Fairfax-Ipsos: 53-47 to Labor; Newspoll: 52-48

Two new polls tell a number of familiar stories, with the Greens up, two-party preferred steady, and both Prime Minister and Opposition Leader sinking on personal approval.

Two new polls, including the first Newspoll conducted under the wing of Galaxy, show no signs of change in the relative standings of the two major parties, and record both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten sinking on personal approval.

The latest monthly Ipsos poll for the Fairfax papers also adds to the weight of surging support for the Greens, but is otherwise largely unchanged on last time. Both major parties are down on the primary vote – Labor by two points to 35%, and the Coalition by one to 39% – making room for a two point increase for the Greens to 16%. Labor’s two-party preferred support is at 53% on both respondent-allocated and previous election measures, respectively amounting to a one-point drop and no change. Both leaders have taken a hit on personal approval, with Tony Abbott down four points on approval to 36% and up five on disapproval to 59%, while Bill Shorten is down six to 35% and up eight to 55%. Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister has nonetheless widened from 42-41 to 43-39. The poll was conducted from Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1402.

The Newspoll result for The Australian has Labor leading 52-48, from primary votes of 40% for the Coalition, 37% for Labor and 13% for the Greens. Tony Abbott’s personal ratings of 33% approval and 60% disapproval are the worst he has recorded from any pollster in about two months, while Bill Shorten’s respective figures of 28% and 54% slightly shade the last Newspoll as his worst numbers ever. The two are level on preferred prime minister at 39% apiece. Given that this is the result of an entirely new methodology, combining automated phone and internet polling with a sample of 1631 (compared with the old Newspoll’s interviewer-administered landline phone polling and samples of around 1150), comparing it with previous results is more than usually unilluminating.

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.

1,425 comments on “Fairfax-Ipsos: 53-47 to Labor; Newspoll: 52-48”

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  1. That didn’t feel like a month..when was the last one?

    Assume we’ll have a galaxy/newspoll sometime this week

  2. With more “Best week evahs” like this Tony Abbott will be in line for the political Death Cult treatment… his own.

  3. On economic policy and foreign policy, Mr Abbott leads 47-43 and 42-39 respectively.

    This just shouldn’t be the case.

    A poor reflection on Bill Shortens ability to cut through.

  4. @GhostWhoVotes: #Ipsos Poll Abbott: Approve 36 (-4) Disapprove 59 (+5) #auspol

    This +50% disapproval rating of Abbott has been consistent for 18 months. How many have actually locked in the ‘get rid of this doofus’ thinking?

    I know we thought “unelectable” last time, but more have been exposed to his idiocy now.

  5. “A poor reflection on Bill Shortens ability to cut through”

    Oh for FS I do get sick of that refrain, its such a mantra like echo of itself.

    Abbott has a netsat of -23….”a poor reflection on Tony Abbott’s ability to cut through”.


  6. shea mcduff

    It’s only the publics sheer disgust for Abbott that the ALP holds a lead.

    The public are screeching for a legitimate leader.

  7. Its an inane comment which has no meaning outside your bias, for dog’s sake if you must comment at least say something vaguely sensible.
    Its boring.

  8. Yep, the msm will be all about how dodgy things look for Shorten, whilst dismissing the government languishing in the polls in half a sentence.

  9. I really shouldn’t respond to trolling but the sheer stupidity of that comment got to me.
    I suppose it shows the level of desperation of those on the right.

  10. Rex has told us he doesn’t like Labor, doesn’t like Shorten.

    Thats his starting point and end point of what he posts here.

  11. It’s important in interpreting these approval figures to know exactly what question was asked regarding Mr Shorten. If it was whether people approve of how he is doing the job of Opposition Leader, then plenty here would disapprove of him because they think he should be kicking Mr Abbott in the nads on a day-to-day basis. Such responses therefore tell us little or nothing about how the voters in question would view him as PM.

  12. pedant

    I think that is the case. Mr Shorten is still ahead on preferred PM.
    Why the separation if not for different questions

  13. Half-way through the first term of a new government the opposition leader would generally be somewhere between invisible and irrelevant. (Just ask a Victorian to name the state opposition leader).

    Shorten is the lightening rod for conservative attacks (they have nothing else to go on). Then there is a compliant MSM that gives very little air time for Shorten.

    Put all that together and I think Shorten being the rope-a-dope guy while the ALP leads comfortably in the Polls is just fine.

    Abbott’s mindless wrecking bugs me every day and I crave to hear him being called to account, so i feel frustrated it’s not happening – i think part of that frustration is being shown in Shorten’s low approval ratings.

  14. [The numbers don’t lie.]

    No they don’t. But what they tell us and how they were calculated are not all that obvious.

    As William and any other poll aggregator would know, a single poll has very limited value in the information it conveys.

    The very clearest thing that can be drawn from this poll is that, despite all the flags, despite all the crap thrown at the alternative Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the polls have not moved significantly towards this hysteria-mongering government. If anything, they have moved away from the government. While Labor appears to have suffered collateral damage, the support has stayed on the left, which shows how badly the Government is travelling.

    And, as anyone who knows anything about polling history and the history of government, the snapshot public judgment of the performance of the government of the day is the single biggest factor predicting the outcome of the next election.

    A long way to go, but nobody would be as depressed as the Liberal spinmeisters.

  15. And plainly, the person who really hasn’t cut through is Mr Abbott. His recent prattling on about national security has gained him precisely nothing.

    Personally, I think Niki Savva last Thursday was right on the money: Mr Abbott in his grandiose, hyperbolic aggressive mode now turns people off big time.

