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. “And the event this was snapped at? “

    It was the galah occasion of the celebration of the the 70th anniversary of the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) in 2013. Other prominent guests included Gina Rienhart, His Eminence George Pell, various CEOs and right wing journalists.

  2. Confessions says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:07 pm
    briefly:

    I view Credlin as more of a Senate candidate than a HoR candidate. I can’t see her deigning to do the hard work of campaigning among ordinary people as she would have to do in a lower house electorate. She reminds me of Concetta Fierrvanti-Wells.

    Quite right. She could lose, even in Mallee. That would not do her a lot of good. She rates herself very highly…and surely would not aspire to being a backbencher in Opposition, which would be her first starting point.

  3. Roger Miller says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:09 pm
    The reason I stopped buying the Australian and would not ever pay for a Murdoch product was the relentless stream of bullshit about the NBN. The Climate change denial was bad enough but the NBN stories were just blatant propaganda.

    I haven’t purchased, read or watched anything published or broadcast by Murdoch since around 1980…been bliss.

  4. imacca
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm
    “Briefly’s already making snuff movies in his imagination.”
    I see nath is still on his pointlessly nasty pills. dickhead.
    _______________________________
    going back hours to find something to have a go at someone about is the sure sign of an odd duck. I must have said that hours ago, so you trawl through my old statements and off the cuff remarks to stoke your hate against me, to curry favour with your masters in the cabal.

  5. PO, I haven’t watched tv since about 1990….can’t stand it. Occasionally I might watch the news, but I don’t own a tv. Rarely, I may watch something on i-view….murder in paradise, for example, or QI. I have tried to avoid all the a-v pollution, the outfall, the squalor. I have been on the run from the titillation, the prurience and the sensationalism.

  6. In case anyone were wondering, the Labor NBN has always been more popular than the Liberals version.

    https://www.essentialvision.com.au/support-for-major-government-decisions-2

    Polls from 2012/2013 showing support for the Labor NBN at around 70%.

    I’ll agree that Labor did not sell the NBN hard enough, although it is always difficult to cut through a media willing to dispute your word with straight lies.

    However most of the problems were not down to NBNCo. The principal contractors mostly proved to be paper shuffling middlemen more interested in screwing over their subcontractors than getting work done. Telstra’s asbestos remediation work was a complete shambles that held up work for a crucial six months.

    There was nothing in the early NBN rollout that couldn’t be fixed relatively easily. There is almost nothing in the Liberal NBN that can be fixed.

  7. You’ve missed out Briefly, amongst all the garbage there has been some brilliant tv series and movies that are great exemplars of their art, performed by talented performers.

  8. A huge blast has rocked central Paris, setting buildings and cars alight and injuring a number of people.

    The explosion happened on the Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement commercial district on Saturday morning at around 9am local time (8pm AEDT).

    Photographs circulating on social media show several historic buildings alight, their windows blown out, and debris spread across the streets.

    Police cars and dozens of fire-fighting trucks are parked along the streets, and abandoned bicycles, rubbish bins and building materials have been spread across central streets.

    The cause of the blast is not known although there are unconfirmed reports it may have been caused by a gas leak at a bakery.

    Police are yet to confirm the suspected cause of the blast or any casualties but pictures show firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and evacuate some people from the building using ladders.

    Emergency workers also treated some of the injured at the scene.

  9. Briefly

    Hope you are not reading The West Australian these days.

    The paper has a copy sharing agreement with News and more and more of the content is coming from there.

    Some is obvious , like Bolt’s column, but a lot of the rest you wouldn’t know.

  10. Rossmcg @ #2011 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 6:37 pm

    Briefly

    Hope you are not reading The West Australian these days.

    The paper has a copy sharing agreement with News and more and more of the content is coming from there.

    Some is obvious , like Bolt’s column, but a lot of the rest you wouldn’t know.

    Yeesh I wondered why the West had gone downhill. I rarely read it anymore because most of the time the articles are mindless crap.

  11. Interesting reading about Credlins possible tilt at a seat. Are the doGs above good enough to us that she actually WILL run?? 🙂 Kaos, confusion, bullshit and backstabbing will follow her like a devoted Tones. 🙂

  12. Ross, I see the West lying around here and there. I seldom pick it up and immediately regret it when I do. I can see the baits laid by Bolt and others. There’s no point in reading it; still less in stewing over it. It’s provocation and deception. It’s fiction in its way, and not good fiction at that. I think it’s all intended to chafe the mind; to create calluses or bruises, to make us numb. I have had too much adrenaline; way too much. So rather than eating the stories in the MSM, I try to take an interest in the 3-d, in real people and learn from them. I don’t trust the intermediaries. I think they are our enemies.

  13. Was staying with mate in Boston in November, he has FTTH (fibre optic) and he was getting between 200-270mpbs and was gobsmacked what we did in Australia. It was incredible downloading stuff.

    We have become a joke since Howard got in and it just took time to get where we are now.

    Labor tried to implement (as they always do – the masters of social policy) however the removal of them in 2013 is to the nation’s detriment. Need a big ALP win so they can have time to redress all the bad decisions.

  14. Roger

    I think most of the readership will be an older demographic in Perth’s western suburbs who want to read how bad labor is and to check the death notices.

    Although even the death notices are online these days.

    And the newspaper’s unashamed barracking for the west coast eagles also strikes a chord with the same group.

  15. nath says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:36 pm
    You’ve missed out Briefly, amongst all the garbage there has been some brilliant tv series and movies that are great exemplars of their art, performed by talented performers.

    I’m sure you’re right. But I have a very low threshold. I cannot watch the violent at all. Not at all. I cannot bear it. And for a long time I had not the use of all my faculties. I was not able to remember such things as the days of the week nor the times for programs and I would lose track. I would talk to myself instead and then fall asleep, as if I’d taken drugs. I spent many years doing the washing up and the ironing, in a comfort zone, in a retreat. I would walk the dogs. Or have the dogs walk me.

  16. nath @ #2005 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:33 pm

    imacca
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:03 pm
    “Briefly’s already making snuff movies in his imagination.”
    I see nath is still on his pointlessly nasty pills. dickhead.
    _______________________________
    going back hours to find something to have a go at someone about is the sure sign of an odd duck. I must have said that hours ago, so you trawl through my old statements and off the cuff remarks to stoke your hate against me, to curry favour with your masters in the cabal.

    You are a sad and needy person, nath.

    Btw, have you found copies of the 2002 Visy EBA with the AWU and the Amcor EBA with the AMWU yet, so I can compare them, instead of taking your word about them?
    I mean, you seem to know ALL about them.

  17. Rocket Rocket @ #2019 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 6:53 pm

    Roger Miller

    Looking at that “Australian” front page from election day I couldn’t help but notice Dennis Shanahan writing –

    Abbott poised to snatch victory

    As an antidote I went through them day by day after that, until arriving at this on 8/9/2010.

    http://en.kiosko.net/au/2010-09-08/np/au_australian.html

    Remember Abbott’s 72hr non stop campaign leading up to the 2010 election? From memory he was sauntering up to ferry riders in the middle of the night pushing himself onto them, and I’m sure they were thinking ‘who in blazes is this creep?’.

    He really needs to retire.

  18. Holden hillbilly

    Twenty people have been injured — two of them critically — after a massive explosion in central Paris.
    The blast and subsequent fire, caused by a gas leak at a bakery, destroyed several buildings in the historic 9th arrondissement, overturned cars and filled the streets with debris.

    French journalists at the scene said the windows of buildings along the entire block on the Rue de Trevise in the commercial district were blown out at around 9am local time (8pm AEDT).

    Despite initial fears of a terror attack police quickly ruled the blast was caused by a gas leak in a patisserie.

    Firefighters and police evacuated people from the damaged buildings and dozens of fire trucks raced to contain the blaze.

    Several people were led down from upper floors on ladders pushed up on the outside of the building by firefighters.

  19. Andrew_Earlwood @ #2023 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 9:58 pm

    nath shilling for Murdoch.

    Sad.

    Hilarious, huh? He ‘only’ needs 27mbps to watch all the movies with the high art quotient. Doesn’t watch Foxtel/Sky for ANY other reason, apparently. Even though most of his attacks on Bill Shorten come directly from the babbling blowholes of the Sky After Dark crew. 😆

  20. Murdoch press has destroyed proper democratic discourse in UK, USA and Australia. It is a cancer on our democratic society. All the countries it destroyed are Anglo-Saxon-Celtic countries. It tried to enter the markets of India and China but was rebuffed.

  21. BELAAZ
    ‏ @THEBELAAZ

    — #BREAKING: PM Justin Trudeau confirms Canada has granted asylum to Saudi teen #Rahaf al-Qunun. She is currently en route to #Canada from Thailand and will arrive 11:15 AM ET.

    @THEBELAAZ #RahafSaved

  22. An incoming Labor Government needs to regard Murdoch as an enemy and treat him as such, within the law. Maybe if they could find a way to make him pay tax, he’ll sell up operations here and bugger off.

  23. An ominous sign for the WA Liberal party for both the upcoming Federal election campaign, and the following state campaign:

    The Liberal Party in WA is broke and this looms as its biggest challenge

    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.

    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.

