Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor

The second Newspoll for the year finds no continuation of the Coalition’s recent improving trend.

After a period of improving poll results for the Coalition, the latest Newspoll records a tiny shift on primary votes to Labor, but not another to alter their existing lead of 53-47 from a fortnight ago. Labor is up one point on the primary vote to 39%, after a three-point drop last time, while the Coalition is steady on 37%, retaining their two-point gain in the last poll. The Greens are steady on 9%, while One Nation is down a point to 5%, the lowest it’s been in a year. Scott Morrison’s personal ratings are improved, with approval up three to 43% and disapproval down two to 45%, and his lead as prime minister out from 43-36 to 44-35. Bill Shorten is down one on approval to 36% and up one on disapproval to 51%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1567.

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.

2,273 comments on “Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. 53/47 after the christmas/new year break, soft media reporting, relatively few high-profile fuck-ups and Morrison and the government campaigning at full pelt is an absolute disaster for the LNP. Once they get back to Parliament (for 10 days sitting in 3 months!! – something Labor should labour and try to get the cross benchers to recall /extend parliamentary sittings every time Morrison says “We’re just getting on with the business” – Shorten should start telling them to “sit (in parliament) of get off the pot (call an election)”) they are going to cop more exposure and their ‘popularity’ will at best stay where it is. And this is before Turnbull wreaks his revenge – as he almost certainly will do.

    Has any government turned around a solidly entrenched 53/47 three months from an election? The libs must be about to hit 50 negative Newspolls in a row by now, with gaps of 4-6% points being the norm for most of that time. Latham had that sort of lead over Howard until about five months from the election and then rapidly declined – but Shorten in not unhinged and undisciplined like Latham and Morrison is no Howard. I think Keating had shortened the gap between him and Hewson 3 months before the 1993 election.

  2. Don’t forget as unreliable as seat polling is. Things like 78% say they are voting against Abbott in Warringah shows Tony is losing his base.

  3. The Royal Commission into the Unions was the ‘kill bill’ big one which became a fizzer. The MDB Commission became ‘kill a Nat’ and has seen Barnaboi shut up.
    The LNP have fallen back on the ‘boats’ but have no Howard.
    Howard has even become a negative.
    Labor has successes withe the Banking RC, climate change and falling house prices and increasing debt.
    Governments don’t retain seats when the household dollar is not enough.
    I reckon this poll is underestimating the surge in popularity for Shorten and Labor and the future. The Victorian result will prove to be a good indicator. The up-coming NSW election will prove the LNP demise and give little hope for federal LNP.
    The half Senate option and hoping against hope in November is not without possibilities for a political coalition on the ropes.
    Abbott/Turmbull/Morrison have made a dash and failed. Dutton has no chance.
    Does anyone believe Morrison can get off the canvas and surge back into contention. It won’t happen. They will throw money at the voters between now and whenever. The voters will accept the cash and exile the shysters, rorters and bullshit artists to the scrub for a few years.

  4. Goll

    Let’s not forget Murdoch has given up on the LNP winning this election if reports are true.

    That was before Shorten declined to meet him.

  5. Morrison will be the speaker at the NPC tomorrow

    “Mr Morrison will outline the new measures in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday that lists the government’s achievements on national security, crime prevention, border protection and personal safety.”

  6. “Mr Morrison will outline the new measures in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday that lists the government’s achievements on national security, crime prevention, border protection and personal safety.”

    Fear and loathing. Dogwhistling. Morrison wants us to be afraid, be very afraid, because that’s his only chance. Or maybe that plus “Be greedy, be very greedy” (if you already have money, not if you need it).

    No good story to tell.

  7. Actually, I think I can predict what Morrison’s going to say: “Labor Labor Bill Shorten Labor Bill Shorten….”

    Right, that’s settled so we don’t have to listen.

  8. Michelle Grattan on the latest Newspoll

    The government goes into the resumption of parliament this week trailing Labor 47-53% on the two-party vote in Newspoll, unchanged from a fortnight ago.

    The poll comes as Labor’s stand on the legislation to facilitate medical evacuations hangs in the balance, with Bill Shorten having indicated he would like to find a compromise and speculation about a Labor retreat from its earlier support.

    Shorten receives a briefing on the implications of the bill from the secretary of the Home Affairs Department, Mike Pezzullo on Monday. Shadow cabinet and caucus will discuss Labor’s position.

  9. Not meeting Murdoch will probably result in an endorsement from Murdoch and a wry grin for Bill’s audacious non acceptance. Many voters are not fond of Murdoch for the money they pay to watch sport.
    Many of the younger voters don’t relate to the American.
    Remember afternoon newspapers? Morning newspapers are just a rallying point for bygone days.
    Ask a twenty something year old to get you a paper in the morning and they’ll raid the budgie cage.
    The mood is 1972 and we just don’t want them.

  10. The thing about the self-funded retirees who are turning up to the Wilson family events is that they are so obviously fixated on their own interests that they are hardly likely to be compelling community campaigners. They come across as grumpy old men and women, and if one of them knocked on your door for a whinge, you’d probably come away from the conversation determined to vote for the Trotskyites.

  11. Goll

    Victorians with their lived experience can tell us. Is this a repeat of the Victorian election?

    From here in Sydney it looks like a repeat of the same LNP strategy.

    Has there been polling to test support in seats like Hawthorn on a national basis so a possible outcome is not missed? We know the seat by seat polls are not too crash hot for the LNP.

  12. @MichaelPascoe01
    Murdoch’s Fox has done more damage to the US than Russia, China & Iran combined. More misinformation, more division-creating than all the world’s spook ops.

  13. Evening all. The Newspoll is certainly as good as ScumMo could dare hope, and still points to a Liberal defeat. Its ironic to me that the polls are tightening now despite what I thought was Shorten showing some courage in sticking to the negative gearing policy, which is badly needed. Whereas last year the polls were great even though I did not think Shorten was standing for much, as he kept a low profile while the Liberals self-destructed.

    I refuse to believe Labor will back down on Phelp’s bill until I see it and hear it from the horses’ mouth. Why would they? The scare campaign the Liberals are running has been filled with lies. If the government is defeated in the house it will remind people how weak ScumMo’s grip on power is, and why they are so desperate.

  14. I will be very very surprised if Labor back the Phelps plan. They will be hoping like crazy an indie pulls out so they don’t have to commit themselves but Shorten avoids wedges like the plague and I expect he will me too it.

  15. I believe the polls in general are overstating the Coalition’s TPP share. Cause unknown.

    In Victoria the last five polls all in the last week were

    Nov 21 – YouGov – ALP 53/47
    Nov 21 – ReachTel – ALP 54/46
    Nov 23 – Newspoll – ALP 53.5/46.5
    Nov 23 – Morgan – ALP 54/46
    Nov 24 – YouGov – ALP 55/45

    Actual result (Nov 24) – ALP 57.3/42.7

    And considering the massive numbers who voted before election day I don’t think this represented a “very late” swing. I think it represented a consistent polling error in favour of the Coalition.

    A similar pattern was seen in the WA election in 2017 – three polls in the last week had ALP 54/46, and the actual result was 55.5/44.5

    Possible causes –

    1. the way pollsters ‘do’ preferences
    2. how they deal with ‘unknowns’
    3. shy non-tories who don’t want to say they are voting Labor (maybe for first and only time)

    I certainly hope this trend continues for the NSW and Federal elections.

    And Goll, I think if they try the “half-senate in May and house in November” option the cross-bench really will revolt and throw them out.

  16. Dio

    It’s going to be interesting. Are Labor going to back Doctors professionalism or let the LNP attack on the integrity and ethics of the medical professionals stand?

  17. boost from previous thread
    Puffytmd @ #1337 Sunday, February 10th, 2019 – 11:08 pm

    guytaur @ #1306 Sunday, February 10th, 2019 – 9:16 pm

    Good Evening.

    Good Newspoll again.

    Very disappointed rumour of Labor not backing the Phelps bill. IF true the usual we can’t scare the horses rot will be trotted out about the Boat scare campaign.

    The only thing I have to say on it. Is trust Doctors Labor not the political scare campaign.

    There are many issues you can win the election on that outrank boats. As Kevin Rudd proved.
    The LNP are going to tell those people ad nauseum that you are letting in the boats anyway.

    Read the facts before reporting rumour.

    The ALP is (probably) set to propose that the Minister have the last say on Security grounds. That decision can be appealed, all the way to the High Court. That path is not available at this time because the Coalition blocked it.

