Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition

From a glass-half-full Labor perspective, this week’s Newspoll shows an encouraging three-point lift on the primary vote. But it still corroborates the result of the most recent Nielsen survey in suggesting a solid win for the Coalition.

This week’s Newspoll finds Labor making a minor gain on two-party preferred, from 54-46 to 53-47. It comes despite a three-point improvement on the primary vote to 37%, with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 47% and 9%, and the balance coming off others. The disparity is down to a set of numbers last time which suggested the rounding to two-party preferred had favoured Labor. The personal ratings are the first in a while where Kevin Rudd’s position hasn’t deteriorated, although this may be due to a bad sample for Labor last week. His approval rating is up one to 36% and his disapproval down two to 52%, while Tony Abbott continues improving steadily with approval up one to 42% and disapproval down two to 49%. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has increased slightly, from 43-41 to 44-40. The sample is back to its normal size of a little over 1100, after being bumped up to over 1600 last week to allow for fortnightly aggregated state-level results from decent sample sizes.

The weekly Morgan multi-mode poll has the Coalition leading 52.5-47.5 on previous election preferences and 51.5-48.5 on respondent-allocated, up half a point on both measures. On the primary vote, Labor is down two points to 34.5%, the Coalition is up half a point to 45% and the Greens are up 1.5% to 11%. Full details including state breakdowns here. Here too the poll is back to a normal sample size, of 3419, after blowing out to 4515 for some reason last week.

The addition of Newspoll and Morgan to BludgerTrack finds two-party preferred moving 0.2% in the Coalition’s direction, but Labor gaining one on the seat projection. This is down to the confounding pattern of strong numbers for Labor in state breakdowns for Queensland, the latest examples being a 37% primary vote from last week’s Newspoll aggregate, 39% from Saturday’s Nielsen and 36% from today’s Morgan, compared with 33.6% at the 2010 election. This is flatly contradicted by all seat-level polling, most notably Saturday’s large-sample Newspoll of the eight most marginal Liberal National Party seats, which had the Labor primary vote down 4.5% from 2010. Due to the probability that seats selected for such polling will not be representative of the state at large, the model can only use the statewide results. So while the BludgerTrack vote and seat numbers look broadly in line with expectations in the other states, I suggest the projection of a three-seat gain in Queensland be treated with considerable caution.

Finally, Adelaide’s Sunday Mail brought us a Galaxy poll of 586 respondents in Hindmarsh, Labor’s most marginal seat in South Australia, which had the result at 50-50, a swing to the Liberals of 6%. I’m not sure if this was a live interview poll like Galaxy normally does, or an automated one such as they did last week for the first time with marginal seat polling in Sydney and Victoria. UPDATE: The poll was automated. The primary votes were 41% for Labor (44.7% at the 2010 election), 44% for the Liberals (38.6%) and 10% for the Greens (12.2%).

UPDATE: Essential Research is still at 50-50, but Labor is down two on the primary vote to 38% with the Greens surging three points to 11%, and the Coalition down one to 43%. The poll also finds 60% of Coalition supporters saying they will “definitely not change my mind” against only 46% for Labor, while 17% of respondents rating it “quite possible I will change my mind” against 11% of Coalition. Since I started paying attention a few years ago, I have never seen the Coalition fail to do better than Labor on this measure. I’m not sure whether this is a Coalition/Labor thing, or if it’s to do with the fact that every election I’ve been observing has been a bad one for Labor. Kevin Rudd’s net approval has moved into negative territory since a fortnight ago, his approval down four to 41% and disapproval up two to 45%. Tony Abbott is steady on approval at 37% and up one on disapproval to 52%. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 47-35 to 43-34. Two points of encouragement for Labor: their parental leave scheme is favoured over the Coalition’s by 35% to 24%, and respondents were slightly more inclined to believe Labor rather than the Coalition would be able to pay for its commitments without spending cuts (41% thinking it very unlikely the Coalition could do so against 35% for Labor).

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.

1,645 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. The HSR report uses a discount rate of 4% to project the net present value of the investment. This is a low rate, implying the railway would be low risk and that the Commonwealth cost of funds would be 4% or less over the life of the project.

