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. Guytaur,
    It is like bashing my head against a brick wall.

    You are back to pure but powerless again, impotence in the face of need.

    Two doctors can order the transfer of a patient. It will happen unless the Minister steps in to disapprove. (The patient does not need to wait until the Minister approves it, the transfer is valid until the Minister says otherwise.) The Minister needs to be very careful about using their discretion because this is can now be challenged, under these amendments. If the Minister loses, there may be the possibility of compensation and all sorts of mess for the gov’t.
    The gov’t cannot say they do not have the power to keep terrorists out of Australia because they will. They just have to be able to prove it to the High Court.

    At least that is my understanding of the matter.

  2. Puffy

    You are back to beating your head against a brick wall.

    Leave medical decisions to doctors not police.

    The police provide the security on land.

    Back the AMA. Don’t listen to the LNP spin that doctors will decide on politics not the best interest of their patient.

  3. Guytaur
    You mentioned boats, not me.

    And I am not talking about Asylum Seeker claims. I am talking about the Minister having do defend decisions not to allow detainees on Manus and Nauru to brought to Australia for medical reasons. That would end up in the High Court if I understand the amendments correctly.
    Any disallowance of transfer on security grounds would be subject to appeal processes. Which the gov’t very very much fears. They removed this provision from National Security Assessments for a reason.

  4. Puffy

    There you go again. Entertaining the notion that security grounds can have any bearing on a medical decision.

    Trust the Doctors professionalism and the usual medical process.

  5. It has nothing to do with the police.

    Two doctors sign off on a transfer. The transfer happens. The Minister finds out the transfer is of, for example, a person convicted of terrorism in another country. The Minister says the person cannot come to Australia because there are risks to the country if the transfer goes ahead, e.g. increased threat of rescue attempts on the hospital treating the patient. The advocates make urgent appeals. The process starts and the Minister has to justify that decision, possibly all the way to the High Court. Along the way, the Minister could win, or the process can tell him/her they are wrong, maybe the conviction cannot be trusted, and order the medical evacuation goes ahead.

    If there is a credible threat to because of a transfer the Minister has powers. Alternative arrangements can be made or more secure transfers be planned. If the Minister is just playing politics there are checks and balances. I would assume such powers are for extreme situations.

    This should sort out any concerns over medical evacuations.

  6. Puffy


    Unless you say the police suddenly cannot provide security in hospitals to Australian terrorist prisoners there are no national security grounds on which to deny medical care.

    The minister is not a health professional

  7. It is the doctors’ responsibility to order medical transfers. Security does not come into it. The Minister is responsible for security and has a remedy if, in extreme and unusual circumstances call for it.

    A Lib Minister may try it on, by disallowing a transfer for trivial reasons, but the first time this hits the appeals process they will have set themselves up for a spectacular loss.

    I have no problem with an amendment along these lines.

  8. Guytaur
    You are going off on many goat trails with this. If the police can handle the security then the Minister has no grounds to support the decision to disallow.
    If the police and security forces cannot deal with the threat then alternative health arrangements may have to be found.

    As I said, I take it this is a power for extreme circumstances. It would seem quite reasonable to have this appeal-able power.

  9. Of course this gov’t would try to game it, but they like working in the dark not in the broad light of public appeals and court cases. This is not legislation for one gov’t. It is for all of them who come afterwards too.
    While I am sure that not one of the thousand who need evacuation are a threat, that does not mean there never will be.
    To me, it is an acceptable compromise.

  10. Puffy

    These are prisoners. Not free people with access to anything they want like mobile phones.

    There are no security grounds to prevent medical care.

    Read the article.

  11. So I have wasted my time and energy at 2am explaining the very thing that you put up, and that you complain about the ALP not supporting?

    I should have gone to bed.

  12. When the coalition and media attacks Bill Shorten , Labor’s primary vote increases .
    It exposes the myth that Bill Shorten is a drag on Labor’s primary vote

  13. guytaur

    Remember if boats have stopped it’s because of boat turn backs not indefinite detention.

    My stand on this issue is close to “open borders”, but I can’t let that particular bit of untruth go uncorrected. The facts speak for themselves. The rate of arrival of boats fell off a cliff right after the “you won’t be going to Australia” announcement and continued into the early days of the Abbott government before turn backs had been implemented. The fact that some boats were still arriving at this point has multiple causes.

