A track winding back

A look at leadership approval poll trends, and my new facility for tracking them.

BludgerTrack is back, sort of – you can find a permanent link on the sidebar along with a miniature version of its main attraction, namely polling trends for leader approval and preferred prime minister. These go back to the onset of Scott Morrison’s prime ministership in August last year, and thus encompass distinct Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese epochs.

As you can see, Morrison has mostly gravitated around neutral on his net rating (i.e. approval minus disapproval), barring a post-election surge that has now run its course. Shorten’s position appeared to improve during the election campaign, which was also picked up in Labor’s internal polling, though clearly not far enough. Albanese has mostly been around neutral, but as a newcomer he has a high uncommitted rating, which doesn’t come through when you reduce it to a net measure. This is how he manages to do worse than Shorten on preferred prime minister (although a narrowing trend kicked in here a few months ago) despite doing better on net approval.

I haven’t included the most recent Newspoll result at this stage, as this is clearly a distinct new series for which I will require a few more results before I can standardise it against the other polls. On the basis of this limited evidence, the new-look Newspoll’s leader rating scores can be expected to behave somewhat differently from the old. As Kevin Bonham notes, the new poll has markedly worse net ratings for both leaders, as uncommitted rates are lower and disapproval higher.

Needless to say, what’s missing in all this is voting intention, for which I am going to need a good deal more data before I reckon it worth my while. If you’re really keen though, Mark the Ballot has gone to the trouble of running a trendline through all six of the Newspoll results post-election. If nothing else, my BludgerTrack page features a “poll data” tab on which voting intention polls will be catalogued, which for the time being is wall-to-wall Newspoll. And while I have your attention, please note as per the post above that I’ve got the begging bowl out – donations gratefully received through the link at the top of the page.

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.

1,119 comments on “A track winding back”

  1. Fulvio Sammut @ #900 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 5:28 pm

    Porter’s comment is meant to improve the situation for Morrison?

    Morrison’s comment is meant to improve the situation for Morrison? The Commissioner’s comment is meant to improve the situation for Morrison? That he said he said he said he was going to do it is meant to improve the situation for Morrison?

    This is rotten. This is the new norm, a term stuck in my mind after reading this today, via John Menadue:

    Recently, President Trump was convicted and fined $2m for stealing $2.8m from a charity meant for war veterans. No one batted an eyelid. Boris Johnson continues to lie and the same thing happens. Now, in Spain, Vox, the Francoist Party won 50 seats in parliament on a platform of jailing its political opponents who support Catalan or Basque independence. Welcome to the new normal.

    https://johnmenadue.com/john-carlin-the-new-normal/

  2. Senator Murray Watt
    @MurrayWatt
    ·
    49m
    10 years after they last did it, here’s the Liberals, Nationals & Greens voting together TODAY against
    @SenatorWong motion calling on all parties to end opportunism & work together on enduring solution to climate change. The more things change…

  3. Nile gives Folau a run for his money in the crazy religious stakes:

    Long-serving NSW MP Fred Nile has sacked four board members from his Christian Democratic Party and suspended others as he struggles to keep his troubled party intact…

    “The Lord has shown me a divided house cannot stand,” Mr Nile wrote to members last week.

    “I am accountable to God Almighty. This spirit of division being displayed by some board members has caused significant damage to the party and its purpose.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/pure-dictatorship-fred-nile-sacks-members-as-party-in-turmoil-20191202-p53g3d.html


  4. Senator Murray Watt
    @MurrayWatt
    ·
    49m
    10 years after they last did it, here’s the Liberals, Nationals & Greens voting together TODAY against
    ..

    And the Greens, as they have done before stand by the Liberals for no climate change action.

    A question thrown into the wind, is the next Greens secret meeting to plan the next anti Labor stunt with or without a Liberal representative offering suggestions?

  5. ItzaDream

    Marianne Slattery gave a very ‘balanced’ interview with PK on ABC24. he said she doesn’t hold out too much hope for any resolution of the MDB water problem because the two ‘camps’, environment and agriculture, are so divided. She forecast complete disruption of cattle and crops in favour of the almond plantings, followed eventually by the dying of the almond trees.

