Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

Newspoll continues its recent volatile form to deliver the Coalition its best result since September.

The latest fortnightly Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian gives the Coalition its best result since September, with Labor’s two-party lead of 51-49 comparing with 55-45 last time. The Coalition is up three on the primary vote to 41%, Labor is down two to 37%, and the Greens are down one to 11%. Amid a general picture of weakening personal ratings for Bill Shorten, Newspoll has him down three on approval to 36% and up five on disapproval to 47% after a spike in his favour a fortnight ago. Tony Abbott is up one to 29% and down two to 61% – dismal as those figures are, they’re his best since Australia Day. Bill Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister has closed from 44-33 to 41-36.

Also today, Morgan’s latest poll combining face-to-face and SMS polling from the past two weekends has Labor up on last fortnight and level with the fortnight before, leaving the intervening poll looking like something of an aberration. On the primary vote, Labor is up two to 40% with the Coalition down one to 38%, while the Greens and Palmer United are both down half a point to 11% and 1.5%. There’s a big shift to Labor on respondent-allocated preferences, their lead widening from 53.5-46.5 to 56-44, but a surprisingly modest one on previous election preferences, from 53.5-46.5 to 54-46, some of the difference evidently being obscured by rounding.

UPDATE (Essential Research): To reinforce the point that polling moves in mysterious ways, the normally sedate Essential Research fortnightly rolling average has moved two points to Labor, putting its lead at 54-46. Labor is up two on the primary vote to 41%, with the Coalition steady on 40%, the Greens up one to 10% and Palmer United down to an all-time low of 1%. The poll also finds a big downturn in the assessment of Joe Hockey’s performance as Treasurer even since the months after the budget, with approval at 27% (down eight points since August) and disapproval at 51% (up seven). Chris Bowen has all but caught up with him as preferred Treasurer, Hockey’s 34-23 lead in August now at 26-25. Relatedly, there is a poor result on economic sentiment, with 27% describing the state of the Australian economy as good (down 10% since last August) and 33% as poor (up 7%).

A question on data retention suggests dissatisfaction with the protections provided in the government’s policy, with 58% believing a warrant should be required to access data in any case, only 10% considering it should only apply to journalists and 12% believing no warrant should be required. Also featured are a semi-regular question on climate change, thought to be caused by human activity by 54% (down three since December) with 31% favouring the skeptical option (up two); 52% professing greater concern than two years ago (up one) with 8% less concerned (down one); 45% favouring incentives for renewable energy in response (up five since September), 12% an emissions trading scheme (up two), 10% the government’s direct action policy (steady) and 11% believing no action is required (steady). The 20% renewable energy target is thought too high by 8% (down five since last July), too low by 33% (up four) and about right by 32% (down four).

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.

1,293 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. What I have heard is a lot of phobic melodrama. The green-speak that has gushed here says very little about the prevention of crime but a very great deal about susceptibility to fear and about preying on that sensibility.

    Abbott would fill us with IS-fear. The greens would fill us with spook-fear. It’s the same gig with the names changed.

  2. [1219

    It also seems that experience from other parts of the world, especially the European Union, whose own mass data retention scheme was invalidated last year for being a disproportionate interference with the privacy of millions of law-abiding Europeans, has been completely ignored.]

    Experiences in other jurisdictions have not been ignored. On the contrary, the amendments passed by the Parliament have been framed with the intention of establishing “proportionality” and with ensuring that access to data is not arbitrary, but subject to a clear code and process.

  3. 1258

    The TPP?

    This is a trade treaty and it should be made public. It has nothing to do with the actions of law enforcement agencies with respect to the investigation of crimes.

    The arrest of Melissa Dunn and her subsequent death is terribly sad and her mother is a very brave woman. But this has nothing to do with data of any kind. It is a consequence of very poor policing.

  4. @troycassardaley been to moree pool lately? The local indigenous are now priced out of a swim… One of most expensive swims in #Australia

  5. [1214

    The sense I get from Labor supporters here at PB is that they don’t want to say this outright – they will flirt with defending the decision on public interest grounds – but their hearts are not in it because they don’t really care about the merits. They see their role as adjusting to a party decision and waving the flag. Everyone needs to give their brain a break now and then but it would be great if a Labor supporter could take their brain out of hibernation on this issue and present a coherent case on the privacy implications of metadata retention and why Australian will benefit from these laws when no other nation has.

    The Labor at all costs supporters on PB take their brains out of hibernation?
    Why think when the party can do it for you?]

    I’m grateful to the Green voices here for raising the matter of metadata. They have encouraged me to send a few hours reading the materials and considering the arguments; and they have given me a peg or two on which to suspend my own thoughts.

    I’ve reflected again on crime and its consequences, the purposes of the legal process, the obstacles to law enforcement and the difficulty of balancing public interests with private sensibilities. These are not daily bread around here.

  6. @Briefly/1261

    You are incorrect, the majority of the TPP leaks is based on Security, IP and Copyright.

    It has very little to do with trade, knowing the current leaked TPP texts.

  7. It’s hardly surprising that the TPP includes IP-related issues. Most of the capital in the world these days is intellectual, technical and creative. Just as there are rules relating to the trade in goods and services, it’s natural there will be rules relating to the trade in the products of these capitals.

    We should be actively trying to develop our own capitals and ensuring we protect the flows they generate.

    Why would you object to that?


    [The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home.

    Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States.

    But the eight imprisoned men were considered flight risks – laborers who might dare run away. They lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea.

    “All I did was tell my captain I couldn’t take it anymore, that I wanted to go home,” said Kyaw Naing, his dark eyes pleading into an Associated Press video camera sneaked in by a sympathetic worker. “The next time we docked,” he said nervously out of earshot of a nearby guard, “I was locked up.”

    Here, in the Indonesian island village of Benjina and the surrounding waters, hundreds of trapped men represent one of the most desperate links criss-crossing between companies and countries in the seafood industry. This intricate web of connections separates the fish we eat from the men who catch it, and obscures a brutal truth: Your seafood may come from slaves.

    The men the AP interviewed on Benjina were mostly from Myanmar….They were brought to Indonesia through Thailand and forced to fish. Their catch was then shipped back to Thailand, where it entered the global stream of commerce.

    Tainted fish can wind up in the supply chains of some of America’s major grocery stores, such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway; the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart; and the biggest food distributor, Sysco.]

  9. @briefly/1266

    “More phobic whispering”

    No it’s is a fact with you seem to be having head in sand moment.

    “The text will not be kept secret. Once it is agreed between participants, it will be made public and also subjected to parliamentary scrutiny prior to any final ratification,” he said.”

    And just like every other scrutiny over every bill passed or not passed in senate, or any “parliamentary scrutiny” (noticed no “joint parliamentary scrutiny”).

    This is from the source, so you cannot say one made it up.

    Labor are in bed with LNP, like the rest of the senate is.

    Just like the AusFTA agreement, it will do the same damage to Australia.

    The fact that it is not made public, means you are leading people blind faith, which is no better than what Coalition Party are doing on a daily bases with their sloganeering of promises.

  10. 1267

    Intellectual property is a monopoly on reproducing a particular technology or media production. The longer the monopoly lasts, the more everybody else has to pay to use these things. Australia, like most nations, is a net importer of intellectual property and so the more monopoly, the more Australia has to import.

    It exists to promote innovation but producers often try and extend their existing monopoly with lobbying (copyright) or minimal extra innovation (patents).

  11. I’ve gotta say I’m a lot more troubled by the use of forced labour, including indentured workers and slaves as well as people who’ve been trafficked and imprisoned, than I am about the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015.

    I’m also a lot more concerned about policing, arrest, trying, sentencing and imprisonment of young aboriginals than stoked up indignation about access to ephemeral, infinitely expandable and utterly trivial data.

  12. Bemused

    I normally think you are a smart guy and usually logical and rarely hypocritical BUT I assume that you can understand that keeping records of an email with address of sender and recipient, time, date, and size is EXACTLY the same as keeping records of an posted mail with address of sender,postmark and recipient, time, date, and size/weight.

    The ONLY difference is technology, which as I indicated is starting to catch up, especially with use of barcodes and scanners.

    It does not matter if the embarrassing letter comes via email or post, there will be someone (or some 500) in the bowels of the post office or bigpond with access to details in lovely searchable format of all your correspondence, including standard letters from your bank (balance sheet) and non standard letters eg threats of foreclosure, correspondence with your doctors, debt collectors etc.

  13. @briefly/1267

    Because I do not support TPP, the information from the leaks so far and news from other countries on TPP, suggest that USA will benefit from the TPP negotiations.

    The poorer countries also do not gain much advantage, unless they really drive a good deal, which is generally not the case.

    And just like the Productivity Commission mentions, Trade agreements hardly give good deal (i.e. countries like Malaysia)

    Regarding Copyright and IP, despite the name, it’s intent is to limit innovations and be able to sue companies and countries more often, endless wars between major players in the IT and Medical fields.

    Thus the facts, figures, and calculations, as well as legal mombo jumbo facts are released (including their terms, legal definitions and so on), I stay well away from supporting any trade agreement.

  14. 1270
    Tom the first and best

    I agree.

    I also think we need to develop a better understanding of what capital is, or, since there are multiple capitals, what they are.

    We really should be converting a lot more financial capital, which is relatively easily produced, into other capitals – social, cultural, legal, intellectual, environmental, biotic, technical, physical, creative, human…and so on. These forms of capital are capable of generating high rates of return and, in some respects, of replicating and extending themselves. Their returns (their yields) can be measured and held in many forms, including as monetary returns and as opportunities for new productions.

