Newspoll and Resolve Strategic post-budget polls (open thread)

Labor’s still healthy two-party lead cops a dent in the post-budget Newspoll, but Resolve Strategic finds no significant change on three weeks ago.

The post-budget Newspoll finds Labor’s two-party lead at 55-45, in from 57-43 at the previous poll eight weeks ago. Both major parties are up on the primary vote, Labor by one to 38% and the Coalition by four to 35%. All other players are down: the Greens by two to 11%, One Nation by one to 6%, the United Australia Party by one to 1% and all others by one to 9%. Anthony Albanese’s lead on preferred prime minister has slipped from 61-22 to 54-27, and he is down two on approval to 59% and up four on disapproval to 33%. Peter Dutton is up on both approval and disapproval, respectively by four points to 39% and three points to 46%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1500.

The poll also includes the same suite of questions on response to the budget that Newspoll has been posing since the late 1980s, which you can read about here – I’ll have more to say about those later. Note also the other new posts below this one – my own lengthy compendium of New South Wales state election news, and Adrian Beaumont’s coverage of Brazil’s presidential election and other international electoral events.

UPDATE (Resolve Strategic): Now there is a Resolve Strategic poll from the Age/Herald, with stronger results for Labor: their primary vote is unchanged on the poll three weeks ago at 39%, with the Coalition up two to 32%, the Greens up one to 13%, One Nation down one to 4%, the United Australia Party down two to 1%, independents down one to 8% and others up one to 3%. Anthony Albanese leads Peter Dutton by 53-19 as preferred prime minister, in from 55-17 three weeks ago. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1611.

The budget was rated good for “the country as a whole” by 44% and for “me and my household” by 28%, compared with 50% and 40% respectively for the March budget – it’s not clear how many of the remainder particularly rated it as bad. Four options for action on power prices all received strong support: 79% for price caps, 59% for taxpayer subsidies for those on low incomes, 64% for heavily subsidising home solar power and 67% for reserving gas for the local market, with 3%, 14%, 11% and 4% respectively opposed. Thirty-six per cent considered Labor had broken promises to “cut power bills and get wages moving”, with 12% disagreeing and 53% either undecided or considering it too early to say.

UPDATE (Newspoll budget response): For the questions Newspoll asks after every budget, an even 29% rated it both good and bad for the economy, but 47% rated it negative for personal impact compared with only 12% for positive. Thirty-four per cent felt the opposition would have done a better job, with 48% disagreeing. Another question gauged the extent to which respondents felt the budget properly balanced the cost of living and the budget deficit: 6% felt it put too much emphasis on the former, 25% too much emphasis on the latter, 23% felt it struck the right balance and 31% felt it didn’t do enough for either.

This marks the thirty-sixth budget of which Newspoll has asked essentially the same set of questions going back to 1988. The results are the sixth worst for personal impact and the ninth worst for economic impact, although it rates in the middle of the pack on the question of whether the opposition would have done better. The latter point is illustrated by the first of the charts below, which records Labor budgets in red and Coalition budgets in blue. The second chart illustrates the correlation between positive results on personal and economic impact. In landing right on the trendline, this shows no particular sense that the budget favoured either economic concerns or personal finances relative to its somewhat negative reception overall.

New South Wales election minus five months

News, and lots of it, on preselections and related goings-on ahead of the March 25 New South Wales state election.

News concerning the March 25 state election continues to fly thick and fast, mainly in the form of preselection spats, retirement announcements and party resignations. As you can see from the accumulated backlog below, all of it from the month-and-a-bit since I last did this, it might be an idea for me to do these update posts more often. Anyway, without further ado:

