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. “What happened to my enemy’s enemy is my best friend.”

    It goes out the door when both major parties are on a unity ticket with The Australian to destroy the Greens at the ballot box.

    Unfortunately, bipartisan pleas for the Greens to disband because they are seen as a blight on our democratic system and, are also responsible for all the evil in Australia and the world will be ignored by the Greens.

  2. ItzaDream @ #1588 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:21 pm

    Ours is a ‘breakaway’ fire, renamed The Morton after it crossed the Shoalhaven River. It stopped, or rather scissored around, a few hundred metres short (south) of us on Friday night; what a shocker that was. There’s smoulderings and little outbreaks, but the winds are slight and from the N, NE, so I’m fairly OK, and hanging in to wait for the rain. The response from RFS has been magnificent. They were back again yesterday with the grader rethinking containment lines.

    The names get a bit confusing, because the fires are named as to where they started, not where they are currently burning. I guess this is inevitable when they last so long and end up so huge.

    I agree the RFS are truly magnificent.

    Good luck, and let’s both hope we get some rain tomorrow!

  3. P1 ‘Perhaps you should focus your attention on Labor for a bit?’

    Don’t need to, they are in opposition. It is the LNP that are in power and doing zip about emissions. They should be the focus of your critercism. But no, you prefer to bag Labor in some perverse desire to keep them in opposition.

  4. PeeBee @ #1604 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:36 pm

    P1 ‘Perhaps you should focus your attention on Labor for a bit?’

    Don’t need to, they are in opposition. It is the LNP that are in power and doing zip about emissions. They should be the focus of your critercism. But no, you prefer to bag Labor in some perverse desire to keep them in opposition.

    Ah! You are another one of those who believe the role of the opposition between elections is to sit quietly in parliament and collect their salaries.

    I guess this is a point of view that can be defended. Provided you are content to remain in opposition. But as a strategy to get back into government, it …. ummm …. well, let’s just say it leaves a little to be desired 🙁

  5. I am sure that the Greens and the Coalition, both of which are there to help Labor, would an Adani slagathon for the next 600 days.

    But right now Labor does not have a policy on Adani.

    It had one going into the last election but it was rejected by the electorate.

    The Greens had one going into the last election and it was rejected by the electorate.

    The Coalition had one going into the last election and it was approved by the electorate.

    So, that is the state of democratic play.

  6. p1

    Q. What is the role of the Opposition?
    A. The role of the opposition is to provide ammunition for the Coalition and the Greens to slag Labor for the next three years.

  7. P1’s proposition is that Labor should continue to do what it did during six years in opposition: provide a wide ranging suite of reformist policies well before the election.
    P1’s earnest advice is that adopting the same approach as the last two times will have an entirely different outcome the next time.
    It stands to reason.

  8. lizzie
    says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 1:13 pm
    nath
    Your viciousness is out of place. Both Albo and Bill spoke well and I thought it excellent that Labor was seen to be working as a team compared to the one man band with occasional extra instruments that is the LNP.
    ________________________________
    Albo should be doing pressers with Tanya or his deputy. Being associated with Shorten is not going to win any votes. He is regarded by the public as the least trustworthy leader of a political party since Federation…probably.

  9. I see that the Nats are, once again, trying to smash the milk market by using ‘moral suasion’ on the supermarkets to up their wholesale milk prices.

    Do it for the farmers!

  10. The role of the opposition is to win government. The role of the government is to enact responsible legislation and remove irresponsible ones.

    The problem the ALP has is one of mandate and legitimacy once elected in a media environment that is (at least half) rabidly opposed to them – as Gillard, Oakshot and WIndsor found out. The barest of shifts in policy from prior to the election to legislation after the election, will get smashed – regardless of the absurdity (and unequal treatment compared to the LNP) of that.

  11. ‘Simon Katich says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    The role of the opposition is to win government. The role of the government is to enact responsible legislation and remove irresponsible ones.’

    Uh uh. The role of the Opposition is to turn itself into a political patsy, an aunt sally, a large target for all the vindictive peeps for whom the only real meaning of life is to Assassinate Albo and sink Labor.
    Just like the achieved over six years with Kill Bill and Sink Labor.

    But don’t mention the other half of the binary: this sort of focused personal hate, ideological ranting, and political destruction has its real world consequences: Morrison and the Coalition Government.

  12. Simon Katich @ #1604 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:37 pm

    Hmmmmm,
    are we starting to see some level of coalescence between Klobuchar and Buttigieg?

    Give me them over Sanders and Warren any day! The Democrats might have a chance of winning…..the Electoral College….then.

    And Pete Buttigieg, just quietly, is the data guru the Democrats need to counter the superior digital ground game of the Repugs and Trump.

  13. You know, I was just thinking, with the release of the Lev Parnas information today, that Trump literally believes he could get away with assassinating someone. Maybe not on 5th Avenue, that was a rhetoricasl flourish, but, with the aid of the Russians (via a poisoning perhaps?), definitely in the Ukraine.

  14. Am I surprised by the bombshell relegations re Trump and co. No. Was expecting it.
    Will it push the GOP to finally vote Trump out.
    At this stage, I am not confident.

  15. Rex Douglas says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Wouldn’t seeing Bill back on our screens just bring back bad vibes to those swinging voters who rejected him for the muppet show ..?
    __________
    Plenty of bad vibes. Probably also the heebie jeebies as well. He should be removed as the Member for Maribyrnong.

  16. C@tmomma says: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    You know, I was just thinking, with the release of the Lev Parnas information today, that Trump literally believes he could get away with assassinating someone. Maybe not on 5th Avenue, that was a rhetoricasl flourish, but, with the aid of the Russians (via a poisoning perhaps?), definitely in the Ukraine.

    *****************************************************************

    Marie Yovanovitch wants official investigation into why Trump associates were spying on her

    Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch learned along with the rest of the world Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s lawyer and associates were monitoring her, following her and speculating on whether they could pay bodyguards could harm her in some way. ….. the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing.

    In a call with the Ukraine president, Trump alleged that the ambassador was “going to go through some things.” It clearly reveals the president knew what was going on with his allies.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/01/marie-yovanovitch-wants-official-investigation-into-why-trump-associates-were-spying-on-her/

  17. Chatter is that Klobuchar needs a break out moment. Stupid talking heads need to work as entertainment journos. She performs well in each and everyone of these debates – that is all she can and should do.

    She was always going to improve in the polls but it hasnt been enough. The problem she has is the emergence of Buttigieg and the continuing good performance of Biden. If Warren stumbles I doubt she will pick up any substantial ‘woman vote’ – whatever that is.

    And Buttigieg has stalled a little.

    If they keep on side with each other this second half of the debate I will wonder if there is some sort of pact. Or, some sort of recognition by both that Klobuchar is done.

  18. nath @ #1635 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 2:06 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    Wouldn’t seeing Bill back on our screens just bring back bad vibes to those swinging voters who rejected him for the muppet show ..?
    __________
    Plenty of bad vibes. Probably also the heebie jeebies as well. He should be removed as the Member for Maribyrnong.

    Brings Albanese’s judgement into question too.

  19. Boerwar @ #1609 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:43 pm

    Q. What is the role of the Opposition?
    A. The role of the opposition is to provide ammunition for the Coalition and the Greens to slag Labor for the next three years.

    Then Labor should get a pay rise, on the basis that they are not just meeting, but exceeding their KPIs.

    But as for winning government? Well, not so much … 🙁

  20. Best way to win back outer suburban seats is with heaps of pork.

    Remove some thermal coal related subsidies and tax breaks to help pay for it.

  21. Boerwar @ #1610 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:45 pm

    P1’s proposition is that Labor should continue to do what it did during six years in opposition: provide a wide ranging suite of reformist policies well before the election.
    P1’s earnest advice is that adopting the same approach as the last two times will have an entirely different outcome the next time.
    It stands to reason.

    You clearly didn’t read my advice all that closely. Which was that Labor should have fixed the clear and obvious problems with their policies, dumped the clearly idiotic ones, and then persevered with the remainder.

    As it stands, Labor look a little … err … exposed. Why do you think Albo felt the need to have a joint press conference with Shorten today? Could it perhaps be the same reason why you see the ‘rabid right’ attacking the ‘soft left’ … errr … sorry, the ‘greenies’ … here on PB day after day?

    I wonder who it is they think they are fooling?

  22. C@tmomma says: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Simon Katich @ #1604 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:37 pm

    Hmmmmm,
    are we starting to see some level of coalescence between Klobuchar and Buttigieg?

    Give me them over Sanders and Warren any day! The Democrats might have a chance of winning…..the Electoral College….then.

    ************************************************

    I am still hoping for a Biden/Harris team up

    Joe Biden says he’d consider Kamala Harris ‘for anything’ she wants, including VP

    She’s qualified to be president, and I’d consider her for anything that she would be interested in,” Biden said on The Bee’s California Nation podcast.

    He wrote on Twitter that she is “an incredible talent with unlimited potential.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/elections-2020/joe-biden-says-hed-consider-kamala-harris-for-anything-she-wants-including-vp/ar-BBYWWgR

  23. Rex agreed

    Heaps of pork – but wrapped up in a visionary narrative. Things like a fast train to western Sydney. New government co-invested industry. Ordinary stuff like schools and TAFE colleges. Etc.

  24. Proactive from state Labor

    Dan Andrews
    @DanielAndrewsMP
    ·
    1h
    If your home or livelihood has been destroyed or damaged by bushfires, you’re eligible for immediate tax relief.

    If you decide not to rebuild your house, we’ll cover up to $55,000 in stamp duty costs for your new home. [1/2]

  25. P1:’Ah! You are another one of those who believe the role of the opposition between elections is to sit quietly in parliament and collect their salaries.’

    Bullshit, I never said that. You just made that up.

    Why do you make stuff up? Maybe, in this time of crisis, pointing out you are targetting your critercism to the wrong party is embarrassing. Better to make stuff up than admit your mistake.

  26. It seems that Morrison wants to be seen announcing some bushfire payment scheme at least once a day.

    The Morrison government is either:

    1. panicking and announcing payments in response to situations they had never planned for; and/or

    2. trying to get as much political mileage out of the bushfires as they can.

    My guess is that both apply. Today’s effort:

    Bushfire-affected parents will get an extra $400 one-off payment for each child while volunteer firefighters will get at least $200 a day from the federal government’s $2 billion bushfire recovery fund.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/parents-and-volunteer-firefighters-to-get-extra-faster-payments-20200115-p53rmp.html

  27. And

    Media
    Likes
    Dan Andrews’s Tweets
    Dan Andrews
    @DanielAndrewsMP
    ·
    1h
    And if you’ve lost a car, we’re providing relief on the duty cost for a replacement one

    We’re waiving land tax on eligible properties used to provide free accommodation to those in need.

    And the SRO has stopped all debt recovery and land tax assessments in affected communities.

  28. Player One says:
    Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Boerwar @ #1609 Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 – 1:43 pm

    Q. What is the role of the Opposition?
    A. The role of the opposition is to provide ammunition for the Coalition and the Greens to slag Labor for the next three years.

  29. BW ‘A. The role of the opposition is to provide ammunition for the Coalition and the Greens to slag Labor for the next three years.’

    And with the delusion they are ‘helping’ Labor.

    I wish they would spend some time ‘helping’ the current government.

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