Labor remains narrowly ahead of the Coalition in the latest Fairfax Ipsos Poll.
The national poll of 1,401 respondents, interviewed from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 December 2014, shows Labor with 52% of the two-party preferred vote (up 1 since November), ahead of the Coalition on 48% (down 1 since November), based on 2013 election preferences. This indicates a 5.5% swing against the Abbott Government since the September 2013 Federal election.
The two-party stated preference vote shows Labor on 53% (unchanged since November), leading the Coalition on 47% (also unchanged since November).
First preference votes put the Coalition on 40% (down 2 since November) and Labor on 37% (unchanged since November). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with 12% (unchanged since November). The Palmer United Party is on 2% (down 1 since November), and others are on 9% (up 2 since November).
Five per cent of respondents are undecided. These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 38% (down 4 since November). His disapproval rating is 57% (up 8 since November). This gives a net approval of -19 (down 12 since November)⌃.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 46% (up 3 since November). His disapproval rating is 41% (up 1 since November). This gives a net approval of +5 (up 2 since November).
Bill Shorten has moved ahead as the preferred Prime Minister, at 47%, an increase of 6 points since November. Two in five (39%) favour Tony Abbott as Prime Minister (a fall of 2 points since November).
The table below* shows the attribute scores for Abbott and Shorten, and how these compare historically for PMs and Opposition Leaders.
Of the eleven attributes, Bill Shorten has a statistically significant lead on six; being viewed as more competent (58%), having the confidence of his party (71%), being open to ideas (68%), being trustworthy (44%), and having a firm grasp of social policy (62%). He is also seen as being more easily influenced by minority groups (44%).
|June 1995||June 2007||April 2013||July 2013||July 2014||Nov 2014|
|% saying attribute applies to leader||Keating||Howard||Howard||Rudd||Gillard||Abbott||Rudd||Abbott||Abbott||Shorten||Abbott||Shorten|
|Has the confidence of her/his party||65||56||76||79||28||76||50||79||64||63||53||71|
|Open to ideas||30||72||41||78||58||52||61||46||38||58||39||68|
|Has a clear vision for Australia’s future||53||52||59||61||47||53||59||48||54||38||49||43|
|Is easily influenced by minority groups||27||30||22||34||50||23||40||28||28||42||29||44|
|Has a firm grasp of economic policy||53||65||78||52||46||53||59||49||45||45||46||43|
|Has a firm grasp of foreign policy||47||48||63||51||56||47||73||39||43||38||45||42|
|Has a firm grasp of social policy||39||55||43||68||53||45||61||47||34||58||31||62|
|Has the ability to make things happen||68||42||77||53||52||57||62||49||58||36||48||36|
Percentages in bold indicate a statistically significant difference in perception of the leaders.
In contrast, Tony Abbott has a statistically significant lead on only two attributes; having a clear vision for Australia’s future (49%) and having the ability to make things happen (48%). Despite being rated more highly than Bill Shorten for these attributes, his figures are historically low. From the trend data, no Prime Minister has received such a low figure for being able to make things happen, and his rating for having a clear vision for Australia’s future is on par with the figures for Julia Gillard in April 2013.
Tony Abbott is seen as having the confidence of his party (53%), being competent (50%), having a clear vision for Australia’s future (49%) and having the ability to make things happen (48%). However, of the eleven attributes tested, his ratings are at their lowest ever for five of these attributes.
Bill Shorten is seen as having the confidence of his party (71%), being open to ideas (68%), and having a firm grasp of social policy (62%). His ratings show positive increases for eight of the eleven attributes.
Fieldwork dates: 4-6 December 2014
Sample size: 1, 401 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 and location (metro/non-metro) to reflect the population distribution
⌃Compared to the Fairfax Ipsos Poll taken in 30 Oct-1 Nov 2014, the changes in Tony Abbott’s approval and disapproval ratings are all statistically significant at the 5% level.
* April 2013 poll: 11-13 April 2013, n=1,400 interviews, nationwide, aged 18+
July 2013 poll: 11-13 July 2013, n=1,008 interviews, nationwide, aged 18+
July 2014 poll: 17-19 July 2014, n=1,000 interviews, nationwide, aged 18+
Nov 2014 poll: 4-6 December 2014, n=1,401 interviews, nationwide, aged 18+