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. Victoria @ #1598 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:53 am

    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

    Really? Bernie Sanders did that!?! The Dems should steer way clear of that guy!

  2. DaretoTread @ #1596 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 5:52 am

    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.

    So Trump can continue to do what he wants and remain untouchable because, you think, he is better than the alternative.

    For you this seems to be the case for any alternative.

    Are you trying to say that Trump IS the best they have to offer? 🙂

  3. Confessions @ #1602 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:58 am

    C@t:

    Wasn’t Bernie Sanders’ CoS also in that photo?

    Tad Devine?

    Also, you may be interested in this:

    Polly Sigh Retweeted

    Polly Sigh
    ‏@dcpoll
    Jan 11

    SCOOP: In Feb 2018, Mueller met with Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio, a longtime associate of Manafort whose Ukrainian work in 2013 overlapped with GRU-linked Kilimnik. Soon after Fabrizio spoke to Mueller, Rick Gates flipped.
    by @SaraMurray @kpolantz #Maddow https://cnn.it/2FknCfQ

  4. Barney

    Don’t fall for DTT’s stick. Its the same argument the right uses to demonise muslims. They pay attention to gays when they are thrown of buildings by the Taliban but not when they themselves are abusing the rights of gays.

    This is the same. Look at how bad Pence could be especially if you are gay. Abortion is another example. Trump is not friend to gays so that argument is just fallacy that Pence is going to be worse.

    All as an excuse to evade what are the normal rules of democracy and to boost the hate.

  5. Barney

    Don’t fall for DTT’s stick. Its the same argument the right uses to demonise muslims. They pay attention to gays when they are thrown of buildings by the Taliban but not when they themselves are abusing the rights of gays.

    This is the same. Look at how bad Pence could be especially if you are gay. Abortion is another example. Trump is not friend to gays so that argument is just fallacy that Pence is going to be worse.

    All as an excuse to evade what are the normal rules of democracy and to boost the hate.

    Edit: Sorry I did not mean to imply you were falling for the argument being made. I should have said People should not fall for DTT’s argument.

  6. C@t:

    Yes sorry Tad Devine.

    Those who heard Devine’s interviews and watched his Sanders TV ads therefore may be surprised to know that, in the years and months leading up to the Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was making gobs of money to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies.

    Thanks to Robert S. Mueller III’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman and sometime business associate of Devine, we now have an unusual glimpse into the role the Democratic ad man had in electing and preserving the power of Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat. Though American political consultants routinely rake in cash from foreign leaders — even shady ones — Devine’s seamless pivot from advocate for antidemocratic thug to champion of a principled democratic reformer shows extraordinary flexibility.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bernie-sanders-ad-man-who-played-paul-manaforts-game/2018/08/01/0df78c18-95c7-11e8-a679-b09212fb69c2_story.html?utm_term=.0de39f019a4d

  7. Victoria
    “Hopefully Sanders has enough intelligence to steer clear from the 2020 race”

    The decision will depend more on his motives than intellect. Lots of intelligent men do stupid things when they get egotistical or messianic.

  8. So pleased the media aren’t letting Trump forget his promise to make Mexico pay for the wall.

    Wolf BlitzerVerified account@wolfblitzer
    6h6 hours ago
    At a Republican presidential debate in 2016, I asked @realDonaldTrump: “If you don’t get an actual check from the Mexican government for $8 billion or $10 billion or $12 billion, whatever it will cost, how are you going to make them pay for the wall?” Here’s his response:

    https://twitter.com/wolfblitzer/status/1083782128880574469

  9. DaretoTread @ #1596 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:52 am

    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.

    Are we starting the comedy hour early today?

  10. I hope Sanders does stand for the nomination.

    He won’t get far. It will show the Democrats Primary process is working.

    There are other better progressive candidates than Sanders this time and they are more likely to get Democratic votes because they are Democrats if nothing else.

