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. “ The Coalition are the eternal enemy, always were, are now and always will be. Other squabbles are mere faction fights.”

    Sometimes one has to fight the cancer that is eating away at your body within before one can fight the good fight against the enemy without.

  2. I think everyone over-heating over the latest Labor-Greens war here should take a deep breath and think things through.
    The Labor government’s attempt at legislating a carbon emissions trading scheme 10 years ago was a limited but worthwhile attempt at tackling climate change. Was it perfect? Far from it.
    As it stood it did have limited emissions reduction targets and did exempt too many carbon polluters. But it was a first attempt at such legislation; it was bound to have flaws.
    The point is, it could have been tinkered with and built on. Once the carbon-trading machinery was in place and people saw they weren’t going to have to pay $100 for roast dinners, it could have been extended and improved.
    The Greens should have supported the CPRS while flagging their intention to improve it. It would not have been a sell-out, but a strategic first step towards meaningful climate action.
    Unfortunately the Greens were too confident they could replace Labor’s scheme with an improved one of their own, and, if the truth be known, I think they were a little reluctant to let Labor take the credit for it.
    Once the CPRS was rejected the politics of climate denial ramped up and made meaningful action that much harder. The Gillard government’s carbon pricing scheme was better, but it became an albatross around its neck as it was easy to accuse Gillard of lying and it became a symbol of the government’s alleged dishonesty.
    In politics and history, timing is everything.
    Rejecting the CPRS was a grave miscalculation on the part of the Greens and frankly, a little opportunistic of them.
    I accept the Greens and Labor both want meaningful climate action. I just wish the Greens could own up to their mistake so we could all move on.

  3. I’ve been sent a 2020 community calendar by our federal Liberal MP with a xmas message.

    In keeping with his party’s regard for women, none of the photos in the calendar that show people have women in them. And further, the men in the photos are doing traditional/historical blokey type work: shearing and doing maintenance on an oversized farm machine.

    Presumably the women in this electorate were all tucked away in kitchens.

  4. “I’m not the one who has spent all day abusing people because they don’t agree with me.”

    Ummmm What? I posted at about 7:00 am Perth time and again at about 6:00pm.
    I work for a living…

  5. AE

    A legend in your own mind. I always find your ott rhetoric amusing. Your need to apply derisory labels to me is just another manifestation of your arrogance and condescending manner.

    Keep it up, it’s so endearing.

  6. C@tmommasays:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Bushfire Bill @ #1018 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 9:12 pm

    You can get narky and snakey at other posters here, but at the end of this day what you have contributed to the debate won’t amount to a hill of beans and likely won’t have changed one vote.

    Get real C@tmomma, you’re in danger of disappearing up your own farcical fundamentals.

    The Bully Boy is back, contributing to the overwhelming consensus that he is obsessed with me.

    The above is proof positive you have little or no self-awareness C@t.

    My post was an exact, word-for-word copy of your post directly above it. All the same phrases and word placement. Only the name of the victim was changed from “Pegasys” to yours.

    You are calling yourself a bully without realizing it. Either that, or your propisition is that YOU are allowed to use such words, but others aren’t.

    Either way: hilarious.

  7. Sir Henry Parkes @ #1053 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 7:12 pm

    The point is, it could have been tinkered with and built on.

    Yeah. Nah.

    That might have been the intention however everything changed when Abbott became leader of the Libs. It changed even more when he became Prime Minister.

    If anyone believes that Abbott would’ve left the CPRS (no matter how weak or strong it eventually became) in place is dreamin’.

    In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered if Labor had left the weak CPRS intact, or ramped it up, when Abbott became PM the whole lot would’ve been knocked on the head.

    Abbott (and his fellow travellers) was the destroyer.

    Not Labor.

    Not The Greens.

    Abbott.

  8. “Rejecting the CPRS was a grave miscalculation on the part of the Greens and frankly, a little opportunistic of them.”

    Well, actually at the time no one expected Rudd to just walk away… Even his own Party.
    The reason the Greens didn’t vote for it was because it was rubbish. They had asked to be involved and were knocked back.
    Labor didn’t have to give up on it so easily, but Rudd was about ego. He couldn’t handle the rejection and wouldn’t come to the negotiating table. He walked off in a sook when he didn’t get what he wanted. Basically he said my way or the highway. If politics is the art of the possible why was Rudd trying to get something through taht he couldn’t. There was no mystery there, the Greens said they wouldn’t vote for it.

  9. Astrobleme
    So it all Labors fault for not going to a DD with no support from the Liberal or the Greens.

    The Greens may only get 10% of the vote but Australian elections are only won by 2%. 20% pf the greens voting Liberal because they want to cut of their nose to spite their face, that would have been enough.

    The Greens are responsible for their actions; they are largely responsible for the last 10 years.

  10. It would have been good policy just for that reason alone Zoomster. However I don’t believe the failure of the CPRS alone caused Labor’s downfall.

  11. Watching Q & A from Fiji with various Pacific reps talking intelligently about threats of climate change – I can see an opportunity for Scott Morrison and some of his friends. People who can talk under water will be in great demand in future years in the South Pacific.

  12. Ah, just beat me to it, zoom.

    As an aside, I’m hearing more and more reports of just how far behind their climate commitments China is falling.


  13. Astrobleme says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    ‘The greens are not a progressive party. They are not an environmental party. They are an anti Labor party.’

    This is paranoid

    You haven’t been reading the Greens press releases? Pegasus posts them hourly for your reading pleasure if you have missed any.

    Pegasus provides us with a service, keeps us up to date with the Greens latest anti Labor stunt. Stick around.

  14. “ A legend in your own mind. I always find your ott rhetoric amusing. Your need to apply derisory labels to me is just another manifestation of your arrogance and condescending manner.“

    Properly under your skin, ain’t it? Good.

  15. zoomster,

    If Rudd and Wong had been less intent of wedging the Liberals and had tried to negotiate the CPRS in good faith perhaps. But that seems to be beyond Wong’s limited abilities….

    http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p6031/html/ch11.xhtml?referer=&page=16

    In October 2009, Ross Garnaut described the policymaking process associated with the CPRS as ‘one of the worst…we have seen on major issues in Australia’ (Garnaut 2009b). It is certainly difficult to identify many other instances where Australian governments have been willing to make environmental and economic sacrifices on the scale they did in the CPRS process. It is also hard to trump the CPRS for political mismanagement. The Rudd government linked its public standing to climate policy and its ability to introduce an environmentally and economically credible ETS. It then offered a compromised scheme with weak mitigation targets. Over a 22-month period, the scheme progressively became more economically inefficient as the government offered millions of free permits and other handouts to polluters and affected businesses. It also made sport out of the Coalition’s internal divisions over carbon pricing—a strategy that contributed to the downfall of Turnbull and the Senate’s rejection of the legislation—and refused to engage constructively with the Greens and two independent senators. The price it paid was a loss of public confidence, the demise of a prime minister and a failure to fulfil one of its core election promises.

  16. Bushfire Bill @ #1062 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 10:18 pm

    C@tmommasays:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Bushfire Bill @ #1018 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 9:12 pm

    You can get narky and snakey at other posters here, but at the end of this day what you have contributed to the debate won’t amount to a hill of beans and likely won’t have changed one vote.

    Get real C@tmomma, you’re in danger of disappearing up your own farcical fundamentals.

    The Bully Boy is back, contributing to the overwhelming consensus that he is obsessed with me.

    The above is proof positive you have little or no self-awareness C@t.

    My post was an exact, word-for-word copy of your post directly above it. All the same phrases and word placement. Only the name of the victim was changed from “Pegasys” to yours.

    You are calling yourself a bully without realizing it. Either that, or your propisition is that YOU are allowed to use such words, but others aren’t.

    Either way: hilarious.

    Still obsessed with me. You need to get help.

    Oh, and I knew what you wrote was the same as what I had just written about Pegasus, with the name changed, but as you are as obsessed with me as you are, you just couldn’t help yourself, could you?

    So I’m not allowed to criticise Pegasus, justifiably, but you are, abusively? Them’s some double standards you got there. But I knew that already.

    Now, go away and leave me alone, please.

  17. AE

    Unsurprisingly, i reckon you are suffering from a chronic and acute case of projection. I often just skim past your posts. Today, i am enjoying pushing back ever so gently.

    If you believe Wong played a masterful stroke today, good for you. I politely disagree. We shall see.

    ——-
    frednk

    I understand your need to lie about what I do.

  18. Andy Murray @ #1072 Monday, December 2nd, 2019 – 10:29 pm

    Ah, just beat me to it, zoom.

    As an aside, I’m hearing more and more reports of just how far behind their climate commitments China is falling.

    Not only that, but they are funding coal-fired power plants elsewhere around the world, wherever there is a decent coal deposit, a lot of it in poor African nations. As are the Indians, and the Norwegians. Probably just about any wealthy mining company type before they get beaten to it by someone else. It’s disgusting behaviour, but there you have it. I don’t know what they hope to achieve by doing it. All the money in the world is going to be pointless and useless on a dead rock.

  19. #weatheronPB: it’s cool, breezy, hazy and dry as a dead dingo’s whatsit in Sydney, smoky skies with just a few stars visible, together with a waxing crescent Moon the colour of tobacco-stained teeth, riding high in the Western sky…

  20. But that seems to be beyond Wong’s limited abilities….

    Says some academic in Melbourne somewhere, who hasn’t made it any further than that in life…

  21. “In my calmer moments, when I am not fuming over the failure , and the opportunities lost, I would say, excellent post.”

    I would say excellent post regardless of my internal state. We should move on, regardless of whether anyone admits their mistakes or not. Multiple mistakes were made, not just by the Greens.

  22. “…except a successful CPRS may not have seen Abbott become PM.”

    Who can tell… Certainly Rudd gave up on it before he even really tried to get it through.


  23. Steve777 says:
    Monday, December 2, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    “In my calmer moments, when I am not fuming over the failure , and the opportunities lost, I would say, excellent post.”

    I would say excellent post regardless of my internal state. We should move on, regardless of whether anyone admits their mistakes or not. Multiple mistakes were made, not just by the Greens.

    With the Greens and the Liberals sitting where they are I don’t think we can move on. We are stuck.


  24. Astrobleme says:

    Who can tell… Certainly Rudd gave up on it before he even really tried to get it through.

    It got to the senate and the Greens voted it down. It is not difficult to understand

  25. Ross Garnaut, May 2010:

    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/garnaut-turns-on-government-over-ets-20100520-vhon.html

    “The federal government’s own climate adviser Ross Garnaut has turned on Labor over its “policy vacuum” on global warming, and thrown his support behind the Australian Greens.
    :::
    Earlier this year, Professor Garnaut urged the government to take the ETS to a double dissolution election to get it passed by Parliament.”

  26. Watching Birmingham on 730. Sales repeatedly asked him why Taylor publicly circulating false claims and/or figures isn’t grounds for him to stand aside. Birmingham’s response was that he simply downloaded the documents as they were from the City of Sydney website.

    Perhaps a better question is why should the minister continue to hold his position given he’s so lazy he can’t be bothered to fact check things he’s asserting. I did like her follow up that doesn’t this mean we shouldn’t take anything from the govt seriously.

  27. Ross Garnaut, April 2009:

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/try-again-on-carbon-emissions-trading-scheme-ross-garnaut/news-story/5df7a598457d16e69240e3b0d864806a

    “CLIMATE change adviser Ross Garnaut says it could be better for the Senate to vote down the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme so Australia could “have another crack” at getting it right later – a view a majority of senators have now said they share.

    But Professor Garnaut said the Government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme would become “substantially better than doing nothing” if the Government agreed to changes – including leaving open the possibility of a tougher 25 per cent emissions-reduction target by 2020 as part of an ambitious global climate deal, and spending up to $3 billion a year by 2013 on research and development for low-emission technologies.
    :::
    “There is a complex process going on now in the Senate … if there were no changes at all (to the Government’s legislation) … it would be a line-ball call as to whether it was better to push ahead or say we’ll have another crack at it and do a better one when the time is right,” Professor Garnaut told the Senate select committee on climate policy in Canberra yesterday.
    :::
    But asked whether the scheme as proposed was “better than nothing”, Professor Garnaut – the Government’s top independent adviser on climate change – said it was a “really hard question”.

    “I am still agonising over that, to be honest,” he said.”

  28. “Who can tell… Certainly Rudd gave up on it before he even really tried to get it through.”

    I don’t think that this is a fair comment. From what I recall, he busted a gut trying to get it over the line and when he failed to do so seemed to go into a funk. At the same time, the deniers, the hard right and the Murdochracy ramped up their campaign for regime change.

