Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor

Newspoll has both major parties up on the primary vote, Scott Morrison’s standing recovering somewhat, and generally positive results for federal and state governments on handling of coronavirus.

For all that our world may have changed over the past three weeks, Newspoll has not: The Australian reports the latest result has Labor’s lead steady at 51-49. There has, however, been primary vote movement in favour of the major parties, with both up by two points: the Coalition to 40%, Labor to 36%. The Greens are down one to 12%, One Nation unchanged on 4% and others down three to 8%.

As with Essential Research, Scott Morrison has recovered somewhat from his post-bushfire slump, with his approval rating up three to 41% and disapproval down five to 53%. He now holds a 42-38 lead over Anthony Albanese as preferred prime minister, who led 41-40 last time. Albanese’s net rating has also improved, his approval rating up one to 40% (The Australian report says down three, but I believe it has its wires crossed from the preferred prime minister movement) and disapproval down four to 40%.

In other findings, 75% support the government’s decision to abandon a budget surplus in favour of economic stimulus; 51% believe the federal government has managed preparedness for the crisis well; 66% are satisfied with federal and state government efforts to inform the public about the virus; but only 47% feel the same way about managing its economic impact.

UPDATE: The Australian’s reportage rather downplays the fact, but the poll found only 33% were satisfied with the economic response of governments (the question emphasised “both federal and state”) to the coronavirus outbreak, with 47% dissatisfied. The 75% rating in favour of stimulus did not relate specifically to the government’s policy, but to the general notion that “the Morrison government should provide a stimulus package to safeguard the economy”, with only 14% favouring the alternative option that it “should prioritise its promise to deliver a budget surplus”.

For the other questions, 76% of respondents were worried about the economic impact of the outbreak, versus only 20% for confident; 51% were worried, and 47% confident, about the preparedness of the public health system, for which 51% were satisified with the federal and state government response and 33% dissatisfied; and 63% were confident, and 35% worried, about “the amount of information available to Australians about how to protect themselves”, for which 65% were satisfied and 28% dissatisfied with the federal and state government response.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1501.

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.

1,631 comments on “Newspoll: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Yabba (carried over from last thread)

    Terrigal is south of Gosford (and east, of course). As I understand it, CC’s plan also involves a station on a branch line to Gosford. Commuters from Terrigal drive or catch a bus to Gosford now. I am pretty sure they would be prepared to do the same to catch a train that took 40 rather than 90 minutes to get to the city.

    Yep, I pointed that out in my reply to OC late in the last thread.

    It would take 30 minutes from Gosford HSR station to both the CBD and to Parramatta.
    25 minutes from Woy Woy station.

    From the point of view of southbound travel, Woy Woy station is the feed point for everything south of Brisbane Water plus Empire Bay, Killcare etc. Up to about Avoca Beach. Gosford is the most convenient for Erina, Terrigal and depending on the timing, up to Bateau Bay.

    Those further north including Tumbi Umbi, Tuggerah, Wyong, Gorokan and up to Wyee (basically around the shores of Tuggerah Lake and Lake Munmorah are going to find Tuggerah HSR station the better connection.

    There’s also two services per hour headed south from Morisset station (the existing one).

    If you’re headed south from Newcastle then you get to Gosford either by taking an all stops conventional train (which will still be as fast as the existing limited stops train thanks to line improvements) or if you’re in a hurry, you go Tuggerah and take the express bus to Gosford. Similarly there will be express buses taking you to Terrigal/Avoca or The Entrance or towards Wyong/Gorokan. You can also get from Newcastle to Gosford by taking HSR to Hornsby and then doubling back to Gosford (still faster than the conventional train).

    In all there are four stations relevant to the central Coast

    – Gosford (a brand new station a few minutes walk south of the present station)
    – Woy Woy (a rebuild of the existing station)
    – Tuggerah (a brand new station near the M1/Wyong Road interchange)
    – Morisset (a platform at the existing station)

  2. Coal 40 +2
    Lab 36 +2
    Greens 12 -1
    One nation 4 =
    Others 8 -3

    Not Surprised Greens have come back as climate change is not the major issue currently.

  3. From the previous thread:

    Taz @ #3638 Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 9:56 pm

    Has anyone heard/read anything about the spread of COVID-19 in Russia?

    Confirmed Deceased Recovered
    Russia 59/ 0/ 4

    Very suspicious indeed.

  4. From the SMH Column 8:

    A reminder that there is no circumstance so dire or unsettling that will stop people from making truly dreadful jokes. Tim Donovan of Bahrs Scrubs writes: “I wasn’t feeling well so went to the doctor to see if I had coronavirus. He checked me out and said I had Tom Jones flu. What is that, I said? He replied, it’s just a normal flu; it’s not unusual.”


  5. Trailing 51-49, just normal mid-term unpopularity that Governments often go through. Morrison won’t be losing any sleep over this poll result.

  6. “William Bowesays:
    Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 10:00 pm
    Thanks Ghost, updated.”

    Always thought you might be the same person…. I guess this doesn’t disprove it. Might just be a cute way to make a correction….

  7. A dead cat bounce for Morrison on Covid-19 crisis…

    As Kevin Bonham points out…

    Now if you want to see what swinging behind the PM in a crisis looks like in #Newspoll check out the one after S11 2001 when Howard was +30 netsat, 32 ahead as Better PM and the 2PP jumped 6 points to 57-43.

  8. need advise
    daughter was due to fly home from Singapore next week for 9 days then head back but does she have to self isolate for 14 days before she can leave or can she fly back after 9days.

  9. Politicians might be forced to stay away from Canberra for the last Parliamentary sitting week before the federal budget as the government rushes to pass legislation without risking spreading coronavirus among MPs.

    …”We have important work to do when Parliament resumes on Monday week and [we] will focus on that,” he said.

    Parliament needs to sit in order to pass major pieces of legislation, including those directly affecting the government’s response to coronavirus such as the $17.6 billion stimulus package designed to limit the economic impacts of the virus.

    A shortened sitting week with minimum MPs present could be among the considerations. There needs to be a minimum of 19 senators in the Senate and 30 members in the House to have a quorum, or about a quarter and a fifth of those usually present respectively.

    Parliamentary committees, which meet around the country, may also be affected.

  10. Gee, Norway is ratcheting it up..

    “ COVID-19
    The Norwegian government has announced, after an emergency Cabinet meeting, that all foreigners without a residence permit are to be expelled. We are working to establish what this will mean in practice.

  11. Expelled to where? It is not likely that any neighboring country is going to take them or any where allow them to fly in.

  12. Hm, what happens if they expel someone whose country of citizenship has implemented a travel ban on arrivals from Norway/Europe?

    Guess they’ll arrange special chartered flights like for the poor cruise-ship people?

  13. Confessions @ #3588 Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 6:07 pm


    A Perth church has said it will continue services as usual, because it is protected from the COVID-19 virus by ‘the blood of Jesus.’

    Victory Life Church, founded by tennis champion Margaret Court, made the announcement on Tuesday.

    “Your health and safety is a top priority for us and we have taken a proactive approach to keep our church family healthy and safe,” the church said in a statement.

    “We are in agreement that this Convid-19 (sic) will not come near our dwelling or our church family. We are praying daily for you, knowing that we are all protected by the Blood of Jesus.”

    Sounds more like they’ve done a deal with the devil.

  14. Catherine Perry.

    Herd immunity is only relevant to VACCINATION.
    With wild type virus, it’s basically “every man for himself. Survival of the fittest”. What they’re espousing is to let the virus have at it, and KILL THE OLD & THE SICK in the herd. The UK is peddling the same bullshit.

    THE Russell – The BOT who Votes

    Brendan Murphy says “Children can carry the #coronavirus without symptoms and can act as an agent to infect others to create a ‘herd immunity’, including aged grandparents. My advice is to keep schools open.” #insiders #WorstInterviewEver @InsidersABC #auspol

  15. Brendan Murphy says “Children can carry the #coronavirus without symptoms and can act as an agent to infect others to create a ‘herd immunity’, including aged grandparents. My advice is to keep schools open.” #insiders #WorstInterviewEver @InsidersABC #auspol

    He didn’t say that did he?

    As the goal at the moment is to keep the rate of infection low enough for the medical system to handle the situation he is a fk idiot if he did.

  16. State Library of Victoria joins the growing list of closures from tomorrow. (Monday)

    The state is slowly rolling out a shut down.

  17. The Live Performance industry is on the verge of collapse!

    The arts and culture industry is urging the federal government to develop a rescue package to ensure the country’s major cultural institutions do not collapse because of the ban on mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

    …Live Performance Australia president Richard Evans said he is extremely concerned many in the industry will not survive the shutdown.

    “There exists the very real possibility that in the absence of timely support being forthcoming that the industry will be much smaller in a month’s time,” Mr Evans said.

    …While Mr Evans said his orchestra could sustain a three-month shutdown, remaining solvent after six months would be “much more challenging”.

    …A new website dedicated to calculating the effect of cancelled events across the industry has sprung up, with close to 1000 submissions received in 24 hours.

    The website,, claims the lost income from more than 10,000 cancelled events is more than $25 million, with the livelihoods of at least 84,000 people affected. That includes performers, production crew, hospitality workers and booking agents.

  18. This is where the government should test the idea of a jobs guarantee.

    Create tens of thousands of new jobs. Providing logistical support to people who are quarantined. Disinfecting stuff. Etc.

  19. Live music is on the edge? I doubt it is the only industry. Travel and tourism are going to get squashed (mass sacking are coming next at one major company).

    I went to a “Spud Bar” restaurant for lunch today and ate in an empty shop…. that is not going to last long. The cafe next door was empty too.

    How many car dealers are going to cope with not selling any cars in March and April? This is going to get really bad really really soon.

    Yet, oddly despite the world going to hell in a hang basket, I am currently in possibly the best personal mental health I have been in for a decade and physical health for 5 years. Almost like the REM song.

  20. frednk @ #34 Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 7:59 pm

    Brendan Murphy says “Children can carry the #coronavirus without symptoms and can act as an agent to infect others to create a ‘herd immunity’, including aged grandparents. My advice is to keep schools open.” #insiders #WorstInterviewEver @InsidersABC #auspol

    He didn’t say that did he?

    As the goal at the moment is to keep the rate of infection low enough for the medical system to handle the situation he is a fk idiot if he did.

    Cull the elderly.

    Governments have been looking for a solution to an ageing population.

    Even this mob couldn’t be that heartless?

  21. ” This is one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced.

    As coronavirus continues to spread across Australia, I know that the coming days and weeks will be tough and full of uncertainty for so many of us.

    For older Australians and people with underlying health conditions, for whom this virus is very serious.

    For casual, gig economy, and contract workers who are still being pushed to choose between putting their colleagues at risk and putting food on the table.”

    From GetUp’s email this morning. It contains some useful links.

  22. for anyone interested, the new york met & berlin philharmonic are offering their opera & concert hall streaming services at no cost while they are closed against the virus. at this point i have not registered for either service, so i can’t attest to their availability outside the usa & germany/europe.

    1/ General Manager Peter Gelb announced today that in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of performances, the Met will offer a nightly series of free web streams that will bring opera to audiences while the house is dark—beginning March 16 at 7:30PM ET.

    from the last 15 years of new york met performances there will be a different complete opera every night, beginning at 7:30pm new york time (10:30am Sydney time?) and streaming continuously for the next 20 hours:-

    2/ The Philharmonie is closed – so we will come to you! Redeem the voucher code BERLINPHIL by 31 March and receive free access to all concerts and films in the Digital Concert Hall.

    the berlin philharmonic’s digital concert hall (600 performances):-

  23. frednk @ #34 Sunday, March 15th, 2020 – 9:59 pm

    Brendan Murphy says “Children can carry the #coronavirus without symptoms and can act as an agent to infect others to create a ‘herd immunity’, including aged grandparents. My advice is to keep schools open.” #insiders #WorstInterviewEver @InsidersABC #auspol

    He didn’t say that did he?

    As the goal at the moment is to keep the rate of infection low enough for the medical system to handle the situation he is a fk idiot if he did.

    The main idiotic thing with that commentary is that whatever the current goal, creating herd immunity by letting children run around and infect the elderly with the actual virus instead of using a vaccine means about 20% of the elderly will die (and a lot more will become severely ill). It’s the exact outcome we’re supposed to be trying to avoid.

  24. Margaret is obviously of the firm view that the racquet (or is it racket) of God will mightily smite the tennis ball of Corona from the homes, businesses and places of worship of the chosen.

    How Old Testament of her.

  25. 24 hours after the CMO encouraged us to keep shaking hands, the advice is to not shake hands.

    Given Murphy has said his advice is to keep schools open (I’m agnostic on this, reactive school closures should happen but proactive is pretty iffy) you can bet your bottom dollar schools will start closing on Wednesday (mainly private ones who can happily ignore Murphy).

  26. “you can bet your bottom dollar schools will start closing on Wednesday”

    What happens Wednesday?

    I think they’ll try to hold out to the holidays, then close them for an extra two weeks.

  27. I believe Murphy is being misrepresented. An argument for keeping schools open is so the kids get herd immunity over the next few weeks, not the grandparents. Kids don’t really get sick but can pass on the virus. If all the kids are infectious and school is cancelled, they will pass it on to their grandparents who will be babysitting them. And the grandparents have a high mortality rate, like 5%.

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