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.

1,151 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. “@danielhurstbne: Labor caucus confirms support for national sec bill 1 with gov amendments in line with committee report. This guarantees passage. @murpharoo”

  2. [Things are looking grim for the LNP]

    in fact, I think by blocking the LNP’s economic/social agenda PUP and the other cross benchers are saving abbott’s bacon. Palmer is smart enough to know that he’ll win the LNP and labor ‘battler’ vote by blocking this – even with the murdoch media in shrill campaign against him. If the LNP got to introduce it’s agenda – labor would romp home with promises to undo the worst of it. as it is, abbott will able to blame the farked state of the economy we are likely to have within 12-24 months on labor and push for a ‘mandate’ for tough measures. The next election is going to be a real fork in the road for australia – if abbott wins, then australia will head sharply towards a republican US state model of low income tax and no social programs/spending, with workchoices introduced as total market deregulation (I’ll put money on a “no minimum wage for under 25s” policy to be put forward as the thin edge of the wedge). I’ll not sure shorten will go the distance as LOTO – there’s something unconvincing about him much of the time and this ‘lockstep with the government’ misses the opportunity to express caution and place firm conditions on our involvement in Iraq/Syria – I think he’d win votes for saying – we support action, but do not support signing on to a conflict without clear objectives – we will review nature of our support in 12 months” and also caution against emotion, desire for revenge and political grandstanding (saying this what abbott seems to be caught up in), and call for level headed decision making without spin.

    if the terrorism scare goes cold, I’ll bet there is a rev up of it just before(or just after) abbott calls an election. I think he’d be considering a DD at this point – he could easily win an election run on this campaign at present – any making the ‘need’ for austerity based on ‘the war’ – expect such an announcement re: PPL soon.

  3. @Victoria/99

    Or how about this, “we must sacrifice our freedoms for the myth of terror created by the same people who lied about IRAQ?”

  4. “@Simon_Cullen: Australia is not one the “partner nations” referred to by the US as being involved in airstrikes in Syria. Reports suggest it’s Arab nations”

  5. Josh Taylor ‏@joshgnosis 57s

    I understand the ACCC has dropped an investigation into iiNet about piracy claims requested by Roadshow.

    Since when did private companies get access to our national regulator?

  6. Do things feel like they’re people weary of foreigners up there in Sydney and SE Queensland right now? I get that sentiment from the news.

    I don’t feel that vibe here in Melbourne but then again I’ve only hung around in the city, Footscray and around my suburb.

  7. lizzie

    I was very impressed with the two Muslim women last night and I thought that Ludlam and Dreyfuss were happy to let them go.

    As for the Lib it was same old same old Liberal quotes.

  8. MTBW

    There was a Muslim lady in the audience who raised a point and it got really tense at one point. I didn’t quite get the point she was raising but the panel misunderstood too. I think she was saying how some people would publicly verbally attack her in public or online.

    I like how that tense moment just ended up in laughter by all

  9. Raaraa

    [I like how that tense moment just ended up in laughter by all

    That is how it should be and Keenan could learn a few lessons from that audience and the two women on the panel.

    I am sick to death of the dog whistling of the Libs.

    We have idiots in all cultures including our own England born Tony Abbott is one of them.

  10. lizzie

    I was very impressed with how all but Keenan were gracious and amenable.

    There were many Muslims in that audience and not a harsh word was spoken.

  11. [167

    I am sick to death of the dog whistling of the Libs.

    We have idiots in all cultures including our own England born Tony Abbott is one of them.]

    …while this demonstrates that not all dog whistling is Liberal….

  12. [“Journalists who receive information, even anonymously, which looks like it could relate to something to do with intelligence operations (like, say, a revelation that we’ve been hacking the Indonesian president’s phone), will have to be extraordinarily brave to go ahead and publish. Pity the country that gives up the freedom of its press as lightly as we are about to do”.]

    Seriously: read the above. This is a naked attempt to prevent Brandis’ stuffups from becoming public knowledge ever again. its more about East Timor’s oil than national security.

    there is no reason on earth why the ALP should support this.

  13. In a world in which everyone is constantly distracted, arguably the most valued currency is your attention. Politicians know it. Journalists know it. As Big Idea professions trying to survive in a post-modernist age, they’re drowning in indifference. Terrorists know it, too.

    To wake populations from their reality television-inspired ennui, big gestures are required. Existential and sleep-disrupting threats must be summonsed – threats even more sleep-depriving than the anxiety of who might survive the elimination final of MasterChef.

  14. And while I am at it – how come bloody Howard didn’t know there were no Weapons of Destruction in Iraq?

    How many Australians died in that war?

  15. [There is no doubt that in economics, price signals work. When the price of something increases, demand falls. The evidence is in on the markets for electricity and tobacco where government-imposed price hikes have seen consumption fall sharply. There are clear implications from these economic laws with the government’s proposed Medicare co-payment and higher university fees that will mean less use of health services and fewer people going to university as those price hikes impact on demand.]

