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Analysing the latest Newspoll

The latest Newspoll in The Australian shows support for the Coalition back to where it was prior to the Fairfax-Ipsos poll a fortnight ago and puts Labor ten points ahead of the Coalition in two-party preferred terms. This latest poll confirms what most of us expected. The last two polls had the electorate factoring in a leadership change.

Because it didn’t happen and because this last week has seen a less chaotic performance by both Abbott and his ministry, voters have recalculated their priorities. From within the government, Abbott’s position looks marginally safer than it did a month ago and the voters have reacted. They clearly want him removed. As long as he is there, the government has no chance of a sustained lift.

Tony Abbott’s personal approval rating rose three points from 25% to 28%. Obviously some poor deluded souls feel sorry for him. But, the real news should be that it is still so incredibly low for someone after only 18 months in the job.

shorten More damaging is the preferred Prime Minister figures that show Bill Shorten at 44% and Abbott at 33%. Shorten has remained a small target for most of his time as opposition leader preferring to let Abbott self-destruct. It has been a clever strategy but it won’t last.

Doubtless, leadership speculation will be the open talking point with the mainstream media. More interesting though, will be the closed talk among Abbott’s senior ministers. We already know the feelings of the backbench. The likely chatter now will be when to make a move, either BB or AB, i.e. before Baird or after Baird/before Budget or after Budget.

The result of the NSW State election will be a critical factor in determining where the Liberals go from here. Even if, as expected, Baird wins, it will be the extent of the win that determines their next move. A close result will be a signal for some drastic action federally.

The May budget could be a deciding factor as well. Many years ago, British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan was asked what determined a party’s electoral fortunes. His reply was, “Events dear boy, events.” If the government is confident the budget will restore faith in their leadership then they might move on Abbott before it is released, something that would serve the interests of the new leader.

Hockey We know from comments by Joe Hockey and Abbott that it will be a softer, more balanced, job orientated document. But, unless Hockey attacks the big end of town this time, the deficit will be even greater than the current one and his standing will be further diminished.

All of this places the Coalition’s economic credentials under the microscope. They can squeal and moan all they wish about Labor’s so called mess but nothing will hide the cavalier, swashbuckling, pre-election boasting by Hockey that he would produce a surplus in his first year and every year thereafter.

His performance as Treasurer has been a disaster on a number of levels. His fixation on spending has blinded him to a number of savings he could achieve in the areas of tax expenditure. It will be the size of the deficit that will determine the subsequent narrative.

But there will be less emphasis on the importance of an early return to surplus, both from government and business. He will inadvertently shine a light on the quality of Wayne Swan’s economic record.

There will also need to be a complete review of the way the budget is structured, this time from the top down. It must be clear to the 90% that the 10% are paying their fair share. That will be a tough call for a government that takes its cue from the IPA.

leader One thing is for sure. A leadership change alone will not pass the pub test, particularly if Julie Bishop were to become PM. She lacks the forcefulness that is required and once a few unexpected “events” surface, she will struggle. Wholesale changes both in the ministry and in policy direction will be necessary and even that probably won’t be enough.

A new Treasurer, a new Attorney General as well as changes in Defence and Immigration will be needed. But until we see who the replacements are, there will be no automatic endorsement by the electorate regardless of the spin their media mates concoct.

The government has just 18 months to avoid being a one term wonder. The odds right now are heavily against them.


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  1. abbienoiraude

    Morrison’s plan to cut Centrelink to a mere 5 payments when life, circumstances and people’s situation are so complex will come back to bite him on the bum.
    To completely destroy Parenting Payments at a time when women are encouraged to note, recognise and leave domestic abuse is hypocritical. Two women a week have died this year at the hands of their partners. How are women to leave, to regroup and support their traumatised and fragile children in their charge with minimal financial support? Because my daughter’s abuser included emotional, psychological and financial cruelty ( it was only a matter of time till the next step was taken, the physical), she was able to flee knowing Parenting Payment was a fall back position. However on finding safety in our home she now realises she cannot afford to leave our sanctuary without a job.
    There are NO jobs, and very few places will rent to a sole mum.
    Because of her abuser she is stuck but would be MUCH worse off if it were not Parenting Payments that provide clothing, shoes, food and a little relief to her two year old.

    Come the next budget if this is announced I hope it is the nail in Morrison’s ambition let alone this awful and cruel governments survival.

  2. Carol Taylor

    Abbienoiraude, sadly such circumstances as your daughter’s do not exist in the realities of Abbott, Credlin and Hockey. One sees the assumptions of wealth/could do better if tried harder run through most of their policies. Perhaps they should stop for a moment to ask themselves why the anti-WorkChoices resonated so well..not because it was some sort of “Labor propaganda” but because it reflected life experiences for a good majority.

