Newspoll Dickson poll and Liberal party room vote entrails

Newspoll finds the prime ministership would have been a handy thing for Peter Dutton to have in his tight race for Dickson. Also featured: a closer look at how that failed to come to pass.

The Australian has a large-sample Newspoll for Peter Dutton’s election of Dickson, conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1846, partly in expectation that things would have played out a little differently. On a standard voting intention question, the poll shows Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48 (a 3.6% swing from 2016), from primary votes of LNP 37% (down from 44.6%), Labor 37% (up from 34.9%), Greens 9% (down from 9.9%) and One Nation 10%. But when asked about voting intention if Dutton were Prime Minister, this became 50-50, and did so because of a 5% primary vote transfer from One Nation to the LNP (Labor gained one point, and the Greens were unchanged). The Australian’s report also reveals Dutton did better on the first night of polling than the second, and surmises this was the effect of the Section 44 story taking hold. However, the changes quoted are not statistically significant, and appeared to be bigger for the Turnbull-as-PM question than for Dutton.

Now a guide to who did what in the party room leadership votes on Tuesday and yesterday, drawing on four sources – starting with a table laying it all out, followed by the gory details. Cabinet ministers are in bold and underlined, outer ministry members are in bold, assistant ministers are in italics. An asterisk denotes those who, while identified as Turnbull backers, are among those The Australian thinks might have been the sole abstainer in round one (more on that shortly). Arthur Sinodinos’s two asterisks denote the fact that he was absent in the first round, though I presume he would have voted for Turnbull if present.

The first of the three sources is a list published in The Australian on Wednesday identifying how each member was believed to have voted in the Turnbull-versus-Dutton round the previous day. If I understand correctly, The Australian believed it had a handle on every vote, with one complication: one member out of a list of fifteen suspects abstained rather than voting for Turnbull. Second is a list of the forty-three signatories to the petition calling for a party room meeting has been doing the rounds on social media.

Thirdly, the Fairfax papers have published lists of how members were believed to have voted in Morrison-versus-Dutton. This has more holes than The Australian’s list, with seven listed as “unknown”. The fourth source, from The West Australian, lists how WA Liberal MPs voted, which plugs three of Fairfax’s gaps. It also disagrees with Fairfax in placing Slade Brockman in the Dutton rather than Morrison camp – I’m going with The West here. That leaves four still down as unknown, and assuming all the foregoing is correct, three of them must have voted for Morrison and one for Dutton.

Nine members who appear to have voted for Turnbull in the first round were signatories to the petition: Mathias Cormann, Michaelia Cash, Ian Goodenough, Slade Brockman, Andrew Laming and John McVeigh, who moved to the Dutton camp; Mitch Fifield, who voted for Morrison; and Warren Entsch and Jane Hume, who are down as unknowns. The forty-three signatories included everyone who voted for Dutton in either vote, with two exceptions: Christian Porter and Bert Van Manen, the latter presumably relating to his position as Whip. Porter is reported as having switched from Turnbull to Dutton; Van Manen is not disclosing who he voted for, but The Australian and Fairfax both identify him as being in the Dutton camp. Scott Buchholz voted for Dutton against Turnbull and signed the petition, but is down as unknown for Morrison versus Dutton.

Significant home state effects were evident in that Morrison won 14-6 among the New South Wales contingent, while Dutton won 12-4 (plus two unknowns) among Queenslanders. However, Julie Bishop apparently struck out entirely among her WA peers in the first round, her eleven votes having been sourced elsewhere (except her own). I’m not aware of any record of who the eleven were. Western Australia otherwise distinguished itself in having a substantial bloc switch from Turnbull to Dutton, most conspicuously Matthias Cormann and Michaelia Cash. They were apparently joined by Christian Porter, who kept a lower profile about it, along with Slade Brockman and Ian Goodenough. However, Ben Morton went the other way, supporting Dutton in the first vote and Morrison in the second. All told, the state split 11-5 for Turnbull over Dutton, then 9-7 for Dutton over Morrison. The South Australians broke 6-2 to Morrison.

Of seventeen lower house members with margins of 6% or less, nine voted for Morrison and six for Dutton, with a further two unknown. Four of Dutton’s six were from Queensland; the only Queensland marginal seat holder not in the Dutton column is Warren Entsch, down as unknown.

