Newspoll: 50-50

Back to level pegging in Newspoll, as Scott Morrison cops a dent in his still healthy personal approval and preferred prime minister ratings.

After blowing out to 53-47 in favour of the Coalition two Newspolls ago, the latest result, courtesy of The Australian, has two-party preferred back at 50-50. The Coalition is down two on the primary vote to 41% and Labor is up three to 36%, with the Greens steady on 11% and One Nation down one to 3%. Similarly, Scott Morrison’s still-healthy personal ratings are down on the last three weeks ago, with approval at 64% (down four) and disapproval on 32% (up three). Anthony Albanese is up on both approval, by two points to 43%, and disapproval, by three points to 41%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is now 58-29, in from 60-25. The poll also includes a finding that “80 per cent of Australians support border ­closures if the health situation demands it”, which I’ll go into in greater detail when I see the full results.

UPDATE: The wording to the latter question was, “do you think premiers should have the authority to close their borders or restrict entry of Australians who live in other states”, which drew responses of 80% yes and 18% no. State breakdowns: 76-22 in New South Wales, 74-23 in Victoria, 84-15 in Queensland, 92-5 in South Australia and 91-7 in Western Australia, from respective samples of 475, 371, 311, 119 and 146. The overall sample of the poll was 1507, and it was conducted from Wednesday to Saturday.

UPDATE 2 (Tuesday): Today The Australian brings further findings on attitudes to the leaders, specifically that Scott Morrison is rated as experienced by 79% and Anthony Albanese by 63%; Morrison is reckoned to have a vision for Australia by 72% compared with 52% for Albanese; and that Morrison is rated arrogant by 46% and Albanese by 37%. In all three cases, Morrison’s ratings have improved by either 11% or 12% since the questions were last posed in December, which is fairly typical of such polling in closely tracking the leader’s overall approval rating.

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.

1,221 comments on “Newspoll: 50-50”

  1. Love this from Amy

    Daniel Hurst is listening to the ANU talk with ASD chief Rachel Noble – he tells me that the ASD is looking to recruit hairdressers, because they are so good at getting information.

    I swear to Dolly, if hairdressers start narking, it will be the end of civilisation. THE END.

  2. @sophiemeixner ABC
    Brett Sutton just said the COVIDSafe app hasn’t been much help because there aren’t many opportunities for random contact in Victoria right now. In June, Nick Coatsworth said the app hadn’t been useful because we’d had so few coronavirus cases. So when does it work exactly?

  3. I’m thinking about donating the convict-era items to the Powerhouse Museum before they get broken, now that the NSW Coalition government has decided to leave the museum where it is.

    Was the Powerhouse backflip a pseudo-somersault?

    The Premier’s July 4 media release contained just one pertinent fact. “Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum at Ultimo … will remain open.” That was it, the backflip. By the next day, it was understood that “open” meant a “fashion and design museum” on the site. But that had always been on the table – a fashion-museum-with-lyric theatre bundle had been discussed for the Ultimo site since 2016 and officially costed in 2018 (at $388 million) as the government’s preferred option. So what had changed, if anything?

  4. Socrates @ #909 Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 – 12:52 pm

    Afternoon all. If I read this article correctly there are currently more community transmission cases of Covid19 occurring in NSW (13 today) than Victoria (0 today in community; 71 in federally controlled Aged Care homes). BY the end of this week NSW infections might outnumber Victorian ones. What will Newscorpse say then?


    No, I don’t think you are reading it correctly. The article says that all five deaths in Victoria were related to Aged Care, not that all new cases were (it’s poorly worded at that point).

    And also the locally acquired cases today in NSW numbered 11, not 13. And none of them are classified as “community transmission” because they were all linked to known clusters.

    Which is not to deny your fundamental point that NSW cases may overtake Vic cases at some point in the near future. You’d expect no less given the current strict measures in Victoria, but it hasn’t happened yet. When it does, it won’t go unnoticed on PB!

  5. Bucephalus
    If only Peter border joke Dutton had shut the borders and imposed quarantine because he had those powers but nah it is so much easier to do nothing then bitch and moan about what others are doing cleaning up the mess.

  6. From the doctors’ letter. Apart from the virus being of “limited virulence” it’s apparently just loneliness and starvation making it look so bad in the homes.

    “Most of the 565 deaths have occurred in nursing homes which according to doctors currently working in this environment have described causal factors related not only to the virus but to other care related issues, including isolation, loneliness, and related diminished nutritional intake.”

  7. Thanks poroti.
    So if only those private owners took better care of their residents, there would be no need for other actions.
    But they didn’t and there was.

  8. lizzie says:
    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    “What is their alternative medical treatment for Covid-19?”

    Targeted-risk-based protection of the highly vulnerable and let everyone else get on with life.

  9. Bucephalus
    The problem with that is we don’t know the full extent of at risk groups so the best strategy is to stop it at the border but Peter border joke Dutton was bludging on the job.

  10. C@tmomma
    I have collected China all my life and still have boxes and boxes, actually a storage shed of boxes of the stuff.
    My collecting went in waves, I’d see something and go through 12 months of acquiring that type of item and then change tack when something else took my fancy.
    Given I don’t like crowded benches I’d routinely swap displays to showcase different items. When we moved last I carefully stored and labelled it all. My kids hope that at some point in the future I will start selling it so they don’t have to. The family acquired China is being fought over by my daughter and daughter in law and I’m not dead yet. The oldest son has already taken possession of the Morano glass items as they suited his style of decoration.

    Most treasured is my watch collection, most Art Deco style, all work but I can no longer read the dials, but they look stunning.

  11. poroti @ #956 Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 – 1:52 pm

    From the doctors’ letter. Apart from the virus being of “limited virulence” it’s apparently just loneliness and starvation making it look so bad in the homes.

    “Most of the 565 deaths have occurred in nursing homes which according to doctors currently working in this environment have described causal factors related not only to the virus but to other care related issues, including isolation, loneliness, and related diminished nutritional intake.”

    Yeah, due to the chronic understaffing and lack of a Morrison government plan, when care workers contracted COVID-19 there were no longer enough staff members to feed and bathe them and keep them company!

  12. Biden:

    “Covid has taken this year, just since the outbreak, has taken more than 100 year, look, here’s, the lives, it’s just, when you think about it.”

    I just want to know if the Signer interpretation was word for word.

  13. Assantdj,
    I still have a complete dinner set of Royal Albert Country Roses which my parents bought for my 21st birthday. Which I have never opened and is now stored at my parent’s house. 😆

  14. It I’ll be interesting to see if the sudden influx of acute care nurse into the aged care environment helps them get a better understanding of the inherent challenges in aged care.
    Wandering patients can’t be sedated or tied down, will be interesting to see their suggestions for managing these people
    Nutritious food is required but it has to be of a texture they can eat and feeding some residents a sufficient quantity can take up to an hour. Tube feeding is a great initiative but needs to be instigated at the start of their disease not 18 months later when they come into care.
    No amount of pressure relief and turning will stop pressure sores developing in an elderly person who is actively dying over a period of months not days.
    As I,said, will be interesting to see how they manage these issues.

  15. Morrison still wants the borders open up, not for the health and safety of citizens,but for the liberal/national party donors and big businesses to get richer, and Australians to be poorer.

    Pressure must be on newsltd/Morrsion and cronies to be held accountable , for the infections and death cause by the corona virus which spreads across Australia

  16. This might be of interest, from the facebook page of Andy Meddick, Animal Justice Party MLC for Western Victoria:

    We can’t overnight replace “We are all in this together” with “everyone for themselves”.

    Today I will support a 6-month extension to Victoria’s state of emergency.
    I will be doing so with immense concern. But my concern is not about what the government is requesting through this proposed legislation.

    My concern is about the misinformation and fear-mongering that has surrounded it.
    I want to make it clear that today we are not voting on a continued lockdown. Any politician that has communicated it this way is simply being irresponsible, and it brings me great discomfort to watch our public health system being used as a political football in this way.

    As a regional MP, I don’t want to see my constituents in lockdown or harsh restrictions a day longer than they need to be. And I have confidence that the Government will ease these restrictions as soon as possible. This coming weekend, we will have a roadmap to do just that.

    But I do believe a state of emergency is necessary for ensuring positive coronavirus cases must isolate, COVID-safe plans are required for workplaces, and physical distancing is adhered to.

    The plan to suppress community transmission of coronavirus is the right one, and we need to stay the course.

    We only need to look to places like America to see what happens if we don’t.
    I have consulted extensively on this bill. I have spoken with the councils in my electorate, small business lobby groups, unions, the Australian Medical Association, ambos and nurses.

    They all tell me one thing: extend the state of emergency. And I will listen to the professionals, the frontline workers and the experts on this one.
    To me, it would be unconscionable to hamstring the government in their handling of this situation, whether you like the job they are doing or not, by preventing an extension of the State of Emergency beyond September 13.

    Many who are opposed to this extension would not realise that Victoria is one of the only states that does not have the ability to call a state of emergency indefinitely.

    I have received emails from all over the country claiming that this is a power grab and undemocratic. Yet the following is the reality across the country:
    – Queensland has extended its public health emergency until October 2, but it may be pushed out further.
    – Western Australia’s state of emergency is likely to be in place until at least the end of the year.
    – Tasmania remains in a state of emergency and can extend it in 12 week blocks. It is similar in the Northern Territory.
    – The New South Wales Government doesn’t even need to declare a state of emergency to deal with a public health issue. Their Health Minister can make any direction they like.

    Their powers are extraordinary.

    We hear no outcry about other states because they did not have to go through the parliament – bringing very little attention to their situations.
    Finally, I want to make it clear that supporting this legislation does not mean parliament won’t sit.

    Many states under a state of emergency are running their parliaments. However I agree more should be done to ensure that the parliament sits, whatever the state of the crisis. If the constitution requires amendment to allow online sitting, or more importantly, legal validity of online voting, let’s get on with it.

    Now is not the ideal time for point scoring and party politics. Let’s follow the expert medical advice, and come out of this, as quickly as possible.

  17. I may be reading too much into the debate, but it does feel like Andrews was wedging the Coalition with the State of Emergency powers knowing that they would engage in overreach. We now have the the Coalition hyperventilating over laws that still give them less power in a State of Emergency situation than other (Liberal Governed) states, Andrews can be seen to have “compromised” in negociation with crossbenchers, and the Coalition voting against a vital extension of emergency powers.

  18. Bucephalus @ #958 Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 – 1:55 pm

    Targeted-risk-based protection of the highly vulnerable and let everyone else get on with life.

    In other words, let the highly vulnerable get sick and die? Because that’s what happens as soon as their care workers (who will, mostly, be in the “everyone else” group) become infected. C19 has convincingly demonstrated it’s infectious enough that there’s no realistic prospect of containing it unless everyone participates.

  19. Not sure how well Roy Morgan rates for NZ polling versus other NZ poll companies, but here it is anyway.

    Labour support drops in August but still maintains huge lead of 19.5% over National
    September 01 2020 Finding No. 8509 Topic: Public Opinion Federal Poll Press Release Country: New Zealand

    In August support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was at 48%, down 5.5% since July, but well ahead of National on 28.5% (up 2%), with just over a month to go before the rescheduled election in mid-October.

    If an election were held today Labour could govern with the support of current partners the Greens.

    Interviewing for this survey in August encompassed the period including the enforcement of Stage 3 restrictions across Auckland following the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in the city and the decision to postpone the election by four weeks.

    The renewed outbreak of COVID-19 and the re-imposition of restrictions in Auckland and around the country has clearly proved frustrating to many and the subsequent drop in support for Labour in August has narrowed the lead to 19.5% points between the two major parties.

    Although this is the smallest lead for Labour since March it still represents a huge advantage to Ardern’s Government as it seeks re-election in mid-October.

    This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ-wide cross-section of 897 electors during August. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (up 1.5%) didn’t name a party. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

    Support for the Labour/NZ First/Greens coalition remains strong at 62% in August

  20. Bugler

    Thanks. You’ve linked a fullsome answer to the question that both Buce and Taylormade have been asked from me to answer but have failed to do so.

    This is in response to their ongoing commentary about it as far as Victoria is concerned.

    Just a reminder that they are hypocritical partisan rejects

  21. zoomster : did you read the article? it really is worth reading from beginning to end. yes they used the same methodology, and over many years, on different cohorts. like “stars & stripes”/smithsonian do with their surveys.

    there are of course a number of breakdowns, including age, rank, sex/gender, race, length of service. these are of interest & relevant in themselves and worth considering if you’re going to factor this survey into the picture you’re building for yourself from all the surveys you credit.

    something coming through both the “military times” & the “stars & stripes”/smithsonian surveys is that lower ranks still like trump a lot more than higher ranks (though less in this survey than in the last) & that personnel serving long term (forging a career for themselves in the military) hate him a lot more than short term recruits do. there is a lot more interesting material in that report on the survey than just the distilled/weighted result shown on the graph.

    i’m not critical of the survey. just saying there is much additional interesting & relevant stuff there than is captured in that one graph. -a.v.

  22. Bugler

    Andrews is a wily operator.

    As I mentioned above, both Buce and taylormade have been commenting about it, totally ignoring that all the other states actually have more power than Victoria has ever had in this space.
    But they will continue to make total fools of themselves.

  23. See the subdued mood on this blog.
    that’s labor not cutting through. The PM actually doesn’t care about old dead people. And labor can’t get him to get angry about it because he just doesn’t give a crap.
    They need him to get yelly.

  24. Hmmm

    Nick McKenzie
    Extraordinary fed court hearing about Ben Roberts-Smith. Court hears AFP wrote to VC recipient to tell him it had evidence from “eyewitnesses” who alleged he was involved in war crime in kicking an Afghan prisoner Ali Jan off cliff. First time AFP has disclosed such details.
    11:57 AM · Sep 1, 2020·Twitter Web App

  25. lizzie says:
    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    “The level of misinformation that guides our politics is a real problem and the media are as much to blame as anyone.”

    You mean like the fact that people in the UK think that 6% of the population has died from the virus and in Scotland they believe 10% of the population has died?

    This is data from the KEKST Corona Virus tracker survey.

  26. Victoria,

    It’s certainly disappointing. It’s unclear how they can expect the “good” state Governments in NSW, SA and Tas to continue with their border closures without Emergency powers.

    Also, to the point Shellbell was making earlier, I think it’s not unreasonable for the federal Government to create guidelines or even run hotel quarantine programs. It’s well within their autority to take over such things if they object to how the state’s run them, but they don’t want to a) wear the cost or b) the responsibility when things go wrong. I really can’t imagine the states complaining about the Federal Government managing and funding hotel quarantine, but even in a hypothetical situation they did, the feds could really just override them.

    I’m increasingly wondering what the point of having a federal government if they refuse to take action in situations like this. They could have a valuable role as a co-ordinator but have chosen to pick silly partisan fights with state Governments (usually notably refusing to criticise Liberal Governments who do precisely the thing they object to).

    If the federal Government objects to how state’s are doing things, then they have plenty of levers available to them. That they refuse to utilise them is really more telling.

  27. Chris Bowen
    When Morrison called on Annastacia Palaszczuk to open Qld’s borders to Vic, she was right & they were wrong.

    When Morrison backed Clive Palmer’s court case, Mark McGowan was right & Morrison was wrong.

    Morrison should concentrate on fixing Aged Care, not fights with Premiers.

