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Federal Politics 2013-

Feb 21, 2016

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The Australian has a surprise in store tomorrow, with the latest Newspoll survey showing the two parties at level pegging on two-party preferred, wiping out a 53-47 lead to the Coalition at the last poll three weeks ago. The Coalition is down three on the primary vote to 43%, Labor is up one to 35%, and the Greens are up one to 12%. This has been reflected in personal ratings, with Malcolm Turnbull down five on approval to 48% and up seven on disapproval to 38%, while Bill Shorten is up three on approval to 28% and down three on disapproval to 57%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows from 59-20 to 55-21. The poll also finds 47% support for Labor’s negative gearing plan, with 31% opposed and 22% undecided. It was conducted Thursday to Sunday by Galaxy Research from a sample of 1807, contacted online and through automated phone polling. UPDATE: Also from Newspoll are results on “words used to describe the leaders” and “best leader to handle issues.

Note that there are a further two new posts beneath this one, one providing a forum for discussion on Senate reform and double dissolution talk separate from the main thread, the other being the return of Seat of the Week.

UPDATE (Roy Morgan): Roy Morgan finds no change on a much improved result for Labor a fortnight ago, with the Coalition again leading 52.5-47.5 on both respondent-allocated and previous-election measures of two-party preferred. The primary votes are Coalition 43.5% (steady), Labor 29.5% (up 0.5%) and Greens 15% (down one). The poll was conducted by face-to-face and SMS over the past two weekends from a sample of 3116.

UPDATE 2 (Essential Research): Essential Research is steady at 52-48 to the Coalition, but Labor’s primary vote has bounced back two points to 35% after dropping the same amount last week – unusually volatile behaviour for this series, which provides a rolling average of two weekly results. The Coalition is up a point to 44%, with the Greens down one to 10%. The most interesting of the supplementary questions divided the sample into two halves and asked a separate question on negative gearing: a straight one on reform “so that, for future purchases, investors can only claim tax deductions for
investments in newly built homes”, and another attributing the policy to Labor. The switch made surprisingly little difference: the former had 38% approval and 28% disapproval, the latter 37% and 32%, with moderate variations between Labor and Coalition voters cancelling out in the totals. Other results find 31% approval and 54% disapproval of cutting Sunday penalty rates in hospitality, entertainment and retail, and grim assessments on the health of the economy and respondents’ financial wellbeing – only company profits perceived as having improved over the past year, and very large majorities rating that the cost of living has worsened. The poll was conducted online, over two weeks from a sample of 2017 in the case of voting intention, and Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1002 for the rest.

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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2223 comments

2,223 thoughts on “Newspoll: 50-50

  1. ratsak

    Oh watching the Libs tear themselves apart is going to be sooo much fun.

  2. C@tmomma

    Mark Di Stefano ‏@MarkDiStef 6m6 minutes ago

    Mark Di Stefano Retweeted Troy Bramston

    *whispers into shirt cuff*
    ahhhh it’s on.

    Troy Bramston Verified account
    ‏@TroyBramston

    #Newspoll 2PP: L/NP 50% ALP 50% Primary: L/NP 43% ALP 35% Preferred PM: Turnbull 55% Shorten 21% @australian #auspol

    😀

  3. ratsak

    That is a pretty bloody big whack out of Malcolm’s netsat. Still a way to go for him, but people are waking up to him.

    And once they do wake up to him, they won’t be going back.

  4. Player One

    So … early election?

  5. Leroy Lynch

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll-deadlock-as-coalition-and-alp-split-5050-pms-honeymoon-ends/news-story/15027d67c2a668c2862ee034447d7121
    [Newspoll: Deadlock as Coalition and ALP split 50/50, PM’s honeymoon ends
    THE AUSTRALIAN FEBRUARY 21, 2016 10:23PM
    Phillip Hudson Bureau Chief Canberra

    The Coalition and Labor are deadlocked in the latest Newspoll as support for the government tumbles in the face of policy confusio­n and the political honeymoon ends for Malcolm Turnbull, with his personal ratings falling to a four-month low.

