Nielsen: 57-43 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes relates the final Nielsen poll for the year has landed well above the market average for the Coalition, whose two-party lead has gone from 55-45 in the previous month’s poll to 57-43. This has come off the back of a four-point gain on the primary vote to 49 per cent, with Labor down one to 29 per cent and the Greens down three to 11 per cent. Julia Gillard is on 35 per cent approval and 58 per cent disapproval, which are down four and up one on last time, but nonetheless similar to Newspoll’s 36 per cent and 56 per cent. Tony Abbott is steady on approval at 41 per cent and down one on disapproval to 53 per cent, which is far more favourable than Newspoll’s 33 per cent and 57 per cent. Whereas Newspoll has shown Julia Gillard opening a solid lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, Nielsen finds the 45-45 draw in the last poll turning into a 46-42 lead for Abbott. Support for gay marriage is down five points on last month’s poll to 57 per cent. Uranium sales to India has 32 per cent support and 57 per cent opposition.

UPDATE: Essential Research has the Coalition lead nudging up from 54-46 to 55-45, the result of a one point gain on the primary vote to 48 per cent with Labor and the Greens steady on 34 per cent and 10 per cent. On the monthly personal ratings, Tony Abbott has scored what is comfortably his worst ever result from Essential, with his approval down four to a new low of 32 per cent, disapproval upon to a new high of 53 per cent. Julia Gillard has dropped three points on approval to 34 per cent with disapproval steady on 54 per cent, and her lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed slightly from 41-36 to 39-35. Respondents were also asked for which industries, parties and leaders it had been a good or bad year; which government decisions have been most important for Australia’s future; which media are most trusted; and whether the Press Council is doing a good job of regulating the press. Read all about it here.

You can also view full tables from the Nielsen poll here, complete with state breakdowns and such. These show the Coalition’s two-party vote in New South Wales four points higher than last month’s polls, but little change in Victoria.

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.

6,890 comments on “Nielsen: 57-43 to Coalition”

  1. [
    mumbletwits Peter Brent
    I take it back, not all reshuffles get good press.
    2 minutes ago

    Yes, according to Mumble yesterday

    Reshuffles are political events that always seem to go down well in commentator-land. John Howard had quite a lot of them and they routinely got a tick even though each was at least a tacit acknowledgment that the last one hadn’t got it quite right.
    Words like “talent” and “renewal”—and “reward”—are inevitably employed.

    Tonight’s evening news and tomorrow’s front pages will show a Prime Minister moving her ministers around, wielding power over them. It will be “I decided this” and “I believe that”; the lucky ministers will be grateful, the shafted ones stoical. All excellent for generating that authority she so lacks, and no one will be able to say she was forced into it by Bob Brown or Andrew Wilkie.

    He didn’t count on the current press pack

  2. Andrew:

    The media is not entirely to blame for the govt’s failure to get its achievements out there. Labor needs to take some responsibility on that front.

  3. sustainable future

    [The problem is that this book could work. The poor standards of science education and underpaying of teachers is getting to the point of being intergeneration – many people teaching science at schools do not have science degrees and would not have had science teachers with science degrees when they went through high school.]
    Back at the turn of the century Time magazine had a special feature on education. The looked around the world at who had the best in various areas and subjects. Germany got top for High School teaching.Apparently every high school teacher has to have a double degree.

  4. [The media is not entirely to blame for the govt’s failure to get its achievements out there. Labor needs to take some responsibility on that front.]
    If the media do not report what is said whose fault is it?

  5. [The elder sister of Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd, who lives in Nambour, said she had sent the party an official letter last week informing it of her decision.

    Miss Rudd said she resigned because of the party’s decision during its national conference earlier this month to vote in favour of same-sex marriage.]

    I wonder how Miss Rudd felt about Kev giving the SSM crowd at Darling Harbour hope that he may change is mind on the issue

  6. shellbell
    [Wendy Bacon has a fascinating history including her attempts to become a barrister in NSW which were thwarted by the NSW Bar association.]

    Thanks for drawing Bacon’s history to my attention. Fascinating indeed!
    I had no idea of her activism, nor that she was imprisoned, and nor that she was prevented from becoming a barrister. I only saw her as a journo of integrity.

    And to think that she is Jim Bacon’s sister. Talented family.
    my say probably knows her.

    This is a good article telling her story.

  7. [This damaged the credibility of the Fraser government and of John Howard, who was then stuck with the ‘Honest John’ tag.

