Australia’s Best Prime Minister

Jan 30, 2012

Q. Choosing from the following list, who do you think has been Australia’s best Prime Minister?

Term of office Total

19 Jan 2009

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
John Curtin 7 Oct 1941 – 5 Jul 1945 4% 2% 4% 1% 3% 1% 2% 3%
Ben Chifley 13 Jul 1945 – 19 Dec 1949 2% 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 3%
Robert Menzies 19 Dec 1949 – 26 Jan 1966 11% 11% 4% 18% 4% 4% 8% 21%
Harold Holt 26 Jan 1966 – 19 Dec 1967 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%
John Gorton 10 Jan 1968 – 10 Mar1971 1%
William McMahon 10 Mar 1971 – 5 Dec 1972 1%
Gough Whitlam 5 Dec 1972 – 11 Nov 1975 9% 9% 15% 1% 18% 8% 9% 10%
Malcolm Fraser 11 Nov 1975 – 11 Mar 1983 3% 3% 1% 3% 6% 3% 6%
Bob Hawke 11 Mar 1983 – 20 Dec 1991 12% 15% 23% 5% 22% 12% 21% 10%
Paul Keating 20 Dec 1991 – 11 Mar 1996 8% 6% 12% 2% 10% 7% 6% 4%
John Howard 11 Mar 1996 – 3 Dec 2007 28% 33% 8% 61% 5% 33% 31% 35%
Kevin Rudd 3 Dec 2007 – 24 Jun 2010 20% 15% 21% 6% 27% 25% 15% 6%
Julia Gillard 24 Jun 2010 – present na 3% 8% 4% 6% 2% 2%

Note: Percentages based on those who gave an answer.

33% thought that John Howard has been Australia’s best Prime Minister, 15% chose Kevin Rudd and 15% Bob Hawke.

Among Liberal/National voters, 61% chose John Howard and 18% Robert Menzies. With 23%, Bob Hawke received the highest rating from Labor voters, just ahead of Kevin Rudd on 21% with Gough Whitlam on 15%. Greens voters favoured Kevin Rudd (27%) and Bob Hawke (22%).

While John Howard received similar scores across age groups, the 18-34 group were more likely to favour Kevin Rudd (25%), the 35-54’s Bob Hawke (21%) and the 55+ group Robert Menzies (21%). Compared to the results when this question was asked 3 years ago (when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister), John Howard (+5%) and Bob Hawke (+3%) have improved their ratings while Kevin Rudd’s has dropped 5%.

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Approval of Julia Gillard

Jan 16, 2012

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister?

19 Jul 2010 20 Dec 2010 14 Mar

2011

14 June 12 Sept 17 Oct 14 Nov 12 Dec 16 Jan 2012
Total approve 52% 43% 41% 34% 28% 34% 37% 34% 37%
Total disapprove 30% 40% 46% 54% 64% 59% 55% 54% 52%
Strongly approve 11% 10% 7% 6% 5% 7% 8% 6% 6%
Approve 41% 33% 34% 28% 23% 27% 29% 28% 31%
Disapprove 17% 24% 22% 29% 28% 27% 25% 25% 27%
Strongly disapprove 13% 16% 24% 25% 36% 32% 30% 29% 25%
Don’t know 18% 17% 13% 13% 8% 7% 9% 11% 12%

Julia Gillard’s approval rating has improved a little since last month. 37% (up 3%) approve of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister and 52% (down 2%) disapprove – a change in net rating from -20 to -15 over the last 5 weeks. This is the best net rating for the Prime Minister since May last year.

76% of Labor voters approve (up 3%) and 15% disapprove (down 4%).

By gender – men 34% approve/57% disapprove, women 37% approve/47% disapprove.

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Better Prime Minister

Jan 16, 2012

Q. Who do you think would make the better Prime Minister out of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott?

5 Jul 2010 14 Mar 14 June 12 Sept 17 Oct 14 Nov 12 Dec 16 Jan 2012 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Julia Gillard 53% 44% 41% 36% 38% 41% 39% 39% 83% 5% 69%
Tony Abbott 26% 33% 36% 40% 39% 36% 35% 36% 5% 76% 4%
Don’t know 21% 23% 24% 24% 23% 24% 26% 25% 12% 20% 27%

39% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 36% prefer Tony Abbott – no significant change from last month’s result.

Men prefer Tony Abbott 41%/37% and women favour Julia Gillard 41%/31%.

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2012 Outlook – Politicians

Dec 19, 2011

Q. Do you think 2012 will be a good or bad year for each of the following politicians?

Total good

Dec 10

Total bad

Dec10

Total good Total bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
Julia Gillard 28% 36% 19% 56% 4% 15% 17% 29% 27% 9%
Tony Abbott 29% 27% 24% 38% 6% 18% 29% 24% 14% 10%
Kevin Rudd 21% 30% 30% 25% 5% 25% 35% 17% 8% 10%
Malcolm Turnbull 20% 21% 22% 22% 3% 19% 42% 17% 5% 14%
Bob Brown 20% 30% 16% 39% 2% 14% 31% 20% 19% 14%

Overall, there were negative expectations for the three party leaders – Julia Gillard (-37% net), Tony Abbott (-14%) and Bob Brown (-23%) while respondents were more evenly divided over Kevin Rudd (+5%) and Malcolm Turnbull (-).

