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. Of course in an age of video apps Face to Face meeting urgency is a red herring excuse. FaceTime on iPhones is end to end encryption. So not even confidentiality an excuse to avoid saving taxpayers money.

    Oh wait ——- AA Bill.

  2. And:

    Nayda Alvarez wants nothing to do with any border wall, but her acre of land in Rio Grande City, Tex., where she lives in a brown house along the dividing line between the United States and Mexico, has become of great interest to the U.S. government.

    She, along with dozens of other landowners in the Rio Grande Valley, received surprise letters from the federal government in recent months, requests from officials who are seeking access to their properties for surveys, soil tests, equipment storage and other actions. It is, lawyers and experts say, the first step in the government trying to seize private property using the power of eminent domain — a contentious step that could put a lengthy legal wrinkle into President Trump’s plans to build hundreds of miles of wall, some of which passes through land like Alvarez’s.

    Previous eminent domain attempts along the Texas border have led to more than a decade of court battles, some of which date to George W. Bush’s administration and have yet to be resolved. Many landowners, like Alvarez, are vowing to fight anew.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trumps-border-wall-would-need-private-property-but-texas-landowners-plan-to-dig-in-for-lengthy-legal-fight/2019/01/10/d7e4cba8-1443-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html?utm_term=.88844b68d274

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

    C@t

    The Australian at that time was aggressively pro-Whitlam and Labor

    Yet not too long after it went 180 degrees. What was GW’s mortal sin in the eyes of The Dirty Digger ? A reminder of what is now totally utterly completely unimaginable for the orcs over at The Australian newspaper. 🙂

    .
    .
    The day The Australian’s reporters stopped writing lies

    Rupert Murdoch’s brazen intervention in the 1975 Federal election campaign led to reporters at The Australian going on strike.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-day-the-australians-reporters-stopped-writing-lies,5107

  4. I was only musing the other day about the absence of reporting of reactions from Texas landowners re the wall. Some is starting to come through now though.

    As President Donald Trump travels to the border in Texas to make the case for his $5.7 billion wall , landowner Eloisa Cavazos says she knows firsthand how the project will play out if the White House gets its way.

    The federal government has started surveying land along the border in Texas and announced plans to start construction next month. Rather than surrender their land, some property owners are digging in, vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the administration in court.

    “You could give me a trillion dollars and I wouldn’t take it,” said Cavazos, whose land sits along the Rio Grande, the river separating the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. “It’s not about money.”

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-visits-border-texas-landowners-prepare-wall-fight-n957191?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

  5. Reckon this was staged?

    I’m skeptical that someone who has legitimately traveled a thousand miles in a makeshift migrant caravan to escape poverty and hardship in their native country would be that…well-fed.

    Though judging from the construction, anyone svelter could practically walk right through that wall/fence/barrier thing.

  6. “the Theodosian walls that protected Constantinople from George Soros-funded migrant caravans for 1,000 years, until 1453.”

    Until 1204, when the walls of Constantinople (an Orthodox Christian city) were breached by the Crusaders (Latin Christians), and the entire city was plundered in the name of the Christian god. This was the Fourth Crusade, an egregious episode in European history.

    The Byzantine Greeks regained Constantinople in 1261. It fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

  7. Wow

    This is a must read

    This is why Scott Morrison can attack the gestures on display on the weekend, but he can’t attack the sentiments: because they’re shared by people on his front bench. Take away the salutes and the SS helmets, and those speeches could have been made by Peter Dutton, or Kevin Andrews. “I have repeatedly asked of the crime-plagued Sudanese in particular: who let them in?” asked Andrew Bolt, and that’s the loudest voice on the Australian right.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/11/the-natural-conclusion-of-the-moral-and-intellectual-collapse-of-australian-conservatism?CMP=share_btn_tw

  8. Got a spare $1800………

    World’s first foldable smartphone is glorious, and a hot mess

    FlexPai is a 7.8-inch tablet that — with its flexible display — can bend around a 180 degree hinge to turn into a smartphone. In smartphone mode you get two 4-inch displays with an option to turn one side off to save power.

