Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor

Nielsen’s first poll since the election delivers a rude shock for the Abbott government, showing Labor with an election-winning lead and Bill Shorten travelling 20 points better on net approval than Tony Abbott.

The Abbott government’s mediocre post-election polling record takes a considerable turn for the worse today with the publication of the first Fairfax/Nielsen poll since the election, which is the Coalition’s worst result from Nielsen since the 2010 election campaign, or from any poll at all since the months immediately following. The poll has Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48, from primary votes of 41% for the Coalition, 37% for Labor, 11% for the Greens, 5% for “independents” (an unorthodox inclusion) and 6% for others. Bill Shorten scores remarkably strongly on his debut personal ratings, with approval at 51% and disapproval at 30%, while Tony Abbott manages a tepid 47% approval and 46% disapproval. However, Abbott holds a 49-41 lead as preferred prime minister.

Full tables including state breakdowns are available courtesy of GhostWhoVotes, and they offer at least some ammunition for those of a mind to be skeptical about the result. With due consideration to the fact that an element of wonkiness can be expected from small state-level samples, there are approximate two-party preferred swings to Labor of 2% in New South Wales, 4% in Victoria and 1.5% in South Australia, all of which are easy enough to believe. However, in both Queensland and Western Australia the swings are 11%, the former result coming less than two weeks after an 800-sample poll by Galaxy showed no swing at all. It’s tempting to infer that Nielsen struck Labor-heavy samples in these states, and that had it been otherwise the result would have been more like 50-50.

A more technical observation to be made about the result is that the two-party preferred figures are based on respondent-allocated preferences, whereas Nielsen’s topline numbers are usually based on preference flows from the previous election. This no doubt is because the Australian Electoral Commission still hasn’t published Coalition-versus-Labor two-party results from the 11 seats where other candidates made the final count (I’m told they are likely to do so later this week). However, I have one model for allocating preferences based on the information available from the election, which gets Labor’s two-party vote to 51.7%, and Kevin Bonham has two, which get it to 51.2% and 51.4%.

The Nielsen poll also probed into the hot topics of asylum seekers and abolition of the carbon and mining taxes. Only 42% expressed approval for the government’s handling of asylum seekers versus 50% disapproval – though as Psephos notes in comments, this fails to disentangle those who support their objectives from those who don’t (a ReachTEL poll conducted on Thursday night asked whether the policies were working, and found only 28% thought they were compared with 49% who thought they weren’t). The results on the mining tax were evenly balanced, with 46% saying Labor should support its repeal in parliament versus 47% opposed. The carbon tax at least remains a winner for the government, with 57% saying Labor should vote for its abolition and 38% saying it should oppose it.

In other news, Christian Kerr of The Australian reports on Newspoll analysis of the effect on polling of households without landlines. This was determined through online polling between March and August of nearly 10,000 respondents who were also asked about the state of their household telecommunications. In households without landlines, Coalition support was found to be 1.4% lower, Labor 0.2% lower, the Greens 1.3% higher and “others” 0.2% higher. However, Newspoll’s online polling itself seemed to be skewed to Labor, who came in 4.7% higher than in Newspoll’s landline polling over the same period. This was mostly at the expense of others, which was 4.7% lower, while the Coalition was 0.6% higher and the Greens 1.0% lower. By way of comparison, the online polling of Essential Research over the same period compared with Newspoll’s phone polling as follows: Labor 2.1% higher, the Coalition 3.2% higher, Greens 2.8% lower and others 2.5% lower.

UPDATE: Channel Seven reports that long-awaited ReachTEL result has the Coalition leading 51-49, but unfortunately no further detail is provided. Results earlier released by Seven from the poll include the aforementioned finding that only 28% believe the government’s new policies to stop boat arrivals were working versus 49% who don’t; that 56% say the government should announce boat arrivals when they happenl that 53% think the Prime Minister should deliver the explanation for spying activities demanded by Indonesia, while 34% say he shouldn’t; and that 38% support Australia’s bugging activities with 39% opposed. The poll is an automated phone poll conducted on Thursday evening, presumably from a sample of about 3000.

UPDATE 2: And now Generic Leftist relates on Twitter that Peter Lewis of Essential Research relates on The Drum that tomorrow’s Essential poll will have Labor up a point on the primary vote to 36%, but with two-party preferred steady at 53-47 to the Coalition.

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.

