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. Maude Lynne says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    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.
    __________________________
    Not sure if a cost/benefit analysis has ever been done on the pink batts but from my local experience the school hall/undercover areas that were built have been welcomed. The local primary school now has an excellent undercover area that children can play under during rain and severe heat.

  2. C@tmomma @ #1881 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 4:40 pm

    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.

    Thanks. I hadn’t got to penny counting time. Just romanticising starting in Sydney and watching population and rainfall fade away versus starting on the West Coast, jumping into the dry and only after 2 days escaping the desert. I guess it’s profound either way. 🙂

  3. shellbell @ #1894 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 5:54 pm

    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.

    So you want more of the same from the Coalition for another 4 years do you?

    Also, could it ever have occurred to you that the person you think was being used, was actually the one doing the using?

  4. 25/5 is ok for HD streaming, and even 4k streaming, but only if no one else is using the internet at the same time, in a family house it can quickly turn into a buffer fest, where as someone watching foxtel won’t have to contend with bandwidth issues.
    FTTN does not only kill speed but is also can be really unreliable, drops out are a common feature, with all these storms hitting us this summer, their is a chance it could blow up your modem or fry the copper.
    I see it all the time.

  5. Nath, I suggest you read my earlier posts.
    Murdoch did not misunderstand the threat of the NBN.
    He wanted the rollout stopped, and what had been completed sold off (probably to him).

    Politics intruded, and prevented this.

    The Abbott-Turnbull MTM solution was not Murdoch’s preferred option.

    Murdoch did not want any more network highways that he could not control.
    Low quality networks was plan B. Not what he wanted.

  6. nath
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:02 pm
    Not sure if a cost/benefit analysis has ever been done on the pink batts but from my local experience the school hall/undercover areas that were built have been welcomed. The local primary school now has an excellent undercover area that children can play under during rain and severe heat.

    The fiscal objective, happily ignored by the L-NP, was to inject money into the economy, which was done with brilliant precision. It is the main reason Australia hasn’t had a recession for 26 (27 now?) years.

    Swan became the 2nd ALP treasurer to win ‘economist of the year’ which pisses off the L-NP no-end.

  7. Maude Lynne says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Nath, I suggest you read my earlier posts.
    Murdoch did not misunderstand the threat of the NBN.
    He wanted the rollout stopped, and what had been completed sold off (probably to him).

    Politics intruded, and prevented this.

    The Abbott-Turnbull MTM solution was not Murdoch’s preferred option.

    Murdoch did not want any more network highways that he could not control.
    Low quality networks was plan B. Not what he wanted.
    _______________________________
    This is just madness. So you think Murdoch wanted to buy the NBN or build his own. How much money do you think Newscorp has? Not enough to start a rival telco to telstra that’s for sure. Honestly, this is just one conspiracy theory hiding another one underneath it!

  8. agreed, Nath.
    School Halls and insulation should have a cost-benefit analysis to get rid of another myth created by the Abbott sympathizes.

    My batts are yellow, not pink, and I was an early user of the Rudd initiative.
    Never regretted it.
    Thanks Kevin!

  9. Nath
    “________
    This is just madness. So you think Murdoch wanted to buy the NBN or build his own. How much money do you think Newscorp has? Not enough to start a rival telco to telstra that’s for sure. Honestly, this is just one conspiracy theory hiding another one underneath it!”

    ———-
    Let’s take a deep breath.
    No, I don’t think Murdoch wanted to build his own (network). He already has one . It’s the FOXTEL HFC.
    He just didn’t want any competition.

  10. Question @ #1828 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 3:26 pm

    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.

    Question

    Yes those are points worth commenting on.

    Yes NATO was formed after WWII specifically to counter the USSR. By the time it was formed the USSR already had the bomb so it is hardly surprising that NATO did not launch bombs, since the two nuclear powers would have copped a return serve. The window for the USA to nuke Russia was between 1946-49.

