Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor

Newspoll strays from the pack with an unexpectedly moderate lead for Labor, although Tony Abbott’s personal ratings remain diabolical.

James J relates in comments that Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian is a good deal better for the Coalition then its recent polling form, with the Labor lead down from 57-43 a fortnight ago to 53-47. The major parties are tied at 38% of the primary vote with the Greens on 12%. Tony Abbott’s approval ratings have not improved, with approval on 25% and disapproval on 68%. The surprise is the poor ratings for Bill Shorten who is on at 35% approval and 49% disapproval, although he maintains a 43-35 lead over Abbott as preferred prime minister.

UPDATE (Morgan and Essential): Roy Morgan and Essential likewise record movement back to the Coalition, although not nearly as much. The Roy Morgan result, which combines two weekends of face-to-face plus SMS polling from a sample of 2639, has Labor down a point on the primary vote to 40.5%, the Coalition up two to 37.5%, the Greens down two to 10% and Palmer United steady on 2%. Labor’s two-party lead is down from 57.5-42.5 to 56-44 on respondent-allocated preferences, and 57-43 to 55-45 on previous election preferences.

After failing to join in with the other pollsters in registering a post-Australia Day Coalition collapse, Essential Research now finds itself in alignment with Newspoll as Labor’s lead narrows from 54-46 to 53-37, from primary votes of 40% for the Coalition (up one), 41% for Labor (steady), 9% for the Greens (down one) and 2% for Palmer United (steady). The result combines two weeks of polling from a sample of 1836.

This week’s tranche of the Essential survey also inquires about economic management and foreign relations, recording substantial change in sentiment on both counts since the questions were last asked in October. The government’s “good” rating on economic management is down five to 34%, while “poor” is up two to 30%. Respondents are found to have become less concerned about various cost of living measures, particularly and understandably in relation to petrol, but more concerned about debt and deficit.

The Abbott government is being marked down even further on trust in handling international relations, the positive rating down seven to 33% and negative up nine to 62%. For Indonesia specifically, the government’s “good” rating is down eight to 24% with negative up three to 42%. Relations with other countries appear to have become less important to respondents generally, the “very important” ratings for Indonesia, the United States and Britain down by about 10%. However, the results for China and Japan are down a good deal less.

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.

968 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. The Oz has predictably leaped onto this result in order to declare that Abbott “is defying dysfunction” and has “weathered a leadership crisis” except their preferred metric now isn’t PPM, but preferred “steward of the economy”.

  2. 2358 on the previous thread

    The point would be to prevent him being humiliated by being dumped in his first term, like Rudd was but earlier.

  3. As I just posted in the previous thread, it does seem slightly odd that the Coalition is seeing big swings towards it, even on the measure of preferred Prime Minister, but Tony’s personal ratings remain basically unchanged. I wonder what the voters are thinking.

  4. Tom

    If Abbott really went with the “Nuclear” option to stay leader very soon, the NSW Libs would go nuts – the elections could almost coincide (they can’t by law, the State election has to move if a Federal one is called for that day)

    And if he did this, does anyone know if the Libs could still dump him as leader (while he was caretaker PM). Labor sort of did it to Hayden (in opposition), and in early 1995 I thought Keating was going to call an election to stop Howard getting the leadership back (and apparently he was thinking about it) – but I think the Libs would have dumped Downer anyway at the start of the campaign.

    So surely you can dump your party leader any time you want, but if they happen to be caretaker PM and there is an election coming up in 4 weeks, what happens?

  5. I do remain rather unimpressed by Bill Shorten; he speaks to the electorate like a high school debater. I find it hard to believe nobody has taken him aside and told him about this, so he can find some sort of public speaking coach to fix him up (and tell him to lay off the atrocious zingers while he’s at it.)

    Accordingly, his Newspoll personal ratings reflect my opinion of him, but I think it might have had more to do with those allegations to do with the leadership ballot and branch-stacking that cropped up in the past week or so?

