Newspoll quarterly breakdowns

Huge gains in Victoria have provided the main impetus for the Coalition’s poll revival under Malcolm Turnbull, according to the latest Newspoll state breakdowns.

The Australian has published Newspoll’s quarterly breakdowns, which combine results of polling conducted from October through December and breaks the results down by state, with gender and age cohort breakdowns presumably to follow shortly. The timing of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership coup in late September means comparison of the previous result with the current provides a neat measure of his impact, which appears to have been particularly big in Victoria and Western Australia. Both states record eight-point shifts on two-party preferred, giving the Coalition respective leads of 51-49 and 54-46. There have also been shifts of four points in New South Wales and five points in Queensland, respectively producing Coalition leads of 53-47 and 52-48. Only in South Australia is Labor still credited with the lead, which is down from 54-46 to 52-48. Two-party tables here, primary votes here and leaders ratings here (with thanks to Leroy Lynch).

UPDATE (29/12): And now the second tranche of the results, featuring breakdowns by gender and age cohort. The results suggest Malcolm Turnbull has had less effect on the gender gap than you might have figured, and that the change had less impact on younger respondents.

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.

5,470 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdowns”

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  1. Good grief. I specifically note that superficial matters should not, in a perfect world, count for a jot – but that in reality they do very often.

    Anyone willing to question that proposition?

  2. alias

    [I have long praised Shorten’s achievement on NDIS (though I think in one sense it was his vehicle to leadership pre-positioning) ]

    Firstly, almost anything any Minister (or indeed backbencher) does could be dismissed in this fashion. It doesn’t mean, of course, that everything a Minister or backbencher does is about positioning for the leadership, but simply that everything they do can be perceived that way.

    On the other hand, you could just assume they’re doing the job they’ve been given to do…or all the shades of grey in between the two stances.

    Secondly, if Shorten’s work on the NDIS was purely about positioning for the leadership, this simply demonstrates that he plays a very long game indeed. At the time he began formulating the NDIS, he was a very junior Minister serving under an outrageously popular Prime Minister who (in normal circumstances) would have served at least two terms, and possibly more. Moreover, the heir apparent, the Deputy PM, was also very popular and young enough to be not only the obvious replacement but to also, in her turn, be leader for at least two terms.

    So if Shorten was positioning for the leadership, his sights were set at about 2025 at the very earliest, and he was playing a very long game indeed.

  3. It will be interesting to see if we get any more cabinet relevations etc on Friday as we mark the 30th anniversary of the tumultuous last year of Lionel Murphy’s life

  4. Colin Barnett is short, old, has very bad teeth and a propensity for tantrums when he is asked questions he doesn’t like. Yet he has been elected and re-elected.

  5. And C@tmomma, re John Howard, I think in many ways he was an exception in this regard. He was a most unusual case with his repeated failures and comebacks.

    In many respects, the electorate was ready for a boring, charisma-free zone – with the verbal and physical tics you mention – as a reaction to Keating. I am a huge fan of Keating, but he turned a lot of people off with perhaps too much charisma, too much of the suave and urbane, too much of the rock star (not to mention phrases like “the recession we had to have” and “banana republic”.

    Everyone here knows that presentation is a big issue – and only growing bigger.

    Turnbull presents well. Shorten doesn’t.

    Tanya Plibersek does. The camera adores her, she speaks articulately with a natural easy charm – and a disarming, quite devastating “don’t talk drivel to me” kind of look when needed.

    Mark Dreyfus also presents well. He spent years charming judge and juries of course.

    Albanese presents well, in a folksy home-spun kind of way, but I think it’s generally accepted he won’t be the next Labor leader.

  6. [Stephen Koukoulas
    Stephen Koukoulas – Verified account ‏@TheKouk

    2015: A mediocre year for economy. Unemployment down a bit, house prices up a lot. Stock market down. GDP soft. Wages low. Need to do better
    1:52 PM – 27 Dec 2015

  7. Zoomster … Bear in mind that Shorten was also extremely cranky at being given such a junior role. That in part motivated him to work extremely hard to get noticed, to make a difference and to do something really, really important.

    I don’t doubt that one of his main motivators was the latter – who could not be moved by the plight of so many Australians and their carers faced with the pre NDIS unfairness?

  8. Alias

    Now i know you are talking absolute crap. To suggest that either, TPlibersek, Dreyfus or Albo would somehow surpass Truffles.

  9. Morning all. Good luck with the air con Catmomma! Still happy to contribute cash.

    Alias I cannot agree with your characterisation of Shorten as a “basker”. He has put out a huge number of policies, perhaps too many to have attention paid to them all. In fact, I think he should narrow the focus to a few key issues to cut through better. Less is more, but stick to the fewer points often, till they are remembered.

    I see Shorten’s real problems as his union background, in a non-union world, and other baggage from his involvement in the Rudd Gillard wars. He needs to construct a narrative that distinguishes him from that past, and from Turnbull. He needs to talk about the present and future, focusing on the areas where Turnbull is doing nothing – corporate tax, climate change, and fixing the budget.

  10. alais,

    That’s a very flat note in the dreary dirge of your “Ballad to Kill Bill”.

    It’s a dirty ditty that has the same words in every verse.

    It’s painful to the ear and the arse.

  11. Socrates

    [ I see Shorten’s real problems as his union background … ]

    Agreed. Hence the political witch-hunt that was TURC, designed (in part) to keep Shorten’s union affiliations in the spotlight even if they couldn’t actually find him guilty of anything other than by “association”.

    Now that TURC is about to release its final recommendations – which I suspect will largely sink without trace (as will the godawful commissioner who presided over it) – Shorten should be able to start presenting a more positive image.

  12. alias

    [His receding hairline, his bulging eyes, his weird physical and verbal tics ]

    You make him sound like a cross between Marty Feldman and John Cleese. All I have noticed is his mispronunciation of the ‘th’ sound. I fear you have a paranoid dislike of the man.

    His union connections are always used by Coalition to smear his character. But then, in my belief Howard’s lot got rid of the “Student Unions” purely because of the name and blind prejudice.

  13. TBA in the previous thread was lamenting th ‘waste of money’ ACT Labor spent on the ‘whale with tits’ hot air balloon. Keeping aside that it was a fantastic success doing what it was intended to do, he sees no problem in spending many times more on the TURC and some how comes to the conclusion that Labor is hopeless with other peoples’ money.

    I think he just comes from the point of view ‘if it is Labor it is bad’ and cannot see that his side of politics are worse.

  14. I’m wondering why some people are so intent on burning two Labor leaders so quickly, which is what would happen if you change leader now.

  15. Shorten’s association is like Malcolmn’s association with the Caymans. As much as Malcolm tried to make it an issue of his wealth, people will see it as a tax dodge.

    Malcolm might say he is paying all the tax he is supposed to, as do many of the large companies operating in Australia. However that claim rings hollow when you manipulate your accounts so that your tax liability is nothing.

  16. I was speaking to a fellow who worked in the building industry who said the TURC was necessary to flush out the illegal activity in the unions. I pointed out it failed miserably as the only real crook they came across they let through with a pass. It was the courts that convicted her.

    I also asked if he had personably came across illegal activity and if so why he didn’t report ist to the relevant authorities. As it turned out he hadn’t come across any. I then asked why he thought $60m was a good use of public money to come up with something he already knew. Silence.

  17. One fact that is often overlooked is that some LOTOs do better depending upon the opponent. The thing is that contrast is often valuable.

    Shorten versus Abbott was in his favour. Calmness, do not rock the boat and quiet confidence versus, emotion, brave new idiocies and mistakes. But these three strenghts do not show up well against Turnbull, who also shares these traits.

    Shorten now needs to cutivate difference between his style and that of Turnbull. Turnbull seems to be a fence sitter, so now is the time for labor to be bold and innovative. Consultation with ordinary people my be a Shorten strength and not for Turnbull, so time to meet the people. Leave no baby unkissed or old lady without a cuppa. Team unity may be another Shorten strenght which can now be pushed.

  18. [I also asked if he had personably came across illegal activity and if so why he didn’t report ist to the relevant authorities. As it turned out he hadn’t come across any.]

    And yet it feels almost daily we get news stories of corporate corruption and elaborate tax avoidance efforts. As you say the TURC was nothing more than an expensive political witch-hunt.

  19. Apologies to Nicholas and alias for out debating them.

    I’ll try to let them be stupid in the future without pointing it out.

    Actually, nah.

  20. Good point

    TurnLeft – ‏@TurnLeft2016

    why are these incompetent business owners stamping their feet & whining about wages but not rents- its time they campaigned about high rents]

    [Ross Bowler
    Ross Bowler – ‏@BowlerBarrister

    High rent is a business controlled dynamic @TurnLeft2016 “High” wages can be sold as a “problem” caused by employees
    3:04 PM – 27 Dec 2015

  21. Just dipping a toe in the water re. Shorten. Visiting strongly pro Labor family in Adelaide. Asked them how Labor was travelling. Collective groan. Despair that Shorten still leads the party. Looks like the media has done the job on him. Can’t see a way ahead given how the media collectively operates now. Any ideas?

  22. pritu

    Yes – wait until the election (one no one would have predicted Labor had a chance of winning when Shorten became LOTO). There will then be a leadership spill. Shorten will either get voted out or he won’t.

  23. [Good grief. I specifically note that superficial matters should not, in a perfect world, count for a jot – but that in reality they do very often.]

    The Turnbull Enlightenment is a very strange phenomenon. It is practically weightless and colorless. Turnbull has done nothing very much except mouth a few platitudes about how exciting times are and waffle on about innovation.

    He does not present as being as mad as a cut snake (which is an advantage if you want to take over from Tony Abbott). Nor does he surround himself with flags and anachronistic imperial relics.

    Turnbull has gotten by on being sane. But it’s not enough. He’s pushed the hard decisions into the future, but they’re still there waiting to be made. When he is finally forced to make them, then we’ll see his true position.

    Shorten played the Abbott Game very well indeed. He could have been just as crazy as Abbott, but chose not to do a lot, just stay afloat, while Abbott thrashed about drowning in his own weirdness. It was a wise decision. If nothing else, Shorten is looked upon by the punters as not insane. Some call it “bland”. I call it “boxing clever”.

    Turnbull has Reality TV popularity. Behind it there is little substance: a presentable appearance and an absence of outright aggression. Throw in a dash of elan and there is the man.

    Turnbull has a history of choking on important issues, of stuffing-up when the finish line is in sight. He’s indecisive and hesitant. He thinks he can get by just agreeing with everyone. That works only for a while.

    One day he’ll need to disagree. One day, as he always has been, he’ll do something that’s too clever by half. One day the punters will wake up and realize that, if Shorten heads an Opposition of Rudd-Gillard throwbacks, then Turnbull heads a government of Abbott throwbacks, many of whom were in turn Howard throwbacks. If they are not ministers, they are kibbitzers. They tried to hoodwink the Australian people into giving up entitlements and services that they had promised they wouldn’t touch… while not giving up anything much when it came to themselves and their mates.

    The penalty rates issue will become a festering one. Paying a few waitresses and barristas Saturday rates on Sundays won’t rescue the economy. It’s a purely ideological campaign. The public pretty overwhelmingly sees it as this, and if Turnbull tries to tamper with penalty rates, he will disappoint many of his erstwhile supporters. If he doesn’t, he’ll disappoint many in his own party who are looking to dud Australians all over again.

    Turnbull does not have a mandate. He’s taken over in a party room coup. But the election is too far away for him to just coast. No matter what he does when he starts paddling, he’ll be moving in the wrong direction for someone. That’s when the gloss will start to come off.

    Shorten has stayed constant. OK, bland… but constant. We need a mechanic to fix the economy, not Picasso. We need someone who’s argued and bartered, negotiated and done deals that everyone can work with. Throw in a little ambiguity on whether Labor, if they lose the election, will continue to oppose issues brought up by Turnbull in a campaign, a la Keating with Fightback!, and we might see an improvement in his and Labor’s stocks.

    The key point is that Turnbull is defying gravity at the moment. He’s Wiley Coyote shot over the edge of the cliff, just before he starts to fall into the canyon below. There are too many competing pressures on him for him to make all the right (and popular) decisions. The Press Gallery will tire of him (you can only declare how wonderful he is for so long without any performance to back it up).

    Sooner or later the murmuring and the doubts about Turnbull will float to the surface. After the euphoria has dissipated it’ll be time to get to work, to substantiate the hype, to flesh out the masterpiece the public has painted for itself.

    The public is lazy. They’re still looking for entertainment. But entertainment doesn’t amount to much when it comes to putting food on the table. Turnbull’s “collegiate” nature will need to be dropped, with authoritarianism taking its place. Leaders lead, but they also should be able to expect their orders to be obeyed by their own troops.

    Shorten’s mild speech impediment, his involvement in the Gillard-Rudd period, Alias’s ridiculous assertion that anyone took notice of the mobile phone incident (and would remember it if they did)… all these are unimportant. What’s important is building a solid policy base and generating public trust. While Turnbull nuances and flirts, Shorten builds. It’s a matter of fluff versus substance.

    The public has high expectations of Turnbull. When it turns out he’s just a human being (and not the Messiah they hoped he would be) they’ll begin to tire of him. As they say on TV: “It won’t happen today. IT won’t happen tomorrow. But it will happen.”

    That is when not being Malcolm Turnbull, and not being the Coalition, will count for Bill Shorten.

  24. pritu

    Evidence from the real world like that will not play well here, I’m afraid. Best get the rose-coloured glasses out.


    That was funny that Cleese-Feldman line. I will resist reciting all the oddities I see, except that pretty clear the likes of Shuan Micallef also sees them.

    In some ways, you’re right: Shorten is a comic genius.

  25. PeeBee

    [Malcolm might say he is paying all the tax he is supposed to, ]
    And weasel words they were, the same words all those multinationals who paid $0 tax would use.

  26. alias

    I can’t think why victoria and I are often given credit for each other’s posts. Perhaps two decidedly female names make it difficult for some people to differentiate us.

  27. BB

    You think no one has taken in the twin mobile phone incidents? Oh sorry, the one that was reported first, when he side-swiped a bunch of parked cars was juggling coffee.

    That is quite naive. Cartoonists for starters will continue to have a field day from now till the election or whenever Shorten’s services are dispensed with.

    It’s the kind of thing – just like Joe Hockey’s cigar and Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter – that cuts through to the consciousness of people who generally take little interest in politics.

    And mark my words, the Libs will have a field day in a campaign:

    Narrator: “Want this man to steer the nation?

    (Vision of Shorten texting and drive; images of damaged parked vehicles left in Shorten’s wake).

    “He can’t even drive a car properly.”

  28. alias

    I don’t think anyone is disputing that Shorten isn’t playing well in the real world atm. However, the Get Shorten brigade also ignore the realities around Labor changing leaders at this stage in the game, and are confusing the unprecedented disaster of the Abbott government with normality.

    We’re back to normality – and normality is that a government has to stuff up hugely not to get a second term.

    I have enough belief in Turnbull’s wonderfulness to think that he can prove an exception to this rule, but it relies on a few factors that neither I, Bill Shorten or the Labor party has any control over.

  29. Victoria@82,

    You hit the nail on the head. Commercial rents are particularly high, with the owners sometimes taking a strategy of leaving commercial premises vacant rather than accepting a lower rent. Cafes and restaurants cannot do anything about the rent – moving is rarely an option because location is part of your business good will – so they look at the one thing they think they can control, wages.

    Perhaps someone who knows more about real estate can tell me why the owners of restaurant/ cafe premises can control the price of their rental properties like this?

    We have watched over the last 15 years several vibrant cafe strips die because of high commercial rents. The first one was Oxford street Paddington, then has Queen Street Woollara, and we are watching a similar fate overtake Cleveland Street Surry Hills. The BYOs on Cleveland Street – the Indians and Thais – have mostly all now closed down. The shops sit empty. Eventually a few small bars have opened up, but there has been a net loss of vibrancy.

    I am guessing the strategy is to put rents up to the stage where some very upmarket restaurants move in, and maybe this works over 10 to 15 years, but meanwhile we lose our vibrant eating district, and many small businesses go broke.

  30. pritu

    [Looks like the media has done the job on him. Can’t see a way ahead given how the media collectively operates now.]

    I agree. Including the Killing Season, which went for the drama rather than the complete truth.

  31. Zoomster.. I see what you mean. But I would counter that switching leaders has now become much more tolerated by the voting public, for better or worse. No great harm done if Shorten steps down (that’s the crucial part; he has to go voluntarily) and is replaced by a figure around whom the party can unite with an election looming.

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