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. briefly 2095 – I wondered about this during the February shenanigans. Whether Abbott might go to an election just to save his own job. And then what would happen if the Libs then dumped him as leader anyway straight away during the campaign?

    I had expert advice that if Abbott didn’t resign the GG could just leave him as a “lame duck” leader until election day, or alternatively sack him and appoint the one the Libs elected as “caretaker PM”.

  2. Early election, zoid and WWP? I think even Tony knows that you only do that when you’re ahead. But maybe Miranda and a few others have persuaded him that he is? Or is he thinking “If I’m gonna go I’ll take everyone down with me in flames”? Anyone know if he’s a Wagner fan? I still think the election will be after all the footy finals are over, next year

  3. Poroti and RB:

    Fascinating thought that Abbott might be desperate enough to lead the LNP on a suicide mission just to stave off a change of leader. Would he do it? Perhaps he would. Perhaps he could rationalise the idea that any change would be so destabilising as to be likely to put the LNP only in a worse position than their already dire one.

  4. [My only guess is that Abbott would call an election to beat a challenge.]

    And a good guess surely he is only saved from a challenge but noone really can atm?

  5. Agreed poroti. That’s the only motive I can see. A roll of the dice. Gawd, imagine the hubris if he wins a second term.

    Shorten was looking very relaxed and comfortable in Parliament today. Abbott looked rattled at times. Certainly angry. Morrison sits behind him looking disinterested or bemused. Bishop is in there clawing away. I reckon she either knows she is no hope of leading, or else is auditioning.

  6. [How does the early election theory work?

    Why would Abbott do it now when he’s so far behind in the polls – further than he has been for many months?

    Abbott has a proven track record of poor policy, poor judgement, and even poorer Captain’s Picks.

    There is a pattern here.

    Going to an early election with your polling in the gutter, the media and your own Cabinet is turning on you, and trust in you destroyed by a litany of lies and gaffes would seem something only an idiot would do.

    Abbott is probably coordinating diaries with Sir Peter Cosgrove as we speak.

  7. [Early election, zoid and WWP? ]

    It doesn’t seem really likely, but what else is he going to do develop IR, tax and other policies and actually spend the next 18 months delivering? Can Hockey frame a non-laughable budget next year?

  8. [WWP, Hockey couldn’t frame a photo!]

    So if you are Abbott you have to pick a time between now and when you are to be rolled by your own side, it must be before may, Christmas new year probably out.

  9. @WWP/2107

    It’s entirely possible WWP, because the last two budgets were like non-existent after a few weeks, the public were like “meh”.

  10. [It’s entirely possible WWP, because the last two budgets were like non-existent after a few weeks, the public were like “meh”.]

    Really you public was like ‘meh’ to the first budget? There was some ‘meh’ about the second budget because it didn’t really do much but hide the first budget they still hoped to pass. There was a lot of wtf from his side of the fence over the second budget.

  11. Meanwhile in Victoria, a Liberal Party scandal about to explode

    [THE Victorian Liberal Party is investigating the disappearance of more than $1 million worth of funds which went missing from party coffers during last year’s election campaign.

    The Herald Sun can reveal a forensic audit has uncovered irregularities in invoices lodged with the party for expenses incurred during the November 2014 election loss.

    The matter will be referred to Victoria Police on Thursday.

    It is understood the irregularities were uncovered after new Victorian Liberal Party President Michael Kroger raised concerns about apparent overspending on last year’s state election campaigning.

    A senior Liberal official — who the Herald Sun has chosen not to name — is believed to be implicated in the fraud claims.

    One senior Liberal source said the news was “devastating”.

    “White hot anger doesn’t even begin to describe it,” the source said.

    “He was basically the chief executive of the party — he runs all campaigns.”]


  12. sprocket 2113 – thanks for that tip – had just got off their website a while ago.

    Wouldn’t a public forensic examination of the Liberal Party finances for the last Victoria election be interesting? I wonder if any road/tunnel spruikers contributed?

  13. Mr Denmore ‏@MrDenmore 12m12 minutes ago

    How brazen is News Corp in slamming Kathy Jackson as the exemplar of union rorts after hailing her as saintly whistleblower 3 years ago?

  14. zoidlord

    [ How brazen is News Corp in slamming Kathy Jackson as the exemplar of union rorts after hailing her as saintly whistleblower 3 years ago? ]

    They know that their readership has the memory and attention span of a goldfish.

  15. I suspect that if Mr Abbott called an early election purely to prevent a leadership challenge, his colleagues would be so furious that a significant number of them could decide that it would be better for the Liberal Party and the country if Mr Abbott lost the election. In which case they could turn the government campaign into a total shambles.

  16. Abbott is arrogant and stupid enough to say the electorate got it wrong or the ALP fear/smear campaign worked etc etc – anything to avoid the truth. But being rejected by his peers? Maybe he wants to avoid that. How? Early election.


  17. Shanahan

    A campaign of dissent and ­destabilisation was directed at ­Abbott and Credlin, with MPs and ministers demanding she be ­replaced with former Howard chief of staff and now NSW state Liberal Party executive director Tony Nutt. Now there is a renewed campaign to get Nutt to Canberra to inject some “Howard years” experience and dilute the influence of Credlin.

