Nielsen says 55 to 45

In Fairfax, Green vote way down, Labor’s primary way up, Gillard v Abbott preferred PM up on Rudd’s. Something like this is par for the course.

In the case of Nielsen, comparisons are complicated by the possible rogure nature of the last poll; Abbott’s net approval (as opposed to just approval) has improved. Here’s anticipation on Thursday.

Table here, very odd state components (small samples of course). Victoria says 67 33 and the rest of the country about 50 50.

New tear ‘m down and put the next one up leaders nearly always get a boost vis a vis the predecessor, whether they’re a Rudd or a Howard, a Latham or a Downer, although it can take a few weeks. It doesn’t mean much in terms of eventual electability.

Update: Galaxy says 52 to 48, here, which is no two party preferred bounce at all from general polls. Will try to get tables.

And this sting in the tail for Tone: “The only measure where Mr Abbott topped the survey was that 52 per cent said he was someone they don’t like much compared with 24 per cent saying that of Ms Gillard.”

Ouw. A bit rude.

34 Responses to “Nielsen says 55 to 45

  1. nfpsheppard says:

    Well maybe they should start grooming people to take over in 3 year increments and then ALP will be the natural party of government.

    Nicholson will need a lot of bronze for that Burley Griffin walk though.

  2. Lloyd says:

    Peter I shared your disquiet at how this happened and feared a backlash after 2 days in Brisbane listening to the punters reactions so this is a real surprise to me. I didn’t quite believe she would get a bounce at all, in fact I thought the opposite just as likely to happen.

    A huge relief I must say!

  3. Peter says:

    Strictly speaking, Labor went backwards in Qld from previous Nielsen (small samples).

  4. Pat Hills says:

    Its the size of the bounce and what endures of the bounce as correctly pointed out by Peter.

    I’d say as bounces go this is actually quite modest – ALP primary 47 and 2PP of 55. Pretty easy to imagine this coming off in the weeks ahead.

  5. Graeme says:

    (Peter, did you not also predict/anticipate Abbott’s satisfaction rising in the love fest?)

    Perhaps it’s all mostly fluff and bubble; you can’t buy the kind of impact that being catapulted into such an office brings.

    14 points is literally incredible, not modest. It rather confirms two aspects of the polling narrative: Green gains soft, Rudd’s balloon bursting was dragging core Labor support down. But the very act of calling an election, under compulsory voting, was always going to restore the balance towards the incumbent.

    Nothing of the past week has made me change my prediction, sealed in a bet with Peter some time back, that Labor would win, but with a lower TPP (add, almost by necessity, a lower primary vote) than 2007.

    I can understand betting markets increasing the odds of a Labor win: but this entire maelstrom has been generated by the short-term nature of everything in Oz politics. If this were mid-term in a 4-5 year parl cycle the backbench would have been not spooked, but resigned to the realisation that the government’s real problems are structural not personal/personnel.

  6. P.F says:

    A strange result for Labor in Galaxy as well. Primary up to 41%, a point behind the Coalition.

  7. Mumbles said, a little defensively:

    In Fairfax, Green vote way down, Labor’s primary way up, Gillard v Abbott preferred PM up on Rudd’s. Something like this is par for the course; here’s me predicting anticipating it on Thursday.

    New tear ‘m down and put the next one up leaders nearly always get a boost vis a vis the predecessor, whether they’re a Rudd or a Howard, a Latham or a Downer, although it can take a few weeks. It doesn’t mean much in terms of eventual electability.

    Everyone predicted a bounce for Gillard. It is still an open question whether this will endure. But I am pretty confident.

    The size of the 2PP preferred bounce, the massive recovery in ALP primary vote and the major advantage accruing to Gillard in 2PP makes the ALP machine apparatchiks look pretty smart, for the time being.

    My hastily re-thought prediction, made in another comment prior to release of polling data, was for Gillard to improve on Rudd’s trajectory and get just about the same result as 2007. Which would be pretty impressive set of back-to-back victories.

    The GREEN collapse is counter-intuitive politically, Gillard is positioned to the Right of Rudd. If the bounce endures it must be the politician, rather than policy, that was the problem. Don’t tell me all those GREEN voters went to Gillard because she watered down the RSPT.

    Rudd was on the nose with traditional ALP voters who were “parking their votes” with the GREENs, rather than L/NP, until a better candidate came along.

    This confirms the validity of the “preferred PM” measure as a predictor of party success. Given that Gillard was on an upward trajectory on that measure, closing in on Rudd. It must be capturing something about the feelings of swinging voters.

    I urge Mumbles to come out and fight like a man for his theory belittling the “Preferred PM measure”. Pollytics and Poll Bludger have both had their say more or less on this and seem to give it some credence. Is this town big enough for three stat-swinging psephologists tussling over the same theory?

    [tumbleweeds roll down the main street, women snatch up their young'uns and hustle them inside, sound of saloon door swinging in the breeze]

  8. Peter Brent says:

    Er Jack, we need to see an election result before we talk about “predictors of electoral success”.

    I’ve popped a pack of bex in the mail for you.

    Lord Downer got a massive leap in his first poll in 1994. The first survey after a leadership change is the least meaningful one. Each one after this will increase in meaningfulness, with the most meaningful being the last one before election day.

    Graeme: I addressed the Abbott approval business in the post.

  9. Mumbles correctly predicting the Galaxy poll, chapter and verse:

    Next opinion polls will likely see a drop in the Green vote and increase in Labor’s and possibly an increase in Labor’s two party preferred. Gillard’s net approval will be better than predecessor’s (with lots of undecideds). Her preferred PM will better Rudd’s recent numbers.

    That was eerily prescient. Hope I wasn’t out of line with that crack about you being “defensive”.

    Mumbles said:

    These sorts of things nearly always happen after a leadership change and are then seen as vindication for the decision – ie “these numbers show that Labor was right to replace leaders.” A virtuous cycle.

    We will just have to wait and see. Its pretty significant that the L/NP were relying on Rudd going to the polls as leader, with their attacks ads (lemon07) focusing on his personal negatives.

    The problem is that the ALP was always going to look better, irrespective of its leader, as the election loomed and voters contemplated three years of Abbott-L/NP climate denialism and union bashing. So both Rudd and Gillard would have been beneficiaries of their considered reaction.

    Its pretty hard to disentangle the relative weightings of politician, policy and party in trying to figure out what are decisive factors in the movement of votes.

  10. Graeme says:

    And the second least meaningful survey will be the one after the election.

  11. Daniel B says:

    Peter, do you still think Rudd made the right decision not to go to a double dissolution six months ago?

  12. Peter Brent @ #8 says:

    Er Jack, we need to see an election result before we talk about “predictors of electoral success”.

    I’ve popped a pack of bex in the mail for you.

    Granted that Gillard’s electoral triumph has to go through the motions of actually happening before I can do my victory lap around the internets. I culped my mea in betwixt our passing comments.

    I’ve taken my medication, had a lie down and am feeling much better now, thanks v. much.

    Like you said, “interesting times”.

  13. Daniel B @ #9 says:

    Peter, do you still think Rudd made the right decision not to go to a double dissolution six months ago?

    Since I’m offering my unsolicited opinion on every other question I may as well put my two-bobs worth in on this one, in case Peter has better things to do with his time. In fact I already have on this one: “Rudd was gutless not to go for a DD election”.

    Obviously Rudd made the wrong decision in that he probably would have won a DD election on ETS had he called it six months ago. In that sense, his congenital risk-averse behaviour did not pay off. A more risk-attracted person would have done better.

    Problem with this scenario: Its not his call to make alone. The kitchen cabinet was divided on the ETS itself, never mind an election.

    Calling elections early is always risky (Hawke in 1984). Running elections on a “great new big tax on everything” is riskier still (remember GST in 1993). And running a new tax on an contentious issue is riskier still again (lot of climate skeptics and rev-heads out there).

  14. John Anderson says:

    Peter, are you sticking to your prediction that Labor will win more seats than the 83 it won in 2007?

  15. Graeme says:

    Peter: yes, what I was saying was you were right, Abbott’s net approval bounced up. Indeed if the previous Nielsen was roguish against Labor it may have overstated Abbott’s then satisfaction rating, making any sudden warming to him as ‘doing a good job’ even more pronounced and hence silly.

  16. Peter Brent says:

    Oh no JA, am retracting all anticipations for now.

  17. Neil says:

    The Victorian figure is bizarre. ALP primary 59%, TPP 67%. How much does that skew the overall result?

    With the exception of Victoria the figures in all the other states are believable. However if I were Julia Gillard I would be very worried about the primary vote in Qld.

    In retrospect the person with best the insight into all of this was none other than Julie Bishop. About 6 weeks ago she told colleagues that they should start focussing their attacks on Julia Gillard rather than wasting their time on Kevin Rudd.

    It looks like Ms Bishop was 100% correct.

  18. Neil @ #15 said:

    It looks like Ms Bishop was 100% correct.

    We can prognosticate on general theory till we are blue in the face. But, for those with the inside story, we will always be struggling to see their ass for dust.

  19. Neil @ #15 said:

    The Victorian figure is bizarre. ALP primary 59%, TPP 67%. How much does that skew the overall result?

    VIC is ~ 25% of AUS population. The VIC result (59% PRI, 67% 2PP) is about 20% higher than the AUS average (47% PRI, 55% 2PP). So if you took VIC out of the AUS equation that would discount the ALP’s vote by 25% of 20% is 5% ie bringing the RoAUS average back to 42% PRI, 50% 2PP.

    So even if one discounts the stellar performance of VIC the ALP is still travelling reasonably well over the rest of the country. Of course its a bit silly to discount a party’s best performing region as “unrepresentative”. By that logic one should also discount its worst performing large state.

  20. Neil says:


    I certainly wouldn’t discount the results in Victoria completely because it has been the ALP’s best peforming state for many years. Indeed Gillard may have a massive honeymoon in her home state when considering that Abbott’s approval figures are worst in Victoria.

    It’s the scope of the bounce in Victoria that is so surprising. 67% TPP in Victoria would see the Liberals losing seats like Goldstein, Higgins and Kooyong. I suspect the Liberals would hold these seats even if Jack The Ripper were the opposition leader. Your response about factoring in the value of an overly optimistic bounce certainly makes sense to the uninitiated like myself.

    My point about Julie Bishop was simply an observation that she read the tea leaves correctly on this occasion and that as Deputy leader her counsel should have been seriously considered. Maybe she was lucky or maybe she was shrewd. But it appears her concerns, which were conveyed to colleagues and were reported in the media, were not acted upon. Maybe this is interesting in itself.

  21. caf says:

    Jack, I’m pretty sure that Possum has referred to the “Preferred PM” measure as a “beauty contest” on more than one occaision, which is pretty disparaging.

  22. Well someone needs to stick up for this measure with some theoretical guns. It may as well be me.

    IMR “preferred PM” was not a good predictor of seat distributions in the early nineties.
    Hewson was preferred PM to Keating in 93, but the ALP won.
    Keating was preferred PM to Howard in 96, but the L/NP won.
    Things appeared to change in the late nineties, when preferred PM started to predict two-party preferred voting actions.
    Howard was preferred PM to Beazley in 98, and the L/NP won in the crucial swinging votes in marginal seats even though the ALP’s two-party preferred voting intention polls were encouraging.
    Howard was preferred PM to Latham in 04, and the L/NP won despite good two-party preferred voting intention polling results.
    So sometime in the nineties the dissipation of partisan loyalties – “true believers” – led to the rise of celebrity politician.

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