According to The Australian‘s take on a Newspoll on unions and political parties on Friday:
…the Coalition’s campaign [on union power] is not resonating with middle Australia as 55 per cent of voters rate Mr Rudd’s handling of unions as good and only 27 per cent rate his performance poorly – including 10 per cent of Labor supporters – while 50 per cent say Mr Howard is not doing a good job. …. while the Coalition claims it is on an election winner with its plans to demonise the unions, the Newspoll suggests voters will be more discerning.
This is a different conclusion to the one I came to a couple of weeks ago, when I argued that though improved union behaviour has been rewarded with significantly fewer people thinking that they have too much power, there was life yet in this issue for the Coalition.
I see two problems with the Newspoll. The first, as I noted in several posts about issue polling, stances on issues and party preferences are often closely tied together, so it is hard to know whether a person supports party X because of their stance on issue Y, or holds their opinion on issue Y because of their support for party X. Mentioning the party in the same question as the issue, as Newspoll does in this case, increases the chance that underlying party preference will drive opinions on issues.
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