Leadership ratings revisited

Picking apart personal approval and preferred prime minister ratings in the Morrison era.

BludgerTrack’s leadership approval and preferred prime ministership readings have been in limbo since last August’s leadership change, since it was necessary to accumulate a certain amount of data before Morrison-era trends could usefully be generated. I have now finally got around to doing something about this, the results of which can be found through the link below:

This exercise has to contend with the very substantial idiosyncrasies of the various pollsters, of which three produce data that can meaningfully be compared with each other: Newspoll, Essential and Ipsos (there are also a handful of small-sample Morgan results in the mix). This is done by calculating a trend exclusively from Newspoll, determining the other pollsters’ average deviations from that trend, and adjusting their results accordingly. For whatever reason, Newspoll appears to be a particularly tough marker, which means the other pollsters are adjusted very substantially downwards on approval and upwards on disapproval:

Ipsos Essential
PM approval -11.0% -3.1%
PM disapproval +8.9% +8.6%
OL approval -5.5% -1.0%
OL disapproval +2.4% +9.5%
PM preferred -4.8% -0.3%

“PM preferred” refers to the size of the Prime Minister’s lead over the Opposition Leader in preferred prime minister polling – so Ipsos, for example, records relatively large leads for the Prime Minister in comparison with Newspoll, and is adjusted accordingly.

The job of charting trendlines through the spread of results is complicated by some notable outliers at around the time of the leadership transition. Malcolm Turnbull’s critics on the right are very keen on an Ipsos poll conducted over the last week of his prime ministership, as it is the only evidence polling has to offer that the Coalition’s present dismal position is not entirely down to the avoidable disaster of Turnbull’s removal. After a period of fairly consistent 51-49 results from all pollsters, this poll found Labor’s lead blowing out to 55-45 – and Malcolm Turnbull down nine on approval and up ten on disapproval. However, the BludgerTrack trend is not overly responsive to single poll results, so it records no sudden decline at the end of Turnbull’s tenure – only the levelling off an improving trend going back to late 2017.

Immediately after the leadership change, two pollsters posed questions on preferred prime minister, though not leadership approval. These produced very different results – a 39-33 lead for Bill Shorten from Newspoll, and a 39-29 lead for Scott Morrison from Essential. Newspoll is given a heavier weighting than Essential, so the trend follows its lead in finding Shorten with a very short-lived lead immediately after the leadership change. However, none of the fifteen poll results have replicated a lead for Shorten, so it is entirely possible that the Newspoll result was an outlier and the lead never existed in the first place.

The bigger picture is that Scott Morrison started well on net approval, but has now settled in roughly where Malcolm Turnbull was in his final months; that he is under-performing Turnbull on preferred prime minister; and that Bill Shorten’s net rating, while still not great, has been on a steady upward path since the leadership change.

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.

2,082 comments on “Leadership ratings revisited”

  1. Nine News Queensland
    ‏Verified account @9NewsQueensland

    Bob Katter is hopping on the cash for cane toads bandwagon, saying children should take up the fight and hunt the pests with low-powered air rifles. #9News

  2. Trump rages at reporter for pointing out he did nothing on the wall for two years

    During a question-and-answer session with reporters, the president tried to claim that there has been a “national emergency” on the border for years now and he pointed to past statements by former President Barack Obama about a flood of migrant children at the border to back up his point.

    Diamond, however, countered that Trump has now been president for two years and has still not secured funding for his supposed top priority, even when Republicans ran both chambers of Congress.

    “Look, look, you can all play cute,” Trump angrily replied. “And I’d say 80 percent of you are possibly in coordination with the opposition party!”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/watch-trump-rages-reporter-pointing-nothing-wall-two-yearsv/

  3. spocket if you look at the video with care you can see what happened. Sign to high, steel too thin, fatigue wins.
    In the sky shots you can see the holes in the hollow section truss. In the shots of the sign you can see the sign is still nicely bolted onto it’s mounting post.

  4. The failure of the MDB plan demonstrates that a partial solution is not always better than no solution. Sometimes it’s just as bad as (or worse than) no solution. Nature does not know or care about human political compromises and self satisfaction.

  5. Sprocket

    I dont recall anything like this ever happening.
    Of course, vehicles have hit signs etc, but never one coming down like that.
    Lucky for driver and the company responsible for maintenance etc of such signage.