    Royole says that the device can be bent more than 200,000 times before the screen starts showing signs of wear, which is equivalent to more than 100 folds every day for five years.
    https://outline.com/Vhb97e

  9. a r @ #1207 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 6:48 am

    Reckon this was staged?

    I’m skeptical that someone who has legitimately traveled a thousand miles in a makeshift migrant caravan to escape poverty and hardship in their native country would be that…well-fed.

    Though judging from the construction, anyone svelter could practically walk right through that wall/fence/barrier thing.

    I think you’ve been watching too many African famine videos.

    Also look at obesity rates amongst the poorest Australians.

  10. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/an-ace-for-keeps-kenny-rogers-and-don-schlitzs-big-gamble/news-story/840e319ef055d9e4c9f0195bdcc7689b

    https://outline.com/vHD4BV

    Darn (AnonBlock)
    Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 10:32 am
    Comment #1114

    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

    …..and so on.

    and then….

    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.

    The wires are crossed somewhere.
    Are we talking about my old mate (you know — used to ride his bike home at lunchtime –) or the very popular musician.

    Und zo:

    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em / know when to fold ’em / know when to walk away / and know when to run / You never count your money / when you’re sittin’ at the table / There’ll be time enough for countin’ / when the dealin’s done.

    Why I cannot, just cannot believe that

    Have come up with the song you describe. Strewth, crikey and zounds my amigo it doesn’t sound like a goer to me. Maybe a revival of Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town may do better.

    Jeepers Señor – I’m not a song writer but where the hell would one fit in “mutual obligation aspects of the Newstart pittance”

    Kenny Rogers – Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town LIVE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlPScxgeggU

    I’ve gotten myself a little more tangled up than usual and will now retreat complete with lawnmower to consider my options.

    Thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol. 😇 😎

    E & OE

  11. Victoria says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Yep. Trump would be happy to burn down the place if it helped him personally in any way.
    Are there any honourable GOP reps left

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

    Rick Wilson‏Verified account @TheRickWilson

    1/ You’re a Republican Senator. You’re up for reelection in 2020.

    Maybe you bought in to the idea that the tax bill would sustain a few cycles of prosperity that would lift you.

    Maybe you thought you could trim up the middle on Trump.

    Maybe you feared his base.

    2/ Maybe you don’t want a primary. (Lookin’ at you, Lindsay)

    Maybe you thought Trumpism is the new normal and just rode the wave.

    Maybe you’re an actual True Believer. (seek counseling.)

    This is your periodic reminder that Trump will screw you over, directly and collaterally.

    3/ The Wall fight gains you *nothing* *even* in shrinking, fickle, short-attention-span base of Cletuses and Lurleens.

    Remember, they *worship* him and they barely *tolerate* you on a good day.

    You’re always suspect. The MAGAe don’t trust anyone except him.

    4/ When the Wall doesn’t get built, you know this line from the Orange Gibbon’s twitter feed is coming:

    “Weak Republicans wouldn’t back me on Wall. Sad!”

    He will always, always, always fuck you over. His “snake” poem is utterly obvious projection.

    This will end in tears.

  12. C@

    ‘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…’

    On our morning walk, my son (an ancient history buff) and I had exactly this conversation – that all the ‘Great Walls’ in history were not designed to work just by themselves but were platforms with walkways so that troops could constantly patrol them.

    Even the mile high wall in ‘Game of Thrones’ needed constant patrols and even then the wildlings climbed it!

  13. obesity is actually a common consequence of malnourishment. Being fat doesn’t always mean you are well fed – it often means you are not getting enough of the right food

  14. The Bronwyn Bishop Defence …..

    $37,000 for a single day of travel for Mathias Cormann? It’s all within the rules, says the government
    Staff writers, AAP, News Corp Australia Network
    an hour ago

    Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was acting within the rules when he booked flights costing $37,000 to sway crossbenchers towards big business tax cuts last year, Education Minister Dan Tehan said today.

