Newspoll quarterly breakdowns; Seat of the week: O’Connor

Newspoll’s latest quarterly breakdowns cover a period of steady Labor recovery that accelerated toward the end, and suggest the shift was very largely made in Queensland.

Courtesy of The Australian comes the quarterly Newspoll breakdowns for July-September, providing big-sample results state-by-state and my gender and metropolitan/non-metropolitan. This suggests Labor’s recent Newspoll recovery has been driven entirely by Queensland, where the Coalition’s lead shrunk to 58-42 from 65-35 in April-June. Elsewhere, the position is stable at 56-44 in New South Wales, Labor is up a point in both Victoria and South Australia to respectively lead 52-48 and trail 52-48, and they have actually gone backwards in Western Australia to 58-42, from what was probably an overly generous 55-45 last time. In aggregate, the result shows the Coalition’s lead down to 54-46 from 56-44 in the previous quarter, with little change in the leaders’ personal ratings, the survey period having mostly preceded the recent improvement in Julia Gillard’s ratings and decline in Tony Abbott’s. The results show the standing of each essentially stable across all demographics.

UPDATE (8/10/12): Cathy Alexander at Crikey reports Essential Research has Labor gaining a further point on the primary vote to 37%, with the Coalition steady at 47%. Essential has shown Labor gaining five points on the primary vote over six weeks, to reach a level not seen since March last year. The Coalition’s two-party preferred lead is unchanged at 53-47. Essential has smartly chosen this week to repeat an exercise from a year ago concerning trust in media personalities, finding Alan Jones among the most famous but least trusted (22% trust against 67% do not trust). The others best recognised were Laurie Oakes and George Negus, with the former slightly edging out the latter on trust (72% compared with 69%). Only 17% registered support for funding cuts to the ABC, with around a third each wanting funding maintained or increased. Opinion on government regulation of the media was fairly evenly spread between wanting more, less and the same.

UPDATE (6/10/12): The table below compares quarterly state-level figures for both Newspoll and Nielsen for both the July-September and April-June quarters. In the case of Newspoll, sample sizes range from 700 for South Australia to 1700 for NSW, while Nielsen’s range from about 1300 for NSW to fewer than 400 for Western Australia and South Australia/Northern Territory. The two pollsters agree in showing Labor recovering by six or seven points in Queensland, which is corroborated by Galaxy – their polls conducted in Queensland roughly in the middle of the two polling periods had the Coalition lead shrinking from 64-36 to 57-43. Both Newspoll and Nielsen have produced steady results of around 50-50 in Victoria, but a disparity emerges in the case of NSW, where Labor shot from 40% to 46% in Nielsen while remaining steady on 44% in Newspoll. Caution should be taken in comparing the smaller states given Nielsen’s small samples.

		Newspoll	Nielsen		Newspoll	Nielsen
		Jul-Sep		Jul-Sep		Apr-Jun		Apr-Jun
Total		   46		  46 		   44		   42
NSW		   44		  46   		   44		   40
Victoria	            52		  49		   51		   50
Queensland	   42		  40		   35		   34
SA/NT		   48		  50		   47		   47
WA		   42	  	  42		   45		   39

UPDATE 2 (7/10/12): Not forgetting …

Seat of the week: O’Connor

Covering rural and remote areas in the south of Western Australia, O’Connor delivered the WA Nationals a House of Representatives seat at the last election for the first time since 1974, with their candidate Tony Crook unseating Liberal veteran Wilson Tuckey. Crook’s win followed a redistribution which fundamentally rearranged the state’s remote areas, abolishing the vast seat of Kalgoorlie and dividing its territory between O’Connor and the new seat of Durack. This saw O’Connor absorb a vast swathe of the state’s south-east, including Esperance and the Goldfields. Whereas the whole of the state’s “Wheatbelt” had previously been in O’Connor, a transfer of 38,000 voters in its northern half (including Merredin) to Durack was required to balance its gains elsewhere. O’Connor continued to encompass Albany, the southern Wheatbelt towns of Narrogin, Wagin and Katanning, and the South West region forestry towns of Bridgetown and Manjimup.

