Freshwater Strategy: 51-49 to Labor (open thread)

Labor pokes its nose in front in what has been its weakest polling series through the term, though the primary vote records little change.

The Financial Review has a federal poll from Freshwater Strategy, the pollster’s first for the paper since mid-December, though it conducted one for the News Corp papers in early January. It has Labor leading 51-49, after its previous two polls both recorded a dead heat. There is little change on the primary vote, with Labor on 31% and the Coalition on 38%, respectively steady and down one from both the two previous polls, and the Greens on 14%, up one from the December poll and steady from January.

A preferred prime minister measure has Anthony Albanese leading Peter Dutton 42-38, little changed from 43-39 in December. A question on the tax cut amendments finds 44% supportive, 26% indifferent and 15% opposed, with 32% expecting to be better off, 12% worse off and 43% anticipating no difference. The poll was conducted Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1049.

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.

2,102 comments on “Freshwater Strategy: 51-49 to Labor (open thread)”

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  1. Ah, so that’s what the Piper at the Gates of Dawn was babbling unpunctuatedly about last night:

    “Freshwater poll out AFR. Says Coorey labor loses 4 in minority government says something in poll for all.”

    Same old spin cycle from the AFR — as Kevin Bonham notes in his ‘Australian Polling Denial And Disinformation Register’:

    “[in 2022] … (Labor won 77 a few weeks later) at a time when Nine media and the AFR were spruiking a hung parliament as likely or inevitable.”

  2. Interesting to note a levelling-off in the trajectory of Poll Bludger’s 2PP tracks.

    All through last year the red and blue tracks were on converging paths. But since December they have visibly levelled out.

    BludgerTrack reports a current 2PP of 51.3 – 48.7. But the cluster of five most recent dots all sit above the red line for Labor and below the blue line for the Coalition, suggesting that — barring an inordinately bad poll for Labor — the tracks might start to diverge.

  3. And William, not sure if you saw there is a second AFR article today from the Freswater poll – highlighting Barnaby Joyce, but interesting data in its own right.

    The latest The Australian Financial Review/Freshwater Strategy poll, which canvasses the approval of key figures in federal politics, shows Mr Joyce’s net approval to have fallen by 16 percentage points since the last poll in December.

    Mr Joyce’s approval rating is 19 per cent and his disapproval rating is 52 per cent, giving him a net approval of minus 33 per cent.
    The poll, which was conducted online and sampled 1049 voters from Friday to Sunday, found the next worst net approval was that of the Greens at minus 19, followed by Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, who fell 4 points to minus 10.

    Two weeks ago, he announced a new vehicle emissions efficiency standard for cars that has the potential to be politically contentious.

    Opposition leader Peter Dutton fell 7 points to minus 9, after a tough few weeks when he was caught flatfooted on Labor’s tax backflip. His deputy Sussan Ley, who at first pledged to roll back Labor’s tax plans before the party agreed to support them, fell 6 points to minus 6.,the%20last%20poll%20in%20December.

  4. Indeed, sprocket_. (But Freshwater’s data points may simply be the various pollsters’ raw numbers, without the adjustments that William applies for BludgerTrack.)

    And yes, a levelling-off also visible of late in Freshwater’s track.

  5. The Albanese government is fast-tracking a system of production tax credits to try to protect the ailing nickel mining industry, and is prepared to extend the credits to lithium miners should the price of that critical mineral also continue to fall.
    As Anthony Albanese arrived in Perth on Sunday for a cabinet meeting on Monday, sources said the development of tax credits, which was initially resisted by Treasury, was being “accelerated” via the budget process amid warnings from BHP and others that they may have to cease operations with the loss of thousands of jobs.
    Mr Albanese said West Australian Premier Roger Cook would be invited to the cabinet meeting for the discussion on nickel, and he was confident the government could nurse the industry through what he said was a time-limited challenge. “We are looking towards smart, targeted, time-limited support. This is a short-term issue for what is in the long term, a very critical industry for Australia,” he told reporters in Perth. “Nickel will be a critical mineral going forward. It’s critical for batteries and for other sources as the global economy shifts, as we are seeing, to clean energy.”
    The Albanese government on Friday put nickel on the government’s official critical minerals list to bolster WA’s nickel miners, which are being smashed by a glut of the critical battery metal from Indonesia. The WA government announced a 50 per cent royalty discount over 18 months.
    On the same day, Mr Albanese flagged plans for a multibillion-dollar scheme to try to rival the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act, which is luring green technology investment with hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and other measures.

