Voters divided on Labor's tax proposals

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

The national poll of 1,200 respondents, interviewed from 12-15 December 2018, shows the Labor party on 54% (up two points since November), with the Coalition on 46% (down two points since November), based on 2016 election preferences.

“This indicates a 4.4% swing against the Coalition Government since the July 2016 Federal election. This is the fourteenth consecutive month where Labor has led the Coalition in the two party preferred preference flow vote figures,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

The two-party stated preference vote also shows the Labor party on 54% (up one point since November) and the Coalition on 46% (down one point since November).

The Coalition’s first preference vote is 36% (down one point since November) with Labor on 37% (up three points since November). The Greens’ primary vote is 13% (unchanged since November), One Nation is on 6% (up one point since November), the Centre Alliance is on 1% (unchanged since November) and others are on 8% (down one point since November).

Seven per cent of respondents are undecided (down two points since November). These are excluded from the two-party stated preference figures and from the primary vote figures.

Key findings

  • Leaders’ approval ratings: Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating has fallen slightly to 47% (down one point since November), and his disapproval rating is 39% (up three points since November). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is 41% (up one point since December), and his disapproval rating is 50% (up three points since November). 
  • Preferred Prime Minister: 46% prefer Scott Morrison as the Prime Minister (down one point since November); 37% prefer Bill Shorten (up two points since November)
  • Negative gearing: 43% support Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing tax policy; 44% are against.
  • Capital gains tax: 43% support Labor’s proposed change to capital gains tax; 48% are against.

Leaders’ approval and preferred Prime Minister

Scott Morrison’s approval rating has fallen slightly again to 47% (down one point since November), and his disapproval rating has risen, 39% (up three points since November).  

The proportion who say they ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ or ‘don’t know’, has fallen three points to 14%.

Bill Shorten’s approval rating has risen slightly, with approval at 41% (up one point since November). His disapproval rating has also risen, 50% (up three points since November). This gives a net approval of -9 (up two points since November).

Scott Morrison remains the preferred Prime Minister, with 46% (down one point since November) and 37% prefer Bill Shorten as PM (up two points since November).

Negative gearing

The public is split on the Labor Party’s proposed changes to negative gearing tax policy; 43% support the changes, while 44% are against them.

The proposal splits opinion clearly down party lines, with the majority of Coalition (61%) and One Nation voters (70%) opposed, and similar majorities of Labor (60%) and Greens voters (57%) supporting the suggestion. This could also reflect the fact that many may not have a well-developed understanding of the topic and are answering in line with their overall voting preferences.

Q.    The Labor Party has proposed changes that will restrict future negative gearing tax deductions. Properties which are currently negatively geared would not be affected, but in the future, only new build properties would be eligible for negative gearing tax deductions.  Would you support or oppose this policy change?  

(%) All voters  Coalition voters Labor voters  Greens voters One Nation voters
Support  43 26 60 57 26
Oppose   44 61 30 26 70
Don’t know 13 13 11 18 5
Net support -1 -35 +30 +31 -44


Capital gains tax

Again, the overall position is relatively evenly split, with 43% in favour of Labor’s proposed change to capital gains tax, 48% are against.
Coalition and One Nation voters are opposed to the suggested change (67% and 70% opposed, respectively), while Labor and Greens voters support the proposal (60% and 55% support, respectively).

Q.    The Labor Party has proposed halving the concession on capital gains tax so investors pay more capital gains tax when they sell their investments. Existing investments would not be affected. Would you support or oppose this policy change?  

(%) All voters Coalition voters Labor voters Greens voters One Nation voters
Support 43 27 60 55 24
Oppose 48 67 32 35 70
Don’t know 9 6 8 11 6
Net support -5 -40 +28 +20 -46

 

Poll Profile

Fieldwork dates: 12-15 December 2018
Sample size: 1,200 respondents
Sample: National, aged 18+, 50% of sample comprised mobile phone numbers.
Method: Telephone, using random digit dialling.
Statistical reliability: ±2.9% is the maximum margin of sampling error that might apply to this sample
Analysis: The data has been weighted to reflect the population distribution.