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. TPOF @ #1135 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:12 am

    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.

    And a champion of Public Health who sees the enemy in the Private Health system.

  2. ‘fess,
    Anyone who could successfully get along with the Mango Mussolini for as long as Michael Cohen did must also have a devious streak in him too.

    You’ve also got to wonder what crisis Trump will try to manufacture for that day?

  3. ItzaDream @ #1151 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:31 am

    TPOF @ #1135 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:12 am

    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.

    And a champion of Public Health who sees the enemy in the Private Health system.

    Sounds like it will be an interesting read then. 🙂

  4. I presumed the sex offender urgency was about the Govt shoring up Hinch’s vote…they are buying off cross bench support right, righter and centre at the moment.

  5. Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    2h2 hours ago

    POTUS: “They say a wall is medieval, well so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall,” Trump said, later adding: “The wheel is older than the wall, you know that? There are some things that work. You know what? A wheel works and a wall works. Nothing like a wall.”

    Shorter POTUS: “Nobody knows more about walls and wheels than I do!”

  6. C@t:

    Committee Chair Cummings has said Cohen was cleared by Mueller to appear. But I wonder how the committee can ask Cohen about things that are directly related to the inquiry without interfering with it.

  7. I think the problems with the Private Health industry are that they have oversight over something we can do nothing much about-our health. So, considering that they have the word ‘Insurance’ in their nomenclature, that also gives us insight into their motivation-maximising profit and minimising risk-as an insurer, with health service provision as the vehicle that drives their profits.

    As opposed to the Public Health system, which puts treatment uppermost, whilst not discounting how much it costs to effectively run a Health system due to their responsibility, as a government department, to the taxpayer.

    Also, we are starting to get an idea of what the Health Insurers want to do with our health data, if they can get their hands on it. Again, maximise profit and minimise risk. No doubt what they want to do similarly in the US with their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with their death by a thousand cuts approach. Again, similar to here where the Coalition want to dismantle Medicare and Public Health by stealth.

    We can’t allow it.

  8. Putin isn’t being too successful with his hostage taking of Paul Whelan the American either at the moment. I can’t detect a sense of urgency in the American government to exchange a Russian for him.

  9. WA proved to be ahead of the game with making sure a % of the local natural gas is reserved for the local market. Now they look to do the same with………………………………………………crayfish.
    .
    .
    The plan by the WA Labor government to become the rock ­lobster industry’s biggest single ­licence holder has raised the ­spectre of a partial “nationalis­ation” of the trade, in an effort to stop almost the entire catch going to China.(98%)

    WA’s Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly stunned the $500 million rock lobster industry last month by announcing the government would increase the annual quota from 6300 tonnes to 8000 tonnes, and that it would keep 1385 tonnes of that increase for itself.

    Mr Cook said the government’s plan was backed by the Tourism Council and the Aus­tralian Hotels Association, as well as charter operators and local government leaders.
    https://outline.com/FgH25Y

  10. C@tmomma says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Confessions @ #1159 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:39 am

    C@t:

    Committee Chair Cummings has said Cohen was cleared by Mueller to appear. But I wonder how the committee can ask Cohen about things that are directly related to the inquiry without interfering with it.

    Who knows what will have been revealed by Mueller between now and then!?!

    *******************************************************************

    Manu Raju‏Verified account @mkraju

    Elijah Cummings just confirmed what Schiff said to me earlier: Cohen will NOT discuss Russia in his open testimony, saying he doesn’t want to interfere with Mueller. “The American public will get an opportunity to hear from him,” Cummings said

  11. Privatising public services.
    .
    .
    Private-You pay –> (cost+Their profit+(profit bonus if a monopoly) )
    Public-You pay–> cost, (Any profit–> You)

  12. LOL so the place Trump goes to in Texas to push his wall is statistically one of the safest places in the country, and local residents report there are no issues with migrants coming over the border into their community causing trouble. They also don’t see what the fuss is, and can’t understand why Trump wants to declare a state of emergency over the issue.

    https://twitter.com/CNNnewsroom/status/1083463583109853184

  13. poroti @ #1165 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:44 am

    WA proved to be ahead of the game with making sure a % of the local natural gas is reserved for the local market. Now they look to do the same with………………………………………………crayfish.
    .
    .
    The plan by the WA Labor government to become the rock ­lobster industry’s biggest single ­licence holder has raised the ­spectre of a partial “nationalis­ation” of the trade, in an effort to stop almost the entire catch going to China.(98%)

    WA’s Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly stunned the $500 million rock lobster industry last month by announcing the government would increase the annual quota from 6300 tonnes to 8000 tonnes, and that it would keep 1385 tonnes of that increase for itself.

    Mr Cook said the government’s plan was backed by the Tourism Council and the Aus­tralian Hotels Association, as well as charter operators and local government leaders.
    https://outline.com/FgH25Y

    No mention in the whole article about how sustainable that extra 1,700 tonnes is!

  14. Henry says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Jeff bezos is one ugly man.
    Good luck to the missus who could walk away with 20 billion clams.
    #sexismonpb

    ***********************************************************

    Bezos — worth $US140 billion ($A190 billion)

    The couple are not thought to have signed a pre-nup before they tied the knot.

    Divorce laws in their home state of Washington say wealth made during a marriage must be split 50-50.

    Half of Bezos’s fortune would make award-winning author MacKenzie Bezos the world’s richest woman.

  15. Des Devlin
    ‏@desdevlin38
    17h17 hours ago

    Michael Murray, general manager of Cotton Australia

    Mr Murray said the decision 18 months ago to drain 2,000 gigalitres of water from the Menindee Lakes was in hindsight “probably a poor decision”.

    You fucking think so? #auspol

  16. Barnaby and his water guzzling mates should got to jail for their rape of the Murray darling. First order of business for labor is a RC into this farce.
    Even as a lazy city slicker I am outraged by this.

  17. I like Jim Acosta alot fess.
    Bloody good journo who sticks it to Trump in a very professional manner.
    His recent exchange with Kellyanne Conway was hilarious, “will the president tell the truth tonight?”

  18. One feature of the Cormann matter that I think needs to change is the practice of Ministers, and politicians in general, refusing to disclose who they meet with and the subject of that meeting.

    I think this should all be on the public record with their diaries being published online in real time.

    Obviously internal Party matters wouldn’t be required, (9.00 Met with Michaelia about knifing Malcolm.), but any meetings outside the Party should be documented.

    Senator Cormann’s office would not reveal details of any meetings or functions he attended in Adelaide.

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

  19. Michael Murray, general manager of Cotton Australia, said the decision 18 months ago to drain 2,000 gigalitres of water from the Menindee Lakes was in hindsight “probably a poor decision”.

    So he’ll be taking the water back out of the cotton, and putting it back in the lake then?

    And not siphoning water from the lake for more cotton in the future?

  20. “36 hours!!!!!

    That’s all the time people have to respond to the Potato’s brainfart.

    Lawyers given just 36 hours to respond to Dutton’s child sex offender register plan

    Law Council president Arthur Moses says legal profession would be very troubled if proposal is rushed for political purposes”

    I would regard this as pro0f positive that this is a piece of populist grandstanding to garner votes and hopefully wedge the Opposition. Just like the “Security” legislation at the end of the last Parliamentary sitting.

    Certainly not any genuine effort to protect children.

    Expect many more in coming weeks.

  21. Confessions @ #1225 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:14 am

    And in a briefing with relevant authorities in Texas, Trump was told what every sensible person knows: people just dig tunnels where there are currently walls and he was even shown enlarged photos of those very same tunnels.

    The Wall, shall be surrounded, on both sides, by an Impenetrable Moat. A Moat so deep that nobody can penetrate it. I mean, literally nobody. And that’s how we’re going to win Border Security!

    Barney in Go Dau @ #1227 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:15 am

    Obviously internal Party matters wouldn’t be required

    Why? Democracy requires an informed electorate. Voters are entitled to transparency of process.

  22. “Apparently Trump has said the nation is under attack on the border. Jim Acosta from the very place Trump made his announcement: “We’ve been standing here all day long and we don’t see any sign of an attack, don’t see any sign of any danger down here on the border.”

    Trump is trying to achieve what our right wing parties have been able to do with “boats”. Create moral panic, demonise mexican border-crossers, dog-whistle to racists. It worked for Howard and his successors.

  23. For those who, like me, have never seen the Menindee Lakes. I only know them as a birding site worth visiting. In times of flood, they fed the Darling.

