Nielsen: 59-41 to Coalition

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the latest Nielsen survey has robbed a Morgan phone poll conducted a fortnight ago of its distinction as the only poll showing the Coalition’s lead reaching the heights of 59-41. Nielsen has the Labor primary vote at just 27 per cent – “the lowest level ever for a major party in the poll’s history of almost four decades” – with the Coalition at 49 per cent. No result has been provided for the Greens at this stage. Last month’s Nielsen poll had the Coalition lead at 56-44, with primary votes of 31 per cent for Labor, 47 per cent for the Coalition and 12 per cent for the Greens. More detail presumably to follow.

UPDATE: In anticipation of a Morgan face-to-face poll which didn’t arrive, I prepared a chart earlier today showing how both Morgan face-to-face and Essential had converged upon the Newspoll trend over the last year or two after traditionally having been more favourable to Labor. I did this by producing quarterly averages for each agency’s polling going back to the start of 2009. I didn’t bother to include Nielsen as it reports far less frequently and is thus more prone to variability. But Nielsen’s habits relative to other pollsters would seem to have become a live issue as of half an hour ago, so now I have. And as you can see, Nielsen seems to have gone very sour for Labor of late: whereas the other pollsters have been broadly consistent around 54-46, the last three Nielsen results have been 56-44, 56-44 again and now 59-41. “Morgan (RA)” and “Morgan (PE)” refer to their respondent-allocated and previous-election methods of allocating minor party/independent preferences, which tells a story of its own.

UPDATE 2: GhostWhoVotes reports the poll has a dizzying 60 per cent now favouring Kevin Rudd for Labor leader against just 31 per cent for Julia Gillard. We are also informed the Greens primary vote is on 12 per cent, up two from last time.

UPDATE 3: It now emerges that Tony Abbott is equal with Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister on 46 per cent, the first time Abbott has achieved this. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is down six to 37 per cent and her disapproval up seven to 59 per cent, while Tony Abbott is up one on approval to 46 per cent and steady on disapproval at 50 per cent. These all entail remarkably low undecided results: perhaps this is a feature of Nielsen I’ve just never noticed before.

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.

3,857 comments on “Nielsen: 59-41 to Coalition”

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  1. [BH – Labor adviser’s didn’t take into account what the media and Abbott would do with the word ‘tax’. They should have told the PM to ban the word from her vocabulary. Fixed price it should be or ‘pollution fine’.]
    Yes they did. They new Tone would be calling it a tax whether the Labor Party did or not. Tone was actually calling it a tax, AGBNT, from the time he became opposition leader and the MSM took it up. I think you’ll find that was long before Gillard agree it could be called a tax.
    I f she tried to avoid the term ‘tax’ she would have been chased up holl and down dale by the MSM. They would have tried to work out ways to make her say the word tax. We’ve seen how the MSM operate.

  2. [AshGhebranious AshGhebranious
    #auspol #abcnews24 Also Windsor asked if Abbott serious, open it to a conscience vote. Oakeshott now

  3. [lyndalcurtis Lyndal Curtis
    Rob Oakeshott says he won’t support Coalition if it tries to suspend standing orders to intro plebiscite motion.

  4. Very well said scorpio @ 3712.

    It’s almost beyond belief how easily some so called Labor supporters can be sucked into the anti-Rudd memes that are simply being used to further destabilise the party.

    When the likes of Allison Carrabine continue to spread this nonsense, and Bruce Hawker says that Rudd has done nothing wrong, its obvious from where this crap originates.

    And Peter Beattie has showen himself to be a complete idiot on this issue, as Hawker implied far more diplomatically.

  5. [lyndalcurtis Lyndal Curtis
    R. Oakeshott says if any Coalition MP thinks they have a better way to tackle climate change, they’re welcome to sit on the multiparty cmmte

  6. [Very well said scorpio @ 3712.

    It’s almost beyond belief how easily some so called Labor supporters can be sucked into the anti-Rudd memes that are simply being used to further destabilise the party.

    Here here and they libs and msm run concurrent anti-Rudd but he’d be a more popular pm stories and laugh as we eat both up at once.

  7. abc tv news in sydney at lunchtime leading with abbott’s call for a carbon tax plebiscite,
    but no mention of his admission that he would not accept a YES vote.

    Now isn’t that NOT a surprise.

  8. [AshGhebranious AshGhebranious
    #auspol #abcnews24 Also Windsor asked if Abbott serious, open it to a conscience vote. Oakeshott now]

    I’ve been waiting for someone to call for a conscience vote on the ETS. Can I take credit? – I wrote to Hunt and Abbott on the weekend asking them to allow a conscience vote and cc-ed it to Mr Windsor.

  9. [SpaceKidette Space Kidette
    JG offered Tony a free seat on the multiparty committee for Climate Change.Knocked it back in favour of the $69m plebiscite option. #auspol

  10. [The Indies have just about called this as a Monday morning stunt by Abbott.]

