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Essential: Labor rebuilding its reputation, but it’s not enough

Labor has began the arduous task of rebuilding its brand with voters but it remains a long way behind, according to a recent Essential poll.

Labor has finally made some headway in trying to reverse its reputational damage with voters, but parity with the Coalition remains elusive, today’s Essential Report finds.

The economy, health and education remain the key issues for voters in determining how they will vote, with economic management rated by 66% of voters as one of their three most important issues, up from July this year. Health is rated by 57% of voters as important and education by 35%. Treatment of asylum seekers has fallen back to 6% after spiking at 10% in July.

In terms of voter trust in handling important issues, Labor has cut the gap between it and the Coalition across virtually every issue, but not enough to take a lead on most of them. The Coalition leads Labor 45-31% on economic management, for example — down from an 18 point gap in July. Labor trailed the Coalition slightly on education in July but now leads it by five points, 38-33%, but still trails on health, 32-35%, down from six points in July. The Coalition’s lead on controlling interest rates fell from 18 points to 11 points, but barely shifted on asylum seekers, falling from 20 points to 18 points. Labor’s only other lead is on industrial relations, which increased from six points to nine points.

Labor’s plunge in the polls has been marked by a collapse in voter trust across all issues, even those where under Kevin Rudd it held big leads over the Opposition, demonstrating the extensive reputational damage it has incurred since 2010. This is the first time there has been some positive movement on voter trust, but it’s insufficient to get Labor back ahead.

On voting intention, the Coalition picked up a point to 46% primary vote, as did the Greens, to 10%; Labor’s vote fell to 36% for a 2PP outcome of 53-47 in the Coalition’s favour.

There’s very high support from voters for the government’s royal commission into institutional child s-x abuse, with 88% of voters supporting it. Support is slightly weaker, but still very strong, among Catholics, at 83%, and strongest among non-Anglican Protestants (93%) and those with no religion (91%).

Catholic voters also differ from other voters on whether the royal commission should address the removal of those in positions of authority who allowed abuse to occur: 27% of Catholic voters agree that was important, compared to 39% of all voters and 48% of those with no religion. Preventing future abuse, prosecuting offenders and removing those who allowed abuse to happen were the most commonly-cited outcomes voters wanted to see.

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  • 1
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 19 November 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    BERNARD KEANE The Labor Party nationally, have made no political headway with me personally. I am very politically active, to the extent I purchase pages in my local paper the Peninsula News to publish paid announcements. Our / my political allsorts include those whom I certainly have interacted with face to face and in print. John Robertson, John Hatzistergos, Prime Minister Gillard ( Ettalong Senior Citizens Hall ) Frank Sartor, Barry O’Farrell the list is long enough. I often publish allegations exposing my local council Gosford for misleading the State Coroner during his enquiry into the deaths of five people at Piles Creek Somersby.
    Labor cannot rebuild its reputation until it expels the political dead wood and political garbage which makes up so much of its membership nationally. Many of the political allsorts I have named know me and I expect. Give them a few more years and they will get my political message! elected cowards are of no use to honest taxpayers! Edward James

  • 2
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 19 November 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I am back again as a paid subscriber to Crikey.com.au wanting to write about so called voter trust. I do not put much value on what we read on line here or on dead trees. What dose carry weight is those reports / comments which are signed by posters who are identified by readers as well know published identities. No it is not enough Labor. first you need to throw out the dead wood and reject party members who are not in step with what Labor demonstrate themselves to be in public! Edward James

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