Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition

Courtesy of the always reliable GhostWhoVotes, we are informed of a bombshell Nielsen poll which puts the Coalition at an election-winning 52-48 lead, from primary votes of 45 per cent for the Coalition, 36 per cent for Labor and 12 per cent for the Greens. More to follow.

UPDATE: Michelle Grattan reports “the gender gap on voting intention has disappeared, with primary and two-party-preferred votes now little different” – which frankly doesn’t seem likely. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is down five points to 51 per cent and her disapproval up six to 39 per cent, while Tony Abbott is up six points on approval to 49 per cent and disapproval down six to 45 per cent. Gillard’s lead on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 55-34 to 49-41. The poll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1356.

UPDATE 2: Possum has full demographic tables here. Not that it should offer Labor too much comfort, but the size of their slump among women (58-42 to 49-51) and in NSW (59-41 to 42-58) looks overcooked.

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.

2,047 comments on “Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition”

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  1. TSOP

    without scaring the horses,come the last week, we will have the measure of the fibs

    The meme that labors launch was this weekend has screwed em,all guns blazed at phantom threats

    where now for tone?

  2. Mick Wilkinson/1950, scare campaign much ?

    We have a low employment figure imho, compared to Asian countries (which have high population).

  3. Who was it that said “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes”? I am pretty sure it was said in the battle of Bunker Hill. Nevertheless, it is an apt phrase. They shot all of their ammo at us this weak (and yes, severely wounded us) but we’ll recover, rethink our strategy and they’ll be left with nothing. A goat rumour about Gillard may be on the cards in the not too distant future 🙂

  4. Gusface

    I heard tell that you have breached PB confidentiality conventions up the thread by slandering me to someone. Morally indefensible. You can address me directly you know. No need to leak to others. Take a deep breath and tell me I’m a bastard to my gravitar. Go on, you can do it. 😆

  5. The cabinet confidentiality thing is a red herring inserting its smelly self into the argument …

    Except that you still haven’t actually made an argument against it. Cabinet confidentiality is a long established, and apparently still generally accepted, convention. It has survived because it is seen as being a Good Thing to enable our decision makers to have a frank and open discussion over important decisions. You haven’t disputed any of this. If it is a Good Thing for all of us that cabinet debates are kept under wraps, surely it is at least notionally a Bad Thing for that convention to be broken through the agency of Oakes’ reporting. Given that, you would need an outweighing public interest argument … none has been made that carries any weight with me. I realize that is an individual judgment call. You don’t seem to be able to talk in anything but absolutes on this issue.

    One thing is for sure, if Oakes and Hartcher didn’t leak the stuff, others would. It is 100% for sure going to be published, they know that, so how can they be blamed?

    This is no argument for the morality/ethicality of their behaviour. Just as ‘if I didn’t agree to dump those toxins in that river because my boss told me to do it, someone else would have done it’ is no excuse either.

  6. Gusface
    That’s just a fish with an eye patch. A bit of a pirate,but harmless, I assure you. How long have you been having these nightmares?

  7. Jackol, Oakes didn’t break Cabinet confidentiality. The leaker did. If the leaker called you and told you that Gillard said x at a Cabinet meeting he/she’d be breaking confidentiality. The leaker telling the same to a journalist, on the record, is just the leaker breaching Cabinet confidentiality on a broader level.

  8. [Cabinet confidentiality is a long established, and apparently still generally accepted, convention.]

    Sought to be overturned by journalists who still refuse to reveal the sources of leaked confidential Cabinet meetings.

  9. Mike I understand your point about wage pressures on small business but there trader associations that perform the role of helping and supporting small business.

    I shoudl also point out that the current I.R system works for business for it has a firm structure in place that allows a business to set its cost structure up.

    Under workchoices due to the wording of the act, small business would have been forced to guess when or to what amount pay rates would move.

    The small business communitiy has been protected from the worst economic downturn in over 60 years. I see the situation in the U.K is getting worst and the U.S is at the cross roads.

    If you really do care about small business you will want the economy to remain strong and if Abbott slashed Billions of dollars of spending this will put the economy at risk for no real gain.

  10. Brisoz

    Not sure what you mean by ‘low employment figure’. Singaporean and HK ports are comparatively more productive than ours at substantially less per container movement. They both have smaller, better paid governments and, I concede, are both city-states in practical purposes.

    However, their urbanisation is not much different to ours, yet their ports, in particular are quite a bit more productive.

    This is what I meant about $ = services. This idea that cutting back government dollars cuts a proportional amount of services out is not borne out by any analysis I have ever read.

