Newspoll: 51.5-48.5 to Labor

Newspoll ends the campaign with a big sample poll that offers no surprises, with Labor maintaining its modest but decisive edge.

The Australian brings us the final Newspoll of the campaign, and it lands bang on the uniform pollster consensus in recording Labor with a lead of 51.5-48.5. Last week’s Newspoll had it at 51-49, but that result involved rounding to whole numbers. On the primary vote, Labor is steady on 37% and, contrary to Ipsos and Essential Research, the Coalition is down a point to 38%; the Green are steady on 9%; the United Australia Party is steady on 4%; and One Nation is down one to 3%.

The poll has a bumper sample of 3008 – it’s not clear when the field work period began, but “2108 interviews were conducted in the 24 hours up until midday yesterday”. Scott Morrison is up one on approval to 46% and down one on disapproval to 45%; Bill Shorten is up two on approval to 41% and steady on disapproval at 49%; Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened slightly, from 45-38 to 47-38.

That should be the final poll for the campaign, and hence the final addition to BludgerTrack, which has been just about carved in stone for the past week. However, the addition of the Newspoll result does cause Labor to make one gain on the seat projection, that being in Victoria, although it has only made a 0.1% difference on the national two-party preferred.

UPDATE: The Fairfax papers have state breakdowns compiled from the last two Ipsos polls, though only two-party preferred numbers are provided so I can’t make use of them in BludgerTrack. I’m not too troubled by this though, as they rather improbably have Labor more strongly placed in New South Wales, where they lead 53-47, than in Victoria, where their lead is 52-48. Elsewhere, it’s 50-50 in Queensland and with the Coalition leading 51-49 in both Western Australia (more-or-less plausibly) and South Australia (less so).

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.

1,284 comments on “Newspoll: 51.5-48.5 to Labor”

  1. Pearce is the one close seat in WA where the donkey vote has flipped to Labor – ie Lib in 2016, Labor in 2019. Effect is to reduce the observable swing needed to unseat Porter by about 1%.

    If we can unseat Porter that will come a close second to replacing the Govt. More than 10 years ago he was the treasurer in a WA govt that shafted Ellenbrook and reneged on the LNP promise to bring the train out to Ellenbrook, one of the population centres in Pearce. I’ve not met with him but people who do describe him as very very incurious. He has known ‘everything’ he needs to know since he was a child, arrogant pretentious mostly wrong prat.

  2. SM
    I keep reading we are better off with Rupert than Lachlan who is even more of a RW ideologue. Rupert will follow the money.

  3. Diogenes – been enjoying your input over recent weeks a lot. I’m thinking of asking for a Diopoll!

    Pity about Sturt not looking overly promising – but good luck there as well.

  4. briefly

    If Palmer gets into the Senate, Labor should ask whether he will be the ‘third wheel’ in the Liberal-National Coalition given their tremendously succesful preference deal.

  5. Spence
    I’m Boothby which has had $400M thrown at it by both sides. I’d love Flint to lose but I’m not hopeful. I’ve heard the Lib Sturt candidate is a nice guy so that’s some compensation.

  6. Even if Palmer and ON don’t get into Senate this time, they will still be grit in the gears for LNP – always a question as to whether they are cuddling up and doing deals.

  7. Rocket Rocket @ #105 Friday, May 17th, 2019 – 11:35 pm

    briefly

    If Palmer gets into the Senate, Labor should ask whether he will be the ‘third wheel’ in the Liberal-National Coalition given their tremendously succesful preference deal.

    If Palmer gets into the senate he should be asked ever sitting day if he has paid his workers entitlements and if not why not.

    And screw everyone who gave palmer a single vote

  8. Rockets….the advantage of the Lib-Palmer Deal to the Libs was that it meant they would not have to deal with ON. They can only have one dance partner at a time. Basically, the Libs despise Palmer and like Hanson. But they cannot afford to say so.

    The Libs think just like Hanson. But they are hiding their feelings… their oneness with each other.

  9. briefly @ #68 Friday, May 17th, 2019 – 9:10 pm

    I spent most of today handing out Labor cards at a booth in Cowan. Anne Aly was present for a while and was very warmly greeted by voters. The total voters attending was 7-8 times more than on any day in the first two weeks. Similar high attendance was reported from the other northern prepoll centres in Cowan, Moore and Pearce. The weight of support today was clearly for Labor. Clearly.

    On the indications today – in a booth that would not usually be strongly for Labor – are that Anne Aly will be very easily returned in Cowan; that Labor’s Kim Travers will win Pearce; that voters want change.

    Labor win.

    How much of that do you attribute to voters in WA being comfortable with Labor based on the solid work Mark McGowan and crew have done in repairing the WA budget? Is it a factor at all?

  10. I keep reading we are better off with Rupert than Lachlan who is even more of a RW ideologue. Rupert will follow the money.

    But maintaining real influence means keeping up at least the appearance of the ability to swing minds and frankly the whole global fox / sky / news sewer has no credibility with anyone any more, so Lachlan may well be a more evil, greedy, disgusting human being than his father (and wow that is a huge bar to get over) but it seems very unlikely either of them will have much influence outside of the brain dead disciples that have had their minds, souls and consciences destroyed by the fox / sky / news sewer already.

  11. ‘a successful Labor Govt that could manage an economy at least as well as Liberals..’
    …’at least as well as Liberals’?

    Very funny…

  12. Diogenes. My mistake. You are in the thick of things in Boothby.

    The money promised in marginal seats is one of the big reasons why most people are more cynical about politics. How can you be supporting “the people” when about 80% of the election pork lands in about 20% of the seats? I know that is superficial because 90% plus govt spending is probably not electorate discriminatory. But is often discriminatory in other ways eg LNP future tax cuts.

  13. Here’s an article by Mark the Ballot about what we’ve seen with the polls.

    Note it was written 9 days ago, so we’ve had more polls that fit into what he’s discussing, and his coin example was 13 heads, not 14 as I said earlier.

    Why I am troubled by the polls

    A couple of days ago I made the following statement:
    I must admit that the under-dispersion of the recent polls troubles me a little. If the polls were normally distributed, I would expect to see poll results outside of this one-point spread for each side. Because there is under-dispersion, I have wondered about the likelihood of a polling failure (in either direction). Has the under-dispersion come about randomly (unlikely but not impossible). Or is it an artefact of some process, such as online polling? Herding? Pollster self-censorship? Or some other process I have not identified?

    https://marktheballot.blogspot.com/2019/05/why-i-am-troubled-by-polls.html?m=1

  14. Household incomes

    Noting the outgoing government made no submission to FWC Wages cases deferring instead to the business lobby groups and (basically) one man’s pay increase is another man’s job so no increase Shorten has already attended correspondence stating that the incoming government will be making submission in support of an increase

    The Union movement will be prosecuting a 6% increase but I would anticipate that the incoming government will support at somewhere north of inflation – so say 3% as a first step

    Company Balance Sheets have fat on them courtesy of low interest rates on borrowings and stagnant wages growth – and the prospect now of an economic recovery impacting retail sales so revenue including into logistics – and profit

    The very fact of fat on the Balance Sheets is confirmed by the extraordinary dividends we currently see

    The RBA will note the focus on wages growth – because inflation and interest rate increases are required to address the exclusive bias to borrowers over the past 11 years (11 years!!!)

    For every action there is a reaction

  15. How much of that do you attribute to voters in WA being comfortable with Labor based on the solid work Mark McGowan and crew have done in repairing the WA budget? Is it a factor at all?

    Very very little, the WA Labor govt has ignored climate change, run very slow on all their promises, to the point where even Labor faithful begin to doubt whether or not they’ll deliver. They have repaired the budget in what is essentially a WA recession, that is they are taking money out of an economy that needs money injected.

    They are a very conservative, very right wing, very managerial government. I recently was talking to a person from Singapore, from a very conservative background and a very conservative profession. I said something a little guarded like Ben (the Treasurer) is quite conservative for a Labor Treasurer. And the other person was like ‘no he is very very very conservative’.

    And I’m on their side. You can imagine what those inclined against Labor are saying. It would have worked as a late 1990’s govt when trickle down still was winning the debates and we didn’t realise how much it would shaft most of society.

  16. RIP Grumpy Cat and IM Pei while we’re at it.

    @solisoc: The comparison is to last election numbers. Since last election, the Liberals have lost the advantage of incumbency in the seat. If Husar had remained in place, then there would be an “ALP sophomore surge” in the seat which you will see is worth even more than mere incumbency loss for the other side in the model, but she didn’t so there isn’t.

    Put me down for 53.1 and Labor 82 seats with Greens a further 3 seats… feeling bullish about the polls underestimating Labor in Victoria again, so why not also predict the Greens to capture Higgins and Kooyong into the bargain (and ALP or the Greens to give Sukkar and even Wilson a big fright in their seats). If I’d seen anything positive out of NSW besides Gilmore I’d go even further than that.

  17. mundo – I agree a lot with your thinking about Labor responses on economic issues.

    I was trying to present the thinking of people who would consider changing their vote based on evidence that Labor Govts are at least as good. My personal view is that Liberal economic management is mostly an oxymoron.

  18. 2016/11/07 – Clinton 47, Trump 43.
    2016/06/22 – Brexit: 51% remain, 49% leave.
    2019/05/17 – Labor with a lead of 51.5-48.5.

    ‘highly implausible under-dispersion in the Australian opinion polls’ (https://marktheballot.blogspot.com/2019/05/a-herd-of-new-polls.html)

    ‘The probability of 13 polls in a row at 48 or 49 per cent is 0.000059. This is actually slightly less likely than throwing 14 heads in a row.’
    and
    ‘A systemic problem with the polls, depending on what it is, may point to a heightened possibility of an unexpected election result (in either direction).’ (https://marktheballot.blogspot.com/2019/05/why-i-am-troubled-by-polls.html )

    “for forecasting purposes the pollsters’ published margins of error should at least be doubled” (https://marktheballot.blogspot.com/2015/01/polling-accuracy.html )

    Who knows? Everything is up in the air at present.

