Little public appetite for change of PM - Fairfax Ipsos Poll

The Labor Party remains ahead of the Coalition in the December Fairfax Ipsos Poll.

The national poll of 1,401 respondents, interviewed from 29 November – 2 December 2017, shows the Labor party on 53% (unchanged since September), with the Coalition on 47% (also unchanged since September), based on 2016 election preferences.  This indicates a 3.4% swing against the Coalition Government since the July 2016 Federal election.

The two-party stated preference vote shows a lead for the Labor party of 52% (unchanged since September) and the Coalition on 48% (also unchanged since September).

“First preference votes put Labor on 33%, down 1 point since September, and the Coalition on 34%, also down 1 point since September.  The Greens have 13%, down 1 point since September, One Nation is on 7%, Nick Xenophon Team is on 4% and others are on 10%,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said. Seven per cent of respondents are undecided.  These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures.

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval ratings: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is 42% (unchanged since September), and disapproval at 49% (up 2 points since September). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 38% (up 2 points since September), and disapproval at 52% (unchanged since September).
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 48% prefer Malcolm Turnbull as the Prime Minister (unchanged since September); 31% prefer Bill Shorten (unchanged since September)
  • Preferred party leaders: Malcolm Turnbull is the preferred Liberal party leader (35%) among Coalition voters, however among the general public as a whole, Julie Bishop is the preferred leader (32%). Bill Shorten is the preferred Labor party leader (38%) among Labor voters, but among the general public he is only marginally preferred ahead of Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese (25%, 23% and 20%, respectively). 71% disapprove of changing the Government party leader during mid-term.
  • Banking royal commission: 71% support a royal commission into banks, insurers and superannuation funds.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is sitting at 42% (unchanged since September); his disapproval rating is 49% (up 2 points since September).  This gives a net approval of -7 (down 2 points since September). 

Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 38% (up 2 points since September) and his disapproval rating is 52% (unchanged since September).  This gives a net approval of -14 (up 2 points since September).
Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred Prime Minister, at 48%, unchanged since September; 31% favour Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (also unchanged since September).

Preferred party leaders

Julie Bishop is the preferred Liberal leader amongst the general public with 32%, compared to 29% who say they prefer Malcolm Turnbull, and 14% who mention Tony Abbott as their preferred Liberal party leader.

However, among Liberal party voters, Malcolm Turnbull remains the preferred leader (35%), compared to Julie Bishop (29%) and Tony Abbott (18%).

While Malcolm Turnbull draws support relatively equally from both men and women 28% and 30%, respectively), support is more divided along gender lines for both Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott.  Support for Julie Bishop is 36% among women, and significantly lower at 27% among men.  The opposite is true for Tony Abbott drawing significantly higher support among men (16%) and only 11% among women.

Who is your preferred leader of the Liberal Party out of … ?

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor
voters

Green
voters

Malcolm Turnbull

29

35

28

36

Julie Bishop

32

29

37

33

Scott Morrison

4

4

4

2

Peter Dutton

5

6

2

0

Tony Abbott

14

18

10

4

Other

3

3

3

2

Don’t know

14

5

17

22

 

Bill Shorten has the support of Labor voters as their preferred party leader, 38%.  Tanya Plibersek (24%) and Anthony Albanese (17%) are their second and third choices, respectively.

Among the public as a whole, there is little difference in support for each of these three potential party leaders, (Shorten 25%, Plibersek 23% and Albanese 20%).

And now thinking about the Labor leadership, who is your preferred leader of the Labor Party out of … ?

(%)

All voters

Coalition voters

Labor
voters

Green
voters

Bill Shorten

25

21

38

21

Tanya Plibersek

23

20

24

35

Anthony Albanese

20

25

17

15

Other

7

7

4

6

Don’t know

25

27

17

23

 

Changing leaders mid-term

Among Coalition voters there is little appetite for a change of party leader, with only 19% approving of the replacement of a leader mid-term, and 80% disapproving.  The majority of Labor and Green voters also disapprove (67% and 53%, respectively), but they are significantly more likely to approve of a change of Government party leader.

Younger voters (aged 18-24) are significantly more likely than others to approve of changing leaders mid-terms (38%, compared to a quarter or less among older age groups).

Banking royal commission

There is broad support among the public for a royal commission into banks, insurers and superannuation funds (71%).  Coalition voters are less likely than other voters to back the idea of a royal commission (63%),

Poll Profile    

Fieldwork dates:  29 November – 2 December 2017

Sample size:  1,401 respondents

Sample:  National, aged 18+, 30% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.

Method:  Telephone, using random digit dialling.

Statistical reliability:  ±2.6% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample

Analysis:   The data has been weighted to reflect the population distribution.