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Shanahan’s Shenanigans


Dennis is at it again. The new NEWSPOLL is out and the news is not good for him.

The thing about polls is they come and they go. Ironically, it is Dennis himself who has on previous occasions called Kevin Rudd poll driven when he was Prime Minister.

Dennis himself seems to be dependent on polls and especially NEWSPOLL. His articles and his opinion pieces are heavily poll driven. Now this kind of opinion has turned around and bitten him in his own rear end.

I submit the following evidence for your perusal. The NEWSPOLL two party preferred count since the 1st of August this year.

% %
Newspoll 30 July – 1 August 2010# 50 50
Newspoll 6-8 August 2010# 48 52
Newspoll 13-15 August 2010# 48 52
Newspoll 17-19 August 2010# 49.8 50.2
Election 21 August 2010 49.9 50.1
Newspoll 10-12 September 2010# 50 50
Newspoll 8-10 October 2010# 50 50
Newspoll 22-24 October 2010# 52 48
Newspoll 5-7 November 2010# 52 48

Dennis must have been on holidays in October because THE AUSTRALIAN ran the poll result with their chief political correspondent, Matthew Franklin.

Coalition takes lead: Newspoll

  • Matthew Franklin, Chief political correspondent
  • From:The Australian
  • October 25, 2010 10:10PM

ANGER about the Gillard government’s handling of proposed cuts in water use appears to have helped the Coalition overtake Labor in the latest Newspoll.

The weekend survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian, found the opposition ahead of Labor for the first time since before the August 21 election, by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent in two-party-preferred terms.

The increase followed two dead-even results in previous post-election Newspolls. On election day, Labor won 50.1 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote to the Coalition’s 49.9 per cent.

Although the poll shows only small movements in the primary vote since the previous survey, which was taken between October 8 and 10, Newspoll chief executive Martin O’Shannessy said tonight that Labor had suffered a six-point plunge in primary support outside cities.


Oh my! A six point plunge! Quick! Change your policies! Doom and gloom!

On November the 9th 2010,  another NEWSPOLL reported a similar figure and Dennis was back from holidays! Dennis lead his articles with pretty pictures.

Julia Gillard losing ground to Tony Abbott: Newspoll

  • Dennis Shanahan, Political editor
  • From:The Australian
  • November 09, 2010 12:00AM

Source: The Australian

JULIA Gillard is beginning to pay a personal price for Labor’s continuing problems as she loses ground to Tony Abbott.

The number of voters dissatisfied with Ms Gillard’s performance as Prime Minister is now equal to those who are satisfied.

For the first time since she became Labor leader in June, Ms Gillard has a zero net satisfaction rating. She has also dropped back to the lowest level of support on the question of preferred prime minister that she hit during her worst week of the election campaign.

According to the latest Newspoll survey, taken exclusively for The Australian last weekend, voter satisfaction with Ms Gillard dropped three points to 41per cent and dissatisfaction rose four points to 41 per cent.

The Coalition continues to hold the comfortable lead over the Labor government it has had since the election on both primary votes and a two-party-preferred basis.

The Coalition’s primary vote was unchanged on 43 per cent from two weeks earlier, the same vote it had at the August election, and Labor’s is up one point to 34 per cent, four percentage points below its primary vote in August.

While not statistically significant, the Greens’ primary vote has dropped from 14 to 13per cent — the lowest level since the election, when the Greens won a lower house seat for the first time at a general election.

On a two-party-preferred basis, using preference flows at the August election, the Coalition has kept its four-point lead over Labor, 52 to 48 per cent. At the election, the ALP had a two-party-preferred vote of 50.1per cent compared with the Coalition’s 49.9 per cent.

It is the first time the Coalition has held a four-point lead over Labor in successive Newspoll surveys since January 2006 when John Howard was prime minister.

Labor took a hit in the Newspoll survey two weeks ago in the wake of the release of the disastrous Murray-Darling Basin report, which appeared to turn off regional voters.

The government’s primary vote dropped to 33 per cent, Labor’s lowest since December 2004, in the wake of Mark Latham’s massive election defeat.

Labor’s primary vote and its two-party-preferred vote are still languishing below the party’s level of support in June, when Kevin Rudd was removed as prime minister and replaced with Ms Gillard.

Since the previous Newspoll survey two weeks earlier, the Gillard government has been hit by another official interest rate rise as well as the Commonwealth’s Bank decision to almost double its lending rates in defiance of calls from Wayne Swan for the major banks not to exceed the Reserve Bank’s actions.

The number of illegal boat entries and asylum-seekers in a single year has hit a record and Ms Gillard’s trip through the region did not help her attempts to establish a regional processing centre in East Timor for refugees.

The rising strength of the Australian dollar has also put Labor’s promise to deliver a budget surplus in 2012-13 under pressure, although Ms Gillard and the Treasurer continue to guarantee the deficit will be wiped out that year.

While Labor’s primary vote has stayed well below its election levels, Ms Gillard’s standing as preferred prime minister has also begun to slip. In the past two weeks, her support has dropped from a post-election high of 53 per cent to 49 per cent, her lowest since the first week of August.

Support for the Opposition Leader as preferred prime minister has risen slightly from 32 to 34 per cent, his highest rating in two months. It also marks the closest he has been to Ms Gillard since the election campaign.

Personal support for Mr Abbott has also improved, with his satisfaction rating rising three points to 44 per cent and dissatisfaction falling four points from 46 to 42 per cent.

It is the first time that the Opposition Leader has had a positive net satisfaction rating for two months.


Oh crack open the bubbly! The coalition is back! You can almost see Dennis and other political editors at THE AUSTRALIAN dancing a jig with Rupert Murdoch via satellite can’t you?

Two weeks on again, and the dancing at the offices of THE AUSTRALIAN had come to a stop. After celebrating the last poll result for the coalition with an air of some kind of significant import, he seems to revert to a softly softly approach in his opinion of the latest NEWSPOLL.

Good news but hardly start of a strategy

  • Dennis Shanahan, Political editor
  • From:The Australian
  • November 23, 2010 12:00AM

THE latest Newspoll has given Julia Gillard and Labor a headline boost in the final parliamentary week of an extraordinary year in Australian politics.

For the first time since the August election the Gillard government is ahead of the Tony Abbott opposition on a two-party preferred basis: 52 to 48 per cent.

Support has also lifted for the Prime Minister after voter satisfaction fell to a record low for her two weeks ago and the Liberal leader came the closest he has been to her as preferred leader.

But Labor should not let a welcome Christmas holiday headline mislead them into thinking this survey is little more than brief respite. The two-party preferred lead isn’t an answer to Labor’s problems since the election and its failure to gain a lift or momentum from its negotiated victory. Labor’s two-party preferred vote is only a result of a fall in the Coalition’s primary vote and the Greens’ continuing to poll at record levels.

The government’s primary vote of 36 per cent – up from 34 per cent – barely saved the ALP from falling into its worst slump in primary vote since the recession of the 1990s when the Australian Democrats were polling between nine and 12 per cent.

Labor’s primary vote remains in the death zone and its two-party preferred success is entirely dependent on the Greens’ preferences. The ALP’s bedrock vote is still squeezed between the Coalition and the Greens.

What’s more, the survey showed strong voter support for the Coalition’s demands for the release of the a cost-benefit analysis of the $43 billion National Broadband Network before it is legislated.

The NBN was a Labor strength and a Coalition weakness during the campaign and is now the foundation for Labor’s fightback and attempts to differentiate from the Coalition. But this survey shows the “commonsense” argument of a costing of the network has strong support – even among Labor voters.

Gillard and the government can take heart from a positive turn in the polls but they shouldn’t build long-term hopes or strategies on these results.


Poor Dennis. He had hoped to be dancing all through Christmas. Now he will have to wait for the next NEWSPOLL that even slightly indicates that federal Labor was behind again. My favorite line in the whole piece was this little gem:

Labor’s two-party preferred vote is only a result of a fall in the Coalition’s primary vote and the Greens’ continuing to poll at record levels.

Dennis then goes on in the next paragraph to seem to indicate that the ALP primary vote went up by 2%. I did try to find the actual poll results from NEWSPOLL themselves but they don’t seem to have updated their data online yet. I find this interesting as the last poll was up almost the same day. I guess some one is on holidays. It surely can not be because NEWSPOLL is a wholly owned subsidiary of THE AUSTRALIAN could it?

Dennis does not mention it in his rather brief diagnosis of this last poll but good old Auntie does discuss this.

Gillard gains ground in latest poll

Posted 7 hours 46 minutes ago

An opinion poll in today’s Australian newspaper has a pleasant surprise for the Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

According to Newspoll, Ms Gillard has gained 5 points as preferred prime minister to 54 per cent.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has lost ground, dropping 3 percentage points to 31 per cent.

On the two-party preferred basis the Government is also now ahead on 52 per cent, compared to the Opposition’s 48 per cent – the exact reverse of the poll taken two weeks ago.


Julia up 5 points. Tony down 3 points. I would have thought this important to mention. Dennis on the other hand decides to not mention it at all. At least not in his latest report. But I did take the liberty of highlighting the mentions in the November 9th article: the one with all the pretty pictures.

I should point out one thing. Dennis Shanahan’s articles are not news reports. THE AUSTRALIAN call them ‘opinion’. This allows him to express his bias with wanton abandon. The problem is,  THE AUSTRALIAN itself sells such opinions as news.

It makes my bias in my blogs look like journalism.

Dance that jig Dennis! Dance me boyoh!

[addendum: NEWSPOLL results now online]

A. Ghebranious     2010                All Rights Reserved

  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Same here in US unfortantly.

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