Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor

The latest Newspoll records little change on last time, while Morgan has Labor pulling well ahead.

GhostWhoVotes relates that the latest Newspoll has Labor leading 52-48, up from 51-49 last fortnight. Labor is up a point on the primary vote to 36%, and the Coalition down one to 40%. More to follow. UPDATE: The Australian report relates that Bill Shorten’s approval rating is up three points to 36%, which is the first time a poll has moved in his favour in quite a while. UPDATE 2: Full tables here; to fill in the blanks, Shorten’s disapproval is steady at 43%, Tony Abbott is up two on approval to 40% and steady on disapproval at 50%, and Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister nudges from 42-36 to 43-36.

Today’s Morgan result, combining its regular face-to-face and SMS polling from the last two weekends, was the Coalition’s worst since the election, recording a 1.5% shift on the primary vote from the Coalition (to 38%) to Labor (38.5%), with the Greens down a point to 11% and Palmer United up half a point to 4.5%. On 2013 election preferences, this gives Labor a 53.5-46.5 lead, up from 52.5-47.5 a fortnight ago, while on respondent-allocated preferences the shift is from 53.5-46.5 to 54.5-45.5. Morgan has also been in the business lately of providing selective state-level two-party results, which are presumably based on respondent-allocated preferences. From this poll we are told Labor had unlikely leads of 56.5-43.5 in Queensland and 52-48 in Western Australia, together with leads of 54.5-45.5 in New South Wales and 55-45 in Victoria, and an unspecified “narrow” lead in South Australia.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research has Labor back up a point on the primary vote after it fell two last week, now at 37%, with the Coalition up one for a second week. The Greens and Palmer United are at 9% and 4%, with others down a point and the other loose point coming off rounding. Respondents were quizzed about the attributes of the major parties, which provides good news for Labor in that “divided” is down 14% to 58%, and “clear about what they stand for” is up 8% to 42%. Those are also the biggest movers for the Liberals, respectively down 6% and up 7%, although they are still performing better than Labor on each at 50% and 32%. The worst differential for Labor is still “divided”, at 26% in favour of the Liberals, while for the Liberals it’s “too close to the big corporate and financial interests”, which is at 62% for Liberal and 34% for Labor.

A question reading “as far as you know, do you think taxes in Australia are higher or lower than in other developed countries” turns up the fascinating finding that 64% of respondents believed they were higher versus only 8% for lower, while 65% believed taxes to have increased over the last five years versus 9% for decreased. Forty-seven per cent believe the current level of taxation is enough versus 33% who believe they will need to increase. The poll also finds 50% opposed to following New Zealand’s example in holding a referendum on changing the flag versus only 31% supportive.

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.

1,384 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. [lus Newman has *completely* lost his %$#*& marbles in QLD. These proposed Dept Health contracts seek to require state doctors consider the cheapest medical options over the most appropriate.]

    This is because he is a firm adherent of the hypocrite. No life too cheap.

    Qld Health Minister’s new policy

  2. Lefty e … I suspect the Abbott Government could face the same fate as the Napthine Government, in Victoria, a one termer in both cases. Both government’s have an odour of buyer’s remorse, the LNP federally more so.

    Todays mixed messages on bigotry from Brandis and Abbott, and Cormann backing away from trailing commissions for the spivs suggests to me they are in a mess with no coherent narrative.

    Compare and contrast the new Rudd Government’s performance in 2008, Nielsen (May 15-17, 2008): Coalition – 43%, ALP – 57% with tonight’s shocking poll results for the Government from Newspoll and Morgan.

  3. Meanwhile, Pyney whines about the SA LNP’s failure to win enough seats, which is apparently now an ‘illegitimate’ reason to be denied government

    So is that yapping imbecile Pyne suggesting there were illegalities about the election? That the electorates were gerrymandered or malaportioned? Does he think John Howard should have gone to the Governor General and resign in 1998 because he got less than 50% of the 2PP? That if Abbott had won over the independents in 2010 but it then emerged that he won only 49.9% of the 2PP that he should have refused the Prime Ministership? Is he recommending that the SA Opposition stage a coup?