    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?fbclid=IwAR3O1cK1PsRr_voAutQiWc20LEwHqLKxB8rphxeoP0ar7PFZwdA-4GztqcA

    I’ve heard persistent rumours that the WA Liberals were broke and this is the first credible evidence I’ve seen that they are indeed cash strapped. It explains the dearth of campaign like advertising in Pearce despite rumours that Mr Porter enjoys significant financial support from the white South African expat community.

    The Liberals are going to be in desperate trouble on election night if they are unable to replicate their long-term campaigning strategy of spending their way to a respectable loss when they’d otherwise be facing a catastrophe.

  24. Yes Murdoch is such a threat these days, what with the ever falling readership figures and Sky News After Dark generating between 60 and 100k in eyeballs.

    And their assaults on Shorten have been spectacularly successful in arresting the slide of LNP support in the polls.

  25. Grimace

    Porter’s campaign bus was still parked in the paddock on Great northern highway the other day.

    Like the Tories, probably out of gas and no money to buy more.

  26. I’ve heard of snuff movies, of course. Who has not? The idea seems to be to degrade everyone – the victim, the viewer, the makers, and both life and death; to make the taking of life as banal as possible. It is nihilism pure and simple. The declaration is that we are utterly worthless, that we are capable of being de-humanised. The movie-makers are exploiting violence to make the argument that there is nothing to do but to shock and to ridicule and to empty ourselves; to throw ourselves into an abyss. But I need hardly say, we are not utterly worthless. There is a paradox there; a paradox that lies within the human condition itself.

    nath has given me something to think about.

  27. C@tmomma
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:26 pm
    nath @ #2036 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:20 pm
    Yes Murdoch is such a threat these days, what with the ever falling readership figures and Sky News After Dark generating between 60 and 100k in eyeballs.
    And there assaults on Shorten have been spectacularly successful in arresting the slide of LNP support in the polls.
    So why do you keep doing it?
    __________________________________
    You are giving me an invitation to tell you why I don’t like Shorten. I’m assuming you don’t actually want that so I will just say; refer to my past statements on that man.

  28. nath has given me something to think about.
    _______________________
    well you were talking about how you were hoping that Trump would be executed for treason. If it happens I assume it will be recorded in some way, and I’m sure that quite a few on PB would watch it if they could.

  29. nath @ #2041 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:29 pm

    C@tmomma
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:26 pm
    nath @ #2036 Saturday, January 12th, 2019 – 10:20 pm
    Yes Murdoch is such a threat these days, what with the ever falling readership figures and Sky News After Dark generating between 60 and 100k in eyeballs.
    And there assaults on Shorten have been spectacularly successful in arresting the slide of LNP support in the polls.
    So why do you keep doing it?
    __________________________________
    You are giving me an invitation to tell you why I don’t like Shorten. I’m assuming you don’t actually want that so I will just say; refer to my past statements on that man.

    All of which are indicative of an unnatural obsession.

    Btw, now that you are back again, have you got the copies of the Visy EBA negotiated in 2002 by the AWU and the Amcor EBA negotiated in the same year so that I can compare them?

  30. Hitler was said to have watched movies that recorded executions; to have enjoyed them; to have collected snuff, we could say. nath has put me in the same home-movie theatre as Hitler. That’s something. I’ve never seen myself as a killer, though for many years I did have recurring nightmares about my own death as a boy of 6 or 7 years, about being interred under the patio out the back, and lying in an unmarked grave beneath the bricks. The green berries and the yellowed leaves and the fine white and violet petals of the cape lilac tree fell onto the bricks and they were like a blanket that entirely covered the scene; and I was a forgotten corpse; known only to my own conscience. How terrible that was, at night. My children played on the bricks at times and we had to make sure they did not eat the berries, which are poisonous and can be fatal to small kids.

  31. All of which are indicative of an unnatural obsession.
    Btw, now that you are back again, have you got the copies of the Visy EBA negotiated in 2002 by the AWU and the Amcor EBA negotiated in the same year so that I can compare them?
    ___________________________________
    I haven’t been able to locate it either. No doubt Shorten arranged for Putin to ‘disappear’ the document in exchange for some favour.

  32. briefly
    says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:36 pm
    Hitler was said to have watched movies that recorded executions; to have enjoyed them; to have collected snuff, we could say. nath has put me in the same home-movie theatre as Hitler.
    ___________________________
    You call me a pimp, I call you a snuff producer, or ‘visionary’. But it’s all in the game, right?

  33. nath says:
    Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:31 pm
    nath has given me something to think about.
    _______________________
    well you were talking about how you were hoping that Trump would be executed

    I did not express any such hope. You may have construed it. I did not say it. I am opposed to the death penalty in all cases. I was making the point that if he’s convicted of treason he will likely be sentenced to death, which is the penalty stated in their code.

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