    Queensland Health currently pays for 2 staff that never have interaction with a patient to support every patient that does. In the early 1980s, this was about 1.2 to 1.

    Clearly, more money has gone into the system to actually yield less productivity. Again this goes to the proposition that job creation/preservation is a role of government. People are employed doing jobs that are reducing productivity and our fear is taking them away, even when they do the community that subsidises them no good in the long term.

    It’s not something that either party will solve, I think. It needs bigger thinking. If you raised the ideas I have you wouldn’t last a term in a democracy but they would work, I am quite sure, because other places in the world have proved that.

  11. Ltep – I do get that, but my point stands – if it is in the public interest for such a thing as cabinet confidentiality to be an accepted convention, surely it is also in the public interest for journalists to go along with that -unless there is a more pressing public interest case for revealing the leak-.

    I realise it’s not a black-and-white issue. I dispute the notion that Oakes did not have an ethical judgment call to make.

  12. MB

    This says very little when we are a part of Asia. It is still nowhere near as good as Asia and costs many multiples more. Our wharf workers also enjoy wages considerably above median levels in Australia (which the AMWU is no doubt proud of) but at what cost to ALL the other workers?

    This is just saying we don’t suck quite as much as we used to!

    Gus, you and I can be friends, we’ve proved that, and we have had similar discussions before but our wharves let us down. Our ports need major reform. Unionised labour succeeds at the expense of the rest of our citizens. That is, by definition, not fair.

  13. Mick – Considering Australia has an unemployment rate of 5.1% a rate that is lower than many countries in Asia I don’t see the problem with a group of workers being well paid.

  14. Australia might well be in the asian region but we are not an Asian country. We have strong business and political relationship[s with the region but again we are difference to most Asian countries.

  15. jackol
    I think we are at cross purposes. I agree cabinet confidentiality is a necessary aspect of the functioning of the executive. Discussion and decisions cover things like security, decisions that would affect the stock market and the currency, land development issues and a million other things that must be kept confidential until announced formally.

    However, there have been three(?) things leaked:
    1. The meeting between Rudd and Gillard before the coup.
    2. Gillard’s negative views about a couple of welfare payments.
    3. That Gillard sent a proxy to some cabinet committee meetings.

    So, 1 & 3 are nothing to do with cabinet conventions of confidentiality. Rule those two out. They can be reported till the cows come home. And have been.

    With 2, By the time of the leak the decision was long gone, so the decision-making process was not compromised. The details of the discussion before the decison was taken were leaked by a participant in them to journalists.

    At this point you say the journalists should have told the leaker that they would not publish because of respect for cabinet confidentiality that the leaker himself, a participant in the meeting, is not respecting. Even when the material itself does not compromise the national interest. It didn’t do that, being merely embarrassing for Gillard.

    In those circumstances, there is no reason not to publish the leak. The cabinet then knows it has been leaked, and can make its own arrangements as to what to do. It won’t last long, because once they know there is a leaker, processes can be set up to find out who it is to stop any future leaks that are actually damaging.

    The issue is the leaker/s. The principle of cabinet confidentiality remains as it should and the rat in the ranks is expunged.

    Nothing illegal or immoral done by the journalists in reporting any of the material in the above instances.

  16. Gus

    Fair Enough. I know the waterfront is a sensitive issue and will quietly remove the soapbox and unplug the microphone! 😉

    I do see a future for Australia, particularly in sensible cradle-grave export of Uranium. We could:

    1. do it in a more environmentally sensitive way than most nations, have excellent reserves
    2. could stop supply if we didn’t get the mass of waste back (to reduce risk of warhead manufacture)
    3. could become an insanely wealthy nation (if government Joint Ventures shared risk and reward). I have been to Dubai and Abu Dhabi… ENERGY makes its citizens rich!
    4. could be compassionate to immigrants and refugees with more resources and infrastructure (which we currently can’t afford!)
    5. Have the best ground in the world to store it (NIMBY? well we all live on the same rock and some countries are dumping it pretty poorly. We could do worse than take care of the world’s rubbish!!

    What is my point?

    You need REALLY good ports and supply chains to do this. We’d need to go to a new level.

    I was anti nuclear for 30 years, vehemently so. However, now I have seen so much of this world and I had to discard my parochial views. We could really do some amazing things for the citizens of Australia but we need to jettison old busted paradigms and get some balls to do things differently.

