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Australians are evenly divided over Tony Abbott or Bill Shorten as PM – both leaders unpopular

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights this week, July 20-22, 2015, with an Australia-wide cross section of 587 electors.

Neither Federal Leader has positive ‘job’ approval and Prime Minister Tony Abbott 42% (down 2% since April 2015) is virtually level with ALP Leader Bill Shorten 41% (up 2%) as the ‘Better PM’ according to a special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last three nights of July 20-22, 2015.

Job Performance – Approve/Disapprove

An increasing majority of electors 59% (up 6%) disapprove of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of his job as Prime Minister while only 34% (down 2%) approve and 7% (down 4%) can’t say.

Australian electors have a similarly disappointing view of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of his job as Opposition Leader. A clear majority of 60% (up a large 12%) disapprove, only a record low 24% (down 10%) approve and more than twice as many as for Abbott, 16% (down 2%), still can’t say how they view the Opposition Leader after nearly two years in the job.

Analysis by Gender

Analysis by gender shows men clearly in support of Abbott as ‘Better PM’ with Abbott 47% (down 3%) cf. Shorten 38% (up 1%) while women clearly favour Shorten 43% (up 1%) over Abbott 36% (down 3%).

When judging Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s handling of the job as Prime Minister, a majority of men 54% (up 3%) disapprove while only 37% (down 3%) approve. However, far more women disapprove 65% (up 11%) than approve 31% (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: well over half of all men 64% (up a large 13%) disapprove of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s handling of the job while only 21% (down 14%) approve. There is also rising dissatisfaction with Shorten amongst women: 57% (up 12%) disapprove cf. 27% (down 7%) approve.

Gary Morgan says:

“This week’s special telephone Morgan Poll shows Australian electors can hardly split Prime Minister Tony Abbott 42% (down 2% since April 2015) cf. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 41% (up 2%) as ‘Better PM’. However, Australian electors are united in strongly disapproving of how both leaders are handling their jobs.

“A growing majority of Australian electors disapprove (59%, up 6%) of Abbott’s handling of the job as Prime Minister compared to only 34% (down 2%) that approve. However, the numbers aren’t any better for Shorten with 60% (up 12%) of electors disapproving of Shorten’s handling of the job as Opposition Leader and a record low 24% (down 10%) approving.

Another special telephone Morgan Poll conducted concurrently this week shows neither leader is the preferred leader of their respective parties: Abbott (13%) trails both Malcolm Turnbull (44%) and Julie Bishop (15%) as preferred Liberal Party Leader while Shorten (12%) trails both Tanya Plibersek (26%) and Albanese (19%) as preferred ALP Leader.”

This special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted over three nights this week, July 20-22, 2015, with an Australia-wide cross section of 587 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

Aug 12/13,
2013

Aug 28/29,
2013

Oct
2013

June
2014

Oct
2014

Jan
2015

Apr
2015

July 20-22,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Prime Minister

Rudd/ Abbott

46

43

40

38

44

41

44

42

Abbott/ Shorten

43

44

36

43

37

43

39

41

Rudd/ Abbott lead

3

(1)

4

(5)

7

(2)

5

1

Other / Can’t say

11

13

24

19

19

16

17

17

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

July 20-22,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Abbott

42

47

36

30

28

42

49

48

Shorten

41

38

43

57

51

40

36

30

Abbott lead

1

9

(7)

(27)

(23)

2

13

18

Neither/ Can’t say

17

15

21

13

21

18

15

22

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

July 20-22,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Abbott

42

84

11

7

40

18

Shorten

41

5

73

72

32

18

Abbott lead

1

79

(62)

(65)

8

(-)

Neither/ Can’t say

17

11

16

21

28

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?”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

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

July 20-22,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

45

40

36

34

44

37

37

34

Disapprove

40

49

53

59

47

52

53

59

Approve -
Disapprove

5

(9)

(17)

(25)

(3)

(15)

(16)

(25)

Can’t say

15

11

11

7

9

11

10

7

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

July 20-22,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

34

37

31

24

23

35

36

42

Disapprove

59

54

65

66

70

54

61

53

Approve -
Disapprove

(25)

(17)

(34)

(42)

(47)

(19)

(25)

(11)

Can’t say

7

9

4

10

7

11

3

5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

July 20-22,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

34

71

8

4

30

13

Disapprove

59

20

86

95

62

55

Approve -
Disapprove

(25)

51

(78)

(91)

(32)

(42)

Can’t say

7

9

6

1

8

32

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

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

July 20-22,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

38

42

41

35

37

37

34

24

Disapprove

54

48

51

45

42

40

48

60

Approve -
Disapprove

(16)

(6)

(10)

(10)

(5)

(3)

(14)

(36)

Can’t say

8

10

8

20

21

23

18

16

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader

Bill Shorten as Opposition Leader

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

July 20-22,
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

38

42

41

35

37

37

34

24

Disapprove

54

48

51

45

42

40

48

60

Approve -
Disapprove

(16)

(6)

(10)

(10)

(5)

(3)

(14)

(36)

Can’t say

8

10

8

20

21

23

18

16

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Electors 18+

Analysis by Sex & Age

July 20-22,
2015

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

24

21

27

27

27

24

24

24

Disapprove

60

64

57

48

55

59

65

67

Approve -
Disapprove

(36)

(43)

(30)

(21)

(28)

(35)

(41)

(43)

Can’t say

16

15

16

25

18

17

11

9

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

Electors 18+

Analysis by Federal Voting Intention

July 20-22,
2015

L-NP

ALP

Greens

Ind/
Others

Can’t say

%

%

%

%

%

%

Approve

24

19

36

18

24

9

Disapprove

60

69

48

67

62

42

Approve -
Disapprove

(36)

(50)

(12)

(49)

(38)

(33)

Can’t say

16

12

16

15

14

49

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