Cartoon: By Pickering.
As a rule, leadership speculation within a political party causes a its poll results to drop owing to the perception of instability. With Labor’s figures at rock bottom, and speculation of a potential coup by Kevin Rudd being barked by every dog in the district, it seems odd that the party should get a bounce in the latest polls.
A look behind the scenes into the various approval ratings on individual issues makes this even stranger. Labor has dropped in every category except asylum seekers, but even in this, the Liberals gained about the same amount to remain well ahead.
The Liberals are ahead in all but Health and Medicare in which they are even, (14% drop for Labor), and Industrial relations where Labor holds a slight lead after a 14% drop for them and an 8% rise for the Liberals. Labor maintains a slight lead in education, but have suffered a 14% drop there as well.
In the rest, after falls for Labor and rises for Abbott the Liberals lead:
Economy – Liberal lead, 47-28%
Interest rates – Liberal by 45-26%
Inflation – ditto by 48 – 24%
National security – Libs by 45-24%
Asylum seekers – Liberal lead, 44-17% and:
Climate change, Liberal, 31-28% after gaining 9% against Labor dropping 7%.
It is pretty clear from these figures that despite a 3% lift for Labor, the electorate really does not have any faith in them. There is no bounce from approval of their performance, so it has to be something else. The poll was taken prior to the passing of the carbon tax, so its not that.
The only things left is the possibility that it is nothing more than the proverbial dead cat bounce, or that voters are so disgusted with Gillard that Labor supporters are gaining some joy at the prospect of getting rid of her.