  17. [Am I correct that the state by state breakdowns for Nielsen today had Labor ahead in VIC and tied in QLD?
    So, how do they come up with 52-48 for the Libs?
    Is NSW a complete shocker for the ALP?]

    e ar5e at the point of the campaign where polls should provide a breakdown of party support not just by state but if possible electorate by electorate and by gender.

    To just track as national swing is like trying to determine the outcome of the electorate by reading teas leaves or by an octopus

  18. Mick

    just quietly

    I agree

    but under teh abbott we will regress not progress

    ps I am not coming from the vested interest paradigm

    simply an innocent caught up in the flux of employee rights and reform

    SWMBO was the victim and my raison de entre to smash the fibs and their superior philisophy

    you diss the nissus you diss me

  19. [Mick

    i am friend to most, enemy of many,nemesis of few

    where you fall is up to you]

    How anybody could not like you is beyond me.

    Except maybe Davros, but he is a mean SOB…

  20. I do not see anything negative about Jules questioing the pension changes.

    A good minister should at all times challange his or her department.

    Cabinet-In-Confidence is a very important part of the political process for it is where the department speaks to the government providing several possible policies. this advice can offer several difference approaches to an issue.

    This allows the Government to consider a much wider range of policy responses in private allowing it to hopefully come up with the best policy outcome to take to the parliament and the public.

    This allows the public sector to offer frank and fearless advice without undue interference from the media and lobby groups. This process has been developed over several hundred years and is a key strenght to how Government functions and works.

  21. [Nothing illegal or immoral done by the journalists in reporting any of the material in the above instances.]


    The problem for me – and it’s just a personal view – is that a journalist can say “my sources tell me you said…in cabinet” and a politician can’t defend themselves because the source of the leak is unknown and the cabinet meeting can’t be discussed. Potentially, the source can pass anything off as a genuine “leak”.

  22. TSOP

    on thursday one of my best mates was laid to rest

    brownie and i were at PH when gough was sacked,

    this election is for brownie and every other true believer that ever held that a better life could be had by all

  23. JV – you miss the point.

    Cabinet is discussing mildly contentious issue X. Let’s say whether to create a new marine sanctuary. Peter Garrett has concerns that eg the location is not quite right, or the marine sanctuary is too small and will hinder efforts to set up one of the appropriate size. If the discussions are carried out with strict confidentiality, he can raise these issues and not worry about how they might be reported – the media impact of what he says isn’t an issue so all he has to worry about is making the best case he can and communicating as best he can.

    However. If even these relatively mundane discussions ‘leak’ with regularity (“Peter Garrett argued against the Itsybella Marine Sanctuary”) the participants will be thinking ‘hmmm what I say may get into the papers – I won’t say X or Y or Z because they may be reported in an out of context way and cause a political problem’.

    Confidentiality is there for ALL discussions as a matter of course because the freedom from media scrutiny of that discussion is essential for robust policy debates. The content (national security etc etc) is irrelevant – it’s the notion that cabinet members believe that they have the freedom to speak their mind without worrying about how it might be reported.

    I’m not actually making this argument because I’m defending JG. I’m making this argument, as I said ages back, because I’m deeply suspicious of the trends in the media and the developing feedback between the media and politicians. In this case, I don’t see it as being so crucial one way or the other. The principle, though, I think is quite important, which is that the only way the current political/media malaise might improve is if journalists genuinely start asking themselves ‘where does the public interest lie’ for everything they do – and I don’t honestly see public interest in reporting this leak, and certainly I don’t think it outweighs the benefits in maintaining the concept of cabinet discussion confidentiality.

    I do appreciate the civil reply though.

  24. [this election is for brownie and every other true believer that ever held that a better life could be had by all]

    Toasts his glass! For Brownie! May the Abbott nightmare never come to be!

  25. drake@1992

    The problem for me – and it’s just a personal view – is that a journalist can say “my sources tell me you said…in cabinet” and a politician can’t defend themselves because the source of the leak is unknown and the cabinet meeting can’t be discussed. Potentially, the source can pass anything off as a genuine “leak”.

    Theoretically they could make it up anyway, without any leak. but I don’t think they would last long doing that.

    That’s why it’s a leaker issue – not a recipient-of-leaks issue. A Minister could be talking to members of the public about cabinet discussions, let alone journalists. The convention binds members of cabinet. Anything else would become farcical. Could Wikileaks be bound by cabinet-in-confidence if they are given information by a minister that doesn’t compromise national security of the national interest?

  26. In 1975 we held that the will of the people would carry us thru

    Now I know its not the will, but how well you trick em

    Well MSM suckholes wait till the blowtorch is applied tom your nuts

    two can spread rumour you FC’s

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