Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor

The Newspoll to be published in tomorrow’s Australian shows the Coalition back to its post-budget worst, and Morgan is hardly better for them.

The always reliable James J in comments relates that the Newspoll, to be published in tomorrow’s Australian, shows the Coalition back to its post-budget worst, with Labor leading 55-45 on two-party preferred. Primary votes are 39% for Labor, 36% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens. Whereas Newspoll’s two-party results have recently had a habit of coming in better for Labor than the primary votes would lead you to expect, this one sounds about right.

After a period where the two leaders have been roughly even, this poll gives Bill Shorten a 43-37 lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister. Abbott is on 36% approval and 55% disapproval, while Shorten is at 39% and 41%. The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1166.

Also out today was the regular fortnightly poll from Roy Morgan, which was also unpleasant for the government, with Labor’s headline two-party lead out from 54.5-45.5 to 55.5-44.5. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down half a point on the primary vote to 38%, with Labor up one to 38.5% and the Greens down half a point to 12%. Using preference flows from the 2013 election rather than respondent allocation, Labor’s lead is up from 53.5-46.5 to 54-46. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends from a sample of 3140.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research turns in another static result on voting intention, with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all stable on the primary vote (40%, 38% and 10%), and Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 52-48. The only move is that Palmer United is back down to 3% after two weeks at 4%.

Essential has shown good foresight in identifying free trade and China as the subject of its supplementary questions this week. Opinion on a free trade agreement is evenly divided at 34% approval and 35% disapproval, with 35% saying China will benefit more versus only 12% for Australia and 24% for both equally. Respondents are predictably more keen on “greater access to Chinese markets for Australian businesses” (61% support, 12% oppose) than “fewer restrictions on Chinese workers coming to Australia” (20% support, 57% oppose). When asked to rate likeliest beneficiaries of a deal, the Australian government, mining companies and business come on to with 52%, 48% and 44%, and the ever-embattled “working people” bottom on 25%. Beyond that, respondents were found to be highly cynical about the G20, with 62% rating it an “expensive talk fest” over 16% for the alternative option crediting it with “real outcomes for Australia and the global economy”.

Other questions tested respondents about the size of Australia’s refugee intake, with a general but not overwhelming tendency to rate it higher than it actually is. Opinions on the utility of the refugee program are evenly divided, except that only 20% agreed that “Australia’s overall population is too low and we need to increase the number of refugees to boost the numbers in our workforce”, with 62% disagreeing.

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.

1,443 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor”

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  1. Jackol:

    I’m shocked about SenX. The more popular stance is to oppose the changes, esp in the wake of the CBA financial planners fraud scandal. And let’s face it SenX is all about appearances.

  2. confessions – not sure on X’s motivation. There are a couple of possibilities – he did mention that it was the ‘understanding’ of the ‘coalition of common sense’ that the FOFA changes would be open to further negotiation with the government, so maybe as unofficial spokesman he had to run that line to properly represent the other crossbench opinion.

    Or X is happy to be the centre of attention and likes the idea of being the new Palmer calling the shots in all those press conferences.

    Who knows.

  3. [Temperatures below freezing in all 50 states of America, including Hawaii, but it couldn’t be Climate Change…. so what is it?]

    Really unlucky weather … you just can’t help bad luck …

    If I was in the US of A I’d probably go with ‘It is a plague from God for all our sins’

    but here on PB I’d be stoned to death for suggesting there is God.

  4. Well if only Senator Xenophon switches then that is 38-38 which means that the motion to negate the regulations passes in the negative and thus the regulations should still be gone.

  5. [ the ALP will simply be able to rely on the fact that people won’t believe his denials, perhaps reinforced with throwaway line (eg, “well, of course, he always denies things like that before the election…). ]

    Or something like:

    “Tony promised XXXXXX did he? Is it written down??”

  6. WeWantPaul@1405

    Temperatures below freezing in all 50 states of America, including Hawaii, but it couldn’t be Climate Change…. so what is it?

    Really unlucky weather … you just can’t help bad luck …

    If I was in the US of A I’d probably go with ‘It is a plague from God for all our sins’

    but here on PB I’d be stoned to death for suggesting there is God.

    I would say more pitied for your delusion. 😛

  7. Tom @1406

    [Well if only Senator Xenophon switches then that is 38-38 which means that the motion to negate the regulations passes in the negative and thus the regulations should still be gone.]

    Wait… what??

  8. Raaraa – lol. Disallowance motions are meant to replicate the situation as if legislation were being passed. ie a tied vote would see legislation fail, so a tied vote on a disallowance motion sees the regulation fail.

  9. Bemused…re my absence.
    Thank you …

    Yes were have had a few weeks in the “hinterland”of the Sun shine Coast…that hilly district on the west of the Sunshine Coast near Melany ..near the Glasshouse Mts and quite lovely…cool of a night and still green despite months of rainless weather..lots of interesting little town s like Eumundi with it’s amazing market…and lots of “alternative” farming too..and some “hippy ” communities which are changing the demography of once conservative towns in the area…and great food

    The weather was fine and hot ,but I see today the drought there has been broken with massive rains…which I am sorry to say we missed…as I love those tropical rains in QLand
    being a man who hates the dry heat

    We were there for the G20,and Brisbane was in a fine semi-fascist state ,,,how the politicians and cops love all that massive shut-downs and all the guns and barricades

    BTW I decided that the Brisbane “Courier -Mail” is the WORST Murdoch rag in Australia.. it makes the Sydney Telegraph look like the Guardian,,,such tripe …such trivia. such bullshit….perhaps one of the worst in the world…it purveys that curious kind of QLand chauvinism,which I suspect springs from a deep inferiority complex…yet for all that I like Qland..especially Noosa which has a euro style and could be in the Riviera…and now to be graced by the Rudds who have sold their Brisbane house and are moving there
    BTW I was forced to read the Australian lacking The Age…and a a found a sly campaign to assert that Dennis Napthine isn’t running a very good campaign

    Is this a “firewall” to deplect criticism from Abbott when Napthine goes down ?

    I suspect it is…but I guess if Napthine I guess he will.. he will blame Abbott in public for his defeat
    great times ahead

  10. [Well if only Senator Xenophon switches then that is 38-38 which means that the motion to negate the regulations passes in the negative and thus the regulations should still be gone.]

    An outcome surely the govt won’t allow to happen after today’s events.

    Horse trading and other bribery is the only way, which in itself is scary given the key Senators involved.

  11. Jackol @ 1411: That’s not correct. See s.23 of the Constitution: if a vote is tied in the Senate, the question is resolved in the negative, therefore in the circumstance you postulate, the regulations are not disallowed.

  12. Well, Mumble gets it more right in his latest: Tony’s talking to his base day in day out. Thrilling the backbenchers. And the talkies.

    Good analysis. And the Abetz line is gold.

    But Mumble needs to take the next step: will that win him the election in 2016?

    Answer: Nup. Come on – its just not. Somethings got *to change*.

    And this is the lefty e thesis, if you will: the polls are telling us something. They’re telling us – ceteris paribus – that Tony is going to lose.

    Ceteris has to become non-paribus for that the change, bludgers. Thats what the punters are saying. Just like Gillard – the polls never did change.

    When’s that going to happen? And what does it look like? Is Tones up to the job?

    Stick your own-term theses up your bum. This is now. Talk to Napthine about one term, cos the face aint listening. Whats gonna change? He’d need to:

    – generate a shit load of jobs (and I mean a shit load)
    – Appeal to swing voters (dare I suggest Abbott will find this uniquely challenging)
    – Project an air of competence
    – Set the agenda

    I wouldnt give Abbott 1 in 3 of pulling off that combo.

  13. Having said that, Tom’s point is a bit obscure to me – today’s events revolved around a particular grouping of the crossbench, and X’s statements tonight suggest that that grouping of the crossbench are of a mind to negotiate with the government over their FOFA changes. So in theory we’re not just talking about X potentially changing his vote, but Lambie and Muir, with PUP theoretically supporting whatever the government wants to put up in this area, and with Madigan, Day and Leyonhjelm all in the mix as well depending on what exactly is being proposed.

    The ALP may even consider allowing some token changes to settle the issue once and for all.

  14. [but here on PB I’d be stoned to death for suggesting there is God]

    No stoning here. As long as you realise your religious beliefs don’t belong in my country’s laws, you don’t use your religious beliefs to justify violence or hatred, and you don’t deny solid scientific theories like evolution, I don’t care if you believe in the existence of a deity.

  15. lefty e @ 1415: governments usually go for policies which advantage a large number of people a bit, and disadvantage a smaller number of people (usually those better placed to absorb the damage) at lot.

    This government, almost uniquely in my experience, has instead gone for a strategy of disadvantaging a large number of people, while benefiting a small number a lot. This makes no sense electorally.

    The other thing they are doing wrong is adopting a punitive tone. Sure, some people have a sense of entitlement. That doesn’t mean they are bludgers, more likely it flows from their having been previously offered entitlements as an inducement at election time (by both sides). So to talk about them as if they are morally deficient is both insulting and unjustifiable.

    The members of this government need to realise that the voters are their bosses, and the source of their authority. At the moment, they are carrying on as if they are running a Christian Brothers institution, with the voters being teenagers who need to be taught a good lesson.

  16. Sen X is one of the best and most intelligent in the Senate
    where so many from the two major parties are dumb hacks

    He seems to have taken Muir and Lambie under his wing
    Bad news for the Govt

  17. Shows


    [Graphic, gratituous and offensive.

    Withdraw that comment or face the modertator’s wrath.]

    Graphic, gratituous, offensive and apposite.

  18. Some of the more naïve commentators seem to assume that Senator Lambie’s break with the PUP will make things easier for the government.

    While it’s true her being on her own will open up more potential ways of getting to a majority, at least on paper, that overlooks a key question: how likely is it that there will be votes where the PUP votes with the Opposition, but Senator Lambie votes with the government?

    I would have thought, not very likely. Senator Lambie’s basic political stance seems to be one of sympathy for underdogs, as long as they aren’t foreigners or Muslims. This, along with her recent pledge to vote against everything until the military get paid more, would suggest that on most issues critical to the government, she is more likely to be a vote lost than one gained. The only exception to this that seems likely is voting on immigration issues.

  19. I switched on the ABC Senate broadcast station today and heard a bit of Senator Corrado Bernardi giving a sickening, smarmy, toadying eulogy about a still living female senator (who’s name escapes me, but started with M).It appeared he was trying to convince her to support some Liberal proposal or other.

    Does anyone know what that flea was on about?

  20. pedant –
    Odgens has this to say:

    The power to enact laws is a primary power of Parliament. Parliament, however, frequently enacts legislation containing provisions which empower the executive government, or specified bodies or office-holders, or the judiciary, to make regulations or other forms of instruments which, provided that they are properly made, have the effect of law. This form of law is referred to as “delegated legislation”, “subordinate legislation” or “legislative instruments”. The last is the statutorily-established term. This is law made by the executive government, by ministers and other executive office-holders, without parliamentary enactment.

    This situation has the appearance of a considerable violation of the principle of the separation of powers, the principle that laws should be made by the elected representatives of the people in Parliament and not by the executive government.

    The principle has been largely preserved, however, by a system for the parliamentary control of executive law-making. This system, which has been built up over many years, principally by the efforts of the Senate, is founded on the ability of either House of the Parliament to disallow, that is, to veto, such laws made by executive office-holders.

    I can’t find with casual googling an explicit statement about the difference in voting procedures with disallowance motions, but I’m fairly sure that a tied vote on a disallowance motion results in the regulation not taking effect because the vote is intended to replicate the power of the Senate (or House of Reps) to block legislation.

    The constitution doesn’t directly address legislative instruments and disallowance:

    The Constitution does not explicitly authorise the Commonwealth Parliament to delegate power to make laws. However, the High Court’s decision in Baxter v Ah Way
    1910 8 CLR 626 has been held to support the Parliament’s power to do so.

    So relying on what the constitution has to say on voting procedures is not enlightening.

  21. Come on Pedant,its a winning formula!

    – Piss off the punters with your budget ideas while actually delivering squat.
    – Oppose old industry (cars) AND new industry (renewables). Literally no-one has thought of that deal-closer with voters before.
    – Completely ignore the old truism that swing voters deliver victories, cos thats bullshit!1! Go for the base instead. I know i do.
    – Pretend that just cos you say “Co2” about a govt riven with mind-blowngly toxic disunity that Co2 was the key takeaway. Because logic.
    – Talk about hoons to the world because ALL POLITIX IS LOCAL

    Nuh. Youre dreaming mate. Tones is beaming live to planet punter and sorry I CAN do that Dave.

  22. It will be interesting to see what Sen. Lambie does in the event the government proposes legislation she agrees with before they give the armed forces a proper pay rise. Her stance to date has been that she will vote down anything the government proposes, regardless of merit, until the troops get their cost of living adjustment.

    I’d like to know if that’s a pose or if she will genuinely follow through. Then again, what are the odds this government ever comes up with something that would tempt her to support it?

  23. Lambie’s really backed herself into an hilarious corner. All her friends cant say anything – ever – in her support,under the terms of their contracts, and like, 350 years of opposition to military intererence in politics.

    Who’s advising her?

  24. The Parliament website indicates that a motion to disallow must be “agreed to” to effect disallowance of a regulation, which would indicate to me that it must pass the chamber. By implication, a tied motion is not “agreed to” and the instrument is not disallowed.

  25. Jackol @ 1423 : s.23 of the Constitution applies to all questions put to the Senate, without exception. So if the vote on a disallowance motion is tied, the disallowance fails. I invite you to find a single example of a case where a tied vote on a disallowance motion led to the regulations in question being disallowed.

  26. I don’t know who’s advising Lambie, lefty – but I’m nowhere near as certain as you that she’s backing herself anywhere.

    Tasmanians are a parochial, ornery lot at the best of times (and I say that with love as an ex-Taswegian) and they’ve got a long history of backing the outsider who they see as acting honestly, and in their interests.

    Sticking one up Palmer and this government isn’t going to play badly in the Island State at all, I suspect – even the Libs down there are rumoured to not have much time for the PM.

  27. 1414

    You have misread section 23. It states that when the vote is tied, it shall “pass in the negative”. When a vote is to disallow a regulation, disallowing the regulation is the negative, as opposed to the positive of allowing it to stand, and thus passing in the negative means that the regulation is disallowed. Allowing the regulation is not passing in the negative but failing in the positive.

  28. Tom

    The Legislative Instruments Act 2003 governs the disallowance of regulations, and they quite clearly state that the motion must pass in the positive for the regulation to be disallowed. S42.

  29. Tom, you are confusing the content of the motion with the motion itself. Forget about the content; concentrate on the fact that it is a motion.

    A motion is proposed, 38 vote in favour, 38 vote against.

    There are equal votes either way, the motion is not carried.

    Whatever it was meant to overturn is not overturned, in this case the regulations.

    Or is my logic faulty?

  30. 1431

    Section 23 does not say until Parliament otherwise provides, therefore the wording of the Constitution absolutely trumps a mere piece of legislation. That act is obviously asking for a probably successful High Court Challenge, over regulations receiving a tied vote in the Senate, to determine the meaning of “pass in the negative”.

  31. 1432

    You logic is faulty. The Constitution does not say fail or be blocked, it says “pass in the negative”. Thus it is crucial as to whether the motion is a positive motion or a negative motion. If it is positive motion then, when its vote is tied, it fails. If, however, it is a negative motion then, when its vote is tied, is passes. It is a requirement for majority support in the Senate to allow anything to be done, including regulate which is a delegated legislative power and allowing a regulation with a tied vote would be effectively allowing legislation without enough support to pass it as actual legislation.

  32. Tom – that may be so, but until the High Court passes judgement in agreement with your interpretation, the reality of Parliamentary practice is that a motion to disallow that ties on the vote fails, and the regulation stands.

  33. “Pass in the negative” is just a somewhat pompous archaic way of saying it does not pass at all. In other words, fails.

    However, I suppose it will take the judgment of someone better paid (if not more erudite), than you or I to give an interpretation in the High Court before either of us will accept the opinion of the other.

  34. 1435&6

    Any regulation subjected to a tied vote could be challenged. In the current Senate, there is a good chance that there will be a regulation vote of that nature. I hope such a challenge happens to one of the Government`s nastier pieces of regulation.

  35. Tom, I prefer to hope that the Government’s nastier pieces of regulation and/or legislation just get defeated.

    There is just a glimmer of a possibility that this might occasionally happen now the lunatics, in their brief periods of lucidity, have dared to reclaim the keys to the asylum.

  36. 1438

    I also hope that they just get defeated with a majority but if there are any tied votes, I hope it goes to the High Court.

  37. Tom,with the greatest respect, if there was the slightest chance that your interpretation of s.23 is correct, the issue would have been litigated long before now.

  38. Ok, I’ve come around to the point of view that a disallowance motion most likely needs to pass with a majority to repeal regulations.

    I would say that this is a fairly serious problem for parliament because it means the executive has quite a good incentive to implement law via regulation rather than legislation where they can do so because they get a 1 vote advantage in using regulation. Regulation is obviously a less transparent and less democratic option – regulation is a legislative short cut for reasons of flexibility and timeliness – it shouldn’t be the preferred mechanism for enacting law, as it doesn’t allow for proper parliamentary debate and opportunity to amend the changes to the law being enacted.

    I think I must have assumed the disallowance motion had to have the same numeric requirements as passing the regulation as legislation would need to avoid this disparity, and that a “disallowance motion” should therefore be effectively an “allowance motion” or amount to a vote of confidence by the relevant house in the regulation as tabled.

    I guess that’s not the case, and to my mind that means there’s a nasty wrinkle in our system of lawmaking that promotes the use of regulation over legislation (above and beyond all the other reasons why the executive may prefer to use regulation).

    I imagine that the significantly greater numbers of MPs in the House of Commons or House of Lords means that tied votes in either house there are incredibly unlikely to occur in practice, and so no one ever really thought about it too much.

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