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. re. Kenny’s “For the Coalition to turn its superior record and policy agenda – – – ”
    Where is the evidence for this assertion?? Good grief, has he not been paying attention? (p.s. don’t answer that)

  2. zoomster

    Oh, and the money quote —

    ‘ Burgess encouraged patriots to attend the St Kilda rally.

    “There should be three to five thousand people down there on Saturday,” he says. “We don’t want to see a piss poor turn out of 70 to 100 people.”

    Yes, I almost wonder if Burgess was trolling his erstwhile successors there – even he regards them as complete tossers!

  3. when Labor is intent on a hard-fought battle on old-fashioned arguments about envy and class warfare.

    No. It’s about fairness. It’s about the people that create the wealth, the ‘workers on the factory floor’, getting their fair share of the results of their labour. Only Labor is promising them that. The Coalition just want to support the bosses taking advantage of the workers’ blood, sweat and tears. Just so they can sail their yachts and buy another freaking Polo pony!!

    That’s not envy, that’s anger at the opportunistic, free-loading bastards!

  4. Explains much of Trump’s foreign policy.

    As Donald Trump finds himself ever more dependent on them for his political survival, the influence of Pence, Pompeo and the ultra-conservative white Evangelicals who stand behind them is likely to grow.

    “Many of them relish the second coming because for them it means eternal life in heaven,” Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University said. “There is a palpable danger that people in high position who subscribe to these beliefs will be readier to take us into a conflict that brings on Armageddon.”


    Almost alone among major demographic groups, white evangelicals are overwhelmingly in favour of Trump’s border wall, which some preachers equate with fortifications in the Bible.

    Evangelical links have also helped shape US alliances in the Trump presidency. As secretary of state, Pompeo has been instrumental in forging link with other evangelical leaders in the hemisphere, including Guatemala’s Jimmy Morales and the new Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro. Both have undertaken to follow the US lead in moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem.

    Trump’s order to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv – over the objections of his foreign policy and national security team – is a striking example of evangelical clout.

    The move was also pushed by Las Vegas billionaire and Republican mega-donor, Sheldon Adelson, but the orchestration of the embassy opening ceremony last May, reflected the audience Trump was trying hardest to appease.

    The two pastors given the prime speaking slots were both ardent Christian Zionists: Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor on record as saying Jews, like Muslims and Mormons, are bound for hell; and John Hagee, a televangelist and founder of Christians United for Israel (Cufi), who once said that Hitler and the Holocaust were part of God’s plan to get Jews back to Israel, to pave the way for the Rapture.

    For many evangelicals, the move cemented Trump’s status as the new Cyrus, who oversaw the Jews return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/11/trump-administration-evangelical-influence-support

  5. C@tmomma @ #1554 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 4:51 am

    when Labor is intent on a hard-fought battle on old-fashioned arguments about envy and class warfare.

    No. It’s about fairness. It’s about the people that create the wealth, the ‘workers on the factory floor’, getting their fair share of the results of their labour. Only Labor is promising them that. The Coalition just want to support the bosses taking advantage of the workers’ blood, sweat and tears. Just so they can sail their yachts and buy another freaking Polo pony!!

    That’s not envy, that’s anger at the opportunistic, free-loading bastards!

    i.e. Creating a functioning Society that functions for everyone within it.

  6. Dressed as Elvis, deputy Prime Minister @M_McCormackMP has refused to condemn the $37,000 spent on flights by Finance Minister @MathiasCormann. #9News

  7. C@tmomma
    Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 8:34 am
    Comment #1549

    Thanks very, very much for your detailed response.

    As I see the response is because you have been naughty and refuse to have your mouth washed out with soap – you will lose a turn and must drop three places down the ladder and (chortles of glee) the game has been suspended —-wait one month – recommence when LNP wins next federal election. —
    Apart from that I don’t get it. Could somebody/anybody think that you have mistaken the modem for a microwave and it has been filled with egg white in an aborted attempt at pavlova ❓

    The degree course in dickhead/fuckwit/dumbass run in conjunction with Western Culture (see Lissie’s notes re Mr. Anning’s antecedants) – possibley send pregraduates to the ISP you have had less than satisfactory dealings with – for training in the proper methods of effing folks about. This would stand said students in good stead as — well – sorry I can’t think of a good use for said arseholes apart from guest appearances in Mr. BK’s honorary of the week occasional series.

