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. TPOF @ #1662 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 8:15 am

    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.

    If it’s so irrelevant why do you make so much of the woman trying to enter on a tourist visa when that is exactly how the man arrived.

    They’re not exactly different, she had a valid visa to enter Australia which had allowed her to board her flight.

    Had the Saudis not got the Thais to intervene, she would have arrived legally in Australia as a tourist and been in exactly the same position as the man to seek asylum.

  2. lizzie, maybe the slow train has got to me, but if something is worth doing it’s worth doing well. You can always put some “pro” into “crastination” and wait a while. Tomorrow is a good day.

  3. Confessions says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I know it’s late, but I think you’re going to want to see some of the quotes that ex-FBI & DOJ officials gave to me, @woodruffbets & @ErinBanco characterizing a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting president as unprecedented.

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

    Tea Pain‏ @TeaPainUSA 

    This is certainly the first of its kind. Think about the probable cause and * multiple intelligence sources it took to justify launchin’ a counter-intelligence operation against an American President.

    Trump sold America out.

    ( Reportedly – * 17 US intelligence agencies, the 5 Eyes Intelligence Coalition comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, Bundesnachrichtendienst – Germany, Mossad in Tel Aviv etc etc )

  4. Her sister missed out…..

    Rural health researcher Helen Haines has been chosen by Cathy McGowan’s group Voices for Indi to succeed Ms McGowan as their next candidate for the seat.

    It is not yet clear whether Ms McGowan intends to retire at the May election, or use the next term of government as a handover period.

    Ms McGowan declined to comment as she left the Lakeside Community Centre in Benalla where more than 200 Voices for Indi chose Ms Haines from three prospective candidates during a five hour closed-door forum today.

    Ms Haines and Voices for Indi President Alana Johnson are due to hold a press conference shortly.

    Ms McGowan’s sister, Beechworth lawyer Helen McGowan, was among the two candidates who were unsuccessful.

    The other was Euroa schoolteacher Angela Tough.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/helen-haines-to-succeed-cathy-mcgowan-as-indi-candidate/news-story/fdba76dcc6eb340dfcb34153fd5ff279

  5. Graham:

    An informative post. At one stage, I was paying over $100 a month, until I came to the conclusion that most of Foxtel’s channels were crap, with so many ads. I downgraded and now pay $29 for news services, and watch movies via Netflix and YouTube. I don’t know how many have ditched Foxtel but I reckon it would be many. Poor Uncle Rupert’s interests in cable TV looks like going the same way as Kodak.

  6. One thing about Trump is that he offers so much fodder for the cartoonists.

    :large

    Looking forward to David Rowe getting back to work too.

  7. DTT is not a Russian Agent.

    She’s worse, she’s an apologist defending things that represent the opposite of what she says she stands for.

    This applies to her positions on both Putin and Trump.

    Just saying! 🙂

  8. Confessions says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    One thing about Trump is that he offers so much fodder for the cartoonists.

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

    Confessions – I see your Uncle Sam getting shot by Trump – but my Uncle Sam is doing the mobster takedown – one domino at a time till he gets to the king pin 🙂

  9. It looks like the public is being prepared for the disclosure of very damaging evidence against Trump. On the face of it there is evidence that he has betrayed the US. If the evidence is strong enough, he will be impeached, removed from office, arraigned on charges of treason and tried. If convicted he’d likely be sentenced to death.

    I think the likes of Pence would forever be associated with an accused and/or convicted traitor and would find they’d been disgraced. They would be lucky not to find themselves tried as co-accused.

  10. Upnorth @ #1806 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 11:52 am

    Her sister missed out…..

    Rural health researcher Helen Haines has been chosen by Cathy McGowan’s group Voices for Indi to succeed Ms McGowan as their next candidate for the seat.

    It is not yet clear whether Ms McGowan intends to retire at the May election, or use the next term of government as a handover period.

    Ms McGowan declined to comment as she left the Lakeside Community Centre in Benalla where more than 200 Voices for Indi chose Ms Haines from three prospective candidates during a five hour closed-door forum today.

    Ms Haines and Voices for Indi President Alana Johnson are due to hold a press conference shortly.

    Ms McGowan’s sister, Beechworth lawyer Helen McGowan, was among the two candidates who were unsuccessful.

    The other was Euroa schoolteacher Angela Tough.

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/helen-haines-to-succeed-cathy-mcgowan-as-indi-candidate/news-story/fdba76dcc6eb340dfcb34153fd5ff279

    Does she think she’s created a dynasty?

    I wonder how the voters will respond?

    Zoomster, thoughts?

  11. Some counter views on Tulsi Gabbard:

    I’d also pay close attention to Tulsi Gabbard using Dem primary season in bad faith to build up some rump leftist/anarchist following as springboard for her 3rd party spoiler campaign a la Ralph Nader/Jill Stein. Do not trust Gabbard to act in Dem party or USA’s interest.

    She has a right-wing streak that is troubling. She used to be socially conservative. And as recently as 2015, she was calling for Christian Syrian refugees to be given preference over Muslim refugees. Combine that with her cozying up to assad, and I don’t trust her one bit.

    move over jill stein

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-tulsi-gabbard-became-assads-mouthpiece-in-washington/2017/01/29/215e9c70-e4bf-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html

    :large

  12. Barney

    McGowan won because she had a local profile and extensive family connections. She was recognised by the Nationals as ‘one of them’. She won on a combination Labor, Greens and Nat votes. (As Mirabella recognised, it was Nat voters giving McGowan their second preferences rather than following the party ticket which got her over the line).

    I really hadn’t heard of Helen Haines before, although she has an impressive CV (I’ve just looked at it!) and she follows me on twitter (so you’d think I’d be aware of her). So the local profile isn’t there, nor (to my limited knowledge) are the family connections (McGowan, for example, is related to Tim Fischer’s wife — his wife’s family are seen as core to the local Nationals over generations).

    So Haines might bleed votes from Labor and the Greens but I don’t see her appealing to Nats and I don’t think she has the kind of character (hinted at by her limited public exposure) to make a good campaigner.

    Her background is excellent (she’s a rural health researcher) but it’s also not the kind you get pollies from….it’s hard to see what’s driving her, as I would judge her role allows her to do a lot of positive things for rural and regional people, in a way being an MP mightn’t.

    So, no, I don’t think she can pull it off.

    However, if I’m wrong, she might (with her CV) make a really good MP.

  13. Barney in Go Dau @ #1810 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 2:55 pm

    DTT is not a Russian Agent.

    She’s worse, she’s an apologist defending things that represent the opposite of what she says she stands for.

    This applies to her positions on both Putin and Trump.

    Just saying! 🙂

    Barney

    Just who am I defending? I dislike/fear some more than others. The fact that you cannort see this means that you lack comprehesion skills.

    I do not LIKE Trump in fact I loathe him. However I regard all those who carry on about Russia as fools at best and at worst people so ideologically driven they will happily fan the flames of hatred such that it a real war breaks out they will be complicit.

    My view on Putin is more complex. He is clearly smart which i always admire. He seems to genuinely care for Russia. Nationalism is not a crime although it needs to be watched carefully lest it morph into nastier things. So far Putin has been restrained. The death toll in Crimea was zero and in Georgia minimal. He was invited into Syria at a time when there was a real probability of mass genocide of the Allawi so so far not a big problem. In Ukraine he probably has given arms to the separatists but again relative to the USA his role is minimal.

    If anyone raises the Malaysian plane, firstly it is not clear it was Russian and secondly no one in their right mind believes that it was a deliberate act. So if it was a Russian that took the plane down, by all means condemn, but also condemn the US attacks on hospitals which were accidents, weddings, buses etc.

    He did viciously crush the Chechens. Mind you I think after the Moscow theate and Beslen school atrocities there would be few here including most here on PB that would not have done likewise.

    However it seems clear that Putin has an authoritarian streak BUT he was elected fairly and squarely so again let us not carry on too much.