  19. Spence @ #120 Friday, May 17th, 2019 – 11:51 pm

    mundo – I agree a lot with your thinking about Labor responses on economic issues.

    I was trying to present the thinking of people who would consider changing their vote based on evidence that Labor Govts are at least as good. My personal view is that Liberal economic management is mostly an oxymoron.

    Mundo is just a waste of space. A hand wringer. A pants wetter. You would not want to be depending on him if in a tight pot.

  20. Who knows? Everything is up in the air at present.

    It is possible it is up in the air, but it is much more likely it is not.

  21. “nath says:
    Friday, May 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm
    ALP 72 COAL 71 GRN 5 OTH 3”

    Really deflated trolling now Nath. The trolling of a gutted man 🙂

  22. Sleep beckons, so good night all. Big day tomorrow. I will pull together the various guesses into something that fits into a post, hopefully in time before polls close. (To allow for late guesses.)

    Until tomorrow, pleasant dreams and restful sleeps.

  23. Judging by the number of times some individuals get polled there is clearly a bias towards people who will answer phone polls. William produced some figures a while ago about the % of phone calls from pollsters that get a survey result. The figure was quite low.

    The smoothing of poll results has clearly been happening. The methodology for this could be good or it could be dodgy. We will soon know.

    By comparison the BOM weather forecasting has improved enormously over recent years with much better information and analytics. Whether polling is in the same boat?

  24. With Brexit the remain might have been in front but the trend was towards leave and with Trump v Clinton the polls were correct from memory in 46 or 47 out of 50 states so that could be seen as fairly accurate.

    What the polling during the campaign has shown is a stable LNP vote of around 38% with the ALP vote bouncing around against the others, this tells me the electorate has been swinging between the ALP and the others while cold shouldering the LNP.

  25. Mundo

    I’m sure every PBer is sooooo relieved that you are now feeling a little bit more confident. It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for. Some of us stayed up late just waiting to hear your good news.

    It’s just not fair that Shorten’s team’s poor performance has caused you so much distress. It’s just not fair. Soooo unfair. They don’t deserve to win if that’s the way they treat loyal supporters like you. Perhaps they won’t. That’d serve them right.

  26. Dan…the State Government is almost never raised, but it must help that McGowan is keeping his promises…

    …biggest issue is financial stress…the Libs will pay the political price for depressing incomes- both direct $ incomes and social incomes

  27. Spence
    On my usual 25 minute drive to work, I will go through three intersections both sides have said they will upgrade; two on Cross Rd and another on Goodwood Rd. And then there’s the Tonsley interchange which is overdue and over budget (I think the cost is now $400M) and literally falling down before it’s even been in operation.
    I think the cynicism of the public is well deserved.

  28. Psyclaw says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Mundo

    I’m sure every PBer is sooooo relieved that you are now feeling a little bit more confident. It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for. Some of us stayed up late just waiting to hear your good news.

    It’s just not fair that Shorten’s team’s poor performance has caused you so much distress. It’s just not fair. Soooo unfair. They don’t deserve to win if that’s the way they treat loyal supporters like you. Perhaps they won’t. That’d serve them right.

    The stupid thing is, the only thing that’s changed is the time until the election. 🙂

  29. commentator. Maybe but there are plenty of pessimists around in any group of society. It is also just as dangerous to be depending on the super optimists who will lead the charge into certain defeat and cause deflation of hard working supporters. Rarely see the super optimists getting a dressing down?

  30. Back from the Simpson Desert.

    Very sad state of affairs when the most common (only common) animal seen were feral camels. On a private lease camels were more commonly seen than cattle.

    They are monster rabbits!!!

    I am stcking with 91 seats (+ or – 3) for ALP!!

  31. Looks like IPSOS is releasing state polls from Ghost:

    NSW Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 49 (-1.5 since election) ALP 51 (+1.5)
    VIC Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 47 (-1.2 since election) ALP 53 (+1.2)
    QLD Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 50 (-4.1 since election) ALP 50 (+4.1)
    WA Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 53 (-1.7 since election) ALP 47 (+1.7)

  32. Swing is expected to be highly uneven, the highest swings I expect will be in metro Melbourne, especially the eastern affluent suburbs. Slightly lower swings in the other capital cities, perhaps smallest in Adelaide and Brisbane. There will be little swing in the regions (although there will still be a swing in the medium-sized cities) and perhaps even negative swings in the rural and remote seats.

    Realistically, result could be anything from a Coalition minority to Labor winning 90 seats.

  33. nath says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:09 am

    Just out of interest, how did the Libs depress wages?

    Opposing and restricting wage claims in the Public Service, by not advocating and making submissions for increases to the minimum wage and not advocating for the retention of weekend penalty rates …

  34. Upnorth

    You voted in Bangkok didn’t you? I met someone today who had been in Thailand last week and said they told bu the Consulate that they couldn’t vote in Bangkok – so they didn’t bother going up there from where they were.

  35. Tommy
    says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:16 am
    Really curious to know what four seats nath thinks the Greens will pick up. Kooyong? Macnamara? Any others? Grayndler? (lol)
    ___________________
    I am aiming for Higgins, McNamara, Wills and Cooper 🙂

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