    Over time Howard somehow managed to con voters into believing that the tag was actually a compliment. Just shows how stupid the average Aussie voter really is.]

    leone – oh, so true. What also may not be generally known is just how much Howard was stabbing Fraser in the back, too. He had his eye on the leadership so before the 1982 election he got new glasses, fixed his hair and eyebrows a bit (can’t remember if he had his teeth done at the same time) but he was having a tilt for leadership.

    He was making a few more speeches on other things besides Treasury. I, and a couple of other office mates were asked by our employer to ring his office on different matters. On each occasion we were individually asked what we thought about the changes in Howard’ appearance, did we think he was looking and sounding Prime Ministerial, did we think he would do a better job than Fraser. We may have been asked because the firm’s Principal was a Liberal member and good mates with a couple of Liberal pollies, but the remarks were so pointed – especially the comparisons we were asked to make between Fraser and Howard.

    Unfortunately all the bloke got from me was that I hadn’t noticed any change. I think said bloke was as flattened as I wanted him to be.

    I never, ever mistook ‘Honest John’ for anything other than ironic.

  8. [It’s politics, Laura. On a good day you can distinguish between “politics” and “governance”.

    But sadly, not today.]

    BB – good post, thanks. Perhaps the new boys at Fairfax (Stutchbury & ors from the OO) are changing the rules over at the AFR. Now that Laura has some articles out from the paywall they seem to have become very negative for Labor over the past week or so.
    Perhaps it is time for the Press Gallery to be disbanded or at least to have journos move in and out of it regularly. Apart from AAP, the groupthink today is amazing.

    As if Howard didn’t pick his lot without an eye on his own position. Andrew Leigh made a good comment this morning on Agenda about Brandis languishing on the backbench for most of the Howard Govt’s term and was only given a spot at the last minute.

    Mention of Brandis’ standing up for a conscience vote in the Shadow Ministry meeting came up. Brandis said all were happy with the result but his face said differently.

    Can’t wait to see what Turnbull does altho I guess the others who argued for a conscience vote will ask him to stay silent.


    [MATES AHOY: Simon Troeth gets $250K cushy public service job while other press secs drown sorrows
    By VEXNEWS ⋅ December 13, 2011

    It hasn’t been a glorious year for the Baillieu administration, despite winning an election many know-alls thought unwinnable for the Libs one short year ago.

    And they’ve ended it in style too, appointing Baillieu faction man Simon Troeth (son of former Senator Judith Troeth) to a very cushy $250K per annum job as Director of Strategic Communications in the Department of Justice.]

    More in the article

  10. Gaffhook@1611

    That is why the Nationals, are at heart, rural socialists.

    There can never be enough tax payer money spent by governments of any colour “for the farmers”.

    They are however, socially conservative, and hence feel more at home on the right of politics, pushing the line that every bit of sealed road in the bush, used by 2 local farmers a day, is “in the national interest”.

    The Labor party is the son of the devil in their eyes and as a broad generalisation, the various conservative parties were set up to either stop or destroy Labour that many years ago.

    In that respect they are the same old, same old!

  11. [I’d be much more interested in reading about the challenges Tanya Plibersek faces in the complex and challenging Health portfolio (and yay her, by the way) and her likely approaches than the sort of nonsense that we are reading. Where, too, is serious discussion about the appropriateness of the administrative arrangements for portfolios and the sense of priorities embodied in it? No, we just get “who’s in, who’s out” stuff.]

    If there is a failing by a journalist of Laura Tingle’s ability, it’s her failure to cover the actual important stuff in preference to succumbing to the ‘who’s in, who’s out’ sideshow. How apt is that paragraph in relation to our msm?!


    [Smoke ‘til you drop but leave the taxpayer out of it
    by David Penberthy
    13 DEC 05:55AM

    Many smokers and, at a guess, pretty much every cufflink-wearing executive from the big tobacco companies have a habit of posturing as macho libertarians. They argue that cigarettes are a legal product, smoking is a matter of choice, and that when it comes to telling us how we can live our lives, the nanny state can go stick it in its pipe and smoke it.]

  13. [The media want to link everything Gillard does to the way she became leader, hence the meme we are seeing today re the reshuffle.]

    Astutely put, Gary. The media have their very own “poisonous tree” and it bears fruit all year ’round.

    On a good day, they’ll admit that Abbott has no policies and no intention of getting any, anytime soon. He actually boasts about it.

    The La Stupendas of this world turn it into a positive, by saying he’d be mad to show his hand, whilst reassuring us that, never you mind, they’ll be there in time.

    In the meantime almost every government policy is ripped to shreads, either as a botched attempt or a pathetic attempt to fix something Rudd left behind him. The very few policies that escape this treatment are characterized more as exceptions that prove the rule, quaint oddities that actually do so serendipitous good, than the product of hard work and proper consultation.

