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Turnbull (49%) easily leads Shorten (32%) as ‘Better PM’ but poor approval ratings for both leaders

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017, with an Australia-wide cross section of 534 electors.

Now 49% (up 2% from October 2016) of Australian electors prefer Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as ‘Better Prime Minister’ ahead of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 32% (unchanged) according to a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017 with an Australia-wide cross-section of 534 electors.

However, both leaders have a majority of electors disapproving of their job performance. Prime Minister Turnbull’s approval rating as Prime Minister was virtually unchanged at 30% (down 1%) and his disapproval rating also virtually unchanged at 54% (up 1%) while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating was down 3% to 28% (down 1%) and his disapproval rating soared, up 7% to 56%.


Preferred Prime Minister

Analysis by Gender – Turnbull holds similar lead amongst both men and women

Men: Turnbull 49% (up 2%) cf. Shorten 34% (up 1%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 15% (up 1%);

Women: Turnbull 49% (up 2%) cf. Shorten 30% (down 1%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 19% (up 3%).

Analysis by Party – Turnbull leads among L-NP electors and Shorten well ahead with ALP electors

L-NP supporters: Turnbull 92% (up 6%) cf. Shorten 2% (down 2%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 90% (up 8%);

ALP supporters: Turnbull 20% (up 6%) cf. Shorten 65% (unchanged). Lead to Mr. Shorten 45% (down 6%);

Greens supporters: Turnbull 16% (down 6%) cf. Shorten 60% (up 6%). Lead to Mr. Shorten 44% (up 12%);

*One Nation supporters: Turnbull 42% (up 9%) cf. Shorten 23% (up 8%). Lead to Mr Turnbull 19 (up 1%)%;

*Ind/Others supporters: Turnbull 58% (up 7%) cf. Shorten 12% (down 13%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 46% (up 20%).

Analysis by State – Turnbull leads across all States except Victoria and Tasmania

NSW: Turnbull 51% (up 7%) cf. Shorten 27% (down 9%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 24% (up 16%);

Victoria: Turnbull 42% (down 1%) cf. Shorten 42% (up 10%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 0% (down 11%);

Queensland: Turnbull 60% (up 9%) cf. Shorten 22% (unchanged). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 38% (up 9%);

WA: Turnbull 47% (down 3%) cf. Shorten 32% (up 2%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 15% (down 5%);

*SA: Turnbull 52% (up 1%) cf. Shorten 29% (down 8%). Lead to Mr. Turnbull 23% (up 9%);

*Tasmania: Turnbull 23% (down 30%) cf. Shorten 63% (up 30%). Lead to Mr. Shorten 40% (up 60%);


Job Performance – Approve/Disapprove

Less than a third of Australian electors, 30% (down 1%) approve of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s handling of his job as Prime Minister while 54% (up 1%) disapprove and 16% (unchanged) can’t say.

A clear majority of men, 56% (down 2%) disapprove of Turnbull’s handling of the job as Prime Minister compared to less than a third of men 31% (down 2%) who approve. Over half, 53% (up 5%), of women disapprove of Turnbull’s handling of the job compared to only 30% (up 2%) who approve.

Australian electors have a similarly poor view of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of his job as Opposition Leader. A majority, 56% (up 7%) disapprove, while only 28% (down 3%) approve and a large number of electors, 16% (down 4%), can’t say.

Neither gender is impressed with Shorten’s handling of the job with well over a half of all men 57% (up 8%) disapproving of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of the job while 30% (down 5%) approve. Among women 56% (up 8%) disapprove cf. 27% (down 4%) approve.

Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s special telephone Morgan Poll reveals bad news for both major party political leaders in Australia. While Malcolm Turnbull is clearly preferred over Bill Shorten as Prime Minister (49% cf. 32%), a majority of electors disapprove of the job performance of both leaders. Turnbull is clearly preferred to Shorten in four States (NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia) whereas Shorten draws level with Turnbull in his home-state of Victoria and leads in Tasmania.

“A clear majority 54% (up 1%) of electors disapprove of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s handling of his job compared to only 30% (down 1%) who approve while an even larger majority of Australian electors, 56% (up 7%) disapprove of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of his job with only 28% (down 3%) approving. Clearly, neither leader inspires any confidence in the Australian electorate.

“In addition, a separate telephone Morgan Poll conducted in conjunction with this ‘Better Prime Minister’ survey shows that two women – Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop and Deputy ALP Leader Tanya Plibersek are for the second straight survey nominated by Australian electors as the preferred leader of both major parties. Bishop (30%) is preferred over Turnbull (27%) as L-NP Coalition Leader and Plibersek (26%) is preferred over Albanese (19%) and Shorten (15%) as ALP Leader.

“The key difference between both major parties in terms of leadership is that the Liberal Leadership can change at a moment’s notice if two MPs call for a leadership spill and that motion is seconded whereas there is no prospect of a change in ALP Leadership before the next Federal Election, due in mid-2019, unless Shorten decides to resign for whatever reason.

“The way the rules are for determining leadership in both parties means it is perhaps increasingly likely that closer to the next Federal Election the Liberal Party will follow the formula used in late 2015 when they replaced unpopular then Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Turnbull and won last year’s Federal Election. If the Liberals follow this successful leadership change formula again current Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop may find herself as the Liberal Prime Minister facing re-election in 2019.”

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, March 14-16, 2017, with an Australia-wide cross section of 534 electors. *Sample sizes of under 50 electors in SA & Tasmania and with voters for One Nation and Independents/Others should be treated with caution.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to browse our Voter Profiles by electorate, detailed Voting Intention Demographics Reports and Most important Political Issue Reports (all 150 electorates ranked by an issue).


Better Prime Minister: Turnbull v Shorten

Electors were asked: “Thinking of Mr. Malcolm Turnbull and Mr. Bill Shorten. In your opinion, who would make the better Prime Minister – Mr. Turnbull or Mr. Shorten?”

PM Tony Abbott
v  Bill Shorten

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
v Bill Shorten

Jan
2015

Apr
2015

July
2015

Sep 15,
2015
*

Oct
2015

May
2016

July 5,
2016**

Oct
2016

Mar 14-16,
2017

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Prime Minister

Abbott/ Turnbull

41

44

42

70

76

57

51

47

49

Shorten

43

39

41

24

14

24

47

32

32

Abbott/ Turnbull lead

(2)

5

1

46

62

33

4

15

17

Neither / Can’t say

16

17

17

6

10

19

2

21

19

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100











*The first special Snap SMS Morgan Poll was conducted on Tuesday September 15, 2015 – the day Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister replacing former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. **The second special Snap SMS Morgan Poll was conducted immediately after the close 2016 Federal Election.

Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Mar 14-16,
2017

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Ind/
Others#

Can’t
say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Turnbull

49

92

20

16

42

58

43

Shorten

32

2

65

60

23

12

20

Turnbull lead

17

90

(45)

(44)

19

46

23

Neither/ Can’t say

19

6

15

24

35

30

37

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Mar 14-16,
2017

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Turnbull

49

49

49

52

42

50

45

57

Shorten

32

34

30

34

34

29

36

28

Turnbull lead

17

15

19

18

8

21

9

29

Neither/ Can’t say

19

17

21

14

24

21

19

15

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Electors 18+

Analysis by Regions & States

Mar 14-16,
2017

Country

Capital
Cities

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA#

TAS#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Turnbull

49

50

48

51

42

60

47

52

23

Shorten

32

35

30

27

42

22

32

29

63

Turnbull lead

17

15

18

24

-

38

15

23

(40)

Neither/ Can’t say

19

15

22

22

16

18

21

19

14

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Approval of Leaders – Malcolm Turnbull v Bill Shorten

Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull

Electors were asked: “Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of the way Mr. Turnbull is handling his job as Prime Minister?”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Sep 30-Oct 2,
2014

Jan 12-13,
2015

Apr 21-23,
2015

July 20-22,
2015

Oct 20-22,
2015

May 4-5,
2016

Oct 24-26,
2016

Mar 14-16,
2017

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

44

37

37

34

66

43

31

30

Disapprove

47

52

53

59

16

41

53

54

Approve -
Disapprove

(3)

(15)

(16)

(25)

50

2

(22)

(24)

Can’t say

9

11

10

7

18

16

16

16

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Mar 14-16,
2017

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Ind/
Others#

Can’t
say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

30

56

19

14

11

29

21

Disapprove

54

33

68

70

83

59

47

Approve -
Disapprove

(24)

23

(49)

(56)

(72)

(30)

(26)

Can’t say

16

11

13

16

6

12

32

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Mar 14-16,
2017

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

30

31

30

41

33

31

22

33

Disapprove

54

56

53

30

46

55

64

59

Approve -
Disapprove

(24)

(25)

(23)

11

(13)

(24)

(42)

(26)

Can’t say

16

13

17

29

21

14

14

8

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Electors 18+

Analysis by Regions & States

Mar 14-16,
2017

Country

Capital
Cities

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA#

TAS#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

30

32

29

27

26

31

40

31

35

Disapprove

54

52

56

60

59

53

41

53

51

Approve -
Disapprove

(24)

(20)

(27)

(33)

(33)

(22)

(1)

(22)

(16)

Can’t say

16

16

15

13

15

16

19

16

14

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Opposition Leader: Bill Shorten

Electors were asked: “Do you APPROVE or DISAPPROVE of the way Mr. Shorten is handling his job as Leader of the Opposition?”

Bill Shorten as Opposition Leader

Sep 30-Oct 2,
2014

Jan 12-13,
2015

Apr 21-23,
2015

July 20-22,
2015

Oct 20-22,
2015

May 4-5,
2016

Oct 24-26,
2016

Mar 14-16,
2017

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

37

37

34

24

25

34

31

28

Disapprove

42

40

48

60

62

49

49

56

Approve -
Disapprove

(5)

(3)

(14)

(36)

(37)

(15)

(18)

(28)

Can’t say

21

23

18

16

13

17

20

16

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Mar 14-16,
2017

L-NP

ALP

Greens

One
Nation#

Ind/
Others#

Can’t
say#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

28

18

51

29

11

35

10

Disapprove

56

75

34

51

81

57

57

Approve -
Disapprove

(28)

(57)

(17)

(22)

(70)

(22)

(47)

Can’t say

16

7

15

20

8

8

33

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.

 

Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Mar 14-16,
2017

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

28

30

27

34

30

29

27

26

Disapprove

56

57

56

39

48

57

63

63

Approve -
Disapprove

(28)

(27)

(29)

(5)

(18)

(28)

(36)

(37)

Can’t say

16

13

17

27

22

14

10

11

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


Electors 18+

Analysis by Regions & States

Mar 14-16,
2017

Country

Capital
Cities

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA#

TAS#

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

28

26

29

24

33

21

40

21

38

Disapprove

56

63

53

64

54

64

36

60

31

Approve -
Disapprove

(28)

(37)

(24)

(40)

(21)

(43)

4

(39)

(7)

Can’t say

16

11

18

12

13

15

24

19

31

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Sample sizes less than 50 should be treated with caution.


For further information:

Contact

Office

Mobile

Gary Morgan:     

+61 3 9224 5213  

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:       

+61 3 9224 5215  

+61 411 129 093