Newspoll quarterly breakdown

The Australian today brings us Newspoll’s regular quarterly breakdown of its federal polling by state, sex and age group. Compared with the last quarter of 2011, it finds Labor gained a point to lead 51-49 in South Australia, was steady at 50-50 in Victoria, cut the Coalition lead in New South Wales to 54-46 from 57-43 (59-41 in the July to September quarter), and took a point out of the still enormous Coalition leads in Queensland and Western Australia, which are now at 58-42 and 56-44. The Coalition’s two-party lead in the five main capitals is steady at 53-47 and down from 57-43 to 55-45 elsewhere.

Whereas last week’s Nielsen showed a dramatic widening in the gender gap between polls conducted in late February and late March, Newspoll records no such trend between its October-to-December and January-to-March surveys, which may of course conceal a very recent shift. It is interesting to note that the expectation Tony Abbott would poll badly among women was not realised in his earliest polls as Opposition Leader, but has been over time. Breaking it down by age group, the only change which skirts the roughly 3 per cent margins of error is among the 18-34s: Labor is up four points to 33 per cent, the Coalition down four points to 37 per cent and the Greens down three to 17 per cent.

Both leaders were down three on approval in New South Wales, Julia Gillard to 29 per cent and Tony Abbott to 33 per cent, but Abbott was up five in Queensland to 40 per cent. Abbott took a knock in Western Australia to be down five on approval to 31 per cent and up three on disapproval to 56 per cent. Preferred prime minister was essentially unchanged, although a shift in Gillard’s favour in South Australia – from 40-33 to 44-32 – pokes its head above the margin of error.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, Essential Research. As tends to be the case with polls these days, it’s very, very bad news for Labor, who have suffered a two-point shift away from them on two-party preferred compared with last week’s result – with the Coalition lead now at 57-43 – which is rare given that Essential publishes a two-week rolling average. The Coalition is up two points on the primary vote to 50 per cent – a new high for them so far as Essential is concerned – with Labor down two to 31 per cent and the Greens steady on 11 per cent.

Further attitudinal questions show 73 per cent believe the government should delay returning the budget to surplus if that’s what is required to maintain services and invest in infrastructure, with only 12 per cent supporting cuts to services and tax increases to restore the budget surplus. Although it may be that many respondents can instead be restored by “economic management” 28 per cent blame the present government’s lack of it for the present deficit, with 59 per cent choosing four other options available (16 per cent showing awareness of “lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis”).

On the question of Tony Abbott’s proposed childcare rebate for nannies, 44 per cent are in favour and 33 per cent opposed. Sixty-eight per cent support means testing as a general principle, while 24 per cent believe “people should receive the same subsidies and benefits regardless of income”. A “party best at” question draws the intriguingly dissonant response of a 12-point advantage to Labor on “representing the interests of Australian working families”, but a 6-point advantage to Liberal on “representing the interests of you and people like you”.

Finally, 78 per cent of respondents believe workers should get a “higher hourly rate” on weekends against only 18 per cent opposed, though how much higher exactly remains a subject for further investigation.

UPDATE (16/4): This week’s Essential Research has the Coalition’s two-party lead narrowing from 57-43 to 56-44, from primary votes of 48% for the Coalition (down two), 31% for Labor (steady) and 11% for the Greens (steady). Also featured are Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which have Julia Gillard’s approval steady at 32% and her disapproval down three to 58%, Tony Abbott’s respectively up two to 38% and down two to 50%, and Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister shifting from 40-37 to 38-36. Support for the National Broadband Network is up a point since February to a new high of 57% with opposition down three to 22%, and 46% saying they will either definitely or probably sign up for it. There is also a question on appropriate areas for federal and state responsibility, with the states only coming out heavily on top for public transport and “investing in regional areas”.

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.

5,086 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdown”

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  1. As I’ve said elsewhere, there has to be a few percent of voters who for one reason or another (primarily climate denial) are simply so emotionally reactive that there is no space in their mind for rational analysis. Tony has a firm hold of this group.

    If Labor are to win, they have to stop just giving good governance and hope people sit up and pay attention, they have to go back to basics, and tackle head on a bunch of very basic ideas.. Ideas like..

