Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition

Labor’s run of bad polling has been relieved by a relatively encouraging Nielsen result, in which a modest Coalition two-party lead is offset by an alarming disapproval rating for Tony Abbott and a thumbs-down over his handling of the AWU affair.

GhostWhoVotes reports that the final Nielsen poll for the year has come in above Labor’s recent form, with the Coalition leading 52-48, down from 53-47 last month. Labor is up a point on the primary vote to 35%, with the Coalition down two to 43% and the Greens down two to 10%. Tony Abbott has reached a new low on net approval from Nielsen with approval down two to 34% and disapproval up three to an alarming 63%, which is apparently the second highest disapproval rating for an Opposition Leader in Nielsen’s 40-year history. Julia Gillard’s personal ratings are little changed at 46% approval (down one) and 50% disapproval (up two), while her lead as preferred prime minister is at 50-40, compared with 51-42 last time. There is also heartening news for Labor with questions on the AWU affair, with 47% approving of Julia Gillard’s handling of the matter against 40% disapproval, while the respective figures for Tony Abbott are 24% and 64%. Full tables here.

There has also been a ReachTel automated phone poll of 661 respondents published today, commissioned by Sydney Morning Herald, which suggests Mal Brough would win a clear victory as LNP candidate for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax despite his recent bruising in the Ashby affair. The poll shows Brough with 48.4% on the primary vote against a derisory for 2.7% for Peter Slipper, who is publicly still committed to seeking re-election as an independent, 21.2% for Labor, 11.7% for the Greens and 7.4% for Katter’s Australian Party. Brough was viewed favourably by 41.8% of respondents against 34.0% unfavourable, while the respective figures for Slipper were 6.9% and 75.5%. Brough’s involvement in the Ashby matter made 37.3% of respondents less likely to vote for him, against 39.8% for no difference. A substantial cohort of very curious people, apparently amounting to 22.6% of the Fisher electorate, say it has made them more likely to vote for him.

UPDATE (17/12/2012): The final Essential Research for the year has the Coalition gaining a point on two-party preferred for the second successive week to extend its lead to 55-45, the highest in nearly three months. However, the primary votes have emerged from rounding unchanged on last week, with Labor on 36%, the Coalition on 48% and the Greens on 8%. Further questions find that 2012 was perceived as being a good year for banks and miners, an uninspiring one for the Australian economy and “you and your family”, a poor one for the media, farming, unions, the environment and “the average Australian”, and a shocker for small business and “Australian politics in general”. Labor, Liberal, Greens and independents were all rated as having had a bad year, Labor emerging the worst. Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott rated equally poorly, with opinion evenly divided as to whether either will make it to the election.

Respondents were asked which of seven deignated political events was the year’s most significant, with the implementation of the carbon tax well ahead on 41%. The other results were 14% for the Kevin Rudd leadership challenge, 9% for the reopening of offshore detention centres, 7% for AWU slush fund allegations, 6% for Julia Gillard’s sexism speech, 5% for “bipartisan support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme” and 5% for Australia winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Essential Research will next report on January 14.

UPDATE 2: GhostWhoVotes reports Nielsen further finds 36% of respondents think themselves better off than two years against 45% worse off, with supporters of Labor (50% better, 29% worse) and the Greens (52% better, 26% worse) typically taking a rosier view than those of the Coalition (23% better, 61% worse).

UPDATE 3 (19/12/12): The final Morgan face-to-face poll for the year, covering the last two weekends’ surveying, is a good one for Labor, who are up four points to 40% on the primary vote (their best result since February last year), while the Coalition is down three to 37.5% (their worst this term) with the Greens up 1.5% to 12.5%. Two-party preferred is 52.5-47.5 in Labor’s favour on respondent-allocated preferences, which precisely reverses the position in the previous poll, while previous election preferences have Labor turning a 50.5-49.5 deficit into a 53.5-46.5 lead. These are respectively Labor’s best results since December 2010 and February 2011.

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.

5,440 comments on “Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition”

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  1. [Rupert’s already done the job on Assange.]

    Except that Julian Assange says Rupert Murdoch is one of his greatest heros, and the Murdoch papers virtually left Assange alone when he was publicising Wikileaks.

    Asange is extremely right wing, a libertarian anarchist (except when it comes to expensive lawyers, wealthy friends and facing up to charges laid against him).

  2. C@t – Stay safe.

    [of dead parrots.]

    If you see anything silver or Polar White … sortaa vehicular or Duke Red. Then dive for the ditch and man the Browning’s. ‘Nough said.

  3. Yeeeee… I copped a bucketload from Scringler the other day. Felt like Neil on the Young Ones – didn’t have a clue what Scringler was on about but thought WTF an apology might calm him down. Sounds like his beef was with Rosemour not me. If you’re there Scringler, take a chill pill.

  4. [There are 9 Green Senators (For a total of 36 staff).]
    I stand corrected.
    [Are there Deputy Leader’s extra staff as well?]
    I don’t think so.

    I might add that backbench members only had three staff until 2007, when Howard increased it to four, in order to provide his beleaguered MPs with extra campaign staff at public expense.

  5. vic

    I’ve listened to the tape a couple of times now, and read the transcript.

    Apart from Ailes promising to be Petraeus’ campaign manager and Rupert Murdoch bankrolling him, the worst part of that conversation was Kathleen McFarland telling him that the rest of Fox was going to be “in-house” for Petraeus.

    That’s what’s happening here with Abbott.

    When Jonathan Green of ABC Media Watch castigated News Limited over their running with the AWU saga, and the ABC hadn’t covered it all because there was no basis to the allegations, Jonathan Green aired News Limited challenge to air the allegations.

    That is, the ABC caved into News Limited’s baseless shite.

    They’re still running it.

    So, who controls our media?

    I don’t want Rupert Murdoch controlling our media.

  6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Bludgers!!

    An interesting year to come with Labor trending up in the polls.
    I think that trend will continue and end up with Labor winning.

    No proof of this other than policy is good politics and I do not see Team Abbott giving credible alternate policies.

    So it is with good cheer I sign off for this year and look forward to negativity getting its reward with an election loss.

    Hopefully some good fun along the way. 🙂

  7. Murdoch, for all his talent as a journalist, will always be remembered for this….

    [Bean, who wrote in his diary of Monash “We do not want Australia represented by men mainly because of their ability, natural and inborn in Jews, to push themselves”,[13] conspired with Keith Murdoch to undermine Monash, and have him removed from the command of the Australian Corps. They misled Prime Minister Billy Hughes into believing that senior officers were opposed to Monash.[14] Hughes arrived at the front before the Battle of Hamel prepared to replace Monash, but after consulting with senior officers, and after seeing the superb power of planning and execution displayed by Monash, he changed his mind..]

  8. Thanks Crikey, William and other moderators for providing this site

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all bludgers, I’m looking forward to reading your posts in 2013

  9. vic

    Did it occur to you that Keith Murdoch may have been a man of integrity?

    Unlike his son.

    His mother didn’t agree with her son. And she loved his father apparently until she died, but she also loved her son.

    And, I can tell you, quite intimately, Dame Elisabeth hated the page 3 girls (and that doesn’t mean I ever met her, just had a lot to do with people who did know her and what she wanted in a newspaper.)

    Silly Elisabeth thought it was demeaning to women. And she told sonny boy too.

    But, she did indeed help Rupert to expand his empire and to become a US citizen.

    I don’t think she ever condoned what he did with her financial help.

  10. kezza,

    I actually had a quiet moment and was able to persue the dead tree versions of our daily newspapers this morning at a local cafe and the vitriol towards the Government was extraordinary. These angry middle aged white guys still think they rule the world.

    They don’t realise the world has moved on and their opinions aren’t that important any more.

  11. Can someone please tell me when/if the site is closing down for Christmas. I’ve seen references to it but I’m still none the wiser.

  12. Kezza 2…re Keith Murdoch
    It’s true that Keith Murdcok was a great reported in Gallipol,,and a shrewd newspaper owner re The Melbourne Sun…but he was like his son.. a manipulative political operator
    He created the “Little Digger” image for Billy Hughes,when Hughes is now seen as a crafty lying little toad..and according to Dame Enid Lyon’s own bio.. he was the driving force behined the fall of the Scullin Labor Govt and Joe Lyons becoming a conservative PM
    Just like Rupert ,Keith Murdoch was really a political zealot with a passion for power

  13. [5373

    briefly – None of this ‘Monash’ crap.

    General Sir John Monash to all real Australians, Thank You sir.]

    Good point…of course, the Australian commanders were unusually good…not merely Monash, but Elliott and Hobbs, Blamey….

  14. 5378

    Then they would be replaced by another Green Senator by the parliament of the state which elected them because of the 1977 reforms to section 15 (unless the parliament of the state that elected them chose to leave it vacant as has only been done once (Tasmania 1987)).

  15. Finns,

    I was thinking of Vera today. Her grounded common sense and cut through witticisms are sadly missed.

    Would like to see the Ronster back again. Would sort out a few pretenders here, no doubt.

    As for you, my friend, your Bisons are a phenomena. I think next year you should develop a Bison App and make more squillions.

    Merry Christmas and I’ll be back in Sydney in the new year. We must have lunch over looking the harbour this time.

  16. OT but seriously strange.

    Trying to upgrade my phone to Android 4.2.1. Done no probs and now getting apps an data out of the backup on the SD card.

    Hmmm….wont work till i turn on something in “Developer Options” and EEK! No developer options in 4.2.1!!!

    Checked on the intertubes. Found out that you have to go to the page where it tells you the “about phone” stuff, and tap the “build number” 7 times?? Thought was being trolled but no, actually works and a little message pops up and all.

