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”

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  1. citizen

    [Shirt-fronting is of course well known as a purely economic subject.]
    Another piece of wisdom from Abbott’s book on economics is that epidemics/pandemics have absolutely no effect on the economy.

  2. Well, the party of US Presidents tend to take a hit at midterms. Second term midterms especially so. 2006 saw a seismic shift against the GOP under Bush II. 1986 saw similar results against the GOP under Reagan. (Although 1998 bucked this trend.)

    Secondly, the Senators up for re-election this year were the class last elected in 2008 (which was a year that Democrats absolutely cleaned up in the Senate – especially in many “red” states, hanging off the coattails of Obama.)

    These two factors had led to a perfect storm. However, it would be foolish to just blame it on the situation.

    The GOP were much better organised this year. They were focused and disciplined. And the party machine did a lot to make sure that the Tea Party nuts didn’t hijack primaries (especially against veterans.) Over all, they ran a much better campaign.

    The Democrats, on the other hand, were sloppy and desperate. Their whole campaign seemed to be “We’re going to take a big hit, let’s minimise it!” which, as I have said before, never makes a good campaign (in any political system) and usually leads to even more damage than a naively optimistic one.

    Also, the Democrats BADLY threw their money into the wrong races. Backing Grimes against McConnell, when other races could’ve used more resources was a bad choice. While initial polls ages back suggested the McConnell was unpopular, he was never going to lose. He is a powerful Senator (thus brings home a lot of pork) who represents a red state in a year that’s bad for Democrats – he was not vulnerable. It was a bad choice and a bit too optimistic. Considering that Hagan just lost NC and Warner is barely getting over the line in VA, the money could’ve been distributed in better places.

    We shouldn’t ignore the elephant (or donkey) in the room: Obama. It definitely was also a rebuke against Obama. While the US economy is in better shape than it was a couple of years ago, there’s still very little confidence in it and voters are blaming the guy in charge (although, where there are bright spots, they are not giving any credit!)

    Secondly (and this is what has kept many Democratic supporters home, or made them vote for a third party if available), there is a lot of upset amongst some over the Obama administration’s policies regarding things like surveillance and drones. While this probably hasn’t lost too many votes, it probably has lost the Democrats just enough.

    Finally, Obama’s weakest area: foreign policy. Unfortunately, Obama’s folly in this area is his failure to define his administration’s foreign policy. One moment it’s dovish, next minute it’s hawkish. One minute liberal, next minute realist. This confusion has led to him receiving critics from all sides and, consequently, he is seen as not knowing what he’s doing there and not a really strong leader on the world stage (despite the fact that Osama Bin Laden was caught under his watch.) Instead of being issues that rally voters around their president, issues like ISIS and ebola have turned voters against him.

    Today was the GOP’s to lose and, contrary to their nature in the last few years, they made sure that they didn’t. It pains me to say it but the GOP deserved their victory today.

  3. confessions

    Roll on sport associations direct broadcasting of events. Like the English RFU already do for Twickenham tests. Cheaper than Rupes and you get to watch inly the events you want.Curse the nobbling of the NBN

  4. [
    The USA could probably increase turnout if they moved the election date to a Saturday.]

    The Republicans have given up on democracy.

    They have hit a demographic wall, so a key strategy of theirs is to supress voter turn out with suprious anti voter fraud measures.

    Such tactics aren’t new of course — who can forget the disgraced Katherine Harris’s purging of the Florida electoral roll in the lead up to the 2000 election — if your name was even similar to a fellon, off your name went…

  5. [The Foreign Ministry has confirmed that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will attend the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia on Nov. 15 to 16, burying speculation about his attendance at the event.

    “After much deliberation, the president has decided to attend the G20 Summit, as he acknowledges the significance and strategic importance of attending a forum where various world economic leaders are meeting,” the Foreign Ministry’s director general of economic development and environmental affairs, Toffery P Soetikno, told the press in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    During the G20 summit, Toffery explained that Jokowi would address the G20 leaders at a retreat session on the conference’s first day regarding his experiences and reform achievements during his tenure as Surakarta mayor and Jakarta governor.

    Jokowi is also expected to outline Indonesia’s overall economic vision for the next five years during the summit, as well as to talk with various world leaders on the development of infrastructure, trade, economic security and sustainable energy use.]

  6. [The USA could probably increase turnout if they moved the election date to a Saturday.]

    And made polling places more widely available and accessible.

    Also, maybe cease trying to make it so hard for certain groups to be able to vote.

    A US writer Englehardt,sees the Repugnants victory as a part of the drumming of the war drums in Washington…more bombs,more wars ,more escalation,in a country already spendin g more on wars than it can afford…but that will be the outcome

  8. poroti:

    Definitely. A woman in a meeting today was lamenting living in a blackspot. No mobile reception, no broadband other from some unreliable, shitty provider, and definitely no hope of an NBN.

    I just hope when Labor gets back in that they revisit the notion of FTTP technology and make it a reality for everyone.

  9. Carey Moore@864

    The USA could probably increase turnout if they moved the election date to a Saturday.

    And made polling places more widely available and accessible.

    Also, maybe cease trying to make it so hard for certain groups to be able to vote.

    Hey, I’ve got a good idea!

    Why don’t they introduce DEMOCRACY as understood by the rest of the western world?

  10. Regarding race and US turnout.

    If voters had turned out in proportion to how they identified in the last census and maintained the same voting pattern as exit polls indicated, there would have been a Democratic lead 51.2/48.8. In other words, the victory today was based on white voters comprising 75% of the turnout (vis a vis 64% of the population) and voting 60% Republican.

    However successful political parties adapt. Who is to say in a compulsory voting regime, policies may change, primary turnout may change and more ‘moderate’ policies adopted and more moderate Republican candidates put forward.

  11. confessions

    [service 730Land is “looking at the issue of prepaid funeral plans”.]

    Just before their stories on a miracle weight loss product and dodgy tradies ?

  12. #868

    I live in Broome, to use my mobile at one house I have to walk outside and stand under the patio. At my other house I have to stand and lean over the breakfast bar.

    Telstra rang to get feedback on their service. For the third time in 4 years they are reporting the problem to the technical branch. The young lady caller had no mobile problems in Bombay

  13. AA


    I have to drive 10 k to get mobile reception.

    Not much hope of that ever changing – too many mountains around here. Our valley didn’t even get a mention when the ‘wish list’ was drawn up for the mobile blackspot program.

  14. Repugs win biug for Governors

    The full extent of the Repugs Victory is shown by the sweeping victories in the contests for state governors

    They actally captured the Governor’s job in Illinois…seen as a rock solid Democrat heartland and Obama’s home state

    Two recent Democrat Governors of Illinois of course are in jail for fraud..that was no help…even given the long story of one-party rule and fraud in Chicago by the Dems,over many years ….and by the notorious Daley family,going back to the way they rigged the Presidential ballot in Chicago… for Kennedy in 1960

  15. AA:

    I’m a bit like you. Get mobile reception if I stand in a certain spot, but at least can get wireless broadband. People lower down in the valley get nothing.

  16. WWP

    How come the South African batsmen are hitting the ball into the gaps between the fieldsmen? The Australians made sure they hit plenty of catches.

  17. Martha Coakley’s political career is probably dead after today (well at least for a major political office.) She has managed to choke two races she should have won.

    First was the 2009 Massachusetts Special Senate Election to fill the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy, when she was the Democratic nominee and ran a terrible campaign (she treated a lot of campaigning events as beneath her and took the seat for granted.) She paid for that error by losing to Scott Brown.

    She managed to get a chance at redemption by being nominated for Massachusetts Governor but dropped the ball and the GOP have gained that Governor’s mansion.

    Don’t expect her to be nominated for any more major races again.

    (And no, I don’t consider Massachusetts AG as a “major race”)

  18. British psephologist Stephen Fisher:

    [There was clearly a swing to the Republicans since 2012 in yesterday’s US midterm elections. However, the most comparable recent election for the House contest was not the general election but the 2010 mid terms.

    The Democrats seem to have recovered votes since the 2010 big wave Republican takeover. According to yesterday’s exit polls, there has been a small (1 %) swing to the Democrats.]

    Nonetheless, the Dems have gone backwards on seats thanks to gerrymandering. All hype aside, this is a pretty routine result for a second-term president. I’d still have my money on Clinton for 2016.

  19. William – I’d accept the gerrymandering argument as it relates to the House – the redistricting rules in most states are a disgrace – but I’d appreciate enlightment as to its relevance to the Senate (and for that matter the Governor races).

  20. The Senate, too, should break Democrat in two years time as the 2010 Republican landslide candidates run against a Presidential campaign year.

    The House would require a remarkable swing, though.

  21. [
    Gawd on the evening of the day of Gough’s memorial service 730Land is “looking at the issue of prepaid funeral plans”.

    Appalling. With Leigh Sales at the helm, the show is more and more like ACA each day.

    No wonder she likes vaudville in her spare time.

    Communist Kerry would be spinning in his grave.

  22. Carey – good summary of US mid-terms. It was interesting to see the Republican hierarchy making sure the preselection/primary disasters of the last few cycles were not repeated. Those “Tea Party” types have cost them six senate seats over 2010-2012 I estimate.

    The real interest now will be to see how they cope with having both houses. They could do a reasonable job, or else just continue the mad “politicking” style right up till the 2016 election. This may damage Obama, but I think it would help the 2016 Democrat Presidential nominee.

  23. I’m not invoking any relevance to the Senate or Governor races, as you should be able to tell from the fact that I didn’t mention them. I’m invoking relevance to the White House in 2016, the House having been the only national contest.

  24. William

    Clinton is the only person pundits of US elections are saying will win the next Presidential election.

    No one can work out who the Republican’s will run let alone who can win for them.

  25. Rambler 884 – I think maybe it is referring not to agerrymander as such in the Senate but just the whole “Two senators per state” thing which of course disproportionately (as intended in the Constitution) gives the small population states (currently mostly conservative leaning)the same power as say California.

    I only read today that Senators have only been elected by popular vote (rather thanbe appointed by the State Legislature) since the early 2oth Century.

  26. 882

    The failure of the Democrats to win the House back in 2012 is largely due to the failure to introduce impartial election boundary drawing criteria and systems for House elections. That made a mess of the whole Obama second term.

    Mid-term elections are a bad idea. They make governing hard for half a term and also cause overly frequent elections, requiring more campaign spending and thus donations.

  27. William @ 889. Point taken. Albeit given the state legislatures mostly control House redistricting, todays results won’t do the Democrats any favours over the next few years.

  28. William, you’re absolutely right. This has no real bearing on 2016. Midterms and off-years are often incorrectly cited as previews for the presidential election but don’t predict anything. Just look at 1986 – if that was a predictor of 1988, history would be, for better or worse, speaking of President Dukakis.

    Speaking of 2016, you will start getting announcements over the next couple of months. I expect Hillary will announce her intentions sooner, rather than later, so that Democrats who would back her (a huge majority, I suspect) can get behind her and not have to look around for other candidates.

  29. The GOP has to learn to compromise. However FOX was talking impeachment so at the moment it looks like they won’t. So two years of gridlock will strengthen the Democrats for 2016

  30. CM

    There were reports over the week just before the mid terms started that Clinton had started the serious lobbying process involved in a Presidential run

  31. Part of the problems for the GOP is if Clinton runs or looks like running the field of candidates will be less as the expectations of winning for them are low.

  32. guytaur, I don’t doubt it. It’s just a kind of convention that you don’t actually make any announcement until the midterms are over. (It steals oxygen from the midterm races and the party hates you for it. It’s also polite.)

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