Nielsen: 58-42 to Coalition
GhostWhoVotes reports the latest monthly Nielsen poll has the Coalition lead at 58-42, compared with 57-43 in the previous month’s poll. The primary votes are 28% for Labor (up two), 48% for the Coalition (steady) and 12% for the Greens (down two). That these shifts should send Labor backwards on two-party preferred can be put down to fortuitous rounding in Labor’s favour last time. Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened, from 46-44 to 46-42, but personal ratings are little changed. Julia Gillard is down a point on approval to 35% and steady on disapproval at 60%, while Abbott is steady at 39% and down two to 55%.
Nielsen also has 88% of respondents wanting “the political parties to compromise to find a policy solution” on asylum seekers, not unreasonably (a more specific question regarding the arrangement which passed the House last week would perhaps have been more illuminating), with only 10% opposed. Labor (58%) fared worse than the Coalition (42%), the Greens (39%) and the independents (18%) when respondents were asked of each party in turn if they bore some responsibility for the impasse. The poll also has opposition to the carbon tax at 62%, up from 59% in October, while support is down from 37% to 33%. Only 5% believed they would be better off after carbon tax compensation, with 51% believing they would be worse off.
UPDATE: Essential Research has two-party preferred steady at 56-44, with the Labor primary vote down a point on last week to 32% and the Coalition and the Greens steady at 49% and 10%. Presented with the favoured policies of Labor (offshore processing in Malaysia), the Liberals (offshore processing in Nauru) and the Greens (onshore processing), respondents divided 18%, 35% and 14%. However, 57% favoured an option that the government should negotiate a solution over the alternative that it should adopt the Liberal policy. Further questions gauge use of newspapers and concern about their decline, culminating in a finding that 52% would approve of the government “taking action to maintain the publication of daily newspapers” against 27% who would disapprove.
We also have the quarterly Newspoll breakdowns by state, gender, age and capitals/non-capitals. The star attraction here is a collapse in Labor’s vote in Queensland, their primary vote down to 22% from 30% in the previous quarter and their two-party vote down from 42% to 35%. How much of this might be put down to static from the state election, and how much to the defeat of Kevin Rudd’s leadership challenge and the manner in which it was effected, is a subject for further discussion. I also note that the Greens primary vote appears to be down on the 2010 election result among men and voters under 35, but not among women and older people. The availability of state breakdowns from Nielsen allows us to combine their results, with due weight given to their respective sample sizes. This produces quarterly samples ranging from about 3300 in New South Wales to 1200 in South Australia/Northern Territory.
The Nielsen figures corroborate Newspoll’s result for Queensland (their last three monthly polls have had Labor’s two-party vote at 34%, 36% and 32%), and point to a Labor collapse there dragging the party down nationally. Queensland appears to have far surpassed Western Australia as Labor’s worst state, the latter having recorded only a 1% swing off the low base of 2010. The other states are recording swings of around 5% to 6%, off bases ranging from 48.8% in New South Wales to 55.3% in Victoria.
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Categories: Federal Politics 2010-