Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor

The first Newspoll since the government’s self-inflicted Gonski wound finds the pollster joining Nielsen in the 52-48 club.

GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll’s third entry in the life of the new government has Labor hitting a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, after leads of 56-44 and 52-48 for the Coalition in the first and second polls. This is Labor’s first two-party lead in Newspoll since the poll of March 18-20, 2011, which was itself an aberrant Labor-friendly result that emerged a month after Julia Gillard announced plans to introduce a carbon tax. Primary votes are 38% for Labor, up three on a fortnight ago, with the Coalition down three to 40% and the Greens down one to 9%.

UPDATE: James J in comments relates that Tony Abbott’s approval rating has maintained its downward trend across the three polls, going from 45% to 42% and now to 40%, while his disapproval has progressed upwards from 38% to 42% to 45%. Bill Shorten’s approval has gone from 37% to 39% to 44%, while his disapproval was 24% in the first poll to 27% in the second and third. Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister is also narrowing, going from 46-30 in the first poll to 44-33 in the second to 41-34 in the third.

UPDATE 2: The Australian’s report is here. Stay tuned for more polling action courtesy of Essential Research at around 2pm EST tomorrow – I believe we’re due for Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which should be interesting.

UPDATE 3 (Essential Research): The Essential Research fortnightly average reflects the move to Labor in its characteristic slow and steady way, moving one point to Labor on two-party preferred for the second week in a row to reduce the Coalition lead to 51-49. Labor is up a point on the primary vote to 37%, the Coalition and the Greens steady on 44% and 8%, and the Palmer United Party is up one to 5%. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is unchanged on last month at 45%, but his disapproval rating is up six to 46%. Bill Shorten on the other hand finds things going his way as the undecided jump off the fence, his approval up eight to 39% and disapproval up four to 31%. Similarly to Newspoll, Abbott holds a 43-33 lead as preferred prime minister, narrowing from 42-27 last time.

Questions on education provide the government with better results than it might have feared: its handling of education has 35% approval and 50% disapproval, while Labor’s lead as better party to handle the issue is only 36-33, although there’s also a 7% Greens component in the mix. Only 26% believe all schools will be better off under the new government, 26% believe only private schools will and 22% believe no schools will, with 2% signing on to the unlikely proposition that only public schools will. Also canvassed are the importance of unions “for Australian working people today” (57% important, 34% not important), and the importance of politicians keeping their promises.

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.

2,518 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 2m
    #Newspoll Primary Votes: L/NP 40 (-3) ALP 38 (+3) #auspol

    How often and how much longer can Sean call these polls rogues?

    Even stupid people see the light at some time

  2. I think Sean my result to the good old line – the only poll that counts is the one on election day (unless of course it is a poll that shows the LNP in the lead, and then it is an accurate poll).

  3. Its so rigged, the media are bias, some hack owns the polling company, just totally rogue.

    And most important


  4. Of course, it is a fair observation that the election is still years away and calling the government dead at this point is ridiculously premature. Still, it’s a testament to the very rocky start by this government.

  5. The coalition threw away its so-called political capital, and has absolutely nothing to show for it except broken promises and declining international relations.

    At least with the Gillard govt we got carbon pricing, environmental reform, a mining tax, disability reforms, superannuation reforms, etc etc etc.

  6. Still, it’s a testament to the very rocky start by this government.

    that’s an understatement

  7. #Newspoll Primary Votes: L/NP 40 (-3) ALP 38 (+3) #auspol

    You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.

  8. Wow! Abbott has finally managed to do what neither Rudd nor Gillard could do – i.e. make the ALP electable again!

    Go you good thing, Tone!

  9. 2PP (2010 preference flow) 51-49 to ALP
    2PP (2013 preference flow) 52-48 to ALP

    Primaries: Coalition 40, Labor 38, Greens 9, Others 13

    Abbott: Satisfied 40, Dissatisfied 45
    Shorten: Satisfied 44, Dissatisfied 27

    Better PM: Abbott 41, Shorten 34

    Dec 6-8, 1149 Sample size

  10. Actually this poll is a credit to the patient and unity face shown by the ALP verses a government which is limping badly for such a young government.

    This government has scored several own goals and is needing to find direction as everything seems rushed and panicked.

    The ALP too their credit have been unified and patient since election day, the leadership ballot enabled that and Bill Shorten as continued the steady run since.

    The likes of Bowen, Burke, Ellis and Pilbersek seem to have adapted well to opposition and are showing signs that they may benefit from this period.

    The biggest benefit for the ALP raising from its unified team has been the government as had no one to divert attention from its problems.

    Of course time is still very much on the government’s side but it is making heavy work with its next serious of races on boggy ground.

    The first 100 days normally set the tone for a new government, if the first 100 days are anything to go by this government is in for a world of pain.

  11. The Tory backbenchers are probably asking themselves if Tony can make their seats this unsafe in just 3 months, what hope will we have in 3 years? Turnbull within the year, I’d say. They may not like him, but they want to keep there seats more.

  12. [Abbott: Satisfied 40, Dissatisfied 45
    Shorten: Satisfied 44, Dissatisfied 27]

    When was the last time we saw a first term LOTO record higher satisfaction ratings than a first term PM so soon into the new govt?

  13. @MB


    I know.

    Also, regards to this gov, well, this gov hasn’t done anything other than to sign it’s rights away to overseas companies.

  14. Just changing this great news topic for one little momento.

    Did anyone notice the frilvolity in the chamber during question time when Speaker Kero Brommie made Albo withdraw after he called Hartsuyker “Stanley”

    Seems as though the Fibs don’t like him being referred to as Stanley. “It certainly does Ollie”

  15. Look like Christine has given Tony the kiss of death. Mind you, Tony probably also gives himself the kiss of death every morning in the bathroom mirror.

  16. Doing thing like lowering flags for an icon of our age like Mandela resonates with voters. They see it for the mean spirited act it is.

    On top of a few months of a smorgasbord of incompetence especially those that hit the hip pocket these polls are not a surprise. Not forgetting in government its harder for the media to polish a turd.

  17. Its like the country has suddenly woken up and thought oh, did I really vote this mob in? Buyers remorse in spades. Interested to hear from the psephologists if any recent Gov has had such a bad start

  18. If only this had occurred 3 months ago.

    The bad side is that it may wake up the Government and they take action with over two years to go. But there does not seem much talent there to build on.

    It is also highly likely they will stuff up the economy.

    The good side is that maybe community action like Thailand for an election NOW! might make this a six month Government!! Sigh, If only!

  19. Proably the most dishonest Australian government in living memory. People understand the signs – the education debacle was a classic and still Pyne and Abbott plot the destruction of the public school system. Mass mobilisation needed to prevent mass damage to Australian society.

  20. @22
    [The Coalition shouldn’t panic, they need to stick by the person who got them this far]

    Excellent advice. Stick to him like Glue!!!

  21. The downside to this is those lazy bums in Labor might think they’ve been let off the hook and no longer need to bother fixing the problems in their party :P.

  22. Sohar 20, I thought that a month back too … but it will only happen if Abbott agrees to fall on his sword voluntarily. I kinda think he will do a Nelson (in the interests of the party etc etc… resting on the laurels of an election victory and the promise of the ambassadorship to the Vatican).

  23. I suspect the Libs caved on gonski because they saw the bad polls, i thought conceding might let things cool down, but this is a very significant result, becuase;
    – AFAIK Newspoll is biased towards Libs (but maybe that chaning?), and at its minium it confirms polls from other pollsters.
    – The trend of Newspoll (56, then 52, now 48) must have the Libs control center terrified, -4% per month.
    – It signifies that perhaps voters are going to be just as unforgiving to the Libs as they where to the ALP.

  24. [Stephen Spencer ‏@sspencer_63 4m
    . @redneckninja @GhostWhoVotes Nielsen 52-48, Morgan 51.5-48.5. Only Essential now has coalition ahead.]

    Essential out tomorrow I believe.

  25. Well I think a May Double Dissolution is off the cards. Abbott has persuaded no one who didn’t vote for him in September that he deserve a chance to show us what he can do. A large tranche of those who did vote for him have changed their minds after seeing him in action for 3 months.

  26. I suspect Tone who was never hughly popular has overrated his popularity not helped by the frowning of many righties in the media.

    His mandate is very narrow, yep
    -stop the boats
    -axe the tax
    -get rid of the waste

    I suspect many voted not so much for Tone and his slogans but out of the hope that things would economically return to the way they were in the later Howard years.

    This government has not been a clean deliver of policy.

    -The Indonesia relationship
    -Walking away from the budget emergency
    -Pyne’s big back flip, triple somersault with pike over Gonski

    Of course there are several other small issues that have accumulated to create a picture of a poor performing government.

    Its key supporters are struggling to find a good reason to defend it at the moment.

    The tone of several key stakeholders would have added to a sense of the wrong agenda.

    Jobs are still being lost, earnings being downgraded and of course Holden and QANTAS.

    All up plenty of self-inflected pain, just wait until some real crap goes down.

  27. […and the promise of the ambassadorship to the Vatican]

    I do not think Francis would have much time for Tone. They are from different wings of the Catholic Church.

  28. Guytaur

    “…a smorgasbord of incompetence.”

    A very apt metaphor, perhaps the most concise explanation of tonight’s Newspoll.

  29. [ “This is the best Newspoll for Labor since…”

    Just after Gillard’s so-called misogyny speech?]

    No, I think it’s the best since before Rudd dropped the CPRS in early 2010. But I don’t have a full table in front of me.

  30. Rossmore, I doubt Tony will go quietly. However, the self-interest of other members of the party is more important to them than the feelings of Tony and Peta. The question is will Tony do a Rudd if he is dumped.

  31. Abbott’s woes have only just begun. He sounds like a spectator at the putting down of the auto industry, rather than like a leader who actually gives a damn. Meantime, the LNP have trouble ahead on the economy (incomes and employment), the budget (debt, tax and the deficit), foreign affairs, boats, education and health, just to name a few.

    Abbott himself already looks totally out of touch, short of ideas, and pointless.

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