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. Slip sliding away – not enough for bill to survive . Australians aren’t going to vote for another hung parliament oakeshott style!

  2. 52/48. Gee thats really wow. 🙁

    Still, looking like the Libs may be in a spot of bother with the Budget led polling recovery they were looking for. 🙂

    Will get worse for them i think, when the focus goes back onto trying to get the same nasties they had in 2014 through in 2015.

  3. [Newspoll

    52-48 2PP to Labor

    Primaries: Coalition 41, Labor 37, Greens 13

    Abbott: Satisfied 38, Dissatisfied 53
    Shorten: Satisfied 32, Dissatisfied 50

    Better PM: Abbott 41, Shorten 37

    1169 sample, May 28-31

    the Oz (and me-to ABC) headlines will focus on:

    Abbott: Satisfied 38
    Shorten: Dissatisfied 50

    Better PM: Abbott 41, Shorten 37

    Abbott seems to get marks just for not fucking up spectacularly. Australians must be kind people who like to encourage the not too bright kid when he’s doing better than he was doing.

    abbott needs to rush to a poll before the wheels fall off as we go into recession. he can then hope:
    1. if they win they can govern in the hope the recession ends by 2018/19 and use the recession to push workchoices as hard as they can.
    2. if they lose, labor can get blamed for the unholy mess he and Joe are leaving behind.

    I’d love a pollie to lay the cards on the table and say – we have two choices:
    – increase tax revenue, close tax loopholes for the wealthy and scale back some services and middle class welfare a bit while investing in services and programs that make us a stronger society. We might even tax pollution.
    – not collect any more taxes and slash spending and services and hurt a lot of people already doing it hard and fail to invest in education.

    which will make for a better society?

    I wish labor would put a proper budget response forward showing how a fair but tight budget is better for us in the long run and arguing the case for reforms. e.g “We will maintain Gonski funding by closing superannuation tax concession loopholes created by Costello”. It’d be great to see the options put forward and debated in a ‘we can do A or B – what do people want?’ way.

  4. [ Australians aren’t going to vote for another hung parliament oakeshott style! ]

    Really?? And so many people i know spend just ages considering the tactics of how to vote to achieve just that outcome!

    You Git.

  5. Basically flat-line. Considering the Budget is already falling to pieces, it’s no wonder they are resorting to despotic politics!

  6. “@MartinGHodgson: Pinochet, thatcher, Reagan, George W Bush… Four morons who thought the market solved it all… #qanda”

  7. Is this a case on Andrews misleading Parliment?
    But when pressed by the shadow defence minister, Stephen Conroy, if the government had sought formal written advice from the department, as is the usual protocol for large procurements, Richardson said no.

    “No, not formal written advice,” the secretary said. “I’m not aware of advice being sought in writing.”

  8. [Slip sliding away – not enough for bill to survive . Australians aren’t going to vote for another hung parliament oakeshott style!]
    LOL! These figures are a 5.5% swing to Labor you silly slut.

  9. Is Sloane really the best the right can put up. Surely TBA or someone could have gone in there. Josh looks a bit believable, leadership material!

  10. DN


    Wow? I think yawn would be a more appropriate response to an insignificant change in the 2PP, which is well within the margin of error and is therefore consistent with no change in voting intentions.

    Perhaps you meant: “Wow! there really is no bounce from the budget.”

  11. [20

    I think someone should tell PVO he is a twat]


    He’s a Murdoch gigster…goes without saying that he’s a twat.

  12. 28

    This policy – essentially an extra-legal use of naval power against unarmed and powerless refugees – must be rescinded.

  13. I think removing citizenship from an Australian citizen is idiotic
    I think removing citizenship from a dual citizen is OK as long as we beat the other nation
    I think the plan to jail a doctor/nurse that speaks out about Nauru conditions is an outrage*

    *you might hear more about this over coming months if the AMA gets its way!

  14. [William Bowe
    ….How about we lay off “slut” and “twat” for an evening.]

    No argument re the former, but is there anything wrong with the latter?

    What about “schmuck” then?

  15. [31

    I think removing citizenship from a dual citizen is OK as long as we beat the other nation]

    Why would we contemplate this in the absence of proof and conviction of a crime?

  16. Im a big fan on checks and balances on Ministers….particularly when it comes to significant issues of individual rights.

    We could have the circumstances where a Minister Obeid or Minister Bernardi could make a decision about someone they don’t like and when asked why they just need to say “intelligence”. The central point of our society, versus failed states and disaster societies like North Korea, is that politicians DONT have absolute power.

    It is unfortunate, that there are current provisions allowing the Minister for IBP can make determinations on asylum seekers without them having any recourse to appeal to the courts. Few here seemed to care about those ministerial powers.

  17. [briefly
    ….Why would we contemplate this in the absence of proof and conviction of a crime?]

    Sorry, I should have made clear, all of this should be determined by a court and not by a Minister.

  18. On twitter
    [Heard Plibersek on radio. Said she tried for 18 months to get bi-partisan bill on #SSM up. Nothing doing. Tried since Ireland. Nothing doing]

  19. [Darn (Previous thread)
    On those primaries I think they must have rounded up to arrive at the 52 for Labor.]

    Given the whole numbers of ALP 37, GRN 13, and LNP 41, I get the ALP TPP at about 52.1%.

    Apart from Ipsos, 48% is looking like a bit of a barrier for the LNP, and the trend toward them in recent months seems to be flattening out. This just happens to have coincided with the budget, which has probably had bugger all effect.

  20. I think you can take it as pretty solid that medical people will not take kindly to being muzzled by the oafs and bigots who run this show. Even in fairly recent [cold war] history it was considered that your medical ethical duty was to the patient presented to you regardless of their politics or nationality.

  21. [ How about we lay off “slut” and “twat” for an evening. ]

    I know what you mean William. but it just sounds somehow wrong put that way.

  22. In 2014: Australia paid more than $600,000 for every individual asylum seeker on Manus.

    Now it appears we are paying $55 million for 5 asylum seekers in Cambodia.

    Now, that is what deserves a “YIKES” or a “WOW” in my opinion.

  23. I hope the High Court strikes down the citizenship proposals on the grounds that it acquires property otherwise than on just terms. Since apparently the High Court has taken a wide view on what property is, within the meaning of the act, it may well, unless it has previously taken a contrary view on citizenship, decide that the Commonwealth cannot take citizenship away for criminal conviction or suspicion or that it must happen through a judicial process rather than an appealable decision of the minister.

  24. Agreed Question. No bounce for Libs as they get more desperate with their swing to the right. As Tingle says, this desperation has wedged themselves and they are still in an election losing situation. Abbott was given to June to turn it around.

  25. How about we just lay off ad hominem attacks altogether, permanently?

    I think the electorate is asleep at the wheel which, to be fair, is probably the way they normally are when it’s the middle of the cycle and the media aren’t whipping people into a fear frenzy.

  26. [No argument re the former, but is there anything wrong with the latter?

    What about “schmuck” then?]
    What about:


  27. [roger bottomley
    ….Abbott was given to June to turn it around.]

    Abbott is 1 seat behind Shorten on their respective party totals
    Abbott is better on net approval than Shorten (-15 vs -18)
    Abbott is better on preferred PM

    I reckon “turn it around” is pretty much applicable on his February status!

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