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Coalition improves and Turnbull tanks


However, Malcolm Turnbull's approval has taken a further dive. I haven't applied the index approach to these figures so they have to be used with care as our sample is consistent over time, but not necessarily representative of the general population.

He's not on his own as Kevin Rudd has also taken a tumble, but still enjoys 50% popularity.


Turnbull and Rudd have both dropped 10 percentage points on their approvals (although expressed as a percentage of a percentage this is roughly 33% loss of supporters for Turnbull versus 16% loss to Rudd). Where their approvals are different is in the disapproval figure with Turnbull's larger than 50%, and three times as high as when we first measured it in September.

However, Turnbull's preferred PM status has barely moved from September, and is actually up from January.


Which illustrates the problems with judging political parties on the basis of the approval of their leader. It doesn't necessarily translate into votes.

Why is Turnbull's approval tracking so badly while things appear to be improving for him? We'll have some qual later in the week, but at the moment it appears to be his two-stools problem. Because of his urbanity and his past association with the Republican Movement he appeals to centre voters, but they already have Kevin Rudd to vote for. These same characteristics make more conservative voters suspicious of him. It is impossible for him to service both constituencies, so his approval rating is eroded from both directions.


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0 #1 CommentDavid Stalker 2009-06-05 17:38
When Malcohm Turnbull and the liberals stop concentrating on the negative and show people they have some firm alternatives, then they might get somewhere.
Labor are ahead because they are doing something in the face of a global economic crisis and that means borrowing, so what.
0 #2 CommentDenis Connell 2009-06-05 18:05
Turnbull is a Republican dope but so are a lot of others in the Liberal Party even some in the National Party. However he can at least speak coherently without cliches ,in contra distinction to Rudd. I cannot understand how any right thinking person could prefer Rudd over Turnbull. Joe Hockey appears the only alternative to Turnbull but he is a "pinko". Where do we go from here? Is there a real conservative left in the Liberal Party??
0 #3 CommentPhilip Machanick 2009-06-05 18:22
Malcolm Turnbull also risks being wedged by the Greens because he is vacillating between going real on climate change and slowing down the very minimal steps the Rudd government is taking. The brave thing for him to do would be to outflank Labor with a better attack on climate change. Unfortunately the reality is that in politics, it takes a hard-core conservative to get away with making such a big move in a conservative party (think Nixon in China, Ariel Sharon tearing down illegal settlements).
0 #4 CommentBenedict Pope 2009-06-05 19:36
Oh dear... there really shouldn't be any 'conservatives' in a genuine liberal party, maybe that is part of the problem?

See what confusion it all causes when Hockey, who is little more than a hot-air merchant with no grasp of any political ideology, is called a 'pinko'.

That's like charging Rudd with being a 'socialist', or anyone else in the ALP for that matter.

I suspect that most people are just glad Howard and his brand of politics appears to have gone, and are giving Rudd a go in the absence of there being a credible person in the Coalition.

Barnaby Rubble is a great asset to the ALP, opposing everything Turnbull might attempt, but so too are the used-by-date crew, like Tony Abbott, Costello and all the others who remind voters of all the AWB, WMD, 'overboard' lies that Howard used under the guise of his 'family values' mantra.

But Rudd and Turnbull should take note of the UK, where politicians rorting has at last been uncovered... very good idea for Fitzgibbon to go quickly, and I'm pleased Turnbull exposed Rudd's 'gift' of a car.

'On the public record' it may well have been, but that politicians receive 'gifts' in the first place is a worry.... but one they do not understand.

Of course, being 'gifted' a car is not as big a sin as the CEOs we all have to endure, ripping off shareholders and the nation alike with their over inflated egos outstreching their woeful performance... why else are we enjoying a GFC?
0 #5 CommentJohn Reidy 2009-06-05 23:21
It will be interesting to see how the latest week plays out with the gdp result and allegations re Rudd's free car.

ALP may be able to spin both to their advantage and like the UK are their cases of other politicians with similar 'free' gifts?
0 #6 CommentBartleby Psmith 2009-06-06 06:00
Well if Malcolm is doing so poorly in the polls maybe it's finally time for timorous Peter Costello to slide into media frame once again? Keep your eyes on the screen! I'd have to challenge at least a portion Mr Pope's ex cathedra cogitations, below; I doubt the electorate at large has any recollection of Mr Howard's alleged indiscretions. They are diverted instead by the "big picture", sketched by Mr Keating, I fear, but dyed the rich colour of money by Howard and Costello!
0 #7 CommentRussell Moffet 2009-06-07 04:36
Agree with Denis Connell that Rudd has become a British Labour leader look alike by talking in cliches and, now, cardboard/photo stunts. He has lost his "cool" [above name calling] and gone down into the gutter-politics of Turncoat Turnbull's conservative oximoronic "Liberal" party. David Stalker is right, Turncoat needs to be positive, and not follow Joe Hockey into negative stunts and utterances. Joe may as well take over as Costello is too gutless, and as Benedict Pope says, he is part of "Howard and his brand of politics" and too timid to challenge his deceptive family mantra.

Turncoat, because he was claiming to be Republican to further his ambitions, no longer a conservationist as its Minister - which he could have had the term conservative return to its original meaning of conserving [conservationis t], and denying his fellow traveller Merchant Bankers contribution to the Economic Monetary Crisis.

Finally, it is time Rudd was removed before his ego exceeds PM Brown, and given a more public servant Ministery he can bully with his vile temper. Bring on Lindsay Tanner, considered, serious but with an Australian sense of irony and humour.
0 #8 CommentBill Hartigan 2009-07-31 04:37
Turnbull and the Opposition are wedged between the environment and the global financial problem
Anybody who thinks knows that Australia should only commit to reduced CO2 levels when the polluters larger than us have shown the way
The green fanatics will promote the idea that Australia should show the way regardless of the enormous cost impact on the economy.
The resolution of the global financial problem will be be determined by the dominant global economies.
Labor has done nothing material to address the issue and has merely dragged expenditure forward to be repain at a premium in the future.
By and large Labor has told people what they want to hear without revealing the cost inherent in the debt burden being incurred at the Commonwealth and State level.
Theirony is that Costello and Howard did more to moderate the impact of the financial problem by leaving a Budget in surplus and free of debt.
Now Labor is talking about the Commonwealth taking over a large part of the health responsibility from the States, in line with Whitlam's determination to eliminate the States in the '70s, with the takeover of the Universities all made possible, if undesirable by the Commonwealth's control of the major revenue bases.
The silence by the Opposition on these issues interspersed by splenetic out breaks by Tuckey of little real relevance but damaging to Turnbull and the rural socialism of Barnaby Joyce show an opposition in chaos. They need to think about what needs to be done by the Commonwealth from a Conservative viewpoint including such longterm considerations as the role of the States (who presently face much more diverse and complex resposibilities than Federal members understand), the raising and form of distribution of tax revenues between the States and the Commonwealth without the subterfuge of claiming a need for them to determine how the States spend grants from the Commonwealth as though State Governments (foolish and venal) were elected by different people than those who elected the Commonwealth Government (Godlike and all seeing)
In other words the Opposition needs to differentiate it self by providing sensible and effective alternatives and marketing them to the electorate.