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. [BK
    Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7:50 pm | PERMALINK
    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.]

    perfect trolling speed for pelagic fish 🙂

  2. rummel

    [lol, i cant wait for the new arrivals.]
    Unlike Rear Admiral “Talking in Tongues” Morriscum there is a real “tow back” policy here 🙂

  3. Leigh Sales doing the coquette with Steve Corell on 7.30 ATM.

    She fawns over movie stars and goes on like a demented schoolgirl with Prime Ministers.

    Go figure.

  4. AA @845 – Fraser didn’t dismantle much, if any, of Whitlam’s social agenda

    Yes, I think he kept Whitlam’s social changes, but he did dismantle Medibank. If the Liberals get three terms now they’ll dismantle Medicare.

  5. [ Phillip Coorey ‏@PhillipCoorey 7h
    @PollBludger you going to credit Fairfax who paid for, commissioned and published the poll you rewrote or just claim it as your own?]

    Fairfax is getting upset at free sources of information that compete for readers with their paywall model. A few days ago they had a very critical article on the new news website sponsored by super funds.

  6. Coorey doesn’t get it that many will never forgive him and his pals at Fairfax for the way they slagged-off Gillard with (what turned out to be) 3 years of phoney “Rudd Comeback” stories.

  7. Fairfax trashed their brand by carrying Abbott’s sedan chair while News Ltd swished flies away from his face.

    Reap as you saw, Phillip.

  8. Interesting about Ghost Who Votes, though.

    He must be someone who has access to just about every poll, ahead of time, no matter who commissions or publishes it.

    Sounds to me like a politician who gets advance notice of polls.

  9. No MOE:

    &imgrefurl=http://marclaming.deviantart.com/art/The-Ghost-Who-Walks-173308554&h=1528&w=752&sz=653&tbnid=SK_-iS5jJvW_sM:&tbnh=126&tbnw=62&zoom=1&usg=__0topaWTFTXM9jOG76XVgsxqjevY=&docid=VUw_K0QChnapEM&sa=X&ei=_RaTUsCCH-HPiAfC2oC4DQ&ved=0CDEQ9QEwAw

  10. rummel

    [perfect trolling speed for pelagic fish ]

    There was a Navy LT CMDR courts-marshaled in the late 70’s for exactly that.

    Net out the back of an Attack class patrol boat somewhere off Port Headland.

    Some call required a quick turn.

    Ripped a propeller off.

  11. CTar1

    [Parrots on shoulder, some rum and all singing away.]
    In the good old pre PC days it was traditionally said to be “rum, buggery and the lash,” . Defenders of tradition like Alan Jones and David Flint would not be pleased .

  12. CTar1
    Lucky it wasn’t some of these!
    &rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.factfrog.com%2Frudderfish.htm&size=21.7KB&name=%3Cb%3ERudder+Fish%3C%2Fb%3E&p=rudder+fish&oid=cc33c9871770fee800932f2f19c8b24f&fr2=&fr=my-myy&tt=%3Cb%3ERudder+Fish%3C%2Fb%3E&b=0&ni=96&no=4&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=116f6a3e6&sigb=1315odjtp&sigi=10tmkpp27&.crumb=xRw2Omjujhd&fr=my-myy

  13. [Sounds to me like a politician who gets advance notice of polls.]

    Or a sub editor, remember all subbing is done by one company. Pagemasters.

  14. Oh dear

    Scott really should keep quiet.

    [The Indonesian national police chief says security forces may allow boats carrying asylum seekers free passage through Indonesian waters on their way to Christmas Island as a diplomatic standoff keeps all co-operation between Indonesia and Australia on people smuggling on hold.

    General Sutarman told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that boats headed to the Australian territory “do not come under our authority”. Hours before, Australia’s immigration and border protection minister, Scott Morrison, said Indonesia was still combating people smuggling “of its own volition”.]

    [Sutarman’s comments appeared to directly contradict Morrison’s]
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/25/indonesia-may-give-asylum-boats-free-passage-to-christmas-island?CMP=soc_568

  15. I know afr is park of Fairfax , but that is where Phil Coorey jumped to from smh, so why on earth is he getting so upset. He is one reason I stopped subscribingto smh, as at that time they had Michelle G and had justtaken on Msrk K.Enough is enough
    I was thinking of taking up one of their 50% off offers as though was improving

  16. rua
    [Sutarman’s comments appeared to directly contradict Morrison’s]

    As I pointed out this morning either Morrison was lying or he was inadvertantly inviting Indonesia to stop all co-operation at operational level.

  17. [CTar1
    Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm | PERMALINK
    rummel

    perfect trolling speed for pelagic fish

    There was a Navy LT CMDR courts-marshaled in the late 70′s for exactly that.

    Net out the back of an Attack class patrol boat somewhere off Port Headland.

    Some call required a quick turn.

    Ripped a propeller off.]

    But did they land any fish?

  18. poroti
    […it was traditionally said to be “rum, buggery and the lash,”]
    So good to see the jolly sailors on board HMAS Ballarat are sticking with naval tradition.

  19. [Or a sub editor, remember all subbing is done by one company. Pagemasters.]

    Wasn’t aware of that.

    Whoever he is, he pisses Phil Coorey off, so he can be all that bad a bloke (or lady, of course).

    I must say I’m jealous of William, getting narky tweets. I haven’t received an abusive email from Phil Coorey for over a year now.

    Of course he barred me from his email list, so that might have had something to do with it.

    On Coorey’s general point, I would have thought that if they didn’t want punters to discuss their polls they should put them permanently behind an impregnable wall.

    Then no-one will discuss them, or read their papers either.

    The only thing wrong with the Fairfax business is its bloody customers.

  20. CTar1

    [the late 70′s for exactly that.

    Net out the back of an Attack class patrol boat somewhere off Port Headland.
    ]
    The bugger must have some dobbers on board. Back then there was 1/4 of 1/10th of feck all up that part of the world in the 1970’s

  21. BK,

    [ 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. ]

    Especially seeing they’re doing it 24 hours a day for days at a time.

    Maybe that’s what stirred up that cyclone! 😉

  22. Rummel – Trying to remember which Patrol Boat.

    “Ardent” comes to mind.

    I don’t know about the fish catch on the day but something got caught.

  23. [The Ocean Protector has been doing 5 knot East-West oscillations north of Christmas Islan all day.]

    Assuming it has to keep its engines running for power it makes no difference if it is chugging back and forth or sitting at anchor, must be bloomin boring though.

    Facing giving the bow ripping off duties to a thai tug.

  24. [In an effort to demonstrate that he gets Indonesia, all of Abbott’s charity rides here on in will be on a tuktuk.]

    Actually he should offer to pedal a becak through the streets of Jakarta with SBY in the passenger seat. (Becak drivers occupy a fairly low rung on the social ladder).

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=becak

  25. [The Ocean Protector has been doing 5 knot East-West oscillations north of Christmas Islan all day.]

    Taxi Service days over, protecting Aussie Borders begins

  26. Sean Tisme

    [Taxi Service days over, protecting Aussie Borders begins]
    Have you seen how close to shore the “marching ” up and down is ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *