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. Michael

    Remember Victorian premier John Cain. I recall he wouldn’t even accept a freebie to the opera.

    And he sacked a governor who accepted one from qantas..

  2. Rossmcg
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:26 pm
    Michael
    Remember Victorian premier John Cain. I recall he wouldn’t even accept a freebie to the opera.
    And he sacked a governor who accepted one from qantas..
    _____________________________
    John Cain was the real deal in terms of political integrity in this country. His stance on conflict of interest should be studied and emulated.

  3. I wonder what John Cain would have thought about Bill Shorten’s trip to Cuba and South America on Richard Pratt’s private jet when the AWU and Visy were in constant negotiation over EBA’s in that period.

  4. Upnorth @ #1449 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:24 pm

    @ Barney in Go Dau

    Err I did say SMH try Google my friend……..

    If you’re going to quote something you need to provide a link to the source.

    Common academic practice and if you are observant it is the way posters here do it.

    It serves two purposes;

    1. It allows people to read the whole article if they are interested, so you’re being nice providing the link which you already have, and

    2. It allows people to check whether the article is actually saying what the poster claims, or is the poster quoting things out of context.

    All in all it’s good practice that makes the place a nicer one for people visiting. 🙂

  5. nath says –
    John Cain was the real deal in terms of political integrity in this country. His stance on conflict of interest should be studied and emulated.

    And left the state in an absolute shambles. Even being a long term Labor supporter I couldn’t bring myself to vote Labor at the following election.

  6. C@tmomma
    says:
    You seem to be the only one who cares. Sad.
    ___________________________
    It is sad I’m the only one who cares. Spot on. It’s also sad that it only came out because Jeannie Pratt talked about it ten years after it happened. So while a terrible blight on the character of B.S, it’s also an indictment on the depth and quality of investigate journalism. A story that juicy missed by every journo in the country.

  7. nath @ #1463 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:39 pm

    C@tmomma
    says:
    You seem to be the only one who cares. Sad.
    ___________________________
    It is sad I’m the only one who cares. Spot on. It’s also sad that it only came out because Jeannie Pratt talked about it ten years after it happened. So while a terrible blight on the character of B.S, it’s also an indictment on the depth and quality of investigate journalism. A story that juicy missed by every journo in the country.

    Absolute crap. Everyone knows about it. No one cares. Only you. You are a sad and pathetic figure.

  8. Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm
    nath @ #1453 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:33 pm
    I wonder what John Cain would have thought about Bill Shorten’s trip to Cuba and South America on Richard Pratt’s private jet when the AWU and Visy were in constant negotiation over EBA’s in that period.
    A nice family holiday.
    ________________________
    Maybe some of the workers could have had good holidays if their union didn’t accept hundreds of thousands in kickbacks from Visy for a compliant EBA.

  9. nath @ #1465 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:42 pm

    Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm
    nath @ #1453 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:33 pm
    I wonder what John Cain would have thought about Bill Shorten’s trip to Cuba and South America on Richard Pratt’s private jet when the AWU and Visy were in constant negotiation over EBA’s in that period.
    A nice family holiday.
    ________________________
    Maybe some of the workers could have had good holidays if their union didn’t accept hundreds of thousands in kickbacks from Visy for a compliant EBA.

    Or they might have spent it down the club on the pokies and beer. Which is what people like you usually say about Workers.

    Anyway, better an EBA that the bosses agree to with the Workers’ representatives than completely stripping them away, which is what has occurred over the last 5 years when Australia hasn’t been represented by a leader of a political party that cares about them more than the employers and their fat profits.

  10. C@tmomma
    says:
    Absolute crap. Everyone knows about it. No one cares. Only you. You are a sad and pathetic figure.
    _________________________
    I’m making the point that no one knew of it until Jeannie Pratt mention it. Fact.
    That no journo every found about it until then is a pretty poor effort. IMHO.

  11. nath @ #1467 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:46 pm

    C@tmomma
    says:
    Absolute crap. Everyone knows about it. No one cares. Only you. You are a sad and pathetic figure.
    _________________________
    I’m making the point that no one knew of it until Jeannie Pratt mention it. Fact.
    That no journo every found about it until then is a pretty poor effort. IMHO.

