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%.