Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

Another fortnight, another dire Newspoll for Tony Abbott.

The fortnightly Newspoll in The Australian brings the government little respite, Labor’s lead down from the 55-45 blowout last time to 54-46, from primary votes of 37% for the Coalition (up one), 37% for Labor (down two) and 13% for the Greens (up two). Tony Abbott’s personal ratings continue to deteriorate, with approval down three to 33% and disapproval up two to 57%, while Bill Shorten’s remain broadly stable as they have for so long, with approval unchanged at 39% and disapproval up two to 43%. Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister widens just slightly from 43-37 to 43-36.

Also out today was the regular fortnightly face-to-face plus SMS poll from Morgan. This has the Coalition up a point to 39%, Labor down one to 37.5%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer United down half a point to another new low of 2%. Two-party preferred moves two points in the Coalition’s favour on the respondent-allocated measure, from 55.5-44.5 to 53.5-46.5, and previous-election preferences moves one point from 54-46 to 53-47.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The latest fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research ticks a point in Labor’s favour, from 52-48 to 53-47, with the major parties tied at 40% on the primary vote (Labor up a point, the Coalition steady), the Greens down one to 9% and Palmer United steady on 3%. Further questions:

• Opinion on the balance of power in the Senate is found to be unchanged since July in being slightly favourable, with 37% reckoning it good for democracy, 29% bad and 18% indifferent. When asked if the Senate has been right to block or reject various items of legislation, yes outpolls no in every case.

• A little surprisingly (to me at least), 42% think the 1.5% pay increase for defence personnel fair, versus 47% for unfair.

• Fifty-six per cent disagree with the Prime Minister’s contention that his government has “fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people” with respect to election promises, with 31% in agreement. Opinion is inevitably divided along party lines, but Greens voters are found to be even more negative than Labor ones, albeit that the sample for the latter is extremely small.

• As Essential does from time to time, respondents were asked for their view on various attributes with respect to the two leaders. The last time this was done was at the height of the Coalition’s post-budget poll collapse, and the latest survey finds Tony Abbott’s position very slightly improved, most noticeably with respect to “hard-working” (up five to 62%) and “good in a crisis” (up seven to 42%), the latter being an interesting bit of residue from his now vanishing poll recovery on the back of MH17 and terrorism concerns. However, he has dropped a further four points on “visionary”, to 27%. Reflecting his long-standing poll stasis, Bill Shorten’s readings are little changed, although he is down five on “a capable leader” to 46%.

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.

1,484 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor”

  1. About to go to bed. On radio news they are reporting Senator Xenophon has told the government it does not have the numbers to get Morrisons Migration legislation through.

    If true very 😆

  2. If Labor have the guts to do it, and can do it well, it could be a serious opportunity for them to take politics and policy off in a new direction in Australia, and isolate the hard right spivs.

    We simply cannot keep going down the current path for much longer. Change is needed and urgently. The lag times involved to get it done don’t allow much tardiness.

  3. I wouldn’t be seen dead eating in the Adelaide Casino. It’s strictly for tourists. They had a bottle of Basket Press Shiraz for $300.

    I’ve got a few from 1994 in the cellar. They are very good but why waste one on food at the Casino.

  4. What kind of person would order a $98 Tbone steak? Talk about conspicuous consumption. The gluttony and sense of entitlement of these people really stinks.

  5. [As soon as serious negative consequences are apparent I don’t think the Australian public would punish the ALP, Greens or crossbenchers for making a stand.]

    No one punished the greens, one nation or the democrats for their stand on the MAI in 1998. (In fact most people had forgotten by 1999 that it even happened.) If they (ALP, Grns et al) make their point clearly and concisely (using non trad media I guess) then you’re right. It might even generate support if done right. Especially in light of the current govt.

    [Good grief jules, are you new to PB??]

    No not really – I’m glad to see so many people here arc up at the TPP. I can’t believe more fuss isn’t being made about ISDS. Its a ridiculous idea, thankfully everyone here seems to be onto that. I’m wondering how many Australians (who don’t read political blogs)actually have it in their heads that this is happening. Not just some vague knowledge of some mega free trade thingee, but how many know its name and what it will potentially involve and enable.

  6. Jules @ 1457 – every person I’ve ever told about ISDS has hated it, so obviously it easy to grasp how terrible it is. As caf said, perhaps it would be easy to campaign against it. But the problem is that the media, and yes the Labor Party too, have been incredibly complacent in talking about how bad for Australia the TPP would be.

  7. caf

    I have explained the basic idea of the ISDS provision to about a dozen people personally, including some who are completely politically disengaged.

    Every single one had the WTF? reaction. They just couldn’t believe we would hand over control of any of our policy and laws to an outside entity.

    I think this is an issue that could really work for Labor.

  8. I can’t imagine that the Government would try to press their luck with TPP-enabling legislation with the Senate in such a Bolshie mood – after all, Foreign Affairs is the one of the few areas in which their performance falls short of “omnishambles”, they wouldn’t want to risk a defeat there too.

  9. They actually drank two bottles of Basket Press as well as two martinis.

    One had a normal sized steak and the other had the Tbone which I checked and it weights 1.2 kg!!! I think I’m going to throw up.

    Three courses including a 1.2 kg Tbone washed down with a bottle of wine and a martini.

  10. 1465

    If the drip was coming in, from outside, through the roof then it could be quite expensive to fix. Having a partly underground Parliament has its problems.

  11. [1428
    JimmyDoyle

    1426
    briefly
    Any day now the media will cotton on…

    Whether they report on it is another matter alltogther.]

    Well, it’s an unavoidable story.

    The even bigger story is whether we will see the trifecta? Income is recessed. Employment and output are in doubt. If income and employment fall together, output cannot be far behind. Hitherto, the deficit has averted a contraction. There’s no doubt that social spending and tax rebates are helping keep the economy from shrinking. It would be a very imprudent government that messed around with these.

  12. Rocket Rocket@1427

    kb 1412 – wonder who that source was who predicted the Coalition would be “Deeply unpopular by December”?

    By the way – I had very transiently noticed your occupation before as “invertebrate research consultant, mainly” and had thought it was a joke about politicians. Now I see you really are an invertebrate ecologist! “>http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/fossils/inverts/

    I’ve just changed that to include “electoral analysis” as well since in 2014 about 30% of my income came from pseph work or donations.

    I have no idea who the nameless “source” was. The quoting of nameless sources can be quite a bane sometimes. It was just something that stuck in my mind at the time.

  13. [1466
    JimmyDoyle

    caf @ 1462 – I am very afraid that Labor might see the TPP as an easy pass to bolster it’s claims of bipartisanship on some policies.]

    I doubt that Labor would accept a TPP that contained ISDS provisions.

  14. [But the problem is that the media, and yes the Labor Party too, have been incredibly complacent in talking about how bad for Australia the TPP would be.]

    True. But the public, and I would suggest increasingly the media too as the post-Rupert era looms ever closer, are in a state of major flux of late, and looking for better answers.

    (Who would have thought even 3 months ago that Karl Stevanovic would take Abbott to task, let alone so vigorously? Looks to me like the media are starting to wake up to themselves, albeit seriously late in the piece.)

    Point is the public and media are probably more open now to considering alternatives than they have been for a long time. They have taken a look at what Abbott & Co are offering and do not like it at all. The field is opening right up for solid alternatives.

  15. briefly – I suspect a recession is well on the way, given how desperate Hockey was to try and revive consumer sentiment. He would be loathe to try and introduce any stimulus, given they way they bleated about it in opposition. So he has to resort to the bully pulpit. Additionally, Abbott seems to have ruled out further budget cuts, but I think it’s clear that the cuts they’ve already proposed are having a negative impact on the economy.

  16. Jackol 1444,

    I have a very vague and unreliable memory about Argentine politics/economics.

