Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

A crash in Scott Morrison’s standing finds Labor edging ahead on voting intention, and Anthony Albanese taking the lead on preferred prime minister.

The first Newspoll for the year, and the third under the new YouGov online polling regime, finds Labor opening up a 51-49 lead, after they trailed 52-48 in the poll in early December. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down two to 40%, Labor up three to 36%, the Greens up one to 12% and One Nation down one to 4%. Perhaps more remarkably, Scott Morrison now trails Anthony Albanese as preferred prime minister by 43-39, after leading him 48-34 in the previous poll. The damage on Morrison’s personal ratings amounts to an eight point drop on approval to 37% and an eleven point rise on disapproval to 59%. Conversely, Albanese is up six on approval to 46% and down four on disapproval to 37%. The Australian’s report is here; the poll was conducted from Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1505.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The Guardian has numbers from the first Essential Research poll of the year, but they disappointingly offer nothing on voting intention. What they do provide is corroboration for Newspoll’s finding that Anthony Albanese has taken the lead over Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister, in this case at 39-36, which compares with a 44-28 lead to Morrison when Essential last asked the question in early November. We are told that Scott Morrison is up nine on disapproval to 52% and that Anthony Albanese is up four on approval to 43% – their respective approval and disapproval ratings will have to wait for the full Essential report, which will presumably be with us later today or tomorrow. UPDATE: Morrison is down five on approval to 40%, Albanese is up two on disapproval to 30%. Full report here.

Despite everything, the poll finds 32% approving of Morrison’s handling of the bushfire crisis, which may be related to the fact that his approval rating was down only three among Coalition voters. The Guardian tells us only that 36% strongly disapproved of Morrison’s performance, to which the less strong measure of disapproval will need to be added to produce an equivalent figure for the 32% approval. Fifty-two per cent disagreed that Australia had always had bushfires like those just experienced, and 78% believe the government had been unprepared for them. Efforts to shift blame to the states do not appear to have borne fruit: Gladys Berejiklian’s handling of the bushfires scored 55% approval among New South Wales respondents, while Daniel Andrews was on 58% (these numbers would have come from small sub-samples of around 300 to 400 respondents).

The poll also offers a timely addition to the pollster’s leaders attributes series. The findings for the various attributes in this serious invariably move en bloc with the leaders’ general standing, and Morrison is accordingly down across the board. However, a clear standout is his collapse from 51% to 32% for “good in a crisis”, on which he was up 10% the last time the question was posed in October. Other unfavourable movements related in The Guardian range from a six-point increase in “out of touch with ordinary Australians“ to 62% to a 12 point drop on “visionary” to 30%.

More on all this when the full report is published. The poll was conducted online from Tuesday to Sunday from a sample of 1081.

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.

2,417 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

  1. A water license is a water license. It doesn’t change its nature whether the end use is bottled water or irrigation.

    The water comes from the same source. It is subject to the same restrictions.

    If it wasn’t being bottled, it would be being poured onto the ground to water pasture.

    Ironically, atm, bottled water is in great demand. (cf Mallacoota)

  2. I think Progressives should treat Right-wing voters like people who light up cigarettes in the hospital neo-natal unit.

    Those greedy, snivelling, cowardly, knuckle=dragging bahstards are the reason the place is on fire and people and half a billion animals are dead and dying. I am glad Labor lost the last election, though I never thought I would say it.

    Let the Lib/Nats be at the helm while all their rotten supporters see the effects of bad choices at the ballot-box. All this suffering because racists rejected ‘boat-people’, and didn’t want to pay a ‘carbon tax’ and wanted to keep franking credits and/or needed their delicate little hands held to protect them from a change to a fairer society that really takes action on global warning.

    If you vote Lib, Nat, or rightwing nutter, you are to blame, so get your arses out burying dead animals. It is the least you can do.

  3. Andrew_Earlwood
    Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 8:47 pm
    “ How did that line about impotency and purity go again?”
    If ogling the help whilst also underpaying them makes you feel potent, then I guess you’d fit right in at Candyland.
    Candyland? Wasn’t that a closed shop for the SDA for the past 5 decades?

    A partnership was formalised with the SDA in 1971 when six major retailers, including Coles and Woolies, signed landmark “closed shop” deals under which companies would sign up their staff as SDA members on the union’s behalf. While convenient for the SDA, the closed shops gave employers a key weapon in all future negotiations – influence over membership, every union’s lifeblood. Later, in Keating-era enterprise bargaining agreements, the SDA’s favoured position would be reconfirmed, but at a price to workers: a cut to penalty rates, opening the way to 24/7 trading, and ever more night and weekend shifts. The greater the number of employees on those shifts, the bigger the savings for employers from further cuts in penalties.

  4. ptmd

    I sympathise with the description of some voters as snivelling, cowardly, knuckle dragging bastards. Its important to note that there is a continuum. Most “low information” voters are more uninformed, or at least stupid – as opposed to being particularly mean or selfish.

    Labor needs to come to terms with the fact that a lot of voters are rather limited in terms of emotional range and intellect and it needs to be more professional in … umm.. sometimes the correct word isn’t so much communicating as much as affecting.

    Appealing to selfishness does actually sway a lot of voters (Keating is mostly right here). But being able to convince said voters that your policy is in their selfish interest is the real problem. Again, this boils down to disabusing people of wrong ideas. Often this comes down to points of fact.

    I don’t think its worth winning over the real neanderthals. But there’s a lot of voters out there who would vote Labor if you could get it into their head that Labor’s policy was, in fact, better for them personally (or their kids which is often the extent of their empathetic range).

    Added to this, Labor needs to dispel basic notions. It needs to go explain to people individually, personally, that Labor is the party that does nation building. That Labor is the Party responsible for many things we take for granted (like the electricity grid, or Medicare, or no-fault divorce) and also explain in the same sentence how the Liberals have always, and I do mean always, sought to oppose and wreck. Labor also needs to attack the myth that taking action on climate change means a heavy cost. The reverse is true. Without this myth, Scumbag could not be saying things like “but we won’t do things that might be reckless”.

    As well as the Labor organisation getting its act together and realising that its real problem is the average voter, not its policies, it also has to be realised that to disabuse the low information voters requires above all else a lot of people. Its both ordinary Labor and yes also Green supporters that should be united in getting out into the streets and shopping malls and having that conversation.

  5. Just to show there was a lot more to Wilson Gavin than protesting against drag queens reading to kids.

    “We respected the unwavering strength of his convictions and desire to make the world better. And we admired Wil’s drive to contribute, so often in ways not many knew about – like serving at a soup kitchen every Saturday or the year he spent teaching kids in Mongolia.”
    “He would regularly give the last note in his wallet to a homeless person on the street. Wil worked tirelessly for causes without personal gain, gratitude, or in some cases, loyalty.”

  6. Has anyone heard anything from Scummo about our own climate refugees.
    What do you do if you work at the local sales yard with no cattle moving? What if you rent and your landlord didn’t have enough insurance? What if your kids school was damaged and your kids have to travel to the next town? Etc etc etc
    Bushfire of this scale in crowded overseas countries could see millions displaced. We might need to give it some thought and keep
    Christmas Island and Manus on standby.

  7. Catmomma,

    Yes, we were such terrible bastards that we had girls who wanted to come back, referrals of friends and sisters, return visits from girls and their parents, invitations to visit and stay with them – clearly terribly exploited.

    And good work everyone today saying all the same stuff you’ve been saying for years has Morrison on the run. Apparently.

    I am particularly looking forward to UK Labour electing Ms Wrong Daily as their leader because Corbyn was so successful.

  8. Bucephalus while you’re there – you asked earlier where I’d got the figures from re recommended payment for au pairs. I posted the link here it is again as you seemed to doubt the veracity. It seems you were personally more generous in paying more than the recommended “pocket money” as it is officially called.

  9. Kate,

    These young ladies were looking after the most precious things in the world to me and we had to live with them. Treating them with respect and well hopefully meant they did the same for our kids. Apparently it worked.

  10. Brendan O’Connor
    Julie Bishop’s appointment to a company that is built on reverse factoring – a practice where small biz incur a fee to simply be paid on time – is seriously concerning and draws attention to the inaction by the federal government in this area. #auspol

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