    The Libs can ditch Abbott, they can ditch Hockey, they can hide Credlin, they can replace attack dogs with kinder, gentler faces such as Ley but until their policies pass the Fairness Test they will remain on target to not only be a one term government, but the worst, most ineffectual, most destructive in Australia’s history.

  3. Loz

    I cannot ever see this government changing their ideology. As John says though they need to get rid of their front bench and replace with a less right wing ideology if they are ever to have a chance with the electorate.
    Abbienoiraude with Morrison’s cruelty towards asylum seekers, I fear for your daughter and people who are in similar circumstances. I would suggest that you email Morrison your above comment.

  4. stephentardrew

    John I think you are absolutely right however the chance of them reading net alone understanding your post is damn near zilch. Ideology does that to you. You know the unrepresentative swill think that the public are fools not to fall at their feat while they believe all they have to do is bring out the spin meisters. Its rather funny watching the disconnect between ideological social Darwinism, religious fanaticism and the conflicting desires of the electorate for the opposite. The deeper you go down the rabbit hole the more irrational it all becomes. Just watch Abbott’s visceral hateful response to criticism operating in overdrive lately. He could certainly serve it up to Julia yet when it comes to personal criticism he becomes a reactive bully boy scardy cat. Behind bully boy anger their is often a good dose of fear and cowardice at not having the skill and wherewithal to find rational solutions. Again we see the dysfunctional results of ideology over reason.

    What are the chances of reason overcoming ideology? I would say three fifths of five eights.

    Keep digging boys and girls.

  5. john o'callaghan

    Congratulations John on another good piece of writing. I believe the voters get it right most of the time but not always.
    The people obviously got it wrong in 2013,but they rarely if ever get it wrong a second time,and i believe come next election they will correct their previous decision.
    If Labor gets back in they had better perform,if not we will vote them out as well until we come up with a competent Government.””””

  6. Jexpat

    Much ado about nothing.

    I hate to be blunt, but people engaging in extensive and speculative over-rationalisation of the polls “changing” so dramatically were misleading themselves.

  7. Aortic

    I remember Hockey saying being in opposition was “hell on earth”. I wonder what he thinks now he is in the job and probably heading to the back bench?

  8. Kaye Lee


    I must disagree with your contention that “this last week has seen a less chaotic performance by both Abbott and his ministry”.

    We saw the Intergenerational report which is the silliest fiscal document I have ever seen. The “previous policy” projections, passed off as what would happen under Labor, were taken from MYEFO which included axing the carbon and mining taxes (amongst others) and Hockey’s spending decisions including the $9 billion gift to the RBA. It also bumped up the life expectancy for people being born now by ten years on what the ABS suggests. They have ignored projected figures on net immigration and made up their own. They ignored climate change etc etc etc. The document is a fraud from start to finish.

    We also had Tony telling us how the Liberal Party were “breaking the glass ceiling” by holding a meeting at a men’s only club. Women have always been allowed to go to the Tattersall’s Club in the company of a member, they just can’t BE a member – the idiot misses the point once again and his theatrics are no substitute for actually giving a damn about discrimination.

    But the worst display for me was his reaction to the UN report about our detention centres where he said “Australians are sick of the UN lecturing them”. As one tweet said “You know what’s worse than being lectured to about the torture of asylum seekers? The torture of asylum seekers”.

    We also had Peter Dutton giving press releases about two terrorists being arrested at the airport. Turns out it was two kids who were sent home with their parents with no charges laid.

    We have Sussan Ley saying the co-payment is dead and then trying to bring it in by stealth but make it the doctor’s responsibility/fault.

    Morrison and Abbott are trying to tell us that changing the indexation on pensions will leave no-one worse off except their own department then said ummmmm…that’s not true.

    On and on it goes. I suppose everything is comparative but if that is their idea of a good week then this country is stuffed.

  9. Kerri

    I personally hope JBish gets the top job. The chaos that would ensue would be better than Abbott’s continual denigration of this country and her term in office would go a long way to preventing LNP success in the future. It is going to take many long years of Labor Government to undo all the damage created by Abbott.

  10. Matters Not

    shows support for the Coalition back to where it was prior to the Fairfax-Ipsos poll a fortnight ago

    Don’t see it that way, given the (approximate) 3% margin of error. Much more reliable is the ‘trend; with BludgerTrack having the numbers of 53.5-46.5 to Labor. As well the IPSOS poll with their current methodology has an apparent bias towards the Coalition.

    The last two polls had the electorate factoring in a leadership change

    While I concede that some commentators attempted to use that explanation, it simply doesn’t wash, particularly when the margin of error already accommodates the supposed ‘swing’ back to the government..

    It seems that Abbott et al are ‘on the run’ – in full retreat. They are prepared to ditch anything that might be a ‘barnacle’. The next budget is likely to economically irresponsible with ‘goodies’ all round (an election year budget) signalling they will not go full term. Hopefully the voters will see through the ploy, but I am doubtful.

