Jul 23, 2013

Essential: Coalition on track for narrow win

Kevin Rudd has significantly improved voters' perceptions of Labor but the Coalition retains an election-winning lead.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Labor's primary vote under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appears to have stabilised just short of 40%, leaving the Coalition with a narrow but election-winning lead, today's Essential Report reveals. However, Rudd has dramatically reversed the slide in Labor's reputation across a range of key issues. With speculation an election might be called as soon as this week, Labor's primary vote remains unchanged on 39%, the Coalition has dropped a point to 45%, and the Greens remain in parlous territory on 7%. The two-party preferred outcome is 51%-49% to the Coalition, a little down on last week's 52-48 result. Essential repeated its questions about trust in parties' handling of issues, asked just before Julia Gillard was removed as prime minister. Labor has improved three points on economic management (it trails the Coalition by 15 points), significantly increased its lead on education (from 1 to 9 points), moved to a small lead on health (from -5 to 1), picked up significantly on industrial relations (3 to 11), improved on Australian jobs and protection (-7 to -1), addressed the leadership issue (-19 to -7) and slashed the Coalition's lead on asylum seekers from 22 points to 11 points. Voters also support Rudd's decision to move earlier to an emissions trading scheme, 45% to 29%, with both Liberal and Labor voters endorsing the shift and only Greens voters opposed. The results suggest Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the Coalition would narrowly win an election despite Rudd dramatically revising voters' perceptions of the ALP. The judgement call for the Labor brains trust will be whether this is as good as it will get for them and they should go to an election now, or whether Rudd can wear down Abbott and gets Labor's primary vote over 40%, at which it would be in a strong position to pull off a remarkable victory. Voters were also asked about support for a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and outlaw racial discrimination in the constitution. Some 62% of voters supported it, and 16% were opposed; 23% didn't know. Greens voters were most likely to support it (80%); 56% of Liberal voters supported it, 21% opposed it.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

12 thoughts on “Essential: Coalition on track for narrow win

  1. Dominic Byrne

    Dear Kevin,

    You returning to guide the political party you once decimated, is like having Edward Scissor-Hands remold a soft, deformed unfixable piece of clay. The fact you are doing it for no reason but your own sociopathic, egotistical, revengeful personal gain is despicable. You were once deposed, because of Labors demise in the polls and fear of obliteration, are you seriously back in office to fix it?

    You stuffed up so many policies in your previous two-year tenancy, that the splintered factions facilitated your removal. Now we have some of those faceless colleagues, like Bill Shorten, removing a bloody dagger from your own back and thrusting it, with no remorse, into Julia’s spine, for his own personal gain. It’s like you have manufactured a culture of psychopathic behavior, all at the expense of Mr. and Mrs. Australia.

    How can you honestly talk about “Labor party reform” when it was you that leaked destructive material in the 2010 campaign, to deliberately sabotage YOUR OWN party with treacherous intent? Who will you recruit alongside Albanese, Bowen and yourself for the new gang of four? And will you ruin their political careers too? Did I hear you say, “Lets all be nice to each other?” I have more faith in those words coming from Mike Tyson’s mouth, just before he steps into the ring for an Evander Holyfield rematch.

    So you have changed your autocratic ways have you? People hate each other more within you own party than they do, the coalition, or the public towards yourself. A result due to your narcissistic, malicious, vindictive demeanor, that cannibalised the party to which you have been reinstated.

    Please don’t reiterate Swannies old boring rhetoric of comparing us to the rest of the developed world, we are our own country, and business is hurting. Our books aren’t balanced; we can’t spend our way out of debt. We’re not naïve enough, for you consider buying more votes with reckless cash splashing. Rumors you could be pushing the election back and keeping business development in doubt, is causing further paralysis in our economy, you are ruining hard working families lives.

    Last week, your own colleagues voted you in to save their own seats, I can’t imagine voting for someone I detest. Now representatives in your team, have to smile and pretend everything is ok, how painful and demoralising. I bet they are physically sick with their decision and the thought of the months ahead, working under you.

