Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

A fortnight on from the Malcolm Turnbull’s unfortunate Newspoll milestone, Newspoll itself suggests the embarrassment has done him little harm.

The latest Newspoll has Labor’s lead down from 53-47 to 51-49, which is the Coalition’s best result since the start of what is now Malcolm Turnbull’s run of 31 successive Newspoll defeats. This doesn’t reflect much activity on the primary vote, on which the Coalition and Labor are both steady at 38% and 37%, with the Greens down one to 9% and One Nation steady on 7%.

There is also encouragement for Malcolm Turnbull on leadership ratings, with his approval up four to 36% and disapproval down four to 53%, although Bill Shorten also improves by two on approval to 34% and three on disapproval to 53%. Turnbull maintains only a very modest lead as preferred prime minister, of 38-35, out from 38-36 last time. The poll also finds strong support for a reduction in immigration levels, with 56% rating the present level too high, 28% about right, and only 10% too low.

A point that should be noted about the Coalition’s apparent improvement in Newspoll is that at least part of it would seem to be down to an adjustment in their preference allocations, from a model based purely on results from the 2016 election to one which gives the Coalition a stronger flow of One Nation preferences, presumably based on the experience of the Queensland and Western Australian state elections. The chart below compares the published two-party results from Newspoll with how the raw primary numbers convert using a) a 50-50 split in One Nation preferences, as they were in 2016; and b) a 60-40 split in the Coalition’s favour, which seems more likely based on state election experience.

It will be noted that Newspoll (the grey line) closely tracked the 50-50 model (the blue line) until December last year, when it snapped to the 60-40 model (the orange line). Also noteworthy is the overshoot of the grey line for the very latest result, which reflects the fact that the Coalition may have been a little lucky with rounding this week. As Kevin Bonham notes, a calculation from the published, rounded primary vote totals using the 50-50 preferences model yields a 52.4-47.6 lead for Labor – a result that would have generated considerably less buzz than this, the “best Coalition result in 18 months”.

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.

547 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. The Coalition even under Turnbull could win the election, all they need is a budget favourable to swing voters. Also a massive scare campaign basically arguing that under Labor electricity prices will go through the roof, among other things. Given how this government has functioned, the chances of them not screwing up between now and the election is not great although.

    The spoiler although is all those hard right people who will defect from the Coalition to One Nation and similar parties (I predict combined could out-poll the Greens). How knows how much of their preferences will return back to the Coalition. The hard right detest Turnbull would want him to resign as Prime Minister now. I can’t see many of them first preference to the Coalition at the election.

  2. There’s nothing in the news that can be pinned directly on the Govt that are vote-changers. Plus probably erosion of the PHON vote.

    And from the last thread… assuming the Budget isn’t a train-wreck, expect an election for August.

  3. 51-49 ALP…..The electors are idiots……….sigh…..if the Coalition is returned at the next election then the people who elect them deserve every crap thing this govt will do to them…and then some.

    And if people complain I’ll happily tell them to eff off and go have a cry on the shoulders of the people who elected the govt.

  4. Because people can see Trumbull is close to an edge, those who were protest polling ‘other’ are back in the lnp column because they don’t want abbot/dutton/andrews and their ilk having a crack at the title again.

    Thats all that is.

  5. Of course, Patricia Karvelas had to put in a dig at Bill Shorten. Apparently his popularity is ‘on the slide’ because it went down one point!

  6. It puzzles me that people think we should not be interested in what Joyce has to say.

    Until a few months ago he was DPM and no doubt hankers after his old job so he is still a significant player in the political game.

    He is symptomatic of the division that is endemic in the conservative side of politics and I would have thought the people most interested in seeing him silenced would be his former colleagues.

    He probably talked a load of rubbish which is all the Labor’s advantage. As far as I am concerned the more opportunities he, like Abbott, gets to undermine the government the better.

  7. It’s not the variation that is significant….. which is within the MOE.. … it’s the inability of the ALP to establish any dominance over a Government that’s barely sentient.

