The Dog Ate My Narrowing


Today’s Newspoll started off with a bang. A 1706 sample poll giving the ALP a 58/42 headline Two Party Preferred (TPP) result.

Possums Pollytics

The primary votes are running 51/38 against the Coalition and the big result is ‘No Change’ just as it’s been since the beginning of March. But since when has the absence of change ever stopped us from ranting endlessly about these polls?

With a 1706 sample, the Margin of Error (MoE) should is about 2.5 per cent. And you can find all the usual minutia in The Oz.

Let us first look at the beauty contest the infamous ‘preferred PM’ numbers that we were assured, not that long ago, would lead to better times for the Coalition. Rudd is up 2 points to 50, Howard is down 2 to 37. Looking at these numbers since November 2006 using the monthly Newspoll average series we get:

Remember the story ‘Howard Checks Rudds March’? The lecture we were all given by those that own Newspoll about how the Howard resurgence was imminent because of the Preferred PM measurement? You’re lucky if you remember, because you don’t seem to be able to read it any more on The Oz site. The original story appears to have been replaced with this.

So I thought we’d just mention it again for the sake of nostalgia and all.

Moving right along to the satisfaction ratings, Howard’s down 4 points to 43 and Rudd is up 3 to 63. Looking at the monthly Newspoll average ratings over the period since the last election we get:

And not to be left out, the dissatisfaction ratings for each:

Now we move onto the main game the primary votes, again using the Newspoll monthly averages, followed by the Two Party Preferred vote:

So what to make if it all?

That growth in the ALP primary vote since May could be dangerous. So saying, it might just be noise, but if I were a political Party, I’d rather have noise of that shape than noise of the shape the Coalition has been experiencing since May.

Are the Rudd honeymooners coming back to the Rudd camp after playing tootsies with him but leaving in the March-May period? Could be too soon to say, but something to keep an eye on anyway.

The other question to ask is where the hell did ‘The Narrowing‘ go? We were assured it would have turned up by now. Calling the election was supposed to be the circuit breaker Well, so we were told. Then again, the Budget was supposed to be circuit breaker and didn’t that just go smashing!

There was also something in the poll to feed our inner Crosby-Textors. Newspoll asked a question in the poll published today of ‘Which political Party do you think will win the Federal Election?’ and the results were 52 to the ALP (down 5 points since August) and 30 for the Coalition (up 2 since August). ‘Win Expectations’ are still killing the Coalition as per the June OzTrack 33.

Another economic management question popped up in the Newspoll of the type we analysed the other day in ‘Does Economic Management Influence The Primary Vote?’ Sure enough, the regression results hold with the ALP increase in the economic management question (up 4 points to 37) walking hand in hand with an increase in their primary vote.

Also remember back then, we found no relationship between the answers to the ‘which leader do you think would better be more capable of handling the economy’ question and the primary vote of the Coalition despite some commentators in certain newspapers making claims to the contrary with zero evidence to support the proposition.

Finally, there was another question about those dreaded soft voters, and three cheers to Martin O’Shannessy for including them again.

Just like it was the last time these questions were asked, the ALP vote is slightly stronger than the Coalition vote.

So let the analysis begin.  

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Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.