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. Bombshell Newspoll just after we have had the Neilsen, Galaxy and Morgan phone polls!

    Now we have to wait a few weeks to see if it is an outlier or the start of a new post budget trend back to ALP… its gonna be an interesting few weeks!!!

  2. OK guys

    Slightly smaller landslide

    [RT “@GhostWhoVotes: #Newspoll 2 Party Preferred: ALP 45 (+4) L/NP 55 (-4) #auspol”]

  3. Just had the misfortune of switching on the tele a few minutes too early and catching a bit of Q&A. (I was in a daze with the Saints result, forgive me.)

    Anyway, the first thing I heard was a question about Kroger and Sloppy’s little pointy finger moment, followed by Sloan saying “I think we should move on now.”

    I’m a bit shocked by how blatantly the tories are now about refusing to answer any question they don’t like, even ordering ‘journalists’ to move on. Incredible.

  4. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Primary Votes: ALP 30 (+3) L/NP 45 (-6) GRN 12 (+1) #auspol}

    Please, please, please, let this be the start! But I’m sure the MSM will spin it in a negative light.

  5. [GhostWhoVotes ‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Primary Votes: ALP 30 (+3) L/NP 45 (-6) GRN 12 (+1)]

    Well i will eat my dead cat and his bouncy bones.

  6. The Aussie has already posted an article and was mildly positive for Labor which has to be a first. The most negative thing they said was that Gillard personally didn’t get a booste but never did Abbott.

  7. [Fit/Proper Gusface ‏ @GenGusface
    btw can someone tell the nervous nellieson PB that thommo aint going- it was a Ltd News hack that started the rumour- a sports one at that]

  8. I will be totally partisan here and until it is shown to one, I am not treating this as an outlier.

  9. And who wrote off the North Shore approach? Not me! They have to run it continually, but they should be able to dogwhistle on it more subtly now.

  10. JohD
    [I don’t know. The talk is about whether Thompson will walk. I say he won’t because bankruptcy will result. However that means Labor has to cover his legals.]
    Why are you bringing it up, then?

    Why make it a point of contention when you don’t even know?
    This sort of shite pisses me off.

    Because dopey arses will run with it as if it’s the truth.

    And it’s such a stupid stance to take.

    As if any side of parly – whatever side of politics they’re on and they want to preserve the status quo – wouldn’t step up to the plate and “pay” a member’s legals.

    It doesn’t make sense not to do otherwise.

    So, why the hell make it an issue, when it isn’t one???

  11. JohD – perhaps some generously spirited lawyer will do it pro bono for Thomson. Who knows?

    OH and I agree with others – Penny Wong displayed her true class but Q&A was appalling tonight. Joe doesn’t look very happy at the moment. He used to be ebullient and full of good cheer on Q&A but not tonight. It was a very down in the mouth performance. I wonder what’s going on within the Lib Party or has he realised that he’s not seen as Treasurer material by many.

  12. Wow! Newspoll! And after tonight’s episode of Qanda which had Penny Wong slam-dunking Joe Hockey’s homophobia into the next universe, the sky’s the limit!

    Well, anyway, I can dream for a while. 😀

  13. davidwh @ 4159

    please don’t call The Australian, “the Aussie”, I find that offensive to rational Aussies!!

  14. Abbott: Approve 34 (+1) Disapprove 56 (+1) Tomorrow headline on #TheirABC, LOTO’s approval has soared #auspol

  15. Dee
    Can you please tell gus to get his madagascan aske back over here and tell us himself. PB without the Lemur just aint the same.

  16. Gillard: Approve 27 (-1) Disapprove 63 (0) – Tomorrow headline on #TheirABC, PM Gillard’s approval has crashed #auspol

  17. [Can you please tell gus to get his madagascan aske back over here and tell us himself. PB without the Lemur just aint the same.]

    Puuuffyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, NOAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. [I will be totally partisan here and until it is shown to one, I am not treating this as an outlier.]

    With the movement of polls in recent years (months/weeks) how can you tell when a poll is an outlier?

  19. [Would have thunk that. #MediaWatch whacked #ABC730 for sloppy journalism.]

    Damn. Bruce Belsham has another letter to write.

  20. It was a pretty good bet that Newspoll would show an improvement since it often changes direction on a fortnightly basis.

  21. I can’t bloody believe that Julia Gillard and Joe Hockeynomics agree on the issue of same sex marriage.

    They are both absolute wankers.

  22. [Fit/Proper Gusface ‏ @GenGusface
    @Thefinnigans and the cat is almost outta the bag ☻]

    MOAR is close to ROAR ……………………..

  23. swamprat
    [L/NP -6, is that a large movement?]
    Well, let’s just say if your dog did it in the park you would need a garbage bag to pick it up.

  24. [As if any side of parly – whatever side of politics they’re on and they want to preserve the status quo – wouldn’t step up to the plate and “pay” a member’s legals.

    It doesn’t make sense not to do otherwise.

    So, why the hell make it an issue, when it isn’t one???]

    You can get pissed off as much as you like; be my guest. Fact is, it is an issue …. for Thompson. Want to bet it isn’t?

    That makes it Labor’s problem. They can chuck him under the bus … after they call an election. Until then, they own the little problem about this little expense.

    Sounds to me like you want to run and hide. Level heads in Labor are probably already dealing with it. But try to hide it, and it will blow up in their faces.

  25. Wow this place parties when the corpse is missing an arm and a leg… imagine if it was breathing and had two arms and legs. This place would rock…

  26. One can hope twitteres have got his right

    Are you serious??? RT @zackster: Pyne is rumoured to be resigning over (ashby/ssm/lies

  27. Well there you go, there is an opportunity for Labor if they want it?

    Labor will implement a carbon scheme to be charged on the largest polluters, whereas Tont Abbott will implement his own great big new tax to be charged on 6.6 times more companies to fund a PPL.

    But here is the catch, ordinary Australians will be compensated with the carbon scheme, whereas the only people to be compensated by the PPL TAX will be the ones who have a baby.

    Fair dinkum, even the dumbest voter on the planet should understand it!

  28. How on earth are ABC Breakfast talking Libheads going to spin a -6 poll for the Oppn. I’ll have to watch just to see the fun.

  29. I think it’s a big mistake by Labor not to mention the carbon scheme in their compensation advertisments 😯

    Tell people the truth, honesty is the best policy 😎

  30. JohD

    I’m not pissied off.
    I’m not saying it isn’t an issue for Thomson.
    FFS where did I say that!
    Don’t answer, it wasn’t a question.

    It’d be pretty stupid of Labor not to meet his costs.
    I think we agree on this.

    No – I do not want to run and hide.
    I suggested, if you read my post, that either side would want to maintain the status quo if one of their members was in trouble – and obviously that meant that either side would pay. In this instance, that would be the ALP paying for Thomson.

    I just don’t see why you made an issue out of an obvious non-issue.

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