Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

Newspoll comes in above the trend for Labor for a second fortnight in a row, giving the government its worst result in over three months.

James J relates that the fortnightly Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian is bad news for the government, showing Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred (up from an already above-trend 53-47 last time) from primary votes of 38% Coalition (steady), 36% Labor (up two) and 13% Greens (down one). Tony Abbott is down one on both approval and disapproval, to 37% and 52%, while Bill Shorten is up two to 37% and down one to 45%. Preferred prime minister is at 39-38 in favour of Abbott, unchanged on last time. The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1175.

UPDATE: Essential Research bucks the trend a little to record the Coalition up a point to 40% and Labor down one by 38%, with Labor’s two-party lead narrowing from 53-47 to 52-48. The Greens are up a point to 10%, with Palmer United steady at 4%. Further questions found strong opposition to deregulation of university fees (53% disapprove, 22% approve), support for the NDIS being funded by a higher Medicare levy (44% approve, 34% disapprove), and a willingness to pay a higher GST if used to fund health (56%) or pensions (44%). There was also a very strong view that climate change will lead to a higher incidence of bushfires and severe weather events in the coming years.

Also today, Fairfax offered a further tranche of its Ipsos poll finding Julie Bishop level with Tony Abbott on 20% as preferred Liberal leader, but with Malcolm Turnbull still well ahead of both on 35%. For Labor leader, Bill Shorten on 30% had competition from Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek on 18% apiece.

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.

921 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor”

Comments Page 1 of 19
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  1. billie@430

    Bemused it never dawned on me that my previous comment was in any way an endorsement of Morriscum

    Well he’s the alternative to Labor at present.
    Greens are irrelevant.

  2. We’re getting into landslide territory with results like this.
    Probably a response to the petrol excise increase and Abbott floating the GST balloon.
    Abbott looking well and truly like a oncer if he keeps this up.

  3. frednk @416 (previous thread)

    Simplifying to 1000 voters to make it clearer (the same principle applies for 1400 voters, however):

    Consider four parties with the following number of votes:
    Party A: 256 votes (rounds to 26%)
    Party B: 256 votes (rounds to 26%)
    Party C: 256 votes (rounds to 26%)
    Party D: 232 votes (rounds to 23%)
    Total: 1000 votes … but the rounded percentages add up to 101%.

    Multiply the votes by 1.4 to get the equivalent scenario for 1400 votes.

  4. from the previous….

    [401
    Nicholas

    Frankly, defeating the LNP, restoring the ETS, reviving Gonski and repairing the health and higher education budgets, reinstating NDIS and re-booting income growth would do me for a re-elected Labor Government.

    Your whinging about Labor reeks of the same reflexive grudge-politics in which the LNP specialise and is calculated to achieve the same results – the defamation of Labor. No-one with any personal experience of the politics of the 70s and 80s could begin to take you seriously.]

  5. billie@5

    Bemused I was more questioning why Labor has to follow Liberal policy on this issue

    In the typical sly and deceitful way Greens do.
    Labor is not following Liberal policy. Bill Shorten has made that clear.

  6. Abbott needs some violence in Iraq involving our Brave Men and Women in Uniform to pep up his polling.

    People need to start believing again – as a woman I spoke to last week does – that travelling by interstate train is too risky because of the threat of ‘Muslim be headings’.

    Etcetera

  7. Those here who have been sticking up for the ALP and bagging the Greens might like to note that the Greens have not yet managed to come up with a holy trinity to rival Messrs Obeid, McDonald and Williamson.

  8. I accept defeat.

    Conclusion; you can squeeze so much information out of the data it no longer carries any information.

    In this case people are getting hung up on percentage movements with only the integer information reported; but we have so much information lost the percentages don’t even add up to 100.

    Lets now go one step further. Round to the nearest 10% the results are.

    30,30,30,and 20. We are now up to 110%.

    The conclusion one must make. If you want it to add to 100% you have to report one fractional digit.

    And the pollster don’t have control over the number of fractional digits they report?

  9. The “Bowser Bandit” headline will have a lot to do with this. Stuff like that sticks.

    Solid result for Labor and the Greens.

  10. Well, just received an email with a notice attached from the ‘Defence Force Welfare Association’.

    Seems they are surprised at the miserly, below inflation pay rise just awarded to serving members.

    These are the guys who were running a pro-coalition line pre-election on the basis of undertakings received on retirement benefits.

    I guess they have just learnt a lesson. 😀

  11. Fred, if you’re rounding to 10, then you’re saying that an extra 10 here or there is not that significant in the first place.

  12. If you round percentages to whole numbers, they will sometimes add up 99, sometimes 100 and sometimes 101. If you round them to the first decimal, you’ll get 99.9, 100 or 100.1. Nothing you can do about it.

