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. [PS. I am not Andrew Bolt]

    No ST, even Bolta doesn’t come across as stupid as you. This should worry you every time you need to cross a busy road.

  2. Abbott wants to do away with the tax(price) on carbon and Mining Tax while right wingers (whingers??) are advocating for a on tax fruit and vegetables.

  3. [Oh, that’s my problem. I guess not everyone can have your objectivity and insight, alas.]

    You are operating at advanced irony levels here. I’m impressed.

  4. Sean Tisme

    Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Imagine it’s WW2.

    Japan is sending hundreds upon hundreds of boats into our sovereign waters.

    The Navy goes to force them back out of Australian waters.

    Back home in Australia the leftwing media and leftwing movement go berserk.

    “Australia violating Japans Sovereignty” they declare
    ==================================================

    You really do have your own special brand of stupid.

  5. Baby sean 789

    No you arn’t Bolt already know you are an LNP robot about to be decommissioned by them. I thought PO was taking over but Regurg T if it escapes Thanksgiving may be in the running? :devil:

  6. Seeing a few tweets like this from State politicians.“@JoyBurchMLA: ACT Govt has signed agreement with Cth to deliver $190m extra funding over 6 years for #canberra schools, we expect Cth to honour it #auspol”

    A few State politicians have been tweeting.

  7. I believe that Andrew Bolt deliberately and cynically set out to fill what he saw as a gap in reporting. He succeeded, hence the smug smile.

  8. RT @752 – you can’t be serious. Your side is winning. The political centre has been shifting rightwards since about 1980, with the 1970s marking the high water mark of the success of the Social Democratic project (when we were all Keynsians, even Richard Nixon). I remember how Malcolm Fraser was regarded as a radical right winger when he gained the leadership of the Liberal party. Now he’s regarded by his erstwhile colleagues as practically a CPG (Commie Pinko Greenie). And yet he hasn’t changed his position greatly on social and economic issues. He stayed where he was when nearly everyone else in the political mainstream moved right.

  9. Deblonay & Lizzie – Re Darren Lyons: Geelong’s New Mayor

    So many issues at play with this result.

    – Geelong has had a mayor and councillor that have served jail time due to fraud and conflict of interest in the not so distant past.

    – Current councillors have been accused of pork barrelling involving millions in their local ward’s with zero accountability. Also accused of bullying previous directly elected mayor resulting in a nervous breakdown less than 12 months into the job. Hence the new election.

    – Social media played a big part in the result, although Lyon’s is a paid up liberal member which is interesting.

    – Campaign fought on local issues, however Ford, Shell. Alcoa did not feature a great deal, but revitalizing the CBD was, Northern suburbs (Corio & Norlane) having huge social issues needing a lot of work did also. Has had a timeslot on Bay FM on a Fri afternoon for the last couple of years pushing these lines.

    – I reckon people voted the way did as they see the need for a complete overhaul of the City of Greater Geelong council. So many IR issues, (Did you hear the one about the local council grader drivers sacked for accepting a steak sandwich) bullying and waste. Voters did not want another ex mayor or a Costa puppet. They wanted change, and if Lyons can get in there and shake them up a bit and get this city moving again then good luck to him.

    – Yes the establishment are saying we will be a laughing stock, ie he has a mo-hawk, wears purple suits, has a six pack surgically done, no royal visits any time soon( Death of Dianna involvement apparently) but obviously the voters didn’t care.

    As you say, it will all be very interesting, considering it looks likely the Vic State election due next year will ultimately come down to 4-5 state seats in the Greater Geelong Region. Lyons as mayor is definitely not a good result for Napthine,

  10. taylormade

    Thanks for the Geelong comments. I have a soft spot for Geelong. I worked in Corio for a while. Sounds as if nothing much has changed.

  11. @suzipeep: NSW Ed Minister tells #Lateline that he has implemented the new #Gonski formula – contradicting #ChristopherPyne saying it can’t be done.

  12. Interesting that my comment about ST not actually being one person but many, did not seem to resonate last night.

    Looking at the posts, they range from the idiotic on the one hand, as if written by an illiterate 10 year old, to posts with lengthy, well constructed sentences with elements of lucidity.

    This is not just one person but many personnas in my view.

    Most posters here have a kind of signature style but with this particular poster, the style varies on quite a few occasions.

    The cynical in me thinks this poster is some kind of front for a host of antipathetic individuals.

  13. Psephos:

    That depends on how you define “left.” In some respects it’s true: western societies have become more libertarian in most respects.

    As long as you exclude that peculiar nutjob Tea Party demographic in the US.

    US libertarians are mostly of the ugly, hard right variety, dispensing rightness down the barrel of a gun…

  14. Culturally the nation (and the west generally) have been moving steadily leftwards and still are. The female governor general just called for gay marriage and (absurdly, given her position) for a republic. Being a racist is now akin to being a paedophile.

    It is true that the left’s economic project got mugged by reality in the late seventies and ever since they have been struggling to articulate the form of its revival.

    But ultimately it is unsustainable to have a society whose cultural values are solidly leftist (blank-slatist equality, hatred for the wealthy, excuses for everyone) and for this not to see itself reflected in economic policy. All they have to do is work out a way to do it and make it work.

  15. rummel,

    [ Three years to turn this around lol. ]

    This is not the Titanic, you know! More like the Costa Concordia which got too much of a lean towards the right after hitting rocky going off Indonesia! 😉

    &imgrefurl=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086831/Costa-Concordia-cruise-ship-pictures-Trapped-survivor-Manrico-Giampedroni-airlifted-safety.html&h=494&w=964&sz=142&tbnid=c-R0eHIXi4n_AM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=176&zoom=1&usg=__MtyLaS2xKlVHr7P7nb94rg_RKr8=&docid=NtBJz-jX8_tlMM&sa=X&ei=JguTUrvEO-28iAfos4HQBw&ved=0CE0Q9QEwBg

  16. [As long as you exclude that peculiar nutjob Tea Party demographic in the US.

    US libertarians are mostly of the ugly, hard right variety, dispensing rightness down the barrel of a gun…]

    You may have noticed that the Tea Party is not actually in power. There is a Black Democrat President in power, and he will probably be succeeded by a female Democrat President. The Tea Party make a lot of noise because they know they are slowly but inexorably losing the long Culture War in the US.

  17. steve at #812
    [ I remember how Malcolm Fraser was regarded as a radical right winger when he gained the leadership of the Liberal party. Now he’s regarded by his erstwhile colleagues as practically a CPG (Commie Pinko Greenie]

    Somewhere in his autobiography, ‘A Thinking Reed”, Barry Jones relates how Mal Fraser once said to him, whilst pointing at Kim Beazley when Kim was LOTO, ” I can’t think of a single issue that Kim is not to the right of me” [or something like that].

  18. Regarding the constant blaming of Rudd and Gillard for the dismantling of the “Pacific Solution” by Sean:

    “1 December 2008
    Government welcomes a bipartisan report on immigration detention
    The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today welcomed the first report of the inquiry into immigration detention by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.

    Senator Evans said he was pleased that the Committee, which includes senior Liberal MPs and the Shadow Immigration Minister Sharman Stone, has endorsed the Rudd Government’s abolition of John Howard’s inhumane approach to immigration detention.”

    SHARMAN STONE: We don’t need the Pacific Solution now, that’s Nauru Island and Manos Island, because we have the Christmas Island centre completed. A very well structured and appropriate facility for people who need to be, of course, detained very, very, so I say humanely, so they very quickly can have their identities, their security, their character and health status checked. So we don’t need alternatives to Nauru and Manos island, we have Christmas Island.

  19. I think the IPAs 75 point plan (now 100 points I think) is an example of a roadmap for the move rightwards. Corporations want freedom to make money with minimal ‘interference’ (e.g. Regulation) and minimal taxation. They recognise that a secure environment like a Western democracy allows them to thrive and prosper. No warlords to deal with, for example, and no need to fund a private army. So governments that do defence, some infrastructure they need and law and order are OK, especially if it’s mainly paid for by someone else. Corporations were probably weakest at the end of WW2 but as they grew, they started to push their agenda, including opposition to and ultimately dismantling the welfare state, nobbling unions and generally winding back the bargaining power of the workforce. Globalisation serves this agenda as well. Of course, all of this is not without advantages. I cannot see another World War happening while the current system endures. If it collapses, though, that’s another story. Climate Change could do it. And the world financial system is inherently unstable as the GFC amply showed. Next time we mightn’t be so lucky.

  20. fredex @ 829; Malcolm Fraser always had some genuinely liberal views, like opposition to apartheid; but I really think he has shifted a bit to the left over the years; he hasn’t just kept to his old views while everyone else on his side of politics moved rightwards. It seemed to start at about the time his daughter became an aid worker.

  21. [Interesting that my comment about ST not actually being one person but many]

    I think Dis’me is just a standard dickhead.

    There’3 3 in every pub.

  22. Resurgent Turkeys@823

    Culturally the nation (and the west generally) have been moving steadily leftwards and still are. The female governor general just called for gay marriage and (absurdly, given her position) for a republic. Being a racist is now akin to being a paedophile .

    Implicit in that statement, is that racism was in someway acceptable. Surely, you don’t think that racism is in any way acceptable ?

    It is true that the left’s economic project got mugged by reality in the late seventies and ever since they have been struggling to articulate the form of its revival.

    Of course, RT will conveniently neglect to mention, that the thirty years of following the rights favorite “economic project” resulted in the GFC and the resultant “Great Recession”. Not only that, but the only OECD economy that escaped the GFC and Great Recession, was Australia’s, by utilising one of those “leftist Economic Projects” that RT rails against, Keynesian theory.

    But ultimately it is unsustainable to have a society whose cultural values are solidly leftist (blank-slatist equality, hatred for the wealthy, excuses for everyone) and for this not to see itself reflected in economic policy. All they have to do is work out a way to do it and make it work.

    Yeah sure, I’m sure you would really prefer to live in the past.

  23. The Ocean Protector has been doing 5 knot East-West oscillations north of Christmas Islan all day.
    Must be terribly satisfying for all those highly trained sailors.

  24. [fredex @ 829; Malcolm Fraser always had some genuinely liberal views, like opposition to apartheid; but I really think he has shifted a bit to the left over the years]
    I think he is further to the left than Whitlam now.

  25. [mikehilliard
    Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | PERMALINK
    Bolt has linked PB lounge, god help us.]

    lol, i cant wait for the new arrivals.

  26. [Phillip Coorey
    ‏@PhillipCoorey
    @cyclosarin_ @PollBludger go to hell]

    I’m calling that for a fake Phil Coorey account.

    * No use of any of the words f**k, s**t or m*ron;

    * Spelling OK (although only three words to go by);

    * Didn’t threaten William with a defamation suit.

  27. BK

    They have been doing that for days on end. The sailors must be bored out of their mind. Your avatar would approve….. NOT !! . Meanwhile the bow ripping tug boat RS-34 remains transponder off.

  28. Things just keep getting worse for The Idiot –

    [Papua New Guinea will summon Australia’s High Commissioner to explain Australia’s position on spying in PNG.

    And the country is working with Israel to boost its intelligence capabilities.

    Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told PNG Parliament that Australia should respect his country’s sovereignty, and tapping phones without authority was illegal.]

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/11/25/png-escalates-spy-row-brings-israelis

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