Angry voters and the question of mandate

Nielsen and Newspoll both currently have Labor ahead 53-47 in two-party preferred (TPP) terms. This is almost the exact reverse of the 2013 election result which the LNP won 53.5-46.5.

This is how Nielsen is tracking:

Nielsen 23.6.14_cropped_600

This image from the AFR shows how the Coalition vote is trending in six polls:

AFR Je14_6e420e70-fa5f-11e3-80cb-3fa822d151bf_23p00 news poll of polls 600

Laura Tingle says voters are still angry over the budget:

Six weeks on from the budget, the rage is maintained: the majority of voters still think the budget is unfair and the task of confronting ever deepening voter hostility towards Prime Minister Tony Abbott is only growing.

It says something about the quality of the government’s budget sales job that, in the period since the budget, the number of Coalition voters who believe the budget is fair has actually fallen more sharply than the number of Labor voters who think it is fair.

The latest Nielsen poll figures suggest little the government has done has changed voters’ initial hostile reaction to the budget and, if anything, has only eroded its own base as the details of the budget’s impact on traditional constituencies like pensioners and families has become clearer.

Arguments about the budget crisis; that working people are working a month a year just to fund welfare recipients; that the government is not really cutting pensions – none of these seem to be cutting through.

John Quiggin in commenting on Hockey’s statement about “lifters” and “leaners” had this to say:

The hostile reception given to these Romneyesque arguments is unsurprising. The fact that Hockey is relying on talking points that failed even in the US is indicative of the level of delusion under which the government is operating. Having run a disciplined and entirely negative campaign, Abbott and Hockey ought to understand that they were elected by default. They owe their jobs to the fact that voters were sick of Labor’s leadership shenanigans.

The fiasco of the Senate election is a pretty clear indication of a “plague on both your houses” view. Instead, they appear to be under the impression that they were granted a mandate for radical change – and long after the budget is off the front page, the electorate will punish them for it.

Some of the hacks are finding comfort in the fact that the LNP has clawed back some support. In fact they’ve improved from a prospective landslide defeat to one that would just be demoralising. Of course much can happen suddenly in politics and the election is a long way away.

There can’t be much comfort, however, in Abbott’s approve/disapprove rating of 35-60, up from 34-62. The slide from November last year when it was 47-46 should be telling him something.

Shorten’s numbers are 42-41, down from 47-39. He was 51-30 in November, but most of the time since he has been about evens.

In the preferred prime minister stakes, Shorten leads 47-40.

The LNP support comes from the old, men, NSW and WA. Strangely Labor slipped in NSW from 58-42 to 46-54, well beyond the nominated margin for error of 4.6%. The numbers for the state break-up are small and one or both may be rogue results.

Overall, though, one might say that the voters are telling Abbott and Hockey that they do not in fact have a mandate for much of what they are attempting to do.

I’ll leave you with this Tandberg from a few months ago:


7 thoughts on “Angry voters and the question of mandate”

  1. Sweet cheeses on a bicycle !
    Big Clive is announcing his climate policy with Big Al Gore.
    The world has gone bananas.

  2. What can you say?

    So it appears that under our current legislation we are due to move to an ETS next year, but Clive will vote to repeal that legislation, on the condition that we later have an ETS.

    Seriously what can you say? I mean I know there are two *rational* reasons for this – one is Clive said he would vote to repeal, the other is he only wants an ETS when all trading partners have one. But all the same, as someone said on twitter, what can you do but get out the popcorn? All aboard the ship of fools.

  3. But all the same, I am grateful he wants to keep the CEFC, the RET, and the Climate Authority. He may be an oddball, but he isn’t Tony Abbott!

  4. The idea of a “mandate” is a furphy. It is highly unusual for the coalition or Labor to achieve a majority in their own right and even then it is highly unlikely that something like repealing the carbon tax was a key reason for someone voting LNP.
    Specific polls on issues may provide some guide to what the people think at a particular time but this doesn’t mean that it makes sense for legislation to be determined by the latest poll.
    The LNP proposal to scrap the carbon tax at a time when they are screaming “budget crisis” makes about as much sense as the Greens deciding to oppose the indexation of the fuel exercise.

  5. Nice to see two Billionaires with Sasquatch like carbon footprints pontificating.
    I wonder if their private jets and mega yachts run by ethanol or solar panels.

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