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. Nicholas
    I think you have highlighted why Labor would have not been wise to go to a DD to get a price on carbon. There was no shortage of people that wanted the perfection that lead to nothing.

    Well they got the nothing, they should all be very very happy.

  2. Oh dear, I hope 9Fax have their facts correct…

    “ Mr Christensen, a committed Christian, says he met his now-wife April Asuncion while in the Philippines in 2017.

    Nine News, The Age and The Herald have seen documents which suggest Ms Asuncion was an employee at the Ponytails bar.

    An employment card shows her listed as an entertainer at the venue.

    The Balibago Barangay Social Hygiene Clinic confirmed the documents were legitimate but a letter from Mr Christensen’s lawyers on Monday said the documents were fraudulent and denied all claims.

    Mr Christensen, who was re-elected in May with an 11.2 per cent swing towards him despite the controversy, has always labelled the scrutiny over his travels a “vile smear”.

    The AFP looked into Mr Christensen’s travel for more than a year, including his visits to areas known for their active nightlife and bar districts.”

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

  3. Caving in to big polluters wasn’t “the art of the possible”, it was the art of surrender. Any dope can surrender. It takes no skill at all.

  4. Nicholas says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Caving in to big polluters wasn’t “the art of the possible”, it was the art of surrender. Any dope can surrender. It takes no skill at all.

    So what do we have now Nicholas?

    Penny may have engaged in a stunt but it underlines where we are at. Th only party that actually want sot tackle this problem is Labor.

  5. ‘Nicholas says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Caving in to big polluters wasn’t “the art of the possible”, it was the art of surrender. Any dope can surrender. It takes no skill at all.’

    So, we have 100% of nothing.
    My view is that you start and build from there.
    Your view is that you don’t start.
    Any dope can stop things from starting. It takes no skill at all.

  6. But is 100% of nothing better then a plan that would be worse then nothing?

    And their was a better plan later on anyway.

    As too all the people that said it cost government and was repealed. Why would the same things that happened to the carbon tax not of happened to the CPRS as well?

  7. “I’m liking Melbourne – no smoke pollution, yet.”

    And a Summer maximum of 14.8. Sydney had 3 or 4 days colder than that last Winter.

    Smoke or cold? Don’t like either.

  8. The Rudd Government’s CPRS had the following severe flaws:

    1. Setting an insufficiently ambitious carbon reduction target, which would fail to create the policy certainty necessary to encourage large private sector investments in carbon reducing technologies.

    2. Structuring the nation’s carbon budget in such a way that any household sector reductions in emissions do NOT bring down emissions overall. Instead, the biggest polluters (cement, aluminium, steel producers) are free to increase their emissions in response.

    3. Providing generous transition compensation to the biggest polluters, in the form of large amounts of free permits, which a) effectively rewards bad actors for failing to reduce carbon emissions in the past; b) enhances the market power of already very powerful international corporations.

    4. Setting up a very costly administrative arrangement for dispensing free permits, auctioning permits, and redistributing permit revenues.

    Today Labor are condemning the Greens for refusing to support this scheme ten years ago.

    What is your take on the Greens’ decision? Do you think the scheme was better than nothing, and could have been improved over time? Or would it have locked in an inferior framework for reducing emissions?

  9. Being inside the tent, so to speak when the CPRS was voted down by the Liberals/Greens alliance of convenience, I can confirm the legislation was not a surrender – but rather a calculated strategy to introduce an Act which could be built on over time.

    The introduction of a price on carbon meant a mechanism and a bureaucracy to manage would be established. A carbon trading market would follow. So what if the ‘big polluters’ got free certificates. So fucking what?

