Coalition Still Behind

Newspoll Has Slight Improvement

The slight improvement in the Coalition’s TPP (from 48/52 to 49/51) is scarcely something to write home about and did not reflect a “bounce”, as The Australian headlined it. The improvement might have been helped by Turnbull’s announcement of Commonwealth contributions to a railway to Melbourne’s airport and to two Queensland projects (see Newspoll 23 April). But it is not good tidings that Turnbull continues to fail to attract majority polling when his “jobs and growth” policy is consistent with what is actually happening in the economy, although not necessarily causing it.

What is needed to overtake Labor, which faces a new union-driven policy on workplace relations ? The answer is obvious.

The political editor for The Australian, Simon Benson, who presents a rather mixed view, notes jokingly that Turnbull could do well to remain overseas (the survey was held during the April 19-22 period when Turnbull was overseas). Benson also points out that the Coalition’s primary vote of 38% is “still historically low” (see Benson Says Coalition Low Primary vote). Moreover, Turnbull’s Better PM rate did not change at the low 38%, hardly consistent with his aim to become a publicly recognised leader. Both leaders improved their Satisfaction Rates but those rates continue to be so low (T on 36% and S on 34%) as to suggest that the electorate  wants a new leader on both sides.

Turnbull’s refusal to announce a lower immigration rate shows his continued inability to recognise when existing policies should be changed . The Newspoll included a survey on Immigration Levels which showed 56% considered the current rate too high. Now that he has acknowledged that a Royal Commission should have been announced earlier on banking perhaps he will now announce a lower migrants program.

The next Newspoll is presumably scheduled to come out on May 7, the day before the budget. One’s hope that expenditures will be reduced even as a proportion of GDP are unlikely to be met.

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