  14. I’ll reserve my TOTAL judgement on this for the moment – but from Victoria’s inspiration and intuition Confessions and I and others on here have followed some/most of these people over the past 2 years and despite the continual criticism they have faced – perhaps, just perhaps – a lot of what they said and reported has seemingly been correct if todays NYT report is accurate – it remains to be seen what the total fallout of this complex imbroglio is still to be revealed and come to pass :

    Susan Curtin‏ @Smc5310

    New York Times just catching up! Many knew of #TrumpTreason @LouiseMensch @20committee @TrueFactsStated @TheRickWilson @lauferlaw @LincolnsBible @TeaPainUSA Have been saying this for years now #PatriotsUniteToSaveAmerica

  15. briefly
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
    It looks like the public is being prepared for the disclosure of very damaging evidence against Trump. On the face of it there is evidence that he has betrayed the US. If the evidence is strong enough, he will be impeached, removed from office, arraigned on charges of treason and tried. If convicted he’d likely be sentenced to death.
    _____________________________
    Briefly’s already making snuff movies in his imagination. Funny stuff.

  16. Apologies to PB, but DTT at 3:29 pm, things aren’t true because you continually repeat them.

    So I made a judgment call in 2016 that Trump was less likely to start a war with Russia than Hillary. So far my judgement has been 100% correct, although I do not think Trump fully in control so the risk is still real and even growing.

    NATO has existed since 1949, and has never nuked Russia. At any time in the last 70 years such a judgement would be “100% correct”, and that includes periods with presidents on-the-record as far more hawkish than Hillary. You really need more than feelpinion’s to establish that Hillary was itching to press the button, including quotes from Hillary that back it up.

    Russia obviously has problems with NATO and to that extent the topic only reinforces the impression that Trump is a puppet. I can find you actual, unedited quotes where he has had a go at NATO, specifically on funding. He has also said some bizarre things about the latest member, Montenegro starting WW3. I can even find you totally non-fake footage of him pushing the Montenegro leader aside.

  17. I was just wondering the other day, when it comes to the back channels that Trump must have had to Putin, if he indeed is a Kremlin asset, whatever happened to the investigation which those computer scientists undertook which purported to show a dedicated server in Trump Tower that was piped directly to Moscow? And only Moscow.

  18. Mavis,
    I told Foxtel to stick it a few weeks ago .. They came back with $10/month for news and other USA crap. We can only get free to air through the Foxtel dish so I kept it on at $10 until I can get an antennae booster to work..

  19. C@tmomma
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm
    I was just wondering the other day, when it comes to the back channels that Trump must have had to Putin, if he indeed is a Kremlin asset, whatever happened to the investigation which those computer scientists undertook which purported to show a dedicated server in Trump Tower that was piped directly to Moscow? And only Moscow.
    __________________________
    I believe, as per usual, fantasy met reality at some point and it was realised that Trump does not occupy every apartment in Trump tower, and that a Russian businessman was the one who had the server with links to a Russian bank.

  20. Oh there you are, nath. Have you found the copies of the 2002 EBAs that the AWU negotiated with Visy and the AMWU negotiated with Amcor so that I can compare them? As opposed to taking your self-serving words at face value about them?

  21. Mavis Smith

    I don’t do metric either, so I have to do laborious calculations from 10 cm = 4 inches.
    I did appreciate the “old” measurements by thumb, palm width, handspan, foot length etc. 🙂

  22. nath @ #1831 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 4:29 pm

    C@tmomma
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm
    I was just wondering the other day, when it comes to the back channels that Trump must have had to Putin, if he indeed is a Kremlin asset, whatever happened to the investigation which those computer scientists undertook which purported to show a dedicated server in Trump Tower that was piped directly to Moscow? And only Moscow.
    __________________________
    I believe, as per usual, fantasy met reality at some point and it was realised that Trump does not occupy every apartment in Trump tower, and that a Russian businessman was the one who had the server with links to a Russian bank.

    So one of Trump’s handlers then?


  23. nath says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    briefly
    says:
    ….
    _____________________________
    Briefly’s already making snuff movies in his imagination. Funny stuff.

    Will you lose your job?

  24. …I also wouldn’t be surprised if the preselection process itself doesn’t rebound on Voices for Indi.