    This is why the Gov’t is squealing. Their decision will be publicly scrutinised. They will have to mount a case for refusal. At the moment it is done and dusted with a a stroke of the Minister’s pen, no appeal rights.

    It is not restarting the boats which worry them, it is scrutiny.

  18. Morrison fleet footed? Nah!
    The LNP with Morrison’s dodgy vision, the deputy doog we can’t remember the name of, Dutton more befuddled (if he turns up) and the marvelous comedian, Joyce , fresh from a sojourn at the local creche doesn’t resemble a backable troupe.
    This week will be entertaining fo those of us so inclined, a glorious victory for the LNP most unlikely.

  19. Puffy

    Why not trust the Medical Profession.

    If you listened to Pyne today he was saying Doctors would put politics above patient care.

  20. guytar
    It’s going to be interesting. Are Labor going to back Doctors professionalism or let the LNP attack on the integrity and ethics of the medical professionals stand?

    Seem’s like a good way for the alp to drive a wedge between the AMA and the lnp.

  21. It is unusual that most medical problems can’t be managed without retrieval to Australia. You have to be really sick to need retrieval. Unless of course there is an epidemic of mental health catastrophes which is probably the case.

  22. Most of you have followed Shorten’s career. Even considering the unknowns still to be played out this week, Shorten will not ‘blow it’ with the finishing post so near.
    The irony of course is that the finishing post becomes the starting post and all before it.

  23. Doctors will almost always act in their patients best interests pretty much regardless of cost, politics, setting precedents etc etc.
    It wouldn’t be a hard decision to send a refugee to Australia if that was the only way their mental health was going to improve.

  24. Nervous bunch, aren’t we. Our incompetent government is on the ropes. Why would the opposition go easy on them and look for “common ground”? That article in The Age was an attempt to frame the coming week for the Coalition. Then Newspoll scuttled that. The only reason for Labor giving the Coalition an inch, the only reason, is if that in some way provides real relief for the people imprisoned on Manus and Nauru. Anything else is not worth the effort.

  25. I agree with Diogenes about heart in the right place with the medical profession.
    We have seen Drs and nurses protest patients being returned to the L/ NPs fabulous islands that refugees would rather be on than going to USA!!
    Add in multiple health funding cuts that affect personal wealth bottom line and you have a recipe for under current against Scummo.
    As for the poll trends of late, either many Aussies could not care less about their own wallet or they are not telling the truth to pollsters.

  26. I will be very very surprised if Labor back the Phelps plan. They will be hoping like crazy an indie pulls out so they don’t have to commit themselves but Shorten avoids wedges like the plague and I expect he will me too it.

    The tide has moved, Shorten may not be ahead of the tide, he might not be even with the tide, but Australians, took us a long time, but we are sick of wasting billions committing crimes against humanity. The fear card has been played so often, the monetary cost is so massive, I don’t think this wedge exists anywhere other than in Morrison and friends minds.

  27. guytaur @ #73 Sunday, February 10th, 2019 – 11:33 pm


    There is no compromise on health. People are either ill or they are not.

    And that is where The Greens fall down every single time. Pure but impotent. Rhetoric instead of action. Dogma instead of pragmatism.

    The ALP is about getting outcomes instead of getting eff all.

    Getting sick people to Australia instead of making them wait for the perfect, ideologically pure, Greens-approved strategy.

    It is why I will never vote Green.

  28. I suspect the polls are overstating the LNP vote because younger and other progressive voters are harder to get to respond to a poll than boring stay-at-home conservatives. Alternatively, there a swag of undecided voters who decide to vote according to who the polls say is going to win (so they can feel good about picking a winner?). I’ve worked on polling booths and I suspect the latter plays a part – it distresses me how many voters express the opinion that they don’t really care /don’t know who to vote for and are just voting because they have to.

  29. I would imagine that nearly all the people incarcerated on Manus and Nauru have health problems, both physical and mental. There is nothing about those camps that promote good health. Damage to the body and mind is inevitable. If giving the Minister final disapproval powers (which is a bit different to approval powers) which he/she has to defend in the High Court gets the legislation through and shuts up the scare campaigns over bringing these people here then I am all for it.