    There is no such thing as climate change..
    The NBN is one big spend (ignoring the revenue stream it will generate)
    Nauru solved the boat people problem (and there were no boats)
    The pink batts made your house burn down – when the opposite is true.
    And so on.

    Have a look at this web site..

    And check out the list.. In there you’ll find a host of things that lots of ordinary guys believe that are simply fact less. Labor needs to deal directly with those if its to snap some of the Abbott voters back to reality.

    Or put it another way. My theory is a lot of the people who are intensely emotionally anti-Labor are there because of specific emotional triggers, and what they then do is latch onto a whole bunch of “reasons” for disliking Labor. Its not that they’ve really thought about it, or challenged their own assumptions, its that there’s something that’s triggered a response emotionally (yes, boat people too) and then the rest is just an excuse.. a cover.. for that response.

    I say knock the lies down one by one. Force people to step back and think.

  2. cut the Coalition lead in New South Wales to 54-46 from 57-43 (59-41 in the July to September quarter)

    NSW is interesting; have the voters just about had a gutful of their state Liberal gov’t, buyer’s remorse?

  3. Puff, I doubt it. I don’t think there’s been enough time for people to get to know the new government. I think its more a case of anger assuaged and now what the hell was that about.

  4. There is some talk of the Daily Telegraph running a campaign against OFarrell over the second airport issue – plugging the pro airport side, but even then their article was pretty sensible and fact based (unlike a lot of Labor attack articles).

    My guess is this might be clever politics actually aimed at Federal Labor and their stance against Badgery’s Creek.

  5. Bluegreen , what will happen when your wonder boy kills off 12,000 PS jobs ? Remember Wayne Swan was ” World’s Greatest Treasurer in 2011 ” and front runner for 2012 and he listens to the advice he gets from treasury and made the right choice with the GFC . Interest rates are always lower under Labor and taxes lower. Labor doesn’t listen to Caterers about money matters.

  6. After a quick squiz at the breakdowns the interesting point I noticed was the growth of the ‘uncommitteds’ which suggests some people are parking and not yet willing to move right across. This is a garden to be harvested by any of the parties. And did I see a big drop in the Better Pm for abbott in the over 50’s group? 45-39-40?

  7. [Have a look at this web site..

    And check out the list.. In there you’ll find a host of things that lots of ordinary guys believe that are simply fact less. Labor needs to deal directly with those if its to snap some of the Abbott voters back to reality.]

    Cud chewer, I hate to be the one to break this to you mate, but that site you linked is little to do with “ordinary guys” who have a few problems with facts and who may be turned around with a few truths about the Government’s performance and policies.

    It’s a wingnut special: The Self-Styled No Carbon Tax Team.

    According to their own ‘About us’ page,

    [We are several private citizens, unaffiliated with any political party….. (who) support the widespread community desire for an early election due to this government’s unprecedented incompetent administration of our country and the damage they are causing to our economy, our international reputation and our social institutions.]

    This manifesto is signed Anne Easby and
    one Michael C58.

    A quick Google of Anne Easby reveals her to one of the organisers of the Sydney No Carbon Tax Rally

    (A video uploaded to You Tube by The Australian Tea party in July last year)

    In fact, according to this Menzies House press release, she was one of the “Spokespersons” for the No carbon tax mob at that, ahem….supposedly 10,000 person rally.

    She also apears to be one of the movers and shakers of the Just Grounds Movement rather than being some babe in the woods, ‘unaffiliated private citizen.’ Here’s her Just Grounds page:

    Link onto ‘About Just Grounds’ on the top menu and you get into the good stuff.

    I’d recommend a quick dekko at “Out Political Foundations”, about half way down the menu on the right side of the page. There’s rants about shady Government plots to take away this or that liberty, thinly veiled religious nuttery, half-baked and/or completely uninformed comments about the Constitution and so-on.

    It’s a real eye-opener.

    Sorry, but you’ve been sucked-in mate.

    Ordinary citizens, right.

    They’re wingnuts.