    But despite discussions about enticing Nutt to enter the federal fray, there has been no offer. And Nutt has told senior Liberals he is staying where he is for some time to handle issues facing the NSW Liberal Party.

    Nutt, who had been conducting a review for Abbott in his office, could well have to be in Sydney for months but that hasn’t stopped him being used as a weapon against Credlin, just as Bishop was used against Abbott.

  18. [I really want to believe this might be on. Nothing like an election to get the blood pumping – especially one Abbott is almost certain to lose. But there’s the rub: it just doesn’t seem plausible.]

    It depends on Abbott actually believing that he can campaign Bill Shorten and Labor into the ground in a real election. We never thought the Coalition believed the crap it spouted leading up to the last election, but then it turned out they did. It’s quite possible that Abbott does believe it now – sort of like Hitler in Downfall still thinking he can win the war with divisions and armies that no longer exist.

  19. Rocket rocket

    On re reading the article, it suggests it is a former official. Therefore someone who has resigned. I now have someone else in mind

  20. Note that there’s no been no indication of any legislation to change the Senate voting system, nor any signs of AEC preparations for running an election under a different system. So a snap double dissolution would likely have to be run under the current system, but with a quota of 1/13 rather than 1/7. So the incoming Senate could make the current one look positively manageable.

  21. [2097

    Andrew Robb ‏@AndrewRobbMP 3m3 minutes ago

    Financial Services Council warns delaying China trade deal will jeopardise over $4 BILLION in economic gains & up to 10,000 new jobs.

    Who the hell is Financial Services Council? Did Hockey outsource the goverment finance department?]

    Hmm… I wonder if whoever came up with those numbers used the same economic formula that said the Adani mine would create 10,000 jobs. Maybe it was the finance department of Crosby Textor.

  22. But maybe Miranda and a few others have persuaded him that he is?

    The “polls are wrong” stuff has been oozing out of the LNP side of late – kind of like some PB musings in 2012 and 2013 tbh, but we’re mostly not claiming to be professionals – Textor with his contribution, presumably trying to make out that Abbott could emulate Cameron’s unexpected big win, and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was banging on about the “silent majority” that would surely be opposed to SSM.

    Maybe there is a core group in the LNP that really do believe they are bound to win (first term governments are never voted out!), and the polls can be ignored?

  23. It’s worth noting too that the lack of coordination, consultation and policy work that’s been the hallmark of the government recently would be likely to flow over into an election campaign: with the important difference that the Ministers wouldn’t have the public service available to sweep up after them.

    If you haven’t got a solid basis of policy work to take to the electorate, modern “presidential” election campaigns become, in effect, a wall-to-wall sequence of captain’s picks.

    It gives me a warm inner glow just thinking about it.

  24. vic 2131 – just saw that – interesting. – looks like Kathy Jackson may be shunted off the front page though. Sorry – this is the Murdoch press isn’t it, and KJ has gone form being Abbott’s “hero” and “union whistleblower” to “rotten Labor Union Rorter”.

  25. Oh dear….

    The Herald Sun understands the forensic accounting firm PPB Advisory was called into Liberal Party headquarters at 104 Exhibition St and uncovered allegedly fraudulent invoices.

    It is alleged that some of the invoices were made out to a company which did not exist.

    Further, its alleged the bank account associated with the invoices belonged to a family member of the former official.

    The party is understood to be planning on announcing the alleged fraud to its state and federal MPs on Thursday.

  26. Jackol @ 2134: The view of at least one British campaign professional with whom I discussed the UK election was that Cameron’s big win owed a great deal to the perception that Labour could only govern with the support of an SNP dedicated to the breakup of the UK.

  27. Jackol 2134 – like the Republican “skewed poll’ movement before the 2012 Presidential election. And like the UK they have non-compulsory voting, where you maybe could find some merit in such arguments. I actually think the polls could get worse for the Coalition when people start realising they are NOT dumping Abbott. And calling an election would surely do that!

  28. LOL

    [Back in Parliament House, his ministers were pondering a confidential briefing note that instructed them to put their recent festival of leaks behind them and to tell anyone who asked that “our cabinet is functioning extremely well.

    The entire briefing note was promptly leaked to the press gallery. We are not making this up.]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/up-to-his-ankles-in-bulldust-tony-abbott-hoofs-it-leak-follows-20150819-gj2pdw#ixzz3jGOOQsuW

  29. Maybe a DD elected Senate is going to be Abbott’s little parting gift to Shorten.

    I have a few candidates in mind for the Vic Liberal scandal, but none who fit the profile perfectly given what I read about the campaign at the time.

  30. pedant – that lines up with some things I had read.

    Maybe Abbott is planning on campaigning with “a vote for Labor is a vote for Tasmania to secede! Because Greens!” Triumph assured.

  31. Were any of the funds siphoned off to NSW?

    Stealing from your own party.

    What sort of low living, poor box stealing scumbag would do that?

    Faux outrage over, due to fits of the giggles.

  32. pedant – I was there the week before and I thought the collapse of the LibDems was going to help Labour (as in this “coalition” is stuffed), but yes I think in the end many in “England” decided that they had a “Tories or chaos” choice and avoided what they perceived as the chaos of Labour minority govt sort-of supported by the SNP.

    It does make you wonder whether Labour played their cards right in ruling out coalition. After all, coalition didn’t hurt the Tories in the end, but it destroyed the LibDems.

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