ACNielsen and Galaxy: 55-45

The latest federal ACNielsen poll, published in today’s Fairfax broadsheets, has Labor’s two-party lead down to 55-45 from 56-44 last month. Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is down four points to 51 per cent and his disapproval is up five to 35 per cent, while Kevin Rudd is more or less steady on 70 per cent and 22 per cent. Also included are questions on the government’s economic management (positive) and expectations about the economy (surprisingly optimistic).

UPDATE: Galaxy has also produced a poll showing Labor leading 55-45. The poll has Labor on 43 per cent of the primary vote, the Coalition on 40 per cent and the Greens on 11 per cent. No mention of a sample size that I can see, but in Galaxy’s case it’s usually about 800 (UPDATE: It’s 1004 for Galaxy, 1400 for ACNielsen).

UPDATE 2: A surprise from Essential Research: they too have Labor’s lead at 55-45 in their weekly survey. This is down from 59-41 last week, and as far as I’m aware is the closest result they have thus far produced. Also featured are questions on which party is deemed best to handle various issues (huge leads to Labor on climate change, environment and industrial relations, narrow ones to Liberal on inflation, national security and economic management) and the car manufacturing industry assistance package (47 per cent approve, 35 per cent disapprove).

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.

1,045 comments on “ACNielsen and Galaxy: 55-45”

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  1. ‘GP We should not go into deficit.’

    Ron “agree ’should’ , however th GFC may well lead to that irrespective of th ‘levers’ ..”

    ShowsOn: ‘If you care to read the budget figures, we went into a deficit in financial year 2000 – 2001.’

    You missed th point , one should not go into deficit but it can be unavoidable via significant stimuli to mitigate recessionary pressures , assist working familys , mitigate unemployment , invest in infrastructure etc via Big govt involvement in th economy & often involving deficit financing ….being normative type Keynsain philosophy and core left Labor policys …a econamic philosophy your candidate does not suport and nor do you seem to grasp

    and of course one can also unavoidablly end up in deficit irrespective by an event like th GFC

  2. Off topic, but it seems Michael Malone has a bit more to worry about than Mandatory Net Filtering. In fact it may give Conroy some ammunition to use against him.

    [SOME of the biggest names in the film industry are taking legal action against WA-based internet service provider iiNet to stop the piracy of films such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

    The film companies are seeking a ruling in the federal court that iiNet infringed copyright.

    They claim iiNet, one of Australia’s leading internet service providers, did that by failing to take reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised use.

    The action has been launched by Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises and the Seven Network.

    The industry’s copyright watchdog says the action is necessary because iiNet ignored repeated notices over many months identifying thousands of illegal file transfers.],21598,24680709-951,00.html

  3. A Manufacturer makes pirated videos
    A retailer displays them right away in th corner
    its not th Retailers fault people come in and buy them ?……. hardly
    So th govt makes it illegal for th Retailer to make those pirated videos “available”

  4. Only the hackiest of hacks will try and defend Conroy’s net censorship plan. It’s a bad idea all around and those who have some level of activity within any political party should actively lobby the party to oppose it. For those of you who think it’ll be fine to stay silent on the issue and it’ll be junked anyhow, think again.

    And for those of you who do defend the censorship plan, here’s a web link for you which points out the government’s logic in dealing with the issue:

  5. [We should not go into deficit.]

    Gp, nice to see someone faithful to the Liberal Party talking points for this week, but amusing that those talking points have nothing to do with good economic theory or practice.

    [STEPHEN LONG: Bill Mitchell, Professor of economics at the University of Newcastle.

    BILL MITCHELL: In economic terms we’re in a situation where there’s very grave risk that we’ll go into a very deep decline in economic activity which has very significant and long-term consequences in the labour market in the form of rising unemployment; and in people’s lives generally in the form of defaulting on their home loans and an array of other commitments.

    And in that sort of environment, when the private sector is contracting and if you look around the world, very rapidly, then the only other sector that can really save the day is the government sector through spending.

    And in those times, going into deficit is exactly what the government should be doing and it should be doing it quickly.]

  6. I agree with GP – we should run huge surpluses, no investment in infrastructure such as hospitals (ie survival of the richest), invest all of our surpluses in big American banks (how much has the future fund lost now?)and pass legislation banning Climate warming (that way it CAN’T happen – no need to deny it then!)


  7. Tom, I’ve been told authoritatively several times on this site that the future fund has not lost it’s investments. Do you know anything different?

  8. steve @ 958 –

    Gp, nice to see someone faithful to the Liberal Party talking points for this week, but amusing that those talking points have nothing to do with good economic theory or practice.

    “Good economic theory or practice” have very little to do with the LNP too, Steve. It’s something they preach incessantly but almost never do.

    We’d already be in or very near to deficit if the government had followed LNP policy on the 5 cents/litre petrol rebate, massive hikes in pensions, alcopops, the luxury car tax, etc.

  9. [how much has the future fund lost now?]

    Exactly, Tom and Mayoferal. It is a dream of the Libs to see Labour tear the future fund apart but the reality is it is performing well. Investing in infrastructure and getting a positive return on the investment seems as good a strategy as any when the private sector is frozen with panic, fear, new ideas and loss of direction.

  10. Ron @933. No, you’ve got that completely wrong.

    The problem comes about because up until about 1970, there were many seats at most state elections that were either uncontested or were contested by only one of the major parties. For instance, the 1965 South Australian election had 39 seats, the LIberal Country League won 3 seats uncontested, and only contested 32 of the 39 seats, and Labor only contested 36 of 39.

    The primary totals are votes and percentages calculated from adding up the primary votes in all contested electorates. However, the 2PP totals were calculated in an academic project in the 1970s to come up with sensible long term comparisons of election results that corrected for the nature of the contest. So a 2PP figure was produced for every seat, whether it was contested or not, or whether there as a 2-party contested or not. When you use this method, it is reasonable that the Labor 2PP for 1965 could be lower than the primary vote because the 2PP total includes seats not actually contested by Labor. The 2PP figures weren’t calculated from the primary votes, which is why they can be at odds with the primary totals.

  11. GP
    Where did you study economics? The John Howard school of political ideology?

    Also GP does this mean you applaud the NSW Government mini-budget??

    Seriously though GP, if no deficit in a downturn is such a great idea, then let me ask you the first question Swan should ask Bishop if they try this line in parliament: in order to keep us in surplus, if revenue declines, which area of spending would you cut first? Which tax would you raise? Looking forward to your reply 🙂

  12. Just to add to that, I’ve met the same problem using the database of 2PP totals for NSW where I am much more familiar with the source data. While the tables are useful for comparing one election to the next or previous elections, people take the results very literally and want to talk about record 2PP results or swings over time. They then find the primary votes at those elections seem to be at odds with their findings. It’s an artefact of the data. Everyone assumes elections in the past are like todays, with neat tables of 2PP data. In fact until 1984, no electoral office published full distributions of preferences. Even today, as I keep arguing about the result of the 2007 NSW election and recent NSW Newspolls, people get fixated on the 2PP result when the real story is the primary votes.

    Bob1234 had stated I hadn’t answered his complaint that the table was wrong when he had previously e-mailed me at the ABC. It has taken me half a day to find all the relevant material to get my answer to this point, and even then I still can’t answer his question, only suggest an answer as to why the table he thinks is wrong is in all probablity actually correct. There are times when you got complaints like this where you know you will not be able to produce an answer that you put off dealing with a complaint.

  13. I just posted on the US thread about the US auto industry, which is in serious trouble. There is a related issue here.

    It might be prudent for the Australian government to start quietly talking to possible Asian buyers about acquiring Holden or Ford. If they’re going to go down its better to sell an intact business than see it liquidated and assetts lost. They would have to leave the green car funds on the table, but at least we would get better management as well as cleaner cars.

    I have grumbled before about the direction of the previous governments moronic car industry assistance package and now we are starting to see the consequences – billions wasted on obsolete car designs and jobs still not saved.

  14. [and jobs still not saved]

    Already it’s resulted in Ford changing their mind about closing their Geelong plant, saving several thousand jobs if you include associated industries

  15. Just to give a little lesson on what this was about. Try this link to my NSW elections database for the seat of Sturt.
    Sturt included most of Broken Hill and was one of the safest Labor seats in the state. If you click on elections from 1930 to 1956, you’ll find it was either uncontested, or contested only by Labor and a Communist candidate for 10 elections in a row. You find the same for seats like Cobar, uncontested by the Coalition 1935-46, or Cessnock 1927-56. Labor didn’t conteste the leafy north shore seat of Gordon between 1935 and 1965. Labor contested Vaucluse only once between 1935 and 1965. As late as 1971, Labor only contested 84 of the 94 NSW seats at that year’s state election.

