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. The Morrison bus again …… phooey ….

    Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them. With Scott Morrison it is all three. Even among men lacking all distinction he inevitably stands out as a man lacking more distinction than all the rest, and people who meet him are reported as always impressed by how unimpressive he is …..

  2. I’ve just received a text msg from Clive Palmer’s party. How on earth would they have gotten my number when I’ve never had any interaction with them of any kind?

  3. Confessions says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve just received a text msg from Clive Palmer’s party. How on earth would they have gotten my number when I’ve never had any interaction with them of any kind?

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

    Text back that you are pissed off, Confessions, and you are not going to cop it anymore !!!!

  4. seriously f@@ked up.

    Lincoln’s Bible
    Lincoln’s Bible
    @LincolnsBible
    ·
    1h
    Feels like this is CalExit Active Measure 2.0 – deployed directly from the White House.
    California actually holds the key to ending this nightmare. We could just withhold our fed taxes. Let everyone feel what America without California would be like.
    Trump would last 35 seconds.
    Quote Tweet
    Chad Pergram
    @ChadPergram
    Fox confirms WH directs Army Corps of Engineers to see if it can divert money to border wall from disaster funding bill to cover wildfires in California, hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico

  5. phoenixRED @ #1306 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:26 am

    Confessions says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve just received a text msg from Clive Palmer’s party. How on earth would they have gotten my number when I’ve never had any interaction with them of any kind?

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

    Text back that you are pissed off, Confessions, and you are not going to take it anymore !!!!

    I have blocked the number 🙂

  6. @BreakfastNews
    7h7 hours ago

    .@paulwkennedy: Why would Mathias Cormann’s $37,000 flights to lobby senators for tax cuts be value for money?

    Minister @DanTehanWannon: “Because he was undertaking negotiations to reduce the amount of tax that Australians will pay.”

  7. Victoria @ #1306 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 1:29 pm

    @ChadPergram
    Fox confirms WH directs Army Corps of Engineers to see if it can divert money to border wall from disaster funding bill to cover wildfires in California, hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico

    Ah, so now it’s “hey all you natural disaster victims, FUCK YOU!”.

    That’ll go over real well. If nothing else, America still likes pretending that it’s a compassionate country that cares about stuff. Especially when the stuff is happening to its own people. 🙂

  8. Texans, Californians, Puerto Ricans and Floridians should all lobby their Republican members and senators. Esp Floridians given that state is often a key state in elections.

  9. Confessions says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Texans, Californians, Puerto Ricans and Floridians should all lobby their Republican members and senators. Esp Floridians given that state is often a key state in elections.

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

    Esp Floridians given that state is often a key state in election fraud …..

  10. Leaving aside all the other issues and simply focusing on the problem of stopping people entering the US, it amuses me how technologically backward Trump and his supporters are.

    All a physical barrier does is slow people down enough to allow the guards to respond.

    You get a lot more bang for buck out of cheap surveilance technology and software. But that’s beyond the intellect of these people.

  11. Victoria says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Wtf. now I’ve received a text from Clive palmer

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

    He is following you on PollBludger Victoria

    Same advice – Text back that you are pissed off and you are not going to cop it anymore !!!! – then BLOCK the fat pricks number !!!

  12. Confessions @ #1305 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:23 am

    I’ve just received a text msg from Clive Palmer’s party. How on earth would they have gotten my number when I’ve never had any interaction with them of any kind?

    You can buy lists of numbers for marketing purposes. Unless you are extraordinarily and near impossibly diligent and careful with what you sign and with “agreeing” to terms of use with software, your phone number (and a lot of other stuff) will be on countless marketing lists.

  13. Confessions @ #1309 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:31 am

    phoenixRED @ #1306 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:26 am

    Confessions says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve just received a text msg from Clive Palmer’s party. How on earth would they have gotten my number when I’ve never had any interaction with them of any kind?

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

    Text back that you are pissed off, Confessions, and you are not going to take it anymore !!!!

    I have blocked the number 🙂

    Unfortunately that won’t do you any good. The organisations that specialise in SMS marketing are well across this and the number the SMS came from won’t be used again.

