Australians may think the Abbott government’s second budget is better than last year’s but it doesn’t mean voters will rush out and vote for the Coalition.
The weekly online Essential Research survey has found 45 per cent of respondents said the budget was better than last year, with just 15 per cent saying it was worse.
Thirty-four per cent approved of the Prime Minister and his government’s handling of the budget this time around, slightly better than the 30 per cent who approved a year ago, while just a third disapproved compared with over half in 2014.
However, Labor still leads the Coalition 52 to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, unchanged from last week.
Labor’s primary vote went up one percentage point to 40 per cent.
Two-thirds of respondents thought the budget was good for small business but only 15 per cent saw it as beneficial for them personally.
Half the 1002 people surveyed thought the budget was more about improving the government’s popularity than the economy, while just more than a quarter thought it “fair and balanced”.
Almost a third agreed there was a “budget emergency” but didn’t think last week’s budget brings it back into line, while 30 per cent didn’t think there was an emergency at all.
As such, 40 per cent believed the economy was heading in the wrong direction compared with 35 per cent who said it was on the right path.
As for the government’s ability for managing the economy, the vote was evenly split.
Thirty-one per cent said they were more confident about the government’s ability following the budget. The same proportion said they were less confident and the same amount again said it makes no difference.