Coalition primary support is down significantly in the wake of leadership sniping and the recent interest rate rise, according the latest face to face Morgan Poll.

The Governments primary vote has fallen four points to 36.5%, 13 points behind the ALP who are on 49.5%, a lift of 2.5 points.

With preferences distributed as they were at the 2004 election, the two party preferred vote splits Labor’s way 58.5 to 41.5%, a lift of 3.5 points for the Labor Party and a drop of the same amount for the government.

Among the minor parties support for The Greens is 7% (up 0.5%), Family First 2% (up 0.5%), the Australian Democrats 1.5% (up 0.5%), One Nation 1% (up 0.5%), while other parties and independents scored 2.5%.

On the important question of who the electorate “think will win” the next Federal election, 60% – a rise of two points – think Labor will win, 28% (unchanged) believe the government will be returned and 12% – down two points – can’t say.

Forty-nine percent of voters – unchanged – believe that the country is heading in the right direction, 34.5% – a rise of one point – believe the country is headed in wrong direction, while 16.5% – down one – are undecided.

This translates to a soft Labor vote of 19%, a rise of two points. Soft ALP voters are defined as electors who say Australia is heading in the right direction as well as saying they would vote Labor if an election were held today.

Pollster Gary Morgan says there is no sign of an ongoing recovery from the Coalition:

After reducing the gap to 10% in the past two face to face Morgan Polls, the Coalition has lost ground in the wake of the Howard/Costello leadership dispute and last week’s interest rate rise.

This Morgan Poll was taken prior to the significant falls experienced by international finance markets in the last week,” Morgan points out. “Further economic hardship could push electors towards the Coalition, who are seen as superior economic managers.

He may well be right there, but today’s results will come as a disappointment for the government after their stronger showing on Monday’s Nielsen figures and the narrowing gap between the parties indicated in the Reuters Poll Trend.

This latest face to face Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention was conducted on the weekends of August 4/5 & 11/12, 2007, with an Australia wide cross-section of 1,667 electors.