Newspoll: 55-45 to Coalition; Seat of the week: Banks

GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll has strayed from the pack with its latest fornightly federal poll result, with the Coalition holding a relatively moderate lead of 55-45 on two-party preferred compared with 59-41 last time. The primary votes are 30% for Labor (up three), 45% for the Coalition (down six) and 12% for the Greens (up one). In contrast to voting intention, the leaders’ ratings are essentially unchanged: Julia Gillard is on 27% approval (down one) and 63% disapproval (steady), and Tony Abbott is on 34% (up one) and 56% (up one). Results for reaction to the budget presumably to follow shortly.

UPDATE: The regular annual Newspoll budget questions have 18% saying it will make them better off and 41% worse off (compared with 11% and 41% last year); 37% saying the Coalition would have done a better job and 42% saying they wouldn’t have (38% and 41% last year); and 37% rating it good for the economy and 37% bad (37% and 32% last year). Newspoll has been asking these questions after each budget since the 1980s, with mean results over that time of 17.2% better off and 34.9% worse off; 29.8% opposition-better and 47.4% opposition-not-better; 42.3% good for the economy and 27.6% bad. With respect to “will the budget leave you better or worse off”, the five most positive results ever recorded (with some distance between fifth from sixth) occurred consecutively from 2004 to 2008. Outside of this golden age, the mean results have been 13.5% better off and 37.9% worse off.

Today’s Essential Research had the two-party preferred at 57-43, down from 58-42 last week, from primary votes of 50% for the Coalition (steady), 30% for Labor (up one) and 11% for the Greens (steady). Also featured were Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which welittle changed on April (contra Nielsen, Tony Abbott’s net rating has actually deteriorated from minus 12 to minus 17), and responses to the budget. The most interesting of the latter questions is on the impact of the budget on you personally, working people, businesses and the economy overall, for which the respective net ratings are minus 11, plus 7, minus 33 and minus 6. All of the eight specific features of the budget canvassed produced net positive ratings, from plus 5 for reduced defence spending to plus 79 for increased spending on dental health. There was a statistical tie (34% to 33%) on the question of whether Wayne Swan or Joe Hockey was most trusted to handle the economy.

Seat of the week: Banks

A little over a week ago I promised that my Friday posts would henceforth profile a significant federal electorate, but I was diverted on Friday by the onslaught of budget polling. Today I make good the omission with an overview of the southern Sydney electorate of Banks.

Located on the outer edge of Labor’s inner Sydney heartland, Banks has been held by Labor at all times since its creation in 1949, but over the past few decades the margin has fallen below 2% on three occasions: with the defeat of the Keating government in 1996, when Mark Latham led Labor to defeat in 2004, and – most ominously for Labor – in 2010, when a sharp swing against Labor in Sydney left intact only 1.5% of a 10.4% margin (adjusted for redistribution) from the 2007 election.

Labor’s strength in the electorate is in the suburbs nearer the city in the electorate’s north, from Hurstville through Riverwood to Padstow, which is balanced by strong Liberal support in the waterside suburbs along the Georges River which forms the electorate’s southern boundary, from Blakehurst westwards through Oatley to Padstow Heights. As a knock-on effect from the abolition of Lowe, the redistribution before the 2010 election shifted the electorate substantially eastwards, exchanging areas around Bankstown for the Blakehurst and Hurstville Grove area (from Barton) and Hurstville (from Watson), which cut 1.4% from the Labor margin.

Labor’s member since 1990 has been Daryl Melham, a former barrister and member of the Left faction. Melham rose to the shadow ministry in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs portfolio after the 1996 election defeat, but quit in August 2000 in protest against his party’s decision not to oppose Queensland’s contentious native title laws. He returned after the 2001 election, but voluntarily went to the back bench after the 2004 election saying he preferred to focus on committee work. Since the current government came to power he has served as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

The Liberal candidate at the next election will be David Coleman, director of strategy and digital for Nine Entertainment, whom The Australian’s Media Diary describes as a factional moderate and “one of David Gyngell’s closest lieutenants”. Coleman won a local preselection ballot in March with 60 votes against 33 for the candidate from 2010, Ron Delezio, a businessman who came to public attention after his daughter Sophie received horrific injuries in separate accidents in 2003 and 2006.

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.

3,261 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Coalition; Seat of the week: Banks”

  1. [Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink
    You can keep the uni students, they borrow the car and return it empty of fuel.]
    well, it was worth a try
    knew I couldnt fool ya.

    and thanks for being so understanding.
    my blood was up – my only excuse.

    n2t – take care . . . of my shirt, you goose.
    you don’t know how fortunate you are.

  2. tlbd

    get a handle, watch for a while, eg penny wong was most topic after her hockey spray.

    i no longer read any papers because twitter is almost always first

    i’ll volunteer to be your first follower

    lots from here are addicted

  3. Campbell played down three phone calls between Murdoch and Blair in runup to Iraq war in 2003

    They were swapping recipes for scones.

  4. Otiose,

    I’m very happy to watch the twitter streams: qt, auspol, pollytics and anything else that looks interesting.

    I reckon about half the bludgers tweet.

  5. 4.24pm: Asked about special advisers such as in the Jeremy Hunt row, Campbell says that advisers “even as senior as I” would not have done anything without specifically checking with their employer. They are “a very personal appointment,” he adds.

  6. [Cameron Burge Cameron Burge ‏ @CameronBurge

    The only way to get to the bottom of what PJK meant is for #leveson to call him to give evidence. Sell tickets, solve Britain’s debt crisis.]

  7. Guess the editor of the Daily Telegraph will do the same to abbott before our election.

    .35pm: Jay asks Campbell about the rumours that he leaked the 2001 general election date to the Sun.

    He denies having leaked it to the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh, but says he did speak to the Sun’s former political editor almost every day as it was the runup to the election

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    It’s gotta be a quick round up this morning as I’m soon off to the flatlands all day for some coin.
    A good NewsPoll but there needs to be several more in that vein before any claims of claw back can be made.
    Katharine Murphy asks some interesting questions about Abbot.
    Alan Moir gets Sloppy perfectly!
    David Rowe with a sobering depiction of the Greek crisis and what it might do to the German dominated Eurozone.

  9. morning all
    how dare our treasurer help aussie families? spoiling news ltd’s party? popeye coming up on rn breakfast to trash schoolkids bonus – interesting to see how clark handles him.

  10. I find it amazing that the most authoritarian side of politics is almost always the side that screams about freedom the most. In the case of the US it’s the Repugs that insist on gun control and scream “Freedom” but it’s the Repub legislatures that create the most prisons and create the laws to fill them up. Personally seeing the way the GOP is killing unions in the US the parallel that comes to mind is the Nazis (yes,yes, Godwin’s law, I’ve lost the argument already).

    In Australia it’s invariably the conservative side of politics that bring in the draconian legislation that makes life more complicated and more “rules” specific but scream about government intervention the most. The side of politics that has the most taxes and complains about high taxing governments and the side of politics that spends the most and complains about expenditure (WA anyone?).

  11. Good result for Labor as a significant shift to Labor arrives. This is an excellent outcome given the turbulent ride of various issues over recent weeks.

    However, the reality is that the numbers have only returned to where the underlying average has been since October last year. So, the Government’s ability to further shift support from here will be the test for Gillard and her colleagues.

    Given the bounce has occurred off the “sizzle” of interest rate drops, the payment of the education allowance and the looming tax cuts associated with the CEP, then imagine how the voters will feel once the “meat” (cash) actually arrives.

  12. Morning All!
    I will be relying on those with a more robust constitution this early in the morning to give me the gist of Abbott’s attempt to walk back from his disastrous decision to oppose the School Kids Bonus, which appears to have had an immediate effect on his poll numbers.
    Thank you in advance for your devotion to duty. 😀

  13. Morning bludgers


    Agree that lower interest rates, education bonus and the cfp compensation have helped Labor’s numbers. Also last week’s Lib stoush re Costello helped too.

  14. Who would have thunk that. #TheirABC says Opposition’s vote “down” 6% – what happens to crash, dump, sink, smash, slam, plummet. #auspol

  15. If the 6% drop is Labor’s. The Headline would be: “Labor’s votes crash, dump, sink, smash, slam, plummet” & the end of the world proclaims

  16. GG,

    Of course when the big handouts do arrive, the media will be going “voters reject latest bribe from Julia”.

    Even if the polls actually improve to the 54 or 53 level.

  17. vic,

    I’m finding it difficult to assess things like Kroger/Costello given the Labor Leadership fracas made no difference to polls. People don’t seem to care.

    I think issues like Thomson and Slipper have impacted. However, the more they are talked about, the less anyone seems to know and the shit seems to be spreading to the shit throwers.

    Abbott virtually disappearing from public discussions is an interesting development.

