Newspoll quarterly breakdowns: February-March 2017

Detailed Newspoll breakdowns find older voters, regional areas and Western Australians turning particularly heavily against the Turnbull government.

If you’ll pardon me for being a day late with this one, The Australian has published the regular quarterly breakdowns of voting intention by state, age and gender (voting intention here, leadership ratings here), which suggest swings against the Coalition of 2% in South Australia, 3% in New South Wales and Victoria, 6% in Queensland and just shy of 8% in Western Australia. The demographic breakdowns are interesting in showing particularly strong movement against the Coalition among the older age cohort (down 10% on the primary vote, compared with 7% overall) and those outside the capital cities (down 9%, compared with around half that in the capitals). The polling was drawn from all of Newspoll’s surveying through February and March, with an overall sample of 6943.

Late as usual, below is BludgerTrack updated with last week’s Newspoll and Essential Research. The state breakdowns in BludgerTrack are a little compromised at the moment in using a straight average of all polling since the election to determine each state’s deviation from the total, and is thus understating the recent movement against the Coalition in Western Australia. As of the next BludgerTrack update, which will be an expanded version featuring primary votes for each state, trend measures will be used.

Stay tuned for today's Essential Research results, with which this post will be updated early afternoon some time.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Absolutely on change in this week’s reading of the Essential Research fortnight rolling average, with Labor leading 53-47 on two-party preferred, the Coalition leading 37% to 36% on the primary vote, the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 8%.

The poll includes Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which have both leaders improving on last month – Malcolm Turnbull is up two on approval to 35% and down three on disapproval to 47%, and Bill Shorten is up three to 33% and down three to 46% – while Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister nudges from 38-26 to 39-28.

The government’s business tax cuts get the thumbs down, with 31% approving and 50% disapproving; only 20% believing the cut should extend to bigger businesses, with 60% deeming otherwise; and 57% thinking bigger business profits the more likely outcome of the cuts, compared with 26% for employing more workers.

On the question of whether various listed items were “getting better or worse for you and your family”, housing affordability, cost of electricity and gas and “the quality of political representation” emerged as the worst of a bad bunch.

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.

811 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdowns: February-March 2017”

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  1. Good Morning.

    I think the Canberra Press Gallery is starting to realise how badthis government is. They keep talking up the LNP. The polls keep coming out proving the voters are not buying.

    I have noticed much more critical appraisal of the LNP policies now than before. Even some of the hold outs will start taking note at some point.

  2. Confessions

    Renewable energy production in South Australia has hit the state’s target almost eight years ahead of schedule.

    None of the current targets are the least ambitious, including Labor’s 2030/50% which will be met even if the government does nothing.
    90 or even 100% by 2030 would be a decent goal that better reflects the economic and environmental risks of climate change, and sets us up for lower energy costs and the resultant growth.
    Once renewables are paid for, energy gets very cheap.

  3. @ Trog – None of the current targets are the least ambitious? ACT and Tas both have 100%.

    While they do have it easier than other states, how ambitious would you like them to be?

  4. Yes PeeBee I have a SMSF that bought a property as my superannuation. We will own the property when we retire but cannot get any benefit until that time i.e. unlike this idea, we cannot live in it until husband is 65.

    It was expensive to set up as we needed to set up a bear trust/company to ‘hold’ ownership until that time and the lawyers and accountants got a big chop as well. However, we did it just before the GFC hit and where our superannuation money would have lost a lot had we stayed in those funds, and we were insulated from all those losses.

    We did borrow a small amount to finance the balance of property’s cost, which is partly being paid for by rent and we pay super payments to help finance the mortgage. The interest rate on the mortgage is higher than a owner/occupier though as it is treated like an investment even though it is our super.

  5. I highly recommend S-Town, a fascinating podcast by the same people that produced Serial.
    This is quite different but equally brilliant.

    A side benefit is that I am saved from listening to the 7.45 news/AM government promotion 45 minutes!

  6. Guytaur

    Yes Kill Bill is working. Just had a quick scan of the media over breakfast and the media focus is on what a dunce Morrison is and Abbott still running interference.

    Great strategy.

  7. lizzie @ #30 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 8:14 am

    The removal of a ‘dictator’ often seems to lead to chaos.

    The north African nation is a major exit point for refugees from Africa trying to take boats to Europe. But since the overthrow of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi, the vast, sparsely populated country has slid into violent chaos and migrants with little cash and usually no papers are particularly vulnerable.

    If you look at a map of north Africa and the middle east some borders look like they’ve been drawn with a ruler. When you start like that, without regard to pre-existing local and regional relationships you’re off to a bad start. Then you mix in decades of interference from various parties interested in exploiting local tensions for profit and you’ve got an explosive mix.