    I don’t have a fear of Sanders standing as some here seem to have. I do understand how the rules have changed for the better under the Democrats and thats why I have the confidence the progressive candidate won’t be Sanders.

  11. BK says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:21 am

    PhoenixRED
    I think the Turtle Man, Mitch McConnell has almost as much to answer for as Trump.

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

    I think when it all comes out, BK – we are going to see McConnell’s name as a “person of interest'” in Robert Muellers little black book – something along the lines of foreign financial kickbacks …..

  12. guytaur @ #1608 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 6:09 am

    Barney

    Don’t fall for DTT’s stick. Its the same argument the right uses to demonise muslims. They pay attention to gays when they are thrown of buildings by the Taliban but not when they themselves are abusing the rights of gays.

    This is the same. Look at how bad Pence could be especially if you are gay. Abortion is another example. Trump is not friend to gays so that argument is just fallacy that Pence is going to be worse.

    All as an excuse to evade what are the normal rules of democracy and to boost the hate.

    You really don’t get sarcasm.

  13. The real reason the govt is shutdown is because of Trump’s fears, not his deal-making failures.

    Trump is afraid of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Matt Drudge, Laura Ingraham and the rest of the far-right echo chamber. (He sees Sean Hannity as more of a house pet.) He’s afraid of his shrunken but loyal base, which could abandon him if he doesn’t give them a wall. He’s afraid of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the federal, state and local prosecutors in New York who are investigating various Trump enterprises. And he’s afraid of losing his coercive hold over the Republican senators who one day could sit in judgment of his fate.

    Not one of these intertwined fears is irrational. Trump must realize he has painted himself into a corner but sees no alternative. According to news reports, the president knew his hostage-video Oval Office address on Tuesday and his photo op at the border on Thursday would make no difference. He must also be aware that the GOP leadership in Congress can’t hold the line forever.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-terrified-of-the-far-right-echo-chamber/2019/01/10/13564810-1516-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html?utm_term=.7ab225ffbcde

  14. guytaur says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:16 am

    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.

    -0-

    You will note that the name of the Canadian department is: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

    You will also note that the Minister of that department is Ahmed Hussen, a Somali-Canadian who was himself a refugee to Canada.

    You will also note while Australia was dithering with processing tens or hundreds of Syrian refugees, Canada resettled more than 25,000 in the first three months. Some 58,600 Syrians were admitted to Canada under the program and they are eligible to apply for citizenship after three years residency.

    You will also note that two of Canada’s recent Governors-General, Adrienne Clarkson and Michaelle Jean, were both women and refugees from Hong Kong and Haiti, respectively.

    What does that tell you about what kind of country that is?

  15. Player One @ #1615 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:21 am

    DaretoTread @ #1596 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:52 am

    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.

    Are we starting the comedy hour early today?

    Seems like it. But it was well sliced and diced by guytaur @ 10.09am.

  16. TPOF @ #1582 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 8:39 am

    The young woman had a visitor visa that she obtained fraudulently (by lying as to her purpose for travelling to Australia)

    Yawn. She was running from people who have been exposed as brutal assassins. You expect me (or anyone else) to care that she went for the quickest and easiest visa option while doing that?

    and was intercepted […] at the behest of Saudi

    Which shows she almost certainly had good cause for trying to escape. As does the fact that she was then assessed as a genuine refugee.

    Australia owed her absolutely zilch over any other genuine refugee anywhere in the world.

    Which is to say not that Australia owes her zilch, but that Australia owes her protection just like any other genuine refugee. Sure.

    And if Canada was able to make the decision to grant her asylum that quickly, there’s no reason Australia couldn’t have done the same. It’s evident that the only barrier preventing the woman from coming to Australia was the Australian government’s say-so.

    So really, shame on Australia. Heaps of shame. Canada to the rescue.

    WeWantPaul @ #1297 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:49 am

    No big surprise Rahaf chose Canada, we are shit racist country, with a disgusting racist government.

