Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor

Unremarkable new poll results from Newspoll and Morgan, along with news on preselection and redistribution and such.

James J in comments relates that the latest Newspoll result for The Australian, which I believe will be the third last poll we get from Newspoll-as-we-know-it, has Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, down from 53-47 a fortnight ago. The Coalition is up a point on the primary vote to 41%, with Labor steady on 37% and the Greens up one to 13%. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is down a point to 38% and his disapproval up one to 53%, while Bill Shorten continues to haemorrhage at 32% approval (down three) and 50% disapproval (up four). Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister is now at 41-37, up from 41-40. The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1169.


• The latest fortnightly Morgan result records a slight increase in Labor’s lead after an unusually weak result a fortnight ago, with the Coalition’s primary vote down half a point to 41%, Labor’s up a point and a half to 37%, the Greens up half to 13% and Palmer United down among Katter’s Australian Party in statistically insignficant territory. This results in a slight shift in the two-party lead from 51.5-48.5 to 52-48, although a stronger flow of respondent-allocated preferences this time causes a bigger move on that measure, from 51-49 to 53-47.

• Media outlets have reported on two privately conducted ReachTEL polls over the past week, both providing encouraging news for the Coalition. The Guardian reported on an ACTU-commissioned poll of marginal seats which found “a primary vote swing of between 2% and 4% against the sitting Coalition MP, but in most cases voters had switched to the Greens or the undecided column rather than to Labor”. I take that to suggest an overall two-party swing to Labor of around 2%. The poll was conducted a fortnight ago, and targeted one seat in each state: Page, Corangamite, Leichhardt, Swan, Hindmarsh and Braddon. Further results in the article relate an expectation that the government will make further cuts to health and education. The Australian reported that polling of four of Tasmania’s five seats, the exception being Denison, found Labor losing support to the Greens while the Coalition held firm, and also found about 40% agreeing they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported reinstatement of wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target, compared with around 14% for less likely. The polls were conducted on May 21 for the Australian Forest Products Association.

Jared Owens of The Australian reports Sophie Mirabella will face two rivals for Liberal preselection in her bid to recover her old seat of Indi, which she lost to independent Cathy McGowan in 2013. One is Kevin Ekendahl, owner of an auditing and compliance business in Wodonga and candidate for Melbourne Ports in 2010 and 2013, who has “campaigned for same-sex marriage”, which Mirabella opposes. The other is Andrew Walpole, who owns property in the electorate but works as an anaesthetist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne. Speaking of Melbourne-based, an Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner told Senate estimates this week that it had referred to the public prosecutor four alleged cases of fraudulent involvement from the electorate, out of 28 cases referred to it. This follows claims last year that a substantial number of Cathy McGowan had enrolled in the electorate despite living in Melbourne, most of them being university students who grew up in the electorate.

• Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson has ordered a Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into “claims of intimidation outside election polling booths and the handing out of misleading leaflets”.

• The AEC published public submissions last week as part of its process for the federal redistribution of New South Wales, which will reduce the state’s seat share from 48 to 47. I put the submissions for the two major parties through the wringer in this post, where you can find interactive maps of the proposals along with my determinations of notional seat margins. I’ve also belatedly attached such a map to my similar post for the Western Australian redistribution from mid-April. Draft boundaries for both redistributions are scheduled for the third quarter of this year, with final determinations to be made early next year. There is also a redistribution of the two Australian Capital Territory seats in train, which no one seems terribly excited about.

• I had paywalled pieces in Crikey last week concerning the electoral dimensions of same-sex marriage and contradictory Queensland state poll results.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The only change in the weekly reading from Essential Research is a one point increase in the Labor primary vote to 40%, leaving the Coalition 41%, the Greens on 10% and Palmer United on 1%, with Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48. A semi-regular question on same-sex marriage finds 59% saying it should be allowed and 30% saying it shouldn’t, respectively steady and up two since February. However, the difference is narrower on likelihood of same-sex marriage influencing vote choice, with 34% saying more likely and 22% less likely. Also feaatured are questions on leadership attributes, which as usual record collective movements in line with recent polling on personal approval. That means better ratings for Tony Abbott than in February, with the biggest movements on “out of touch with ordinary people” (down seven to 65%), “erratic” (down six to 54%) and “a capable leader” (up six to 40%). Bill Shorten’s movements might be thought surprisingly modest given his recent polling form – he’s down four points on “a capable leader” to 43%, but also on “narrow-minded”, to 34%.

As it does from time to time, Essential has also sought to gauge the accuracy of respondents’ understanding a public policy issue, in this case the proportion of the federal budget devoted to foreign aid, and found only 13% offering the correct answer of less than 1%. This gives a bit of edge to its finding that 44% think the government spends too much on foreign aid, compared with 16% for too little and 21% for just right. Respondents were also asked to rate the importance of giving foreign aid to various countries, with impoverished neighbours rating highest (66% for Pacific Island countries, 65% for Papua New Guinea) and, I cannot help but notice, Islamic countries rating lowest (Indonesia 39%, Middle East countries 26%).

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.

1,378 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Hi silmaj,
    Always good to hear of a business that is thriving.

    Given that, I’m sure you’ve heard the terms mal-investment, over-capitalisation and deflation. They tend to arise on that order. We’re at the end of stage two.

    There’s a Minsky moment coming: when the credit supporting economic growth can no longer find investments that cover their interest repayments, even as interest rates fall. In fact, falling IRs can goose a much of extra mal-investment, driving eventual deflation further and faster.

    There’s also some structure to the wage and cpi figures that can’t be ignored. E.g. the CPI basket of goods contains luxury goods that might not have high demand atm, inducing discounting.

    The biggest problem in the economy now is flat demand, and cutting IRs doesn’t help that.

    I am also of the opinion that the tax benefits associated with losses in certain classes of assets (property) might be chewing up a lot of wages growth, in expectation of capital gains, which probably will not be realised. In fact, I’m betting on it.

  2. Blame Coalition Party for lack of demand in the economy:

    Greg Jericho ‏@GrogsGamut 4m4 minutes ago

    The is an astonishing lack of demand in the economy at the moment #GDP

  3. davidwh is usually quite reasonable.

    The real point is that the LNP rejected the offer to bring forward the vote. If they had accepted there would be nothing to debate.

    Their natural inclination to oppose, even in government, is most telling. They were wrong footed by their own nay-saying belligerence… which makes them look very silly and not at all “grown up”.

    Pretty much the same childish antics we saw in the last parliament, but for some reason it’s hypocritical for PB to have an opinion.

    BTW, excellent post on Shorten and the 8th army BB.

  4. [The real point is that the LNP rejected the offer to bring forward the vote. If they had accepted there would be nothing to debate.]

    That’s it. The ALP called the Libs bluff, and rather than fold, they upped the stakes. Very silly.

  5. [CE
    There is an unwritten law, Godwin’s Unwritten Law?, which says that the first person who goes reductio ad Hitleram loses the argument.]

    Which is most commonly deployed by closet Nazi’s.

  6. LU @1355:

    [That’s it. The ALP called the Libs bluff, and rather than fold, they upped the stakes. Very silly.]

    “I raise!”

    “…I’ll call. Do wipe the egg off your face, Tony.”

  7. silmaj@1346.

    So what technology relevant to the motor vehicle industry could possibly be relevant to construction? Are you talking about Fast Fourier Transform algorithms coded on microchips, which allow car sound systems to sound like the Albert Hall? Old Hat Now. Please be more specific.

  8. labor should have voted down the small business package
    it is another liberal electoral bribe which apparently cannot be afforded
    labor has been permanently wedged by liberals – they need to get out of the harbour and put up sails
    vote down all bills bring it on
    they need to call shots and risk things – you always need to rish to govern
    problem is shorten is not given to risks – he is a bureacrat
    sometimes i really hate to dominance of labor party by ex unionists

  9. Silmaj

    Which city is your thriving factory and transport business in.

    Brisbane seems very quiet and not too many cranes in view. A lot of empty shops too. I think that Qld was technically in recession ie two quarters of negative growth. I think it was the last two quarters of 2014. Partly explains the removal of Cannot do Newman.

  10. Geoffrey # 1359

    labor should have voted down the small business package

    Rubbish. Its mostly the reinstatement of Labors own accelerated depreciation, not that you’d know that from most of the media.

  11. 1352
    You do also realise that as interest rates drop ,that the losses drop ,and some investments would no longer be ,as you would say negatively geared. However if rents were to drop then this may change. My personal opinion and I’m on my own ,all rents need to drop as they have only gone in one direction for too long. We have a tiny population supported by a large land resource, for our poulation the economy is right up there. These fundamentals shouldn’t be forgotten. Deflation has occurred all over the world and will occur here. Just be ready for it.

  12. shock horror bullying in the labor party – you have our fullest sympathy julia and yes we think you are victim and always supported your leader faithfully until he proved he was just another anti feminist thug. you bring honor to the feminist cause by such dramatic relevations

  13. MM

    could be true however the contradictions of liberals doing this in the emergency they triggered should be noted – the amount at least trimmed

    in context of more dramatic scenario of DD there is another reason – it sounds low bow perhaps but another leader could pull it off

    btw i think polls are closer simply because of BS – he poses several points throughout and should not be hailed for labor’s lead – it is not a matter of what he does but the lack – my thoughts

  14. 1360
    How many cranes are usually in brisbane and surrounding suburbs. I was actually referring to brisbane as at last count I counted 28. Given that I do work for the construction sites this is unheard of. Manufacturing is in Adelaide which should be the manufacturing hub due to its central location.

  15. [1361
    Marrickville Mauler

    Geoffrey # 1359

    labor should have voted down the small business package

    Rubbish. Its mostly the reinstatement of Labors own accelerated depreciation, not that you’d know that from most of the media.]

    Really, the problem we have is prolonged and pronounced under-investment right across the spectrum. We should pursue pro-investment policies that will lift our productive potential, improve our skills and technologies and drive future income expansion.

  16. 1358
    I would be referring to the components( and if components modified/improved) changing the way the entire industry operates over time.

  17. Silmaj
    Not sure I understand you.

    7 years ago in Brisbane you would see 10-15 cranes in the CBD.

    Not sure what you think is happening in Brisbane but only one crane I could see this morning.

    I am a bit puzzled. Are you in manufacturing, transport or construction?

  18. 1368
    There’s 28 cranes unless you don’t count spring hill, Bowen hill Sth brisbane and west end. Our family business manufactured in Adelaide and has done so for close to forty years. My transport business in Qld resulted from deciding that we needed to do our own distribution in this state. The other work that I do has been increasing overtime.

  19. Silmaj

    I drove along Ann St today. Only building going up was near cnr Edward St. There is nothing happening in Roma St or Spring Hill.

    I guess there is still the Campbell Mahal down George St.

    Any way surprised to hear you counted 28 cranes.

    With the legacy way due to finsh up soon there is not much happening anywhere in terms of big projects

  20. Geoffrey @1359:

    [labor should have voted down the small business package]

    Actually, no. Labor showed, last year, that they’re willing to pick fights over Budgetary measures that are hopeless or nasty. This is neither.

    [it is another liberal electoral bribe which apparently cannot be afforded]

    To be honest, it seems to be something of a nothingburger. Small business operators don’t get any more depreciation on equipment, they just get to claim it all at once.

    Good for them, given the time value of money, but not exactly a front-pager. You’d think.

    [put up sails
    vote down all bills bring it on]

    No…unlike the LNP, the ALP doesn’t have a friendly media willing to run cover for rampant obstructionism.

    [they need to call shots and risk things – you always need to rish to govern]

    Tell that to Rudd. Not as good a PM as we thought he’d be, but he won the 2007 election in a walk. Largely by taking cautious, measured steps.

    [problem is shorten is not given to risks – he is a bureacrat]

    Labor doesn’t need someone who’ll crash through or crash. Labor needs a leader who can tee up when the times get rough, but who is mostly a steady hand to rebuild Parliamentary Labor’s team identity and discipline.

    Shorten’s all of that – and it seems he’s a bag of chips too. His maneuver to wedge the Liberals on their own small business tax break was nothing short of inspired.

    [sometimes i really hate to dominance of labor party by ex unionists]

    Sometimes I do, too. This isn’t one of those times.

  21. geoffrey @ 1359

    Yes. Of course. If only the Labor Party showed the same policy purity as the Greens and the same political savvy, they could have as many seats as the Greens in the Parliament.

  22. TPOF

    they might yet – dont hope too much

    they might also hold more young and green voters – dont get too cocky

    there is not too much political savvy shown since 2010 dont you think

  23. Silmaj


    However in 2008 when I worked in the city last I could look out the window and see nine cranes from my desk.

    I think the if ever they get moving on the Mary st monsters then you know it is boom again. There is one helluva hole that was dug in 2008 just before the GFC. Still a hole I think. It is bloody huge. I watched it being dug. First time I ever thought of swarms of earth movers. Sometimes 8 in the hole at once.

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