Advantage Labor

Numerous pollsters, some previously unknown, have swung quickly into action to record a very rosy view of Labor’s prospects under Julia Gillard. Nielsen surveyed 993 respondents on Thursday night and found Labor’s primary vote roaring back to 47 per cent, decimating the Greens – down seven points to 8 per cent – and delivering them a thumping 55-45 two-party lead. The Coalition primary vote has nonetheless held up: at 42 per cent, it is only down one point on the famous 53-47 poll of June 6. Julia Gillard leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 55 per cent to 34 per cent, widening the gap achieved by Rudd in his last poll from ten points to 21. Against Kevin Rudd, she scores a not overwhelming lead of 44 per cent to 36 per cent: Rudd himself records slightly improved personal ratings, approval up two to 43 per cent and disapproval down five to 47 per cent. Tony Abbott is for some reason down on both approval (one point to 40 per cent) and disapproval (five points to 46 per cent). UPDATE: Full results courtesy of Possum here. Some have pointed that there are some very curious results in the statewide breakdowns, but this provides no statistical reason to doubt the overall result within the margin-of-error. Self-identified Greens preferences have gone from 68-32 to Labor to 81-19, although this is off a tiny sample of Greens voters.

Galaxy produces a more modest headline figure of 52-48 in a survey of 800 respondents, also conducted yesterday. This was achieved off a 41 per cent primary vote, making it a lot more solid than the 52-48 Rudd achieved his final Newspoll, which was based on 35 per cent plus a hypothetical preference share. No further primary vote figures at this stage, but it’s safe to say that here too Labor has recovered a lot of soft Greens votes. The margin of error on the poll is about 3.5 per cent. Opinion is evenly divided on the leadership coup – 45 per cent support, 48 per cent oppose – but most would prefer a full term to an early election, 36 per cent to 59 per cent. Head-to-head questions on leaders’ personal attributes produce consistently huge leads for Gillard (UPDATE: Possum reports primary votes of 42 per cent for the Coalition and 11 per cent for the Greens).

Channel Nine also had a poll conducted by McCrindle Research, who Possum rates “not cut for politics”. Nonetheless, their figures are in the ballpark of the others: Labor leads 54-46 on two-party, with 42.7 per cent of the primary vote against 38.8 per cent for the Coalition and 12.1 per cent for the Greens. Julia Gillard holds a lead as preferred prime minister of 64.8-35.2, the undecided evidently having been excluded. Sixty-three per cent believed she could “understand the needs of Australian mothers”.

Finally, market research company CoreData have produced a hugely dubious poll of 2500 people conducted “at 11am yesterday”, which has Labor on 29.5 per cent and “Liberal” on 42 per cent. This was primarily because no fewer than 21 per cent of respondents would not vote for Labor “because they did not feel that they had elected Julia Gillard”. Possum is familiar with the company, and says the sample would come “from their online panel, probably not perfectly balanced in the demographics and probably not a great fit for instapolitics”.

We’ve also had today the forlorn spectacle of the final Morgan poll conducted on Rudd’s watch. The face-to-face poll of 887 respondents from last weekend had Labor’s two-party lead widening from 51.5-48.5 to 53-47, with Labor up three points to 41 per cent at the expense of the Greens (down half a point to 12.5 per cent) and others (down 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent).

Morgan has also run one of their small-sample state polls for Victoria, this one culled from various phone polls conducted since the start of the month for a total of 430 respondents. It has the Coalition with a 50.5-49.5 two-party lead, from primary votes of 35 per cent Labor, 38 per cent Liberal, 13.5 per cent Greens, 3 per cent Family First and 7.5 per cent others.

UPDATE: Galaxy offers a full set of results, which puzzlingly offers us separate figures for Thursday and Friday. I’m not clear whether the previously published results were a combination of the two, or if they’re springing a new set of polling on us. In either case, the results for the two days are identical in every respect except that the Greens were a point higher on 12 per cent on Friday, and others a point lower on 5 per cent. Lots of further questions on attitudes to the coup and future government priorities, with 52 per cent believing Labor’s election prospects have now improved against 38 per cent who disagree.

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.

1,913 comments on “Advantage Labor”

  1. my say
    The most frustrating point of comparison with the Rudd government & Howard’s is the amnesia.
    Everyone seems to forget all the problems, policy stuff ups, sacked ministers. Lest we forget that Howard was never personally responsible for anything that went belly up. Rudd could have just sacked Garrett to neutralise the insulation problems. Possibly have reprimanded and focussed any BER problems on Gillard.
    Remember ole Bronnie when they thought it a good idea to open the nursing homes up as great private enterprise investment potential. We got 8 dead elderly, and many many more who were abused neglected. The most vulnerable in our society bore the brunt of the Coalition’s aspirational millionaires. Bronny did not act on what amounted to a mountain of complaints from visiting family, carers, doctors etc, etc.
    She only acted when the media poured a dump on her. And where is she now?
    And the ad furore. It wasn’t just the obscene amount of money that Howard spent on advertising but the greasing of mates pockets.
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/03/13/liberal-mates-milked-millions-from-howards-ad-bonanza/?source=cmailer

    There are so many events from the Howard era that seem to be collectively swept under the rug. Let’s leave it at this point my say cause the whole damn subject shoots my blood pressure through the roof.

  2. Rebecca @1506 said..

    [I was merely pointing out why the laundry list of achievements being touted around by Rudd supporters were things which weren’t actually going to win him any support. ]

    To the extent that is true, that’s a damning indictment on the unsophisticated, unintelligent and selfish (you know, the average voter)..

    And its why Howard got as far as he did without bothering with all the little things.. you know.. like Telecoms reform.

    Even so a good government can do all the boring things AND help out the ordinary bum on the street. And Rudd did just that, in a lot of ways, not just the stimulus.

    Toxic media. There is no other explanation.

  3. If I was (seriously) an adviser to the Labor Party, I would recommend to move strongly to the Right on Climate change and Boatpeople.

    We could all start living in caves tommorow and could not prevent the Barrier Reef from bleaching if the world’s major polluters did not act.

    Policy * When the US starts to act on climate change – so do we!

  4. ruawake
    [When will Abbott dump his PPL scheme? The increase in company tax must be hurting?]

    Barnacle said his party will not support it and will fight hammer & tongs to prevent it if the Rabbott wins the election.
    He also stated that Rabbott’s idea on the Murray Darling will be hotly contested.

    I’d be surprised if the ALP can’t mine this for all it is worth.

  5. Centre, people who think climate change isn’t real are still in a minority. People who think that boat people should be left to drown are still in a minority. Yes, there probably are some votes to be had from doing something/anything calculated to “get tough” on boat people (lets put the kids back behind razor wire hey?) but I’d rather have a government that loses a few votes from some lesser life forms in the electorate than have one that betrays any morality.

  6. [For Labor’s sake, you got to hope Abbott lasts till the election, eh.]

    Having an exceptionally bad track record on leadership challenges, I will still say Tone will not get rolled before the election

  7. A Turnbull/Gillard contest would be interesting. Gillard definitely has Abbott’s measure but not sure she has Turnbull’s. And Godwin Grech affair is now irrelevant that Kev has gone.

  8. Barnacle said his party will not support it and will fight hammer & tongs to prevent it if the Rabbott wins the election.
    He also stated that Rabbott’s idea on the Murray Darling will be hotly contested.

    No doubt the media then flocked over to ask Truss what he thought, so that they could get the real lowdown…

  9. [imagine if wilson was pm lol]

    Ha! We’d probably have some sort of yellow peril ad campaign with big red arrows bearing down on us from Asia, a complete denial of global warming, and a sloganeering TAX = BAD, FREEDOM = GOOD mantra coming from his hq.

  10. cud,

    Gillard and Abbott go to Europe for the re burial of theWW1 diggers during mid JUly, she has a few “minor” policy matters to straighten out and then it will be on.

  11. [august for me too gives tony and media no time to turn on her]
    I agree with August but your rationale is rubbish.

