Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor

After the Coalition’s near-brush with parity over the previous two polls, Labor gains a bit more breathing room in the latest Newspoll.

The latest Newspoll result has Labor’s lead back to 52-48 after a one point move in the Coalition’s favour a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Coalition 38% (down one), Labor 38% (steady), Greens 9% (steady) and One Nation 8% (up two).

On personal ratings, Malcolm Turnbull is steady on 39% approval and down one on disapproval to 49%; Bill Shorten is up one on approval to 34% and steady on disapproval at 55%; and Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister increases slightly from 46-32 to 47-30. There is also a question on preferred Labor leader that has Anthony Albanese on 26%, Bill Shorten at 23% and Tanya Plibsersek at 23%, but I gather the favour hasn’t been extended to Malcolm Turnbull.

Also featured is a poorly framed question as to “when should company tax cuts be introduced”, which primes responses favourable to cuts both in the wording of the question and the structure of the response options, two out of three of which are pro-tax cut. For what they are worth, the results are that 36% favour such a cut “as soon as possible”, 27% do so “in stages over the next ten years” and, contrary to polls that haven’t privileged a positive response in this way, only 29% want one “not at all”.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1591.

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.

2,328 comments on “Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor”

  1. Another way of looking at this is we actually have dual and redundant administrations.

    On the one hand we have a social welfare system managing individuals deciding who can and can’t have what payment and at great administrative cost.

    On the other hand we have a tax system that tries to figure out what everyone’s taxable income is. Both of these require detailed assessment of individual cases.

    Why not just have one – at the tax end.

    Even better still have a tax system with some clever rules. Like for instance denying tax deductions for tax accounting over a set limit. Or deeming that if your gross income is X then your taxable income is never less than some function of X. Etc.

    There are many simplifying rules that can be applied to taxation to ensure the likes of Gina get to pay and which can be justified on the basis that your UBI is never taxed.

  2. Totally agree with the UBI concept BUT I think it should be combined with a Jobs guarantee program.

    Cud it seems to me that people like your sister do need a job of some kind even if an easy one and one where incompetence is accepted. Now obviously we do operate some sheltered workshops for the seriously disabled and these should be expanded to cater for just about every disabled person, if only because the social interaction of getting to a job is good for self esteem. Now in some cases the jobs need to be regular and routinized to cater for those with intellectual disability or otherwise modified for those with physical disability

    It is of course more difficult where there are emotional problems because they are difficult to diagnose etc. The TYPE of job needs to be adapted to the person. Now for some kinds of emotional disability the jobs established under a JG Program may need to be flexible eg based on product delivery rather than time spent and hours less routinized. However I am sure your sister would be better off if she went to work at 9 am each morning and did something, even if it is some kind of labour intensive work. it might of course be something like reading to ageing people or taking someone shopping, or making pots or paintings if artistically inclined.

  3. From my experience in the CES, yes, there is a percentage who can never work.
    These people cannot get DSP but no one is ever going to give them a job and they are never going to hold one down if they did get it.
    They used to stay on the dole for years, every now and again going through some program or getting case-managed when that became fashionable. Some did make use of programs and successfully entered the workforce. But others, with alcohol and/or drugand/ or emotional/mental health and/or crime problems are never going to be “job-ready’ without years of training and support. No govt is going to pay for that, so it seems.

    That is not possible through the Job Services or DSP network. Labelling people as nearly unhelp-able is difficult, but maybe recognising that for some it is a long long road sometimes with no end, is imho, a realistic attitude. Income distress for them is not helpful.

    Just keeping these people functional and while not productive, at least not destructive in the community is a worthy goal.

    If there were jobs where some could work just one day a week, paid or volunteer, it would help. Sometimes it takes six days to prepare for one day’s work.
    Anyway, I am rambling.

  4. Gina currently has access to the public health service, including emergency. Should its universality be compromised to achieve equity/redistributive ends? I’d argue strongly no, because it is not the appropriate tool for that task.

    Same for a proposed UBI. Gina gets it. I get it. CC’s sister gets it. Everyone in between gets it.

    But Gina and her cohort should also have their land-based wealth taxed at a Swiss rate.

  5. The problem with single seat polls is not merely to do with size of sample. The problem is getting a sample that is both random and sufficiently large. To be useful samples need to be random.

    Single seat populations are just not big enough to permit sufficiently random samples to be readily drawn…so the MoE will be high….

  6. DTT
    Why should Cud’s sister work. You sound like a Calvanist. There is nothing redeeming nor saintly about having a job. In fact you have to be pretty strong to hold down a job.