45% of Labor voters expect Julia Gillard to have a good year and 47% of Liberal/National voters expect Tony Abbott to have a good year.

Compared to expectations 12 months ago, respondents were somewhat less positive about all party leaders – Julia Gillard has dropped form net -8% to net -37%, Tony Abbott from +2% to -14% and Bob Brown from -10% to -23%.

Comparing these results with last week’s questions, respondents expect 2012 to be similar 2011 for Julia Gillard (net -37% next year compared to -36% this year) and Tony Abbott (-14% next year, -17% this year). However, Bob Brown is expected to have a worse year in 2012 (net -23%) than this year (+5%).

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Leaders in 12 Months

Dec 19, 2011

Q. Do you think Julia Gillard will still be leading the Labor Party in 12 months time?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 26% 49% 12% 37%
No 55% 31% 76% 45%
Don’t know 19% 21% 12% 18%

Q. Do you think Tony Abbott will still be leading the Liberal Party in 12 months time?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 41% 26% 64% 29%
No 34% 53% 16% 53%
Don’t know 25% 21% 20% 18%

Only 26% believe that Julia Gillard will still be leader of the Labor Party in 12 months time and 55% think she will not. Respondents were more likely to think that Tony Abbott would still be leading his party (41% yes, 34% no).

49% of Labor voters think Julia Gillard will still be leading her party, compared to 64% of Liberal/National voters who think Tony Abbott will still be leading his party.

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Approval of Julia Gillard

Dec 12, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister?

19 Jul 2010 20 Dec 2010 14 Mar 14 June 12 Sept 17 Oct 14 Nov 12 Dec
Total approve 52% 43% 41% 34% 28% 34% 37% 34%
Total disapprove 30% 40% 46% 54% 64% 59% 55% 54%
Strongly approve 11% 10% 7% 6% 5% 7% 8% 6%
Approve 41% 33% 34% 28% 23% 27% 29% 28%
Disapprove 17% 24% 22% 29% 28% 27% 25% 25%
Strongly disapprove 13% 16% 24% 25% 36% 32% 30% 29%
Don’t know 18% 17% 13% 13% 8% 7% 9% 11%

Julia Gillard’s approval rating has declined a little since last month. 34% (down 3%) approve of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister and 54% (down 1%) disapprove – a change in net rating from -18 to -20 over the last 4 weeks.

73% of Labor voters approve (down 8%) and 19% disapprove (up 3%).

By gender – men 38% approve/55% disapprove, women 32% approve/53% disapprove.

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Better Prime Minister

Dec 12, 2011

Q. Who do you think would make the better Prime Minister out of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott?

5 Jul 2010 14 Mar 14 June 12 Sept 17 Oct 14 Nov 12 Dec Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Julia Gillard 53% 44% 41% 36% 38% 41% 39% 81% 5% 74%
Tony Abbott 26% 33% 36% 40% 39% 36% 35% 5% 72% 3%
Don’t know 21% 23% 24% 24% 23% 24% 26% 14% 23% 23%

39% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 35% prefer Tony Abbott – no significant change from last month’s result.

Men prefer Julia Gillard 40%/38% and women favour Julia Gillard 38%/32%.

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The Past Year – Politicians

Dec 12, 2011

Q. Has it been a good or bad year for each of the following politicians?

Total good

(Dec 10)

Total bad

(Dec 10)

Total good Total bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
Julia Gillard 49% 25% 21% 57% 3% 18% 16% 35% 22% 6%
Bob Brown 38% 21% 32% 27% 8% 24% 26% 14% 13% 16%
Tony Abbott 30% 33% 21% 38% 2% 19% 32% 25% 13% 8%
Malcolm Turnbull 10% 43% 17% 23% 2% 15% 45% 16% 7% 17%
Kevin Rudd 10% 70% 31% 30% 5% 26% 31% 22% 8% 7%

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good Total bad Total good Total bad Total good Total bad Total good Total bad
Julia Gillard 21% 57% 41% 36% 10% 77% 29% 43%
Bob Brown 32% 27% 37% 19% 25% 40% 66% 4%
Tony Abbott 21% 38% 9% 57% 39% 18% 7% 64%
Malcolm Turnbull 17% 23% 18% 21% 18% 23% 23% 22%
Kevin Rudd 31% 30% 37% 24% 31% 38% 29% 25%

Overall, only Bob Brown (32%/27%) was thought to have had a good year. Respondents were divided on whether Kevin Rudd has had a good year (31%/30%). Only 21% thought Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott had a good year in 2011. 2011 was considered worse than 2010 for each of the party leaders. Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd were considered to have had a somewhat better year compared to 2010.

Among their own voters thought, 66% (down 2%) thought Bob Brown had a good year, 41% (down 28%) thought Julia Gillard had a good year and 39% (down 5%) thought Tony Abbott has had a good year.

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