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. De Nederlanders locked in a death struggle with the Irish on a playing field on the subcontinent.

    It must make sense to someone.

  2. Annabel Crabb : Friday afternoon… so few will see it and its all a bit too late now.
    ‘ABC – Now with Opinions and not Facts’

  3. [Boerwar
    Posted Friday, March 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
    De Nederlanders locked in a death struggle with the Irish on a playing field on the subcontinent.

    It must make sense to someone.]
    i seem to remember some history about the first one invading the other in about the 14th cent

  4. [The majority of asylum seekers not involved in the rioting must feel so dejected as they are being vilified along with the perpetrators. Bowen also must be pulling his hair out. The instigators must be found and punished.]

    hairynose – spot on. I feel really sorry for those who are behaving and being patient. Bowen is a good bloke with every intention of making his portfolio work. He said last night that he thought the trouble started when a fence or gate was erected to stop the AS from moving between one part of the complex and another.

    I think Serco may need a lot of investigating too and Bowen said he has ordered independent enquiries.

  5. victoria

    This morning I heard the farmer whose cattle have been let in – got the impression he’d go after anyone who tried to move them out. “Let Burke try. I’ll be waiting” sort of language.
    Perhaps he’s the same one who gave evidence at the Black Saturday hearings – absolutely convinced that he’s right and the “science” is wrong.

  6. J6P

    As far as I can tell, JG is handling her job very well lately. Your friends have been sucking on too much juice me thinks.

  7. lizzie

    I did not bother to listen to all the wrap this morning. After hearing Roskam and the Labor chick say how much of a bad situation Labor are in re the carbon tax, I switched off.

  8. BH,

    Bowen in the presser today was brilliant. No side stepping. Manned up to being responsible. But was not taking any nonsense either.

    He made it very clear this was not all the CI ASrs.

  9. lizzie, victoria

    If putting the cattle in is contrary to the EPBC Act (as it is very likely to be) then Mr Ballieu will have to take them out again.

    IMHO, Mr Baillieu is an emperor without budgie smugglers on this one.

  10. victoria

    I missed the beginning of The Wrap, as I was busy plucking a cockerel (well, somebody’s gotta do it!). Then I read someone’s comment about Roskam and decided not to bother.

  11. 5554

    It is rather concerning that an economics writer can be ignorant and/or otherwise inaccurate enough to say “Never before has it been more important how rich your parents are.” when it has historically been more more important but with a few decades of it not being the case.

  12. [Was told by by a bloke and his wife on a farm near murgon today that JG. is definatley knocked up and will announce after the royal wedding that she is stepping down and K.Rudd will return as P.M. Seems it was planned a few months ago, and she has been taking fertility drugs, and her and Tim have been going at it like rabbits and that is the reason she is looking so shagged (pun Intended) lately.]

    Joe – when we stop laughing we should send that one to the PM.

  13. Boerwar

    They already have the proof, but it’s negative, in that the ground has recovered from when the cattle were in. The whole thing’s a disgrace. I’m suspicious about what else Baillieu has smuggled in his BSs.

  14. myk 42

    As a 21C professional career woman, she may be planning to find a surrogate. A much more likely rumour. πŸ˜‰

  15. Just saw SKY doing a further hatchet job on the govt over CI by interviewing a resident who bagged out the ministers and the PM over it. Walked away … the last thing needed is an on the spot partisan who can use this to vent their political frustrations.

  16. [Space Kidette
    Posted Friday, March 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


    Did you keep a straight face while this conversation was taking place?]

    No i actually laughed and said bullshit thats a good on, as i did think they were joking as they seemed nice people but was quickly informed that it is true they know someone who is in canberra and he is very reliable.
    Also they seemed not to hate her or anything, as I said they were nice people We had this conversation over a coffee that they offered after i Delivered there goods but, they seemed to think it was for the best .

    They also said btw. that TA. is a wanker.

  17. Well the Garnaut Poll is now closed.

    Do you believe Ross Garnaut’s argument that pricing carbon will boost productivity, not hurt the economy?
    Poll form

    1. Please select an answer. Yes
    2. No
    3. View results




    Total votes: 2600.

  18. [QT will be full of questions re these riots next week. Hopefully Bowen will have a handle on the situation.]

    victoria – I think he will. Of course the Oppn will have an MPI every day on it or suspend standing orders at 2.50 pm to rant and rave against the PM.

    So predictable. We can all start betting on the time again.

  19. [As a 21C professional career woman, she may be planning to find a surrogate. A much more likely rumour.]

    Or using stem cells πŸ˜‰

  20. [I just sprayed coke all over my keyboard after reading the JG rumour.

    That’s hilarious.]

    You shouldn’t snort at the keyboard Soss … the powder gets stuck in between the keys!

  21. Bemuse 53/47 so proud of all the PB voters. Is the Poll still up in the Age? I think Peter of Marino wants to add his vote

  22. Not sure if this has been posted, but here is the latest Morgan Poll for what it’s worth

    The latest telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights, March 16/17, 2011, shows on a Two-Party preferred basis the L-NP (50.5%, down 5%) now has only a slight lead over the ALP (49.5%, up 5%). The L-NP primary vote is 42.5%, ahead of the ALP 35.5%. Support for the minor parties shows the Greens 12%, (up 2%) and Others/ Independents 10%, (down 1%).

    Also released today is last weekend’s Face-to-Face Morgan Poll (conducted March 12/13, 2011) which also showed a swing back to the ALP away from the L-NP three days before the telephone Morgan Poll: L-NP (51.5%, down 2.5% in a week) ahead of the ALP (48.5%, up 2.5%) on a Two-Party preferred basis.

  23. [The latest telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights, March 16/17, 2011, shows on a Two-Party preferred basis the L-NP (50.5%, down 5%) now has only a slight lead over the ALP (49.5%, up 5%). The L-NP primary vote is 42.5%, ahead of the ALP 35.5%. Support for the minor parties shows the Greens 12%, (up 2%) and Others/ Independents 10%, (down 1%).]
    I think this shows the value of Morgan’s phone polls. There aint any.

  24. mari @ 5589

    It is closed now so 53/47 is the final vote as I displayed. It’s OK, I put a vote in for Peter, he can relax πŸ˜‰

  25. [lizzie
    Posted Friday, March 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink


    I said they were peanuts in Murgon πŸ˜› ]

    No they were nice people lizzie, operating a cattle property, but probably like many people they have there views and beliefs and to tell the truth i came away still not knowing how the vote as i never ask. so probably just decent average people that believe in fairy tales every now and again.

  26. [Sossman
    Posted Friday, March 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    *shakes head*

    I’d like the state on the record that I’m not on the White Pony.]

    I thought the white pony was heroin, or is that horse.

  27. Back on the Cookies thingy – when you vote a small file is written to your PC (cookie) – if try to vote again it checks this file, sees you have voted and denies it. Deleting this file allows to you vote again.

    I do not encourage this sort of behavior!

    Your IP address however is logged so it is easy to see that the same IP address being used repeatedly to vote. Something for Julie Bishop to think about?

  28. Unfortunately, whatever gains the govt made this week will probably be squashed this weekend by CI and the way the media portrays it.

    Otherwise, we are where we were post election.

    However, if the next couple mirror this, it then becomes obvious that the ‘scare’ campaign was unsustainable and once the electorate saw Abbott’s alternative, they thought again.

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