The new polling trends — taken before the release of the latest Newspoll figures today — come in with the Labor recovery in the headline two-party preferred breaking the 48-point barrier for the first time since February 2011.
While the carbon tax is often described as the single driver for the government’s recovery in public support, if we zoom in to the period since March this year we find a slightly more complicated story.
The ALP actually bottomed out around the end of May into the beginning of June, before recovering slowly through the rest of June and July. It wasn’t until August — a full month after the carbon tax came in and Whyalla remained on the map — that a sharp change in the acceleration of the recovery appeared, one that has continued to this day. This is actually the norm of the way major public policy events impact upon polling. It takes time for information to be heard, then absorbed and finally politically processed by people’s noggins. Most people slow cook information that is relevant to their political opinion.
On the primary votes, we’ve seen an even stronger recovery for the government than with the headline two-party preferred — the ALP has broken the 36-point barrier for the first time since November 2010.
Some of this is coming off the Coalition, with their primary vote now the lowest it’s been since March 2011.
However, also boosting the government’s primary support is the fading of the Green vote — slipping through the double digit barrier for the first time this term, and reaching trend lows not seen since the first quarter of 2010, before the last election.
Currently, the point estimates on the trend lines come in like this: