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

    As usual, you are wrong again. It was leon@225.

    But by all means don’t let mere facts get in the way of your monomania.

  2. ST

    [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.]

    tsk, tsk. Such intemperate language. Just because Abbott has debauched our public discourse does not mean you have to behave like he does.

    All governments, including Australia, control sales of goods and services in their countries. It is normal. Not abnormal. The problem for Abbott, Morrison and Bishop is that they were not listening when Indonesia told them they were not supporting their policies.

    Morrison has now openly admitted that the Indonesian Government is not ‘supporting’ boat purchases so it cannot go ahead.

    Abbott’s boat buy policy was utterly stupid. It was stupid because there are over 700,000 suitable boats in Indonesia. It was stupid because it was opposed by the Indonesian government. It was stupid because a blind adherance to this policy, to the policy of paying Indonesians to spy on other Indonesians have had the opposite effect to that intended – such that Indonesian cooperation on intercepting public smugglers has been substantially, if not totally, downgraded.

  3. I think the reason why Tony Abbott has responded so timidly to Indonesia over their indulgent display is because he is a new Prime Minister and has not yet found his foreign affairs feet. Hence he is overly-reliant on the conventional wisdom and the proddings of the Australian Foreign Affairs establishment.

    I think if we had seen something like this occur a couple of years into his Prime Ministership he would have had the surety, confidence, phallic swing and machismo to treat the Indonesians with the dismissive disdain their little tantrum deserves.

  4. RT

    [I think the reason why Tony Abbott has responded so timidly to Indonesia over their indulgent display is because he is a new Prime Minister and has not yet found his foreign affairs feet. Hence he is overly-reliant on the conventional wisdom and the proddings of the Australian Foreign Affairs establishment.]

    Nah. The reason Abbott has responded in this way is because he is not fit to be prime minister. We told youse guys but youse guys were not listening.

  5. [538
    victoria

    briefly

    SBY has managed to make Morrison talk “sotto voce”. Lol!!]

    Yes, the swaggering has gone. Now he’s sweet-talking. Surely he must know the time for self-serving flattery is well past. In it’s own way it is self-defeating too. Does he really think the Indonesian officials can be so easily importuned by those they have just denounced?

    They really have no idea at all how absurd they must appear.

  6. A comment on a regional question. Darryn Lyons has been elected the new Mayor of Geelong.
    [“This is a vote for the people in Geelong for change, youth and energy,” he said.
    The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant said his first task as mayor would be to unite Geelong’s councillors.]

    This man is nearly 50. Obviously 50 is the new 30 😉
    Looking him up on Wikipedia, I find (apart from his experience as a paparazzo for Murdoch’s papers)

    [Nationality Australian
    Ethnicity White Australian]

    That’s weird.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/entrepreneur-darryn-lyons-declared-geelong-mayor-20131125-2y5c1.html#ixzz2lcv8XXdH

  7. ST isn’t as vile as RT:

    he would have had the surety, confidence, phallic swing and machismo to treat the Indonesians with the dismissive disdain their little tantrum deserves.

    I really have a hard time not thinking this is comedy.

  8. [Really? That is going to be your line?

    His passing the first time was perhaps the second most commented upon political event in Australia ever. His second led to Abbott and so you may delight in Abbott and how well he is going but I mourn the Labor Government and Rudd. The last 6 years were incredible and very very very remarkable. Good and bad, win and losses but not bland.}

    I have no ‘line’. The point is that all of this is yesterday’s news and not what is happening now.

    What I am looking at is simply why Nielsen’s poll has changed so dramatically. Rudd’s unlamented passing has had something to do with that.

    I have no argument that Rudd led to Abbott. The sooner Abbott’s demise matches that of Rudd I’ll be a lot happier.

  9. the turkey –

    [ I think if we had seen something like this occur a couple of years into his Prime Ministership he would have had the surety, confidence, phallic swing and machismo to treat the Indonesians with the dismissive disdain their little tantrum deserves. ]

    So abbott also lied about “being ready for government from day one”.

    The truth is he was unfit for government from day one.

  10. [What I am looking at is simply why Nielsen’s poll has changed so dramatically. Rudd’s unlamented passing has had something to do with that.]

    I think it incredibly unlikely. But I’ll interfere no more in your little fantasies.

