tip off

Nielsen: 56-44 to Labor; Newspoll: 55-45

The hostile reaction to the government’s first budget comes into sharper focus with two bruising new opinion poll results, both of which show Bill Shorten opening up a big lead as preferred prime minister.

UPDATE (Morgan): The fortnightly Morgan face-to-face plus SMS result sings from the same song sheet, with Labor up 1.5% to 38.5%, the Coalition down 2.5% to 35%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer up a point to 6.5%. Whereas Morgan polls usually combine two weekends of polling, this one is entirely from Saturday and Saturday, so all the responses are post-budget and the sample is somewhat smaller than usual. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead is up from 53.5-46.5 to 56.5-43.5 on 2013 election preferences, and 55-45 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.

After a relatively mild result from yesterday’s Galaxy poll, in which the government may have benefited slightly from an earlier polling period (Wednesday to Friday, the budget having been brought down on Tuesday night), two big name pollsters deliver horror results for the Coalition:

• Newspoll, conducted from Friday to Sunday, has Labor’s two-party lead out from 53-47 to 55-45, from primary votes of 38% for Labor (up four), 36% for the Coalition (down two), 11% for the Greens (down three) and 15% for others (up one). Worse still for the Coalition are the leadership ratings, which have Tony Abbott down five on approval to 30% and up four on disapproval to 60%, while Bill Shorten leaps seven points on approval to 42% and drops two on disapproval to 39%. Shorten has opened up a big lead of 44-34 as preferred prime minister, after Abbott led 40-38 a fortnight ago. The Australian’s report here.

• Even worse for the Coalition is the monthly Nielsen result in the Fairfax papers. Conducted from Thursday to Saturday, it shows Labor’s lead out to 56-44 from 52-48 a month ago. The primary votes are 40% for Labor (up six), 35% for the Coalition (down five), 14% for the Greens (down three from am implausible result last time, but still very strong) and 6% for Palmer United (up two). Tony Abbott sinks nine points on approval to 34% and adds twelve on disapproval to 62%, whereas Bill Shorten is up four to 47% and down two to 39%, and shoots to a 51-40 lead as preferred prime minister after trailing 45-44 last time.

The leadership ratings in particular invite comparison with Julia Gillard’s low points. While Abbott still has a way to go before matching the worst of Gillard’s ratings in Newspoll, his present net approval rating of 28% in Nielsen was exceeded by Gillard on only two occasions, in September and October of 2011, and equalled in July 2011. Gillard’s final result before she lost the leadership in June 2013 was 36% approval and 61% disapproval. Abbott himself scored fractionally worse figures as Opposition Leader in December 2012, of 34% approval and 63% disapproval.

Both pollsters also have results gauging reaction to the budget, with Nielsen finding 63% considering it unfair against 33% for fair. The deficit levy finds support, with 50% in favour and 37% against, but there’s a surprisingly narrow majority of 49% to 46% in favour of abolishing the carbon tax. The poll finds predictably strong opposition to the notion of increasing the GST, with 30% for and 66% against.

Newspoll’s results on budget reaction are particularly illuminating, as it has been asking the same three questions after every budget since 1988. Forty-eight per cent rate this budget as bad for the economy versus 39% for good, with 4% opting for neither; 69% say it will leave them worse off, compared with just 5% for better off and 20% for neither; and 39% believed that Labor would have done a better job, with 46% saying they wouldn’t have.

The latter result can be put into context with the following chart, showing the positive result minus the negative result for the equivalent question going back to 1988, with Labor budgets in red and Coalition budgets in blue. This shows that the only budget to record a net result in favour of yes was in 1993, when the Keating government followed its surprise election win by breaking its L-A-W tax cuts promise. As such, the slight net negative result for this budget is an historically weak one for the government – particularly when taking into account an apparent tendency for governments to perform strongly on this measure when newly elected, and decline thereafter. This takes a good deal of gloss off the consolation the Coalition might have taken in the result being better than the last three for the previous government.