    Good luck with it Abbott, the stunt is turning into a circus act

  11. Yes indeed WeWantPaul – the same way that they were telling us all what a great PM Gillard would make when Rudd was PM.

    And yet some people fall for it time and time again.

  12. Dio

    If it is spin then they know it is not true, therefore they cannot ‘believe’ it.
    If it is not spin, then they don’t know whether it is true or not, therefore it is possible for them to ‘believe’ it.

    BTW, if Ms Gillard is happy to go along with calling it a tax, I’m happy to go along with her.

    Not doing so merely creates another rathole for the Do-nothings.

  13. Something that we can all be thankful for at least is the good sense, integrity and strength of the two key independants.

  14. 2GBshock jock now saying (after interviewing Abbott) that the plebiscite should only be binding on the government, and only if it says “No”.

    If plebiscite vote does not go ahead than this is a sign that the Independents are “in the pockets” of the government. Suggests that all Independents should abstain from voting to get a “real picture” of the state of the parliament. Does not count Katter or The Bloke From WA as independents because “they belong to a political party” – either the WA Nationals or Katter Mad Hatter Party, so they’re not really independents at all.

    That used to be called “putting the fix in”:

    * No vote at all: they’re all corrupt.

    * Vote, but “Yes” result: not binding on anyone.

    * Vote with “No” result: Gillard should resign. “People have spoken”

    It defies explanation as to how they get away with this dribble.

    ABC reporting: deadpan, straight-bat.


    [The CSIRO will today launch a website showing levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide measured in the atmosphere each month for the past 35 years, as recorded at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania.

    The leader of CSIRO’s Changing Atmosphere research group, Paul Fraser, said the site – – would eventually allow the public to examine data on all greenhouse gases, as well as measurements dating back several thousand years.]

  16. [MrDenmore Mr Denmore
    Dear Tony/Nero, If you want a plebiscite, ask our kids how they feel about politicians fiddling and posturing while the world burns #auspol

  17. “BTW, if Ms Gillard is happy to go along with calling it a tax, I’m happy to go along with her.”

    You would. One gotcha moment would be enough.

  18. I want a plebiscite on why the ABC isn’t following its own Charter, with a supplementary question on what’s the point of a public broadcaster that ignores the public, and finally if we should sell it to News Ltd and start again.

  19. Wilson and Oakshott both agree we must do something on Climate change for the sake of our Grand Children and Great Grand Children.

  20. j2

    I am a fairly consistent supporter of Ms Gillard but believe that if people wish to disagree with her, they should do so.

  21. [SandiHLogan Sandi Logan
    People seeking protection are not “illegal immigrants”! Aust Press Council corrects The Oz, again: Enjoy #Refugee Week.

  22. Boerwar

    There is a difference between:

    1) not wanting to be bothered with raising an objection
    if someone else calls it a tax; and

    2) calling it a tax herself.

    I think that situation 1 applies to Gillard.

    I think it is odd that you want to conflate these two
    approaches by loose wording so that you can call
    it a tax.

    Not sure what you are up to there.

    “please explain”

  23. lizzie

    Oh noes!

    Did you Ms Gillard just now use ‘…should of…’?

    I refer this incident to the Bludger Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar Committe for a determination and follow-up action, as required.

  24. Diogs,

    “I sometimes wonder if the people here actually believe their own spin or not”.

    You go first.

  25. Abbott is an idiot. His plebiscite bill will fail. If it did pass, the public would vote ‘no’. So what is the problem with saying he’d listen if the public said ‘yes’?

  26. Why I have no problem with the word tax:


    [Compulsory monetary contribution to the state’s revenue, assessed and imposed by a government on the activities, enjoyment, expenditure, income, occupation, privilege, property, etc., of individuals and organizations.]

  27. Think Big

    [How can Abbott oppose a policy for which there is a clear mandate?

    Easy – he already did it with Rudd’s CPRS.]

    Rudd didn’t have a clear mandate for the CPRS. There were no details or targets given at election time.

  28. Space Kidette

    Have you tweeted the ELC’s statement that a plebiscite is not binding to relevant people?

    I’d do it, but I don’t have the technology or knowhow to do it & I’ve stripped non-essentails off the mac & taken a few essentials too, like being able to download Parliament!

    Can still do most research, though!

  29. Dr Good

    My point was quite simple, I believe: the substance of this discussion is completely and utterly irrelevant. Ms Gillard knows it. I know it.

    If Ms Gillard has begun by resisting the notion that it is a ‘tax’ then it would have been fairly obvious to all concerned that she was trying to avoid calling a spade a spade.

    Far better, as Ms Gillard understood then, and continues to understand now, is to argue the case for a carbon tax and compensation package on its merits. I am with her 100% on that.

    In this context I would remind posters that less than two hours ago Mr Albanese was telling anyone who cared to listen that the Government wants to tax the big polluters while the Opposition wants to tax ordinary Australians. Could it be possible that Mr Albanese has not been reading his Bludgers closely enough?

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