    On the other hand, maybe his definition of illegitimate is any non-LNP win. After all, the LNP has an inalienable right to rule.

    He should be asked to specify how he wants to change the system so that 50% of 2PP + 1 is required to form Government. Of course he’d need facts and logic to come up with ideas – not an LNP thing.

    Pyne has made only a destructive contribution to the Australian polity. He will be a wrecker in education when he’s not playing silly Parliamentary games. His legacy will be shredded as soon as possible after Abbott and his clowns are booted into the political oblivion they so richly deserve. In the meantime Pyne should just shut up.

  4. cud chewer –

    Its a shame Rudd didn’t use some of his honeymoon to home in on things like middle class welfare and restore budget revenue.

    I’m no fan of Rudd’s, but he and the ALP were hamstrung right out of the gates by the GFC. Their entire agenda got sidetracked into keeping things ticking over domestically, and that meant they had to keep things as stable as possible for the first 2 years at least – no chopping and changing or cutting anything – and by the time the most immediate danger of the GFC was past the political advantage had been lost.

    Rudd and Swan did the right thing to get us through the GFC, but yes it hurts that they lost the most important time a new government gets to do any big reforms.

  5. sohar@16:

    “I don’t think old polls carry much weight these days – you can only really go on a snapshot of what has happened most recently in polling. These things change so quickly.”

    Well if you only use the most recent data you will think things always change quickly but that’s just because polls are statistically bouncy. Most of the time there is not strong evidence that public opinion changes quickly – tumultuous circumstances like the Rudd restoration and subsequent decline are exceptions.

    #20 – I have not looked at WA Senate in detail yet because of current fieldwork commitments. May do so before the by-election.

  6. Nope, the Kiwis butchered the last over … Couldn’t get seven from Six, even though one delivery went for four. Saffers win by three.

  7. Greens results in the last 4 polls.
    -17 March
    Nielsen ….12
    -24 March

    Odd one out is …?

  8. Whoever wrote that headline at The Australian really should be fired.

    Maybe the Editor had already decided what message he wanted to get across in tomorrow’s edition and created the headline before anyone saw the actual numbers.

  9. [Whoever wrote that headline at The Australian really should be fired]

    Why? It’s not as if headline writers at The Oz can stray off the reservation.

  10. Rudd actually managed some important reforms out of the GFC, including for instance restoring the single pension to some semblance of decency (Howard couldn’t care less about single pensioners). Rudd also used it as a good opportunity to bring forward infrastructure projects like the Hunter Expressway.

    But GFC or no GFC, he should have undone some of Howards tax loopholes for the rich. Oh and he should have just brought in the mining tax as originally proposed.

  11. Rossmore 39 & 52

    Waste of time comparing honeymoons between govt’s. So Rudd had a long honeymoon, so what ?. It did not stop him being rolled by his own party during his 1st term and then the ALP losing it’s majority after just 1 term.

  12. [ For the last 6 months all they have done is tried to re-prosecute the election. They don’t have anything to say other than repealing the carbon and mining taxes. But after the budget they will finally have to tell us what they really want to do and I suspect most people won’t like it. ]

    Shows, when you aren’t all Shouty and Tourette’s you actually do make sense sometimes. 🙂

  13. My parents told me that in WW2 the British press would apparently report towns being captured from the Germans, and then report them being captured again (but never mention they had been lost in between). In a similar vein I seem to remember the port of Umm Qasr in Iraq being reported as “captured” several times in the 1991 Gulf War.

    So Shanahan and The Australian are just waiting for a poll that shows the Coalition 52-48 ahead, which will be greeted with “Massive Shift To Abbott Spells Rout For Labor”.

    Plus ça change…

  14. cud chewer at 49 or so.

    ‘Today I saw the inevitable Abbott in yellow hat. Seems he’s going to be the people of Western Sydney’s friend’.

    Bestest friend, I think he would say.

    I must say that I shared the amusement of the PNG blokes,assembled in their hard hats and Hi Vis pretty hot gear. Hired for the occasion. I reckon.

    Laughing away.

    At their new and hopefully lucrative role in this drama.

    One removing his hat to wipe away the sweat.

    Tones meanwhile is the front man. With his backdrop.

    White Man. Crisp and White.

    Oh, Tony. Or is it Peta?

    Tony of Our Dreams.

  15. Voter turnout for the WA Senate election is likely to be low. What effect will that have on voting preferences?
    And another thing, where is my Palmer DVD?

  16. The SA election is funny? The hereditary peers of the Adelaide Hills are unhappy at the victory of another hereditary peer, Jai.

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    The Chinese press should have a try at covering asylum seekers!
    It continues – and so do the denials.
    An unfolding legal test for Abbott and Morriscum.
    A very interesting article from George Williams about oversight of anti-terrorism legislation and activities.
    Arfur’s hired a legal team at an estimated $7000 per day. Who will pay for them? After yesterday’s revelations and confirmations Arfur will need the silk.
    Nice! Links between bikies and big business and the upper crust.
    Shorten doesn’t agree with Brandis’s “bigot” comments.
    George Pell’s day at the Royal Commission. And he will front it again tomorrow, I understand.
    David Marr sums up Pell’s appearance.

  18. Section 2 . . .

    What a surprise! The Coalition wimps out on its hairy-chested changes for financial planning regulation.
    Not in such colourful words, Lenore Taylor calls out Pyne as a sore losing little shit.
    Peter Martin uses the UN CC report to tell the Coalition to wake up.
    Scott Ludlum with an op-ed on media regulation.
    Ron Tandberg on advice to Abbott and Morriscum about Manus Island inquiries.

    Alan Moir puts some perspective into job losses.
    David Pope on the Australia/PNG relationship.
    David Rowe and Howes’ departure from the AWU.

  19. I find the tables of the Newspoll in the Australian hard to understand. Is this an attempt to confuse or??

    The tables on the right first say “Abbott’s Performance” which is self-explanatory and then it goes to Abbott’s/Shorten’s Performance???

    Lastly, under the “Better PM” table, it goes Rudd/Abbott, Abbott/Shorten and Uncommitted.

    Can someone please explain this to me?

  20. If it believes the science – and it says it does

    Look at what they do, not what they say. This group of shifty snake-oil salesmen should be held by their tender parts and forced to admit the damage they are doing to their country – to the social structure, to the environment, and to their children’s future.

    [But it was the reactions to his report that shocked Fraser. He wasn’t surprised by those of business – except by their scale and brazenness – but he was surprised by those of the government. ”It is the government’s job to protect community interests,” he says. ”Every politician pledges to do just that in the lead-up to every election campaign that I have heard.”

    Instead, the government plans to abolish the Climate Change Authority. While not disputing the science, it shows no interest in lifting Australia’s emissions reduction target. It wants to remove the carbon tax and is prepared to underfund the Emissions Reduction Fund that will replace it. It wants to axe the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and wind back the renewable energy target.

    If it believes the science – and it says it does – its thinking is unaccountably short term, unless you consider the three-yearly electoral cycle.]

    Read more:

    This was part of a long, biting post that Crikey lost for me. 😡

  21. Morgan is a bit biased to Labor, and this particular poll is somewhat above trend. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say “not credible”.
    MR bowe tweet on twitter saw it scroll by me

    I wondered about MR Bowe tweet .

    with the newspoll

    what does the word Bias mean re polling

    serious question
    perhaps you could tweet the answer

  22. the above is a serious
    question in polling world of pollsters I have seen this before

    a bit a bit bias,

    can you explain the term please

  23. taylormade

    [It did not stop him being rolled by his own party during his 1st term and then the ALP losing it’s majority after just 1 term.]

    And it’s early days, so you can’t rule out either of those things happening with the Liberals.

    If Abbott is still producing these kinds of figures in the polls in a year’s time — and if someone thinks he won’t, I’d be interested in seeing how they think he can turn things around — then the Liberals would have no choice to replace him.

    Remember, Abbott faces exactly the same problem Rudd did — a long list of obscure backbenchers who won unexpected seats and know that they need the government to be polling in the upper stratosphere to retain them.

    If Abbott can’t deliver those figures, he’ll be gone. If he is wise and the party still retains some semblance of caring about his dignity, it’ll be ‘voluntary’; if he’s not, then they’ll dump him unmercifully and meet any criticism with ‘but Labor did the same thing, so it must be all right.”

    If they don’t dump him, then it’s very likely they’ll match Labor on your second metric (not having a majority after the next election) without the kind of leader who is capable of doing the kind of negotiating Labor did.

  24. Raaraa

    haven’t seen the tables, but I would suggest they’re using figures from when Rudd was PM to compare to Abbott now and similarly from when Abbott was LOTO to Shorten now.

    Happens quite regularly when there’s been a recent change in government – the figures from seven or eight months ago still need to be there, but it would be obviously silly to pretend that numbers on (say) preferred PM which belonged to Rudd were able to be read as if they were Abbott’s.

  25. I wonder how long it will be until we hear of Abbott’s “calm, quiet and compassionate statesmanship” in dealing with the tragedy of Flight MA-370?

    Not for him the circus that the Malaysian PR response became. He was right about boats, and he was right about the doomed aircraft, yet chose not to crow about either.

    The countdown begins now.

  26. I know ‘The Australian’ is desperately polishing turds, but…

    [VOTER satisfaction with Bill Shorten has lifted slightly but the dramatic decision of assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos to step aside in relation to a NSW corruption hearing appears not to have hit the Abbott government in the past two weeks. ]

    Well, no, it wouldn’t have, particularly as it happened WITHIN the past two weeks, so those polled early were (quite obviously) unaware of it.

    Others would have taken a few days for the information to be digested, and still others – probably the majority – are still at the ‘Sinodinos who?’ stage.

    If Sinodinos stays in the news — as he very likely will – then we might start to see an impact.

    […primary vote support for the Coalition was 40 per cent, marginally down from 41 per cent two weeks earlier, while ALP support was at 36 per cent, compared with 35 per cent in the last poll.

    The lack of any real shift in Coalition and Labor support ..]

    Fair enough, the shift isn’t enough to be statistically significant but the trend isn’t going the government’s way.

    ‘The Oz’ might have been better to blame it on Sinodinos. This would have enabled them to paint a rosy picture where future polls bounce back when Sinodinos is cleared (because we all know that Arthur is an honourable man, don’t we?) and to dismiss any possible suggestions that the Coalition is performing badly in the polls because they’re performing badly full stop.

    [While the major parties’ support was virtually unchanged, the Greens’ support rose two points to 13 per cent — the highest it has been since former leader Bob Brown retired from the Senate — and support for others fell two points to 11 per cent, the lowest it has been since last August, just before the federal election.]

    So a shift of 1% isn’t at all significant, nothing to see here, folks, but 2% is serious.

    [As a result of the higher Greens support and lower independents vote, Labor’s two-party preferred lead over the Coalition went from 51 to 49 per cent two weeks ago to 52 to 48 per cent last weekend.]

    Er, no. Labor has risen by 1%, which is exactly the same rise as they got on the primary. So Labor has risen from 51 to 52 because their primary is higher.

    (Which raises an interesting question…where did that increased Greens vote go to? Looks like dissatisfied Libs not quite making the jump….)

    [All of the movements in party support were within the survey’s margin of error of three percentage points.

    Satisfaction with the job Mr Shorten is doing rose three percentage points in the past two weeks to 36 per cent..]

    Right. So Shorten’s satisfaction rating would appear to be statistically significant, then.

  27. Re Raaraa @76 Can someone please explain this to me?

    I saw those headings in the linked Newspoll tables last night and was also puzzled. I think that the headings are left over from a few months ago when the period covered in the comparisons of recent polls extended across the change of Government. So the Opposition Leader is referred to as that bizarre hybrid ‘Abbott/Shorten’ and so forth.

    Obviously the tables weren’t proof-read before publication.

  28. [Freedom of speech.]

    I don’t think it is a freedom of speech issue but surely it is fair use under the copyright act.

  29. As per BKs link. As I have been saying, the links in fhe business world are tenuous. Abbott may be ruing the day he set out on his RC into union corruption.

    [Supermarket giant Woolworths and billionaire businessman Bruce Mathieson employ a security firm controlled by the Comancheros motorcycle gang at several hotels and gaming venues owned by their joint venture, Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group.]