    I don’t think she chose Canada so much as Canada chose to grant her asylum while the Australian government chose to drag its feet. Any port in a storm, etc..

  17. Q. What do you get if you cross the Aussie cricket team with an OXO cube?
    A. A laughing stock.

    Q. What’s the height of optimism?
    A: Aussie batsman putting on sunscreen.

    Q. What’s the difference between an Aussie batsman and a Formula 1 car?
    A. Nothing! If you blink you’ll miss them both.

    Q. What do Aussie batsmen and drug addicts have in common?
    A. Both spend most of their time wondering where their next score will come from.

    Q. What does an Aussie batsman who is playing in the test have in common with Michael Jackson?
    A. They both wore gloves for no apparent reason.

    Q. What is the difference between Cinderella and the Aussies?
    A. Cinderella knew when to leave the ball.

    Q. What’s the difference between the Aussies and a funeral director?
    A. A funeral director isn’t going to lose the ashes.

    ——————————————————–
    Mitchell Marsh’s wife rang the cricket ground looking for him.
    Bloke says, “He’s just gone in to bat”.

    She says, “That’s ok, I’ll wait, he won’t be long”.

  18. Barney in Go Dau @ #1629 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 11:03 am

    Whisper @ #1628 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 7:00 am

    Q. What’s the difference between the Aussies and a funeral director?
    A. A funeral director isn’t going to lose the ashes.

    Not sure about this one, but the rest are too true. 😆

    I think you will find that in any funeral director’s cupboard there are a few spare buckets of ashes at the ready should the need arise!

  19. Yep

    Counterchekist
    Counterchekist
    @counterchekist
    ·
    12m
    I guess the Kremlin is trying a new approach.

    If you think Rohrabacher was a Kremlin stooge, let me introduce you to Bashar Assad’s apologist, and RT darling Tulsi Gabbard.
    Quote Tweet
    CNN
    @CNN
    BREAKING: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii and the first Hindu member of Congress, says she’s running for President in 2020 (link: https://cnn.it/2FsABLM) cnn.it/2FsABLM

  20. ‘He’s told one too many lies’: Triple Pulitzer-winner explains how Trump took us ‘through the looking glass’

    On Friday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, sat down for a lengthy interview with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer to discuss Trump’s position on the border wall shutdown.

    Trump has people who would be willing to help with these crises, Friedman said, but instead, he thinks that he and Jared Kushner alone can solve the problems.

    “If we face a crisis with a president who no one believes who’s surrounded by a C-team in the White House, then God save us,” he said. “He’s told one too many lies. I don’t know if it was lie number 6,000 or 7,000—the Washington Post has been keeping a tab—but I felt that we’re in a moment now where people simply don’t believe a word out of his mouth. When he can stand up and say ‘I never said Mexico would pay for the wall.’ We’re through the looking glass.”

    “We have a disturbed man as president, Wolf,” Friedman said. “That is very clear.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/hes-told-one-many-lies-triple-pulitzer-winner-explains-trump-took-us-looking-glass/

  21. In the category of ‘danger! danger! Will Robinson!’, we have this:

    We know Trump is obsessed with finding an attorney general who will suppress the Mueller investigation. His candidate wrote a memo attacking Mueller, and submitted it to Trump’s lawyer, who may or may not have informed others of the memo’s existence.

    The worst-case scenario for Barr is that he opened a covert back channel to the administration and campaigned for the role of being Trump’s Roy Cohn. The best-case scenario is that he merely created the appearance of impropriety. Barr, in this scenario, merely happens to be a fanatical proponent of executive power who expresses his passion for the issue by writing long memos in his spare time. Somehow word of this memo never reached Trump, who then learned of the strange coincidence that Barr had endorsed the very theories that Trump was looking for in the candidate.

