Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor

The recovery in Bill Shorten’s personal ratings from the previous poll has proved to be short-lived, but there’s otherwise very little change to report from the latest Newspoll.

The Australian has served up a static result from Newspoll, with the two-party preferred unchanged on a fortnight ago at 54-46, from primary votes of 39% for the Coalition (up one), 39% for Labor (steady) and 12% for the Greens (down one). The one exception is that the recovery in Bill Shorten’s personal ratings recorded in the last poll has proved to be painfully short-lived, with his approval down four points to 30% and disapproval at 58%. Tony Abbott, on the other hand, is unchanged on both measures, with approval at 30% and disapproval at 63%. Preferred prime minister is at 41-37 in favour of Shorten, compared with 40-35 last time. The poll also finds 43% supporting the China free-trade agreement with 35% opposed. I understand there was also a question on the trade union royal commission, but they may be holding back on that one.

UPDATE (Roy Morgan): The latest fortnightly result from Roy Morgan, which combines two weekends of polling conducted by face-to-face and SMS, with a total sample of 2653, has the Coalition down two points on the primary vote to 36.5%, but with Labor also down half a point to 35.5% – leaving room for the Greens to soar 2.5% to a record high of 16.5%. A weaker flow to Labor of respondent-allocated preferences means there is only a modest change on the headline two-party preferred figure, which goes from 54.5-45.5 to 55-45. On 2013 election preferences flows, the shift is from 53.5-46.5 to 55.5-44.5.

UPDATE 2 (Essential Research): No change whatsoever in Essential Research this week, unless you count a shift in “others” from 10% and 9% that makes no difference to any other party due to rounding effects, or a one-point gain for the Nationals at the expense of the Liberals. This leaves Labor with a lead of 52-48, from primary votes of 40% for the Coalition, 38% for Labor, 11% for the Greens and 2% for Palmer United. We also get Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which have Tony Abbott slumping five points on approval to 33% with disapproval up four to 57%, Bill Shorten steady on 29% approval and down two on disapproval to 50% (his short-lived spike after the Dyson Heydon controversy presumably having passed Essential’s monthly series by), and Shorten taking a lead on preferred prime minister for the first time since March, at 35-32 compared with a 36-32 lead for Abbott last time.

The poll also gauged approval for Joe Hockey, who recorded an improvement when the question was last asked in the wake of the May budget, but is now back to his ear worst with approval down four to 30% and and disapproval up eight to 52%. Questions on the trade union royal commission found 42% saying Dyson Heydon should stand down as trade union royal commissioner, compared with 32% who thought he should continue, and 36% believing the royal commission to be biased against unions, the ALP or both, compared with only 29% who rated it as unbiased. Respondents were also asked if they would “support or oppose cutting income tax and raising the GST to 15%”, with 52% coming down as opposed compared with only 27% in favour.

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.

1,719 comments on “Newspoll: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Possum unleashes his claws..

    [@Pollytics: WOW, Newspoll. If you’ve ever been a respondent of the robopolling side of these new ones, you’d roll your eyes]

    [@Pollytics: @Colgo Ours (the org I poll for) works. Others I know that do it equally seriously, it works. But it’s getting harder to poll superficially]

  2. Labor still need one more point to get the psychological 55-45 lead which might provoke some pushing of the panic button. Or a Canning loss might do the trick.

  3. From Phillip Hudson’s article re TURC:

    As federal parliament resumes for the final fortnight before the September 19 Canning by-election with controversy surrounding the trade union royal commission and the China-Australia free-trade agreement, Newspoll reveals 68 per cent of voters support the royal commission but more than half of those say Dyson Heydon should step down as the commissioner.

  4. Dio,

    I just want to see Abbott pushed to the edge but not over it, and kept there for as long as possible, knowing that while he’s panicking the Libs will be continue on in paralysis and keep making mistakes. I don’t think a loss in Canning will see Abbott lose his job either, but another spike in the polls past 55 like we saw around the Prince Phillip event might..

  5. On Newpoll’s primaries, the TPP comes out to 53.8, which should be reduced to 53.5, as the Galaxy-run Newspoll has shown to exhibit a very slight bias to Labor.

  6. Another poll. How many is that with the Libs behind and heading for a drubbing? A few weeks ago Robb , commenting on Victoria said that when a party is behind in the polls for 12 months it becomes entrenched and very hard to turn around. How hard is going to be when you have been behind or never in front for nigh on 21 months? This mob are gone win or lose Canning, leadership change or no leadership change.

  7. [“Another poll. How many is that with the Libs behind and heading for a drubbing?”]

    It’s Howard, 1998, 2001 and 2004 all over again.

    How’d that turn out again?

  8. Toots comes good 😉

    [I just want to see Abbott pushed to the edge but not over it]

    Exactly. Let him spend as long as he needs to infect his whole party with his un(re)electability. The longer he spends as leader the harder it will ever be for the Libs to gloss over Abbott as some sort of aberration rather than an unvarnished look into the dark heart of what they have become.

  9. TBA #8
    Just one *teeny tiny* problem with that assertion:

    [The Abbott government has now trailed on the smoothed 2PP aggregate for twenty and a half months in a row. What’s significant about that is that it is longer than twenty months, twenty months being the period the second Howard Government trailed for between the start of January 2000 and the end of August 2001. Not only has the Abbott government now been continuously behind for slightly longer than Howard’s second government prior to the latter’s famous recovery, but it has also been behind by slightly more (I make the Coalition’s average while behind 47.6 this time compared to 47.9 for Howard). While the 2000-01 case is remembered for the spectacular recovery in the last few months prior to the election, it was only briefly during March to early May 2001 that Howard’s government was polling really badly.]

