Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition

Newspoll’s famous 50-50 result of three weeks ago is left looking more than ever like an outlier, with the latest result coming in four points higher for the Coalition. Meanwhile, the less erratic Essential Research continues to trend slowly Labor’s way.

AAP, for some reason, reveals that the Newspoll to be published in The Australian tomorrow will have the elastic jerking back after the 50-50 anomaly of three weeks ago, with the Coalition now leading 54-46 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 33% for Labor (down three), 45% for the Coalition (up four) and 10% for the Greens (down two). However, Julia Gillard has improved further on her strongly recovering personal ratings last time, holding steady on approval at 36% and dropping two on disapproval to 50%, producing her best net approval rating since April last year. The wide gap which opened on preferred prime minister last time has narrowed only modestly, coming in at 43-33 in Gillard’s favour rather than 46-32. Tony Abbott’s personal ratings have also improved, his approval up three to 33% and disapproval down five to 55%.

Today’s Essential Research had 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 (9/10/12): The latest Morgan face-to-face result, combining its surveys over the past two weekends, has Labor down half a point to 37%, the Coalition up 1.5% to 43% and the Greens up half a point to 10.5%. The Coalition’s lead on respondent-allocated preferences is steady at 52-48, but they have gained a point on the 2010 election preferences measure to lead 51-49.

Senate-heavy preselection news:

• Barnaby Joyce’s lower house ambitions for the next election have foundered with Bruce Scott’s determination to serve another term as member for Maranoa. Joyce will not challenge Scott for preselection, saying to do so would be “self-indulgent personality politics”, despite the impression many received from his declared opposition to the locally contentious purchase of the vast Cubbie Station by a consortium led by Chinese interests. Unidentified Nationals quoted by Dennis Shanahan of The Australian “maintain Joyce had the numbers for preselection over Scott but it was going to be an ugly and drawn-out affair”.

• Two of the Queensland Coalition Senators whose terms expire after the next election have announced they will not seek re-election, leaving only 2007 ticket leader Ian MacDonald. Ron Boswell, who has been in the Senate since 1983 and was re-elected from number three in 2007, surprised nobody by announcing that at the age of 70 the time had come to bow out. Andrew Fraser of The Australian reports those in contention to take his place on the LNP Senate ticket include David Goodwin, the Boswell-backed president of the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with LNP vice-president Gary Spence, LNP treasurer Barry O’Sullivan, and Barnaby Joyce staffer Matt Canavan. Liberal Senator Sue Boyce today announced she would not contest the next election as she wished to spend more time with her family, while acknowledging her preselection would have faced opposition from forces who perceive her as too moderate. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reported that other applicants are likely to include David Moore, who worked on Campbell Newman’s election campaign. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reported that hopefuls for a Senate position included David Moore, an LNP operative whose activities as a lobbyist were recently criticised by Clive Palmer.

• Chris Ketter, state secretary of the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, has been preselected to top the Queensland Labor Senate ticket. The number one candidate from 2007, Senate President John Hogg, will retire. The second and third elected candidates from last time, Claire Moore and Mark Furner, will retain their old positions, a gloomy prospect for Furner in particular.

• Mark Kenny of The Advertiser reports that Labor in South Australia will not promote Penny Wong to the top of its Senate ticket, despite the “bad look” of having the position instead go to one-time Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association state secretary Don Farrell on the strength of his Right faction’s control of between 55% and 60% of the votes at the party’s state convention.

• Long-simmering hostilities between the NSW Liberals and Nationals over the seat of Hume have come to an end, with the Nationals agreeing not to field a candidate against Liberal candidate Angus Taylor in his bid to succeed retiring Liberal Alby Schultz. Senator Fiona Nash had most frequently been nominated as a potential candidate, together with state government minister Katrina Hodgkinson.

• Bob Carr told reporters last week that were Robert McClelland to retire in Barton, he could not think of a better candidate to succeed him than his own successor as Premier, Morris Iemma. However, McClelland insists he has no plans to do so.

• As anticipated, former Australian Medical Association president Bill Glasson has been confirmed as the LNP candidate to run against Kevin Rudd in Griffith. Glasson’s father, Bill Glasson Sr, was once Nationals member for the rural seat of Gregory and a minister in the Bjelke-Petersen, Cooper and Ahern governments. Other names mentioned in relation to the preselection were John Haley, Alfio Russo and John Adermann, who stayed with the process to the end, along with Angela Julian-Armitage and Wayne Tsang, who dropped out at an earlier stage.

• The Mercury published extensive results on Saturday for polling of state voting intention in Tasmania, conducted on behalf of the Liberal Party by ReachTEL. The figures, which make for dismal reading for Labor, are detailed below, and have been thoroughly analysed by Kevin Bonham at the Tasmanian Times. The poll also found Liberal leader Will Hodgman favoured by 57.3% ahead of 22.9% for Premier Lara Giddings and 19.8% for Greens leader Nick McKim, and that 34.4% opposed the forestry “peace deal” against 28.2% support.

	 Lyons	 Bass	Braddon	Denison	Franklin Total
Labor 	 22.3% 	 17.4% 	 23.2% 	 18.5% 	 27.6% 	 22.7%
Liberal  55.7%   62.9%   56.8%   36.5%   46.3%   51.5%
Greens   13.6%   13.6%   14.6%   23.2%   19.4%   17.7%
Other	  8.4% 	  6.1% 	  5.3% 	 21.9% 	  6.7% 	  8.1%
Sample 	  233 	  230 	  232	  241	  238	  1174

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.

6,136 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Coalition”

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  1. That just sucks. Obviously as a nation we have the self awareness,morality and intelligence of Alan Jones and Tony Abbott, and none of the wonder that was PM Keating.

  2. [You mean the last newspoll was an outlier, what a shock.]

    No shock but still a disappointment for decent honest Australians.

  3. From last thread:

    Yeah, the Essential did spook me a bit. Until that came out I thought we were looking at 51-49 or 52-48. After it came out I was more hoping for those figures than expecting them.

    People did respond well to Margie. But it’s a trick you can only use once, and it also sets up expectations that Abbott can’t meet. If anything, I expect this Newspoll to result in a bit of Coalition hubris. They’ll be back on the attack before you know it. False dawn.

  4. Ellis has done pretty well tonight in the face of 3 blokes on the panel who were happy to show her disrespect by interrupting an having their own conversations, and the usual poor moderation by Jones.

    She did a good thing by pretty much staying focused on the people asking the questions.

    Would have liked to hear more from the American woman as when she did speak it was worth listening to.

  5. I think part of it is the understandable sympathy vote regarding the passing of her father starting to drift back away for Gillard.

    54/46 is basically where it’s been at for most of the past 8-12 months. I reckon that’s also pretty close to what we will see at the election.

  6. James J

    Thanks for the PM dissatisfaction level!

    Following on from Possum’s analysis the other day, PM’s net satisfaction continues to improve – over the last 4 published Newspolls, -33, -26, -16 and now -14

  7. [So what happens when the next newspoll is 52/53 – 48/47 ?]
    Nothing really. My guess ages ago was both leaders would last until the election, no change because they are locked in and change could be self destructive anyway and deliver no real results, and that the actual election will be close. Still think that’s likely.

  8. That last minute of Q&A gave us modern Australian politics in a nutshell. ALP message drowned out by snarky Coalition voices.

  9. Zoidloid
    The trend towards 50/50 is not borne out by the poll of polls it was towards 53/47 and included a perfect storm against the Libs and for the PM.
    The last Newspoll was considered by nearly everyone to be an outlier and Morgan polls don’t count for much but did pick up on that trend.
    This poll was always going to be a bounce back.
    It had a little bit to do with Margie Abbott a little bit to do with no green heroics like rightly blocking super trawlers and a little bit to do with being unable to trot out another David Marr article o student politics story from 1977/78.
    Basically the public now knows everything about both Abbott and Gillard warts and all and if Hockey or Turnbull led the Libs you could add 6% to their 2pp quite frankly so be glad you’ve got Abbott like I am glad you’ve got Gillard.

  10. Boy o boy! Q&A tonight was a great example of rudeness and misogyny towards Kate Ellis. If that is an example of how she is treated in parliament I don’t know how she stands it!

  11. rossmore (from previous thread)
    [Dan g … Congrats on the qanda tweet! ]

    Thanks. For those that missed it, it occurs at about the 46 minute mark, during the back and forth about school funding, when you watch it again on iView. 😉 😀

  12. Won’t see the breakdown until tomorrow but I’d put money on the biggest change being to the category that William questioned in the 50/50 poll – i.e. ages 40-54 – as I suggested last poll, those that can relate to losing a parent

    It’s not all bad though – 10 point lead to Julia as preferred PM is HUGE

  13. BK:

    Sophie being proferred by her party for qanda suggests they are still living in denial.

    She’s been hopeless the times she’s appeared in the past!

  14. [That poll result is hugely bad news. I cannot find a bright spot.]

    You can’t see a benefit from Abbott being safe as LOTO?

  15. Considering the social media swell we’ve just witnessed, the open mockery in the MSM and on the networks.. this poll is completely and utterly illogical.

  16. wobble @ 38

    [Won’t see the breakdown until tomorrow but I’d put money on the biggest change being to the category that William questioned in the 50/50 poll – i.e. ages 40-54 – as I suggested last poll, those that can relate to losing a parent]

    I find it strange that “losing a parent” should change voting intentions. I am not saying that you are wrong but I have never thought politically about such extraneous matters.

  17. It’s poll voodoo. Ju-ju extreme.

    The opinionistas will have a hard time explaining this one.

    There is no way n the word that the government has plummeted in popularity as a result of the events of the last two weeks. No way.

    The insults against Gillard. The advertisers seeing the writing on the wall. The farce of Marige & The Kids. None of these can do anything but work against the Opposition.

    Then there is last week’s reported abandoned Newspoll, when News Ltd journos were so sure there would be one.

    Newspoll has officially jumped the shark. It’s gone feral. No-one can predict where it will go or what it will say.

    The old stand-bys of political assessment have been subverted to a random sample of electors with a significant margin of error…and it’s reported in the Fairfax papers first.

    Forget the positive effect of Margie. The sympathy for Jones.

    The campfire does not lie. I sat around one on the weekend and heard what people said.

    The commentators will try to wrap their opinions around this one. Fairfax has now abandoned Nielsen (which they pay for) for Newspoll (which they don’t). Up is down, Down is up.

    Trying to explain it is pointless. There is no explanation.

    But we will be served up with one, nevertheless.

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