More Bad Reading For Gillard Labor

It has become a regular event for some months to see consistently bad poll results for the federal ALP, lagging behind the Coalition, with the occasional uptick sparking hopes among Labor circles that it might lead to a long-term trend toward taking a poll lead on a two-party-preferred basis. For Labor of late that hasn’t been the case, with the polls hovering around the same low mark and even in recent weeks, getting even lower and this week’s Essential Poll fits in with that trend downward.

The primary vote for the Liberal and National Party in the latest Essential Poll remains unchanged from last week, with Coalition support sitting on 50%. By the same measure, the survey has the ALP primary vote on a grand total of 29%, well below the so-called “death zone” and two percentage points down on last week’s primary vote numbers of 31%

On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition has a commanding lead in the polls, sitting on 58% versus 42% for the ALP, a result in itself just above the primary vote “death zone”. The 2PP vote count for Labor is 1 down on last week’s count which had the two sides at 57% to 43% respectively.

In somewhat of a double-edged positive/negative, Essential asked respondents how they thought the Australian economy was travelling compared to other countries.

A total of 66% of those surveyed stated that the Australian economy was performing better when measured against those of other nations as opposed to just 15% who said that the economy is worse than those overseas.

This indicates that even though many think the economy is performing better, there are still worries for Australians when they think of the economic performance of the nation. This appears to correspond with a further question asked by Essential Media which shows that 46% of those asked think that the economy will get worse over the next 12 months as opposed to just 23% who think it will get better.

In the same questionnaire, Essential Media also asked which party respondents thought would best manage another Global Financial Crisis, with 42% saying that the Coalition would manage the economy better during another GFC and just 25% indicating that the ALP were capable of managing the economy better than the Opposition.

The Coalition have tended to be referred to by voters as better economic managers, but these results, combined with the continued historically low poll numbers, staying around the same dreadful mark will continue to cause great worry for the ALP.

About Tom Bridge

A perennial student of politics, providing commentary for money and for free. Email me at tbridgey@gmail.com or contact me on 0435 035 095 for engagements.

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Federal Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I guess it comes down to how important you consider opinion polls to be. And whether you can use opinion polls to judge the performance of government. In my most recent blog post (http://theblogicalvoice.com/2012/05/06/why-people-dont-care-about-politics-anymore-leadership-polls-and-the-problem-with-landslides/) I argue that polls receive undue attention. I don’t think focusing on them progresses political discourse. Because really, what can a government do to respond to a bad poll? Introduce better policy that gets no media attention because everyone is still talking about their bad poll results đŸ˜› It’s a viscous cycle and someone has to break it.

    • I agree somewhat with your argument. I’m not one to take polls in isolation and generally analyse based on a significant history of the same trend. I also tend to agree with your comment about judging governments based on them, but ultimately they are an indicator of what the population may think and cannot be discounted (not to say policy SHOULD always be determined by them) as the population decide who is best to run the city/state/country whether that is based on flawed reasoning or not.

  2. Agreed. Opinion is important in choosing government. But we only choose government once every three years. Surely our politicians, regardless of their political leanings, deserve to be judged on their performance after a full term. Looking at a month or week or day of politics in isolation is not a realistic reflection on how the population will view a governments entire term. And again, it distracts the media and the public from issues of real policy concern.

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