    You epitomise the current predicament of the Labor party, so while it’s fitting you are their “new” leader; it provides no hope for the country. You are a dishonest coward, running a government of instability in which you were the architect. If you won the next election, your re-appointment would be the inception of a full revolution of implosion. You represent nothing but dysfunction, division and disaster. You are not a “real choice”, you are a disgrace and an insult; it’s embarrassing to be Australian.

    I have a family. I work for a wholesaler that didn’t turn a profit for the first time in decades. Its tough out there and all you care about is your own scandal, conflict, policy cock-ups, grubby deals, disunity and strategic blunders. We’ve had enough.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dominic Byrne
    (and all the other Aussie punters that can’t stand the thought of you steering a sinking ship. Do yourself a favour, call an election and “zip” off)

  2. CML

    @ Dominic Byrne – What a disgraceful rant. I do hope you feel better for venting your spleen, but please do NOT for one moment think you speak for anyone else but yourself.
    And how dare you accuse our PM of all these things. Where is your evidence??? You sound just like all the other apologists for the ‘rabbit’. Go vote for the Tories, and then see how well your business operates during their austerity program and the ensuing recession/depression. I am just back from the UK, so I can tell you. You won’t have a business to worry about AT ALL!!
    Good luck on the dole queue. But then, there probably won’t be one if your lot win the election.

  3. morphy richards toaster

    What puzzles me is the fact that a myopic conservative like Dominic Byrne would pay for a subscription to a relatively fact heavy news service like Crikey.

  4. tonyfunnywalker

    Dominic Boyne – joins Abbott in crisis mode with his rant.
    Do we feel sorry for you – no- and it maybe your own firms mismanagement – have you thought of that.

    You are lucky be in business for the last 4 years as if Rudd had not implemented a ” stimulus ” in the face of the GFC.

    With people like you around its a pity he did as there is nothing like a recession to get rid of inefficient businesses like yours.

    So stop whining and do a days work for once. I note that you wrote your whine in your employers’ time.

  5. tonyfunnywalker

    Roy Morgan still predicts a 52/ 48 lead to Labor even though Labor has a small dip. At least Abbott is in a lather and is getting more idiosyncratic by the day as Malcolm looms large – very large. The Fairfax straw poll shows 72% of voters prefer Malcolm Turnbull.
    Outbursts like today on moving boat people to PNG is a symptom of the panic.
    Keep it up Kevin– but not too much as I want to see Abbott beaten yet again – the three time looser.

  6. mook schanker

    Dominic Byrne TL;DR

  7. John Taylor

    Dominic Byrne – I think someone needs a hug.

  8. beachcomber

    The race is now so close that the campaign will determine the outcome. Abbott’s problem is that he’s not a good campaigner.
    In 2007 he did poorly as Health Minister, and swearing at Nicola Roxon after arriving late for his Debate at the National Press Club emphasised the message that Howard was on the skids.
    In 2010 the Coalition Campaign had the advantage of strategic leaks against PM Gillard that destabilised her campaign almost daily. It seems unlikely he will benefit from similar leaks in 2013.
    Which leaves the campaign up to Tony versus Kevin.
    Whereas Kevin is basking in the glory of his resurrection, Tony already looks strung out. He is gaunt, stooped, his ears are growing bigger, and he looks even more negative than he has sounded for years.
    An intense 6 weeks of that demented rabbit may well remind voters of the Real Tony, the Mad Monk Tony. And make voting for Saint Kevin a better option.

  9. Mike Flanagan

    Yes it is a joy to watch, as the gull-wings get ever larger, the face becomes more ashen and the eyes fog with confusion while he searches for the next PR line, as a substitute for policy.
    Tony Abbott can only be seriously considered as a failed experiment in policy vacuousness by the LNP.
    He has even missed out on the papacy, in his flawed judgement, that jesuits couldn’t make the grade.
    Perhaps a post poltical career as a Refugee Commissioner with the UN awaites him.

  10. katas

    Hobsons choice for voters; Dipstick or fruitloop

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details