Essential Report

Federal politics – voting intention

Feb 14, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

sample size = 1,906

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 43% 42% 43% 41%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 46% 45% 46% 44%
Labor 38.0 38% 37% 38% 40%
Greens 11.8 10% 11% 10% 10%
Other/Independent 6.6 6% 7% 7% 6%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 52% 51% 51% 50%
Labor 50.1% 48% 49% 49% 50%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Approval of Julia Gillard

Feb 14, 2011

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

Kevin Rudd Julia Gillard
31 May 5 Jul 19 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011
Total approve 41% 48% 52% 46% 45% 45% 43% 43% 51% 48%
Total disapprove 47% 27% 30% 40% 37% 37% 38% 40% 36% 41%
Strongly approve 7% 14% 11% 13% 12% 10% 7% 10% 8% 9%
Approve 34% 34% 41% 33% 33% 36% 36% 33% 43% 39%
Disapprove 25% 13% 17% 24% 21% 20% 23% 24% 24% 25%
Strongly disapprove 22% 14% 13% 16% 16% 17% 15% 16% 12% 16%
Don’t know 12% 26% 18% 13% 19% 18% 18% 17% 14% 11%

48% (down 3%) approve of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister and 41% (up 5%) disapprove – a change in net rating from +15 to +7 over the last 4 weeks.

88% of Labor voters approve and 8% disapprove.

By gender – men 45% approve/45% disapprove, women 51% approve/36% disapprove.

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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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Better Prime Minister

Feb 14, 2011


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

5 Jul 2010 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Kevin Rudd v Tony Abbott

21 Jun 10

Julia Gillard 53% 46% 47% 49% 45% 45% 47% 48% 89% 7% 81% 47%
Tony Abbott 26% 35% 35% 33% 34% 34% 32% 31% 4% 73% 6% 30%
Don’t know 21% 19% 18% 17% 21% 21% 21% 20% 8% 20% 16% 23%

48% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 31% prefer Tony Abbott – a net increase for Julia Gillard of 2% on last month’s figures (from +15% to +17%).

Men favour Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott 45%/36% and women 52%/26%.

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Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Does the extreme nature of the recent floods and cyclone make it more or less important for Australia to take action to address climate change or does it make no difference?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total more important 49% 60% 35% 83%
Total no difference/less important 47% 38% 63% 14%
Much more important 27% 35% 16% 59%
A little more important 22% 25% 19% 24%
Makes no difference 44% 37% 57% 12%
A little less important 1% * 1% 2%
Much less important 3% * 6%
Don’t know 4% 2% 2% 4%

49% believe that the extreme nature of the recent floods and cyclone make it more important for Australia to take action to address climate change and 47% think it makes no difference or is less important.

Opinions tend to be related to voting intention – 60% of Labor voters and 83% of Greens voters believe it is more important, while 63% of Liberal/National voters think it makes no difference or is less important.  55% of respondents aged under 35 think it is more important compared to 39% of those aged 65+

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Disaster Relief Fund

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Do you think the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund or do you think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Set up permanent disaster fund 63% 64% 65% 67%
Respond as disasters occur 29% 29% 31% 28%
Don’t know 7% 7% 4% 4%

63% believe the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund and 29% think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur.

Opinions are similar across voting intention groups.  Older respondents are more likely to support a permanent disaster fund (74% of aged 55+ support). 68% of Queenslanders also support a permanent fund.

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What if the hippies are right?

Feb 8, 2011

First published on The Drum: 08/02/2011

When the floods have receded, the cyclone has blown, the bushfires have burned out and Sydneysiders can sleep again, one question will remain: what if the hippies are right?

Willingness to convince the public there is a link between extreme weather and climate change will go a long way towards determining whether the Prime Minister can meet her own KPI of securing a price on carbon.

Recent history shows that the public responds to the need for action on climate change when warnings are being reinforced by their own experiences and observations. It is no coincidence that support for action peaked in the middle of the last drought and fell away as weather patterns returned to something close to normal.

Now we have a summer from climate apocalypse central casting – but as this week’s Essential Report shows – climate change is barely on the radar.

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Independents Support for Government

Feb 7, 2011

Q. Do you think the Independents in Federal Parliament that are supporting the Government should continue to support the Labor Government or should they switch their support to the Liberal/National coalition? (Question commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Aged 18-34 Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Continue to support Labor 43% 87% 6% 73% 43% 45% 39%
Switch support to the Liberals and Nationals 30% 1% 71% 6% 23% 29% 42%
Don’t know 27% 13% 23% 21% 34% 26% 19%

43% of respondents believed that the Independent MPs should continue to support the Labor Government and 30% thought they should switch their support to the coalition. 27% had no opinion either way.

Opinions closely followed voting intentions – and Greens voters overwhelmingly favoured continued support for the Government.

By age, younger voters tended to favour the independents continuing to support the Government while older voters were more likely to think they should switch.

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