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”

  1. Quite frankly, those personal ratings for Turnbull should give him more clout to make the necessary changes to Coalition policy sooner rather than later. Even the hard right can read and comprehend numbers like those.

  2. In fact, those numbers give the right LESS reason to compromise. Turnbull has created a bit of political capital THEY intend to spend.

  3. I am not interested in preferred PM poll results at this time. It is meaningless. It might even be useful to have Malcayman in the stratosphere and Bill down in the trenches. Down in the trenches is where the next election will be won.

  4. It is still a honeymoon phase. And I do not begrudge the Liebrals their day in the sun, after all.

    I am patient, as you saw when Bill was stalking Tony Abbott. PMT is being nudged, very gently, into the river-flow with the rocks down stream.

  5. K17

    The problem with what you’re saying if that while you are correct to say the Government now has political capital, that capital entirely belongs to Turnbull. No Turnbull, no capital. If they were to start seriously attempting to destabilise Turnbull or rock the boat too much, that capital would evaporate very quickly.

    On Shorten, and I fully expect to get shot down for this comment, but it really does seem that the electorate has made its mind on him, and the decision is not a favourable one. This has seemingly been the case for some time, but with Abbott as leader, it did not matter. I know people will say that nobody could have the opposition in a better position, that Turnbull is enjoying a honeymoon etc. But even ignoring the PPM figures, Shorten’s personal ratings are horrid; they are the numbers of a leader who many voters have stopped listening to.

  6. [In fact, those numbers give the right LESS reason to compromise. Turnbull has created a bit of political capital THEY intend to spend.]

    Yep.

    Turnbull may be in the stratosphere in the polls, but he has not actually won an election. Only winning an election gives a leader unchallenged authority in their party (at least until they spend their capital).

    Winning the polls when they are already in government under a new leader who got the position by stabbing his predecessor in the back – the same predecessor who won them government – only emboldens those who feel they have been cheated by losing their champion.

    Turnbull may have the goods to bring them on board, while responding to the expectations of those voters who reside in the centre, but the challenge will be great.

  7. Matt31

    You’re absolutely right on Shorten, but what you’ll find here is a fair batch of Labor automotons who won’t countenance reality until it bites them very sharply on the rear end.

  8. Re policy changes. You won’t see any change to the NBN because it would be too big of a backflip this early. There will be no change in Direct Action before Paris as Turnbull already got burned by climate conferences that ended up in a farce. SSM is just no a big enough war to stake his leadership on when there is a path existing he can work towards.

    I expect we will see policy changes coming on the economy, taxation and infrastructure spending.

  9. Yeah Labor should change leaders cos that is gonna make all the difference in the world. Considering Turnbull’s stratospheric popularity, all they can muster is 52/48 2pp

  10. Good evening all,

    All in all not a bad result for labor given the popularity of the PM.

    I just read the Australian take on it and they are concentrating on the personal ratings which I find quiet telling. Ah bit of look over there.

    The coalition should be doing better. They still look to have a bit of baggage policy wise and the Family benefit changes will not help over the medium term I would think.

    52/53 – 48/47 is election winning and a very comfortable win of course but they should be doing better given everything the MSM is throwing to support them and they have Jesus as their leader. Rudd was miles in front on 2PP in his glory days when his personal ratings were in the Turnbull range.

    Cheers and good evening to you all.

  11. [Bridget O’Flynn
    Bridget O’Flynn – ‏@BridgetOFlynn

    Niki Savva on Sky today said #climatechange would not be a big factor in this election. She couldn’t be more wrong. #qanda
    4:30 AM – 26 Oct 2015
    1 RETWEET1 FAVORITE]

  12. Looks like Trent Zimmerman won preselection for North Sydney tonight.

    [Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP 3m3 minutes ago
    All this crap about Trent Zimmerman not being worthy etc – its just the bitter & twisted hard right not liking a moderate winning. He’s good]

    I thought I read Zimmerman was not a moderate?

  13. matt31 @ 12 put an argument to support his view.

    Alias and the thing simply stuck their tongues out at other posters here.

    matt31, you may well be right.

    However, Labor will have to go to the next election with Shorten, whether or not he can win. As I’ve said elsewhere, nobody will be able to beat Turnbull if he delivers on public expectations. If he doesn’t, there is no Hawke, Gillard or even Turnbull with a big public profile ready to excite and enthuse the voters if they are given the job. Swapping Bill Shorten for someone that too few swinging voters have much of an opinion on, if they are even aware of them, will cost far more in what it says about Labor’s unreadiness to win government. It would simply say that Labor did not expect to win the election and people will just vote for the Government because Labor is not even trying.

    Put another way, the only chance Labor has of winning the next election or even getting a good result is if the party gets behind Shorten as leader. The Parliamentary Party is clearly doing this. It’s a shame that people who profess to be strong Labor supporters would rather pursue their own fantasies.

    A bit like putting Joe Bullock in the no 1 Senate position, or preselecting some factional numpty over Matt Keogh for Burt.

  14. Doyley.. A bit of “look over there”?!!

    The figures are staggering. Even Labor die-hards on the board here are acknowledging as much. I’m sure the comment above that they indicate people have stopped listening to Shorten rang true with many. The problem these days is that once a politician gets into that political quicksand, it’s a death zone, no matter how hard they struggle to get heard again.