    Anning how, as you say 7mbps is better than zip.
    I finally figured out your various little whatsisnames ☜(˚▽˚)☞ (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ etc when I changed the keyboard on my phone. Lots of little doolackies.

    Best wishes for your tilt with the NBN chappie – who I suspect will want to do the job, do it right and on to the next job.

    I have been babbling so much I may not have enough gas in the tank to talk about Mr. Kenny. Dammit.

    🐈😻😸

  8. Donald Trump says he’s a great negotiator. But on the shutdown, he’s struggling.

    Donald Trump ran for president on the premise that the United States needed a leader adept at wheeling and dealing. Who better to straighten out dysfunctional Washington than the man who wrote (or, more accurately, paid to have someone ghostwrite) the book on the art of the deal?

    That wall made for a great campaign chant. But getting it done has been much more complicated.

    It’s a great example of where the Trump facade begins to fall apart. He’s great at bluster and big promises. He can rile people up. But when that’s not enough, he can’t get things done. He promised a grand health-care plan. Obamacare is still the law of the land. He said he could solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He couldn’t. He declared North Korea no longer a threat. It still is.

    Trump has found that his go-to arsenal of bluster, falsehoods, threats and theatrics has laid bare his shortcomings as a negotiator — preventing him from finding a way out of what may be the biggest political crisis of his presidency.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/11/donald-trump-says-hes-great-negotiator-shutdown-hes-struggling/?utm_term=.b53c1143847e

  9. Barney – it shows exactly the amount of clout we have lost internationally over the past 5 years under the conservative collective.

    Like Trump – our leaders have lost respect … not as badly or abruptly as Trump’s America … but our reputation has slipped via short-sighted and inhumane policies.

  10. Good Morning

    I think the best hope for our soccer player in the Thai jail awaiting deportation to Bahrain is that Labor gets elected.

    I hope I am wrong but the fact Canada had no problems and we did says it all.

    Our immigration department is stuffed. It is the most politicised department of government. Dutton has finished what was started under Howard. Now security trumps human rights every time. Its inbuilt into the process even when it is a bad look for Australia wanting to help someone.

  11. BK says:
    Why is it that Australia seems to have sympathy for an attractive, strong Saudi woman from a wealthy family, coming by plane who, if she were a man from the Middle East on a boat, we would call a ‘queue jumper’? Is there misandry or something else at play in our public debate?

    Or maybe it’s because we realise that women get treated abominably in the society from which she is fleeing, unlike the men.

  12. Cat

    Yeah nah.

    To expand. Its boats, woman arriving by boats get treated the same. So do gay men. See that buzzfeed NSFW transcript from immigration on questions asked.

    Donald Trump picked it when he talked with Turnbull.
    Now Trump is trying those tactics out with his wall rhetoric and his base.

  13. I get the impression that Trump believes negotiation actually means “I win”.

    He struggles in negotiations when he has to publically concede ground – his big problem is that he cannot tactically withdraw in the full gaze of the public and media without conceding he is not as ‘strong’ and ‘winning’ as he wants his image to portray.

    I suspect in business he could run away safely because it wasn’t in the full public gaze or else his failures weren’t ‘immediate’ and he could step back and pretend “It wasn’t may fault!”

    But here, as President, he has nowhere to hide.

  14. guytaur,
    It can be both you know. And just like gay men, those poor women are oppressed members of their societies. And like Freddie Mercury sang, they just want to break free! So I can see no problem at all with the young woman’s case being expedited over others. She has, almost, succeeded in her escape, by whatever means she could.

  15. cat

    We are talking about the LNP government and its politicised department.

    Not what rational human beings that respect human rights would do.

    If we were talking about the former Australia would continue to be her destination and not Canada.
    It shows the stark culture difference between the immigration department of Canada and Australia.

    Even when Australia wants to help the culture and process set up by immigration gets in the way.
    The reports are that Canada was able to do the processing more quickly. That comes down to the excuse of using security to delay processing of those seeking refugee status and worked yet again.