    And that’s why he’s probably delusional if he believes as reported that he could rely on pulling back a 48-52 deficit (ie a 5.5% swing away from him at the start of the campaign). On the contrary, 35 days of Mr Abbott full on in the voters’ faces is likely to produce a campaign disaster.

  16. I’d like to see polling questions about abbotts flags, his wrapping himself in those flags and his ongoing salivation at *ANY* prospect of getting our country into a war, any war.

    Also like to see the Canberra media pack turn up to a presser wrapped in and waving flags and continue to do so until the penny drops with abbott.

    They wouldn’t of course and the penny wouldn’t drop with abbott either.

  17. [Half-way through the first term of a new government the opposition leader would generally be somewhere between invisible and irrelevant. (Just ask a Victorian to name the state opposition leader).]

    By this stage after the last change of government the first leader of the opposition had already been seen off the premises and his successor was on the way out after having been duped by an over helpful bureaucrat mole who felt the need to forge evidence that he needed to prove the Prime Minister was dodgy because the evidence did not actually exist.

  18. pedant @ 23

    I’ve said a few times here that Abbott is miscalculating that if he scared the bejesus out of them over terrorism they would turn to the Coalition as a safer choice than Labor. The problem with that thinking is that the hysteria being generated by Abbott is worrying people more about the Coalition’s actual capacity to deal with the terrorist threat than the threat itself.

  19. @Shea/9

    The fact that Abbott is still PM, and Leader of Coalition Party.

    The fact that Leadership questions are on Shorten.

  20. Any strength over played becomes a weakness – Abbott and his national security strategy has been over played, plain and simple.

    Oh and the public can’t stand the fool we have as PM. He is despised by all and sundry.

  21. Good to see Bongo breaking with the MSM groupthink

    [@PaulBongiorno: @MrDenmore Wrong. Labor has to pick its issues.]

  22. Good to see Bongo breaking with the MSM groupthink

    [@PaulBongiorno: @MrDenmore Wrong. Labor has to pick its issues.]

  23. TPOF @ 29: Some people here have been asking why the ALP hasn’t been making use of the film clip of Mr Abbott “freezing” and shaking in his interview with Mark Riley about his “shit happens” comment in Afghanistan.

    I wonder if the ALP is saving it up for the last week of the next election campaign. It could be made into a really devastating attack ad.

    The most famous attack ad in history, the “daisy” ad from the 1964 US presidential election, was shown only once, on 7 September 1964. Here, for those who haven’t seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDTBnsqxZ3k

    The same campaign saw the Democrats sum up the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater with the phrase “in your guts you know he’s nuts”. Sounds like someone we all know.

  24. Shorten is doing just fine. His job is to stay on his feet, but not get so far in front that Abbott gets the chop.

    That’s going to mean he frustrates plenty on the left who want Abbott attacked and humiliated. Plenty will also find his stances on some security and asylum seeker policies anathema. That’ll cost him in the satisfaction stakes, but it’s a small price to pay because they’ll all come back to him in preferences in a Shorten v Abbott head to head.

    One (probably roguish) poll behind since Dec 13 and never headed since Apr 14 tells you how well Shorten’s travelling. The Libs and their MSM cheerleaders are throwing the kitchen sink at him hoping that knocking some paint off will hit the Labor vote. So long as Abbott and his motley crew are in government though he’s going to win.

    The thing the Libs are going to start to have to face up to real soon though is the truth that Operation Scare Everyone Shitless was only ever going to be a short term fix to get the polls back from ‘Not even on their worst day would the LNP get a result this bad in a General Election’ to ‘No hope of winning’. They’ll be wondering if they haven’t just wasted another six months chained to the boat anchor that is Abbott. The ‘recovery’ has clearly run out of puff and the sensible (sic) amongst their number will know that no amount of flags and more of the same is going to get it re-started.

    The media can crap on about Labor MP’s monitoring Shorten all they like. No Labor marginal seat holders are in fear for their political lives. On current numbers 20-25 Liberal and Nats are facing that prospect in a very very real and (with talk of going early doing the rounds) immediate sense. That sort of thing tends to focus the mind.

  25. According to the guardian, a lot of analysts in Greece are predicting a solid “no” on the back of the youth vote (many of whom couldn’t vote at the last election because the conservative govt kept them off the rolls). The youth turn-out will be critical. Fingers crossed.

  26. Labor left faction had its national talkfest over the weekend re National Conference.

    It will be interesting to see what filters out over the next few days.

    I think the MSM will be unhappy with the response from the left re AS policy. I do not think there will be as much division on the issue as they would hope for.

    Anyway, I well could be 100 per cent wrong but time will tell.

  27. @murpharoo: There’s never been such a resort to writing about changes in approval ratings. What happens when the 2PP is so resolutely stuck?

    I know she got panned this morning but Ms Murphy is on the money here

  28. Doyley, I reckon you’re right. The left know that Abbott is the main game. They’ll cop a doubling of our refugee quota and some sort of restoration of foreign aid as the quid pro quo for keeping unified and holding their noses on turn back and offshore processing.

  29. Re ZL @34: in fact, Abbott’s 6 months are up in just over a month’s time. All he has been able to do in 5 months is pull somewhat out of his post-Christmas trough back to what had been the status quo for the previous year: behind by 52-53 / 48-47.

  30. Rowe on Merkel… pretty sobering especially coming on the back of the IMF report on the effect of austerity on Greece’s ability to ever repaying their debts.

  31. sprocket_@45

    William, do you know the respondent allocated 2PP for Ipsos?

    Labor’s two-party preferred support is at 53% on both respondent-allocated and previous election measures, respectively amounting to a one-point drop and no change.

  32. 45

    somewhere near the end of the fairfax article (think it was Massola’s) mentioned respondent allocated also came in at 53-47

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