    All signage is checked on a regular basis, and after this incident, an audit of signage was done to ensure they were secure

  6. Lawyerly is reporting that a class action against Australia arising from the scores of deaths on an asylum seeking boat which ran aground on Christmas Island has been dismissed.

  7. Lawyerly is reporting that a class action against Australia arising from the scores of deaths on man asylum seeking boat which ran aground on Christmas Island has been dismissed.

  8. lizzie says:

    Where’s the Photoshop genius to put long pants on Morrison?

    They were long pants before the ‘photoshop genius’ got to work.

    A coincidence,Shorten in shorts and 24 hours latter Pastor Fozzie in shorts ?

  9. Herald Sun
    ‏Verified account @theheraldsun
    1m1 minute ago

    Update: Neighbours heard ‘knocking’ before terrifying St Kilda stabbing >>
    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/st-kilda-street-in-lockdown-after-man-was-attacked-by-knifeman-in-home-invasion/news-story/4dde5cb3fc3e92a588cd2fcd6204413f?utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_source=HeraldSun&utm_content=SocialFlow&nk=633ef1743253b5d30297383e175c1bf5-1547154479

    So looks things going worse in St Kilda.

    Thanks to Fraser Anning support for neo-nazis.

  10. Nancy Pelosi suspects Trump meeting was a setup — and asks if Republicans take oath to America or Trump

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a press conference Thursday that she suspects the meeting with President Donald Trump was probably a set-up.

    Democratic leaders met with the White House Wednesday. The president walked in and asked if Democrats would give him his wall. Pelosi said “no” and Trump admitted he walked out, saying “bye-bye.”

    Pelosi refused to answer what she would do if Trump declared a national emergency. The president seems to want to head in that direction, according to reports prior to his televised address Tuesday. She said that she thinks Trump likes the distraction from having to deal with other issues and prefers to zero in on his campaign issues.

    “Do you take an oath to the Constitution or an oath to Donald Trump?” Pelosi asked Republicans.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/nancy-pelosi-suspects-trump-meeting-setup-asks-republicans-take-oath-america-trump/

  11. Zoidlord @ #1115 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 4:08 am

    Herald Sun
    ‏Verified account @theheraldsun
    1m1 minute ago

    Update: Neighbours heard ‘knocking’ before terrifying St Kilda stabbing >>
    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/st-kilda-street-in-lockdown-after-man-was-attacked-by-knifeman-in-home-invasion/news-story/4dde5cb3fc3e92a588cd2fcd6204413f?utm_campaign=EditorialSF&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_source=HeraldSun&utm_content=SocialFlow&nk=633ef1743253b5d30297383e175c1bf5-1547154479

    So looks things going worse in St Kilda.

    Thanks to Fraser Anning support for neo-nazis.

    Sorry, but where is the connection to Anning and the protests on the weekend?

  12. ‘Imagine Trump’s reaction when he sees Cohen testifying’: CNN reporter predicts a white-hot meltdown on February 7

    On Thursday, CNN reporter M.J. Lee predicted a white-hot White House meltdown when President Donald Trump turns on his television February 7 to watch his former personal attorney Michael Cohen testifying publicly in front of Congress on what will presumably be a wide variety of topics.

    “Just imagine the potential reaction that we’re going to see from the president as he looks up and sees Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, saying all of these things in such a public setting,” “I think our White House reporters would probably agree that that is going to have a tremendous impact on the president, his mood, and how he potentially decides to lash out.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/imagine-trumps-reaction-sees-cohen-testifying-cnn-reporter-predicts-white-hot-meltdown-february-7/

    Trump’s ‘most damning day’ is coming on February 7: CNN

    “This perhaps could be the most damning day for the president and this White House come February 7th. Michael Cohen stood before a court and swore to tell the truth and said that the president directed him to make these payments,” he said.

    “These payments could be the most problematic part of this hearing for the president,” Prokupecz said.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/trumps-most-damning-day-is-coming-on-february-7-cnn/

  13. Nice work if you can get it…

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann booked flights costing $37,000 so he could spruik the Government’s personal tax cuts and lobby crossbenchers for its corporate tax plan.

