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.
Last night the Twittersphere #auspol hashtag was thrown into chaos with the results of the latest Nielsen poll purporting to show a sizeable comeback for the Australian Labor Party and for its leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But is the 2-Party-Preferred result consistent with other more regular polls or is it out of place?
On the Primary vote the Coalition leads the Gillard Government 45% to 33% but does appear to be edging closer, but still some way from the magical 40% Primary Vote required to be electorally strong. No doubt a 4 point jump from the last Nielsen poll is an improvement.
The 2PP vote also favoured Labor with a 4% increase and the corresponding 4% drop in the Coalition vote translating to a 2-party-preferred vote with the Coalition on 53% and the ALP Government 47%.
The question is though, can this poll result really be trusted as an indication of a huge jump inn support for Prime Minister Gillard and the Labor Party? I would say no, not really, but there is a small up-tick in support at best.
I say that this poll cannot be trusted for one major reason and that is because the same poll has had the ALP far behind those results of the other more regularly conducted Essential and Newspoll surveys have shown for a time. Now, the same survey has the Gillard Government ahead of the position in the two other polls mentioned in one fell swoop. Yes it is only a tick ahead, but still ahead.
Overall, a 6% gap in 2PP is still a big gap to overcome and the other more consistent polls have failed to show bigger improvements for the Government as yet and probably won’t show much change from the current position for some time at least. Makes for an interesting year in Australian politics.