The next chart plots the result for each budget on “impact on own financial position” along the x-axis and impact on the economy along the y, with the current result indicated in red. This shows a clear association between the two results, demonstrating that people generally decide whether a budget is good or bad, and deem it equally so for both themselves and the economy. To the limited extent that variability exists, there does appear to be at least some constituency for the view that the pain inflicted in the current budget will be good for the economy – whereas the trendline indicates that the minus 64% rating on own financial position could be expected to associate with 24.5% on the economy, the latter figure in fact comes in at a relatively presentable minus 9%. Nonetheless, the outstanding fact to emerge from the chart is that the budget inhabits a zone of extreme unpopularity with only 1993 to keep it company. The budget the government might have been hoping to emulate, Peter Costello’s cost-cutting debut of 1996, had a plus 37% rating on the economy despite a minus 21% rating on personal financial situation.

Finally, a table showing the net result for all three measures at each budget, with averages by party at the bottom. This shows that despite the current results, Coalition budgets tend to be better received than Labor ones, with the gap being wider on impact on the economy. Partly this is down to historical circumstance – Labor was marked down for the recession-era budgets of the early 1990s, while the Howard government made political hay out of the revenue boom in its later years in office (though obviously not to the extent of saving them from the electoral cycle in 2007). However, it also reflects the tendency for the Coalition to outperform Labor in “best party to manage the economy” polling, a point illustrated by the averages for “would the opposition have delivered a better budget”. For more context on the individual budgets, here’s a very helpful resource from the Sydney Morning Herald.

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  • 51
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Last Nielsen had 2PP:
    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes · Apr 13

    #Nielsen Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 48 (-3) ALP 52 (+3) #auspol

    Primary votes:
    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes · Apr 13

    #Nielsen Poll Primary Votes: L/NP 40 (-4) ALP 34 (-1) GRN 17 (+5) #auspol

  • 52
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I think PvO does not get it. They have to panic. These polls add resolve to Senate cross bench to oppose budget measures.

    Chaos means more bad polls.

  • 53
    BK
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Wyatt Roy – put your hand up son!

  • 54
    Centre
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Paul Kelly was urging Abbott to take his budget to a DD.

    Nursing home him :lol:

    *night

  • 55
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    @guytaur

    He’s totally ignoring it????

    Retweeted by Anthony Albanese
    Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP 1m

    Polls come and go #newCoalitionquotes

  • 56
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    guytaur

    PVO was probably being sarcastic when he said DONT PANIC

  • 57
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Guytaur – PvO is the king of sarcasm.

  • 58
    imacca
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Nielsen 56/44 polling so bad Peta will send Abbott into #7:30 to front Sarah Ferguson.

    Oh doGs, would i love to see that. She would drag out the footage of him on 7:30 facing Kerry OB and going on about Gospel Truth and things said in the heat of the moment. :)

    No Way, No How. If he was to go on 7:30 they would insist on Toolman doing the interview.

  • 59
    Gary
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I have just seen a Labor ad on TV showing Abbott’s lies. Brilliant.

  • 60
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Gary

    Very effective

  • 61
    Laocoon
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    GRN 17 (+5)

    Now that is what I call “remarkable”

  • 62
    Gary
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Vic, very effective indeed. Short and to the point.

  • 63
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes Gary, great to see the gloves off and Labor using the word LIES.

    Still wish they’d point out that Abbott has INCREASED spending cf GDP compared to ALP. The message/image that this is a lower spending budget has gone unchallenged.

  • 64
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Does Credlin seriously think voters will believe any sweetners she’ll offer at the next election will be delivered?

  • 65
    zoidlord
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    @Lacoon/61

    That was last Nielsen Poll, not the new one today.

  • 66
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Dont forget that the Nielsen 2PP for LNP has gone 51, 48, 44. That’s some dive

  • 67
    BK
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Marquis BK ‏@WEDeming 45s
    @vanOnselenP You’d better send Tony this gift then. http://tinyurl.com/lmcmc9w

  • 68
    Laocoon
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Ah…zoidlord

    Thanks much

    I knew this alcohol free regime was not good for me… ;)

  • 69
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    BK

    Good One!

  • 70
    liyana
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I guess politics is finally cutting through to people… For the first time ever, I heard a bus driver talking to passengers about politics as he drove the bus today…we all had a lovely group ‘I hate the lnp’ session….Albo got good reviews…but I had never heard anything like that before…people know about this budget and they don’t like it…I wonder how much Palmer wants to be PM? And what he will do to get it?