O’Connor was created at the 1980 election, its territory having previously been covered by Moore and Canning. It was gained for the Liberals in 1980 by parliamentary newcomer Wilson Tuckey, who owed his “Ironbar” nickname to an assault conviction over a 1967 incident involving a length of steel cable and an Aboriginal patron of his Carnarvon hotel. Tuckey’s win was assisted by a schism in the state National Party, which resulted in two separate organisations fielding rival candidates. Emnity with the Nationals was to emerge as a theme of Tuckey’s career, with the Nationals repeatedly placing him behind various minor candidates in their preference recommendations. The Nationals caused Tuckey little trouble electorally over the years, consistently finishing third behind Labor on occasions when they fielded a candidate. That nearly changed in 2007, but Tuckey’s primary vote remained strong enough that he would have comfortably prevailed even if the Nationals had managed to edge ahead of Labor and absorb their preferences.

Tuckey was 75 at the time of the 2010 election, and regarded in Canberra as an increasingly erratic presence. While the redistribution had in one sense done him a good turn by dividing the Nationals heartland between two electorates, this was largely negated by the Nationals’ successful 2008 state election strategy of appealing more broadly to regional areas. Among the areas where inroads were made for for the first time was the Goldfields, which Tuckey had never represented. It was in the Goldfields that Tuckey suffered the most damage, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder booths collectively going against him 63-37. However, he was also outpolled in Albany, and the split elsewhere was roughly even. Crook had no trouble overtaking the Labor candidate, with the Nationals vote up 19.7% to 28.9% and Labor down 9.2% to 17.1%. Tuckey easily led on the primary vote with 38.4%, down 10.4% on 2007, but an 80% share of Labor and Greens preferences saw Crook prevail at the final count with a margin of 3.6%.

Tuckey reacted to his defeat by saying he did “not intend to be gracious at all”, and proclaimed Crook to be a “nobody”. Crook had in fact been the chairman of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and was the state election candidate for Kalgoorlie in 2008. His status as a nobody was addressed soon enough by the circumstances of the election result, which placed him as a non-aligned member in a hung parliament, the WA Nationals having campaigned as an independent party that would not “report, answer and take direction from Warren Truss”. However, few were surprised when Crook, after a fortnight of prevarication, announced he would support a Coalition government on confidence and supply. He nonetheless sat on the cross-benches until May 2012, when he joined the Nationals party room while remaining absent from joint Coalition meetings.

The complexities of rural politics in Western Australia have come to the fore recently as a result of the federal government’s move to wind up the Wheat Export Authority, the culmination of a process of wheat exporting deregulation which began after the Cole Royal Commission into wheat sales to Iraq. The more protectionist eastern states Nationals, who had split from the Liberals to vote against deregulation of the industry in 2006, persuaded Tony Abbott to back an amendment to sustain the authority for a further two years, incurring the intense displeasure of agricultural interests in Western Australia. The state party organisation was very keen that its members should cross the floor over the issue, and it took the exercise of Julie Bishop’s authority to determine their support for Abbott’s position. As the Liberal members had feared, they were duly snookered when Crook announced that he would split from his party colleagues to vote down any such amendment.

There had been hope in the Liberal camp that Crook might be tarred at the next election by the brush of Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, but this has presumably been negated by the wheat export issue. Their candidate is Katanning farmer Rick Wilson, who won an April 2011 preselection vote over Cranbrook Shire president Doug Forrest and Kalgoorlie pastoralist Ross Wood.

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.

4,367 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdowns; Seat of the week: O’Connor”

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  1. Hugh

    That will fail. Already News24 is reporting that Margie entered the political fray in a big way. No labor attacking a family member not in the political spotlight.

  2. In the movie A Bugs Life there is a scene where the fat ugly grub from the circus changes into a fat ugly grub with a pair of tiny wings on his back shouting ” Look at me, Look at me, I’m a beautiful butterfly”
    And so the Abbott Grub begins its change that is actually all illusion.

    Apologies to the Circus grub who actually has a pleasant personality unlike the Abbott grub.

  3. BB well they have been doing it for a while now. I don’t get it tho, do businesses truly think that abbott will make things better for them? Or is the point to talk economy down so he can get elected and then shout from rooftops about how great it all is after? All those businesses clamoring to get him elected will get everything they deserve if tony and his incompetent mates get in and mismanage it all.

  4. 8
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    [What has Abbott’s family life got to do with how he interacts with women outside his family.]

    You know things are getting seriously desperate when they start dragging out the ‘our pet doberman, Snookums, is really just a big softie who has never hurt us’ defense.

  5. I have a feeling that the proprietors and proponents of desalination plants around Australia will be enjoying their moments of schadenfreude sometime in the next couple of years.

    Thirsty Adelaideians may thank the Deity for their watermaking installation next time the Murray dries up.

    But in the meantime, the equation seems to be:

    “Desal = Labor = Bad”. It’s a “white elephant, don’t you know? You can drink white elephants, apparently.

    So, who needs water?

    [Silver lining to $1.8bn Port Stanvac desalination plant white elephant
    AVERAGE household water bills could be slashed by up to $100 a year as a result of a decision to mothball the state’s $1.8 billion Port Stanvac desalination plant.

    After revealing yesterday it would place the plant on “standby” from 2015, SA Water acknowledged that the independent regulator could demand that the $100 million annual savings be passed on to the organisation’s million customers. ]

  6. And just as JG starts to connect with voters following her father’s death, they trot out a story about how upset Tony was after his wife’s miscarriage. This makes me want to throw the TV across the room, I am furious.

    It’s like he’s saying – ‘you think Gillard can grieve? then get a load of this’


  7. [“Standing by her man”]

    Yeah? So what’s so extraordinary about a wife’s doing that? Gawd! That’s what spouses/ partner do, isn’t it? That doesn’t even need the other spouse/ partner to be compliant!

    Do we really we need a ‘motherhood’ statement like that to redress Abbott’s appalling record of aggression towards non-compliant (read strong, forthright, intelligent, very capable, articulate, “don’t know their rightful place as subservient to the dominant male/ breadwinner”) women.

    In my experience, men who behave that way (thankfully none of my male relatives & certainly not OH) do so because such women make them feel insecure and really really threatened. And most of those I’ve met (my generation’s women teachers met a hellava lot of them, esp when equal pay & permanency for married women were granted, and promotional positions with their higher pay -subject master, deputy principal, principal, inspector etc- opened to women) had wives who ruled the roost: workplace tyrants, domestic underdogs.

  8. [ The latest episode with abbott’s wife being trotted out to protect him shows labor has been in a very good position for a while now]

    The tories have just plagiarised what the romney camp did at the RNC recently – trotting out the wife.

    They haven’t got an original thought between them all.

    But its NewsPoll weekend so they will try anything….

    But this comment above is the nub of the matter –

    [ Women have a problem with abbott ]

    Tweet tweet…..

  9. FFS – only now hearing some of the stuff on 24 from Margie, what a bloody disgrace. He has now brought his family into the fray, and deserves anything he gets.

    The thing they are missing is that none of the women they are dragging out as examples are his superior – none of them have ‘beateh’ him in a contest.

  10. Frednk

    Precisely, that is why I said Murray was being partisan.

    If Murray was still in the loop regarding economic policy, he would know the Swiss and German central banks are buying Aussie dollars as a security. Does that sound like Greece?

  11. @guytaur: Hey Margie by their actions ye know them. We have seen Abbott actions. They know him. Puff pieces in tabloids do not change that #auspol

  12. Why can’t Tony Abbott win the political debate WITHOUT having to drag in a heap of women to soften his image? THAT is the question.

  13. @MrPinkCarpet: Oh Margie Abbott u say @TonyAbbottMHR cant be anti women as he has 3 sisters 3 daughters. No logic as he has a gay sister and he is anti gay

  14. @SabraLane: a wife that has had enough and a family that has had enough of all the criticism from Labor in particular.” – Joe Hockey.

  15. this could likely backfire again on newsltd , and the coalition

    has anything the news ltd/ abbott coalition tried
    which hasnt backfired on them

  16. This story is less flattering for the government
    [Not long after this, when she was still under threat of arrest, Mr Carr commented on the ABC program 7.30 that Ms Bean did not ”require further [consular] assistance”.
    The comment came when, in fact, her requirement for assistance could not have been greater. In an exclusive interview with the Herald, she said the comment had made her feel abandoned by her country.]

    Sounds like the Aussie embassy in Egypt did not do much, nor inform FM Bob Carr. A bad look.

  17. [Socrates
    Posted Friday, October 5, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink


    Precisely, that is why I said Murray was being partisan.

    If Murray was still in the loop regarding economic policy, he would know the Swiss and German central banks are buying Aussie dollars as a security. Does that sound like Greece?]

    Good point, Socrates. There has been a tendency from the government over the past two years to let some of the more outrageous opposition assertions pass by as being too ridiculous to require comment. So we have Robb still trotting out ‘debt’ myths such as they ran in the 2010 campaign.

