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Turnbull continues to haemorrhage support

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating has fallen four points to 51% since March,
and the Labor Party is now tied with the Coalition in voting intention, in the latest Fairfax Ipsos
Poll released today.

The national poll of 1,402 respondents, interviewed from 14-16 April 2016, also shows that
Turnbull’s disapproval rating is 38% (up 6 points since March), which gives a net approval of
+13 (down 10 points since March). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is
unchanged at 33%, while his disapproval rating is 55% (up 3 points since March). This gives
him a net approval of -22 (down 3 points since March).


“Our latest Fairfax Ipsos Poll shows that Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred Prime
Minister, at 54%, a fall of 7 points since March. Twenty seven per cent favour Bill Shorten
as Prime Minister, which is a rise of 5 points since March. In addition, from 11 leader
attributes we polled, Mr Turnbull has a significant lead on seven, including being viewed as
‘competent’ and ‘has a firm grasp of economic policy’,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

Key findings

  • Voting intentions: On a two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences: Coalition
    50% (down 3 points since March) with Labor 50% (up 3 points since March). First
    preferences: Coalition 42% (down 3 points since March), Labor 33% (up 2 points since
    March).
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 54% prefer Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister (down 7 points
    since March); 27% prefer Bill Shorten (up 5 points since March)
  • Personal attributes: When asked about Turnbull and Shorten’s personal attributes,
    Turnbull has a significant lead on seven of the 11 attributes. However, the strength of
    his attribute ratings has worsened significantly since October, whereas Shorten’s ratings
    have remained largely unchanged.
  • Royal Commission into banks: 65% believe that there should be a Royal Commission
    into the behaviour of Australian banks; a quarter (26%) do not.

Voting intentions
The Labor Party is ahead of the Coalition. The Coalition is on 50% (down 3 points since
March), tied with the Labor Party also with 50% of the two-party preferred vote (up 3 points
since March), based on 2013 election preferences. This indicates a 3.5% swing against the
Coalition Government since the September 2013 Federal election.

The two-party stated preference vote shows a lead for the Coalition on 51% (down 3 points
since March) and Labor on 49% (up 3 points since March).

First preference votes put the Coalition on 42% (down 3 points since March) and Labor on
33% (up 2 points since March). The Greens lead the minor parties with 14% (unchanged
since March). Others are on 10% (unchanged since March). 7% of respondents are
undecided. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is 51% (down 4 points since March). His disapproval
rating is 38% (up 6 points since March). This gives a net approval of +13 (down 10 points
since March).

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 33% (unchanged since March). His disapproval rating is
55% (up 3 points since March). This gives a net approval of -22 (down 3 points since
March).

Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred Prime Minister, at 54%, a fall of 7 points since
March. 27% favour Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (a rise of 5 points since March).

Leader characteristics
Of eleven leader attributes, Malcolm Turnbull has a statistically significant lead on seven
(those in bold in the table below). In contrast, Bill Shorten has a significant lead on three
attributes.

Turnbull Shorten
% Saying attribute applies
Competent 70 49
Has a firm grasp of economic policy 66 38
Open to ideas 63 59
Has a firm grasp of foreign policy 61 36
Strong leader 55 31
Has a clear vision for Australia’s future 51 34
Trustworthy 51 36
Has the confidence of his party 50 58
Has the ability to make things happen 49 32
Has a firm grasp of social policy 47 54
Is easily influenced by minority groups 34 50

While being described in more positive terms than Shorten, the attribute ratings for Turnbull
have all worsened significantly since they were last measured in October 2015. The only
aspect on which his score has increased is the negative attribute that he ‘is easily influenced
by minority groups’, up 7 points at 34%.

Mr Turnbull – Trends
% saying attribute applies Feb 2015
Oct 2015
April 2016
Change
Competent 74 83 70 -13
Has a firm grasp of economic
policy
70 80 66 -14
Open to ideas 69 75 63 -12
Has a firm grasp of foreign policy 65 61 -4
Strong leader 60 75 55 -20
Has a clear vision for Australia’s
future
58 70 51 -19
Trustworthy 55 58 51 -7
Has the confidence of his party 52 67 50 -17
Has the ability to make things
happen
56 74 49 -25
Has a firm grasp of social policy 64 60 47 -13
Is easily influenced by minority
groups
23 27 34 +7

Bill Shorten’s attribute ratings have remained largely static and unchanged since October
2015, with no significant move on any of the attributes.

Mr Shorten – Trends
% saying attribute applies Jul 2014
Nov 2014
July 2015
Oct 2015
April 2016
Change
Open to ideas 58 68 68 58 59 +1
Has the confidence of his party 63 71 56 58 58 0
Has a firm grasp of social policy 58 62 59 55 54 -1
Competent 57 58 52 51 49 -2
Is easily influenced by minority
groups
42 44 46 51 50 -1
Has a firm grasp of economic policy 45 43 43 39 38 -1
Has a clear vision for Australia’s
future
38 43 36 37 34 -3
Trustworthy 45 44 39 36 36 0
Has a firm grasp of foreign policy 38 42 39 36 36 0
Has the ability to make things
happen
36 36 35 33 32 -1
Strong leader 40 43 34 30 31 +1

Royal Commission into Australian Banks
A majority (65%) believes that there should be a Royal Commission into the behaviour of
Australian banks; a quarter (26%) disagree. The balance of opinion is +39.
Labor and Greens voters are overwhelmingly in favour of a Royal Commission (78% and
79%, respectively), with significantly lower support among Coalition voters (53%).

Poll Profile
Fieldwork dates: 14-16 April 2016
Sample size: 1,402 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 34% 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.
The data has been weighted by age, gender and location (metro/non-metro) to
reflect the population distribution.