    Workplaces are notoriously dangerous, especially emotionally and mentally. One is forced to work with bullies, pushy target-setters, vindictive colleagues, poor management (just ask Bushfire) and rapacious companies intent on draining the life out of every employee. Add Australia’s pee poor management class and you have the last place Cud’s sister should be spending any of her time.

    If she wishes to walk guide dog puppies or knit jumpers for fairy penguins that is her decision but nobody can say that a certain person or group of persons will be better off in the workforce.

    Even someone at home, in bed or a wheelchair all day with illness makes a contribution. They make work for care assistants, wheel chair makers, and house cleaners.

    Oh, and they have not been called sheltered workshops for twenty years. It is supportive employment.

  7. Puffy

    Firstly it is about getting out and mixing with other people – work is the most effective way of arranging that

    Secondly if you want to get public acceptance of any welfare program you do need to make as much effort as is possible to get people contributing so the program is not seen as support for “bludgers”. It is the moral hazard problem and it is real. Not much sense n being a bleedig heart and denying that it can be a problem

    Thirdly, there ARE thousands upon thousands of useful activities that even the physically, mentally or emotionally challenges can do and if people do these there will be far more community support for the scheme and for welfare payments in general.

    However it is late and I am tied so no energy to debate this tonight,

  8. Mr Newbie, you left out half the conclusion:

    “… and they were not significantly associated with a risk of CVD mortality and incidence. However, this analysis is based on limited observational studies and large-scale trials on the complex interactions between low-carbohydrate diets and long-term outcomes are needed.”

    This work is also back-tracking pre-2012 … lots of work and studies have been done since.

    Also, the diets they are talking about are high protein as well as low carb. The role of excess protein has become well known in recent years (de novo glucogenesis i.e. – it doesn’t end up being low carb if excess protein is consumed) … plus many of the studies had people on low-carb for a period of time, but unless they produce the complete duration stats? … they talk about follow-ups after so many years, but do not state that the subjects all maintained low-carb eating for whatever that duration was. Until follow-up.

    Anyway – I shan’t keep boring people about this. I have pursued a lot of research and most of that research is positive. Especially the most recent, more rigorous scientific research.

    Statistically, it has been showing results in recent years that contradict that one aggregation study. While I will continue studying and researching, for my own well-being and health, the results I have achieved to date justify that research.

  9. UBI as a concept is brilliant, however I believe it should be a replacement for our current social security benefits system. Since you would have adjustments for dependents and income earned.
    However It be a universal guaranteed income as opposed to UBI in the form a lot of people would know it as.

  10. “Almost everyone wants to be doing something meaningful and productive”

    Been there, done that!

    These days it is looking at the list she who should be obeyed has drawn up, going for a morning 10km run which compensates for my luncheons and so I hold my 70kg and baby sitting (except that 5 year olds, 4 year olds and even 2 year olds tell Grand dad they are NOT babies).

    As someone who departed the work force at 48 years of age I can assure you that work is absolutely over rated.

    “What do you do for a living?”

    “Nothing”

    Raises a few eyebrows.

    When you reflect, it is amazing how things just seem to fall into place.

    Including financially.

    I used to counsel that debt was a necessity because very few are rich enough to purchase outright but it is then the responsibility of the asset invested into to service that debt including on a principal plus interest basis and to repay that debt.

    The contradiction in that advice was a growing business BUT then that Capital & Reserves needed to at least maintain at levels that retained your percentage ownership of the business viz a viz external Creditors including the bank.

    The bank and the external Creditors did not wish to progressively own more and more of your business.

    So, when the time comes, you have a very solid Balance Sheet to realize on.

    Everyone has a level of wealth.

    The secret is not to over extend – but, equally, not to under achieve

    On reflection, I have followed the advice I gave over my time in the work force – without realizing it!

  11. Funny thing about work. It makes the economy go round, in spite of the fact that so many roles and whole industries are essentially useless, often destructive, predatory or parasitic. Think “financial planning”, the gambling industry, many tax accountants and corporate lawyers, much of the advertising industry, dedicated as it is to generating demand for stuff people don’t want or need. Then you’ve got investment banking, basically gambling on a massive scale.

    I suspect that the economy consists of a small number of producers, many ‘maintainers’ and ‘enablers’ who keep the wheels turning and lots of parasites who siphon off a cut of everything else for themselves.

  12. Jenauthor
    I just read your latest book, which I had sent from amazon uk, and I am impressed. I will be getting earlier ones too.