    After a chaotic beginning to the election year, with mixed signals from the Prime Minister and Scott Morrison about their policy agenda, a retreat on changing the GST and ministerial resignations causing a reshuffle, support for the Coalition has fallen while voters­ have favoured Labor’s bold plan to change negative-gearing tax breaks.

    The latest Newspoll, taken exclusively­ for The Australian, reveals­ the Coalition’s primary vote slumped three points to 43 per cent to be at the lowest level since Mr Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister five months ago.

    The Coalition’s lost support appears to have been evenly split among other parties, with Labor rising one point to 35 per cent, the Greens gaining one point to 12 per cent, and backing for other parties and independents up one point to 10 per cent.

    Based on preference flows from the last election, the Coal­ition and Labor are tied in two-party terms at 50 per cent each.

    …………

    Labor will be buoyed by support for its negative-gearing plan announced by Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen last week to restrict from July next year all future tax breaks to new housing, but not change existing arrangements.

    The poll of 1807 voters taken from Thursday to Sunday found 47 per cent in favour of Labor’s negative-gearing plan, with 31 per cent opposed and 22 per cent undecided.

    Among Labor voters, support was 60 per cent with 20 per cent against; while 40 per cent of Coal­ition voters endorsed Labor’s plan with 46 per cent against.]

  6. mikehilliard

    Glad to accept I was being stupid to think Newspoll would bias heavily to the LNP

  7. FalconWA

    Apologies to PVO but WOW. Glad Bill isn’t cutting through. Note to Rex et al. Looks like a DD idea might last about as long as the GST and optional super.

  8. C@tmomma

    Well Scott Morrison’s speech at the NPC and blitz of the media last week went down like a lead balloon, I think it is safe to say. 🙂

  9. ratsak

    A DD to be the latest thing Turnbull runs away from…

  10. Rossmore

    Well it was a rather long undeserved honeymoon.

    Shorten will be tucking into bed tonight with a smile on his face.

    Malcolm, will be smiling too, like a cheshire cat of course …. polls go up … they go down

    Abbott will be plotting

    Marginal Tory seat MPs will be shitting themselves

    MSM will be doing what they always do…. rewriting the narrative to the polls

  11. Question

    Previous thread
    [
    Fulvio Sammut @2140
    How many others here can claim predictive accuracy within 0.01%?
    ]

    Back at 1558 is did say
    [
    After the last few weeks I would expect at least 50-50
    ]

    But I have conveniently omitted some arse cover I took after that, so I bow to your accuracy 🙂

  12. J341983

    You live by Newspoll… you die by Newspoll

    and this “you’re posting too quickly”… Jebus.

  13. silentmajority

    We CAN win from here!

  14. Nicholas

    Turnbull the Smug is getting smacked around the head. Good. Bill Shorten deserves credit for his bold and deft handling of the politics of the housing market.

  15. Inner Westie

    Abbott and Credlin have leapt out of the jacuzzi.

    Abbott (tripping over a box hedge): We’re getting the band back together!

    Credlin: Aye aye Captain Bligh!

  16. Darn

    Just to save Rex the trouble I’d like to say that this is further proof that Shorten has to go. Labor should be at least 54-46 by now. If only they had someone who could cut through.

    I think that just about covers it.

  17. Question

    The question is, will this bring about the discipline required to govern well, or will it all go to hell in a handbag?

    My suspicion is the former is a bit too much like hard work for this mob.

  18. silentmajority

    Well done ALP this week taking it up to them.

  19. ratsak

    [Labor will be buoyed by support for its negative-gearing plan announced by Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen last week to restrict from July next year all future tax breaks to new housing, but not change existing arrangements.

    The poll of 1807 voters taken from Thursday to Sunday found 47 per cent in favour of Labor’s negative-gearing plan, with 31 per cent opposed and 22 per cent undecided.

    Among Labor voters, support was 60 per cent with 20 per cent against; while 40 per cent of Coal­ition voters endorsed Labor’s plan with 46 per cent against.]

    Excellent results for any opposition policy announcement. Doubly so for one that was being written off only yesterday.

