Essential: the polling slide that evicted Rudd from the Lodge

Jun 25, 2010

First Published on Crikey Thursday 24th June

Essential Reports polls taken over the last 2 years show how Kevin Rudd’s approval ratings have declined since he almost unprecedented figures he achieved following his election through to early last year. Up to March last year approval hovered around the high 60% level into the low 70%.  Is net approval (i.e. approve minus disapprove) was around the mid 40% level.

Throughout 2009 and early 2010 his approval went into steady decline but still remained in positive territory. At the end of March he recorded 53% approval and 36% disapproval. However, the most dramatic shift occurred in April and May when his approval first entered negative territory with 41% approve and 47% disapprove. The decline appeared to be accelerating.

Some of the reasons for this sudden decline can be found in how the personal perceptions of Kevin Rudd changed from 2009 to May this year.  His attribute ratings showed significant falls in the percentage of people who considered him to be a capable leader (72% to 55%), good in a crisis (60%-44%) and trustworthy (51%-41%). Meanwhile his ratings for “out of touch with ordinary people” increased from 41% to 55%. It indicates a significant loss of confidence in his performance as Prime Minister.

Last week’s Essential Report showed only weak support for Kevin Rudd to lead the Labor Party to the next election – 40% thought the Labor Party would have better chance of winning the election if they changed leader and 37% thought Kevin Rudd was the best person to lead the labor Party. Even among Labor voters only 66% supported Kevin Rudd as leader and 23% though they should change. Comments »

Online Research is Getting a Bum Wrap

Jun 22, 2010

When it comes to research, online polling has an image problem. Federal Labor minister Craig Emerson was at it again this morning, saying the Essential Report was not a representative sample.

Part of the problem with online polling, is that it is often confused with the self-selecting web-based surveys that many news sites run – these, of course, are not scientific.

But evidence is emerging that professionally sourced and managed online panels are every bit as representative and accurate as the traditional method of telephone polling.

It has been estimated that more than 50% of all market and social research in Australia is conducted on line – it is relied on by major companies (and Governments!!) to make key decisions about their products, services, marketing. If it wasn’t reliable and valid they would be putting their businesses at considerable risk. Comments »

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