Dec 7, 2009

Newspoll Tuesday – No Bounce Edition

Now in new Monday flavor - Abbott’s first Newspoll outing has the primaries coming in 43 (steady)/ 38 (up 3) to Labor, washing out

Possum Comitatus — Editor of Pollytics

Possum Comitatus

Editor of Pollytics

Now in new Monday flavor – Abbott’s first Newspoll outing has the primaries coming in 43 (steady)/ 38 (up 3) to Labor, washing out into a two party preferred of 56/44 the same way – a 1 point gain to the Coalition. The Greens are on 11 (down 1) while the broad “Others” are sitting on 8 (down 2). This comes from a sample of 1152, giving us an MoE that maxes out around around the 2.9% mark.

Rudd’s satisfaction moved up 2 to 58, his dissatisfaction went down 2 to 32 for a net satisfaction improvement of 4 points, coming in at +26.

No Satisfaction ratings for Abbott first week out – which isn’t unusual for a new leader, but there was a Better PM rating. If we look at the Better PM ratings for every Opposition leader that was elected mid-term going back to Downer, something interesting pops out.


Abbott gave not only the worst debut result of any Opposition leader that has taken control of the party mid-term, but was also the second lowest Uncommitted result of any new Opposition leader (including those that took control immediately after an election defeat). Only Beazley Mk 2 had a lower level of uncommitteds, suggesting that Tony Abbott is a significantly known quantity in the electorate, meaning there isnt much fat in the figures.

If we look at the last four Newspolls of Turnbull’s leadership, take their average and compare it to this poll’s result – we see that the ascension of Abbott has done absolutely nothing to the vote estimates. A point up on one primary, a point down on the other and a two party preferred unmoved when the whole lot is rounded.


It’s pretty safe to declare no Newspoll bounce. It might also be worth looking at the way the primary vote estimates have changed for every mid-term leadership change since Downer for a bit of context. If we take the primary vote average for the 6 weeks leading up to a leadership change and then compare that average (the “before“) to the first Newspoll after a leadership change (the “after“), it gives us an idea of the nature of any bounce. We’ll also add the other side, to see how a mid-term leadership change in Opposition affected both the Opposition and government primary vote estimates.


Abbott seems most comparable to Beazley Mark 2, with both having either nil or a statistically insignificant impact on the primary vote estimates of each party.


Um… no, I have no idea what some of the folks over at The Australian were smoking either.

Meanwhile, the usual charts come in like this.

pmsatdec netsatdec

prefpmdec tppsatdec


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20 thoughts on “Newspoll Tuesday – No Bounce Edition

  1. The Concern Police – Pure Poison

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  2. David Richards

    Turnbull and Abbott make Latham look good lol

    Latham got off to a flyer before going into a powerdive.

    Abbott isn’t flying so high, but being a similar abrasive and volatile character, he could very easily fall into a canyon or a large body of water.

    I hope all those on board Abbott Air Flight 666 are wearing their parachutes and buoyancy vests.

  3. Winston

    Poss, here’s another way to look at the preferred PM figures.

    By comparing the PPM figures for the new leader with the last PPM figures for the previous leader we can see what a difference changing leaders made.

    From your table we have margins for the new leaders as follows –

    Downer +6
    Howard -5
    Latham -26
    Beazley -27
    Rudd -3
    Turnbull -30
    Abbott -37

    The corresponding previous leaders were –

    Hewson -18
    Downer -26
    Crean -51
    Latham -36
    Beazley -30
    Nelson -46
    Turnbull -51

    And the increase for the new leader was –

    Downer +24
    Howard +21
    Latham +25
    Beazley +9
    Rudd +27
    Turnbull +16
    Abbott +14

    Once again, no joy for Abbott, especially given that Turnbull was at -51 – equal lowest with Crean.

  4. Grog

    Cheers, knew there’d be a reason.

  5. Possum Comitatus

    Grog, he got the leadership straight after the 2001 election. All the leaders mentioned above got the leadership mid-term rather than after an election defeat.

  6. Grog

    Possum, what hapened to Crean?

  7. Aristotle

    Fellow Possum perusers, I’ve conducted a similar analysis to Possum, and independently came to the same conclusions.

    Whilst I wouldn’t class it in the same category as double blind, peer reviewed research, you may be comforted to know our findings concur.

    “How does Tony Abbott’s first poll compare?”

  8. shepherdmarilyn

    He seems to be trying on a Howard style dictatorship. If he brings back the moribund Bronnie two words will kill her off “kerosene baths”, and two words would kill off Kevin Andrews in a flash “Dr Haneef”.

    Anyone read Jacquie Ewart’s book about that saga? It’s terrifying in the level of utter incompetence displayed by so many across so many areas.

    The best bit for me was the assertion that the AFP had a media control unit reading papers to see if they were popular.


    Now that Abbott has anointed Barnyard to his front bench, he’s virtually cut off any retreat on his “no ETS, no new tax” position. So while he’s happy to do a Pauline Hanson and appeal to the lowest common denominator of the conservative voters, doing so only makes Turnbull look more principled.

  10. jeffrey dalton

    Poss, I have a problem with the notion of ‘like’ in relation to leadership polls because my recollection is that many people didn’t like Malcolm Fraser yet they voted him in droves in 1977, and less so in 1980. Likewise Mr Keating in 1993, and J W Howard in everything after 1996. Abbott has a chance of being elected PM but the fundamental weakness of the Liberals is that they have chosen a leader without majority support in the party room and the general public is able to sense this. Whilst the vast majority of the party will be disciplined enough to give their public support to the leader, Abbott has made the classic mistake of polarising at the beginning of his term on an issue that will haunt and divide. In effect he’s asking for absolute loyalty even if he’s patently wrong within a party room that has at least 40% of its members who strongly disagree with his position, many of whom are only going along with a change of leader because of the glimmer of hope for success at the ballot box. What success means will vary from win to mitigating a disaster. This will become more evident to voters and any whiff of disunity will only magnify the problem.

  11. mrlavalava

    Dewgong @3. I noticed this too, though instead of the OO I was watching ABC2 News Breakfast. Possum, your numbers seem highly contrary to what I was seeing/hearing this morning (pre-caffeine, so I admit a significant MoE).

    I notice now that Turnbull’s spray has hit the SMH home page but ultimately I wonder how much attention the media are going to give the story. Turnbull’s already “yesterday’s man” and Abbot’s such a rich vein for the media.

  12. David Richards

    So – Monkey Man is not even up to Latham’s standards.

    Give him a little rope… and the result could outdo Latham.

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  15. Possum Comitatus


    The answer to that is approximately none. Some lose them and get them back, some start out with people undecided and have them slowly move towards them – but none have really ended up converting their initial dislikers into supporters.

  16. Robert Beswick

    That result was a little less than I was expecting for Tony. Which is a relief. I still worry that he may get a honeymoon. I think Keven was right to send the ETS back to the senate in February and wait longer for a double dissolution.

  17. blue_green

    So Possum,

    How many opposition leaders have ever converted people who don’t like them into those that do?

    Has it ever happened?

  18. Dewgong

    You sure wouldn’t get this impression by looking at the headlines of the OO. According to Shanahan, “Abbott gamble pays off for Libs”, although I suppose he can always be counted on to put the benefit of the Coalition ahead of reality. A pity, he saw the light for a little while this year but has recently fallen back to the dark side.

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