  16. Most of the political commentary from the right (and that means most of the MSM) can be summarized as:

    “The Coalition is the default government. Any policy it has in any area is clearly better than the equivalent Labor policy. Therefore there is no need to discuss Labor policy, or even Coalition policy. The only reason the Coalition appears to be losing is because it is not selling itself properly and has lost contact with its base.”

    Here opinions differ: whether the true “base” is further to the Right or to the Centre.

    One thing is for sure: almost any Labor policy at election time will be an almost total surprise to the voter.

  17. C@t

    Or maybe it’s because we realise that women get treated abominably in the society from which she is fleeing, unlike the men.

    Yet you had no problems with our putting Hazara men from Afghanistan behind barbed wired for years on end. How do you think Hazara people were treated in Afghanistan ‘unabominably’ ? Oh that’s right they came by boat.

  18. Conservative belittles ‘depressed’ Lindsey Graham for being a suck-up to ‘unhinged Trump and crackpot Fox News’ hosts

    In a brutally blunt column for the Washington Post, conservative renegade Jennifer Rubin didn’t have an ounce of sympathy for Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who recently whined that the whole government shutdown/Trump wall imbroglio has left him feeling “depressed.”

    According to Rubin, it’s time for Graham and his GOP brethren to step up and do their jobs and go around President Trump.

    Getting back to Republicans — and the ineffectual Graham — doing their jobs, Rubin wrote: “What Graham and the rest of his colleagues cannot do is simultaneously enable an unhinged, authoritarian president and uphold their oaths of office. And what they surely should not do is facilitate or encourage Trump to usurp the power of the purse.”

    “There is no shortage of things Republicans can do to move ‘forward,’ as Graham put it.” Rubin wrote. “What is missing is any sense of obligation beyond defending an unhinged president and staying in the good graces of crackpot Fox News personalities.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/conservative-belittles-depressed-lindsey-graham-suck-unhinged-trump-crackpot-fox-news-hosts/

  19. Cat

    Labor must regard immigration just as Lionel Murphy did ASIO. Until Labor reforms the culture in immigration it is going to continue to get frank and fearless advice on how to prevent refugees applying.

    Its built into the system just like with Centrelink robodebt that the human seeking help is lying.

  20. lizzie @ #1559 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 8:57 am

    Dressed as Elvis, deputy Prime Minister @M_McCormackMP has refused to condemn the $37,000 spent on flights by Finance Minister @MathiasCormann. #9News

    Now then – which one is Mr. McCormack ❓

    All together now.
    Heartbreak Hotel
    Elvis Presley

    ♫Well, since my baby ♫left me
    Well, I ♪found a new place to♪ dwell
    Well, it’s ♫down at the end of ♪Lonely Street
    At ♫Heartbreak♫ Hotel
    ♫Where I’ll be–where I get so♪ lonely, baby
    Well, I’m so♫ lonely
    I get so♫ lonely, I could ♪die

    My foil hat gravatar needs more foil – some of the dickheadery is seeping through (or out). 😎

  21. jenauthor @ #1563 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 5:03 am

    Barney – it shows exactly the amount of clout we have lost internationally over the past 5 years under the conservative collective.

    Like Trump – our leaders have lost respect … not as badly or abruptly as Trump’s America … but our reputation has slipped via short-sighted and inhumane policies.

    Yes, it’s always difficult to make a moral argument if you lack morality yourself.

    That’s the power that we have lost. 🙁

  22. Morning

    I remember the outcry when Gillard govt refused to enter into any deals with Huawei and the outcry from the liberals

    John Schindler
    John Schindler
    @20committee
    ·
    6h
    Today’s major double-spy-arrest in Warsaw reveals that Huawei sure looks a lot like a spy-front for Beijing.

    YUGE implications here for China and global telecommunications markets ….

    Maybe it’s time to accept that Huawei is a Chinese intelligence front | Spectator USA
    spectator.us

  23. PhoenixRed

    Lindsey Graham continues to baffle with his behaviour.
    He was the one whom initially said that if the GOP back Trump as candidate it will destroy them.

  24. “A massive new study, which encompasses more than 100,000 employees across 47 countries over almost three decades, reveals a number of startling statistics. One of these, for example, is that nearly one-in-ten workers think their job is socially useless. This is especially true of Australians who significantly outrank the Kiwis and the Yanks in regards to job uselessness.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/feel-like-you-have-a-socially-useless-job-you-re-not-alone-20190110-p50qj4.html

  25. Guytaur

    Good Morning

    I think the best hope for our soccer player in the Thai jail awaiting deportation to Bahrain is that Labor gets elected.