1,048 comments on “Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor”

  1. Geoff –

    Jackol what is not on the table that People smugglers can exploit?

    Well, for a start these are not ‘on the table’:

    turning back boats and buying boats.

    How about paying for information? That’s not on the table either.

    Nothing that the LNP promised to add is “on the table”. The LNP government, in fact, has got nothing but what the ALP left them with.

    Oh, except for secrecy.

  2. WeWantPaul
    [I don’t get the part where you hate a two time labor PM based on a whole lot of lies and so much you are still posting your moronic hate after he has gone. ]

    Is it a lie that Rudd and his henchmen such as Fitzgibbon undermined Gillard since 2010?

    I’m quite happy to admire and applaud Rudd for his first two years in office, but there are very much two halves to Rudd since he won the 2007 election and the rotten half is obviously the more recent and relevant one to the present and our ending up with Tony Abbott PM.

    [You look the complete obsessed manic.]

    That was my first post in the main thread for about a week.

    It’s hardly surprising for it to be remarked upon here that the first major poll that has Labor in front came a week after Rudd’s resignation.

  3. Geoff –

    I am suprised your not joining the others on here and asking for an election now based on one poll haha.

    You do realize the “election now!” calls are humour, right?

    It’s mocking Abbott for his frequent calls during the last parliament for the “illegitimate government” to face the people, and his threats of a vote of no confidence that he somehow never had the guts to actually move.

  4. I wonder if a good strategy for Labor at the moment is to do virtually nothing, for fear of precipitating Turnbull’s inevitable rise.

    The key for Labor is to have at Abbott still at the top come the next election. Then Labor’s in with a chance.

    If Labor pulls too far ahead too early, the Libs could well switch to Turnbull, in which case the country would be significantly better off but the Libs would be much harder to knock off.

  5. [Who gives a crap what they want… when did Aussies become so gutless?]

    This attitude has been tried before. It played well to the Tradies Bar at Rooty Hill RSL.

    Thousands of talk-back callers and the shock-jocks who guide them in their thinking also agreed.

    The Daily Telegraph agreed.

    Andrew Bolt and Alexander Downer agreed (right down to “Indonesian boats, flying Indonesian flags” etc.).

    The media predicted that the Indonesians would be a pushover. They just needed some White Man’s Ju-Ju to stiffen their spines.

    Voila! Just as the media had predicted, it happened.

    In one afternoon,

    * Abbott got the Indonesians to have a chortle at “robust Australian parliamentary tactics” (all those politicians do it, even Indonesian ones, har-har),

    * convinced them he wasn’t talking about them when he said Indonesian opinion didn’t count (he had a mandate, don’t you know?), and

    * the media gave him The Big Tick for fulfilling their prophecies and being a diplomatic savant, a natural, who showed all those faltering Labor types how to deal with the Dagoes.

    Making the whole thing a secretive military operation infringing Indonesian home waters helped too. We took the fight up to them and guess who crumpled? Your average corrupt Indonesian respects force. They have an inferiority complex, see? Just like all the Darkies do.

    Then Abbott came home and got his pals to tell their viewers and readers had he’d put one over “Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang” (to use Ray Hadley’s colorful tone of phrase).

    Worked well, didn’t it? Tony sure cowed those Indonesians with his tough talk. I’m sure that as read Sean’s macho comments they’ll be even more worried.

  6. [Is it a lie that Rudd and his henchmen such as Fitzgibbon undermined Gillard since 2010?]

    LoL

    And Gillard and her team plotting a full 12 months before hand to backstabb a first term PM for the sake of factional power…undermining him all that time….leaking on him (CPRS)..was that Gillard or Swan?

    Love the holier than thou polishers who refuse to face that a decent PM was done in for no reason…so need to slag him to justify same.

    So long as you post your crap I shall rebut

  7. [A group has been set up to renew the Labor Party and inject more transparency and decency into Australian politics.
    Open Labor has already attracted support from high-profile political figures including former Victorian premiers Steve Bracks and John Cain, former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop and former deputy prime minister Brian Howe.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/new-open-labor-group-backed-by-steve-bracks-john-cain-20131125-2y52o.html#ixzz2lcg3EfI5

  8. [It’s hardly surprising for it to be remarked upon here that the first major poll that has Labor in front came a week after Rudd’s resignation.]

