Newspoll: 54-46 to Liberal in Robertson and Dobell

A Newspoll survey reported in The Australian finds Labor in big trouble in two central coast New South Wales marginals, including the seat of Craig Thomson.

No sign yet of a sample size (UPDATE: It turns out to be a modest 505, with a margin of error approaching 4.5%), but The Australian reports a weekend Newspoll survey of the neighbouring Labor marginals of Robertson and Dobell on the New South Wales central coast points to a combined swing to the Liberals of 7%, more than enough to account for the respective margins of 1.0% and 5.1%. On the primary vote, Labor is on 35% (compared with 43.0% at the 2010 election) and the Coalition is on 50% (41.9%). No detail is provided for other parties and candidates, but evidently Craig Thomson is unlikely to trouble the scoreboard much in his bid to retain Dobell as an independent (UPDATE: The poll has the Greens at 8%, compared with 8.8% in 2010, and others at 7%, compared with 6.3%). On two-party preferred, the Coalition leads 54-46 (53.0-47.0 to Labor in 2010).

The poll also finds the leaders’ personal ratings to be markedly different than the rest of the country, with Kevin Rudd on 39% approval and 54% disapproval compared with 53% and 41% for Tony Abbott, and Abbott leading 47-41 on preferred prime minister. In the national survey conducted on the weekend, Rudd was on 39% and 48% disapproval comapred with 38% and 52% for Tony Abbott, with Rudd leading 46-37 as preferred prime minister.

UPDATE: Now newcomer automated pollster shows a diabolical result for Labor in Lindsay, conducted on Tuesday night from a big sample of 1038. Liberal candidate Fiona Scott’s primary vote is put at no less than 60%, up 17% on 2010, with Labor member David Bradbury on 32%, down 13%. The Guardian quotes the pollster saying a question about how respondents voted in 2010 aligned with the actual result – I will assume this took into account the tendency of poll respondents to over-report having voted for the winner. I am a little more puzzled by the claimed margin of error of 3.7%, which should be more like 3% given the published sample size.

UPDATE 2: Now the Financial Review has a JWS Research automated poll of 568 respondents in Forde with remarkable figures on every front: LNP member Bert van Manen leading Peter Beattie 54% to 33% on the primary vote and 60-40 on two-party preferred, for a swing of 8.4%. As low as van Manen’s national profile may be, the poll gives him a 49% approval rating against 19% disapproval, with Peter Beattie on 35% and 51%. Kevin Rudd’s net approval rating is minus 18% against minus 1% for Tony Abbott. This is one of seven electorate-level JWS Research polls for which results will appear in tomorrow’s Financial Review.

UPDATE 3: Another automated phone poll for Forde, this time from Lonergan in The Guardian, and it’s just as bad for Labor as the JWS Research result. Bert van Manen leads 56% to 34% on the primary vote, with the Greens at just 4% compared with 12% at the 2010 election. While no two-party preferred figure is provided, it would obviously be very similar to JWS Research’s 60-40. The poll has 40% saying Peter Beattie has made them less likely to vote Labor against on 22% for more likely. As with the Lindsay poll, the sample was very large: 1,160.

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.

1,396 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Liberal in Robertson and Dobell”

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  1. Will be useful to see sample size and hopefully breakdown.

    Nice to see some seat polling that is not by robopoll but aggregating a seat with candidate issues with a seat without is a bit dubious.

  2. Also can anyone tell me why the LNP giving information to TheOz saying “The LNP says its marginal seat polling reveals an uphill battle” etc etc?

  3. I doubt we’ll get a breakdown. You usually get a few of these polls from Newspoll during a federal campaign where they throw a few marginals from a particular region together and give you a combined result, though usually it’s more than two. You’re quite right of course about Dobell being an unfortunate seat to choose for such an aggregate.

  4. Ah – the master communicator, the supreme debater, the people’s PM, the foreign affairs specialist, mobbed at shopping centres, brilliant in solving all problems with the stroke of a pen. I’m even more convinced now that he’ll get into Gillard territory by 7/9 with 55% odd.

    William if this pans out as I think it will, you can get straight into your best selling book: “What happened to the Australian Labor Party 2010-2013” just based on the PB material over 3 years. My insightful posts alone should fill one chapter entitled “This guy saw it all coming”. Enjoy.

  5. Here is 7:30 Interview with Abbott:

    LEIGH SALES: But we have to take you on faith with that until we see the actual numbers. We know that credibility on economic management is going to be critical to the outcome of this election. I can add up at least $30 billion worth of new spending promises or foregone revenue that you’ve announced so far ranging from school funning to the abolition of the carbon tax. The figure you’ve put on savings yourself is $17 billion. Do you agree that’s a substantial hole in your budget?

    TONY ABBOTT: It will be well and truly filled before polling day, Leigh, because we are going to live within our means, we’re not going to over-promise, we’re determined that we won’t under-deliver and we are absolutely confident that as the party that when we were last in government gave Australians the four biggest surpluses in history, we can do vastly better than the current government, which so far has given us the five biggest deficits in our history.

    At least $17 Billion black hole.
    But Spending $30 Billion.

    So that’s $47 Billion – of savings need to be found.

    Because you are spending and ripping stuff out.

  6. Bludgertrack for NSW currently shows -1.4% for Labor. So if this poll for Robertson and Dobell is *correct* then Labor would be doing a little better than the state average in one or more other seats if the bludgertrack is close to the mark.

    Maybe Macquarie or Macarthur are a little close for comfort now for the Libs?

  7. Dobell is clearly a special case because of Dobell, as this poll bears out there will be an above average swing to the Coalition there. But the swing in Robertson is smaller and if the ALP pick up Macquarie net losses in NSW could be no more than a handful at worst. In which case if the ALP pick up a reasonable number of seats in Queensland, coupled with maybe one or 2 in WA and the NT then it could still be very tight, provided they also do not lose too many seats in Victoria to allow for the probable loss of 2/3 seats in Tasmania.

  8. In the opt-in not-a-poll on the sidebar of my site ( two has just caught three in the voting for how many Tassie seats Labor will win. Two surged following a big gaffe by Geoff Lyons (Bass) yesterday in which he slurred his opponent Andrew Nikolic as an office army bureaucrat but had to apologise after it turned out all his claims were false. My site has a leftward-skewed readerbase sourcing pattern so I’d expect the true picture for Labor is worse than a tossup between saving 2 of 4 and saving 3. (I’m currently expecting they’ll save 2).

    Three had been in the lead since a few days after I started the poll in mid-July.

  9. Thanks William for the link to the Macquarie internal polling report. Had a feeling I had seen something to similar effect somewhere recently.

  10. I guess that if Murdoch was standing to make greater profit from NBN rather than getting rid of it we might see similar newspoll covering Bennelong and Macquarie.

    At this stage there are at least some hints that the marginal NSW seats are not necessarily all moving in the same direction and for all we know the same may be happening in QLD where there are plenty of narrower marginals.

    An overall say 2% swing to Labor in NSW and QLD alone over the next 3 weeks could still win them the election if the votes are in the right seats. As ever its a case of watch where the leaders go.

  11. Why did the OO sit on this all week?
    Small sample MOE 4.5 % dobell a special case not representative of other seats
    still did a little bit of wee in my pants tho

  12. The Australian up to its usual crap reporting of polls I see. Wasn’t Robertson written off because of Belinda in 2010?

    What happened?

  13. Oh well, looks election night party organiser’s will only need to provide canapes as it will all be over by 6.30-7.00pm.

  14. Both of these seats should have been written off by Labor a long time ago due to past candidate behaviour. The Dobell candidate should stil be supported, since she is effectively an apology to the electorate onnbehalf of the party. The Lindsay result is worse, and suggests Bradbury damaged himself losing his temper on radio.

  15. s’ok Andrew.
    Its fearsome, the amount of blue underwear getting laundered, wotwif the collective conservative crapola enfreudened here.

  16. I finally heard the details of Rudd’s special economic zone in NT. Not a good idea. Move on. Stick to local basics, not weird stuff. Go back to Henry for reforms, do not dream them up on the run. It looks desperate.

    Off early, have a good day all.

  17. Izatso

    No read the article. Morsi is too muslim for the armies liking. The brotherhood made an unwise grab for power, and the army backlash is happening now.

  18. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Abbott rolls out the Tea Party stuff at its woest.
    Abbott’s travelling bubble.–well-make-it-20130815-2rznp.html
    MUST READ! Gay Alcorn unloads on the undue, extremely biased election coverage by Murdoch via News Ltd.
    When is a good journo going to nail Abbott or Pyne about their education funding commitment’s schools/student formulae?
    Yes, thankyou very much Mr Abbott. You will be an international embarrassment should you win.
    Lenore Taylor hammers Abbott on costiings.
    If I were an Essendon player I’d keep my trap shut!
    What an arrogant prick!
    Wishful, but entirely understandable, thinking.

  19. Henry
    Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 at 12:46 am | PERMALINK
    This is surely a rouge poll.

    the poll is done by newsltd who is pro coalition

    of course its going ot favour the coalition

    no polls which has newsltd or pro coalition media influence can be credible

  20. Kevin Bonham
    Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 at 12:53 am | PERMALINK

    Nice to see some seat polling that is not by robopoll but aggregating a seat with candidate issues with a seat without is a bit dubious


    The poll which is take is dubious its done by a pro coalition media outlet

  21. William Bowe
    Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 at 3:39 am | PERMALINK
    The Newspoll turns out to have a sample size of 505, i.e. not much.



    Murdoch media in Australia (mitt romney style) is doing a poor job than its usa counterparts ,

  22. rummel
    Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 at 7:27 am | PERMALINK
    you seem down Bob!


    what for , labor is 8 seats in front

  23. another note

    If the liberals were ahead in dobell , why would newsltd/abbott coalition carried on about albanese speaking to thomosn

  24. rummel
    Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 at 7:32 am | PERMALINK
    what for , labor is 8 seats in front

    what seats?


    6/7 seats in qld

    1/2 seats in wa

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