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”

Comments Page 17 of 18
1 16 17 18
  1. this in fighting with the cricket wouldnt help Julia at the moment re the refugees.

    what do other pbs think when i saw those poor pakistani youngsters playing on dirt I thought this is all about money.

    why not get a few cricket scouts over there and bring some back to train with us and may be they could play here if they wanted to imagine if one of our players was a pakistani and he got hat tricks ect ( know nothing about cricket and dont like it much) the silly aus. would still go wild about him and for get where he was born

  2. Dio and Boerwar

    An Indian guy who I worked with told me that about 100 million US dollars is bet in the subcontinent on EVERY crap one day international in the world. When lots of these games don’t matter, and the players from some countries are on a pittance salary, it’s no wonder “free-market economics” has come into play!

  3. I am actually feeling better.

    The Australian people had the great good sense to turf this self-satisfied whacker out on his arse.

  4. I normally can’t stand Q&A and haven’t watched it in a long time. Thought Howard might make it interesting, in that at least I could hate the whole time. I was wrong! It’s not the remotest bit interesting and I can’t even get angry. Howard your so last decade. Good riddance!

  5. So glad Howard is gone. But Labor have let him off pretty lightly since. Howard systematically trashed the Hawke/Keating legacy from day one, but Labor has all but left Howard’s intact.

  6. Lot’s of casting over the entrails of Australian xenophobia on this site today. Must admit I do enjoy trawling through the comments at the end of the day. I’m with Rod somewhere back at the beginning re Nielsen – as a govt, you cop a week of book burning and visceral hatred and anger, and surely you’re gonna get knocked around a bit in the polls.

    And as for AS, for some reason I find myself serenely unconcerned, despite today’s polling that would ordinarily be shameful as far as the Australian character is concerned.

    Govt’s doing it right, doing it slow, doing it methodical. Get ’em into the community, get them into schools – it’s the only way to humanise boatpeople. i reckon there’s a bit of post traumatic stress happening in the Aus polity… people seem to be having a delayed reaction to GFC and the sense of dislocation that’s been around for the last 12 -18 months – sure they held onto their jobs, but shit we were all scared there for a while. And the fear is still there under the surface… double-dip anyone? So talk of carbon taxes, farmers losing their livelihoods (there but for the grace of God go I?)… people aren’t in the mood to be nice to strangers.

    We get through the next 6 – 12 months ok economy-wise, and all this hullabaloo will calm down.

    But then again, i’m an eternal optimist!

  7. Boerwar 799

    I was just thinking on the weekend that the “noughties” was not my best decade. I was trying to put a finger on it, but having excised the Lying Rodent from my memory I hadn’t made the connection. Yep, probably had a big impact psychologically. At least in Darwin he seemed a lot further away, but back in the South-East it hit home badly, especially in 2001.

  8. I’ll have to keep a look out for this when it comes on here.

    [ Howard finally admits he couldn’t control interest rates. What about his promise to keep them at record lows??? Was he bluffing? ]

    Like this one too.

    [Ask him how it feels to have spent eight years moving the centre so far to the right it practically fell off the edge of the planet. ]

  9. RR

    $100M is about what is bet on the Melbourne Cup which is endlessly scrutinised and happens once a year. Just imagine the incentives to rig a cruddy one dayer when no-one cares who wins. I’m not surprised it happens and you can hardly blame some poor cricketer on bugger all being tempted.

  10. [804 Boerwar
    Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
    I am actually feeling better.

    The Australian people had the great good sense to turf this self-satisfied whacker out on his arse.]

    what do you mean boarwar

    so is JWH not coming over well then

  11. bojo

    You some sort of Abbott plant? Trying to lull Bludgers into a false sense of security. Relax guys, we’ve won?

    You Truthy and GW?

  12. [Ask him how it feels to have spent eight years moving the centre so far to the right it practically fell off the edge of the planet. ]

    what did he say to that

  13. Andrew 807
    [But Labor have let him off pretty lightly since]
    Yes, but it’s funny how he now feels the desperate urge to come out and whack everyone and remind us all how great he was! Why didn’t he take his own good advice about former PM’s “keeping to themselves”?

    In the end I always felt he would end up doing long-term damage to the Coalition, and he has already, even before this latest bout of hubris.

  14. I’m escaping from Q&A at the moment. Ghastly. Thanks to Boerwar for the response to the why of people getting mean about asylum seekers. I think someone else responded as well to the effect that more wealthy people also feel threatened.
    AAAARGH. Howard just responding to David Hicks.

  15. my say

    I was reliving the great sense of relief I felt when we finally got rid of Howard. He is still at it but he is no longer relevant. As someone said, he is yesterday’s man, fighting yesterday’s battles.

    A desperate feather duster doing rooster.

  16. What about this classic:

    Howard reckons he acknowledged the good economic things Hawke & Keating did.

    Yeah, like 17% interest rates and a recession we had to have 😡

  17. [beth_blanchard: Why are they only screening positive or irrelevant tweets, not negative ones? #qanda ]

    Answer is simple: Because it’s Their ABC.

  18. [;808 bojo
    Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
    Lot’s of casting over the entrails of Australian xenophobia on this site today. Must admit I do enjoy trawling through the comments at the end of the day. I’m with Rod somewhere back at the beginning re Nielsen – as a govt, you cop a week of book burning and visceral hatred and anger, and surely you’re gonna get knocked around a bit in the polls.]

    spot on i think, Julia said she would lead and leading she is. Kev was scared of this issue, i really thought he wouldnt be but Julia is not and she will keep going and so will young chris.

    but they need our encouragement.

    Dee and i have this feel something now quire right in the country or the world is there movement is for the good through all this anger think about it iraq the gfc and some boat people coming which would we rather have rally the boat people
    if they can only think like that, with leadship people can turn their minds to good things the others stay in power with fear

  19. This part should be good too if Hicks really does get a question & rattles Howard’s cage.

    [Seems like Hicks question has really thrown Howard’s nerves overboard. #qanda]

  20. [Pollytics | 37 seconds ago
    “Lets understand the reality of what Hicks pleaded guilty too” says Howard – because that justifies letting an Oz citizen be tortured #qanda]

    Why can’t we just let Poss interview him? 😀

  21. sorry about my typos back to bed

    dio is there a dreadful flu going around sick as dog for two days ( poor dog) headache like you going tohave a stroke and a temp of 39

  22. the thing this election taught us, amongst other things, was just how big a drag electorally Howard was in 2007. I’d thought he was their best bet, but he really was on the nose.

  23. If Howard’s economic legacy was so great, why did he leave us with peanuts, at the end of a mining boom, to fend off a recession?

    Either party would have gone into deficit due to the GFC! Howard wasted the mining boom!

    Now that’s real WASTE 😡

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 17 of 18
1 16 17 18