    About a year back I wrote to the Warrnambool Standard over their running verbatim claims from Hockey and Truss that debt was at Greece porportions. From memory I put this to rest by pointing out the debt-to-GDP ratio which in Australia then was well below 10%. Greece then was about 225%. I also threw in (from Finns’ BISONS, I think,) that Germany, always regarded as one of the safest had

  18. [why havent any member of the liberal party particular Abbott table their electricity bills in parliament]

    My power bill has arrived. I thought it’d be high because, its being a cold winter, I used a heater & electric blanket, and, as a good slave should, boiled water for elderly puss’s HWB. But NO! It’s actually lower than 2011’s for the same period (also with new solar HWS), and less than half 2010’s.

    OTOH, we became more careful about turning off lights, pulling out power plugs, adding layers of clothes and watching catch-up TV on my unlimited ADSL2 plan, not on the power-guzzler TVs. We are well below the average consumption for a 2 person household & only slightly above that for a 1.

  19. … Damn. Post went thru when I bumped something before completing.

    …Germany ratio was 57% and the US as 85%. In other words we’re very low risk, which is why we’re 3-star and attracting overseas investors.

    The government needs likewise to slam these porkies at every opportunity. It looks like they may now be doing that.

  20. OPT,

    My bill was also less than the same time the previous year and the bill prior. The usage was exactly the same as the bill at the same time the previous year.

  21. [The anti-government forces are deliberately trying to wreck the economy. It’s so grossly negligent, I’m astounded they get away with it, day after day. The people should have it drummed into their heads that there are consequences of Abbott’s negativity.]

    Labor should do a twist on Sloppy Joe’s response to good economic figures.

    Something like: ‘Imagine how much better the figures would be if the Libs stopped trashing the economy.’

  22. most woman will scoff at this.

    i had 5 misscariages yes for a youg woman at the time very dissapointing, but in between we had 2 children then a third.
    i would think may be as my gyny explained these little
    people where not meant to be here as they where not developing that well.

    i often think a woman who goes through all her pregnancies with out misscarriage, is probably in the minority.
    but when i lost my father may be 30 years later, you just could not compare.i had spent 50 years of my life with my father

    this really quite silly to try and compare

  23. one thing i would say about our relation ship,.

    my oh has never ask me to go to a job application with him

    during his time in public servie life.


  24. “@mpoppel: Romney has endorsed the National Rifle Assocation, says he will do everything to protect the right to bear arms”

  25. When is someone in the media going to point out that Tony Abbott isn’t going for the ‘Father Of the Year’ Award here, he’s running for the position of Prime Minister of Australia, where he will have to represent ALL Australians, especially the ~50% who didn’t vote for him, a lot of them women who will never be on the same political page as him.

    THEY are the Women that Tony Abbott has big problems with. A lot of those women have representatives in parliament that are women also, and it has been plain for all to see that Tony Abbott has big problems with them.

  26. sorry to be annoying

    but im laughing, most woman would see this as

    forgive me if i m upsetting any one
    but we not even the holding hands couple in public
    it makes me squirm

    i often feel when i see that that some men dont have a seperate life or the other way around

  27. [Space Kidette ‏@SpaceKidette

    Obviously the wall punching incident has taken it’s toll in the polls. So Peta wheels out Tony’s ‘fenemin’ side. #auspol #youcantbeserious ]

    [Space Kidette ‏@SpaceKidette

    @Loveont0ast @sunriseon7 Mmmm…the misogyny Margie might accept, I don’t. The level of aggression he has injected into discourse atrocious. ]

  28. [My bill was also less than the same time the previous year and the bill prior. The usage was exactly the same as the bill at the same time the previous year.]

    Another good reason to live in QLD. I’d add, pity about the Premier but for the marvellous impact of A taste of what you’ll get if you’re silly enough to elect Abbott & the LNP on the Fed ALP’s previously dire OpPoll results.

  29. onfessions
    Posted Friday, October 5, 2012 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    And the point is not whether Abbott has a problem with women, it’s whether women have a problem with Abbott.

    [I’m a woman, and I most certainly have a problem with Abbott.
    Posted Friday, October 5, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    You may not be a representative sample.]

    PHES how many have you ask.

    i think connie would be a very good representative of the figure, obviously a business lady and very inderpenand

    you see most of us woman dont see our husbands as appendages and the other way around.
    we love our partners as friends and companions.
    and have lots in common and conversation is very important

    but we have a mind of our own and life.

  30. my say,
    Exactly! What makes Margie Abbott’s miscarriage and Tony Abbott’s response to it, any more worthy of sympathy, and Brownie Points for Abbott, than anyone else’s?

    Of course, putting my cynical Progressive Woman hat on here, I wonder what Mr Abbott’s response to his wife would have been if she had wanted to get an Abortion for whatever reason? I doubt he would have been all sweetness & light & caring & understanding about that. Just sayin’.

  31. Morning all.

    I agree with SK: the wall punching claims have bitten, hence the need to present Abbott in a softer, kinder light.

    Meanwhile Howard is out and about. A good day to be at work, away from the news cycle.

  32. [If they watch a sad movie together he will get “teary,” she said.

    Mr Abbott said he was embarrassed he became “sooky” in The Year My Voice broke, one of the first movies the couple saw together.

    “Just to give you an idea of how it happens in the Abbott household, I’ll be grabbing the remote control saying `Can I watch the footy, please?’ he will be saying `Oh, but I would really like to watch Downton Abbey,”‘ Mrs Abbott said.]

    The deft touch of Peta. I can nearly see what she’s trying to do.

    Forget chaff bags, we need vomit bags.

  33. [Space Kidette ‏@SpaceKidette

    From one woman to the women who prop up the misogynistic puppet: This woman is not for being played. #auspol ]

  34. I’ve said this before, but have we ever had such a concerted campaign before to convince us that a politician likes 50% of the voting public?

    It really must be showing up as a huge problem for the Liberals.

    It reminds me (again) of the situation I referred to recently, where a staff survey showed poor staff morale and we were given an inservice on how to be happy.

    If the Liberal party want to ‘solve’ Tony’s problem with women, they have to work out what it’s based on and tackle that, not just tell people it doesn’t exist.

    By putting so much emphasis on Tony not having a problem, they’re simply reinforcing that there is one.

    (Similarly, by putting so much emphasis on electricity price rises under the carbon price, they’ve made people look more closely at their bills then they might have otherwise – and noticing that the impact isn’t what they were lead to expect…)

  35. 74
    Son of foro
    [Labor should do a twist on Sloppy Joe’s response to good economic figures.

    Something like: ‘Imagine how much better the figures would be if the Libs stopped trashing the economy.’]
    Nice line. 🙂

    This is exactly what the government should be doing. Short, sharp, prompt, fact-based rebuttals, with a light sprinkling of mockery.

    But without letting it dominate the conversation or set the agenda. Just make the point, then move on to the important business of the day.

    It’s a fine and forever shifting line, but I think Labor are starting to walk it.

  36. zoomster,

    [By putting so much emphasis on Tony not having a problem, they’re simply reinforcing that there is one.]

    Couldn’t have put it better!

  37. I can only assume Margie doesnt know difference between Abbott has problems with women and Women are having problems with Abbott

  38. [This is exactly what the government should be doing. Short, sharp, prompt, fact-based rebuttals, with a light sprinkling of mockery.

    But without letting it dominate the conversation or set the agenda. Just make the point, then move on to the important business of the day.

    It’s a fine and forever shifting line, but I think Labor are starting to walk it.]

    Yes, I think the combination of twitter for a few short, punchy lines, with the more detailed and serious answers they give at the Community Cabinets is a good combination. Very effective and a good way of getting around the biased MSM.

  39. Shockjock bait:

    [A housekeeper who claims she injured her back while making the prime minister’s bed says she’s being short-sheeted by the commonwealth’s compensation scheme.

    Shiree Power, 39, says Comcare – the federal workers’ compensation insurer – has washed its hands of a claim she pursued after permanently damaging her back while straining to fit a sheet on Julia Gillard’s king-size mattress at The Lodge.

    The mother-of-three, employed to tend to Ms Gillard’s laundry and other duties at the Canberra prime ministerial residence, says she sustained the injury in October 2010.]

  40. People see through things like this, just as they did with the PM and Bradbury on the patrol boat in 2010. It’s so obvious it’s a bit stupid, frankly.

    But it’s disappointing to see some personal attacks on Margie Abbott in the twiter sphere. Attack the strategy, not the woman.

  41. [I note that she has to ask politely if she can watch the footy… and then gets told she can’t.]

    Albo should ask him a question about the D Abbey plot next sitting day.

    Hmmmm … another abbey, eh? Oh, That’s Just Tone!

  42. [Michael Lee ‏@grumpyMichael

    @latikambourke A properly costed policy or two & less personal attacks on the PM may get him over the line not that insincere rubbish! ]

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