Labor is well ahead in the latest Morgan poll of federal voting intention. Primary support for the ALP is unchanged at 51.5% while the Government is up 1% in a week to a low 34%. Labor’s two party preferred vote is down 0.5% to 61%, 22% ahead of the Coalition.

Fifty per cent of voters now think Labor will win the next election (up 2.5%), well ahead of the 36% (down 3.5%) who think the Government will be returned.

Also out today from Roy Morgan – some qualitative research on voting intention in the lead up to the federal election:

Supporters of the Liberal Party still cite economic management as a major reason for their decision: “Australia is doing so well at the moment with Liberal. Policies and economic situation is good.”

John Howard’s experience and leadership remain a major attraction for Liberal supporters: “Howard’s been doing a good job. I don’t have any major complaints about how he’s running the country.”

For others, however, the PM is pushing them towards Labor. Morgan finds that while they are scarcely figuring in the headlines, the Government’s WorkChoices laws are propelling the punters Labor’s way:

  • “I have a great concern over the new IR laws – there is now a huge gap between the haves and the have-nots.”
  • “People are not safe against the WorkChoices policies of the Liberals.”
  • “The award (pay) issues that Howard has introduced are unfair to working class people.”
  • “The ALP has more of a social conscience with regards to IR.”
  • “John Howard’s WorkChoices show that he is not for the ordinary Australian.”

Getting the balance between business and unions is a challenge for Labor, but John Howard may well have launched an attack on his own supporters. Mark Latham stuffed up, but we should never forget his theory of downward envy. Fear of people in boats worked well on an electorate feeling relaxed and comfortable.

Most swinging voters will probably stick with whoever is in government as long as they are feeling this way.

While AWAs are not in the headlines, people continue to talk about them. People continue to get pushed onto them. That could be very bad news for the Prime Minister.

Thanks to WorkChoices, Howard battlers are becoming worried battlers. Aspirational voters are suddenly getting anxious that they might have less to spend. That could be bad for the Government come election day.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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