    When they first formed, and claimed to be a non partisan group which was simply gathering information, with no intention of running a candidate, I looked at their organising body and immediately told our members that it was a front to run McGowan as an independent.

    In other words, right from the start they knew who their candidate was going to be. That in itself was unifying.

    Preselections are divisive. Its splits your membership into factions. Even if everyone thinks they’re going to unite and get behind the winning candidate, it’s rarely a completely successful process – someone feels overlooked, there’s a tendency to keep believing whoever was selected is not as good as your original choice (so you keep looking for proof of that), people who were comfortable (in this case) backing McGowan might not find the new candidate so appealing (for example, McGowan’s sister put in a lot of work over the last six years – she’s not going to as much now).

    Major parties survive them because the focus is broader than just the person who ends up being the candidate. I’m not sure a loose group of volunteers has the same cement to bind them together.

  25. Phoenixred

    Yes they confirmed my bias and hence why I followed them from the get go.

    Call it intuition but when Guiliani hinted at an October surprise, and Trump did the call out to Russia to release Clinton’s emails, I got chills, I knew then that there were nefarious forces at work.

  26. Victoria @ #1840 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 4:37 pm

    Phoenixred

    Yes they confirmed my bias and hence why I followed them from the get go.

    Call it intuition but when Guiliani hinted at an October surprise, and Trump did the call out to Russia to release Clinton’s emails, I got chills, I knew then that there were nefarious forces at work.

    Treasonous in plain sight.

  27. Rex, Nath and DDT are lot easier to take if you think of them as paid members of a troll farm and treat them accordingly. There irrational nonsense then makes some sort of sense in an irrational sort of way and the urge to point out the irrationality of their posts dissipates.

  28. Anyone else been on the Indian Pacific? I did it First Class from Sydney to Perth. Had my own room where the bed converted to a seat for looking out the window during the day. An awesome experience I will never forget. 🙂

  29. DaretoTread @ #1825 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 12:24 pm

    Barney in Go Dau @ #1810 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 2:55 pm

    DTT is not a Russian Agent.

    She’s worse, she’s an apologist defending things that represent the opposite of what she says she stands for.

    This applies to her positions on both Putin and Trump.

    Just saying! 🙂

    Barney

    Just who am I defending? I dislike/fear some more than others. The fact that you cannort see this means that you lack comprehesion skills.

    Or lack your paranoia.

    I do not LIKE Trump in fact I loathe him. However I regard all those who carry on about Russia as fools at best and at worst people so ideologically driven they will happily fan the flames of hatred such that it a real war breaks out they will be complicit.

    Where did I mention like? You defend him constantly even to the point of suggesting that they should stop an investigation into possible crimes.

    My view on Putin is more complex. He is clearly smart which i always admire. He seems to genuinely care for Russia.

    So how has his personal wealth grown?

    Nationalism is not a crime although it needs to be watched carefully lest it morph into nastier things. So far Putin has been restrained. The death toll in Crimea was zero and in Georgia minimal. He was invited into Syria at a time when there was a real probability of mass genocide of the Allawi so so far not a big problem. In Ukraine he probably has given arms to the separatists but again relative to the USA his role is minimal.

    If anyone raises the Malaysian plane, firstly it is not clear it was Russian and secondly no one in their right mind believes that it was a deliberate act. So if it was a Russian that took the plane down, by all means condemn, but also condemn the US attacks on hospitals which were accidents, weddings, buses etc.

    He did viciously crush the Chechens. Mind you I think after the Moscow theate and Beslen school atrocities there would be few here including most here on PB that would not have done likewise.

    However it seems clear that Putin has an authoritarian streak BUT he was elected fairly and squarely so again let us not carry on too much.

    At least 6 apologies and 2 deflections just on Putin.

    As for Russian democracy … 😆

  30. Cud Chewer says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:19 pm
    Regarding the NBN.

    Agree 100%. The muppets put in control of the NBN by the Liberals must be held to account. After managing to reduce Telstra’s market value by 50% while in charge, then masterminding a nuclear power proposal they helped get Howard tossed … There is one particular piece of slime who you mention that needs to be scraped out of the NBN swamp…

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