  13. It may just be coincidence, but for the third time in a row, Newspoll’s 2PP for Labor looks high.

    20/9: ALP 34 + (GRN 11 * 83%) + (OTH 14 * 46.5%) = 49.6. Published result: 51.

    18/10: ALP 34 + (GRN 14 * 83%) + (OTH 14 * 46.5%) = 51.2 Published result: 53.

    1/11: ALP 36 + (GRN 13 * 83%) + (OTH 13 * 46.5%) = 52.8. Published result: 54.

  14. pedant@11

    Those here who have been sticking up for the ALP and bagging the Greens might like to note that the Greens have not yet managed to come up with a holy trinity to rival Messrs Obeid, McDonald and Williamson.

    Too small a population from which to draw such a sample.
    For now they make do with LOONacy.

  15. So, for the specific figures from the Ipsos poll in the last thread, with 1400 respondents:

    LNP: 583 (rounds to 42%)
    ALP: 512 (rounds to 37%)
    GRN: 162 (rounds to 12%)
    OTH: 101 (rounds to 7%)
    PUP: 42 (rounds to 3%)
    Total respondents: 1000
    Sum of rounded percentages: 101%

    This also gives a TPP figure of 51.0%.

  16. [
    Henry
    Posted Monday, November 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    We’re getting into landslide territory with results like this.
    Probably a response to the petrol excise increase and Abbott floating the GST balloon.
    Abbott looking well and truly like a oncer if he keeps this up.
    ]

    I like to think that it is because people have finally start to refect on what Gough (and hence Labor )did for this country.

    [ Frankly, defeating the LNP, restoring the ETS, reviving Gonski and repairing the health and higher education budgets, reinstating NDIS and re-booting income growth would do me for a re-elected Labor Government.
    ]
    Could not care less about the LNP, but if that is what it takes to get the rest I will take Labor.

  17. William @17 – interesting. Why do you think this is? Are Newspoll being generous to the ALP with their preference distribution?

  18. @ William Bowe, 17

    Maybe they’ve changed the way preference flows are being calculated? I think 83% is a bit low for Greens flows to Labor.

    It’s also possible that the 13 for the Greens and Others are both closer to 13.5 and the 36 for the ALP is closer to 36.5.

    ALP 36.5, GRN 13.5 and OTH 13.5 would produce a 2PP of 53.98%, after all.

  19. Even before this poll came out it occurred to me this afternoon that hardheads in the Coalition must be seriously thinking of dumpoing Abbott before the next election.

    If these sort of numbers persist, and say by this time next year it is looking very likely they will lose, I think they will do the old pre-christmas “renewal” and give Turnbull or Bishop (Julie!) a solid nine months or so to turn things around.

    Sentiment will not come into it.

  20. bemused @ 18 : I suspect there are quite a few people who would rather vote for a loon than for a crook, or for a party controlled by crooks (see Mr Nathan Rees’s ICAC testimony).

  21. 54 /46 🙂

    Polish that one Mod Lib. 🙂

    Gnome….BOO!

    [ It may just be coincidence, but for the third time in a row, Newspoll’s 2PP for Labor looks high. ]

    Any idea why? Or are we in for another prolonged rounding discussion?? 🙂

  22. The Obeids of the world join parties that are likely to win Government, so they won’t be attracted to the Greens or minor parties.

  23. [ restoring the ETS, reviving Gonski and repairing the health and higher education budgets, reinstating NDIS and re-booting income growth would do me for a re-elected Labor Government. ]

    Agreed very much.

  24. Darren Laver Victorians go to the polls on Nov 29th, if its a national poll well … but if it Victorian

    Tones offering money for East-West link goes down a treat – not.

    The East West link makes it easier for people from solid Liberal electorates around Doncaster to get to the city whilst stiffing the Green inner city electorate of Melbourne.

    The swing seats in the south east enter the city through Crown Casino – the East West link doesn’t fuss them at all, they do care about train services and the level crossings at Murrumbeena which restrict the number of train services and whose traffic congestion clogs Dandenong Road, formerly Highway 1 – a kilometre north of the railway line. Although many South East residents are hostile to the casino.

    Additionally these south east seats are where car manufacturing and component factories are. People are wondering where they will work.

    The Victorian Liberal government has saved 2 billion dollars by slashing numbers of public servants like teachers, scientists so even voters in upper socio economic areas are anxious about where their university graduate kids will get their next job.

    As a former Melbourne University Law professor said when the Coalition announced that all unemployed people under 30 would only get the dole for 6 months in every year all home owners thought “Shit my house is going to be robbed by desperate people”, thus depriving Napthine of more votes

  25. [11
    pedant

    Those here who have been sticking up for the ALP and bagging the Greens might like to note that the Greens have not yet managed to come up with a holy trinity to rival Messrs Obeid, McDonald and Williamson.]

    I’m one of those willing to stand up for Labor against the fairly gratuitous slurs cast here, but I generally abstain from attacking the Greens – at least, I try to focus on the shortcomings of the LNP.

  26. restoring the ETS, reviving Gonski and repairing the health and higher education budgets, reinstating NDIS and re-booting income growth would do me for a re-elected Labor Government.

    Doing something to curb cost-of-living for those on Newstart/disability/aged pensions is also needed. When the rent on your (very below-average) house is 100% of the Newstart allowance (including maximum rent assistance), something’s got to be done about it.

  27. pedant@26

    bemused @ 18 : I suspect there are quite a few people who would rather vote for a loon than for a crook, or for a party controlled by crooks (see Mr Nathan Rees’s ICAC testimony).

    All but a handful of Labor people do not vote for known crooks and never have. Crims by their very nature hide their deeds.

    But LOONacy is on display for all to see.

  28. Arrnea 24 – the problem is your figures produce 36.5 for LNP which must be at least 37.5 to produce 38.

    Actually I would think it would be reasonable to adjust Others from 46.5 at last election to say 50% given the breakdown of views shown for Others in some polls. Not sure if that is occurring?

  29. pedant

    [I suspect there are quite a few people who would rather vote for a loon than for a crook..]

    Yeah, about 10% of the population.

    Which is, btw, roughly the percentage which votes for the Hanson-type parties, too – so I suppose both have equal credibility.

  30. So what happened to the ‘Abbott strong leader’, ‘national security’ bounce the MSM have been claiming for the LNP in recent weeks. Oops wrong narrative. It’s the economy stupid.

  31. Good Poll day for Labor all round. Especially in the lead up to the closest election looming in Victoria.

    Same can be said for the Greens too.

    Labor and Green votes will go up as Australian Media has to toe the international line to avoid being laughed at on climate change. I am thinking here of News.

    So more downside to come for the LNP

  32. @ Wakefield, 35

    I was making a general point about the effects rounding could have, using the extreme limiting case. It could be a bit of both (a bit of rounding fuzziness, a bit of preference flow adjustment, which has a more noticeable effect as GRN/OTH primary votes rise).

  33. The highest possible ALP 2PP I got get from this poll is 53.52% (using the preference flows given by William @17), from primaries of LNP 37.5, ALP 36.5, GRN 13.5 and OTH 12.5.

  34. With cuts in conditions like leave, the troops are funding their own pay rise(sic.

    Liberals have all the talk, but can’t walk the walk

  35. @ dendrite, 40

    Thank you for making my point more precisely.

    Between that and possible preference flow changes (maybe they looked at how respondent-allocated preferences went compared to previous-election and split the difference?), that could well account for the discrepancy.

  36. @ AussieAchmed, 41

    The media should stop pussyfooting on the military pay issue and call it what it is – a pay CUT (thanks to inflation giving everyone a 2-3% pay cut every year). The ADF personnel can either take a 6.1%-9.3% pay cut, or take a 4.6-7.8% pay cut and lose their leave entitlements.

    We should offer the same choice to MPs, to be honest.

  37. An ETS, NBN, NDIS plus proper funding for education and health.

    I’m being lazy, but why couldn’t a MRRT be developed using the PRRT legislation as a base? Even the Liberals couldn’t argue against that …surely…after all the years they have supported the PRRT.

    (being lazy, it takes me forever to do stuff on the computer, right shoulder all stitched up so trying to do all left handed only.)

  38. [ALP 36.5, GRN 13.5 and OTH 13.5 would produce a 2PP of 53.98%, after all.]

    But that only leaves 36.5 spare for the Coalition.

    There are a lot of little reasons why Newspoll’s 2PP might be different from a crude application of 2013 preference flows to the overall result. The Greens vote might be particularly concentrated in Victoria, say, where their preference flow to Labor was quite a bit stronger than elsewere. The composition of the “others” vote might be heavily loaded with strong parties for Labor (the Sex Party?) at the expense of weak ones (Family First). However, it’s difficult to see all of this making much difference.

  39. Bemused @ 33: I find suggestions that the NSW ALP caucus members pre-2011 didn’t know about the true character of Messrs Obeid and McDonald about as plausible as the claims from residents of Munich in 1945 that they had no idea what was happening in that camp down the road.

  40. If we see mass resignations due the shoddy treatment, we could end up with just enough troops to defend Rourke’s Ridge or the Alamo.

  41. @ William Bowe, 46

    As I said at 39, I was making a general point about rounding and as Dendrite pointed out at 40, you can still get to a point where everything rounds to what we see in the published result, even without tweaking the preference flows.

    If there is something behind this “overstatement” of the 2PP for Labor, I’d be most inclined to believe that it’s a combination of several effects mentioned in this discussion (including the one you mentioned – I hadn’t thought of that).

  42. AA

    [we could end up with just enough troops to defend Rourke’s Ridge or the Alamo.]

    Surely we would fight with the Mexicans at the Alamo to defend their territory from US invasion?

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