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. Had my fist baby weight given in kg last week, had to come I suppose. Still remember the shock when my daughter told me see could see for km and km. What is going to happen to 90 mile beach? Global warming is going to deal with that I suppose.

  2. 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 that helped get Howard tossed … There is one particular piece of slime who you mention that needs to be scraped out of the NBN swamp…

  3. Victoria says: Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Frednk

    Yeah easy. Treat as trolls.

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

    What a personal dilemma – do I believe the never- Trumper GOP stalwarts like Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Joe Scarborough etc etc ……. or EX -NSA like John Schindler, Bill Palmer, Andrew Laufer ……… or the Commie/Putin/Fellow Traveller apologists and sympathisers on PB ????????????????????????

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

    Except if you are a journalist getting too close to the truth.
    Or an Opposition politician that threatens his grip on power.
    Or a former GRU agent who defects to the West.
    And probably a lot of other Russians besides that obvious lot.


  5. Question says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    frednk, (edit: previous page)

    I mostly enjoy them to be honest.

    Perhaps my problem is I am a grouch and I can only take so much enjoyment.

  6. Bevan Shields
    ‏Verified account @BevanShields
    17m17 minutes ago

    Sad to report on the sad fate of the superior member of the lettuce family: the iceberg lettuce. Baby cos is no good.

  7. During the hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, some members of the House Judiciary Committee did not try to conceal their attempt to discredit and derail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The way that the Russia investigation has been framed has made it easy for them to do that: Its legitimacy appears to rest on finding a smoking gun of criminality – a simple yes or no on whether any of the cast of characters in this saga committed a serious federal offence.

    But making this merely about the bright line between illegality (criminality) and legality means that most Americans are missing what is right under our noses. To wit, there is no question that Russia made multiple, unprecedented attempts to penetrate a U.S. presidential campaign, that its approaches were not rebuffed, and that its contacts were sensitive enough that everyone, to a person, has concealed them. These facts might never be adjudicated inside a courtroom – they may not even be illegal – but they present a clear and present national security threat that we cannot ignore.

    https://www.justsecurity.org/49682/collusion-criminal-threat/

  8. C@tmomma @ #1847 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 4:43 pm

    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. 🙂

    We were lucky enough to do it in 2008. Gold class and fantastic experience – except we missed out on the section through the Blue Mountains. We were bussed out to meet a very late train at Bathurst and given a voucher for 75% off another trip. We used that to travel on Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide the next year.

  9. I regard the IPA as the closest thing we have to Murdoch’s LNP policy unit.
    The original 75 items in the IPA’s “Be like Gough” list were published in August 2012.
    Most relevant to the NBN and Murdoch discussion here is item 69
    “Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built”
    This is different from the original 2010 plan to “tear up the NBN”, which probably lost Abbott the 2010 election. Nonetheless, it shows Murdoch wanted it stopped in its tracks.
    Abbott, the wily politician, knew the people liked the NBN, so he gave Turnbull the job of neutralising the opposition.
    Hence Turnbull’s MTM plan.
    Sold as a cheaper, but good enough, and delivered sooner, alternative, it was sufficiently palatable to the majority of voters who really didn’t understand the debate anyway.
    Those who knew about it were left howling at the moon, for all the good it did them.
    Most voters now realise they have been sold a pup with congenital heart disease. It’s irreparable. The FttN and HFC parts will have to be put down, and replaced with fibre, just as it would have been if Labor had remained in power.

    Rudd is right.
    It really was Murdoch, whose advisers would have told him that any halfway decent network would threaten his cash cow, who wanted it stopped and sold off. It was Abbott and Turnbull who understood the politics and delivered the expensive Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess we have now.
    A Royal Commission into how we ended up with the current NBN mess should hang the main players out to dry, and make clear to all Australians that American Murdoch and family never had the interests of Australia at heart.

  10. frednk
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Question says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm
    frednk, (edit: previous page)
    I mostly enjoy them to be honest.

    Perhaps my problem is I am a grouch and I can only take so much enjoyment.

