Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor

After a Victorian election result decided entirely on state issues, a poll shows the Coalition doing every bit as badly at federal level.

A weekend to forget for the Coalition has been compounded by Newspoll’s finding that its federal operation is down yet another point, putting Labor’s lead at 55-45. Its primary vote is down a point to 34%, the equal lowest since the 2016 election, while Labor is steady on 40%, the Greens are unchanged on 9% and One Nation are up two to 6%. Scott Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is down slightly, from 43-35 to 42-36. Nonetheless, Scott Morrison’s personal ratings have improved since a fortnight ago, with approval up four to 43% and disapproval down five to 42%, while Bill Shorten is up two to 37% and steady on 50%. The poll will have been conducted Thursday to Sunday and the sample around 1700, although it’s not specified in the online report.

UPDATE: The sample size was 1717.

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.

2,597 comments on “Newspoll: 55-45 to Labor”

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  1. Note Bill Shorten refers to the Bourke Street attack.
    Not the terror attack.

    My point being Mr Shorten is not amplifying the fear factor.

  2. One thing in the polling that I suspect is hidden and will remain so is the city country divide. I won’t be surprised at all if Labor actually lost a little ground in rural seats and the independents gaining disproportionately there.

    But it’s the city seats that the Libs are burning with their stupidity and these will swing to Labor over the state swing.

    We just saw this in Melbourne. That’s why despite it’s margin being higher up the pendulum than some Reid will almost certainly be one of the first wins called. Whereas Page might be tough, but a Hughes or Bennelong may also fall to Labor.

    Brisbane will probably be easier to win than Dawson, and more Melbourne seats will be in play than a statewide swing analysis like Bludgertrack would indicate.

    The moderate middle class suburban Liberal voters are not feeling too well represented by these goons and enough of them aren’t so rusted on that they won’t flip some seemingly safe seats to a Labor party that isn’t scaring them nearly as much as the Libs own loons are.

    And in the seats where Labor is just not an option like Wentworth they’ll go for a moderate independent like Wentworth.

  3. Rex: Given the Andrews Govt’ adoption of Greens policy it’s an achievement for the Greens to still get above 9% of the PV
    Ah, that is now; but wait till the next election when the ALP will have rolled out all their solar panel, battery and other renewable policies. I expect the Greens to be far less relevant in the voter’s minds.

  4. If it’s 55-45 with the unpopular Shorten as leader it would be more with a better received leader/spokesperson.

    You do realise people often say this when the ALP get a good poll and pretend they are quoting you? 😀

    The reason the ALP are where they are is largely down to Shorten, because whatever his faults, which are mostly about perception, he has an excellent political ear. He picks his fights well, and keeps the ALP united. He has shown the ALP exactly what they should have done when Howard was elected.

  5. Expat follower

    I did the stats a while ago (assuming uniform swing which seriously may not be the case for the plotters like Sukkar and Hastie). For what it’s worth from memory (on home computer not here) looking at how they voted in the Morrison-Dutton run-off I think around the 5% swing mark Dutton (Abbott proxy) gets the majority, then loses it again around 7-8%. And obviously it wouldn’t be Dutton as his seat would surely be swept away in that sort of swing.

    So Tony II here we come!

    “Good Opposition starts today”

  6. That person who said Mr Shorten could not believe being hit by a political rainbow could have been right.

    The political rainbow being how inept the LNP politics actually is. Howard would have passed ICAC style legislation this morning if he waited this long.

  7. While Morrison is shouting…

    The artist has captured Bronwen beautifully, in the sense that one eye is larger than the other.
    She was and is one-eyed.

  8. Question @ #357 Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 2:13 pm

    If it’s 55-45 with the unpopular Shorten as leader it would be more with a better received leader/spokesperson.

    You do realise people often say this when the ALP get a good poll and pretend they are quoting you? 😀

    The reason the ALP are where they are is largely down to Shorten, because whatever his faults, which are mostly about perception, he has an excellent political ear. He picks his fights well, and keeps the ALP united. He has shown the ALP exactly what they should have done when Howard was elected.

    I’d argue the Govt’s standing is a consequence of their internal destruction.

  9. Expat Follower @ #321 Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 10:38 am

    and veering right might save some furniture in WA and Qld.

    I do wish eastern staters would stop equating WA with the right.

    It may well be conservative from an economic perspective, but it is definitely socially progressive.

    The last WA state election saw a landslide win to Labor – a lot bigger than the one in Victoria on the weekend. One of the contributing factors to that victory was the Libs doing a preference deal with One Nation which caused both of them to get a hammering.

    WA also got the 3rd highest percentage of votes for the SSM plebiscite thingy as well, with every electorate returning a majority of Yes votes.

    I’m sure every Queenslander is not happy with being equated with WA as Sandgropers are with being equated with Queensland. They are two entirely separate entities with only a small overlap. West Australians have more in common with Victorians than they do with Banana Benders.

