Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

As other pollsters find support for Labor trending downwards, Newspoll breaks ranks with the Abbott government’s worst poll result since it came to power.

The second Newspoll of the year is a wildly off-trend result that has no doubt made life difficult for a) whoever has been charged with writing up the results for The Australian, and b) anti-Murdoch conspiracy theorists. The poll has Labor leading 54-46, up from 51-49, which is the Coalition’s worst result from any poll since the election of the Abbott government. The primary votes are 39% for the Coalition (down two), 39% for Labor (up four) and 10% for the Greens (down two). Despite that, the personal ratings find Bill Shorten continuing to go backwards, his approval steady at 35% and disapproval up four to 39%. However, things are a good deal worse for Tony Abbott, who is down four to 36% and up seven to 52%. Abbott’s lead on preferred prime minister shrinks from 41-33 to 38-37.

Elsewhere in polldom:

Roy Morgan is more in line with the recent trend in having the Coalition up half a point on the primary vote to 41%, Labor down 1.5% to 35.5%, the Greens steady on 10.5%, and the Palmer United Party steady on 4.5%. Labor leads by 50.5-49.5 on both two-party preferred measures, compared with 52-48 on last fortnight’s respondent-allocated result and 51-49 on previous election preferences. The Morgan release also provides state breakdowns on two party preferred, showing the Coalition leading 52.5-47.5 in New South Wales and 55-45 in Western Australia, while Labor leads 54.5-45.5 in Victoria, 52-48 in Queensland, 53.5-46.5 in South Australia and 50.5-49.5 in Tasmania.

• The Australian National University has released results from its regular in-depth post-election Australian Election Study mailout survey, the most widely noted finding of which is that Tony Abbott scored the lowest rating of any election-winner going back to 1987. The survey asks respondents to rate leaders on a scale from zero to ten, with Abbott scoring a mean of 4.29 compared with 4.89 for Julia Gillard in 2010; 6.31 for Kevin Rudd in 2007; 5.73, 5.31, 5.56 and 5.71 for John Howard in 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004 respectively; 4.74 for Paul Keating in 1993; and 6.22 and 5.46 for Bob Hawke in 1987 and 1990 respectively.

The Age reports that a poll of 1000 respondents by UMR Research, commissioned by the Australian Education Union, finds Malcolm Turnbull (a net rating of plus 12%) and Joe Hockey (plus 2%) to be rated more favourably than Tony Abbott (minus 8%).

UPDATE (Essential Research): The weekly Essential Research has Labor’s lead steady at 51-49, with the Coalition up a point on the primary vote to 42%, Labor down one to 39% and the Greens up one to 9%. Also featured: “government handling of issues”, showing neutral net ratings for the government’s best areas (economic management, asylum seekers, foreign relations) and strongly negative ones for welfare, service provision and industrial relations. Worst of the lost is “supporting Australian jobs”, at minus 19%. The existing renewable energy target is broadly supported (39% about right, 25% too low, 13% too high); opinion of Qantas has deteriorated over the past year (11% say they have come to feel more positive, 25% more negative), and there is support for the government buying a share of it or guaranteeing its loans; and opinion on government moves to crack down on illegal file sharing is evenly divided.

UPDATE 2: The West Australian reports that a Patterson Market Research survey conducted before last week’s High Court ruling from an undisclosed sample size suggests the micro-party vote would wither if a fresh Senate election was held. The poll has the Liberals on 45%, up six on its Senate vote at the election, Labor on 32%, up five, and the Greens on 12%, up three. The Palmer United Party collapses from 5% to 1%, with all others halving from 20% to 10%. However, one wonders how good polls are at capturing the sentiment that causes indifferent voters to plump for micro-parties at the last minute.

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.

1,845 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. spur212@27

    Rogue but it does look like the arse is beginning to fall out of Abbott’s leadership ratings. Need more polling

    If the poll is a rogue sample then that rogueness contaminates the leadership ratings too. The surprise is that in an apparently rogue sample, Shorten’s ratings are not better.

  2. [And all completely of their own doing. Peta will not be pleased.]

    Speaking of Peta didn’t she vet all the coalition staff, so she didn’t vet that sugar industry dude who resigned very well. Perhaps she should resign as well as Fiona Nash.