  6. Prediction of the next Abbott sub leak.

    [At a meeting discussing the new subs, Abbott proposed that they should have a coal fired power plant.]

  7. Just back for a brief relay from Papers segment on ABC radio.

    Apparently 7 Ministers who voted for Abbott in the Spill will now vote against him. I am sorry I did not catch which paper was reporting that.

    Given leaks I assume its the Australian or News stablemae

  8. guytaur

    just saw your comment – another spill motion where Abbott wins (as in vote for no spill) 52-50 would be even better surely? Or even 51-51?

    Though surely then someone would just challenge, if not right then, then within a day or two.

    This Newspoll may have staved off Abbott being dumped at the March 3rd meeting, but March 17th (which would then be brought forward to March 16th if there were a challenge or a spill) – the papers on Sunday would love it “Beware the Ides of March” (Sunday March 15th)

  9. [Apparently 7 Ministers who voted for Abbott in the Spill will now vote against him.]

    Assuming that 12 to breach the gap still exists, that means only a further 5 needed. And that’s without taking the partyroom pulse after all the shit that’s gone down the past couple of weeks.

    Tick, tick, tick.

  10. Guytaur – Its in the Fairfax papers, and their other sites
    [Seven ministers put Tony Abbott on notice
    February 23, 2015 – 11:45PM
    James Massola
    Political correspondent

    Seven ministers who voted for Tony Abbott in the failed spill motion are now prepared to help remove the Prime Minister if he cannot revive the government’s fortunes and recover his position in the polls.

    The ministers have discussed the timing of any potential move on the Prime Minister, and favour waiting until June – after next month’s NSW state election and the May budget.

    Mr Abbott has attempted in the last fortnight to put the spill motion, which failed 61-39, behind him by shifting the government’s focus to national security, childcare and the budget.

    But he has been hit by a damaging series of leaks and, behind the scenes, discussions are now underway in the ministry about how much time the party should give him to turn the situation around.

    A series of blunders by Mr Abbott have not helped his cause, with the axeing of chief government whip Philip Ruddock, confusion over the tender for the next generation submarine and a suggestion Indonesia should “reciprocate” aid that flowed after the 2004 tsunami by sparing the lives of the two Australians on death row in Bali all contributing to another drop in support in the Liberal party room.

    Fairfax Media spoke to 11 of the 35 Liberal MPs serving in cabinet, the outer ministry and as parliamentary secretaries on Monday.]

  11. got out of bed for one “last post”

    Turnbull may have missed the boat. Morrison is obviously more appealing to large sections of the Liberal Caucus.

    Turnbull should have “crossed the Rubicon” three weeks ago and challenged. It would seem he may well have got the 51 votes needed. Now he might never know.

  12. 7

    The cause for Abbott being about to be rolled may well be the NSW election. This swing to the Government in Newspoll has significantly reduced the chance of him being removed before the NSW election.

    While the Commonwealth Electoral Act says that the elections cannot be held o the same day, however NSW general elections are now held on a Constitutional mandated day (unless the Assembly has been dissolved) and section 106 if the Commonwealth Constitution says that state constitutions shall continue until altered in accordance with said state constitutions and this may mean that section 109 (Commonwealth laws prevailing in case of disagreement) does no apply (what has the High court said on the subject?).

    Anyway the GG may have the power to refuse to call a election on NSW election day and would likely try and talk the PM out of it.

  13. IF Newspoll is not running rogue and IS accurately reporting a huge downward swing in Shorten’s netsat to the tune of 17 points in less days AND a 4% 2PP swing against the ALP what do we expect from Essential tomorrow?
    If ER can be expected to pick up on the same change in voter support?
    ER has been running 54:46 since forever, if it reflects what Newspoll seems to have reported we should [?] see that change tomorrow in ER’s numbers, that is, a strong decline in ALP 2PP support and a major downturn in Shorten’s popularity.
    Say a 2PP of 52:48 [ALP down 2% – half of what Newspoll has ‘caught’] or even 51:49, or at the least 53:47?
    Is that a fair expectation?

