Labor lead increases after ‘Choppergate’ scandal – Fairfax Ipsos Poll

Labor is ahead of the Coalition in the August Fairfax Ipsos Poll.

The national poll of 1,402 respondents, interviewed from 13-15 August 2015, shows Labor with 54% of the two-party preferred vote (up 1 point since July), ahead of the Coalition on 46% (down 1 point since July), based on 2013 election preferences.

“These findings indicate a 7.5% swing against the Abbott Government since the September 2013 Federal election. The so-called ‘Choppergate’ scandal, which resulted in Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop resign amid allegations of extravagant spending, has seen voters turn away from the Coalition, with Labor benefitting,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

The two-party stated preference vote shows Labor on 56% (up 3 points since July), leading the Coalition on 44% (down 3 points since July).

First preference votes put Labor on 36% (up 1 point since July) and the Coalition on 38% (down 1 point since July). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with 16% (unchanged since July). The Palmer United Party is on 2% (up 1 point since July), and others are on 9% (up 1 point since July).

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

Key findings

  • Tony Abbott’s approval is at 35% (down 1 since July), disapproval is at 59% (unchanged since July), net approval at -24 (down 1 since July)
  • Bill Shorten’s approval is at 39% (up 4 since July), disapproval at 49% (down 6 since July), net approval at -10 (up 10 since July)
  • 45% would prefer Shorten as Prime Minister (up 2 since July); 39% would prefer Abbott (unchanged since July)
  • Among all voters, Malcolm Turnbull is seen as the preferred Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister (41%), with a quarter (23%) preferring Julie Bishop, and 15% Tony Abbott
  • A quarter (25%) of voters named Bill Shorten as their preferred Labor Party leader (down 4 points since February 2015); 23% named Tanya Plibersek, and 19% mentioned Anthony Albanese
  • Support for the gay marriage remains static, with 69% supporting change, and 25% opposed
  • A majority (58%) of voters think the Federal Government has done too little to address climate change, while a third (32%) think what it has done is ‘about right’.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 35% (down 1 point since July). His disapproval rating is 59% (unchanged since July). This gives a net approval of -24 (down 1 since July).

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 39% (up 4 points since July). His disapproval rating is 49% (down 6 points since July). This gives a net approval of -10 (up 10 since July).

Bill Shorten remains the referred Prime Minister, at 45%, an increase of 2 points since July, while 39% favour Tony Abbott as Prime Minister (unchanged since July).

Preferred Liberal Party Leader

Among all voters, Malcolm Turnbull is seen as the preferred Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister (41%), with a quarter (23%) preferring Julie Bishop, and 15% mentioning Tony Abbott. This is a rise of 2 points for Turnbull’s support, and a drop of 4 points for Abbott. Malcolm Turnbull is the candidate who is most preferred by those who currently support parties other than the Coalition.

While both Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull attract significantly higher support among male voters, than females (18% males and 12% females for Abbott, and 44% and 48%, respectively); the opposite is true for Julie Bishop (17% among male voters, 27% among female voters).

Q.AUG1 Who is your preferred Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister? ALL
% Nov 2014 Feb 2015 Aug 2015 Change Feb ’15 – Aug ’15
Malcolm Turnbull 35 39 41 +2
Julie Bishop 20 24 23 -1
Tony Abbott 20 19 15 -4
Joe Hockey 8 5 5 0
Scott Morrison 3 4 5 +1

 
Among those currently saying they will vote for the Coalition, Tony Abbott is the preferred party leader and Prime Minister, with 33% support.

Preferred Labor Party Leader

A quarter (25%) of voters name Bill Shorten as their preferred Labor Party leader, a fall of four points since February 2015; 23% name Tanya Plibersek as their preferred Labor Party leader, and 19% mention Anthony Albanese.

Significantly more women support Plibersek as Labor leader, than men (28% and 19%, respectively). She also draws the highest support among those voters who are currently voting Green (44%), in contrast to Bill Shorten (22%).

Q.AUG2 Who is your preferred Labor Party Leader? ALL
% Nov 2014 Feb 2015 Aug 2015 Change Feb ’15 – Aug ’15
Bill Shorten 30 29 25 -4
Tanya Plibersek 18 19 23 +4
Anthony Albanese 18 16 19 +3
Chris Bowen 6 6 8 +2
Tony Burke 4 5 5 0

 
Among Labor voters, Shorten has a clearer lead with 34% preferring him as leader; 24% prefer Tanya Plibersek and 19% Anthony Albanese.

Gay marriage

Support for the gay marriage remains static, with 69% supporting change, and 25% opposed. The balance of opinion is +44.

Support relates strongly to age with younger voters (aged under 25), who overwhelmingly support change (88%), while this drops to 55% among those aged 55+. Those on higher incomes ($100k+) are more likely to support legalising same-sex marriage (78%) than those earning less (58% among those earning under $40,000).

Climate change

A majority (58%) of voters think the Federal Government has done too little to address climate change, while a third (32%) think what it has done is ‘about right’.

A majority (56%) of Coalition voters think the Federal Governments efforts on climate change are about right, while a third (32%) think what it has done is ‘too little’.

Poll Profile
Fieldwork dates: 13-15 August 2015
Sample size: 1,402 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 33% 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 Analysis: The data has been weighted by age, gender and location (metro/non-metro) to reflect the population distribution.