  6. UK Cartoons (from previous thread)

    Cartoons from @Cartoon4sale


    Morton Moreland

    Andy Davey

    Andy Davey: John Curtice says Sunak has a “mountain to climb”. Yep. Not made any easier by Tice sitting firmly on his back. Not entirely sure what Reform is up to. Nothing good for sure, but what?

    Chris Riddell

    Harry Burton

    Ben Jennings

    Ella Baron on #Sunak #RishiSunak #Wellingborough #WellingboroughByElection #Kingswood #KingswoodByElection #SunakOut #Sunackered

    Ellis Rosen

    Stokoe Cartoons @mikestokoe
    TV chef cartoon!
    #lazy #food #tvchef #cartoon #greetingcards by #stokoecartoons
    For #SundayMotivation

    Tom Gauld
    My latest cartoon for

    Jonesy Cartoons @jonesycartoons
    “Yay” indeed! Many thanks to my followers – now over 7.25K of you!
    @LucillaLavender #greetingcards #Sheep #socialmediamarketing #cartoon

    Martin Rowson on the Labour bandwagon

    Matt (saw the ideas on the BBC for New Overground Lines -the Murdoch media would be frothing in the mouth in Australia – probably are in the UK )

    Graeme Bandeira on #GeorgeGalloway #RochdaleByElection #Rochdale – political cartoon gallery in London

    Dave Brown after #AdolfMenzel

    The original
    An Uninvited Guest (1844 / Watercolor, pencil & ink) – Adolph Menzel

  7. sprocket _,

    I beg to differ with you about your assessment of the Emerson poll as ‘serious’. It tends to favour the Republicans reliably. So I would be viewing that neck and neck poll between Biden and Trump with a sceptical eye.

  8. U.S. forces in the Red Sea have “successfully conducted five self-defense strikes” to foil attacks by land and sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, the Pentagon said Sunday. The strikes occurred on 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sanaa time (1200 and 1700 GMT), the U.S. military said, and are part of a series of actions taken by the United States and its allies against the Houthis, aimed at halting the Iran-backed rebels’ repeated attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes.
    The five strikes included targeting “the first observed Houthi employment of a UUV [unmanned underwater vessel] since attacks began” in October, according to a statement from the U.S. Central Command. Another of the five involved an unmanned surface vessel, or USV, essentially a floating drone. The use of such vessels has been comparatively rare. The other three involved anti-ship cruise missiles, the statement said.

  9. Also I note the discussion last night about Western Sydney summer weather and will just add that when I used to go and visit my grandfather in St Marys every fortnight when I was growing up, I distinctly remember how bleeding hot it was in Summer, even back then. So,yes,it may be unbearably hot there now, especially if you don’t have air-conditioning, but could it just be the case that the average temperature has only increased there as much as it has everywhere else due to Global Warming?

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The Albanese government has emerged unscathed but unrewarded from its broken promise on the stage three tax cuts, with next to no movement in its fortunes, the latest The Australian Financial Review/Freshwater Strategy poll shows. Phil Coorey says that while 84 per cent of taxpayers will receive more on July 1 than they otherwise would have under the original stage three tax cuts, the poll shows just one-third of voters feel they will be better off under the revamped cuts.
    And Coorey reports that voter perception of former Nationals’ leader Barnaby Joyce has plunged after a video showing him lying in a Canberra street, affected by alcohol and prescription drugs. The Financial Review/Freshwater Strategy poll, which canvasses the approval of key figures in federal politics, shows Mr Joyce’s net approval to have fallen by 16 percentage points since the last poll in December.
    More than 40 asylum seekers have been taken to Nauru after they were found in a remote part of Western Australia. Guardian Australia has confirmed a second group of 13 asylum seekers was found at an Indigenous campsite at Pender Bay, about an hour after a group of 30 men were found at Beagle Bay on Friday.
    Albanese’s asylum policy is almost identical to the Coalition’s, but Dutton’s attacks are manifesting a crisis, writes Paul Karp who says the opposition leader seems more than happy to will Operation Sovereign Borders to failure if it gets him closer to the Lodge
    David Crowe explains how lobbyists and industry groups have ramped up their payments to the major political parties, extending their influence.
    According to Sean Kelly, there’s nothing new about the right to disconnect.
    The defamation action by exiled state Liberal MP Moira Deeming against party leader John Pesutto is threatening to develop into a proxy war for the soul of the Liberal Party, write Noel Towell and Kishor Napier-Raman who tell us how the money is pouring in fot both sides of the legal battle.
    Last November, at the time the Coalition were furiously bashing ‘Airbus Albo’ for his penchant for overseas travel, Peter Dutton paid a low-key visit to India. Rex Patrick and Philip Dorling take a look at the Opposition Leader’s trip, which included a private dinner with an Indian billionaire with coal interests in Australia.
    Scott Morrison has accused the United Nations of antisemitism at a rally in Sydney while warning a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not currently viable. Patrick Begley reports that thousands gathered in The Domain on Sunday for the event organised by a Christian pastor to support members of the Jewish community, under the slogan “Never Again” Is Now.
    Law professor Cathy Sherry has written a rather frightening contribution about the growth of mega strata communities. She uses the experience of the US to make her points.
    Fiona Guthrie and Gerard Brody tell us about the hidden ‘tax’ we are paying for brand loyalty, and how we can stop it.
    The shake-up of the navy’s surface ship fleet looms as a critical test for the Albanese government, which is struggling to retain its credibility on defence and national security, opines Cameron Stewart.
    Australia’s navy will get extra warships that are more lethal on a faster timetable to counter the threat posed by a rapidly militarising China under a major review of the surface fleet to be released tomorrow. Andrew Tillett writes that the surface fleet review has warned the Albanese government that current and planned structure of the navy is not up to the task for the risks confronting Australia, and the multi-billion dollar build up is already under cost pressure.
    Once again, in Putin’s Russia, a leading political opponent has paid with his life. Yet none of the news bulletins on local state TV led with the news, writes Rob Harris who says the world can’t simply look on as yet another critic of Vladimir Putin dies.
    A frustrated Mark Kenny opines that the West’s flimsy values are showing.
    America used to face down autocrats. Then Trump came along, writes the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd.
    Sidney Blumenthal explains how Trump’s hubris has brought about the downfall of his family’s business empire.
    Donald Trump’s efforts to court and cajole rightwing billionaires into financing his presidential campaign are bearing fruit as even sceptical conservative mega-donors face up to the prospect he will again be the Republican candidate.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Alan Moir

    Megan Herbert

    A Glen Le Lievre gif
    Mark Knight


    From the US

  11. Asha, from last night: “Constance seems pretty set on contesting Gilmore again, if his public statements are any indication. Considering how close he came last time, that would surely be the smarter play than getting parachuted into Western Sydney.”

    He wouldn’t dare go near Gilmore. What hope could he possibly have against that incredibly hard-working member, Whatshername?

  12. Rebecca @ 10.52pm
    Re: NDIS
    You are really demonstrating your lack of knowledge regarding the NDIS scheme.
    Yes, it was one of the only policy achievements of the un-lamented Gillard administration.
    However, it was one Bill Shorten who was the principal architect of the NDIS scheme.
    He drafted the policy.
    He steered it through a hostile parliament.
    It is legislative achievement.
    Now, as the responsible minister, in the current administration, he is working hard to re-define this policy so that it reflects its original purpose.
    The alternative, like Medibank, is to stop a future CLP government from dismantling the scheme entirely on the basis of its cost to the budget.

  13. Also from last night. A couple of posters seemed bothered about my characterisation of Tony Abbott as highly sincere. But that was the most scary thing about him: he did not have a clue, but truly believed that he was pursuing the best interests of Australians.

    It’s why he pressed on in the Quixotic effort to reach a surplus in 2014, causing himself untold political problems on the way through. Most political leaders would think: you beauty, promising a surplus has got me into government, now here comes the part where I say “oh no, I opened the cupboard door and the mess Labor left me is even worse than I thought.” But not our Tony. He made the fatal mistake of taking the whole thing seriously, apparently sitting in on every ERC meeting and pushing all the other ministers to start tearing down the Washington Monument in the quest for an unachievable surplus.

    It also drove his crazy thinking about Indigenous issues. He came up with a whole lot of condescending hogswallop while spending too much time talking to Noel Pearson in the Pearson’s most right-wing phase. Abbott then convinced himself that he was the messiah for Indigenous people and that they would all support what he wanted to do to them. But, when he starting try to explain it to Indigenous leaders, they either couldn’t understand it or were openly hostile.

