An untrustworthy, unimaginative, incompetent dunderhead

That’s how voters see their prime minister Tony Abbott, says Laura Tingle of the most recent Nielsen Poll.

More of that later, but the poll sees the ruling LNP stabilise in landslide loss territory at 54-46:

Nielsen Jy 2014_cropped_600

The only demographics where the LNP has a clear lead in the primary vote are the 55+ group and WA. But in WA the TPP lead is only 52-48, well within the margin of error. Queensland has turned sour for the LNP at 45-55.

Abbott’s approval rating has improved from -25 to -18. Abbott’s overall personal rating may improve further due to his handling of the response to the Ukraine air tragedy but his real problem seems to lie in the voters’ view of his personal attributes. Abbott continually hammered the Gillard government over competency and trust. He fails on both counts.

According to Nielsen, voters now rate his competence as slightly lower than Gillard’s.

They do not rate him as being as strong a leader, believe him to be even less trustworthy, and have an even weaker grasp on economics.

At least the former prime minister had a majority of voters believing she had a firm grasp on foreign and social policy – only 43 per cent of voters rate Abbott on foreign policy and 34 per cent on social policy.

Abbott has strengths (above 50%) in his clear vision for Australia’s future and in his ability to make things happen. However, his weakness on social policy is severe, contrasting with Shorten’s strength. In context Abbott’s strengths may be problematic.

Shorten emerges as a more competent and trustworthy figure, but he is yet to be seen as a strong leader with a vision for the country and an ability to make things happen. Perhaps a problem of opposition.

Shorten still heads Abbott as preferred PM but has slipped slightly from 47-40 to 46-41.

On economic policy they are even, and not very good on 45%.

Prior to the budget Joe Hockey had a clear lead over Chris Bowen as preferred treasurer at 51-34. Now they are virtually even at 43-42.

Reading opinion polls is a bit like reading tea leaves, but the Abbott government’s problems appear fundamental.

7 thoughts on “An untrustworthy, unimaginative, incompetent dunderhead”

  1. What a nice thing to read over cornflakes in the morning.
    I was a little worried he might get a boost for his crass handling of the shooting down of the Malaysian plane over the Ukraine , but it seems, horrified as we are by that tragedy, the Australian people aren’t fools this time round.

  2. Paul: The ABC quoted US official as saying

    Evidence gathered so far suggests separatists launched the SA-11 surface-to-air missile that blew up the Malaysian airliner, but it remains unclear “who pulled the trigger” and why, said a senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    “The most plausible explanation … was that it was a mistake,” and the missile was fired by “an ill-trained crew” using a system that requires some skill and training, an official said on Tuesday.

    Intelligence officials are cautioning the public not to expect a “Perry Mason moment” when all questions are definitively answered.

    They cited previous incidents over the years in which both Russian and US forces have mistakenly shot down civilian airliners.

    A Korean airliner was downed by a Soviet fighter jet in 1983 and US naval forces mistakenly shot down an Iranian civilian passenger plane in 1988.

    “We’ve all seen mistakes in the past,” the official told reporters.

    It puts the issue in context and undermines Abbott’s posturing. It is also worth noting that it was Malaysian authorities working quietly behind the scenes that got the black boxes and the bodies on the way to returning home.

  3. I do like Laura Tingles turn of phrase. I’m also pleased to see more people prepared to recognise that Abbott is a person not worthy of the roll of leader inTHIS country with Abbott being openly described as a “political psychopath”.

    With MH17 the mistake is in thinking that an aircraft at level 33 and heading towards Russia could possibly be an aircraft with a local purpose, such as a Ukranian transport plane. Aircraft fling between Sydney and Melbourne for instance, 700 klms fly at level 30( same distance as Kiev to Donetsk). This is an example of people with a big gun who were desperate to shoot at something, anything.

  4. The federal and Qld LNP have radical Tea Party written all over them. It is not a good look in a country that doesn’t think it OK for the entitled rich to be given much better treatment than the unentitled poor.
    Part of Abbott’s problem is that he looks shifty. Doesn’t help now that the lies are catching up with him.

  5. Part of Abbott’s problem is that he looks shifty.

    John, your gravatar aside, I became accustomed to you being above that superficial shallow rubbish and applauded ( silently ) your condemnation of its like about Gillard and Rudd.
    I know your a deeper thinker than that.

  6. Jumpy: Before Abbott became leader of the LNP I used to think he might be an a good LNP leader because he came up with interesting ideas from time to time. However, since then he has become publicly quite different. An effective attack dog (which he has always been) but someone who is trying to play roles like “Tony Abbott prime minister”. Roles where someone else is feeding him a script that he is not comfortable with. It is a recipe for making someone look dishonest.
    I won’t ask you what is wrong with my gravitar.

  7. Abbott has excelled himself by weighing into the Scottish Independence vote on the grounds that

    supporters of Scottish independence are not “friends of freedom” or “friends of justice”.
    So here we have the leader of a democratic country that has done very well since it cast of the Sassenach shackles saying that somehow it is undemocratic for Scotland to have a democratic vote to join us in casting off the same shackles.
    The charitable interpretation is that Abbott has started to enjoy swanning around on the international stage instead of leaving it to someone more competent.
    The cynical interpretation is that Abbott has improved in the polls by using the international stage to divert attention from the awful unfair budget.

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