Newspoll: 52-48 to Coalition

Newspoll provides more evidence of the Prime Minister’s surging popularity, although the lead recorded for the Coalition on voting intention remains relatively modest.

The latest Newspoll result from The Australian has the Coalition opening a 52-48 lead after a 50-50 result a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Coalition 45% (up two), Labor 35% (steady) and Greens 11% (down one). Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister has blown out from 57-19 to 63-17, and his personal ratings are 58% approve (up eight) and 23% disapprove (down two). Bill Shorten is down two on approval to 26% – his lowest Newspoll result yet – and up five on disapproval to 58%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday by automated phone and online polling, from a sample of 1606.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Movement to the Coalition now from Essential Research as well, which has them up a point on both two-party preferred, on which they now lead 52-48, and on the primary vote, putting them at 45%, compared with 35% for Labor (down one) and 11% for the Greens (steady). This score is from a fortnightly rolling average of weekly polling, the latest tranche of which was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1012.

Other questions relate to the union movement, and as usual they find it to be viewed more favourably than some of the narrative might indicate. Sixty-two per cent rated unions as very important or quite important for Australian working people today, a semi-regular question which has been tracking upwards from a result of 52% in September 2012, while responses of not very important or not at all important have fallen over that time from 38% to 28%. Forty-five per cent agreed that workers would be better off if unions in Australia were stronger, with 26% opting for worse off. However, 42% deemed the trade union royal commission “a legitimate investigation of union practices” compared with 27% who favoured the alternative proposition that it was “a political attack on Labor and the unions”, which is similar to when the question was last asked in August (“don’t know” remaining at a high 31%).

Another semi-regular question, on same sex marriage, records no significant change on August, with 59% in favour and 30% opposed, both of which are down one point on last time. Opinion is evenly divided on whether the matter should be determined by a plebiscite (43%) or a vote in parliament (41%). Also featured is a question on whether Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison will be better economic managers than Tony Abbott than Joe Hockey, with 50% opting for better and 10% for worse.

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.

1,178 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Coalition”

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  1. bemused

    [I couldn’t care less about that. It is just a dirge and not at all suitable as a National Anthem.]

    No point arguing matters of taste but I find Waltzing Matilda a much more pleasing melody than our current turgid anthem. You should try and catch the movie “On The Beach” to see how versatile it can be.

  2. WB, 1151

    [Actually, I believe Possum is referring to an opposition bill that would give the redistribution commission more discretion for regional electorates to have fewer voters than metropolitan ones.]

    *looks at Bjelkemander pointedly*

    I hope this doesn’t pass, what a terrible idea.

  3. [1076

    Shorten cannot win an election on the economy without a GST increase but he could go for 12.5 instead of the inevitable 15% from the other guys.]

    Shorten may not win. But will certainly lose if he proposes to increase the GST.

  4. [ But will certainly lose if he proposes to increase the GST. ]

    I would be remarkable surprised if the ALP went any where near it.


    The Libs will go there for ideological reasons, and take some measure of pain for it. The ALP will say thanks for the link to “unfairness”, the disaster that was the 2014 budget, and “Turnbull is a rich bastard who wants YOU to pay more tax and he and his mates to pay less”.

    If the Libs do go there, big parts of the campaign write themselves.

  5. [ I think Advance Australia Fair would be a far more rousing anthem if we sang it to the tune of the Gilligan’s Island theme. Give it a go: ]

    As long as we do this verse….that people seem to forget mostly now days??

    [ Beneath our radiant southern Cross,
    We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
    To make this Commonwealth of ours
    Renowned of all the lands;
    For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share;
    With courage let us all combine
    To advance Australia fair.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    “Advance Australia fair!” ]

  6. 1155

    Trusts are however taxed in such a way that they are a vehicle for transferring investment income from high income individuals to lower income individuals, usually in the same family, to legally minimise tax in a way that is not available wages and salaries (the vast majority of the vast majority of people`s income). It is a tax lurk for the rich and the tax treatment of trusts needs to be changed to be higher.

