Is there a change in the weather or is that just a stray breeze? Support for the Howard Government has lifted despite the Santo Santoro scandal, according to the latest polling from Roy Morgan Research.

The Coalition’s primary vote is up 2% to 36%, while Labor has dropped three points to 48.5. The two-party-preferred splits 58.5% to 41.5% in Labor’s favour – a drop of 2.5% for the ALP and an equivalent rise in support for the Government.

54.5% of voters, however, think Labor will win the next federal election, an increase of 4.5%. Just 30.55% think the Coalition will be returned, a drop of 5.5%, and 15% – up 1% – can’t say.

The Morgan figures will be welcomed by the Government after Tuesday’s 61% to 39% two-party-preferred Newspoll lead for Labor – particularly since the polling was conducted on 17/18 March as Santo Santoro’s ministerial career came to an end.

Still, dark clouds continue to overshadow the Government’s election hopes.