Galaxy/Nielsen: 52-48 to Labor, Greens on 14/13

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I don’t usually post about the regular polls that we will see more of over the next few weeks as we plunge into the election, but I’ll make an exception for the two polls coming out overnight.

We have had two polls in the last few hours. The Galaxy poll in the Courier-Mail and the Neilsen poll in Fairfax newspapers. Both have Julia Gillard on 52% on two-party preferred teams, and both have the Greens recovering votes, up from 11 to 14 in Galaxy and up from 8 to 13 in Neilsen.

It is now worth noting that we now have a series of polls since Gillard took over as Prime Minister. All have the ALP in a winning position for the election, but with the exception of the weekend’s Morgan poll which had the ALP on 56.5%, none of them have the ALP on any more than 55%.

While they are a slight improvement over Kevin Rudd’s performance, overall the ALP’s chances of re-election have only really improved slightly. Kevin Rudd’s polls put him in a position where he was the favourite to win. After the last week’s events around asylum seeker policies, you would have to say that Julia Gillard, while the favourite to win the election, could very easily lose to Tony Abbott if things don’t go her way.

We now also have the first poll showing a recovery in support for the Greens after the Green vote fell when Gillard became Prime Minister. It isn’t at all surprising that the Greens would be recovering considering recent developments in climate change, asylum seeker and mining tax policy, but does indicate that the appeal of an atheist, childless woman as Prime Minister can only obscure the rightward drift of the Labor government for so long.

Having said all of that, it does appear that not a great deal has changed in terms of polling since Kevin Rudd was deposed. The ALP has a small but election-winning lead over the Liberal Party, with the Greens on track for an increased vote, but much of that appears soft and willing to consider switching back to Labor. You’d have to say that, based solely on polling, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd was one of the biggest over-reactions in recent political history.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for emphasizing that an athiest woman without children must surely be the ultimate exponent of Labors whatever it takes, believe in nothing attiude.

    At least with me you know what you get, and it seems that you prefer me!

    Thanks for your support.

    Tony Abbot.

    Federal Leader of the Opposition,
    Member for Warringah.

  2. The real interest for me is how Nielsen breaks down the preferences of Greens voters, because when Rudd was spiraling, the preference indication was much more in the direction of the Coalition than we’ve ever seen. This suggested that the Greens surge was mainly centrist swing voters parking their vote with the party as a protest.

    But if the preferencing is holding up much more in the typical 75-80% to ALP pattern, then we are probably seeing a left-leaning ALP voter reaction to just how right-wing Gillard has been.

    This is an important issue, because past research on who the “next most likely” group of Greens voters is suggests it is left-wing ALP voters who strongly identify with the ALP but are disillusioned with it (see my Overland article for a summary: http://web.overland.org.au/previous-issues/feature-tad-tietze/).

    If the Greens are now pulling Left ALP voters rather than centrist swingers, then it would have to be said that Gillard’s strategy is working so far: sacrifice her Left flank to save marginal electorates on the basis that the Greens vote will mostly come back to the ALP with preferences. If the Greens vote is once again a more diffuse protest vote then her strategy has been a failure.

    I reckon she and the strategists must’ve read Possum’s analysis of this question: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/06/08/labor_green_preferences/

    The implications for the Greens are important too. If it is a bunch a centrist swing voters then the party may try to look all moderate on TV and hope they’ll stick on election day (although some party hard-heads reckon the Greens really can pull a centrist constituency, which I think reflects more their own ideology than a realistic long-term national strategy).

    If it’s a Left ALP voter base then how to get them to stay as Greens voters—a quite different approach to what Bob Brown has been doing since Rudd got elected (i.e. appearing moderate and reasonable on all but issues where the Greens already have a solid constituency).

  3. I understand that a gambling agency (Sportingbet) has offerred odds for each electorate. I can’t view this from work as the site is blocked – fair enough. It would be good to see the odds for each electorate. The article said that ALP was favoured in 73, Coalition favoured in 72, Greens 1 (Melbourne), Independent 3 (the current 3 indies) and 1 dead level (Deakin). Interesting.

  4. Re: “You’d have to say that, based solely on polling, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd was one of the biggest over-reactions in recent political history.”

    I’m glad, Ben, that you placed the caveat “solely on polling” in saying the overthrow of Rudd was a monumental over-reaction. Because I’m sure you support the notion that Gillard’s coup was not simply to mend voter support, but to repair internal party processes that under Rudd had obviously become untenable for anyone involved.

    It had evolved to a farcical situation where every facet of running the country was sitting in Rudd’s inbox. I’m surprised bin night in my council was allowed to go ahead without Rudd having cleared it weekly from his desk. Today’s media section of The Australian reminded me of another case in point; the review of australia’s anti-siphoning laws for sport on free to air TV. This is a fringe issue that the PM of Australia had absolutely no need to personally oversee. Yet where has this relatively simple reform washed up? That’s right, in Rudd’s inbox! Conroy had no where to go with it, probably why he had to take up other hobbies like threatening Internet filtering and skiiing with media moguls. The only nagging questions is why it took outside entities to execute the coup, and why no one in caucus had the courage to tell Rudd to: “GET OUT THE WAY AND LET US GOVERN!” What were they afraid of? The guard dogs Jasper and Abby? Maybe they just couldn’t be arsed. If someone else offers to take your work off of you why not take the offer? Less time for ministers working on difficult reform meant more time freed up to compose tweets.

    Having said all this, I think the polls as a corollary was a factor in the coup as well. Under Gillard the ALP would probably win by a half length after a pretty taxing front running display, under Rudd they probably would have got up by a short-half-head on the line, but also could have gone down in a photo. I think all the polls point to that being the scenario.

    I don’t think it was an over-reaction to the polls at all. And more to the point the polls were a secondary factor in removing Rudd.

    And lastly, i am dismayed by Phillip Adams’ reaction to the whole matter. I like the bloke, i’m a rusted on “gladdy.” But I think he should go back to the farm, have a latte with his biodynamic cattle and woofas and think this one through a bit. How clouded could a commentater get?

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