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.

1,932 comments on “Newspoll Dickson poll and Liberal party room vote entrails”

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  1. Can’t say I am surprised after the crapola the fibs dished out this week.
    I guess they won’t be in a hurry to go to an election anytime soon

  2. I think most of us expected the coalition would take a hit in Newspoll. I have to say however, that this is a pleasant surprise to me.

  3. Who is the ‘left media’. Give that Miranda probably considers the Telecrap, 2GB, Sky News and The Australian as Centrist, it probably includes the SMH/Age and the ABC.

  4. GhostWhoVotes
    ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    51s51 seconds ago

    #Newspoll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 33 (-4) ALP 41 (+6) GRN 10 (0) ON 7 (-2) #auspol

  5. This is after Scott Morrison has been in the job for two days, imagine what the polling will be like after say six months. I am predicting he is going to be very unpopular in the electorate.

  6. wewantpaul

    nazis to some extend might have seen themselves as providing state assisted roads, education, stimulation – to solve social problems –
    it is true they mixed this with strong capitalist agenda – however there name is not entirely fiction
    esp if a main cause of persecution of communists was opposition to russia – in this case division between two varieties of socialism (granted one, german, was half baked) was racial, a traditional german opposition to slavic culture.

    i mean nazi germany was hardly a market economy – and of course nazi were loose with truth and an uneducated mob, so it is hard for us to dispute they might have thought they were some kind of national socialists even if we conceptually dispute that, and their economy was based on militarism – that was true of russia for many decades.

    it is a great pity all german socialists could not unite and reform inequities in financial systems etc through legislation – esp given the relative strength of german communist party – without the bloodbath of holocaust

    anyway some thought fallible they might be

  7. If only Albo was LOTO. Oh what a time it would be.


    If only the Versailles treaty hadn’t been so tough.

    History is what it is and Albo lost in 2013 and did not challenge after the last election. If Jesus Christ came to earth and took over from Shorten Labor would still be marked down for not learning its lesson from the RGR wars. Labor’s single biggest advantage going into the next election is that it is stable – so stable that the Liberals are now looking at introducing the Rudd rules.

    But if Albo really had been challenging a couple of months ago when the media had its orgiastic fantasy, and had won, you would not be seeing these results for Labor. They would be struggling to be even.

  8. So, Labor gained 6 points. 4 from LNP, and 2 from PHON.

    I wonder what the “Conservatives” will glean from this. History shows that they’ll determine that they need to move further to the right.

    I may be about to overdose on schadenfreude.

  9. “I thrashed Julie Bishop :). My time was about 58:30 and hers was 66:10. Still I guess she is a bit older.

    I was in the top 10% of my age category (50-59).

    I was stoked to come in under the hour and I certainly owe some thanks to Andrew Earlwood for his suggestions on how I should prepare. The conditions were really nice today but the last hill on Oceanic Drive was a struggle.”

    Congrats mate. Well done!

  10. Fess:

    Puffy, Don and Clem Atlee: Are you getting now how hard it is being a woman in today’s Liberal party? Can you appreciate what JBishop has been up against in achieving what she’s achieved? You might disagree with her on a range of fronts, as do I, but you can’t take away from the fact her career in federal parliament and in her party has been remarkably successful despite the odds stacked against her given her gender.


    It is precisely because of her gender that she got so far, she is a lightweight. No man with her lack of ability could have got so far.

    The LNP are desperately short of women in order to make a better gender ratio. Bishop was eventually given Foreign Affairs, after a lacklustre record in other roles. In FA she found her niche, jetting around the world, meeting and greeting.

    The real question that needs to be asked is why so few women of ability choose to join the LNP in order to become an MP in the first place.

    Labor manages it, and they have a range of very high profile, very high ability women who don’t need a skewed selection process to hold their job. They would be in high profile roles no matter what their gender.

    The Labor section of parliament has twice as many women as the LNP numerically, and the ratio is 1.5 M/F. In the LNP it is 4.8.

    Labor is closing the gap to true equality, the LNP has close to five times more men than women.

    Labor: 41/28 M/F
    LNP: 63/13 M/F

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