This week’s Essential Report, now brought to you earlier by Crikey, comes in with with the primaries running 45/38 to Labor (same as last week), washing out into a two party preferred of 56/44 the same way (again, the same as last week).The Greens are unchanged on 9, while the broad “Others” show the only movement this week, coming in up 1 with rounding to 9 – giving us 101% on the primaries.

This comes from a two week rolling sample of 1829, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.3% mark.

There is a veritable brigade of additional questions this week focusing on everything from approval levels of Rudd’s health plan through to the firmness of the party vote through to how popular Gillard and Hockey are should either of the current leaders fall under a bus – just to name but a few.

These additional questions ran from a sample of 1005, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 3.1% mark.

Now, on with the show:

Would you describe your vote very firm, fairly firm but might consider another party as campaign develops or not at all firm and might very well consider another party as the campaign develops.

firmnessmar22

On the crosstabs, we have:

People aged 65 years and over were more likely to indicate their voting choice as very firm (60%) while those aged 25 – 34 were more likely to indicate their voting choice as fairly firm (47%).

Another way to do this is to imagine a world of 100 voters. Once removing the 9 “Others”, this is what the major party and Greens voters currently look like in terms of voter support firmness.

firmness2mar22

That makes for some interesting permutations of “what if soft voters from Party X switch to Party Y”.

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Which party – Labor or Liberal – would by best at the following –

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On the crosstabs we have:

In terms of party best at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace, under half (46%) of Coalition voters surveyed think the Liberal Party is best at handling this, 33% of these voters think there is no difference and 16% of Coalition voters think Labor is best at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to workplace issues.

What we’re seeing here is the same thing that we witnessed at the 2007 election. On the more technical, generic and abstract categories of the economy the Coalition does well – but on the real economy they fall down. The big question is whether it’s easier for Labor to grab the abstract from their real economy lead or whether it’s easier for the Coalition to grab the real economy from their abstract, generic economy lead?

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Regardless of your likely party choice for the next election, which of the leaders – Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott – do you think overall would be the best Prime Minister?

betterpmmar22

The cross-tabs have us:

Results followed party lines – 92% of Labor voters chose Rudd and 74% of Coalition voters chose Abbott.

64% of Green voters selected Rudd and 11% of Green voters selected Abbott.

People aged 65 years and over were more likely to think Abbott would make a better Prime Minister (42%) while 18 – 24 year olds were more likely to indicate they don’t know who would make a better Prime Minister out of Rudd and Abbott (28%).

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Who do you think would be the best Prime Minister out of Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard?

gillardabbottmar22

The cross-tabs have us:

Results followed party lines – 78% of Labor voters selected Gillard and 79% of Coalition voters selected Abbott.

61% of Green voters think that Gillard would make a better Prime Minister than Abbott.

Males were more likely than females to select Abbott (40% v 34%). 46% of males and 47% of females selected Gillard.

People aged 65 years and over were more likely to think Abbott would make a better Prime Minister (47%) while people aged 18 – 24 were more likely to indicate they don’t know (31%).

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And who do you think would be the best Prime Minister out of Kevin Rudd and Joe Hockey?

hockeyruddmar22

On the cross-tabs we have:

Results followed party lines – 88% of Labor voters prefer Rudd and 56% of Coalition voters prefer Hockey.

Hockey performs better than Rudd amongst those that don’t know which party they will vote for in the next Federal election (50%).

People aged 65 years and over were more likely to prefer Hockey (42%) while 18 – 24 year olds were more likely to indicate they don’t know (31%).

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Do you support or oppose the Federal Government’s plan to take over the responsibility for funding hospitals and health services from the State Governments?

ruddhospitalmar22

On the cross-tabs we have:

79% of Labor voters, 46% of Coalition voters and 55% of Green voters support a Federal takeover for funding of hospitals and health services.

27% of Coalition voters neither support nor oppose the plan and 22% oppose it.

People in NSW were more likely than those in other states to support a Federal takeover (64%). 55% of people in Queensland and 52% in Victoria support the plan.

Males were more likely than females to support the plan (61% v 56%). Support for a Federal takeover was highest amongst 55 – 64 year olds (67%).

In February this year we asked the Australian public whether they support or oppose a Federal takeover of hospitals. The results showed that 58% supported a Federal takeover, 10% opposed it, 19% neither supported nor opposed and 13% didn’t now.

It’s worth keeping in your though orbit that Rudd’s plan enjoys plurality support across all demographics when you watch the Rudd/Abbott health debate tomorrow.

Also interesting is how nothing appears to have changed over the last month, despite a fair amount of political squabbling.

To end the poll, we have an interesting little question for the sociologists and political scientists:

In the past few years – since Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party became Government – would you say you have moved closer to the Labor Party, further away from the ALP, or would you say you have stayed about the same in your view of them?

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The cross-tabs have us:

People aged 45 – 54 were more likely to indicate their views have stayed the same (51%) while those aged 65 years and over were more likely to indicate they have moved further away from the Labor Party (43%).

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