This week’s Essential Report comes in with the primaries running 43 (down 2)/ 39 (up 1) to Labor, washing out into a two party preferred of 54/46 the same way – a two point increase to the Coalition. The Greens and the broad “Others” are unchanged on 9 a piece. This comes from a rolling two week sample of 1902, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.3% mark.

This is a rather interesting Essential Report, not only because the vote numbers for the ALP went down- but because Abbott’s approval ratings fell in a ditch over the much of the same period.Not only were additional questions asked on approval ratings, but levels of support for various components of the stimulus package, which party and leader is better trusted to manage health and hospital reform, the outlook on economic and employment conditions and the personal financial situation outlook.

These additional questions run off a sample of 1104, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.9% mark.

Do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job Kevin Rudd is doing as Prime Minister?

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On the cross-tabs we have:

92% of Labor voters approve of the job Rudd is doing as Prime Minister, 4% disapprove and 4% don’t know.

79% of Coalition voters disapprove of the job Rudd is doing and 15% approve.

72% of Green voters approve of the job Rudd is doing.

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Do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader?

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On the cross-tabs, we have:

72% of Coalition voters approve of the job Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader, 19% disapprove and 10% don’t know. In February the comparative figures were 79% approve and 12% disapprove.

73% of Labor voters disapprove of the job Abbott is doing (up from 58%), 16% approve (down from 28%).

75% of Green voters disapprove of the job Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader (up 7%).

The largest shifts in approval occurred with older voters – among those aged 55+, approval has dropped from 61% to 42% and disapproval increased from 31% to 50%.

Voters for other parties have also shifted substantially – from 36% approval to 17% and from 46% disapproval to 70%.

Also worth showing is the large change in Abbott’s Net Approvals this poll:

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Who do you trust most to deliver better health care for people like you and your family – Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott?  Which party do you trust most to deliver better health care for people like you and your family – the Labor Party the Liberal Party?

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What we see here is that Abbott brings a slightly positive health care effect to the table for the Liberal Party.On the cross-tabs, Essential tells us:

Results followed party lines – Labor voters were more likely to think trust Rudd (84%) and the Labor Party (89%) to deliver better health care.

Coalition voters were more likely to trust Abbott (68%) and the Liberal Party (73%) to deliver better health care.

12% of Coalition voters trust Rudd and 6% trust Labor to deliver better health care.

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Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

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On the cross-tabs we have:

Labor voters were more likely to think conditions will get better (73%) and Coalition voters were more likely to think conditions will get worse (28%).

Males were more likely to think things will get better (59%) while females were more likely to think conditions will stay much the same
(26%).

There were no significant differences in terms of age.

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Over the next 12 months do you think your personal financial situation will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

finsituationmar29On the cross-tabs we have:

Labor voters were more likely to think their personal financial situation will get better over the next 12 months (51%) while Coalition voters were more likely to think their situation will get worse (27%).

People aged 25 – 34 were more likely to think their personal financial situation will get better (48%), those aged 45 – 54 were more likely to think their situation will get worse (28%) and people aged 65 years and over were more likely to think their situation will stay much the same (44%).

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How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

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The cross-tabs tell us:“People aged 45 – 54 were more likely to be very/somewhat concerned that they or someone in their immediate family will lose their job over the next year or so (45%).”

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Do you support or oppose the following parts of the Government’s economic stimulus package?

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The cross-tabs say:

Labor voters were more likely to support money for school building construction and maintenance (82%), public and community housing (75%) and the $950 bonuses for people on low and middle incomes (75%).

Coalition voters were more likely to support tax breaks (67%).

55% of Green voters, 49% of Labor voters and 17% of Coalition voters support the free ceiling insulation for 2.7 million homes.

On the history of this question we get:

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Do you think the Government should continue to invest and spend to support economic recovery or should they address the deficit and start cutting back on spending?

stimpaccontinuancemar29The cross-tabs tell us:

Labor voters were more likely to think the Government should continue to invest and spend to support economic recovery (53%), while Coalition voters were more likely to think the Government should address the deficit and start cutting back on spending (76%).

People aged 65 years and over were more likely to think the Government should address the deficit and cut back on spending (60%), while people aged 18 – 24 were more likely to indicate they don’t know (24%).

Males were also more likely to agree the Government should address the deficit and cut back on spending (55%).

In other news – and as a bit of teaser –  I have in my furry little paws some pretty amazing political market research on Abbott and Rudd. It’s taking a while to do it justice as there’s a lot to explore, but hopefully I’ll have something to say about it tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest.

It’s worth the wait.

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