Labor remains narrowly ahead of the Coalition in the first national Fairfax Ipsos Poll.
The national poll of 1,401 respondents, interviewed from Thursday 30 October to Saturday 1 November 2014, shows Labor with 51% of the two-party preferred vote (down 3 since July), ahead of the Coalition on 49% (up 3 since July), based on 2013 election preferences. This indicates a 4.5% swing against the Abbott Government since the September 2013 Federal election*.
The two-party stated preference vote shows Labor on 53% (down 3 since July), leading the Coalition on 47% (up 3 since July).
“First preference votes put the Coalition on 42%, up 3 since July, and Labor on 37%, down 3 since July. The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with 12%, unchanged since July. The Palmer United Party is on 3%, down 2 since July, and others are on 7%, up 2 since July,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.
7% of respondents are undecided. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures.
Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister
Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 42% (up 4 since July). His disapproval rating is 49% (down 7 since July). This gives a net approval of -7 (up 11 since July).
Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 43% (up 2 since July). His disapproval rating is 40% (down 4 since July). This gives a net approval of +3 (up 6 since July)+.
The party leaders tie as preferred Prime Minister, with both receiving 41%. This marks a fall of 5 points since July for Bill Shorten, and no change for Tony Abbott.
There is a gender split in terms of preferred Prime Minister, with men more likely to favour Tony Abbott (men 46%, women 37%). The opposite is true for Bill Shorten, with women more likely to favour him as Prime Minister (men 37%, women 46%).
Preferred party leaders
When asked which Coalition politician (from a list) is the preferred Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is mentioned by 35%, with Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop both on 20%, while Joe Hockey (8%) and Scott Morrison (3%) are less popular.
Among those currently intending to vote Coalition, Tony Abbott is the preferred candidate (41%), with Malcolm Turnbull preferred by 24%.
Bill Shorten is the clear preferred choice as Labor Party Leader, mentioned by 30%. Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek each received 18% of preferences, with Chris Bowen (6%) and Tony Burke (4%) less popular.
- Two-party vote, based on 2013 election preferences: Labor 51% (down 3 since July) lead the Coalition 49% (up 3 since July)
- Two-party vote, based on stated preferences: Labor 53% (down 3 since July) lead the Coalition 47% (up 3 since July)
- First preferences: Labor 37% (down 3 since July), Coalition 42% (up 3 since July)
- Tony Abbott’s approval at 42% (up 4 since July), disapproval at 49% (down 7 since July), net approval at -7 (up 11 since July)
- Bill Shorten’s approval at 43% (up 2 since July) , disapproval at 40% (down 4 since July), net approval +3 (up 6 since July)
- The party leaders tie as preferred Prime Minister, with each being preferred by 41%. This marks a fall of 5 points for Bill Shorten, and no change for Tony Abbott since July.
- Malcolm Turnbull is the preferred Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister (35%), with both Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop mentioned by 20%.
- Bill Shorten is the preferred Labor Party Leader (30%), with both Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek mentioned by 18%.
- On balance, respondents do not support increasing GST, if that would mean cutting personal income tax (41% support, 52% oppose).
- Respondents reject the idea of Universities and Colleges having the ability to set fees at levels they choose (28% support, 64% oppose).
- On balance, respondents do not support the Government’s Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Scheme (40% support, 54% oppose). However, it receives strong support among those who currently have children aged under five (64% support). Among those who support the PPL Scheme 57% believe it should be implemented as a high priority.
Increase in GST
Respondents were asked if they would support or oppose an increase in the GST, if that would mean cuts to their personal income tax; 41% support this idea, and 52% oppose, giving a balance of opinion of -11.
This proposal is popular among existing Coalition voters (54% support), but only draws minority support among those currently intending to vote for other parties (Labor 33% and Green 35% support).
Just over a quarter (28%) support the idea of deregulating the setting of University and College fees so that these institutions can determine their own fee levels. 64% oppose this idea. The net support figure is -36.
Graduates are less likely to support this idea than others (24% support and 72% oppose), as are those who are currently TAFE or University students (21% support and 76% oppose).
Paid Parental Leave Scheme
40% support the Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme, and 54% oppose, giving a net support figure of -14.
Support is strongest among the under 40s (69% support among those aged 18-24, and 64% among those aged 25-39), falling away to only 17% support among those aged 55+. Similarly, those who currently have a child, or children, aged under five are also more likely to support the proposal (64% support).
Among those (40%) who currently support the proposal, 57% believe that it should be implemented as a high priority, and 38% think it is a low priority. Unsurprisingly, those with young children (aged under 5) are most likely to think the proposal should be implemented as a high priority (76%).
Fieldwork dates: 30 October-1 November 2014
Sample size: 1,401 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+. 21% 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 and location (metro/non-metro) to reflect the population distribution
* Compared to the Nielsen Poll taken in 17-19 July 2014, the movement in the two-party preferred and primary vote are statistically significant at the 5% level.
+ Compared to the Nielsen Poll taken in 17-19 July 2014, the increase in Tony Abbott’s approval and disapproval ratings, and Bill Shorten’s disapproval rating are all statistically significant at the 5% level].