  6. For those wondering about Sydney air quality that are outside the area.

    Think of when Churchill brought in the clean r air act in response to coal pollution. It’s somewhere at that level. At least visually.

    Edit: Western Sydney residents who voted LNP will be getting worse levels than the CBD as the smoke mixes with the pollution.

  7. I
    The Government has yet to buckle to the the Can the Plan Convoy (apart from doubling the meg allowance, which comes to additional cost per farmer of around $23,000). Paid for by the taxpayer.

    So far this Convoy is making about as much difference as that other convoy, the Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Revolt

    One of the subtexts here is nothing short of highway robbery.
    Part of the $13 billion has been invested in returning water from farms by giving farmers money to invest in water-saving on-farm works. Pipes instead of open ditches. Spray rather than flood. That sort of thing. Not only has the Government paid for the works, it has paid market prices for the saved water.
    Some of the Can the Plan mob want that 450 Gigs of on-farm savings, bought and paid for, back for nothing.
    Outright theft, IMO.
    Never get between a rural socialist and a bag of money…

  8. Re the Reverend Nile, that conversation reminds me of an American poem (name of poet not known to me):
    “I come from the city of Boston
    The home of the bean and the cod
    Where the Cabbotts speak only to Lowells
    And the Lowells speak only to God”

  9. Itza,

    Spelling Change produced split infinitives and the bully boy parentheses used their numbers to disenfranchise the possessive pronouns.

  10. ‘lizzie says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    ItzaDream

    Marianne Slattery gave a very ‘balanced’ interview with PK on ABC24. he said she doesn’t hold out too much hope for any resolution of the MDB water problem because the two ‘camps’, environment and agriculture, are so divided. She forecast complete disruption of cattle and crops in favour of the almond plantings, followed eventually by the dying of the almond trees.’

    Bizarre framing by Ms Slattery. Who is she when she is at home?

  11. Penny Wong’s motion – What a stunt.

    The Guardian

    The Greens are voting with the Liberals in the Senate against an urgency motion on the carbon pollution reduction scheme. The motion, brought on by senator Malarndirri McCarthy, asked the Senate to recognise that the Greens and Liberals joined together to vote against the CPRS 10 years ago today.

    Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the motion was “all about the Labor party” and a “huge distraction”.

    It is all about the Labor party trying to steal votes off of the Greens. In fact, I suspect it is all about one senator in this chamber, Penny Wong.

    This chamber should not be used as a personal vanity project for any senator.

  12. lizzie @ #845 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 3:20 pm

    KayJay

    One thing’s for sure. Your little grey cells are in very good order! 🙂

    I have been TV-ing and sleep-ing all afternoon and then reading through the comments on this Blog – took a little time to figure out vot was vot (as an old Air Force friend used to say).

    I have just received a couple of photos of attendees at a 67 year reunion of members of my RAAF course in 1955.

    I now have to email one of those attending to enquire –

    I hope that your leg pain subsides – I know how tough it is to be less able than we would want. I take a little heart from the gentleman across the road (93 or so) who is under “ladder watch” from family and friends. I noticed him the other day setting up a two metre step ladder.Good on him I say (heart in mouth).

  13. Pegasus

    Wow Morrison is dumb. I was afraid Senator Lambie would get her excuse to ignore the doctors.

    The LNP fine art of negotiation on display again.

  14. I suspectLambie hasn’t even asked for a refugee resettlement plan, so Morrison makes this statement now so he won’t lose more face when he capitulates to her demand for pork as the price of her support.

  15. John Quiggin

    Yes, the world is paying attention to Australia’s climate inaction

    https://insidestory.org.au/yes-the-world-is-paying-attention-to-australias-climate-inaction/

    Before looking at the EU position, it’s worth considering how far removed from reality our political class has become. As bushfires raged through October and November, a bipartisan consensus emerged: any discussion of the relationship between the fire catastrophe and climate change, let alone any suggestion of a policy response, would be divisive and unnecessary. Many media outlets were happy to go along with it.

