Fairfax-Ipsos: 54-46 to Labor

Ipsos adds to the drumbeat of bad-to-terrible polling for the Abbott government.

Fairfax has gotten in early-ish with the results of its latest monthly Ipsos poll, which is well in line with recent form in having Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred, up from 53-47. The primary votes have Labor up one to 36%, the Coalition down one to 38%, the Greens steady at a still unusually high level of 16%, and Palmer United scoring one of their occasional showings at 2% rather than the more common 1%. Bill Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister increases from 43-39 to 45-39 – approval ratings should be along later. A question on preferred Liberal leader has Malcolm Turnbull leading on 41%, Julie Bishop on 23% and Tony Abbott on 15%. Further findings: 69% support for same-sex marriage with 25% opposed; 58% believe the government is doing too little on climate change, with 32% opting for about right.

UPDATE: The approval ratings are interesting in showing a recovery for Bill Shorten, who is up four points on approval to 39% with disapproval down six to 49%. Tony Abbott on the other hand is mired at 59% disapproval, and down one on approval to 35%. Shorten has consistently done relatively well on net approval in Ipsos, which is presumably related to its lower uncommitted ratings. ReachTEL, it seems, gets still more positive for Shorten by eliminating an uncommitted option altogether.

UPDATE 2: The respondent-allocated preferences result records Labor’s lead blowing out all the way to 56-44, after being equal with the headline figure on 53-47 last time. As this scatterplot shows, there has been a strong trend away from the Coalition on preferences in respondent-allocated polling conducted since the 2013 election. Contributing factors include a rise in the Greens’ share of the non-major party vote, and the Palmer United collapse.

UPDATE 3 (Essential Research): This week’s reading of the Essential Research fortnightly rolling average swims against the tide in recording a small shift in the Coalition’s favour, reducing the Labor lead from 53-47 to 52-48. The primary votes are 41% for the Coalition (up one), 38% for Labor (down one) and 10% for the Greens (down one). The most interesting of the supplementary questions relates to approval of government ministers, which delivers an excellent result for Julie Bishop of 56% approval and 22% disapproval, with Malcolm Turnbull close behind at 47% and 24%. Bottom of the table of seven by some margin is Joe Hockey, at 31% and 48%. Other questions register a conviction that a re-elected Coalition would introduce laws like WorkChoices (44% likely versus 26% unlikely), and a belief that not enough is being done to tackle climate change (53%, versus 24% for doing enough and 7% for doing too much).

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.

2,192 comments on “Fairfax-Ipsos: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. [Tony Abbott has warned Labor MPs that it is a criminal offence to attack the royal commissioner Dyson Heydon.]

    It probably depends on what sort of attack people are talking about. It may get a bit suspect if people start accusing Heydon of being a willing party to some deliberate political conspiracy. Well unless you have some real evidence to support the allegation.

  2. tielec – indeed. I would say the requirement of coal to be used in steel making is a pretty good argument not to use the crappy stuff to heat water for electricity generation, given there are many alternative power sources but no realistic alternatives for steel.

  3. Murdoch seems to be telling Abbott to cut Jackson loose (if he hasn’t already):

    [‘Lavish’ spending
    Jackson ordered to pay back union $1.4m
    UPDATE: KATHY Jackson ordered to pay more than $1.4m for misusing HSU funds on overseas jaunts, mortgage payments, designer gear, food, booze and even her divorce settlement. – DT headline]

  4. the govs raving about Lawfare today makes you realise they never talk to anyone who isn’t an IPA member, Quadrant reader or mining magnate. if they seriously think they’re on a winner wanting to dis-empower people, including farmers, against Indian miners with a very dodgy track record of environmentally and socially, i say let them go for it.

    labor should be calling for Hunt’s head – he is corrupt or incompetent.

  5. [What corrupt behaviour has Hunt been up to now?]

    Oh, no one is saying he’s corrupt… but the only explanations are that, or he’s incompetent.