    Yes, the government is hamstrung by finely balanced numbers. Not everything Gillard wants to do can be done, at least in a direct way. The obvious point that the government is “weak” is continually made, but it is only weak because the voters made it weak. To continue to kick the government as “weak” is akin to kicking a cripple as “weak”. True, but so what?

    Do they want Abbott to have his election now, really want that? With no policies and a has-been circus troupe of shadows? I guess some do, but the more sensible ones don’t.

    So, kicking the cripple is the next best thing. Even when Gillard does something about setting her stamp on the government and on her holding of the office of Prime Minister, something the commentariat have been on and on about for months, they find only the negative parts forced on Gillard by the numbers to carp on about.

    The background hum of the repeal of Work Choices, the Stimulus that has made us the No. 1 country in the world, the 260-odd bills passed, the lack of scandal, the dedication and the hard work of governance (much less government) are ignored because nobodies like McClelland have a bit of a half-arsed whinge.

    Gillard can’t get rid of Rudd because he might spit the dummy and put his seat up for grabs. There’s enough evidence to show he could have that kind of spite in him. Worse than that, the monumental miscalculation he or his supporters made in leaking to Laurie Oakes (I’m sure they didn’t actually believe they’d almost lose government over it, just a few ticks off the margin). Why the media can’t get over it I can’t fathom.

    Rudd is not making a comeback. He doesn’t have the numbers. His media spruikers (and those include the concern trolls like Grattan, Bolt and Carney) have been wrong time after time after time. Even they must be getting sick of hearing his promises that he’ll be challenging this month, next month, the month after that, or ASAP next year (if indeed he is feeding them this rubbish).

    If there isn’t an old aphorism that “You can be wrong a thousand times, and nobody remembers. Be right once and you’re a hero,” there should be. It should be robustly applied to the columnists and commentators who continually get just about everything wrong about their field of politics, yet just as continually are put up (or put themselves up, more often) as political savants.

    They are gossip mongerers, pure and simple. They crawl around the back corridors of Parliament looking for crumbs and snippets, furiously pounding their chests at their ability to secure leaks. Then they mock Gillard as weak because the new ministry was leaked.

    Tingle and Bongiorno, usually pretty good, completely missed the growing importance of disaster response in our national fabric, our national psyche. Ad hoc disaster response looks and is too political. A Cabinet-ranked department is a way to somewhat de-politicise the coming catastrophes, to make them into at least apparently manageable phenomena that cam be dealt with by a Cabinet-level infrastructure.

    But it was too easy for them to ironically juxtapose “disaster” and “cabinet” in the same sentence, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say n’more…, so they went ahead and did it for a fairly unfunny and completely obvious – but irrelevant – cheap shot.

    Kevin Rudd showed what happened when you reward your enemies. They remain your enemies, but on a secure salary, one that you pay them.

    In politics you should skewer your enemies and reward your friends, those who supported you. You punish your enemies. I can’t see why the media have to turn this simple and understandable process into some kind of Machiavellian nightmare, a sign of terminal weakness.

    Rudd, due to the vote at the 2010 election holds a trump card. It is not the only trump card, but it is definitely at least one. Gillard has made a good job of playing the hand she was dealt. Now it’s her turn to shuffle the deck and deal a few cards of her own. Unfortunately, the joker, Rudd, is wild and so she has to account for that.

    That’s all it is, pretty straightforward stuff. Why the routine political process has to be turned into a moving feast, a drama of national significance, escapes me.

    The government has political and governmental issues it needs to face. Gillard can fart and chew gum at the same time. This reshuffle shows that.

    Why can’t the media do the same thing?

  14. Many thanks to Bushfire Bill for another brilliant post this morning @1580.

    It never ceases to amaze me how BB can produce such cogent, lucid and witty analyses week after week.

    The only MSM journos whose columns I look forward to reading as avidly as BB’s posts are Peter Fitzsimons and, intermittently, Mike Carlton.

  15. [Many thanks to Bushfire Bill…]

    I’m trying to put off getting down to work for the day, Atticus.

    I’m expecting trouble and am down to my last few available parts before Xmas. They all have to work perfectly, something that’s never been achieved before, especially when I need them to.

    Hence, the languishing at PB for a couple of hours this morning.

  16. confessions – Andrew Leigh tried to talk policy and the work to be done by the new Ministers, etc but Fool Gilbert, this morning, only wanted to ask about the PM installing her ‘henchmen’ in the new line up.

    I sensed Leigh’s frustrations and after Brandis had ranted for awhile, and a new questionning line by Gilbert, Leigh returned to challenge what Brandis had said instead of letting it drop. Well done, Andrew Leigh, because Sky presenters like to have the Oppn rants go unchallenged by stepping in and taking the interview along a new line instead of giving the Labor person a chance to respond first.

