Voters Still Hate Tony Abbott
The Abbott government celebrates its first year in power with a new poll showing that it has suffered a sustained and dramatic loss in both its primary and two-party preferred polling.
Voters are also disenchanted with the leaders of both parties, with satisfaction ratings of Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten tanking over the last twelve months.
The Newspoll, released this morning, shows the Coalition losing more ground with its two-party preferred standing dropping to 48 per cent and Labor up one point to 52 per cent since the last poll two weeks ago.
A rival Roy Morgan poll shows the government making up some ground in the past fortnight, with its two-party preferred polling up one point to 47 per cent, while Labor is down one point to 53 per cent.
The polls, both based on preference flows at the election, mean a swing against the government since the 2013 election of at least 5.5 points.
Labor would be swept into power if an election were held now.
The primary polling looks even worse for the government.
The Coalition won the 2013 election with 45.6 per cent of the primary vote.
Primary polling now puts that vote at between 38 per cent (Roy Morgan) and 39 per cent (Newspoll), a swing against the government of between 6.6 and 7.6 points.
Labor’s primary vote at the election was a dire 33.4 per cent. This has recovered slightly to between 35 per cent (Newspoll) and 37 per cent (Roy Morgan), a swing towards the federal opposition of between 1.6 and 3.6 points.
Labor is helped by the jump in the primary polling for the Greens.
The Greens received 8.6 per cent of the vote at the 2013 election, but the party’s primary polling has now increased to between 10.5 per cent (Roy Morgan) and 14 per cent (Newspoll).
The Palmer United Party had a primary vote of 5.5 per cent in the election and is now at 4.5 per cent, according to Roy Morgan. Newspoll does not split out the PUP vote.
The party polling shows that even though the government has achieved its headline promises to abolish the carbon and mining taxes and “stop the boats”, voters are still unimpressed.
This is despite strong support for the government’s military action in Iraq, with 62 per cent of voters supporting the action taken so far by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, according to Newspoll.
Mr Abbott’s personal standing has recovered slightly in the past fortnight but remains well below the electorate’s initial assessment of him last year.
The first post-election Newspoll, published last October, found almost half of voters (47 per cent) were satisfied with the then new PM’s performance. This compared to 34 per cent who were not satisfied and the one in five, or 19 per cent, who were uncommitted.
Newspoll now has only 35 per cent of voters satisfied with Mr Abbott’s performance. More than half (54 per cent) are dissatisfied with his performance and fewer voters – 11 per cent – are uncommitted.
Bill Shorten’s standing has also slumped in the past year, with a hardening of the views of many uncommitted voters.
Shorten’s satisfaction has increased from 32 per cent last October to its current 36 per cent.
But his dissatisfaction rating has jumped 19 points from 24 per cent in to 43 per cent, with the percentage of uncommitted voters dropping from 44 per cent to 21 per cent since last October.
Mr Abbott is now on equal footing with Mr Shorten as preferred prime minister, with both men preferred by 37 per cent of voters.
Interestingly, more than one in four voters would prefer neither Bill Shorten or Tony Abbott as PM.