Budget polling: Nielsen, Galaxy and Morgan

Four polls: one from Nielsen, conducted on the two nights after the budget (Wednesday and Thursday) from a sample of 1200; one from Galaxy, conducted on Thursday evening and during the day yesterday from a sample of 600; a Morgan phone poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday evening from a sample of 571; and a Morgan face-to-face poll conducted last weekend from a sample of 1004. Galaxy only canvassed opinion on the budget; Nielsen and the Morgan phone poll canvassed the budget and voting intention; the Morgan face-to-face poll, obviously, missed the budget and only looked at voting intention.

First on voting intention. Nielsen and the Morgan phone poll are in agreement on two-party preferred, which amounts to a combined sample of 1771 putting the result at 58-42 to the Coalition. On the primary vote, Nielsen has Labor up a point on the previous poll six weeks ago to 28%, the Coalition up two to 49% and the Greens down one to 12%. Even allowing for the small sample and high margin of error, the state breakdowns offer the truly extraordinary result of a Labor primary vote in Queensland of 19%, compared with a previous worst of 21% in July last year (and perhaps suggesting a honeymoon for the state government has added a bit of fuel to federal Labor’s recent poll collapse). Remarkably, the poll still has Labor ahead 54-46 in Victoria.

Morgan’s phone poll has the primary votes at 29% for Labor, 50.5% for the Coalition and 10% for the Greens. The face-to-face poll has Labor’s primary vote at 29.5%, down half a point on their previous worst-ever result in the last poll of April 21/22 (there was evidently no polling conducted on the weekend of April 28/29). The Coalition was also down two points, to 45.5%, and with the Greens steady at 12%, the slack has been taken up by “others”. At 13%, the latter figure is at levels unseen since One Nation and the Democrats were substantial concerns, although other, more reliable polls aren’t replicating this. Records have also been set on the two-party preferred figures: the 60.5-39.5 respondent-allocated result is Labor’s worst ever, but the gap between this figure and the 55.5-44.5 previous-election result is also at an all-time high, the previous highest being two polls ago in early April.

Regarding the budget:

• Nielsen and Galaxy both asked respondents if it would leave them better or worse, producing results of 27% better off and 43% worse off in Nielsen’s case, and 23% and 46% in Galaxy’s.

• Morgan has 19% rating the budget good, 43% average and 25% bad; 29.5% believing the surplus would eventuate and 60% believing it wouldn’t; and 49% considering a surplus important and 47.5% believing otherwise. The latter result is remarkably different to what Essential Research elicited a month ago when it framed the question thus: “Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus by 2012/13 as planned – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure?” That produced respective results of 12% and 73%.

• Galaxy asked if respondents believed the Coalition would have done better, which is the one question that allows ready comparison with the three questions Newspoll has been asking after each budget since the late 1980s (Newspoll also asks about impact on personal finances, but it explicitly offers respondents an “unchanged” option which invariably proves very popular). The results were 29% yes and 43% no, which is a surprisingly positive result for the government (or, more likely, a negative one for the opposition) – better for them than Newspoll’s 2010 and 2011 results, and close to Newspoll’s long-term averages of 29.5% and 47.6%.

• Galaxy also found only 17% anticipating that carbon tax compensation would be adequate against 62% who said it would not be.

So much for the good news for Julia Gillard. Personal ratings from Nielsen show up the following:

• Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred Labor leader has further blown out, to 62-30 in a head-to-head contest with Gillard from 58-34 when the question was last asked immediately before the leadership challenge.

• With other leadership options included, the results are 42% for Rudd, 19% for Gillard, 12% for Stephen Smith, 9% for Simon Crean, 8% for Bill Shorten and 4% for Greg Combet.

• Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister has blown out from 48-45 to 50-42, returning him to where he was in September.

• Abbott has also scored his best personal ratings since July last year, his approval up five points on the previous poll to 44% and disapproval down four to 52%.

• Gillard has at least not gone backwards on her own personal ratings, although the starting point was quite dismal enough: 35% approval (down one) and 60% disapproval (up one).

UPDATE: Essential Research is at 57-43, down from 58-42 last week, from primary votes of 50% for the Coalition (steady), 30% for Labor (up one) and 11% for the Greens (steady). Also featured are the monthly personal ratings, which are little changed on April (contra Nielsen, Tony Abbott’s net rating has actually deteriorated from minus 12 to minus 17), and responses to the budget. The most interesting of the latter questions is on the impact of the budget on you personally, working people, businesses and the economy overall, for which the respective net ratings are minus 11, plus 7, minus 33 and minus 6. All of the eight specific features of the budget canvassed produced net positive ratings, from plus 5 for reduced defence spending to plus 79 for increased spending on dental health. There was a statistical tie (34% to 33%) on the question of whether Wayne Swan or Joe Hockey was most trusted to handle the economy.

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.

4,219 comments on “Budget polling: Nielsen, Galaxy and Morgan”

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  1. Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    61 new telework partners sign on as NBN takes off

    Excuse my ignorance what are telework partners

  2. Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    61 new telework partners sign on as NBN takes off

    Excuse my ignorance what are telework partners

  3. Bruce Belsham says “Chris Uhlmann, widely respected in Canberra…as a decent, intelligent and no-nonsense journalist…”.

    This is just not true. Anyone who lives in Canberra (as I do) and is interested in politics, knows that Chris Uhlmann contested the ACT 1998 general election on a strong pro-life ticket with the objective of blocking both euthanasia and abortion.

    Uhlmann went down in screaming heap at that election because he was completely out of touch with the ACT electorate, one of the most progressive in Australia. He is not “widely respected” in Canberra at all.

    Bruce Belsham is also completely out of touch with his own constituency, the ABC viewers, who hold Uhlmann in very low regard, for his professional incompetency and his cloddish bad manners (not to mention his blatant political bias). The comments thread on Keating’s article demonstrate that very clearly.

    Frankly, I am fed up with these faceless right-wing toadies at the ABC.

  4. [Sophie Mirabella says Cossie is ‘one of the most honest and decent politicians ever seen and he does not deserve to be treated this way.’]

    Could we have a bit of a ring around to see if anyone has a dictionary that we can send to SM, she could look up the meaning of honest and decent, a million bucks says there won’t be a picture of Cossie or any LNP, might however be a picture of a poor old bloke wearing a nappy and gazing whistfully out a garden shed window. Some say he was a decent and honest bloke.

  5. OPT/99

    Maybe we should demand our rights. The Crown Jewels could pay for the setting up of High Speed Rail.

  6. how is that justified? @BBelsham RT @abcmarkscott Mr. Scott, @CUhlmann interrupted PM Gillard 26 times during a 15mins interview

  7. Victoria

    Anything to do with the Pies that is reported should be tempered by the fact that 85% of everyone who knows of them hates them, and only 15% love them.

    Also journalism has become the ultimate echo chamber – (an accusation that in the past used to be levelled at Pollbludger). Reporters reporting on what another reporter has said. WOfTAS

  8. [William you can snip that earlier post, I didnt mean to expose so much Christopher Pyne to everyone.]

    BG: you have earned my eternal gratitude 🙂

  9. More from the burgerman

    [John Bergin‏@theburgerman

    Mr Thomson alleges the FWA failed to investigate the claims he made in his submission to the FWA report.

    36m John Bergin‏@theburgerman

    “… to destroy his political ambitions and to set him up with a bunch of hookers and ruin him.”

    A submission from Mr Thomson’s lawyers to the FWA says witnesses heard a rival official of the HSU threaten to “Ruin Mr Thomson’s life …

    9 News: Craig Thomson says threats were made eight years ago to set him up with prostitutes and ruin him.]

    I reckon that is a threat I could avoid.

    Sounds like no names are going to be mentioned

  10. [people who work from home, using telephone & computer to stay in touch with the office]

    All parts of the world. the tyranny of the office is GORN.