  14. ‘This is lunacy!’: Conservative says red state Republicans will revolt if Trump takes land for wall

    Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin said that even if Trump prevails he’ll run into problems with red state Republican voters.

    “Understand how crazy this is,” said Rubin. “He is taking money from hurricane victims in Texas to use that money to forcibly take land from other people in Texas who don’t want a wall, who don’t have a border crossing, to save face with Sean Hannity. That’s what’s going on. And I kinda think there have to be some Republicans out there who think ‘Stop the madness.’ This is lunacy! And we’re going to get our heads handed to us.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/lunacy-conservative-says-red-state-republicans-will-revolt-trump-takes-land-wall/

  15. Socrates @ #1289 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 1:52 pm

    Great to see Shorten is going to go on a bus tour, and this time the tour leader will be travelling with the tour! Also kudos to Shorten for not shirking going into the right wing parts of Qld to meet people. It doubly undermines the credibility of his political opponent, who rarely seems to venture out of the Shire or Kirribilly without a tightly controlled itinerary and carefully selected “random strangers’ to meet.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/11/shorten-to-hit-the-road-in-bills-bus-for-queensland-campaign

    Lib-Lab …same same

  16. Mavis Smith says: Friday, January 11, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    The Orange Moron strikes again:

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/white-house-weighs-using-storm-aid-funds-to-pay-for-border-wall-20190111-p50qv0.html

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

    Tea Pain‏ @TeaPainUSA

    Any president that would steal money from disaster victims under the guise of a fake, racist-fueled “Emergency” deserves no sympathy or consolation when Justice comes.

    Mueller should toss Trump under the jailhouse and throw away the key!

  17. Senator Penny Wong
    ‏Verified account @SenatorWong
    49s49 seconds ago

    The real question is not what Fraser Anning calls his party, but whether the Liberals and Nationals will preference him, as they have done with One Nation, or join Labor in putting extremists like him last.

  18. Could Perthites explain to me the logic of the govt becoming the biggest lobster license holder? Is it just about reducing prices for the locals and why would the local industry be against the idea?

  19. Honestly, these taxpayer funded ‘tours’ are such a waste of money in this modern age of communication. Put the money towards a newstart increase instead.

  20. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:40 am

    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.

    -0-

    I sent this email to the Prime Minister-in-waiting:

    Dear Mr. Shorten: I have twice written to your shadow health minister on this issue but have received no response.

    I asked her why Labor has not been more active in reforming the current Medicare system into a single payer system focused on hospital and physician services. The current system, compared to the National Health Service in United Kingdom and the Medicare system in Canada, is a joke and more like the free-for-all system in the United States.

    I would urge you, as soon as you become Prime Minister to appoint a task force to visit Canada to see whether the single-payer type of the Canadian health system could be applied to Australia. There can be no doubt that Australia, like Canada, could well afford it. You will probably find that there would be considerable budgetary savings as well.

    You may not be aware that in Canada, for example, it is illegal for physicians, both general practitioners and specialists to bill patients. Hospitals as well do not bill patients for their services and there are virtually no “private hospitals” in that country. For the past half century Canadians have not received any doctor or hospitals bills. You are also aware that adopting a real medicare system has not been a drag on the Canadian economy. The so-called “queues” for medical services are no worse, and often better than those in Australia for public patients.

  21. Clive must be spending buckets on this.

    simon holmes à court
    ‏@simonahac
    56m56 minutes ago

    anyone else being SMS spammed by clive?

    imagine if someone knew his mobile number and hundreds spammed him back and would that’d be awful.

  22. Henry

    Because 98% of the catch is sent straight overseas (mainly to China). Makes it a bit hard for locals, restaurants and various tourism businesses to get the their hands on them. Prices will reflect export prices so I am not sure why the cray industry are moaning.

  23. An unknown number of Australians received unsolicited text messages from Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party today, leaving many questioning how he got their number.

    Key points:
    The unsolicited text messages were geographically targeted across Australia
    The messages are permitted under the Electoral Act, the Australian Electoral Commission says
    It’s prompted calls to remove exemptions to the Privacy Act enjoyed by political parties
    Mr Palmer is trying to make a political comeback after his short-lived tenure in Federal Parliament between 2013 and 2016.