    As the years would pass, the CPRS like all head legislation would be subject to refinement, and credit certificates could have gone to renewables etc etc

    Some of the world leading initiatives on connecting global carbon markets of the Combet period under Gillard would have been a no brainer to follow on the embedded CPRS

  10. The Greens’ vote is stuck around 10% because their appeal is to a very weird* section of the Australian population – those who don’t regard maximising their after tax income as the greatest possible good. Those who don’t ask ‘What’s in it for me’ when they vote, those who don’t care if they pay a bit more tax or a bit more on their power bill, provided it doesn’t go to rent-seeking monopolists.

    But to aspire to Government you need to get half of the other 90% who do care greatly about their after-tax income. That’s where the battle is fought.

    * I’m also weird, but many Australians don’t have that luxury. You have to tell them what’s in it for them

  11. ‘Nicholas says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    The Rudd Government’s CPRS had the following severe flaws:

    1. Setting an insufficiently ambitious carbon reduction target, which would fail to create the policy certainty necessary to encourage large private sector investments in carbon reducing technologies.

    2. Structuring the nation’s carbon budget in such a way that any household sector reductions in emissions do NOT bring down emissions overall. Instead, the biggest polluters (cement, aluminium, steel producers) are free to increase their emissions in response.

    3. Providing generous transition compensation to the biggest polluters, in the form of large amounts of free permits, which a) effectively rewards bad actors for failing to reduce carbon emissions in the past; b) enhances the market power of already very powerful international corporations.

    4. Setting up a very costly administrative arrangement for dispensing free permits, auctioning permits, and redistributing permit revenues.’

    I wonder when Quiggin is going to have a look at the politics of Zero/2030.
    We all know that Zero/2030 is perfect and that it will never happen.

  12. Greens call for modelling of hotter planet

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6521038/greens-call-for-modelling-of-hotter-planet/?cs=14231&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews

    Australia’s emissions reduction target will put the world on track to warm by three degrees Celsius, the Greens say.

    The minor party’s lone MP Adam Bandt has introduced a bill to parliament to make the Climate Change Authority model what such a world would be like.

    The possible temperature rise is based off analysis from Climate Analytics and the New Climate Institute’s climate action tracker.

    It looks at action taken by governments across the globe, tying in emissions reduction projections, targets and science linked to different temperatures.

    “If that’s right – and it’s not – he should allow the Climate Change Authority to review the government’s targets and tell Australia what it means to be on track for 3C.”

    The Morrison government is under pressure to do more to tackle climate change, with the debate now coming from wider sections of the community including investors, farmers and older Australians.

  13. Is it true the Greens voted today with the Liberals and Nats against Labor’s call for Action on Climate Change? What is going on?

  14. Hilarious that Taylor would mention Wolf. Only a few years apart as Rhodes Scholars at Oxford yet the CVs of each tell a story. It is sad when, at 53, your uni scholarship is the high point of your career.

  15. A certain other ten-year anniversary rolls around next year. I wonder if Labor will see fit to draw as much attention to that one.

  16. Here is the text of Senator Wong’s motion. Simply outlines the Historical facts, and call for bi-partisanship. So why can’t RDN and the Greens admit they were wrong, and get on board?

    Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong): To move—That the Senate—
    (a) notes that:
    (i) 2 December 2019 marks ten years since the Senate failed to pass legislation for a comprehensive economy-wide climate change policy, the Rudd Labor Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS),
    (ii) implementation of the CPRS would have resulted in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions being between 27 and 81 million tonnes lower in 2020 than currently projected, would have delivered additional cumulative abatement of between 63 and 218 million tonnes over the last 10 years, and would have placed Australian emissions on a sustained and long-term downward trajectory,
    (iii) in addition to Labor senators, the CPRS bills were supported by Liberal Senators Boyce and Troeth,
    (iv) despite the constructive negotiations engaged in by Mr Turnbull and Mr Macfarlane, the Liberals and the Nationals opposed the bills under the leadership of Mr Abbott, and
    (v) the Australian Greens joined with the Liberals and the Nationals, and also opposed the CPRS, guaranteeing its defeat;
    (b) recognises the decision by the Liberals, the Nationals and the Australian Greens to join together to oppose the CPRS precipitated:
    (i) a breakdown in consensus on policy in Australia to address the challenges of climate change, and
    (ii) a decade of policy instability preventing necessary investment in energy infrastructure leading to increases in energy prices and increased emissions; and

    calls on all parties to end the political opportunism and work together to agree an enduring solution to the challenges of climate change.