    In chess, that type of move is called a fork. As in, “Hunt is forked.”

  6. david
    [It probably depends on what sort of attack people are talking about.]
    Ha? Come again? Tony Abbott was the one who used the word, so why does it depend on what *other* people are talking about?

  7. [Isn’t Abbott making accusations? of ‘criminal offence’.

    And why is Abbott overreaching to protect Heydon.]

    Mainly because Abbott doesn’t know when he should say nothing. The best thing he could do now is wait for a few days and see what Heydon does. It really should be left to Heydon and the courts to decide if there is in fact anything to decide.

    In relation to TURC. To the extent that corruption has been shown to exist then I have no problem with a properly constituted RC looking into that. Funny thing about most ordinary people is they can filter out the “politics” and focus on the substance. They can probably do it better than some parts of our media. So basically I have no problem at all if some union officials end up in strife because this RC shined a light on what they had been doing.

    Politicians generally are big enough and ugly enough to both dish it out and take it therefore I doubt Shorten will suffer any real harm from TURC.

    After 2016 Labor can hold a few RC’s on some of the things the Libs have done since 2013. Border Control would be a doozy 🙂

  8. imacca

    Yes, despite the rarity of one-termers I would rather be in Labor’s shoes right now on the numbers. And I think it is entirely possible that the Coalition’s position may worsen as people realise Abbott is not going to be replaced. It now seems likely that there will not be an election this year, and that Abbott/Hockey will have to deliver another budget.

    Then again Abbott is so unhinged he may call a DD just to keep his own job for a bit longer if he senses he is about to be dumped.

  9. teh_drewski

    The only good argument for utilising thermal coal is that changing to other energy sources will require heavy capital investment and re-skilling of workers.

    Those of us who have a reality-based worldview understand that this transition will eventually need to happen, and delaying the inevitable will hardly make it easier.

    Having worked in many coal mines both surface and underground I can sympathise with those who lack the political bravery to tell those workers that they are in a terminal industry. Many coal workers have the skill sets to transition into metalliferous mining or even into maintenance/operation of alternative energy sources though – if only we had a government with the ability to make this argument (hint: in about 18 months I think we will be one step closer).

  10. True Blue

    Whilst you are busy blaming those terrible Greenies and their anti coal, anti humanity carry on, you are forgetting something, this project regardless of the court action has a fundamental problem that looks like stopping the project dead and it comes in the form of suit wearing bankers refusing to fund something which just doesn’t stack up

    But please keep ignoring the bankers refusing to fund the project and instead focus on those unemployed, inner city unwashed Greenies.

  11. DN #1909 seriously? TAPM almost always over-reaches so you can discount much of what he claims. That doesn’t mean what he said is wrong in all circumstances.

  12. William, any thoughts on what might be causing the difference between the Greens primaries per Ipsos and others (record highs) and Essential (10% – significantly lower)?

    Is it just house effects of the pollsters?

  13. Apparently former Merrill Lynch, BHP Billiton and Deutsche Bank employee and ADFA grad Senator Whish-Wilson is a “tofu tiger” as soon as he points out that the Coalition is doing nothing to assist Australian beef producers.

    Have to give Senator O’Sullivan credit for the size of that overreach.

  14. There are some people, and not all of them are employed by Murdoch, who whenever Tony says something jump straight into apologetic mode to tell us that its not what he really meant, the other mob say it too, if you squint whilst leaning to the right it almost begins to make sense …..

  15. Mexicanbeemer. Steel is constructed (according to TBA) not made.

    But seriously, the carbon in coal takes the oxygen out of iron ore (which is essentially rust) and leaves the iron behind as a metal. The carbon and oxygen (carbon dioxide) goes up the flue. This process requires a very hot furnace, which is heated by the burning of coal, which also produces carbon dioxide.

  16. mexicanbeemer

    It is for the carbon. Saw a plant that also turfed in used tyres as well. They reckoned they worked a treat. Perhaps any source of carbon could be used.