    Once USSR had nuclear weapons we were into MAD territory and neither side really dared take the risk

    You will of course know of the Cuban crisis when the USA planned to attack Russian ships, believing that they would stop Russian nukes landing in Cuba. Fortunately for the world the Kennedies were decent and sensible and talked to Kruschov via back channels. What we NOW know is that the Russians had already landed 80 missiles in Cuba and had the Kennedy’s not been wise we may well have had Armageddon. I might add that the very Hawkish opponent of JFK was Barry Goldwater whom many thought would start Armageddon. I know she was very young but at that time one Hillary Rodham was an enthusiastic “Goldwater girl.”

    When the Soviet Union collapsed the USA made a specific PROMISE to Gorbachev not to extend the border of NATO eastwards. This was part of the whole western movement for Russsia who wanted to join the west and Europe.

    Bill Clinton broke this promise and when he bombed Serbia, many Russians reacted angrily and with fear. Putin makes it clear that this was a turning point for him. So yes Russia has a problem with NATO.

    Try to be objective. If in 20 years a EATO (new one forms) which includes China, Korea and Thailand, and was hostile to Australia, how would you react if it proposed to admit Timor and PNG to membership. You would freak out.

    Now as for Trump’s views on NATO they certainly are outside of regular USA rhetoric, but stop a second and think. Is not what he says quite true. Can the USA actually AFFORD to fund NATO any longer. I think too many just refuse to acknowledge just how broke the USA is. Whether Trump has the smarts to actually understand this I am not sure but people who advise him eg Bannon in the past probably do. I suspect that Kissinger also thinks the same. So the fact that Trump actually calls a spade a spade may be gauche, but is it actually wrong.

    I will agree that his Montenegro comment does fit with the Russian view point, but of course it is possible that Montenegro will be the trigger for WWIII. There are others of course too.

    Of course the final thing is can you explain exactly why USA should not be friendly with Russia. After all while Russia is not perfect there are many USA besties which are far, far worse – Saudi, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, Colombia, to name just a few. Russia is a big nation with lots of natural resources and Nukes. it seems to me common sense that people should be friendly.

  11. Maude Lynne says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Nath
    “________
    This is just madness. So you think Murdoch wanted to buy the NBN or build his own. How much money do you think Newscorp has? Not enough to start a rival telco to telstra that’s for sure. Honestly, this is just one conspiracy theory hiding another one underneath it!”

    ———-
    Let’s take a deep breath.
    No, I don’t think Murdoch wanted to build his own (network). He already has one . It’s the FOXTEL HFC.
    He just didn’t want any competition.
    __________________________
    Sorry it’s just not correct. Telstra owned 50% of Foxtel and it independently owned the HFC that foxtel was delivered by. Telstra also provided a pretty good internet service on that HFC too.

  12. yes the pump priming done by the Rudd govt was brilliant……. they engaged in counter cyclical economic policy…….. Aust managed to ride out the gfc better than any other country in the world but it seemed they got no political credit for it…….. and internal squabbles led to Abbott winning

  13. Nath
    “Sorry it’s just not correct. Telstra owned 50% of Foxtel and it independently owned the HFC that foxtel was delivered by. Telstra also provided a pretty good internet service on that HFC too.”

    True. But I didn’t say Murdoch owned it (100%).

    Since March 2018 News Corp has owned 65%, and Telstra 35%.

    NBNCo now owns the HFC, of course.

  14. I;m sure that any resentment/criticism that Newscorp/The Australian had over the NBN was more about their ideological positions on creating a new government telco ‘infrastructure’ agency than it was about any benefit that Newscorp would have if there was a downgraded NBN, not that I can see any.

  15. Maude Lynne says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Nath
    “Sorry it’s just not correct. Telstra owned 50% of Foxtel and it independently owned the HFC that foxtel was delivered by. Telstra also provided a pretty good internet service on that HFC too.”

    I didn’t say Murdoch owned it (100%).

    Since March 2018 News Corp has owned 65%, and Telstra 35%.
    __________________________________
    Yes and it used to be 50/50. But Foxtel did not own the HFC, Telstra did. I will repeat, Foxtel is a service that used the Telstra owned HFC. It is not the Foxtel HFC.