  11. Looking at the Nielsen poll more closely, maybe sacking 12,000 APS staff, stiffing 30,000 child care workers, planning to stiff the automobile industry, stiffing 3,000,000 low income superannuants, stiffing the parents of 3,300,000 schoolchildren, perpetuating cruelty to Australian cattle and sheep, condoning cruelty to people in Sri Lanka, really pissing off around 200 countries in Warsaw, stiffing Indigenous organisations financially, sneakily reversing our national position on Israel, opening up mums and dads to the depradations of the finance industry spivs, crooks and liars, and separating a woman from her sick baby were not such good ideas after all.

  12. [552
    Resurgent Turkeys

    I think the reason why Tony Abbott has responded so timidly to Indonesia over their indulgent display is because he is a new Prime Minister and has not yet found his foreign affairs feet.]

    Or it could be, as you are obliquely suggesting, because Abbott is just a vain and self-absorbed politician who thinks everyone else is just as dim-witted as he is; who mistakenly supposes that they will be taken in by his dissembling and his posturing. Clearly, most of the Australian electorate (including his erstwhile supporters, such as yourself) as well as foreign onlookers can see right through him.

  13. [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?]

    Isn’t it great that Gina can convince herself that she’s rich through her hard work – nothing to do with daddy finding the biggest lump of iron ore in the world in a location perfect to become asia quarry just as the asian century/ies kicked off? the mega-wealthy love the sociopathic creeds of Milton and Rand – why should pay tax? the poor should have inherited wealth like she did.

    I love that she obviously gets no joy from her wealth. the wealth doesn’t compensate for having an arsehole of a dad who made you a miserable, horrible and detested person fighting with family members (packers and murdochs share the same dysfunctional upbringing. I’ll take being comfortably well off, paying my taxes, and having the love of my parents, siblings and kids. With few exceptions (Dick Smith, wotif bloke, tassie gambling bloke, Evan Thornley), our millionaire and billionaires are bogan arseholes.

  14. Surely in order of probabilities for explaining this lovely poll goes something a little like:

    * polling not as accurate as you’d hope
    * about Abbott alone
    * about the economy
    * about Abbott and Shorten

  15. [554
    briefly
    Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm | PERMALINK
    538
    victoria

    briefly

    SBY has managed to make Morrison talk “sotto voce”. Lol!!

    Yes, the swaggering has gone. Now he’s sweet-talking. Surely he must know the time for self-serving flattery is well past. In it’s own way it is self-defeating too. Does he really think the Indonesian officials can be so easily importuned by those they have just denounced?

    They really have no idea at all how absurd they must appear.]

    Monty python comes to mind. 🙂

  16. [555
    Boerwar

    briefly

    Morrison has outed himself as a nice person.]

    He has shown he thinks we are all idiots ready to be gulled by a desperate loser.

  17. Sean

    For someone that claimed to have run a business surely you know the importance of relationship building.

    A relationship involves two people/parties.

  18. Sean and his call for “phallic swing” in Foreign policy
    _____________________________
    I think I know what he means but how can that awe he Indonesians into submission

    really silly stuff Sean !! even by your standards

  19. [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]

    I think her strategy of inheriting it all is a much better strategy.

  20. Everyone knows that it is alphas who win at life, not betas. Being submissive never gets you anywhere. The only time you should submit is in the face of overwhelmingly superior force and when you have no other choice.

    If this whole Indonesia thing ends with Abbott giving some sort of apology and presenting himself as if to be sodomised then I will be very upset.

    Gosh I’m only feeling like half a man right now. Every little article you bludgers post from the Indonesian media gets my blood pressure up. Someone needs to put them in their place.

  21. I can see the sense in a copy of Milton Friedman but just as import a copy of Adam Smith Wealth of Nation and Keenan and maybe Hayak’s Road to Serfdom.

  22. [The only time you should submit is in the face of overwhelmingly superior force and when you have no other choice.]

    Well diplomacy is a game of minds and Tony is facing overwhelmingly superior forces …

  23. Resurgent Turkeys

    I pretty much agree with you about the Alpha point which is why i would have encouraged Tone to have picked up the phone this time last week.

  24. [Gosh I’m only feeling like half a man right now. Every little article you bludgers post from the Indonesian media gets my blood pressure up. Someone needs to put them in their place.]

    I think the way Abbott was carrying on pre-election had quite a few Indonesians thinking exactly the same thing. They are outplaying Abbott so well it is scarry.

  25. Resurgent Turkeys@552


    I think if we had seen something like this occur a couple of years into his Prime Ministership he would have had the surety, confidence, phallic swing and machismo to treat the Indonesians with the dismissive disdain their little tantrum deserves.

    Well he has shown yet again what a gutless bully he is.

    RI have stood up to abbott the bully and he is the one back tracking.

    Glenn Mcgrath had his bunnies – Indonesia now have abbott and thats the way it going to stay.

