Findings of Survey about Former PM Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott
The Australian Centre for Leadership for Women (ACLW) conducted a research study which commenced on 24 June 13 and closed on 26 July 2013 when PM Julia Gillard announced her resignation after losing a leadership ballot to Kevin Rudd on June 26, 2013.
The online survey which was meant to run till 12 July 13 was designed to explore and understand how women view Prime Minister Gillard and Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott’s performance in terms of their leadership and understanding of women’s issues.
The Survey was designed and analysed by Dr Rodgers-Healey using descriptive statistics and frequency distributions. Qualitative/ quantitative Content Analysis was used for textual data.
315 women responded to the online survey. The participants represent an interesting cross section of online Australian women on women’s lists, women’s organisations and networks.
77% of the women participants were 41+ years. 93% of the women had postgraduate qualifications. 78% of the women were employed. The majority of the women were employed full-time (41%). The women were predominantly in professional occupations, the majority being in Educational Services (28%) followed by Health Care and Social Assistance (25%). The majority of women participants resided in an Australian Capital City (57%). 20% are from an Australian regional Centre and 11% from an Australian rural area.
82% (259) gave high scores indicating their approval of the way Ms Gillard was handling her job as Prime Minister. 17% (55) gave low scores, disapproving of Ms Gillard’s job performance.
10% (31) gave high scores indicating their approval of the way Tony Abbott is handling his job as Opposition Leader. 90% (282) gave low scores, disapproving of Mr Abbott’s job performance.
As to who would make the better PM, 71% (224) chose Ms Julia Gillard. 7% (22) chose Mr Abbott. 9% (29) chose the option, ‘Neither.’ 13% (40) did not respond.
83% (262) gave high scores approving that Prime Minister Gillard is someone who understands the challenges facing Australian women.
95% (298) gave low scores disapproving that Mr Tony Abbott is someone who understands the challenges facing Australian women.
When asked if Prime Minister Gillard is someone who is trustworthy, 75% (235) chose high scores in agreement. 25% (78) chose lower scores in disagreement.
9% (28) chose high scores in agreement of Mr Abbott being someone who is trustworthy. 79% (250) chose lower scores in disagreement. 12% (37) did not answer this question.
In the upcoming Federal election, 46% (146) indicated that they will be voting for the Australian Labor Party. 23% (72) indicated the Australian Greens. 9% (27) chose the Liberal/National Coalition. 8% (26) were Undecided.
In the 2010 Australian Federal Election, 44% (170) indicated they voted for the Australian Labor Party. 29% (91) indicated the Australian Greens and 7% (23) chose the Liberal/National Coalition.
92% (291) indicated that the media portrayal of PM Gillard was not fair. 1% did not respond.
31% (99) indicated that the media portrayal Mr Abbott was not fair. 43% (134) thought that it was fair. 26% (82) did not respond.
It is clear from the findings which have so far emerged from this research that amongst professional women, former PM Gillard is admired for how she handled her job as PM and was trusted more than Mr Abbott. The majority of the women respondents to this survey indicated up till the PM's resignation that they would be voting for the ALP in the next election.
This research will be published formally with an analysis of the qualitative data.
ACLW would like to thank all the particpants who were involved in this research.