Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Newspoll Quarterly Breakdown – 2008 1st Edition

Posted by Possum Comitatus on July 3, 2008

The Newspoll Quarterly aggregation has been released in The Oz, so continuing on from last year, it’s probably about time we updated it. I’ve changed it around from what you might remember seeing last year so that it’s now classified by party rather than by government/opposition to give it some consistency.

First up, primary votes of the ALP and Coalition by State from 1996 through to second quarter 2008.

WA is still holding up as the strongest Coalition State with NSW and SA being the ALPs’ strongest on 49% a pop.

Next up, the two party preferred. Because Newspoll doesn’t have a full series of TPP breakdowns by State, we’ll just do from the beginning of 2004 onward.

What’s notable here is that the Coalition is currently recording its lowest TPP vote since 2004 in WA, while the ALP is recording its highest ever TPP vote in South Australia. Does that hint about the potential results in the Mayo by-election?

Probably not.

Moving right along to demographics, we have primary vote age breakdowns for the ALP and Coalition.

Worth looking at here is the slight erosion in ALP support by the 18-34 cohort over the last 12-18 months, unlike the 50+ group whose support for the ALP has been rock solid around 45% , which is the highest it’s ever been for this age cohort for over 30 years from what I can tell using the old gallup polls.

Also interesting is that the Coalition vote share of the 50+ group is showing a long term decline, consistent with increasing number of boomers moving into that age bracket, and the size of the Coalitions strongest demographic – the pre-boomers- slowly reducing in number through attrition. Big consequences there for the long term vote share of the Coalition, but that’s an argument for another day.

Finally we’ve got primary votes by gender and capital/non-capital city.

There’s something interesting happening with the Coalition non-capital city vote. In 12 years it’s reduced from 55 down to 38, reflecting the rapidly changing demographics of provincial seats, particularly coastal seats and particularly those in Queensland and NSW. Along with age group dynamics, it’s the other nasty long term trend running against the Coalition.

But it’s not all roses for the ALP – their female vote looks a little softish, which surprised me a bit as I thought it would be the other way around. Maybe Nightwatchmans’ Emo Man routine, with his verbal props of Tarago owning families with five kids and a wheelchair in the back, resonates with females more so than males.

Then again, probably not if you take a squiz at the results of the Petrol Price Newspoll.

So folks, any views on why females seem to be a little softish for Labor and why Nelson has been lifting his support there a bit?

Over the weekend I’ll try to update the satisfaction ratings breakdowns and put up a permanent page for the Newpoll Quarterly poll. Also some excellent stuff on Fuelwatch by a prominent economist which also gets into the really important issue of public accessibility to government data if “evidence based policy” is to be anything more than piss and wind in an era when there is more analysis capability outside of the government system than there is in it.

So I’ll be a bit busy over the next few days – I’ve got some Possums Box posts backing up that I probably won’t be able to get to until the weekend (apologies to the authors) and I also have to apologise for being a bit slack on my email this week. Does anyone know where I can buy a few 29 hour days by any chance?


Newspoll quarterly doesnt let us break down the composition of the minor party vote over a long period, so instead all we have is the “Others” vote. This is what their State by STate, age cohort and gender and location breakdown looks like.


Here’s something for the oncer brigade and other MSM peddlers of random bits of stuff plucked from dark orifices to think about. Partisan political support is largely about long term demographic positioning and slow grinding movements. When an election campaign is launched, it can shift a bit of the variability of the vote around a given longer term support level, but the further away from that mean line a campaign tries to shift support in a very short time, the more difficult it becomes. It takes a Tampa type event to move the trend quickly.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

add to kwoff


14 Responses to “Newspoll Quarterly Breakdown – 2008 1st Edition”

  1. Paul said


    You can get the 29 hour days in Canberra – at the PMO!


  2. Would grocery prices affect females more?

  3. Zaf said


    And I’m curious, how has support for third parties (specifically the Greens) fluctuated over the same time period? Has all of Labor’s loss been the Coalition’s gain, or have some of those votes gone to the Greens, or other minor parties?

  4. Lyn said

    This is just a gut feeling, or intuition for girls, but I think that when Turnbull gets his turn the women’s vote will spike for the Libs. Brendan sometimes comes across as believing what he says, but he’s too whiney. If you want someone whose obvious emotional investment in his beliefs is high, and can be all passionate in a manly kind of way, Turnbull’s your man.

