Fairfax-Ipsos: 53-47 to Coalition

The latest monthly Ipsos poll gives the Coalition its most encouraging result in some time.

The latest monthly Ipsos poll for the Fairfax papers is a steadier for the Turnbull government, recording the Coalition’s lead at 53-47 after it sagged to 52-48 in the previous poll. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up one to 45%, Labor is down one to 31%, and the Greens are down one to 14%. Nonetheless, the poll corroborates other recent polling in finding a plunge in support for Malcolm Turnbull, who is down seven on approval to 55% and up eight on disapproval to 32%. Bill Shorten is respectively up three to 33% and down three to 52%, and he has narrowed his deficit on preferred prime minister from 64=19 to 61-22. The poll was conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1400.

The Australian also has a Newspoll result suggesting Tony Windsor is a real show in his bid to take New England back from Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. The survey of 518 respondents shows Windsor with a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 46% for Joyce and 44% for Windsor. When respondents were prompted for how they would vote if the contentious Shenhua Watermark mine on Liverpool Plains was approved, Windsor took a 47% to 42% lead on the primary vote, and his lead after preferences extended to 56-44.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The latest fortnightly rolling aggregate from Essential Research has two-party preferred at 50-50 for the third week in a row, with both major parties down a point on the primary vote – Coalition to 42%, Labor to 36% – and the Greens up one to 11%. Also featured are semi-regular questions on same-sex marriage (support up five points to 64% with opposition down four to 26%, and 66% favouring a plebiscite versus only 23% who think the matter should be decided by parliament) and climate change (63% say it’s caused by human activity, up seven since November, and 27% consider it natural fluctuation, down five; 57% think not enough is being done to address it, up four since August).

Other questions look in depth at the leaders, including a finding that 39% favour Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party (down three since December), with Julie Bishop on 12% (down one) and Tony Abbott on 9% (steady). Changes on the equivalent Labor question are slight, but Bill Shorten nonetheless pulls into the lead by gaining two points to 15%, with Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek both steady on 14%, and Chris Bowen up four to 7%. Questions on the attributes of the two leaders are fairly predictable in finding Malcolm Turnbull deteriorating across all measures since September, while Bill Shorten remains steady. Turnbull takes particularly heavy hits on understanding the problems facing Australia (down ten to 53%), being good in a crisis (down seven to 52%), and being visionary (down seven to 44%). Interestingly though, his biggest move is a drop in “aggressive”, from 38% to 24%.

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.

2,404 comments on “Fairfax-Ipsos: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. From the previous thread:

    My take is that there is a slow bleeding of confidence and hope in Turncoat. Even though the trend is ugly for him, his preferred PM and netsat results are still pretty good for a PM to have, if seen in isolation from the trend.

    In regard to comparative policies, however, I think there is still a significant expectation that the Government will come out with the glorious solution – or at least a coherent vision, backed by policies – that it will take to the next election. This hope and expectation might be met, in which case there might be a little skin lost for the government, but they will win solidly. I think that hope/expectation is reflected in this poll (subject to MOE of course). And the shemozzle of the last couple of weeks might have taken more shine of Waffles, but the government is still being propped up by the hope that they might show some purpose.

    My guess is that this government really has nothing to offer and whatever it comes up with in the next couple of months will be so rushed and patched together that it will come apart, especially in a long election campaign. And the Government will deflate until there is no prospect of winning the next election.

    To put it another way. By the time the electorate passes judgement, only one party will have a suite of policies that can stand up to scrutiny, even if not necessarily positive. And they will win the prize because they have something and the Government has nothing.

  2. It’s hard to believe that a PM with testes the the size of grains of rice could win an election.

    Malcolm Turnbull is a Nowhere Man
    He’s a real nowhere man
    Sitting in his nowhere land
    Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

    Thanks to the Beatles.

    Doesn’t have a point of view
    Knows not where he’s going to
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
    Nowhere man please listen
    You don’t know what you’re missing
    Nowhere man, The world is at your command

    He’s as blind as he can be
    Just sees what he wants to see
    Nowhere man, can you see me at all
    Nowhere man don’t worry

    If the Libs win the next election It’s good bye medicare good bye public education.

    The hard right will get there way one way or another

  3. http://www.afr.com/news/politics/fairfaxipsos-poll-pm-back-in-the-land-of-the-political-mortals-20160313-gnhupq
    [Mar 13 2016 at 7:00 PM
    Fairfax-Ipsos poll: PM back in the land of the political mortals
    by Laura Tingle

    Contradictory polls: Fairfax-Ipsos reckons the two party preferred vote is split 53/47 in favour of the Coalition. Newspoll and Essential in the past couple of weeks has put it at the more hair-raising 50/50.

    The capacity for a large margin of error built in to the Ipsos South Australian figures in this latest poll, suggests the likely split may well be closer to 52 or 51 in the Coalition’s favour.

    Certainly, the difference between Ipsos and Newspoll seems to reflect a continuing much weaker reading by Ipsos in the Labor primary vote than Newspoll in the period since Malcolm Turnbull became leader six months ago.

    Alarmed Coalition MPs might take some comfort from the more reassuring Ipsos numbers, given that they finished the last parliamentary fortnight suddenly contemplating the idea that the government could face an election loss.]

    [Mar 13 2016 at 7:00 PM
    Fairfax-Ipsos poll: Voters up for grabs on super and negative gearing
    by Phillip Coorey

    Public opinion over changes to superannuation tax concessions and negative gearing is there to be won with one in four voters yet to be swayed either way.

    With both issues front and centre of the tax reform debate, the latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows slightly more voters oppose touching either tax concessions than supportive, but one quarter of voters remain undecided.

    The monthly poll shows 42 per cent oppose changes to negative gearing, 34 per cent are supportive, and 24 per cent are undecided.

    Whereas only Labor has negative gearing in its sights, both sides are targeting superannuation tax concessions.

    The poll of 1402 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday night last week, finds 35 per cent support paring back superannuation tax concessions and 34 per cent are opposed. Another 26 per cent are undecided.

    Negative gearing looms as one of the key issues at this year’s election with the government nominating Labor’s policy and its supposed affect on housing prices a prime focus of its campaign.]

  4. Good evening all,

    No real change in voting intentions in this poll just the same as the last Newspoll. Things seem to be in a holding pattern atm.

    Turnbull continues to fall. His huge personal ratings when he became PM dragged the coalitions vote upwards on his coat tails and his falling popularity will drag the coalition down on the back of his declining popularity.

    Just a matter of time.


  5. Some PB posters have commented in the past on the opinions of rusted on LNP voters in their social circles – family, work, clubs and so on.

    Is there any hint that those people are starting to think that Malcolm is playing silly buggers with the electorate with this ludicrous will he/won’t he/DD/no DD/May 3/May 10 business?

    Any straws in the wind would be interesting.

  6. From the AFR article:

    [One Labor strategist said while the Turnbull government was doing terribly on the politics, the internal research said the Coalition was still performing strongly on policy fundamentals in the eyes of voters, and this explained its lead.]

    What policy fundementals?

  7. From Previous thread.
    bemused@2732 on BludgerTrack: 51.3-48.7 to Coalition | The Poll Bludger


    An Interesting read from John Megalogenis. May have been linked before:

    “If politics waits any longer to address these issues, we will muddle into a recession and government will have to prop up the economy, but from a position of weakness, with the budget in deficit and interest rates too low to cut in a meaningful way.”


    You are right Steve777, a great article. Particularly liked this.

    Government must reclaim responsibility for the areas of public policy that will prepare us for the future – most notably, education and infrastructure.

    As a journalist I am wary of giving advice, especially when it involves a greater role for government in the economy. I can think of no generation of politicians I would trust less with the responsibility of redrawing the line between the market and the state than the current crop. But the choice is being forced on Australia anyway.

    The political system cannot restore public confidence without a more responsive government. And the economy won’t stabilise without a more active government. The default setting of politics in the twenty-first century – to trust in the market – has proven to be bad economics, even for Australia, the only high-income nation to avoid the Great Recession. It has left us with gridlocked cities, growing inequality and a corporate sector that feels no obligation to pay tax.

  8. [Crossbench Senator Ricky Muir will move to weaken the government’s case for a double dissolution election this week by calling for an immediate debate and vote on the legislation to bring back the construction industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).]

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/ricky-muir-to-call-malcolm-turnbulls-bluff-on-double-dissolution-drive-20160313-gnhqsz#ixzz42mAY27nZ
    Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

  9. TPOF @4:

    That more or less sums of my own thoughts on this result. I was expecting a bit more of a move to Labor, but this doesn’t strike me as being too bad considering Ipsos’ general lean to the Coalition. Hopefully its just a blip and not the start of trend back to the Government, but I can’t imagine what part of their disastrous performance lately could have brought on a recovery for them.