    40% support amongst Coalition voters shows how this cuts through. 2/5 of Coalition supporters hear Turnbull’s scare about house prices falling and think WTF?

  20. confessions

    It was indeed a long and undeserved honeymoon, Rossmore.

  21. silentmajority

    Where’s Showy?

  22. Fulvio Sammut

    Based on preference flows from the last election, not expressed preferences.

    Given the overblown Coalition vote at the last election, the result is more probably 50.01 – 49.99 in Labor’s favour. 🙂

  23. Trog Sorrenson

    Fortune favors the brave – and I think this time Shorten has nailed it.

  24. J341983

    @16 – No. Shorten needs to have his chance at the election. There’s no need to s*** the bed on this element (to put it bluntly). More importantly, I don’t think anyone else would cut through any clearer.

  25. C@tmomma

    The Coalition now must be in a world of pain. The hard-heads must know that they can’t go back to Tony Abbott for to do so would see their vote collapse entirely as there is no affection for the guy outside of a very small portion of conservative Coalition supporters.

    On the other hand we have Malcolm Turnbull, who the electorate have already turned against decisively once before and now it seems that they have had him on a very short rope and are prepared to keelhaul him again if he doesn’t pull his socks up smartish.

    But can he? That is the election-winning question.

  26. shea mcduff

    From James J in previous thread.
    [Newspoll

    50-50 2PP

    Coalition 43, Labor 35, Greens 12

    Turnbull: Satisfied 48, Dissatisfied 38
    Shorten: Satisfied 28, Dissatisfied 57

    Better PM Turnbull 55, Shorten 21

    1807 sample, 18-21 Feb]

  27. Question

    It was a normal honeymoon, it was just extended 6 weeks by X-mas holidays.

  28. Asha Leu

    Holy shit. I was expecting a move to Labor but not by this much!

    Going to be a few Coalition backbenchers wetting the bed tonight, I reckon.

    I wonder if that double dissolution is still on the table?

  29. shea mcduff

    From James J in previous thread.

    [Newspoll

    50-50 2PP

    Coalition 43, Labor 35, Greens 12
    …..]

  30. shea mcduff

    Bloody “posting too quickly”

  31. TPOF

    Question @ 17

    My guess is that they will hit the panic button. This is the most politically thick government I have seen since maybe Billy McMahon. Coupled with a complete lack of achievement, I think they are toast.

    We will know on budget night, but it would be extremely difficult for a highly competent and intelligent government to pull together an appropriate budget in an election year in the current economic circumstances, let alone a bunch of clueless clowns like this mob.

  32. ratsak

    [MSM will be doing what they always do…. rewriting the narrative to the polls]

    But the great thing about it is the MSM have a nice simple narrative they can go to. Labor’s tax policy is a winner. Even if this was just a complete rogue and the policy has nothing to do with it that will be the narrative. Labor is leading the debate and the Libs are dithering.

    And that will become self reinforcing. Doubly so if Essential and/or Morgan show some movement in the right direction. The media will treat the policy as something to be defended (cause popular) and the ooga-booga stuff will be mostly ignored or ridiculed.

    Keep on the front foot Bill. Don’t give these dopes a moment to get their balance back.

  33. J341983

    The question the Government must be asking right now. Do they REALLY think things will get better for them? The only thing that they had was Turnbull’s personal popularity, which matters much more from the Govt’s perspective than the Opp’n… now, that’s sliding away.

  34. confessions

    I think Darn was being sarcastic J

  35. J341983

    @34 – You may be right… but you cannot tell sometimes. If so, I apologise Darn 🙂

  36. TPOF

    [40% support amongst Coalition voters shows how this cuts through. 2/5 of Coalition supporters hear Turnbull’s scare about house prices falling and think WTF?]

    The most idiotic thing about that ‘scare’ is that Turncoat’s prediction was actually very encouraging news for a great many swinging voters! One of the great political own goals I think.

  37. C@tmomma

    Not to mention that Labor have plenty more policies to roll out between now and the election. So I imagine there will be more reward for effort. Which is simply as it should be.

