

    Campbell Newman: LOpp in all but name for almost a year. Not much data but generally +ve ratings, at first hugely so then reducing towards election.

    South Australia:

    Dean Brown: LOpp for about a year and a half. Netsat always positive and mostly hugely so, dropping to +2 as winning election approached. Approval never below 41.

    Mike Rann: LOpp for seven and a half years. Popular for about two and a half years then fairly unpopular for three and a half (worst netsat of -18 and worst approval of 30) but became more popular in leadup to winning election.

    Western Australia:

    Richard Court: LOpp for about eight months. Unpopular (22-28, 24-39, 29-47) in the three polls recorded in this time.

    Geoff Gallop: LOpp for over four years. Netsat always positive (lowest +3 and lowest approval 39 despite high undecided figure.)

    Colin Barnett: LOpp for four years, with sometimes bad ratings, then lost election. Returned as leader for less than two months before winning. Very little data for this period (found one with 40-43).

    Tasmania: There is not much Newspoll data, but:

    Michael Field: LOpp for six months before “winning” (if you call it that). Only recorded approval ratings during successful term were a 33-38 and a 34-35.

    Ray Groom: LOpp for a few months. Only recorded rating 50-23.

    Jim Bacon: LOpp for a year and a half. Only recorded rating 38-42 just before election. (Based on other examples, suspect it would have been positive if measured before this.)

    Overall: the general picture is that Opposition Leaders who go on to win at the end of their tenure (rather than in a later term) at state or federal level are generally either popular or else never too unpopular throughout their term in office, and the idea that successful opposition leaders will not be popular is an absolute myth. Examples with strong support for this view: Greiner, Carr, O’Farrell, Baillieu, Beattie, Goss, Brown, Gallop, Howard, Rudd. Many others don’t exactly contradict this but have more limited data.

    Kennett, and Rann are the only LOpps who have won who were seriously unpopular for a long time during their winning term as LOpp. In Rann’s case it was not as seriously as Abbott, in Kennett’s case it bottomed out in the same place Abbott is in now.

    Court seems to have been unpopular during his fairly brief term based on limited data while Borbidge generally fits in the not-too-unpopular group but had a fairly brief nasty patch.

    None of this is to say Abbott won’t win but it should make the point very clearly that this is not Opposition Leadership as normal.

  22. Kevin very interesting and thanks for the research.

    I recall Jeff had to survive many challenges during his time as LOpp and only lost once.

    He defeated a tired, worn out government that had the state on the skids.

  23. [Malcolm Turnbull is not going to be LOTO in this term, if ever. The Liberals would more likely go for someone like Christopher Pine or Scott Morrison if Tony Abbott was removed.]

    Morrison quite possibly, Pyne no – he would be much too easy to laugh at, it would be like Downer only sillier. Turnbull indeed has no way back that I can see. He may be fairly popular but would be unsaleable as leader as putting him there would undo the basis for most of the Libs’ successful attacks against Labor.

  24. For those interested in such matters. After 18 months of the current government:

    Bills passed in HoR 301
    . Bandt 1
    . Bob Brown 1
    . Oakeshott 1
    . Wilkie 1
    . Luke Hartsuyker 1 (not proceeded with in the Senate)
    . Government 296

    Bills passed in both houses 273
    . Bandt 1
    . Bob Brown 1
    . Oakeshott 1
    . Wilkie 1
    . Government 269

  25. Remember i tweeted this: yep, it’s Newspoll weekend, so they engineer a wipe-out in QLD 9:16 PM 25/3/12 – so surprise about current one

    The good thing is all the “BIG” distractions are now gone. on charge with the BISONs

  26. It’s very obvious now if #Newspoll is “bad” for Labor, the #MSMhacks use it to bash Labor mercilessly. If it’s “good” silence is golden

  27. oh forget to mention PM Gillard is streaking ahead in PPM 40-37, up from 39-37. Menzies House must be in total disbelief.

  28. Morning All

    Just a quick question about the question they ask about “other” – is it as direct as Labor/Liberal/National/Green/ or Other i.e. Katter/DLP/Independent??? Or is Other i.e. someone else???

    If it’s the second one – isn’t it likely to be higher due to the ‘none of the above’ voters that won’t make their mind up for another 18 months – or are they “undecided”???

    Sorry I should probably look this up myself but I’m still half asleep

  29. Gotta love the OO .Teddy Bails ditches the Victorian emissions reduction target .They call it “the latest pro-jobs policy shift”.

  30. ‘The Australian’ continues its recent sea-change in AGW science reporting. On page 4 there is an article by Cheryl Jones headed, ‘Climate scientist warns of heatwave surge.’ The report is straight down the line science reporting. The news for the inhabitants of the South-west is not good, BTW: things are probably going to get hotter, faster and more furiously than previously predicted.

    Also reported straight down the line is Mr Baillieu’s decision to dump Victoria’s carbon target. His Party supported the original legilsation. He did not announce this as a policy in the eleciton. This continues the basic Do-nothing, Denialist approach to climate action by all Australian conservative governments.

    The split in the centre-left votes amongst competing parties is already hurting badly Australia’s climate change action. State after state is dismantling direct action programs. Will it take another decade or so for the centre-left parties to, literally, get their act together? Given the visceral feelings many followers in each of the parties have for the other, I think so.

    BTW, I confidently await the commentariat, MSM journalists and shock jocks to tear Mr Baillieu a new one for his sneaky approach to undermining climate action.

    After all, AGW is the number one moral challenge for our generation.

  31. Stand by for a bogan bacchanalia. Baillieu ditches emissions reduction target. Barnaby rails against ‘extreme’ policies like green corridors, fishing exclusion zones, the NBN. Poor fellow my country.

  32. TT

    Spot on.

    While the centre-left indulges itself in slaying the enemy within, the enemy without is depradating the planet.

  33. The only constant in these polls is that both leaders are equally disliked. JG as a little buffer as preferred PM, but more or less she and Abbott are not popular. On the other hand, the coalition continue to be.

  34. p
    I trust they enjoyed it. The state government they back and the federeal opposition they back both want to give them even more.

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