    Of course, neither of these assumptions are likely to hold. The average cost of long term funds to the Commonwealth has seldom been less than 5%, and has averaged above 7% in the period since 1949. If the HSR Report had been predicated on a more realistic discount rate, it would be apparent that all of the proposed spending by the Commonwealth would be lost and that the cost would be much higher than the $114 billion mentioned in the Report published today.

    The losses would be so obvious and so large that even if the project were commenced, it would almost certainly never be completed.

    What is especially irritating about this is that there are many worthwhile projects around the country that should be funded – projects which would add to the productive potential of the economy and increase future incomes on a broad scale. By latching itself to HSR, Labor has identified itself with everything that infrastructure spending should not be – grandiose, wasteful, gimmicky and impossible to realise. It is practically pork for pork’s sake.

  2. Funnily enough the only reporters charged with hacking in Australia have been Fairfax. Of course because it’s also an ALP cheer squad the drones are completely silent.

  3. @morpheus/1600

    You are continue to deflect, rather than answer a simple question, why are you not criticizing Abbott’s Policy by not correcting Labor’s scheme, by simply changing the so called double dipping.

    So once you fix that issue, you still have an over-expansive PPL scheme, that is not fully funded.

  4. MBeemer

    Not to carry on too much. But The Advertiser was (and is) SA’s one and only paper.

    I read it since childhood. At one time it was non partisan.

    That idea faded since Murdoch betrayed me and the values of his readers.

    Long years ago I refused free delivery.

  5. briefly,

    What annoys me about the HSR project is that its costing doesn’t reflect what could be the cost were it to be engineered efficiently.

    Its assuming we build with cut and fill construction rather than developing a cost effective preformed drop-in-place viaduct. Its over-estimating the cost of tunneling by at least double and its basis for deriving bridging costs are ad-hoc to the point of contrived.

    Before we have this debate about high speed rail, or its funding, we need a deeper look at the actual engineering and how to build it cost effectively.

  6. This little black duck 1587

    What is that about, Ducky?

    ‘Think about it. The ABC is our public broadcaster.

    The CEO has stood for pre-selection for the Liberal Party.

    Do you think that any stuff emanating from his lot is worth attention?’

  7. zoid, morpheus is arguing with his imaginary friends. You should only bother responding when he does you the courtesy of addressing the real you.

  8. cud..are you an engineer? This project is supposed to take 50 years to design and build, and would lose money for ever and a day. If there are ways to make it cheaper as well as safer and more environmentally acceptable, that would be good news 🙂

  9. Morpheus

    Those statistics don’t surprise me but the issue isn’t if Women and young families need to support but what is the best way to support families.

    If we look at it in terms of economics, we have limited resources (taxdollars)and need to work out what is the best way to spend that money.

    The most productive way is too ensure that the child has the skills to earn even more money than his/her parents.

    Lets put it this way and i will base it on a real pair of sisters.

    One sister is an Registered Nurse the second sister is now a H.R Professional having previously been a Recruiter.

    They are both tertiary educated but the second sister is on a higher income.

    Therefore the second sister will receive the higher amongst of PPL, just how is that a fair use of taxpayer money, particularly when sister one knows that the Health budget is fully stretched.

  10. Re Secular Party. My request and the response.

    On 25 August 2013 23:44, I wrote:

    Thank you for your near comprehensive statement of policy.

    I am considering voting for the Secular Party in the Senate. (South Australia) Below the line, as I wish to allocate my preferences.

    I am sorry to see that you are not fielding a candidate in the House of Reps, Boothby.

    Disappointed as I am (a usually Labor voter) in the treatment of Julia Gillard at the hands of Kevin Rudd. A man I supported in 2007, but who has diminished himself and the Party to the point where I cannot vote for him

    ( as in the presidential vogue, however absurd )

    Would you be kind enough to let me know where you stand on:

    Paid Parental Leave

    Labor’s NBN

    School Kid’s Bonus

    Newstart levels of payment, and by implication types of payments to single supporting parents.