  8. Rossmcg. @ #17 Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 – 9:52 pm

    It puzzles me that people think we should not be interested in what Joyce has to say.

    Until a few months ago he was DPM and no doubt hankers after his old job so he is still a significant player in the political game.

    He is symptomatic of the division that is endemic in the conservative side of politics and I would have thought the people most interested in seeing him silenced would be his former colleagues.

    He probably talked a load of rubbish which is all the Labor’s advantage. As far as I am concerned the more opportunities he, like Abbott, gets to undermine the government the better.

    The identity of those thinking it should be sufficient explanation.

  9. The SmearStralian dribbling out the primaries..

    “When it came to the primary vote there was no movement for One Nation, which stayed at 7 per cent. The Greens, which have come under increasing scrutiny since a poor result in the Batman by-election in Melbourne in March, dropped back a point to 9 per cent.‘

  10. I told you that Turnbull is on the come back trail and is in very good position to win the next election by a landslide and be PM till 2022

  11. It’s the Greens wot dunnit!

    Losing 1 point, and the consequent 0.8 lost to the ALP 2PP tipped it back a point on rounding.

    Let’s lay off the Black Wiggle!

  12. Franking dividends have turned out to be a slow burn issue. Boomers – even those without shares have been slowly coming around to thinking:

    ‘first they came for the negative geared 3rd property. Next they came for the dividends. What will they come for next? I don’t like it!’

    Howardism is alive and kicking. Enough to get this rotten mob re-elected. Maybe. Old fuckers literally stealing the future of this country as they take the next three decades to go to the grave …

  13. south @ #10 Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 – 9:49 pm

    Because people can see Trumbull is close to an edge, those who were protest polling ‘other’ are back in the lnp column because they don’t want abbot/dutton/andrews and their ilk having a crack at the title again.

    Thats all that is.

    I tend to agree with this. Since the Bennelong by-election I have thought that the one thing that voters most fear is political change between elections. All the noise about the Government being on the edge of losing its majority made people worried about further instability and that provided Alexander with more votes than he might have expected.

    With Tony Abbott being front and centre in the public eye, voters were reminded again of Turnbull’s greatest achievement – which was to rid us of Abbott.

    I rather expect that it will be a whole new ball game when the nation actually goes to vote. Especially when Turnbull, who is a shithouse campaigner, comes up against Shorten again.

    Referencing another discussion, history is useful as a guide but does not necessarily guarantee a future pattern. I think people who are being polled know there is no election tomorrow, whatever the question asked. The dynamics will be totally different during a campaign.

  14. Again, my armchair analysis says ON too high.

    If there was an election ON is not going to get 7% across the board … if they did I’ll walk across the harbour Bridge on my ears!

  15. All the movements in the last month have been within the margin of error when compared in sequence – one poll to the next poll, BUT they are starting to add up to a trend! What happens with polling immediately after the budget will be telling. Maybe enough for Truffles to pull the trigger for an early spring election. …

  16. I also don’t think ON will get that much in a real election. Also at low levels ON will draw from both majors while higher levels it seems to suck away votes from LNP predominantly.

    Anyway what is the 2pp we getting from primaries per last election ?

  17. I still say the Liberals cannot win with a PV as low as 38%, especially with the redistribution gifting a couple of extra seats to Labor.

    It will be interesting to see if there’s any movement in the Essential poll on Tuesday.

  18. the Greens down one to 9%

    Maybe if Labor would stop bashing Greens and Greens would stop bashing Labor nonsense like this 51/49 result wouldn’t happen.

  19. And essential will come in tomorrow with 53-47 and we’ll all heave a sigh of relief and carry on.

    The LNP won’t win the next election.
    Carry on

  20. bemused

    “Maybe we have seen ‘Peak Green’ and they are on the slide?”

    ————–

    It would be hilarious if the ALP lost the next election because of a decline in Green votes and consequently their preferences!! ..

    It would make some on here very conflicted.

  21. equal or not? @ #38 Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 – 8:06 pm

    bemused

    “Maybe we have seen ‘Peak Green’ and they are on the slide?”

