Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

The final Newspoll of the year is consistent with an overall trend that gives the government a lot to think about over the summer break.

What will presumably be the last Newspoll of the year records no change on a fortnight ago, with Labor’s two-party lead at 54-46. Labor grabs the lead on the primary vote, moving up two points to 39% with the Coalition up one to 38% and the Greens down one to 12%. For the first time in a while, Tony Abbott’s personal ratings are not appreciably worse than last time, his approval steady at 33% and disapproval up one to 58%. Bill Shorten is respectively down two to 37% and steady at 43%, and the size of his lead as preferred prime minister is unchanged, being 43-36 last time and 44-37 this time.

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.

1,550 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. PVO is an infantile tosser.

    I’d suggest those remaining souls here who follow him on Twitter to unfollow him (or perhaps report him for spam).

    Surely he can go off and do some real work again — hasn’t he got Abbott’s political biography (hairography) to write?

  2. guytaur – you’re definitely right. ALP moving in front on primaries is not a good sign for the Coalition, especially with a decent Greens vote as well.

  3. So final Newspoll for the year ends with another shocker for the coalition.

    That leadership chitter chatter will continue. 😀

  4. [actually maybe he was just surprised that there was one coming out. It was just a plain …wow. Not a “Wow!” as in the past.]


  5. Just forced myself to read Daily Telegraph editorial online. It’s times like this that I think Melbourne’s Herald-Sun ia a left wing rag by comparison!

    1. Funny how we are getting unusual climate patterns isn’t it.

    2. FOREIGN AID NOW A LUXURY – But instead of that $1 bilion, let’s spend one hundred times that amount in foreign “anti-aid” (ie war) when all the problems that may have been helped by foreign aid instead explode into terrible conflicts.

  6. Greens are still a bit high for my liking.

    Would be better to see Labor at say 43% and the Greens at 8% — they remain very parasitic.

    Christine Milne hasn’t even seen or heard from in months!

  7. Labor can (and should) go home for the Christmas break very happy with that polling position, but certainly they shouldn’t rest on their laurels, because (not that I think they will) it’s certainly a recoverable margin between now and the next election.

  8. @ Darren Laver, 12

    If you want to see more Greens voters back with Labor, Labor will need to make an about-face on some of its policies that are presently alienating part of the progressive Left base.

  9. [actually maybe he was just surprised that there was one coming out. It was just a plain …wow. Not a “Wow!” as in the past.]

    Yes, not even a Wowzers! or a YIKES!

    There are degrees of 1950s primary school boy suprisement that PvO can do.

  10. Honestly that editorial – deliberately putting up “poor drought stricken farmers” against “greedy foreign aid bludgers” has really upset me.

    Also one of the problems with these “drought aid” things is that most of the people in the affected areas are NOT primary producers, but are often doing it just as tough as those that are. But The “Tele” and TV stations don’t want to show shopowners or equipment sellers – they want farmers.

    And most definitely not any supposedly poor starving third world farmers bludging off Tony Abbott’s billions that he has personally earned despite the best efforts of the Labor Party.

  11. [Labor can (and should) go home for the Christmas break very happy with that polling ]

    They should but they should also be campaigning, right now, against the broken ideas a lot of people still have in their heads about debt, deficit, competency etc. There’s still a lot of people who hate Abbott and will say so in the polls but deep down still are convinced that the Pink Bats (for instance) was a disaster.

    Labor needs to slowly, steadily address all the lies and BS the Liberals and their media pals distributed over the past 6 years.

  12. Tones has so many aces up his sleeve that the media completely seems to have forgotten about. Once he unleashes them again we will all be putty in his hands.

  13. 25th Newspoll survey after the Abbott election
    PM Satisfaction 33
    Dissatisfaction 58
    Net Satisfaction -25
    2PP 46:54

    25th Newspoll survey after the Gillard election
    PM Satisfaction 30
    Dissatisfaction 60
    Net Satisfaction -30
    2PP 47:53

    Basically neck and neck. That’s gotta hurt

  14. From Andrew Elder:

    [People are looking to Julie Bishop as the key figure in what happens next with Credlin and Abbott, but she’s a showpony. The one to watch is Chris Pyne. Pyne has served six Liberal leaders and been disloyal to them all. He (and Entsch) will be the difference between whether the backbench gets behind Abbott or deserts him. Pyne is who and what he is and doesn’t care what others think of him – if asbestos had a personality it would be his.]

  15. 23

    Only on 2PP. On satisfaction, she was slightly behind where he is now. The figure are in reverse chronological order. Abbott first and Gillard second.

  16. 1842
    Fran Barlow

    The reality is that without the pressure from us on the left, your party would scarcely contemplate moving more than a hair’s width to the liberal side of the LNP. There would be no rationale at all for them to do so, since their supporters would have no alternative.]

    Fran, thanks for the introduction to Sorites paradoxes. Cursorily, they seem to me to be problems that are contrived to resist epistemic resolution – the more one pursues clarity, the less clarity is realised.

    In this respect they are “curious” or “amusing” but have little or no predictive value. Perhaps they are not about the conditions under which things can be said to be “known” so much as they are about the opposite – the conditions under which things may not be “known”.

    Anyway, to return to the more banal matter of inter-party competition in a three-way game, you assert (by implication) that the presence of the Greens draws Labor away from the LNP; that without the Greens, Labor might be almost indistinguishable from the LNP.

    First, there’s no historical reason to suppose this to be the case. There are plenty of instances available showing that Labor were left-leaning and reformist without instruction from the Greens. I can think of the Tonkin Government here in WA, which in 1971 created the first Ministry for Environmental Protection in Australia and repealed the statutory prohibitions on the free movement of Aboriginals in the State, among other reforms in education, labour relations and health, to be followed soon after by the Dunstan, Whitlam and Wran Governments.

    But in any case, it’s arguable that the existence of a competitor on the left tends to impel Labor to separate itself – to find points of difference – from this rival, the Greens. If the Greens did not exist, Labor would perhaps find it easier to distinguish itself from the LNP by benchmarking itself further to the left. It’s possible that the success of the Greens has pushed both Labor and the LNP to the right. In this case, we could readily see that the Green mission has enabled the construction of a separate Party, but placed their goals further from reach.

    I think this is not only arguable, but is a good description of the political processes we have observed in the last 20 years or so.

    It is certainly worth reflecting on as we watch the LNP trying to wreck every achievement Labor has made since 1941.

  17. @ briefly, 27

    I would dispute that on the grounds that the ALP’s noticeable shift into the Right of politics (neoliberal economic policies, specifically) began in the 1980s under Hawke and continued under Keating – this was before the Greens were a notable political force, in an age where the major third party was the Democrats, who positioned themselves in the center of politics (by your logic, this should have pushed the ALP to the left, but it did not).

  18. Rocket Rocket @ 10: I wouldn’t give sixpence to an appeal for farmers. Too many of them are the ultimate job snobs in this country, whining, tax avoiding parasites. In my whole life I can’t recall a time when farmers weren’t complaining about their lot, and looking for a handout.

  19. [30
    Arrnea Stormbringer]

    The proposition that Hawke and Keating were neoliberals is greatly exaggerated. But aside from that, there has been a very rapid transformation of society, culture and economy that commenced in the 80s, continues now and is accelerating. This conditions the nature of political competition.

    We should say that while could have done more, it has been far better at protecting the full suite of interests of working people than comparable parties in almost any other country, including New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, most EU States and the developing economies.

    This is about to change, but Labor are not in power and cannot be “blamed” for these changes by the LNP or the Greens!

  20. Fran, maybe we should re-think the shape of the political continuum. Clearly, the political domain is not a two-dimensional, left/right line.

    We visualise politics as if it were formed like Malcolm McKerras’ barometer – a narrow tube. But nothing in politics is so simple. Perhaps politics occurs in an irregular obloid whose shape moves around, like a balloon partly filled with liquids and partly with gases. Its form can change depending not only on the pressures, densities and events inside the balloon, but on the forces acting on it from outside. Whatever shape it has at any time, there is only so much elasticity in the system, which means there is only so much “room” that will be distributed as “content” inside the system – in other words, opinions, affiliations, attachments, energies, votes and seats are distributed in “misshapen chunks” rather than in even flows.

    This might help us get away from the clearly obsolete terms left/right.

  21. Fran,

    “…only so much “room” inside the system, within which “content” is competitively distributed and re-distributed – in other words…etc”

  22. Morning

    [Treasurer Joe Hockey will reveal revenue has taken another $6.2 billion hit in just over six months, with the midyear economic update set to forecast $379.5 billion in receipts, down from the $385.7 billion forecast in the May budget.]