  38. Question

    TPOF 31,

    The only thing that could save them would be a Labor style budget. There is a mood to cut welfare to the rich before cutting services. Not a good time to be an LNP government 🙂

  39. ratsak

    [Abbott (tripping over a box hedge): We’re getting the band back together!]

    I think Tony will be happier than Shorten, Bowen, and the rest of the Labor Party put together.

    The second Abbott government will be better!

  40. confessions

    [This is the most politically thick government I have seen since maybe Billy McMahon.]

    I wasn’t born when McMahon was PM, but I’d be hard pressed to believe his govt was worse than this one!

  41. briefly

    This Newspoll is entirely consistent with my face-to-face campaigning in Perth, where voters consistently show genuine interest in Labor’s themes and a preparedness to shift support away from Liberals to Labor candidates.

    There is absolutely no doubt at all that voters have forgiven Labor and are willing shift in large numbers from the Liberals.

  42. Question

    Fess 34,

    It was very clear taking-the-piss.

  43. Trog Sorrenson

    [I am a rusted on Liberal supporter in Reid. Turnbull needs to be taught a lesson even if we have to suffer Shorten for a period. It will be worth it. I will do my best here to see him dislodged.]

    A comment on the Goverment Gazette article re Newspoll. Lots more in the same vein.

    Google newspoll-deadlock-as-coalition-and-alp-split-5050-pms-honeymoon-end

  44. John Reidy

    Thanks for posting the article Leroy.
    The negative gearing polling figures are very interesting.
    At ratsak says that will give the media their narrative.
    So much for the unwashed not accepting reform. It just has to be an improvement not cost shifting.

  45. Fulvio Sammut

    If I owned a design school I’d be organising another scholarship about now …

  46. Sustainable future

    This is getting interesting. Turnbull may pause before rushing to the DD now – it will look desperate and cynical and probably won’t deliver him a cooperative senate or authority to drag his party to the centre. I’m worried the revolving door PM syndrome (apparently fire departments are now recommending you change smoke alarm batteries every time we get a new PM) will continue. if turnbull wins, his party will knife him. If shorten wins he will soon become deeply unpopular and his party will knife him. etc. This sort of instability isn’t good for the country at a time when the 30 year boom is ending. there’s something to be said for 4 years fixed terms and no option to ditch leaders other than their voluntary resignation. the media might actually have to focus on policy if this were the case.

  47. TPOF

    Question @ 38

    When a negatively geared property investor like me thinks that negative gearing is no longer serving a public purpose, the time was very much here for it to be restructured. As for the 50% discount on capital gains, that was set up when marginal tax rates were higher and so was inflation. With low inflation, the discount is objectively over-generous.

    So this government push-back makes them look like what they are – there for the wealthy and comfortably off, not for the real battlers.

  48. imacca

    [ The hard-heads must know that they can’t go back to Tony Abbott for to do so would see their vote collapse entirely as there is no affection for the guy outside of a very small portion of conservative Coalition supporters. ]

    True. They are stuck with MalPm. But what i find satisfying is that by now there are going to be a load of Libs worried about ScoMo as a replacement. Scotty is visibly making a hash of the Treasurers job and that will hurt.

    Anyway, satisfying polling methunketh. Just at the right time to put the shits up the Libs. 🙂

    Will be interesting to see how things go with the Libs reportedly going to make a number of announcements this week.

    Hope they have more substance than ScoMo’s speech.

  49. Just Me

    Trog Sorrenson@23

    Fortune favors the brave – and I think this time Shorten has nailed it.

    Also favours the prepared, and Labor have been doing their homework.

    🙂

  50. Darn

    [J341983
    Posted Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 10:38 pm | PERMALINK
    @16 – No. Shorten needs to have his chance at the election. There’s no need to s*** the bed on this element (to put it bluntly). More importantly, I don’t think anyone else would cut through any clearer.
    ]

    J341983

    It was a sarcastic joke at Rex’s expense. It’s just the kind of thing he would say at a time like this.

    As for me, I have been a Shorten supporter for a long time now and I think he has completely outpointed Turnbull over the last few months. Like you say, no-one could have done it better.