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Australians support Tony Abbott as PM over Bill Shorten – but neither leader much liked

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, April 21-23, 2015, with an Australia-wide cross section of 583 electors.

Despite neither Federal Leader having positive 'job' approval, Prime Minister Tony Abbott 44% (up 3% since January 2015) now leads Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 39% (down 4%) as the ‘Better PM’ according to a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over three nights last week April 21-23, 2015.

Job Performance – Approve/Disapprove

A majority of electors 53% (up 1%) disapprove of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of his job as Prime Minister while only 37% (unchanged) approve and 10% (down 1%) can’t say.

Australian electors have a similarly disappointed view of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of his job as Opposition Leader; 48% (up 8%) disapprove, 34% (down 3%) approve and nearly twice as many as for Abbott, 18% (down 5%), still can’t say how they view the Opposition Leader after more than a year in the job.

Analysis by Gender

Analysis by gender shows men clearly in support of Abbott as ‘Better PM’ with Abbott 50% (up 7%) cf. Shorten 37% (down 6%) while women slightly favour Shorten 42% (down 1%) over Abbott 39% (down 1%).

When judging Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of the job as Prime Minister, a majority of men 51% (unchanged) disapprove while only 40% (up 1%) approve. Similarly, far more women disapprove 54% (up 2%) than approve 33% (down 2%) of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of the job as Prime Minister.

For Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of the job as Opposition Leader: over half of all men 51% (up a large 9%) disapprove of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of the job while only just over a third 35% (down 4%) approve. There is also rising dissatisfaction with Shorten amongst women: 45% (up 7%) disapprove cf. 34% (down 2%) approve.

Gary Morgan says:

“This week’s special telephone Morgan Poll shows Prime Minister Tony Abbott has enjoyed some resurgence of support – now clearly rated as a ‘Better Prime Minister’ than Opposition Leader Bill Shorten by Australian electors; Abbott 44% (up 3% since January 2015) cf. Shorten 39% (down 4%) – although neither leader is rated highly for their performance of their respective jobs.

“However, despite leading Shorten, a clear majority of Australian electors disapprove (53%, up 1%) of Abbott’s handling of the job as Prime Minister compared to only 37% (unchanged) that approve. Shorten faces a similar issue and has seen his disapproval (48%, up 8%) increase significantly in the last three months to the highest in his time as Opposition Leader with only 34% (down 3%) of electors approving of Shorten’s handling of the job as Opposition Leader.

"As Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan Research, will say tomorrow at Roy Morgan's State of the Nation - Focus on Politics:

"Although leadership and popularity issues are interesting, it is crucial to remember what matters to the electorate. When Australian electors are asked about the important problems facing Australia, party politics and popularity contests are low on the agenda - it's all about the economy. Some 49% mention something to do with the economy, economic problems, interest rates, unemployment, the Federal Budget, cost of living etc. as the most important problems facing Australia. Economic issues are, and continue to be, well ahead of social issues, human rights, and even politics and leadership."

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights last week, April 21-23, 2015, with an Australia-wide cross section of 583 electors.

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: Abbott v Shorten

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

Prime Minister Rudd
v Abbott

Prime Minister Abbott
v Shorten

July
2013

Aug 12/13,
2013

Aug 28/29,
2013

Oct 18-20,
2013

June 4-6,
2014

Sep 30-Oct 2,
2014

Jan 12-13,
2015

Apr 21-23,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Prime Minister

Rudd/ Abbott

52

46

43

40

38

44

41

44

Abbott/ Shorten

36

43

44

36

43

37

43

39

Rudd/ Abbott lead

16

3

(1)

4

(5)

7

(2)

5

Other / Can’t say

12

11

13

24

19

19

16

17

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Apr 21-23,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Abbott

44

50

39

40

25

44

50

56

Shorten

39

37

42

37

54

41

34

32

Abbott lead

5

13

(3)

3

(29)

3

16

24

Neither/ Can’t say

17

13

19

23

21

15

16

12

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100



Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Apr 21-23,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Abbott

44

84

9

7

40

12

Shorten

39

7

77

76

19

24

Abbott lead

5

77

(68)

(69)

21

(12)

Neither/ Can’t say

17

9

14

17

41

64

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100


Approval of Leaders – Tony Abbott v Bill Shorten

Prime Minister: Tony Abbott

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

PM Gillard

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

June 11/12,

2013

July 16/17,
2013

Aug 12/13,
2013

Aug 28/29,
2013

June 4-6,
2014

Sep 30-Oct 2,
2014

Jan 12-13,
2015

Apr 21-23,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

27

45

40

36

34

44

37

37

Disapprove

65

40

49

53

59

47

52

53

Approve -
Disapprove

(38)

5

(9)

(17)

(25)

(3)

(15)

(16)

Can’t say

8

15

11

11

7

9

11

10

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Apr 21-23,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

37

40

33

28

21

37

43

46

Disapprove

53

51

54

53

62

53

53

43

Approve -
Disapprove

(16)

(11)

(21)

(25)

(41)

(16)

(10)

3

Can’t say

10

9

13

19

17

10

4

11

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Apr 21-23,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

37

69

11

2

25

15

Disapprove

53

19

81

94

61

56

Approve -
Disapprove

(16)

50

(70)

(92)

(36)

(41)

Can’t say

10

12

8

4

14

29

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100


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?”

Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader

Bill Shorten as Opposition Leader

June 11/12,

2013

July 16/17,
2013

Aug 12/13,
2013

Aug 28/29,
2013

June 4-6,
2014

Sep 30-Oct 2,
2014

Jan 12-13,
2015

Apr 21-23,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

41

38

42

41

35

37

37

34

Disapprove

51

54

48

51

45

42

40

48

Approve -
Disapprove

(10)

(16)

(6)

(10)

(10)

(5)

(3)

(14)

Can’t say

8

8

10

8

20

21

23

18

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

Apr 21-23,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

34

35

34

32

40

34

32

33

Disapprove

48

51

45

36

40

49

57

49

Approve -
Disapprove

(14)

(16)

(11)

(4)

0

(15)

(25)

(16)

Can’t say

18

14

21

32

20

17

11

18

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

Apr 21-23,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

34

25

55

23

14

31

Disapprove

48

61

28

55

62

33

Approve -
Disapprove

(14)

(36)

27

(32)

(48)

(2)

Can’t say

18

14

17

22

24

36

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100


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


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

500

±4.3

±3.8

±2.6

±1.9

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4