Labor maintains narrow Newspoll lead but drops in other polls

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

A national Newspoll[1], conducted April 15–18 from a sample of 1,236, gave Labor a 51–49 lead, unchanged from the previous Newspoll in late March. Primary votes were 38% Coalition (up one), 33% Labor (up one), 12% Greens (down one), 7% One Nation (steady) and 10% for all Others (down one).

Anthony Albanese’s net approval was up one point to -6, while Peter Dutton’s net approval was steady at -15. Albanese led Dutton as better PM by 48–35 (48–34 in March).

The graph below of Albanese’s net approval in Newspoll suggests his ratings are slowly improving. His low was -13 in late November, and he’s now at -6. In this graph, the Newspoll data are marked with plus signs, and a smoothed line has been fitted.

Albanese Newspoll ratings.

Other recent polls from Resolve, Freshwater and Morgan have Labor deteriorating, and it’s now close to even on two-party votes. Furthermore, respondent allocated preferences from Resolve and Morgan are poor for Labor compared with using the 2022 election preference flows that Newspoll uses.

The implication of a weaker respondent preference flow to Labor than at the 2022 election is that Labor’s position in Newspoll may be overstated.

Labor is probably struggling owing to inflation and the cost of living. While Morgan’s measure of consumer confidence[2] increased last week to 83.5, it has been below 85 for a record 63 straight weeks.

Resolve poll tied at 50–50

A national Resolve poll[3] for Nine newspapers, conducted April 17–21 from a sample of 1,610, had Labor and the Coalition tied at 50–50 by respondent preferences. This is the first time since the 2022 election that Resolve has given a two party estimate.

Primary votes were 36% Coalition (up one since March), 30% Labor (down two), 13% Greens (steady), 5% One Nation (steady), 2% UAP (steady), 11% independents (steady) and 3% others (up one). An estimate based on 2022 election preference flows would give Labor about a 52–48 lead, a 1.5-point gain for the Coalition.

Despite the poor voting intention numbers, Albanese’s net approval jumped nine points to -2, with 45% giving him a poor rating and 43% a good rating. Dutton’s net approval also jumped seven points to -2. Albanese led Dutton by 41–32 as preferred PM (40–30 in March).

The Liberals maintained a large lead[4] over Labor on economic management (38–27, from 37–25 in March). On keeping the cost of living low, the Liberals led by 33–27 (28–22 in March).

By 55–34, voters agreed they would struggle to afford a major expense of a few thousand dollars (49–37 in December). This is the highest agree margin in this question since it was first asked in February 2023. By 48–26, voters thought interest rate decisions were mainly about domestic factors, not global factors beyond the government’s control.

Freshwater poll: Coalition gains for a 50–50 tie

A national Freshwater poll[5] for The Financial Review, conducted April 12–14 from a sample of 1,053, had a 50–50 tie, a one-point gain for the Coalition since the March Freshwater poll. Primary votes were 40% Coalition (up one), 31% Labor (steady), 13% Greens (down one) and 16% for all Others (steady).

Albanese’s net approval was steady at -7, with 45% unfavourable and 38% favourable. Dutton’s net approval was up four points to -9. Albanese led Dutton by 45–39 as preferred PM (47–38 in March).

The top five issues were cost of living (74% rated it a top issue), housing (41%), health (27%), managing the economy (26%) and crime (24%). The Coalition had a six-point lead over Labor on cost of living, a three-point gain for the Coalition since March. Labor’s standing on most issues dropped since March.

By 44–38, voters were opposed to extending the term[6] of the federal House of Representatives from three years to four years.

Essential poll: Labor regains lead after Coalition blowout

In last fortnight’s national Essential poll[7], conducted April 3–7, Labor led by 48–46 including undecided, a reversal of a 50–44 Coalition lead in late March that was the worst for Labor[8] of any poll this term.

Primary votes were 34% Coalition (down two), 29% Labor (steady), 14% Greens (up three), 6% One Nation (down one), 2% UAP (down one), 8% for all Others (up one) and 6% undecided (steady).

On housing, 73% said it should be a basic human right that everyone has access to, but only 45% said it was currently fulfilling this role. On house prices, 40% said they wanted them to reduce, 45% stabilise and 15% continue to rise.

On economic conditions in the next 12 months, 48% thought they would get worse (down eight since February), 27% stay the same (up eight) and 21% get better (up two). On current financial circumstances, 53% said they were struggling and 47% comfortable. Struggling has been ahead on this question since October 2023.

By 51–17, voters supported non-citizens who refuse to cooperate with deportation being punished with a minimum of one year in prison. By 50–14, they supported countries that refuse to accept deportees being blacklisted from further visa applications.

However, a national YouGov poll[9], conducted March 29 to April 6 from a sample of 1,517, had only 31% who thought the government should have the power to ban all visa applications from a particular country, while 60% thought visa applications should be treated on an individual merit basis regardless of country of origin.

Morgan poll: Coalition takes lead

A national Morgan poll[10], conducted April 1–7 from a sample of 1,731, gave the Coalition a 50.5–49.5 lead, a 1.5-point gain for the Coalition since late March.

In the Morgan poll[11] conducted April 8–14 from a sample of 1,706, the Coalition’s lead increased to 51–49. Primary votes were 38.5% Coalition (up 0.5 since April 1–7), 30% Labor (up 0.5), 13.5% Greens (steady), 5.5% One Nation (down 0.5), 7.5% independents (down 1.5) and 5% others (up one). By 2022 election preferences, this poll would have Labor ahead by about 50.5–49.5.

Liberals easily retain Cook at byelection

The federal byelection in Cook[12] to replace former Liberal PM Scott Morrison was held on April 13. Labor did not contest. The Liberals won by 71.3–28.7 against the Greens (62.4–37.6 against Labor in 2022).

Primary votes were 62.7% Liberals (up 7.1% since 2022), 16.4% Greens (up 6.5%), 6.8% Animal Justice (new), 6.0% Libertarian (new) and 5.7% for an independent (new). Labor had won 25.0% in 2022.

A uComms poll[13] for The Australia Institute that was conducted March 28 had given the Liberals a 65–35 lead over the Greens.

UK local elections on May 2

I covered the May 2 United Kingdom local government elections for The Poll Bludger[14] on April 10. The Conservatives are set to suffer large losses. I also covered upcoming elections in the United States, India and for the European parliament, and recent elections in Portugal, Indonesia and Ireland.


  1. ^ national Newspoll (www.theaustralian.com.au)
  2. ^ Morgan’s measure of consumer confidence (www.roymorgan.com)
  3. ^ national Resolve poll (www.theage.com.au)
  4. ^ maintained a large lead (www.smh.com.au)
  5. ^ Freshwater poll (www.afr.com)
  6. ^ extending the term (www.afr.com)
  7. ^ national Essential poll (essentialreport.com.au)
  8. ^ worst for Labor (theconversation.com)
  9. ^ national YouGov poll (au.yougov.com)
  10. ^ Morgan poll (www.roymorgan.com)
  11. ^ Morgan poll (www.roymorgan.com)
  12. ^ byelection in Cook (www.abc.net.au)
  13. ^ uComms poll (australiainstitute.org.au)
  14. ^ The Poll Bludger (www.pollbludger.net)

Authors: Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

Read more https://theconversation.com/labor-maintains-narrow-newspoll-lead-but-drops-in-other-polls-227444