Politics

Malcolm Turnbull’s 30 Newspoll Losses In A Row, Ranked

Thanks for the memories, Malcolm.

“The one thing that is clear about our current situation is the trajectory. We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott’s leadership.” – Malcolm Turnbull, September 14, 2015.

There are a lot of political polls out there, but for the uninitiated, Newspoll is the poll that every politician watches. Roughly every two weeks, The Australian publishes the results of the latest Newspoll, and Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten can either breathe easy, or spend the next two weeks worrying that their own party might knife them.

For the last 18 months, Turnbull has been the one looking over his shoulder as poll after poll showed he is headed for electoral oblivion. And today the PM crashed into the extremely low bar he set for himself by losing his 30th Newspoll in a row.

So much has happened since the PM spoke those fateful words in announcing he would challenge Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2015: Turnbull almost lost an election. We discovered a bunch of dual citizens in Parliament. Barnaby Joyce made a new friend.

So now, on this hallowed day, let’s take a walk down memory lane and re-visit the best and worst of Malcolm Turnbull’s 30 Newspoll losses in a row. The polls have been ranked according to their underlying causes, the treatment given to them by The Australian, the level of schadenfreude they made me feel, and a general je ne sais quoi that often accompanies Australian politics these days.

Malcolm Turnbull’s 30 Newspoll Losses, Ranked

#30: July 24, 2017. (16th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Majors turn tide on Greens, One Nation

Highlight: Ok so the first half of this list is pretty simple. Turns out that when you’re behind in the polls for this long, all of the Newspolls start blurring together. Of the 30, this poll was the most boring of them all.

Rating: 3/10

#29: September 25, 2017. (20th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 46 – 54

Headline: Voters drift from PM, Coalition

Highlight: Turnbull’s second anniversary as PM combined with a timely intervention from Tony Abbott as Newspoll was being counted — also known as “doing a Rudd”.

Rating: 4/10

#28: December 3, 2017. (24th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Coalition close gap on Labor with Turnbull still preferred PM

Highlight: The PM gets a small bounce off the back of the Yes victory in the postal survey. It… was not worth it.

Rating: 4.5/10.

#27: December 6, 2016.(6th of 30)

Two party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Fix economy say voters as PM support falls to lowest level

Rating: 5/10.

Highlight: Just another bad poll in a long run of bad polls.

#26: May 15, 2017: (12th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: PM’s budget gamble falls flat

Highlight: The mythical Budget Bounce fails to materialise.

Rating: 5/10.

#25: October 16, 2017: (21st of 30)

Two-party preferred: 46 – 54

Headline: Shorten gets a lift as Turnbull slides

Highlight: Just another poll loss.

Rating: 5/10.

#24: August 7, 2017. (17th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Turnbull widens lead as vote falls

Highlight: The beginning of the dual-citizenship scandal that would really fuck everyone up.

Rating: 5/10

#23: May 29, 2017: (13th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Post-budget bounce still eludes PM

Highlight: Still no bounce! Can you believe?

Rating: 5/10.

#22: April 24, 2017. (11th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Malcolm Turnbull’s satisfaction rating on the rise

Highlight: The government was given a small reward for flicking the switch to “Aussie values” by introducing tougher citizenship tests. It didn’t last.

Rating: 5/10.

#21: June 19, 2017.  (14th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: PM fails to turn corner with power battle

Highlight: The first time Turnbull’s “30 Newspolls” benchmark is mentioned in The Australian’s coverage.

Rating: 6/10.

#20: July 10, 2017. (15th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Shorten closes in as Libs brawl

Highlight: Half way there!

Rating: 6/10.

#19: August 7, 2017. (17th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Turnbull widens lead as vote falls

Highlight: The beginning of the dual-citizenship scandal that would really fuck everyone up.

Rating: 5/10

#18: November 21, 2016. (5th of 30)

Two party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Another Labor win as Turnbull loses his economic touch

Highlight: The rising sense of panic Turnbull reaches loss number five.

6/10.

#17: April 3, 2017. (10th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Coalition slips after tax win

Highlight: Maybe cutting taxes for big businesses and rolling back anti-discrimination law isn’t popular?

Rating: 6.5/10

#16: September 3, 2017. (19th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: The Coalition regains ground with voters

Highlight: Some hope! This was a slight rebound from the previous Newspoll, meaning the government would only be humiliated, not obliterated if an election were held that day.

Rating: 6.5/10.

