Approval of Tony Abbott

Oct 18, 2010

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

  18 Jan 22 Feb 29 Mar 3 May 31 May 5 Jul 2 Aug 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct
Total approve 37% 45% 33% 39% 35% 37% 38% 41% 43% 39%
Total disapprove 37% 36% 50% 43% 50% 47% 48% 44% 37% 45%
Strongly approve 5% 12% 8% 5% 5% 8% 8% 9% 12% 8%
Approve 32% 33% 25% 34% 30% 29% 30% 32% 31% 31%
Disapprove 20% 20% 28% 24% 28% 23% 27% 22% 21% 22%
Strongly disapprove 17% 16% 22% 19% 22% 24% 21% 22% 16% 23%
Don’t know 26% 18% 16% 18% 16% 16% 14% 15% 19% 17%

39% (down 4%) approve of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader and 45% (up 8%) disapprove – a shift from a net rating of +6% to -6%.

74% (down 5%) of Coalition voters approve and 13% (up 6%) disapprove.

 By gender – men 40% approve/47% disapprove, women 37% approve/41% disapprove. Comments »

Better Prime Minister

Oct 18, 2010

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

  5 Jul 10 19 Jul 10 26 Jul 10 2 Aug 10 9 Aug 10 16 Aug 10 20 Sep 10 18 Oct 10 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens   Kevin Rudd v Tony Abbott21 Jun 10
Julia Gillard 53% 50% 51% 48% 45% 46% 47% 49% 92% 9% 81%   47%
Tony Abbott 26% 27% 26% 30% 33% 35% 35% 33% 2% 75% 4%   30%
Don’t know 21% 23% 23% 22% 21% 19% 18% 17% 6% 16% 15%   23%

 49% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 33% prefer Tony Abbott – a widening of the gap from 12% to 16% since last month’s figures. This is the largest gap since the 2 August survey.

 Men favour Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott 50%/34% and women 49%/33%. Comments »

The Bride (and Bridesmaid) stripped bare

Oct 5, 2010

First Published on The Drum 05/10/2010

New paradigms notwithstanding, the first week of the 43rd Parliament of Australia has confirmed a continuation of the gladiatorial contests that have characterised Australia’s model of presidential politics.

And that means a confronting truth for both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott: the public’s perceptions of their personal strengths and weakness are central to the success of their respective political projects.

There was a time when character research was a dark art, the province of party focus groups, only dusted of at election time when attacks would be constructed around a candidate’s lack of ticker (read weight) or stubbornness (read age). The modern opinion polling means today it’s all out in the open.

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Best Leader of Liberal Party

Sep 27, 2010

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

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens


Tony Abbott 26% 10% 53% 2%
Malcolm Turnbull 20% 27% 15% 27%
Joe Hockey 15% 15% 17% 17%
Julie Bishop 5% 8% 2% 10%
Don’t know 33% 41% 13% 44%

26% of people believe that Tony Abbott is the best leader of the Liberal Party. 20% believe Malcolm Turnbull is the best leader of the Liberal Party. 33% don’t know.

27% of Labor voters think that Malcolm Turnbull is the best leader of the Liberal Party. 53% of Lib/Nat voters think that Tony Abbott is the best leader of the Liberal Party. 44% of Green voters don’t know who the best leader of the Liberal Party is.

28% of males, compared with 24% of females think that Tony Abbott is the best leader of the Liberal Party.

42% of females don’t know who the best leader of the Liberal Party is.

38% of those aged 18-24 don’t know who the best leader of the Liberal Party is. 39% of those aged 65+ think that Tony Abbott is the best leader of the Liberal Party.

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Approval of Tony Abbott

Sep 20, 2010

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

18 Jan 22 Feb 29 Mar 3 May 31 May 5 Jul 2 Aug 16 Aug 20 Sep


Total approve 37% 45% 33% 39% 35% 37% 38% 41% 43%
Total disapprove 37% 36% 50% 43% 50% 47% 48% 44% 37%
Strongly approve 5% 12% 8% 5% 5% 8% 8% 9% 12%
Approve 32% 33% 25% 34% 30% 29% 30% 32% 31%
Disapprove 20% 20% 28% 24% 28% 23% 27% 22% 21%
Strongly disapprove 17% 16% 22% 19% 22% 24% 21% 22% 16%
Don’t know 26% 18% 16% 18% 16% 16% 14% 15% 19%

43% approve Tony Abbott’s performance as Opposition Leader and 37% disapprove. Since this question was asked last month, approval has increased by 2% and disapproval decreased by 7%. 79% of Liberal/National voters approve and 7% disapprove. Among Labor voters, 18% approve and 67% disapprove.