    The “conspiracy” at the back of my mind is when the military took over in 1976, they got economic advice from the US that saw their currency artificially inflated, which after an early sugar hit caused the debt you speak of.

    That might explain why (short of the legal action in the US courts) the debt wasn’t rigorously pursued… not to mention Argentina is now happily “one of us”… 🙂

  17. Just Me – Indeed the media seems to waking up from it’s looooong slumber on the job, but given all the Abbott lies they have to catch up with and sort out, I’ll only believe they’ll report on the TPP when I see it.

  18. [1472
    JimmyDoyle

    Hockey … would be loathe to try and introduce any stimulus….]

    The deficit is running at $5 bill per month. This is stimulus in any language and without it the economy would now be in recession. The deficit added a trend 0.9% to GDP in the September quarter, when growth touched just 0.3%. If the stimulus had been zero, the economy would have contracted (at least) 0.6%.

    The only reason the economy did not shrink is because of the fiscal settings carried forward from the last Government.

  19. [1476
    JimmyDoyle

    briefly – I meant a Labor style stimulus package, but I take your point.]

    They need some policies at least. So far, it’s still all wishful thinking.

  20. [I’ll only believe they’ll report on the TPP when I see it.]

    I am at least as skeptical as you. But I think there is now a distinct hunger for change, beyond just getting rid of Abbott and his immediate policy suite. Not just in Australia either, but more globally.

    What comes of it remains to be seen.

  21. So, who leaked against Johnston? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Julie Bishop as she seems to be his only backer. Rumours are that Morrison wants the job (and leaks appear to have helped him win his preselection). There’s also talk of warfare between Defence and the PMO. Then there’s the department itself who are allegedly upset about foreign subs and a crap pay deal. Of course another ambitious MP might see value in making room above.

    It’s interesting that the two staffers who were escorted out haven’t been sacked. I believe one might be going back to another position in Defence and the other to the PMO.

  22. [1478
    Just Me
    But I think there is now a distinct hunger for change, beyond just getting rid of Abbott and his immediate policy suite. Not just in Australia either, but more globally.
    ]

    On this I entirely agree. The age of neo-liberalism is over. Now it’s down to the Labor Party realising that, abandoning it’s past commitment to privatisation, surplus fetishism, efficiency dividends etc etc and realising that there is a strong role for government to play in Australia’s economy. Number one on the hit list should be unfavourable free trade agreements. starting with the TPP.

  23. [1477
    briefly
    They need some policies at least. So far, it’s still all wishful thinking.
    ]

    About the only policy left in their neo-liberal arsenal is WorkChoices Mk II. They’re intellectually bankrupt, as Albanese pointed out.

  24. It is a great tragedy for Australians that, in a Westminster duopoly, they are allowed only one alternative to the extremist Tories to protect them from the neo-liberal triumph of stealing the public domain for private profit and delivering their goal of the TPP. That alternative is an incoherent, right wing gang of often corrupt careerists, laughingly called a “labor” party who’s leaders fucking cry when they have the “honour” of talking to a yank assembly…..Haha what useless protection of anything is the ALP.

    Apart from being politically stupid (maybe that was paid for), the ALP’s main goal, and successfully delivered, seems to be to make the population accept the Neo-liberal theft of public goods.

  25. caf, JD, JM – no one I speak to likes the idea of it either. I’ve been going on about these things to people for years. Since the MAI in 1998. Someone mentioned that the other day, wondering at how many times these across-the-board FTAs with ISDS built in have been tried since then.

    The TPP definitely needs more publicity, we need to know whats being negotiated and the IP and ISDS areas need serious independent public debate. I dunno if the media are up to it, given how much it coincides with Murdoch’s interests – he still drives the agenda in Australia, well his publications do, tho that may only last another year or two.

    The ALP could make mileage out of it given their stand on plain packaging – this agreement would make that sort of thing impossible. I can’t really see any independents or minors being wedded to it – the greens oppose it, I reckon Lambie would. I can’t see it lasting 5 minutes of genuine public debate.

    Anyway its one oclock.

    goodnight

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