    Senator Cormann flew from Canberra to Adelaide and then onto Perth on a defence jet on June 22 as no commercial flights were available to facilitate the journey, the ABC has reported on Friday.

    The flights came the day after the federal parliament approved the government’s personal tax cuts and as the coalition was trying to rally Senate support for proposed tax cuts for big businesses.

    The government has since shelved the corporate taxes.

    When asked on ABC News Breakfast today about why Mr Cormann’s $37,000 flights to lobby for tax cuts would be value for money, he replied: “Because he was undertaking negotiations to reduce the amount of tax that Australians will pay.”

    Mr Tehan said Senator Cormann had been “hellbent” on getting tax cuts over the line and made the trip to Adelaide to negotiate with crossbenchers.

    “What that trip was about as I understand, was making sure that we were doing everything possible to see Australians pay less tax,” he told ABC TV’s Breakfast on Friday.

    The education minister said there are rules everyone must follow in taking flights on special purpose aircrafts and Senator Cormann was within them.

    “The Australian taxpayer can look at that and say it was within the rules, within the guidelines, and also he was there on business.”

  15. 4/ When the Wall doesn’t get built, you know this line from the Orange Gibbon’s twitter feed is coming:

    “Weak Republicans wouldn’t back me on Wall. Sad!”

    He will always, always, always fuck you over. His “snake” poem is utterly obvious projection.

    Trump wrote a poem? And the poem correctly used a common metaphor? I call BS!

  16. Barney beat me – but when your diet is primarily corn meal and corn oil – you will likely be overweight. 60% poor carbs and 40% poor grade omega 6 fats. Little protein.

    In Australia, people living in poverty eat mainly flour/sugar based foods because they are cheap – they will be malnourished yet still overweight.

  17. Plus! When you eat a high (cheap) carb loaded diet, you need to eat more (and crave more) in order for the body to get even minimal nutrition.

  18. jenauthor says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:24 am
    Barney beat me – but when your diet is primarily corn meal and corn oil – you will likely be overweight. 60% poor carbs and 40% poor grade omega 6 fats. Little protein.

    In Australia, people living in poverty eat mainly flour/sugar based foods because they are cheap – they will be malnourished yet still overweight.
    _____________________________________________________________
    That is correct – people need to reduce their carbohydrate intake to become healthier. Cheap carbohydrates like breads, softdrinks and fries make our population overweight – quality protein and above ground vegetables are the solution.

  19. a r says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:24 am

    He will always, always, always fuck you over. His “snake” poem is utterly obvious projection.

    Trump wrote a poem? And the poem correctly used a common metaphor? I call BS!

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

    Trump didn’t write it – just uses and abuses it

    Daughters of man who wrote “The Snake” tell Trump to stop using poem to smear immigrants

    ‘Oscar Brown Jr’s words are being stolen to promote his hate message and intolerance and it’s absolutely wrong’

    Penned by civil rights activist Oscar Brown Jr in 1963, “The Snake” tells the story of a woman who takes in a frozen snake she discovers on her way to work.
    After reviving the creature, it retaliates, giving the woman a “vicious bite” and killing her. When she asks why, the creature replies that it is a snake, implying that it is in its nature to bite.

    Why Donald Trump keeps reading these song lyrics

    Mr Trump has long used the song as an allegory of immigration law to claim immigrants from Syria and other war torn nations might end up harming America.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-the-snake-lyrics-immigration-policy-daughters-anger-us-president-a8230771.html

  20. If Cormann’s flight was within the rules then the rules need changing.

    $37k to meet a couple of crossbench senators he had most likely been talking to all week and would see again on Monday? It was that important?

    He chose to stay in Canberra on the Thursday night and I reckon he wanted to get home quickly on Friday.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  21. Up north – don’t forget the fats! You need good, saturated and mono unsaturated fats to perform a lot of the tasks the body requires in cell-building, repair and to produce hormones!

