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”

  1. The reason?

    I think the headline one week from now in the Courier-Mail (and maybe the Australian if they think it’s worthwhile) will be – “Labor set for Shock Win”.

    I remember the 1992 Queensland election when we were living in Southport – the headline in the Courier-Mail on election day (or maybe the Friday) was something like “Labor set for massive landslide of 80 seats”. In the end Labor got 54 seats, same as 1989. It does make you wonder whether headlines like this are meant to scare waverers away from Labor.

  2. Hello all – are you able to explain why the Morgan poll has been discounted and not reported on by your blog or added to Bludger track.
    Yesterdays Dennis Atkins column in the courier mail reporting very poor polling figures personally for cando in internal ALP polling I realise this can be disinformation but feeds into these figures for sure and privatisation a very hard sell up here. Lots of lead in the LNP saddlebag,dispirited Premier,plus red hot Alan Jones on their case’.

  3. “the composite result indicating a reversal from 57.4-42.6 to the LNP in 2012 to 56-44 to Labor now”

    An average swing of 13.4% to the ALP across the 3 seats means an estimated state-wide TPP of 50.3-49.7 to the ALP, which is the same as the 50-50 result from Morgan.

  4. [CAMPBELL Newman has scored an emphatic victory over Annastacia Palaszczuk at the People’s Forum, with the pair clashing repeatedly over political donations, health and the economy.

    The Premier was frequently forced to fend off claims of cuts to services and high unemployment, while the Opposition Leader stumbled over health questions.

    But it was political donations and accountability that added fire to an otherwise relatively restrained debate, which ended with 48 voters giving Mr Newman the nod, over Ms Palaszczuk’s 26. A further 26 left the forum “uncommitted”.
    ]

    Looks like Murdoch’s reprise of Rorted Hill has unsurprisingly uncovered a landslide to LNP. Could be another 79 seater based on this result.

  5. If Campbell Newman wanted to know whether bikies were contributiong to Labor, he can check for himself as Labor donations are disclosed. LNP donations below about $12,000 aren’t. How do we know bikies and other dodgy characters hoping for advantage (e.g. developers, mining interests) aren’t contributing to the LNP?

  6. I cannot judge the extent of the swing but the mood has definitely shifted towards Labor.

    Now waving at cars may not be practical but it sure is a morale booster when you get many more thumbs up or beeps that the other lot (nicknamed Smurfs because they are in bright blue).

    So on the car waving poll it is encouraging.

  7. Never could trust seat by seat polling.

    It may be cheaper to run but I think most of them tend to be inaccurate. I’d rather they spend more into statewide polling.

  8. Seat-specific polling in the leadup to the 2013 election turned out to be way off the mark, suggesting that the Liberals / LNP would win Labor heartland seats, including Griffith.

    I mention the Campbell Newman’s absurd allegations about bikie donations in #10 above because ABC News radio has taken the bait and is giving it prominence. No doubt Queensland media are doing the same.

  9. I really wonder about the bikie donations line of attack. It’s so outrageously ridiculous that it seems more likely to hinder than help in the same way that Labor’s unfounded attacks on Newman in 2012 did.

  10. Steve777@13

    Seat-specific polling in the leadup to the 2013 election turned out to be way off the mark, suggesting that the Liberals / LNP would win Labor heartland seats, including Griffith.

    Seat by seat polling nationwide in 2013 displayed a big skew to the Coalition (the least severe offender being Galaxy) but it is worth noting that only two of the five pollsters polling Griffith had it as a win for the LNP; the others had it as a win for Rudd.

  11. Steve777

    [I mention the Campbell Newman’s absurd allegations about bikie donations in #10 above because ABC News radio has taken the bait and is giving it prominence. No doubt Queensland media are doing the same.]

    Someone should run the line to Newman and ask how we could be sure no bikies are under that $12000 donation mark if they’re not disclosed.

  12. Steve777, KB

    It is not the declaration of who will win the seats that’s way off, but because of the MoE, it’s harder to tell how much it’ll swing. Might be easier for safe seats but hard for marginals.

  13. It’s very interesting that Newman is campaigning in Toowomba today in seats that should be a lock for the LNP.

    It probably indicates that LNP campaign is in trouble.

    My observation is that Leaders in the last week of a campaign are usually shoring up seats they think they can win or defending those they think they might lose.

  14. GG they might believe the anti-GSG campaign is biting in the Darling Downs.

    To be fair to the LNP when you have a huge majority you really you really don’t have much of an option to campaign in seats you can win.

  15. [“All those seats have been short priced to move back to Labor for a while. Not really sure what the point of this is.”]

    One thing we can make from this is that Labor are going to do very very very well in a handful of seats but not evenly distributed across the state where they need it which means that 48% TPP they are sitting on is going to be wasted on big wins in a handful of regional seats.

  16. kevjohnno,

    Toowomba South is on a 21% margin. If you only think you can win such a seat, what does it tell you about the rest of Queensland?

  17. [If Campbell Newman wanted to know whether bikies were contributiong to Labor, he can check for himself as Labor donations are disclosed. ]

    Not quite true.

    Labor don’t disclose any donations under $1000 because that was the old limit. Whether they are actually disclosing any donations between $1000-$12800 is yet to be seen but my guess is… it’s a stunt.

  18. TBA

    [which means that 48% TPP they are sitting on is going to be wasted on big wins in a handful of regional seats.]

    Looking at the Reachtel SEQ vs Regional polling, it looks like we might be seeing larger urban swings.

    [Labor don’t disclose any donations under $1000 because that was the old limit. Whether they are actually disclosing any donations between $1000-$12800 is yet to be seen but my guess is… it’s a stunt.]

    Personally, I hope Labor follows up on this. Raising the disclosure to $12,800 doesn’t look good at all. We should be aiming for more transparency, and if I had my way, it should go lower than $1000.

    I have no issues with large donations, but it should be transparent.

  19. To those wondering what the point of this apparent silliness by the Murdoch media is?

    Consider what happens when the next statewide poll (showing, as typical, a small-to-modest lead for the LNP) comes out. Imagine the headlines. “LNP RESURGENCE! CAN-DO CAMPBELL MAKES A COMEBACK!”

    It’s a rather pathetic and transparent effort to set Qld ALP up for a fall. Being the Qld ALP (that is to say, a brainless bunch of no-hopers), they’ll fall for it.

  20. Edwina StJohn:

    Besides your usual tiresome partisan tripe, would it really kill you to spell Annastacia’s name correctly? Or is the indignity of incorrectly spelling peoples’ names yet another puerile way by which you indicate contempt for any politics to the left of Attila the Hun?

  21. Newman reiterates traditional Liberal values on election commitments.
    [Campbell Newman says he cannot guarantee the Liberal National Party’s big spending promises, even those with bipartisan support, if the party wins government but not the seat a project is in.

    Speaking in Toowoomba this morning, the Queensland Premier said electorates that did not vote in an LNP member might not get the infrastructure the party had promised.

    Mr Newman said that even applied to communities where projects have bipartisan support, such as Townsville’s new stadium.]

  22. Raaraa@25

    TBA

    which means that 48% TPP they are sitting on is going to be wasted on big wins in a handful of regional seats.


    Looking at the Reachtel SEQ vs Regional polling, it looks like we might be seeing larger urban swings.

    On my analysis while the primary swing patterns are very different between the two (because of the KAP collapse in the bush) the 2PP swing differences in that poll are not likely to be large.

  23. @ kevjohnno 30, Simon Katich 32

    I just saw that myself. Reminded me of what Barnett said after the WA state election a couple of years ago, re: the Ellenbrook train line.

    I’ll give Newman points for having the guts to say it before the election, but it’s still gonna cost him votes, big time.

  24. AS

    I guess he is doing it so he can later defend the clawing back of some of the spending promises.

    its a bad look from a guy that already smells bad.

    then again, is this getting coverage on Courier mail? News? Nope.

  25. The ‘vote LNP or else’ is the stuff of the 3rd world. It is the type of thing that is forcing many small ‘l’ liberals to seriously reconsider their vote, despite being very unhappy with the ALP government pre-2012.

    C’mon Campbell, you are better than this.

  26. @ Newman McGee, 38

    Is he better than this? Barnett’s comments after the last WA state election seem to suggest that it’s not unheard of for Liberal leaders to think this way.

  27. Thinking of campaigns that were in retrospect brilliant opposition performances – Peacock in 1984, Bracks in 1999 how did media judge them at the time? Overall Labor needs to add more to an already big swing – perhaps Green preferences will stick, minor right exhaust & the undecided be turned off by Newmann, possible but 6 to 1 odds seems reasonable. Agree with Kevin B that although primary swings will vary due to KAP decline the overall 2PP swing will be fairly uniform.Don’t see any possible equivalents of the country 3 who backed Bracks

  28. [Matt
    Posted Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm | PERMALINK
    Kevjohnno @30:

    Please tell me he’s kidding! Only governing to benefit areas that elect his party…that’s something I’d expect to see in the Third World!]

    The “Regional Rorts” program under Howard worked this way. The difference is that Howard didn’t do what Newman is doing prior to the election.

  29. [Please tell me he’s kidding! Only governing to benefit areas that elect his party…that’s something I’d expect to see in the Third World!]

    Or Victoria. The last time I heard such a thing was from Jeff Kennett in 1999.

  30. I don’t, AS, and that was indeed very silly of him. Very handy that will be for Labor’s Swan Hills campaign in 2017. Still, at least he had the sense not to say it during an election campaign.

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