Labor steady in Newspoll but down in Resolve; it’s tied in Queensland


A federal Newspoll, conducted February 19–23 from a sample of 1,245, gave Labor a 52–48 lead, unchanged since the previous Newspoll three weeks ago. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (steady), 33% Labor (down one), 12% Greens (steady), 6% One Nation (down one) and 13% for all Others (up two).

Anthony Albanese’s ratings were 51% dissatisfied (steady) and 43% satisfied (up one), for a net approval of -8, up one point. Peter Dutton’s net approval was down one point to -14. Albanese led Dutton as better PM by 47–35 (46–35 previously).

This graph of Albanese’s net approval in Newspoll shows there has not been a recovery since the defeat of the Voice referendum.

Albanese net approval in Newspoll.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported last Wednesday that the wage price index rose 4.2% in the full year 2023 and 0.9% in the December quarter. This is the highest annual rise since 2009, though the quarterly rise was down from 1.3% in September.

The annual inflation rate for the full year 2023 was 4.1%, so wage rises just beat inflation. For the December quarter, inflation was up 0.6%, so wage rises exceeded inflation by 0.3%. I expect this will be good news for the government.

Labor down in Resolve poll, but would still lead

A federal Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, conducted February 21–24 from a sample of 1,603, gave the Coalition 37% of the primary vote (up three since early December), Labor 34% (down one), the Greens 11% (down one), One Nation 6% (up one), the UAP 1% (steady), independents 9% (steady) and others 4% (up one).

Resolve does not give a two party estimate until near elections, but applying 2022 preference flows to this poll gives Labor about a 52.5–47.5 lead, a 2.5-point gain for the Coalition since December. This is easily Labor’s worst position this term in a Resolve poll, which has been very pro-Labor relative to other polls.

Despite Labor’s drop, Albanese’s net approval improved six points to -6, with 47% giving him a poor rating and 41% a good rating. Dutton was down three points to a -11 net approval. Albanese led Dutton by 39–32 as preferred PM, a narrowing from 42–28 in December. Voters supported the changes to the stage three tax cuts by a 52–14 margin.

The Liberals increased their lead over Labor on economic management from 35–27 in December to 38–27. On keeping the cost of living low, the Liberals led by 30–26 (26–21 in December).

Labor gains in Freshwater poll for a 51–49 lead

A national Freshwater poll for The Financial Review, conducted February 16–18 from a sample of 1,049, gave Labor a 51–49 lead, a one-point gain for Labor since a mid-January Freshwater poll for The Daily Telegraph. Primary votes were 38% Coalition (down one since January), 31% Labor (steady), 14% Greens (steady) and 17% for all Others (up two).

Freshwater has been Labor’s worst pollster this term, while Resolve has been its best. Results from Freshwater, Newspoll and Resolve are now closer together than previously.

Albanese led Dutton as preferred PM by 42–38 (47–38 in January). In comparisons with the December poll, Albanese’s net approval was down two points to -7, while Dutton’s was down seven to -9. Barnaby Joyce’s net approval crashed 16 points to -33.

By 44–15, voters supported the changes to the stage three tax cuts, with 26% “indifferent”. By 32–12, voters thought they would be better off under the changes, with 43% saying there would be no difference.

The cost of living is still the top issue for voters, with 69% listing it as a priority. The Coalition led Labor as best party to manage cost of living by 34–28. Since December, “crime and social order” jumped eight points to 25% to rank fifth on the list of voters’ priorities.

Net approval of the federal political parties was +1 for the Liberals, -4 for Labor, -7 for the Nationals and -19 for the Greens. Net approval of other prominent Labor ministers was +6 for Penny Wong, -3 for Jim Chalmers, -4 for Tanya Plibersek and -10 for Chris Bowen.

Morgan poll: 52.5–47.5 to Labor

In last week’s Morgan poll, conducted February 12–18 from a sample of 1,706, Labor led by 52.5–47.5, a 0.5-point gain for Labor since the previous week. Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady), 34% Labor (down 0.5), 13% Greens (up one), 4% One Nation (down 0.5) and 12% for all Others (steady).

Queensland UComms poll has a 50–50 tie

The Queensland state election will be held in October. A UComms poll for The Courier Mail, conducted February 13 from a sample of 1,743, had Labor and the Liberal National Party tied at 50–50, a one-point gain for Labor since December. This is the first Queensland poll commissioned by The Courier Mail that has not shown a LNP lead since December 2022.

The Poll Bludger reported the primary votes were 37.3% LNP (down 0.7), 34.2% Labor (down 0.2), 12.2% Greens (down 1.1), 7.7% One Nation (up 0.4) and 3.9% Katter’s Australian Party (down 0.1). Respondent preferences were better for Labor than in December.

Labor premier Steven Miles’ ratings were 44.2% positive (up 1.5), 25.2% neutral (down 2.4) and 25.2% negative (down 2.4). LNP leader David Crisafulli’s ratings were 41.7% positive (up 3.9), 31.2% neutral (up 1.0) and 18.7% negative (down 4.1). Crisafulli led Miles as preferred premier by 51–49 (52.2–47.8 in December).

This is the second UComms poll since Miles replaced Annastacia Palaszczuk as Labor premier in December. Some of Labor’s poll problems were probably due to Palaszczuk’s unpopularity. But Labor will have been in government for almost ten years by the October election, so there may be an “it’s time” factor.

Trump wins South Carolina, UK byelections and Indonesian election

Donald Trump won the South Carolina Republican primary on Saturday (US time), defeating Nikki Haley in her home state by a 59.8–39.5 margin. He is almost certain to seal the Republican presidential nomination by March 19, when 69% of Republican delegates will have been determined. I covered this for The Poll Bludger.

I covered the two February 15 UK byelections in Conservative-held seats for The Poll Bludger. Both seats were gained by Labour on massive swings. The next UK general election is likely to be held late this year, with Labour far ahead in national polls. However, Labour was forced to disendorse their candidate for the February 29 Labour-held Rochdale byelection after nominations had closed.

I covered the February 14 Indonesian election, in which the right-wing Prabowa Subianto won the presidency with an outright majority of the vote, meaning there won’t be a runoff election.

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