    I think that deserves a Wow.

  23. In China….

    [The critical housing market show no sign of building on the promise of October, with starts and land sales reversing most of the previous month’s growth spike, while the volume and the value of dwelling sales remain at low levels on an aggregated basis.]

    Grim tidings for Australian iron ore sales….

  24. Good morning.

    I notice that all the excitement about Labor vs Greens continued apace on PB last night. The Greens apparently are “parasites” who have sucked away the natural constituency of the Labor Left faction (which I find a particular bizarre concept in light of the fact that the Labor Left rivals the National Party in its contempt for environmental issues: some of you need to have a talk to people like Martin Ferguson or some of our leading Tasmanian Labor Left people!).

    Here’s a really novel suggestion. I reckon a lot of younger, more educated people choose to vote Green over Labor because they think the environment and global warming are far more important issues than the power of trade unions and propping up dying, dirty manufacturing and natural resource-extracting industries. They might also care about the boat people (a concern I don’t really share, but I respect them for it).

    That is, dear readers, they might actually be voting on the basis of the policies they care about.

    So they’re actually acting in a principled way.

  25. Re Newspoll: the trend against the Abbott Government appears to have set in. It feels different to Howard in 2000-01 and even worse than Gillard in 2012-13 in that at least she was able to come up for air occasionally.

    Perhaps Credlin is going to serve as the human sacrifice to keep the current leadership group alive for now. But she wasn’t the problem: I reckon she was a positive, so that would be. Very desperate solution indeed.

    What a mess!

  26. The government needs to seriously look at raising revenue.. Slashing services won’t cut it.

    Neither will a GST. Extending the mining tax to all employers would be a big help. Restoring a Carbon price would not hurt either.

    Of course this will not happen under the ideology of this government. Instead they will continue the same type of policies that got the US into the mess its in.

  27. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Sleazebag Moses Obeid just can’t help himself. Must be a family trait.
    It always has been a revenue problem. But don’t forget what this government has done after coming into office.
    Michelle Grattan – On gender wars and budget the government finds that what goes around comes around!
    The New Daily – Will this be Abbott’s last Christmas as PM?
    Ross Gittins claims the medical research fund is an audacious accounting trick.
    Abbott’s Warringa Club just doesn’t add up.,7186
    Louise Adler invokes the sisterhood defence of Credlin. But the inescapable thing is the eerie and undue influence control?) Credlin has on Abbott and the manner in which she relates to Coalition Ministers and MPs.
    Lenore Taylor looks at the Bishop/Credlin soap opera.
    Gary Humphries has a big spit at the Canberra Liberal Party as he departs.–gary-humphries-gives-canberra-liberals-an-angry-tuneup-20141214-125pfm.html
    This STINKS to high heaven! What next? Outsourcing law enforcement to the Gypsy Jokers? I mean, these auditing firms have such an impeccable record!

  28. Section 2 . . .

    This STINKS to high heaven! What next? Outsourcing law enforcement to the Gypsy Jokers? I mean, these auditing firms have such an impeccable record!
    George Williams discusses our role in the CIA torture activities.
    Just have a look at the weasel words in this effort from Defence.
    The three worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    The highlights from the 2014 Australian Skeptics Conference.,7187
    Why PPP infrastructure deals need to change.
    The letters to the SMH Editor say that the Coalition was unprepared for the budget woes.
    This is a chilling look at the unbroken history of police violence in the US.
    A rather unusual contribution from Pat Campbell today. (It’s the only new Fairfax cartoon I can find!)
    David Rowe – Have yourself a MYEFO Little Christmas!

  29. The ALP Parliamentary Party has consistently ignored and gone against conference decisions for many years, particularly under Hawke, Keating, Beasley, and Rudd. Environmental issues are just one part of this issue. (Franklin was an honourable exception). Also relations with USA, refugee welcome, education funding, foreign aid. The ALP should have explicitly removed any supporters of neo-classical economics from the decision makers. Behind all this pussyfooting appears to be a desire to keep Rupert happy, Guess what – it didn’t work!

  30. No wonder Napthine did not want to release the EastWest Link business case

    [@NickMcCallum7: E/W link business case included increased tolls, reintroducing Westgate Bridge tolls and new tolls. Worth it ? 8.30am “Morning” @3AW693]

  31. Morning all. BK the story on the ATO using accounting firms, especially the big four, needs attention. Time for some Senators to ask questions. Big Four accounting firms have had many scandals (Andersens were not the only culprits) and they are quite ruthless, often employing ex politicians and public servants as “advisers” to buy influence. At what point is it a conflict of interest?

    There have been many calls for a Federal ICAC? If the federal government and public service were subject to the same rules as state ones, the revolving door between the Big Four and the federal bureaucracy would come under a spotlight.

  32. Regarding the need to “pay down national debt”:

    When a national government finances spending by issuing securities in a currency it controls, and those securities can only exist within the nation’s monetary system, it makes no sense to describe the total securities outstanding as a “debt” that has to be paid down one day. Total Treasury bonds outstanding have none of the characteristics of personal debt or business debt, which is why it so misleading and unhelpful to use the phrase “national public debt”.

    If the US Treasury were raising its money by issuing bonds denominated in another country’s currency, then yes, it would be accurate to call it a debt which has to be paid down by earning some of that currency and handing it over to the bondholders.

    If the US dollar were pegged to another country’s currency, so that the United States Government is not really in control of the currency in which the bonds are denominated, then yes, bonds issued would constitute a debt requiring the debtor to sell something (labour, goods, services, assets) to come up with the currency to retire the debt.

    However, neither of those two situations applies to the United States. The United States has monetary sovereignty.

    The United States Government has had total Treasuries outstanding continuously since 1791. It hasn’t been “paid off” because it doesn’t need to be and it makes no sense to conceptualize it that way. The market for US Treasuries is extremely large and deep. It is a highly valued investment because it pays interest (unlike a checking account), it is completely safe (because it is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, unlike bank deposits which are only insured by the FDIC up to $250,000), and it is highly liquid. Participants in the US monetary system will always want a safe place to park their money, and US Treasuries held in a Federal Reserve account are that place.

    So let’s discredit the economically illiterate claims that US Treasuries outstanding are a “debt” that has to be paid off some day like a car loan or a home mortgage. Households, businesses, local governments and state governments can only spend what they earn or what they borrow, but a national government which issues bonds in its own currency and which enjoys a large and deep bond market is not in the same position. It can simply create the money it needs by issuing and selling bonds; it uses taxation not to raise revenue for spending, but to create demand for the currency (if everyone must pay their taxes in that currency, everyone must get their hands on some), to regulate the money supply (if the economy is booming and pushing against capacity constraints the government needs to raise taxes and cut spending to reduce people’s purchasing power and prevent inflation; if the economy is weak the government needs to cut taxes and increasing spending to increase people’s purchasing power so that businesses have a market to cater and a reason to invest in production); and to achieve distributive goals. Taxation is not used to fund the government’s spending.

    That’s what US Treasuries are for.

    Australian Government Bonds work in the same way.

    The Australian economy is far below full employment. The official unemployment rate is 6.3 percent but when discouraged job-seekers who have abandoned their job search are included, and when under-employed are included, the ABS estimates a workforce underutilisation rate of 14.8 percent.

    This means our government deficit needs to get larger. We need to strategically cut taxes and increase government spending (cash transfer payments and productive infrastructure should be the focus) in ways which maximise disposable incomes. Increasing the government deficit is the only way to increase disposable incomes when the economy is slow, and rising disposable incomes of consumers is the only thing that will entice businesses to invest and hire.

  33. As for the poll, laocoon makes the valid point that Abbott’s numbers have now been as low, and for as long, as Gillard’s were. Plus he has told far more lies, and attempted to introduce far more new taxes. So why do we not here shock jocks demanding a fresh election to restore legitimacy? It is because all the shock jocks are right wing stooges, that Shorten does well to avoid.

  34. The MYEFO has been repeatedly (and clumsily) leaked by Hockey in advance, to try to soften the blow. Today there will be no hiding. For Hockey this will be a test of his ability to be credible as an economic manager. Recently he has been dishonest (stronger budget), inconsistent (debt crisis before, shock absorber now) and irrational (job cuts as employment contracts). Any honest journo will have a lot of questions that deserve asking.

    He said Labor were hopeless economic managers, despite having the highest growth in the OECD, and low unemployment, in the midst of a world recession. Now we have low growth as the world is recovering, so who is the lousy manager, Joe?

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