    So what!?! No one cares except no marks like you with a gigantic chip on their shoulder about Bill Shorten.

  12. C@tmomma
    says:
    Anyway, better an EBA that the bosses agree to with the Workers’ representatives than completely stripping them away, which is what has occurred over the last 5 years when Australia hasn’t been represented by a leader of a political party that cares about them more than the employers and their fat profits.
    ________________________________________
    Strange then that Visy’s main ‘competitor’ in those times, Amcor, had a more generous EBA with it’s union, the AMU

  13. nath @ #1461 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:42 pm

    Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:37 pm
    nath @ #1453 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 5:33 pm
    I wonder what John Cain would have thought about Bill Shorten’s trip to Cuba and South America on Richard Pratt’s private jet when the AWU and Visy were in constant negotiation over EBA’s in that period.
    A nice family holiday.
    ________________________
    Maybe some of the workers could have had good holidays if their union didn’t accept hundreds of thousands in kickbacks from Visy for a compliant EBA.

    Where is the evidence that this negatively impacted on the final EBA?

    It seems your pathetic imagination is running away.

    This is the problem with abstinence,

    when the dam wall breaks, Nath comes exploding out. 🙂

  14. Bonnie Bley@Bonnie_Bley
    Jan 9
    Tony Blair speaking on rising populism & the waning West: “The journey of government is that you start at your most popular and least capable, and you end at your least popular and most capable.” Well that got a good chuckle from the audience. #Raisina2019

    :large

  15. nath @ #1469 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 9:50 pm

    C@tmomma
    says:
    Anyway, better an EBA that the bosses agree to with the Workers’ representatives than completely stripping them away, which is what has occurred over the last 5 years when Australia hasn’t been represented by a leader of a political party that cares about them more than the employers and their fat profits.
    ________________________________________
    Strange then that Visy’s main ‘competitor’ in those times, Amcor, had a more generous EBA with it’s union, the AMU

    So Amcor were more generous to their workers. That is Bill Shorten’s fault too it seems to an embittered and disgruntled no mark like you.

  16. So Amcor were more generous to their workers. That is Bill Shorten’s fault too it seems to an embittered and disgruntled no mark like you.
    ________________________________
    Or it could be that hundreds of thousands in payments to the union plus a private jet trip to South Americana and Cuba, (worth hundreds of thousands) saved Visy untold millions. Pratt was pretty shrewd. He knew the worth of Shorten.

  17. If you have no words of condemnation for the employers who have stripped EBAs COMPLETELY from their employees in the 5 years of a Coalition government, nor any about Penalty Rates being taken away by the party of the Corporations and Employers, then, nath, all that makes you is a shill for them as you come here and do their dirty work for them trying and failing to besmirch Bill Shorten’s name before the federal election.

    You know who the grub is? It’s not Bill Shorten. It’s you.

  18. Though as Greensborough Growler says, a no mark like nath is not going to change one person’s vote with his jihad against Bill Shorten on PB.

  19. C@tmomma
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    If you have no words of condemnation for the employers who have stripped EBAs COMPLETELY from their employees in the 5 years of a Coalition government, nor any about Penalty Rates being taken away by the party of the Corporations and Employers, then, nath, all that makes you is a shill for them as you come here and do their dirty work for them trying and failing to besmirch Bill Shorten’s name before the federal election.
    You know who the grub is? It’s not Bill Shorten. It’s you.
    ________________________________
    What are you talking about? Federally registered collective agreements are at about the same rate as they were in 2010. Apart from the penalty rates cut which brought about sizeable but not seismic cuts there has been little difference between the Liberals and the last ALP government on IR.

  20. Nath,

    How do you compare two EBAs?

    One group may give up a condition for a financial reward, whilst the other group may value that condition higher than the money.

    Your statements in isolation have no bearing without looking at both EBAs in their entirety.

    Your assumption regarding Shorten’s family holiday is baseless and pathetic.

