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Turnbull’s approval rating continues to fall

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating has fallen seven points to 55% since February, but the
Coalition still remains ahead of the Labor Party in the latest Fairfax Ipsos Poll.

The national poll of 1,402 respondents, interviewed from 10-12 March 2016, also shows that Turnbull’s
disapproval rating is 32% (up 8 points since February), which gives a net approval of +23 (down 15 points
since Feb). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 33% (up 3 points since February) while his
disapproval rating is 52% (down 3 points since February). This gives a net approval of -19 (up 6 points
since February).

Fairfax Ipsos Poll
Approval rating
Preferred PM
Phillip Coorey
The Coalition
Primary support for the Coalition
Malcom Turnbull, Bill Shorten
Two-party
The vast majority of voters continue to prefer Turnbull as PM SOURCE: IPSOS | GRAPHIC: EDMUND TADROS, DOROTHY WOODGATE

“Malcolm Turnbull remains the referred Prime Minister, at 61% in our latest Fairfax Ipsos Poll, which is a
decrease of 3 points since February. Twenty-two per cent favour Shorten as Prime Minister, a rise of 3
points since February,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

Key findings

  • Voting intentions: On a two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences: the Coalition is at 53%
    (up 1 point since February) leads Labor on 47% (down 1 point since February)
  • Managing the economy: 43% named the Coalition as having the best policies for managing the
    economy (up 2 points since April 2015), and only 25% named the Labor party (down 7 points since
    April 2015).
  • Limiting tax concessions: Overall, the public does not support limiting the tax concessions available
    for either superannuation contributions or negative gearing. One third supports each of these
    proposals, two fifths oppose, and a quarter ‘don’t know’.

Voting intentions
The Coalition is still ahead of the Labor Party. The Coalition has 53% of the two-party preferred vote (up 1
point since February), ahead of the Labor Party on 47% (down since February), based on 2013 election
preferences. This indicates a 0.5% swing against the Coalition Government since the September 2013
Federal election.

The two-party stated preference vote shows the Coalition on 54% (up 1 point since February), leading the
Labor party on 46% (down 1 point since February).

First preference votes put the Coalition on 45% (up 1 point since February) and the Labor Party was on
31% (down 1 point since February). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with 14% (down 1
point since February). Others are on 10% (up 1 point since February).
Nine per cent of respondents are undecided. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference
figures.

Best party for managing the economy
The Coalition retains the public’s confidence as the political party with the best policies for managing the
economy, with 43% naming the Liberal or National parties (up 2 points since April 2015), and only 25%
naming the Labor party (down 7 points since April 2015).

Q.MAR1 Which political party do you think has the best policies for managing the Australian economy?
% April 2015
March 2016
Change
Coalition 41 43 +2
Labor Party 32 25 -7
Greens 3 4 +1

 

This perception is stronger among those on higher incomes (>$100,000 per annum), with more than half
(52%) saying the Coalition has the best economic policies. This falls to 36% among those on a lower
household income (<$40,000 per annum). There is also variation by age, with younger voters (aged
under 25) significantly more likely to see Labor has having the best policies for managing the economy
than older voters.

Proposal for limiting tax concessions
On balance the public does not support limiting the tax concessions available for either superannuation
contributions or negative gearing. A third support each of these proposals, two fifths oppose, and a
quarter say they ‘don’t know’.

Q.MAR2 & QMAR3 Do you support or oppose limiting the tax concessions available for…?
% Support
Oppose
Don’t know
Net support
…superannuation contributions 35 40 26 -5
…negative gearing 34 42 24 -8

 

When looking at support for limiting tax concessions available for superannuation contributions, there is
little variation in support by party. Only Green voters are, on balance, in favour of this change (net
support +8), whereas the balance of opinion among both Coalition and Labor voters is opposed (-6 and –
5, respectively).
In contrast, there is greater differentiation across party lines when considering limiting tax concessions
available for negative gearing. While the balance of support by Greens voters is positive (+16), it is
neutral for Labor voters (-1) and negative for Coalition voters (-15).

Poll Profile
Fieldwork dates: 10-12 March 2016
Sample size: 1,402 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 31% 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 by age, gender