    Considering the incredibly low rates of return that attend financial capital, and how readily this can be converted into other capitals that generate higher returns, we should really try to master their creation, composition and expansion and their adaptive networking.

    We should re-imagine what we do. We should try to see ourselves as living at the frontier of our imaginations and develop the capitals of innovation.

  15. 1273

    Free Trade Agreements are usually, at best, absolutely worthless. Sometimes they are net negative for everyone. The TPP will probably be a net negative for consumers everywhere.

    We need an anti-monopolies agreement.

  16. One thing that few seem to have though through is that Telstra and Optus (the largest storers of Australia metadata) has outsourced most of its IT work to India.

    Therefore it may be realistically assumed that the data will be accessible to many in India where the main obligation for privacy and limited access will be focused. in other words it will be as secure as a house with no locks and well hidden from neighbours.

  17. [Was the Labor leadership’s decision on mass surveillance more about political expediency than conscientous service to the people?
    The sense I get from Labor supporters here at PB is that they don’t want to say thhis outright – ]

    We wouldn’t want to say this because it is a lazy insult built on an absurd mischaracterisation.

  18. maybe the Tasmanian Greens could go for a law meaning only Indians have to be told if an ex partner applies for a gun license, or maybe only Indians don’t have to be told. There must be a win in for them somewhere surely

  19. [ Jeremy Clarkson: BBC announces Top Gear host’s contract will not be renewed ]
    probably inevitable after that Indian toilet joke. Borrowed time since then

  20. Briefly…re slavery in Indonesian waters post 1268..Briefly
    Thanks for posting thar quite horrific item re the slaves(many Burmese) on fishing boats in Indonesian waters

    I am sending it to everyone in position of influence I can contact

    What can be done?
    Their situation is truly awful

  21. [1277

    Was the Labor leadership’s decision on mass surveillance more about political expediency than conscientous service to the people?
    The sense I get from Labor supporters here at PB is that they don’t want to say thhis outright –

    We wouldn’t want to say this because it is a lazy insult built on an absurd mischaracterisation.]

    Spot on WWP

  22. 1281

    I’m not sure what can be done but you’re right – their circumstances are deplorable. I will send the link to my MP friends and see if they can raise it with Indonesia.

    The article didn’t say so, but I guess the people involved could be Rohingya, in which case no-one at all will want to know them. Theirs is a most helpless situation.

  23. [ Was the Labor leadership’s decision on mass surveillance more about political expediency than conscientous service to the people?
    The sense I get from Labor supporters here at PB is that they don’t want to say thhis outright –

    We wouldn’t want to say this because it is a lazy insult built on an absurd mischaracterisation. ]
    well at least they don’t have to spend all their time answering personally for every single incident that has happened in an NT Indigenous community for the last 7 years

  24. briefly @1259:

    [Experiences in other jurisdictions have not been ignored. On the contrary, the amendments passed by the Parliament have been framed with the intention of establishing “proportionality” and with ensuring that access to data is not arbitrary, but subject to a clear code and process.]

    If it’s not supposed to be arbitrary, then why not require a warrant to access it? Not just in the case of journos, but for everyone – as has been pointed out, immunizing journos alone doesn’t do much to help investigatory journalism.

    I’d have much, much less of a problem with the bill if it treated everyone equally when it came to providing procedural safeguards against abuse or overuse of the metadata.

  25. good morning all,

    It has been a long time since I posted after having a bit of a dummy spit over the removal of PM Gillard.

    Life must go on however and the removal of this liberal debacle of a government has got me going again.

    Of course labor is not perfect and any realistic sensible person will admit that, However the quest for political perfection and purity results in nothing more than complete inaction and stagnation. Those who call for it may sleep well bur they achieve nothing.

    Labor under Bill Shorten are being pragmatic and realistic and by following this path they will achieve something long term for this country. I will grab that result with both hands rather than spit the dummy, stamp my feet and demand perfection but ending up with nothing.

    I would be interested to hear the views of those who are screaming against the metadata legislation on the use of CCTV.

    CCTV is everywhere. When we walk down a street, catch a train our movements are filmed, recorded and the footage kept and stored.

    Is that big brother? Should a warrant be necessary to access the footage ? Where is the uproar against this “invasion ” of privacy. Police access this data all the time and use it for any number of reasons without warrant.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.

    I really do think it is time to move on and get on with living in the real world instead of “perfection paradise.”

    Have a great day all.

  26. I was right, The Australian voting public has not suffered enough. To return a Coalition gov’t in NSW shows there is a still a lesson to learn. I pity NSW, but not the fools who voted in Baird.

    Still, I think that will help Federal Labor, and of course the ALP’s greatest asset, Tony Abbott, will stay in power.

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