January Omnibus - the Quant

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It has the colours wrong, but what you can see is the Liberal vote tracking up (although not to a figure which is statistically significantly different from the peak in May last year). The Greens are continuing a steady climb and Labor is at their lowest since we started the index.

The graph zero bases party support at September 2008, so the fact that the Liberal index is higher than the Labor one does not mean that we are predicting that the Liberals will win, just that they are performing better than they were back in late 2008.

The drop in the National Party support suggests that a lot of the resurgence in the Liberal vote is due to the change in position on the ETS and global warming. Until Tony Abbott became Liberal leader, the Nationals were the only party opposing the government's position. However, as their sample is the smallest in the group it's possibly just sampling error too.

Direction

Possibly one reason that the government is doing poorly on the first preference index is that respondents have gone back to being pessimistic about the direction of the country.

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But this is not reflected in their views of the direction of their own lives.

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The approval of PM Kevin Rudd has continued to dive.

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The Liberal leadership has been improving, but is still not approved nearly as much as the PM.

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In fact, while approval is up, so is disapproval, but not by quite as much. Abbott is polarising voters, as those who neither approve nor disapprove has decreased from 39% in September 2008 to only 15% now. Abbott would struggle to ever make his approval rating amongst our total sample positive on this basis, there just aren't enough uncommitted voters left.

Rudd is still easily the approved PM.

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While Abbott has closed the gap it is by taking voters from the unsure column. Knowing where these voters come from confirms that Kevin Rudd is not doing so well with the "values" voters.

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While some of the samples are small the biggest swings against Rudd are amongst the small conservative parties - Family First, Christian Democrats and Nationals. Those who support Independents have also moved against him, and those who say they are swinging voters are also more inclined towards Abbott.

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