#15: October 10, 2016. (2nd of 30)

Two party-preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Labor still leading, 100 days since election

Highlight:  I love The Australian’s angry headlines as Bill Shorten, who they really don’t like, continues to lead in the polls. They just can’t fathom it. There’s such a sense of disbelief here. Like, somehow, Labor is still winning, even though it’s been 100 days since the election.

Rating: 7/10

#14: October 30, 2017: (22nd of 30)

Two-party preferred: 46 – 54

Headline: Turnbull sinks as week of turmoil takes its toll

Highlight: One of the PM’s worst results after losing two cabinet ministers during the dual citizenship crisis. Also not the last time Barnaby Joyce will hurt the PM.

Rating: 7/10.

#13: October 25, 2016. (3rd of 30)

Two party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Turnbull hits lowest rating as Labor maintains lead, says Newspoll

Highlight: The first time Malcolm Turnbull’s personal satisfaction rating slipped below Tony Abbott’s when he lost the top job.

Rating: 7/10

#12: December 17, 2017. (25th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Coalition still trails Labor but Turnbull extends as preferred PM

Highlight: In the final Newspoll of 2017 you can really sense the hope in the air that maybe Turnbull can turn it around. As we will come to see, this is not the case.

Rating: 7.5/10

#11: February 18, 2018: (27th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Joyce should quit as voters punish government

Highlight: The government goes backwards as everyone keeps talking about Barnaby Joyce naked. And fair enough.

Rating: 7.5/10

#10: March 4, 2018. (28th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Malcolm Turnbull suffers drop as preferred PM in the wake of Barnaby Joyce’s baby scandal

Highlight: It’s still all Barnaby’s fault.

Rating: 7.5/10.

#9: February 6, 2017. (7th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 46 – 54

Headline: Hanson on the rise as Coalition support dives

Highlight: The first Newspoll of 2017, and boy oh boy did the government have a bad Christmas break. Turnbull and Trump got into a big fight over refugees, Sussan Ley resigned from cabinet and sparked a big expenses scandal, and it was revealed the PM donated more than $1 million to the government’s re-election campaign. Just a really good example of the government being able to fuck things up constantly.

Rating: 8/10.

#8: November 8, 2016. (4th of 30)

Two party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Labor vote highest since Turnbull became PM

Highlight: This result came the week after the government announced even stricter punishments for asylum seekers. And they still went backwards, so that’s nice.

Rating: 8/10.

#7: February 4, 2018: (26th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: PM surges as pressure increases on Shorten

Highlight: This is one of my favourites. The PM is “surging” and has “cemented his command over Bill Shorten”. This was at the start of the year, when the press had developed a new narrative — that 2018 was the year of the Turnbull comeback — it didn’t last long.

Rating: 8/10

#6: February 27, 2017. (equal lowest, 8th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 45 – 55 

Headline: Coalition on slide as voters turn to Pauline Hanson

Highlight: This was the period in which Tony ‘No Sniping’ Abbott’s behaviour was at its worst. The government’s equal lowest score takes this poll right towards the top of the list.

Rating: 8/10

#5: March 25: 2018: (29th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 47 – 53

Headline: Malcolm Turnbull loses 29th straight Newspoll as Labor vote climbs

Highlight: The way The Australian just cannot believe Labor’s tax policy didn’t hurt them.

Rating: 8.5/10

#4: November 13, 2017. (equal lowest, 23rd of 30)

Two-party preferred: 45 – 55

Headline: Malcolm Turnbull in horror poll slump

Highlight: Horror poll slump! This is Turnbull’s equal lowest result. If an election were held that weekend, the government would have lost 20 seats.

Rating: 8.5/10

#3: March 18. 2017. (9th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Turnbull back in the game

Highlight: I love, love, love this one. Turnbull is “back in the game” despite facing a landslide defeat. Sure, it was a good result compared to the previous Newspoll, but that’s like being “slightly less dead” than last week. Champagne comedy.

Rating: 8.5/10

#2: September 27, 2016. (1st of 30)

Two-party preferred: 48 – 52

Headline: Biggest lead for Labor in Malcolm Turnbull era.

Highlight: The one that started it all. We were so innocent back then. We had no idea that we’d just taken the first step on  a 564-day journey. I also enjoyed the opening line, “Tony Abbott insists his prime ministerial ambitions are ‘dead, buried and cremated.'” Lol.

Score: 9/10.

#1: April 9, 2018. (30th of 30)

Two-party preferred: 48-52

Headline: Malcolm Turnbull loses 30 in a row

Highlight: We made it. What else can be said? This one has it all. Schadenfreude. A divided Liberal party. A big policy fight. A very, very uncomfortable Prime Minister. It’s all been leading up to this, and now we’re here.

Rating: 10/10.