Nielsen: 51-49 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes tweets that an imminent Nielsen poll has the Coalition with a 51-49 lead, their first in any poll since the election. Labor’s primary vote is 34 per cent (compared with 38.0 at the election), while the Coalition is on 43 per cent (43.6 per cent) and the Greens are on 14 per cent (11.8 per cent). More to follow.

UPDATE: In spite of everything, the poll has Julia Gillard’s approval up four points on Nielsen’s pre-election poll to 54 per cent, with her disapproval down two to 39 per cent and her lead as preferred prime minister opening from 51-40 to 53-39. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is down a point to 45 per cent and his disapproval is up one to 50 per cent. This is substantially better than his recent showings in Essential Research (39 per cent approval and 45 per cent disapproval last week) and Newspoll (39 per cent approval and 47 per cent disapproval the week before), perhaps suggesting Nielsen’s sample was skewed somewhat to the Coalition.

Other findings of the poll show it’s far from just voting intention on which the public is almost evenly split:

• Forty-nine per cent were opposed to Australian involvement in Afghanistan with 45 per cent in favour, marking little change on a year ago.

• Fify per cent were opposed to asylum seeker families and their children living in the community while their claims were processed, with 47 per cent in favour.

• Fifty-one per cent felt Murray Darling Basin policy should prioritise communities and farmers while 43 per cent would prefer it prioritise the environment – whatever that might mean. Seventy-nine per cent apparently profess themselves in favour of “a balanced outcome between community and farmer needs on the one hand and the environment on the other”, which I guess means as many as 21 per cent would prefer an unbalanced one.

• Forty-six per cent support a price on carbon, with 44 per cent opposed. As Michelle Grattan notes, “backing for an ETS before the election was between 56 and 60 per cent”.

The poll was conducted between Thursday and Saturday from Nielsen’s usual sample of 1400 and margin of error of a bit over 2.5 per cent.

A couple of other things:

• A Tasmanian trouble-maker will withdraw his High Court challenge against the validity of Liberal Senator Eric Abetz’s election on the basis of section 44 of the Constitution, which forbids dual citizens from running for parliament – Abetz having shown the poor taste to have been born in Germany, and renunciation of citizenship being something of a grey area. The complainant, described by the Hobart Mercury as “wealthy northern Tasmanian antiques dealer John Hawkins”, has agreed to drop the case after being provided with a document in which Abetz renounces his German citizenship. This was dated March 9, 2010, which according to Hawkins implies Abetz had indeed held dual citizenship when he filled a casual vacancy in 1994 and won re-election in 1998 and 2004. He could thus have faced problems if his position had been challenged in the 40-day post-election period in which challenges can be lodged – although he could always have resumed his position after getting his house in order if a compliant seat-warmer had held his vacancy in the interim.

• Labor turned in a poor show at Saturday’s by-election for the Brisbane City Council ward of Walter Taylor, which covers a strongly conservative area south-west of the city around Indooroopilly. At the close of counting Liberal National Party candidate Julian Simmonds had scored an easy victory with 57.1 per cent of the primary vote (down 6.5 per cent on the 2008 election), with Greens candidate Tim Dangerfield on 23.5 per cent (up 8.4 per cent) well ahead of Labor’s Louise Foley on 16.8 per cent (down 4.4 per cent). The by-election was necessitated by Jane Prentice’s election to the corresponding federal seat of Ryan in place of disendorsed LNP incumbent Michael Johnson.

• There was another minor electoral event a fortnight ago with a by-election in the Northern Territory electorate of Araluen, where Country Liberal Party member Jodeen Carney had called it a day due for health reasons. CLP candidate Robyn Lambley had no trouble winning a two-horse race with 1935 votes (68.0 per cent) against Labor candidate Adam Findlay’s 909 (32.0 per cent). This marked a swing to Labor of 6.7 per cent on the 2008 election, bearing in mind that candidate factors have an enormous impact in electoral districts of this size.

UPDATE 2: The latest Essential Research survey shows the two parties still locked together on 50-50, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 41 per cent and the Coalition unchanged on 44 per cent, and the Greens down one to 8 per cent (an unusually low Greens vote having become an established feature of Essential Research polling). On Afghanistan, the poll concurs with Nielsen in having 47 per cent favouring a full withdrawal, against 10 per cent who want more troops and 30 per cent who believe the number should remain unchanged. Party best to handle Afghanistan produces yet another split decision, with Labor on 33 per cent and Liberal on 32 per cent. A question on the Murray-Darling Basin is framed in somewhat more sensible terms than Nielsen’s, with 49 per cent supporting the proposition that the amount of water taken from the system should be reduced against only 20 per cent who disagree. However, a question on detention centres elicits a harsher view, with 53 per cent disapproving of the government’s decision to move children and families into the community against only 33 per cent approving. Fully 63 per cent believe the government’s approach on asylum seekers is “too soft”, with only 18 per cent saying they are “taking the right approach” and 7 per cent believing their stance “too tough”. Only 25 per cent believe Labor the batter party to handle the issue against 37 per cent for the Liberals.

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.

889 comments on “Nielsen: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. BB:

    Just listening to the car radio New Radio.

    Some Lib turkey wants a judicial inquiry into the BER? “Waste”, “Mismanagement”, “Rorts”, “Debacle”, “Why didn’t they get 3 quotes”????

    He’s moving a private member’s bill.


    Is this for real?

    He’s saying Orgill was untrustworthy, as he was/is a puppet of Gillard. The Auditor General found “grave concerns”. The taxpayer wants to know…

    What’s happening?

    Oh I’m sure they’ve got lots of ideas for keeping those things in the headlines. That one does indicate they’re getting close to the bottom of the barrel, though. They’re no longer at the point where they can rely on it being news they can comment on – they’re going to have to create the news on it from here.

    Indicates that nothing else is cutting through, and they’re bereft of ideas, if you ask me.

  2. Aguirre, the opposition have nothing to offer, so have to dredge up the BER. But it is astonishing that they choose a program that was a huge success in its own right, and part of a very successful stimulus package. Why? Because they can. Damn the MSM

  3. just watching one of my favourite movies “Mississippi Burning ”

    Never struck me before but some of the comments of the good ol’ boys remind me of a Tony Abbott shadow cabinet meeting held at Northam. Just a observation.

  4. Alan Jones just got ripped into by Media Watch re charges against troops.

    No doubt his show tomorrow will be an anti-ABC spray.

    Ah Q&A just beginning.

    I tried to get a ticket for the show but got knocked back. Probably due to the fact that I listed my political affiliation as “Jedi”.

    Oh well.

    I’m quite happy to shout my lungs off at the telly.

  5. Andrew:

    Astonishing? No. It’s quite in line with the whole dog-returning-to-its-own-vomit theme they’ve got going on over there.

  6. With my whole heart, I ask that Aboriginal Australians speak – as themselves and not mirror American rap. That is the American business. If that is the voice for them, so be it.

    We have business to do here in Australia. Our business. This is a long battle. To piggy-back on the American experience is, to my mind, a gesture of defeat.

  7. [William, did you check the ISPs?]

    I did, and they were different. But I’m as convinced as everybody else is that they were one and the same. He lived in a “defence town” apparently, of which I can think of precisely two.

  8. [I tried to get a ticket for the show but got knocked back. Probably due to the fact that I listed my political affiliation as “Jedi”.]

    that’s where you went wrong

    Jedi is a way of life,not a politcal affiliation

  9. [Ah Q&A just beginning.

    I tried to get a ticket for the show but got knocked back. Probably due to the fact that I listed my political affiliation as “Jedi”.]

    You should have listed your political affiliation as LIBERAL
    – In like Flynn!

  10. Diogenes@744


    Have you read “Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets” by Nicholas Nassim Taleb? He assures me picking trends in the stock market is basically monkeys writing Shakespeare on typewriters.

    Its a pretty famous work, and he is all over many market websites, blogs etc
    but I haven’t read the book.

    IMO picking trends may well be like monkeys writing Shakespeare on typewriters,
    BUT, buy and hold (ie buy and bendover) is much, much worse.

    Being in the markets requires firm risk management via stop losses, position
    sizing etc or you shouldn’t not be there. These days with HFT, algo trading,
    quote stuffing, dark pools, flash crashes etc etc things are much harder.

    On top of that the Fed is determined to take markets higher, by hook or
    by crook. You got to be very careful. 🙂

  11. QnA: Nope. Jo Anne watched eighteen nanoseconds of Howard and then said nope and switched to something nice, like the gardening video from 1979 …

  12. [Pollytics | 45 seconds ago
    Havent missed this dishonest, slippery, weasel words as substitute for national discourse one little bit #qanda]

    How long has the show been going and already invoking this kind of response.

  13. William Bowe@762

    William, did you check the ISPs?

    I did, and they were different. But I’m as convinced as everybody else is that they were one and the same. He lived in a “defence town” apparently, of which I can think of precisely two.

    William – you may not have been able to tell if he was using a proxy server to
    connect. Not that it matters now anyway.

  14. BW

    Perhaps we are losing all the time now because our opposition isn’t deliberately cheating for the first time in years?

  15. BB@742:

    [I have a mate who’s a middling contemporary of Barnarby and Abbott at Riverwivew.

    Oh, the stories he’s told me….]

    Name names, dammit!

  16. Aurora borealis in full flight:

    That is both good and bad news.

    Good, because it is a sign that the last solar minimum – the strongest in 100 years – may be ending. The Sun has taken much longer to come out of the last one than is usual and there have been far fewer auroras as a result.

    Bad, because solar minimums dampen down the Sun’s output which has eased temperatures a little recently. Despite this the last few years have still been among the hottest on record, just not as hot as they could have been. As the Sun powers up again that is likely to change.

    I wonder what the deniers will make of it? What new fantasy will they spin as each new year tops temperature records set by the previous one?

  17. [penbo | 1 minute ago
    They aren’t showing the tweets on the abc tonight. Must be all those people calling him a farken asshole #qanda]


  18. Dio

    It is the not knowing. I used to be an ardent follower of test cricket; would have the radio and/or the telly on for five days, enjoying the ebb and flow, the tensions, the drama and especially the close, hard fought last days of games sometimes teetering on the balance until the death.

    Now I simply can’t be bothered to listen to something that may have been pre-purchased and pre-destined.

  19. Can you base a DD on legislation which has been presented to two different parliaments, ie before and after the election/after the Senate changes?

  20. [717 Frank Calabrese
    Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
    How surprisement re Bob Brown’s Comments:]

    frank i think i am older than you and i can remeber others laughing about the vietnam war

  21. That’s enough, the rodent’s ugly mug and voice are making me feel sick. I’ve turned to the Michael Douglas movie on channel nine.

  22. [How long has the show been going and already invoking this kind of response.]

    Jo Anne said: ” No. I cannot stomach that …”

    We will read reactions with some interest, but have wimped the raw engagement.

  23. Howard reckons Rudd would have won the election because he saved Australia from a recession.

    Now on Q&A Howard is saying that he did not believe Rudd saved Australia from recession.

    That’s it, I’ve had enough!

    It’s all dorothy dixers and a spinathon 😡

  24. I am just realizing anew what a dreadful decade we had while the lying rodent squeaked up the ratpack.
    I don’t care if Labor does nothing as long as we don’t have to back to the FIGJAM Party.

Comments are closed.

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