    I hope I am wrong but the fact Canada had no problems and we did says it all.

    Our immigration department is stuffed. It is the most politicised department of government. Dutton has finished what was started under Howard. Now security trumps human rights every time. Its inbuilt into the process even when it is a bad look for Australia wanting to help someone.

    _______________________________________

    Sorry guytaur, but you are wrong.

    The Australia status of the two people are totally different. The young woman had a visitor visa that she obtained fraudulently (by lying as to her purpose for travelling to Australia), and was intercepted by Thai authorities in Thailand at the behest of Saudi, not Australian authorities. Australia owed her absolutely zilch over any other genuine refugee anywhere in the world.

    The soccer player is an Australian permanent who Australia has already recognised as a refugee and to whom it has protection obligations. This is not an Australian immigration matter any more – it is a foreign affairs matter. Moreover, the Bahraini authorities are particularly keen to have this guy back to face Bahraini “justice” and have been prepared to use its considerable leverage over Thailand to achieve this, including the launch of extradition proceedings. The Saudis did none of this.

    In my view Marise Payne is actually doing the best job she can, treading a fine line between strongly expressing Australia’s interest in the case without giving the appearance of disrespecting Thai sovereignty, which could harden the Thai attitude against the young man. I don’t think Labor could do better.

  26. Victoria says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:33 am

    PhoenixRed

    Lindsey Graham continues to baffle with his behaviour.
    He was the one whom initially said that if the GOP back Trump as candidate it will destroy them.

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

    Have said before Victoria – Trump has ‘something’ on Graham that changed him from a never-Trumper to – as Jennifer Rubin says – ” a suckup ”

    Tea Pain‏ @TeaPainUSA

    “Then I was shown some highly personal emails I had long forgot about and now I agree 100% with the President about Syria.”

  27. Maybe I am delusional
    I continue to be an optimist re Brexit. I can’t see it happening.
    Just like I see no impeachment for Trump but he will leave the presidency in disgrace.

    Real leadership on climate policy for the globe is the most pressing challenge. And whilst the instability in the UK and USA continue, the world is all the worse for it.
    Really want these shit shows to play out for focus to shift in this way

  28. Why do the neo-nazis in Oz look like derros you avoid who live in a cardboard box under a bridge. Even fraser anning looks as if he has a whiff of faint urine about him :mrgreen:

  29. Victoria says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:42 am

    PhoenixRed

    Yes it sure appears that way. Surely Lindsay knows that people dont care these days if you are gay.

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

    Tea Pain‏ @TeaPainUSA

    “Then I was shown some highly personal emails I had long forgot about and now I agree 100% with the President about Syria.”

    https://twitter.com/TeaPainUSA/status/1079490428775383041

  30. TPOF

    You again defend the indefensible.

    Instead of thinking there is good reason she lied to get away from danger to her life its the lie that counts more than anything else.

    Of course she lied this is just standard for someone fleeing danger until they know they are safe and can tell the truth. Its not the lying on her visa application that is the problem. Its Australia’s response to a human fleeing danger and the lie is more important than the fleeing danger.

  31. So the big end of town gets shutdown relief, but employees are forced to struggle on.

    After an intense lobbying campaign by the mortgage industry, the Treasury Department this week restarted a program that had been sidelined by the partial government shutdown, allowing hundreds of Internal Revenue Service clerks to collect paychecks as they process forms vital to the lending industry.

    The hasty intervention to restore the IRS’s income verification service by drawing on revenue from fees — even as 800,000 federal employees across the country are going without their salaries — has intensified questions about the Trump administration’s un­or­tho­dox efforts to bring certain government functions back online to contain the shutdown’s impacts.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/could-you-make-these-guys-essential-mortgage-industry-gets-shutdown-relief-after-appeal-to-senior-treasury-officials/2019/01/11/9071e9d8-152c-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html?utm_term=.4ecd4a70b7e5

  32. poroti @ #1573 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:21 am

    C@t

    Or maybe it’s because we realise that women get treated abominably in the society from which she is fleeing, unlike the men.

