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. a r

    Yep,with or without the Rupert factor The Mad Monk would still have been “If they for it me against it” ( insert :Chest beating gorilla emoticon: )

  2. DaretoTread @ #1643 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:45 am

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

    Fine. Literally any plausible usurper is strictly better than Trump.

    chances are that Pence would win and then again in 2024 2020.

    Also fine. The normal state of the political pendulum in the U.S. is to swing between 8 years of one party and then 8 years of the other. What’s not normal is any number of years of whatever-the-fuck Trump is.

    So whatever. Even if you give Pence 6 years (with a hostile, obstructionist House for the entire time, and probably a hostile, obstructionist Senate for the last 4 years) it’s still better than another day with Trump.

    The idea that he’d be able to win 10 years is far-fetched, imo. If your crystal ball works that well then I want lottery numbers and sports results.

  3. C@t, re your modem problems and Telstra to the rescue….
    A personal success story.
    My 89yr old mother is with Telstra.
    When she moved recently, and I had to arrange the relocation of her service, they were nothing but helpful.
    They allocated a contact person to oversee the entire job, and I contacted her directly via sms and phone. She proactively contacted me to arrange a technician when I met a roadblock in the process.
    She also advised me about the best, cheapest, plan to use.
    Their modems must have a SIM card in them allowing you to get on line immediately it is turned on, before your landline is set up.
    Whole thing was completed in days.
    Brilliant service.

  4. DTT

    😆

    Its your arguments like this that make you look like a Russian agent.

    Neither Pence or Trump are friends to gay people or women who want abortions. No one is under any illusion about that.

    Neither was Ronald Reagan. As for an Evangelical President we saw how he did as Governor. Not in Trump’s league.

  5. I have to defend Rudd here.

    His point is about how Murdoch operates. He has only printed what many on this blog have said. Seen the same on twitter.

    I have no doubt that yes Labor did it so the LNP were against it. However I have no doubt the priority was shifted upwards because as Mr Rudd has pointed out it advantaged Mr Murdoch.

    We have no doubt about his influence on politics and you only have to look at HackGate in the UK and what Murdoch did there to believe Mr Rudd is correct in recounting his experience of how Murdoch operates.

  6. If Pence is bad, and always gets his way under the cover of Trump. What is the difference if Trump is removed? I mean, apart from lowering the clown factor in politics (which would be a good thing).

    As far as I’m concerned, we would all be better off without the circus act, and if Pence can win elections without it (which I very much doubt), then so be it.

    Trump is trashing the environment, but the issue barely gets a look in past the juggling clown.

  7. guytaur @ #1645 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:46 am

    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 Russian 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.

    I agree Guytaur

    Good point.

    I am not sure who is in control of Russia policy in the US just now – it is not Trump.

    The USA is really no longer strong enough to be the world’s policeman, which is leaving the vacuum, and it is not really a Dem or GOP issue as such but more fundamental. That is the core of the issue and probably the reason trump won. Ordinary yanks sort of understand that the US is in decline but neither party seems able to deal with it or even recognise it. So they flail around pointing a Mexicans or Russians or China but the problem is deeper

  8. Guytaur,

    I fully back Rudd on the NBN. And what about all those stranded assets that got sucked back into Turnbull’s plan? Copper and HFC cable.

  9. Barney in Go Dau says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:43 am
    TPOF @ #1582 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 5:39 am

    … The young woman had a visitor visa that she obtained fraudulently (by lying as to her purpose for travelling to Australia, …
    How is this any different to how the soccer player originally arrived in Australia?

    __________________________________

    I don’t know how the soccer player arrived in Australia. And, in any case, that’s irrelevant. The real point of difference is that the soccer player arrived in Australia and the Saudi girl did not. In that respect she is no different from any other genuine refugee in the entire world who evinces a desire to travel to Australia to seek refugee asylum.

  10. What is the most disturbing and sobering aspect of the Trump saga, is how Putin a regional leader and Trump the conman together with the help of the elites and oligarchs have almost hijacked the protections and norms of democracy.

    But the positive aspect is that much needed reform will come about especially in the US system who is already in the clutches of the elite.
    The US citizenry upon learning about this whole shit show are going to be demanding a new way forward.
    So Trump has been a useful idiot in any event.

    Wish there could have been an easier way to get to a better place going forward. Thems the breaks

  11. Oh and I should add that Putin too will wake up those in his own country and the oligarchs who have run out of patience with the US experiment, will be looking for new leadership that will genuinely fix relations with the US

  12. guytaur says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:45 am
    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.

    ______________________________________

    Australia’s response was to fast track her application over god knows how many other genuine refugee visa applicants waiting for processing overseas. Fortunately for one of those people Canada stepped in and offered her a visa.

    The lie is relevant only in respect of anyone else who seeks to enter Australia to claim refugee status. If they get here, however they travelled, they are in a position to engage Australia’s protection obligations under the Convention. If not, they are among the millions of others waiting for settlement around the world.

  13. ‘Turmoil’ and terminal closures coming to airports as TSA workers resign because of shutdown

    On Friday over 800,000 federal workers experienced their first day without pay as a result of the government shutdown.

    This is the longest government shutdown in history and has gone on for three weeks.

    Federal workers and agencies are feeling the negative impact of the shutdown. The New York Times reported that airports are experiencing “turmoil” as workers call in sick and even resign.

    “Agents had been calling in sick at double the normal rate this week, leaving their supervisors worried that they will not have enough agents to operate all of the airport’s 11 security checkpoints,” the report stated.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/01/turmoil-and-terminal-closures-coming-to-airports-as-tsa-workers-resign-because-of-shutdown/

  14. Victoria

    The Democratic party is much better structured now. It gives more democracy and less prone to foreign influence as a result.

    Its why I am not taking these attacks on Sanders seriously. The truth is that the Democrats if they believed all the stuff we are hearing about Sanders would have at least not cooperated with him in reforming their party.

    I do think that DTT has a point about the decline of the US and how the people in the US are dealing with it. All that undemocratic stuff like the gerrymandering and the openness of the system to abuse by the President indeed shows Trump may have been a useful idiot if the US does return to real democracy.

    I hope it does. I like that the Democratic Party seems to have learnt and has put a system in place that looks at this stage to be robust and able to handle real policy debate in its primaries. The fact that ideas are being debated from the grassroots by people that are not candidates is a good sign of growth and maturity in the party.

  15. AR @ 10.53

    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.

    _____________________________________

    I don’t know what Canada’s refugee laws are, so I cannot comment on whether their decision to fast-track her impacted on another refugee elsewhere.

    It seems to me that you want Australia to simply open our borders to every mandated refugee in the world who wants to come here. That’s very noble, but the net result would be a St Kilda protest led by Nazis attended by thousands and Fraser Anning’s party winning seats in the Senate (as has happened in Germany).

  16. Victoria says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    PhoenixRed

    Trump has succeeded in making America great again. Who would have thought It!

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

    Putin has achieved more in 2 short years and days than all the rest of the Russian leaders have achieved in the 70 or so years after WW2 to destabilise the pillars of what America is built upon Security, FBI, Intelligence, NATO …….all smoking ruins ……. he has America/Western Alliances in Total Chaos for next to no effort – a bank of hackers and manipulation of social medias to turn American voters and voting processes …. all without a bullet being fired …

    America’s political and domestic chaos under Trump is a return on Putin’s investment

    Washington spies believe Vladimir Putin harbours ‘longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order’ and is enjoying his front row seat as turmoil and chaos continues on a daily basis …

  17. guytaur @ #1655 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 11:00 am

    DTT

    😆

    Its your arguments like this that make you look like a Russian agent.

    Neither Pence or Trump are friends to gay people or women who want abortions. No one is under any illusion about that.

    Neither was Ronald Reagan. As for an Evangelical President we saw how he did as Governor. Not in Trump’s league.

    Guytaur

    Do you actually realise how totally silly a comment about me being a Russian agent really is. i am telling that THAT was the sort of comment made to me when I was 10 by the skin head NAZIs who demonstrated against the anti Vietnam war protesters. How many times we were called Russians or told to ‘go back to Russia” I could not count, until of course after 5 years or so we the protesters became main stream and everyone agreed with us.

    it was offensive and silly in 1964 and it is still offensive and silly.

    I am an Australian firster. I am a passionate nationalist (or i was until recent years when I have become ashamed of us). However i happen also to be a socialist and was NOT raised to have a paranoid fear of Russians or to think there were reds under the bed or to support idiotic statements such as ‘better dead than red” popular in my childhood.

    Just as was obviously the case in 1964 when the US invaded Vietnam i see the US as the main world aggressor, with criminal acts such as Hiroshima, Korea, Vietnam, South American overthrows, Cuban sanctions, Afghanistan. Iraq, Serbia, libya and Syria as essentially gunboat imperial behaviour worse in consequences even than UK imperialism of the 1800s. While not denying blame I think that in that same period the USSR (excluding the immediate post war period) was extremely mild, Hungary and Afghanistan being its main aggressive acts, with nothing like the blood shed of Korea, or Vietnam.

    And please do not raise the Baltics or the Balkans because while USSR grabbed territory, so too did the USA – occupation of Japan, Germany, Guam etc. In that post war period many things right and wrong happened. So let us look at post 1950 for reasonable comparison.

    However i am also a passionate supporter of democracy so that i am sure i would not like dictatorial governments of any flavour.

  18. phoenixRED

    Rather than it being that super villain Putin von Evil the yanks have done it to themselves. The course was set when those hanging chads gave the world George Dubya. Onward downward ever since.

  19. Earlier on The loathe Sanders faction said he voted against continuing sanctions against Russia. Whilst this is true the bill to impose sanctions on Russia also reimposed sanctions on Iran as a result of Trumps policy to reneg on the nuclear arms deal. Sanders opposed this but since it was all or nothing he voted against the bill. Here is his statement on why he voted the way he did

    I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria. I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran’s activities, but also Saudi Arabia’s decades-long support”

    People are free to criticise Sanders, the most popular politician in the US and whose policy positions enjoy cross party support, but at least do some research so that you represent his position fairly.

  20. guytaur says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm
    TPOF

    Last I looked Canada does not have “open borders”. Nice to see you using the Trump rhetoric. Probably learnt from Australia.

    ______________________________________

    It’s sad to see you claim I use Trump rhetoric. If you are going to make smarmy condescending put-downs instead of discussing the issue there is no point in discussing further with you.

  21. poroti @ #1675 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 11:32 am

    phoenixRED

    Rather than it being that super villain Putin von Evil the yanks have done it to themselves. The course was set when those hanging chads gave the world George Dubya. Onward downward ever since.

    Well said

    I would add that allowing the manufacturing base to collapse was beyond stupid for any nation that wants world economic and military leadership.

  22. poroti says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    phoenixRED

    Rather than it being that super villain Putin von Evil the yanks have done it to themselves

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

    Poroti – I make no secret of the fact, that I am part, by green card visa, American…….but am a passionately Anti-Trump Australian

    In its best the USA is a force for peace and prosperity – and I also acknowledge at its worst it is – as it enemies say ‘The Great Satan’

    You may choose to decry the positives of the US and show obvious sympathy to Russia, Putin and a ‘nothing burger ‘ Donald Trump investigation in your posts on here but I remain ever hopeful that Robert Mueller will uncover the greatest crime ever pulled in history – involving the Trump Crime family, Brexit, Cambridge Analytica etc etc …..and the myriad of networks of fraud, money laundering, human trafficking, mob association that the rich and elite have pulled over many years ……

    America – at the moment – is a very divided society – and to have a President being sued by a pornstar, allegedly on the take for foreign funds, may have been installed by foreign interference blah blah blah – and who as a person is nothing more than a narcissistic racketeering buffoon who could give two f***cks about the US rather than his own image …. and basically pours petrol on the fire he has personally created to whip up divisions within its populace and setting neighbour against neighbour, American against American ……
    For me – Trumps greatest crime is to pit American against American – the last time that happened it cost 620,000 American lives ….. I hope it never comes to this again

  23. TPOF

    Then don’t use the “open borders” rhetoric. Its false.

    You can be for refugees and reform of the immigration department and point to Canada as a sensible country having a sensible immigration policy that we should consider.

    You used open borders as a phrase in your response to someone pointing out Canada managed to do it.
    Thats a put down. As if Australia can’t have as sensible and mature an immigration policy as Canada and instead we must use open borders rhetoric as a put down and say no Australia is not mature enough to handle immigration just like Canada can.

  24. F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

    WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html

  25. Guytaur

    I referred to open borders (actually only in regard to genuine refugees, not to all comers) in response to this comment by AR:

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

    Now, could you please explain how I misconstrued AR’s statement, given what I said was:

    “It seems to me that you want Australia to simply open our borders to every mandated refugee in the world who wants to come here.”

    I have no problems with defending my position on this – but it is difficult to do so unless it is my position that I’m defending, not something I did not say.

  26. PhoenixRed

    Well said.

    I am very optimistic that the democratic judicial institutions have held up well and the karma bus is going to hit them all in a very big way.

    Poroti cam go and join the likes of Glenn Greenwald in Brazil or wherever he has gone. You know any place that is better than the old USA.

  27. And by the way Guytaur, I’m all for reforming the Immigration Department back to its pre Pezzullo days, but (if I recall correctly) you used the example of the handling of the Bahraini-born soccer player as an example of Immigration malfeasance. I responded much earlier that this case is a foreign affairs matter, not immigration, as he has already been granted permanent residence. And Marise Payne is doing the best she can, in my opinion, given that the Thais are in a spot over this where they will need to save face and not look as though they just kowtowed to the Bahraini officials (even though that’s what they did).

  28. TPOF

    You used the phrase open borders. This with the known dog whistle of the horror of hordes of refugees flooding in and a loss of control of our borders.

    This in response to a point about Canada has managed it and no Canada does not have a flood of refugees and losing control of their country.

    Canada has managed to uphold the human rights of refugees in a mature and responsible way. Australia should consider doing the same. I see no logical arguments as to why Australia cannot manage to be at least as equally good as Canada except for our immigration department is set up to deny those human rights unlike Canada’s

  29. Guytaur. If you can’t read English I can’t see any point in discussing further with you. The point you want to progress (Canada v Australia) does not interest me. Sorry.

  30. No wonder Trump hates the FBI.

    In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

    The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  31. the net result would be a St Kilda protest led by Nazis attended by thousands and Fraser Anning’s party winning seats in the Senate (as has happened in Germany).

    Wait, your point is literally that Australia needs to screw over genuine refugees because it keeps the neo-Nazis appeased?

  32. I am mesmerised by slow TV since early this morning, thoughts slow to match.

    Regarding Pence versus Trump.
    I am prepared to believe Pence can cause more damage than Trump, but I also think Pence lacks the con-man that inhabits Trump, and further that right now Pence is doing the damage unobserved by us because we are so fascinated by the clown with mirrors in the White House. Should Trump go and Pence become POTUS the glare will be on him. Two wins. Trump should go.

  33. dtt…. i am also a passionate supporter of democracy so that i am sure i would not like dictatorial governments of any flavour.

    This is obviously not true. Dtt is a voice for the corrupt, authoritarian, murderous, martial and undemocratic Putin regime while also doing their best to talk up the performance of the equally corrupt, decadent, criminal coward and traitor, Trump.

  34. TPOF

    My point in using the two examples was how badly this government is on human rights issues. Not that the cases were exactly the same. Just the approach of the government is. Thus as others have noted we have lost our influence when we do complain over a citizen problem like that of our soccer player Hakeem AlAribee

    In my opinion I think this comes down to our government being willing to do dialogue and not make lots of public noise about human rights. The West has long had a campaign of highlighting not putting into shadow human rights abuses of governments even those we trade with.

    It worked well to win the cold war. The only change has come about because Asia has somehow argued its exempt from universal human rights. China especially started us down this road. Yes Australia is not the first country to accept this argument.

    I Just think we have gone too far in accommodating instead of pointing things out.
    Its the same mindset that lets security questions override human rights.

    So we end up back to pre Whitlam era thinking on human rights with the White Australia policy and just like when Labor came in and tackled that so I think we need to attack the culture in departments of immigration that get the balance wrong. Especially when we can see with the example of Canada you can do it and all the fear is just heat and light signifying nothing

  35. Late Riser

    Trump will go and so will Pence.

    Straw arguments by trolls ain’t worth engaging in.

    Wonder if troll has any opinion on the current shit show Trump has engaged in with govt shutdown etc.
    Distraction and looking over there is total arsehattery bullshit. Best ignored

  36. Pence could not a win a national election. He would be a stand-in POTUS with no authority, no legitimacy and no program; and rather would be tainted as Trump’s gopher. He would most likely also face numerous challengers for endorsement by the Republicans.

  37. Looks like Trump has cried ‘Uncle!’ on the declaring a National Emergency schtick:

    Donald Trump has backed away from his threat to declare a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall, as pressure mounts to find a solution to the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.

    “We want Congress to do its job,” the president said Friday during a roundtable on border security at the White House. “What we’re not looking to do right now is national emergency.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/11/trump-national-emergency-border-wall-shutdown

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