    Note, as I understand it the Minister will have grounds on National Security grounds which are specific, not character grounds which is subjective.

    I expect all the refugees and asylum seekers will need to come to Australia for treatment. Removing them from the scene of the trauma would be the first step to addressing their problems, so I would think in my untrained opinion.

  30. Puffy

    You don’t get it. National Security Grounds is a catch all phrase and has no relevance. There is no danger when patients have police guards and have been searched.

    They have not just stepped off a plane or a boat.

  31. guytaur @ #85 Monday, February 11th, 2019 – 12:30 am


    So to help the ill vote with the government to make it harder for the ill to get help. Yeah that makes sense. NOT.

    You are being obtuse. The ALP will not be voting with the gov’t. Voting for amendments is not voting with the gov’t.

    I mean, the Greens know what voting with the gov’t really means. They have done it often enough.

  32. Puffy

    Your partisan bias and lack of compassion is showing. First criteria should be health of people under our cares

    After all it is for the terrorists locked up in jails.

  33. National security grounds are not a catch-all. From my understanding of it, these grounds are specific. And subject to appeal.

    The gov’t worked very hard and got what it wanted, that appeals would not apply to the Minister’s decisions. These amendments would bring these decisions back into the appeals process.

    These amendments could be very, very important in the future.

  34. Puffy

    There is no compromise. There are no national security grounds to deny medical care to patients.

    They don’t get freedom here unless they get access to courts and the rule of law.

  35. You are going from obtuse to ad hominem. I would be the last one who could be described as lacking in compassion, if you knew me. It can be my downfall. As anyone who knew me would say I would put political bias against the welfare of refugees.

    I have the ability to see the practical, as I am known as a problem solver, as well as someone passionate about causes. I balance the art of the possible agaisnt the desire for nirvana.

    Anyway that is enough of my defending myself against your attack, except to repeat this old rhyme. I never forget it.

    ‘Here lies the body of Paddy O’Gray.
    He died protesting his right of way.
    His right was clear, his will was strong.
    He is just as dead as if he was wrong.’

  36. Puffy

    Also remember the government has run hard on The Phelps Bill and Franking Credits and the polls moved a point to Labor in primary vote as pointed out on Sky News tonight

  37. Puffy

    Nope it’s you who are dead wrong.

    So scared of the Boats Boats shouting you think it’s ok to attack doctors medical opinion and that the government can just ignore its duty of care to prisoners in their care because the government says National Security

  38. Guytaur
    I am not talking polls. Labor will look at the Phelps bill. From what I have read in the media, the ALP may be proposing its own amendments which addresses the concerns of the Gov’t and leaves them no room to complain and go off saying that terrorists are being brought to Australia. This is to the refugees/AS ultimate benefit. If the Minister has not stopped them then there is no reason to worry, or chain them to their beds or whatever cruelty Dutton has planned. If the Greens want to help these people they will back the ALP amendments as I have described and reject any proposal to add character grounds to the Bill.

  39. @Rocket Rocket
    You are correct. The polling is erring in favour of the Coalition
    The election will be 55-45, because none of the pollsters have allowed for the huge youth enrolment from the gay marry plebiscite. I expect a Coaltion opposition with a 30 seat deficit – thanks to the Victorian election, 8% is now a marginal seat!
    I personally hope the Greens can pick up one or two lower house seats in inner Melbourne/Brisbane/Sydney – the demographics are trending that way.
    And no Laborites, the Greens won’t lose Senators because you can no longer vote 1 above the line, like the Vic election.

  40. Puffy

    Your response only proves you have fallen for LNP lies.

    There is nothing on the Phelps Bill that says anything about Boats.

    Just medical care for long term prisoners on an island. Prisoners who remain prisoners on Australian soil.

    Only a court and the rule of law can change this. Or do you think courts should have no place deciding a person’s fate?

    And no I don’t mean the High Court. Most asylum claims don’t get there.

  41. For what it’s worth: I think the ALP can’t go wrong by differentiating themselves from this toxic government… people are sick of the sneakiness and predictable dog whistle… it really is pathetic how stupid they think the voters are. My guess is Labor will begin to turn the knife and highlight this at every turn. For mine they should back Phelps with whatever amendment necessary… if it’s against the government they can’t go wrong. Time for the light on the hill to be switched on.

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