    Some of these Android writers have a strange sense of humour?? 🙂

  17. Greensborough Growler@5353

    have a chat,

    That list shows you like “Music to slash your Wrists by”.

    Maybe, maybe not, but it is music that reaches into me and makes me marvel at the talent of people that can write such stories.

    When I listen to Tom Waits music the words are as important as the music and it is not just down blues, he sings of joy, of love, of life and of wishes for peace.

    When I want light and frivolous music I will listen to Mike Batt, Pavarotti, Joe Satriani or Jan Hammer.

    Music is something that suits moods but Tom Waits is always on the platter.

  18. [As for you, my friend, your Bisons are a phenomena. I think next year you should develop a Bison App and make more squillions.]


    I’m seriously considering mixing my passion for despising the Liberals with my programming/web authoring interests.

    Would be nice to have an app that you can turn to for quick reference when dealing with Liberal lies.

    tap-tap.. no, the facts are…

  19. GG,

    Yep, loaded with lots and lots more positive facts and figures.

    With sections listing Labor’s major achievements, past and former, and what the Liberals did in response.

    And and a section on how to respond to your idiot mate at the pub when he says the NBN is too expensive. etc.

  20. cud chewer@5390

    As for you, my friend, your Bisons are a phenomena. I think next year you should develop a Bison App and make more squillions.


    I’m seriously considering mixing my passion for despising the Liberals with my programming/web authoring interests.

    Would be nice to have an app that you can turn to for quick reference when dealing with Liberal lies.

    tap-tap.. no, the facts are…


    Seriously, an app that updates from somewhere on a regular basis as the numbers change would be useful. Could turn into something that stimulates grass roots level conversations among the “less engaged” ??

    Also include links to the policy / non-policy from the major parties??

  21. Well exactly ten years since Joe Strummer died, 22/12/2002

    Most here wouldn’t know the guy. He was the former lead singer of The Clash, a Uk band from the mid 70s. He penned some pretty good songs, notably London Calling, but I’ll go with White Man in the Hammersmith Palais.

    A true pioneer of world music, a bit of an anarchist, anti-nazi, an artist, an all round renaissance man. Liked nothing more than a campfire, his mates and good music.

    Miss you Joe.

  22. deblonay, I’m not sure that Enid Lyons would be the most dispassionate commentator. Hughes, for all his faults, had two great qualities: he was a passionate Parliamentarian and democrat; and he made sure Australia was heard both during and after the war. He was a highly divisive figure, of course, but he had a lasting impact. I think he shaped Australians’ national consciousness and identity in important ways.

    You know, no-one would ever accuse Hughes of dog-whistling. He was always prepared to argue his case openly and expected those who disagreed with him to do the same. He was a passionate believer in debate – especially in the Parliament, where he was unsurpassed. Remember too, Hughes rose to attention as an official of the Timber Workers Union – as a great advocate for the rights and the dignity of workers.

    In lots of ways, he should be seen as a casualty of the War too. He is a very unusual figure – an example of what can happen to a leader when they are faced with very grave choices. Looking elsewhere, in its own way, the life of the incomparable Curtin also demonstrates that leaders can find it necessary to change their deepest convictions. Hughes had to handle an unprecedented and interminable bloodbath. From this distance, who can really say he was wrong? To his credit, he placed the issue of conscription for the people to decide. This cost him his place in the Labor movement – the movement he helped to create, drive and lead. He was a democrat when it really counted. Like the country itself, faced with an awful responsibility, he also had to make terrible choices.

  23. [5388


    Blamey? First attempt OK as an admin wallah.

    Underpants on show next time well and truly (and badge).

    No defence of Potts?]

    A narcissist prone to jealousy and malice (who does that remind me of?) and yet a very able staffer to Monash….

  24. Yep a bison app is an excellent idea. Try crowd sourcing a developer. I’d chip in a $100 to support its development. Could become, if studiously managed, the No 1 source for economic data on Australia’s economic performance. C’mon lets do it….

  25. GG, Deblonay, & vic

    I didn’t know Keith Murdoch first hand and it seems as if his powerplay-political-influence-making was passed on to his son. Probably he would have condoned it, and then it would have been interesting to see if his marriage would have lasted, given that Elisabath did not approve.

    Will we ever know?

    But we do know one thing.
    That Rupert gave up his legacy to be, if not king, but kingmaker, in Australia. He wanted to conquer the world.

    And what do Australians do best?
    We take down the tall poppies.

    And we don’t even have to do it ourselves.

    The globe knows he needs to be taken down.

    It’s started in Britain, FGS. And now in the US.

    Apart from his mother, we despise him.
    It’s no good getting Gough’s SIL to take over here.
    We’ll shoot him down too.

    Lucky Dame Elisabeth didn’t live to see it.

    And, merry christmas everyone,and a happy new year.

    Take care William.
    And thanks for putting up with me.

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