  16. And yeah I didn’t get the McCormack dressed as Elvis thing.

    Parkes has a big Elvis festival every year. Everyone dresses up as the King, does their best(worst) Elvis impression and generally has a bit of fun.

    The Division of Parkes is the next door electorate to McCormack and like his electorate of Riverina is a Nationals stronghold. The leader of the Nats not being at the festival and being part of the action would be far more strange than his suiting up and going all in.

  17. I just saw the Liberal Party internal polling disaster on Channel 9. It looked like part of a campaign by Victorian Liberals to oust Morrison before they all lose their seats – the minister/backbenchers interviewed didn’t hold back that they were headed for the end of their political careers. Only two liberal seats remaining in Victoria after the election ain’t pretty for them.
    https://twitter.com/9NewsAUS/status/1083983578982100992

  18. Parkes has a big Elvis festival every year. Everyone dresses up as the King, does their best(worst) Elvis impression and generally has a bit of fun.

    Thanks that makes sense.

  19. How could that be true?

    Because there are a lot of small l socially progressive economically conservative Liberal voters in safe Lib seats in Victoria that held their noses for Trumble but who find the racist misogynist anti science nutjobbery of Abbot Morrison Dutton and crew utterly repellent. Whilst the nutters try and appeal to the (largely mythical) Qld ‘base’ they are actively campaigning against the Victorian MPs that represent seats full of these sorts moderate voters.

    These people won’t rush to vote for Labor or the Greens, but won’t be voting 1 Liberal. That might be enough to also send a pref to the Left via a small l independent, or perhaps enough to get up a strong Independent in a few seats.

  20. Nath
    “Yes and it used to be 50/50. But Foxtel did not own the HFC, Telstra did. I will repeat, Foxtel is a service that used the Telstra owned HFC. It is not the Foxtel HFC.”

    Yes, it was.
    But this does not change the fact that Murdoch did not want the NBN to be rolled out because it would compete with FOXTEL in delivering high quality sports coverage.
    Andrew Dimetriou, when he headed NFL, stated he intended to provide streamed games over the new NBN. The other codes would not be far behind.
    This competition would destroy the FOXTEL business model, as Murdoch well knew. He is successful because he is very good at his business, and he recognised the threat.
    I’m sorry, Nath, but it was not ideology, it was straight out business. Murdoch had to stop the NBN competition asap, otherwise his FOXTEL sports business (where the money is) would be snuffed out by 2020.

  21. Sohar says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm
    I just saw the Liberal Party internal polling disaster on Channel 9. It looked like part of a campaign by Victorian Liberals to oust Morrison before they all lose their seats – the minister/backbenchers interviewed didn’t hold back that they were headed for the end of their political careers. Only two liberal seats remaining in Victoria after the election ain’t pretty for them.

    The Liberals have been campaigning against themselves/for Labor for a long time. The destruction of Turnbull caps it off. If they lose all or most of their seats they will be forced to reflect on all their stupidities…best thing that could possible happen in Australian politics. Hopefully this would be reflected in the Senate too.

  22. That internal polling reportedly shows Tim Wilson and Dan Tehan would be the only remaining Liberals in Victoria. While I’d love to see that, it isn’t going to happen.

  23. Maude Lynne says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 7:05 pm
    But this does not change the fact that Murdoch did not want the NBN to be rolled out because it would compete with FOXTEL in delivering high quality sports coverage.
    Andrew Dimetriou, when he headed NFL, stated he intended to provide streamed games over the new NBN. The other codes would not be far behind.
    __________________________
    Anyway, you keep moving the goalposts, it was about Netflix, then it was about Murdoch protecting a network he didn’t actually own, now its about Sports. Well you can already stream AFL matches online, and it doesn’t require 100 mbps that the original NBN promised.

    You can get it right now, straight from the AFL, enjoy.

    https://www.watchafl.com.au/

  24. Another reason I think Morrison will hold in March is there is a chance he won’t be PM in May.

    And there would be a better chance Joyce will be back as Deputy PM.

  25. Another reason I think Morrison will go in March is there is a chance he won’t be PM in May.

    And there would be a better chance Joyce will be back as Deputy PM.

  26. Murdoch was determined to try to prevent the NBN from being built. There’s a perfectly good commercial explanation for that. He wants to close down the ABC too, also for commercial reasons. Murdoch wants to milk the Australian media market for all its worth, plus some. The Liberals have tried to accomodate him. Murdoch is a co-owner of the LNP. They have no choice.

  27. Nicko says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    25 Mbps okay for HD

    Netflix SD seems to need 1.5 Mbps, HD 3.5 to 5 Mbps, UHD/ 4K about three to four times that …
    We are still on pre-Nbnco Telstra HFC (DOCSIS 3.0) up to 50/ 5 Mbps, inside mostly over .ac/ .n Wi-Fi for 2 to 4 adults, 0 to 2 teenagers, Netflix/ Prime/ iView to one TV and several tablets..
    No FoxTel over satellite or cable, except some Go over Internet.
    Fast.com shows download as 47 to 54 Mbps on my tablet, upload 4.8 Mbps, latency about 13 ms …
    Nbnco, as in overdue, overpriced and (fortunately) not yet over here, seems unnecessary at $50B and counting.
    Though if in regional or beyond I could see the attraction.
    PollyTICs really should have gone for a different model than Nbnco, as in competition for extended metro to regional, and holistic sea/ tree change approach for regional to rural to remote.

  28. briefly says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Murdoch was determined to try to prevent the NBN from being built. There’s a perfectly good commercial explanation for that.
    _________________________
    It’s strange that with such perfectly good commercial explanations no one has ever explained any. I guess it’s just the vibe. I agree that Murdoch has been a malignancy, but he has plenty of real trespasses upon the Australian public that it does not require making any up, or imagining him as some evil mastermind behind every unwanted development.

  29. It’s not just the Victorian Liberals who are in trouble.

    Just a few years ago, the WA Liberals boasted financial clout that progressives in the state could only have dreamed of.

    In 2013–14 they raised $6 million more, or nearly three times as much, as their Labor counterparts.

    How times change.

    In 2017–18, the Liberals brought in just $3.4 million — $1 million less than Labor and their lowest amount in more than a decade.

    Not a single person or entity made a donation to the Liberals above the $13,500 threshold, while Labor enjoyed the benefit of large donations from unions and major companies including Crown Perth.

    It was not just the Liberal Party struggling for cash either.

    The 500 Club, long a Liberal Party cash cow consisting of wealthy donors, raised just over $1,000, while Labor’s Perth Trades Hall raked in more than $1 million.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-12/the-wa-liberal-party-is-broke-and-this-is-biggest-challenge/10708842

  30. Nath
    “You can get it right now, straight from the AFL, enjoy.”

    Yes, you can. But if you want decent quality, without buffering, you’ll need decent speed.
    The old ADSL just doesn’t deliver, and nor does much of the FttN if you have multiple users at home.

    Murdoch was worried about this in 2010.
    Did you predict we would be doing this in 2019?
    Murdoch is a very smart businessman. He knew this would happen if people got access to a better network.

    And btw,
    With multiple users at home 100Mbps is not a luxury.

  31. DTT @6:33

    All fair enough in terms of “why can’t we all get along?”. But my problem is your assertion that Hillary would have dropped the bomb by now. You point out that NATO has existed since the USSR got the bomb. Russia still has the bomb. MAD is just as operational as ever!

    I also don’t pretend to have as thorough an understanding as you do of the cultural and national outlook of the states that previously formed the USSR, or genocide in Serbia etc, but it seems clear to me that there are plenty of disputes with Russia and states who still want to join NATO. I also do not have as much faith as you do in the virtue of Putin. Either way, it’s your assertions about Hillary, and the way you use them to back Trump (who you admit is a buffoon) that I am disputing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *