Nielsen: 54-46 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes reports Fairfax’s monthly Nielsen poll has the Coalition leading 54-46. One way to look at this is that there has been no change since a month ago, and this is the line newspapers who commission these polls are generally required to run. However, it was clear enough at the time that the previous result was an outlier, so this poll adds to a general impression of the Coalition lead having blown out from about 51-49 to 54-46. Notably, Nielsen’s two-party result is the same as last week’s Newspoll. Other results since the carbon tax announcement have been a 56-44 Morgan phone poll result, which came from a small sample, and the progress of Essential Research’s fortnightly rolling average from 49-51 to 52-48 to 53-47, from which the hair-splitters among us ascertained weekly results of 55-45 in week one and 51-49 in week two (UPDATE: Actually, Dendrite in comments nicely demonstrates why this need not be so). The latter result always looked like an anomaly, and since it will make up half of tomorrow’s published Essential result there will be cause to regard whatever it is as slightly flattering to Labor. We also had 50-50 from Morgan’s face-to-face, but this was also in keeping with the overall trend when you factor in its consistent bias to Labor.

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes reports in comments that Nielsen more or less replicates Newspoll in having Kevin Rudd favoured over Julia Gillard by 39 per cent to 34 per cent. One point of agreement to emerge from this morning’s critically acclaimed episode of Insiders was that head-to-head polls of this kind are not to be trusted, as they invite non-supporters of the party to make mischief – which could equally apply to Tony Abbott’s shaky ratings against Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey. Even so, Morgan records Gillard’s lead over Rudd among Labor voters as shrinking from 37 per cent to 10 per cent over the past three months.

UPDATE 2: Full results courtesy of GhostWhoVotes here. The two-party vote being what it is, the primaries are a little better for Labor than anticipated: the Coalition is on 45 per cent, as in Newspoll, but Labor is on 33 per cent rather than 30 per cent. This looks as much like a 53-47 result as a 54-46. Julia Gillard’s approval ratings are substantially better than in Newspoll: approval down five to 47 per cent, disapproval up four 47 per cent. This might be seen as evidence of the bounce leaders traditionally get when before the world stage, which may also have buttressed them a little on voting intention. Whereas the previous Nielsen poll uncovered no evidence of Tony Abbott taking a hit from the Mark Riley death stare and its attendant week of party disunity, this time he is down three on approval to 43 per cent and up three on disapproval to 52 per cent. The preferred prime minister has little changed, with Gillard steady on 51 per cent and Abbott up one to 42 per cent.

UPDATE 3: The latest Essential Research survey joins the 54-46 club, up from 53-47 last week. Labor’s primary vote is down a point to 35 per cent, with the Coalition and the Greens steady on 47 per cent and 10 per cent. The monthly question on personal approval to has Julia Gillard in net negative territory for the first time, her approval down seven points to 41 per cent and disapproval up five to 46 per cent. Tony Abbott is respectively steady on 38 per cent and up a point to 47 per cent. Both have similar ratings for “strongly approve” (7 per cent each) and “strongly disapprove” (24 per cent for Gillard and 27 per cent for Abbott), with the latter notably higher than the former. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 48-31 to 44-33.

Questions on carbon price serve to remind us that wording goes a long way: when asked whether they would support the scheme “if the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices”, which is pretty much the idea (albeit that there is no shortage of devil in the detail), 54 per cent said they would against only 30 per cent who said they wouldn’t. However, to further emphasise how complicated the politics of this gets, 45 per cent agreed action should be delayed “until the US has established an equal or stronger carbon pricing system” against 33 per cent who did not agree. Respondents were again asked if they merely supported the government’s announcement, with 38 per cent saying yes (up three on last week) and 49 per cent said no (up one).

Questions on same-sex marriage and territory rights underscore the surprisingly candid misgivings The Australian expressed last week about democracy. Forty-nine per cent support same-sex marriage against 40 per cent opposed, while 74 per cent failed to recognise that federal ministers should remain capable of overriding territory legislation at their whim (which The Australian regarded as so self-evident it did not trouble itself to explain why). Only 9 per cent were dopey enough to take the contrary view.

OH, AND BY THE WAY: Don’t forget to take advantage of the fabulous Crikey group subscriptions offer detailed in the post below this one.

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.

5,604 comments on “Nielsen: 54-46 to Coalition”

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  1. Geezlouise @2076 on previous thread

    [Bolt said on Insiders that there were only 800 at Getup’s anti rally. He then corrected the error by posting on his blog that he had “misremembered” the proper number. He has since removed the correction. Wonder what else he will “misremember”? He seems to have misremembered a fair chunk of reality lately.

    Should we be worried about him?]

    Nah, there’s nothing more enjoyable than watching wallies like Dolt self-destruct.

    Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

  2. [The really disappointing thing about the degradation of what was once a good television channel is that the management just don’t care.]

    Actually, I think they are quite happy with how things have gone.

    Remember, Keith and Janet were only put on the ABC board to take the lunch orders.

  3. Diogs,@2119 previous.

    I’m being as delicate as a I can. But, you’ve mistaken me for someone who cares.

  4. Bemused @ 2114 in the previous post

    You are right to point out oil may not necessarily rise to $200 or $300 US a barrel. It all depends if demand for oil falls at the intermediate prices below that level.

    As for the rest of your post, oil usage since the 1970’s oil shocks is an example of what you are saying. For example is the US there are very few oil power stations anymore. Fuel efficiency in vehicles has improved and is going to get better with time. So to some extent I am not fatalistic about the economy being able to deal with higher oil prices.

    The choke point however will be commercial transport. There are no electric trucks that I know of. (I am happy to be corrected) I don’t think rail can take up the slack.

    As for a transfer to local production, it depends on the good but that will take time and investment. The economic shock of higher transport shocks will take effect in a much shorter timeframe.

  5. J6P @ 3

    I would be intrigued to know more about the exact nature of your business. There are people on here who could offer good business advice.

  6. Usko samajhna bahut kathin hai, leki mere daftar mein sab thik chal raha hai……bahut kaam hota hai…..main kuch presentations bana raha tha, mere boss ko achcha laga, muje aur ek project mila……
    ab mujhse khush hai…..prabhu ko mahima 🙂

  7. Anyone interested in a book by someone who has changed their entire life because of the threat of peak oil, I suggest “Choosing Eden” by Adrienne Langman.

    I was gifted the book and read it with some scepticism but I have to say that the analysis of what will happen when Oil supply goes south whilst demand continues to soar skywards is pretty bloody scary.

    I suggest if you can get your hands on this book that you give it a read.

  8. Scrutineer @ 9

    The choke point however will be commercial transport. There are no electric trucks that I know of. (I am happy to be corrected) I don’t think rail can take up the slack.

    Trains other than where electrified are diesel, but IIRC about 8 times more fuel efficient than trucks.

    The other problem with trains is they only go where there are tracks.

    I have seen old maps and before the advent of cars and trucks, Victoria had a vast network of railways compared to what is there now. But it was of a lower standard and I doubt we will return to it.

    My hunch is that oil from algae will provide a solution for liquid fuels to power road and rail transport, but it will be at a higher price than we have enjoyed in the past from natural oil.

    The other factors will be improved vehicle efficiency and improved utilisation to reduce the cost / ton carried. If these are pursued with success we may end up with transport costs not much different to now.

  9. Scrutineer

    what is happening is a rejigging of the way transport is done.

    At present, the model tends to be that goods are trucked to the central warehouse and then trucked out to individual shops (in the most familiar model, the supermarket delivery). In some cases, goods are trucked all the way to the place of manufacture to individual businesses.

    Some cities are developing rail hubs, where the goods are taken directly to the warehouse by rail and then distributed locally by trucks.

    As well as this, there is a movement to growing and buying locally. It’s become a point of difference even for some supermarkets -one of our locals has a big map of the area on their wall, identifying where they’ve sourced local produce and how much they’ve spent in the local community.

    As I keep saying with climate change, adjustment to it won’t be a case of one model applied everywhere; it will be a mix of solutions for different areas and circumstances, right down to the household level.

    Basically, we all need to live smarter, rather than continuing business as usual.

  10. SK @ 16

    I was gifted the book and read it with some scepticism but I have to say that the analysis of what will happen when Oil supply goes south whilst demand continues to soar skywards is pretty bloody scary.

    Sounds like Y2K revisited.

    The era of cheap oil is drawing to a close. Society will adjust.

  11. Diogenes,

    Thanks for the tip on the electric trucks.

    As for the projected demand. I have seen the projected future demand graphs before and have always questioned whether such graphs take into account the shortages they are predicting. I do not know if this is the case or not.

    However I do not question rising demand as a concept, as simply there is greater part of the world industrialising each year until now and without any oil shock I would expect this to still be the case.

  12. bemused,

    I am sure it will. It requires people to change but at the moment I am not seeing sufficient change happening in the time frames required, which means we will see at least some of the flow on effects from a world dependant on a depleted source.

    I do believe, however, that we have sufficient intellectual resources to overcome the worst of a potential crisis.

  13. SK @ 22

    A lot of people including politicians were short sighted prior to the outbreak of WWII, but when the crunch came the mobilisation of industry and dramatic changes in peoples lives occurred very quickly.

    I hope it won’t come to that but I see something like it as ‘Plan B’ if the likes of Rabbot have got us into a deep hole.

  14. Bemused @ 17

    Good points.

    I should also add that $100 barrel of oil will bring the Canadian Tar Sands and Western US Shale Oil into play and these fields have 1.7 and 1.5-2.6 trillion barrels of oil respectively.

    There is 1.3 trillion barrels of oil of conventional oil left now, so these fields would solve the peak oil problem, but for the fact that it will take at least 10-15 years to have the fields producing at full capacity.

    So I don’t think peak oil is an immovable constraint, however this decade will see an oil shock and an on flowing negative supply shock not unlike the 1970’s. In other words stagflation.

    As a result we will adjust like you and Zoomster have posted.

  15. The polls continue to look bad for Labor. In my view there is one way that they will win the next election, and unfortunately it means going back to the past as Gillard is not a winner in my mind Rudd possibly is, as their is no one else.

  16. Scrutineer @ 27

    I should also add that $100 barrel of oil will bring the Canadian Tar Sands and Western US Shale Oil into play and these fields have 1.7 and 1.5-2.6 trillion barrels of oil respectively.

    There is 1.3 trillion barrels of oil of conventional oil left now, so these fields would solve the peak oil problem, but for the fact that it will take at least 10-15 years to have the fields producing at full capacity.

    Well I hope those resources are never developed although I believe they already are to some extent.

    We need to move away from fossil fuel in all it’s forms and those are some of the very worst.

  17. Since January 2011, by the way, the price of ULP petrol in Queensland , for example, has already gone up by twice the amount that Abbott claims a carbon tax will make it rise by. It has risen over over 12 cents per litre since the beginning of the year.

  18. [38

    vp

    Posted Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    what a beautiful set of numbers

    Care to expand?
    ]

    He’s praising figures which Howard had to endure prior to the 1998 Election – but he won anyway. 🙂

  19. Interesting about the cricket.

    Oz wants to get to the final. Sri Lanka and India want to impress. South Africa and Windies just want to progress.

    Looks like Oz meets England in QF. Interesting!

  20. I should point out there are ways that peak oil can turnout badly.

    OPEC nations’ oil reserve reporting is an opaque process. It would not suprise me if Saudi Arabia announced one day that its oil reserves are half of what was previously advised.

    This would send the price of oil skyrocketing.

  21. Scrutineer @ 45

    The aspect of oil price that no-one has mentioned is it’s effect on Australia’s balance of payments as domestic supplies of oil decrease and we import an ever higher percentage of our oil.

    We really do need a domestic substitute to end this dependence on overseas supplies of oil.

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