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. With the SA election result for Leg Council in no doubt Kevin Bonham and others will do an analysis of how preferences ran. Some minor digging. When the first 8 positions were filled by initial quotas (and adding in most of the lower ticket votes to labor 4 and Con 1, Labor 4 had a lead of about 3200 (near the .04 of a quota seen after full 1st vote counted). Greens 1 about 20,000 ahead of Labor 4. Lib 4 about 24500 ahead of Labor 4.

    After all preferences except Con 1 were distributed Labor 4 were about 6500 votes ahead of Con 1. and Greens 1 was about 19000 ahead of Labor. Lib 4 was about 25700 ahead of Labor 4. So the major parties did slightly better on preferences than Greens and Conservatives did poorly. Pretty much the reverse with the preference whispering system.

    Then some fun. Con 1 eliminated and 21% of votes went to Lib 4, 7% to Lab 4 and over 6% to Greens 1. 66% exhausted. Not very Conservative those Conservative voters.

    Overall 93000 votes exhausted out of 105000 ie about 9%. If there was better publicity about the benefit of putting in a few preferences this would have been lower.

  2. And the ANZ have advised their legal costs in preparation for the Royal Commission – confirming that what we see is orchestrated and restricted

    If Turnbull wishes to retain any credibility he now needs to address the restrictive Terms of Reference such that submissions from the public are considered not just incidences of self reporting which we currently see

    I never received a reply to my letter to Lindsay Maxstead who I knew from my working life and his time at an accountancy practice when he was contracted to review selected lending including the set of accounts I managed at the time back in the early 1990’s and advising him that the performance of the banking industry Post deregulation required a Royal Commission including because of the absolute importance of Banking to individuals, commerce and industry

    Within a week the bank CEO’s had approached the government changing their position opposing a Royal Commission

    I would like to think that letter seriously rattled Lindsay

    At that time in the early 1990’s the banks came within the thickness of a bee’s foreskin of collapsing – hence the independent review of the significant lending of the bank – and Maxstead

    My 50th Birthday present to me was to retire – in 1995

    Thoroughly disallusioned with Banking and bankers

    And I have never looked back

    The best decision I have ever made – and our children at that time were 10 and 8, so they have grown up with ther Dad – priceless!!!

  3. ABC Q&AVerified account@QandA
    9h9 hours ago

    Tonight watch #QandA with@ALeighMP @SenatorNash @RebeccaHuntley2 @jillesheppard John Roskam Tune-in at 9.35pm AEST on @abctv @abcnews & @abciview

    :large

  4. Tom:-

    “Sanders and Corbyn are big on increasing the minimum wage, helping cover bills and mortgages, more health spending (Medicare for All, such as the ALP introduced in Australia twice, being one of Sander`s major policies) and education spending.”

    So the Shorter version of all of that is that on their best day they are merely catching up to where Australian Labor has been since Whitlam …

    Of course that’s all a deflection from my criticism of Jay’s brain fart -the so calle$ need to energise young people to win elections. Rubbish even in the political systems that Corbyn and Sanders are failing at. Completely ridiculous in our system of compulsory preferential voting.

  5. Nash is no longer a Senator. She got caught up in the Citizenship rubbish. Why are the ABC using that title in their PR blurb?

  6. GG:

    She needs to change her twitter handle so it isn’t so misleading. On the website they refer to her as a former Nationals senator.

  7. I see Mr Works Well With Others has also been in the media today carrying on about China and how the PM offended the nation.

    Well, ‘fess, we all know that HE would’ve been even more stridently anti China if it had suited him as PM.

  8. Yep I can report that I get a malicious popup telling me I’ve won an iPhone, it’s only occasional but if it happens again I’ll take note of the url and report it as WB suggests. Android phone too

    Me too. Android only. Apparently I’ve won a Samsung Galaxy 7. One of ten lucky winners world-wide.

    Started two days ago.

  9. I probably deserve an uppercut for feeding the resident troll but he goes.

    Sexy Rexy:-

    “Yes yes of course Bill should be more like Hillary and Blair and everything would be sweeeet as !”

    Only an idiot would suggest imitating the imitators.

    Rather Labor should be more like … Labor!

    And frankly Bill Shorten is doing an excellent job of leading a team that is doing exactly that. A contemporary iteration that would do Whitlam and Hawke-Keating proud!

  10. Puffytmd @ #429 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 6:37 pm

    Jay
    re Tanya Plibersek

    It is too soon for a female ALP Leader, and I do not want Tanya Plibersek to be subjected to the inevitable rampant disgusting sexism of our Federal Parliament and the Right Wing dominated media until she has had more experience.

    She’s already been subjected to ‘The Handbag Hit Squad’ garbage. Lord knows what such a beautiful, intelligent, powerful woman would be subjected to by the Vinegar Tits Hit Squad in the Liberal Party should she be chosen as FPLP leader!

  11. Hhere’s the best metaphotr for Australian Big business ever.

    “A dingo eats a shark! Meanwhile two snakes are rooting each other in plain sight!”