    Superannuation delays for the lower income earners.

    I take that you are in favour of NDIS, Better Schools and such.

    Thank you for listening.

    And an early response.



    Dear Helen

    Thank you for your email, and your words of encouragement!

    We will try to field more candidates in the next election.

    It has been difficult in this one since they have doubled the fees since last time. Elections are very expensive, unfortunately.

    I understand your concern over the way Julia Gillard was treated. During our executive meeting shortly prior to June 26th, we all expressed dismay and disgust at what was going on. I fear it will be a long time before we have another female Prime Minister.

    I will attempt to answer your questions below. Please note that policy development is a non-trivial process, we tend to stick to our core secular issues, but we do have considered positions in certain other areas.

    Paid parental leave: while we don’t have an official position, most of us would like to see a little more attention paid to accessible and affordable childcare, and a little less transition of taxpayer dollars to those on very high incomes.

    Most developed countries around the world have found PPL to be beneficial, but the author of one report I read was unable to find another country that was quite so generous as Abbott’s proposed scheme.

    Anything we propose is likely to be means tested over combined incomes. So in short:, it makes sense and is equitable to assist women to stay in the workforce, but there should be less, if any, assistance to couples on high incomes. And again: more attention to childcare!

    NBN: our unofficial position is that we support FTTH, i.e. the ALP’s plan, as we see this as a sensible investment for Australia’s future.

    School kids’ bonus: we don’t have a position on this as yet. We are, however, interested in developing the education system for the public sector, with funding for the private sector only as per our policy.

    Newstart levels of payment, and by implication types of payments to single supporting parents. We are not in the business of expecting people to live on starvation incomes just because they are out of work or single supporting parents. We feel that the current Newstart levels are insufficient. It would be easier for the government to provide adequate assistance if the churches were made to pay their fair share of tax.

    Superannuation delays for the lower income earners: we have not looked into this as yet.

    NDIS: yes.

    Better Schools, as per our revised policy: This does not make allowance for the difference between state and federal funding, so our policy would have to operate at both levels.

    I’m sorry that I was unable to answer every question. I hope that’s enough to give you a bit of an idea of how we think.

    Moira Clarke
    The Secular Party of Australia

  11. 1555
    sustainable future
    [I think it was Frank Crean who said wtte “Farmers always want to capitalise their gains and socialise their losses”. ]

    Shameless agrarian socialists, most every one of them.

    [I see the same thing with many anti-welfare conservatives – I like to start asking them where they went to school (many to elite massively taxpayer funded subsidised schools), where they went to uni (the over 40 y.o.s all got through uni on zero or low HECS… ]

    Not to mention all those general safety and technical standards and research that governments spend a lot of time and money and effort on, the background stuff that EVERYBODY benefits from immensely. Especially private industry.

    And lots of other stuff.

    [and pointing out they have done pretty well out of welfare. they hate it.]

    They sure do. One of my favourite sports. 😀

  12. 1599
    [{Murdoch’s} name should forever be stricken from our memory]

    I would prefer his name and actions were never forgotten, as a warning to future generations.

  13. Just delousing my Newspoll archive to correct for Newspoll using respondent-allocated preferences in 2004. Paints a very different picture of the 2004 campaign when this is done – Howard was never losing the 2PP by much and by election day was leading.

    Labor’s polling isn’t bad enough to quote Swinburne in this week’s poll roundup. I’ll settle for something nice and uplifting like Joy Division instead. 🙂

  14. i like kev

    he likes ideas that cost money, and australia should have money. fast train is latest. we should be the wealthiest country on earth. the liberals have impoverished this country transferring it wealth off shore or to few. let labor rule for next decade. let’s create true wealth for masses. the liberals are contradictory – austerity and growth do not equate.

  15. why cant fast train be built in five years, and more economically, and nbn finished in three? they fasttracked a bridge on south coast of sydney in 18 months.

  16. confessions 993
    Posted Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Surely this is a party Boerwar can vote for? I am seriously considering giving this party my vote in the Senate this election.

    The Secular Party of Australia stands for true separation of church from state, ensuring freedom of and from religion, and a liberal, secular democracy.