    Gillard’s tenure so poisoned Labor’s vote that there was a strong resurgence when Rudd came back, saving 26 seats….and now that the electorate feel they have punished Labor for Gillard they now turn to focus to PM Abbott. I doubt that it is anything to do with Shorten, apart from the low profile..which exposes the absence of any government under Abbott.

  9. Jakol how do you know that paying for information is not on the table? And how would that not be somthing that people smugglers could exploit.

    Labor while valiant in their efforts always had a back door where if people did certain things (like burn their papers and then claim asylum) they could get in.

    At the moment nothing is working. (Something might be found in the future) hence why the large flow has stopped.

  10. Sean Tisme@431

    The Farifax press have been running an active anti-Abbott campaign for the last few weeks.

    Lets see if their polling is backing up that bias when newspoll is released tonight.

    After three years of one of the most purile

  11. Thomas

    If there’s any evidence of Gillard plotting for 12 months I haven’t seen it.

    Rudd was done in because he couldn’t work with his ministers and the caucus didn’t want him. Apparently, the caucus should have stayed with a leader they didn’t want.

    P.S. It takes real audacity for a Rudd apologist to bring up the subject of leaks with respect to Gillard.

  12. BB

    Poor Abbott and his fellow travellers. They did not count on the spying relevations to bring them back to reality with a thud. As Maxwell Smart would say……missed by that much…………..

  13. Geoff –

    how do you know that paying for information is not on the table?

    Because the Indonesians have said it would be extremely provocative, and it would be without their permission.

    There is no way that it is going to happen in the current climate, and almost certainly not ever.

    Labor while valiant in their efforts always had a back door where if people did certain things (like burn their papers and then claim asylum) they could get in.

    We were talking about the PNG solution, which is all the LNP are left with. Explain how ‘if people did certain things’ they could get out of being sent to PNG?

  14. [Their entire first term agenda is to prepare the case for a GST hike while lowering tax for their financial backers.]

    Quite possibly. Also, to cut spending on services so they have more available to assist the “right” industries when they stick their hands out and want new infrastructure built to support their holes in the ground.

  15. [Who gives a crap what they want… when did Aussies become so gutless?]

    Sean Tisme, I take it, with such talk of bravado, that you have served in the armed forces overseas and seen combat?

    If not, your comments are boorish bullshit.

  16. [and I expect Shortens ALP to of course oppose a hike in the GST]

    Depends how the hike is structured in my opinion. I actually think that its an option that does need to be examined.

    That said there are other things that should be seriously considered first.

    Negative gearing restructured in a phased, politically non-suicidal way so it eventually only applies to new builds.

    Tax Gina till she squeals like….something that squeals really loud. 🙂

    Make Clive Palmer pay the Carbon Price he owes. 🙂

  17. This is frickin nauseauting rubbish

    [Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has an unusual Christmas suggestion for parents – buy your children the works of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, and they will be inspired to become megabucks-earning entrepeneurs. Rinehart has often cited Rand in particular as an influence. Can you tell the difference between her pronouncements and those of the author of the Tea Party’s favourite book, Atlas Shrugged?]

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/quiz/2013/nov/25/ayn-rand-gina-rinehart?CMP=twt_gu

  18. [I thought they were on a unity ticket with Labor on this issue?]

    No doubt an unscripted comment said in the heat of the moment so you cant expect them to honour that!! FFS shows, Abbott said on national TV what we can believe and what not. Get a memory!! 🙂

  19. Tony Abbott has written a letter…and now SBY holds all the cards. Abbott’s destiny is in SBY’s hands. SBY is likely to play things cautiously. He will give with one hand and take away with the other. Now that he has Abbott exactly where he wants him – as the supplicant, as the dependent – SBY will want to maintain this status in the power relationship. He will want to keep Australia the position that Abbott has led us into – as a subordinate.

    Great work from Abbott. His vanity and his dissembling have left their indelible mark on our standing and, in turn, on the efficacy of our policies.

  20. Sean Tisme@431

    The Farifax press have been running an active anti-Abbott campaign for the last few weeks.

    Lets see if their polling is backing up that bias when newspoll is released tonight.

    siousa
    As opposed the puerile attacks that Murdochs Toilet Paper subjected the previous 2 Prime Ministers to over the past three years ?

    The Shameless hypocrisy of you liberals is astounding.

  21. [Buying boats on sovereign soil without the approval of the government of the country is violating that country’s sovereingty.]

    LOLZ!!!