  12. Jay @ #426 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 6:32 pm

    If Labor loses the federal election, I believe Tanya Plibersek would be most likely to become Labor leader.

    Although I don’t know how long Turnbull would last as Liberal leader if the Coalition wins another term.

    For Labor to win this and the next elections decisively, it needs to even more radical and be able to energise the young adult vote in the way Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders have done.

    Yes! I would like to see an effective female ALP leader to disprove all the whinging and whining about poor Julia being picked on just because she was a woman.

  13. Andrew_Earlwood @ #456 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 7:51 pm

    I probably deserve an uppercut for feeding the resident troll but he goes.

    Sexy Rexy:-

    “Yes yes of course Bill should be more like Hillary and Blair and everything would be sweeeet as !”

    Only an idiot would suggest imitating the imitators.

    Rather Labor should be more like … Labor!

    And frankly Bill Shorten is doing an excellent job of leading a team that is doing exactly that. A contemporary iteration that would do Whitlam and Hawke-Keating proud!

    An excellent job huh ? 😆

    They’re neck and neck with quite possibly the most inept, dysfunctional govt in the nations history.

  14. Puffytmd @ #431 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 6:37 pm

    Jay
    re Tanya Plibersek

    It is too soon for a female ALP Leader, and I do not want Tanya Plibersek to be subjected to the inevitable rampant disgusting sexism of our Federal Parliament and the Right Wing dominated media until she has had more experience.

    Rubbish!
    You have no confidence in women as leaders just because of one dud.
    Look at how Anastasia P. is going in Qld.

  15. bemused @ #463 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 8:11 pm

    Puffytmd @ #431 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 6:37 pm

    Jay
    re Tanya Plibersek

    It is too soon for a female ALP Leader, and I do not want Tanya Plibersek to be subjected to the inevitable rampant disgusting sexism of our Federal Parliament and the Right Wing dominated media until she has had more experience.

    Rubbish!
    You have no confidence in women as leaders just because of one dud.
    Look at how Anastasia P. is going in Qld.

    Gillard had the strongest character of any PM in my lifetime.

    Her rescue of the ALP to retain Govt in 2010 was nothing short of miraculous given the treachery and hostility.

    She is rightly a Labor hero, as acknowledged at Goughs funeral.

  16. I just spent half an hour or so catching up on today’s posts and I notice that Rex has been busy demonstrating yet again that he has sweet bugger all understanding of how politics really works. To keep suggesting that Labor should swap leaders again after all the turmoil that occurred last time they tried it is just plain dopey.

    Might be time to give it a rest for a while Rex, for the sake of your image. At the moment you just keep looking like an absolute twit.

  17. Rex Douglas @ #465 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 8:15 pm

    bemused @ #463 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 8:11 pm

    Puffytmd @ #431 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 6:37 pm

    Jay
    re Tanya Plibersek

    It is too soon for a female ALP Leader, and I do not want Tanya Plibersek to be subjected to the inevitable rampant disgusting sexism of our Federal Parliament and the Right Wing dominated media until she has had more experience.

    Rubbish!
    You have no confidence in women as leaders just because of one dud.
    Look at how Anastasia P. is going in Qld.

    Gillard had the strongest character of any PM in my lifetime.

    Her rescue of the ALP to retain Govt in 2010 was nothing short of miraculous given the treachery and hostility.

    She is rightly a Labor hero, as acknowledged at Goughs funeral.

    Yeah, right!
    So how did she go in subsequent polling?

  18. I am still amazed the LNP are as close as they are as seems to be indicated in the current Newspoll. I know “feeling” is a useless term in many respects, but I do not get the “feel” that Malcolm and the LNP are anywhere near to being re-elected………He will be seeking a third term for his government, he comes across as weak – within his own party, and with much of the voting public and the recent redistribution was not helpful to the LNP cause. As yet, evidence that things are “getting better under the LNP” are scant and one cannot believe the coming budget will help much. As I seem to remember, both Gillard and Rudd had the odd slightly better polls even in the worst of their times……………This is one such for the LNP by the look of it.

  19. “Our great LNP are back in the game and the next newspoll will be 50/50 and the one after that will be 51/49 to LNP….,.”

    Like Leto Atreides in the “Dune” sci-fi franchise, Malcolm will eventually become God-Emperor of Australia. He will reign for nearly 4,000 years. Mind you, Leto was transformed into a revolting creature over that time, something that is already happening to Malcolm as he now accommodates and in time will eventually embrace his party’s hard right.

  20. So here we go. Again.

    Discussion about future leadership directions for a defeated Labor turn into another Rudd Gillard Rudd rerun by the usual suspects.

    Peoples! Get a grip!

  21. He will be seeking a third term for his government, he comes across as weak – within his own party, and with much of the voting public and the recent redistribution was not helpful to the LNP cause.

    Plus they haven’t done anything except wind back the former govt’s legislation.

    The coalition has not achieved one solid thing for the country in the nearly 5 years they’ve been in office.