    When you look at primary vote totals for these elections, it includes only votes for contested seats. The retro-fitted 2PPs were calculated for every seat, whether there was a contest or major party contest not.

    Contesting every seat only became common place once there was a fully elected Legislative Council. It became even more common when public funding of elections based on votes received was introduced. Then it became important for parties to contest every seat, to improve their upper house vote and to get some extra public funding.

  16. Dario

    That Ford decision was as a result of the new initiatives, not the old. My point was that the previous government had already committed to its money to save production of Aussie V6 cars, and that has been a disaster.

  17. After building a fortune by foisting junk on Australian householders (most of which ends up in land fill after a few years), Gerry Harvey has got the gall to judge society’s voiceless and vulnerable as “no-hopers”.

    He said it was arguable that giving charity to the homeless was “just wasted”. “It might be a callous way of putting it but what are they doing?” he said. “They are just a drag on the whole community.”

  18. BB 904 – I am going to watch Howard right through to the bitter end. We ended up laughing at 9.30 p.m. last week because they all looked so pathetic.

    Poor old Costello was desperately trying to salvage his reputation as the good guy. “I was the worker – 24/7 for weeks and I was hard done by”
    The dreadful Reith and Downer were like kids with Christmas toys as they explained how happy Howard was with them.
    It was so awful that all one could do was laugh. And also think how fantastic it is to be rid of the lot of them.
    So we will be watching and looking at it, not from an angry point of view, but from a bloody feeling of great relief.

  19. [He said it was arguable that giving charity to the homeless was “just wasted”. “It might be a callous way of putting it but what are they doing?” he said. “They are just a drag on the whole community.”]

    Exterminate, Exterminate !!!!!

  20. [That Ford decision was as a result of the new initiatives, not the old]

    Yes, I am aware of this… I was just pointing out that subsidies to the auto industry can save jobs, as they did this week

  21. In regard to the Howard Years documentary… I would’ve been interested to see them talk about all the ministers sacked in the first term and get interviews from them on their perspective of the time.

    There really wasn’t a whole lot of interesting stuff covered in it.

  22. I would have liked that too -but we will have to wait for someone else to make a ‘warts and all’ documentary. It was never going to happen this time because Howard mob were out to protect their legacy and nothing else

  23. Maybe Ford are now planning to have to close the factory where they were going to make the engines they are now going to continue to make here.

  24. For those who reckon Grattan is one of the few “decent journalists”, read this and weep. After she spends half her article talking up the twin monsters of recession and deficit, she writes this:

    [The reason the Government doesn’t want to speculate about a recession is obvious. To do so increases fear, which plays into business decisions. As Stevens said, “given the underlying strengths of the economy, about the biggest mistake we could make would be to talk ourselves into unnecessary economic weakness”.]

    Do tell, La Stupenda? I suppose it’s OK for journalists to continually write it up though? To berate the government for not saying – yes, she used this term – “The ‘D’ word and the ‘R’ word”?

    Talk about a lack of imagination.

    i>Q’elle pathetic.

  25. Dario 976

    True, it depends on how its done. I’m not suggesting they do nothing; just to be careful and have detailed conditions on any cash.

  26. This is a Telegraph story so it could be BS but if it’s fair dinkum it will give Kev a couple more points in the polls.

    “PUBLIC hospitals are expected to get an extra $30 billion in federal funding over the next five years but in return they’ll have to publish their performance in up to 40 areas, including hospital infection and death rates.

    The Federal Government is expected to offer the states around $70 billion next week to run their hospitals over the next five years, an increase of more than 66 per cent on the last $42 billion deal that expired in June”,22049,24683239-5005941,00.html

  27. In other words these retrospective 2PPs are fictional, and this should be noted. I have myself calculated retrospective 2PPs for federal elections back to 1910, but I always add a note saying that x number of seats were uncontested and this distorts the figure, and I don’t add notional votes for uncontested seats.

    (There was one election in the 1950s when the Country Party won two seats in WA with a statewide vote of zero, because both its sitting members were re-elected unopposed.)

  28. Going more recent here… did the two uncontested seats Labor won at the last NT election stuff up the 2PP figure there?