  14. 18

    I would estimate that, for a gambling payout, that is overly generous considering the facts. It is mostly due to a lack of media coverage of the possibility of a Morrison leadership. It is a bit like how the Greens were on $9 to win Prahran when betting closed (and I suspect they were much higher when betting started) and then won the seat.

  15. It is a great result for Labor and better if essential slips a point as well … I think Abbott is Shortens best chance of being PM.

  16. president of the solipsist society

    I agree re Shorten, the suit always seems to be more prominent than the man, he needs a few quiet words. Maybe he is not stupid, but it can at times appear that way :/
    It’s these inward focused sheltered paths to get up the party hierarchy, it means we just end up with mostly empty suits.

  17. I think we should expect that the reaction to the LNP losing QLD was high point for the ALP.

    I think we have reached the peak of the Abbott effect, nothing he does now will really surprise anyone, so it wont make the polls much worse. (everyone already knows he is a dickhead, some might get over it)

    The executions in Indonesia make it easy for him to appeal to nationalism, which has always been good for the LNP and bad for the ALP as we have a tradition of blindly saying me too.

    I expected the polls to go down a bit from the consensus of 57 (Newspoll, Morgan, Galaxy), but 53 is too low, 55 wouldnt have surprised me.

  18. So, here we are again, arguing about random variables, with an MOE (on a good day!) of about 3%.

    Umm? Has anything happed here that is outside the MOE? I mean, anything inside 6% between 2 polls is of little or no consequence. Or have I missed something in all these years of pollbludging?

  19. Rounding

    3% loss to ALP going straight to LNP, GRN, OTH unchanged results in a 4% change to 2PP.

    Some rounding making it look like a bigger shift than it really is.

  20. While many refer to the current fearless leader running on fear, uncertainty and dread, I prefer to believe it is running on fear, uncertainty, contempt and dread…

  21. Hi to any PB’ers still awake late tonight.

    I’ve been slowly wading through ‘The Signal and the Noise’ by Nate Silver. I am nearly half way through now, just reading it bit by bit trying to follow his thinking as best as I can. I recommend it to all PB’ers.

    There seem to be a few big signals now re: Abbott. Continuous woeful personal polling. Leaks to MSM that he has lost further critical ministerial support. His support numbers in the party room must now be red-zoning for those there who can count.

    His prime ministership is turning into one of the great all time political train wrecks. Bits a’flying off of it every which way. An Abbott political comeback from here would be like *Lazarus Rising Cubed*

    Signal: Abbott gawn.
    Noise: Most else.

    I wonder which journo is currently best poised to get their book on *the Abbott downfall* out first? Any goss on who might be writing one?

    The Libs clearly also have a major problem with the operational conflict caused by having the spousal team of Credlin and Loughnane at two of the key high level positions in their overall hierarchy.

    On the Labor side I am a bit concerned about Shorten’s disapproval rating. I guess the next few polls will tell us if that is locking in for him or if it is just sampling noise.

    I think that Shorten has played his role pretty well for the most part. I like the way that he has performed in parliament and when he has delivered important speeches. The destructive personality leadership clashes of recent times appear to have been now put to bed. If anything I think that Shorten is steadily relaxing into his role.

    I expect a bit of a swing back to the Lib/Nats as they change leaders. They may get a couple of very flattering polling spikes. However they will then be haunted by the mischievous and fickle ghost of leadersh1t. At the moment it is like reality TV of how a faustian pact situation happens.

  22. Hi Norwester @ 29

    I have Nate Silver’s book on my shelf ready to read. Sounds like now is a good time to do it. I agree with your analysis re the signal being clear that Abbot is gone. I do not think that one is going to integrate into the noise!

    I also think it is difficult to determine what else is signal, and what is just a noise spike that looks like signal. I do think that there is some real signal about people being unhappy with the “unfairness” of the previous budget.