    Please Please show me anywhere buying a f’ing boat in another country is “violating their sovereignty”. Talk about making shit up.

    Indo’s just not happy we are shutting down their little people smuggling business. We are free to buy any boat we damn well want unless they are going to shut down their free market economy.

  22. WeWantPaul@412

    What part of this didn’t you get?


    I don’t get the part where you hate a two time labor PM based on a whole lot of lies and so much you are still posting your moronic hate after he has gone. You look the complete obsessed manic.

    Well said WWP, they are indeed a sick and increasingly pathetic group.

    As usual, it was confessions that got the ball rolling this morning.

  23. Qanda

    Tonight’s Panel
    Yulia Supadmo – Indonesian Senior Journalist
    Josh Frydenberg – Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
    Chris Bowen – Shadow Treasurer
    Kurt Campbell – Lowy Institute Distinguished International Fellow
    Tara Moss – Author and former model
    Julian Burnside – Barrister and Human Rights Advocate
    Ask a Question

  24. Re Obama/Kerry win re Iran deal
    _______________
    Despite worldwide support for the peace-saving initiatives from The White House re Iran…there are still those in the USA who want to follow the Lobby and those who want the US to atttack Iran… and they have not given up yet

    Schumer,the Democrat Senator for NY and a key figure in the Lobby talks of legislation to increase sanctions on Iran in a hope of disrupting the agreement even now

    This will fail as Obama will veto any such moves
    But it shows the determination of some…notably Netanyahu …to press for a war with Iran…at great cost to the USA

  25. Surely Chrissy Pyne wouldn’t be fibbing 😀

    [Mr Pyne told Sky News on Sunday evening that two of the states that had agreed to the Gonski reforms, Victoria and Tasmania, had never signed “final agreements” with the federal Labor government, and neither had the National Catholic Education Commission.
    . . .

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accused the Coalition of breaking the promise it made before the election that it was on a “unity ticket” with Labor on school funding.
    “The weasel words of the government saying before an election they will look after schools and properly fund our children in the future, and … they now dial forward and say all deals are off, there were no deals.”

    Mr Shorten insisted the Commonwealth had reached a deal with Victoria.
    “I know it happened because I was there. Martin Dickson the state Education Minister knows it happened because he was there.”

    Tasmanian Education Minister Nick McKim said his state has signed a heads of agreement with the Commonwealth but said it was still waiting for the federal government to approve an implementation plan it submitted before the election.
    Mr McKim said he was meeting Mr Pyne on Friday and would demand the agreement be fully implemented.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/states-to-fight-federal-changes-to-gonski-school-funding-deal-20131125-2y5k3.html#ixzz2lcsZrs5e

  26. [ Gina Rinehart has an unusual Christmas suggestion for parents – buy your children the works of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, and they will be inspired to become megabucks-earning entrepeneurs. Rinehart has often cited Rand in particular as an influence. ]

    Ahh. Gina and Rand – like peas in a pod.

    [ Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

    Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

    Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor.

    In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor).

    As Michael Ford of Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream wrote, “In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”

    Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. ]

    http://www.alternet.org/story/149721/ayn_rand_railed_against_government_benefits%2C_but_grabbed_social_security_and_medicare_when_she_needed_them

  27. Buying “a boat” is no threat to anyone’s sovereignty.

    As a foreign power, buying thousands of boats in a deliberate attempt to distort the local market in boats, however, is.

    The whole ‘buy the boats’ thought bubble was a nonsense concept designed as part of the package to one-up the ALP’s PNG solution. No one expected “buy the boats” to work or even be implemented; it was just a way of doing some domestic political posturing pre-election.

    Insisting that ‘buy the boats’ is an ongoing part of the ‘arsenal’ ‘on the table’ is guaranteed to upset the Indonesians, for a policy that is a ridiculous piece of meaningless theatre.

  28. thesilverbodgie@539


    ST

    Unhinging again…….

    Of course polls are against abbott and in particular –

    [ Nielsen – Only 42% expressed approval for the government’s handling of asylum seekers versus 50% disapproval.

    ReachTEL poll conducted on Thursday night asked whether the policies were working, and found only 28% thought they were compared with 49% who thought they weren’t
    ]

  29. [Negative gearing restructured in a phased, politically non-suicidal way so it eventually only applies to new builds.]
    If the opposition and government both support a policy, then by definition it isn’t politically suicidal.

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