By gender – men 48% approve/37% disapprove and women 37% approve/38% disapprove.

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Opinion of Leaders

Jun 15, 2010

Q. From the following list of current and recent leaders of the Liberal/Labor Party – rate each in terms of whether you think they were a good or poor leader of their party.

Total good Total poor Very good Good Average Poor Very poor Don’t know
Tony Abbott 30% 34% 7% 23% 29% 14% 20% 7%
Malcolm Turnbull 28% 33% 6% 22% 32% 20% 13% 8%
Brendan Nelson 13% 44% 2% 11% 33% 28% 16% 11%
John Howard 51% 26% 27% 24% 18% 11% 15% 5%
Kevin Rudd 38% 34% 10% 28% 23% 15% 19% 4%
Kim Beazley 29% 29% 7% 22% 36% 17% 12% 6%
Mark Latham 7% 62% 2% 5% 23% 26% 36% 8%
Simon Crean 9% 47% 2% 7% 32% 29% 18% 12%
Paul Keating 40% 26% 14% 26% 27% 12% 14% 8%

Overall, John Howard (51% good/26% poor) was considered the best Liberal Party leader of recent times and Paul Keating (40%/26%) the best Labor leader.

However the current leaders – Kevin Rudd (38% good/34% poor) and Tony Abbott (30%/34%) – were both considered better than the leaders they succeeded.

Among Liberal/National voters Tony Abbott was rated good by 63%, compared to John Howard at 86% and Malcolm Turnbull at 37%.

Among Labor voters Kevin Rudd was rated good by 78%, compared to Paul Keating at 58% and Kim Beazley at 40%. Comments »

Approval of the Opposition Leader

Jan 18, 2010

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

  Malcolm Turnbull Tony Abbott
  12 Jan 09 9 Feb 09 30 Mar 09 18 May 09 29 Jun 09 10 Aug 09 28 Sept 09 9 Nov 09 30 Nov 09 14 Dec 09 18 Jan 10
Strongly approve 4% 3% 3% 2% 4% 2% 3% 3% 2% 7% 5%
Approve 37% 29% 25% 28% 20% 20% 24% 26% 23% 27% 32%
Disapprove 21% 26% 31% 28% 31% 30% 35% 30% 33% 18% 20%
Strongly disapprove 9% 17% 17% 21% 26% 28% 18% 20% 22% 18% 17%
Don’t know 29% 24% 24% 21% 19% 20% 21% 20% 19% 31% 26%
Total approve 41% 32% 28% 30% 24% 22% 27% 29% 25% 34% 37%
Total disapprove 30% 43% 48% 49% 57% 58% 53% 50% 55% 36% 37%

 37% of people approve of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader and a further 37% disapprove.  Abbott’s approval rating has increased slightly since we last asked this question in December (+3%) and his disapproval rating has increased by one percent. 

Perception of the job Abbott is doing as Leader of the Opposition followed party lines – Coalition voters were more likely to approve (70%), while Labor voters were more likely to disapprove (50%), as were Green voters (70%).  26% of Labor voters approve of the job Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader. Comments »

Approval of the Opposition Leader

Dec 14, 2009

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

Malcolm Turnbull Tony Abbott
12 Jan 09 9 Feb 09 30 Mar 09 18 May 09 29 Jun 09 10 Aug 09 28 Sept 09 9 Nov 09 30 Nov 09 14 Dec 09
Strongly approve 4% 3% 3% 2% 4% 2% 3% 3% 2% 7%
Approve 37% 29% 25% 28% 20% 20% 24% 26% 23% 27%
Disapprove 21% 26% 31% 28% 31% 30% 35% 30% 33% 18%
Strongly disapprove 9% 17% 17% 21% 26% 28% 18% 20% 22% 18%
Don’t know 29% 24% 24% 21% 19% 20% 21% 20% 19% 31%
Total approve 41% 32% 28% 30% 24% 22% 27% 29% 25% 34%
Total disapprove 30% 43% 48% 49% 57% 58% 53% 50% 55% 36%

34% of respondents approve of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader, 36% disapprove and 31% don’t know.

Perception followed party lines – Coalition voters were more likely to approve of the job Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader (65%) while Labor voters were more likely to disapprove (55%).   15% of Coalition voters disapprove of the job Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader.

Abbott’s approval rating is nine percentage points higher than the score Turnbull received right before he was replaced as Opposition Leader.    However, Turnbull’s approval rating when he took on the leadership role in September 2009 was 36% and his disapproval rating was 30%.  This is a slightly better result than that scored by Abbott after his succession to the leadership position.

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