• David Elliott, Transport Minister and Liberal member for Baulkham Hills, announced last week that he will retire at the election after conceding defeat in a long and fraught preselection dispute. Baulkham Hills is to be abolished in the redistribution and superseded by Kellyville, although much of its territory is being transferred to Castle Hill, held by Elliott’s friend and centre right faction associate Ray Williams. The redrawn Castle Hill’s branches are dominated by factional conservatives, who strongly favour the claim of Noel McCoy, Norton Rose Fulbright partner and former ministerial adviser. However, Elliott had been set on running in Castle Hill to avoid lining up against Williams, who is set to contest Kellyville. Dominic Perrottet backed Elliott to the extent of helping secure a waiver from state executive to overcome an administrative difficulty arising from a short lapse in his party membership, but conservative powerbrokers refused to yield to Elliott’s efforts to prevent McCoy from running. It was reported that Perrottet urged Elliott to try his hand in Parramatta, a marginal seat to be vacated with the retirement of Geoff Lee, but Elliott did not believe he could win preselection there either as it too was dominated by factional conservatives. Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports McCoy does not face a clear run in Castle Hill, with rival contenders including Monica Tudehope, deputy chief-of-staff to Dominic Perrottet and daughter of Finance Minister Damien Tudehope; Julian Whealing, former chief-of-staff to Tudehope; and Mark Hodges, solicitor and The Hills deputy mayor.

• Further high-profile additions to the retirement list are Health Minister Brad Hazzard in Wakefield and Infrastructure and Cities Minister Rob Stokes in Pittwater. Both seats have been mentioned as possibilities for the lower house ambitions of Legislative Council member Natasha Maclaren-Jones. It was initially anticipated she would seek preselection in Pittwater, with James O’Doherty of the Daily Telegraph reporting that moderate factional support was consolidating behind her, in part out of considerations for gender balance. However, the Northern Beaches Advocate reports she has has grown concerned about the strength of support for rival contender Rory Amon, a Northern Beaches councillor, and might run in Wakehurst instead. Others mentioned in relation to Wakehurst include David Walton, retired police commander and veteran Northern Beaches councillor; Wendy Finianos, Lebanese-born former Warringah Chamber of Commerce president who challenged Hazzard for preselection before the 2019 election; and Toby Williams, electorate officer to Hazzard.

Continue reading “New South Wales election minus five months”

Brazilian presidential runoff election live

Lula will probably defeat Bolsonaro today; live commentary from Monday morning. Netanyahu could win a majority in Israel, while US polls stabilise.

Live Commentary

11:28am With virtually all votes counted, Lula wins by 50.9-49.1, a 1.8% margin. Brazilian polls slightly overstated Lula in the runoff, but were much better than in the first round. That first round gave them an opportunity to adjust their sampling to include more Bolsonaro voters.

10:16am With 99.4% reporting, Lula leads by 50.87-49.13, a 1.7% margin. That’s down from the 5.2% margin he won the first round by. In 2018, Bolsonaro won the runoff by a 55.1-44.9 margin.

9:17am With 92% reporting, Lula is winning by 50.6-49.4. Not as much movement to Lula in late counting as there was in the first round.

8:47am Lula has just overtaken Bolsonaro in the live count with 68% in, and will win from here. Projection: Lula has defeated Bolsonaro, and will be Brazil’s next president.

8:38am I believe Lula may be outperforming his first round margins in his own strongholds, while Bolsonaro does well in his. Gap now down to just 50.1-49.9 with 60% reporting.

8:29am Bolsonaro’s lead down to just 50.3-49.7 as nearly 50% have reported.

8:21am With 42% of the overall vote counted, Bolsonaro leads by 50.6-49.4. It took until 46% were counted last time for Bolsonaro’s lead to fall to 2.2%.

8:17am In 2018, Brazil’s most populous states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro both gave Bolsonaro 68-32 margins in the runoff. He’s not getting anywhere near that margin this time in either state.

8:12am With 34% in, Bolsonaro’s margin continues to narrow to under two points, 50.9-49.1.

7:58am With 24% counted, Bolsonaro leads by 51.3-48.7. He was further ahead at the same stage in the first round count, according to my live blog. In the first round, it took until 70% had been counted for Lula to overtake Bolsonaro.

7:50am With 18.5% counted, Bolsonaro leads by 51.6-48.4. I believe the current results point to a narrow Lula win when all votes are counted.

7:38am Bolsonaro’s overall lead has narrowed to 52.0-48.0 as 11% have reported.

7:34am With 58% counted in Tocantins, Lula is winning there by 52.5-47.5. In the first round, Lula won Tocantins by 6.4%.

7:28am With 4.4% of overall districts counted, Bolsonaro leads by 53.9-46.1. Early results will very likely be skewed to Bolsonaro.

7:23am 58% now counted in the federal district, and Bolsonaro’s lead reduced to about 59.2-40.8.

7:19am With 24% counted already in the federal district, Bolsonaro is leading there by almost 60-40. In the first round, he won this district by almost 15 points. In the 2018 runoff, he won by 70-30.

7:07am Monday Here is the Guardian’s live results for the runoff. Past elections it would be useful to track results against are the 2022 first round results and the 2018 runoff results by state.

7:48pm In the first round of the Brazilian election, early results were skewed towards Bolsonaro, as his strong areas counted faster than Lula’s. That’s likely to be the case again tomorrow morning.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

At the October 2 first round of the Brazilian presidential election, the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) led the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by a 48.4-43.2 margin. As nobody won over 50%, the contest goes to a runoff today. Lula was president from 2003 to 2010.

Brazil has four time zones, but voting hours are synchronised, so that polls in trailing time zones open and close an hour earlier local time than polls in leading time zones. All polls close at 7am Monday AEDT. As votes are recorded electronically, counting should be fast. There is no pre-poll or postal voting; all votes must be cast on Election Day. Voting is compulsory for those aged between 18 and 70.

Polls for the runoff have narrowed to include more Bolsonaro voters after they understated his first round support. The final six polls, which mostly include some fieldwork conducted after Friday’s debate, gave Lula a one to seven point lead. However, there were two Bolsonaro leads in polls conducted last week.

Even if Lula wins, the legislature is likely to be difficult for him. In my live blog of the first round election, I wrote that right-wing parties won a majority in both chambers of the legislature. Bolsonaro’s Liberal party performed particularly well.

In the last three years, left-wing candidates have won presidential elections in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. A win in Brazil would cement the left’s dominance in South America even as they struggle in Europe.

Israel: Netanyahu’s bloc ahead and could win a majority

The Israeli election will be held Tuesday, after a government formed to keep out former PM Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed in June. The 120 members of the Knesset are elected by national proportional representation with a 3.25% threshold. A majority requires 61 seats.

Right-wing parties that are likely to support Netanyahu are his own Likud, the religious Shas and UTJ, and the far-right Religious Zionists. The final allowed polls were published by Friday; they give these right-wing parties a combined 60-62 Knesset seats, while the current governing parties have 54-56 seats. An Arab party that is not part of the government has the remaining four seats.

Two Arab parties – Hadash-Ta’al and Ra’am – are consistently shown as winning four seats, meaning they are just above the 3.25% threshold. If either were to drop below this threshold, they would win no seats and Netanyahu’s bloc would be advantaged and win a majority.

US, UK and Danish polls

I wrote last Monday that Republicans have gained in the polls for the US November 8 midterm elections. Since that article, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts for the House and Senate have stabilised. Democrats now have a 52% chance to hold the Senate (55% last Monday), while Republicans have an 81% chance to gain the House (80% previously).

Rishi Sunak became Britain’s new PM last Tuesday. Polls conducted since then have shown the Conservatives improving markedly from the final polls of Liz Truss, but Labour still holds a massive lead. In six of the seven polls taken since Sunak became PM, Labour led by 24 to 32 points, down from the 27 to 39 point lead in Truss’ final days. The Conservative-leaning Opinium poll gave Labour a 16-point lead, down from 27.

The Danish election will be held Tuesday. All 179 seats are elected by proportional representation with a 2% threshold. The Social Democrats have governed since the left-aligned “Red Bloc” of parties won the June 2019 election. Polls have the Red Bloc leading the Blue Bloc by five to ten points.

Resolve Strategic: 59-41 in Victoria

Another poll suggesting Victorian Labor is set to equal if not exceed its 2018 landslide.

The Age yesterday had a Resolve Strategic poll of Victorian state, following up on a similar poll a month ago. Labor retains a commanding lead over the Coalition of 38% to 31% on the primary vote, although this compares with 42% to 28% last time. All other players are unchanged, with the Greens on 12%, independents on 12% and others on 6%. Labor leads the Coalition 41% to 27% among women, compared with 35% apiece among men. The pollster hasn’t traditionally produced two-party results, but this one comes advertised as 59-41 to Labor. Daniel Andrews holds a 49-29 lead over Matthew Guy as preferred premier, out from 46-28 last time. A question on issue salience found “keeping the cost of living low” towering above the pack, followed by health, environment, economic management and integrity. The poll was conducted October 20 to 24 from a sample of 800.

Roy Morgan last week published results from a somewhat dated phone and online poll conducted from 1379 respondents at unspecified times during September. It showed Labor with a 60-40 lead, out from 58-42 at the last such poll in August, from primary votes of Labor 42% (up five-and-a-half), Coalition 28% (down one) and Greens 14.5% (up half), with 15.5% scattered among an array of minor party and independent options.

Britain’s next PM and Brazilian runoff, Israeli and US midterm elections minus six to 16 days

Rishi Sunak set to win as Boris Johnson withdraws. Lula will probably defeat Bolsonaro in Brazil, Netanyahu could win again, and Republicans gain in the US.

6:52am Tuesday: Rishi Sunak is Britain’s next PM, after Penny Mordaunt conceded shortly before the close of nominations at midnight AEDT last night. He was the only candidate to pass the 100 nominations threshold. There will be no members’ ballot.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The next UK Conservative leader and PM will be decided by a fast-tracked process. Candidates will need at least 100 Conservative MP nominations by 2pm UK time today (midnight AEDT). As there are 356 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons, at most three candidates can reach the required nominations.

If only one candidate reaches the 100 nominations, that candidate is elected Conservative leader and PM. With former PM Boris Johnson withdrawing Sunday night UK time, only former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is likely to pass the 100 nominations required, and there will be no Conservative members’ ballot. That ballot was to be conducted by Friday using online methods.

The Guardian’s tracker of public endorsements from MPs gave Sunak 144 endorsements, Johnson 57 and Penny Mordaunt 24; she was the last eliminated candidate in the previous contest. Johnson claimed he had 102 nominees (including non-public endorsements), but did not continue his campaign even though he would have likely won a members’ vote, as he did not want to be leader of a parliamentary party that had rejected him decisively.

Since the September 23 “horror” budget, Liz Truss’ brief tenure has been marked by dire and worsening polls for the Conservatives. In eight national polls taken since last Sunday, Labour led by between 27 and 39 points. These polls were taken after Truss sacked Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on October 14 and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt.

In May 2021, I wrote for The Conversation that non-university educated whites are shifting to the right. However, a danger for right-wing parties is a perception they want to slash government services – examples are Australian polls after the 2014 budget and US polls during Donald Trump’s first year as president, in which he was attempting to gut Obamacare. We now have another example.

Brazilian presidential runoff: October 30

At the October 2 first round of the Brazilian presidential election, the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) led the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by a 48.4-43.2 margin. As nobody won over 50%, the contest goes to a runoff this Sunday. Lula was president from 2003 to 2010.

Polls for the runoff have narrowed to include more Bolsonaro voters after they understated his first round support. There has been further narrowing in the last week, with Lula ahead by just 52-48 in this poll aggregate; a recent poll gave Bolsonaro a 51-49 lead.

Even if Lula wins, the legislature is likely to be difficult for him. In my live blog of the first round election, I wrote that right-wing parties won a majority in both chambers of the legislature. Bolsonaro’s Liberal party performed particularly well.

In the last three years, left-wing candidates have won presidential elections in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. A win in Brazil would cement the left’s dominance in South America even as they struggle in Europe.

Israel: Netanyahu’s bloc ahead and could win a majority

The Israeli election will be held November 1, after a government formed to keep out former PM Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed in June. The 120 members of the Knesset are elected by national proportional representation with a 3.25% threshold.

Right-wing parties that are likely to support Netanyahu are his own Likud, the religious Shas and UTJ, and the far-right Religious Zionists. The last four polls give these right-wing parties a combined 59-62 Knesset seats, while the current governing parties have 54-57 seats. An Arab party that is not part of the government has the remaining four seats.

US: Republicans gain and could win both chambers at midterms

I wrote for The Conversation last Thursday that Republicans have gained in the polls for the US November 8 midterm elections. Since that article, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts for the House and Senate have worsened for Democrats.

Democrats now have a 55% chance to hold the Senate (61% last Thursday), while Republicans have an 80% chance to gain the House (75% previously). Republicans have taken a 0.5-point lead in the national House popular vote after trailing by 0.3% last Thursday; this is Republicans’ first lead since early August.

