This month’s Nielsen via Fairfax comes off a sample of 1400 – giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.6% mark. Rather than go through the usual spiel on the vote estimates, here’s what they look like to the nearest decimal place, how the vote estimates changed over the last month, including preference flows (something we’ll start paying more attention to where available)


This is probably on the low side for the ALP – but so saying it’s the biggest polling slap they’ve have not only under the Rudd government, but going back 4 years. Following the lead from Newspoll, the beneficiaries of the falling ALP primary vote support has been the Greens – gaining 2.3% over the last month compared to the Coalition gaining 1.1% and the Others getting a small tick up by just over half a percent.

On the two party preferred results, we have the ALP falling 3.1% off the back of their dropping primary vote and a recent and consistent decline in Labor’s  ability to accumulate Greens preferences.

Nielsen ask respondents how they would allocate their preferences (rather than Newspoll which allocates them on the basis of the 2007 election results). If we look at the recent history of the way Greens and Others voters in Nielsen polls have allocated preferences, something interesting pops up:


Even though the Greens vote has been jumping around a fair bit, the proportion of Greens voters preferencing Labor has been steadily dropping. This is something that might be worth a bit of a dedicated look at later this week.

On the Nielsen approval ratings, there’s some interesting dynamics at work with both leaders approvals falling and disapprovals rising – but with Abbott making larger leaps than Rudd in the wrong direction. If we run through the approvals at both the headline level and by voting intention cross-tabs, we get:



While each leader is neck and neck in both their approval and disapproval ratings, 24% of Coalition voters disapprove of Abbott while only 17% of ALP voters disapprove of Rudd. There’s a similar gap on the approval ratings with 75% of ALP voters approving of Rudd while only 69% of Coalition voters approve of Abbott. That would suggest that there’s a fair bit of gritting of teeth by solid chunks of both Labor and Coalition voters at the moment, but with slightly more Coalition voters having to hold their nose while they tell the pollster “Oh yes, I’ll vote for Tony”.

If we look at how these approval ratings have changed over the last month we get:



The “Others” had a big movement away from Rudd on the approvals – but that isn’t unusual as Others voters are generally pretty erratic to the point of being a little random sometimes on these measures. Ignoring those folks, the big blocks of movement for both Abbott and Rudd came from within their own party supporters – with Labor voters dropping their approval for Rudd by 3 points over the month and Coalition voters dropping their approval of Abbott by a whopping 9 points over the month.

Rudd fared a little better when it came to Labor voters disapproval, increasing only a point in the month. Abbott on the other hand saw his disapproval rating among Coalition voters increase by 9 points. This reinforces the notion that there’s a lot of nose holding in the electorate when it comes to voting intentions currently.

On the Preferred PM measure, the headline results and their voting intention cross-tabs tally up as:


Again we see a bit of weakness in the Coalition numbers with 23% of Coalition voters not preferring Abbott as PM compared to only 10% of Labor voters not preferring Rudd.
Interestingly, there was an increase in Net Uncommitteds on Preferred PM across all party voting flavours – which are the combined results of those that answer “Other” and “Don’t know” – again, adding weight to the whole “voters holding their nose” theme of the poll.
The was also additional RSPT  and asylum seeker questions today, which we’ll go through in a dedicated post. Apologies for the absence over the last 5 days or so – have been migrating everything across to a new set of computers. Meanwhile, the demographic cross-tabs can be seen here and the usual charts come in like this:

Ruddappchart opapchart

ppmchart netappchart

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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