  • 71
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    “@bevanshields85: More devastating poll results for Abbott to come on SMH soon. Two-party preferred isn’t his only problem. Link soon #auspol #NielsenPoll”

  • 72
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow! They are getting all that they deserve.

    I am glad I logged in I will sleep very well tonight.

    Up you Tony Joe Chrissy Bishop and all of the rest of these hard hearted bastards the public have sussed you all out.

  • 73
    Henry
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    This would mean labor would be higher on the primary right?

  • 74
    Henry
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Higher than the coalition that is…

  • 75
    sprocket_
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    @bevanshields85: More devastating poll results for Abbott to come on SMH soon. Two-party preferred isn't his only problem. Link soon #auspol #NielsenPoll

  • 76
    BK
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has awakened Australians from their political torpor.

  • 77
    Steve777
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Reject Supply. Election December 2014 or earlier.

  • 78
    lefty e
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The perfect time for Tony to threaten a DD to ramp up budget pressure on the Senate – LOL!

    Hey LNP members and supporters, Ive go news for ya: figures like these are TERMINAL.

    They dont get better once they get this bad.

  • 79
    dave
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    sprocket_@3

    DONT PANIC!

    ie Uncle rupert will do the “necessary”.

  • 80
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has awakened Australians from their political torpor.

    Yes, but unfortunately the polls have gone not necessarily to his advantage.

  • 81
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Liyana

    It has woken the people from their stupor

  • 82
    MTBW
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Will this be enough to shut up that bloody Belgian who thinks he knows a thing or two about everything with his smug face.

    Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!

  • 83
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Ok, its clear why Abbott ruled out a DD today

  • 84
    dave
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    confessions@7

    Wow.

    Hockey’s efforts have been woeful.

    Buffoon Hockey was, is and always will be a *Dud*.

  • 85
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    @bevanshields85: More devastating poll results for Abbott to come on SMH soon. Two-party preferred isn't his only problem. Link soon #auspol #NielsenPoll

    My concern is this is all happening to quickly, and too soon into this new govt.

    I want Abbott’s leadership bleeding out slowly over the course of the next two years. Not now.

  • 86
    BK
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Abbott has destroyed the demographics of Alan Jones’ & Ray Hadley’s audiences. Pity about that!

  • 87
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I was looking forward to QandA with Hockey. Now even more so as no doubt Hockey’s budget is the http://www.drive.com.au/motor-feature/total-lemons-20120727-22ws8.html of budgets

  • 88
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    yes Dave, he has been so wildly overrrated, I cant see it myself

  • 89
    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Buffoon Hockey was, is and always will be a *Dud*.

    Love to say I told youse so.

  • 90
    victoria
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Andrew

    Agreed

  • 91
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Confessions, if you think Abbott will go quietly, fear not, he will make Rudd look like he was Gillard’s # 1 fan.

    He can do a lot of damaged if deposed.

  • 92
    lefty e
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    This is his Gillard Carbon Tax moment, his Rudd “moral challenge delayed” moment.

    Im not sure there’s any coming back from 44-56. I stand to be corrected by psephos (Howard 2001?)

  • 93
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    dave:

    Hockey is the ultimate buffoon.

  • 94
    sohar
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    A lot of nervous LNP backbenchers – especially the ones who came in in the past two elections. Maybe ideology will be trumped by the need to save their jobs. Problem for Turnbull is that he is so entwined with Abbott these days. I bet a few Libs start to distance themselves from Budgie Boy from now on.

  • 95
    guytaur
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    @MikeCarlton01: SMH editors tell me yesterday’s column set new Fairfax readership records. So, many thanks. http://t.co/Kg2eRpQroP via @smh

  • 96
    confessions
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Andrew:

    All the better if Abbott pitches a fit. BRing it the f*ck on.

  • 97
    Andrew
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    lefty e, Howard had the respect of the electorate plus 9/11 to save him. Nothing can save Abbott

  • 98
    dave
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    BK@86

    Abbott has destroyed the demographics of Alan Jones’ & Ray Hadley’s audiences. Pity about that!

    Plus Hadley has done great damage to himself.

    Alan Jones – your turn….:)

  • 99
    J341983
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    @fess… it’s not our fault the Government went this mad this soon :P

  • 100
    Henry
    Posted Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Abbott isn’t going anywhere and that’s a good thing.
    He has god on his side doncha know?

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