  10. I read that article by George and it is good.
    I hate the way Turnbull has coopted innovation as as ‘policy’ which means nothing apart from an election slogan and some government funded advertising.
    Have a look at this Buzzfeed article on Turnbulls response to a question they asked:
    wtte “what do you recommend to young people who want to buy a home but do not have parents to assist or have $100,000 for a deposit?


    In what way is his response different to Hockey’s ‘get a good job’ gaffe?
    Is it just because it was answered by Turnbull?

  11. [You know – Stop the Boats! Axe the Tax!]

    Bully the cross bench, declare every day there’s never been a better time to be whatever, innovation, innovation, innovation and agile, agile, agile!!!

  12. Asher,

    While the Turnbull Government may have done very little they haven’t attacked people’s hip pockets.

    Many voters equate good policy with “What’s in it for me”.

    Many voters have a set and forget approach to politics. The argy bargy of the PB standard fare of polls and political commentary is not followed by many voters.

  13. confessions @15:

    Good on Muir for not falling for the Coalition’s bluff and sticking to his principles. I hope the other crossbenchers follow his lead.

    I did have to roll my eyes though at the AFR’s claims that a double dissolution under the new senate reforms would “wipe out the crossbench”, as if that was absolutely, definitely going to happen, no ifs or buts, when basically all the modelling by people who actually know what they are talking about has shown that to be far from the case.

  14. TPOF – I think you’re right. There are probably a huge number of voters out their still in their post-Abbott slumber. They won’t wake up and start paying attention again until we have an election. Then it will be time for them to finally mark their card on the Libs. Be interesting to see if an early election will arrest Malcolm’s slide, or hasten it.

  15. I’m happy. Slowly, slowly catchee Prime Minister.

    Bill Shorten appears to have survived the TURC findings against him, highly biased as we all know they were but most of Australia isn’t us and they do read the Murdoch tabloids, watch Channels 7,9 and 10 instead of the ABC, and listen to the Shock Jocks. So, as his personal approval vs disapproval, and Preferred PM, ratings are going up slowly but surely we can take comfort that people are listening, overcoming their inbuilt prejudices against him and reassessing him.

    Combine that with a vote that is hovering around a figure that, over a long election campaign, can be useful as a platform to launch the Labor Party from and which puts them within striking distance of victory, leads me overall to not be too unhappy about this Coalition-favouring poll.

  16. [I did have to roll my eyes though at the AFR’s claims that a double dissolution under the new senate reforms would “wipe out the crossbench”, as if that was absolutely, definitely going to happen]

    I’m intrigued that the media writes this stuff as if the cross benchers have in some way been voted in illegally to begin with!

  17. C@tmomma

    Wow! Abbott’s dragged Margie back onto the stage. Either he smells blood in the water around the leadership, or he’s beginning to worry about his own seat.

    I don’t know which one to hope for more!

  18. If you look at the longer term ipsos results you can surmise that the last ipsos may have overshot a little and this is a minor correction. We won’t know for a while (especially with ipsos polling so infrequently). But one small move back doesn’t undermine the overall trend.

    I would say that the evidence is increasing that Turnbull’s scare campaign has had a bit of an effect. Whether that is a short or long term winner for him is far too early to say. Personally I think we’re just in a little pause in the overall downward trend for these clowns. If this allows them to feel a little cocky this week, then more fool them. Their incompetence goes to the marrow and it will catch em out when it matters.

  19. I agree with TPOF and catmomma. Its steady as she goes and reality will catch up with voters.

    Labor is in with a real chance of winning. In fact I truly don’t see how they can craft a budget that will win them an election.

    Joyce is going the pork barrel in New England and if that is the approach the LNP are going to take nationally Labor can have real fun with the record government debt.

  20. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/fairfaxipsos-poll-voters-feel-the-sevenmonth-itch-20160313-gnhx9f.html
    [Fairfax-Ipsos poll: Voters feel the seven-month itch
    March 13, 2016 – 8:00PM
    Peter Hartcher

    Malcolm Turnbull promised there had never been a more exciting time, yet the honeymoon was an anticlimax, the voters have concluded.

    And yet. Despite the high expectations, the let-downs left and right, the people remain in the relationship still, hoping for the best. This seems to sum up today’s Fairfax-Ipsos poll.

    The rival suitor, meanwhile, has gone from being largely ignored to winning the first hint of public interest. Bill Shorten is not yet a competitor, but he has been seen to have taken the field.

    Turnbull’s approval rating has fallen from a feverish 69 per cent in November to 55 per cent today.

