Voting trends July

The approvals of the leaders don't explain these movements (which should be a lesson to all of those pundits who obsess about the "vanity poll". Rudd's approval and disapproval ratings are tending to converge but are still very health, while Turnbull's are diabolical. However, in another lesson to pundits, they have not moved much since May, despite the Utegate affair. I'll do an analysis of Utegate later, but it resonates in unexpected ways with voters.


Preferred Prime Minister rankings have barely moved either.


Some of the change in support can probably be explained by the movement in issues. We have analysed the important issues using Leximancer and the table below puts them in rank order.


Concern about the economy has eased substantially (down to 16.4% from a peak of 24% in November. Jobs as a concern has fallen remarkably from 11.9% last month to 3% this month. The big change has been in health - up from 1.7% in May to 9% now, while Change (climate change) has also improved. Debt has increased slightly as a concern. Education is the fifth most important issue.


Of these issues, economic ones, including debt, tend to favour the Liberals, while health, climate change and education favour Labor. The movement in these issues provides a better explanation in the change in voting intention than the approvals of the leaders.

Note: These figures are from an online sample of 1,317 Australians between the July 29 and August 2. Participants are not randomly selected, but come from our panel of respondents. The purpose of the poll is primarily qualitative, but experience since 2001 when we first started polling shows that with care, results from this sample can be interpreted to be indicative of results in the broader community.

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0 #1 CommentGary 2009-10-14 08:07
It is said that Australia now has a government which rejects neoliberalism, yet government leadership lacks a clear vision of how social democracy can exist alongside its need for economic dominance of every decision. I suggest this lack of vision can only be addressed by placing ideas about the long term sustainability of Australia's lifestyle at the public's feet. Let them have a look at it. Attempts to make core public services such as health and education meet the needs of a changing society are being held back by our flawed policy processes not knowing the dimension of cause. One department is not talking to another about risk profiles that are inherently part of our future. After all the top-down of neoliberal direction, we need some short-term reform agendas that are identified and supported by the community. Long-term reform has to have some real connection with elements of sustainability, has to have systemic renewal based on consistent reference to the matters that are most important to our community. Widespread citizen participation and a realistic understanding of how we live now, is what an executive government ought to be driven by.
0 #2 Commentcami 2009-10-14 18:44
All I can say is that the Labor government is trying to be positive in every single aspect of our progress in these very difficult times whereas the opposition is going negative in every way. Not only are they so very negative and not giving any credit to what the government is doing but are not coming up with any alternative suggestions either. The disarray in the opposition parties is also one of great concern to all Australians and this will continue to hinder any progress on their side. This was a problem Labor had when in opposition it looks like it is the Coalitions turn to behave like this. The economy is doing fine and this has been the forte and strength of the Coalition but it has also now gone to the Labor side.
0 #3 Commentanonymous 2009-10-14 19:11
Labour are without a doubt reaping the reward of a healthy previous government. They know it, and we know it. What Liberal are weak in is the old adage "a divided house falls" due to the most part the conflict that Costello brought pre and post election. Just like any team that has change, the Liberals are trying to regroup and it does take time, however almost from the first month of Turnbull in govt, the media swooped in with all the negativity and focused the public on the polls, i say give them the time to regroup and then put the polls out in an honest way. And if in the end there is still party division well the people will not vote for them. Simple.