  17. BB, youve hit the nail on the ahead. NOTHING Gillard does is right. If anything goes well its a fluke or a cover up for something bad. She cant win

    She is against two oppositions, Abbott’s and the press pack.

    I cant see how she can win

  18. [NOTHING Gillard does is right. If anything goes well its a fluke or a cover up for something bad. She cant win

    She is against two oppositions, Abbott’s and the press pack.

    I cant see how she can win]

    It’s certainly a knock-down, drag-out fight. But if anyone is to fight it, Gillard’s the person.

  19. BB

    Some good stuff there.

    The media’s cop out is that they have a role in keeping the government “accountable” and when challenged they do not do this for the opposition, state it in terms of governments making decisions while oppositions “oppose”.

    What the media is getting away with – at least at the base end – is that they seem accountable to nobody, using the “freedom of speech” argument as there justification not only to report on matters but shape them.

    It is a depressing picture, but on the other hand, the print media in particular is becoming less and less relevant. Coupled with the fact that a blazing headlined today, is all but forgotten in the 24 news cycle tomorrow.

    I commented last week that AS as an issue in the print media (apart perhaps from the OO) had become almost invisible. What was it, 8 boats in 10 days and this “news” barely raised a ripple? Testimony I think to the fact that dead horses can only be flogged for so long.

    I don’t think the Slipper for Speaker issue has been mentioned at all in the last few days and the reshuffle, two days from now will also be part of the paper which wraps up the garbage.

  20. Question is why did a few weeks ago, the msm turn ever so slightly against the Rabbott? Was there a sniff of a challenge to his leadership? It seems that the msm have recalibrated again to bashing the govt.

  21. [Andrew Leigh tried to talk policy and the work to be done by the new Ministers, etc but Fool Gilbert, this morning, only wanted to ask about the PM installing her ‘henchmen’ in the new line up. ]

    Talking to the msm will never work. They need to speak over the top of the press gallery and directly to voters. I like what the PM is doing on twitter, she’s had some good, direct interactions with individuals. She’s also started doing long form, set piece interviews on specific topics.

  22. confessions

    Even Tingle reckons the cabinet reshuffle is a disaster. What hope does the govt have with the msm?

    From my point of view, Shorten to IR, Roxon to AG and Plibersek to Health, all good moves. Not sure about the rest, but hey everything is a compromise.
    I am fed up to the back teeth with our msm.

  23. [MrDenmore Mr Denmore
    Next year’s #howardsyllabus: “Rethinking Science: Why the ‘peer’ in ‘peer review’ means an alleged member of the House of Lords”]


  24. Just listened to The World Today on ABC radio.

    Julia weak. Some ministers refused to go (hence size of cabinet). Others rewarded for “helping her” remove Rudd. Julia woke up to bad press – defending her decision on the airways.

    Get the picture? FFS

  25. [Question is why did a few weeks ago, the msm turn ever so slightly against the Rabbott? Was there a sniff of a challenge to his leadership? It seems that the msm have recalibrated again to bashing the govt.]

    Good question Victoria. I was wondering the same. I am not sure how these things work – maybe Abbott’s press secretary had a meeting with some of them. Certainly, Tingle’s tone towards Gillard has changed. Why? Maybe she and her hubby really do silike the right wing of the ALP and simply see Gillard as captive to that. Who knows? The press seems to have backed off on Abbott, again. Perhaps they sniff a Rudd challenge before a Hockey or Turnbull challenge. Perhaps they just hate it that Gillard is still there and does not fawn to them during pressers. Perhaps it is now dawning on them that most of us hold them and their journalistic mates in contempt, as exemplified by the media enquiry. Perhaps they see it as an unjustified “get sqaure” by the ALP who have decided not to kow tow to the media (at least in the same way Rudd tried to cultivate it). After all, Abbott was a journo – one of their own. I am buggered if I now how Abbott gets such a free run. He must be a charmer. Either that, or the collective 2 fingered salute from the Govt to the press gallery is just not cricket.

    Anyone heard of Glen Milne lately?

  26. [It’s certainly a knock-down, drag-out fight. But if anyone is to fight it, Gillard’s the person.]

    OH and I heard the PM with Sabraa Lane this morning. OH started yelling at Lane’s questionning and pondered ‘how does JG put up with them – I’d want to walk out’, but the PM kept cool as usual. It’s a heck of a battle tho to make any headway with any of the media.

    I might add that OH was a little unkind about Maiden on SBS last night but not for PB’s gentle eyes.

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