  22. ‘The Snake’: How Trump appropriated a radical black singer’s lyrics for immigration fearmongering

    Trump used the poem repeatedly on the campaign trail to illustrate the threats posed by refugees from Syria and other countries. The United States is the woman who naively gives others refuge; immigrants are the snakes who deliver the fatal strike.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/02/24/the-snake-how-trump-appropriated-a-radical-black-singers-lyrics-for-refugee-fearmongering/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e93ff6ce62f5

  23. When Amazon launched its Alexa virtual assistant in 2014, it probably didn’t think that a bird would expose a potentially significant legal issue with the device. But an African grey parrot named Rocco, living in Blewbury, England, appears to have done just that.

    Last month, Rocco made headlines for his habit of secretly ordering goods through his owner’s voice-activated Alexa device, which charges purchases to the linked Amazon account. The African grey species, which is renowned for its ability to mimic human speech, successfully ordered fruit, vegetables, ice-cream, a kettle, light bulbs and a kite.

    Rocco’s ability to manipulate Alexa raises an important question: if someone made an unauthorised purchase on your Alexa device, would you be legally liable to pay for it?

    The answer lies in contract law.

    https://theconversation.com/alexa-call-my-lawyer-are-you-legally-liable-if-someone-makes-a-purchase-using-your-virtual-assistant-109075

  24. NAFTA did not only screw over US auto and steel workers………………….
    .
    .
    NEW YORK TIMES › Annotations
    A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obes

    Nafta let billions of dollars in direct foreign investment into Mexico, fueled the growth of American fast food restaurants and convenience stores, and opened the floodgates to cheap corn, meat, high-fructose corn syrup and processed foods.

    “The only way that Mexico became a ‘first world’ country was in terms of diet.”

    The phenomenon is not limited to Mexico. Research shows free trade is among the key factors that have accelerated the spread of low-nutrient, highly processed foods from the west, “driving the obesity epidemic in China, India, and other developing countries worldwide,” according to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.
    https://outline.com/ZCs5p3

  25. @slpng_giants_oz

    Just to refresh everyone’s memory before this issue goes off your radar – just a few days after the theft of water from the Murray Darling was exposed on #4Corners – the then Water Minister met with landholders to reassure them that the National Party was in control‼️

  26. Cat et al

    Hard though it seems to believe NOW but there was a time when Rupert was quite left wing and indeed even a communist at one time I believe. (probably just teenage rebellion but still).

    Anyway in the 60s when he started the Australian it was a left wing publication, with several editors that were the darling of the left wing set including journalists. I think the main guy was called Adrian Deemer and I know my father liked him a lot.

    I am not quite sure when the switch occurred – although I think it was during the Whitlam years.

  27. One of the Centre Alliance senators that Cormann met with has told the media that there was no reason the meeting had to happen right then, and it could easily have waited until the following week.

    Also Dan Tehan is terrible at spin – “doing everything possible to see Australians pay less tax” – I’m pretty sure the negotiations were only about the biggest businesses – hadn’t the small business cuts as well as the personal income taxes already gone through?

  28. 3/ The Wall fight gains you *nothing* *even* in shrinking, fickle, short-attention-span base of Cletuses and Lurleens.

    Rick Wilson certainly has a way with words!

  29. @jonkudelka
    6m6 minutes ago

    The electoral commission should rule that a political party with a person’s name in the title has to call itself a cult.

  30. poroti @ #1229 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 7:36 am

    NAFTA did not only screw over US auto and steel workers………………….
    .
    .
    NEW YORK TIMES › Annotations
    A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obes

    Nafta let billions of dollars in direct foreign investment into Mexico, fueled the growth of American fast food restaurants and convenience stores, and opened the floodgates to cheap corn, meat, high-fructose corn syrup and processed foods.

    “The only way that Mexico became a ‘first world’ country was in terms of diet.”

    The phenomenon is not limited to Mexico. Research shows free trade is among the key factors that have accelerated the spread of low-nutrient, highly processed foods from the west, “driving the obesity epidemic in China, India, and other developing countries worldwide,” according to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.
    https://outline.com/ZCs5p3

    The other one is baby formula.

    The number of obese baby’s is tragic.

  31. Now there’s a thought!

    Jon FavreauVerified account@jonfavs
    2h2 hours ago
    Pumped for the next Democratic president to use “emergency powers” for a Green New Deal (climate emergency), Medicare for All (public health emergency), and a new Voting Rights Act (democracy emergency)!

  32. poroti

    Research shows free trade is among the key factors that have accelerated the spread of low-nutrient, highly processed foods from the west, “driving the obesity epidemic in China, India, and other developing countries worldwide,” according to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard.

    But – but – free trade is so good for everyone. Huh?

  33. jenauthor says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:31 am
    Up north – don’t forget the fats! You need good, saturated and mono unsaturated fats to perform a lot of the tasks the body requires in cell-building, repair and to produce hormones!
    _____________________________________________________________
    Yes – the bad science that told us Fat was our enemy has killed many people. Stay away from Low Fat dairy people!!

  34. Confessions says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:40 am

    3/ The Wall fight gains you *nothing* *even* in shrinking, fickle, short-attention-span base of Cletuses and Lurleens.

    Rick Wilson certainly has a way with words!

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

    He is a brilliant wordmaster for sure – combining information, biting satire and comedy into everything he writes and says on tv …. he sure knows how to take someone down and belittle them in every form of media that he uses …..

  35. I just had one of those lightbulb moments (no, it didn’t hurt! 😆 ) as I finally got around to reading Dr Emerson’s blog:

    http://craigemersoneconomics.com/analysis/2019/1/8/the-price-of-political-madness

    In it he states:

    Here in Australia, hard-line conservatives have been active too, driving the Coalition government further to the right under threat of bringing it down.

    And it just occurred to me…Malcolm Turnbull, bete noire of Tony Abbott, wins 2016 election by one seat, placing him into a weakened position…which Tony Abbott decides to exploit for his own benefit in an almost carbon copy of the way he exploited Julia Gillard’s Minority Government, except this time against his own side of politics!

    What an utter bastard! And I don’t for one second think he didn’t think that way, not for a nanosecond.

  36. Trump presidency an ‘accident of history’ and deals he bragged about in ‘Art of the Deal’ later flopped: co-author

    Donald Trump biographer Tony Schwartz said the president is one of the “worst” dealmakers he has ever seen.

    Schwartz was co-author, with Trump, of the 1987 bestselling book Trump: The Art of the Deal. He joined MSNBC’s Ari Melber for “The Beat” on Thursday.

    “I found myself going back to The Art of the Deal and looking over those deals that I unfortunately described 30 years ago and realizing that most of those deals in that book were failures,” he explained. “And a number of deals he’s made over the years since then have overwhelmingly been failures.”

    “It’s an accident of history that he is president, but as a deal maker, he is really one of the worst I’ve ever come across,” Schwartz said.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/trump-presidency-accident-history-deals-bragged-art-deal-later-flopped-co-author/

  37. phylactella @ #1148 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:32 am

    KayJay
    I like Garrison Keillor – “Don’t take your cat to town”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iDvf0JUb60

    Thanks for that.

    I always knew it ❗
    That damned cat came back.

    The scientists sent the cat up into outer space
    Sent it in a shuttle far beyond the human race.
    It passed a hundred galaxies and finally found its goal
    Then the shuttle disappeared into a black hole….

    But the cat came back….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKmQr0EnZgs

  38. Donald Trump a ‘terrible dealmaker’ who ‘sued everybody’ and is now over-matched: Former Trump Org exec

    A former Trump Organization vice president on Thursday revealed why Donald Trump won’t take responsibility for the lengthy government shutdown over the border wall he promised his base.

    “In terms of taking the responsiblity for the buck, he just would never do it,” Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization VP, told Melber.

    “It’s not in his DNA, he’s never responsible,” Res added. “It’s always someone else’s fault.”

    Earlier in the segment, Res noted that she never thought Trump was a very good dealmaker and added later that he got where he is because he “sued everybody.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/donald-trump-terrible-dealmaker-sued-everybody-now-matched-former-trump-org-exec/

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