    And then there was the crazy decision to make himself the Minister for women’s issues. And then knights and dames, and his absurd attempts to micro-manage the search for MH370 with almost daily assurances to the world that it was about to be found. And then his threat to “shirtfront” Putin (I still believe he meant to say “buttonhole”, but I’m probably wrong: after all, nobody is the suppository of all wisdom).

    ScoMo was a cynical, manipulative political leader. Abbott was 150% sincere but a complete turkey. The worst thing for me about that Nemesis program was all the Libs talking about him as if he was a serious political figure when I am certain that most of them think he was a total clown.

    Enough time has passed now for us to have forgotten just how crazy the brief Abbott regime actually was. I hope I’ve brought back some fond memories for you.

  14. meher baba,
    What right do you think you have to be so rude to Fiona Phillips the Member for Gilmore? Have you done anything as consequential as beaten the Liberals out of a seat they thought they had a lock on? No. So at least pay her the respect she deserves by calling her by her name, no matter what else you may think of her.

  15. c@t: I’ve got nothing against Ms Phillips and wish her well. I was making a snide comment in the direction of leftieBully.

  16. “Phil Coorey says that while 84 per cent of taxpayers will receive more on July 1 than they otherwise would have under the original stage three tax cuts, the poll shows just one-third of voters feel they will be better off under the revamped cuts.”

    Lots of voters aren’t taxpayers (retirees, pensioners, students, low-income households …).

    Phil’s percentages are apples and oranges.

  17. meher baba,
    Tony Abbott went about achieving his Surplus goal by attempting to make those who could least afford it, pay for it. It wasn’t well-intentioned, it was zealotry. Apparently the rest of Australia could see clearly what you cannot, as the marches against the Hockey/Abbott Horror Budget clearly demonstrated. Also you try and paint Joe Hockey as a dupe of Abbott’s. Well I don’t think it was Tony Abbott who came up with the phrase, ‘Lifters and Leaners’. Nor do I think that Tony Abbott put the words in Joe Hockey’s mouth about Asian families looking after their own elderly family members and not being a burden on the taxpayer.

    Honestly, meher baba, for somebody who proclaims with their hand on their heart that you are not a Liberal, you sure do a good impression of one with your apologias for them.

  18. Your tory pollyannaism has plunged new depths Meher.

    There was nothing sincere about Abbott’s ‘kick down’ approach to budget repair. There was nothing sincere about wrecking the Malaysian Solution. There was nothing sincere about wrecking the original design of the NBN. There was nothing sincere about the manufactured outrage against Julia Gillard. … and so on.

    Your ‘but he actually believed stuff’ ignores two things: 1. He deliberately set out to wreck stuff that he may not have even had strong views over IF he saw political advantage AND do so in the most ‘hyper partisan’ (his own description) way possible. This is typical of the man – a thug, prone to physical intimidation bordering on violence since his student politics days; and

    2. So what if he actually believed in his antiquated ’status quo anti’ rubbish: he wilfully set the country back a generation – including ‘the lost decade’ as many commentators call it, but it was far worse than that: he helped entrench the dark soul of the nation that his hero Howard is largely responsible for creating.

  19. Meher Baba ” ScoMo was a cynical, manipulative political leader. Abbott was 150% sincere but a complete turkey.”

    I think that’s a fair summary, looking back. Abbott is a true believer.

  20. “ Meher Baba ” ScoMo was a cynical, manipulative political leader. Abbott was 150% sincere but a complete turkey.”

    I think that’s a fair summary, looking back. Abbott is a true believer.”


    Ahem: his personal attacks on Gillard? Wrecking the Malaysian Solution BECAUSE he feared it might work? Wrecking the NBN because he did not want labor to have a single legacy? His Royal Commissions? Frankly it is doubted that he was sincere over wrecking the ETS or the mining tax: I suspect both were destroyed for the same partisan ‘scorched earth’ reasons.

    Sincere? True believer? maybe in DLP shit; but NOTHING else.

  21. Thanks D&M and BK for the wonderful patrol/cartoons.

    By the way everyone, imagine if Tony Abbott had gotten away with it and been the 3 term PM…

  22. So the federal Liberal Party now has a higher net approval rating than the federal ALP.

    We live in interesting times, reminiscent of the last days of the Weimar republic.

  23. P1: I don’t really like to say anything against a fellow Bears supporter, but I’m becoming tired of all the posturing.

    If he’s as significant a political insider as he wants us to believe, he’s extraordinarily indiscreet. Eg, if Emma Husar had truly agreed to stay 200ks away from Lindsay (or else what?) then that’s a highly sensitive issue for the NSW ALP, not something to be casually discussed on an open web forum.

    However, I suspect it was BS.

  24. The South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, spoke to the ABC outside the Adelaide Fringe festival this morning, commenting on the state’s proposed voice to parliament – which will be voted on next month. He said the result of the federal voice referendum may have “arrested a bit of momentum”, but said the state one is “very different in the nature to what was proposed federally.”
    We haven’t changed our constitution, it’s legislated, that means it’s available to amendment for future governments. But we’re optimistic it can make a difference. The whole idea here is we have a group of Aboriginal people who can make a contribution to policy making in our state, in a way that affects them. We think that’s a [meritorious] proposition. Malinauskas said there has been “far more nominees than there are positions, so there will be a suite of elections across the state” – but turnout will be a challenge.

  25. Commenters slam ‘disgusting’ GoFundMe that’s raised $287,000 of Trump’s $355 million bill

    A Florida couple created a GoFundMe called “Stand with Trump; Fund the $355M Unjust Judgment,” in order to do just as it says: pay Trump’s massive legal judgment

    “Giving a billionaire a ‘Go Fund Me campaign’ is just disgusting. He has enough to sell, unless it’s all on loan. (by the way, food is free in prison),” @Steeler-wg5zo wrote Sunday.

    “Business and property owners have nothing to worry about if they don’t commit fraud,” @Southendbos added.

    “If the problem is defending homeowners in general, why is she raising money specifically for Trump?” @marcbehm4747 asked.

    At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has raised $287,000 of the $355,000,000 goal. According to an AP reporter, interest on Trump’s $355 million civil fraud penalty “is piling up at a rate of $87,502 a day. We ran the numbers. As of today, he owes the state $453.7 million.” This means the fundraising effort has so far raised about four days of interest.

  26. It’s hard for me to find the right words to describe what I think of Abbott. The best I can do is to say I always saw him in thrall to a weird kind of feudalism without any of the noblesse oblige that’s supposed to come with it. His grovelling to those he considered his betters, such as Pell & Murdoch contrasted with his contempt for those he considered beneath him.

  27. BSA: “The best I can do is to say I always saw him in thrall to a weird kind of feudalism without any of the noblesse oblige that’s supposed to come with it. His grovelling to those he considered his betters, such as Pell & Murdoch contrasted with his contempt for those he considered beneath him.”

    I saw rather more of him at close quarters than it was fair for anyone to be subjected to. The only people he appeared to hold in contempt were the Labor Party and its supporters: he had grown up in a family which literally had a picture of Gough Whitlam attached to their dartboard. He was sympathetic, but (unconsciously) condescending towards people whom he considered to be disadvantaged: eg, Indigenous people. He seemed to possess a lot of self-doubt (and had plenty to doubt himself about) and this motivated his religious devotion and all of his attempts at personal good works: fighting bushfires, going to Indigenous communities to do odd jobs around the place and boring them to death with all his complicated ideas about how to solve their problems, etc.

    You’re quite right about the “feudalism” bit: he greatly favoured small businesses over big ones and would really have preferred to have religious and other not-for-profit organisations running all government services. He was one of a kind. God, please don’t send us another one.

  28. BW: “Price has a higher satisfaction rating and a way higher net satisfaction rating than the Federal Greens.”

    And the Liberal party has a higher favourability rating that Anthony Albanese … 🙂


  29. Regarding the Gofundme for Mr Tup’s massive fines: I read the “How it works” section.
    * They take a small but significant percentage cut.
    * The money can be sent directly to a nominated account.
    * Goals don’t need to be achieved for the money to be transferred.

    My thoughts:
    * Gofundme is a for profit business. They don’t care where the money comes from, or where it goes.
    * Money raised could be going anywhere, including to the woman whose name appears on the Gofundme page.
    * Is there honour among thieves?
    * This could be a nice little earner for someone.

    EDIT: Mr Tup

  30. While in government the ALP should take every opportunity to school the voting public in just how little coalition governments actually do for them and spruiking Labor reforms/achievements.
    The average voter is pretty much at pre-school level and needs to be spoon fed.

  31. C@tmomma says:
    “Who cares what a bunch of randoms thinks about this or that politician? Talk about trivial!”

    Er, C@t, I’ll whisper this discreetly …

    This is a psephology site.

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