Nielsen: 57-43 to Coalition; Galaxy 58-42

GhostWhoVotes relates that the latest monthly Nielsen has the Coalition leading 57-43 on two-party preferred, down from 58-42 last time. Consistent with other recent polling, it has Labor’s primary vote recovering from unprecedented lows, up three points to 30 per cent. The Coalition is steady on 48 per cent, with the Greens down a point to 12 per cent. Julia Gillard’s approval ratings are basically steady (approval up one to 33 per cent, disapproval steady on 62 per cent), but she has halved her deficit on preferred prime minister, now trailing 44-48 rather than 40-48. Tony Abbott is down two on approval to 41 per cent and up two on disapproval to 54 per cent. The poll includes yet another bad result for Julia Gillard against Kevin Rudd, who leads 61 per cent to 30 per cent, but Nielsen has at least done her a favour in extending the question to the Liberal leadership, which has Malcolm Turnbull on 44 per cent and Tony Abbott far behind on 28 per cent, with Joe Hockey also competitive on 23 per cent.

The News Limited tabloids also carry a Galaxy poll of 1009 respondents which has it at 58-42, from primary votes of 51 per cent for the Coalition, Labor on 29 per cent and the Greens on 12 per cent. Attitudinal questions produce familiar results: support for the carbon tax is at 34 per cent against 57 per cent opposed, and Kevin Rudd holding a 53 per cent to 29 per cent lead over Julia Gillard as preferred Labor leader. On the question of whether Tony Abbott would have a mandate to abolish the carbon tax if elected, the results are 60 per cent yes and 29 per cent no.

UPDATE: Essential Research shows no change on voting intention: the Coalition continues to lead 48 per cent to 33 per cent on the primary vote and 55-45 on two-party preferred, with the Greens up a point to 11 per cent. There is some relatively good news for the Prime Minister on the monthly measure of leaders’ personal ratings, in the shape of an 11-point improvement in her net approval rating after a disastrous showing in the September 12 poll. Gillard’s approval is up six points to 34 per cent and her disapproval down five to 59 per cent, and her deficit on better prime minister is down from four points (40 per cent to 36 per cent) to one (39 per cent to 38 per cent). Tony Abbott’s ratings have recorded no significant change: his approval and disapproval are both up one, to 40 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

A question on carbon tax gives the government slightly better results than the Galaxy poll, with 39 per cent supporting and 53 per cent opposed, but effectively unchanged on Essential’s survey of September 19. This continues a pattern where Essential Research’s online panel methodology has consistently produced less unfavourable results on this issue than phone polls. Essential also gave respondents three options for what should happen to the tax if Labor is defeated at the next election, finding 34 per cent in favour of a double dissolution to secure the repeal of the tax, with 33 per cent prepared to allow that the tax should remain “if it proves to be effective in reducing carbon pollution”. Twenty-one per cent felt it should remain in any case “to provide certainty for individuals and business”. Respondents were also asked to take their pick from 12 options to describe the positions taken by the leaders on asylum seekers, and the results provide consistently unflattering reading for Julia Gillard. The bitterest pill would be that she outscored Tony Abbott on both “too soft” (21 per cent to 7 per cent) and “too hard” (10 per cent to 6 per cent). Abbott even managed to record an effectively equal score to Gillard on his traditional negative of “just playing politics” (47 per cent to Gillard’s 46 per cent).

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.

3,267 comments on “Nielsen: 57-43 to Coalition; Galaxy 58-42”

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  1. [3239


    Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Will the MSM be doing a curtsey count at CHOGM?

    The Governor’s 3 yr old daughter is already practising hers – oh and the local Member of Parliament for the deat Perth John Hyde – a Republican has declared he will not be attending the Garden Party.

  2. Oh FFS:


    ABCNews24ABC News 24

    Do you think it was right that @CwealthOmb @AllanAsher resigned over his scripted Senate questions for @Greens? Best tweets used on #TheDrum

    1 minute agoFavoriteRetweetReply]

  3. BH

    Also, the Royal Family have been using alternative medicine for yonks, Philip and Charles are both dedicated conservationists and Charles an organic farmer, so they are obviously greenies and foolish. Poor Charles got an absolute kicking from the gutter (Murdoch) Press for his mad ideas before it was fashionable, and the reputation has stuck.

  4. gusface @ 1322:


    seismic is the better word

    abbott has made another srs mistake]

    We are in agreement again.

    Other than this:

    [And let us not pretend this has always been easy. In 2002 it was Air Marshal Houston, the then Chief of Air Force, who was asked in his first appearance at a Senate estimates committee about whether he, as the Acting CDF, had informed the then defence minister there was no evidence to support the children overboard claims. I remember that afternoon well, as I asked Angus those questions. No-one should be surprised that, regardless of the consequences, he answered forthrightly and honestly. The headline ‘Houston, we have a problem’ was inevitable. The no-nonsense approach that day was typical of Angus Houston, who has earned and deserves such a strong reputation for his integrity and decency.]

