Votershave warmed slightly to the carbon tax after two weeks of Julia Gillard wearing out her shoe leather selling the plan's compensation package across Australia.Support for the carbon tax rose six percentage points to 36 per cent, after sitting at 30 per cent for almost three months, according to the latest Newspoll survey.
The Newspoll, conducted last weekend exclusively for The Australian, found opposition to the carbon tax fell from 59 per cent to 53 per cent amid a government advertising campaign.
This is the first major poll since the $15 billion package was announced that has shown any improvement for the Gillard government.
Voters still overwhelmingly oppose the tax, but a shift in sentiment among men and young people, who were previously the least impressed with it, has offered some hope to the besieged Prime Minister.
Labor's electoral support and attitudes to Ms Gillard have lifted slightly from historically low levels in the past two weeks, but there is no real statistical improvement overall.
Dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister's performance remains unchanged at a record high.
Labor's primary vote rose from its lowest-ever support of 27 per cent to 29 per cent and the Coalition's fell from 49 to 47 per cent.
Greens' primary vote support rose one point to 13 per cent -- the highest it has been in two months.
Based on preference flows at the August 2010 election the Coalition has a two-party preferred vote of 56 per cent compared with Labor's 44 per cent. Before the release of the package the Coalition led by 58 to 42 per cent.
As Ms Gillard has conducted an election-style campaign to sell the tax and the government has reassured voters with an advertising campaign, satisfaction with her performance moved from 30 to 32 per cent and is up four points since a record low of 28 per cent in mid-June.But satisfaction with Ms Gillard remains unchanged at 59 per cent, giving the Prime Minister a net satisfaction ratingof minus 27.
On the question of who would make the better prime minister, Ms Gillard's support rose two points to 40 per cent and the Opposition Leader's fell two points to 41 per cent. With a margin of error of three points Ms Gillard is effectively equal to Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister, but he has now had nominally more support than Ms Gillard in the last three surveys since the end of June.
Mr Abbott's satisfaction with voters fell back to where he was before the release of the package two weeks ago, down three points to 39 per cent and with dissatisfaction up three points to 52 per cent. Mr Abbott has a net satisfaction rating of minus 13.
While the two leaders have concentrated on little else but the carbon tax as they travel to every state the improvement for the Gillard government has come largely from men, those aged 18-34 years and Labor supporters.
Support among males, who Mr Abbott has been targeting at coal mines and steelworks, was up 11 points before the carbon tax release to 39 per cent.
Young people, who first appeared to spurn the tax proposal, strongly shifted in favour from 26 per cent to 39 per cent. There was also a lift in support for the tax among Labor voters of 13 points to 68 per cent although there was no change at all in the 10 per cent of Coalition voters who supported it before the package was released.
Author | Source | Dennis Shanahan The Australian | July 25th