    I can only admire such efforts to entertain.

    Here is our hero saving us from WW3. Look at him put that evil Montenegro dude in his box. Hope you’re watching Vladimir.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4otCS3FJxas

  11. 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.

    ____________________________________

    But she didn’t and so she wasn’t.

  12. Maude Lynne,

    And how much did we have to pay for that HFC and old copper that was due to be put out to pasture? I think the punters could understand that waste.

  13. Michael Pascoe
    ‏@MichaelPascoe01
    5h5 hours ago

    The Oz has been running anti-Labor headlines all week but pulled out all stops today, rounding up the usual myrmidons for a pile on. They’ll be exhausted by May 18, spleens emptied, bloodied fingers barely able to tap the keyboards, reduced to hoarsely screeching “Vote Liberal!”

  14. TPOF @ #1866 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 1:04 pm

    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.

    ____________________________________

    But she didn’t and so she wasn’t.

    And due to being illegally detained she ended up in the same position as the man.

    Fortunately her situation has been resolved.

    Unfortunately, Payne doesn’t seem to have had any influence in the man’s case and he remains in doubt.

    Face is a big barrier here, the Thais will not want to acknowledge that they have fucked up twice in this regard. 🙁

  15. TPOF/BIGD

    Australia has an obligation to hear asylum claims from persons within Australia such as the soccer player. And as far as I am concerned any person who arrives within what the layperson considers Australia, not this contrivance about migration zone.

    But of course this is not to anybody who waltzes in to an Australian mission seeking a “visit”. TPOF is quite right BIGD, surely you can see that.

  16. Umbrage has been taken by Ch9

    The Today Show
    ‏@TheTodayShow

    The 18-year-old Saudi teen who fled alleged abuse by her family has snubbed asylum in Australia, opting to move to Canada instead. #9Today

  17. Question
    “And how much did we have to pay for that HFC and old copper that was due to be put out to pasture? I think the punters could understand that waste.”

    Under Labor,the government had to pay the owners for the old HFC and copper because it was essentially subsuming these old system’s functions.
    The HFC and copper were still functional (albeit not well maintained) so still had value to their owners.
    It would never have been a problem if Howard hadn’t sold off Telstra, of course. But that horse bolted long ago.

  18. Lovey @ #1871 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 1:17 pm

    TPOF/BIGD

    Australia has an obligation to hear asylum claims from persons within Australia such as the soccer player. And as far as I am concerned any person who arrives within what the layperson considers Australia, not this contrivance about migration zone.

    But of course this is not to anybody who waltzes in to an Australian mission seeking a “visit”. TPOF is quite right BIGD, surely you can see that.

    The reality is that people who seek asylum in Australia arrive in Australia on some sought of temporary travel visa, most commonly a tourist visa.

  19. This background piece on Michael Daley reads well.

    ‘Civilise’ is a good word. There is nothing civil about the Libs, nothing.

    A Labor government, he argues, would “civilise the place”.

    Sydney is a “beautiful city, a jewel in the crown of our country … But I think at the moment we’ve got a government that’s not really a government, it’s a corporation … masquerading as a government. They have taken power away from ordinary citizens and put it in the hands of corporate interests, and the people are feeling the pressure. They feel like they are not in control of their own communities, let alone their own city or their own lives, and they are crying out now for someone to come in and stop the madness and calm the place down, and govern carefully and sensibly and with respect.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/a-labor-government-will-civilise-the-place-says-leader-michael-daley-20190111-p50qql.html

  20. U.S. Code › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 115 › § 2381
    18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason
    US Code
    Notes

    prev | next
    Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

  21. Late Riser @ #1868 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 5:07 pm

    Regarding travelling on the Indian Pacific, any tips on travelling east-west versus west-east?

    If you’re travelling from UpNorth, it may be more economical for you to come down to Sydney, hop on the Indian Pacific then get a plane back home from Perth. 🙂

    I’m not entirely sure about the value for money aspect but I would think so.

  22. If Trump were to be charged with and convicted of treason, you’d expect that just about any candidate running for the Republican Party would become unelectable.

  23. Question,
    I think I may have given the wrong impression.
    Under Labor, NBNCo paid Telstra and Optus (who owned the copper and HFC networks) compensation for them to progressively shut down their networks as NBN rolled out.

    Under the LNP MTM NBNCo had to buy these networks because they needed to use them, requiring even more payment to Telstra and Optus.

    https://delimiter.com.au/2015/12/21/nbn-co-to-pay-telstra-to-fix-its-own-copper-network/

  24. Question says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 5:48 pm
    briefly,

    Apparently we are all wrong about such assessments. Pence would rule for a decade.

    The Putinographers would like us to believe that. As if.

  25. M L,

    That sounds more like what I would expect.

    I don’t really see the need to compensate for obsolete tech, their services would work much better on FTTP, but I suppose if that’s what it takes for them to clean up.

  26. Polly Marley
    ‏@marley_polly

    @abcnews
    ‘Contractors called in to dispose of up to a million dead fish in a far west NSW river could have a window of only five days before the carcasses trigger a second wave of deaths.’
    Unbelievably Govt have ‘wasted’ a week ‘discussing’ who is responsible and undertake the clean up.

  27. Actually, now that I come to think about it, of course Pence would be complicit in anything that Donald Trump was involved in.

    Putin exercises power with the approval of the Russian Orthodox Church. Pence has brought the Evangelicals to the White House. They’ve got his back, and he, theirs. Just like Putin.

  28. briefly:

    If that happened, esp if many current Republicans were also found to be caught up in the deception, their next candidate would have to be someone from outside the party altogether.

    Perhaps Bernie Sanders could run as the Republican candidate? 😀

  29. Daley is transitioning from a member of the worst government in NSW history, which he rode into with the good wishes of Joe and Eddie, to a thoroughly vapid mouthpiece.

    He would be probably ok as an inner city mayor.

  30. Exactly right, C@t, the waste of taxpayer money by NBNCo in buying up the dying copper and HFC networks off Telstra, and the zombie HFC network from Optus, puts the tiny school halls and pink batts sagas in the shade.

    And don’t forget, school halls and roof insulation are actually useful, unlike the decrepit networks bought by NBNCo.

  31. Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States…..adheres to their enemies…. is guilty of treason and shall suffer death….

    Trump is at least suspected of treason by the FBI.

  32. Lovey @ #1882 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 1:41 pm

    BIGD

    You are being obtuse. You have crossed enough borders to know the principle of visitor visas. That is the reality.

    Another reality is that many if not most of the on-shore applications are without merit. Here is a good analysis-

    http://johnmenadue.com/abul-rizvi-government-continues-to-pretend-we-have-no-air-borders/

    If they wish to claim asylum in Australia there is no relevant visa for them to arrive in the Country.

    A visitors visa if they can get one is the way they can get in the Country.

    The official way would be for them to go to an Australian Embassy, make a claim for asylum and wait in that Country until the process is complete and if they are accepted then they can travel to Australia on the appropriate visa.

    So, for a claim to be processed whilst living in Australia you must first travel to Australia and where you you would then seek asylum.

    To get into Australia you would need a visitors visa at least.

    Nothing obtuse, it’s the way the system is. 🙂

  33. Confessions says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 5:53 pm
    briefly:

    If that happened, esp if many current Republicans were also found to be caught up in the deception, their next candidate would have to be someone from outside the party altogether.

    Perhaps Bernie Sanders could run as the Republican candidate?

    He has the Pro-Russian credentials to qualify as a Republican.

  34. IF Murdoch was behind the scuttling of the NBN, believing that it was a threat to Foxtel, it was clearly a misunderstanding on his part because Netflix etc works quite well on the reduced speeds that the downgraded NBN provides. Admittiedly, for 4k you need something around 20 mbps, but the standard programs works well on 8 mbps. So why the need to damage the NBN. In fact, Newscorp already had streaming services here before Netflix even arrived.

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