    Also I think the coal used is the good stuff not the crappy brown coal places like Victoria pile into their generators. tielec could be able to give us the good oil on that point.

  17. To answer your question a little more helpfully: Essential has been peculiar in recording no upward trend at all to the Greens this year, but Ipsos has been peculiar too in having it rise quite so high.

  18. [I know Iron Ore is used in the production of Steel but how is Coal used, besides providing cheap electricity?]

    Carbon (coke) is used to remove oxygen and other impurities from iron ore.

    FWIW, carbon is also used in the production of aluminium, as a sacrificial anode in the electrolysis of alumina, which emits CO and CO2 independent of its electricity consumption.

    It’s really the same effect for both: carbon is used to remove oxygen from the ore.

  19. CT @ 1764

    At least it was triggered by a genuine event – the defection in dramatic circumstances of a Russian spy at the height of the cold war. The current one is nothing more than an attempt to put a grab bag of smear and mud into the public arena.

  20. So many wars to be fought (Greenies, Ice, ISIS, Gays, Unions, Refo’s). Battlelines everybody. Our Fuhrer’s with his Fuhrer’s picks, calls us to arms!

  21. It’s a bit more than just adding carbon to iron to get steel.

    The process of converting iron ore into iron is a chemical one, with the metallurgical coal acting as a reducing agent to convert the iron oxide into iron (yes, with carbon).

    Coke is a solid carbonaceous residue derived from low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal (metallurgical coal), from which the volatile constituents are driven off by baking in an oven without oxygen at temperatures as high as 1,000 °C (1,832 °F), so the fixed carbon and residual ash are fused together. Metallurgical coke is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in smelting iron ore in a blast furnace.


  22. I see many others have responded already MB, and I have nothing to add.

    You ‘could’ use charcoal derived from wood waste and other fuel sources to get the same effect. In fact this used to be the way that coal was created. Wood waste and natural gas might be an alternative solution, but the energy cost of harvesting trees, creating charcoal and harvesting natural gas may approach or exceed the energy cost of coking coal (not to mention financial costs).

    From memory, and some bright spark will certainly correct me, around 15% of coal production is used for steel.

  23. Davidwh and others – I remind you all again (and I remind Wacky Wabbott and his A-G if someone would like to pass it on to them) of Nationwide News v Wills http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1992/46.html . It would have been possible to have a more qualified section protecting the IR Commission that would have been valid, but the HC didn’t read it down, they just held it was invalid. Similarly with s 60 of the RC Act which has only been trivially amended since 1992 – even if someone commits an insult against Heydon which could be punished under a reasonably-drafted section, the section will probably simply be declared invalid. (Not that I’d want to encourage people to indulge in unreasonable insults or contempts, of course!)

  24. david
    Oh really. And Tony Abbott qualified what he said so we could work out which circumstances he meant? No. He didn’t.

    When Tony Abbott tells everyone he’s their “best friend”, do you say “well, he obviously means just in situations X, Y and Z. I know he doesn’t mean ‘all the time’ so he’s not really being insincere”? Of course he’s being insincere.

    When Tony Abbott overreaches with his comments, do you say “well it’s not really overreaching because maybe he only meant in context A, B and C”? No. He’s over-reaching precisely *because* he doesn’t restrain himself.

    You only have this opportunity to qualify his words for him and play guessing games about what he actually means *because* he’s over-reaching.

  25. zoid

    [Australia is relying more on Imports, Thanks Libs.]

    The Australian motor vehicle industry would have been going along quite well with the AUD @ USD O.74

  26. One of the things that amuses me about steelmaking is that by using carbon to get the oxygen out of the iron oxide ore, the concentration of carbon gets too high in the alloy and it becomes brittle.

    So after going to all that effort to get the oxygen out, they have to blow oxygen back through their molten steel as part of converting it from refined iron, to reduce the amount of carbon.

  27. Besides, having some basis in fact doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

    “I’ll punch you if you insult me” may be a completely true statement, but what does it say about me that I would make that threat?

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