    The reason I take issue with this is that there is a simple and harsh fact we haven’t come to terms with as a nation. The fact is that deterrence fundamentally requires cruelty. If you aren’t cruel enough, people will still come.

    There is a self-deluding belief creeping in lately that all we need now is a “turn back” policy. And with that a policy that says that if the boat does get past then we give them onshore processing. This is astonishingly naive. We have a very small fleet and there is a vast ocean. Even if you had complete radar tracking of every single boat, it takes time for us to intercept and it consumes finite resources.

    The result of a turn-back policy by itself is fairly predictable. People smugglers will adopt a coordinated “safety in numbers” approach. Send 100 or 200 boats out in a weekend. A few will get turned back. Most won’t. Heck if I were a people smuggler I’d be offering a package with a free ticket on the next wave of boats if you get turned back the first time.

    The reason I’m saying this is to point out that there is no sane or humane solution. To think we can control people smuggling without cruelty is a convenient myth. We can’t. Therefore we (I mean everyone in this country) needs to accept a harsh choice. We either accept near open borders, or we accept that its ok for us to persecute refugees. I’d like to see the debate progress to that point.

  14. Two doctors can order the transfer of a patient. It will happen unless the Minister steps in to disapprove. (The patient does not need to wait until the Minister approves it, the transfer is valid until the Minister says otherwise.) The Minister needs to be very careful about using their discretion because this is can now be challenged, under these amendments. If the Minister loses, there may be the possibility of compensation and all sorts of mess for the gov’t.
    The gov’t cannot say they do not have the power to keep terrorists out of Australia because they will. They just have to be able to prove it to the High Court.

    Puffy, you know exactly what will happen under the present minister, don’t you?

    Every single case will be challenged by the Minister and taken into the courts and dragged out. He is THAT deranged. Who cares about compensation and other consequences, this is Dutton.

  15. So it appears as though Pyne is the numbers man for the moderate faction. I wondered why he was a minister, obviously not based on abilities. But that could be said about many politicians.

    Speaking about how events had unfolded last year, Mr Pyne confirmed he helped steer votes from the party’s moderate wing towards Scott Morrison because he believed the now Prime Minister had a better chance of beating Mr Dutton than the moderates’ natural candidate, the then foreign minister Julie Bishop.

    “My assessment was that Peter Dutton would be electorally unpopular except for probably in Queensland, and that Scott Morrison was most likely to win if the moderates supported him and that Julie would obviously be the best moderate but that she wouldn’t win,” Mr Pyne said.

    “So if the moderates decided to support Julie as a group, Peter Dutton would be the leader and that we would be behind the eight ball electorally so it was important that we supported Scott because he had numbers of his own that he could bring to that contest that would mean that we’d have the best chance possible of winning the election.”

    Mr Pyne vehemently rejected reports he had not told Ms Bishop in advance that the moderate votes were being directed away from her and towards Mr Morrison.”

  16. Cud Chewer says:
    Monday, February 11, 2019 at 3:51 am

    Every single case will be challenged by the Minister and taken into the courts and dragged out. He is THAT deranged. Who cares about compensation and other consequences, this is Dutton.

    I don’t agree with you, but that is irrelevant. There is an election in the next couple of months. All going well Dutton will not be in parliament after that.

    This is pure politics.

    For Labor it is a rock or a hard place, Chud or guytaur. I hope Labor support the Bill but I arn’t going to gt to excited if they don’t, Shorten is good at politics; he has a lot more data than any of us; I’m actually interested in his conclusion.

    It may expose just how badly behaved Dutton and his department has been, but that is about it.

    My arguments to support the bill are:
    1) I don’t think Australian are heartless bastards; even in Queensland.
    2) The liberal independent needs a win as it will help the Liberal Independents.
    3) I think the refugee thing is now about where youth gangs were in Victoria. The Liberal ran hard on the issue the electorate was not impressed. I think Labor can win the issue even in Queensland.

  17. Barney in Saigon @ #29 Sunday, February 10th, 2019 – 10:27 pm

    Well I’ve finally escaped Go Dau. 🙂

    BiS, I thought that Saigon was your least favourite option for the next port of call?