    Wikipedia
    The Menindee Lakes Storages is a major gated dam with multiple weir and lake impoundments and a concrete spillway, with six vertical lift gates across the seven lakes that form part of the Menindee Lakes Water Storage Scheme. In 1949 work began on building dams, weirs, levees, canals and regulators to catch and retain floodwaters, with completion of major works in 1960 and final completion in 1968, with electrical upgrades in 2007, the Scheme was built by the New South Wales Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission for town water supplies, river flows and domestic requirements, irrigated agriculture, industry, flood mitigation and environmental flows. The lakes were originally a series of natural depressions that filled during floods. As the flow receded the floodwaters in the natural depressions drained back into the Darling River.

  24. Henry @ #1179 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 10:11 am

    I like Jim Acosta alot fess.
    Bloody good journo who sticks it to Trump in a very professional manner.
    His recent exchange with Kellyanne Conway was hilarious, “will the president tell the truth tonight?”

    Kellyanne Conway has questions to answer! She was the Republican pollster, brought in to manage Trump’s campaign after the heat got too great for Paul Manafort…who gave Republican-accessed American voter data to the Russians…hmm

  25. I’ve been to Lake Menindee but it was a long time ago and from memory there wasn’t much of anything resembling a lake. You could actually walk along where there would ordinarily be water and find ancient Aboriginal stone flints and things.

  26. Chris Kenny was at his RWNJ best last night on 3aw, complaining bitterly about Labor’s intention to review the mutual obligation aspects of the Newstart pittance the unemployed have to live on. As he put it, they are going to support those who take from the public purse rather than those who contribute to it. Shock, horror.

    He then went into a diatribe against the huge amounts of public money being spent on the ABC and SBS and how much of it is (allegedly) being wasted; and Labor intends to give them even more, he said, shock horror. His partner in crime last night, Rita Panahi, a thoroughly nasty piece of work, then chipped in with the thought that privatising them might be the way to go and they both had a good laugh.

    It’s enjoyable listening to these right wing political dinosaurs, in a schadenfreude kind of way, as the asteroid approaches to wipe out their bastions of power next May. They are about to find out just how irrelevant their whole world view is in modern Australia and it will be interesting to see their contortions as they try to cope with that.

  27. The Wall, shall be surrounded, on both sides, by an Impenetrable Moat. A Moat so deep that nobody can tunnel under it. I mean, literally nobody. And that’s how we’re going to win Border Security!

    Dana Millbank gets it!

    Leif Inge Ree Petersen, a siege-warfare expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, explained to me that to do this right — and Trump wants only the best — we should match the “gold standard” in defensive walls: the Theodosian walls that protected Constantinople from George Soros-funded migrant caravans for 1,000 years, until 1453.

    Problem is, this wall had towers every 50 to 80 meters and required at least 20,000 people to defend its six-kilometer perimeter. To scale that up, Trump’s border wall will need 51,200 towers and 10.7 million people to perform its various chores: pouring hot oil and dropping rocks on invaders, pushing away their ladders, firing flaming arrows, digging counter-tunnels to intercept invaders’ tunnels and pulling ropes to operate the torsion catapults.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-wall-isnt-evil-its-medieval/2019/01/09/80dfa20a-1458-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html?utm_term=.2efe774f8dcc

  28. Barney

    I agree. It will help stop politicians using private jets instead of commercial flights.

    On that trip Cormann returned by commercial flight at a cost of $1800

  29. a r @ #1186 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 6:20 am

    Barney in Go Dau @ #1227 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:15 am

    Obviously internal Party matters wouldn’t be required

    Why? Democracy requires an informed electorate. Voters are entitled to transparency of process.

    The electorate is informed when a policy is released.

    Who they talk with outside the Party when forming policy is important.

    How they then come up with the policy internally, not so.

  30. Reckon this was staged?

    Julia Davis@JuliaDavisNews
    3h3 hours ago

    On the left: #Russia’s state TV.
    On the right: Trump’s state TV, @FoxNews.
    Don’t get confused.
    #TrumpWall

    :large

  31. Trump and his Wall zealots getting serious about force majeure to get it!

    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…

    …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…

    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=.fd1e86473668

  32. c@t
    Anyone who could successfully get along with the Mango Mussolini for as long as Michael Cohen did must also have a devious streak in him too.

    Trump is seriously interlectually handicapped, he has a vacant stare & has problems holding or forming an idea ( any idea ) that lasts more than 30 seconds.
    He thinks in sound bite time much like Abbott.
    The cogs turn very slowly

    Cohen also shares that vacant stare… rabbit in headlights… just look at videos of him walking down the streets in NY … wide eyed.. where am I ?

    Trump was careful not to employ anyone smarter than himself a very low bar.

    Doubt Trump is capable of reading the cartoons that mock him.

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