  11. Max Gross

    Abbott lies like he breathes. He is a chronic fraud, an anti-democratic sociopath, a schoolyard bully risen beyong his abilities. It will take decades for Australia to recover from his lunacy.

  12. Harquebus

    I actually want Tony Abbott to remain as Prime Minister. An absolute guarantee that the coalition will lose the next election. Oppositions do not win, governments lose.

    “It must be clear to the 90% that the 10% are paying their fair share.” Typo or sarcasm I hope. Which 10% are you talking about, top or bottom? The bottom pays proportionally far more.

  13. Lee

    To add to Kaye Lee’s impressive list of government incompetence for this week, Sussan Ley wants to cut funding for vitamin D tests because Australia has plenty of sunlight. Over 30% of adults in this country have vit D deficiency and the resulting health problems are quite costly. Some are also fatal.

  14. Kaye Lee

    We also had Michaelia Cash announcing that we would waste $30 million “raising awareness” about domestic violence while refuges and support groups are closing their doors from lack of funding.

  15. John Kelly

    Kaye and Lee, I guess when you list them out like that it seems it was no less chaotic than the previous week. The impression, however, from both the nightly news (for the masses) and Insiders on Sunday (for the watchers) was that things had settled down somewhat. I try to view it from the perspective of the masses, what they felt, what they were thinking. It’s all guesswork in the end but I was alluding to what I thought was the mood of the electorate.

  16. Lee

    So Tony Abbott has lost confidence jn Juan Mendez. When does the crying about deliberately delaying until the Libs took office and offers of another job start? 😉

    @ JK, yes the last week has been relatively quiet. I hope it doesn’t mean that Australians are no longer noticing the LNP nonsense.

  17. abbienoiraude

    We are well aware of the horror Morrison handed out to our asylum seekers, those desperate people asking, trusting in us, to give succour and help. We are indeed well aware of what he can do to us, ( my man is on DSP and I am his carer), let alone women in our daughter’s position. Every time Conservatives get into Government the threats begin and once again we as a couple hold our breaths as the demands are filed out that someone with a long term chronic illness should ‘get a job’ or else!! The ‘or else’ is the complete destruction of our very simple, basic and mean ‘lifestyle’.

    I did not mean to make John Kelly’s excellent piece and those interesting comments being written, about my personal situation and experiences. It is just that I cannot help but strongly feel Politics IS personal and it certainly affects and disturbs our lives here in regional NSW. To see that somehow Abbott and co will survive and wreak havoc on those who are most vulnerable and continue their bastardry toward those who need our support and hope, ‘who come across the seas.’

  18. Lee

    abbienoiraude, without people sharing their experiences, some of us may not understand the consequences of this government’s policies.

  19. Win jeavons

    I didn’t think I could more appalled by this make- believe govt. but the return of refugee letters is utterly disgusting, and surely illegal? friends in my church write these letters, and i was intending to, also. How many more crimes must we accept before we are hauled up before international courts, And, yes, I am glad to see the UN calling us out on our current hypocrisy . Don’t even ask me to comment on the treatment of our less fortunate,

  20. Pingback: Analysing the latest Newspoll – » The Australian Independent Media Network | winstonclose

  21. paul walter

    The last week HAS been a shambles..Putting mutton-heads like Hockey, Bishop and Morrison out to do the dirty work to shield Abbott is scraping the barrel in a way that would be laughable, except that the country and its people are harmed by the sort of self serving, self seeking and cruel rubbish they peddle as excuses for policy.

  22. Daryl

    Rather than people factoring in a Turnbull accession, I think it much more likely IPSOS was just a dud poll.

    Simple as that,

  23. paul walter

    Or an attempted push-poll, to get the heat off the tories?

  24. DanDark

    Lee, I read that article earlier and that’s the white man coming out in Toxic Tones and shows his total lack of ignorance for our first peoples, and their culture and way of life that they have lived for thousands of years on their country,
    He is unfit to hold the position he does and this act of defunding rural communities proves it,
    I havn’t ever heard him talk about the positive input, knowledge, know how of our first peoples and their knowledge of this land,
    their art, their food, their dreamtime I could go on but Tones is only out to demoralize them any way he can.
    He is such a vindictive short sighted asshole along with the rest of his party.

  25. Mike Johns

    newspoll and galaxy for the last five years have produced numbers which are inaccurate in favour of the coalition and have reached the point where it could be contrued as FRAUD……these polling companies should be reponsible for these numbers….they had LNP winning the queenland elections and kevin rudd losing his seat in the federal election….they purposely ring lannd lines on late night shopping and saturday nights where they only people that answer are old rust ons of murdoch press…..fraud and criminal at least….there must be inquiries into this misdirection of the followers.

  26. Mike Johns

    morgan poll is the true measure.

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