  8. I spent a bit of time posting on the nutter trucker site before their convoy rally and I can attest that no self respecting wingnut would be seen within cooee of those rabid delusional feral bloody-minded haters. A wingnut would be to commie for them. You could not tempt them out of their right-wing crazy-cage with all the gold Costello sold nor the repealing of every law they hate. They would just bite your hand off and whinge that it wasn’t salted.

  9. [It’s a wingnut special: The Self-Styled No Carbon Tax Team.]

    I’m aware its a wingnut special. The reason I brought it up though is that I’ve seen the exact same things on its “labor failures” list show up time and again in ordinary conversation, and just tonight it showed up as a comment on WhirlPool forums.

  10. [According to the latest analysis of Newspoll surveys taken between January and March this year exclusively for The Australian, Labor’s slight recovery in the last quarter of last year has been wiped out.]

    How does Mr Shanahan figure this out?

  11. morning all. after last night’s effort pell should be immediately be relieved of his post – imo he is an embarrassment and unfit to represent the catholic church.

  12. Well, Gerard races to the rear straight out of the starting gates. Seems he’s worried that the All Negative Abbott will turn into another Lefty Darling Fraser.

    His first balanced, non-partisan, even-handed paragraph:

    [Supporters hope Abbott PM will be Fraser with teeth
    These days, Malcolm Fraser is much beloved by the left. As readers of Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs (which Fraser co-wrote with the leftist journalist Margaret Simons) will know, the former Liberal prime minister now receives standing ovations from sandal-wearing intelligentsia at taxpayer-subsidised literary festivals.]

    Read more:

    Counting chickens seems to be all the rage nowadays, but there’s a distinct element of self-reinforcement in it. If they’re so sure the Coalition will win, why do they feel the need to keep repeating it?

    It’s very rare to see any discussion of policy in these articles, just the “Abbott will win” mantra repeated over and over again.

  13. See right on que

    These so called polls , the same repetitive material over and over

    Its to take away the leadership tension in the liberal party

    Abbott is gone within 4 months

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    This is an interesting article on organ donation rates. It points to differences country to country.
    A rather beautiful contribution from Dick Gross.
    Ah. So THIS is what the Coalition means by the word “productivity”.
    This could get interesting.
    Bruce Petty conflating the Titanic and global warming.
    Alan Moir on the departure of US from Afghanistan.
    Ron Tandberg. Think about it.

  15. Morning bludgers

    From the SMH.

    Here’s some bad news for BOF:

    Seems that Labor had been spending a mozza on NSW Rail infrastructure (like a major clearways program) but with little obvious improvement, something BOF managed to milk for mileage in the run up to the NSW election.

    Of course, that little ‘expectations problem’ is his now. And it’ll build a good head of steam as he faces the same impossibilities and hard choices his predecessors did. That’s the problem with encouraging expectations.

    They come back at ya.

    Then there’s this:

    It’s flexibility time in the workplace people, so bend-over and adopt the position.

    Seems the National Retail Association want to extend 90 the minute minimum casual employment callout from students working down at Brumbys Bread to other Retail FWA Awards, too. Lucky workers.

    Welcome to the Tory future.

    You losers.

  16. [How does Mr Shanahan figure this out?]

    Take your mother’s birthdate, multiply by John Howard’s favourite number, and divide by zero.

  17. If this is not a preparing for the resurrection of Serfchoices then my name is not The Finnigans.

    [Battle lines drawn over workplace flexibility – EMPLOYERS have expanded their push to cut minimum working hours – in one case to as little as 90 minutes a day for school students – and to slash weekend pay for casuals.

    They are also moving to abolish evening penalty rates and to narrow the definition of shift work, according to submissions to a review of the awards system being conducted by Fair Work Australia.

    Unions, after analysing more than 200 applications to the review, have accused employers of ”merely laying the foundation” for a future Abbott government to cut wages and conditions.]

    Read more:

  18. [I just DON’T understand what makes the USA tick sometimes.]

    BK, this is: because the point of a gun was the only law that USA understood.

  19. Sure, but does he understand them:

    [Q&A host Tony Jones teased him out. “Do you think if you really got to know some gay men you might change your opinion?”