  16. [And while I am at it – how come bloody Howard didn’t know there were no Weapons of Destruction in Iraq?]

    Even Andrew Wilke didn’t know there were no WMD in Iraq he just correctly believed Iraq’s WMD’s had been degraded to an extent that they no longer posed a threat.

  17. @davidwh/179

    That’s not correct, according to twitter Rob Oakshott, Andrew Wilkie told Howard there was no WMD in IRAQ.

    Rob Oakeshott retweeted
    HRH Harry Larsen @berkeleyboy · Sep 22

    Ex-spy Andrew Wilkie MP says ONA told John Howard, Saddam did not have #WMDs – and he committed us to Iraq war anyway. #RoyalCommission?

  18. [How many Australians died in that war?]

    The answer is: ZERO.

    There was one suicide, that of Jake Kovco, which, because it happened a couple of days before ANZAC Day, was turned into a desperate circus in order to get the body home before the ceremonies, so that patriotic speeches could be made “honouring” his death.

    In their haste, of course, the wrong box was shipped and the body they were honouring was not Kovco’s.

  19. [Two according to the Australian War Memorial (two too many in my opinion)]

    Ah yes, the helicopter pilot wasn’t it? It was an air traffic accident, not as a result of enemy fire though.

  20. zoidlord

    Ex-spy Andrew Wilkie MP says ONA told John Howard, Saddam did not have #WMDs – and he committed us to Iraq war anyway. #RoyalCommission?

    But J W Howard said he went to war believing the US intelligence ….. RC defence is already in place, that was the whole point of the limp interview by Janet… more Rupert brownie points for her.

  21. Sir Mad Cyril

    I told my son many years ago – he is now nearly forty two – that there were three things he would never do while he lived under my roof:

    He would never join the Police Force

    He would never join the Defence Force


    He would never own a motor bike.

    I won on the first two and did buy motor bike after he was married and he did buy a 50’s Mustang after he was married as well.

  22. [
    Ah yes, the helicopter pilot wasn’t it? It was an air traffic accident, not as a result of enemy fire though.

    Yes, we didn’t lose any in combat. Wikipedia has details of those who passed.

    No Australian military personnel were killed in action during Operation Falconer or Operation Catalyst, although three died in accidents or during service with British forces; many more have been wounded. Additionally as many as six Australians have been killed whilst working as private security contractors.(23)

  23. Rob Oakeshott ‏@RobOakeshott1 1m

    The designer of Parliament House, who built an open plan to symbolise ‘the people’ on top, will be saddened by security killing his vision.

  24. Zoidlord #182 that is not what Wilkie said on the ABC yesterday and wrote in an article in 2003, refer link.

    [Some in the Australian intelligence community had latched onto the dodgy American intelligence, resulting in partial contamination of assessments with an overestimation of Iraq’s WMD capability. But Australian intelligence agencies made it clear to the Government all along that Iraq did not have a massive WMD program (that dubious honour remains restricted to at least China, France, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Britain and the US). Nor was Saddam Hussein co-operating actively with al-Qaeda. And there was no indication Iraq was intending to pass WMDs to terrorists.]

    Mind you the result either way, none or limited and ineffective, was the same.

  25. @davidwh/193

    Regardless, the last line is important, “And there was no indication of IRAQ was intending to pass WMD to terrorists”.

    He has been pretty consistent in that regard.

  26. Zoidlord I don’t question the fact Wilkie was right and Howard was wrong in 2003 but you really need to be cautious about using Rob Oakshott as a reliable news source 🙂

  27. zoidlord

    The designer of Parliament House….

    Romaldo (Aldo) Giurgola would indeed be sad, first they restricted access to the grass roof, a symbol of the supremacy of “the People over the State”, other restrictions continue.

    Aldo is still alive ( born 1920 ) maybe some enterprising journalist could interview the gentle man, he could explain Fascism & the creeping loss of liberty.

  28. Sir Mad Cyril

    He and his wife love it they have joined a car club and go on all sorts of trips.

    My granddaughter Georgia finishes Primary School this year and they are having their graduation at the end of this term.

    All the kids are having limos to take them there – Georgia and one of her friends at Georgia’s request asked my son to take them in his Mustang.

    You can bet my son hated the idea – not!

  29. @davidwh/195

    It was only you that said I was using him as a news source, plenty of other area’s sources to check.


    ““The fact is Mr Howard deliberately misled the community every time he exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq. He knew full well there was no hard evidence that Iraq had a massive arsenal of WMD or was cooperating with Osama bin Laden.”

    So what we are seeing again, is the same thing, going to another war.

    Fear mongering, hate speech driven, coming alive again.

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