Labor party’s lead over the coalition narrows - Fairfax Ipsos Poll

The Labor Party’s lead over the Coalition has narrowed in the October 2018 Fairfax Ipsos Poll.

Labor party’s lead over the coalition narrows - Fairfax Ipsos Poll

The national poll of 1,200 respondents, interviewed from 14-17 November 2018, shows the Labor party on 52% (down three points since October), with the Coalition on 48% (up three points since October), based on 2016 election preferences.

“This indicates a 2.4% swing against the Coalition Government since the July 2016 Federal election,” Ipsos Director, Jessica Elgood, said.

The two-party stated preference vote also shows the Labor party on 53% (down two points since October) and the Coalition on 47% (up two points since October).

The Coalitions’ first preference vote is 37% (up two points since October) with Labor on 34% (down one point since October. The Greens’ primary vote is 13% (down two points since October), One Nation is on 5% (unchanged since October), the Centre Alliance is on 1% (up from 0% in October) and others are on 9% (down one point since October).

Nine per cent of respondents are undecided (up three points since October).  These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures and from the primary vote figures.

 

Key findings 

  • Approval ratings – Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating has fallen slightly to 48% (down two points since October), and his disapproval rating is 36% (up three points since October).  Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is at 40% (down one point since October), and his disapproval rating is 47% (down one point since October).
  • Preferred Prime Minister - 47% prefer Scott Morrison as the Prime Minister (down one point since October); 35% prefer Bill Shorten (unchanged since October).
  • Migration - 14% support an increase in the number of immigrants to Australia from Muslim countries, with 46% supporting a reduction. 35% believe it should remain the same.
  • Energy policy - On energy policy, 47% support prioritising the reduction of household bills, with 39% preferring a reduction in carbon emissions. 13% would prefer to prioritise a reduction in the risk of power blackouts.

 

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating has fallen slightly to 48% (down two points since October), and his disapproval rating is 36% (up three points since October).  The proportion who say they ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ or ‘don’t know’, is up by one point to 17%. 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating has also slightly fallen back, with approval at 40% (down one point since October). His disapproval rating is 47% (down two points since October).  This gives a net approval of -7 (up one point since October). 

Scott Morrison remains the preferred Prime Minister, with 47% (down one point since October), and 35% prefer Bill Shorten as PM (unchanged since October). 

 

Migration

One in seven voters (14%) believe that that the number of immigrants to Australia from Muslim countries should be increased, with 46% saying it should be reduced. Just over a third (35%) believe it should stay the same. Perceptions vary significantly by party support.

 

Some Federal MPs have advocated for a reduction in Muslim migration to Australia.  Do you think the number of immigrants coming to Australia nowadays from Muslim countries should be increased a lot, increased a little, remain the same as it is, be reduced a little or reduced a lot?

 

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor voters

Green voters

One Nation voters

Increase at lot or a little

14%

6%

17%

37%

9%

Reduce a lot or a little

46%

62%

33%

22%

85%

Remain the same as it is

35%

30%

45%

40%

4%

Don’t know/refused

5%

3%

5%

1%

2%

 

Younger voters are significantly more likely to support increased immigration from Muslim countries (34% among those ages 18-24, 20% among those aged 25-39, falling to 9% among those aged 40-54 and 5% among those aged 55+).

Conversely, older voters are more likely to support a reduction in immigration from Muslim countries (62% among those aged 55+ and 52% among those aged 40-54, falling to 35% among those aged 25-39 and 17% among those aged 18-24).

Voters living outside capital cities are significantly more likely to support reducing the number of immigrants coming from Muslim countries ‘a lot’ (33% compared to 25% in capital cities).

The current November poll was conducted after the Bourke Street terror attack in Melbourne on 9th November.  Comparing the current question about migration from Muslim countries data with that collected in the October when the same question was asked about wider migration, fewer voters (14%) support an increase in immigration from Muslim countries than support an increase in in immigration generally (23%).

The proportion of voters who say that immigration from Muslim countries should be reduced (46%) is very similar to the proportion who felt that wider immigration should be reduced in October (45%). The proportion who say that immigration from Muslim countries should stay the same is 35%, six points higher than the proportion saying wider immigration should stay the same in October (29%).

It is also worth bearing in mind that the Australian population significantly overestimates the proportion of the population who are immigrants. We estimate that 41% of the population are immigrants, when the true figure is 29%.  Furthermore, we believe 17% of the Australian population is Muslim, when the reality is 3%[1]; a more than five-fold overestimation.

Source: [1] Ipsos Perils of Perception study 2018.

 

Energy policy

When asked their opinion about the main priority for the Federal Government’s energy policy, almost half (47%) of voters said that the focus should be on reducing household bills. Two in five voters (39%) said the main priority should be reducing carbon emissions, and 13% said it should be reducing the risk of power blackouts. Opinions vary by party support. Overall, Coalition and One Nation voters report a preference for a focus on reducing household bills. More than half of Labour and Greens voters would prefer the reduction of carbon emissions to be prioritised.

 

When thinking about energy policy, which of the following do you think should be the main priority for the Federal Government? 

 

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor voters

Greens voters

One Nation voters

Reducing household bills

47%

58%

36%

23%

80%

Reducing carbon emissions

39%

22%

53%

74%

9%

Reducing the risk of power blackouts

13%

20%

11%

1%

11%

Other

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Don’t know

1%

1%

0%

2%

0%

 

Voters living outside capital cities are significantly more likely to support prioritising the reduction of household bills (52% compared to 45% among those in capital cities). Those aged 40-54 are more likely than all other age groups to support prioritising reductions in household bills (55%). Those with an annual household income of less than $100,000 are more likely to prioritise reductions in household bills (48% among those with an income $40,000-$100,000 and 54% among those with an income less than $40,000, compared with 39% among those with an income over $100,000).

Younger voters are more likely to support prioritising a reduction in carbon emission (55% among those aged 18-24 and 45% among those aged 25-39, falling to 33% among those aged 40-54 and 34% among those aged 55+). Voters with an annual household income under $40,000 are less likely than higher income earners to support prioritising a reduction in carbon emission (31%).

Men (15%) are more likely than women (11%) to support prioritising a reduction in the risk of power blackouts. The September 2018 Ipsos Issues Monitor data reports that 36% of residents believe that the cost of living is one of the top three issues facing the nation. In contrast, 16% selected the environment is one of the top three issues, making it the seventh most important issue.[2]

Source: 2 https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2018-10/im_vic_sep18.pdf