    At the moment his hopeless poker face gives him away too often.

  5. Possum Comitatus said

    Zaf – Unfortunately we cant use the Greens in quarterly Newspolls because Newspoll hasnt published aggregated information about the Greens support levels for very long. We can do “Others” though if it’s any consolation.

  6. Those last graphs are really interesting. The very broad brush story of a drift from coalition to labor, but resisted by a combination of luck, Howard rat-cunning, and crazy leadership in that period of 2001 to 2005 makes a certain intuitive sense.

  7. Harry "Snapper" Organs said

    I can’t think of anything sensible to account for the soft female vote for Labor. There’s probably not enough information in the data, because I think the age cohorts by gender might be more important. Or wimmin just feel sorry for Brenda’s pain?

  8. steve said

    Possum, i think you need look no further than the last set of unemployment figures. Wasn’t it something like 20 000 jobs lost and only 100 of these were males? Most of the job losses were part time women workers.

  9. steve said

    Here we have the male unemployment rate steady, females down 0.1 and 18000 looking for part time work.


  10. Greeensborough Growler said

    The update 2 graphs tell you everything.

    1. 96 onwards Labor rises from Keating being shown the door.
    1. Anger at the GST peaks about mid 2000. Once it is introduced people not so worried about it.
    2. The impact of 9/11, Tampa and Bali accelerates the downward spiral for Labor.
    3. Latham pushes the vote up to 39 but plateaus.
    4. Labor on the rise following Work Choices.
    5. Labor trend continues under Rudd.

  11. janice said

    My dear old dad used to say ‘Women are queer cattle’ and there is no way to fathom them out LOL. I have noticed though that it appears a good percentage of female voters are not inclined to read beyond the headlines so are apt to form their voting inclinations based on what interpretation they gained from the headline. Those of my sex are also less inclined to analyse and/or question what might lie beneath the veneer of what appears to be the utterances of a ‘good, god fearing person’, and women are suckers for a lovely smile and soothing platitudes.

    However, ‘a woman scorned’ is something else again and many a male has been on the wrong end of a scorned woman.

  12. Hello Possum,

    It seems I am now banned on LP but I would like to give an answer to your question there…

    “Why must a change of government of necessity change longer term voting patterns?”

    Because John Howard is no longer the generator and target of anti-government sentiment, Rudd is now.

    Keeping in mind the theory that oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them, those who voted against John Howard may not be loyal to Rudd, in most cases they are now having a look at Rudd and what he means for the first time.

  13. Possum Comitatus said

    What happens though John if the sentiment wasn’t actually anti-government, but just anti a whole lot of things the public broadly thought were representative of Howard and the Coalition generally?

    I’m not a big believer in rules when it comes to voter behaviour, because voters too often seem to break them at whim.

    All sorts of spurious rules float around the place – budget bounces, winning with less than 48% of the vote with a finely honed marginal seat campaigns and even oppositions dont win elections, governments lose them.

    We should probably just look at what is happening with the data and go from there once it’s in – it’s a lot safer and if you’re a journalist a lot less embarrassing. :mrgreen:

    So far at least nothing seems to have changed at much all over the last 18 months in the polling. Voters started deserting the Coalition from the beginning of 2005 and have really kept it up since. I agree that it’s pretty unusual – in fact this sort of thing has never really happened before in the modern political era where we have polls to look at, so it might require us to dump our usual preconceptions and maybe try to look a bit deeper at what’s going on.

    I dont know exactly what it is – but something is happening, because it’s hard to miss in the longer term polling numbers!

  14. Julie said

    Women are not choosing Nelson or Turnbull over Rudd. In my case I really hate the posturing of the State Labor Party blokes. There is a crusade against crime whilst the Murray Darling is dyig and money is going into male fantasy bread and circuses. That is the blokes are looking unattractive whilst wasting money on things that are expensive whilst ignoring core business. It equates to an abusive spouse who buys a new car whilst the kids need shoes.

    This is happening at the state level whilst at the Federal level Rudd has blustered about matters without actually changing anything. Hanging Belinda Neal out to dry over rudeness which is mild compared to a lot of blokes was not the best way to go either. Rudd should have responded that he has had a talk to Belinda. As it is at the moment it looks a lot like bullying. There may not be a lot of sympathy among women for Belinda Neal but the attitude of the PM has shown that he is not a loyal or supportive kind of boss either. Women understand this kind of boss all too well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: