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Newspoll: 50-50

Newspoll has maintained its jumpy record of late, the latest result reverting back to 50-50 after blowing out to 54-46 to the Coalition in the last poll three weeks ago. The two 50-50 results Newspoll has recorded have been the best results Labor has received in phone polls since early last year.

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James J reports Newspoll is back to 50-50 after inflating to 54-46 to the Coalition in the last poll three weeks ago. The primary votes are 36% for Labor (up three), 41% for the Coalition (down four) and 10% for the Greens (steady). Gillard’s lead as prime minister is up slightly, from 43-33 to 45-34, but her personal ratings are rather less good than in Nielsen: approval 35% (down one) and disapproval 51% (up one). Tony Abbott has again gone backwards, his approval down three to 30% and disapproval up three to 58%. The poll was conducted from Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1176 with a margin of error of about 3%.

UPDATE: Essential Research puts a dampener on things for Labor by finding the Coalition up a point on two-party preferred to now lead 54-46. The primary votes are 48% for the Coalition (up one), 36% for Labor (steady) and 9% for the Greens (9%). Also featured: 45% expect the UN Security Council seat to be of benefit to Australia against 36% of little or no benefit; 28% support the export of uranium to India against 40% opposed; 39% support nuclear power for electricity generation (up four since the wake of Fukushima) against 41% opposed (down 12); 35% rate the economy in good shape against 29% poor; 37% approve of spending cuts to keep the budget in surplus against 43% disapproval.

UPDATE 2: GhostWhoVotes reports Newspoll also brings us a finding that only 26% expect the government to succeed in bringing the budget into surplus, against 59% who think it will not succeed (38-47 against among Labor voters, 14-78 amongst Coalition). On the question of how high a priority it should be, 35% said high, 35% said low and 21% said “not a priority”. Thirty-nine per cent agreed that Tony Abbott has been sexist towards Julia Gillard against 45% who disagreed. This breaks down, not too surprisingly, to 35-48 among men against 43-41 among women, and 66-21 among Labor supporters against 13-76 among Coalition supporters. Less expected is the concentration of support for the proposition among the 35-49 age cohort: 44-39 compared with 33-45 with younger and 40-49 with older voters. Those who agreed were further asked about the appropriateness of Gillard’s response, the upshot of which is that 2% of the overall sample felt she underreacted to Abbott’s sexism, 30% thought she got the reaction to Abbott’s sexism about right, 6% thought she overreacted to Abbott’s sexism, 45% thought there was no sexism to react to, and 16% were undecided, indifferent or ignorant of the matter.

Federal preselection news:

• The South Australian ALP has made a poorly received decision to maintain the order at the top of its Senate ticket from 2007, with parliamentary secretary and Right powerbroker Don Farrell having seniority over Finance Minister Penny Wong, a member of the minority Left faction. Farrell won the ballot by 112 votes to 83 for Wong. Anthony Albanese, a powerbroker in the NSW Left, described the result as a “joke” and an “act of self-indulgence”, offering that Wong was “obviously our most talented senator from South Australia”. Third on the ticket is Simon Pisoni, an official for the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union and the brother of a state Liberal MP, David Pisoni.

• Andrew Crook at Crikey reports that Labor will hold a preselection for Dobell in February or March next year. Craig Thomson is suspended from the party, and is thus likely to be ineligible to nominate. Mentioned as possible contenders are David Mehan, described by Crook as the “popular local LUCRF super fund manager”, who was the party’s unsuccessful candidate in 2004 and challenged Thomson for preselection in 2010, and David Harris, Point Clare Public School principal and former state member for Wyong who lost his seat at last year’s election. Emma McBride, daughter of former The Entrance MP Grant McBride, was previously mentioned, but is now said to be “out of the race”.

Mat Nott of the Fraser Coast Chronicle reports the candidates for Liberal National Party preselection to succeed retiring Paul Neville in the Bundaberg-based seat of Hinkler are believed to include Maryborough school principal Len Fehlhaber, Hervey Bay accountant Geoff Redpath, parole and probation officer Greg McMahon, Australian Safety and Training Alliance managing director Keith Pitt, and two political staffers – Chris McLoughlin, who works for state Bundaberg MP Jack Dempsey, and Cathy Heidrich, a former newspaper proprietor who works for Paul Neville and is “widely expected to receive at least his unofficial backing”. Michael McKenna of The Australian also mentioned former Isis mayor Bill Trevor.

• Queensland’s Liberal National Party will hold a preselection on November 24 to choose its Senate ticket, with incumbent Ian McDonald set to retain top spot and two vacancies created by the retirements of Ron Boswell and Sue Boyce. Most prominent among the 16 mooted nominees is James McGrath, the party’s campaign director for the state election this year who unsuccessfully ran against Mal Brough for the Fisher preselection after appearing to have the numbers sewn up in neighbouring Fairfax. Also mentioned are LNP vice-president Gary Spence, Toowoomba doctor and university lecturer David Van Gend, Senator Barnaby Joyce’s chief of staff Matthew Canavan, former Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Goodwin, barrister Amanda Stoker and animal nutritionist Theresa Craig.