  21. What are you talking about? Federally registered collective agreements are at about the same rate as they were in 2010. Apart from the penalty rates cut which brought about sizeable but not seismic cuts there has been little difference between the Liberals and the last ALP government on IR.

    Only a complete partisan for the Employers party and the IPA would try and make that load of crap stick.

    Wages have stagnated.
    Conditions in EBAs are being routinely ignored by employers. Just this week was the example of a chain of McDonalds in Brisbane who wouldn’t even give their employees the legally-mandated 15 minute break after 4 hours work. Instead sending them a threatening text saying that, if they took the break they wouldn’t be allowed one sip of water or a toilet break during that 4 hours of work!

    Restaurant and hospitality employees are routinely underpaid by their employers, as well as being made to work for longer than their employment contract stipulates, for no money at all!

    Employer groups and companies are constantly petitioning FWA to strip employees of their EBAs and take them back to the Award, via threat of the sack if they don’t agree and it’s only the actions of Unions like the AWU and others, Sally McManus and the ACTU, who are fighting them every step of the way.

    Not only that but the extreme casualisation of the workforce, so that comparatively, our workers on the Minimum Wage get LESS than their American counterparts.

    And you have the hide to blithely suggest that workers have never had it so good!?!

    You sound like nothing more and nothing less than one of those RWNJ squawkers from the shill shockjock radio and TV stations. Like S.A.D. As are you. A sad little grub.

  22. Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm
    Nath,
    How do you compare two EBAs?
    One group may give up a condition for a financial reward, whilst the other group may value that condition higher than the money.
    Your statements in isolation have no bearing without looking at both EBAs in their entirety.
    ________________________________
    It is difficult to compare EBA’s but Visy and Amcor are a bit easier because they were in the same industry and essentially had a very similar workforce composition. The AMWU had a long standing series of EBA’s with Amcor that gave workers through the late 90s and 2000s a very orderly 4% wage rise each year. A lot higher than that under the AWU EBA.

    And. Amcor did not give the AMWU hundreds of thousands of dollars or buy ‘tables’ worth thousands at the annual gala dinner.

  23. This guy gets it about Trump and his Wall:

    If President Trump agrees to end the partial government shutdown without a deal to fund a southern border wall, it’s an exaggeration to say his supporters would abandon him. But they would be disappointed and, in some cases, angry — and the enthusiasm of his base is much more important than their actual numbers as reflected in any given poll.

    Trump’s tough stance on curtailing illegal immigration was a cornerstone of his candidacy and a big reason for his election victory. Even if he pursues a strategy of building a wall by declaring a national emergency, his supporters know that the courts could shoot that down with the stroke of a pen. They understand that the only way to ensure the wall gets built is with congressional sign-off, and the only way that happens is for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to cry uncle on the shutdown standoff before Trump does.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/10/wall-is-trumps-read-my-lips-pledge/?utm_term=.115bedc6bfea

  24. C@tmomma:

    [‘Though as Greensborough Growler says…’}

    Do you really need the licence of GG of to post freely? If so, you’ve got a problem.

  25. Still, Joe managed to get through a few Catholic conservatives into Parliament on the back of those underpaid workers so, All’s well that ends well for Tony Burke!

  26. nath @ #1479 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 6:30 pm

    Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm
    Nath,
    How do you compare two EBAs?
    One group may give up a condition for a financial reward, whilst the other group may value that condition higher than the money.
    Your statements in isolation have no bearing without looking at both EBAs in their entirety.
    ________________________________
    It is difficult to compare EBA’s but Visy and Amcor are a bit easier because they were in the same industry and essentially had a very similar workforce composition. The AMWU had a long standing series of EBA’s with Amcor that gave workers through the late 90s and 2000s a very orderly 4% wage rise each year. A lot higher than that under the AWU EBA.

    And. Amcor did not give the AMWU hundreds of thousands of dollars or buy ‘tables’ worth thousands at the annual gala dinner.

    You’re cherry picking still and all you are highlighting is the problem with EBAs being employer based and not workforce based, so you will get discrepancies within industries depending on who someone works for.