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-11/mathias-cormann-spent-37k-on-flights-to-spruik-tax-plan/10697652

    It’s not the meetings with cross benchers that’s the problem. That’s “official business” (even if barely).

    It’s that the meetings were not urgent, or even time sensitive.

    It’s that Cormann’s office refuses to even disclose who the meetings were with (we had to find that out from the Senators themselves). Apparently the taxpayers have no right to know.

    It’s also that Cormann’s private business in Perth that weekend – maybe a barbeque, or a day at the beach, or perhaps some “quality” time with the missus and kids? – was supposedly worth $37,000: a staggering sum that nevertheless does not even qualify a an expense that needs to be explained.

    I’ve heard of “Work-Life Balance”, but that’s ridiculous, especially when pensioners and people on Centrelink benefits are being hounded to distraction over trivial (and often imagined) breaches and alleged overpayments.

  14. Trump gearing up to replace Ginsburg with ‘brutal confirmation fight’ should her health fail

    With the Trump White House doing it all it can to keep the president afloat while buffeted by multiple investigations that could lead to impeachment, aides to the president are also creating battle plans to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should she have to step down for health reasons.

    According to a report at Politico, an official at the conservative Heritage Foundation — which is expected to highly influence Trump’s next pick — said replacing the liberal Ginsburg is going to lead to a brutal fight.

    Due to the 85-year-old Ginsburg’s recent health issues — including broken ribs and another cancer scare — senior aides within the White House are licking their chops at replacing the liberal icon and changing the direction of the nation’s highest court for generations.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/trump-gearing-replace-ginsberg-brutal-confirmation-fight-health-fail/

  15. Here comes Michael Cohen’s (very public) revenge against Donald Trump – Bill Palmer

    Back when Michael Cohen cut a plea deal, he vowed to reveal the whole truth about the crimes that he and Donald Trump committed together. Based on subsequent statements from Robert Mueller’s office, Cohen has indeed given up everything he has on Trump. Now the whole thing is about to become very public.

    This means television cameras will be in the room, and you’ll all be able to watch it live on your favorite cable news channel. We’re about to see a lot of Donald Trump’s crimes laid out for all to see.

    House Democrats are going to get their opportunity to ask Michael Cohen all about the crimes that he conspired to commit with Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, and the whole gang. And short of anything that Mueller still needs to keep secret by that date, we can expect Cohen to lay it all out for the television cameras.

    https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/michael-cohen-revenge-trump-public/15224/

  16. Trump/McConnell’s impact on the judiciary will probably already be felt for decades. If the Dems win 2020 I’m sure we’ll see a bunch of Liberal judges go who have been postponing their retirement, including RBG if she can hang on.

  17. From the top of BK’s reading list comes a very good point about Dutton’s faux virtue signalling, as he faces losing his seat, on sex offenders and child welfare

    The move was a surprise, since Mr Dutton has not shown any previous interest in the topic. His critics point out that he has shown little enthusiasm for investigating allegations of child sex abuse at the offshore processing centres for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/states-must-resist-pressure-for-public-register-of-child-sex-abusers-20190110-p50qjs.html

  18. “Trump/McConnell’s impact on the judiciary will probably already be felt for decades”

    Unless it leads to reform. They don’t really have an independent judiciary, like they like to think, it is an incredibly partisan body, and clearly has acted as such since when it appointed the loser Bush to the presidency with a vote purely on partisan lines, if not before.

    The legal profession, being a fee seeking profession, is always going to get to courts incredibly biased towards the big companies that provide the river of fees for the top end lawyers, but to put a partisan layer on that cake is just begging for trouble.

  19. ItzaDream @ #1124 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 8:42 am

    From the top of BK’s reading list comes a very good point about Dutton’s faux virtue signalling, as he faces losing his seat, on sex offenders and child welfare

    The move was a surprise, since Mr Dutton has not shown any previous interest in the topic. His critics point out that he has shown little enthusiasm for investigating allegations of child sex abuse at the offshore processing centres for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/states-must-resist-pressure-for-public-register-of-child-sex-abusers-20190110-p50qjs.html

    And the Sydney Morning Herald editorial pins down exactly why the register would simply be pandering to fearful, or angry, adults rather than protecting vulnerable children:

    The experience in the US suggests a public register can provoke persecution including “vigilante” attacks on offenders living in the community. Whether or not offenders deserve sympathy, US studies suggest that making offenders’ lives difficult after release can undermine the whole register because it provides a strong incentive for offenders to go AWOL…

    A follow-up study of the WA public register found that a third of those who used it felt it had made their children safer but the researchers warned that the public register created a false sense of security.

