Nielsen: 56-44 to Coalition

The first Nielsen poll for the year joins the chorus in showing a big slump for Julia Gillard and her government.

GhostWhoVotes reports the first Nielsen for the year has the Coalition leading 56-44 on two-party preferred, compared with 52-48 in the final poll last year. The primary votes are 30% for Labor (down five) and 47% for the Coalition (up four) – we’ll have to wait on the Greens. Even worse news for Julia Gillard on personal ratings, with Tony Abbott seizing a 49-45 lead as preferred prime minister compared with 50-40 to Gillard last time, and she trails Kevin Rudd 61% to 35%. However, the latter result is very similar to Abbott’s 58-35 deficit against Malcolm Turnbull. Opinion is divided on whether the parties should actually do anything about it: 52% support Labor changing leaders and 45% don’t (up four and down three), with eerily similar numbers for the Liberals (51% to 46%).

We also had overnight a Galaxy poll of 800 women voters concerning voting intention and attitudes to the leaders. The voting intention figures were 36% for Labor, 46% for the Coalition and 10% for the Greens, for a two-party preferred lead to the Coalition of 53-47 – about where you would expect it be when allowing for a 55-45 poll trend, the size of the gender gap in recent years and perhaps a smidgin of house bias in favour of the Coalition on Galaxy’s part. When respondents were asked if they were concerned about Abbott saying “‘no’ to everything”, his views on abortion and “the way he treats women”, abortion recorded the lowest response rate among Labor voters and the highest among Coalition voters (albeit by slight margins in each case). The divide was still wider for the question of whether was Abbott was a misogynist, breaking 44-24 for among Labor voters and 9-69 against among Coalition voters for a total of 25-44. Thirteen per cent of respondents said they were less likely to vote for Gillard because she was unmarried and has no children, and the same number said they were more likely to vote for Abbott for the opposite reasons.

UPDATE (18/2/2013): Essential Research breaks the freefall with the Coalition two-party lead back down to 54-46 after a week at 55-45, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 35%, the Coalition down one to 47% and the Greens steady on 9%. The poll also finds 56% approval and 22% disapproval for recent thought bubbles about development of northern Australia. Other questions relate drugs in sport, including the eye-opening finding that 52% would approve of a ban on sports betting.

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.

5,068 comments on “Nielsen: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. Reposting from last thread:


    [ Abbott +9 on PPM. ]

    [ What can one say? ]

    That we knew this was likely – BB (among others) predicted it. And that it is 6 months or so till the real campaign starts.

    Do you seriously believe Abbott – a man of zero substance – can sustain a 7 month election campaign?

    I don’t – and I think Gillard’s plan all along has been to make this plain to the electorate. Abbott has to spend the next 7 months in electioneering mode, with nothing in the way of policies. All Labor has to do for the next 6 months or so is govern effectively while Abbott is busting a gut trying to make his flimsy brainfarts look like policy.

    Then, when it is plain as a pikestaff that the LNP are so full of hot air that they will have to start buying carbon offsets just to keep their campaign going, Labor can begin the real election campaign.

    Lots of water to go under the bridge tonight. And (with luck) perhaps a few bodies as well – like those who continue to white-ant the ALP.

  2. [All Labor has to do for the next 6 months or so is govern effectively while Abbott is busting a gut trying to make his flimsy brainfarts look like policy.]

    Pure bollocks.

  3. George Bludger ‏@GeorgeBludger

    So ~50% polled don’t/want change in Lib/ALP leaders… but ~60%+ prefer Rudd/MT? Yep, pretty scientific that polling business is

  4. A bump in the road, time to keep on keeping on. I am not going to panic but will hunker down while the trolls go nuts on here.

  5. (Repost)

    Sorry to hear about the 56/44 Neilsen but not surprised. The last week has been all focused on Labor, and in a bad way. Meanwhile Abbott had almost no scrutiny at all, again.

    I remain very concerned. The budget is in May, discussion of it will occupy June, and July August will be largely the campaign proper. That leaves only about 8 weeks to influence voters about Abbott’s nature before events overtake. Abbott was not a bad campaigner in 2013, and will have 50% of the press supporting him as well. The campaign period will be too late to overtake him.

    Unless we want an economically illiterate, misogynistic, fundamentalist, speedo-wearing megalomaniac as PM, Labor must clean out the NSW right faction and focus on Abbott and nothing else immediately. A change to Rudd will not solve this; IMO the NSW legacy would swamp him too. Plus the look of panic and NSW Labor from another leader change wold be disastrous.

    Today’s manufacturing announcement was well meaning, but again insufficient. They are a small share of total workers. Focus on Abbott’s misogyny ( while telling the Labor catholic right to button their lips for six months) and you stand to pick up a much larger share of 51% of all voters.

  6. gloryconsequence@4

    All Labor has to do for the next 6 months or so is govern effectively while Abbott is busting a gut trying to make his flimsy brainfarts look like policy.