    His party did not immediately respond to questions about how the SMS contact list was obtained, but a number of those who opened them said they had “no idea” how it had happened.

    The texts, which offer no clear way to unsubscribe, were geographically targeted across Australia.

    In Victoria, one person was told “Fast trains for Melbourne. 1 hour to CBD from up to 300kms away. Vote 1 United Australia Party, Clive Palmer.”

    In South Australia, the message read: “Blackouts wreck our lives. We need affordable, reliable power” along with a link to his website.

    Despite the online backlash, an Australian Electoral Commission spokesperson said such messages were permitted under the Electoral Act.

    The incident spotlights the lack of regulation governing how political parties, as well as their contractors, can use the personal information of Australians without clear consent.

    Key points:
    The unsolicited text messages were geographically targeted across Australia
    The messages are permitted under the Electoral Act, the Australian Electoral Commission says
    It’s prompted calls to remove exemptions to the Privacy Act enjoyed by political parties

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-11/clive-palmer-united-australia-party-unsolicited-text-messages/10709106

  24. Cricket, because the commentary of some annoys (greatly).

    Career start:-

    I Chappell 16 1 151 409 27.3
    Hayden 22 0 125 528 24.0
    Langer 12 0 69 272 22.6
    S Waugh 38 4 91 1024 30.1

    Mark Waugh, in his 2nd year of Test cricket
    14 0 112 326 23.3
    Martyn 12 1 74 317 28.8
    Boon 22 1 123 598 28.4
    Ponting 10 0 96 330 33.0

    Nuff said!

    Don’t be so savage on those just starting out and 10 or so Innings into their Test careers.

  25. beguiledagain @ #1337 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 3:14 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:40 am

    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.

    -0-

    I sent this email to the Prime Minister-in-waiting:

    Dear Mr. Shorten: I have twice written to your shadow health minister on this issue but have received no response.

    I asked her why Labor has not been more active in reforming the current Medicare system into a single payer system focused on hospital and physician services. The current system, compared to the National Health Service in United Kingdom and the Medicare system in Canada, is a joke and more like the free-for-all system in the United States.

    I would urge you, as soon as you become Prime Minister to appoint a task force to visit Canada to see whether the single-payer type of the Canadian health system could be applied to Australia. There can be no doubt that Australia, like Canada, could well afford it. You will probably find that there would be considerable budgetary savings as well.

    You may not be aware that in Canada, for example, it is illegal for physicians, both general practitioners and specialists to bill patients. Hospitals as well do not bill patients for their services and there are virtually no “private hospitals” in that country. For the past half century Canadians have not received any doctor or hospitals bills. You are also aware that adopting a real medicare system has not been a drag on the Canadian economy. The so-called “queues” for medical services are no worse, and often better than those in Australia for public patients.

    Interesting comment beguiled

    One thing that has recently started to trouble me is the sense that the whole medicare rebate system has been hijacked bythe greedy. The growth of medical clinics which are owned by companies (with directors who are rel estate agents and developers NOT doctors) troubles me because it stands to reason that 30% of that rebate is probably laning in the pockets of people with no medical qualifications. i am inclined to think that Labor should INCREASE the rebate but only where they bulk bill and only where at least say 70% of the rebate lands in the pockets of actual medical people- drs nurses etc and not “practice managers” and the local building developer.

  26. Palmer has a surprisingly well resourced campaign for a man who can’t even afford to pay is creditors.

    If he wants some recycled campaign slogans:
    “Tippecanoe and Palmer too!”
    “A new Australian century”
    “Compassionate conservatism”
    “All the way with CP”
    “I like Clive”

  27. Socrates @ #1345 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 3:35 pm

    Palmer has a surprisingly well resourced campaign for a man who can’t even afford to pay is creditors.

    If he wants some recycled campaign slogans:
    “Tippecanoe and Palmer too!”
    “A new Australian century”
    “Compassionate conservatism”
    “All the way with CP”
    “I like Clive”

    Socrates

    He is actually cash rich at present – he is trying to reopen the refinery

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