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”

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  1. Jim Chalmers MP
    When asked in #qt today how much of the $314b in economic support that he’s promised has actually been delivered, the Treasurer could only count to $85b. This guy is all photo op, no follow up. No wonder unemployment is rising #auspol

  2. Kristina Keneally
    “I have admired Senator Colbeck…”
    @MathiasCormann, attempting to defend his embattled #agedcare Minister.

    Imagine still admiring the work of Minister Colbeck after over 450 deaths in residential aged care…

  3. Cormann has just defended the hapless Colebeck against a censure motion brought by Labor, following confirmation that there have been 462 deaths in aged care due to C.19, with many more having been infected.

  4. Shellbell,

    Perhaps, but I’m more stating my opinion that it would be more efficient for the federal Government to take over hotel quarantine. Yes, ad hoc systems were put in place for a whole manner of things; that doesn’t negate that they could be refined and centrally co-ordinated in future if there was the political will to do so

    Consistency of data coming from states is another strange thing to complain about when the federal government could easily set standards. Given in the last few days we’ve had multiple deaths that were reported by aged care facilities to the Commonwealth and not to the state Government would seem to indicate that problems with flow of information and consistency of data are not isolated to Victoria. Surely it would be ideal for the Commonwealth to be the one setting the standards on such matters?

  5. Sorry.

    Peter van Onselen
    I never fell asleep when
    was talking during our show back in the day on Sky… #auspol

  6. If Colbeck survives the month, I’d be very surprised. Labor and the Greens are not going to let go of the abysmal carriage of his portfolio – definitely a prime example of the Peter Principle.

  7. Shellbell says:
    Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:06 pm
    Is Senator Carr ok?

    He is kind of bent over behind Senator Keneally.

    I notice that too,

    He normally is the one who is doing the bellowing

  8. Victorian state of emergency set to be extended after surprise intervention by Greens MP

    Proving that Greens MPs are smarter than Lib ones.

  9. Guytaur,

    Samantha Rathnam is a MLC (upper house), the Greens certainly can’t do much worse in the LC than they did in 2018.

    However, I think I saw Katherine Murphy make the point that her intervention was the logical consequence of the Bernie Finn and Craig Ondarchie’s Easter “surprise” a while back.

  10. State of emergency powers set to get over the line after Greens intervention

    An unexpected intervention by the Victorian Greens could help get the Andrews government’s extended state of emergency bill over the line.

    Greens leader Samantha Ratnam is set to return to Parliament on Tuesday and vote for the government’s bill, extending the power for a further six months and allowing the government to declare a state of emergency in rolling four-week blocks.

    The bill looked like it might have been in trouble with Labor struggling to secure enough crossbench votes to pass State Parliament’s upper house.

    But Ms Ratnam’s intervention puts Health Minister Jenny Mikakos in a much stronger position to overcome the opposition of Coalition MPs and push her legislation through.

  11. south

    ‘See the subdued mood on this blog.’

    I’m sorry, what?

    Even if I thought Labor was performing brilliantly, if it was recording record levels in the polls, if Scott Morrison was standing on the steps of Parliament House and calling an early election, I would still expect the mood on this blog to be subdued.

    Shouting hosannas, blowing whistles, beating on brass drums and singing ‘The Hallelujah Chorus’ would be inappropriate in the present circumstances.

  12. A mouthpiece for Teh Comrades in Beijing revives ye olde ‘poor white trash of Asia”.
    Will China use Australia as the chicken used to scare the monkey ?

    Australia risks backsliding into a poor country in Asia Pacific

    ……………further decoupling with China will not send China back to poverty, but will only make former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s famous statement more likely to come true: that if Australia doesn’t open up its economy and reduce unemployment, it risks becoming the “poor white trash of Asia.”

  13. Currently looks like:


    Hayes unclear, ALP President and Somyurek abstaining.

  14. Hello PB’ers. Zuckerberg got under my skin today. So (again) please excuse the rant that follows.


    “Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram,” a statement from Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said.

    “… it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.”

    “News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us.”
    Will Easton, Facebook’s Australia and New Zealand managing director

    My immediate thoughts:
    * What did we do for news before Facebook and Google came along?
    * What ever will we do after they leave?

    Some considered thoughts:

    * FB’s response is out of proportion to the threat to their business model, as they themselves admit. So (kindly) this is a a load of cheek, simply doing what they do best, which is creating or furthering controversy to further their advertising clicks. But I also see a deeper motive and a shallower one.

    The shallow motive is simply that Mr Easton wants to be seen to be a good company boy and he’s looking at the next rung on his career ladder. The deeper motive is that FB (and Google) are actually a little bit worried that this will show other jurisdictions how to manage their influence, or that it is possible for jurisdictions and competitors to fight back. I can imagine one outcome, which can’t have escaped FB and Google, that should they vacate the news playing field then news publishing organisations might well grow their own social media tools, filling that niche as it were. Commercial news outlets such as The Guardian are surviving in part by embracing home grown social media, such as BTL comments. (PB itself might be another example.)

    * But what if FB and Google win out and get the Australian government to back down? I don’t think it’s far-fetched to see the current trend of shrinking professional journalism continuing. Extrapolating a few years into the future and we might see the end of effective independent commercial news, leaving only government funded news, open to government influence and direction. Zuckerberg will put Murdoch to shame with his global power and influence. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that this is the exact opposite of what FB and Google are saying. Though I suspect their words merely reflect uncritical illogic reinforced by ridiculous reward. (And BTW, since when does Zuckerberg care about democracy?)

    * In short, I believe that Mr Easton is quite wrong when he says, “(stopping people sharing news) is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.” Taking that action will vacate the niche FB and Google currently enjoy. Others will fill it. I’ll be cheering if that happens.

  15. Scared that Trump will get back in, he is playing the populous very well.
    All about law and order, doesn’t matter that it is actually going to the shit under him, apparently there are dark men pulling the strings of Biden who will make it worse.

    When there are protests and violence – it all plays in to his narrative. Doesn’t matter the he has helped fuel the violence it plays in to what he is spouting.

    To me if you stopped the reason for the protests the protests will stop but this type of argument will not get heard.

  16. ‘Wonderful’ news for the Trump re-election campaign.

    In pivotal battleground Kenosha, residents consider changing sides

    ……………Now the lodge is nothing more than a pile of charred bricks and sheets of metal. Rioters set fire to the building………….. An elderly employee who tried to protect the mattress store next door was taken to hospital with a broken jaw after looters attacked him. A nearby used-car lot was set aflame: the resulting scene of burnt-out vehicles

  17. I’ll give a shout out to this Greens MLC. Penny drops about doing the right thing? I hope so.

    Samantha Ratnam – Leader of the Victorian Greens
    I wasn’t going to be at Parliament today as I’m on maternity leave. But there are 2000+ active COVID cases in Victoria and we need to work together right now to defeat the virus. I’ll vote for a 6-month extension so the CHO can quarantine COVID cases and keep us safe. #springst

  18. Kirribilli wasn’t a PM’s residence until John Howard decided that he didn’t want to live in Bennelong. There is one PM’s residence – The Lodge. The rest of the time they should stay in their electorates, living and working with the people who voted for them.

    I’d agree with this. I bet Hyacinth had a hand in the decision.

  19. Thanks for the link JPH.

    The “China Issue” is certainly a delicate one for Labor; largely because it seems large swathes of the electorate are deeply suspicious of the Chinese Government. I am not sure, though, what Waterford is advocating what Labor should do, other than be bold in the manner Whitlam, Keating, Hawke and Rudd were. The times are now different, and embracing China today is a totally different kettle of fish to what it was in 1972, don’t you think?

  20. Morrison constantly push, push, nag, nag, nag.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for COVID-19 restrictions around the country to be eased in time for people to see their families at Christmas.

    Key points:
    The Prime Minister said the NSW and Victorian premiers were committed to reopening their border as soon as it was considered safe
    He said National Cabinet’s three-step plan for reopening needed to be revisited
    Mr Morrison said Australian families and friends should be reunited by Christmas

    Mr Morrison told Question Time Victoria had “turned the corner” and states and territories needed to start planning to reopen to the rest of the country.

    “By Christmas, Mr Speaker, we should aim for Australians to be able to go to work, to be able to be with their family at Christmas, and to return to visit their friends and to look forward to a positive 2021,” he said.

    “We cannot resign Australia to being a dislocated nation under COVID-19.”

    Dan Andrews made no such promise.

  21. William Bowe

    Yep, when it comes to vox pops you can select any response you like. But vision of riots and their aftermath rather than mere protests is not a winner for the Dems. The State governor is a Dem as is the Kenosha mayor.

  22. I also must compliment Greens MP Ratnam for supporting Vic Labor. as I have said in the past, some here need to drop the whole Greens v Labor thing, which is a waste of time.

    However there is one more depressing detail in this event:

    Hayes unclear, ALP President and Somyurek abstaining.”

    Somyurek is still there, but not voting. Why? Labor can’t blame the Greens for this mess. So much for candidate vetting processes, once again.

  23. poroti

    I wonder if rednecks riding round in monster trucks pepper spraying and paint balling protestors is a win for the repugs.

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