Galaxy: Rudd 58, Turnbull 28

Findings of a Galaxy poll published in today’s News Limited papers from a small sample of 400 (nothing on voting intention):

• Kevin Rudd leads Malcolm Turnbull as preferred leader 58 to 28 per cent. The last federal Galaxy poll in March had Rudd leading Brendan Nelson 69 per cent to 15 per cent.
• Twenty-three per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote Liberal with Turnbull as leader than they would have been with Nelson, against 11 per cent less likely.
• Fifty-three per cent believe Turnbull would give the Liberals a better chance at the next election against 35 per cent for Peter Costello.
• Forty-eight per cent of respondents considered Turnbull “arrogant” against 23 per cent for Rudd.
• Fifty-one per cent considered Rudd a “strong leader” against 30 per cent for Turnbull, and 49 per cent thought Rudd “decisive” (surely much the same thing) against 30 per cent for Turnbull.
• Fifty-six per cent of respondents believed Rudd had a “a vision of the future” and 52 per cent thought him “in touch with voters”.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

304 comments on “Galaxy: Rudd 58, Turnbull 28”

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  1. Gotta feel for the Libs these days. If Magic Malcolm can’t save them, who can.

    Cue all the “He’s only been leader for a week, give him some time”. It’s only going to go downhill from here, when the Government continues to rip into him.

    Rudd is invincible.

  2. Oz do you honestly think that days after we get a new leader we’ll get a bounce in the poll??? Are you that mad?

    For heavans sakes we’ve just come off Nelson, i wouldnt expect much in the polls for the next month at least.

    Nobody is invincible….look at Howard?

  3. [Oz do you honestly think that days after we get a new leader we’ll get a bounce in the poll??? Are you that mad?]

    Well, Rudd was neck and neck with Howard for PPM in his first Newspoll, after Beazley was 30 points down on the previous poll…

  4. That’s true, but the flipside is when people say “He’s doubling Nelson!” you can reply “28% is still pathetic and not going to win him anything”.

  5. Glen

    Have a look at Possum’s work on the average leader change bounce. Based on that, an immediate bounce is exactly what would be expected and the lack of one would point to what many here have been saying for quite some time – that while Nelson’s performance in the job can’t have really helped, the underlying problems the Libs have are not leader related.

    Agree with one thing though … nobody is invincible.

  6. Labor are developing some nice alternatives in Gillard and Smith should Rudd blot his copy book.

    I am sure there will be a bounce and I don’t imagine for a second that come election time Labor will maintain such a large lead. (providing the LNP can eventually settle down and act like a normal opposition)

  7. No 4

    Yes, but that statistic ignores the fact that Howard had been PM for 11 years already and Rudd had come off the back of a successful and long-running Sunrise stint.

  8. i think this will even up a bit as time goes along and Turnbull catches a few voters imaginations with some feel good policies, he’s capable of that, however i dont think he’ll ever be able to throw off the arrogance tag now because he’s so obviously arrogant and self satisfied, people dont like obvious arrogance, Rudd keeps his well hidden with a gentle thoughtful front, i dont doubt that he’s arrogant underneath it all or he wouldnt be where he is today, theres something about Turnbull that rubs people up the wrong way and makes them feel he’s not in touch with them–even his own party compatriots, maybe it’s his well known huge ego, after all this is the man who commissioned a poll on himself.

  9. A question for Adam. When was the last time NSW voted in a New Federal Government and then voted the same party to win in the State? I wonder what percentage of NSW voters prefer to have a different paty in control Federally to the State.

  10. It’s interesting to see a new party leader, only 4 years in Parliament, on whom the public already have such a strong (and pretty negative) view.

    By contrast I doubt if many people had any opinion of Rudd at all when he first became leader.

    The fact that someone with Turnbull’s perceived baggage is the best choice just goes to show that the Liberals have no realistic chance of winning the next election*. However surely Turnbull will be better than Nelson was, so it’s still a reasonable gambit at this stage to install him as leader.

    *Barring the occurrence of a recession, but some PBers get very irate when this obvious possibility is mentioned, so let’s not go there.

  11. What the poll does prove is that the general public has not fallen for the BS over the $30pw increase to the single pensioner. Turnbull reiterated their policy soon after being elected. It seems that the voter likes the way Rudd is trying to govern by consensus via in depth committee working a decent policy.
    With continues attacks, for the last 6 months, by the opposition that this is a do nothing Government, they are falling on deaf ears.

  12. From that Paul Daley article,

    “MALCOLM Turnbull has been labelled arrogant, aloof, condescending, impetuous, demanding, autocratic, slippery, irascible, rude, intemperate, foul-mouthed and impatient. And you should hear what his enemies say”.

    Why do voters despise Malcolm Turnull when they hardly know him?

    Saves time, I suppose.

  13. i wonder how long after the next election talculm will stay in parliament if he doesnt win? somehow i cant see him twiddling his thumbs in opposition for a second term, i know he fancies himself as PM but is he ready to put years into the effort on a maybe? he’s too impatient and likes instant results, that doesnt bode wrell in a future PM, in the time he was in Howards ministry he wasnt exactly a shning light on policy, his  squandering millions on far out schemes was noted, i think a lot of that though was him trying to put himself in the public eye showing  that he was busy doing things and espousing the latest ideas, pity most were pie in the sky failures though.
    the percieved image of Turnbull posing in front of his mirror is a bit hard to banish, at a recent function we had a game in describing our pollies in one word, talcumn’s was mostly egoist, Nelson was loser, Abbott was mania, Costello was sook, Rudd was intellectual, Swan was earnest, Bishop was amazon,Julia was terrier, Wong was trier and Smith was invisable, once people get an image of someone it’s a bit hard to banish, talcumn has a lot of work to do to convince enough voters he’ll see past himself.

  14. Turnbull has reiterated all of Nelson’s off-the-top-of-the head, cherry-picked, short term populist thought bubbles so it’s no wonder Rudd retains a huge lead.
    Turnbull is still captive of the Right and will only start to make ground when he enunciates coherent, comprehensive and responsible policies that meet Australia’s long term interests.
    Trouble is – he won’t be leader any more if he does.

  15. Realistically I think the Libs will feel this is a reasonable start for them. The real test will be to see how Turnbull responds to the rest of the goverrnments budget bills and climate change legislation. Turnbull may be a long way from winning, but if the Libs had gone to an election with Nelson in charge it would have been a wipeout, whereas at least this result suggests Turnbull will limit the damage. Compared to trends earlier in the year that would not be a bad outcome IMO.

  16. Generic Person: It’s very easy to sling personal attacks on a Weblog, especially if you are targeting someone who you know can’t defend themselves in this forum.

    It’s also a pretty cretinous thing to do.

  17. Yes, I like that “globetrotting” Prime Minister thing they’re trying to pin on Rudd.

    Kerri-Anne Walsh writes in the Sun-Herald today:

    [ Labor has been in office for about 300 days and Mr Rudd has spent 50 of them overseas. Former prime minister John Howard spent 18 nights overseas in his first year.]

    Oh I see… Howard still rules, from beyond the political grave apparently. If Rudd deviates one iota from The Great Helmsman’s performance, in this case nights spent abroad in the first year, he is in for thinly veiled accusations that his attention has drifted from the main game. The main is game is, according to Shanahan, “the Economy”. This is presumably because the Opposition has installed an ex-merchant banker as Leader. All very neat.

    Rudd’s duty, in this narrative, is to remain in Australia and answer dumb questions in QT from Turnbull like, ” Has Medibank Private gone broke yet, and if not, why not?”. Talking to world leaders and heads of international banking at this time of world crisis is not nearly as important as providing fodder for journalists seeking to score technical points in “the new game in town” as Barry Cassidy has just defined it: can Turnbull out-gotcha Rudd? Some even throw Costello into the mix as the ultimate beneficiary in all this. Will wonders ever cease in this crazy game of political tiddlywinks that journalists take so seriously and try to foist on us as serious commentary?
    What a parochial attitude

  18. 23 “The real test will be to see how Turnbull responds to the rest of the goverrnments budget bills and climate change legislation.”

    Socrates that will be the hard part. Turnbull has to drag a lot of other rabble with him though this process and it will be as easy as herding cats.

  19. gusface @ 15

    That News Ltd article must be the most blatant anti-Rudd piece I have read in a long while. They guy doesn’t even try to hide his intentions. Just plain right out Rudd – boo boo boo. Such writing doesn’t deserve to be in a local rag let alone a major new site.

    There must be a lot of those petutulent spiteful liberal party MPs on the payroll of murdoch as that piece looks entirely that of an ignorant liberal party office boy.

  20. Given all the unresolved international issues after the last government (Kyoto, Doha round, Iraq/Iran, credit crunch) I think the overseas travel criticism is nonsensical. I don’t object to politicians travelling overseas for work – I object to them junketing to cricket and tennis matches at our expense. I’d like to see a comparison of the percentage of time Rudd and Howard each spent on work meetings while travelling overseas, as opposed to watching cricket, tennis rugby etc. I recall our previous prime minister managed to clock up a remarkable number of appearances at Lords in his time in office.

  21. I don’t bother with the Insiders anymore – it has morphed into a Liberal party agony hour. The prime concern is to find ways to run down Labor and praise the Liberal party. They are least concerned with serious political and economic analysis or truthful discussions on reality. Just look at the make up of their panel from week to week (weak to weak).