  29. This was written about America but it applies just as much to us:

    As we wait in potholed gridlock for the next highway bridge to collapse, the French, the Japanese, and now the Spanish blissfully speed by us on their sci-fi trains. Within the next year or two, Spain’s high-speed rail network will become the world’s largest, with plans to cap construction in 2020 at an incredible 6,000 miles of fast track. Meanwhile China has launched its first 200 mile-per-hour prototype, and Saudi Arabia and Argentina are proceeding with the construction of their own state-of-the-art systems. Of the larger rich, industrial countries, only the United States has yet to build a single mile of what constitutes the new global standard of transportation.

    Spain? A ‘poor man of Europe’ just a few years ago and Argentina the stereotypical South American economic basket case are now at the cutting edge of 21st Century environmentally friendly rapid transport while it takes folk here half a day to cross Sydney.

    Just one of many things we could have financed with the $380 +/- billion in windfall surpluses Howard and Costello threw away on wars of aggression, torturing of refugees in Pacific hell holes, $10 million rainmaker scams and increasing desperate, ultimately futile trinkets to bribe the electorate.


  30. The other side of that argument though is the 2PP’s may be fictional, but the primaries are also misleading. Many of the tables of Labor’s high primary vote at SA state elections in the 1950s and 1960s are mis-leading because the LCL used to win seats uncontested. It was always great for value for the campaign against the ‘Playmander’ though. Labor’s primary vote was inflated by the missing LCL votes in uncontested seats. Mind you, the enrolment in those LCL uncontested country seats was usually pretty low.

    Good of you to re-cacluate all those 2PPs Adam. You should have just got the 2PP data set from ANU that Joan Rydon, Colim Hughes, Malcolm Mackerras et al calculated in the 1970s. That’s where all those state 2PPs I had came from.

    The NSW Parliamentary Library has a set of those numbers for NSW state elections that has sat on a shelf in the reference section for years. One of those 130 character width continuous paper line-printer printouts. You don’t see that sort of thing much these days. They want me to add the 2PPs by electorate to my elections database. I’ll probably do it, but I think people who always insist on having that vaguely fictitous 2PP data really aren’t thinking for what the data is useful.

  31. Adam, Alan Jones is still a great advocate of a VFT between Sydney and Canberra. However, he always talks about it stopping at lots of Southern Highland’s towns, which wouldn’t make it much of a VFT. But then, why should I expect logic in his argument.

  32. [No doubt Mayo you supported the VFT project a decade or so ago, which was sunk by Green nimbyism]

    Not to mention that getting through the suburbs of Sydney would have taken almost as long as the rest of the trip itself 😉

  33. Much more sensible people than Alan Jones supported the VFT (Melb-Canb-Syd, stopping no stations), and it should be revived. The trouble with this bloody country (to coin a phrase) is that everybody moans about our decaying infrastructure, but everybody also moans about every single piece of infrastructure proposed. The Greens and the Nats are both champions at this, mobilising idiotic populist nimbyism whenever anyone wants to build anything. The Traveston Dam and the Sugarloaf pipeline are prize current examples.

  34. A VFT from Sydney to Canberrs, say running down the airport line then down the middle of the M5 (as rail lines run down Freeways in Perth) tied to a second airport around Goulburn would make sense. But it would be opposed by the owners of Canberra Airport, probably Sydney airport despite the fact it free-up slots, and probably Qantas who would hate the idea that any budget carrier could use the second airport as an internation hub.

    Anyone who’s caught the train from London to Paris can tell you its advantage over flying. No having to arrive an hour early and no having to commute into and out of each city.

  35. Adam, I thought it was a much better idea than extending the rail from the Alice to Darwin.

    Can’t comment on the specifics of the green argument, but IME, they often get caught up in minutiae instead of considering the bigger picture. Anyway you look at it, moving people in hi-speed trains is more efficient and environmentally sound than planes. Especially, when oil climbs into the stratosphere, as it will again. Probably a lot sooner than current circumstances would suggest.

  36. Yes, but you’d have to move the airforce out first, and it has problems of suburbs in Queanbeyan and Canberra under any future flight paths. I think the owners of Canberra Airport are actually more interested in their business park and retail developments than running an expanded airport. I’ve loved the long running dispute between the airport and ACT government about who should pay to upgrade all the antiquated roads that connect the airport to Canberra.

  37. [Anyone who’s caught the train from London to Paris can tell you its advantage over flying]

    You’re not wrong. Caught it earlier this year and it was sensational! Flying around Europe just isn’t worth it unless you are going from one side to the other.

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