Today we have two new polls published – Nielsen via Fairfax (demographic tables here) and Galaxy via the News Ltd tabloids. The vote estimates, sample sizes, MoE’s and changes since the last respective polls (taken immediately after the Gillard ascension) come in like this – with Nielsen data to a decimal place.
Nielsen and Galaxy both asked additional questions – quite a few for Nielsen and two for Galaxy. We’ll get the Galaxy ones out of the way first as there’s some interesting gender splits in the Nielsen data that will take some time to go through.
Galaxy asked about asylum seeker policy- firstly whether people approve of the new Labor policy and secondly whether they believed it was well thought out.
With 63% approving of the policy change (or rather, approving of the notion of “getting tough” that was inherent in the question asked), Labor must be thinking “job well done” about now. Though with 59% believing the policy was not thought out, it’s an odd kind of political sacrifice to make, where you up the approval on border protection at the expense of reducing the general impression that you know what you’re actually doing.
On to the Nielsen questions, one of the things that has popped up since Gillard became PM is the large gender split that is happening across all issues.
If we look closer at the Nielsen vote estimates, and take a squiz at the gender cross-tabs, it starts to tell the story.
The Coalition is much stronger with males while the ALP is much stronger with females – a complete reversal of the 2007 election result (that you can see in the sidebar). Not only is the strong gender split evident with the vote estimates, but also across the full spectrum of approval ratings and the questions on “Better Party to Manage”. With the approval ratings, we’ll do the top line results first with partisan cross-tabs, then the gender and capital/non capital city breakdowns.
On the party cross-tabs, it’s interesting to note that Greens voters show the same broad levels of disapproval for Tony Abbott that Labor voters do, while their approve of Gillard is positive by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. This is also reflected in Nielsen’s respondent allocated preference flows (which Nielsen uses to get the two party preferred results), where this poll Greens preferences flowed to Labor at a rate of 76%.
On the gender split, Gillard leads Abbott on net approvals among males by a moderate 16 points – but among women it blows out to a massive 42 points!
On the Preferred PM beauty contest, while the top line result and the partisan voting cross tabs look like this:
… on the gender split, Gillard leads Abbott by 14 points among men (53/39) and by 28 points among women (59/31).
Not only is this gender split not isolated to the more personal attributes of political leadership, but flows through strongly on issue management questions. Nielsen asked the following question:
For each one please tell me which of the major parties, the Labor Party or the Liberal-National Coalition, you think would best handle that issue. Which of the major parties, the Labor Party or the Liberal-National Coalition, do you think would be best for handling:
The results for each of the issues, including gender cross-tabs come look like this:
On every issue where the ALP was ahead of the Coalition, their lead among women was higher than their lead among men and for every issue where the ALP trailed the Coalition, they trailed less among women then among men. In the case of asylum seekers, the ALP actually enjoyed a lead on that issue among women while they trailed the Coalition among men.
If we look at the leads the ALP experienced by gender, and measure just how much more favourable to the ALP that lead was among women compared to men, the gender gap really starts to stand out.
It’s really quite stark.
On that asylum seeker issue, Nielsen followed that question up with the following additional question including the Greens as an available response.
I’d like to ask you about asylum seekers again, this time including the Greens. Which of the parties do you think has the best policy on asylum seekers?
With responses by party vote, it appears that about a fifth of ALP voters want the ALP to move to the left on the issue towards the Greens, while only 1 in 10 Labor voters now want the ALP to move closer towards the Coalition on the issue. With Coalition voters, we see around 1 in 5 wanting to move to the left, but equally split between moving towards a slightly more moderate ALP position and a far different Greens position.
Interesting too is the Greens voters, with 54% of them supporting Greens policy, 15% of them wanting a slightly tougher ALP approach, and 1 in 10 wanting a much tougher Coalition approach.
Finally, Nielsen asked which party do you think will win the election – the results come in like this: