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. I’m so stoked right now. The metallurgy coordinator at my university said that all of my subjects in Science can be counted as credit to the course in Metallurgy.

    He also added that metallurgists are paid an absurd amount of money and usually end up as senior managers in mining companies, and regrets not having a go at it himself.

    So that seems like a fairly decent excuse to change courses. I’ll be doing that for the next year and hopefully will graduate by 2014/15. And if I do end up as part of the mining industry machine, I’ll still keep the old Labor spirit.

  2. Cheese? I can do cheese. The Tea Party types only want you to have that nasty plastic yellow/orange pasteurized beyond any semblance of food rubbish available on any US airline or roadside restaurant. And only if it costs a good deal less than $2 per day. And comes with bullets.

  3. VK,

    Congratulations! I’m hoping Gina doesn’t start paying $2 a day by then. 😉

    Nothing like having a big hairy audacious goal and going for it. Best of luck!

  4. Spacey,

    There is this Aussie saying: How are they hanging?

    I would guess that in Q they would be very low.

    And, yes, I do know the riposte.

  5. Von Kirsdarke

    [I’m so stoked right now. The metallurgy coordinator at my university said that all of my subjects in Science can be counted as credit to the course in Metallurgy]
    Good news for you ! Mind you was there any doubt ? 🙂 Murdoch ?

  6. Puff,

    Harry Snapper Organ is a long-time poster. She does great stuff on getting trauma victims back on stuff (Big lady in the Victoria fires). She would NEVER do a cognomen.

  7. No, it’s really me. Ducky, your testicles are now someone else’s! Oh, brother, are you in trouble.
    William will confirm. I’ve been unable to log in for ages and had to get another email address to be able to log in. Sonnafabitch all round.
    New baby grand daughter as well.
    Geez, it’s so reassuring to be back in the PB lounge and immediately disbelieved.

  8. monica,

    If you (HSO) will continue to post o nWilliam’s blog I am willing to sacrifice my scrotum.

    Why the change of nomen?

  9. This Little Black Duck@2973,


    We all say that!

    Was so too! 😀


    Sorry, been out in da car doing the Friday Night Mum’s Taxi Service job. 🙂

    No, seriously, I was a member of the Western Suburbs Magpies. We were supported by the Western Suburbs Soccer Club in Drummoyne and trained in Burwood at Burwood Park.

    I have marched at more Soccer games and Greyhound tracks than you can shake a wing at! Plus competed all over Australia and ended up winning the Australian National Titles one year. I was also in the Demonstration Team as Marker.

    Now tell me I’m making things up. 😀

  10. SK
    That is a recipe I have never encountered, though I am reliably informed that in da olden days out bush when the calves were done…

  11. Thanks everyone. And there wasn’t really much doubt, I’ve mainly been doing earth sciences so far.

    I just love how it’s so easy to ask for qualified advice these days. Almost everyone I asked on the internet advised that an applied Metallurgy degree was worth far more than a BSci.

    And yes, it’d be a cold day on Venus before I turn away from the light on the hill.

  12. Ducky, I had to change my email and log in thingies. Simple as that. I’d love to keep my silly avatar, but maybe it’s time for a change….if I can find something sufficiently surreal.

    Got any suggestions? If William is considering the sergant, perhaps the private?

  13. PTMD,
    I was a Marching Girl for 10 years, from 5-15. Which is why I probably ended up doing well. It was lots of fun. I guarantee I saw every two bit, flea ridden showground in NSW in my time. And Catholic Church. I used to go when we were out at competitions just to see what they were all like. And to get away from the oppressive heat of the Hay Plain and such like. 🙂

  14. monica,

    You were downcast for the time you have been here before.

    I just do not get how people switch personality as you seem to have done.

  15. Ctar1,
    And worse! 😀

    Though I will admit I have seen many a beautiful spot as well. I loved Hobart before the Wrest Point Casino went up. So quaint. Like a transposed English village.

    I saw Launceston behind Christine Milne the other day, looking similar.

  16. Puff,

    My pickle is being resolved, Bilbo volente.

    There are thing which may need proof of which I do not care.

    Then there are, on the surface, things which require elucidation.

    I am quite able to dissect arguments but I choose not to do so because Bushfire Bill and Aguirre are so much more able to do so.

    By the way, I am not feeling at all miffed.

  17. PTMD,

    Sounds like great fun.

    Getting up at 4am, to go and meet the other families in the dark at Burwood, so we could all drive to that day’s competition in Cessnock or wherever it was in NSW that week, never seemed like fun at the time. Nor did cleaning those damn boots every week! 😀

    Still, in retrospect…

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