    This comedown of 14 points, or one voter in every seven, equates to about 2.1 million adult Australians who approved of his performance four months ago but no longer. This is a precipitous fall for a leader who has done nothing offensive or outrageous.

    The people, it seems, hold Turnbull guilty not of any crime of commission but for crimes of omission. The loss of popularity seems to have happened in two phases.]

  21. Player One@28


    Wow! Abbott’s dragged Margie back onto the stage. Either he smells blood in the water around the leadership, or he’s beginning to worry about his own seat.

    I don’t know which one to hope for more!

    Why settle for one!

    How about he regains the leadership and then loses his seat. 👿

  22. Don’t fret, guys.

    Conservatives take no notice of Morgan or Ipsos.
    Newspoll and to some extent Essential are the longstanding reliable polling outfits.

    In fact, any publication with the word Fairfax in front of it these days is very dicey. Fairfax love M. Turnbull very much.

  23. [Maybe that’s why the Coalition vote is up but Turnbull’s is down?]

    Where there’s life there’s hope! 😀

  24. Leroy

    Peter Hartcher is wrong to say done nothing wrong. To the average voter the SSM debate and the attack on safe schools has cut through.

    Turnbull caving into his back bench on those issues has been noted. An issue that is going to get more airtime as the report on Safe Schools is released.

    Parents want their kids to be safe in school and that issue resonates with every parent in the land one way or the other.

  25. confessions@26


    I posted this Ch9 report on the previous thread. You’ll enjoy it


    Bring back Abbott!!!

    Thanks Fess. Couldn’t agree more. We need Abbott!

    P1 hit the nail on the head too –

    [ Wow! Abbott’s dragged Margie back onto the stage. Either he smells blood in the water around the leadership, or he’s beginning to worry about his own seat. ]

    I hope it is both!

  26. fess,

    Won’t be long before Labor can legitimately run the line, “A vote for Turnbull is a vote for the return of Tony Abbott as PM”.

  27. Wow! Abbott’s dragged Margie back onto the stage. Either he smells blood in the water around the leadership, or he’s beginning to worry about his own seat.

    Player O.
    Would it have occurred to you that N. Savva’s book has distressed the Abbott family.

    Just saying. People do love their spouses and are faithful.

    Anyone can see they are very angry about the accusations of N. Savva.

  28. Also remember Labor has not even begun to fight. Same for other parties like NXT and the Greens.

    Labor is going to go in real hard on Climate Change to their great credit.

    I think voters will realise they were sold a PUP (sorry could not resist the pun accurate as it is.)

  29. prettyone@38


    Would it have occurred to you that N. Savva’s book has distressed the Abbott family.

    Just saying. People do love their spouses and are faithful.

    Anyone can see they are very angry about the accusations of N. Savva. ]

    Are you really that naive?

    On the book, Savva merely passed on the perceptions of those close to Abbott and Credlin.

    And showed how inept Abbott is as a leader. He should have got rid of Credlin as soon as he gained office – but then he would not have lasted even as long as he did, so that is moot.

  30. guytaur @ 30,

    Joyce is going the pork barrel in New England and if that is the approach the LNP are going to take nationally Labor can have real fun with the record government debt.

    I agree with you, guytaur. 🙂

    And I don’t think it’s beyond the wit of the Labor Party to plant that idea in the electorate’s head after the Budget and throughout the election campaign.

  31. I don’t think anyone else has linked this article but apologise if they have.

    Pushing back against the politicisation of economic modelling
    [Trashing economic expertise

    It may well be that both sides present unsatisfactory modelling, so that even expert policy makers still lack the modelling they need to make good decisions.

    The Economic Society has been documenting the falling proportion of students taking economics degrees, which means that less informed journalists and readers are easily misled by advocates waving thick economic modelling reports that has cost a lot of money.

    It is true that almost 40 per cent of Australian undergraduates now study business but the proportion taking demanding subjects like economics, statistics and quantitative methods has fallen dramatically. The norm, especially outside the Go8 universities is students taking marketing, management, and other soft subjects, often dumbed-down to make failure almost impossible and keep the student subsidies from government flowing into university coffers.]

  32. On the book, Savva merely passed on the perceptions of those close to Abbott and Credlin.

    In a book widely published around Australia that distinctly hints very strongly Tony Abbott was unfaithful.

    You’ve got to try some empathy here and see how that would feel to a faithful and loving husband, but more than anything, to his wife and children.

    Just have a thinks about how that would feel.

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