  10. So Newspoll outsource to Galaxy who outsource to Telereach who are potentially making 2/3rds of successfully contacted respondents hang up?

  11. Howard was behind for about as long as Abbott (slightly less by now) from the start of 2000 to Tampa/September 11 — although there was the odd outlier during that period that had him in front, which there hasn’t been for Abbott.

  12. TBA

    [It’s Howard, 1998, 2001 and 2004 all over again.]

    I think that is what the Libs were saying to themselves in 2007. How’d that turn out again?

  13. William

    Your summary says that the Lib primary fell by one (to 39%). But ghost tells us in post 1703 that it went up by one (to 39%).

    Which is right?

  14. [It’s Howard, 1998, 2001 and 2004 all over again.]

    I like to think more of 2005-2007: Howard was behind in the polls most of that time, and then lost his seat, along with government.

    [How’d that turn out again?]

    Pretty good, actually.

  15. TBA
    My point is that this government has been in an election losing position since December 2013. I don’t think the Howard government was ever so consistently behind as this lot has been. I would also point out that in 1998 Labor won the 2PP vote and the November 2001 election was just a month after an event known as 9/11. Unless Tones can arrange or get lucky with something similar or Bill is found snorting drugs with a Daesh supporting goat the Liberals are “gawn”

  16. Right on queue, another wacky Newspeak message from the Prime Wanker has arrived at my email in box.

    I wonder how long these people can continue denying the obviosity of the polls:


    It is two years since you entrusted the Coalition with the job of building a stronger Australia.

    Our plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia is making significant progress.

    The legacy of six years of Labor failure is being repaired.

    Much has been achieved much in the past two years but it is just the start.

    Despite international uncertainty and volatility, our focus is jobs, growth and community safety.

    The Coalition is sticking to the Plan that rewards hard work, creates jobs, backs families and small businesses, strengthens the economy and keeps our country safe and secure.


    Tony Abbott ]

    Is this man insane? Does he really believe punters will swallow the above shit?

  17. [If the Lib vote goes up by 1 and the greens go down by one how can the 2pp remain the same?]

    Rounding up instead of rounding down?

  18. [If the Lib vote goes up by 1 and the greens go down by one how can the 2pp remain the same?]

    Because they didn’t go up or down by a whole 1%, just by enough to round up or down.

  19. Bushfire Bill #26
    […The Coalition is sticking to the Plan…]

    It is kind of creepy that they capitalized the word ‘Plan’.
    I don’t remember any coherent ‘Plan’ being advertised by the Coalition during the 2013 Election, and they certainly don’t seem to have a Plan now.

    Any ideas?

  20. [“I like to think more of 2005-2007: Howard was behind in the polls most of that time, and then lost his seat, along with government.”]

    Rudd was popular.

    Bill Shorten is more like a Simon Crean, Mark Latham or Kim Beazley

  21. [By my calculations Abbott has exactly 1 Year to go now before he is the longest serving PM since Howard]

    Hes not going to make it. 🙂

  22. Further, it is quite possible that Labor went up by more than the Libs did in this sample, but that didn’t trigger a round up.

    eg. (the most extreme example) Libs go from 38.4 to 38.5 = 39 (+1) after rounding, Labor 38.5 to 39.4 = 39 (0) after rounding.

  23. [and also a majority in Scotland (53:44) now want it to be an independent country (Ipsos-Mori poll)]

    It’s a bit bloody late now. That boat has sailed.

  24. Better looked at this way: Abbott has to survive….

    3 months to avoid being a bigger loser than Scullin
    9 months ditto Rudd
    12 Months ditto Gillard

    And dont forget the last 2 led a *two* term ALP government.

  25. TBA

    How are you going mate.

    Why don’t you try to post at least one comment per day which is not complete crap.

    Keep up the good work mate.

  26. … which was only 2-term because Tony Abbott was so USELESS at negotiating, with three former National party members.

    THe way I see it, ABbott persoanlly cost the LNP a term in government from 2010-13, so he starts one down.

  27. [By my calculations Abbott has exactly 1 Year to go now before he is the longest serving PM since Howard]

    That’s if he survives the 7 months required to avoid Rudd’s fate.

    If he goes before that, the chunk taken out of the Libs’ “Labor = Dysfunctional” swagger would make a Great White bite out of a surfboard look like a goldfish nibbling.

  28. lefty e 41 – I am still amazed he got past McMahon (3 months ago) and Holt (1 months ago).

    I think someone summed it up in the press a few days ago, that even if he wins a second term he will still have no purpose.

    When he eventually goes (by his party room or at an election) I don’t imagine there will be too many tears for him in Liberal-Land.

  29. True Blue

    Howard had several things going for him starting with a strong economy, Tony Abbott does not enjoy such a strong economy, the other difference is that unlike Howard, Abbott faces a better prepared opposition.

  30. Howard had a clear narrative which Liberals could promote, what can Abbot’s supporters promote, picture being an MP walking around the local shopping strip.

  31. Darn

    [It’s a bit bloody late now. That boat has sailed.]

    Haha. Scotland can have a referrendum whenever it chooses. It’s called democracy!!

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