Nielsen: 53-47 to Coalition; Newspoll: 52-48 to LNP in Griffith

Yesterday’s hard-to-believe automated phone poll showing Kevin Rudd in big trouble in his seat of Griffith has now been precisely corroborated by Newspoll, there’s more shocking numbers for Labor from Tasmania and Queensland, and the first national poll since the start of the week confirms an ongoing drift to the Coalition.

Mark Kenny of Fairfax reports the latest Nielsen poll, conducted from Sunday to Thursday from an unusually large sample of 2545, shows the Coalition leading 53-47, up from 52-48 in the previous poll a fortnight ago. On the primary vote, Labor is down two to 35%, the Coalition is up one to 47%, and the Greens are steady on 10%. Kevin Rudd’s lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister is down in the poll from 50-42 to 48-45. Rudd’s personal ratings continue to deteriorate, his approval down five to 43% and disapproval up four to 51%, while Abbott’s are stable with approval down one to 44% and disapproval steady at 52%. Full tables including state breakdowns from GhostWhoVotes.

Then there are these local polls:

• Yesterday’s Lonergan poll of Griffith just got a little less fanciful with Newspoll publishing a survey of 500 respondents, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, which corroborates its finding on both two-party preferred (Liberal National Party candidate Bill Glasson leading Kevin Rudd 52-48) and the primary vote (48% for Glasson and 37% for Rudd).

• There is also a combined Newspoll result from 1382 respondents covering eight LNP-held Queensland marginals (Brisbane, Forde, Flynn, Longman, Herbert, Dawson, Fisher and Bonner) showing the LNP ahead 60-40, suggesting a swing of about 7.5%. The primary votes are 32% for Labor (compared with 36.5% in the relevant seats in 2010) and 54% for the LNP (45.6%), with Tony Abbott leading as preferred prime minister by 49-39.

• ReachTEL automated polls of about 550 respondents from each of Tasmania’s five seats show Labor with an insignificant 50.6-49.4 lead in Franklin and well behind in Bass (58.4-41.6), Braddon (56.6-43.4) and Lyons (55.8-44.2), with Andrew Wilkie looking set to romp home in Denison with 43.7% of the primary vote.

• Nielsen also has a question on best party to handle paid parental leave has Labor leading 49% to 37% among women and 45% on 42% among men. On this point, Laurie Oakes relates Labor internal polling from UMR Research showed the Liberal scheme had 34% approval and 45% disapproval on Thursday, which exactly reversed the numbers from polling conducted just four days earlier.

BludgerTrack has been updated with Nielsen and its attendant state breakdowns together with the ReachTEL results, and it finds no let-up in what for Labor is a terrifying linear trend to the Coalition which had lift-off shortly before the election was called. It finds Labor continuing to shed seats in New South Wales, and in negative territory for the first time in Western Australia. However, the BludgerTrack endeavour is being confounded somewhat by a disparity between national and local-level polling, of which the latter is not accommodated by the model – most conspicuously in Queensland, where the BludgerTrack projection of two gains for Labor is entirely out of whack with the impression given by the headline-grabbing local polls. As Kevin Bonham notes in comments, this echoes the presidential election when Barack Obama did much better in state polling than high-profile national polls, the former of which collectively proved nearer the mark.

Despite the American precedent, I would be very wary about concluding that the glut of electorate-level polling we’ve seen recently is more likely to be correct than the major national polls, which have long established and generally very good track records. This was particularly easy to argue when the overwhelming majority of the electorate polling had been of the automated rather than live interviewer variety. However, this gets a lot harder to square now that we have Newspoll conducting a very robust-looking survey of Queensland marginal seats pointing to a swing against Labor of over 7%. By contrast, state breakdowns from national polling persist in suggesting Labor is holding its ground or better in Queensland while the game slips away from them elsewhere.

To illustrate the point, here’s a list of the Labor two-party preferred results and swings indicated in recent polling of various kinds from Queensland. As noted, it’s only the statewide polling that’s going into BludgerTrack. All results from Newspoll, Galaxy and Nielsen are live interviewer phone polling, ReachTEL, Lonergan and JWS Research are automated, Essential is online and Morgan is “multi-mode” (face-to-face, online and SMS).

Griffith	ReachTEL	05/8		702	46	-4
Forde		ReachTEL	08/8		725	46	-3
Forde		Lonergan	15/8		1160	40	-9
Forde		JWS Research	15/8		568	40	-9
Brisbane	JWS Research	15/8		607	46	-3
Eight marginals	Newspoll	20/8		1382	40	-8
Griffith	Newspoll	22/8		500	48	-10
Griffith	Lonergan	21/8		958	48	-10
Statewide	Nielsen		7/8		280	47	+2
Statewide	Galaxy		8/8		800	44	-1
Statewide	Morgan		10/8		743	48	+3
Statewide	Newspoll	10-17/8		550	46	+1
Statewide	Morgan		17/8		876	46	+1
Statewide	Lonergan	18/8		345	48	+3
Statewide	Nielsen		20/8		504	45	0
Statewide	Essential	27/7-17/8	741	49	+4

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.

3,577 comments on “Nielsen: 53-47 to Coalition; Newspoll: 52-48 to LNP in Griffith”

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  1. At 1% drift a week we’ll get to 45/55 on polling day = “Gillard territory”. So it was all in vain: the hate, the loss of heartland, the backflips on AS, the knifings, the loss of key caucus members, the deal with the devil Greens. Once, was a great Party whereas now the shindig at Gillard’s joint on Sat evening 7/9 will be a better party.

  2. blackburnpseph
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm | PERMALINK

    Has Abbott had a bad week? Has Rudd had a good week? All a bit so-so actually.


    Labor won this week

  3. Here we have the PPL gold standard exemplar of Scoot’s buyback policy:


  4. I’m gonna gloat.

    I’ve predicted the last two Newspolls and this Nielsen.

    With a term or more of Abbott ahead of us, I need to take pleasure in small mercies.

  5. Mick 77

    Media biased opinion polling dont win elections

    I got a feeling this site , going on opinion polling averages is going to look silly

    after the election if labor is returned to government

  6. gloryconsequence
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm | PERMALINK
    I’m gonna gloat.

    I’ve predicted the last two Newspolls and this Nielsen.


    anyone knows the pro coalition media polls will not let abbott look bd

  7. Meguire Bob – hey, if Labor win, I will be so over the moon that I’d be prepared to cop whatever was thrown at me!

  8. [More stats for the debate, there are 340,000 small motorised fishing boats in Indonesia, according to govt. And 2-10 million fishermen.]

  9. Why alot of socalled opinion analsis are in the Joe Hockey effect

    sweating and hoping , the opinion polls arent wrong like they were in 1993,2001,2004 and 2010

  10. [Labor won this week]

    If Kevin Rudd went into meltdown and his head blew right off you would say Labor had a good week!

    ..come to think of it – many may agree!

  11. On twitter

    This man WANTS TO BE PRIME MINISTER & the best he’s got is: “too many boats! buy all the boats!”

  12. blackburnpseph
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm | PERMALINK

    If Kevin Rudd went into meltdown and his head blew right off you would say Labor had a good week!


    I was talkign about labor as a whole Party ,

    compared to the coalition who was a rabble

  13. Well the best part of the week for Labor was the Debate. Then News ran with makeupgate while Nielsen was in the field.

    So Labor has not done badly. Of course now there will be improvement because of shop the boats.

  14. zoidlord
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm | PERMALINK
    The primary points are not all going to Coalition Party, so I wouldn’t rule out another minority gov.



  15. The ALP did have a very good week this week, much better than the first two, yet it seems not to have made any difference. Seems like people’s minds are either made up now, or they’re just not paying any attention. Not sure anything can be done at this point. Just have to keep going like this (definitely don’t panic) and hope things don’t get too much worse.

