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Election race neck and neck – but Coalition edges forward

The Labor Party remains just ahead of the Coalition in the final Fairfax Ipsos Election Poll released today.

The national poll of 1,377 enrolled Australians who are certain to vote in tomorrow’s Federal Election, interviewed from Sunday 26 – Wednesday 29 June 2016, shows the Labor Party with 51% of the two party vote (unchanged since 14-16 June), ahead of the Coalition 49% (unchanged since 14-16 June), based on stated preferences.

The two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences shows both Labor and the Coalition at 50% (Labor down 1 point and Coalition up 1 point since 14-16 June).

“This indicates a 3.5% swing against the Coalition Government since the September 2013 Federal election,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

“A uniform national swing of this magnitude would produce a hung parliament, with neither of the major parties holding a working majority. However, swings will vary considerably between seats, and support for minor parties and independents, and their preference flows, will be crucial in deciding the outcome.”

First preference votes put the Labor Party on 33% (unchanged since 14-16 June) and the Coalition on 40% (up 1 point since 14-16 June). The Greens’ share of the vote is 13% (down 1 point since 14-16 June).

The Nick Xenophon Team is on 2%, and other parties are on 12%.

(Note: all figures are based on those enrolled and certain to vote).

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval ratings: Malcolm Turnbull’s approval at 49% (up 2 points since 14-16 June), disapproval at 41% (down 1 point since 14-16 June), net approval of +8 (up 3 points since 14-16 June). Bill Shorten’s approval rating at 42% (down 1 point since 14-16 June), disapproval rating at 50% (up 3 points since 14-16 June), net approval at -8 (down 4 points since 14-16 June).
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 49% would prefer Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister (up 1 point since 14-16 June); 35% would prefer Bill Shorten (up 1 point since 14-16 June).
  • Who will win the election: 61% believe that the Coalition will win the Federal Election (up 7 points since 14-16 June).

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is 49% (up 2 points since 14-16 June), and his disapproval rating is 41% (down 1 point since 14-16 June). This gives a net approval of +8 (up 3 points since 14-16 June).

The table below shows Malcolm Turnbull’s ratings compared to those of the majority of other Prime Ministers at the same point in a Federal Election campaign. Turnbull’s ratings are comparable with those of Gillard prior to the 2010 election that resulted in the first hung parliament since 1940.

Comparing PM approval ratings during Federal election campaigns:

Q2. How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of … as Prime Minister?
Howard
7-8 Nov
2001
Howard
5-7 Oct
2004
Howard
19-21 Nov
2007
Gillard
17-19 Aug
2010
Rudd
4-5 Sept
2013
Turnbull
28 – 30 June
2016
Approve 61 60 50 50 43 49
Disapprove
34 36 45 41 52 41
Net Approve
+27 +24 +5 +9 -9 +8

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 42% (down 1 point since 14-16 June). His disapproval rating is 50% (up 3 points since 14-16 June). This gives a net approval of -8 (down 4 points since 14-16 June). This is the worst approval rating of any Opposition Leader this century, in the last few days of a Federal Election campaign.

Comparing Opposition Leader approval ratings during Federal election campaigns:

Q3. How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of … as Leader of the Opposition?
Beazley
7-8 Nov
2001
Latham
5-7 Oct
2004
Rudd
19-21 Nov
2007
Abbott
17-19 Aug
2010
Abbott
4-5 Sept
2013
Shorten
28-30 June
2016
Approve 51 50 61 46 46 42
Disapprove
43 40 27 49 51 50
Net Approve
+8 +10 +34 -3 -5 -8

Malcolm Turnbull remains the referred Prime Minister, at 49%, a rise of 1 point since 14-16 June. Thirtyfive per cent favour Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (a rise of 1 point since 14-16 June). This gives a lead of +14 to Malcolm Turnbull, unchanged from the last poll (14-16 June).

Comparing preferred PM figures during Federal election campaigns:

Q.4 Who is your preferred Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten?
PM Howard/OP Beazley
7-8 Nov
2001
PM Howard/OP Latham
5-7 Oct
2004
PM Howard/OP Rudd
19-21 Nov
2007
PM Gillard/OP Abbott
17-19 Aug
2010
PM Rudd/OP Abbott
4-5 Sept
2013
PM Turnbull/OP Shorten
28-30 June
2016
PM 52 53 40 51 47 49
Opposition Leader
40 39 52 40 46 35

After a long election campaign, 16% still give an ‘uncommitted’ response to who would be their preferred Prime Minister (down 2 points since 14-16 June).

Who will win?

As we head to polling day, three in five of the public believe that the Coalition will win this election, at 61% (up 7 points since 14-16 June); only 17% believe that the Labor Party will win (down 9 points since 14-16 June). Even among those intending to vote Labor, almost half (47%) think the Coalition will win.

Q. ELECT2 Regardless of who you will vote for, who do you think will win the next Federal election?
30 Sep-1 Oct
1998*
7-8 Nov
2001*
5-7 Oct
2004*
19-21 Nov
2007*
17-19 Aug
2010*
4-5 Sep
2013*
5-7 May
2016
17-19 May
2016
31 May-2 June
2016
14-16 June
2016
28-30 June
2016
Coalition 42 49 67 22 22 81 53 57 55 54 61
Labor 31 36 20 64 64 12 24 20 22 26 17
Other/Don’t know 27 15 13 14 14 8 24 23 24 19 22

*Final Nielsen Polls before the 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 elections

Poll Profile

Fieldwork dates: 26-29 June 2016
Sample size: 1,377 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+, enrolled and certain to vote. 30% of sample comprised
mobile phone numbers.
Method: Telephone, using random digit dialling.
Statistical reliability: ±2.6% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample
Analysis: The data has been weighted to reflect the population distribution.