  22. Insiders…

    [has morphed into a Liberal party agony hour.]

    Brilliantly put, TP.

    The journos want a “contest” to write about, so they can scribble their ball-by-ball descriptions. They need a Liberal Party that can fight, or be written up as fighting. Paul Daly has a double in the Sun-Herald and the Age today about how Turnbull has “rattled” Rudd.

    He wishes.

  23. socrates @ 29
    The point is not how much time Rudd spends overseas. He can spend 100 days overseas depending on what he is doing. The PM can go as often as he likes as long as he is doing something constructive. And it is not as though in this day of modern communicatios it as though he is not here.

    The murdoch journos are not discussing the purpose or appropriateness of Rudd’s trips, they think they have a talking point with which to criticise. They would criticise his shoes if they thought it could cost him votes.

  24. A story in The Age that Xenephon and Fielding are now opposing the health care budget measures! Are they just trying to get a moment in the sun? Xenephon’s reasons seem nonsensical:

    “But Senator Xenophon said the rise in the threshold was inequitable, as it was double the rate of inflation, and has suggested a change of $70,000 for singles and $135,00 for couples.”

    How is it inequitable to increase the number of people who don’t have to pay? Doesn’t that increase equity? He goes on to talk about pressure on public hospitals but this ignores the fact that much of the private health isurance rebates do NOT take pressure of public hospitals. The money savd would be far better put back into public hospitals directly. This is just spin. Does anyone know if he has an ideological stance on this or does he just want to make another deal? I have already said Fielding is just reverting to his true form, so no surprises there.

  25. I am not sure if this last fabricated attack (another coordinated effort to help Turnbull as they did with Nelson? Watch the Liberal MPs to join in.) will only serve to help focus on Rudd’s trip and benefit him when they see what he is up to.

    Good to see they help raise the profile of Gillard in the process.

  26. Socrates,

    “Inequitable” probably is the wrong word to describe Roxon’s changes to the Medicare threshold.

    “Stupid” would be a better word for the changes.

    No-one really knows what the effect of these changes on the public system will be (Roxon has said as much herself, when trying to attack the opponents of the changes). So fine, increase the threshold by all means (the Libs should have indexed it anyway), but why double the threshold in one single bound?

    In the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby, “a very courageous decision, Minister”.

  27. Xenephon’s position on the Medicare Levy Surcharge bill is simple. He wants to straddle the fence and be seen to be negotiating for the good of all Australia so that it increases the perception of him being fair and independent. That’s what he’ll always do… position himself somewhere in between the Government and Opposition and craft an argument as to why his position in the most sensible.

  28. By the way, it’s all well and good to say the increase in threshold will free up lots of money for the public system.

    Fine in theory, but in practice, the State health bureaucracies seem to have, er, a bit of trouble turning dollars into doctors, nurses and facilities.

    Medical admin always seems to do ok, though.

  29. Dyno, the real question is why not? Most modelling that has been conducted by independent sources (read, not the private health industry) puts the effects of the proposed changes to the MLST as minimal.

    It doesn’t even make sense in a liberal perspective as to why there should be a medicare levy surcharge. Surely if people want private health cover it shouldn’t be subsidised by any means.

  30. As cunning as a dunny rat.

    Andrew Charlton, The Age, 30 September 2007:

    [Howard’s health-care policies have contributed to the decline in the quality of the public system and produced a colossal waste of money on “business class” hospital accommodation.

    Howard knows that the more people rely on public health care, the more likely they are to support the political party that they associate with strong public services. That is why the growth of private health care is good news for conservative politicians. By weakening public health, Howard weakens the ALP.]

  31. Glad to see Glen Milne on Insiders call this a ping-pong (ie. small) bounce. Even Milne can contain his excitement sometimes!!

    As for the other Glen, we’re still waiting for the budget bounce, Rein bounce, scores bounce, anzac bounce etc etc, so I suppose we can add Turbnull bounce to that list. As has been pointed out, new leaders bounces especially Rudd’s was significant and immediate

  32. The problem for Turnbull with this poll is that people seem to have a strong view one way or the other. If they were positive strong views or even strong neutral views (ie most hadn’t made up their minds) their would be little to be concerned about at this stage. The difficulty, as Beazley found out, is that when the population largely see you in a particular way, changing that perception is an extremely difficult task.

  33. GB,

    I basically agree with you. I don’t see Turnbull as an election-winning leader for the Libs. But I do see him as a leader who will (probably) cement their support amongst their traditional supporters, and therefore possibly limit the damage at the next election, damage that would have been significant with Nelson as leader.

    People don’t seem to like Turnbull, and even though they think he’s clever, that’s probably not enough by itself.

