Jun 26, 2010

First Gillard Polling

Today brings about the first robust polling of the Gillard era (there were a few not so robust jobbies floating around yesterday in the media  using instapundit online panels

Possum Comitatus — Editor of Pollytics

Possum Comitatus

Editor of Pollytics

Today brings about the first robust polling of the Gillard era (there were a few not so robust jobbies floating around yesterday in the media  using instapundit online panels – ignore them, they may well have had big sample sizes, but their sampling frame isn’t up to the job required for political polling.)

We have a Nielsen in Fairfax and a Galaxy in the News Ltd tabloids. The Nielsen ran from a sample of 933, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 3.2% mark (demographic tables here), while the Galaxy was a sample of 800 giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 3.5% mark.

The first thing to mention about these polls is what they don’t measure. As a result of them being in the field on Thursday night in the case of Galaxy and both Thursday and Friday nights in the case of Nielsen – they wont be measuring a proper voting intention, but instead measuring an initial public reaction. We’ll have to wait for a week or so for the phrase “Prime Minister Gillard” to sink into the public brainspace before we can start to get a confident grip on the voting intention fallout.

As a result, don’t be surprised to see quite a large variation in polling results over the next polling cycle.

First up, the headline figures for the pollsters came in like this -I’ve also got higher resolution Nielsen data, so we’ll run the Nielsen results to a decimal place.


Earlier this month, Nielsen came out with a two party preferred of 53/47 to the Coalition – a few points undercooked for Labor based on our polling trends at the time and a result not replicated by any other pollster. So the size of the turnaround here in terms of initial public reaction is probably slightly overcooked for Labor. The last time Galaxy was in the field was mid-May – so using that as our baseline, Galaxy comes in with a two party preferred of 52/48 compared to May’s 50/50 result. If we look at the May result for Nielsen, it came in at 50/50 as well.

If we compare the primary votes of the parties and how they’ve changed since May, this is what we end up with:


Both pollsters show a drop in the Others vote and the Greens vote – although Nielsen shows a considerable Greens drop of 5 points. Also worth noting is how the Coalition vote didnt really move a jot on either pollster’s results. The initial public reaction to Gillard seems to be identical to the medium term public reaction to Abbott – it has encouraged skeptical partisans and ordinarily soft voters back into the fold.

You might remember recently we were looking at how Greens preference flows had been changing over time – with increasing numbers of Greens voters giving their preferences to the Coalition, dragging Greens to Labor preference flows down to as low as 68%. Today’s Nielsen poll has those flows bouncing back up substantially.


Meanwhile, the Better/Preferred PM beauty contest came in like this:


Galaxy also asked a few additional questions, the first if which was on whether the public agreed with removing the PM.


The next looked at responsibility sharing, where Galaxy asked:

Considering some of the controversial issues that have dogged Labor, including the delay of the ETS and the introduction of the Resources Super Profits Tax. On balance do you believe that Julia Gillard should share the responsibility with Kevin Rudd for the decisions made or do you believe that Kevin Rudd was mainly responsible for those decisions?


Finally, Galaxy asked:

In your opinion, which one of the two leaders, Julia Gilard or Tony Abbott, is best described by each of the following words or phrases?


I’ve highlighted the “trust” results which is still Abbott’s biggest weakness, especially now that Rudd  – who was struggling himself in the trust stakes – has been replaced by someone who has a clean slate on that measure.

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55 thoughts on “First Gillard Polling

  1. sickofitall

    PS: I accidentally put some comments on this post on another Possum post. My apologies.

    The question remains: is ‘Who would you prefer to have a beer with?’ a good question (implied misogyny aside – how many men (not those here, I know) would have a beer with a woman. In a pub!) I don’t drink beer (or any alcohol), so my honest answer would be ‘neither’, yet does not reflect my social feelings (I’d speak with both of them probably preferring Ms Gillard, I guess.)

  2. sickofitall

    @sheperdmarilyn: Reading closely between your lines, I sense a slight dislike of Julia Gillard. Would that be right? 😉

    Probably the smartest piece of analysis here is Rod Hagen’s: Turnbull would be a better leader but won’t get the support of his party. I think that’s right. Both parties tend to self-destruction, yes? A Gillard – Turnbull election would be a corker. But it probably won’t happen yet. We need to be rid of Mr Abbott, and I guess only an election will do it.

    Also, even taking out Mr Abbott of the equation, look at the team behind him. When Joe Hockey is your best performer, it’s time to give up the show. (there are some really talented people coming up, they aren’t ready yet, unfortunately.)

  3. Rod Hagen


    Abbott is an old style, “oppose everything” , throw-back from the carping, “we’ll all be ruined” , school, trading on xenophobia and other forms of misery. He has about as much idea of what Australia really needs these days as Atilla the Hun. Slash and burn might be easier to do than building a nation, but the electorate are way too well educated for such things these days, despite the efforts of the Libs in the Howard years to return things to square one.

    Gillard not only has the ability, and pragmatic good sense, to take Australia on a far more positive journey than the Mad Monk. She has the political nous, personality, and human skills, unlike her predecessor, to turn such things into a reality.

    Turnbull would have been a greater threat to Gillard, because he didn’t play continually to stupidity in the same way that Abbott does, though one doubts that he could have ever attracted the necessary unity needed to win from the Libs. If the Libs had stuck with him, or Labor had stuck with Rudd, this election might be close. Rudd simply couldn’t sell a message, making it easy for an old style political wrecker like Abbott. But, of course, Turnbull had far better intellectual capability than political acceptability.

    Gillard, with both political skills and real intellectual competence, will spit Abbott out before breakfast. She would have found Turnbull more challenging, but he would never have really found the support from inside his own party necessary to win a sustained campaign.

    Abbott versus Gillard is no contest. I’ll be very surprised if the Government aren’t returned with an increased majority if he stays on as Opposition leader. The trouble is that having burnt their bridges with Turnbull they have precious little real talent to turn to at this very late stage of the election cycle.

  4. David Richards

    Julie Bishop weill be seething! She probably thought that after being bridesmaid to 3 brides, she’d be the first female PM at some stage. Now the best she could do is come second.

    I know the religious mafia will be out to get Julia, but it’s a battle that must be staged. For too long the biblofascists have been calling the shots.

    People have a right to believe what they wish, but not to impose those beliefs on others or dictate how others live.

    If only someone in the US would stand up to their Ayatollahs.

  5. Venise Alstergren

    DAVE RICHARDS: As you brought up the subject of religion:….

    It won’t be just the Oz launching a tidal-wave of the syndrome ’Hate Julia Gillard, love Tony Abbott’. It will be all of Rupert Murdoch’s press and visual media. Of which he owns a vast number.

    Never forget, Rupert Murdoch is a destroyer, not a builder.

    The Religious Right, all MS churches, and all religious cults will be after her because of her Atheism.

    The Nationals, led by a rabid right wing catholic, Barnaby Joyce, will be after her; if they weren’t already disposed to wish her ill because she is a woman, will hate her with all the venom that only the religious cults and MSC (main stream churches) do so well.

    The greatest hurdle in the way of Julia Gillard will be the infamous misogyny of the Oz voter.

    All the misogynist males can relax. Your hatred of women is nothing compared to the misogyny of the female voter. For few women can bear the thought of a woman succeeding, when they haven’t. ❗

    Most of all Julia Gillard will have earned the wrath of the fascist females, each of whom
    strives to count for something.

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