  11. [Fitzgibbon sat there, let him finish, and STILL didn’t refute that when it was his turn to talk!

    Seriously, Labor need to get some head-kickers on TV, rather than soft cocks like Fitzgibbon.]
    State of Origin RL is coming up in the near future. He is concentrating on the free private box and booze supplied by his brother, the boss of NIB.Both can piss off to Cessnock for good as far as I am concerned.

  12. Schnappi: he might be in with a chance for a Gold Logie once Tony’s in the Lodge.

    He does have a big debt to repay after all.

    And I’m not talking about his mortgage 😉

  13. [Excuse my ignorance what are telework partners]

    my say as zoomster said.

    Some jobs do no require people to travel to work, they can work from home with a high speed connection.

    My niece works for a company in Scotland, she lives in Sydney. She curses the time wasted on data transfer.

    Of course not everyone is able to work at home, but as Microsoft Australia have stated they have cut the office space needed by 25%, this is a huge saving.

  14. HaveAChat: Again, I repeat: look at the people who are weighing into the Kroger/Costello argument and what they are saying.

    Kroger is the one who appears to be defending Abbott; it is Costello who is a threat.

    Why are so many people coming out strongly in defence of Costello?

    Unless you KNOW what is going on – and are either helping the game along or playing your own game – isn’t it best to stay out of it entirely?

  15. Been out all day, so don’t know if this has been mentioned, and was possibly missed in the kerfuffle re Costello, but Joe Hockey was asked by Neil Mitchell about using Craig Thomson’s ‘tainted’ vote in a confidence motion, to bring down the Government.

    He wouldn’t answer.

  16. zoidlord

    I doubt many will believe him but what has he got to lose. He may see this as a way of weakening the resolve of the FWA.

    Odd that Nassios did no report the allgeations which Thomson will air tomorrow.

    In fact Thomson said at least once to Nassios that he had theories about how these things appeared on his cards. Why would he not have told them to Nassios is an obvious question if he is proceeded against?

  17. Thank you schappi, wish i coukd of done that, and gosh not even aus, wide yet….

    Shell what did you mean, re avoid

  18. By the way, can anyone else remember any other time when the ABC has sought to personally intervene into a debate on an article that THEY posted on their own website in order to refute the suggestions in that article?

    It is so obvious that they expected all the Labor haters to outnumber the PJK fans (or Uhlmann haters) and got a real shock when many commenters said they were Liberal voters or Keating haters it was the first time they had ever agreed with him!

  19. Since this is Speed Dating Friday, have Peter Costello and Michael Kroger rocked up to settle their differences?

  20. Doyley

    I dont think so – Laurie was promising on twitter only a few hours ago he would do his best in the interview.

  21. [In fact Thomson said at least once to Nassios that he had theories about how these things appeared on his cards. Why would he not have told them to Nassios is an obvious question if he is proceeded against?]

    Maybe he did tell Nassios?

  22. [Since this is Speed Dating Friday, have Peter Costello and Michael Kroger rocked up to settle their differences?]

    No one does hate like Kroger. The way he spat at Hawker on Qld election night was the sign of a bloke with anger issues. I almost felt sorry for Hawker.

  23. [Maybe he did tell Nassios?]

    It is one thing to point the finger at your immediate rivals, but assertions against the FWA investigator will most likely fail the judicial sniff test.

  24. (but Joe Hockey was asked by Neil Mitchell about using Craig Thomson’s ‘tainted’ vote in a confidence motion, to bring down the Government.

    He wouldn’t answer.)

    I must be thick tonight , but tainted vote who says
    And how

  25. shellbell @130,

    Thanks for that.

    It just seemed that from the tweets reported in earlier posts what was going to be asked and answered was already out there.


  26. I think the worm has turned on Tony Abbott over the last 24 hours since he went into our parliament and let fly with as much impertinent disrespect of our Prime Minister as Uhlmann has mustered on 7.30.

    If Laurie Oakes has decided to give Julia Gillard’s lifeline in parliament, Craig Thomson, more than the time of day, in fact, coming out of his self-imposed hibernation to conduct an interview with him tomorrow, then I think it is fair to assume that he has forgiven the PM her indiscretions and has had enough of the gormless goon, Tony Abbott.

    Not only that, but the report on Channel 9 News tonight pointedly made reference to Tony Abbott’s opportunistic targeting of Craig Thomson and used footage of Abbott which, frankly, made him look sleazy.

    If there’s one thing that Laurie Oakes cherishes about politics in Australia, it is the essential decency which underpins it, unlike in America going through it’s dog eat dog Tea Party phase, and which he has no doubt noted creeping into Australia.

    So, will this be the point where the eminense grise and true doyenne of the Canberra Press Gallery, sends a signal to the herd that enough is enough of the attacks against Julia Gillard?

    After last night’s pathetic Budget-In-Reply speech from Tony Abbott, the unfolding Ashby/Slipper set-up and the duplicitous hypocrisy of the Coalition’s attacks on Craig Thomson, when they are just as guilty of protecting their own in similar circumstances, I am hopeful the answer is ‘Yes’.

  27. roaldan 1000

    I hope you don’t mind. I cribbed one of your sentences as part of the email I have just sent to Bruce Belsham, objecting to Uhlmann’s rudeness and lack of respect for the PM.

  28. Bad day, the trout are not playing the game. I’m warmed by the poll bounce labor has received since the budget.

  29. [The Crown Jewels could pay for the setting up of High Speed Rail.]

    Nyaaah, Guytaur. I’d keep the gems (& the Septre; I’d have fun donging annoying people with it); though not Victoria’s mostly embarrassingly kitch gifts from Dearest Albert. You can have ’em to flog for the HSR.

    OTOH, we could arrange for the Poms to win the round-ball World Cup, send them all our spare vino – free (& drugged), invade, sneak up on UK railway lines, engine & carriage sheds, liberate the lot (though lots of points & signals are crap) and sneak back with them. If we put all the good rail together, we could maybe run the HST from Briz to Melb.

  30. Facts at the ABC (no need to ROFL)
    [Chris Uhlmann, widely respected in Canberra and amongst his colleagues as a decent, intelligent and no-nonsense journalist, continues a fine tradition]
    Well, that is an assertion, for which ZERO evidence is provided. None whatsoever. If this fellow wanted some credibility, it is possible to provide it. For example
    [how is that justified? @BBelsham RT @abcmarkscott Mr. Scott, @CUhlmann interrupted PM Gillard 26 times during a 15mins interview]
    Now, I don’t know if it was 26 times (of which more anon) but that is an ascertainable fact. Is it true Mr Belsham? How does it compare with other Uhlman interviews, say with Abbott? Both very easily ascertainable facts that you could have used. Or had you gone to a bit of effort, maybe get a clip of an O Brien interview and seen how many interruptions there were of Gillard; or Rudd; or Howard.

    Or perhaps another set of facts to see how “widely respected” Uhlman is – how are the ratings Mr Belsham – again, another set of easily ascertainable facts that you ought to have; I have long since stopped watching the 730 rubbish dump

    So more of just rubbish unsubstantiated opinion, and how about some fact based analysis. Whoops, sorry, this is the ABC News after all; what am I thinking

  31. [It is one thing to point the finger at your immediate rivals, but assertions against the FWA investigator will most likely fail the judicial sniff test.]

    Thomson replied in writing to FWA, this was not released in full by FWA only extracts.

  32. My understanding is Mr Thomson was given a number of issues to respond to by FWA before the final report was finalised.

    The lawyers for Mr Thomson would have responded to these issues in writing and any earlier information re witnesses etc would also have been in writing eg independent experts stating the signatures on the dockets were not those of Mr Thomson.

    I doubt very much it would be he said he said with no written record.

    I have no idea BUT if the information re witnesses etc were not followed up by FWA the question is why not.

    Any way all will be revealed in the fullness of time.

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