Nielsen: 53-47 to Coalition

It seems Nielsen’s sample of 1400 respondents from its first opinion poll of the year didn’t get the memo: the poll has the Coalition’s two-party preferred lead at 53-47, which although not brilliant for the government in absolute terms is its best result from Nielsen since March last year. The same applies for the primary vote, on which Labor is at 33 per cent, while the Coalition is on 45 per cent and the Greens are on 13 per cent. This looks particularly good for Labor if you compare it with the most recent result from the same pollster, as the media so likes to do. That poll, which was published on December 11, had Labor at 29 per cent, the Coalition at 49 per cent and the Greens at 11 per cent, with two-party preferred at 57-43. Labor’s relatively strong showing has been driven by a quirky looking result from the Victorian component of the poll, which has Labor leading 55-45 – essentially the same as the 2010 election result, and better for them than at any Nielsen poll since. The Victorian component accounts for 330 respondents and has a margin of error of 5.4 per cent; the results for the other states should emerge tomorrow. The margin of error for the poll as a whole, which as always with Nielsen was conducted from Thursday to Saturday, is 2.6 per cent.

Even better for Labor so far as tomorrow’s headlines are concerned is an eight-point improvement in Julia Gillard’s net personal rating and a six-point improvement as preferred prime minister. Gillard’s approval is up five on the previous poll to 40 per cent and her disapproval is down three to 55 per cent, and she has shot to a 48-46 lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister after trailing 46-42 last time. These results are very similar to the November poll, and the shifts probably represent a correction on an aberrant result in December. That Gillard has gained six points on preferred prime minister without taking a chunk out of Abbott’s rating is curious, and calls attention to the much lower undecided rating Nielsen produces on this question (ranging from 6 per cent to 12 per cent since the election) compared with Newspoll (15 per cent to 25 per cent). Tony Abbott’s personal ratings meanwhile are essentially unchanged: approval steady on 41 per cent, and disapproval up one to 54 per cent (his equal worst results from Nielsen on both counts).

One fly in the ointment for Gillard is that Nielsen has, reasonably enough, put her head-to-head with Kevin Rudd as preferred Labor leader, with Rudd predictably holding a commanding 57 per cent to 35 per cent lead. However, even this is a much better result for Gillard than when the question was last asked at Labor’s polling nadir in October, when Rudd led 61 per cent to 30 per cent.

Numbers, it almost goes without saying, courtesy of GhostWhoVotes. UPDATE: Full tables, including state breakdowns and such, here.

UPDATE: Essential Research once again has the two-party vote at 54-46, as it has in every poll since December 12 (and not since September has it failed to produce a result of either 54-46 or 55-45). Labor however has dropped a point on the primary vote for the second week in a row, now at 33 per cent (their weakest result since October 24), with the Coalition steady on 47 per cent and the Greens up a point to 11 per cent. A question on the government’s industrial relations regime finds 24 per cent believing it favours workers, 25 per cent believing it favours employers and 34 per cent finding it balances the interests of both, which would be a very pleasing set of numbers from the government’s point of view. The poll also has 15 per cent of respondents saying Australian workers are “very productive” and 59 per cent “quite productive”. Also canvassed was trust in various public institutions, which has the Australian Defence Force on top. Curiously, the least trusted out of those included were “business and banking regulators”.

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.

4,161 comments on “Nielsen: 53-47 to Coalition”

Comments Page 1 of 84
1 2 84
  1. Thanks William!
    I’d be interested to see the state by state figures, if anyone could post them, especially QLD & NSW(we know VIC improved dramatically for Labor).

  2. » GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Nielsen Poll Primary Votes: ALP 33 (+4) L/NP 45 (-4) GRN 13 (+2) #auspol

    rummel you deserve that now eat it!!!!!!!!! Paine in the arse, you too
    After all the crap dished out by the media, over the last week, the LNP and the likes of you two, she leads on does this wonderful woman and her party…oh how sad for the Libs and the refugee from the Jesuit Monastry on Tuesday 😀

  3. Last Nielsen was an obvious outlier in the coalition’s favour. Nielsen has moved broadly back into line with what all the other polls are saying.

    Gillard is lucky the last nielsen was an outlier and that most people are incapable of analysing the significance of poll movements correctly.

  4. Great strategy… Keep Gillard out of the public view for a few months and the polls trend up… My families baseball bats are polished and ready for election day.

  5. David

    [rummel you deserve that now eat it!!!!!!!!! Paine in the arse,]

    I like it when Team Labor get all warm and personal. Now i blame the ABC bias for the totally inconceivable poll.

  6. Victoria: the gloss is finally coming off Barry O’Farrell in NSW, so perhaps that’s starting to impact the Liberal vote in my state.

  7. Victoria
    [rummel you deserve that now eat it!!!!!!!!! Paine in the arse,]

    I agree, and the libs in NSW are not racking up any runs.

  8. It is also worth recalling Bushfire Bills observations earlier today re the ramifications of Nielsens result giving Labor a figure over 30 in the Primary vote as applied to SMH and The Age…as he was on the careful side at 31…33 is excellent.

  9. If you allow for the recent slight bias to the Libs in Nielsen polls, this is 52/51-48/49.

    I hope it kills off the ridiculous commentary about an imminent leadership challenge.

  10. [I agree, and the libs in NSW are not racking up any runs.]

    Especially as BOF & nasty Prue Coward are attacking pensioners and foster parents.

  11. [My families baseball bats are polished and ready for election day]

    Bloody hell, Labor should just give up now – Sophie M’s family have got baseball bats!

  12. [rummel
    Posted Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    David

    rummel you deserve that now eat it!!!!!!!!! Paine in the arse,

    I like it when Team Labor get all warm and personal. Now i blame the ABC bias for the totally inconceivable poll.]

    rummel you are now justifying my remarks re your spine…use what ever brain you have and head for the door before you really look dumb.

  13. Internal polling must have been telling the Fibs the same thing. No wonder they went feral this week trying to throw mud at the govt.

  14. [This looks particularly good for Labor if you compare it with the most recent result from the same pollster, as the media so likes to do.]

    I’m sure they’ll make an exception in this case…

  15. [Especially as BOF & nasty Prue Coward are attacking pensioners and foster parents.]

    Yep. Shame, i was looking forward to a spill. Gillards is as safe until after the budget.

  16. [I hope it kills off the ridiculous commentary about an imminent leadership challenge.]

    I wonder if Joe Public has woken up to the fact that the msm is not providing friendly advice.

  17. So which demographics are leaving the Libs and coming back to Labor? The mid year tax reforms should be well received by the heartland. Big year coming up and still two years from the election.

  18. Falling interest rates, mild inflation and doubts about the Liberals’ so-called economic policies…..Labor still has a fighting chance….as long as the employment market holds up.

  19. [If you allow for the recent slight bias to the Libs in Nielsen polls, this is 52/51-48/49. ]

    Not sure about recent. (Though it’s all relative.) I’ve noticed it for at least a couple of years.

  20. James J chiming in with his brand of ‘wisdom’:

    Gillard is lucky the last nielsen was an outlier and that most people are incapable of analysing the significance of poll movements correctly.

    Riiiiiight. So the fact that the ALP has obviously had a PV of around 34% in recent times, but the media focus on a dodgy 30% figure from Newspoll makes Gillard “lucky”. The fact that this is entirely in line with a general gradual movement back to the government is just “luck” and of no broader significance whatsoever?

    The entire media/ruddstoration commentary rests on the notion that the ALP’s vote is terminally stalled at wipeout levels. The fact that it has been on a slow upward trend for the last couple of months is “luck” and has no bearing on anything right?

    The fact that Tony Abbott’s leadership rests entirely on keeping the ALP vote down, and that it now looks like he is failing to do this. Where are the questions about his leadership?

  21. David.

    spare me your kind words [head for the door before you really look dumb.] Have you not noticed im a lib on a Team Labor blog site. I dont come here for confirmation of my feel good greens views.

  22. [markjs
    Posted Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
    Does this mean no more Ruddstoration on PB…. ]
    well, the multiple personality @ 10 just asked for a joint 😆

  23. I’ll take it. Looking forward to Abbott and the media’s reaction tomorrow 🙂

    My political instincts tell me there will be a lot of confusion in the coming days.

    And the thing that caps it off in terms of the news cycle is the forecast fall in interest rates in the coming days

  24. Wow, i actually gasped when I saw the Ghost’s post!! Was NOT expecting a move back to the Govt this poll… That will be welcome news at the lodge tonight!

  25. markjs

    I know the Rudd talk upset you. But the reality is that MPs have said that there are a few Rudd supporters causing mischief behind the scenes for the return to Rudd. Rudd and his supporters are still an issue for the govt. My hope is that they sort it out once and for all. Maybe this latest poll, might do that

  26. “Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s BBQ party strikes a snag as Labor leadership speculation continues”

    “MORE than 20 MPs including senior cabinet ministers Simon Crean, Stephen Smith and Martin Ferguson failed to show at Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s special caucus meeting yesterday as speculation continued her leadership was crumbling.”

  27. Cuppa

    I don’t recall how long Poss went back comparing the various pollsters but I think it was 2007 onwards. Nielsen has been very erratic recently. I’d back ER and Newspoll as being more reliable and accurate, although there is no gold standard to compare them all to.

  28. victoria you nailed it and the Fairfax press did their damndest to ensure the result of their own poll would not be outside Newspoll and Galaxy, they failed miserably.

    It is worth noting from Thursday through Sunday the comment thread from nearly all their political commentators, was particularly strong, attacking the PM and the Govt. Along the lines of News Ltd (William will correct me if wrong)

    Karma is laughed at by some, others just nod and say nothing.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 84
1 2 84