Newspoll: 56-44 to Coalition

After a string of mediocre post-election ratings from other pollsters, the first Newspoll is more in line with what governments can normally expect in the first blush of their honeymoon.

The first Newspoll in the life of the new government shows the anticipated honeymoon bounce which has not been evident in earlier entries from Essential Research, Morgan and Research. The poll has the Coalition leading 56-44 on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 47% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 10% for the Greens. Tony Abbott leads Bill Shorten 47-28 as preferred prime minister, which is a lot closer to Essential Research’s result from last week than Morgan’s. Tony Abbott’s net approval has gone from minus six to plus thirteen, his approval up three to 47% and disapproval down sixteen to 34%, while Bill Shorten’s debut ratings are 32% approval and 24% disapproval.

UPDATE: The weekly Essential Research is unchanged at 53-47, although both sides are up a point on the primary vote – the Coalition to 45% and Labor to 35% – but with the Greens (10%) and others (11%) unchanged owing to the vagaries of rounding. Also featured are questions on leader attributes (Abbott is up five or six points on capable, understanding of the problems facing Australia, good in a crisis and honest, although off a low base in the latter two cases). Debut numbers are also featured for Bill Shorten, and his biggest deficits against Abbott relate to the negative qualities of the latter – narrow-mindedness, arrogance and intolerance. Questions on the New South Wales bushfires are perhaps a little more climate-sceptic than I might have anticipated, with 48% thinking them unlikely to be linked to climate change. Similarly, 46% say the carbon tax should be replaced either with the Liberals’ “direct action ” plan (15%) or nothing at all (31%), against 15% in favour of keeping the carbon tax and 21% opting for an emissions trading scheme. Forty-eight per cent of respondents thought Tony Abbott too soft on politicians’ expenses against 26% for about right and 3% who somehow thought he was too tough.

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.

1,218 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. From the previous thread:

    [For context, Rudd’s first post-election Newspoll was 58-42 2PP, with a Net satisfaction of +48, and the first PPM (against Nelson) was 61-14]

    Which is not a prediction of the next election, just a reality check to those who want to read into these results as a definite crystal ball for the next election.

  2. Comparing the Rudd Poll with Newspoll first in 51 days, does not take into account Rudd Government was not in the news for 51 days,with any Rorters as abbott has including himself referred to as serial rorter.

    Guess I do not go much for Murdoch polls

  3. Have to say I’d much rather the gradual improvement than a honeymoon bounce which one would expect to wear off.

    How far below 30 FP and for how long before Caucus shaft the voting rules and Electricity Bill?

  4. [Carey the next election is a gawd damn awful way off.]

    My point exactly. Unless a snap DD trigger is pulled (which is extremely unlikely) I’d probably be taking the polls with a grain of salt until, at least, the end of 2014.

    Nothing can be concluded at this point. Anyone who says it can is either really foolish or being disingenuous, in order to start a narrative.

  5. Certainly a much better result for Abbott than Morgan and Essential have been showing, but given past trends it isn’t that bad a start for Shorten either. The sort of polling you expect right after an election. Still, it does suggest that rortgate and the governments’ numerous gaffes and backflips arn’t really swaying public opinion as yet.

    William, any idea when we can expect a new BludgerTrack?

  6. The problem with RortGate is that Dreyfus messed things up early and since then made it a neutral issue. Basically a pox on both houses. Other than that it’s only us political tragics who have a half interest at present. The ordinary person probably thinks tough on boats tick, introduced slash the carbon tax tick, mining tax going tick etc. Most of the other stuff is just political noise and ignored by people.

  7. Well, at long last, the Murdoch press has found a bit of a bounce for Abbott and the conservatives. Would one expect otherwise?

    The interesting thing is just how relatively small the bounce is.

    The OO is making a big point of “nearly half the population “love” Abbott 47% whereas more than half – 53% – think he is crap.

    The Murdoch press still know he is their weak link and it is imperative the Dear Leader is seen to be loved and respected.

    Of more disappointment to me is a report in the SMH that Labor is set to dump its opposition to the CT repeal.

    Now, I have no particular brief for what type of market model to use, but after all the blood, sweat and tears of the past seven years by Labor, to just walk away from any responsibility in relation to this issue and vacate the field to the conservatives on this one will call into question for me, more so than most other issues, what Labor actually stands for.

    Might was well vote Green.

    They will never win office, but at least they have kept their policy and their position is consistent – if not sellable to the electorate at large.

