|Is Newman a dead weight on Abbott?|
According to Newspoll, since July 22 this year Julia Gillard has staged a remarkable comeback surging from 28 per cent to 36 per cent on first preferences and tying with the Opposition after distribution of preferences. Has Campbell Newman been part of her success?
Gillard certainly thinks so. She told the ALP conference in Brisbane "Understand this: (federal Opposition Leader) Tony Abbott and (Queensland Premier) Campbell Newman are following the same game plan, every hour, every day," and made it clear that she was going to campaign against the Queensland government as a way of campaigning against the federal opposition.
Our polling is a little more equivocal than the PM appears to be. When we put the sentence quoted above to our 523 respondents the table below shows that there was a fair degree of agreement.
But the second table, where we asked whether it would change votes, says this might not matter much.
There was no movement amongst the two major parties, with only Greens and Katter preferences at issue. However, it turned out that none of the Greens who were influenced against Newman would preference him, but that was not the same for Katter voters. Of those Katter voters who currently preference LNP 36 per cent would be less inclined to as a result of Gillard's proposition. So it seems that blue collar conservatives are currently uncomfortable with the new Queensland government.
The reason for the variance between the two tables with some respondents agreeing with the proposition, but not changing their vote, is that some voters who agree with the proposition see it as a good thing and hope that Abbott will be as tough as Newman.
The Leximancer map below shows qualitative responses to whether respondents agreed with PM Gillard or not.
Those who disagreed with the Gillard proposition saw it as underlining the fact that Australia and Queensland have similar problems due to Labor governments. At the other end of the argument the fact was that Newman is doing what conservative governments do, so of course Abbott would follow a similar agenda and cut services, spending and employment. The LNP position is actually not really disagreement at all with the essence of the proposition, but more with whether it should matter or not.
The next Leximancer map is of the qualitative responses on whether it would change votes.
This map highlights the intensely partisan nature of most reactions with the political parties and leaders appearing as justification on both ends of the argument. Apart from that the divide between financial concerns, and concerns for the community and sacked public servants already familiar from the first question and our budget survey of a week earlier dominate.