    Good luck, anyhow, and give ’em heaps. Always takes a few weeks or a month to settle in to a new place, find the best shops within walking distance, get the room organised, and so on. Though you must be used to that organised chaos by now.

  18. Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump ‘may not even be a free person’ by the 2020 election

    Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren suggested on Sunday that President Donald Trump could be in jail by the 2020 election.

    “Here’s what bothers me, by the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president,” Warren said, according to NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard. “In fact, he may not even be a free person. But here’s how I see it – Donald Trump is not the only problem we’ve got.”

  19. C@tmomma @ #34 Sunday, February 10th, 2019 – 10:31 pm

    In fact, the only ones who are denying reality these days are the comfortably well-off Golden Oldies. They don’t have to worry about what the world is going to be like in 10 or 20 years, because most of them won’t be around to see it. So they don’t care.

    All they DO care about is themselves and their creature comforts. Not all of them, sure, but the Grey Nomad demographic seems intent on living out their time on this planet by the motto, ‘Bugger you, Jack! I’m okay’. Sad really.

    And what is even sadder is that it is this demographic that the Coalition is playing to. That old Baby Boomer bulge that carried John Howard aloft for so many years.

    There are, no doubt, some Golden Oldies to which your assessment applies. However a lot of them have children and grandchildren that they want the best for, and about whom they worry. The ones I know, on the pension (which is most of them, few are in the happy position of being SMSF cashed up, despite the ones we hear so much about, and their woes with regard to franking credits) spend far too much of their meagre resources on their children (help with mortgages if there is a bit of a nest egg) and spoiling their grandchildren rotten.

    Financially I am somewhere in between, and if the franking credits scam stopped, it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. I am still working part time, and that provides plenty for when things go pear shaped with regard to house repairs, bung fridges, car repairs on our ancient but very reliable vehicles, and so on.

    I reckon there are a significant portion, like me, who care about the environment, and can see it going to hell in a handbasket, as well as global warming. The climate up this way has changed forever, with week after week, month after month (December to February inclusive at the very least these days) temperatures above 30C. I can’t go bushwalking down the gorges for a significant part of the year because it is just too hot, the danger of bushfires catching me on the way back up the ridges, and the lack of water in the scummy pools left in the otherwise dry river beds.

    And there is no end in sight. Breaks my heart to see the bush and the gorges in this parlous state.

  20. Trump lashes out at critics of executive time: ‘I had no choice but to work very long hours!’

    It took some time, but President Donald Trump finally got around to defending himself as not being lazy after three months of his daily schedules were leaked showing that he spends 60 percent of his time luxuriating in what the White House calls “executive time.”

    “The media was able to get my work schedule, something very easy to do, but it should have been reported as a positive, not negative,” he wrote. “When the term Executive Time is used, I am generally working, not relaxing. In fact, I probably work more hours than almost any past President.”

    He then continued, “The fact is, when I took over as President, our Country was a mess. Depleted Military, Endless Wars, a potential War with North Korea, V.A., High Taxes & too many Regulations, Border, Immigration & HealthCare problems, & much more. I had no choice but to work very long hours!”

  21. WeWantPaul says:
    Monday, February 11, 2019 at 12:43 am

    I don’t think this wedge exists anywhere other than in Morrison and friends minds.

    A billion dollars a year to be assholes is a lot of money to burn.

  22. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂

    Happy I went to bed and had a cool night’s sleep last night. 😉

    To frednk’s point about the ‘African Gangs’, as far as I can see most people are letting them blend in to Australian society along with everyone else from all over the world who has made Oz home.

    I’ve been outside my comfort zone with my son for various reasons recently, to go to CBD Sydney for my birthday, on Public Transport and to walk around and go to Luna Park, or to go to Western Sydney for a job interview and physical assessment, and I also went to the NSW Parliament House in Sydney where there was co-incidentally a function for the Sudanese Community going on, and so I think I can come to a pretty solid conclusion about them.

    Watch out! But not for the reason the Coalition want you to be afraid of them for, but because they are integrating into Australian society very successfully, and they are going to do very, very well representing their adopted homeland. 🙂

    There’s a few bad apples, sure, but that’s the same for any and every subset of Australian society.

