Support for government drops after Hockey’s housing gaffe – Fairfax Ipsos Poll

Labor is ahead of the Coalition in the June Fairfax Ipsos Poll. Labor has 53% of the two-party preferred vote (up 3 points since May), ahead of the Coalition on 47% (down 3 points since May), based on 2013 election preferences. This indicates a swing of 6.5 percentage points against the Abbott Government since the 2013 Federal election.

The national poll of 1,401 respondents, interviewed from 11-13 June 2015, shows the two-party stated preference vote with Labor on 54% (up 4 points since May), leading the Coalition on 46% (down 4 points since May).

“It looks like the comments made last week about home ownership by Treasurer Joe Hockey have swung voters away from Government in the latest poll as the majority of Australians see first home ownership as unaffordable,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

First preference votes put the Labor on 37% (up 2 points since June) and Coalition on 40% (down 3 points since May). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with 14% (up 1 point since May). The Palmer United Party is on 1% (unchanged since May), and others are on 8% (unchanged since May).

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 40% (down 2 points since May), disapproval is at 54% (up 4 points since May), net approval at -14 (down 6 points since May)
• Bill Shorten’s approval is at 41% (unchanged since May), disapproval is at 47% (up 2 points since May), net approval at -6 (down 2 points since May)
• 42% would prefer Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (up 3 points since May); 41% would prefer Tony Abbott (down 3 points since May).
• On balance, the purchasing a home as first time buyer is seen as unaffordable (-17); (57% saying it is unaffordable and 40% saying it is affordable). This worsens substantially to -62 among Sydney-siders.
• Two-thirds (68%) support the legalisation of same-sex marriage and a quarter (25%) are opposed.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister
Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 40% (down 2 points since May). His disapproval rating is 54% (up 4 points since May). This gives a net approval of -14 (down 6 points since May).

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 41% (unchanged since May). His disapproval rating is 47% (up 2 points since May). This gives a net approval of -6 (down 2 points since May).

Bill Shorten is the preferred Prime Minister, at 42%, an increase of 3 points since May, while 41% favour Tony Abbott as Prime Minister (a fall of 3 points since May).

Housing affordability
On balance, purchasing a home as a first time buyer is seen as unaffordable (-17); (57% saying it is unaffordable and 40% saying it is affordable).

Opinion varies considerably by geography. Those living outside of capital cities consider getting on the property ladder an affordable step, with 60% saying it is affordable and 35% saying it is not. In stark contrast, only 29% of capital city residents say buying a first home is an affordable thing to do, and 69% disagree. This worsens among Sydney residents, with only 18% saying that buying a first home in their area is affordable.

Q.JUN2 Thinking about the area where you live, how affordable is it for a first time buyer to buy a home?
All Sydney Capital cities Ex-capital cities
% % % %
Affordable 40 18 29 60
Not affordable 57 80 69 35
Net affordable -17 -62 -40 +25
Don’t know 3 2 2 5


Gay marriage
Two-thirds of Australians (68%) support the legalisation of same-sex marriage and a quarter (25%) are opposed. This marks a small increase in support of 3 points since 2013.

Large majorities of ALP (74%) and Green (90%) voters support this change, whereas support is lower among Coalition voters (57%).

There are strong generational differences of opinion on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, with 86% of those aged under 25 supporting this change, falling to 53% among those aged 55+.

Women (74%) are more likely than men (63%) to support the legalisation of same-sex marriage. There are also higher levels of support for this change among those who were born in Australia (71%), in contrast to those born overseas (60%).

Poll Profile
• Fieldwork dates: 11-13 June 2015
• Sample size: 1,401 respondents
• Sample: National, aged 18+. 29% 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.
• Trends: All trend data is reported from previous Nielsen polls. These are nationally representative polls, aged 18+, with samples of c.n=1,400, unless otherwise stated.