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”


  1. Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    R

    We used to stay in an onsite caravan in Apollo Bay in winter, a popular summer vacation destination in Victoria. Wild and stormy, huge waves, grey skies, dark clouds, and completely deserted. Bliss!

    If you were there in 60,s and 70’s we have probable met.

  2. frednk

    Central Australia, a September midday, walk 50 meter from the car so you can no longer see the road. The absolutely blue sky’s, the silence, the simmering distance view. It is just amazing.
    ————
    Sounds very good….. what about the flies??

    I walked last year in the Simpson Desert very quiet at night but by day ….. the flies. …

  3. Coalition’s second multibillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus expected to target businesses and low-income earners

    Government warns the extra spending will not be enough to avoid widespread job losses

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/17/coalitions-second-multibillion-dollar-coronavirus-stimulus-expected-to-target-businesses-and-low-income-earners

    “Federal cabinet discussed options in a meeting on Tuesday, with the measures also discussed by the cabinet’s expenditure review committee, however it is understood no final decisions have been made.

    The government is looking at ways to ramp up support through existing programs and mechanisms, but the package is unlikely to be announced until after the Reserve Bank of Australia intervenes again on Thursday either through another emergency rate cut or a significant purchase of government bonds.

    It is expected the government will put the new measures to a scaled-down parliament next week to be voted on before the Easter break and the May budget.”


  4. Rakali says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    frednk

    Central Australia, a September midday, walk 50 meter from the car so you can no longer see the road. The absolutely blue sky’s, the silence, the simmering distance view. It is just amazing.
    ————
    Sounds very good….. what about the flies??

    Aeroguard

  5. B.S. Fairman says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    With inflation Rudd’s second stimulus package would be close to $100 Billion.

    There needs to be an emergency credit facility created for mortgage and loan recipients and for renters. Those who cannot work or who lose their jobs need to be able to borrow their instalments or rent from an RBA funded Treasury account so that income can continue to flow to their creditors. This would be QE aimed at households and businesses/contractors.

    Perhaps some discount should be automatically applied to the instalments and rentals. Any creditor who was underpaid could have the discount made up as a loan from a similar RBA facility if they so chose.

    At the same time, small business owners with fewer than, say, 20 workers whose sales crash or who are unable to work or who will be unable to maintain their staffing levels should be able to obtain carry-on loans. The loans could scale from $50,000 up to $500,000, depending on the size of the business. This would also be an emergency RBA/Treasury facility and it could be administered by the banks, who have the IT systems to run this. This would mean businesses could continue to retain their staff, meet their basic costs and outgoings while demand stabilises and economic activity revives.

    The Commonwealth should also offer cash grants to new businesses or contractors who will employ virus-recovered people in “vital sectors”, including health care, aged care, child care, transport, logistics, public security and other emergency COVID-19 related services. This will help direct idled resources into sectors that will help the community weather the pandemic.

    There should be no arbitrary limit on the RBA’s QE capacity. The steeper the pandemic, the deeper the economic decline, the greater will be the need for emergency management.

    The rate of unemployment benefits paid should probably be tripled.

    This kind of thing could be done within days. It does not require a new economy to be built. It is aimed at being a shock absorber for the very greta hits that the existing economy has already begun to experience. If this costs 10-15% of GDP over the coming 18 months but means the economy emerges intact, it will be money well-spent.

  6. I like to drive to nearby parks to enjoy the bushland. Large parts of Lane Cove National Park are still closed owing to last month’s floods and parts are waterlogged owing to frequent rain since. Even so, it’s still a nice place to go where people can be far enough apart not to exchange virus particles.

  7. Haha …Aerogard……..

    the sea and sand … when alone … is a sort of a desert….

    It is always intriguing the pull the sea has on a terrestrial ape

  8. The Government will try to use half measures and evasions in their economic policy, in the same way as they’ve used half measures in their failed attempts to avert the pandemic.

    We must use strong measures….bold measures….but we can be very sure the LNP are incapable of them. Too sad. A Labor government would not have been so feeble.

  9. Heard at Bunnings today the two items selling out are …. drum roll …

    Diggers Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol for making homemade hand sanitiser

    Veggie seeds.

    Feel quite lucky that my home veggie garden is producing in spades at the moment …. lettuce, limes, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, sage, tarragon, peppers and egg plants soon. Salad heaven in the Victorian Rossmore household at the moment

    For insurance put in a fresh crop of seeds today, more lettuce, snow peas and broadbeans.

  10. RI

    Albo should be calling for the rate of Newstart to be raised by $150 a week and then offer it to everyone who otherwise does not have an income – including small business owners who have had to shut down. Cut the red tape. No “mutual obligations”. Give it a sunset clause if necessary, but this may change people’s views on the issue.

  11. Rossmore says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:31 pm
    ….
    For insurance put in a fresh crop of seeds today, more lettuce, snow peas and broadbeans.

    That is the solution for sure.

  12. R

    We have been living off our vegie patch and dwarf fruit trees. Strawberry, blackberry and blueberry crops have finished. Now picking pears and several varieties of apples. Joy.

  13. Diogenes:

    [‘Private health insurance would make zero difference to your chance of being ventilated.’]

    In the early stages of C-19 (ie, before the whole system is possibly overwhelmed), would it not make a difference if you were admitted to a private hospital’s E & A? On the Goldie, we have at least three, one of which (Pindara) I’ve often frequented with idiopathic angioedema/anaphylaxis.

  14. Diggers Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol for making homemade hand sanitiser

    I doubt it… I’ve not seen any bulk Isopropyl alcohol in Australia.
    (Cut and paste from USA prepper websites?)

    Bunnings website prices:
    Isopropyl: $27.50 for 500ml. ($10.99 for 345ml of 64% “rubbing alcohol” at Chemist Warehouse.)
    Metho: $14.65 for 4L (4000ml). $69.98 for 20L.

    (Ye olde Triangia metho stoves FTW.)

  15. Casual, micro-engaged and gig workers who lose their jobs/income sources should be able to access micro loans too for re-training or relocation or new micro-business purposes….maybe in lots of $5,000 up to a total of $20,000 from the RBA/Treasury Social QE/Pandemic Account. Alternatively, these sums could be available to an education/training provider, new employer or as a bonus for a third-party contractor who creates a place for a “displaced marginal worker”.

    The purpose of this would be to minimise the displacement period experienced by marginally attached workers….to keep them in work, earning, contributing to the economy.

    Their waiting period for unemployment benefits should also be scrapped, so that their mobility can be encouraged and so the fear of unemployment can be removed.

  16. Mavis
    The private hospitals don’t want to know you if you even remotely could have coronavirus. You have to line up at the door and fill out a questionnaire and get your temperature taken. Any flag and you aren’t seen.

  17. Australians more concerned about economy than health in coronavirus pandemic

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/australians-more-concerned-about-economy-than-health-in-coronavirus-pandemic-20200317-p54b1o.html

    “More than 77 per cent of respondents in a new national survey by Newgate Research were either “extremely” or “quite” concerned about the overall economic impact, revealing deep pessimism at the ongoing prospect of the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

    The online tracking study of more than 1000 Australians, taken between Wednesday and Saturday last week, found older Australians, women, those living in metropolitan NSW and Victoria and middle-income earners are among the groups most concerned.”

  18. Cud Chewer says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:33 pm
    RI

    Albo should be calling for the rate of Newstart to be raised by $150 a week and then offer it to everyone who otherwise does not have an income – including small business owners who have had to shut down. Cut the red tape. No “mutual obligations”. Give it a sunset clause if necessary, but this may change people’s views on the issue.

    $150 seems barely enough. Unemployment is going to become a mass experience. The rate should be increased to more like $550/600 per week for a single person, at least until unemployment falls below, say, 5%. The beneficiaries of this income include not merely the recipients, but also include the every other producer of goods and services, who will benefit from the demand floor this will create.

  19. Pegasus @ #1474 Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – 8:47 pm

    Australians more concerned about economy than health in coronavirus pandemic

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/australians-more-concerned-about-economy-than-health-in-coronavirus-pandemic-20200317-p54b1o.html

    “More than 77 per cent of respondents in a new national survey by Newgate Research were either “extremely” or “quite” concerned about the overall economic impact, revealing deep pessimism at the ongoing prospect of the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

    The online tracking study of more than 1000 Australians, taken between Wednesday and Saturday last week, found older Australians, women, those living in metropolitan NSW and Victoria and middle-income earners are among the groups most concerned.”

    Wait till there a re 30,000 dead.

  20. You can get bulk (20 litre) but at the moment There seems to have been a “toilet roll run” on the stuff.

    You caught me mid-edit; 20L of metho ($69.98) I presume?

  21. Re the hand sanitizer ,Home Made. This looks a damned good option. The ‘recommended hand rub” formulation from the WHO. Passed all sorts of tests and worked against SARS. Can be made with either ethanol or isopropanol/IPA/Rubbing alcohol.
    ————————————————————

    WHO-recommended handrub formulations

    12.1.1. Suggested composition of alcohol-based handrub formulations for local production

    The choice of components for the WHO-recommended handrub formulations takes into account cost constraints and microbicidal activity. The following two formulations are recommended for local production with a maximum of 50 litres per lot to ensure safety in production and storage.

    Formulation I
    To produce final concentrations of ethanol 80% v/v, glycerol 1.45% v/v, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) 0.125% v/v.

    Pour into a 1000 ml graduated flask:

    ethanol 96% v/v, 833.3 ml
    H2O2 3%, 41.7 ml
    glycerol 98%,14.5 ml
    Top up the flask to 1000 ml with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled; shake the flask gently to mix the content.

    Formulation II
    To produce final concentrations of isopropyl alcohol 75% v/v, glycerol 1.45% v/v, hydrogen peroxide 0.125% v/v:

    Pour into a 1000 ml graduated flask:

    isopropyl alcohol (with a purity of 99.8%), 751.5 ml
    H2O2 3%, 41.7 ml
    glycerol 98%, 14.5 ml
    Top up the flask to 1000 ml with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled; shake the flask gently to mix the content.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144054/
    https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf?ua=1

  22. From the same article:

    “About 38 per cent of Australians believed Prime Minister Scott Morrison was doing an excellent or good job, while 26 per cent think his performance has been fair.”

  23. Leigh Sales
    @leighsales
    ·
    13m
    The Australian government is urging all Australians overseas to return home as soon as possible on commercial flights. Advice is from Dept of Foreign Affairs.

  24. GG

    My niece is booked to return from the USA on Saturday morning.
    We had spoken to DFAT on Sunday who reassured us that despite the fluidity of the situation, she should have no problem returning to Australia this week.

  25. Today I counted up with the members of my family and their contact groups who are probable COVID-19 cases. The total comes to 12, all arising from community spread at the centre of which lie childcare and other everyday family-related activities in Perth and Sydney. The vectors are daily life.

    None were really “sick” but all had symptoms over the last 4 weeks of one kind or another that are consistent with the published descriptions. All have seemingly recovered after episodes that lasted from a few days to more than 3 weeks. None were able to be tested. None are included in the official stats. They will not know for some time if they’re actually cases or not. It would be great to have that info. Really great.

    We’re all very concerned about the most elderly members of the family, the demands that will arise from prolonged isolation and our capacity to care for them if they become cases.

  26. Kronomex says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    They’ve been screwing the public for years, so screw them and demand a refund.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-17/airlines-hotels-may-credit-refund-travel-booking-coronavirus/12060216?section=business
    ——————————————————-

    And get this, a major international carrier I use say they will waive the change fee, but if the fare is now higher than when booked you have to pay the difference. And you know what that means.

    And here’s the kicker, in the unlikely possibility that the fare has gone down, they won’t refund the difference to you. Bastards.

  27. It’s all in the timing of announcements.
    ———

    Companies set to ‘mobilise’ after government lifts onshore gas ban

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/companies-set-to-mobilise-after-government-lifts-on-shore-gas-ban-20200317-p54b1u.html

    “Some of Australia’s biggest resources companies are expected to jostle for gas-drilling rights in Victoria after the state government overturned a long-held moratorium on conventional onshore exploration.

    The Andrews government’s announcement on Tuesday – three months before a decision was due – was welcomed by gas producers, unions and heavy gas users, such as manufacturers, who had called for the years-long moratorium to be abolished.

    Environmental groups remain fiercely opposed, arguing onshore drilling will drive up greenhouse gas emissions and threaten state ecosystems.

    The decision will allow exploration and drilling for gas to commence from the middle of next year.
    :::
    The government also moved to enshrine in the constitution its ban on “unconventional” gas extraction practices, including hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, and coal seam gas exploration.
    :::
    “It is truly appalling that the Victorian Labor government is trying to pull the wool over our eyes by making this disastrous announcement in the middle of a pandemic,” Victorian Greens environment spokeswoman Ellen Sandell said.
    :::
    Environment Victoria chief executive Jono La Nauze warned that lifting the gas ban would make climate change worse and expose Victorians to greater risks of fires, heatwaves and drought.

    “It is critical the Premier come clean with Victorians on how he plans to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse emissions in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees,” Mr La Nauze said.”

    Business and unions on board because jobs, jobs, jobs and lotsa profits to be made. Climate change and the environment…. pfffft.

  28. RI

    I agree. I’m just trying to be politically expedient with that figure. The more “measured” it is, the easier it is to drive a wedge.

  29. Germany closing all shops apart from supermarkets and chemists.

    Spain bringing into emergency public ownership all private hospitals.

  30. Diogenes:

    [‘The private hospitals don’t want to know you if you even remotely could have coronavirus. You have to line up at the door and fill out a questionnaire and get your temperature taken. Any flag and you aren’t seen.’]

    Thanks, Dio.

  31. “I doubt it… I’ve not seen any bulk Isopropyl alcohol in Australia.”

    Hydroponics shops. Used for alcohol extractions of essential oils from flowers.

  32. RI @9:05

    Almost certainly most/nearly all of those events were colds/flu. But its still consistent with the true number of covid19 infections being 10-20 times higher than the official numbers.

  33. I have no doubt that the size of the stimulus packages will ultimately be far in excess of $100…. probably in the multiples of the Rudd package…. we have made a choice to attempt to save people; we could have gone and let 10% of the population die and keep everything going…. instead we are looking at a global economy which will collapse to some degree and societies which are possibly going to start breaking down in some ways (just look at social norms and decent is collapsing at supermarkets).

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