  13. OK, in something resembling order for the various commentary regarding a UBI:

    @Boerwar 8:25PM: Calm down, please. I’m saying that it’s a discussion we should have – and your hyperbole on immigration (1M refugees per year? O noes! O noes!) doesn’t do your argument (that the Greens are being irresponsible) any favours. And what’s “Der Tag”? The day? Is this one of your cutesy-cute “I’m not saying they’re Nazis, buuuuuut….” stunts? If so, kindly knock it off – it’s not helpful.

    Finally, if you want to cite Greens policies as “proof” of hostility to the industries you name, then show how the hostility is “in plain sight”. Don’t talk about it; provide evidence please.

    Pseudo Cud Chewer @8:40PM

    – Right now, unemployed Australians are expected to survive on far less than the DSP, for as long as it takes – and the current Government still thinks its too much. And they’re expected to be grovellingly thankful for the “generosity” that lets them do so. I cannot see a case, even in the most far-fetched of scenarios, for making a hypothetical UBI equal to the DSP.

    – Yes, the Keynesian multiplier is definitely real. But I’m trying to not rely upon in as some kind of fiscal mystery meat when computing the costs & benefits of a UBI; I try to avoid those traits I most detest in my political opponents.

    – Yes, there will be ‘hidden benefits’ – less crime etc. – to society. But while those may be quantifiable, I’d need a lot more data – such as some reliable estimate of how much crime is driven by a need for essentials (yes, including drugs of addiction – once you’re hooked, they’re essential), and how much is driven by other factors (greed, sadism, impulse etc. etc.). So I’m not going to count on any specific amount, or equivalent thereof, to come in from that.

    Boerwar @8:58PM – OK, I can agree that those are all parameters that would need to be proposed & debated if a UBI is to be seriously discussed. But I think you’re significantly overstating the per-capita costs, ignoring the savings and generally engaging in some fuzzy math. For example, I’d be cautious about handwaving currently-subsidised costs into the equation as “something that we’d have to add to a UBI amount”. Because once we’re doing that, we have to remove the current raft of subsidies, which my initial estimate did not factor in. And because most of those subsidies, currently targeted at various benefits recipients, can easily enough be retargeted at those on UBI who don’t earn much (any?) outside income.

    And yes, I too would welcome Sen. Di Natale actually dropping something that people can work with to see if it’s viable; having started the discussion, you’d imagine that he would want to steer it in a direction he likes!

    Finally, from your last paragraph, I fear that you’ve got a misconception that the DSP is less than Newstart. It’s actually significantly more than Newstart; about 50% higher and change, as I understand it.

    Confessions @9:09PM – There’s no reason we couldn’t, if that was the goal. The goal of a UBI, however, is broader. It’s to answer the question, “What do we do when – due to automation – the average unemployment rate is pushing 30%?”. Because we as a society really should get working on an answer to that question…it may become relevant soon.

    Having read a number of papers & done some research on automation (i.e., where we are now, what tasks can be automated w/ current tech, what ones ARE being automated, etc.), I can’t say I find their hand-waving assurances that “the new jobs will appear, due to FREE MARKET!” to be very reassuring.

    Hungry Jack @9:25pm – Thanks! My calculation was fairly simplistic; I wanted to keep it close to practical for the format of a discussion forum, so no complex econometric models. And yes, we easily have the fiscal capacity to significantly boost key public services. But we are led by free-market fundamentalists whose only economic policy, come rain, hail or shine, is “Tax cuts!”.

    Puffytmd @9:29pm – We may be able to afford a livable UBI, we may not. But I think you’re making a mistake on scale – you’re essentially saying that the things you specify (official corruption, resource extractors going tax-free etc.) can pay for a UBI. The costs of a UBI are high, as I noted earlier – much, much higher than what you’re suggesting can pay for it. Where will the money come from?

    Confessions @9:42pm – Indeed, why not do one first, then look at the other? Having said that, what do you think of the idea of a guaranteed minimum income (GMI)? It’s like the UBI’s means-tested cousin.

    ***

    Regarding “Why give it to the rich?”, the thought does occur to me that there’s potentially value in having the idea of a “social benefit”, a benefit that every citizen is entitled to, by virtue of their citizenship, because of the social cohesion effects it would have – much like America’s Medicare and Social Security are things that can be accessed by rich and poor alike. Has anyone come across research studying this aspect of those & similar benefit schemes?

  14. jenauthor:

    Mr Newbie, you left out half the conclusion:

    “… and they were not significantly associated with a risk of CVD mortality and incidence. However, this analysis is based on limited observational studies and large-scale trials on the complex interactions between low-carbohydrate diets and long-term outcomes are needed.”

