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Two party stalemate as election campaigning continues

The Coalition and ALP remain tied in a two party stalemate, with each party on 50% on a two-party vote based on stated preferences, according to the first Fairfax Ipsos Election Poll released today.

The national poll of 1,497 respondents, interviewed from Tuesday 17 – Thursday 19 May 2016, shows the Coalition with 50% of the two-party vote (unchanged since 5-7 May), level with the Labor Party 50% (unchanged since 5-7 May), based on stated preferences.

 

The two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences shows the Coalition on 51% (unchanged since 5-7 May), leading the Labor Party on 49% (also unchanged since 5-7 May). This indicates a -2.5% swing against the Coalition Government since the September 2013 Federal election.

“First preference votes put the Coalition on 43%, down 1 point since 5-7 May, and the Labor Party on 34%, up 1 point since 5-7 May. The Greens lead the minor parties with 14%, which is unchanged since 5-7 May. Others, including Palmer United Party, are on 9%, also unchanged since 5-7 May,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

Four per cent of respondents are undecided, a rise of 4 points since 5-7 May. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures.

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval rating: Malcolm Turnbull’s approval 48% (unchanged since 5-7 May), disapproval 38% (down 2 points since 5-7 May), net approval +10 (up 2 points since 5-7 May). Bill Shorten’s approval 40% (up 2 points since 5-7 May), disapproval 46% (down 3 points since 5-7 May), net approval -6 (up 5 points since 5-7 May)
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 47% prefer Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister (down 4 points since 5-7 May), 30% prefer Bill Shorten (up 1 point since 5-7 May)
  • Money for schools or cutting business tax?: 72% give higher priority to money for schools, than providing tax cuts for business (25%)
  • Who will win the believe the Coalition will win the forthcoming Federal election (up 4 points since 5-7 May).

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is 48% (unchanged since 5-7 May), his disapproval rating is 38% (down 2 points since 5-7 May), giving a net approval of +10 (up 2 points since 5-7 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
9-10 Oct
2001
Howard
3-5 Sep
2004
Howard
15-17 Oct
2007
Gillard
27-29 July
2010
Rudd
6-8 Aug
2013
Turnbull
17-19 May
2016
Approve 66 55 52 51 48 48
Disapprove
28 39 42 39 47 38
Net Approve
+38 +16 +10 +12 +1 +10

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 40% (up 2 points since 5-7 May). His disapproval rating is 46% (down 3 points since 5-7 May). This gives a net approval of -6 (up 5 points since 5-7 May).

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
9-10 Oct
2001
Latham
3-5 Sep
2004
Rudd
15-17 Oct
2007
Abbott
27-29 July
2010
Abbott
6-8 Aug
2013
Shorten
17-19 May
2016
Approve 47 51 60 49 45 40
Disapprove
43 37 26 45 52 46
Net Approve
+4 +14 +34 +4 -7 -6

Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred Prime Minister, at 47%, a fall of 4 points since 5-7 May. Thirty per cent favour Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (a rise of 1 point since 5-7 May). While this is a slight improvement for Shorten, it is the lowest preferred Prime Minister figure for an Opposition Leader at this point in an election campaign this century.

Money for schools or cutting business tax?

The majority (72%) would prefer that money for schools is a higher priority, than providing tax cuts for business (25%).

There is a marked difference by gender, with women significantly more likely to favour education spending (77%, compared to men 68%). Age is also a factor, with those aged 55+ more likely than others to give a higher priority to cutting business taxes.

There is also a clear difference by party support, with Coalition voters more evenly divided (55% giving higher priority to education spending, and 42% to business tax cuts), whereas almost nine in ten Labor and Greens voters would give higher priority to more money for schools (87% and 89%, respectively).

Who will win the election?

Fifty-seven per cent believe the Coalition will win the forthcoming Federal election, a rise of 4 points since last asked two weeks ago.

Q. 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
5-7
May
2016
Coalition 42 49 67 22 22 81 53 57
Labor
31 36 20 64 64 12 24 20
Other/Don’t know
27 15 13 14 14 8 24 23

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

Poll Profile

Fieldwork dates: 17-19 May 2016
Sample size: 1,497 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 32% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.
Method: Telephone, using random digit dialling.
Statistical reliability: ±2.5% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample
Analysis: The data has been weighted to reflect the population distribution.