  27. Barney in Go Dau
    says:

    You’re cherry picking still and all you are highlighting is the problem with EBAs being employer based and not workforce based, so you will get discrepancies within industries depending on who someone works for.
    ______________________
    Yes! It’s all a big mess and totally unknowable stuff. I mean base rates of pay, what an esoteric a way of measuring EBA’s!

    You’re funny!

  28. nath @ #1488 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 6:50 pm

    Barney in Go Dau
    says:

    You’re cherry picking still and all you are highlighting is the problem with EBAs being employer based and not workforce based, so you will get discrepancies within industries depending on who someone works for.
    ______________________
    Yes! It’s all a big mess and totally unknowable stuff. I mean base rates of pay, what an esoteric a way of measuring EBA’s!

    You’re funny!

    And what conditions were adjusted?

  29. And what conditions were adjusted?
    __________________________
    From what I understand conditions were about the same. Which are pretty standard in the industrial sector, which are primarily limited to break times and RDO’s.

  30. As a rare interloper on here these days, may I observe that Nath and his ilk, are perhaps on the wrong side of history. He no doubt will object but as they say, pissing against the wind.

  31. Barney in Go Dau
    says:
    Friday, January 11, 2019 at 10:57 pm
    nath @ #1490 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 6:53 pm
    And what conditions were adjusted?
    __________________________
    From what I understand conditions were about the same. Which are pretty standard in the industrial sector, which are primarily limited to break times and RDO’s.
    So, not the same?
    _____________________
    I mean it’s possible that workers under the AWU EBA wanted only 2% wage rises instead of 4% year on year for an extra RDO. I would have expected the conditions to be pretty much the same though. But I’ve been enjoying your nit picking over this. The lengths some will go to, to protect the reputation of a dodgy union boss because he is now the leader of the ALP is something to behold.

  32. The Visy EBA negotiated by the AWU:
    page 30/44
    https://vic.awu.net.au/sites/vic.awu.net.au/files/awu-file/awuvic_ar_2010.pdf

    Visy (Coolaroo & Reservoir)
    • three-year agreement
    • wage increases of 12.5% over
    three years
    • 35 hour week
    • income protection
    • retirement benefit

    The AMWU negotiated EBA for Amcor:

    Members across Australia employed in 12 sites of Amcor Fibre Packaging endorsed by a majority vote the 2007 National EBA.

    This agreement covers over 900 members in all states.

    The EBA negotiations were quite difficult and time consuming and resulted in many meetings between the union and the company. The length of time for the negotiations to be completed was very much attributable to complications as a result of Workchoices.

    The final agreement provided for a wages increase of 12% over 3 years (4%, 4%, 4%) and an MOU which contains the prohibited content that the parties were required to remove from the EBA under Workchoices.

    The 2007 Agreement was in effect a ‘rollover’ of the 2004 Agreement with the only changes necessary to make it compliant with the Act.

    All of the current entitlements were protected, including the continuation of the agreement in the event of a transmission of business

    The increases were back dated to the 30th September, 2007.

    The Agreement again demonstrates the importance of maintaining a national approach to bargaining across Amcor Fibre Packaging and through this national approach and unity our wages and conditions are protected and maintained for the next 3 years.

    https://www.uniglobalunion.org/news/australiaamcor-fibre-packaging-national-enterprise-agreement-endorsed

    Looks like the 12.5% wage increase negotiated by the AWU for Visy employees is greater than the 12% wage increase negotiated for the Amcor workers by the AMWU.
    IF we are into comparisons. 🙂

  33. nath,
    The lengths YOU will go to to try and make Bill Shorten SEEM like a ‘dodgy Union boss’ (oh what colourful, charged, emotive bs), is something to behold. I guess that you are preoccupied with this stops you running with scissors. 🙂

  34. Tom @ #1500 Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:07 pm

    C@tmomma (Block)
    Friday, January 11th, 2019 – 11:04 pm

    C@t, you should know better than introducing facts when talking to trolls…

    I know. But like a practiced troll he has his ‘alternative facts’ down pat and I feel it is my civic duty to blast them out of the water before young kiddies come upon them and possibly hurt themselves with them. 😉

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