One year of Abbott Government – Scorecard

Angela Brooks Media Release


McNair Ingenuity Research has conducted a scorecard survey on the performance of the Abbott Government front bench in order to measure perceptions of performance at the one year anniversary of the Coalition Government.

A national sample of over 1,000 voters was asked to rate the performance of each of the front bench ministers on a scale of Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Terrible.  Participants in the survey had the choice to answer that they ‘Didn’t know enough about the Minister’s performance’ in order to rate them, or that they ‘Didn’t know this minister’.

Ratings scores were applied as follows:  Excellent 100, Good 75, Average 50, Poor 25 and Terrible 0. People who did not know the minister or enough about their performance were excluded from the rating calculations.

To view some of the results, see this recent article in The Guardian 

The Guardian - 9 Sept 2014 - Scorecard a year in Govt The SMH - 9 Sept 2014 - Scorecard a year in Govt - 9 Sept 2014 - Scorecard a year in Govt


Key Points

This poll compares performance perceptions of the Abbott Inner Ministry a year after the election, compared to a similar poll conducted at 100 days in Government – conducted last December.

The big winners are Julie Bishop, Foreign Affairs, who has gone from a score of 45 last year to 58 in the first birthday scorecard – with both a very strong result of 72 amongst Coalition supporters, and 46 amongst ALP supporters.  In fact, the only woman member of the cabinet,  Ms Bishop’s increased score was driven by support from across the floor, as her gain from a score of just 28 to 46 amongst Labor voters was the biggest movement in the rankings overall.

This puts Julie Bishop ahead of Malcolm Turnbull for across-the-board scorecard results – as Mr Turnbull gained a few points amongst Labor supporters, but a slight drop in his performance rating amongst Coalition supporters has left him with a similar overall score as he achieved in December – of 51.  The only other strong improver in this poll was Scott Morrison, who climbed from a score of 39 to 45 overall – and Christopher Pyne, who inched up from an overall score of 35 to 36.

Joe Hockey was the biggest loser, dropping from 47 to 32 – with a score of 19 amongst Labor supporters and a bottom-of-the-class score of 48 amongst coalition supporters.  Other front benchers (and particularly those associated with the budget) whose scores have declined significantly are Kevin Andrews, Mathias Cormann as well as George Brandis.

The average score across all 19 members of the Abbott inner Ministry only went down slightly – from 44 to 43.

The ‘Rated by’ column shows the proportion of all voters who felt that they knew enough about each minister to give them a score.  This effectively measures how well known each minister is.  While all ministers gained in notoriety, none as much as Mathias Cormann, who rated as one of the least well known front benchers in 2013 (48% knew him well enough to rate him), compared to 59% in 2014.  This leaves Bruce Billson and Nigel Scullion as the least well known members of the Prime Minister’s front line team.

The poll also asked about voting intention – which has swung dramatically, from 52% to the Coalition in December, to 55% to Labor a year down the track from the election.

Summary Results

Scorecard table of results

NB: the sample size for the ratings varies according to the proportion of people that could rate each minster.  Hence, if 80% of people could rate a particular minister, the sample size is approximately 800 (80% of 1,000).   The rating amongst, say, Labor voters, will be also be proportionately smaller (46% of 80% makes a sample size of 368).

The survey also asked which party the voters had voted for in the House of Representatives (lower house) in the September Federal election, and who they would vote for if there was an election tomorrow.   Results have been summarised to a two party preferred result.

House of Reps Actual 2013 Federal Election Results Voting preference December 2013 Voting preference September 2014
Labor 46.5% 48% 55%
Coalition 53.5% 52% 45%


The poll was conducted by means of an online survey to an established representative research panel.  A limited sample, high-response rate process was used to ensure a good profile of respondents.


The poll was conducted between Wednesday 27th August and Sunday 31st August 2014.


Participants in this poll comprised a nationally representative selection of members of the Surveyvillage online panel who had opted-in to participate in online surveys and who were entitled to vote in Australia.  In total there were 1,004 respondents who completed the poll.


The survey invitations were managed in order invite a statistically balance representation of people in each major city and regional area across Australia, and the results were weighted to the latest population statistics by age, gender and location.

About McNair Ingenuity Research                                                                                                             

McNair Ingenuity Research has been providing market and social research since 2001.  McNair was the premier name in research – dating back to 1936.

All McNair Ingenuity Researchers are members of the Australian Market and Social Research Society, and all senior researchers are Qualified Practicing Market Researchers.  Both McNair Ingenuity Research and yellowSquares, which operates Surveyvillage, are accredited to the International Standard for Market and Social Research, ISO 20252.

Contact:    Matt Balogh

Matt Balogh has 30 years experience in market and social research, including nearly a decade as Group Marketing Services Manager at News Ltd.  In the late 1990s Matt was General Manager of Quadrant Research before establishing Ingenuity Research. His vast experience in consumer and media research brings him into great demand with many blue chip Australian organisations. Matt’s specialties include social and media research, as well as health, safety and employee research, and his Masters’ thesis was in Political Opinion Polling.

Matt Balogh has long been very involved in the Australian Market and Social Research Society, including 3 years as Vice President, regularly speaking at conferences (and winning the Tony Wheeler Best Paper Award in 2006) and is currently on the Research News Editorial Committee.