    The same willingness to ignore the deeper issues extends to climate-related policy more broadly. As energy minister, Angus Taylor has repeatedly and egregiously misled the public about key aspects of his portfolio. He has denounced renewable energy, made spurious claims about the benefits of coal-fired power, and promoted the government’s claim to be observing our emissions-reduction commitments while vetoing any policy action that might promote that goal.

    For all of this, he has had a free pass from Labor and most of the media. Their attention has been focused on a series of trivial scandals, culminating in the publication of a forged document used to accuse the Sydney City Council of hypocrisy. These transgressions may or may not cost Taylor his job, but their pursuit will do nothing to tackle the climate emergency.
    :::
    The EU demand is a warning to our leaders that a climate policy based on appeasing culture warriors and narrow interest groups amounts to an attempt to cheat the rest of the world by free riding on their efforts. It won’t go unpunished for long.

  16. Boerwar

    I’m a bit surprised you don’t know of Marianne Slattery. She was formerly at the MDBA but resigned. She seems to know her stuff.

    A former senior employee of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has accused it of manipulating data on the amount of environmental water being recovered to back its claim that the “basin plan is being delivered on time and in full”.

    She has also told the South Australian royal commission that the MDBA uses a small pool of consultants for its scientific reviews and uses “peer review” in an entirely different context to the way scientists use the term.

    “The reality is that the basin plan numbers no longer represent actual water,” Maryanne Slattery, the former director of environmental water, said in her submission to the royal commission. “This manipulation will first affect taxpayers but will ultimately adversely impact the property rights of all water licence holders.”

    Now a researcher at the Australia Institute, Slattery outlines instances of the MDBA changing figures to suit its purposes, failing to update river models to reflect water-sharing plans in place in the Barwon-Darling, and spending millions of taxpayer dollars on water entitlements that she says are likely to yield only a fraction of that water for the environment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/11/murray-darling-basin-authority-former-employee-accuses-agency-of-manipulating-data

  17. [@Rod_Hagen
    Regardless, there is something deeply troubling about an Aus Gov “Minister” making false claims about a hugely important international figure like Naomi Wolf, especially when he is already a well established liar!]

  18. Greens Larissa Waters on twitter

    the Senate has just passed my motion calling on the government to strengthen protection for coal miners from workplace injury or death #auspol

    The Greens don’t support coal, but we do support coal miners. We believe every worker deserves to go home safely from their job.

    It’s time governments stopped doing the bidding of their big corporate donors and focused on keeping workers safe.

  19. If PB carries on this obsessive rumination of past controversies…… what is the opinion on the conscription plebiscite of 1916? It only seems like yesterday.

    How about this for a leading question put to the voters.

    “ Are you in favour of the Government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service, for the term of this war, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth?”

    And wisely, the Noes won but only in NSW, Qld and SA!

  20. swamprat @ #929 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 6:24 pm

    If PB carries on this obsessive rumination of past controversies…… what is the opinion on the conscription plebiscite of 1916? It only seems like yesterday.

    Why not go all the way back, to the big ones …

    1902, the year women got the vote
    1901, the year of federation

    In hindsight, were either of these really such a good idea?

  21. KayJay

    When my mother was well into her eighties and her balance was very poor, she would wait until we had gone shopping and then climb a ladder on to a flat section of the roof to clear put the gutter. She knew very well that I would have stopped her. A very determined lady.

  22. Now this is leadership

    Bernie Sanders
    @BernieSanders
    ·
    11h
    Coal miners are not the enemy.

    Oil rig workers are not the enemy.

    Climate change is the enemy.

    As we transition to 100% renewable energy, the Green New Deal will ensure a just transition for ALL fossil fuel workers.

  23. Tristo @ #936 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 6:35 pm

    Now this is leadership

    Bernie Sanders
    @BernieSanders
    ·
    11h
    Coal miners are not the enemy.

    Oil rig workers are not the enemy.

    Climate change is the enemy.

    As we transition to 100% renewable energy, the Green New Deal will ensure a just transition for ALL fossil fuel workers.

    And they vote for Donald Trump.

    Though it’s interesting to note the similarity in the message that Larissa Waters put out today, on the same day as Bernie Sanders put out this Tweet.