Miscellany: SEC Newgate and electoral law reform (open thread)

A fall in the federal government’s performance meeting, plus three recent arguments for electoral reform of one kind or another.

We’re now in week seven of the Newspoll drought, but that does not come as a surprise this week as the budget will be brought down tomorrow, and a poll will assuredly follow in its wake. We did have from The Australian on Friday results from an SEC Newgate Research on Friday which found the federal government’s overall performance rated as excellent by 3%, very good by 9%, good by 26%, fair by 35%, poor by 16% and very poor by 10%. This marked a nine-point drop in the combined excellent, very good and good result since the question was last asked in August. However, the party’s lead over the Coalition as best to manage cost-of-living was little changed over the same period, from 38-24 to 40-24. Ratings for state governments were down across the board, which likely reflects an unwinding of strong results for governments across the board during the pandemic. Some of the results from the poll, but not those above, can be found on the organisation’s website. It was conducted from October 5 to 10 from a sample of 1200.

Food for thought:

• Constitutional law expert George Williams calls for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in a column for The Australian.

Joo-Cheong Tham of the University of Melbourne law school argues for the franchise to be extended to permanent residents and long-term visa holders.

• Digital Rights Watch calls for the removal of exemptions for political party voter databases from privacy laws in light of the recent Optus hack.

• The Centre for Public Integrity calls for campaign spending caps, after its submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into the federal election analysed the increase in spending over the past decade.

Anarchy in the UK

Britain’s Conservative government gears up to pick its fifth prime minister since coming to power in 2010 — or possibly its third again.

Six weeks into the job, Liz Truss announced yesterday that she would resign as Britain’s Prime Minister. Whereas the process that resulted in Truss succeeding Boris Johnson ran from July to September, through the party’s usual process where the members of parliament winnow it down to a field of two who then face a ballot of the party membership, this time the matter will be determined within a week. The principles of the election will be broadly similar to before, but the narrowing down process will apparently be “accelerated” and the membership vote conducted online. Betfair’s highly fluid betting odds suggest the following clear front-runners (odds shown below at time of writing), followed by a long tail of dark horses:

Rishi Sunak ($1.94). Former Chancellor of the Exchequer and the current back-bencher, Sunak was the favoured candidate of the parliamentary contingent to succeed Johnson, Sunak was voted down in favour of Truss by a party membership that was displeased by his role in bringing down Johnson and unconvinced by his argument that the unfunded tax cuts advocated by Truss would not go down well with markets. Only later did it become apparent that, as our very own Peta Credlin put it in The Australian yesterday, the markets were “driven by woke hedge-fund managers who have never forgiven the Tories for engineering Brexit”.

Penny Morduant ($5). Morduant was an early front-runner during the previous leadership process, but finished third in a tight race in the final ballot of the parliamentary membership. She served as Defence Secretary under Teresa May but was dumped when Johnson became Prime Minister in July 2019, before returning to junior ministry positions the following February. Mordaunt won favour among the party membership as a long-standing Euroskeptic, but lost some of it for her progressive positions on transgender issues.

Boris Johnson ($5.90). The Times political editor Steven Swinford reports Johnson is “expected to stand”.

Freshwater Strategy: 54-46 to Labor in New South Wales

A new pollster on the block produces a set of New South Wales state two-party numbers that agree with last month’s Newspoll.

The Financial Review yesterday had a poll of New South Wales state voting intention from Freshwater Strategy, which according to The Australian has been founded by four recently departed directors from CT Group, the famed Liberal-aligned pollster associated with Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor.
The poll credits Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46 after exclusion of the undecided. A more detailed two-party result has Labor on 47%, the Coalition on 40%, “would not place either” on 8% (as voters can do under the state’s optional preferential voting system) and “firmly undecided” on 6%. The primary votes are Coalition 36%, Labor 37%, Greens 11%, independents 5%, Shooters 1% and others 11%.

Dominic Perrotet was credited with an approval rating of 37% and a disapproval rating of 35%, with 20% opting for a response of neutral, while Labor’s Chris Minns was on 26% approval, 15% disapproval and 24% neutral. A preferred premier question had Minns leading 41-38. Respondents were also asked about the federal leaders, with results of 50% approval, 26% disapproval and 21% neutral for Anthony Albanese and 33% approval, 34% disapproval and 25% neutral for Peter Dutton. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1042.