    Read more:

  30. Thomson to be sentenced today.

    Personally I think he should get a suspended sentence. He only got dome for $25,000 and his life has been wrecked and he must have almost been bankrupted. I think he’s suffered enough.


    Well Ms Kelly showed comprehensively today why the media here is so crap.

    She was interviewing a guy (from Oxford Uni???) about the way the MH 370 Rolls Royce engine data has been processed to show where the last such signal came from ie off Perth.

    In a simple logical way he explained the following complexities:

    1) The RR data does NOT include any positioning info

    2) So they have used RR data from planes that did not crash, with those planes positioning data from other sources to develop a model which they could apply to MH370, specifically to the very last transmission to RR

    3) In this way, after much patient and complex analysis, they have found that the plane crashed off Perth

    Now I don’t know what Kelly was doing during his answer …. ducking off to the loo, painting her toenails, texting a friend, making a cuppa ….. who knows, but she was certainly not engaging with her interviewee.

    Her immediate response to his explanation was: “Well if the plane’s position was so obvious, why has it taken so long to release this information?”

    Yep, Kelly is a player, not a seeker of info. She has her own agenda, her own fixed questions which couch her own opinions, and come hell or high water she’s going to ask them.

    I suspect our home grown “journos” are not so much biased as just plain dumb and clueless about what real journalism is.

  32. [“The minister was given advice the best action was removing metal fasteners,” Mr Levey told the $20 million inquiry.

    When asked whether there should have been a suspension of the foil insulation, Mr Levey said, “In hindsight it should have been done.”

    His evidence has revealed tensions between Mr Garrett, who was the minister responsible for the home insulation program, and former senator Mark Arbib, who was the minister responsible for driving through stimulus programs after the global downturn hit in 2008.

    The inquiry heard that former senator Arbib’s main concern with the pink batts scheme was job creation, while Mr Garrett wanted to push his energy efficiency goals.]

    Read more:

  33. Diogenes

    I agree about Thomson.

    Many larceny-as-clerk crimes in the order of $100K+ receive non custodial sentences.

    The question is whether the magistrate will succumb to the 4 year build up by the likes of Abbott and Pyne and have the guts to deal with the inevitable ignorant outcries if a non custodial sentence occurs.

    Watch PB for such outcries!

    As we all know, Thomson’s crime has been the hugest fraud perpetrated by anyone ever!

  34. Many of us criticise Tony Jones for his Q&A work, but last night I was delighted that he interrupted Kelly O’Bigmouth in loud fact-distortion mode and pulled her up with a couple of questions. She never quite regained full throttle after that.

  35. Good Morning

    “@political_alert: Transport Worker’s Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon is in Canberra today and will hold a doorstop on the Qantas dispute at 1pm #auspol”


    It’s interesting the Liberal voters to Green swing as you point appears to be the case. Not to PUP.

    Climate Change policy forests looking after Great Barrier Reef not so bogeyman after all.

    Ceremony under way now PM saying farewell to GG

  36. Bloody green tape – just ignore it, boys.

    [A multinational corporation was allowed to pollute Canberra water with toxic chemicals in a case exposing more than a decade of failings by ACT authorities.

    Koppers Wood Products’ timber treatment plant in Hume caused hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen made infamous by environmental activist Erin Brockovich, to leach into groundwater at up to 2430 times the safe limit by 2007.
    . . .
    The revelations have outraged former ACT environment protection chief Bob Dunn, who worked on laws in the 1980s designed specifically to guard the region’s waterways from the copper, chrome and arsenic Koppers used to treat timber.

    Mr Dunn now believes it is an ”absolute certainty” the company has breached criminal law. He has urged ACT authorities to launch an inquiry and to consider taking action against Koppers. ”I just can’t believe it has actually happened,” he said.

    ”Something has gone wrong somewhere, I believe it’s clear. How can you say anything else?”

    The contaminated water lies 1 kilometre uphill from a small tributary of Jerrabomberra Creek, which flows through the ecologically rich Jerrabomberra Wetlands and into Lake Burley Griffin.]

    Read more:

  37. “@ABCNews24: Quentin Bryce: I have seen the finest human values of generosity, resilience, toughness & courage #auspol”

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