Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition

A slight lead for the Coalition in the first results to emerge from a new-look Newspoll, which has dropped automated phone calls in favour of an exclusively online polling method.

Big news on the polling front as Newspoll unveils its first set of results based on what The Australian describes as “an improved methodology following an investigation into the failure of the major published polls”. The old series had been limping on post-election with results appearing every three weeks, but this latest result emerges only a fortnight after the last, presumably portending a return to the traditional fortnightly schedule.

The poll credits the Coalition with a two-party lead of 51-49, compared with 50-50 in the result a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Coalition 41% (up one), Labor 33% (down two), Greens 12% (steady) and One Nation 5% (down two). Interestingly, both leaders’ personal ratings are a lot worse than they were in the old series: Scott Morrison’s approval rating is at 43% (down three) with disapproval at 52% (up nine), while Anthony Albanese is at 38% approval (down four, though he was up five last time) and 42% disapproval (up five, though he was down seven last time). No news yet on preferred prime minister, which is presumably still a thing (UPDATE: Morrison’s lead narrows from 46-32 to 46-35).

On the methodological front, the poll has dropped robopolling and is now conducted entirely online. The sample size of 1519 is similar to before (slightly lower in fact), but the field work dates are now Thursday to Saturday rather than Thursday to Sunday. In a column for the newspaper, Campbell White of YouGov Asia-Pacific, which conducts the poll, offers the following on why robopolling has been abandoned:

A decade or so ago, most ­people had landlines and they tended to answer them. There was very little call screening. This meant getting a representative sample was easier and pollsters did not need to be so skilled in modelling and scaling their data. The truth is, the old days are never coming back. In order to do better, we need to consider what we can do differently. We’ve seen a consistent pattern overseas where telephone polling has become less accurate and online polling more so as fewer people answer phone calls and more and more people are online.

White further notes that “annoying and invasive” robopolling is “answered largely by older people or those who are very interested in politics”, while “busy people who are less interested in politics either don’t answer or hang up”. He also reveals that the new series will “weight the data by age interlocked with education and have precise quotas for different types of electorate throughout Australia”, consistent with YouGov’s methodology internationally.

Hopefully the restated commitment to “greater transparency” means we will shortly see comprehensive details of demographic breakdowns and weightings, a commonplace feature of British and American polling that Australian poll watchers could only envy. Stay tuned.

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.

968 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. Willam how do you get a true random sample from online polling please?

    You don’t. You draw a demographic picture of the electorate, and get respondents from your online panel to colour it in for you. For that matter, you don’t get a “true random sample” from any other kind of polling either.

  2. William

    I do. I look forward to those better breakdowns of voters.

    It will be interesting to see direct comparisons of models with our compulsory voting compared to voluntary voting.

  3. When you compare the current poll situation 6 months after the 2019 election, 6mths after the 2013 election Abbott was already nearly totally toast with the disastrous budget of 2014 just about to emerge, and 6mths after the 2016 election Turnbull was well behind and never led a Newpoll for the entire term. Morrison after 6mths from the 2019 election, is yet to lose a Newspoll and has led 6 out of 7 Newspolls. Its a fair effort so far, but it is still two and half years till an election is due so everything could still fall apart.

  4. William – yes. Some excellent work. I have just read the SA autopsy report. With such large swings to Labor in Boothby (as shown on the map) I am staggered that Flint held on.

    However I do get glassy eyed at some of the repetitive and personal stuff that accounts for the majority of comment postings (thankfully not on this thread yet) which has little or no bearing to the thread title – or psephology.

  5. An interesting and little noticed thing about Queensland is the extent to which it is mendicant on the production / output of the other States, including SA.

    The mechanism is that people work and produce output in the other states, thereby accumulating retirement funds. Then they retire and move to Queensland, where they spend funds accumulated during their productive lives in other States. Take a look at the inter State private financial transfers.

    This could be argued to be a private matter in which the government should not interfere, except that the dominant mechanism – superannuation – is hugely subsidised by the Commonwealth. The net effect is a huge transfer of Commonwealth money (disproportionately associated with earnings outside Queensland) is transferred to Queensland in the guise of private transfers.

    And yet people bang on about other states (productive states) being mendicants. How good is that!

  6. So, Newspoll is still stuck at 51% 2PP for the Coalition in spite of two different adjustments in the calculation of the 2PP from primary votes, favouring the Coalition….

    Where is the post-election bounce?…. the honeymoon for ScuMo PM and his gang?

    In fact, for as long as Newspoll keeps delivering just a 51% for the Coalition, it is Labor that should feel highly encouraged!

  7. “Tactical voting in the UK may mean national polls can be misleading.”…

    Indeed!… The UK conservatives are dismissing progressives’ tactical voting in their comments on national opinion polls…. which is of course understandable as a propaganda ploy. Moreover, conservatives try not to think about progressives’ tactical voting whilst they pressed Farage to piss off with his Brexit party from conservative electorates…. and Farage obliged (after some scary threat, or after a bribery offer??)….
    Let’s see how tactical voting is going to unfold for Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru….

  8. It’s funny that all you hear is doom and gloom; Labor must change, go right, go left, ban coal, support coal etc and yet the difference between the parties is actually one person in a hundred.

    That says to me that in a voting system that entrenches a two party system, you have always got a chance if times are bad or if you are good i.e. a popular leader and no policies that take stuff away from people.

  9. “Morrison after 6mths from the 2019 election, is yet to lose a Newspoll and has led 6 out of 7 Newspolls”…. Morrison is simply enjoying two adjustments in the calculation of the 2PP from primary votes that favour the Coalition, that’s all. In fact, that he is leading by just 1% in spite of the corrections should actually scare him to death…. Very bad performance from ScuMo.

  10. We’ll see how much of it is the new series, but Scummo may have eaten some blowback from his tonedeaf response to the bushfires while Albanese is just reversion from last fortnight’s move which seemed to be a rogue sample (given it wasn’t obvious why that moved)

  11. The poll is consistent with everything else…voters are not necessarily happy with the status quo but they have no enthusiasm for change. This is bullish for the LNP.

    Voters do not relish politics. They endure it.

  12. This is only the second time in Newspoll history both leaders have dropped 12 points or more in a single poll (the first was Feb 2003 when Howard dropped 14 and Crean 12) so I’m inclined to suspect the methods change as having something to do with it. One thing it has definitely affected is the don’t know rate for the PM, which is suddenly among the lowest ever recorded.

  13. On the face of it, the UK Tories are going to score a massive win. Labour will be reduced to a rump. The anti-Labour Parties – the Tories, Lib-Dems, Brexit, the SNP and the Greens – will attract almost 3/4 votes.

    What will the Corbynistas do then? Will it make any difference?

  14. PB has, in my time here at least, as much a political blog as a psephology forum. However I do try to understand psephology and polling methodology, hence my question to William.

    I guess I am trying to understand how terms like confidence intervals and margins of error apply to online polling particularly if you are dealing with largely closed panels of respondents.

  15. Kevin….we should probably think the Newspoll of old no longer exists. The old series is not continuous with the new one.

    I reckon the dissatisfaction numbers make a lot of sense. Punters detest politics and politicians…

  16. RI I still have reservations because it has been a long time since we have seen any polling out of that 51/49 to 49/51 range. It shouldn’t be that narrow a range.

  17. “RIsays:
    Monday, November 25, 2019 at 1:05 am
    Davidwh….good point….you’d think there should be more volatility…maybe they use smoothing methods…”

    If so then they must be using past data to do so. Therefore it is not likely to be a true current reading, but rather”a bit of today and a bit of yesterday”. As a measure of reality it is smooth but inaccurate.

    Why can’t they publish the raw data and explain how they have treated it to arrive at the final outcome.

    In a word “transparency”!

  18. William Bowe says:
    Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Does anyone actually read this blog?


    But you have an uphill battle with the topic. If the pollsters release their data it will be interesting, if they just give us a number, it really is just a number.

    The breakdowns have been interesting but you have to know and be interested in the electorate to comment.

  19. Last night, zoomster gave a link to the Monthly article entitled “How Good is Queensland?”

    I have just heard the author interviewed by Geraldine Doogue on RN, and although I had read the article, I found the short interview more enlightening (perhaps because he starts his article with a long section on “what Kevin thinks”).

    He thinks that Queenslanders don’t trust professional politicians, and therefore Morrison, by pretending to be just an ordinary knockabout beer drinker with no policies, won against the ‘professionals’. By having no policies, Morrison in some way comforted those who connected Labor with Greens and were suspicious of Labor’s wide-ranging list. Turning to One Nation as ‘neutral’, they brought LNP in through preferences.

    The final nails in the coffin were the Adani convoy, which brought together the dislike of being bossed about by those down south (which actually includes Brisbane) and a desire to punish the Greens, whom they blame for environmental laws interfering with their right to clear their land; and the influence of Clive Palmer’s smearing of Bill Shorten, the ‘professional’.

  20. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Unless America gets a leader at their helm who can steer the ship of state in the right direction and away from Coal, then they are doomed to become a 2nd World nation.

    That also got a mention. Could have been talking about Australia. States and the utilities are moving towards renewables. Federal government with decreasing success are trying to stop the transition.

  21. @BarrysChins
    Me at Vego Cafe for brunch

    W: Would you like to try our facon & eggs?

    M: What is “facon?”

    W: Soy bacon substitute. “Fake bacon” becomes “facon.” Replacing the “b” with an “f” differentiates, yet gives comfort of the familiar. Would you like to try some?

    M: Buck off.

  22. frednk

    No matter how many times you say it facts are against you.

    If nothing else the Greens also supporting unions and human rights puts them on the same side as Labor.

    Its time you woke up and smelt the coffee.

  23. Adrian

    Yeah some are just so obsessed they can’t help themselves

    Labor nailed its colours to the mast with its legislation on land clearing. Another area Labor and the Greens have in common.

  24. yabba says:
    Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 10:39 pm
    It would be really good if many of you could stop crapping on concerning subjects of which you are obviously completely ignorant.

    To be fair most have worked out their is a difference between thermal and metallurgical coal.

  25. @AsiaElects tweets

    Hong Kong: With less than 200 seats counted, the pro-democracy camp has already surpassed the number of seats it held after the 2015 election. #HongKongElections


    Warning! Warning! Contains photo of top of head of politician —

    Extensive report including

    A majority of voters expressed dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, reflecting negative performance ratings in the poll, conducted ­between Thursday and Saturday.

    The two-party-preferred and primary vote results closely ­reflected the federal election outcome, with the Coalition on a ­reduced primary vote of 41 per cent, and Labor on 33 per cent.

    Good morning all. ☮ Peace and ☕ Coffee.

    I wonder about the Others and Uncommited . How would they be allocated in 2PP if at all ❓

  27. William Bowe says:
    Sunday, November 24, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Does anyone actually read this blog?

    Eli eli lamma sabachthani

    Psalms 22

  28. Apropos of nothing much, this table shows the 20 wealthiest individuals in the US, and how much they give to charity. It also points the domination of BigTech in wealth creation for some..

  29. Boerwar

    Memory is an amazing thing. How could this have been stored in my brain for over 60 years?
    “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me”

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