    Nick McKenzie’s Tweets
    Nick McKenzie
    Further critical fact aired in federal court- that is was Chief of Australian Defence Force who referred Ben Roberts-Smith VC to the federal police over alleged war crimes.
    Quote Tweet

    Nick McKenzie
    · 2h
    Extraordinary fed court hearing about Ben Roberts-Smith. Court hears AFP wrote to VC recipient to tell him it had evidence from “eyewitnesses” who alleged he was involved in war crime in kicking an Afghan prisoner Ali Jan off cliff. First time AFP has disclosed such details.

  29. This mean and nasty McDonalds franchisee has learnt the hard way that screwing your employees is not a good policy. I imagine the McDonalds company would be none too pleased at the stain on its image.

    For the first time an Australian court has ruled workers have a legal right to go to the toilet and drink water while at work.

    The Federal Court was forced to decide the issue after the general manager of a McDonald’s franchise made a Facebook post to a group of its crew members telling them the company had no obligation to let them go to the bathroom outside scheduled breaks.

  30. Bugler says:
    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    You appear to believe that Australia isn’t a Federation where the Constitution details the responsibilities of the Federal and State Governments and that the Constitution specifically limits the Federal Government’s ability to interfere in the States or, without their agreement, to treat on State differently to another.

  31. yabba says:
    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I’m don’t defend Trump. He’s an UnPredidential buffoon but FMD is Biden the best the Democrats could find? Really? I would have thought that they would have learnt after Billary but apparently not.

  32. Denise Shrivell – North Sydney for an Independent
    A good & timely reminder that these are all of media eco-system issues we’re dealing with #auspol
    Quote Tweet

    Robert Reich
    · 1h
    Trump isn’t doing it alone.

    Fox News is sending his lies to 4.2 million viewers each night.

    Twitter is conveying them to his 83 million followers several times a day.

    Facebook is targeting them to tens of millions.

    This isn’t freedom of speech. It’s the seedbed of fascism

  33. Trump labeled our ‘elderly relative in cognitive decline’ after ‘delusional’ Fox News interview

    President Donald Trump spend over an hour of his time talking with Fox News personality Laura Ingraham on Monday, despite America’s ongoing coronavirus crisis and economic catastrophe.

    Trump said some something absurd things, like warning that the press corps is “all going to die” of boredom if Joe Biden wins in November. He also spoke about what women want and why Black voters like police.

    Ingraham asked Trump who he thinks it is that are pulling Joe Biden’s strings.

    “People you’ve never heard of,” Trump replied, without naming names for Ingraham to familiarize herself with.

    “People that are in the dark shadows,” Trump continued.

    “What does that mean?” Ingraham asked. “That sounds like conspiracy theory, dark shadows.”

    “No, people that you haven’t heard of,” Trump replied. “They’re people that are on the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets.”

    Trump then told an anecdote about somebody flying on a plane full of “thugs” who were wearing black uniforms.

    But he refused to give any details.

    Trump’s comments were widely derided

  34. Quite a good, targeted question from Chalmers. I hate it when Labor leaves form for prevarication.

    I refer to the Treasurer’s announcement that “the Morrison government is providing an unprecedented $314 billion in economic support, the equivalent of $12,500 for every Australian man, woman and child”. How much of this announced support has actually been delivered by the government?

    However Josh still adds b.s. to fill in the time and ends with a reprimand from Speaker. A record!

  35. Bucephalus

    “You appear to believe that Australia isn’t a Federation where the Constitution details the responsibilities of the Federal and State Governments and that the Constitution specifically limits the Federal Government’s ability to interfere in the States or, without their agreement, to treat on State differently to another.”

    Well there is no limit on Commonwealth powers on quarantine because of the existence of State power.

    This is a bit beside the point anyway. The absence of any political or academic argument that agreement with the states and territories that they discharge their own powers and roles in respect of quarantining their residents was wrong is significant. The fact that Victoria does not contend it should not have been asked to exercise its quarantine power is significant.

  36. By ‘unpresidential buffoon’ as your choice of criticism, does that mean you still approve of the outcomes of his presidency, just not the optics?
    The Dems likely didn’t think Biden was the best option, he was just the only one with enough name recognition and insider clout to stave off the populist uprising

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