Malcolm Turnbull form guide

On Malcolm Turnbull’s big day, a review of past polling for Turnbull specifically and the Liberal leadership in general.

To set the ball rolling on a new prime ministership, a walk through some highlights of Malcolm Turnbull’s polling record:

• On five occasions, pollsters asked how respondents would vote if Malcolm Turnbull were prime minister, by way of contrast with the headline results. On each occasion, the two-party vote for the Coalition under Turnbull was substantially higher – by 4% in an Essential Research poll in June 2011; by 7% and 8% in ReachTEL and AMR Research polls shortly after Kevin Rudd resumed the prime ministership in July 2013; and by 6% and 9% in Galaxy and ReachTEL polls immediately after the first Liberal Party spill vote in February (compared with 4% and 6% if Julie Bishop had been leader).

• The chart below shows trends in preferred Liberal leader polling during the period of Tony Abbott’s party leadership, encompassing 35 results from Morgan, Essential Research, ReachTEL, Ipsos and Nielsen. There has been some variability in the options available in these polls, but all featured Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and Joe Hockey, with the exception of the two most recent Morgan results, which dropped Joe Hockey. Scott Morrison only became a regular in the middle of last year.

• The next chart records Malcolm Turnbull’s approval and disapproval trends in Newspoll while he was Opposition Leader. Unfortunately, the trend smooths out the dislocation that occurred following “Utegate” in June 2009, which you can get a clear sense of if you view the individual poll results marked by the circles. More recently, there have been three occasions when pollsters have gauged personal ratings for Turnbull. In January 2014, UMR Research respectively had his approval at 42% and disapproval at 30%. Essential Research recorded 44% approval and 31% disapproval in June 2014, which improved to 47% and 24% last month.

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.

1,164 comments on “Malcolm Turnbull form guide”

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  1. BB

    [You can just picture the man who punched walls, joked about Julia Gillard’s father’s death, reduced funding to the ABC over a couple of mildly critical sentences uttered on Q&A, went after Gillian Triggs, trash-talked Bernie Banton, gutted the Climate Change Authority, lied to just about everyone and then abandoned them when they were of no use to him anymore, and who has led a life full of intrigue, victimization of others and vicious retribution… suddenly turning on the charm and becoming a model parliamentarian – nay, a model human being – after all these years.]

    just the tip of the iceberg, But a useful start. We are in for an intriguing few days to see how Team Malcolm goes about bayonetting the wounded

  2. BB@47. Kenny is basically right. Abbott will slink off now and, if Turnbull is to be white anted, it will be by others.

    Not so much because Abbott’s a man of principle but because he doesn’t have the intellectual or psychological wherewithal to embark on a campaign of undermining.

  3. Its fair to say the new LNP party room is not a happy marriage at the moment.

    That balance between the party base and the electorate will make or break Turnbull.

    Already Labor has the sell out slogan

  4. Rocket Rocket

    Had a quick listen online. Jones gave plenty of praise to Abbott. The ‘Not Happy Jan’ callers were a pleasure to listen to.

  5. Written before the vote, but summing up the Abbott disaster.

    [To be trusted with the party leadership, Abbott needed to shrug off the ill discipline, the boundary riding, the sulking, the periodic raging, the crazy blue sky dreaming of his old life in politics. He would become the victory machine, the talking point spouting automaton, the box checker who would align his interests with fellow travellers powerful enough to set agendas in several continents, and cast shadows over democratically elected governments.

    Coal would be good for humanity, and the Coalition would develop the policies to prove it. The deeply suspicious progressivism of carbon pricing would be scrapped, whatever the cost. ($7bn, but who is counting.) Abbott’s signature aggression was to be a targeted weapon, not the manifestation of random acts of pique.

    Those were the requirements of the firm.
    . . .
    The current crisis is turning on the head of a pin. Strangely there have been no direct appeals to the public, apart from a parenthetical note that voters determine who is prime minister.

    Tony Abbott is trapped inside his own feedback loop, understanding the world is still out there, but not really comprehending how to reconnect. He’s been gone so long now – for years. What is the pathway back?

    He’s come to resent his fortress, knowing every single contour, he now knows the vulnerabilities in the structure, but what is the alternative? There has been churlish and ultimately pyrrhic acting out. The indulgence of knights and dames: nostalgia for empire, a frolic that does nothing beyond telling voters Abbott is too in love with the past to understand the future. Clinging to that paid parental leave scheme – a bit of latter-day Abbott social engineering and personal rebranding – even though the policy was clearly a problem in search of a solution, and a costly one at that.

