Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition

Newspoll has opened its account for 2013 with an encouraging result for Labor, recording a primary vote six points higher than the previous poll of December 7-9.

The result of the first Newspoll for 2013 has been reported by AAP (your guess as to how that’s come about is as good as mine) and almost simultaneously by the ever-reliable James J, and it’s a relatively encouraging one for Labor who trail just 51-49 on two-party preferred, down from 54-46 in the final poll of 2012. The primary votes are 38% for Labor, up six on last time, with the Coalition and the Greens both down two, to 44% and 9% respectively. Julia Gillard is up two on approval to 38% and down three on disapproval to 49% while Tony Abbott is up one to 29% and down one to 58%. Gillard leads as preferred prime minister by 45-33, up from 43-34.

UPDATE (16/1/13): A Morgan face-to-face result covering both the previous two weekends (and presumably warranting more than the usual degree of caution on account of the holiday period) has the Coalition leading 51-49 when preferences are distributed as per the 2010 election result, and by 52-48 according to respondent allocation. The primary votes are 36.5% for Labor, 41.5% for the Coalition and 10.5% for the Greens. This follows what now looks an aberrant result in the final poll of last year, when Labor led 53.5-46.5 on previous election preferences and 52.5-47.5 on respondent-allocated.

UPDATE (19/1/13): AAP reports a ReachTEL poll of 511 respondents conducted for the United Voice union in Wayne Swan’s Brisbane seat of Lilley suggests he is heading for defeat, trailing LNP candidate Rod McGarvie 45% to 38% on the primary vote.

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.

3,565 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. Essential aint my poll (nor the “Conservatives” for that matter), it is actually commissioned by the union movement I think. Just saying when polls are different you look to the next one (a tried and true fallback for pseph tragics).

    As it turns out 51-49 and 54-46 are both within the realm of where I think we currently are in terms of political support (53-47- which I have said pretty consistently for a very long time….months at least).

    53-47 is where the averages where at the end of the year and I would assume that when the suite of polls come out that is where the average will be again. A forewarning (I don’t include Morgan F2F in that unless you adjust for the bias).

  2. thanks Shellbell

    William – it’s sounding more and more like a Labor leading Morgan tomorrow. I hope you’re ready to crank up Bludgertrack 🙂

  3. from the Oz quoted by Leroy @ 36 as the Prime Minister declares her readiness for a drawn-out political fight.

    Technically wrong. She said she was ready for a big year and ready to do big things. The DT and Herald Sun used the “fight, war, roar” lingo not the PM.

  4. Look forward to Bushfire tomorrow. He and Ratsak have called it perfectly for some time, as far as the longer-term trend goes. Labor is circling the wagons.

    Be interesting to get an expert view of the trend – Possum, Kevin, William. There’s still a long way to go fighting against the Old Media, especially their efforts to define the agenda and continue the lies.

    Ben Eltham nails them

  5. [Jeffemu
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm | PERMALINK
    But don’t get too excited everyone. Remember just the other day there were 148 negative comments in the Telecrap re PMJG’s letter to 3 in favour.]

    Despite our best efforts too 😉

  6. [The Finnigans
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:54 pm | PERMALINK
    Joe Hockey’s reaction when told of the latest Newspoll ]

    I suppose one has to be happy you didn’t refer to KFC Finns :devil:

  7. Mari @ #55

    That was the funny part. It was like us kids daring to see who could get one posted. Everytime “we” had a posting you could hear the mass laughter.

    Even when the naughty ones were instantly posted.

    Just like the Stuntman it is becoming a joke and the more it is exposed the better it gets.

  8. It’s going to be as if there is a big economic stimulus bill in parliament!

    Abbott will just down a half a dozen reds and fall asleep on a couch.

  9. [jeffemu
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm | PERMALINK
    Mari @ #55

    That was the funny part. It was like us kids daring to see who could get one posted. Everytime “we” had a posting you could hear the mass laughter.

    Even when the naughty ones were instantly posted.