  7. Various wrt GST (1048, 1076, 1112, 1117)

    VAT (aka GST) has the following properties:
    1. It is relatively efficient and imposes relatively small dead-weight loss: less than income taxes but slightly more than land taxes
    2. It is regressive, thus tending to redistribute in favour of high income earners
    2a. It is regressive on certain businesses at the small end of the spectrum in that the collection overhead is trivial for moderate to large businesses but significant for very small businesses (e.g. sole traders) if their trade involves small value transactions
    3. It has an immediate effect on consumption: VAT rate increases reduce consumption immediately in the short term and rate decreases increase consumption immediately in the short term
    4. It decelerates the velocity of money, and at typical levels and modern economies this reduces economic growth by about 0.1%

    Recently it has become possible to exploit property 3 for macro-economic demand management with a shorter lag than monetary policy (which is now resorting to “forward guidance” in an attempt to reduce the lag). The approach would be as follows:

    A. Constitute a notionally independent body (similar to the RBA) with either a full employment charter or perhaps a nominal GDP growth charter.

    B. Set the maximum VAT/GST rate in law (set it to 12.5%, say); call this V_Max

    C. Have the body at A. meet monthly (or even weekly) and have it set the effective VAT/GST, V_Eff in the range 0…V_Max

    D. Require banks to note EFTPOS purchases (exclusive of cash withdrawals) with Australian retail merchants (they do this anyway)

    E. At the end of each week have the bank credit each account used for EFTPOS transactions (per D. above) so that the effective taxation rate is reduced to V_Eff, with these credits funded by transfer from the government to the bank in the amount of the aggregate credit

    So the effect is that at the end of each week everyone (who has spent money electronically at a retailer) will receive a “cash splash” in their checking account which is then quite likely to feed into consumption. This idea seems to apply most effectively to VAT/GST taxes (at least among common taxes) and is thus an advantage of such taxes in concert with an electronic payments system (doing something similar with income tax works far less well for example).

  8. Tom

    I would question that it works that way as any couple where one person is in one tax bracket and the other partner is in a lower tax bracket, without using a trust the married couple simply place assets in the name of the partner on the lower tax rate. You don’t need to be rich to do that, a person on $100k married to someone on $75k could do it.

  9. E. G. Theodore

    Thanks your comment the other day about the finance sector, I wasn’t saying that it was like the unions, my point was that some people treat everyone in the finance sector as a shonk then in the next breathe take offense and in my view fairly so to anyone who smears the whole union movement for the behavior of a few bad eggs.

    Furthermore my general point is job snobbery is just tiresome, a good minister will seek a wide range of opinions and not just those who say what they want to hear.

  10. Mexican @1163

    To quote from a slightly different context

    It is not the man who is bad it is the system which is bad

    And this may be even more so of the current financial system than in the original context.

    Bankers today are a great deal more capable than their predecessors and are faced with:
    A – the fact that the government guarantees their losses
    B – the demand from society to fund retirement income by achieving real returns on funds invested above 8% annually

    They have clever mathematics that allows them to achieve B given A; they do so and are rewarded in proportion to the (currently very high) places on achieving B.

    The side effects of this process (which is both logical and legal) are disastrous but this is not the fault of the bankers, but rather of the politicians.

    From 1933 the financial sector was regulated structurally in order (in particular) to prevent government guarantees leaking coverage into risky activity.

    Starting in the late seventies along came some politicians (in the UK and US) who didn’t understand markets but thought they were a jolly good thing and adopted “market fundamentalism” as a sort of generic substitute for specific market understanding.

    They then applied this lack of understanding in particular to the (de)regulation of the financial markets (e.g. the “big bang” in the UK) and the rest follows.

    Now we have a lot of new regulation of the financial sector (pages and pages of it) but it is the wrong type in that it seeks to regulates forms of behavior rather than structure.