    Our policies promote:
    Freedom of thought and expression.

    A high-quality education system that is universal, secular and free.

    Equality and non-discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religiosity and sexuality, including marriage equality and LGBTI rights.

    The right of Australians to control their own destiny, such as voluntary euthanasia.

    The abolition of government subsidies and tax breaks for religious organisations.

    The use of science for human welfare, such as stem cell research.

    The use of Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council to promote secular democracy, the reduction of poverty, and the urgent prioritisation of international policies on climate change.

    All our policies are based on evidence, and our platform is both socially and economically liberal.

    chinda63 at 1008
    Posted Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and Confessions @ 993: me and all. I have recently made contact with them and intend to go along to one of the weekend meetings over the next couple of weeks.

    Every single policy – and I mean EVERY ONE – got a big tick from me. Haven’t been able to say the same for ALP or the Greens for years.
    However, the ALP will always get my second preference

    Diogenes 1023
    Posted Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
    fess and chinda

    I’m voting Secular Party. It’s the only time I’ve voted for the same party two elections in a row.

    Kevin Bonham 1050

    Posted Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Sadly the Secular Party are not contesting the Tasmanian Senate, although they are contesting Bass. They finished last in the last two Tasmanian Senate races. I voted for them both times as part of my usual strategy of voting 1 for a nonentity to ensure my vote doesn’t get snagged in anyone’s quota too early in the count.
    Looking forward to voting 1-54 BTL on election day.

    Boerwar at 1052
    Posted Sunday, August 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


    The policy platform looks like the sort of policy platform I would write in idle moments. It is very seriously lacking in detail, but it is a start.

    Which is a lot more than you would say about RuddAbbott policy multifarious policy disorder which, for the thinking person, just has to be ‘deadfinish’: what the cows start eating when everything else has been consumed.
    But Lo! The Secular Party beckons!

  17. Every now and then, someone like Morpheus will leave a comment here that briefly fools me into being impressed with their grasp of a point of policy detail. However, it only takes a nanosecond or so for my higher brain function to reassert itself with the recognition that they are surely just regurgitating something they’ve read on Andrew Bolt. And sure enough, there I find the whole comment, from which it’s been repasted word for word.

  18. Deciphered, Newspoll shows Labor winning, and I’ll bet three hundred dollars on them now.
    o well in interests of blogging plagiarising practice i offer some personal reasoning on newspoll. i particularly like my last sentence …….

    My reasoning is this. The voters were on landlines and aged, on average, 68. This gives Labor, at a minimum, 1.2 percent more, when you add in the fourteen million under-68-year-olds who were not consulted and who answer, mostly, only mobiles. The ‘preference flow at August 2010 federal election’ is redundant, and Katter’s preferences, declared now, will add 1.1 to Labor. The ‘refused’ are are usually migrants, who add, oh, 1.3 percent more to Labor. And the 5 percent ‘uncommitted’, six hundred thousand people, if 55 percent go Green or Labor, add, when shaken down, 1.2.

    Which brings us up to 51.8, a swing of 1.7, giving Labor Aston, Brisbane, Casey, Dunkley, Forde, Longman (Wyatt Roy) and MacQuarie, and a majority, with Bandt’s help, or without it, and Wilkie’s, or without it, of ten seats overall.

    If, however, the Newspoll is out by a margin of not 3 percent, which it admits to, but 1 percent, Labor picks up Bonner, Canning, Herbert and Swan, and, with Bennelong likely also, because of the Mandarin Factor, a majority of twenty.

    These, then, are the current Newspoll figures, before the Rooty Hill facedown, and tonight’s Q&A appearance of Shorten and Watson, who may have some useful zingers after what Julie (Bare-Arse) Bishop said yesterday, and the Great Refusal of Joe and Tony’s figures, and the outrage of old female pensioners bilked of their pension rises and super by the Rich Party, keen to pay Sarah Murdoch 75,000 for her baby.

