William Bowe, from The Poll Bludger, writes:

The Australian reports the first Newspoll of the year has Labor’s two-party lead down from 56-44 to 54-46. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is down three points to 57%, his second lowest rating since the election. Labor is down three points on the primary vote to 40%, which has gone to the Greens (up one to 12%) and other (up two to 10%) — the coalition is steady on 38%. Rudd’s approval rating is down six points to 52%, disapproval is up two to 34% and uncommitted is up four to 14%. Also featured are Tony Abbott’s first personal ratings from Newspoll: at 40% his approval rating is similar to Turnbull’s pre-Utegate, while his 35% disapproval is slightly lower. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is 57-25, down from 60-23 on Abbott’s debut in the final Newspoll last year and exactly where it was in the last poll before Utegate.

This chart shows the number of times Labor has recorded particular two-party results in the 48 Newspolls conducted since the 2007 election, which places the latest poll among Labor’s five weakest results:

newspoll0810

Today has also seen the first Essential Research survey of the new season, which has Labor’s lead at 56-44, down from 57-43 on December 21 and at the lower end of Essential’s usual range. Rudd’s approval rating of 55% is the lowest yet recorded by Essential, although his 33% disapproval is two points lower than the November 30 survey. Abbott’s ratings have improved slightly on his December 14 debut, his approval up three to 37% and disapproval up one to 36%. Further questions find respondents optimistic about economic prospects, though less so than late last year (note the stunning turnaround on this measure from early to late last year).

Read the rest of the blog here.

Possum Comitatus from Pollytics, writes:

Today’s Newspoll via The Oz comes in with the primaries running 40 (down 3) / 38 (steady) to Labor, washing out into a two-party preferred of 54/46 the same way — a TWO-point gain to the coalition since the last Newspoll of 2009. The Greens are in on 12 (up 1), while the broad “others” are on 10 (up 2). This comes from a sample of 1144, giving us an MoE that maxes out about the 2.9% mark. Welcome back all to the polling season!

The most obvious thing to point out is that this Newspoll is Abbott’s honeymoon — the new period after a leadership change where some artificially good satisfaction metrics usually show up. Yet, if we look at the net satisfaction ratings for each side over the past few years, Abbott kicked the coalition back up into positive territory, but certainly didn’t bring the boost that Turnbull initially delivered.

netsatjan10

Yet, it’s not all bad for Abbott. If we compare the major personal debut metrics of the past four Opposition leaders using Newspoll, we see that he has the highest debut preferred PM ratings of the coalition leaders this term.

newspolldebut

Worth mention is that the ALP primary vote of 40 in this poll is the lowest recorded by Newspoll going all the way back to November 2006! No other pollsters are showing that sort of drop this month, so there’s probably a bit of noise involved.  The other issue to come out is Rudd’s multi-month slide in satisfaction levels — something other pollsters have been picking up as well.

Read the rest of the blog post here.

Peter Fray

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