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/12/trump-william-barr-memo-mueller-obstruction-justice.html?utm_source=tw

  22. @MrKRudd tweets

    No Malcolm. Your NBN hasn’t been completed sooner than FTTP model was projected. Australia could have had a future proof piece of infrastructure. How surprising FTTN model suited Murdoch’s interests down to the ground. & that you launched it at Fox Studios https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/turnbull-rebukes-rudd-s-insane-conspiracy-theory-he-trashed-nbn-for-murdoch-20190111-p50qwl.htm https://twitter.com/MrKRudd/status/1083884016334397440/photo/1

  23. C@tmomma @ #1624 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:47 am

    Player One @ #1615 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:21 am

    DaretoTread @ #1596 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:52 am

    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.

    Are we starting the comedy hour early today?

    Seems like it. But it was well sliced and diced by guytaur @ 10.09am.

    Catty dear

    Can you please explain what is wrong or funny in that statement.

    Do you deny that Pence is a raputist. He is so apology will be accepted.

    If Trump leaves for whatever reason – impeach, ill health resign etc. then Pence is POTUS. Fact not fiction.

    The idea that cautious Pence who is almost as anti Russian as you cat would be caught up in the Mueller stuff is absurd.

    So the only issue is what happens in 2020. Obviously it depends on the Dem candidate but chances are that Pence would win and then again in 2024. i say this because while quiet is has that ‘gravitas” which aids election. He is not regarded as a joke nor divisive.

  24. DTT

    You may be over the top the way you put it but I agree not everyone who has been on RT or advocates that third parties like Russia and the US should stay out of the Middle East would be a good thing is a Russian Apologist.

    There really is a black and white view by some on the US and what it does.
    What we do know is the GOP intervention has failed. The Democrats are not strong enough to clean up the mess precisely because it leaves a vacuum for Russia to fill. So of course Russia promotes those people who they see as promoting an issue they see as an advantage.

    Just as China and the US do.

    What we as individuals have to work out is where we stand. I say that as someone who does not know the history of Gabbrd’s but who does think not every progressive candidate in the Democrat party is a Russian Agent or apologist.

  25. Occam’s razor says that the Coalition trashed the NBN with malice aforethough because “Labor bad! Coalition SMASH!!!”. Collusion with Murdoch (or even Telstra, which also gained an obscene amount from the FTTN backflip) isn’t a required motivating factor.

  26. I just read this illuminating speech by Alexander Stephens, the first (and only) Vice-President of the Confederate States of America, delivered in Savannah, Georgia on 21st March 1861.

    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.

    With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. …… It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator.

    Interestingly after the Civil War Stephens tried to disavow some of his statements, apparently instead saying that the war was fought over states’ rights and constitutional change.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech

    It is sad to think that there are probably some Australians in Federal Parliament who would share some of his views 158 years after this speech.

  27. guytaur @ #1607 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:09 am

    Barney

    Don’t fall for DTT’s stick. Its the same argument the right uses to demonise muslims. They pay attention to gays when they are thrown of buildings by the Taliban but not when they themselves are abusing the rights of gays.

    This is the same. Look at how bad Pence could be especially if you are gay. Abortion is another example. Trump is not friend to gays so that argument is just fallacy that Pence is going to be worse.

    All as an excuse to evade what are the normal rules of democracy and to boost the hate.

    guytaur

    You are often sensible but this is the biggest load of palaver you have ever written

    Are you not aware that it is Pence who has selected the judges and has quietly turned the US courts at every level heavily to the right?

    FFS Trump was in the past a NY coastal sort of guy and although odd was not known for being anti gay or anti abortion and indeed was great friends with the Clintons. He makes a whole lot of RW statements to curry favour with the evangelists but he does not believe them Pence does – that is the critical difference.

    The thing is that pence is a “quiet” guy which is why he is dangerous.

    I am sick of the sort of reflex reaction that this comment shows. i expect no better of Cat or Barney but i do expect better of you.

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