This fortnight’s Newspoll via The Oz comes in with the primaries running 43 (up 3)/ 35 (down 8!!) to the Coalition, washing out in a two party preferred of 51/49 the same way – a 5 point gain to the Coalition, a ten point turn around in a fortnight and their first poll lead since August 2006.
The Greens are unchanged on 10 while the broad Others jumped 5 points(!) to come in 12 (!!). This comes from a sample of 1161, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.9% mark.
A few things to mention: In the 494 Newspoll results since the beginning of 1990, on only four previous occasions has the ALP primary vote moved by 8 points or more in either direction – and every one of those results turned out to be either an outlier, or the poll before it was an outlier movement in the opposite direction, creating a large poll-to-poll change. Only did the October 1992 Newspoll show any traction from such an initial movement, yet that was a movement toward the ALP primary.
A Labor primary of 35 is unusual, putting Rudd in Simon Crean territory – while a broad “Others” vote of 12 is probably bordering on silly.
However, this wasn’t entirely unexpected, with Labor giving a final public airing of their dirty policy laundry, before sending it to the dry cleaners and moving on to the budget, then on to the election season straight. There’s been three weeks of deliberately bad news being dealt with – so this short blip shouldn’t have been a surprise.
If we look at the Coalition two party preferred over the last few months, we can see it in action:
The Coalition reached a high point in February/early March before pulling back late March/Early April, and then growing a few points at the end of April. All polls move together over any random and arbitrary period of time, so today’s Newspoll is consistent with the movement we’ve seen elsewhere, but looks like it has overshot (which it seems to be doing a fair bit lately).
However, News Ltd will no doubt get their tits in a tangle over the whole thing and every political leader deserves a good kick on occasion – so it should make for entertaining viewing, even if the poll is overcooked.
The polling fell for Rudd across all metrics – taking him into negative net satisfaction for the first time, though, with a sample that gives Labor 35% of the primary vote it couldn’t really be anything else. The usual charts come in like this: