Better Prime Minister

Mar 14, 2011

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

5 Jul 2010 20 Sep 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011 14 Mar 2011 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Kevin Rudd v Tony Abbott

21 Jun 10

Julia Gillard 53% 47% 45% 47% 48% 44% 88% 8% 73% 47%
Tony Abbott 26% 35% 34% 32% 31% 33% 3% 70% 4% 30%
Don’t know 21% 18% 21% 21% 20% 23% 9% 22% 22% 23%

44% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 33% prefer Tony Abbott – a net decrease for Julia Gillard of 6% on last month’s figures (from +17% to +11%).

Men favour Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott 42%/37% and women 46%/29%.

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Performance of Tony Abbott

Mar 7, 2011

Q. Which of the following statements is closest to your view about the performance of Tony Abbott as Opposition leader?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Tony Abbott is performing the role of Opposition leader well and is keeping the Government accountable 41% 11% 79% 7%
Tony Abbott is just opposing everything and is obstructing the work of the Government 43% 78% 12% 82%
Don’t know 16% 11% 9% 12%

41% think that Tony Abbott is performing the role of Opposition leader well and is keeping the Government accountable and 43% think he is just opposing everything and is obstructing the work of the Government.

Views are strongly correlated with voting intention – 79% of Coalition voters think he is performing the role of Opposition leader well, while 78% of Labor voters and 82% of Greens voters think he is just opposing everything.

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The polling that drives dog whistle politics … and may cure them

Mar 1, 2011

First published on The Drum: 01/03/2011

Here is the polling that is driving Scott Morrison’s subterranean attack on Muslims, confirmation that a majority of Australians are concerned about their numbers.

For too long conservative blowhards like Morrison have been running agendas that directly reference these findings but because they have remained hidden in a desk drawer they are merely debating an issue.

After much soul-searching, Essential has decided to commit an act of political interruption. We debated whether it was worth giving voice to these attitudes long and hard, but we believe getting this stuff out in the open is the only way to silence the dog whistle.

Q. Are you concerned about the number of Muslim people in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 57% 50% 69% 32%
Total not concerned 38% 46% 28% 68%
Very Concerned 28% 21% 37% 12%
Somewhat concerned 29% 29% 32% 20%
Not very concerned 21% 23% 19% 27%
Not at all concerned 17% 23% 9% 41%
Don’t know/Refused 5% 4% 2%

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Liberal party Leadership

Feb 28, 2011

Q. Which of the following do you think would make the best leader of the Liberal Party?

27 Sep 10 28 February 2011
Total Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Tony Abbott 26% 24% 9% 45% 1%
Malcolm Turnbull 20% 18% 24% 16% 29%
Joe Hockey 15% 16% 18% 17% 17%
Julie Bishop 5% 4% 6% 2% 4%
Andrew Robb na 1% 1% 1% 2%
Someone else na 14% 18% 8% 27%
Don’t know 33% 22% 23% 10% 20%

24% of respondents believed that Tony Abbott is the best leader of the Liberal Party, 18% prefer Malcolm Turnbull and 16% Joe Hockey.

Tony Abbott is preferred by 45% of Liberal/National voters while Malcolm Turnbull is preferred by Labor (24%) and Greens voters (29%).

Tony Abbott is more preferred by men (30%) – women are split between Tony Abbott (19%) and Joe Hockey (19%). 23% of men prefer Malcolm Turnbull compared to 14% of women.

These figures are little changed since the question was last asked in September 2010.

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Trust in Federal Leaders

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Who do you trust most to deliver good policies for Australia’s future?
(Question commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Julia Gillard 40% 81% 5% 62%
Tony Abbott 31% 1% 72% 2%
Don’t know 29% 18% 23% 36%

40% have most trust in Julia Gillard to deliver good policies for Australia’s future and 31% trust Tony Abbott most.

Opinions closely follow party preference although Julia Gillard is overwhelmingly trusted more by Greens voters (62% to 2%).

Women are less trusting of Tony Abbott – 40% of men trust Julia Gillard and 36% trust Tony Abbott while 41% of women trust Julia Gillard and only 26% trust Tony Abbott.

Younger people are also less likely to trust Tony Abbott – those aged 55+ trust Tony Abbott (44%) more than Julia Gillard (36%) while those aged under 35 trust Julia Gillard more (42% Gillard/24% Abbott).

Download the Network Ten Essential Question of the Week. (1.1 MB pdf)

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Liberal Party Support for Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you think Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should support or oppose this health care agreement between the Federal and State Governments?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should support 51% 72% 36% 69%
Should oppose 11% 2% 20% 6%
Should neither support nor oppose 10% 5% 16% 4%
Don’t know 28% 20% 28% 20%

Half the respondents thought Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should support the health care agreement and only 11% thought they should oppose it. Only 20% of Liberal/National voters thought Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should oppose it – 36% though they should support it and 44% thought they should do neither or had no opinion.

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Memo Tony: Shit’s happening

Feb 15, 2011

First published on The Drum: 15/02/2011

That philosopher to the common-folk, Tony Abbott, is this week dealing with his own slings and arrows as he enters the political twilight zone of disapproval from which some never return.

Despite ongoing difficulties within the Labor Government, Abbott is showing no signs of establishing himself as anything more than an attack dog whose fortunes rise when he runs negative on issues that happen to also be currently unpopular with the public.

This leaves him exposed when he has a bad week, such as the past one when he split his front bench by attempting to come up with a way of paying for flood reconstruction by cutting back anti-terrorism programs before nearly jobbing a TV reporter.

As this week’s Essential Report shows the response has been a sharp rise in disapproval to 46 per cent and drop-off in approvals to 37 per cent. To put this into perspective, the ALP moved on Kevin Rudd when his disapproval rating hit 47 per cent, with 41 per cent approval.

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

18 Jan 29 Mar 5 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011
Total approve 37% 33% 37% 41% 43% 39% 40% 39% 42% 38%
Total disapprove 37% 50% 47% 44% 37% 45% 40% 39% 37% 46%
Strongly approve 5% 8% 8% 9% 12% 8% 6% 9% 7% 8%
Approve 32% 25% 29% 32% 31% 31% 34% 30% 35% 30%
Disapprove 20% 28% 23% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 22% 24%
Strongly disapprove 17% 22% 24% 22% 16% 23% 18% 18% 15% 22%
Don’t know 26% 16% 16% 15% 19% 17% 19% 22% 20% 16%

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Approval of Tony Abbott

Feb 14, 2011

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

18 Jan 29 Mar 5 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011
Total approve 37% 33% 37% 41% 43% 39% 40% 39% 42% 38%
Total disapprove 37% 50% 47% 44% 37% 45% 40% 39% 37% 46%
Strongly approve 5% 8% 8% 9% 12% 8% 6% 9% 7% 8%
Approve 32% 25% 29% 32% 31% 31% 34% 30% 35% 30%
Disapprove 20% 28% 23% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 22% 24%
Strongly disapprove 17% 22% 24% 22% 16% 23% 18% 18% 15% 22%
Don’t know 26% 16% 16% 15% 19% 17% 19% 22% 20% 16%

38% (down 4%) approve of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader and 46% (up 9%) disapprove – a net change from last month of -13%

73% of Coalition voters approve and 15% disapprove.

By gender – men 43% approve/46% disapprove, women 34% approve/46% disapprove.

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