  23. Having taken the Ute, the tent and the child bride out into the Grey Nomad haunts of the outback a while back, we learnt one important thing. Don’t sit around the communal campfire with this lot!
    Never have I been so disappointed and ashamed of people of my generation. Self-obsessed wingers with a mythical image of the ‘true Australia ‘ that only Pawleen or Macca all Over could appreciate.
    The retirees at Freedom Boys ‘inquiry ‘ would love it.

  24. There is an email petition circulating from an organisation called Doctors Make Change. Yesterday afternoon it had ~2,700 signatures. As of 06:00 this morning it had 4,301.

    Urgent Medical Transfer Bill – #BACKTHEBILL

    Dear Medical Colleagues,

    It has become clear that we as a community need to reiterate our support for the Urgent Medical Transfer Bill, which passed the Senate on December 6 last year. The AMA President has repeatedly confirmed his support, as have many of the major Colleges.

    It will be debated in the House of Representatives this week.

    This bill is a sensible solution which allows doctors to take care of their patients if they need urgent care not available on Nauru or Manus. You can read the bill here.

    We will be taking this letter to Parliament. Please sign by 5pm Monday 11th of February. If you wish to publicly support this bill, please add your name and qualifications below. Names will be added in the order they arrive.

    Thank you again for your support.

    We have 48hrs.

    Dr Sara Townend and Dr Neela Janakiramanan

  25. What’s interesting is that, as WE age, and I turned 60 the other week, we are bringing with us the spirit of environmentalism that we were imbued with from our younger years and this is what is changing the electoral environment such that we get reports, like I read recently, that the Coalition isn’t as well supported with the 60+ brigade any more.

    It seems, except for don and his switched-on friends who are a wee bit older than I, that the Coalition is gaining most of their support from the 70+ demographic of wealthy retirees, Christian Evangelicals and other religious types (who aren’t like our own wonderful GG), Grasping Business ‘Aspirationals’ and Young Fogeys.

    It’s not enough to build a winning ‘Coalition’ on any more.

  26. Labor needs a strong media personality to front the Immigration portfolio. I’m not confident that Neumann is quite the right person.

