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. MartinB

    [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..]

    Gee. To think that whenever I deplore here the lack of action by Greens on environmental issues, I get told that the party’s moved on to concentrate more on social issues.

    And ‘I reckon’ isn’t really the way to go on a polling based site.

  2. Nicholas

    Good post and agreed. Of course the debt is trivial in the scheme of things and Hockey should not make cuts. Just as Swan did. The question is whether Hockey can admit it, which would mean that Labor budget policy was correct all along.

  3. Socrates

    [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.]

    One should add that in Gillard’s case, she spent the whole time with Rudd in her saddlebags and being trolled by Murdoch, whereas Abbott has had Murdoch riding shotgun and no obvious challenger.

    To use a sporting analogy, Abbott has had the benefit of a strong wind in both halves and still stands no better.

  4. Briefly

    I think that every post you put here underlines the very reasons that so many young people have left Labor and moved to the Greens.

    Now when I joined the ALP, there was the left and the right, but Whitlam was clearly of the right, so that the WHOLE party had views pretty much to the left of the fabulous reforms introduced by Whitlam. There were a few socially very conservative types, mostly from NSW where the DLP split did not happen.

    Jim Cairns whom you and Meher disparage was the charismatic leader of the left. Young people joined the ALP in part to HELP the left.

    The ALP left was clearly a group which addresses the views and ideals of those whom today would be Greens: For example:

    1. The Vietnam war and a general disquiet about the role of the USA. While Whitlam sought to give more national control over Pine Gap in 2011 the ALP under Gillard opened our shores to US bases. And Gillard was supposedly of the “left.” The ALP today is FAR to the right of the ALP of Whitlams time and MUCH closer to the position held by the Groupers. YEP on Foreign Affairs, today,s ALP is essentially DLP. I admire and respect Tanya Plib* but sadly her position of most Foreign Affairs matters is FAR to the right of Arthur Calwell and co. Sad but true.

    2. Environmental issues were strong in the left in this case in the inner city ALP recruiters targeted recruitment knocking on doors where there were NO Uranium Mining stickers on bins, doors or cars. The ALP under Gillard sells Uranium to India, obviously for use in weapons.

    3. The ALP was strong on Lake Pedder and the Franklin Dam. Anyone who thinks that the ALP action on Climate change is even half as green as the actions of the 70s and 80s just does not get it.

    4. At ALP conferences issues like legalisation of drugs were discussed openly and while mostly these motions failed they still were discussed, giving young lefties a chance to feel they had a role and were useful, pushing for change etc.

    5. The ALP of the 70s would NEVER have supported privatisation and personally I think that the decisions to privatise Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank damaged Australia. The ALP still had the socialisation objective.

    6. The ALP of the 70s supported full employment. This changed in the 80s and I remember my disappointment when Hayden supported a structural unemployment level of 4%. It was the take over of the ALP by the mindless free marketeers.

    Now in part these changes reflect society’s shift BUT whereas in 1960 the ALP was slightly to the left of the population, leading the public in progressive directions, today’s ALP is significantly to the RIGHT of the population on many issues: Examples:
    Privatisation – the public is to the left
    Gay marriage – public to the left
    Support for industry – public to the left.

  5. Morning all

    Ulhmann has interviewed Turnbull this morning re the NBN. Of course, according to Turnbull, the coalition are fixing the mess left by the Labor govt. Ulhmann asked Turnbull about the Credlin matter. Turnbull said wtte that he is not going to buy into it and comment on same

  6. Can anyone seriously see the polls turning positive for the LNP?

    Even Chris Uhlmann pointed out the central PMO and sexist claims took longer to occur for Labor.

    I personally cannot see it as I don’t see real policy change happening.

  7. Interesting analysis Nicholas.

    An intuitive feeling about debt is that a debt decreases over time due to inflation. Most mortgage payers would know that.

    A related intuition is that money per se has little intrinsic value. It’s inked paper. Consequently, the asset you buy a mortgage on, provided it’s productive (such as your house, or some public infrastructure), grows in value inversely proportional to the declining value of the money you puchased the mortgage with. In short, asstes are valuable, debt is not.

    A third intuition tells us that a country is not a business, and a government is not a corporation. A business, even a profitable one, can have a short lifespan (eg Kodak). A country by contrast exists in perpetuity. This fact is very germane to the concept, actually myth, of debt.

    Therefore I agree with your essential point: that a government should spend regardless of debt, and not the reverse.

  8. I guess Abbott likes increased tolls?

    [THE Napthine Government sensationally considered increasing tolls on CityLink and East Link, and introducing tolls on the Eastern Freeway and Tullamarine Freeway, in order to make the $6.8 billion East West Link financially ­viable.]

  9. Zoomster

    [And ‘I reckon’ isn’t really the way to go on a polling based site.]

    You were just saying the other day you don’t pay any attention to the polling for the Greens, and only pay attention to ‘the only poll that matters” in order to support your assertion that the greens polling has stagnated.

  10. [I think Eddie might start suffering a few ailments as he faces his day of reckoning. Moses is just testing the water.]

    I think Eddie is happy in his mansion in Lebanon, like McDonald who is happy in Hong Kong. Will take decades to extradite them. 🙁

  11. Moksha

    it’s sweet how my every utterance is treasured.

    To say that polls for minor parties have proven over time to be unreliable (I assume because the sample size is smaller than the majors) and that people on a polling site should pay a little more heed to evidence rather than assertion are not contradictory statements.

    And sorry, but no one gets any prizes for how well they poll outside of elections. The poll that counts is just that.