  23. Given the fortnight that Abbott has had, I foresee two possibilities.

    1) This is a rogue poll and other polls in the coming week or so will completely fail to replicate the shift to the Coalition recorded here.

    2) This isn’t a rogue poll and 4% of Australian voters are idiots.

    I’m not particularly enthusiastic about either possibility.

  24. Arrnea,

    My nightmare is that Rupert really, strongly believes that democracy is wrong, it just leads to mob rule, and a dictatorship of the elite is needed. He had fun bringing down the previous Labor government, put in Tony to bring in the IPAs Libertarian agenda (i.e. no government services other than strong private property protection provisions, and lots of roads for those Hummers), and now that Tony cannot deliver he will wreck the joint.

    We will have anew leadership in the Liberals, who if they keep implementing the IPA agenda will also be in an election losing position.

    Cue the next Labor govt, and a large vote for Greens (left leaning) and Others (right leaning). The Murdoch media and fellow travellers will immediately star undermining the new government, until the people scream for some peace, by installing a “weak” dictatorship.

    It has happened before in many places. The idiot son of John Elder, of Elders/IXL and former President of the Liberal party, has been calling for such a regime in the Herald Sun, I think.

    I hope Labor and the Greens are ready for these bastards. They will need to be, because they will be played off against each other. Menzies and Co. of course did this brilliantly with the ALP/ DLP split, for 23 years (although by Gorton and McMahon the strategy was looking shakey). Not sure what to make of Holt.

  25. Long time PB lurker here (though an erstwhile correspondent for Crikey back in its earliest days, in another guise). Just signed up to Crikey via the Club Troppo group sub – what a great deal that is! With the extra $$ I also decided to sign up for Bob Ellis’s ‘gold’ over at Table Talk. Poll Bludger and Bob are two blogs I’ve really got a lot out of following with appalled fascination the train wreck of the Abbott government. I thought they’d be bad, but this bad?

  26. Thanks Tom 17 – I thought I could remember a state election being “moved” by one week, maybe in Tasmania, or maybe it was a by-election. I’ll look later.

    Found this on Antony Green’s site

    Hi Antony, with so many states having fixed terms now, can you advise what happens if the Commonwealth decides it wants to hold an election on a date already legislatively allocated to a State Election.

    Does the State have to move? Is there anything to prevent a State holding an election the same day as the Commonwealth?

    COMMENT: The state has to move its election unless the Commonwealth gives permission for the election to be held on the same day. For example, the Commonwealth permitted the Northern Territory to hold a statehood referendum in conjunction with the 1998 federal election.

    Posted by: Alan` | May 29, 2013 at 03:05 PM

  27. So the situation is: Abbott’s numbers haven’t improved, the Liberal party’s have, Shorten’s have declined.

    In other words, a block of voters out there want a Liberal government without Abbott. They’ve been punishing the Liberals because they showed no signs of getting rid of Abbott. Now that it appears that the Libs are going to (sooner or later), they’re happy to support the Liberals again.

    Shorten’s figures are (probably) affected by this. Instead of comparing him to Abbott and giving him a tick, they’re mentally comparing him to the Someone Else they think will be leading the Liberal party in the near future.

    As for Abbott being saved by the polls, it was when his polls were starting to head upwards again that Rudd was rolled…if you’re determined a leader must go, it’s better to do it when they’re polling badly.

  28. Douglas and Milko @ 34, an excellent post and it is something I have been dreading for some time. We have already seen the Labor vs Green antagonism on this blog and the only way we can kick out this dangerous mob is to unite. I hope you will tweet this post.

  29. Abbott has morphed into ‘Tony Everywhere’ – what could go wrong ? On CH9 Today show this morning, warming up for this morning’s Liberal Party Room meeting no doubt

    [@Clarke_Melissa: PM Tony Abbott on Ch9 re polling: “You know what it’s like to be young & vigorous & at the height of your powers – that’s how I feel!”]

  30. This has to be a bit of a rogue. I haven’t seen anything in the last few weeks that indicate that the government’s public stature has improved.

  31. And straight from Ch9 to redneck radio

    [@stephanieando: The PM is about to join Alan Jones on 2GB, where he’s just been described as “a man of the people” #auspol]

  32. If there’s any truth to the article about ministers changing their vote for the spill, then I wonder how many backbenchers vote would change too?

  33. Re Shows On (31):

    There was a ballot stuffing incident when Nick Xenophon was involved with the University of Adelaide Liberals. I believe he quit the Liberals because of their crookery. Others went on to bigger things.

  34. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    James Massola finds big cracks in the Abbott ministry,
    Peter Hartcher tries to give Abbott the benefit of the doubt but ends up describing him as a failed, desperate leader.
    Tony Wright with a reasonable piss take of Abbott’s speech.
    And “View from the Street” does a very good job in examining the problems with Abbott’s speech.
    The SMH in its editorial asks what will be the cost of where Abbott wants to go with anti-terrorism actions.
    Lenore Taylor also says Abbott was strong on flags and rhetoric but well short on detail. It is no wonder Abbott wouldn’t take any questions.
    Peter Reith puts the boot into Credlin.
    And Michelle Grattan says the Credlin crisis grows by the day.
    Paul Bongiorno says that Abbott’s tough talk won’t be enough to save him.
    John Birmingham does not like where things are going with respect to metadata retention.

  35. Morning all. This poll is curious, though I am hesitant to over-interpret a single result. It could be as Zoomster said (split of liberal supporters who do/don’t tolerate Abbott) or it could just be a rogue. Either way Abbott is cooked, ad on the latter interpretation even a rogue result does not show Abbott’s credibility improving.

    The bizarre hyperbolic speech yesterday does not help Abbott. He talks about a great threat when his own review makes it clear that better resourced policing of domestic violence against women would have seen Monis locked up well before the Sydney seige. But no, lets plough a few more billion into national security.

    Meanwhile I am not holding my breath on hearing Abbott’s response to our growing unemployment problem. How are those million jobs going, Tony? It was only a promise.

  36. Section 2 . . .

    This senior lecturer in law is very uncomfortable with Abbott and his George W Bush-like terror pronouncements.
    And this academic calls for a more measured and steady approach.
    Peter Martin piles into Hockey’s scaremongering and suggests MORE debt could be the answer. Hew also gives News Corp a big serve.
    Chris Uhlmann gets hold of some more leaked emails that dish out the dirt on Credlin.
    More on the leaks from the SMH.
    Respected blogger Ad Astra gives Bill Shorten some advice on how to tackle health care.
    David Wroe says Abbott’s speech may well increase the feeling of alienation among Muslims.
    Muslim leaders are outraged over Abbott’s admonishments.
    How Abbott kept the cabinet in the dark with Sir Prince Phil.

  37. Section 3 . . .

    The culture of cover up at Knox Grammar is being exposed at the Royal Commission.
    The Guardian has a good look at the Knox Grammar too.
    The drugs scandal could lead to a monster collapse at the Gold Coast Titans.
    And it could end up being the darkest day in Australian sport.
    The twenty worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    ATO bosses plead for calm as fury over pay and conditions negotiations grows. It’s really building up a head of steam by the look of it.
    And how do you reckon THIS will go down?
    NAB chiefs look like they will be fronting a rather hostile Senate committee as early as next week. Sam Dastyari and Wacka Williams are on the case.
    Netanyahu sprung for telling a huge porky. Now why should we be surprised?

  38. Section 4 . . .

    Ron Tandberg again homes in on Abbott’s motives.

    Alan Moir with Hockey’s legacy.

    Ron Tandberg goes to the AFL.

    And just how good is this one from David Pope?

    Great work from David Rowe with Abbott at AFP HQ.

    Mark Knight takes us into the anti-terrorist bunker with Abbott and captain Peta.

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