    ————–

    It would be hilarious if the ALP lost the next election because of a decline in Green votes and consequently their preferences!! ..

    It would make some on here very conflicted.

    I can’t see anything hilarious about another federal coalition govt.

  22. equal or not? @ #39 Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 – 10:06 pm

    bemused

    “Maybe we have seen ‘Peak Green’ and they are on the slide?”

    ————–

    It would be hilarious if the ALP lost the next election because of a decline in Green votes and consequently their preferences!! ..

    It would make some on here very conflicted.

    Not gonna happen.
    It will mean the ALP will be less reliant on the dastardly Greens and still secure a win.

  23. The slow loss of ALP support is delayed reaction to the Dividend Imputation policy.

    The release of that policy was an incredibly bad decision. It paints a big fat target on the ALP & allows the Coalition to construct a fear campaign.

    The sensible thing would have been to wait until the ALP was in government & *then* release the policy & then try & get it legislated quickly.

    For comparison purposes: here’s Kevin Rudd outlining his tax vision before the 2007 election:
    https://www.smh.com.au/news/economy/rudd-outlines-tax-vision/2007/10/19/1192301012405.html

    Rudd talked only about cutting taxes & carefully avoided saying anything that could be used as material for a fear campaign by the Howard government.

  24. I like to think that all the new, younger people who enrolled to vote in the postal plebiscite last year will not be flocking to the Coalition… and maybe these polls are not great at sampling that demographic/they’re less inclined to agree to be polled.

    Australian voters are completely bonkers if this shambolic ‘government’ gets another term.

  25. And I repeat.
    So it begins.
    As I predicted on the night of the New England by-election, ( and copped a bollocking for) the polls will be 50/50 by the budget.
    No rhyme no reason.
    It’s just the way Strayans view the Liberal party.
    all the misconceptions and dumb-arsery of the average dumb-arse mitigate against a clear run for the ALP.
    But go ahead.
    Do your worst, call me names.

  26. I think that this Newspoll reflects the fact that the political scene has been fairly quiet for the average person in the street and that most people are just over the LNP. One thing that I would like to kow though is does Newspoll now use a limited survey population similar to , I think, Essential?

    From my old Uni stats days, if the population is limited, wouldn’t this effect the quality of the stats? I.e., not necessarily reflecting public opinion in a changing environment (only reflecting the opinion of a smaller sample size)?

    Tom.

  27. equal or not

    ‘It would be hilarious if the ALP lost the next election because of a decline in Green votes and consequently their preferences!! ..’

    This is just such an ignorant comment from someone on a pseph-y site that I’m chewing my arm off trying not to be outrageously rude. So I won’t comment further.

  28. ‘The slow loss of ALP support is delayed reaction to the Dividend Imputation policy.’

    What slow loss of ALP support? The primaries are exactly what they were.

  29. There are quite a number of parties courting essentially what is to the right of the Coalition parties. You have One Nation, Australian Conservatives, Australian Liberty Alliance, Rise up Australia and possibly the Liberal Democratic Party.

    I predict all those parties combined could get around 10% of the vote at the election. The question I ask to myself, what percentage of that vote will go to the Coalition as preferences. I can’t imagine it would be like a 80-20 spilt in Labor’s favour that Greens preferences usually go.

    Anyway I believe this election will be a good one for Labor to lose, a third Coalition term I predict will end in the Coalition being unelectable for about a generation.

    Although I am predicting a revolt of the hard right and them defecting the Coalition and voting for the assorted parties I have mentioned above. Wonder why some in the government have been keen on letting 10,000 White South African farmers, apart from shoring up the South African vote in Perth and Brisbane. This issue is quite prominent among those sort of people.

  30. Tetsujin

    “The release of that policy was an incredibly bad decision”

    ———-

    The thing, Labo-r supporters must find dismaying is the release of the policy then the big backdown for “pensioners”.

    It was a bad message. It cannot have been deliberate.

    What does it say about Shorten or his office or the ALP.

    It seemed so inept, …. so “Liberal”!!!

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