Newspoll: 55-45 to Coalition

James J reports Newspoll has the Coalition’s two-party lead back up from 53-47 to 55-45, from primary votes of 33% for Labor (down two), 46% for the Coalition (up one), 8% for the Greens (down three, which as Poliquant notes in comments is their worst result since March 2009) and 13% for others (up four). Julia Gillard has the nonetheless opened the narrowest of leads as preferred prime minister, moving from 38-38 to 39-38. Personal ratings are more in line with the media narrative of the last few weeks, with Julia Gillard recording a 7% improvement on net approval and Tony Abbott recording an 8% decline. Gillard is up four on approval to 31% and down three on disapproval to 57%, while Abbott is down three to 31% and up five to 59%.

UPDATE: The Morgan face-to-face poll covering last weekend’s polling (for some reason the August 26-27 weekend seems to have been dispensed with) has Labor further improving on the previous result, which was its best since March. Labor is steady on the primary vote at 34.5%, but the Coalition is down 2.5% to 41.5% and the Greens are up 1.5% to 11.5%. On respondent-allocated preferences, the two-party preferred gap has narrowed slightly from 54-46 to 53.5-46.5. However, the move on the previous election measure of two-party preferred is more substantial: from 53-47 to 51.5-48.5.

The weekly Essential Research report has fallen into line with other pollsters in giving Labor its best result since March – up two on the primary vote to 34% and one on two-party preferred to 55-45. The Coalition’s primary vote is down a point to 48% after no fewer than 12 consecutive weeks at 49%, its lowest since April. The poll finds 52% believing female politicians receive more criticism than men against only 4% for less and 40% for the same, and very similar results (51%, 6% and 38%) when the subject is narrowed to Julia Gillard specifically. A question on which groups would be better off under Labor or Liberal governments find traditional perceptions of the parties are as strong as ever, with wide gaps according to whether the group could be perceived as disadvantaged (pensioners, unemployed, disabled) or advantaged (high incomes, large corporations, families of private school children). Respondents continue to think it likely that a Coalition government would bring back laws similar to WorkChoices (51% likely against 25% unlikely).

Other news:

• The Victorian Liberals have preselected candidates for three Labor-held federal seats. Ben Collier, managing director of Sunbury-based information technology consultancy Collier Pereira Services, won preselection last weekend to contest McEwen, where redistribution has boosted Labor member Rob Mitchell’s margin from 5.3% to 9.2% by adding the area around Sunbury. In Bendigo, transport business owner Greg Bickley has been chosen to run against Lisa Chesters, who will defend Labor’s 9.4% margin after the retirement of sitting member Steve Gibbons. In Bruce, Emanuele Cicchiello, school teacher, Knox councillor and candidate for Holt in 2007, will run against Labor member Alan Griffin, whose margin is 7.7%.

AAP reports the Liberal National Party in Queensland has attracted seven candidates for preselection in Kevin Rudd’s seat of Griffith, five in Kirsten Livermore’s seat of Capricornia and four in Bob Katter’s seat of Kennedy, although the names of the candidates have not been published. However, it is known that former Australian Medical Association president Bill Glasson is among the starters in Griffith. Meanwhile, Clive Palmer has finally put an end to his over-reported pretend bid for preselection, on the pretext that he “can’t support Coalition policy on refugees and political lobbyists”.

• The ABC reports former Australian rugby union coach John Connolly is “expected to announce soon” that he will contest the LNP preselection to succeed retiring Alex Somlyay in Fairfax, having failed in his bid for the Labor-held Brisbane seat of Petrie. “Local solicitor Swain Roberts and businessman Terry O’Brien” are also expected to nominate. Former LNP director James McGrath, who appeared to have the numbers sewn up before deciding to take on Mal Brough in Fisher, now seems to have his eyes elsewhere.

• Alex Arnold of the Illawarra Mercury reports Neil Reilly, who also ran in 2007 and 2010, has emerged as the only nominee for Labor preselection in the south coast New South Wales seat of Gilmore, which will be vacated by the retirement of Liberal incumbent Joanna Gash. Reilly was initially rebuffed before the 2010 election when the party’s national executive installed former South Sydney rugby league player David Boyle, who later withdrew after widespread local criticism over the imposition of a non-local (though he is now a Shoalhaven councillor).

• Counting has been finalised for the Northern Territory election of the Saturday before last. Two remote seats thought to be in doubt fell the CLP’s way, Arafura by 1.0% and Stuart by a surprisingly easy 3.5% (larger than the 3.1% in the never-in-doubt Darwin seat of Sanderson). That makes for five CLP gains from Labor (Arafura, Stuart, Arnhem, Daly and, if we use the 2008 election result as the baseline, Namatjira) and a total of 16 seats for the CLP, eight for Labor and one independent. The CLP scored 55.8% of the two-party vote, which is a 5.1% swing compared with the raw 2008 result – remembering that two Labor-held seats were uncontested last time, both of which were won by the CLP this time.

Seats Votes % Swing 2PP Swing
Country Liberal 16 (+5) 46,653 50.5% +5.1% 55.8% +5.1%
Labor 8 (-5) 33,862 36.6% -6.5% 44.2% -5.1%
Independent (11) 1 (-) 6,092 6.6% -0.5%
Greens (10) 3,039 3.3% -1.0%
First Nations (8) 2,048 2.2%
Sex Party (5) 717 0.8%
Formal 92,411 96.8% +0.9%
Informal 3,072 3.2% -0.9%
Enrolment/Turnout 123,815 77.1% +2.1%

• Also finalised is the count for the New South Wales state by-election for Heffron, also held last Saturday, where Labor’s Ron Hoenig will succeed Kristina Keneally after scoring an easy victory. Even allowing for the absence of a Liberal candidate, the 17.7% hike in the Labor primary vote looks fairly encouraging for them, although taking into account the plunge in turnout the result on raw votes was more modest (an increase of 1631). It was a less happy result for the Greens, whose share of the vote was up only slightly in the absence of strong competition, and down 559 votes in absolute terms.

