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The first Essential Research poll for the year – indeed, the first poll full stop – has the Coalition leading Labor 54-46, a marginally better result for Labor than the 55-45 on which they closed their account in 2012. However, the primary votes are all unchanged on last time: 48% for the Coalition, 36% for Labor and 8% for the Greens. This survey also features Essential’s monthly measures of personal ratings, which have Julia Gillard up four points on approval to 41% and down four on disapproval to 49%; Tony Abbott steady on 33% and up one to 57%; and Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister nudging from 43-34 to 42-33. Whereas Essential surveys are normally a two-week rolling average of about 1000 respondents for each week, this poll is just from the 1014 respondents in the January 9-13 survey period.

Entertainingly, the poll also takes the opportunity of the Queensland government recent effort to liven up the silly season by gauging opinion on electoral reform, with results well in line with other such polling in the past. Support for voluntary voting is at 40% with 49% opposed. Fifty-eight per cent say they would definitely vote if it were not compulsory against 25% for probably, 9% for probably not and 4% for definitely not. Only 13% support the lowering of the voting age to 16, with 78% opposed. The poll also finds first-past-the-post is the favoured electoral system, but only if opposition is allowed to split two ways, in classic first-past-the-post style. Preferential systems are favoured to first-past-the-post 48% to 44%, but that includes 22% support for the existing full preferential system and 26% for optional preferential, such as operates at New South Wales and Queensland state elections and was advocated by Bronwyn Bishop last week.

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375 comments

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John Hargrave
Guest

Polls look bad for our vile PM- start packin’ the hair dryer Tim-what a bummer-no more free OS flights or tix to the footy-back to the salon.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

a newspoll and no one here talking about it??????????

CTar1
Guest

?????

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

I logged on to read the morning comments and there is nothing. wtf?

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

where is everyone?

Kevin Bonham
Guest

pedant@369


Kevin Bonham @ 368: I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my contribution that I was talking about the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

Noted and my figures were wrong anyway; I’ve fixed this on the other thread.

pedant
Guest

Kevin Bonham @ 368: I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my contribution that I was talking about the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

In the Senate, I always vote up a ticket rather than down, precisely to make it less probable that my ballot paper will reach its ultimate destination at a fractional transfer value. Not that it’s likely to make any difference, but understanding how the system works gives me some small pleasure.

Kevin Bonham
Guest
pedant@214 It’s impossible for a candidate who polls more than one third of the formal vote to be excluded, so anyone who votes for a candidate certain to poll more than a third is being forced to engage in a pointless charade when marking later preferences. One-third is for NT and ACT; for other states it’s one-seventh. While a candidate who polls that well can’t get excluded, when they are elected their votes are distributed at reduced value as a surplus. So it is not true that the voter is wasting their time in numbering preferences. It is, however, true… Read more »
confessions
Guest

[These are very interesting questions, don’t you think?]

I do. What is the tipping point away from principle to dogma? It’s not just identity or self awareness.

What motivates a traditional, small government Liberal to get behind a big government DLP type in Abbott? Or even a high taxing, high spending alleged Liberal in Howard?

The mind boggles.

briefly
Guest

Hockey will be honing his cutlass.

Rossmore
Guest

Game on!

Rossmore
Guest

Wow!

Kevin Bonham
Guest

J M@189


son of foro – I myself turn off the tv whenever Gillard comes on, and I know that I am not alone there. I can’t bear to listen to any Labor polly speak, and Australians hate Gillard like no other PM has been hated.

Actually Keating was the most hated PM by some margin, at least since the late 1960s.

54-46 to start the year, too.

54-46 from Essential is only worth 53-47. Still better than trailing, of course.

victoria
Guest

James J

What a very pleasant surprise. Thanks heaps!!

briefly
Guest

[355
Danny Lewis

Ooops. It appears I am cross-pollinating posts between this site and the other which dare not speak its name]

Does this mean you are bi-focal, Danny?

Henry
Guest

That’s gotta be worth another 4 seats each way on the bludgertracker.

briefly
Guest

I give Abbott about a month.

Henry
Guest

Quick get this on twitter william and gazzump ghostie!

Henry
Guest

Surprising but great newspoll.
Game on, we are in a winning position here!
Bring it!

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