  22. Steve777 @ #469 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 5:37 pm

    “Our great LNP are back in the game and the next newspoll will be 50/50 and the one after that will be 51/49 to LNP….,.”

    Like Leto Atreides in the “Dune” sci-fi franchise, Malcolm will eventually become God-Emperor of Australia. He will reign for nearly 4,000 years. Mind you, Leto was transformed into a revolting creature over that time, something that is already happening to Malcolm as he now accommodates and in time will eventually embrace his party’s hard right.

    You need to be more specific than that.

    Leto Atreides was also Paul’s father, who died when Dune was overrun. 🙂

  23. Shorten will be leader of the Labor party through to the next election, barring him kneeling over and dying. No point going over this endlessly when the rules now require such a large majority to force a spill.

  24. Wow, we women are not even allowed to discuss the sexism of the Gillard years on PB!

    Man rewrites HIStory again, and deals out a major part of our story, when we got OUR first female PM.

    Sexism reigns supreme on Pollbludger.

    I do not know why I bother sometimes, wasting my time in a place which has effectively shut out any discussion of a major milestone for women of Australia (and do not try to tell me it was not) just in case some stone-age men get upset.

  25. Confessions

    The coalition has not achieved one solid thing for the country in the nearly 5 years they’ve been in office.

    They have achieved one thing. Debt levels. Labor should go a bit ‘debt and deficit disaster’ and point out “The Coalition in 5 years has increased our debt by more than than the total debt accumulated since Federation that they inherited”. The cCoalition are doing a Colin Barnett. WA had a YUUUGE mining boom and yet he managed to see State debt go from $3.6 billion to $40 billion.

  26. Heard an interesting comment from Steve Price on 3aw tonight regarding Bill Shorten’s body language. Apparently the two of them were on the Drum together tonight and Price said he couldn’t help noticing how confident Shorten appeared to be, like a man who believes he has the next election in the bag. That is exactly how he put it.

    If this latest Newspoll is of any concern to Shorten and the Labor party it is certainly not evident in his demeanour.

  27. Many great Labor PMs did badly in the polls. Paul Keating lost an election in a landslide.

    It doesn’t take away from their legacy.

  28. I think I’ve figured out why the Coalition can be as close to Labor as they are, at 51-49. It’s because they don’t care who they get their votes from, mobsters, corrupt businessmen and women, such as in the Financial Services and Banking industry, media moguls, employee abusers and wage thieves, the greedy retirees, environment abusers, even the semi-literate non-thinkers and blind followers like Wayne. They don’t think, they just vote for the Coalition and to maintain the status quo which supports them. And the Coalition will tailor their policy to suit and run a protection racket for you, if required.

    Whereas, Labor require you to think and consider policy, in return for your vote.

    No wonder it’s such an uphill battle for Labor to prevail.

  29. Puffy:

    What are you talking about? We frequently discuss the sexism Gillard experienced – after all it is a matter of historical fact. I can’t imagine any sensible person would pretend it didn’t happen.

  30. poroti:

    Yes that is true and even worse is that if that debt had been accumulated actually doing something constructive for the country (building things, delivering services), they’d have a reasonable justification. But none of that has happened either.

  31. Confessions
    It was horrifying reading Mega George back in 2006,7,8 describing the structural deficit Howard and Hammock had engineered. Likened then to someone winning lotto then budgeting you would keep winning lotto. He also detailed the economic poison pills the Coalition, knowing they would lose set for Labor 🙁 .Howard ‘Worst Episode Ever”

  32. “Why 29 in particular?”

    Because 29 is two thirds plus one of 42. Which is the answer to life, the universe. Everything.

    Obviously.

  33. We seem to be at the half moon stage and going by the comments in the last hour or so, in the the next two weeks some posters will be absolutely howling. The budget just over the horizon, a queer newspoll, the banks rolling over, time to open the red!

  34. Darn –

    That would be Steve Price inviting his audience – and any other suggestible nongs out there – to take the over-confident so-and-so down a peg or two when voting time arrives. After all, Aussies hate a flash lair, don’t they?

    I think I recall Howard and his minions trying that with Rudd in 2007, when it finally became obvious to even them that a year’s worth of smearing had had no effect on his standing.

  35. poroti:

    I was gobsmacked when Labor was brow-beaten into walking away from the Hawke-Keating years when Howard govt first was elected.

    Why the coalition has been able to keep the title of better economic managers in the face of their ability to do the exact opposite is definitely one for the ages.

  36. Puffytmd @ #477 Monday, April 23rd, 2018 – 8:51 pm

    Wow, we women are not even allowed to discuss the sexism of the Gillard years on PB!

    Man rewrites HIStory again, and deals out a major part of our story, when we got OUR first female PM.

    Sexism reigns supreme on Pollbludger.

    I do not know why I bother sometimes, wasting my time in a place which has effectively shut out any discussion of a major milestone for women of Australia (and do not try to tell me it was not) just in case some stone-age men get upset.

    What a bizarre comment!
    Some of us judge on factors, such as competence, and not gender.
    Like men, some women have it, others don’t.

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