  24. Fulvio Sammut says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Re the Reverend Nile, that conversation reminds me of an American poem (name of poet not known to me):
    “I come from the city of Boston
    The home of the bean and the cod
    Where the Cabbotts speak only to Lowells
    And the Lowells speak only to God”

    -0-

    Forgive my pedantry. I believe it is “Cabots”

    As in the late Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge

  25. Nine News Australia @9NewsAUS
    · 33m

    Federal MP George Christensen’s extensive travel to S-E Asia is under fresh scrutiny, with claims he was a regular at a strip club in a red-light district.

    The member for Dawson spent almost 300 days in the Philippines while collecting his government wage. @jekearsley #9News

    ***

    @SerkanTheWriter
    ·
    8m
    Remember, I broke this story eight months ago. A bloke with no resources seemingly blacklisted and mocked by the mainstream media. Says a lot.

    Story first published in @truecrimeweekly in April 2019 about George Christensen & visits to Ponytails sex bar:

    https://truecrimenewsweekly.com/hold-on-to-your-ponytails-anti-gay-lnp-mp-george-christensen-his-filipina-fiancee-with-the-sexy-lesbian-past-who-the-member-for-manila-met-while-allegedly-trawling-sex-bars-in-the-philippines/

    No charges were laid. He used his own money. I think the point is that he wasn’t in his electorate for great stretches of the year.

  26. This is what ten Australian economists, including the great John Quiggin, said in February 2009 about the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme:

    In our view the CPRS fails on the following criteria:

    First, while there can be no doubt that a high carbon price will result in a significant transformation of the Australian economy, it must be remembered that such transformation is the actual goal of an emissions trading scheme. It is ironic that while the usual purpose of compensation packages is to ease the pain of such transformation, in the case of the Rudd Government’s package compensation is being used to prevent such a transformation. The CPRS actually rewards the major corporate emitters for failing to act despite having been on notice since at least 1997 that the emission reduction targets would be adopted.

    Second, the most significant consequence of the global financial crisis is to increase uncertainty and, in turn, reduce new investment. The creation of more ambitious emission targets would provide certainty that would stimulate major investment in renewable energy infrastructure. The consensus scientific and economic opinion is that the consequences of failing to address climate change will dwarf the costs of the current financial unrest.

    Third, the Rudd scheme structures the compensation opportunities for energy-intensive, trade-exposed corporations in such a way as to provide an incentive for these corporations to expand production and emissions. This will effect further restructuring of Australian industry that consolidates its energy-intensive character to the disadvantage of low-energy, energy-efficient industries.

    Fourth, the proposed compensation of trade-exposed energy-intensive industries is underpinned by the implicit notion that government should ensure a level, and thus competitive, playing field. Yet the proposed compensation package will benefit industry sectors dominated by international corporations which hold considerable market power. The proposed compensation package will further enhance that market power not create competitive markets.

    Fifth, the Rudd government has designed a scheme in which every tonne of emissions saved by households frees up an extra permit for the aluminium or steel industry to expand their pollution. In addition to destroying the moral incentive for households to ‘do their bit’ to reduce emissions, this design feature renders all other policies aimed at reducing emissions pointless. For example, households who spend $7,000 installing photovoltaic solar panels might believe that they are helping to reduce emissions but in fact the only impact of such investment will be to slightly lower the demand, and in turn the price, of the fixed number of pollution permits issued by the government.

    Sixth, the Rudd scheme fails to cost the complex administrative arrangements that will be required in order to effect the auctioning, the free allocations and the redistribution of permit revenues across the economy.

    The CPRS is based on neither sound economics nor sound science.

    https://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2009/02/18/economists-speak-out-against-flawed-carbon-trading-scheme/

  27. lizzie
    Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 6:35 pm
    Comment #934

    I like the sound of your mother.

    I spotted the gentleman (truly) from across the road (stop me if you’ve already heard this) the other day. He now has a “walker” and was taking it for a trial run on our quite newly constructed concrete path which runs from across the road from the Newcastle University all the way around to a local school. He had a firm grip on the handles, looking straight ahead and pushing (maybe gravity assisted) down a slope prior to attempting the slight hill a hundred metres or so away. I admire him but not enough to emulate his prowess.

