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Labor buoyant as Turnbull’s approval continues to slide

For the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, the Labor Party is ahead of the Coalition, according to the second Fairfax Ipsos Election Poll released today.

The national poll of 1,359 respondents, interviewed from Tuesday 31 May – Thursday 2 June 2016, shows the Labor Party with 51% of the two-party vote (up 1 point since 17-19 May), ahead of the Coalition on 49% (down 1 point since 17-19 May), based on stated preferences.

The two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences, also shows the Labor Party ahead on 51% (up to 2 points since 17-19 May), leading the Coalition on 49% (down 2 points since 17-19 May). This indicates a -4.5% swing against the Coalition Government since the September 2013 Federal Election.

“First preference votes put the Coalition on 42%, down 1 point since 17-19 May, and the Labor Party on 36%, up 2 points since 17-19 May. The Greens are on 13%, down 1 point since 17-19 May, while other parties are on 10%, up 1 point since 17-19 May,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

Twelve per cent of respondents are undecided. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference.

(Note: given that the Electoral rolls are now closed, all figures are based on those enrolled to vote).

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval ratings: Malcolm Turnbull’s approval at 45% (down 3 points since 17-19 May), disapproval at 42% (up 4 points since 17-19 May), net approval of +3 (down 7 points since 17-19 May). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating at 41% (up 1 point since 17-19 May), disapproval rating at 47% (up 1 point since 17-19 May), net approval at -6 (unchanged since 17-19 May).
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 49% would prefer Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister (up 2 points since 17-19 May); 31% would prefer Bill Shorten (up 1 point since 17-19 May).
  • Who will win the election: 55% believe that the Coalition will win the Federal Election (down 2 points since 17-19 May).
  • More influenced by policies or leaders’ performance: 75% say that the political party policies are more influential in deciding how to vote than the performance of the party leaders at 14%.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is 45% (down 3 points since 17-19 May), and his disapproval rating is 42% (up 4 points since 17-19 May). This gives a net approval of +3 (down 7 points since 17-19 May).

Comparing PM approval ratings at start of Federal election campaign:

Q2. How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of … as Prime Minister?
Howard
18-21 Oct
2001
Howard
14-16 Sep
2004
Howard
29-31 Oct
2007
Gillard
27-29 July
2010
Rudd
18-22 Aug
2013
Turnbull
31 May – 2 June
2016
Approve 62 56 51 51 43 45
Disapprove
31 38 42 39 51 42
Net Approve
+31 +18 +9 +12 -8 +3

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 41% (up 1 point since 17-19 May).  His disapproval rating is 47% (up 1 point since 17-19 May). This gives a net approval of -6 (unchanged since 17-19 May). These figures are better than those of Tony Abbott at the same point in the last Federal Election campaign.

Comparing Opposition Leader approval ratings at start of Federal election campaign:

Q3. How strongly do you approve or disapprove of the performance of … as Leader of the Opposition?
Beazley
18-21 Oct
2001
Latham
14-16 Sep
2004
Rudd
29-31 Oct
2007
Abbott
27-29 July
2010
Abbott
18-22 Aug
2013
Shorten
31 May – 2 June
2016
Approve 52 55 60 49 44 41
Disapprove
37 34 26 45 52 47
Net Approve
+15 +21 +34 +4 -8 -6

Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred Prime Minister, at 49%, an increase of 2 points since 17-19 May.  Thirty-one per cent favour Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (a rise of 1 point since 17-19 May).

Comparing preferred PM figures at start of Federal election campaign:

Q.4 Who is your preferred Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten?
PM Howard/OP Beazley
18-21 Oct
2001
PM Howard/OP Latham
14-16 Sep
2004
PM Howard/OP Rudd
29-31 Oct
2007
PM Gillard/OP Abbott
27-29 July
2010
PM Rudd/OP Abbott
18-22 Aug
2013
PM Turnbull/OP Shorten
31 May – 2 June
2016
PM 49 49 41 49 48 49
Opposition Leader
37 42 49 41 45 31



Who will win?

A majority (55%) still believe that the Coalition will win the Federal Election on 2 July, but this a fall of 2 points since last asked (17-19 May).

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
Coalition 42 49 67 22 22 81 53 57 55
Labor 31 36 20 64 64 12 24 20 22
Other/Don’t know 27 15 13 14 14 8 24 23 24

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

More influenced by policies or leaders’ performance?

Three quarters of Australians (75%) say that the political party policies are more influential in deciding how to vote, than the performance of the party leaders at 14%.

This varies by age, with the youngest voters (aged under 25) most likely to say that the party leaders’ performance influences their vote (24%). There is also a significant difference between metro and regional voters, with those living outside capital cities also more likely to be influenced by the party leaders’ performance than urban voters (18% and 12%, respectively).

Poll Profile

Fieldwork dates: 31 May – 2 June 2016
Sample size: 1,359 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 30% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.
Method: Telephone, using random digit dialling.
Statistical reliability: ±2.7% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample
Analysis: The data is based on all those enrolled to vote.
The data has been weighted to reflect the population distribution.