    On the contrary, I stated in my post that the meta-analysis (the highest quality level of evidence there is in evidence-based practice) acknowledges its limitations.

    And ‘not significantly associated with’ does not meant that a low-carb diet was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It only means there was no statistically-significant difference, which doesn’t support that a low-carb diet lowers or increases the risk.

    This work is also back-tracking pre-2012 … lots of work and studies have been done since.

    Yes, but a meta-analysis looks at *all* of the relevant studies. Individual studies can and do vary significantly; a meta-analysis aims to make sense of the whole body of research.

    Anyway – I shan’t keep boring people about this. I have pursued a lot of research and most of that research is positive. Especially the most recent, more rigorous scientific research.

    A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials is the *most*-rigorous type of study there is. This study did not look at randomised trials, so it is not the most robust research design, but its conclusions are more-reliable than drawing them from isolated studies.

    Statistically, it has been showing results in recent years that contradict that one aggregation study. While I will continue studying and researching, for my own well-being and health, the results I have achieved to date justify that research.

    It sounds like you’ve convinced yourself and are looking at research that supports what you already believe. If you can link a randomised controlled trial or another meta-analysis that looks at the safety and effectiveness of low-carb diets over the long-term which supports your claims, I’ll gladly take a look.

  15. From my experience in the CES, yes, there is a percentage who can never work.
    These people cannot get DSP but no one is ever going to give them a job and they are never going to hold one down if they did get it.

    Puffy this is exactly true. The thing is, years ago many of these people used to get menial/manual jobs. These jobs don’t exist anymore. This is a large part of the reason why the “residual” unemployment went up from 2% in the 60s to more like 4 or 5% now.

    So many people condemned to life in the shadows with a UBI.

  16. Cud it seems to me that people like your sister do need a job of some kind even if an easy one and one where incompetence is accepted.

    That simply ignores my sister’s particular emotional universe. She’s quite capable of certain things, like child minding. But that’s not the point. She has an obsession with only certain jobs being affirming or dignified, such as teaching, which she spent many years trying to study for and eventually crashed and burned in front of a practice teaching class. She is by no means unintelligent. She has simply regressed into a parallel universe where any effort to explain to her reality is rebuffed, screamed down, or ignored. And before anyone comments further on this, let me explain. Its a lot more complicated and a much longer story than this. It really is “alternative universe” stuff. Her mind is.. well.. its just plain out there. Not psychotic, but definitely not of this world.

    No “special” scheme can help her. No “arranged job” (yes, we’ve tried this). She just isn’t able to live in the real world or cope with ordinary tasks beyond shopping and looking after her dog (who has a lovely unflappable personality and needs it). There’s nothing you can do for her that won’t be rebuffed or be responded with by words of helplessness and anger.

    And again, it angers me that this government is headed down the path where people like her, who cannot fend for themselves are going to get kicked off DSP.

  17. Matt the very attitudes you describe towards job seekers is precisely what a UBI is meant to change.

    I’m not saying that that is easy. But a UBI that isn’t universal still carries with it stigma.

    And another thing. The current monstrously low rate of Newstart is actually an economic drag. Its a tax on the support providers of the unemployed (family, parents). This is something Labor should hammer. That it actually lowers economic growth.

  18. I have no idea if UBI is affordable, or similar economic questions. it does not stop me playing with the concept.

    I think you will find that most crime is linked to poverty, except for rich which is down to the sin of greed.

    (I seem to remember some research that said that most men in prisons were there for violence, while for women it was for crimes of poverty, but for women who were violent and therefore broke the social norm for females they got much longer sentences than males.)

  19. Agree with Puff and Cud – there is a subset of the population who were and are always going to be very hard or impossible to employ and with the continued loss of very low skilled and manual jobs this fraught social issue is only going to get more difficult. Further, the corrosive and anxiety-generating psychological effect of this precarious existence simply can’t be underestimated. We are heading for inherently higher levels of unemployment and blaming those left behind is unhelpful, as is resentment of their human needs. If those more fortunate cannot find compassion they should at least appreciate that low income earners are consumers, too, and the multiplier effect is real.

    My most immediate concern about a UBI is that the ferociously enabled and rapaciously responsive Australian real estate sector would more or less instantly re-calibrate the cost of renting and buying housing to pretty much the full extent of the funds available (think house prices in mining boom towns), benefiting existing homeowners, investors and the real estate industry and leaving the vulnerable no better off – no idea how you would model this likely effect or ameliorate it.

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