    And, of course, the re-revelations of Tony Abbott’s trenchant support for convicted pederasts, and his thirty-year cover-up of what might be called ‘pro-active paedophilia’ at St Barnabus’s, his seminary. And his desertion of his pregnant bride and his neglect of her subsequent funeral after he ruined her with nationwide publicity of his cuckolding.

    I stand by my figure, 56.8 percent to Labor, and a majority of sixty-two. But I might be wrong. Never has the media been so burdened with fright. Never has freedom of speech, since the Second World War, been so immured in craven secrecy.

  19. William Bowe@1620

    Every now and then, someone like Morpheus will leave a comment here that briefly fools me into being impressed with their grasp of a point of policy detail. However, it only takes a nanosecond or so for my higher brain function to reassert itself with the recognition that they are surely just regurgitating something they’ve read on Andrew Bolt. And sure enough, there I find the whole comment, from which it’s been repasted word for word.

    Boltbots can usually be spotted a mile off. We have a few habitual offenders on my chess forum. Once you catch them out a couple of times they’re marked for life and you know where to go whenever they say something that sounds like Bolt would say it.

  20. Wiki
    Morpheus (/ˈmɔrfiəs/ or /ˈmɔrfjuːs/) is a god of dreams who appears in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

    Morpheus has the ability to take any human form and appear in dreams. His true semblance is that of a winged daemon, imagery shared with many of his siblings. Starting in the medieval period, the name Morpheus began to stand generally for the god of dreams or of sleep.[1]

    In Ovid

    The Roman poet Ovid states in his Metamorphoses that Morpheus is a son of Somnus and reports that he had a thousand siblings, with Morpheus, Phobetor and Phantasos being merely the most prominent among them.[2]

    The drug morphine is named after him.

  21. briefly,

    [cud..are you an engineer?]


    I’ve also submitted a detailed response to the Study and spoken at length with the bureaucrat in charge.

    [This project is supposed to take 50 years to design and build, and would lose money for ever and a day. If there are ways to make it cheaper as well as safer and more environmentally acceptable, that would be good news :)]

    It would indeed. And its a pity that that the $114 has been taken as if chiseled in stone.

    What the process needs now is either independent engineering study, or some form of design competition, or both.

    The study assumes a conventional cut and fill construction approach. Just like they do highways. Cut cuttings, build embankments, tunnel, bridge, and then put a fairly conventional (albeit with slab track) railway on top of that. Which if you study it in more detail reveals an awful lot of seriously expensive earth moving and very large impacts to both property and the landscape.

    A better approach is to make the primary method of construction a viaduct. And instead of following convention and building it to take freight rail (which is one of the embedded assumptions being used in the report) you design it for passenger rail, and assume rail vehicles that are about half the mass that is typically used.

    With that you can create a viaduct that’s assembled like lego. Dropped into place, columns, beams etc. So a single construction gantry can assemble as much as a Km of double line track a day.

    The extraordinarily long construction timetable given in the report reflects two things. One is that they’re really trying to keep the cost to the “few billion a year” ballpark which is a deliberately political consideration. And the other is that because they’re assuming cut and fill construction the bottleneck is in the skilled labour and the heavy earth moving plant and equipment which we just don’t have enough of in this country to do the job that way.

    Quite happy to go into a lot more detail if you like.

    I’m reasonably happy with the process, apart from one glaring oversight. And the costing. And the timetable. Well, ok, I’m fairly happy with the route.

    But even then there is a huge difference between the footprint left by cut and fill construction and a viaduct and that has to be resolved before they can do a proper job of corridor reservation.

  22. Lefty E

    Djakarta hits out. Little wonder.

    Dealing with a morphine affected person in real life is bad enough.

    Not surprised that they have an harsh attitude to delusionary and possibly drug affected persons.

  23. [Jakarta attacks ‘crazy’ boat policy.]


    I think I heard this earlier on the radio but so far I don’t think its gotten enough attention.

    It hardly surprises me. I was also half expecting an Indonesian to pipe up and tell us that Indonesian welcomes the billions of dollars per year that Australia is going to invest in its boat building industry.

  24. CC.

    Haven’t listened to Delroy for yonks.

    Just happened to be on the wireless.

    Seems like you may have missed.


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