  12. Busy day. Craig Thomson finds out his fate (again).

    Most importantly a new Australian cricket captain will be appointed (Steve Smith?) so we do not have to wait til Wednesday before we resume discussions here about cricket.

  13. [I think Eddie is happy in his mansion in Lebanon, like McDonald who is happy in Hong Kong. Will take decades to extradite them.]

    You are anticipating a no show in court on Thursday?

    The DPP had better ask for bail conditions including surrendering their passports, no approaching of airports etc if they do show.

  14. This government is ignorant, mean and vindictive. All preventive schemes are going.

    [The treasurer will be talking airily of scores of billions of dollars here and hundreds of billions there, declining terms of trade and fractional movements in GDP percentages. Meanwhile, down in the dirt of regional Australia, the impact of piecemeal budget policy – “ad Hockery”, you might zinger it – is measured in a very few million dollars and people going blind.

    Slipping by with little notice, the government has not renewed funding for the Indigenous and Remote Eye Health Service (IRIS), a program that has co-ordinated the goodwill and hard work of ophthalmologists and optometrists to save and improve sight in the bush.

    An initiative of the government and the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists in 2010, the four-year program cost a total of $5 million – about the same as the current renovations at the Lodge.]

    Read more:

  15. Very poor form on ABC RN today.

    Alison Carabines responded to Chris Bowen’s criticism of Hockey’s promises about a first term surplus with the immediate, stupid gotcha “are you promising a surplus”.

    Then the FKelly summer lady Ellen Fanning talks to Gratttan about the Cedlin matter, and “unknown Coalition critics of Credlin” are referred to. No mention at all of Entsch’s putting the matter on the public record.

    Lightweights; purveyors of fairy floss!

  16. The Budget bills held up in the Senate will still be in MYEFO as savings. Don’t fall for the BS, deduct the money that will never be raised.

  17. daretotread

    Plenty of truth in what you say. But the society has changed since 1970. It has moved towards the right in line with the overall rise of globalisation and the ascendancy of capital.

    The intuitions of the common folk remain attached to the leftist priciples you mention, but these have been smothered somewhat by me-tooism and the necessity to survive in an increasingly competitive world.

    The Greens have filled a space on that left fringe caused by both traditional parties moving to the right. However, you couldn’t seriously argue any kind of equivalence between Labor and Liberal: there is still a very meaningful difference between them. All “pox on both houses” arguments reek of shallow cynicism, and aid the enemies of progressive politics.

    As long as we operate in a preferential system, the imperitive of Labor must be to maintain enough differentiation from the hard right so as to ensure preference flows from leftist parties go to them. As well as, it goes without saying, to propose sensible progressive policies of their own.

  18. Is the MYEFO out yet?

    I wonder if there is someone out there taking bets on how far into the annoucement before Labor gets the blame.

  19. [Stephen Koukoulas @TheKouk · 23m 23 minutes ago
    Treasurer betting:

    To be Treasurer at next election:

    Turnbull $4.50
    Hockey $1.20]

    For whatever that’s worth.

  20. “@sarahinthesen8: Savage cuts to foreign aid reveal the true values of the Abbott govt: mean spirited, selfish and short-sighted.”

  21. dedalus @ 79

    [It has moved towards the right in line with the overall rise of globalisation and the ascendancy of capital.]

    That is why we old lefties from the past feel the ground shifting beneath our feet.

  22. dedalus and lizzie

    The backlash against unfettered capitalism has begun. People are realising make profits for the rich is not the way to go.

  23. DL

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

    CM seems to be reporting more on the Lima climate talks than either the Coalition or media these last few days.

  24. Interesting how quickly items become the status quo.

    Yet another poor poll for the government and barely a comment from any media that I have heard/seen so far – ABC news this morning – zilch – Fairfax media – zilch – local West – zilch.

    Ah, how I miss the smell of a bad, bad Newspolls for Labor in the morning! Apologies to the movie concerned.

    Shame so much of PB talent and comment is wasted on a Green bash here – the scroll is working over time.

  25. [Tolls for the East West Link would have generated just $112 million a year for the state of Victoria, meaning the $6.3 billion road would have taken 56 years to pay for, according to the road’s full business case.

    The “cost and revenue comparison” for East West Link compares poorly to CityLink and even EastLink, Melbourne’s two other toll roads, the business case shows.

    The large “funding gap” between the cost of building East West Link and the toll revenue it would collect mean the road project should have been rejected as economically wasteful, according to a transport expert.

    “It’s a relatively short piece of infrastructure and not carrying sufficient vehicles to make the benefits outweigh the costs, so that’s the core problem with this project,” independent transport expert Chris Hale told 774ABC radio.

    By comparison, CityLink generated $435 million in tolls in 2011 and would have taken just eight years to pay for itself and EastLink generated $208 million, meaning it will take 20 years to pay for itself. ]

  26. [“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..”

    Gee. To think that whenever I deplore here the lack of action by Greens on environmental issues, I get told that the party’s moved on to concentrate more on social issues.]

    That was Meher B not Martin B (or mexicanbeemer)

    No one ever says the Greens have “moved on” from environmental issues which implies they are no longer of much concern but rather that the Greens have a broad-based policy focus. And quite rightly. I’m not sure how you can address climate change without having a position on economics, and if anyone in the ALP thinks you can have policies on economics without regard for social justice then I think they should probably join the libs.

  27. “@KristyMayr7: BREAKING: Hostages are being forced to hold an ISIS flag at a Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place, as police man the doors outside #7NEWS”

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