    The MSM will harp on the method of leadership change until the next refugee boat or the next move or RSPT or any other trivial issue and start on the demolition campaign again. Whilst many in the media might have disliked Rudd for whatever reason, they biggest player – Murdoch- has a goal of defeating a Labor government not just changing PM.

  12. cud chewer,

    1. For a fact I believe that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. So why don’t the loons stop playing pretends and acknowledge that Australia cannot make any useful difference whatsoever to climate change acting unilaterally.

    2. Recently I recieved a 4 page glossy coloured leaflet from my MP Alex Hawke. By far the standout issue, filled with statistcs and all, was on BOATPEOPLE.

    Do you want to lose the election? I say move to the right on Boatpeople.

    It’s unfortunate, it’s all that dispicable opportunists John Howard’s fault, but now we must live with it!

  13. [No doubt the media then flocked over to ask Truss what he thought, so that they could get the real lowdown…]

    Apparently, that is the position of the National Party not just Barnacle….

  14. [And Godwin Grech affair is now irrelevant that Kev has gone.]

    Wrong. Less mileage in it than when Rudd was PM but Gillard would use it in the same way as Rudd i.e. the affair made it absolutely clear that MT has terrible judgement and cannot be trusted. MT is damaged goods.

  15. Sept is out, traditionally because of Footy finals. Then it gets too close to the Vic election.

    Plus Jools needs to move into the Lodge, how can she bear living in Melbourne?

  16. If polls stay/go further backward MSM won’t be able to help themselves – the guns have already swung back on to Tone and the sport will be to put pressure on his leadership. Abbott and Gillard are ‘politicans’ but Turnbull isn’t and he can be charming so the anti women tag that Abbott carries (fairly or not) wouldn’t be a negative with Turnbull.

  17. [Ha! We’d probably have some sort of yellow peril ad campaign with big red arrows bearing down on us from Asia, a complete denial of global warming, and a sloganeering TAX = BAD, FREEDOM = GOOD mantra coming from his hq.]

    Tuckey would also force a change so that beating an unarmed indigenous man with any object that comes to hand is no longer against the law.

  18. TH

    Do you think people outside the beltway will even remember who Godwin Grech is? And the fact that the victim of the hoax (ie Rudd) is no longer a player takes the sting out of it further.

  19. ruawake@1580

    Sept is out, traditionally because of Footy finals. Then it gets too close to the Vic election.

    Plus Jools needs to move into the Lodge, how can she bear living in Melbourne?

    And the first fortnight of Oct is the Commonwealth Games which won’t help as Alan Carpenter discovered during the 2008 State Election where the first two wseeks of the campaign were smack bang in the middle of the Olympics.

  20. Kersebleptes
    [Sorry, Dee!

    That last comment was just rank sarcasm, the last refuge of the unintelligent…]

    I was in two frames of whether that was the case or not……..

  21. [i dont know how tuckey gets re elected everytime]

    People vote for the party, not the individual. Wilson proves this to be true.

  22. [Do you think people outside the beltway will even remember who Godwin Grech is?]

    Yes

    [And the fact that the victim of the hoax (ie Rudd) is no longer a player takes the sting out of it further]

    To some extent but is wasn’t about Rudd’s hurt feelings it was about Turnbull’s incredible error of judgement in calling on a PM to resign without checking the voracity of his evidence. It wouldn’t take much of a memory jogger to bring the salient points back into the public conscience.

  23. [Do you think people outside the beltway will even remember who Godwin Grech is? And the fact that the victim of the hoax (ie Rudd) is no longer a player takes the sting out of it further.]

    What happened to the investigations?

  24. [Bill shorten on Q & A Monday – should be fascinating.]

    Ten bucks says Tony Jones’ first question will be about blood on hands.

  25. Calling for the PMs resignation (albeit without good evidence) kind of pales into insignificance given that said PM is now toast having been given the flick by his own side

  26. Hang on – didn’t someone say that Trioli is host for a few weeks? Starting this week? Whatever, Ten bucks says Trioli ….. etc.

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