  27. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The SMH editorial says that Tim Wilson should quit or be dumped.
    David Crowe reports on Christopher Pyne’s candid and quite accurate outburst on the state of Australian politics.
    Greg Jericho writes that as clouds on the economic horizon darken, Scott Morrison has many problems and little to brag about. Quite an interesting read.
    Any Remeikis and Katherine Murphy talk about Morrison ramping up on an attack on Labor regarding border protection.
    Sarah Danckert explains why the corporate regulator will ask the government to change mortgage rules that could make it harder and more expensive for borrowers to get a new home loan if it loses a landmark case against Westpac over responsible lending laws.
    The government has backed away from two explicit commitments to establish a register to help stamp out multi-national tax avoidance – by claiming there was never a commitment in the first place.
    The AFR says that Scott Morrison will launch the second arm of his re-election pitch by claiming superior national security credentials. Labor wants the focus on banks.
    Tony Walker thinks its franking credits policy is coming back to bite Labor.
    David Wroe tells us how the independent MPs behind the push to move refugees off Nauru and Manus Island for medical treatment have demanded Labor hold the line in supporting the proposed law as Bill Shorten ponders a politically safe compromise.
    Investors are poised for a big week of earnings, with a number of the local share market’s most shorted stocks set to report their results this week.
    Jennifer Duke explains how Telstra chief executive Andy Penn says a change of government could bring cheaper broadband to customers.
    Sam maiden says that big banks have been given a get-out-of-jail card on reforms ordered by the royal commission, with the Morrison government saying it’s a job for after the May election.
    Ross Gittins writes that in the wake of the Hayne report on financial misconduct, many are asking whether the banks have really learned their lesson, whether their culture will change and how long it will take. Sorry, that’s just the smaller half of the problem.
    The government has quietly extended one of its most controversial contracts, paying little-known Paladin Group an extra $109 million for security services on Manus Island.
    The Grattan Institute’s Dannielle Wood says that negative gearing changes will affect us all, mostly for the better.
    These two environmentalists look at the ramifications of the recent court finding on the Rocky Hill mine.
    Publisher Benjamin Dreyer comes to the defence of using proper English.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the union movement will resist a key finding of the banking royal commission, baulking at Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s recommendation that workers should be defaulted only once into a superannuation fund in their lives.
    The insurance broking industry is confident it can persuade regulators there is nothing wrong with taking commissions from insurers, after the Hayne report recommended a three-year stay of execution.
    Samuel Freedman says that in revering Trump, the religious right has laid bare its hypocrisy.
    Bloomberg explains why South America is the battlefield in a new cold war.
    John McDuling examines journalistic style when it comes to protecting sources.
    Peter Martin unpicks the mystery of taxation and franking credits.
    Michael Pascoe tells us that among the less-noticed aspects of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report was a backhander for parliamentary committees. He seems to think that at least one of them is useless.
    The Australian reports that the lobbying firm of NSW Liberal powerbroker Michael Photios has started donating to the Labor Party, in an apparent nod towards the likelihood of Bill Shorten taking up residence in The Lodge.
    British billionaire and mooted Whyalla saviour Sanjeev Gupta says his transformation plans for the steelworks are running ahead of schedule and he expects the formerly troubled plant to begin breaking even by the middle of the year.
    Every new high-rise tower in New South Wales will be approved by a new watchdog and constructed by qualified practitioners in a bid to better protect home owners. Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean made the announcement on Sunday in response to a national report that found “significant and concerning” problems in the construction industry.
    What is corporatisation doing to rip off in dentistry?
    Stephen Koukoulas’s statement on refundable franking credits to the House of Representative Economics Committee.
    The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
    A state of emergency has been declared in a northern Russian archipelago, as a community suffers an unprecedented invasion of polar bears, with the military brought in to help.
    According to Dr Geoff Davies we are hitting a boiling point in climate devastation. Now is the time for comprehensive action.,12357
    Lobbyist David Alexander tells us about the crucial first question for the new chair of the ABC – “Is the ABC biased?”
    Women and children will gain from a $60 million federal investment in emergency housing to protect them from family violence as part of a new statement Scott Morrison on keeping Australians safe.
    Matt Wade reports that NSW Labor has unveiled a 10-year plan to provide 600,000 students with free TAFE courses in a bid to reduce skill shortages.
    Major city hospitals in SA are reeling from record demand as hot weather presentations outstrip even the worst figures registered in the depths of winter.
    Chip le Grand tells us that allegations by up to six women against former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle are being assessed by Victoria Police.

    Cartoon Corner

    What a cracker form David Rowe!

    Pat Campbell and the Four Pillars.

    From Matt Golding.

    Jim Pavlidis and franking credit policy.

    Lovely work from Mark David.

    Sean Leahy and flood insurance.

    Jon Kudelka prepares Morrison for the two weeks sitting.

    From the US.

  28. As federal Parliament prepares for another fractious debate around refugees on Monday, an investigation by The Australian Financial Review has found the Department of Home Affairs overlooked allegations of deception, lying during the tender process and questionable payments when it extended Paladin’s contract on January 3. These allegations emerged during a bitter legal dispute between Paladin and its former chief executive for PNG, Craig Coleman, who is suing the company for breach of contract.

    In addition, Paladin’s founder and key executive, Craig Thrupp, is no longer able to enter PNG, while another local director, Kisokau Powaseu, was detained in Port Moresby last month and charged with misappropriating funds and money laundering.

    Home Affairs, for all its bluster, seems to be a very shonky outfit. Can we really trust them?

  29. Steady as she goes, as far as i can see. The trend is still well against the LNP.
    The only shot they have in their locker is ‘National Security’; and i expect them to fire it again & again & again till the day of the election.
    It wont work.

  30. William Bowe updates Bludger-tracker. Bit like updating the min and max temperature for Darwin…

    Great work once again BK, Dawn patrol alone makes this site must read.

  31. booleanbach @ #148 Monday, February 11th, 2019 – 7:58 am

    Steady as she goes, as far as i can see. The trend is still well against the LNP.
    The only shot they have in their locker is ‘National Security’; and i expect them to fire it again & again & again till the day of the election.
    It wont work.

    Looks to me like the voters aren’t listening to anything the Government has to say.

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