• A legal action that was delaying federal Liberal preselections in New South Wales has been resolved, with the state executive reluctantly agreeing to a allow a motion for rank-and-file preselections and a less interventionist state executive to be brought before the state council. The challenge in the Supreme Court arose from the David Clarke right faction, which was angered that factional rivals on the state executive, which is controlled by an alliance of moderates and the rival Alex Hawke right, had imposed candidates in the marginal Labor central coast seats of Dobell and Robertson. However, Sean Nicholls of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that “any change would require the support of 60 per cent of state council members, which many doubt it would receive”. Among the seats affected by the preselection delay was the crucial western Sydney seat of Greenway.

• Former GetUp! director Simon Sheikh has announced he will seek preselection to run as the Greens Senate candidate for the Australian Capital Territory. The Greens have been hopeful of winning the second ACT Senate seat from Liberal incumbent Gary Humphries at the past few elections, but have consistently fallen short.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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5266 comments

5,266 thoughts on “Newspoll: 50-50

  1. Right, so Gillard is going to open up all the ‘untrustworthy’ meme stuff over the promise to the indies, as well as looking shifty about trying to avoid a deficit budget (despite the pre-election Treasury reports exposing any likely deficit)all for the chance to have a house-only election and ensure she’d need to go to another election in 2014?

    The media really is sheltered workshop.

  2. Ok my tinfoil hat is getting a serious workout of late.

    The Mar’n legal threat seems nutso. Haven’t they heard of the Barbra Streisand effect? No one much pays attention to what Rob Oakeshott says most of the time, so why get out the lawyers?

    Perhaps the government are actually trying to do RO a favour – look a bit heavy handed, make RO out to be being victimized, get his electorate rallying around him and show some distance between RO and the government?

    Otherwise it just looks like boneheaded idiocy on the government’s part.

    Oh well Occam’s razor tells me it’s the idiocy but I live in hope.

  3. Dave,
    davidwh,
    Possum C,
    Cud,
    Jackol
    Ru (at some point I think)
    & Poroti

    With regard to the productivity discussion held on pages 99-100. Thank you all very kindly for forcing me to read volumes of economic theorizing … the resultant nightmares were exceedingly colourful and it becomes clear that I’ve had a QI moment and lost 10 points.

    I did find some info that supported my claims but my excitement at a victorious comeback proved short-lived as lower wage instigated ‘market’ gains –to- increased employment –to- productivity spikes soon came back to the pack as I read further into it. You were all absolutely right. Maybe I meant lower wage ‘growth’… I’m not sure anymore… I had some reasoned argument but I can’t remember what it was since the brain will likely be mush for the rest of the weekend.

    Never too old to learn. I shall weed the garden as penance.

  4. Perhaps the government are actually trying to do RO a favour – look a bit heavy handed, make RO out to be being victimized, get his electorate rallying around him and show some distance between RO and the government?

    Otherwise it just looks like boneheaded idiocy on the government’s part.

    Oh well Occam’s razor tells me it’s the idiocy but I live in hope.

    With Mar’n unfortunately, I’d be inclined to opt for “boneheaded idiocy”.

  5. Apparently there was legal action against Rob Oakeshott.

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke

    PM Gillard said Martin Ferguson would put out a statement ‘very shortly’ re dropping legal action against Oakeshott. Still waiting…

  6. zoidlord@5261


    Apparently there was legal action against Rob Oakeshott.

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke

    PM Gillard said Martin Ferguson would put out a statement ‘very shortly’ re dropping legal action against Oakeshott. Still waiting…

    A Cabinet minister has to be told it was a poor idea to start with??

    FFS.

  7. Martin Ferguson should be one on the list, to take out to the brick wall, after Labor wins in Oct-Nov 2013. Is he from the right ?

  8. chris murphy‏@chrismurphys

    Whole town’s talking about the Pyne texts, the Pyne texts,the Pyne texts.The whole town’s talking about the Pynes all day long #auspol

  9. Be aware of the Gillard government’s insane plan to hand its environmental protection powers back to the states, at the bidding of mining co’s and developers.

    Have they forgotten Gordon below Franklin?

    [This proposal, if implemented, would leave us without the last line of defence, which is the whole point of a federal system.]

    http://placesyoulove.org/2012/08/24/green-tape-all-that-stands-between-life-and-extinction/

    “Green tape” is the most bullshit and dangerous concept to emerge from mining co funded think tanks since, well, since the mining tax compromise.

    Environmental regulation is obviously good: the less we have, the more simple vandalism by rapacious and irresponsible developers. They need to be on a good firm leash, simple as that.

    Giving away the Federal whip hand is the most reckless idea this govt has come with.