    Over and nearly out. 📺💤

    P.S. In future years – the current Gummint may form the basis of one of the seemingly endless “True Crime” programs on Commercial TV.

  28. Tristo @ #934 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 6:35 pm

    Now this is leadership

    Bernie Sanders
    @BernieSanders
    ·
    11h
    Coal miners are not the enemy.

    Oil rig workers are not the enemy.

    Climate change is the enemy.

    As we transition to 100% renewable energy, the Green New Deal will ensure a just transition for ALL fossil fuel workers.

    My feeling is that Bernie Sanders is the finest politician in the US. I hope he is President Sanders in twelve months time.

  29. Did you know that ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ concern about the national debt has been a bogus talking point all along?

    What is misleadingly called the national debt is really just private sector savings held in the form of tradeable government securities. They are no more a debt than reserves (electronic currency deposits at the central bank) or physical banknotes. Currency issuer securities, reserves, and physical banknotes are all forms of liabilities to the government, and assets to the private sector. They do not fundamentally differ from each other. Reserves and banknotes entitle you to extinguishment of federal tax liabilities if you present them to the government in payment of taxes. That is what the government owes you if you hold those assets and present them to the government. That is the sense in which reserves and banknotes are the government’s IOUs. The only difference with securities aka bonds is that if you want to use them to pay taxes you first need to convert them into reserves by selling them. This is very easy to do because the market for government bonds is highly liquid.

  30. Quiggin did not like the CPRS?
    Well, how about that.

    It is like when you Kill Bill.
    You get Morrison.

    Kill the CPRS.
    You get subsidies for fossil fuel burning.

    It is like dopes like Quiggin have never, ever heard that politics is the art of the possible.


  31. Pegasus says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Penny Wong’s motion – What a stunt.

    Was a bit, wasn’t it. What is the greens count for today? Do you think they will take the hint.

  32. I caught a bit of Parliament while driving today. Liberals laying into Labor, Labor laying into the Greens for rejecting the CPRS 10 years ago.

    All useless crap the lot of it. Didn’t hear what Bob Katter had to say as I arrived at my destination before I got a chance to hear his bit. It may or may not have been crap. He sometimes says something worthwhile. Anyway, it couldn’t be more useless than the bits of the proceedings that I heard.

    Whatever, the problem is that the Coalition is in the pocket of fossil fuel interests. It has no intention of taking any action that might harm their profits, which basically means anything that would actually stop CO2 molecules escaping into the atmosphere. They talk about capturing and burying them after they escape, the technology for which doesn’t exist. Or maybe sucking a few of them back out via Direct Inaction. And they’ll fudge the figures as much as possible to make it look like we’re meeting targets that they have no plan to meet and ultimately no commitment to honour.

    The Coalition is in a symbiotic and likely corrupt relationship with Big Coal. That is the problem. No effective climate action is possible while the Coalition remains in power. This is what should be being shouted from the rooftops. What the Greens did or should have done ten years ago is beside the **** point.

    We should be looking addressing the real problem.
    (End rant).

  33. I wondered what George Christensen got up to in Manila…

    “Mr Christensen was dubbed the “Member for Manila” by colleagues after it emerged earlier this year he had taken at least 28 trips, spending almost 300 days in the Philippines between 2014 and 2018.

    Several sources close to the probe have said the 41-year-old, first elected to the Queensland seat of Dawson in 2010, has frequently toured Angeles City, an urbanised area more than 80km north of the capital Manila which is known for its red-light district.

    Marjorie Lamsen, the manager of one bar, Ponytails, claimed the federal politician was a “very regular visitor” at the venue.

    Ms Lamsen, who said she had worked at the bar for six years, said: “He was always very good… He was a big spender”.

    “It was well known that he went to other bars in the areas,” she told Nine News, The Age and The Herald.

    “The weakness of George is women. He would usually give allowances to these people.

    “He would keep his job a secret but now we know he’s a politician.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/george-christensen-a-regular-at-philippines-adult-entertainment-bar-manager-20191202-p53g57.html

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