If someone asked you that question, the first person that might spring to mind is Nathan Rees – and while that would be close, it’s no cigar.

If we look at those political leaders that have, according to Newspoll, negative net satisfaction ratings (where more people are dissatisfied with their leadership performance than are satisfied), we narrow the field down 3 leaders.

The Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees.

The leader of the federal Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull

The leader of the Victorian Opposition, Ted Baillieu

We could add two more to that list – the Qld Premier Anna Bligh and her Opposition counterpart John-Paul Langbroek, except we haven’t actually had a Newspoll out of Qld since the election. What we have seen is a Galaxy poll showing Bligh with a net satisfaction rating of minus 31, with her counterpart Langbroek sitting on minus 2, suggesting that perhaps Bligh could well be the most unpopular leader – but we really need to see a Newspoll to confirm that, since we are using Newspoll data for the rest of the leaders here.

Tracking the negative net satisfaction ratings of the three leaders we do have Newspoll data on, just who is the most unpopular? The chart tells the story.(click to expand)


It adds another dimension of complexity to the NSW situation for the Rudd government at the next Federal election. There’s a question hanging over the NSW State government in terms of whether its poor performance might impact negatively on the Labor vote in NSW at the 2010 federal election – especially if Turnbull plays the anti Rees Government card throughout the campaign on the ground in NSW.

Yet, how much impact would that be expected to have when the person attacking Rees is actually more unpopular than Rees himself with the same voters? Is the taint of Rees on Rudd more powerful than the credibility gap involved with Turnbull pursuing it?