Votes % Swing 2PP %
Ron Hoenig (Labor) 20,501 58.9% +17.7% 21,863 70.0%
Mehreen Faruqi (Greens) 8,122 23.3% +4.4% 9,366 30.0%
Drew Simmons (Democrats) 3,749 10.8%
Robyn Peebles (Christian Democrats) 2,442 7.0% +5.1%
Liberal -33.3%
Independents -4.6%
Formal 34,814 94.8% -1.9%
Informal 1,910 5.2% +1.9%
Enrolment/Turnout 55,712 65.9% -22.8%

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.

3,182 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Coalition”

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  1. That’s minus 2 on both the 2PP and Primary vote for the ALP.

    Greens Party are down 3% on the primary vote.

    Coalition up 1 on the primary vote

    Gillard up 1 on the preferred PM. Abbott up 2

  2. I wondered if might happen, its been all Afghanistan plus some stuff on the boats for all of the polling period. People hate the war.

  3. The Greens are missing Bob Brown. A fair chunk of their vote was for him personally. Milne is a very intelligent person and right on many issues, but she’s never going to be a vote-winner for them. She’s also being overshadowed by Sarah Cry-me-a-river-Young, who must be one of the most annoying people in Australian politics.

  4. I’ll tell you how to improve the education system:

    Make school more enjoyable and students to feel more content in their learning and surroundings.

    They should constantly repeat year 10 until they know how to vote and year 7 until they know how to place a bet 😆

    Only kiddin’ 😐

  5. [25% of the greens don’t change their minds in a fortnight. It’s just noise.]

    Maybe, but their trend everywhere is down. They should have won Melbourne and done better in Heffron.

  6. Last #Newspoll NLP 45% ALP 35% Greens 11% Others 9% 2PP 53-47. This #Newspoll NLP 46% ALP 33% Greens 8% Others 13% 2PP 55-45, Please Explain

  7. [The Greens are missing Bob Brown.]

    I think that’s pretty clear from the approach the Greens have chosen since Brown retired. It seems more adversarial, with Greens MPs who appeal to their base featuring strongly, ie SHY and Milne.

  8. Nash seemed terribly concerned that educational reform was taking so long to get started.

    Obviously the Coalition left the schooling system in a terrible state…

  9. Thanks James J

    Quite a change in satisfaction levels +4 Gillard, -3 Abbott
    And big change on dissatisfaction -3 Gillard and +5 Abbott 🙂

  10. I thought Gillard’s speech today was very good.

    I bloody hope she spends the next 6 months concentrating on education reform and makes it a big plank of the next budget.

    The Coalition has astonishingly come out and basically said there is no need for major education reform in Australia! Since they have volunteered to vacate the floor, Gillard should use their absence to talk about this issue every week until the budget.

  11. [Next week Jensen, Chris Evans and scatterbrain Connie F-Wells.]
    If they are going to talk education reform again, they should’ve put Garrett on instead.

  12. Looks like the trend is somewhere around 54-46 overall. We’ll see a few polls on either side of that for a little while.

    Essential’s come in, Newspoll’s gone out. Opposite of last time.

  13. I expect the last poll was slightly rogue in favour of labor and this one is slightly rogue in favour of the libs – 8% for the greens in unrealistically low. The ‘others’ is so high it makes the TPP fairly hard to guess – there must be many people who will not vote tory in a fit, but can’t bring themselves to say they’ll vote labor. It is still not looking good though. I am sure the Oz will crow about this in a way they didn’t over the last poll.

  14. Gillard up 4 on approval, down 2 on disapproval

    Abbott down 3 on approval, up 5 on disapproval

    All sounds good until you realise they’re pretty much the same number

  15. Oakshott
    End of. Gillard rubbish

    Look folks its who. You ask, they don’t ask the same people every fortnight,
    what suburb ect
    Can’t have goodies two times in a row .

    Isn’t. It 5 degrees of seperation stuff. The. Moe what ever
    suppose rummell will be around using the expression

    I love the smell of
    Honestly two weeks nothing really happened
    o. Yes now I remember, didn’t read the report.

  16. Small shifts in 2PP are not very meaningful when you have 13% supporting an unspecified (and largely non-existent) “Others”. I think all this poll reflects is that Abbott has mostly kept his mouth shut, allowing Labor’s big negative on boats to re-surface. Boats will be a negative for Labor for as long as they keep coming.

  17. Psephos,
    I don’t know why you would think the Greens would do better in Heffron. If the seat covered suburbs like Balmain, Leichhardt and Marrickville, then maybe. But suburbs like Mascot, Eastlakes, Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo and Daceyville are not like that. Not even close, in fact. The only thing important to me was the cowardice in BOF in not attempting to build on his approx 16% swing achieved in the main election. He just meekly handed it straight back. What a master tactician. I would have thought Ju-liar and that sort of thing would played equally well for the landed gentry of Kensington as it might have for the 2GB battlers in the rest of the seat. But he never gave them the chance. Sooner or later, he is going to have to front up for another by-election. He may as well have tried his hand here.
    As a resident and voter in that seat, I can tell you that the Greens are almost invisible.

  18. I’d gather that the real state of play would be around 54/46.

    54/46 this far from an election most definitely means that either party can win IMO.

    I still believe Abbott’s personal ratings are too low to change the government.

  19. [Look folks its who. You ask, they don’t ask the same people every fortnight,
    what suburb ect
    Can’t have goodies two times in a row .]
    WTF? Why can’t there be two good polls for the government in a row?

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