    Yet you had no problems with our putting Hazara men from Afghanistan behind barbed wired for years on end. How do you think Hazara people were treated in Afghanistan ‘unabominably’ ? Oh that’s right they came by boat.

    poroti, stop trying to tell me ‘what I had no problem with’. Who are you to say that and how would you know? Do you say it because I haven’t spent every day on the blog bellyaching fruitlessly about it, as I realise I have no power to do anything about it, because you may not have realised it but Labor aren’t the federal government and I’m not the Immigration Minister.

    So, fyi, of course I think that those people should have been taken off the islands long since.

    Oh, and notice that I didn’t have to abuse you to make my point. 🙂

  33. Victoria @ #1586 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:42 am

    PhoenixRed

    Yes it sure appears that way. Surely Lindsay knows that people dont care these days if you are gay.

    What I found interesting to find out last week is that Lindsey Graham’s CoS has ties to Paul Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik & Tad Devine. Maybe it’s more than just he’s a gay that can’t get out of the closet?

  34. PhoenixRed

    John McCain would be turning in his grave re his friend.

    Meanwhile the GOP were already burying Ruth Ginsburg.

    Robert Barnes
    @scotusreporter
    BREAKING: No remaining signs of cancer for Justice Ginsburg, and no additional treatment required, Supreme Court says. She’ll miss next week’s arguments but continue to participate
    from home

  35. Victoria @ #1584 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 8:40 am

    Maybe I am delusional
    I continue to be an optimist re Brexit. I can’t see it happening.
    Just like I see no impeachment for Trump but he will leave the presidency in disgrace.

    Real leadership on climate policy for the globe is the most pressing challenge. And whilst the instability in the UK and USA continue, the world is all the worse for it.
    Really want these shit shows to play out for focus to shift in this way

    Victoria

    I am really surprised that you are happy to have president Pence a known believer in “rapture” and very dangerous and right wing. The reality is that if Trump goes you get President Pence and he is a very dangerous sort of guy and NOW could be POTUS for 10 years.

    This is the dilemma for Democrats now. The reality is that on all the things that matter ie the judiciary, taxes, health care, abortion, religion etc, Pence is much more conservative than Trump. Not to mention his foreign policy which is even more Neocon than Hillary’s and you know what i think of that. Now he has kept his head low so that he would almost certainly be re-elected.

  36. Why did Scott Morrison praise the St Kilda demonstrators with faint damnation?

    From a Guardian article linked by BK in Dawn Patrol:

    “At what point does guilt by association just become … association? This isn’t some series of repeat lapsed judgements. It is a real ideological affiliation, the end-stage of the racist disease course that has afflicted Australian conservatism for decades.

    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. “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.”

    Newscorp is an unofficial partner in Australia’s ruling right wing coalition. The fact that columnists like Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine are regarded as mainstream says it all.

  37. C@t

    Yes that could be main reason why he is compromised.

    And lets not forget Bernie Sanders was one of only two who didn’t vote to keep sanctions on Russia. The other was Kremlin’s best buddy Rand Paul

    Seriously those who actually think Bernie Sanders is the saviour should wake up and smell the roses

  38. C@tmomma says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Victoria @ #1586 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:42 am

    PhoenixRed

    What I found interesting to find out last week is that Lindsey Graham’s CoS has ties to Paul Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik & Tad Devine. Maybe it’s more than just he’s a gay that can’t get out of the closet?

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

    or maybe Trumps Russian friends gave him a few pics of Grahams activities in the closet ?????

  39. Morning all. Wow – just look at all the new policy ideas and solutions being promoted by the government. (Just kidding.)

    Not a single new policy mentioned. Right wing boosters like Kenny try to pretend they are great economic managers as real wages stagnate and housing prices fall. Meanwhile I can but agree with those who note that a refugee adroit at using Twitter gets asylum, while a soccer player equally at risk still rots in a Thai jail. Both cases clearly warranted assistance, and both have been terribly handled by government departments.

    It seems media management is all ScumMo knows, and he is not actually very good at that either. You could seriously question whether we have a functioning government at present. We should have one after May. They won’t go early. Power will have to be dragged from their cold, dead hands.

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