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. Barney, you beat me to it. Particularly suppressing wage increases in the PS, which competes directly with private companies for skilled professionals.

  2. Barney in Saigon
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:16 am
    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 …
    No doubt that had an impact on the margins, but clearly wage rises have been low the past 5-6 years and across all sectors, far beyond the ability of the Federal government to orchestrate. I’ve been researching this a bit the last week and it seems that economists have all sorts of possible explanations, from robots to productivity. As usual I think the answer is more complex than just ‘the Tories did it’.

  3. Hurray, no good news for Libs in the poll as expected. Now we can all get some sleep.

    Late Riser

    Please put me down for Labor 79, LNP 63, Grn 3, Other 6 in the real thing tomorrow.

  4. Rocket Rocket says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:16 am

    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.
    Yes we have had voting in Bangkok for the last two weeks at the Embassy. Bad advice and service up here from the AEC. Not open tomorrow even though we were last time. I think a lot of people will turn up tomorrow to a closed booth. Anyway Mrs Upnorth and I added to the Labor tally.

  5. Andy Murray says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Barney, you beat me to it. Particularly suppressing wage increases in the PS, which competes directly with private companies for skilled professionals.

    It’s amazing the MSM haven’t made more about it when discussing low wage growth.

    I’m in a different hemisphere and it’s plain to see!

  6. The ghost is reporting a swing of 1.2% in victoria, 1.7% in wa, 4.1% in qld.

    That swing in Victoria theoretically gives Corangamite only. In WA , nothing but Hasluck on the edge. In Qld, Dickson, Forde, Petrie, Bonner Leichhardt and possibly Brisbane if I take my view that Central Qld will hold on Adani.

  7. Or are all the government, state and federal just matching the private sector wage growth? Hmmmm, tory conspiracy or something else?

  8. I don’t see it happening in all three of Macnamara, Wills and Cooper but then I’m on the far side of the country. I would not be surprised if they pick up one of them (most likely Macnamara given the lack of incumbency). I would be surprised at two or more. Kooyong or Higgins seem like better chances from over here.

  9. nath says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:26 am
    Are the Victorian and Queensland Labor government also suppressing their PS wages. Looks like it!
    Not if you read the Courier Mail. Constant complaints about the Public Service wage bill in QLD

  10. And look at Howard, he didn’t suppress wages at all. What a wasted opportunity. In fact he recorded quite large wage growth. Was he not in on the conspiracy?

  11. In Victoria, it is possible that the Libs could hold Corangamite and lose say La Trobe and Chisholm and possibly Flinders. Sarah Henderson is a formidable campaigner in Corangamite.

  12. Tommy
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:29 am
    I don’t see it happening in all three of Macnamara, Wills and Cooper but then I’m on the far side of the country. I would not be surprised if they pick up one of them (most likely Macnamara given the lack of incumbency). I would be surprised at two or more. Kooyong or Higgins seem like better chances from over here.
    My totals were more of a wishlist than a prediction. I have no idea what’s going to happen.

  13. Nath,

    Governments lead by example.

    If business sees the Government opposing increases to its own workers, why should they give their workers an increase.

    This is despite increased profits and productivity across business.

    Also short term workers being brought in seems to be putting downward pressure on wages.

  14. Upnorth
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:32 am
    @ Nath will you get drunk either way?
    Yes, and stoned. I’ve got around 20 people coming. Although I do hope to sneak away and come on PB now and again. I always celebrate elections. My favourite was 2007, although I wasn’t a huge Rudd fan, there was nothing better than that guillotine they used to chop the heads of Howard and co. What fun.

  15. Barney in Saigon
    Also short term workers being brought in seems to be putting downward pressure on wages.
    that may have a big impact, and from what one economist I read indicated; the slowdown in the resources boom being a factor.

  16. The issue with getting a swing in a seat like corangamite, is that its been marginal since 2007, and has had enormous porkbarelling (dual lane freeway across electorate), there is no low hanging fruit (everyone is already tuned in, harder to con them), and anything either side does now looks pretty insignificant.

  17. There were a couple of posts about the relationship between polls and the wagering.

    At about 8 pm Labor were favourites in 77 seats with the wagering firm I looked at , I checked again just after the news poll came out and they are now favourites in 82.

    Interestingly at the last three federal elections and the recent QLD state election I have found the number of favourites usually comes very very close to the number of seats won. within one or two. O

    Of course that is a very small sample of elections, and it might be way out this time around but 80+ is looking very possible..

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

    Or are all the government, state and federal just matching the private sector wage growth? Hmmmm, tory conspiracy or something else?

    This Government inherited good wage growth and nearly immediately started opposing Public Service wage claims.

    Cormann has stated publicly that they it was their policy to have low wage growth, so it seems clear that this was all before the trends in the economy became evident.

  19. Well I’ve got a football match to go to tomorrow afternoon. So I will catch up with you funsters tomorrow night some time. Take it easy you crazy bastards. 🙂

  20. There are a number of factors impacting wage growth, some of which relate to government through the public sector and indirectly through immigration and visa management but the largest factor is the amount of slack in the labour market, we are a long way off full employment and so there is little upward pressure on wages unless the FWC wants to become more interventionist, other factors include the reduction in Sunday penalty rates and one tax which seems to escapes attention, why do we tax payrolls, that is just dumb but that is a state issue not a federal.

  21. In Higgins, is Labor/Greens numbered 2 on each other’s how to vote card?
    If so, Libs have got Buckley’s, unless tree Tories put Libs second after Greens.
    I would be sooooo happy if the Greens got a second lower house seat, especially if it was Victoria’s wealthiest electorate.
    Three seats would be awesome 🙂

  22. Nath,

    The c’wealth can directly affect wages growth in national agencies like the APS, BOM and CSIRO. They also indirectly limit wage growth by suppressing rebates for Drs and reducing funding to universities. These are just a few examples of how the federal government on its own can suppress wages across the economy.

    Waiting for Nicholas to chime in with some MMT too…

  23. nath

    Big game tomorrow – looking forward to it. Whether the Saints win or lose I will enjoy coming home and watching the election coverage.

    In 2007 I think I mainly watched “The Empire Strikes Back” on TV with the kids rather than the election. Did follow it on PB though.

  24. Vic

    I think the Greens will finish ahead of Labor in Higgins, and may win.

    There are ‘only’ six candidates, and the Animal Justice prefs will go to Greens then Labor (so likely Greens). UAP and Sustainable voters more likely to preference Liberals.

    In 2016 – Lib 52, Grn 25, ALP 15 – TCP Lib 58 Grn 42

    If Libs fall below about 43 they are in trouble I think.

  25. Oh i see, its IPSOS state breakdowns;
    QLD; 50:50 (+1 compared to PB is +3 seats, Bonner, Dawson, Dickson)
    VIC; 47:53 (-2.2 compared to PB is -1 seat, Latrobe)
    NSW; 49:51 (+1 compared to PB is no change)
    WA; 53:47 (+0.8 compared to PB is -1 seat, Hasluck)
    Net change +1 to Labor (81)

  26. Absolutely, Roger, and that feeds into demand and demand for labour. Keynes explained this fairly comprehensively 80 years ago.

    Those state breakdowns look really solid.

    Off to bed for me, I’ve got a tonne of sausages to sizzle tomorrow 🙂

  27. I don’t think there is a relationship between wage growth and welfare, Newstart has been going backwards for over 25 years whereas wages have been rising during that time, its only really been since 2011 that wage growth has stalled as a number of factors have come together stating with the slow down in the resources sector then this government’s economic policies have done little to help.

  28. As a mark of respect for Tony Abbott and his true Australian values, will the onions be placed above or below the democracy sausage?

  29. Pre poll is finished and I heard lots of young people did not take Party HTVs, relying on mobile phones instead.

    While those web sites will have all parties listed for each electorate, I would be surprised if they would show the preferred preference flow for each party.

    Usual pattern for the minors may not apply. Bloody computers and modern technology.

  30. In antcipation Ive done some drawings….

    Nude, reclining, with expectations
    Nude, reclining, importuning
    Nude, without title
    Nude, dancing Bad Pudding

    They’re fun. I will make them into oils…after the election

  31. Fulvio Sammut says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 1:02 am

    You are so disrespectful, Roger, and you’ll add to the cost of the Democracy Sausage.

    I’m happy either way, do I get a discount? 🙂

  32. Young people aren’t using their phones in booths to look up how to votes, they’re googling who the hell all these micro parties & no name independents are and what they stand for! I’d expect fewer random preferences (from a left v right perspective) but not greater adherence to preference deals.

    The gravity of postal votes etc will ofc bring it down, but I look forward to hearing Antony Green say tomorrow night that Labor is on track for as many as 90 seats. I predict that’ll be promptly revised down to something beginning with an 8 once the prepolls land, but it’ll be nice to watch the right wing panellists squirm on the way there.

  33. “Just out of interest, how did the Libs depress wages?”

    Principally by criminalising strikes.

    Employers don’t give wage increases out of the goodness of their hearts, they do so out of fear of industrial action.

    Legislation introduced by various LNP governments has been designed so that any industrial action will result in fines or monetary damages such as to cripple the unions and their individual leaders.

    As a result unions have little to no bargaining powers and therefore fewer and weaker wage bargains are struck.

  34. Blobbit says:
    Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Notice one of the schools near us is offering sausages in bread for “the eastern staters”

    Is there any other way?

  35. I think that last Newspoll confirms it.

    Scomentum™ has stalled.

    If the Coalition do lose, there will be a few days of Liberals ‘back slapping’ about what a great job Morrison did all on his own (when his Cabinet Ministers emerge from the Bunker!)

    This may last long enough for him to retain his job. But slowly, slowly he will be blamed for everything bad in the campaign – the Clive Palmer alliance, the ‘solo’ effort, everything. And he will be dumped.

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