  10. I’ll probably watch the start of Q&A because I imagine the first 15 minutes will be absolute torture for whoever the L-NP rep is. I’m not really a sadist, honest. 🙂

  11. Ratsak – Monday @ 2.11 “One thing in the polling that I suspect is hidden and will remain so is the city country divide. I won’t be surprised at all if Labor actually lost a little ground in rural seats and the independents gaining disproportionately there.”

    The abc site showed that in most National held seats there was actually a swing to them, except for the “independents insurgency” in a a couple. I recall that, independents aside, there was only 1 seat with a (very small) swing against.

    Unsure why? Sufficient political distance perhaps.

  12. booleanbach @ #356 Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 2:12 pm

    Rex: Given the Andrews Govt’ adoption of Greens policy it’s an achievement for the Greens to still get above 9% of the PV
    Ah, that is now; but wait till the next election when the ALP will have rolled out all their solar panel, battery and other renewable policies. I expect the Greens to be far less relevant in the voter’s minds.

    Who cares. Green policies are being implemented regardless.

  13. @murpharoo tweeted one hour ago

    If you are just tuning in, we cannot have @Indigocathy’s ICAC bill because @andrewprobyn could be found to be corrupt #auspol

  14. Shouty says something I agree with:

    “You cannot lead a country you only want to divide”.

    Which the Liberals discovered in Victoria last weekend and will discover nationally in the next few months.

  15. Expat Follower:

    I’m still trying to work out ScoMo’s thinking in taking the gig now. I guess he has a large enough ego to think he could really win an election, what will he do after they lose – try and stay on as opp leader? Has anyone ever done that after losing govt… maybe Springborg in Qld?

    Laurence Springborg was never premier. You’d be thinking of Rob Borbidge, who did stay on as opposition leader after losing the premiership to Peter Beattie, and then got destroyed at the following election.

    On a federal level, the last PM to continue as opposition leader after losing government was Whitlam. It didn’t go too well for him.

    While Menzies was indeed the last ex-PM to regain office from opposition, he technically didn’t continue on as OL after losing government: he resigned as the United Australia Party leader before they lost office, with the Coalition limping along in minority government for just over a month under Country Party leader Arthur Fadden (who did continue on as OL.) Menzies then regained the leadership of the UAP and Coalition after they had lost an election from opposition, forming the Liberal Party and eventually regaining the Prime Ministership two terms later.

    Morrison may well be deluded enough to believe the Liberal will allow him to continue on as opposition leader after next year’s defeat, but more likely the delusion is (or at least was, back when he contested the spill) that he can win next year, and he hasn’t even thought ahead to what the situation will be like in opposition. Everything he’s done since taking office suggests a man desperately trying to pull off a win, not someone who’s accepted the loss and is trying to limit the loss and play a longer game.

    In any case, there’s no chance Morrison’s going to be allowed to remain leader in the event of a loss. There’s more chance of Wayne becoming the next opposition leader.

    Beyond the fact that the Liberals are generally very unforgiving of leaders who lose elections, there’s a good reason PMs never stay on as opposition leaders anymore, and that’s because it almost never yields electoral success. Since WWI, only one ex-PM has ever managed to regain office from opposition, and that was Menzies. All the others that tried it – Scullin, Fadden, Chifley, and Whitlam – didn’t even come close (and Chifley’s death was likely hastened by his own attempt.) And these were in times when the news cycle moved at a far slower pace, when it was normal for state premiers to flit in and out of office from election to election, and for opposition leaders to press on through defeat after defeat.

    Morrison’s already a joke. Can you imagine how much more of a joke he’d be in the wake of a humiliating electoral defeat, with all his political capital eroded, all his power stripped away from him, unable to do anything but complain about a new government in the midst of their honeymoon? Most likely he’d be so unpopular by that point that the incoming Liberal leader wouldn’t even want him near their ministry – his options will be the backbench or retirement.

  16. Howard would have passed ICAC style legislation this morning if he waited this long.

    They are clueless. Ray and Jones are telling them they need a coal power station. Rowan and the Skyloons are telling them to go even further right.

    This integrity stuff isn’t a big deal on 2GB or the Hun so it must be a leftist conspiracy like climate change. Therefore it must be fought to the death.

    The slaughter will still be coming as a complete shock to them several hours after Antony calls it.

  17. ABC Planet America did an excellent interview with Stephanie Kelton, a distinguished macroeconomist from the United States. She outlines a federally funded, community-administered Job Guarantee. She talks about the fact that a currency-issuer that allows its currency to float in foreign exchange markets has no financial constraint on its spending; the constraint is real resource availability. She explains why what we term “public debt” is not a burden for the government or for taxpayers and is not really debt at all in the conventional sense of the word. She explains that it is not necessary for a currency-issuer to borrow its own currency. She explains that if a currency-issuer net adds financial wealth to the non-government sector in a financial year, this is called a fiscal deficit. If a currency-issuer net deletes financial wealth from the non-government sector in a financial year, this is a called a fiscal surplus.

    https://www.facebook.com/abcplanetamerica/videos/1109792772514501/?t=1

  18. Brilliant question from Shorten.

    Why did the Government vote today for an ICAC if it has not yet decided if it wants one?

