No honeymoon for Tony?


If today’s Essential poll is any guide, Tony Abbott’s electoral honeymoon is over before it began. From Crikey:

Tony Abbott begins his Prime Ministership with a net approval rating, new polling from Essential Research shows, and he leads both Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese as preferred prime minister.

Some 41% of voters approve of Abbott’s performance as Prime Minister, compared with 36% who disapprove. His last figures as opposition leader, at the start of the month, were 40%-49%. He has also bettered former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s last approval figures of 42%-47%. However, he still has a narrow net disapproval among women, 38%-39%.

Abbott also leads both Shorten and Albanese as preferred prime minister, with the results suggesting voters don’t differentiate much between the candidates. Abbott leads Shorten 37%-32% and Albanese 37%-31%.

There’s also a big gender gap over the dearth of women in Abbott’s cabinet. Only 39% of men expressed concern about the fact that only one woman is in cabinet, while 57% had no concerns about it. This compares with 51% of women were concerned and 42% who weren’t concerned. Voters under 35 were also more concerned, 52%-41%, with 17% of Liberal voters reporting they were concerned, 67% of Labor voters and 90% of Greens voters.

While voters are relaxed about one in 19 cabinet ministers being female, they’re very uncomfortable with foreign investment in agriculture. Only 22% agree that foreign investment in agriculture is good for the Australian economy, while 55% disagree, including 30% who strongly disagree. And while Coalition voters, older voters and low-income voters are more likely to disagree, the feeling is fairly universal: only 23% of Labor voters agree, 25% of Coalition voters agree and 14% of Greens voters agree.

On voting intention, the government is on 43% (down one), Labor on 37% (up one), the Greens and others stable on 9% and 11% respectively, for a two-party preferred result of 51-49%.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.