    Now if the CPRS had got through? Kevin maintains his mojo. The scheme is established 1/7/2010. There are glitches, exaggerated by Abbott and Murdoch, but there is no Labor leadership change. Meanwhile, moral panic is being ramped up over boats and batts. . The election is held November 2010

    So what happens? I’ll examine alternative universes and get back to you…

  29. No surprises but LOL at the whiny persecution complex. Always a victim is Donald.

    On Sunday evening, White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone told the House Judiciary Committee in a five-page letter that Trump would not participate in its first impeachment hearing, scheduled for Wednesday. The invitation from Chairman Jerrold Nadler “does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process,” Cipollone wrote.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-mount-aggressive-campaign-against-impeachment-as-spotlight-turns-to-judiciary-panel/2019/12/01/823f64ce-144c-11ea-9110-3b34ce1d92b1_story.html

  30. ” From what I recall, he busted a gut trying to get it over the line and when he failed to do so seemed to go into a funk. ”

    Well, it’s weird you think that. He certainly never discussed the policy with the Greens… He just kinda assumed they’d vote yes.

    Yes, he went into a funk – he gave up and then Labor sacked him…

    The sacking and then the white-anting and sacking again cost Labor dearly.

    I mean I can understand why you all want to blame the Greens – It’s easy and you don’t have to face up to Rudd being a bit of a tosser.

    Ultimately the ‘Blame’ lies squarely at the Coalition.

  31. Now if the CPRS had got through? Kevin maintains his mojo. The scheme is established 1/7/2010. There are glitches, exaggerated by Abbott and Murdoch, but there is no Labor leadership change. Meanwhile, moral panic is being ramped up over boats and batts. . The election is held November 2010

    I don’t think you can say no Labor leadership change, as the reasons for removing Rudd weren’t really to do with the CPRS.

    However, I do agree that if the CPRS had been legislated 10 years ago we still would have carbon pricing of some variety today, irrespective if Rudd had been removed or not.

  32. I believe the turning point for Kevin Rudd came when he went to Copenhagen and he couldn’t get the rest of the world to agree to the deal he proposed. He tried SO hard and came back a broken man, pretty much, after that. He’d lost his mojo. Other world leaders just wouldn’t agree to the very simple proposition that ‘Climate Change was the great moral challenge of our generation’. Because very many of those other world leaders are hard-arsed bastards.

    The thought of it all just makes me ineffably sad, and it is for that reason that I think Kevin Rudd DIDN’T go to a Double Dissolution. He couldn’t hold a breakthrough in Copenhagen as an achievement that would show the electorate that the rest of the world were going to act as well as Australia. So the doubts crept in to people’s minds about why should we lead when other countries aren’t disadvantaging themselves similarly to deal with Climate Change? And the chip, chip, chipping away from all sides began.

    And so, 10 years later, we are where we are. 🙁

  33. Turnbull on Rudd, Shorten and the DD:

    This is the man that persuaded Kevin Rudd not to go to a double dissolution. This is the man that led Kevin Rudd over the cliff into an abyss, where he then stabbed him in the back.

  34. I had the pleasure of hearing Ross Garnaut speak a couple of weeks ago. He still sees opportunity, and is still trying to craft a way through the domestic and international politics of climate change and energy transformation. He clearly possesses a very positive disposition.

  35. I find it hard to believe, what with bushfires consuming much of the east coast of Australia, and with the BOM just declaring this spring to be the driest on record … that all the Labor partisans here on PB seem interested in is re-fighting the battles that happened 10 years ago.

    No wonder Labor is bleeding votes. Talk about a party being lost in the past.

    Look around you, FFS. Your country is burning now 🙁

  36. C@t yes I agree that Rudd had a bad case of burn out after Copenhagen. And iirc he also had some personal medical issues.

    However, the real damage to Rudd and his government, at least in the polls, started months earlier. After relentless attacks in the Murdoch media (remember the twin-page climate denial spreads?) that never stuck, the thing that really scored was Pink Bats (and to some extent School Halls). That’s where the damage was done and where Labor’s polls started to fall.

    Underlying this is the deeply emotionally seated idea that Labor is reckless with money. Its ultimately how ScoMo won. Good scare campaigns work because they leverage pre-existing ideas. And the thing that really irks me is that Labor isn’t trying to steadily re-educate the “quiet Australians” on this and several other deep seated ideas.

    And frankly I’d dearly wish the folks on PB to start talking about this rather than the usual sparring. Labor needs to realise that its quarrel is with ill-educated voters.

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