    He won’t say boo in future unless credlin says its OK.

    Even when he is running away and hiding from scrutiny he comes a gutsa. A huge one at that.

  26. [Rudd’s unlamented passing has had something to do with that.

    I think it incredibly unlikely. But I’ll interfere no more in your little fantasies.]

    It must be sheer coincidence then.

    R i g h t …..

  27. RT

    “Everyone knows that it is alphas who win at life, not betas. Being submissive never gets you anywhere. The only time you should submit is in the face of overwhelmingly superior force and when you have no other choice.”

    Everyone knows that morons believe this sort of crap.

    You are a Poe, surely.

  28. [It must be sheer coincidence then.

    R i g h t …..]

    Yeah they were the only two factors at play coincidence and Rudd. Are you trying to make Sean look smart?

  29. Astrobleme

    How is he wrong, i have never seen a successful person in Politics, Sport or Business that was submissive and lacked a backbone.

  30. RT

    “If this whole Indonesia thing ends with Abbott giving some sort of apology and presenting himself as if to be sodomised then I will be very upset.”

    Ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaa Oh you are hilarious.

    Why would you submit yourself to this? Aren’t you an Alpha?

  31. victoria@510

    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

    Yes, I heard that on the radio this morning including Tom Bentley being interviewed.

    Bentley was of course the genius behind the ‘Citizens Assembly’ and probably also the ‘Cash for Clunkers’.

    There is already an established Labor group calling for reform so I am puzzled by the emergence of another group calling for much the same thing.

    Factions emerging among reformers? 😮

  32. [“If this whole Indonesia thing ends with Abbott giving some sort of apology and presenting himself as if to be sodomised then I will be very upset.”]

    Seems like the best possible ending to me – both for Abbott and Australia.

  33. Having made a complete bollocks of everything that has come the LNP government’s way, our much loved leader, Tony Abbott, will exercise his well known pit-bull fighting spirit by refusing to listen to anyone but himself.

    Only a landmine will dislodge him and his mediocre cabinet.

  34. Mexicanbeemer

    So people successful in those fields are never ‘submissive’?

    I guess that depends on how you frame being ‘submissive’

    For example, sport stars are submissive to the rules of the sport, referees, and so on.

    Politicians are submissive before the Law.

    It’s just dumb rhetoric this Alpha and Beta crap.

  35. [Yeah they were the only two factors at play coincidence and Rudd. Are you trying to make Sean look smart?]

    There were likely a lot of factors affecting the poll, and Rudd’s demise was surely one of them, particularly in Queensland.

    Can’t you discuss anything without insults?

  36. Re The Geelong mayoralty
    ________________I know a bit about Geelong …having been born there,and having a son who lives there with his family…so we often visit…and the Council election…unusual in that the Mayor is elected in a kind of “Presidential Poll” under new Victorian laws…has seen
    a local battle against the establishment

    They went to great lengths to get their candidate elected and failed
    The new man Lyons seems a bit of an odd ball but ran a great campaign using the new social media and lots of gimmicks(not to mention that wierd haircut !)

    He was helped by a statement …much quote …by Costa…a former GFC President and from a very wealthy establisment family in Geelong…that Napthine might interven if Geelong choose the “wrong” man for Mayor

    Silly stuff and repudiated quiCkly by Napthine but it annoyed many in Geelong(Costa should stick to football…a safe area in the home of THE GREATEST TEAM OF ALL…to quote a famous song)
    So some may have voted for Lyons… a former paparazzi in Europe…out of annoyance at the Geeloing Establishment and it’s strong Liberal Party links

    Time will tell how the new man performs…but it will be an treat to watch….given the Geelong’S REAL economic crisis

  37. [sacking 12,000 APS staff, stiffing 30,000 child care workers, planning to stiff the automobile industry, stiffing 3,000,000 low income superannuants, stiffing the parents of 3,300,000 schoolchildren, perpetuating cruelty to Australian cattle and sheep, condoning cruelty to people in Sri Lanka, really pissing off around 200 countries in Warsaw, stiffing Ind]

    its a wonder they still have 48

  38. Here’s a question.
    What can Abbott possibly have up his sleeve that will make Australians like him or his policies more than they do now?
    It could be a down hill run from here.

  39. Astrobleme

    No that isn’t what i was referring too, being submissive is being unable to speak your mind or lacking the intellectual or emotional control in moments of crisis or when under challenge.

  40. MB – Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith is what Gina needs as well as many other Tories.

    They love to talk about Wealth of Nations, but conviently forget Smith’s other book.

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