  8. Craig Emerson‏ @DrCraigEmerson · 1h1 hour ago

    Brilliant! In ScoMo’s Quantum Economics, house prices can be in two places at the same time – high for sellers and low for buyers.

  9. The Hinch solution to housing affordability (how many houses does he own?)

    Owning a home ‘not Aussie right’
    Derryn Hinch says young people have unrealistic expectations about affordable housing and should rent rather than buy.

  10. poroti @ #56 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:21 am

    The next step in the Coalition’s “Stop the Learnin’” campaign

    University students look set to absorb the brunt of funding changes in the May budget with tuition fees set to rise by 25 per cent.

    Polling is dire for the L/NP already. They are writing Labor attack ads and field campaign talking points for them. The L/NP is giving tax cuts to multinationals at the same time it is cutting wages for our poorest, and now they are making it harder for ordinary people to go to university.

    Labor are going to win the next election in a rout.

  11. A little idle speculation…
    How many of the Labor MPs have tertiary education, and how many all the rest?
    Degrees don’t mean everything, I know, but the Coal seems to have a certain contempt for students.

  12. Citizen

    Hinch was talking about more security for renters. He used the example of rent controlled apartments in New York. (AM this morning)

    On Super for buying houses Zhinch backs Keating 100%

  13. Hinch may be right in some ways.

    I have read plenty of commentary over the years that suggests renting makes more sense than buying.

    Usually with the proviso that the cash difference between rent and mortgage is saved and not used to fund a proglifate lifestyle. I am trying to get that message across to my sons, not with great success.

    They figure on getting a house when I die!

    The other issue that people raise is the treatment of tenants by landlords in Australia.

    There is aanecdotal evidence that in the many overseas countries where renting is more popular and owners invest in real estate to provide an income rather than tax relief, renters are treated better. It is not uncommon for people to live in the same house for decades if not most of their lives.

  14. ‘Degrees don’t mean everything, I know, but the Coal seems to have a certain contempt for students.’

    Except if they’re students at elite ‘private’ schools.
    Education shouldn’t really be for the masses.

  15. confessions @ #49 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Renewable energy production in South Australia has hit the state’s target almost eight years ahead of schedule.
    The Government’s target is for 50 per cent of the state’s energy to be supplied from renewable sources by 2025, and in the past year it has been reported 53 per cent of its energy has come from sun and wind-based sources.

    This is laudable, and the other states should follow their lead – but it not really much of an achievement … yet! When the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, SA relies on gas. I commented yesterday that on a daily basis, it is not unusual to see 70% or even 90% of SA power provided by gas. Of course, there are also days when the bulk of their power is provided by renewables. But their baseload power is still usually provided by gas. Without it, SA couldn’t function.

  16. Ross, renting is seen as a long term option in many countries. My brother lived in Germany for 20 odd years, as a renter there you supply the flooring and the whole kitchen in most places, makes short term swaps difficult.

  17. A R
    WA has very few federal seats due to its small population. 2 seats corresponds 1/8 of then or ~12.5% of the vote.

    Also if it’s handful of vast rural seats are anything like the rest of Australia they are very very secure from the left.

  18. Thanks Jenauthor, I now know a bit more about how it works. I think the idea that you cannot get an immediate benefit from the SMSF is sound, even if the investment is a house. The benefit of all super schemes should be when you retire.

  19. Trog
    90 or even 100% by 2030 would be a decent goal

    Not if you actually want Labor to win the election. Scaring the horses is a great election losing strategy. Better to set a “modest” goal and overshoot it.

  20. I know young people don’t particularly want to buy a house. They move around with jobs and moving house helps taking up employment options possible. Melbourne used to be a place that you could commute form any suburb to any other suburb for work with little difficulty. Now it is virtually impossible to commute across the city so moving house increases the employment options.

  21. VE

    @ Trog – None of the current targets are the least ambitious? ACT and Tas both have 100%.
    While they do have it easier than other states, how ambitious would you like them to be?

    Good point Voice Endeavour, I should not be criticising ACT and Tas.
    These are the exceptions – only claytons targets set by the rest of the states and the federation.

  22. Ross,

    The “Australian Dream” is to own your own home. So, culturally it is almost impossible for any Government/Politican promoting any alternative.

    The current affordability crisis is dues to the arrival of new competitors to the Real Estate market including SMSFs, Overseas Buyers and very generous investment concessions for Real Estate. Governments have not kept up with available land to develop. So, the inevitable supply demand issue arises which just inflates prices and prices FHB out of the market.

  23. Just between me and Grimace, otherwise I’ll seem (more) like a complete wanker, but

    You can, under all the right circumstances overdose on water, its called hyponatremia.

    It’s actually called Water Intoxication, of which one of the signs is hypnonatraemia (low sodium as measured in the blood). There are lots of causes of hypnonatraemia like kidneys not retaining sodium and pituitary dysfunction, and, not mentioned too often, iatrogenic – the doctor done it, from xs no/low salt intravenous fluids. It’s rare. Kidneys are simply amazing regulators.

    (btw, Melatonin is brilliant used correctly – dose and time)

  24. JimmyDoyle

    Not if you actually want Labor to win the election. Scaring the horses is a great election losing strategy. Better to set a “modest” goal and overshoot it.

    Hard targets are probably less important than proper support for renewables – if you do this then targets will be met by default.
    Renewables have huge electoral acceptance. They are a vote winner, especially when teamed with a focus on reducing energy costs, and empowering consumers to take control of their own generation and storage with meaningful feed in tariffs and energy trading options.

  25. GG

    Yes. The Australian dream which is over for most city residents. Sensible policies increasing security for those renters is a good thing.

    Of course having those policies do not mean one day you can’t own your own home. So addressing the security problem for renters does not destroy the Aussie hown your own home dream.

    For housing affordability to work I think we should have both.

  26. a r @ #71 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Is an 8% swing in WA really only good for 2 seats?

    Unfortunately, yes. There are a lot of pretty safe L/NP seats in WA. Its going to take WA Labor a very big effort in this election to add two or three seats. Realistically Labor will be doing well to hold its position and add Hasluck (2.05%), Swan (3.59%) and Pearce (3.63%).

    Pearce is my electorate and the approximately corresponding seats in the recent state election recorded swings of ~18% to Labor.

    The demographics are moving against Labor in Stirling (6.12%) and Canning (6.79) is winnable based upon results in the WA state election. The other six seats here are all on 10% plus margins and if they were to come in to play then the election result will have been called before polls close in WA and Labor will have won well in excess of 100 seats.

  27. ‘The “Australian Dream” is to own your own home. So, culturally it is almost impossible for any Government/Politican promoting any alternative.’

    Dreams change.
    I had a dream….

  28. GG

    Its the voting population thats calling for such security for renters. Its not just Senator Hinch that has mentioned it.

    Bear in mind such things are not a substitute for restricting negative gearing and capital gains tax. Its just recognising that in big cities ownership becomes an unobtainable dream.

    Its sellable to voters because you are not killing the dream. Just recognising the reality for most. A relief to parents as well. The children won’t have to stay living at home because they can’t afford to rent.

  29. Peebee

    Living in Perth where until relatively recent times it was possible to choose where to live regardless of where you worked gives us a different perspective on commuting as it is done in Sydney and Melbourne.

    My elder son house shares in an area where he could never afford to buy but is close to facilities catering to his lifestyle interests … Music and stuff.

    I can understand why he has no interest in buying.

    I am from the era where you left school, got a job, met a girl, got married, bought a house, had kids and had put down solid roots in your community before the age of 30.

    Times have changed. I accept that.

  30. After only approx. 4.5 hours after a new thread starting the energy debate???? has again raised it’s weary head. Can someone at Crikey please, please, PLEASE!!!! start or pick up a blog that covers the subject? I know people are passionate about the subject but this is getting out of hand. I whinged about the ill-fated upgrade??? but gawd I miss it now.

  31. Guytaur,

    It’s an idea. However, from the Government’s perspective it will be an admission that glorious past cannot continue and they will be blamed for failing to deliver on a fundamental underpinning of the Australian Identity. Very electorally courageous. So, it won’t happen.

    Also, my observation of Australians is they want it all and they want it now! Gimmicks like this are unlikely to impress the voters. It would be a gift to any Opposition Party.

  32. edward boyce @ #19 Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 7:57 am

    bemused @11:04pm (in previous thread)
    There are 2 gas-fired generators in the Latrobe Valley – Jeeralang and Valley Power.

    Thanks for that. I had not heard of them. I guess they are a bit overshadowed by the coal fired power stations.
    I see that between them they have a capacity of about 750MW.

  33. GG

    Not so. Its a win win for a government. See Daniel Andrews recent moves on this very issue. Not seen a voter backlash yet.

  34. Barry Reynolds

    Having engaged Sherlock Holmes to find the cause of the mystery, we have discovered that a few enthusiastic barrackers cannot read others’ posts, hence the vague and unsatisfactory nature of the ‘arguments’, which never reach a conclusion. It seems that the ‘energy argument’ is just a cover-up for some deep-seated animosity. If electricity were removed, I fear that the combatants would simply find another subject.

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