Galaxy and Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor

The Courier-Mail has published a Galaxy poll of 1009 respondents “conducted over the weekend” which shows Labor with a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, the same as recorded in the snap poll of 800 respondents conducted on the day Julia Gillard assumed the leadership. However, Labor has lost ground on the primary vote to the Greens, down two points to 39 per cent with the Greens up three to 14 per cent. The Coalition is steady on 42 per cent. In spite of everything, two-thirds of respondents are said to support the plan on asylum seekers announced last week by Gillard, although “about six in 10” believe the measures “were not well thought out and were rushed”. The Fairfax broadsheets should come good with a Nielsen poll later this evening.

UPDATE: The Nielsen poll, conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1400, concurs on every particular except the Greens vote, which is at 13 per cent rather than 14 per cent. The sting in the tail for the government here is that it comes off the back of a quirkily favourable 55-45 result from Nielsen immediately after the leadership change. The poll has Julia Gillard leading Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 56-35, little different from her 55-34 lead previously. Approval ratings for Gillard have been gauged for the first time, and they have her at 54 per cent approve and 32 per cent disapprove. Reversing the last result, Tony Abbott is up on both approval (three points to 43 per cent) and disapproval (five points to 51 per cent), the latter shift probably reflecting an unfriendly sample last time.

A series of “best party to handle” questions turns up a surprise in giving the Coalition only a very slight 44-42 lead on asylum seekers, and when the Greens are included in the mix Labor’s score shows a six point improvement since the question was last asked in March. However, Labor would be alarmed to have slipped a further three points on the economy, with the Coalition opening up a dangerous 53-39 lead. Labor has taken four points off the Coalition as best party to handle health since March, now holding a commanding 57-33 lead that goes a fair way to explaining their latest television ad. Labor retains commanding leads on education (53-36), the environment (51-35) and industrial relations (58-34).

UPDATE 3: Essential Research has Labor up slightly from 54-46 to 55-45, although the primary votes suggest rounding has a fair bit to do with the improvement: both parties are down one on the primary vote, Labor to 41 per cent and Coalition to 38 per cent, with the Greens up two to 13 per cent. The supplementary questions are interesting: Julia Gillard’s mining tax changes have gone down well, supported by 50 per cent and opposed by 28 per cent, with 58 per cent rating Gillard’s handling of the issue “good” against 25 per cent “poor”. However, 41 per cent believed mining companies wielded “too much influence” in the process. The asylum seeker announcement slightly improved Labor’s position on the issue, which 56 per cent continue to think “too soft” (down 11 points) against 21 per cent for “taking the right approach” (up three), and the Coalition lead as best-party-to-handle has narrowed from 34-23 to 31-24. In spite of everything Gillard’s handling of the issue has 42 per cent approval and 33 per cent disapproval. Questions on the likelihood of WorkChoices being reintroduced under a Coalition government are little changed since the question was asked six weeks ago, with most believing they would and few happy about the prospect.

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.

4,025 comments on “Galaxy and Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Being overweight symbolises laziness and lack of self control imo, not a crime by any means but not qualities we should want in our leaders.

  2. [He supported and tried to sell “Workchoices”…………..Oh i forget it was a humane act to stop us getting obese.]

    He did. I suppose he is running around Queensland trying to convince workers that they will be (to quote a spiel he used for SerfChoices) twice as well off under the Liberals.

  3. [All votes that move from Labor to Greens will return to Labor on preferences.]

    Simply untrue. In 2007, Green preferences went approx 80% to Labor. In 1996, Green preferences only went 67% to Labor. I believe the recent WA election saw it in the low 60s.

    It’s been said time and time again, the 2PP in polling has been misleading, because it’s using the pref flows from the high watermark of 2007, which can be and is different to what the pref flows will be at the next election. And this is what various polling including internal Labor polling was showing, and what really is common sense when Labor has changed from opposition to government and with it incumbency and like any government, with it’s own types of faults. There is no doubt Green prefs will not flow at 80% like they did in 2007. How much less is anyone’s guess. But to dismiss a high Green/low Labor vote, saying it’ll come back in prefs, is foolish.

  4. [Rubbish these comments disgrace this blog and yourselves.

    It adds nothing to the debate. It is cheap schoolyard bullying which is rubbish!

    *I’m off!*]

    I’ll thank you for refraining from addressing me in disgrace.

    Indignity has no place in politics. If one is thin skinned then perhaps public life is not for them. Beazley too was ridiculed for his weight. I appreciate your desire for keeping the debate from resorting to ridiculing the superficial, but reality is that public life will always end up there.

    Hockey is in good fortune to be a male politician – women get it even worse.

  5. [Being overweight symbolises laziness and lack of self control imo, not a crime by any means but not qualities we should want in our leaders.]

    One of the more ridiculous comments I’ve read on the Poll Bludger.

  6. Come on Centre, surely you can do better than “suck eggs, Greens”?

    What about an indepth review of the Bob the Beggar incident, or the Green abuse of Parliamentry credit cards in NSW, or the internicene warefare between Bob the NSW Senate candidate, or Adele getting into bed with the WA Minister for the Supply of Olfactory Seating?

    I’m sure you can think of a few others.

    Lift your game!

  7. I assume both of these comments are in jest:

    “If you can’t manage your own weight, how can you be expected to manage the economy.”

    “Being overweight symbolises laziness and lack of self control imo, not a crime by any means but not qualities we should want in our leaders.”

    Because they are both completely absurd. I defend a bit of superficial jibing, but comments in the nature of “fat people are irresponsible and bad people” are hateful, false and intolerable!

  8. Gusface@59

    the only problem I have with the hockey joe bloke is this:

    Is he full of piss and wind

    History says yes

    Is that before or AFTER dealing with Bub Hockey ? 🙂

  9. I saw the two semi finals of the World Cup Bludgers and thought Spain’s win over Germany was the more impressive.

    I’m tipping Spain 😉

  10. [I assume both of these comments are in jest:

    “If you can’t manage your own weight, how can you be expected to manage the economy.”]

    Pebbles, of course it was. Next time I shall put a 😉 just for you!

  11. If the campaign is called now, how long has it been before a government went into a federal campaign ahead even 52/48? 2001??

  12. [Being overweight symbolises laziness and lack of self control imo, not a crime by any means but not qualities we should want in our leaders.]

    I don’t think anyone who considers themselves intellectually engaged with politics could honestly agree with such a nonsense statement. Just like with Gillard being a woman, judge someone on what they do in government, not their appearance. One is completely independent of the other.

  13. [Is he full of piss and wind]

    I assume we all know that this line comes from a joke George Reid (our fattest PM) used to use. When he spoke from hotel verandahs, as was the thing in those days, he used to rest his (v large) belly on the railing. When a wag called out, “what are you going to call the baby, George?”, he’d glare at them through his monocle and reply, “If it’s a boy I’ll name it after myself. If it’s a girl I’ll name it after my mother. And if, as I suspect, it’s all just piss and wind, I’ll name it after you!”

  14. Pseph


    tho it is my fav all time political quote

    and one I use often when pressed to justify my stance,the effect is timeless when delivered adroitly


    rarely is it bested


  15. Hmmm. Looks like Japan’s recovery might have hit a speed bump. With a hostile upper house, it could prove difficult to get legislation through like here.

    [TOKYO — The centre-left government of Japan’s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan lost its majority in parliament’s upper house in elections Sunday, media exit polls showed, spelling the threat of legislative paralysis.

    The government was not immediately threatened, because it holds a majority in the more powerful lower chamber, but the result makes it more difficult to pass laws and will force it to seek new coalition partners.

    The election result — the first ballot box test since Kan’s party swept to power under a previous leader in a landslide poll last summer — complicates his ambitious reform plans for the world’s number two economy.]

  16. [Watch the greens get no more than 10% in the election like always and then begin their inevitable democrats style death spiral.]

    In fact if JGillard continues her journey to the right you would expect the Green vote to remain high and continue to grow as being the only recognisably left party remaining. Also JGillard’s right wing politics may do just a little bit of harm to preference flows, even if informal, as it loses votes Labor otherwise would have received.

    I think JGillard knows now that she can’t come out with the BS policy on CC she was probably intending (as seemed to implied by her rhetoric and statements by underlings in the newspapers), as it will drain a few more to the Greens, increase preference loss and deliberate informal votes.

    If she does produce a BS non concrete proposal just how good would the agreed ETS seem if a Turnbull bought it out. Wonder how much of the preferences that would grab. If the Libs think now this is about saving the furniture they could think it a good idea to put Turnbull up front knowing they will dump he later.

    So you would expect something real from JGillard on this and not some right wing deferral or nonsense.

    I also wonder what the WA vote was and what the Galaxy would look like without them.

  17. [I believe the recent WA election saw it in the low 60s.]

    I’ve heard it said that Greens preferences to Labor were lower than usual at the WA election – indeed, I may even have done so myself – but I analysed the results not long ago and found there was very little in this. The rate of Greens preferences to Labor was about 1 per cent lower than it was in 2005, in the context of an election where the Greens vote was up from 7.6 per cent to 11.9 per cent.

  18. Another story about Reid,was said to involve a visit to a mental institution in Perth while he was PM…formerly Reid had been Premier of N.S.W.

    The head of the institution remarked to Reid that an odd fact about the institution was that most of the doctors were from Victoria. while ..most of the patients were from N.S.W .

    “Oh well,” Reid said..”It goes to prove what I always say…any sensible person would get out of Victoria,but you would have to be mad to leave N.S.W”. !!

  19. TP

    Tis a tangled web we we weave we first we set out to decieve

    Rembemer LOG must softly whistle to both green and redneck

    a snail would do it easily


  20. Well I guess thats a “kinda”

    I just don’t believe Gillard with her East Timor/PNG/Fiji/Lets pretend it’s anywhere but Australia AS policy. It just strikes me as a complete and utter lie, policy made to get her over the line at the election, much like Rudd’s “we’ll turn back the boats”.

    What amazes me is the punters actually believe Labors lie on this one. We know they aren’t going to do anything about the boatpeople problem, the Labor party is full of idealogical claptrap on this subject and I think it’s sheer scamming of the Australian people to allow this faux policy to continue.

    Gillard has not had a road to damascus moment, she’s had a trip to the election roundabout SPIN.

  21. [I also wonder what the WA vote was and what the Galaxy would look like without them.]

    The worse Labor’s vote is in WA, the better it must be elsewhere to get the same result. We don’t know yet how the mining tax deal has gone down with WA voters, but assuming that Labor’s vote is still below what it was in 2007, then the vote elsewhere must be higher than it was in 2007.

    I note that Sportingbet has Labor losing only Swan in WA, which would be not too bad at all given what has happened this year.

  22. [Depends who you ask, TTH.]

    Well William, you set the bar to the lowest rung when you re-admitted bob1234. TTH has yet to outdo bob1234’s effort.

  23. [much like Rudd’s “we’ll turn back the boats”.]

    And much like Abbott’s “we’ll turn back the boats”. Tell us TTH, how exactly would one “turn back the boats”, without leaving people to drown? (I gather Abbott has ruled this out, which is jolly decent of him.)

  24. [Well William, you set the bar to the lowest rung when you re-admitted bob1234. TTH has yet to outdo bob1234’s effort.]

    I believe you misinterpreted. I am on moderation.

  25. The great British war time leader Winston Churchill was very over-weight and way past retirement age when he became PM in 1940 at the darkest time for Britain in WW2.

    He once told General Montgomery…a real prig re diet and drink…that he always drank a bottle of Champagne each day at breakfast(which he often did !)
    He also drank at other times of the day and smoked cigars constantly!
    He however led the UK to victory …over Hitler…who never smoked, and was a strict vegetarian !

  26. bob 1234 @ 54

    [There is no doubt Green prefs will not flow at 80% like they did in 2007.]

    Your claim is not supported by the recent opinion poll facts.

    The most recent Morgan poll published on Friday, and using preference flows as nominated by the respondents (instead of 2007 actual preference flows) showed Green preferences flowing to Labor at 81% to the Coalition’s 19%, compared to the near 80% to Labor at the 2007 election.

  27. One thing about these “green voters”.

    People in here are trying to claim these “new green voters” are dyed in the wool, leftwing socialists who would never vote Liberal.

    I disagree. We have a large group of new Greenies voters who are traditionally conservative voters…. the “global warming” brigade. These voters believe in conservative values and beliefs but are strong believers of the “global warming” situation, so much so that they will vote Green, especially after Rudd’s backflip on the ETS. These people are not interested in fringe left policies of the Greens party, but they will vote the greens based purely as supporters of climate change action.

    I think it is wildly mistaken by some that these people will absolutely prefrence Labor. People seem incapable of believing in traditional conservatives voting greens based on global warming. Yes 7% may be far fringe lefties, but it’s the other 7% you really have to question where their votes are heading.

  28. [over Hitler…who never smoked, and was a strict vegetarian !]

    Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian.

    While not a big meat eater, he had the occasional indulgence in things like sausage, ham, caviar and the odd dish of game bird.

  29. [We have a large group of new Greenies voters who are traditionally conservative voters]

    There’s no evidence at all for that. There may be a few “doctors wives” Liberal votes drifting to the Greens in safe Lib seats, but not many, and almost none in marginal seats. Virtually all the “new” Green voters are disaffected Labor voters. Some of them may preference the Libs to spite Labor, but not many. Most will either go back to Labor on polling day, or will vote Green but preference Labor.

    Still waiting for you to tell us how to “turn back the boats” without drowning people.

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