    The WA public register only includes the most serious offenders and, more importantly, checking a register is not enough because the vast majority of child sexual abuse is not carried out by strangers but by people known to the children.

    While stranger danger crimes dominate media coverage, family members and those looking after children are a bigger threat. This can only be prevented by measures such as community education and compulsory reporting, including by religious groups, of any suspicions of child abuse.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/states-must-resist-pressure-for-public-register-of-child-sex-abusers-20190110-p50qjs.html

  20. While there is a long journey between initial studies and clinical effectiveness, the appearance of a drug that disrupts the formation of metastases is another niche target in cancer treatment.

    The development of metastasis is responsible for more than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths, and patients with a metastatic disease are considered incurable. The interdisciplinary team led by Prof. Nicola Aceto from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel has identified a drug that suppresses the spread of malignant cancer cells and their metastasis-seeding ability.

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-01-drug-formation-metastasis.html?platform=hootsuite

  21. “critics point out that he has shown little enthusiasm for investigating allegations of child sex abuse at the offshore processing centres for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus”

    but of course he wouldn’t, he doesn’t see or treat them like human beings, they are being treated as animals to be tortured and left to die for political expediency, why would you care, except to the point you can further dehumanise them (like the failed racist colonial response to issues of sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities).

  22. McConnell must be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of getting 3 Supreme Court nominations in a single presidential term.

    I reckon everyone is hoping that RBG can hang in there for a few more years!

  23. I also found this information interesting from reading the Dawn Patrol:

    The NSW Liberals are also yet to endorse candidates for several federal seats ahead of a poll expected in May, although most of those are safe Labor electorates. The party has not yet chosen a candidate for the marginal seat of Dobell, and former frontbencher and Malcolm Turnbull ally Craig Laundy has not decided whether to recontest his Sydney seat of Reid.

    The safe Labor electorates I can understand, who wants a Sisyphean task? However, what is more interesting is that the Liberals haven’t chosen (= haven’t been able to find?) anyone to run in the seat next to mine, Dobell, and Craig Laundy STILL hasn’t made his mind up yet about running!

  24. C@tmomma @ #1126 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 8:56 am

    And the Sydney Morning Herald editorial pins down exactly why the register would simply be pandering to fearful adults rather than protecting vulnerable children:

    The experience in the US suggests a public register can provoke persecution including “vigilante” attacks on offenders living in the community. Whether or not offenders deserve sympathy, US studies suggest that making offenders’ lives difficult after release can undermine the whole register because it provides a strong incentive for offenders to go AWOL…

    A follow-up study of the WA public register found that a third of those who used it felt it had made their children safer but the researchers warned that the public register created a false sense of security.

    The WA public register only includes the most serious offenders and, more importantly, checking a register is not enough because the vast majority of child sexual abuse is not carried out by strangers but by people known to the children.

    While stranger danger crimes dominate media coverage, family members and those looking after children are a bigger threat. This can only be prevented by measures such as community education and compulsory reporting, including by religious groups, of any suspicions of child abuse.

    Yes, and notably the going AWOL bit. The other point that it is such a heinous crime that it makes for irrational responses is a fair call, except that it seems Dutton is simply being opportunistic, quelle suprisement.

  25. WeWantPaul @ #1128 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 8:58 am

    “critics point out that he has shown little enthusiasm for investigating allegations of child sex abuse at the offshore processing centres for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus”

    but of course he wouldn’t, he doesn’t see or treat them like human beings, they are being treated as animals to be tortured and left to die for political expediency, why would you care, except to the point you can further dehumanise them (like the failed racist colonial response to issues of sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities).

    Yes. Dehumanising is the psychology behind inhumane behaviour.

  26. What I also found an interesting ‘pearl’ of information is that, John Menadue, of the ‘Pearls and Irritations’ blog, is a former Murdoch media executive!

    A FEW DAYS AFTER LABOR won the Federal Election in December 1972, Rupert Murdoch asked his then general manager of The Australian, John Menadue, to convey to Gough Whitlam that he would like to be appointed Australia’s High Commissioner to London. Murdoch regarded it as a suitable “thank you” for the support his papers had provided for the It’s Time campaign.