    Behavioral regulation is ineffective (doesn’t prevent all undesirable behavior) in that it can never be comprehensive moreover it is self undermining in that it inadvertently prevents behavour that is in no sense undesirable and may in fact be useful.

    Structural regulation simply restricts access to certain protections (government guarantees and limited liability incorporation) to entities that only engage in certain kinds of activity. Anyone else can do anything (legal) they wish to do, but they don’t get the special protections. It is much easier to define what constitutes “ordinary commercial banking” and limit the protected entities activity to that (only) than it is to try to regulate everything.

  11. Mex

    Tom is correct and your example doesn’t hold up.

    The income diff in your example is only $25K so that the value of assets that can be sheltered by being in the name of the lower income partner is limited to whatever will produce the $25 k income, to even out the relative income tax rates.

    Very wealthy people with a trust can direct very large incomes into the trust which is then distributed to beneficiaries who often don’t have any other income tax obligations at all.

    And they can distribute trust income in a timely manner across financial years when it is beneficial to do so.

    BTW, in your ridiculous posts about the income needs of “old people” last night, you commented that I would have eaten less when I was younger. Since I have never disclosed my age or gender here, your comment was presumptuous.

    The Iso Ward got it perfectly correct at #726.

  12. Mex

    The AFR on Family Trusts …..

    Clearly as the article shows. there are many options by which the trusts can reduce tax, but they are complex.

    No problem to the very wealthy however, who can afford to employ sharp accountants as intensively as necessary, to organise their affairs for max benefit.

  13. psyclaw

    Two things,

    1- I was more focusing on being each side of a tax bracket than the actual number

    2-Yes it depends on the trust structure but and when I have time over the weekend I will quote some of the page from financial textbooks they say that trusts are taxed.

  14. Pegasus above re Lawyers
    [Unlike what some people believe – not all lawyers are spivs
    It is the 99 in 100 bad apples that gives the good ones a bad name.

  15. Good morning.

    Australian officials who paid people smugglers to return a boat of asylum seekers to Indonesia committed a transnational crime and put dozens of lives at risk, according to a damning report that calls for a Royal Commission into the scandal.
    Malcolm Turnbull has left open the prospect of a ground-to-ground nuclear industry cycle in Australia with uranium mined and processed in Australia, converted to fuel rods for use abroad in reactors, and then returned to Australia for safe storage.
    A pregnant Somali refugee who says she was raped on Nauru will return to Australia to discuss her abortion and mental health with medical experts, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says. He rejected suggestions the decision was influenced by concern from the United Nations, which on Wednesday urged the Turnbull government to allow the woman “a decent option”.
    Nauru government insists Australian journalists have an “air of racial superiority” and it is under no obligation to respond to their requests for information, despite Commonwealth taxpayers spending billions of dollars on the island’s detention centre.
    The United Nations human rights agency has condemned the official response to sexual assault victims on Nauru
    It was rather unpalatable stuff with entrees sitting in front of the black-tie dinner guests.
    Tony Abbott’s controversy-sparking speech in honour of Margaret Thatcher made Conservative cabinet ministers “wince”, a well-connected Tory blogger says.

  16. Here are the cartoons for today:

    Today’s David Rowe:

    This is a new link to Rowe from yesterday. The other one seems to be behind a paywall.
    A brilliant one from David Rowe. Look carefully at the chimney sweep on the right:

    Alan Moir on Turbull’s los of enthusiasm for a republic:

    Double entendre from Golding?

    Great work from David Pope:

    Malcolm can be a bit hard to pin down, according to Spooner:

    Shakespeare on health warnings:

  17. Jolyon Wagg@1152


    I couldn’t care less about that. It is just a dirge and not at all suitable as a National Anthem.

    No point arguing matters of taste but I find Waltzing Matilda a much more pleasing melody than our current turgid anthem. You should try and catch the movie “On The Beach” to see how versatile it can be.

    Actually some fairly cringe worthy renditions in OTB.

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