Australian Politics – Forget The Spin. Nielsen Poll Shows Labor Government Really Is Toxic

Posted on Mon 06/04/2012 by


Julia Gillard

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

By Andrew Bolt ~

The bottom line in the Nielsen poll is that the Labor Government’s talk of a recovery is nonsense, and the Government faces annihilation:

On a two-party basis, Labor trails 43 per cent – up 1 point in three weeks – to the Coalition’s 57 per cent, down one.

That is an astonishing 14-point margin, and comes despite the start of the massive handouts to the Labor base in last month’s Budget. And Tony Abbott also leads Julia Gillard as preferred Prime Minister:

Mr Abbott leads 46 (down 4) to her 44 (up 2).

Now for the Fairfax spin. Here’s how the Sydney Morning Herald’s Phillip Coorey starts his report:

TONY ABBOTT’S personal standing has fallen sharply but he remains on track to become prime minister, with only one in four voters prepared to choose Labor at the ballot box, the latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds.

The Financial Review’s Laura Tingle also buries the lead in her intro:

Tony Abbott’s lead over Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister has been slashed despite Labor failing to get a bounce from the budget and its ­primary vote once again reaching record lows.

The Age’s Michelle Grattan’s first paragraph is a little better, but the AbbottAbbottAbbott still looms large:

LABOR’S primary vote has fallen to a parlous 26 per cent – equal to its record low of last July – in an Age/Nielsen poll that also shows Tony Abbott’s personal disapproval rising by 5 points to an all time high.

The last time I looked, elections were won or lost on the party vote, not on the approval rating of the Opposition leader.

But the Nielsen poll is also interesting in exposing how the political debate was distorted last week by what seems to have been a rogue poll.

Julia Gillard’s leadership was hanging by a thread last Monday, with some reports that she could even be gone in days. Then on Tuesday, Newspoll announced the 2PP margin between Labor and the Coalition had been cut to “just” eight points – 46 per cent to 54. Gillard had a spring in her step, and Labor and the media turned the heat on the “negative” Abbott.

Ignored were two other polls – Morgan and Essential – both devastating for Labor. Ignored was the underlying reality. It was as if there was a collective wish to believe the story of Labor’s comeback.

But check the latest results of the major polls, in order of size of margin, to see why the trust in Newspoll was misplaced:

Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

Nielsen: Labor 43, Coalition 57

Essential: Labor 43, Coalition 57

Morgan: Labor 38.5, Coalition 61.5

Galaxy: (federal vote in Queensland only): Labor 36, Coalition 64

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog .