Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

Improvement for Bill Shorten on preferred prime minister, but otherwise a steady result from Newspoll – which also offers seat polls supporting talk of tight races in Herbert, Corangamite, Bass and Lindsay.

Courtesy of The Australian, what I presume will be the second last Newspoll for the campaign records Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 51-49, with both major parties up a point on the primary vote, the Coalition to 39% and Labor to 37%. The Greens are steady on 9%, One Nation down one to 4%, and the United Australia Party steady on 4%.

Talk of a good week for Bill Shorten last week may not have made much different on voting intention, but his personal ratings are significantly improved, with a four point lift on approval to 39% and a four point drop on disapproval to 49%. He now trails Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister by 45-38, down from 46-35. Morrison’s own ratings are little changed, with approval steady on 44% and disapproval down one to 44%. The poll was slightly unusual in its field work period in being conducted from Thursday to Saturday, where usually it continues to Sunday, and its 1644 sample is consistent with Newspoll’s normal form, but not with its earlier campaign polls, which ran to around 2000.

Also from Newspoll today, the following seat polls:

Herbert (Labor 0.0%) The LNP leads 52-48, a swing in their favour of 2.0%. Primary votes are LNP 35% (up four on an earlier poll on April 20, and compared with 35.5% at the 2016 election), Labor 30% (up one, 30.5% in 2016), Greens 7% (up two, 6.3% in 2016), Katter’s Australian Party 13% (up three, 6.9% in 2016), One Nation 7% (down two, 13.5% in 2016), and the United Australia Party 14% (down seven, interestingly enough). Sample: 550.

Lindsay (Labor 1.1%) Liberals lead 52-48, a swing in their favour of 3.1%. Primary votes are Liberal 44% (up three on an earlier poll on April 20, and compared with 39.3% at the 2016 election), Labor 39% (up one, 41.1% in 2016), Greens 4% (steady, 3.6% in 2016), United Australia Party 6% (down one). Sample: 577.

Corangamite (notional Labor 0.0%): Labor leads 51-48, a swing in its favour of 1.0%. Primary votes are Liberal 42% (43.7% in 2016), Labor 37% (34.1%), Greens 10% (12.1%) and United Australia Party 4%. Sample: 573.

Bass (Labor 5.4%): Labor leads 52-48, a swing to the Liberals of 3.4%. Primary votes are Liberal 40% (39.2% in 2016), Labor 39% (39.7%), Greens 10% (11.1%), United Australia Party 4% and Nationals 2%. Sample: 503.

There should also be a YouGov Galaxy seat poll from Boothby coming through around noon, courtesy of The Advertiser, so stay tuned for that. And as usual there is below this one Seat du jour, today dealing with the Brisbane seat of Petrie.

I also had two paywalled pieces for Crikey last week. From Friday:

As psephological blogger Mark the Ballot points out, the chances of at least a mild outlier failing to emerge reduces to just about zero once you reach the sixth or seventh poll — never mind the ten we actually have seen during the campaign so far, plus a couple of others that preceded it if you want to stretch the point even further. One possibility is that we are witnessing the natural tendency in us all to seek safety in numbers, which in the polling game is known as herding.

From Wednesday:

In the United States, debates about early voting occur against a broader backdrop of partisan warfare over voter suppression. Democrats favour longer periods to facilitate ease of voting and Republicans oppose them, reflecting the fact that conservative voters are on balance wealthier and have greater flexibility with their time. In Australia though, Crikey’s own Bernard Keane was almost a lone wolf last week in arguing against the notion that democracy loses something if voters are not appraised of the full gamut of parties’ campaign pitches before making their choice.

UPDATE: The Advertiser has just unloaded its promised YouGov Galaxy poll from Boothby, which shows Liberal incumbent Nicolle Flint with a lead of 53-47, essentially unchanged on her current margin of 2.7%. With the disappearance of the Nick Xenophon Team, both major parties are well up on the primary vote – Liberal from 41.7% (on YouGov Galaxy’s post-redistribution reckoning) to 47%, Labor from 26.9% to 37% – with the Greens on 9% (8.2% at the previous election) and the United Australia Party on 3%. The poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 520.

The poll also finds Scott Morrison leading Bill Shorten 49-36 as preferred prime minister; 29% saying replacing Malcolm Turnbull with Scott Morrison had made them more likely to vote Liberal, 34% less likely and 33% no difference; and 37% saying they were less likely to vote Labor because of franking credits and capital gains tax, compared with 24% for more likely and 32% for no difference.

