Newspoll: Cairns, Ipswich West and Keppel poll

A new result for Newspoll provides Labor with a great headline, but as a small-sample poll with a combined result for three very disparate electorates, it’s very hard to say how much it might mean.

The Australian has a Newspoll result of somewhat dubious utility, in which three disparate electorates – Cairns, Keppel and far distant Ipswich West – were targeted with small samples of 200 respondents each, the composite result indicating a reversal from 57.4-42.6 to the LNP in 2012 to 56-44 to Labor now. Which is obviously very good news for Labor, but how good is extremely hard to say. On the primary vote, Labor is up from 31% to 47%, the LNP down from 43.5% to 35%, the Greens down from 6.6% to 5% and others down from 18.9% to 13%, Katter’s Australian Party having done well in all three seats in 2012 but not contesting this time.

Campbell Newman cops a particularly tough mark of 32% approval to 60% disapproval, though whether this reflects a decline in his fortunes since previous campaign polls or peculiarity of sentiment in these electorates is, once again, impossible to say. The same goes for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s strong ratings of 45% approval and 33% disapproval, her 46-36 lead as preferred premier, and the LNP’s unusually narrow lead of 44-36 as party expected to win.

The rationale behind polling these seats is clearly to get a sense of how things are looking in seats in the 6-9% range, but since similar margins is all these seats have in common, I’m not sure how illuminating it is. Basically, I’d much rather have seen Newspoll’s efforts dedicated to a particular region, or even just one seat, than a scattershot look at three electorates that have nothing to do with each other.

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.

211 comments on “Newspoll: Cairns, Ipswich West and Keppel poll”

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  1. TBA: in every single major global economic crisis, Australia has either had (GFC, early 90s, 70’s shocks, Great Depression) or voted in (early 80s) Labor.
    You know why?

    Because Australians don’t trust Libs in economic hard times.

  2. I know the LNP is ahead and should be unassailable but something tells me reluctant to vote for mass privatisation.
    This could tip the balance in a number of seats and create minority LNP government or narrow ALP Government.
    Probably not on the money but my gut feeling of how things are going.

  3. [“Because Australians don’t trust Libs in economic hard times.”]

    We certainly don’t vote Labor in to pay the debt.

    That’s when we vote in the adults to fix up Labors debt mess.

  4. [Is this the longest gap ever between state wide opinion polls on the mainland ?]

    Hardly. I think there were only two polls for the entire campaign at the last WA election – one from Galaxy half way through, and another from Newspoll at the end.

  5. [“Because Australians don’t trust Libs in economic hard times.”

    We certainly don’t vote Labor in to pay the debt.]

    No, as I said, and you seem to agree, we vote Labor in economic hard times.

    [That’s when we vote in the adults to fix up Labors debt mess.]

    We vote Lib for a change when times seem ok, and they can’t fk it up too much.

    Then there’s Abbott. And Newman.

    To bring it further back to state politics (and yet more general) TBA’s complaint about Palasczcuk seems to be the same as all beleaguered governments, always*:
    The Opposition’s plans are not specific and their costings don’t add up.

    That never makes a difference.

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