    The Government has dominaed the agenda over the last couple of weeks and the budget seems to be going down well. Shops were pretty busy over the weekend. So the return of the confident consumer may be upon us which is good news for the Government.

    Nevertheless, plenty of work to be done.

  18. confessions

    I listen to a sports radio station and the news said that the latest newspoll still has the Libs in an election winning position 55/45.

  19. By the way, does anyone here follow enough online forums (not just the comments to new limited articles) but the online forums out there on everything from cars to trains to broadband?

    I’m wondering if anyone has an opinion on the trends?

    My observations, purely from Whirlpool, is that whilst the conservative minds used to be just regurgitating their rubbish without challenge, now they’re starting to be tackled with great energy clearly from people on the Labor side of politics who’ve had enough just sitting around watching small minds make the biggest noises.

  20. ru,

    Takes awhile for our “Insiders” to twig the narrative may have changed. They’ll need their daily group think coffee hook up to work out what to think.

  21. GG

    I was grumpy last night because the blues crumbled under Saints pressure not long after the match started. But the Newspoll brightened my mood. The govt need to put the pressure on the coalition on their policy positions and their involvement with Ashby.

  22. Age writer John Watson seems disgusted by the company he is being forced to keep:

    [When Amanda Vanstone tries to conjure a national debt crisis (14/5), facts are few and far between – and unreliable. She starts with a misleading analogy, makes a few dodgy comparisons, throws around a couple of big scary numbers and then gets the key figure wrong.

    Read more:–there-is-no-debt-crisis-20120514-1ymwg.html#ixzz1uslmGDV7%5D

  23. victoria:

    Normally the OO puts its Newspoll reporting as it top stories at the top of the homepage. Scrolling down I can’t see any Newspoll reporting, and the little Newspoll wheel still shows last fortnight’s results.


  24. Plus the ABC radio seems to have found the margin of error.

    I noticed that. I’m sure that, from now on, they’ll always mention it …

  25. Alison Carabine on #ABCRN couldnt bear to call Labor 3% as rise, soar, lift, rocket, she calls it “Labor 3% bump” WTF is a bump #auspol

  26. Greensborough Growler@277,
    Pyne also appears to have dropped off the radar, again, after his appearance in parliament to attempt to bring down the government over Thomson, again.

    Of course this is exactly the same ‘Witness Protection Program’ being used on Ashby by his spin doctors and lawyers, and which Conservatives seem to favour when they are in hot water, rather than face the music and interrogative questioning. Then, when they sniff the wind and believe it has blown over, out they come from the woodwork again.

    I guess, when you have conditioned the populace to have more interest in sport than the running of their country, and so to have the attention span wrt politics of guppies, they are probably correct, as far as it goes with Coalition voters, to behave this way.

  27. New2This

    One minute you’re saying you earn less than someone on Family Assistance, the next you seem to be saying your family income is over $100 k – (which is about right, if you’re receiving no assistance whatsoever).

    Which is it?

  28. Certainly one thing that Labor strategists must know by now (otherwise the ALP should recruit new strategists). “it’s the economy, stupid”.

    Whenever some blustering ignoramus starts ranting about the evils of same-sex marriage and how it will destroy civilisation, or how the asylum seekers are swamping our country in the tens of thousands, or how the aboriginals get ‘special treatment’, or how the carbon or mining taxes are “Big New Taxes” that will destroy us all, the response should be.

    .. how’s that economy? Pretty good, eh?

    Because every time Labor engages with economic matters it shows the vast difference of capability and orientation between it and those incompetent shills for the wealthiest in the wealthy in coalition.

    Labor’s focus should be absolutely laser-tight on economic success stories.

    After all, what was the best and most influential advertisement in the last Federal election?

    This one:

  29. c@tmomma

    What we dont know is what is going on behind the scenes. Has the AFP questioned Pyne and others re their involvement with Ashby? I am of the view that Slipper has put forward his own case that needed investigation by the AFP. Pyne and others can avoid public scrutiny, but eventually the truth will out

  30. Well, if the conservatives are taking Shanahan’s narrative that the ‘targeted cash handouts’ are giving Labor a reprieve, they’re deluding themselves. I think the disgusting campaign against Slipper and, especially, Thomson have highlighted how rotten Abbott the wolf-fart and his thugs are and have now started to look at how ‘bad’ this government is not. From this point on, the dirtier their politics, the more people will turn away because they’re fed up to the back teeth with the dirt and gloom and doom.

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