    The final confined space Abbott has entered is the bunker. Like the box and the fortress, he’s put himself there, and on current indications, it looks most unlikely that he’ll ultimately climb out unscathed, however the wind blows ultimately on Monday.]

  6. Irony overload this morning, listening to The Doors…

    Lots of ‘Turnbull has learnt from his last experience as leader’ (yeah, people told us the same of Rudd)..

    “This is nothing like Labor leadership changes…”

    Labor MPs making strong statements about Turnbull abandoning issues he has in the past strongly advocated for – we’ll be talking “Real Malcolm” soon.

  7. PvO:

    [There are so many questions left hanging after last night.

    Is Abbott’s unpopularity, and the time taken between February’s spill and now, enough to quash voter concerns about changing leaders? That is certainly what Liberal MPs in favour of change convinced themselves of.

    It remains to be seen how the Abbott camp will react to last night’s developments. Will they do to Turnbull what they believe Turnbull and his supporters have done to them? The risk for Turnbull is that the conservative wing of the party revolts at his leadership, preferring to usher in a period in opposition rather than the re-election of the government with a strong mandate for Turnbull.

    There was an attempt to head off such concerns yesterday, with Turnbull supporters indicating that their candidate would stick to the policy agenda regarding ­climate change as well as the commitment to a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. On this later point, Turnbull might be tempted to bring the vote forward, ahead of the next election.]

    And on Hockey:

    [Hockey has been poorly ­treated by his PM, hamstrung ­because of the promises not to do things by Abbott in opposition. Had Hockey been allowed to pursue what he had wanted to as Treasurer, unencumbered by the echo of broken promises because of ­Abbott, Hockey would still be seen as a future leader. We will find out now if Turnbull has a place for him on the frontbench, or indeed if Hockey is willing to serve. Doubts must exist. Hockey was a victim of Abbott’s desperation in opposition to seize the prime ministership.]

    Hockey was simply out of his depth.

  8. [Chris Uhlmann has offered the slogan “Hope, not nope” for Turnbull to use.]

    They really should start paying him, but more importantly the ABC should STOP paying him.

    The angry rusted ons who are now forming the Abbott faction much the way some formed a Rudd faction at about this time have no where to go, unless Abbott breaks away and starts a new party for them. Over to you tones …

    Note also Turnbull had both an obvious reason the whole country understood and told the truth yesterday, note also Turnbull was instantly the PM, even before he was sworn in. #thatshowyoudoit

  9. Gottliebsen

    [ Shorten has a plan to tackle Turnbull

    When Bill Shorten was planning his ascension to the Labor leadership he forecast that the 2016 election would be between himself and Malcolm Turnbull — not Tony Abbott.

    Accordingly, Shorten already has a plan to tackle Turnbull.

    A key to the Shorten plan is the fact that when Turnbull was opposition leader he didn’t run a good cabinet. That’s why he was dropped.

    Whether Turnbull can win the next election as PM depends on whether he has learnt how to run a cabinet.

    When he announced his challenge, Turnbull went to extraordinary lengths to underline his belief that, this time, he would run the cabinet in the same way that John Howard managed his cabinet. Turnbull contrasted Howard’s brilliance in running a cabinet with Abbott’s mistakes.

    Now that Turnbull is to become Prime Minister, the first thing he needs to do is to refer to the magnificent agenda the Coalition put before the Australian people to win the 2013 election.

    …The tax system modernisation plan will therefore not be exactly the same as the original Coalition agenda but it will almost certainly include:

    A change in superannuation pension arrangements — perhaps adopting the ‘Shorten super proposal’ (or at the least the original plan that lifts the tax on super funds when individual income was above $100,000)

    Increasing the GST as an arrangement with the states

    Turnbull needs to find a way to delicately suggest to the Japanese that they pull out and to then take either the French or German proposal, which both involve substantial work in the Adelaide shipyards. The silly idea of getting the Japanese involved came from a small group of people in the PM’s office led by Peta Credlin.

    In the original Coalition plan, the Commonwealth envisioned saving billions by rationalising Commonwealth and state activities in health, education and other areas. But the poor ministers in those areas allowed themselves to be snowed by the public service and the cost-saving plans were pigeonholed.

    Turnbull needs to brighten up Australia’s environmental policy and give Minister Greg Hunt the authority to really market it.

    Turnbull also needs to make peace with the ABC and Fairfax. He might not bring them to the coalition side but it’s very dangerous to have them as bitter enemies.

