Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

Newspoll records a solid shift in Tony Abbott’s personal ratings in the wake of recent war and terrorism talk, although the yield on voting intention is rather slight.

The latest fortnightly Newspoll has Labor leading 51-49, which is down a point on last time and equal with the time before (and also the same as the ReachTEL poll conducted on Thursday). Primary votes are 41% for the Coalition (up two), 34% for Labor (down one) and 11% for the Greens (down three on last time, back to where they were the time before). Tony Abbott has enjoyed a big hike in his personal ratings, up six on approval to 41% and down two on disapproval to 52%, and he has gained a 41-37 lead on preferred prime minister after being level at 37-37 last time. Bill Shorten is up one on approval to 38% and steady on disapproval 43%. Hat-tip to GhostWhoVotes, and of course The Australian.

Also out today was the regularly fortnightly Morgan poll, covering a sample of 2922 respondents from two weekends of face-to-face and SMS polling. This recorded next to no change for the major parties on the primary vote – the Coalition on 38.5% and Labor on 37.5%, both up half a point on last fortnight – but has the minor parties moving in accordance with recent trends, the Greens being up 1.5% to 12% and Palmer United being down half a point to 4%. The previous poll was the only one recently published which failed to record a lift for the Greens, no doubt because half the survey period predated the bipartisan commitment to send military forces to Iraq. Labor gains half a point on both the respondent-allocated and previous election measures of two-party preferred, respectively leading 54.5-45.5 and 53.5-46.5.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research is steady at 53-47 to Labor, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 39%, the Coalition steady on 39%, the Greens down one to 10% and Palmer United steady on 4%. Also featured is a biannual gauge of attributes of the various parties, recording little change for Labor since March apart from a six point drop on “clear about what they stand for”, while the Liberal Party has weakened across the board, particularly with respect to “keeps its promises” (down nine points), “divided” (up eight points) and “looks after the interests of working people” (down six points). The poll adds further to a somewhat confusing picture on the public attitudes to the Iraq commitment, with 52% expressing approval for sending military personnel versus 34% disapproval. However, 51% say doing so will make Australia less safe from terrorism, versus only 15% for more safe. Questions on industrial relations laws indicate broad satisfaction with the status quo, 30% saying current laws balance the interests of employers and workers, and a fairly even 23% and 17% believing they favour employers and workers respectively.

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.

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