    – I can’t recall another occasion where a senior officer has had the guts to enter the political fray, albeit on the ostensible basis of looking after the safety of the men & women under his command.

  5. [June Dally-W would be horrified if you did not use the fish fork when eating trout.]

    Er, no rua. From my (compulsory) secondary “ladies” college etiquette lessons (4 years of them), that should be 2 forks. “Fish eaters” (fish forks & knives), like salt shakers, were definitely nonU – Alan Ross & Nancy Mitford’s U and nonU were very big at the time, as was compulsory elocution (13 years of that).

    Dems were da days!

  6. Just been reading through all the posts this afternoon, and there is the usual leadership speculation re the PM and the FM.

    I believe there will be a challenge, probably sooner rather than later (though not this year but within first three months of 2012), and the FM will be restored.

    There will be ongoing debate about the wisdom of this, I know, but if things have not improved by then, there needs to be some sort of soul searching by Labor.

    If there must be a change, I would personally prefer it as late as possible. There are some plum appointments coming up within the next 12 months and Labor should not deny themselves the right to appoint some controversial persons.

    I can only state for sure that it should NOT be Stephen Smith.

    Whoever it is, I agree they will be attacked, vilified, and generally kicked about by the MSM and shock jocks within a very short time.

    Regrettably, Labor is doomed. The MSM don’t want them. And that’s that.

  7. [triton
    Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


    The rudeness quotient will therefore increase.

    All that’s needed now is for Ronaldson to make an appearance. His performance yesterday while most people were distracted by the Queen was a memorable one. He was badgering witnesses, even accusing one of giving a ridiculous answer and treating him (Ronaldson) like a fool. Senator Sherry kept telling him he was getting “worked up” and to calm down. Today is pretty tame in comparison.]

    Ronaldson sounds like a tool of the first order. He wrote a Letter to the Editor in the Warrnambool Standard recently attacking ALP MHR for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman. (The Liberals have evidently targeted him, with a tiny margin, as Labor’s weakest link. Abbott followed with another serve to Cheeseman last week.) He signed the letter
    [Senator for Corangamite]

    It caused me to wonder how long it was since we’d had Senators for specific electorates. If anyone knows a Labor Senator, maybe they could alert him/her to Ronaldson’s claims.

  8. Gary 3259

    Yes, I appreciate the irony of my remarks. It’s just my prediction of what will happen.

    I can’t get it out of my mind reading and hearing Rudd’s former speech writer, both in the OO and on The Contrarians, state that it would definitely happen “shortly”, and that he had spoken to 2 senior ministers who stated that the PM would be out.

    As anyone who has read my posts over a fair time, I am a strong JG supporter, and would be sad if she did go. It appears, however, the public just can’t take to her and that is affecting Labor negatively. That is very disappointing.

    I hate to say it, but feel Rudd would save more seats for Labor, if victory is out of the question.

    Tough times indeed. My hatred of Abbott and everything he says and does, and stands for, is deeply ingrained in me, I can assure you.

  9. [victoria
    Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


    Susan Mitchell believes that if Abbott were not the leader at the last election, the Libs would have won the election comfortably.]

    But surely it’s a bit of a two-edged sword, and one reason Abbott’s still there. It was Abbott’s attack dog tactics, aided by the News Ltd campaign, that led to Rudd dropping the ball and fed the growing discontent in Labor ranks. Nielsen and Turnbull had not laid a glove on Rudd.

    The good news for Gillard and Labor is that Abbott has so many untenable positions that it’s impossible to see business backing him in the longer run. The bad news is that Labor’s recovery in popularity is not going to occur soon (maybe July next year) barring a Liberal implosion. And in that time he can do a lot of wrecking, as he’s shown in the last few days.

    The last thing Labor needs right now is idiot right-wingers mumbling to News Ltd reporters about the need for leadership change.

  10. [joe2
    Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    As far as Christopher Pearson goes it should be remembered he was a Howard appointee to the SBS Board for two terms. Fortunately now booted. ]

    Pearson is a former student peer of Mitchell’s and they have maintained friendship and confidence, despite very different political attitudes. I’d expect that the offer had been made if Mitchell claims so.

  11. ok I’ll try again to an evening audience

    here is SMH report on Jones on 7.30 last night. quite a different account from what you’ll read here. yet PB is supposed to give the background story. perhaps one could be surprised that he feels any needs to ‘whitewash’ or change tack – maybe signs of times – all that has been said here is that he is more of the same, but that might not be whole story.

  12. [Senator for Corangamite]
    Gorgeous Dunny
    [It caused me to wonder how long it was since we’d had Senators for specific electorates.]

    I think Ronaldson would say that as a senator for Victoria he’s a senator for all Victorian electorates.

  13. Faine calls Melbourne City Council’s hard line on the city square protesters an “own goal” and “ridiculous” by escalating it from a “side show” to a “cause célèbre”.

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