  16. There’s time yet. . .

    Week’s a long time in politics . . .

    1993 . . .

    Birthday Cake


    For Goodness sake.. .

  17. Yoyoma Bones
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm | PERMALINK
    The ALP did have a very good week this week, much better than the first two, yet it seems not to have made any difference.


    the media driven polls will always favout abbott

    dont get stressed over it

  18. MB

    I just love your optimism!

    And one must always believe they’re a winner no matter how bad things are or appear to be.

    That is ‘true’ spirit!

  19. [Meguire Bob
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Mick 77

    Media biased opinion polling dont win elections]

    Neither do deluded troll posts on political forums.

  20. I give up!
    The long campaign to dumb down the electorate has succeeded. An MSM diet of 10 second grabs and beating up of the most inconsequential issues have become the order of the day.

  21. guytaur

    i agree completely. it doesn’t take much to shift a few percentage points – labor could easily be in front w/o murdoch. coalition has cultivated public hysteria for several years – it is hard to tone it down. labor is winning a mile on policy and rational debate. liberals cannot win on rational debate, but oz politics have been irrational for some time – in due to large extent to alp right with june 2010, but exploited by abbott. alp should have gained this week – but chatter about shut up and make up rule, and some here celebrate. these are dark ages in our country, with worse that could follow

  22. Nemspy
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm | PERMALINK

    Neither do deluded troll posts on political forums.


    why are you posting here ?

  23. I have tried not to predict a win on either side because regardless who gets in we are all farked but without doubt I would pay a lot of money to see the expression on Messiah Kev’s face if he does indeed lose his seat. I reckon it will make Fukushima look like a firecracker.

  24. why is anyone gloating. do they seriously think the economy will improve – because the remnant carbon tax is removed (which labor has done, and which was not major factor) … why would anyone self harm to reduce a reasonable manageable debt. this is all madness of high order.

  25. Truth is, this election was probably lost long ago when the ALP failed to attack the economic record of Howard, and failed to educate the public about the necessity of modest debt in order to invest in infrastructure, health and education. Can’t leave something like that until a 5-week election campaign (not that they’ve tried particularly hard the last few weeks either).

  26. Yoyoma Bones

    Truth is, this election was probably lost long ago when the ALP failed to attack the economic record of Howard,]
    Earlier than that. It was when pillow Kimbo ran away from defending Keating’s economic record, stupid bastard.

  27. The State breakdown will be interesting later tonight, with the larger sample size we should get a decent glimpse at how things are going.

  28. [Oops: RAN sailors rather too frank about what they think of intercepting AS boats while Abbott present]

    Interesting… they are sick of the boats but some how The Age spun this to mean they didn’t like Abbotts plan to permanently stop the boats?

    Rudd should have asked them what they thought of Rudd dumping the Howard Pacific Solution.. now that would have been worth printing!

  29. That is a very big sample! Do we know that this is a conventional Nielsen poll as opposed to a robopol? I think I recall in 2010 Fairfax publishing a poll that we believed to be a conventional Nielsen that ended up being a JWS robopol?

    No conspiracy theory here by the way, just wanted to confirm whether it is a conventional poll!

  30. [Meguire Bob
    Posted Friday, August 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    compact crank

    Has there been an election this week?

    Is Abbott the pm]

    Is Gillard?

    You know, the one who would definitely not be ousted and who would lead Labor to a glorious victory? How’s that new Labor member in Northern Tablelands going? You know, the one “the vibe” told you was going to win comfortably. We’re also all waiting to here where we can find this pub of yours where the Coalition are paying almost even money odds. It wouldn’t be in the town from Under the Dome, would it?

    I just can’t wait for the time one of your “predictions” comes true. We’ll never hear the end of it. You’re like the guy who stands at the roulette wheel all year predicting that zero will be spin three times in succession. Eventually you’ll strike it lucky.

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