    Whitlam scoffed at the suggestion and Murdoch denies it, but others corroborated Menadue’s version and it illustrates what mattered most to Murdoch — recognition by the establishment. He craved what his father had that he didn’t, and where better to display it than in the halls of power and influence in the Empire’s capital?

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-politics-of-media-power,12261

    Yes, of course, anyone is capable of taking the king’s shilling but maintaining independent thought, I just thought it was an interesting factoid to keep in mind when viewing Menadue’s contributions to the political debate. Can a leopard ever change his spots completely?

  27. C@t

    The Australian at that time was aggressively pro-Whitlam and Labor. Whitlam subsequently appointed Menadue as the head of his department. After Fraser’s coup, Menadue was moved to head the Immigration Department. Menadue has always been a left-winger.

  28. The NSW Liberals are also yet to endorse candidates for several federal seats ahead of a poll expected in May, although most of those are safe Labor electorates. The party has not yet chosen a candidate for the marginal seat of Dobell, and former frontbencher and Malcolm Turnbull ally Craig Laundy has not decided whether to recontest his Sydney seat of Reid.

    And what about Julia Banks?

  29. I also found this suggestion in the article about the MDB/Menindee issue worthy:

    The University of Adelaide’s Professor Mike Young, a Research Chair in Water and Environmental Policy, called for a “hands off” policy where no one is allowed to take water when the river system falls below a certain level.

    He also wants to see irrigators forced to use meters to monitor their use. “No meter means no water,” he said.

    https://outline.com/8tJswj

    Seems simple enough that it could possibly be introduced by Regulation?

  30. @Barney

    Obviously by the timing of it.

    Protests, followed by suspicious packages (person was from Victoria) and now stabbing.

    Let’s not forget the recent terror attack.

  31. Confessions @ #1138 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:18 am

    The NSW Liberals are also yet to endorse candidates for several federal seats ahead of a poll expected in May, although most of those are safe Labor electorates. The party has not yet chosen a candidate for the marginal seat of Dobell, and former frontbencher and Malcolm Turnbull ally Craig Laundy has not decided whether to recontest his Sydney seat of Reid.

    And what about Julia Banks?

    She’s from Victoria. 🙂

  32. That’s interesting C@t. I think I’ll get his autobiography.

    Quickie from wiki:

    From March 1960 to October 1967 Menadue was private secretary to Gough Whitlam, deputy leader of the Labor Opposition in the federal parliament (Whitlam became leader in February 1967). In 1966 Menadue stood unsuccessfully as Labor candidate for the NSW federal seat of Hume.[3] After leaving Whitlam’s employ, he moved into the private sector for seven years as general manager at News Limited, publisher of The Australian.

  33. Mr Denmore
    ‏@MrDenmore
    39m39 minutes ago

    The assumption that the best super plan is the one with the highest returns is daft. The best plan is the one the individual can live with and that is built for them, their needs, their risk appetites and their goals. High returns go with high risk. Not everyone wants that.

  34. Cohen’s public testimony to the House Oversight Committee will provide yet another headache for President Man Baby, plus further indication this year won’t be a good one for him. Adam Schiff has also said he expects Cohen to meet privately with members of Congress in addition to his public testimony.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/michael-cohen-to-testify-publicly-before-house-panel-in-early-february/2019/01/10/6c0448f4-1516-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html?utm_term=.d8fdc7b9fe4b

  35. The White House has begun laying the groundwork for a declaration of national emergency to build President Trump’s border wall, including searching for unused money in the Army Corps of Engineers budget, two people with knowledge of the preparations said Thursday.

    Trump has urged the Army Corps to determine how fast contracts could be signed and whether construction could begin within 45 days, according to one of these people, an official familiar with the deliberations who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe them.

    The administration is specifically eyeing a disaster spending bill passed by Congress last year that includes $13.9 billion in funding that has been allocated but not actually spent for a variety of projects, according to the second person, a congressional aide who also requested anonymity.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-administration-lays-groundwork-to-declare-national-emergency-to-build-wall/2019/01/10/e8902698-14fa-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html?utm_term=.e28850fd2e1b

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