Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition

Fortnightly results from Newspoll and Morgan both record shifts to the Coalition, in the former case giving them the lead for the first time in over three months.

GhostWhoVotes reports that the latest Newspoll has the Coalition in the lead for the first time since late November, their lead of 51-49 comparing with Labor’s 52-48 lead in the poll of a fortnight ago. The primary votes are 43% for the Coalition (up three), 34% for Labor (down two) and 11% for the Greens (down two). More to follow. UPDATE: Tony Abbott’s net approval improves slightly with approval steady on 40% and disapproval down three to 47%, while Bill Shorten is respectively down five to 31% and down one to 42%. There is also a less decisive result on preferred prime minister, with Abbott down two to 41% and Shorten down three to 33%. The Australian’s report here.

Morgan had its fortnightly face-to-face plus SMS poll out today, encompassing 2869 respondents over the past two weekends. It too has Labor losing ground on the previous poll, down from 54-46 ahead on respondent-allocated preferences to 51.5-48.5 (and on previous election preferences, 53.5-46.5 to 52-48), from primary votes of 34.5% for Labor (down four), 38.5% for the Coalition (up half a point), 12% for the Greens (up one point) and 5% for Palmer United (up half).

UPDATE (Essential Research): This week’s Essential Research fortnightly average records very little change, with Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead from primary votes of 43% for the Coalition, 38% for Labor, 9% for the Greens and 3% for Palmer United, the only change there being a one point drop for Labor. Also featured are the monthly leaders ratings, which have Tony Abbott up a point on approval to 41% and steady on disapproval at 47%, Bill Shorten up two to 32% and down one to 38%, and Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister up from 39-33 to 42-32. Other questions find 25% support for the privatisation of Medibank Private and 46% opposition, 61% expecting it would cause health insurance fees to increase against just 3% who think they would decrease, and 25% approving of the sale of government assets to fund new infrastructure against 58% disapproving. A semi-regular question on climate change finds 56% thinking it caused by human activity, up five on January, with 34% favouring the more skeptical response, down five.

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.

1,095 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition”

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    [Car makers have embraced automation and replaced humans with robots for years. But Toyota is deliberately taking a step backward and replacing automated machines in some factories in Japan and creating heavily manual production lines staffed with humans, according to Bloomberg.
    It’s an unconventional choice for a Japanese company. Japan has by far the most industrial robots of any country, with an estimated 309,400 (pdf p. 17.) Only South Korea has a higher ratio of robots to humans.
    Toyota’s latest strategy has two main aspects. First, it wants to make sure that workers truly understand the work they’re doing instead of feeding parts into machines and being helpless when one breaks down. Second, it wants to figure out ways to make processes higher quality and more efficient in the long run. The company worries that automation means it has too many average workers and not enough craftsmen and masters.
    So far, people taking back work done by robots at over 100 workspaces reduced waste in crankshaft production by 10%, and helped shorten the production line. Others improved axel production and cut costs for chassis parts.]

  2. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the negotiations have not been transparent, and says the implications for Australian companies remain unclear.

    “Obviously through the course of negotiations some things are able to be sealed and some things are harder, and perhaps don’t make it to the final deal,” the chamber’s director of trade and international affairs Bryan Clark told PM.

    “So it’s important that we scrutinise that final negotiated text so that we understand exactly what the detail is.”

    He says the Government has released thorough information about previous trade deals.

    “We have seen some of the previous free trade agreement texts, most recently the Korean one, where there are some aspects we’re pretty disturbed at,” he said.

    “We would prefer it if we could see the text before it’s ratified.”

  3. Barry Jones:
    [The ALP may have lost the capacity to take control of major issues and win debates on them. Its last success was against John Howard over WorkChoices in 2007.

    Since then there has been a long series of failures in advocacy, even when the evidence was overwhelmingly on Labor’s side. The list includes: handling the economy, taxation, climate change and carbon pricing, environment, asylum seekers and refugees, problem gambling, a republic, human rights and the surveillance state.]

  4. [The ALP may have lost the capacity to take control of major issues and win debates on them. Its last success was against John Howard over WorkChoices in 2007.]

    No kidding?

  5. Interesting poll.

    I have sensed a bit of a fight back by the Coalition – to some extent getting their story out re the upcoming budget.

    Will they deliver?

  6. …and perhaps the “right to be a bigot” comment hit the right notes in western Sydney.

    Who knows? Maybe they just upped the polling in WA and Tassie.

  7. From Sally McManus via the link at #51

    [39. Damages our diplomatic relationship with the Indonesian Government by refusing to apologise for tapping the phones of their President, his wife and senior Government officials – 23 November 2013

    38. Converts crucial Start-Up Scholarships into loans, increasing the debt of 80,000 higher education students by $1.2 billion – 21 November 2013

    37. Gifts two navy patrol boats to the Sri Lankan government to stop asylum seekers fleeing the Sri Lankan government – 17 November 2013

    36. Introduces a Bill to impose on workers who are elected onto unpaid union committees huge financial penalties and jail terms for breeches of new compliance obligations – 14 November 2013

    35. Condones torture by foreign governments by saying “sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen” – 14 November 2013]

    Sally has a list of silly [see #35 for just one such] and nasty [see #38 for one such]things Tony’s mob have said and done and these are just a random 5 from November’s list of 27 such.

    Why did I put in a selection from November?
    Well I believe that’s when Joe Bullock made his speech.

    So I just wonder why the MSM didn’t revisit and elaborate on some, or all, of the silly and/or nasty things Tony’s mob were responsible for on the Thursday before the WA election.

    Any guesses?

  8. [I have sensed a bit of a fight back by the Coalition – to some extent getting their story out re the upcoming budget.]

    ABC-24 certainly knows which side its bread is buttered on.

    We went to Japan for an FTA, and came back with Sweet FA, but you wouldn’t know it listening the queue of cowering reporters and presenters telling us we should be dancing in the streets.

    Everyone except Vanessa The Weather Girl had a go.

    They say that climate scientists the world over only plump for Global Warming so they can keep their tenured positions.


    They could pick up a few pointers from the ABC Breakfast Team.

  9. One minute Labor leads by 52/48 then the Coalition leads by 51/49.

    And I thought economists were bad. Pollsters should take their scientific approaches at conducting polls and change them all for a nice great big blackboard and play pin the tail on the donkey.

    They couldn’t do any worse!

  10. If these polls don’t remind Shorten that his only chance to win the next election is to democratise the party and tear away union institutional control, nothing will.
    Up to you now Bill. The lodge or oblivion. The next few months will probably bake in his chances.

  11. Whenever there is any criticism of the internal operations of the Labor Party it goes down like a lead balloon in the electorate.

    Let’s call this the Paul “nick off” Howes poll.

    Labor need to fix up the roll of the unions in the party quick smart.

    Absolutely that the party should be much more inclusive to other participants in society and much less open to unions.

    Finally, they could give themselves a far long overdue name change from labor to something more modern and appealing before we see the premierships (election wins) roll in 😎

  12. Centre@62

    One minute Labor leads by 52/48 then the Coalition leads by 51/49.

    And I thought economists were bad. Pollsters should take their scientific approaches at conducting polls and change them all for a nice great big blackboard and play pin the tail on the donkey.

    They couldn’t do any worse!

    Couldn’t agree more. No way would the uncommitted be changing their minds so rapidly backwards and forwards.

  13. AA @49

    Price clearly doesn’t understand the concept of free speech.

    Employers always have a right to protect their own interests. This is supported by case law.

  14. fredex – employees have a choice. If they have issues with their employer they can raise them internally. If they wish to publicly criticise their employers then they are open to the consequences of their actions.

    When I was an Army Officer and a member of the Liberal Party I clearly understood I was unable to publicly criticise the ALP government policies in general and defence policy specifically. If I didn’t like that then I could have resigned my Commission. My choice – my responsibility. And today it is no different for my current employer – I do not criticise my employer or clients publicly. If I have an issue I raise it through the correct internal channels.

    Responsibility comes hand in hand with Freedom. Something my children are gradually learning as they get older.

  15. If the WA senate election told us anything, it is that the TPP is probably going to hover around 50-50 mark for the near to medium future. The LNP, without a doubt, is relatively unpopular and has stumbled a lot since being in power (ruining its honeymoon); however, it would appear that most people are pretty uninspired by the ALP (Bullock pre-selection probably justifies this). Unless one party can some how carve out a positive narrative (dare I say show some leadership) then they will both be doomed at 50-50 in the near future.

    PUP and Greens should do well in this scenario. The former due to the capacious size of Palmer’s wallet along with his previous campaigning experience (for the LNP) (Although PUP could also explode thanks to Palmer’s ego); the latter, which has now dissolved its partnerships with the ALP Federally and in Tas, is now in a much better position to define itself as being different to the major parties and paint (in some cases perhaps naively) a more positive future narrative.

  16. [Compact Crank– employers have a choice. If they have issues with their employees they can raise them internally. If they wish to publicly criticise their employees then they are open to the consequences of their actions……]
    See what I did there?

  17. Steve777@68

    Re Don @66 – both results are consistent with an underlying value of around 50-50, given the margin of error.

    Fair enough, but the problem is, the results are given as though they are rock solid. Even Bludger track is given to one decimal point, granted with more validity since it is the composite of many polls.

    And here Labor supporters cheer when Labor goes up a point, and become morose when it goes down a point or two. So margin of error does not figure in most people’s analysis (mine included) of how the polls are going.

    So Labor is now, in the latest, below 50 and LNP are above 50. And the tea leaves are read, and the reasons are given for the latest changes. MOE is not part of most people’s thinking, certainly not mine.

    If I see 51 – 49 to LNP I think “%$#^&*( !!!!!!! How on earth did that happen when Tony had such a bad week? ”

    And I believe many others here think the same way. I guess we have to learn to add in the MOE, which rarely gets any prominence in the results splashed across front pages.

  18. @don

    Yes, and it’s further perpetuate by the media, which write articles specifically tailored to their most recent poll results, with titles like, LNP is improving, Tony holds ground, ALP receives a boost, etc. They play down the MoE and pretend that the polls represent ‘hard facts’ rather than just being an indicative methodological tool with substantial limitations.

  19. fredex @76 – Yes, I see what you did there – a juvenile word play that proves little and doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

  20. don & mortlock appear to think that most people are unable to comprehend that polls are only an estimate. Yes, there is MOE, always is, always has been – except for the elections themselves.

  21. Things at 50-50, which the Government would be happy with after the last 3 months.

    The budget will be tough for the disadvantaged, but the average punter doesn’t really care. “Cuts to bludgers and no more green tape” will resonate. They’ll get a decent bounce and the pressure will be back on Shorten by the middle of the year.

  22. If Labor does not win a second senate seat then Bullock should resign.

    His “I am sorry for my comments about Louise Pratt” does not cut it.

    There will be no need for a further election a Senator can be replaced.

    Bullock who got the first spot on a deal from two union leaders with a handshake should just leave with some grace and return to his DLP roots.

  23. Look I regard every poll as an estimate only and assume often out by one or two percent. The average of the last two polls from each pollster is how I always read them.
    So if two polls in row says ALP 52% then I am inclined to believe it. Otherwise I assume it is out by 1-2% erring in the direction of the previous poll.

  24. [fredex @76 – Yes, I see what you did there – a juvenile word play that proves little and doesn’t add anything to the discussion.]
    Actually what I did was simply reverse the point of view.
    I just flipped your advocacy and argument around so that your points were refuted by you.
    That’s why you didn’t like it.

  25. @Compact Crank – I am actually basing my conclusion on what I often read in these blogs, where people seem to over analyse and emphasize one poll reading

  26. Part of a letter the College of Surgeons has sent to Newman.

    [The College is aware of actual and impending resignations of surgeons across many hospitals and across many specialty areas, in the Queensland public sector and the situation is critical. Such resignations will leave the Hospital system unworkable and training of surgeons perhaps impossible]


    “The survey, which is seen as a forward indicator for the labour market, comes ahead of the release of unemployment data for March on Thursday by the Bureau of Statistics. Economists are forecasting the jobless rate to edge up to 6.1 per cent, for 2500 positions to be added to the economy and for the participation rate to remain stable at 64.8 per cent”


    “”The general consensus [among economists] was that jobs growth would remain short of the 18,000 per month required to stabilise unemployment. So the unemployment‑rate‑peak is yet to be reached,” Mr Blythe said in a note.”

    The budget needs to benefit for both Employers and Employees if they want to get these job numbers up to over 18k per month.

  28. zoidy @99 – you linked to one month which doesn’t prove anything. I have provided the link to and the figures for the period since Abbott came to power. Total employment is up.

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