  17. Labor senator Watts on twitter

    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…
    ——

    Greg Jericho’s response

    https://twitter.com/GrogsGamut/status/1201422208112791552

    Yeah sure, that’s all the motion called for…

    FMD what a waste of a day.

    ———-
    Nick McKim on twitter

    https://twitter.com/NickMcKim/status/1201418889759870978

    Australia has no climate policy because the big polluters have purchased that exact outcome from the major parties. And the press gallery cannot see it because they are so obsessed with finding the “sensible centre” with climate deniers

  18. “The Morrison government is under pressure to do more to tackle climate change, with the debate now coming from wider sections of the community including investors, farmers and older Australians.”

    Pressure which they will withstand, although there might be some “announceables” to tip the odd hundred million into initiatives that don’t harm fossil fuel profits.

  19. Catprog

    The motion – not a Bill – is calling for bi-partisanship, or indeed tri- or multi-lateral-partnership on Action on Climate Change.

    I can understand the LNP being wedded to their denialism and donations in cash and kind from Big Gina and Big Clive – but the Greens? To vote with the trogladytes for the sake of their purity?

  20. @sprocket_

    Then why did Labor not just move the motion calling for bi-partanship without attacking everyone else.

    In fact why did they not include Labor failure to keep trying when they could not get it passed.

    @Confessions

    In my opinion it was an attack on the Greens, Liberals and the Nationals with a token fig leaf calling for bi-partnership.

  21. Australia has no climate policy because the big polluters have purchased that exact outcome from the major parties. And the press gallery cannot see it because they are so obsessed with finding the “sensible centre” with climate deniers

    McKim should focus on the fact the Coalition has the numbers. To do anything meaningful in reducing Australia’s GHG emissions (and having Australia pressure other countries to do the same) McKim needs to get peeps who vote for Liberal/National/PHON/UAP to change their vote to Greens or ALP (or a Centre Alliance or an independent candidate but preference the Greens and ALP above the other 4).

    How is he going to do that? With a tweet attacking the ALP?

  22. Just further on the bits of Parliamentary proceedings that I caught today. Labor were banging on about the 280 million tons of CO2 emissions that could / should have been prevented.

    That may be true, but they could have said 280 trillion and I’d have been none the wiser. Big numbers are normally thrown around to confuse, to impress, to hide or to deceive, but rarely inform. The “Liberals” do it all the time.

    The point would have been better made in relative terms (“our emissions could have been 20% lower than they are” or whatever, or maybe “we could have met our 2030 emission target by…” 2022, or whenever.

    I’m all in favour of Labor going negative.p, the more negative the better. But i Labor didn’t think today’s attack through. It’s made barely a ripple and will be forgotten when things shut down for Christmas.

    P.S. 280 million tons of CO2 would be a cube about 600 metres each side in the form of dry ice, or 6 km each side as a gas. Still doesn’t help.

  23. I can’t see how details of Christensen’s wife are relevant and needed to the issue.

    The Feds were concerned with his travel due to the potential of blackmail and he is certainly a valid target with him using his religious beliefs politically, but his wife’s history adds nothing of relevance to the story.

  24. “Australia has no climate policy because the big polluters have purchased that exact outcome from the major Coalition parties.”

    Please none of this equivalence crap. It doesn’t help. One side wants to support Big Coal. One side wants to at least take some effective action.

  25. Steve777 @ #983 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 8:22 pm

    “Australia has no climate policy because the big polluters have purchased that exact outcome from the major Coalition parties.”

    Please none of this equivalence crap. It doesn’t help. One side wants to support Big Coal. One side wants to at least take some effective action.

    Actually, two sides want to support Big Coal. It is just that one side is afraid to say so.

    But either way, Big Coal wins 🙁

  26. Actually, two sides want to support Big Coal. It is just that one side is afraid to say so.
    But either way, Big Coal wins

    Oh my happy aunt. Where were you between 2011-2013? The crud the ALP had to withstand for the clean energy legislation was thrown so hard it is still stuck to them.

  27. South Australia last won a shefield shield game on 16–19 February 2018 against New South Wales

    @Simon Katich

    That was the 2013 Labor.

    Nowadays some people see them trying to get back into Coal’s good books in response.

  28. “Actually, two sides want to support Big Coal. It is just that one side is afraid to say so.”

    One side wants to support Big Coal and take no action on global heating. Outcome 0% of what we want, or possibly even -10% or -30% as they want to boost and expand coal. The other side will implement actions that reduce emissions. They will have to negotiate with Big Coal and other interests to get 50% of what we need. And one side, that can never win office, remains pure and impotent. Outcome, 0%.

    Equivalence is crap.

  29. This story falls at the first hurdle …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/tony-abbott-filmed-leaving-the-prison-where-cardinal-george-pell-is-being-held

    The former prime minister Tony Abbott has been filmed leaving the Melbourne prison where the convicted paedophile Cardinal George Pell is being held, with the former Coalition leader saying he was there “visiting a friend”.

    I mean, honestly – nobody could possibly believe Tony Abbott has “friends”.

  30. Said General Melchet:

    “Staying in the trenches isn’t “the art of the possible” Blackadder, it is the art of surrender. Any dope can surrender. It takes no skill at all. …No Blackadder, at the sound of Darling’s whistle you and the chaps shall dash out into no man’s land and give Gerry a great big surprise”

    Blackadder:

    “Just like the last time. And the time before that”

    Melchet:

    “Exactly Blackadder. They’ll never see it coming”

  31. The Greens often engage in stunt motions so they can create many situations when they can accuse Labor of voting with the government.

    Today they got a bit of their own back. Cry me a River.

  32. While bushfires are raging Coalition and Labor – now is not the time to talk about global warming.

    Today Wong and Labor engaged in a motion stunt, based on an events 10 years ago with the sole purpose to suggest it is the only party that was, and is, serious on tackling global warming.

    All the while straddling the fence and continuing to send out mixed messages and exuding ambiguity and lack of authenticity.

    Trust us, says Labor. Why?

  33. Player One @ #991 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 5:40 pm

    This story falls at the first hurdle …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/tony-abbott-filmed-leaving-the-prison-where-cardinal-george-pell-is-being-held

    The former prime minister Tony Abbott has been filmed leaving the Melbourne prison where the convicted paedophile Cardinal George Pell is being held, with the former Coalition leader saying he was there “visiting a friend”.

    I mean, honestly – nobody could possibly believe Tony Abbott has “friends”.

    Let’s take him at his word. Now all he has to do is name this “friend” and explain why someone in prison is his “friend”.

  34. Oh jeez, is pegasus still wittering on about Penny Wong’s ‘stunt’ in the Senate today!?!

    Every day is stunt day for The Greens in the Senate! 😆

  35. Pegasus @ #560 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 7:49 pm

    While bushfires are raging Coalition and Labor – now is not the time to talk about global warming.

    Today Wong and Labor engaged in a motion stunt, based on an events 10 years ago with the sole purpose to suggest it is the only party that was, and is, serious on tackling global warming.

    All the while straddling the fence and continuing to send out mixed messages and exuding ambiguity and lack of authenticity.

    Trust us, says Labor. Why?

    LOL

    Extracted straight from the Greens operation manual with “Labor” substituted for “Greens”

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