Malcolm Turnbull’s thirtieth successive Newspoll loss is 52-48 to Labor, down from 53-47, which actually completes a hat trick of polls for the Coalition over recent days which have been at the better end of normal for them (see previous post on Ipsos and Morgan results). On the primary vote, the Coalition up one to 38%, Labor is down two to 37%, the Greens are up one to 10% and One Nation is steady on 7%.
As Kevin Bonham has observed, it seems likely that Newspoll is no longer using a roughly 50-50 preference split for One Nation as per the results of the 2016 election, but is instead being guided by the lean towards the Coalition evident at the Queensland and Western Australian elections. This was apparent in the pollster’s recent quarterly state breakdowns, and this latest poll would come out at 52.7-47.3 if the earlier measure had been used (albeit that rounding might have changed this).
For personal ratings, Malcolm Turnbull is steady on 32% approval and up one on disapproval to 57%; Bill Shorten is down two to 32% and up three to 57%. On preferred prime minister, Turnbull is down a point to 38%, while Shorten is steady on 36%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1597.
Correctives to the notion that Tony Abbott should feel vindicated:
• Newspoll has been a lot less volatile in Malcolm Turnbull’s time than it was in Tony Abbott’s, when it was essentially a different poll – but even the most favourable outliers under Abbott failed to draw the Coalition level, such was the scale of their underlying deficit.
• At the time of his ousting in September 2015, my trend measure found Tony Abbott with a net approval of around 30%. Turnbull is currently at around minus 20% and was only as low as minus 25% at his nadir, whereas Abbott bottomed out at minus 45% right after the Prince Phillip knighthood on Australia Day 2015.
• Turnbull also enjoys a modest but consistent lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, whereas Abbott never did better than equal him, and was usually behind — often badly, which is very unusual for the incumbent.