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. Australia certainly has the power to nationalise the private hospitals and that’s being considered right now.

    If Morrison is considering nationalising private hospitals a donor has put it in his head and they’ll be compensated 5 or 10x the value of whatever they provide.

  2. From 3rd March:

    Dr Dodd said SA Pathology had completed 5,500 tests for coronavirus since January 31.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-10/australias-first-coronavirus-road-testing-station-opens-adelaide/12041978

    Must be at least 7,000 by now. SA Population is 1.7M, so that’s at least 4.000 tests per million, putting South Australia high up the “leader board” in terms of tests / capita

    Or not?

    This is cf:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/australia-must-dramatically-expand-its-coronavirus-testing-regime-leading-virologist-says
    which has NSW at 3.3K tests/M and WA at 2.3K/M

  3. O.C.

    My major complaints against Littlefinger is that the Mediscare meant reform of the health care system has become politically impossible.

    —————————– ———————————

    Come on O.C. How do you justify that ex cathedra statement?

    Given the current situation with a global pandemic, it is going to much easier to persuade voters that Labor is the only party you can trust with your health, and perhaps your life.

    I suppose you think the Coalition handling of the crisis has been exemplary and will be rewarded at the next election. Just like the bushfires.

    Mediscare, if you want to call it that, was a very powerful political strategy that nearly put Littlefinger as you call him, in the Lodge.

    If Labor learned anything from that close thing in ’16, it was that health care is the most potent weapon the party has.

    If you think the Coalition isn’t always planning to further emasculate the public health system, you’re dreaming.

    The only way to get information-challenged voters to wake up is to scare them to death, if coronavirus hasn’t already.

    As RI and Mundo will tell you: nice guys finish last.

  4. Peter van Onselen@vanOnselenP
    ·
    1h
    The lack of testing has become a real issue. You can’t get one unless been overseas, in contact with someone or a healthcare worker. The govt uses South Korea in their projections but they are doing 25,000 tests a day. We sure aren’t. It’s the same mistakes the US made weeks ago.

  5. If Rudd and Littlefinger are anything to go by, Labor is incapable of reforming Medicare to bring it into the 20th century.
    That State governments, with their limited revenue powers, have the roles of both purchaser and provider of public hospital services dooms the hospitals to inevitable decline in the quality and quantity of services.
    Spending a day reading the report of Rudd’s National Health and Hospital Reform Commission gives an insight into what was required in 2009 and how Rudd stuffed it up (admittedly some of the little he did achieve was reversed by Abbott)

  6. As has been previously pointed out, on a per capita basis, NSW is third in the world behind Qatar and South Korea in performing COVID 19 tests.
    Currently over 2000 per day and about to be ramped up as we enter our 2nd stage of the pandemic.
    It could also be pointed out that S Korea had the advantage of a well defined cohort as the epicentre of community transmission – giving a much better pick up rate than the 1:130 positive results that NSW is achieving

  7. Actually CC HSR is not my thing.
    I was just surprised that you argue:
    1. Commuters from the Entrance would catch a bus to Tuggerah
    2. This can all be achieved with Opal Card type fares – I guess including a high number of concession holders
    I have read your counter arguments, there is no need to repeat them.

  8. Littlefinger is a character from Game of Thrones. He was the treasurer of King’s Landing who assassinated two Prime Ministers (literally rather than figuratively) and had a series of marriages that promoted his career.
    He eventually had his throat slit by Arya Stark

  9. I gave Shorten the nickname ‘Littlefinger’ because of the infamous line by the character ‘Chaos is a Ladder’. I thought this was particularly apt of Shorten’s activities and ambition during the RGR years.

  10. The change in the USD/AUD rate is remarkable. EUR/AUD is similar, though less erratic. We know the $$$s first focus of our government. So I’m guessing the remarkable plummet of the “Aussie Battler” is what is getting their attention.

    I’m preparing myself for more empty words on “resilience”.