  34. The correct analogies here are the previous instances of failed opposition leaders being replaced. When Crean replaced Beazley, my recollection is he got no bounce – as a leader he was DOA. When Latham replaced Crean, he got a big bounce, which he proceeded to squander. When Beazley replaced Latham, he got only a modest bounce, not surprising since he was hardly a fresh face. When Rudd replaced Beazley, he got a huge bounce, which he rode until the election. The same thing happened when Howard replaced Downer in 1995. But the Rudd and Howard bounces were both against long-serving governments, when the voters were in search of an alternative leader. Here we have a failed opposition leader being replaced very early in a government’s term, when there is no evidence that the voters have lost confidence in the PM. So we would expect only a modest Turnbull bounce, and one he will have to work hard to maintain. My view is that Turnbull gives the Libs a somewhat improved chance of winning in 2010, but not much. Rudd can certainly lose in 2010, but if does it will be because he has been overwhelmed by external circumstances (the Scullin scenario), not because of anything Turnbull represents or does. And, as we have seen this week, Turnbull has plenty of vulnerablilities for Labor to exploit.

  35. Cuppa @ 41,

    An interesting perspective, but not the only one.

    The other way of looking at it is we now seem to have vast health bureaucracies, who know that the larger the public system’s market share gets, the more entrenched is their position.

  36. 15 gusface. amazing article on Rudd “losing touch”. It refers to letters to the editor and talkback radio! And then to top is off it gets a quote from van Onselen ffs.

    Yes you’re right that the MSM helps drive perceprtion, but geez when you’re dealing with such usless journalism as that, Rudd is best off doing what he wants, because no doubt anything he does is going to be spun against him

  37. Adam,
    I agree with you, the Scullin scenario is the only one in which the Libs have a realistic chance in 2010, based on what we currently know.

    I am a Liberal supporter, but I’d much rather have another term of Rudd Labor, than the Scullin scenario! So would anyone who is sane.

  38. We went through all this last year and again are having to endure it. What’s it?

    The Canberra Press Gallery’s view of the world. Truly only a colonoscopy can work out what some of them are actually seeing.

    Once again, we see the Gallery with little or no idea about what is going on outside the bubble in which they live.

    They proclaim this week that the ALP is very nervous about Turnbull’s ascension to the throne; that Turnbull will bring an air of excitement and engagement; and most importantly, his banking experience will make it very difficult for the ALP to deal with him on “the economy”.

    They said exactly the same thing when he was appointed shadow Treasurer and what happened? Of course, I will use objective data only, as opposed to who knows what subjective data the Gallery use?

    Following the budget this was the perception of the voters:

    Galaxy 19 May 2008

    “Some 36 per cent of voters believe Mr Swan would be the better economic manager over Liberal shadow treasurer Malcolm Turnbull, who rated 25 per cent.”

    Newspoll 20 May 2008

    “During the budget period, Mr Swan has overtaken Mr Turnbull on the question of who would make the better Treasurer, to lead by 40 per cent over Mr Turnbull’s 26 per cent.

    The Coalition has also lost its mantle as preferred economic manager to the Labor Government, with 52 per cent saying the Coalition could not deliver a better budget, to 29 per cent who said it could.”

    And today’s Galaxy says:

    “Kevin Rudd leads Malcolm Turnbull as preferred leader (PM) 58 to 28 per cent.”

    Just because they wish something to be a particular way, doesn’t mean it is, or ever will be.

    What is the reality as opposed to the parallel universe of the Gallery?

    Despite all the fanfare and excitement, boring old Wayne Swan out polled Malcolm Turnbull as preferred Treasurer and Rudd easily out polled him as preferred PM. It’s Turnbull and the Coalition who need to boost their economic credibility, not Rudd, Swan or the ALP.

    Now, I am pleased Turnbull is leading the Liberal Party, for various reasons, not least of which is he a return to the traditional Australian Liberal Party, not some foreign branch of the US Republican Party; and I fully expect he and the Coalition to improve in the polls (as I’ve noted over on the marsupial’s site). But again we see the Gallery’s lack of insight in this matter as poor as their lack of insight in last year’s election campaign.

    It’s disturbing to think how much they get wrong, yet are convinced they are so right.

  39. 48 dyno. Bravo.

    have to say I missed the first 20 minutes of Insiders (came in during Paul Kelly). I didn’t think it was all that bad. Made some good points about Turnbull doing well on the initial response to the Republican wedge, and Rudd’s local mayor’s forum was also very poorly timed.

    Though if earlier they were going on about Rudd being nervous I’d understand the criticism. On Friday morning on Fran Kelly she was practically saying Rudd was in a pool of nervous sweat, and that she wouldn’t mind bearing Malcolm’s children should the opportunity arise.

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