  8. oh, david, you can’t say that. The rules for politicians’ entitlements are absolutely cut and dried and any conservative who is accused of fiddling them is clearly guilty as sin and the voter know it, apparently.

  9. I was always of the opinion that the Rort business was not going to go far because 1) It’s seen as a problem that all politicians are guilty of, therefore a plague on both houses etc. and 2) Labor aren’t going to push it too hard, lest it splash back on them (see point 1). I never, for a minute, believed it would kill Abbott’s honeymoon.

  10. I think your summation is pretty right DavidWH.

    It is not that the issues about rorting are not important or that the new government has had some teething issues, it is most people have pushed the “set and forget” button for the time being.

    I have no doubt as the economy sours in the new year things will not look so rosy in the polls.

  11. And, FYI, the way to handle the issue, without getting shit all over themselves (and the best approach Shorten could take) is to push for reforms to prevent abuses from happening again.

  12. Carey I doubt a majority of people in the suburbs see things as clearly as PB’ers do. PB is unlikely to be a guide on community perceptions for some time.

  13. Honeymoons happen because voters want to give the new guy a chance. Therefore early errors are explained away as nothing more than teething problems. (I think some part of it may be people also willing to overlook faults at the beginning because they want to believe they made the right decision).

    That’s not to say Abbott couldn’t win in a landslide next time. Honeymoons also show maximum potential.

  14. [Carey I doubt a majority of people in the suburbs see things as clearly as PB’ers do. PB is unlikely to be a guide on community perceptions for some time.]

    Minor correction: PB is NEVER a guide on community perception but otherwise I agree.

  15. Tricot I think Abbott will get one to two years with the economy and thanks to Swan can afford to take a bath in 2013/2014 without losing too much political skin. That’s why the $9 billion transfer to the Reserve Bank was smart politically. Things will get harder after the next budget as people will be looking for THE FISCAL PLAN.

  16. It really doesn’t matter, in some respects, what the polls say at the moment as the elections are still 2 and a bit years away.

    Rudd had an enormous lead in the early days and while still at 52-48 at the time of the MRRT the Tories thought they might have a chance of getting him in one term.

    They were badly wrong of course, but it only took 18 months to see the political capital diminished.

    Abbott and his mob are actually starting from a much lower popularity base and while 15 seats seems like a good buffer, so many of those seats (11?) are held with paper thin margins.

    Abbott has about 6-12 to put some real runs on the board other than rip this down or take that apart, before he declines.

    He is not loved or respected and will not grow to be either.

    On the other hand, Shorten has a lot of work to do.

    I suspect most of the electorate do not even know who he is and could not place his face in a line up of 10 prominent Australians. But then, that is the lot of opposition leaders – to establish a presence.

    Abbott may be a totally despicable and poor leader, but he is a recognisable despicable leader.

  17. Newspoll’s final pre-election national poll was correct to within a percentage point on every particular, which is a rare achievement. Their earlier marginal seat polls were a different matter.

  18. schnappi @21 I look forward to the Government holding the line and committing no more than $3.2 billion.

    They are going to legislate it in the Supply Bills so that if the ALP oppose it then it’s off to a DD Election we go.

  19. I think we can virtually ignore those marginal seat polls William other than for amusement value. They were all too inaccurate.

  20. Thanks for the link Schnappi to the Age.

    From what I read, it will not matter then, as far as the CT is concerned, what the composition of the Senate is.

    My belief is that the CT is a token issue for the conservatives to tell everyone “Look, we said we would get rid of it and we have.”

    What good it will actually do I am not certain. I guess Labor can then demand to see the $550 – which, of course, will never happen and be forgotten.

    My question in terms of reacting to GW, is where now does Labor stand?

    What policy do they have? My feeling is, at the moment, none.

    Not that the conservatives are really in any better position but as they think climate change is crap, then they really don’t need a policy – workable or otherwise.

  21. Direct action is a sop but at least is has the pretence of a policy.

    With Labor to withdraw its opposition to the CT repeal as the Age seems to suggest, then it has no policy.

    Not sure which is the poorer outcome.

    A meaningless policy which takes tax payer funds to pay the polluters or no policy at all.

    What a depressing outcome after so much promise those many years ago.

  22. Newspoll exit poll on election day showed Labor holding only one seat in Queensland and NSW that’s the last Newspoll I can remember

  23. It actually showed Labor winning 12 seats in NSW (they managed 18), but yes, point taken. However, the last Newspoll that was like this one (albeit that the sample was a lot bigger) performed very well indeed.

  24. WA Senate count

    Given the level of secrecy and lack of openness there is little wonder why the AEC comes under fire for its election management.

    The AEC has not updated its election count to reflect changes in the ATL recount. We know that they have found votes and that the score has altered but there is no indication where that change has occurred.

    IN contrast in Fairfax the published data is updated as and when changes are being made in the recount,

    It was bad enough that they refused to provide scrutineers progressive copies of the BTL preference data file during the data-entry phase.

    I also do not see why they are not prepared to recount the BTL votes. We have identified 300 over BTL votes that are worth re-examining. Had copies of the preference data file been available these votes would have been checked the first time around.

    There were recorded votes that had a preference 050 and should have been 05. It is unknown how the computer counted these votes presumably they would have exhausted at 5.

    The fact that the AEC has not “open sourced” the software source code the only way that the count can be checked is to count the election using alternative software.

  25. The lastest Newspoll poll is not a good indicator of the state of the electorate. Bill Shorten has hardly been seen since winning the leadership. We are yet to see him perform and make his presence felt. he certainly has not come out fighting leaving most of the work to Chris Bowen.

    Given the long campaign period leading up to the September election I am not surprised that electorate is showing a sigh of relief now that we have a majority government even though there is some uncertainty in the senate.

    I am confident that there will be a double dissolution at the next election. If the government continues to secure support in the polls the election may be sooner than later. All indications are that both Labor and the LNP would fare better in the Senate if there was a double dissolution.

    It is wring to assume that because the quota is lower that this benefits the Minor parties. In some states the ALP/LNP elected just two senators. If that was repeated at a half senate election they would have just four but in a full Senate election they would secure 5 or maybe 6 seats. SA being the main exception. The Greens would be the overall losers in a Full Senate seat as would the Micro parties that were elected.

  26. If that Fairfax article on the ALP willing to vote for repeal of the carbon price is accurate …

    I will be very unhappy with the ALP.

    Maybe they don’t care. Maybe they see political riches following this strategy.

    All I can say is it will mark yet another milestone on the road to political fucked-uppedness for the ALP, of which there were many others leading the way over the last 6 years.

    In general I think the ALP need to take note of what their strategic brains suggest and do the opposite because they have been getting it wrong for years. Why do they think that now they have the right answer when the “right answer” sounds an awful lot like all the wrong answers that came before.

    You think you can vacate the field and then snipe away at Direct Action and that will win you points? Seriously?

    And then at the next election, or maybe the one after that, you can think about maybe ‘developing an alternative’? What freaking alternative would that be? An ETS? How the frack can you argue for an ETS after going yes, no, yes, NO OK WE’LL REPEAL IT, but hey how about an ETS guys?

    If the ALP EVER EVER EVER wants to try to be a serious political party, and include carbon pricing as its policy, then it has to draw the line here, now. Changing tack again and trying to argue even more semantics is doing more of the same old losing crap you’ve been failing at for years now.

    If the ALP have decided they don’t actually care about carbon pricing or AGW or whatever, fine. Say so and be done with it. Whatever you do, don’t try to be “politically clever” because the current ALP appears to be congenitally incapable of anything except political idiocy.

  27. Tony Abbot has bee stocking the fore. yes he has made a few idiotic blunders in his first 50 days of office but the Liberal Party has already started to take advantage of Bill Shortens weak spots, Most noticeable was being his about face in the previous leadership challenges. First Rudd then Gillard then back to Rudd.

    Bill lost a lot of support when he came out with the suggestion of of a sexuality and other minorities quota for MPs. Its one thing to have a quota on gender and Indigenous representation but the suggestion that there be quotas on sexuality leaning has not attracted any support

    The Government is vulnerable on so many fronts. we no longer have a financial debt crisis as was claimed before the election. The Government has moved to increase the debt ceiling. The boats are still coming even though the details of the “illegal” arrivals is not readily available

    This forthcoming sitting of Parliament will be Shortens chance to get a few runs on the board before the Christmas break.

    If Shorten fails in make his mark in this first session then it is difficult to see the Abbott government being relegated to one term. Shorten has to show that he is a real alternative PM early in the piece to gain credibility and public support. If he leaves it for too long then he will seen as a caretaker opposition leader pending the next election that will follow.

    Whilst Tony was out there getting his photo fighting fires Bill has in hibernation. Its tough in opposition.

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