    Turnbull will probably put in the too hard basket a move to crack down on cartels between the large builders and the union movement that boost the cost of Australian infrastructure and city building. ]

  10. fess

    PVO agreed with the govt agenda. His anxiety like the rest of the tories, is that Abbott and Hockey could not convince the electorate.

  11. I predict we’re going to, once again, be sold Direct Action as a solution, this time with the assistance of the media. Fairfax already tried it with Abbott until they could no longer ignore the mounting evidence provided by the man himself of his disinterest, insincerity and obstruction.

    They’ll decide the merits of the policy based on Turnbull’s skill in flattery, rather than Turnbull’s sincerity based on the merits of the policy. Completely backwards. Unlike Abbott, Turnbull (probably) won’t let the fig leaf slip.

  12. victoria

    Same policies same fail. That will be obvious very quickly. Especially as no expectation of another budget.

    Talk about owning bad economic management

  13. If the reaction of my friends and acquaintances on Facebook is any indication, the overwhelming response to ReTurnbull is relief. Abbott really was universally despised.

  14. dave, from your quote
    [Turnbull also needs to make peace with the ABC and Fairfax. He might not bring them to the coalition side but it’s very dangerous to have them as bitter enemies.]
    Bitter enemies? Hahahahahaha, who is he trying to fool?

  15. Good morning all,

    Interesting times.

    China free trade agreement, SSM and climate change are enough for labor to get on with atm I would think.

    Turnbull has stated his position on all three yesterday so let’s get it on.


  16. guytaur/fess

    I too am relieved that Abbott is no longer in charge. Turnbull is in now charge of a divided party, and he will have to give the appearance of being all things to all people. Good luck with that

  17. The real Tony Abbott…

    Simon Benson:

    [IN AN extraordinary night of chaos, Tony Abbott finally offered to dump Treasurer Joe Hockey in a last-ditch – and ultimately futile – bid to save his leadership from the awaiting Malcolm Turnbull.

    News Corp understands that Mr Abbott ­offered the job and that of deputy Liberal leader to Mr Morrison, who declined the offer despite declaring he would vote for Mr Abbott in the leadership ballot.]

    (from the Daily Telegraph)

  18. vic:

    An indication of how disengaged people are from politics is that many of my Facebook friends are only learning this morning about the leadership change!

  19. victoria

    I think Australia is in the hangover period after the party this morning.

    Was a great night of partying seeing the back of toxic Tony

  20. victoria@74

    Abbott still hasnt popped up to have his say this morning. Will he resign?

    I suppose he could refuse to resign his commission from the GG. He would then have to sacked, Whitlam style. That would be a lot of fun to watch, but too much to ask I think.

  21. It seems that after I switched from the broadcast, Uhlmann went straight into defending his priestly friend Tony. Until then he had made a reasonable fist of objective reporting. Very disappointing for ABC.

  22. This says it all really about how perception is everything. Of course MT has backed continuation of the DLP policy agenda.

    [James Campbell ‏@J_C_Campbell 10h10 hours ago
    Senior Victorian Liberal: “The DLP government has been defeated. A Liberal government has been elected.” #auspol #spill]

  23. So it looks like new leader, same old policies. What a bounder Malcolm is – truly.

    P.S. I understand that Tony now intends to come out for SSM because he wants to marry Toolman

  24. On Sky last night Kroger said Bill Shorten would be gone by Christmas, but there was no discussion of how hard it is to remove a Labor leader these days.

  25. Bushfire Bill@81

    The real Tony Abbott…

    Simon Benson:

    IN AN extraordinary night of chaos, Tony Abbott finally offered to dump Treasurer Joe Hockey in a last-ditch – and ultimately futile – bid to save his leadership from the awaiting Malcolm Turnbull.

    News Corp understands that Mr Abbott ­offered the job and that of deputy Liberal leader to Mr Morrison, who declined the offer despite declaring he would vote for Mr Abbott in the leadership ballot.

    (from the Daily Telegraph)

    Dopey Joe shafted yet again.

    Wasn’t long ago the msm were telling us joe was the bestest 🙂

    As a Treasurer he might make a better Real Estate Salesman – then again ???

  26. guytaur

    I trust that Bowen is reading Peter Martin’s piece on the untrue claims about jobs by Robb. The Coal is a deceitful pack of scammers.

  27. lol!

    [Jason Wilson
    Jason Wilson – ‏@jason_a_w

    The Eastern Suburbs guy deposed the Northern Beaches guy. He may replace the North Shore guy with the Shire guy. #revolution
    2:07 PM – 14 Sep 2015

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