  11. Indeed but in this case Littlefinger is the nickname of Lord Petyr Balish, so called because he started life as an impoverished noble with only a little finger of land

  12. The Toorak Toff says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Is it safe to swim in a public pool?
    I’d have thought the chlorine would fix the virus

    —————————————————————–

    A historical vignette/

    In the 1918-19 Spanish flu epidemic in Sydney they closed the schools. The children were assembled regularly during the epidemic at salt water pools which were considered to be a healthy alternative.

    My Mum, aged 11, learned to swim during the outbreak at the historic (1882) Balmain Baths which is now the Dawn Fraser Baths.

  13. I believe that the state Labor government’s in QLD, VIC and WA (possibly the NT and ACT too) could end up nationalising the private hospitals in order to fight the Conoravirus pandemic, especially after what happened in Spain.

    If that happened would the state governments in NSW, TAS and SA follow suit?

  14. It’s remarkable how fast things have changed.

    A month ago things were normal. True, there was a major contagion outbreak in China. There was a handful of C19 cases here. Even so, life went on. The major topics of conversation here were the endless Labor-Green wars (don’t mention the war!), the Fires, Sports Rorts and the usual political stuff.

    Even just over a fortnight ago, say Feb 29, it was still normal.

    And now on March 17 the country is shutting down. Supermarket shelves are being stripped bare, share prices and the Aussie dollar are diving (collapsing?), major events in the national calendar are being cancelled, international travel is shutting down, borders are being sealed off and stringent quarantine provisions are being implemented. The biggest crisis World War 2 looms, with likely tens of thousands of deaths, a massive strain on the healthcare system, mass job losses and likely Depression.

    We’re still in the (relative) calm before the storm. We don’t know what things will be like in another month’s time, but they won’t be good.

  15. A month ago things were normal.

    They seemed normal but we had never addressed the problems made apparent in the GFC. We just pretended it didn’t happen, that inequality and insecurity wasn’t a problem, it was totally cool, totally normal, not shitfuckery of the worst kind, no not at all.

    But there has been no time after the GFC where things were really normal. For example one of our biggest exports, LNG, has been plummeting in price behind the oil price. The long decline of the Aussie has been significant. Stagnant wages. Wall St and the 1% literally sucking as much life out of the bone as they could before the music stops.

    Perhaps a month ago, the orchestra was still playing just all the instruments were a little off, it may not have stopped now but the conductor is struggling to find the next page. Oh and we have Trump, Morrison and Johnson running three countries, three idiot stable boys for the 7 horsemen of the apocalypse.

  16. Requisitioning beds and equipment from private hospitals would only be a temporary measure.
    They don’t have the staff to run them in the long term amongst other things.

  17. …this is the rumour tonight from this morning’s WA Cabinet meeting effective from tomorrow until 31/3 we are going into lock down.

    “1. Ban on all religious, sporting, social and cultural gatherings. All business and religious premises to close. Exemption on groceries, public markets, provision stores. Restriction on mosques and Islamic events subject to Muzakarah meeting.
    2. Nationwide travel restrictions on all citizens. Those who have just arrived from abroad must undergo self-quarantine.
    3. All tourists and visitors barred from entry.
    4. All public and private schools including kindergartens, nurseries, residential school and other educational institutions to close.
    5. All private and public higher institutions of learning to close.
    6. Closure of all government and private premises except essential services such as water and electricity, telecommunication, postal service, transport, fuel, gas, lubrication, broadcasting, banking, health, pharmacy, fire-fighting, ports, airports, prisons, security and defence, sanitary services, provision and food supply.”

    At last….a Government that will do the very things that are essential to forestall the worst….

  18. OC

    What I specifically wanted to know is whether you are aware that there would be a HSR station at Gosford in the question you originally asked me (which was about Terrigal)?

    I was just surprised that you argue:
    1. Commuters from the Entrance would catch a bus to Tuggerah

    Its a shorter trip to Tuggerah than it is to Gosford.

    2. This can all be achieved with Opal Card type fares – I guess including a high number of concession holders

    There are at least 11 million trips per anum made on the existing rail line between points north of the Hawkesbury and points south of the Hawkesbury. A well designed HSR network takes over the entirety of that traffic. So, that’s 11 million trips.

    There are over 30 million individual one way trips made by car that come from the Lower Hunter, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast and go to Sydney (out of a pool of nearly a million people). HSR may capture somewhere between 35 and 45 percent of that. That’s another 12 million trips.

    There is also induced demand. Depending on your assumptions that’s anywhere from 50 percent additional trips to double. That’s another 10-20 million trips.

    All up we’re talking about 30+ million trips on HSR. At an average yield of $12 per ticket (factoring in adjustments to the Opal schedule – and yes allowing for concessional users) that’s $360 million a year gross revenue.

    So what was proposed in 2013? To cut a long story short it boils down to 2.2 million trips (in 2020) and an average yield of $33. Thus a gross revenue of $73 million.

    So, volume matters. $73 million versus $360 million.

    Also, (and I’m not going to bore anyone with the details) you get substantial cost savings in the operation of the conventional network. You’re not running nearly as large a fleet and indeed, you’d be displacing intercity trains onto other duties.

  19. Coles emailed me tonight. It’s a lengthy email so I won’t post it in full. But the highlights are:

    Our supermarkets will temporarily change their trading hours to open 7am to 8pm every day*, with the first hour of trade on weekdays exclusively for customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card and Health Care Card^. Once this hour is complete, all other customers will be invited through the doors to complete their grocery shop.

    Supermarkets will also close no later than 8pm to give our team members the time and space to extensively clean our stores and replenish the shelves for customers the next day

    …we are recruiting an additional 5,000 casual team members to join our supermarkets across Australia. …We’ll be fast-tracking inductions so we can boost the number of team members on the shop floor as quickly as possible.

    Our Coles Online home delivery service will temporarily be diverted to focus on elderly and vulnerable members of the community. Delivery vans in our network will focus on delivering groceries to those in genuine need, including retirement and nursing homes.

    KayJay, perhaps you can get them to favour you?

  20. A mass shipment of fast-turnaround C19 testing kits has arrived in Australia:

    100,000 tests surely means we can now test people with symptoms without having to prove their connection to a known case?

    And it would mean being able to do a random sample of the general population to get an idea of what is really happening.

    And it would mean being able to test teachers, child minders, aged care workers.. etc..

  21. Cud Chewer says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 11:41 pm
    A mass shipment of fast-turnaround C19 testing kits has arrived in Australia:
    100,000 tests surely means we can now test people with symptoms without having to prove their connection to a known case?

    And it would mean being able to do a random sample of the general population to get an idea of what is really happening.

    And it would mean being able to test teachers, child minders, aged care workers.. etc..

    This cannot come soon enough.

    In addition to the 12 people identified in my earlier tally, my sister in-law and nephew have been in touch tonight. They have both had 5-6 days of high fever and a strong, frequent, persistent dry cough together with inflamed upper lungs and difficulty breathing….totally consistent with COVID-19, but not yet testable.

    The virus is spreading unchecked in the community.

  22. My nephew works at a Coles supermarket in the Eastern Suburbs….would have had contact with hundreds of people every day until he became febrile and decided to self-isolate (and after infecting his mother)….

  23. I’m falling asleep at the keyboard RI. Sorry. I’ll check back in the morning, for now hoping your nephew and his mum are recovering and that you have resisted.

  24. “this is the rumour tonight from this morning’s WA Cabinet meeting effective from tomorrow until 31/3 we are going into lock down.”
    Lifted verbatim from Malaysian announcement. I dont think so.

  25. “Cud Chewersays:
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 1:02 am
    Centerlink could be hiring a lot of extra staff and building a virtual call center”

    Yup. There’s going to need to be a lot of this.

    Once it settles down, might be time to throw a lazy 20B to HSR as well. As long as the engineering is done here and the manufacturer of the rolling stock, that might soak up some jobs.

  26. No one will be nationalising private hospitals and there isn’t a need too because we already run an interconnected health system that for many people is well run besides lengthy waiting lists in certain areas.

  27. “Blobbit yep Sydney to Newcastle”

    In a way it won’t really matter where. It’s going to be a case of doing anything to get people back you work.

    I’d like to see a massive push for renewables, with the components manufactured locally.

    Borrow the money from Mars if we have to. Repayment due in 2100.

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