    Just like the Stuntman it is becoming a joke and the more it is exposed the better it get]

    It was hilarious but I wasn’t too happy at the time with The Terror, are you on Twitter I had a wonderful time on Twitter and so many joined in the fun , just like here on PB. Hopefully it will start showing people how “balanced” DT is. :devil:

  10. No I am not on twitter. Probably will soon, but the distractions are mounting up and I am easily distracted when it comes to fighting Tories and ‘me’ footy

  11. 52-48 is about right I would say – that’s where the big two Nielsen and Newspoll have them. Maybe even 51-49.
    Point is that’s easily within reach in an election year with a very poor opposition.
    Labor’s to lose now.

  12. [jeffemu
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm | PERMALINK
    No I am not on twitter. Probably will soon, but the distractions are mounting up and I am easily distracted when it comes to fighting Tories and ‘me’ footy]

    Go on it is fun and probably one of the best and most effective ways of fighting the Tories at the moment. Let me know when you do and I will follow you
    Forget footy for this year 😉

  13. On twitter

    You’ll know the #libspill is on when the Oz starts editorialising how they knew Abbott was no good all along. #auspol

  14. This is the first Newspoll since May 2011 which did not have a majority of respondents disapproving of Gillard.

    (I think that mid 2011 to now historical result also applies to the Essential but don’t have all of those polls at hand to be able to check).

  15. [Psephos
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm | PERMALINK
    Can someone remind us when was the last Newspoll in which Labor was in front?]

    Certainly before April 2011. I think from memory it was Nov(ish) 2010….

  16. Mari – tiz the year of the Shark… plus I run a pretty big League website that keeps me busy too

    Ive been waiting 45 years for my team to win… and this year is shaping up as a good chance.

    I will enjoy both loves… fighting tories and cheering sharks

  17. As soon as it becomes “respectable” to evince open support for Labor – respectable in the sense that “everyone else” is doing it – Labor will run out to around 54 or 55 on the 2PPV, maybe more, unless the LNP first remove Abbott. He is now driving voters to Labor. He is completely finished.

  18. Dunny,

    Don’t know I’d use the term circling the wagons.

    I earlier today used the term ‘occupying the high ground’. No question Labor took a lot a heavy casualties over the past two years, but they don’t seem to have lost sight of the objective (Ruddstorationist Runos aside). They didn’t panic and stuck to governing well. They took the casualties to ensure they held overwhemingly strong positions on their preferred battle grounds, from which they could strike out when the time was ripe. The plan has always been get the fundamentals right, and the election campaign will largely take care of itself.

    Now they have a mighty legislative record behind them. NBN, Aged Care, Maternity Leave etc are all positives. Come the election MRRT and Carbon pricing will be net winners, and Gonski and NDIS give Labor the big ticket forward looking reforms to bed down next term. Add to that winning Sawford Formula of lower interest rates, inflation and unemployment and Labor’s position is extremely strong to fight an election.

    Labor won’t be sand bagging too many seats (as a circling the wagons metaphor might indicate). They’ll be attacking the Coalition’s marginals (and winning them)

    (This piece is from after the 04 election, but I’m pretty sure the Sawford Formula held up pretty well for 07 and 10. It will get Labor up this year too, but 16 will be very tough because inflation and interest rates will almost certainly rise. )

  19. [jeffemu
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm | PERMALINK
    Mari – tiz the year of the Shark… plus I run a pretty big League website that keeps me busy too

    Ive been waiting 45 years for my team to win… and this year is shaping up as a good chance.]

    I will enjoy both loves… fighting tories and cheering sharks]

    My daughter and family live at Cronulla but SIL is a rabid Souths supporter . Please don’t hold that against me, I can’t control who my children marry 😉

  20. Yes Abbott is in truly dire straits but as PvO so kindly pointed out on the weekend, they won’t ditch him. He has been the best opposition leader ever and it is too close to an election. Liberals don’t do that sort of thing anyway you see.
    I have said all along if they do ditch Abbott (and I don’t think they will, it’s too late now) it would be for Hockey. Turnbull is just too hopelessly compromised by his previous positions.

  21. 368 on the previous thread

    There is also the consideration of whether to vote for a candidate who will get a primary vote above or bellow the 4% threshold for per vote funding.

  22. [Actually, there was a 51-49 to ALP in March 2011]

    Which was when the Gillard Government announced the carbon price legislation. Ministers foolishly conceded that this was a “carbon tax” (which it isn’t), thus allowing the Opposition and the Murdoch press to accuse Gillard of having lied when she said “no carbon tax” before the election. This gross political error caused a slump in Labor support which lasted until the carbon price actually came into effect, whereupon the Opposition-Murdoch scare compaign evaporated and Labor’s fortunes began to recover.

    We will recall that when Gillard became PM she said there were three things she had to fix: the mining tax, the carbon price, and boat arrivals. The first two have now been effectively fixed, and are no longer political liabilities. The third has not been fixed and Labor is still bleeding because it has not been. This should now be Gillard’s priority.

  23. I take a break and look what happens.

    I think the Greens will be happy to take a drop in support to keep Labor in and the recognition of the reality of climate change rather than a change to the LNP and denial of that reality.

    That said they will of course fight hard for every vote.
    The Greens are not dying anytime soon and are with us for a few decades at least.

    The parties that are likely to die before the Greens are the National and Liberal parties. Unless the moderates rescue the Liberals.

  24. MSM Spin is voters moving to the major parties so is Minor parties loss.
    Only two point loss to LNP.

    The way they report you would think these polls were holy writ with no margin of error.

  25. What a surprise poll. Just got home and thoughr I’d check to see the Morgan but found a better one. Good start to the year Bludgers.

    Labor’s nervous nellie pollies must be working harder out there.

  26. 85

    I do not think there would have any significant lessening of conservative anger if the Government had said “this is not a tax” and they would have just accused Gillard of lying about whether she would bring in a carbon tax both before and after the election. It may well however have gone down better with swinging voters.

    They way to stop the boats is to abolish the law requiring airlines to refuse access flights to Australia to people without a visa (and spread the word in Malaysia and Indonesia). Then the cheaper and safer flights can render the boats useless. Problem solved.

  27. [79


    Agree that Abbott is driving voters to Labor.]

    And the Government is showing every day that it is a good, capable, sturdy, reliable, clear-thinking and self-assured, intelligent and articulate force….expressing the kind of values/qualities that comprise leadership…unbeatable in this context

  28. I’m about halfway through the NSW 1995 election on wikipedia and I’m all excited about the project at the moment.

    I’ve been given a challenge to start working on historical Tasmanian elections now. Since the Tasmanian electoral commission has worked much harder than the other states to keep its results available, I think I’ll take it up. At least it’ll be easier than slogging through NSW’s 99 districts of the 90’s.

  29. They should have said it was an emissions trading scheme with a two-year fixed-price lead-in period, and they should have stick to that line and not deviated from it. Yes the Opposition would still have said Gillard was a liar but they would have got much less traction.

    They only solution to unauthorised arrivals that will help Labor win the election is for unauthorised arrivals to stop. The only way to stop them is to make it clear that coming to Australia without authorisation is not a pathway to an Australian visa.

  30. psephos,

    I broadly agree with all of that, apart from perhaps the importance of boats to the final result. Where the economy was less healthy and the opponent more electable boats could be decisive, but realy I think it’s more of a winner for the Libs in government than opposition.

    Not disputing it hurts the ALP, especially (and perhaps surprisingly to some) amongst immigrant communities in Western Sydney. Just it won’t be enough to get enough people to overlook Abbott’s shortcomings, and Bowen has done enough to take most of the sting out of it.

    Julia won’t be bringing it up because that’s one of the few fronts Abbott will want to fight on. If (when) Abbott goes there the government will stick tightly to the Houton panel recommendations.

  31. “@CraigEmersonMP: Disgraceful comments by@andrewlamingmp on Logan City, slurring a proud community. We don’t need Laming or anyone else pontificating #auspol”

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