Abbott back in the game after the budget

Newspoll, which is the poll pollies are said to take notice of, moved from 52-48 in favour of Labor to 53-47 after the budget. Not that you’d know from ABC radio, which was spruiking the Fairax/Ipsos poll which came in at 50-50. A month ago it was 54-46 in favour of Labor.

Fairax/Ipsos has gone from being an outlier in one direction to being an outlier in the other.

Roy Morgan has Labor ahead 51-49, closing from 53.5-46.5 two weeks ago.

Essential Report gives it to Labor 52-48, the same as last week.

From The Poll Bludger, ReachTel’s phone poll on budget night favoured Labor 53-47 and post-budget Galaxy has Labor 52-48.

I don’t know what to make of Fairfax/Ipsos. It seems to lurch from one extreme to the other. If you take it out of the equation, the only clear move is a trend to parity in Roy Morgan over the last eight fortnightly polls.

Another statement that can safely be made is that the LNP’s support comes from the old and males, the young and females tend to favour Labor.

According to Newspoll, the budget was the best received since Swan’s 2008 effort, with 46% saying it was good for the Australian economy and 28% bad. The respective figures last year were 39% and 48%. Poll Bludger puts the current budget reaction in the middle of the historical range.

Essential asked a different question – whether voters approved or disapproved of the way the LNP government was handling the federal budget. They found that 34% approved and 33% disapproved. Last year the figures were 30-52.

Again approval comes from the old, and from men, women are underwhelmed. Further than that, support heavily follows party lines – 77% of LNP voters give it a tick, but only 29% of Labor voters.

Abbott’s stocks are clearly rising. Newspoll has his net approval rating improving from -43 in February to only -13 now. Shorten has gone from -14 to -9.

Abbott v Shorten has gone from 35-43 in February to 41-40 now. Fairax/Ipsos sees the figures move from 34-50 to 44-39.

Roy Morgan has a Government Confidence Rating (100 plus the difference between the percentage of people who say the country is “going in the right direction” and the percentage who say the country is “going in seriously the wrong direction”). On May 16/17 the result was 99.5, up from 89 before the budget and the best result since October last year.

Essential asked whether Australia’s economy was heading in the right or wrong direction.

    35% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction and 40% think it is heading in the wrong direction. This represents no significant change since this question was asked last August.

Essential asks a range of questions about the budget and it’s impact. A stand-out is that 50% agree and only 19% disagree with the statement that “this budget is more about improving the Government’s popularity than improving the economy”.

Three months ago Abbott after knighting Prince Philip was gone for all money and his government was looking very much like a one-term aberration. Now Abbott is definitely back and so is his government. Barrie Cassidy said the purpose of the budget was to get back into the political game after a miserable 12 months, and it might just work. It seems it has, but not brilliantly. Many voters can see that the budget was more about politics than economics, as do the commentariat.

Three months ago Guy Rundle was full of schadenfreude as he watched the government destroy itself. Now he has chucked in the towel. Shorten must go and Labor needs to get a deal together which will make the lives of middle Australia better.

Before the budget Poll Bludger’s BludgerTrack gave it to Labor 52.2 to 47.8. I’d suggest it would be close to 52-48 now. If Abbott has shown us anything it’s that we can elect a prime minister we don’t particularly like. Rundle places great weight on incumbency, especially for the right. He seems to agree with Abbott that if he started an election campaign 48-52 behind he would win.

I’m not so sure. Now if Bill Shorten would go back to talking like a human being, instead of firing off zingers his staff think up…

Elsewhere Michelle Grattan thinks Abbott has turned into timid Tony:

    Abbott used to describe himself as a weathervane on climate policy but now that’s been extended to nearly everything.

OTOH Hockey has damaged himself in a way that is probably unrepairable.

8 thoughts on “Abbott back in the game after the budget”

  1. As a child I can only recall there was one polling company – it might have been Gallup but I am not sure.

    Now it is a whole industry. We are flooded with new results from these players whose job is to provide insights to political parties and interest (entertainment) to the voting swill.

    The poll industry also feeds the Press – either directly from media commissioned polls or beneficial “leaked” reports from Party polls.
    And the Press duly informs the public via another industry, the great Commentators, of which there seems to be many. Some are influenced perhaps by editorial policy, some maybe not.

    Interesting as the various results and reports may be – witness Brian’s post – , they still only show us the “results”. I don’t think we can examine their cohort or statistical analysis or any other aspect. So we take it on faith that the results are kosher. I find that strange.

    Political parties tend to react to the polls or at least it seems that way. Probably scared witless by the prospect that their election prospects might have dimmed. That would be at the expense of good policy and good government because decisions seem heavily influenced by the near-daily polls, door-stop quips and little parliamentary skirmishes. That’s if you agree that medium/long term policy is better than day-to-day policy.

    Do away with polls? That ain’t going to happen, too many feeding off that teat I think. But at least we could wish for a little less emphasis on polls.

  2. I suppose its stating the obvious to state that at the moment the ABC Breakfast TV has been taken over by a pack of Liberal Party shills.

  3. Paul I don’t watch breakfast TV. The spruiking I reacted to was ABC radio, where the news department is particularly shallow until they start picking up stuff from their Radio National coverage.

    Geoff, yes polling is a cancer on the political body politic, leading to short-termism, which is now the hallmark of the Abbott government, however they may protest otherwise.

  4. All poll announcements in any media should quote the margin of error for each result at the very beginning.

    And as we’ve seen in the UK, the MoE could be double of that stated.

  5. I’d agree, jumpy, but if you add all the polls up the sample is quite large. I’m inclined to think the Fairfax/Ipsos poll is a rogue poll, or leaning to an extreme end of the error margin. The Morgan poll is also a big jump.

  6. Look,…its just a matter of time. As I understand it Government Stores have had their budget and staff severely cut back. I heard that even essential items for the LNP Party Machine are being destocked.

    “Its like Woolworths down here”, one surviving employee said, but I’m not worried “were nearly completely out of GAFFER tape, so how long is Abbott going to last once that is all gone”.

  7. Thanks, PB. I swapped over to watching the foreign news a long time ago. I now really love the French news and record it most mornings. I could only enjoy it it more if I could speak the language, but that is part of the fun, its like merging news with a reality quiz.

  8. Chris Bowen says that Labor will cut supewrannuation tax concessions for the rich

    Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra today, Mr Bowen said Labor would raise $14 billion in a decade by putting a 15 per cent tax on super earnings more than $75,000 a year and taxing super contributions for incomes more than $250,000.

    “Nobody particularly enjoys getting a reduced tax concession, and a politician telling people that a tax break can no longer be afforded is never going to be universally popular,” he said.

    “But it has to be said: the taxation concessions in superannuation earnings in retirement are unsustainable.

    “Australia simply can’t afford them.”

    However, Abbott was frothing over the proposal:

    However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called Labor’s plan an attack on people’s savings.

    “This is one of the fundamental differences between the Coalition and the Labor party, we respect people’s savings,” Mr Abbott said.

    “We don’t think that superannuation is government money, we think it’s your money.

    “But Bill Shorten wants to tax your super to fill his $58.6 billion budget black hole.

    “He regards your super as his piggy bank to break open whenever he needs money, and I just think that’s dead wrong.”

    It is good to see that Labor is willing to take the risk of taking on the wealthy leaners.

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