    “I do know some gay people – extremely well,” Abbott bit back. As the audience chuckled he reached across the desk to clutch Jones’s arm. “I really do, mate, OK?” He acknowledged that, at different times, he might have reacted a bit poorly to the issue. “But I hope I would always find it in my heart to treat people the way everyone should be treated – with dignity and respect. And I think people who know me well, who are gay, would be only too happy to testify to that.”]

  20. Time for Labor to move on media reform. The right wing media propaganda machine i out of control. Bring back clearly listed opinion separate from news. That would mean no more Shanahan opinion pieces on polls. Instead, it would just be a note. Slight movement within margin of error. Then the poll results laid out.
    Labor and the Greens have the numbers. Time to move. After a week of furor the laws will pass and propaganda will be massively reduced.

  21. Facebook bought Instagram $1B, for what? Another sheer social media madness & bubble. Esp both have not make any REAL profits as yet

  22. Is Penberthy writing about politics here?

    [The fact that people care about this issue at all suggests we have all got far too much time on our hands, and are in desperate need of something serious to worry about. ]

    Not quite, but he might well be.

    The National Whinge-a-thon continues today with Colebatch predicting gloom and doom, indeed a recession in the offing, as Swan goes for a surplus.

    This tells me that Colebatch and all the other economic gurus think Swan’s going to achieve it, and they’re not happy at all.

    We never heard a peep out of them when Costello racked up excess after excess. And when we avoided a GFC recession, Colebatch joined his mates in happily telling us we had one anyway by telling us it was “the vibe”, no matter what the metrics said.

    Of course, if we do make it into the black, it won’t be a “proper” surplus, “So why bother anyway?” he asks. This is Tim’s best scenario: Swan goes into surplus by number shuffling and column shifting, not by cutting back for real.

    Whew! Then Tim can tell us we’re saved from Labor’s mindless cost-cutting AND slag Swan off for not surplusing all in one.

    Seems Mr. Colebatch just doesn’t like surpluses when Labor achieves them. There’s always a certain je ne sait quoi about Labor. Dodgy bunch of chaps. Never get it quite right. Shame really.

    Penberthy is right: we do seem to be in desperate need of something serious to worry about, if arguing that a surplus in the middle of a boom, getting business to pull its socks up and quite whingeing and wailing is not quite the done thing (but only if it’s Labor that doing it).

  23. morning all


    Here is a picture of this Samantha person. I must need glasses. I cant see the beauty. Is this a practical joke?

  24. Good Morning Bludgers!

    I hope you all had a fantastic time with family and friends over the Easter holiday.


    Love Moir’s take this morning. Spot on.

  25. Another one to add to BK’s Only In America collection:
    [Under Arizona’s H.B. 2036, the state would recognize the start of the unborn child’s life to be the first day of its mother’s last menstrual period. ]
    So, in the case where a woman becomes pregnant from a one night stand, the baby will be deemed to have been conceived before the mother and father even knew of each other’s existence.

    Well may we say God save the Queen, because nothing will save the United States of America (apologies to Gough).

  26. The state breakdowns show Qld and WA as basket cases for Labor. Labor legislated a flood levy to help Qld rebuild. What is their frickin probelm?

  27. Meguire Bob

    Bludgers spent a year predicting the demise of Abbott. Still has not happened. His job will become harder after July 1 when the public realise the sky has not fallen, and pressure will begin to mount. Hs minders will continue to focus the debate on the agenda they set. Will it be gay marriage or nannies? Perhaps there is another topic ready to be trotted out after July 1

  28. victoria,

    Nice and relaxing. Kept away from my keyboard and had a ball with the cherubs. I am chilled and relaxed.

  29. BK

    The most mind-boggling part of this is, it’s always men who are coming up with these moronic laws. If it was women legislating them, you’d stand back and say, “They know what’s best for them, let them get on with it”.

    There is some deep set psychological problems involved here that even standard mysoginy can’t explain.

  30. Joe de Bruyn’s on fire today:

    [Union boss backs nanny subsidies
    THE head of the nation’s biggest union has called on Labor to subsidise nannies for families who want childcare in their own homes, arguing that the current system discriminates against them.

    Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association national secretary Joe de Bruyn told The Australian the childcare rebate should be extended to cover in-home care, and if the Gillard government was concerned the subsidy would be exploited by the rich, it should impose a means test. The childcare rebate allows families to claim 50 per cent of approved childcare costs up to $7500 a child. It is not means-tested.

    Mr de Bruyn said: “I think the system we have at the moment is extremely discriminatory in that depending on what type of childcare you use, you may or may not get a benefit. For example, people who make their own arrangements through families, friends, neighbours do not get any benefit whatsoever. It’s only when you use the so-called formal childcare of established centres that there is a benefit.]

    And therein lies the rub, Joe. It’s not just the income of the parent that might need means-testing, it’s how you make sure that “families, friends, neighbours” aren’t in on the rort.

    It’s taxpayers’ money, Joe. It’s lovely that Granny comes over to look after little Nicholas and Jemima, or that we can send them next door to that nice Mrs. Jones (famous for her peanut butter sandwiches)… but why in hell should we pay them for it?

    Child care is for people who don’t have a family member, a friend or a neighbour to muck in and do the community thing. Chilcare subsidies are an extra, not a lifestyle choice.

    And while Mrs. Brown might make great sangers, what about her shady brother who comes over and spends so much time with the kiddywinks? We don’t know where he came from or is coming from. Sure, he’s probably OK, but if taxpayers’ money is going to support him and his sister looking after the neighbourhood’s kids we need to make sure he’s OK, y’know, not a pedophile or some other kind of creep.

    We also need to know that public money isn’t paying for a housekeeper, masquerading as a nanny.

    [“Put the kids outside in the sandpit and then do a couple of loads of washing will you love? Oh, and there’s the grocery shopping to be done. I just didn’t have time. There’s a list on the kitchen bench. Gotta run. Kiss-kiss-bye!”]

    Hadley’s whingers would really have something to whinge about if they caught onto that kind of rort.

    OH&S? Minimum pay? Working conditions? Training? First aid qualifications? These are all regulated – as they should be when the public purse is opened to pay for child care – but how are we going to make sure the whole thing doesn’t fall in a heap when “families, friends, neighbours” get their hands on the dough?

    What if three or four neighbours pool resources to set up their own unofficial creche? That’d be a de facto child-minding centre – unregulated and unsupervised – by stealth, wouldn’t it? Is the government going to pay for that? Is the government going to cop the blame when something really, really bad happens to one of the moppets?

    [Pool tragedy dominates debate
    The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, furiously attacked the minister, accusing her of “industrial manslaughter” in relation to the death of three-year-old Nicholas Jones in a swimming pool tragedy in Sydney’s outer west on Monday…]

    And what about the excess cash, paid on a single family basis, now spread over several families with proportionately reduced overheads? How’s that nice little lurk going to be divvied up?

    Having a private nanny sounds like a great idea until you start thinking it through, Joe. There are compliance issues, industrial relations issues and you’d need an army of inspectors to make sure that thousands of private households aren’t ripping off the taxpayers who can’t afford a nanny, even if the are subsidized, or don’t need one.

    If a Mum can afford one, or organize one for the odd day, then nothing’s stopping her, or ever has, but we shouldn’t substitute the public tit for the real thing and expect anything like equity to come out the other end.

  31. [The state breakdowns show Qld and WA as basket cases for Labor. Labor legislated a flood levy to help Qld rebuild. What is their frickin probelm?]

    Millionaire broadcasters Alan Jones and Ray Hadley convinced them that the Spirit of Great Aussie Mateship demanded that the $8 billion required be collected via school fetes, $5 donations from old ladies, and sausage sizzles.

    No worries that this would have required an average donation of $347 from every man woman and child in the country, the 2GB Dream Factory told us that Federal Aid to the states for disasters was Un-Australian.

    The mugs fell for it, as they always do. They really are sheep.

    Then we had stories of how the money was spent either too quickly or too slowly. The Courier-Mail and Daily Telegraph ran these on alternating days, just so that everyone who felt the need for a whinge got their go.

  32. Victoria, bob maquire, is probaly hearing stuff,

    Nsw, is the key, of course they are dissapoined allready, you dont go from that, to that now, without goodod reason,

  33. BB

    This nanny issue really needs to be dealt with by the govt. Gillard should commission a productivity report, and see what it comes up with.

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