  3. Okay, I’m outta here. Am going to wrest every power point from its socket, wait 5, and then replug, which will hopefully reset the strange doubling up of posts.

    It doesn’t bother me when it happens to anyone else, but it sure is a baitch when it happens to me. And I like to remedy it.

    But then again that’s the advice I give all my kids. If you screw up, apologise, and start again.

    And if you can’t apologise (because they don’t deserve it – with long-winded logical argument), then start again anyway.


  4. WWP:

    You can defend the Greens all you like. But on the subject of Morrison Milne was wrong.

    Where does she go to from here, calling for him to face a firing squad?

    She’s the proverbial boy who cried wolf.

  5. Short of a Senator Xenophon type candidate in WA (and I do not see one of those in the pipeline) the liberal Party will get at least 2 Senators in WA at the rerun. I do think they are likely to loose a Senator at the rerun because the Liberals are on the nose in WA and there is not the tight anti-One Nation preferencing, such as helped the liberals keep their 3rd Senator in WA in 1998, against the PUP and the micro parties.

  6. Crikey Whitey it means I don’t think most Australians would have enjoyed the death of a refugee particularly when the death came from being trampled to death by people Australia charged with keeping them safe. Anyone who took any enjoyment from that death should be ashamed of themselves.

  7. 39 & 40

    If Thompson had got a couple more votes, he would have got the per vote payout as well (more money) and his deposit back (less input).

    The payment was introduced as part of the Latham caused super reforms or the post-2004 ‘well these reforms have a bit far, here is some compensation for that’ reforms in Howards last term (the payment for non-first term MPs was increased in the last parliament (elected in 2010)). It is thus connected to super reform but not actually a super payment.

  8. Speaking of Peta didn’t she vet all the coalition staff, so she didn’t vet that sugar industry dude who resigned very well.

    Andrew Elder had a bit to say about the Credlin-Furnival issue:

    Peta Credlin and Alistair Furnival were both staffers in the Howard government. I make no comment on how close they may or may not have been at various points, but it is flatly untrue that Furnival’s was just another CV to her. The fact that Furnival was a loyalist and a known quantity is why the normal checks and balances weren’t done.

  9. Morgan has state breakdowns, WA libs with a good lead on 55%, surprising ALP ahead in SA on 53.5%, same with Tas ALP on 50.5%.

    Poll was 3000 all up, so i guess the state breakdowns have big error margin.

  10. so i guess the state breakdowns have big error margin.

    Yes. The SA (is it SA+NT?) sample size is usually so small as to almost not be worth breaking out, like Tas/ACT, with WA not far behind.

    I wouldn’t read very much into the state breakdowns from a single poll. This is why Newspoll releases their state breakdowns from multiple polls over 3 months.

  11. Wow, just wow.
    More likely an “outlier”, but if it’s not, then how many more polls of this magnitude before Tonys head rolls off Petas Platter ?

  12. Fulvio Zammit re Greens
    This poll like at the other recent ones shows the Greens doing better than they did last year in the elections
    In most polls their support is up aroud 10% and it seems rock solid

  13. Looks like the crack in Hockey’s G20 plan is appearing with Bloomberg reporting that Fed Reserve Chief Janet Yellan is seeking ways to maintain low interest rates.

    The vary policy Joe said needed to end for normal growth to return.

  14. crack in G20 plan is as wide as his fat arse … growth without stimulus, more profits for business despite recession, deregulate workforce, privatise education and health … the guy is a pompous buffoon.

  15. OK, well so much for “boats = votes (for Libs)”. I hereby retract that theory.

    Obviously whatever the voters think about boats, it’s not enough to rescue Team Abbott’s standing from the rest of their pretty dismal performance. The voters are in a pretty boshie mood.

  16. [Fulvio Sammut
    Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:20 am | PERMALINK
    Will we see this poll result analysed by Michelle and Frannie tomorrow morning during their Lib love in?]

    Don’t know about Michelle and Fran, but I’m sure we’ll hear the dulcet tones of Marius Benson on NewsRadio blasting it out for all to hear.

    Then again, maybe not . . .

    I’ll let you know. I always wake up to Marius.

    (Or perhaps that should read, I’m always a wake-up to Marius).

    Either way, News Ltd gets the call every day. How could it help but not, given its 70% coverage.

  17. The Many Benefits of Walking Backwards

    Backward walking, also known as retro walking, is said to have originated in ancient China, where it was practiced for good health. In the modern world, it’s become quite the rage in Japan, China and parts of Europe, where people use it to build muscle, improve sports performance, promote balance and more.

    For starters, when you walk backwards, it puts less strain and requires less range of motion from your knee joints, making it ideal for people who have knee problems or injuries. Also, because backward walking eliminates the typical heel-strike to the ground (the toe contacts the ground first), it can lead to changes in pelvis alignment that help open up the facet joints in your spine, potentially alleviating pressure that may cause low back pain in some people.2

    Not to mention, walking backwards gives you a chance to work out all of those muscles in your legs, such as your quadriceps and calves, which take a backseat to your hamstrings and glutes during regular walking. It also works out your hamstrings in a different way, and walking backwards for just 10-15 minutes, four days a week for four weeks has been shown to increase flexibility in your hamstrings.3

  18. [Obviously whatever the voters think about boats, it’s not enough to rescue Team Abbott’s standing from the rest of their pretty dismal performance. The voters are in a pretty boshie mood.]
    And the fact Shorten is tied with Abbott on preferred PM suggest that many voters don’t really think Abbott is up to the job, even though his government hasn’t even presented a budget.

  19. Nah, it’ll be an in depth dissection of the Latest Morgan, concentrating on the serious consequences for Labor of the 55 – 45 polling result from 7 WA voters.

  20. On the ASX for a moment i see today Bluescope Steel announced a return to profit, this is a victory for the idea of government working with business to create the right sort of business environment via the Steel Transformation Plan.

    Bluescope have in recent times ran up massive debts totally over $2billion and while there haev been plant closures and job loses if the current government’s approach had been taken by the previous government there most likely would be no Bluescope Steel.


    Perhaps its callow text conflicted with the more mature writing of A Youthful Journey; or perhaps the factual discrepancies in the two versions troubled him. Only in 2008, when already in his nineties, did he seriously begin, painfully and intermittently, to revise the Great Trudge, as he called it. But by now he was suffering from tunnel vision, and his stamina was failing. He died in 2011 at the age of 96, still working on the narrative in a fragile hand.

    So it fell to two of his three literary executors, his biographer Artemis Cooper and myself, to prepare the text for publication.

  22. Also discovered.

    Golden Earth: Travels in Burma
    Norman Lewis
    Published by Eland Publishing Ltd, 1983
    ISBN 10: 0907871658 / ISBN 13: 9780907871651

  23. @MB/90

    They had to loose lots of jobs though in 2011, 1000 jobs went.

    Another 170 jobs went last year.

    A $3.7 million dollar profit may not be enough, Mining requires alot of money to begin with.

  24. Zoidy

    Bluescope Steel don’t do mining, they manufacture steel products and yes there were job loses and plant closures but the business needed to restructure and was able successfully with the help of the Steel Transformation Plant.

  25. @MB/94

    Ah yup, your right, Steel products, can be corrected.

    They were effected by Car industry though.

    Steel Transformation Plan – wasn’t it a Labor Policy?

  26. Be careful of what you wish for Ukraine…!
    Splenger in The Asia-Times says that the new regime in Kiev will pose an enormous problem for the EU and the US

    The Ukraine has a tiny foreign currency reserve and will need tens of billions of Euros now just to pay the interest on debts…and the EU will have to demand harsh measures from the new regime…wage and pension cuts,rises in the price of gas and oil to the consumers.and much more austerity…..

    He doesn’t believe that the new regime will be able to do so,and will met a wave of resistance from the citizens who won’t expect all the excitement could lead on to great hardships

    and the EU and the USA will have MUST find lots of money to keep the Ukrainian afloat,especially as they will lose the bargin rate energy they have got gotfrom Russia,which may just sit by and watch the new regime engulfed (he draws a case a bit like that of the Brothers in Egypt who took power and then were swept away by an economic crisis)

    an interesting idea and one not much looked at by the western media ,still celebrating Ukrainian “freedom”….
    as the artcle says in that famous phrase…”be careful of what you wish for as it might come true”

  27. Zoidy

    Yes they will be impacted by the lost of the car industry and yes the Steel Transformation Plan was an ALP policy which was opposed by the then opposition.

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