  15. Great QandA without the ego of Tony Jones. Time to give him a permanent holiday. Some great guests and a passionate audience giving Fiona Nash a hard time. If Jones were tho host he’d be giving her protection.

  16. fess

    [I thought I read Zimmerman was not a moderate?]

    I think the reason why the Liberal leadership is shutting out the grass roots party members is because they are further to the right than the party wants to be. It’s not only Labor that struggles with the divide between the attitudes of its membership and the attitudes of the people whose votes it needs to win and retain government.

  17. [Doyley
    ……The coalition should be doing better…….

    Rudd was miles in front on 2PP in his glory days when his personal ratings were in the Turnbull range.]

    Rudd won in 2007 with 52.7% of the TPP vote.

    Turnbull’s current polling:
    Newspoll 52-48
    Reachtel 53
    Morgan 56
    Essential 51
    Ipsos 53
    Bludgertrack 51.9

    ….seems comparable to me….

  18. adrian

    I agree about Q and A. Gee Tom Ballard is good. No smarmy gotcha questions. And a reasonable attempt to keep the panellists under control – especially Nash who has that right wing specialty of rabbiting on themselves uninterrupted and them interrupting their opponent as soon as the flow starts.

    Apropos of expectations of Turnbull, the early comment from Jan Thomas, the uni vice chancellor, that everything changed on September 14 when Turnbull ascended to the throne is quite telling. There was almost a sense of the messiah having arrived. As I’ve said before, it is yet to be determined if Malcayman is the Messiah or whether he is just a very naughty boy.

  19. [On Shorten, and I fully expect to get shot down for this comment, but it really does seem that the electorate has made its mind on him, and the decision is not a favourable one.]

    Mmmmm I’m not sure it’s set in stone, largely because you have to ask why he’s unpopular at the moment. Has he done something unforgivable? Has he made serious missteps? Does he support unpopular policies? Is he relentlessly negative? I think the answer to all of those can only really be “no”. If you think otherwise, I’m happy to hear suggestions about something dramatic I missed. I think the worst for Shorten is behind him, I think the TURC allegations did hurt him but they’re going to be forgotten soon enough and he seems to be setting a positive agenda that I think will only help him. While not wanting to make too many bold predictions on something as mercurial as approval netstats I imagine that withinin a few months he’ll be sitting on his long term average of between -5 and +5 that he held for most of the Abbott period. As Turnbull’s figures fade, I think Shorten’s will improve.

  20. [On Shorten, and I fully expect to get shot down for this comment, but it really does seem that the electorate has made its mind on him, and the decision is not a favourable one. This has seemingly been the case for some time, but with Abbott as leader, it did not matter. I know people will say that nobody could have the opposition in a better position, that Turnbull is enjoying a honeymoon etc. But even ignoring the PPM figures, Shorten’s personal ratings are horrid; they are the numbers of a leader who many voters have stopped listening to.]
    All of which may be valid but the next step of removing him and thinking that will solve all of Labor’s problems come the next election isn’t valid at all. The problems would be just multiplied.

  21. TPOF:

    I found some earlier news reports of the time Hockey annointed him for the seat saying he is from the moderate faction.

  22. [Bacon, ham and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer, the World Health Organisation has said, placing cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco.]

    This isn’t news. The CSIRO has said similar with respect to processed meat some years ago.

  23. Ive never seen any compelling evidence that Netsat or PPM matters in the least. Most PMs ive seen lose office were ahead on PPM when they did.

    The 2PP is what counts, and its more modest than the other polls, but suggests a comfortable win. Hey, even Rudd-Gillard got a second term folks.

    We have to remember the unusual factor was Abbott: a man so voter-repellent they were ABSOLUTELY going to bin the whole government in one single ignominious term to see him out on his arse.

  24. [Doyley.. A bit of “look over there”?!!]

    So PollBludger should prove it’s not filled with Automatons by a) pretending their opinions expressed here have an impact on those who make decisions b) exclusively agree with you c) cause a panic response without thinking the tactics further ahead or even if there is a better option. Right.

  25. Utopia @31,

    Rudd sworn in December 2007.

    News poll 18-20 January 2008 labor 58 – 42 ( when Rudd was killing Nelson in the ratings as Turnbull is now ).

    We can go at this all night but I have no real interest,

    I made a comment and observation and I will stick to it. With the ratings Turnbull has atm the coalition should be doing a lot better than 52-48 in the honey moon period.

    Cheers.

  26. fess

    They have been known to be a risk but ranking them as a Group 1 carcinogen really means we have to do something about reducing their consumption.

  27. Wow highest difference in natsat ever.That’s incredible. There’ve been some extraordinarily unpopular Opposition leaders and PMs over the years. (Alexander Downer’s stint as LOTO for instance).

  28. I think everyone would agree that the current 2PP poll results are the result of one thing: Turnbull replacing Abbott. Now, Shorten may or may not be able to match it with Turnbull. That remains to be seen.

    What is obvious is that there is no alternative in Labor who is going to turn the polls back, simply by becoming leader. The key to recovery is policy. Changing leaders would serve no purpose for Labor.

  29. KB,

    I think I recall you writing an article a while ago on netstats and the ability of politicians to recover from bad ones? Considering Shorten’s lack of popularity doesn’t seem to be caused by any serious scandal or tactical blunder would it be reasonable to suggest, in your opinion, that his “disapprove” stats are fairly “soft”? Or would you reckon that because he’s been on the scene a while voters would have had their verdict?

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