    I cannot believe how stupid Morrison is that he is so much allowing himself to be painted as not having his heart in an ICAC. People totally across the political spectrum want one. The Coalition is looking for all the world that it is doing everything to avoid one while paying lip service to the principle. Mean and tricky – without even a tiny scent of Howard’s ability.

  19. I wondered earlier, when the discussion briefly turned to preferred prime minister, that since the opposition are not in government, when asked about any opposition leader being PM, one has to imagine either that Shorten would be leading the Lib-Nat coalition or that one first has to imagine Labor as forming government and then add Shorten as PM to the constructed image. The former is a decidedly disconcerting thought. The latter requires a small amount of extra effort, depending on affiliation and awareness. For many it is easier to imagine the PM as PM.

    So on this level too, the question on preferred PM is a nonsense.

  20. If only Shorten wasn’t leader. Instead of being poised to win government in an enormous landslide, the Labor Party might instead be poised to win government in a slightly more enormous landslide.

    The Labor caucus must be very worried that they are only polling leads of 55-45 right now.

  21. Asha Leu

    Good summary. I am still gobsmacked as to how poor Morrison has been as PM. I really expected him to be better. I feel if they had drawn a leader out of a hat, and that person basically knew they were going to lose next year, they would have done a better job and maintained their dignity in the office as Prime Minister.

    I believe that ironically Morrison getting his hour in the sun as PM has finished his political career. If Dutton had been made PM then Morrison may well have had a future.

  22. Asha Leu @ #384 Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 2:35 pm

    If only Shorten wasn’t leader. Instead of being poised to win government in an enormous landslide, the Labor Party might instead be poised to win government in a slightly more enormous landslide.

    The Labor caucus must be very worried that they are only polling leads of 55-45 right now.

    Nice try, Asha, but no banana. Go get a room with Rex. Your, ‘look over there at Bill Shorten! Isn’t he unpopular!?!’, just like all the tired old Liberals like to monotonously say, is irrelevant. And what’s more, it’s misleading. Because you know who has been leading Labor to Newspoll win, after Newspoll win, after Newspoll win?

    Bill Shorten.

    And there’s no way, no matter how you may want to posit that the polls would be better if he were not leading the Labor Party, that you can say that with ANY certainty, because the guns of the Murdoch media and the government would just be trained on whoever was Leader of the FPLP. Plus, there would be the basis for a massive scare campaign about instability and chaos, again, in the Labor Party.

    Hey, Asha, I think I can hear Rex calling you. 😉

  23. Rex,
    The way things play out depends on the choices you make along the way. You seem to have a rather simplistic and fatalistic imagination that says the situation for Labor would be the same regardless of their choices, and then fuss about the window dressing.

    You imagine the ALP would be doing better with different choices, and then discount the fact that the ALP have got where they are with the choices they have made.

    In their first budget Abbott and Hockey used the Howard and Costello template of breaking promises, cutting spending and blaming Labor. Shorten chose to fight.

    The ALP are currently 56-44 (on the traditional Newspoll preference method), and look a shoe in. When was the last time the ALP won after only 2 terms in opposition?

  24. Asha

    If only Shorten wasn’t leader. Instead of being poised to win government in an enormous landslide, the Labor Party might instead be poised to win government in a slightly more enormous landslide.

    ________________________________

    Personally, I think that these days a landslide victory is actually dangerous. Landslide victories give rise to hubris and a false sense of electoral security. They also remove valuable challenges to ill-considered policy and open the door to more extreme party members to push through their agendas. Recent examples are Howard after 2004 and, outstandingly, Campbell Newman in Queensland after 2012.

    While the partisan side of me wanted Labor to smash the Coalition in Victoria I am actually a little relieved that it will have the numbers to provide a challenging (but not destructive) opposition. And I think Federal Labor and the nation will be better served if it has a competent Opposition against it.

  25. Cat

    Wow Asha was using sarcastic humour against Rex.

    The Caucus must be worried about a bigger landslide would have given it away I would have thought.

  26. Not very convincing is about as close to a compliment you can honestly give Josh on any political matter.

    Josh as treasurer – Not very convincing
    Josh saying it’s state issues – Not very convincing
    Josh doing a Labor baad video – Not very convincing
    Josh explaining NEG to his party – Not very convincing

    In a party of talentless dopes the idea Josh Frydenberg is their future is not very convincing.

  27. Q
    “The reason the ALP are where they are is largely down to Shorten, because whatever his faults, which are mostly about perception, he has an excellent political ear. ”

    Exactly. This “Oh but if only Albo was leader, we’d be even further ahead!” gnashing of teeth is just alternative-universe bulldust. Bill and Albo both have strengths and weaknesses.

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