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.

1,411 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Labor has adopted a conservative light position (Budget surpluses for ever) and being for Adani (subject to approvals) and so on and so forth.

    Stands to reason Blobitt – if your offering 2 conservative products – people will choose the conservative over the conservative light.

  2. “Some garbage on Twitter that Shorten was bi at University, and that’s the story.”

    Even if true would they want to go to into “Lets discriminate and denigrate on sexuality” mode??

    Would shore up the Christian nutters vote, but they have that and dont need the blowback.

    Nah….will be something else……IF anything at all.

  3. More from KB..

    Post-#Newspoll aggregate of all federal polling: 51.7 to ALP (last-election preferences), 51.2 to ALP (One Nation adjusted). Very slight narrowing in last 2 weeks so far.

  4. Sceptic
    Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 10:21 pm
    In those days they were to drunk to remember
    Well back in my day, with enough X, you’d have a go at the postman if he turned up early.

  5. Frankly I am quite surprised. Everything this week suggested that it was all going Labors way. May be not … or something is going on out there somewhere in the nation.

  6. Rockets…I think it’s a bit of a mug’s game to try to read voters as they enter polling places. I’ve never got it right….always undershoot our vote.

    Voters put on their poker faces. They want to be illegible.

    The Libs will always try to spin things…

  7. If ON is down a point, on average that should lift Labor 2PP by about 0.2. Of course we don’t get to see the fractions/raw data which are rounded.

  8. “Stands to reason Blobitt – if your offering 2 conservative products – people will choose the conservative over the conservative light.”

    Imagine replacing “conservative” with “Labor” and you have the RWNJ argument as to why a failure to go further to the right is the reason for the coalitions failing. They are your shadow. You are them and they are you – narrow minded fools who lack the evolution to acknowledge that not everyone shares their hard core world view

    I generally thought you were a tory when you entered the fray this evening. Actually, I guess I was right

  9. If it’s true about Shorten. Two things. Good on him and he voted Yes on Marriage Equality so it puts him in Senator Wong’s company.

    Win win.

  10. My golden rule – follow the resources. Where are campaigns spending money and time?

    Polling is one part of the puzzle, but not the whole kit and kaboodle.

  11. Betting markets not shifting one iota. Eg Sportsbet ALP 1.13, LNP 6.00

    Those rooting for the Coalition ain’t putting their money where their spin is

  12. I think it’s time people now accept just how much of an electoral drag Bill Shorten has always been to the Labor vote.

  13. BTW, is anybody else out there getting repeatedly robopolled? I was polled 3 or 4 times last week and was called twice today – though i was in the car and didn’t answer. All by the same organisation – i know the number by now. Are they looking to see if i have changed my mind? Though i did change my age by accident once.

  14. briegly@10:14pm
    You are oscillating between hope and despair so wildly that it is very difficult to make out what you are trying to say. Go to bed early. Sleep soundly and I hope you wake with a fresh mind.

  15. My calculation @10:15 is incorrect. Assuming 40% of One Nation & UAP preferences to to Labor, it should be ALP 2PP 50.9. Add another 0.3 if 83% of Green preferences go to the ALP rather than 80%.

    Still way too close for comfort given the coming smear and disinformation campaign over the next 5 days.

  16. Former Socceroo Mark Bosnich had a great line for stats….”stats and polls, they’re like a bikini….they show a lot….but not everything”……….

  17. On the polling.

    A bit of reflection. It’s steady as she goes with a little narrowing.

    Maybe Rex is not being fanciful with his hung parliament.
    If so it shows what media reporting gets you.

    However going on the primaries the LNP are stuffed. Might just be a bigger cross bench due to Nationals Abbott etc.

  18. Hearing some of the Scotty dirt file might get opened if NewsCorpse goes too hard on the personal Bill Shorten Smear. Would be very disappointing end to the campaign, as related parties will cop collateral damage

  19. The drag on their vote is likely a mix of Shorten and policy positions, which any other leader would’ve had. I’d say Labor’s tax policies are actually probably more of a drag, which the whole shadow cabinet had a hand in.

  20. I think the theme this week should be that the Liberals cannot win a majority no matter what. So that wavering voters think twice before voting for (more) instability. estimates from the seat betting markets using a Monte Carlo Simulation (n = 100k) that Labor has a 99.5% chance of majority government, the Coalition 0.0% so presumably a 0.5% chance of hung parliament.

  21. Rex “Desperate times” Douglas. Rest assured that your ethereal analysis will disappear somewhere in the outer universe. Try being a bit consistent and you might get someone to listen to you – but I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

  22. What about the 2.4% margin of error either way, the 17% undecided and the vaiable donkey vote?

    All these factors could make a huge difference one way or the other.

  23. It’s really not a surprise the polls haven’t moved. Both sides are doing their best to woo their persuadable targets by the usual means. The targets are trying to avoid being hit. There’s no really discernible signs of any swings developing.

    National polls cannot measure every nuance. They’re not granular.

    I think they tell us about the overall weight of intention but they cannot foretell the final results.

  24. NE Qld
    Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 10:33 pm
    Doesn’t Sky After Dark have a late night What the Papers Say show each night? If anyone is watching?
    Yes they do, with that odd little rotund Queensland fellow.

  25. Then there is Alex Turnbull:

    Alex Turnbull defends deleted tweet about the Murdoch family

    Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex has made inflammatory remarks about an unnamed member of the Murdoch family in a personal attack on Twitter, later defending the comments as “hypothetical”.

    Mr Turnbull, a Singapore investor who launched an online campaign against the Liberal Party and the Murdoch-owned News Corp after his father was dumped last year, has now deleted the tweet and offered a conditional apology.

    The Herald has chosen not to republish the tweet’s contents.

    Mr Turnbull’s message came in reply to another suggesting The Daily Telegraph was set to publish a dirt file on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten this week.

    The tweet did not name an individual member of the Murdoch family but implied hypocrisy regarding one’s personal life.

  26. Visited Hervey Bay recently. The number of failed/failing businesses is ridiculous. Shopfronts are sitting empty with ‘For Lease’ signs in the window all along the main esplanade. Venues that went under months (or in some cases, years) ago continue to sit empty, idle and deteriorating. The local CommBank branch has been permanently shut and looks hastily/carelessly abandoned.

    The real-estate market has been decimated, too. There are houses being listed around the $200k mark. Modern, 4-bed houses can be found under $400k. For less than half of what I paid for my land on the Sunshine Coast seven years ago I could buy an equivalent plot five times over. I don’t remember this being the case that last time I casually checked the housing prices here.

    Morrison must look like an absolute joke to everyone here every time he talks about how strong the economy is. Scare campaigns on how negative-gearing reforms will wreck the property market can’t possibly work when anyone who bought/built in the past 5 years is already underwater.

    Signage-wise, I counted one dilapidated shack with a Labor sign, one dilapidated shack plastered with four “Fraser Anning Conservatives” signs (go figure), and two large, well-maintained premises of antiquated construction style sporting Liberal signs.

    By far, the most popular candidate is “For Sale”. I expect them to win in a canter.

  27. “people will choose the conservative over the conservative light”

    So, all those people are just itching to guillotine the rich, but have gone bugger it, I’ll vote for the LNP?

  28. “NE Qld says:
    Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 10:33 pm
    Doesn’t Sky After Dark have a late night What the Papers Say show each night? If anyone is watching?”

    Normally starts at 11pm.

  29. As others have commented, with a margin of error of about 2% (assuming a poll size of 2000), a 2PP of 51-49 several times in a row is a bit suss.

  30. I have no idea what Newscorp has ready to go on Shorten.

    I do think whatever they throw up can be a advantage to Shorten if he and labor go as hard as they have this week.

    Gloves off and I am sure Chloe will be very happy to fight back as this crap will hurt their children badly.

    This coming week has been well gamed by labor. They knew it was coming.

    Give it your best shot Newscorp.

    The reaction of the rest of the MSM will be interesting.

    At what stage is a line crossed especially when family gets dragged in as collateral damage based on rumour.

  31. Another unsurprising 51-49 Newspoll close to an election which reads as Newscorp proganda machines rounding off in favour of the Coalition again {ie 52-48 in reality) which is inconsistent with the reporting of a 3 point approval lift for Shorten which I read as a swag of undecided women voters swinging in behind Shorten after that Daily Toilet Paper own goal fiasco.

    Whatever doubts I had about a Labor win evaporated at that moment. GAME OVER no matter how much the Newcorp people round poll numbers out in favour of the Coalition and late night Sky News hosts insist that third term of awful government is just around the corner.

  32. Does anybody know if newspoll ask if people have already voted? And if so, who did they gote for? Otherwise with 2.2 million people having voted the whole polling thing could be a waste of time. Could also be an opportunity for some people to make merry and say any old thing.

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