    Pure bollocks.

    Yes, I agree it is unlikley he could do that – but he has to try!

  7. Time for the true believers to stick fat as they say.
    If I was the executive I would be putting an ultimatum to Rudd – tow the line or you are dis endorsed.
    Probably wouldn’t stop him but a line has to be drawn.
    Unless he is prepared to shut up or actively campaign for the party and with JG he needs to go. Damn the consequences.

  8. From last thread

    When Labor kills the Coaltion on economy, education, health and the NBN the LNP agenda folds.

    There is only so long LNP will get away from running from policy. We also do not know how soft the result is. That being what is said before a campaign and when a campaign starts.

    We know most do not pay attention to politics until then. We also know people are likely to say they are for the opposition to scare the government to get more results.

    The narrowing is not a figment and will happen come the campaign. As even Abbott concedes when he states complacency is the enemy.

  9. If anyone makes any of the following comments, I will kill them

    1. This is good for Labor because it will make people think Abbott could really be PM and that will wake them up

    2. Gillard is playing rope a dope with Abbott

    3. Gillard is playing the long game, Abbot is playing the short game. This is to be expected.

  10. Zoidlord it’s probably just an acknowledgement that while others are preferred its probably getting too late to change leaders.

  11. As “nadirs” go, this one ain’t so bad. I’ve seen a lot worse back in the nightmare days.

    Hold onto your seats, it’s a bumpy ride.

    The bottoming out (or close to it) has probably occurred, and then the upswing begins again.

  12. Diogenes@12

    If anyone makes any of the following comments, I will kill them

    1. This is good for Labor because it will make people think Abbott could really be PM and that will wake them up

    2. Gillard is playing rope a dope with Abbott

    3. Gillard is playing the long game, Abbot is playing the short game. This is to be expected.

    I agree with 2. But anyone could play rope a dope with Abbott.

    As for 3, this was expected.

  13. It seems the Australian voters are a school of white-bait which flinches and turns at the slightest pressure. If they do not watch out they will be in the Murdoch super-trawler’s nets.

  14. shellbell

    I’ve also got them on my bingo list.

    The last thing that is good for Labor is for people to spend their time polishing the turd when they could spend the time better changing things.

    If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you are going to get what you’ve always got.

  15. “@MrDenmore: You had better start saying the rosary, because after September 14 that will be the sum of all knowedge.”

    “@mpesce: @MrDenmore Now, now, the Tridentine Mass will also be permitted. In Latin, naturally.”

  16. Fess,
    Probably it will be a bad poll too.

    Everyone is grumpy. They just got their Xmas credit card statements, that pay-nothing-until-March deal/trap.

  17. It is true that the sports thing is hurting Labor at moment. This will continue until the arrests start happening.

    Then the sports broadcastsrs will see the reality that has been said on offsiders.

  18. Henry

    Given last Newspoll was 56-44 there is a better than even chance there will be a swing to Labor. Which would reduce stress levels around here a lot.

  19. 44/56 is reasonable given the avalanche of negative news over the last 2 weeks.

    ICAC hearing
    Mining Tax Beatup
    Sports corruption handling
    Rudd campaign

    can it be sustained for another 7 months?

  20. How about we add ‘Rudd’ and ‘leadership’ to that word list?

    Mordor and the LNP have put everything into panicking the ALP into a change, and I, being the stubborn, contrary bytch that I be, wouldn’t give them what they want to save my life.

    They can all go and put swimmer-crabs to their testicles.

  21. my Labor supporting wife officially wrote off Labor today at this years election. “there stuffed” now this was offered up un solicited because im not allowed to bring up politics at home with her because i vote lib 🙂

  22. Glory the worst aspect is that at 30% primary vote Labor has lost most of what took them months to claw back. It’s a very serious situation.

  23. Why would Mod Lib gloat when s/he is vehemently opposed to an Abbott govt?

    Surely Mod Lib would be looking at these polling figures with similar horror to you and I?

  24. [Mod Lib
    Posted Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm | PERMALINK
    Good evening all]

    Plenty of grist for you to chew on tonight Modlib.

  25. I always thought the Nuttall corruption case in Qld had a lot to do with the state Labor government’s downfall. Strangely the public don’t like corruption.

    The ICAC hearings in NSW are probably causing most of this. Labor federally needs to firmly distance itself from the NSW Labor machine, probably by a formal intervention to clean out the Branch. I’d be surprised if something like intervention is not in the plan between now and the election.

  26. “@domknight: It’s entirely plausible that Kevin Rudd wouldn’t want to be PM again. It’d interrupt his media schedule.”

  27. “@firstdogonmoon: oh australia RT @GhostWhoVotes: #Nielsen Poll Should ALP change leader: Yes 52 (+4) No 45 (-3) #auspol”

    Was this question asked for LNP?

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