Newspoll Tuesday arrives via The Oz with the primaries running 43 (down 3) / 38 (up 1) to Labor, washing out into a two party preferred of 55/45 the same way – a one point gain to the Coalition since last fortnight. This comes from a sample of 1153, giving us a margin of error around the 2.9% mark.

As we thought might happen yesterday, the trend to the Coalition shows up across the Newspoll figures with Rudd losing a couple of points from the voteshare, from the satisfaction ratings and the beauty contest that is Preferred PM. The anti-debt line has been a success for the Coalition by any yardstick – they’ve clawed back voteshare, Turnbull’s satisfaction ratings stabilised, they’ve nicked a few points from Rudd, and from the impression metrics in yesterday’s Essential Report – things like “who would manage economic issue X better” – Turnbull has not only reduced Labor’s lead on every metric, but even created or improved a Coalition lead in some as well.

This would probably be dangerous for Labor if the Coalition could ever keep their shit together for longer than 5 minutes. What struck me yesterday in the Essential Report – and pretty much describes what’s been driving all the poll movements over the last month and a half – was the response to this question:

Thinking about the Federal Government, which political party does a better job when it comes to planning the economy for the nation’s long-term prosperity?

In March, Labor had a 34/23 lead on this issue, yet by yesterday that had turned around to be a Coalition lead of 36/25.  The turnaround in the responses to this question pretty much sums up Labor’s dramas at the moment – people are getting nervous about the direction the ALP is taking the country and questioning whether they’re up to the job. Turnbull’s line of attack has been sharp and effective.

If the Coalition weren’t a complete and utter rabble, they’d probably be making inroads into swinging voters by taking a more subtle approach on the debt issue and we’d be seeing 52/48’s in the polling, rather than Turnbull being forced to use the issue as a blunt means to hoover up their wandering base. If the Coalition wasn’t such a zoo, Labor would probably be under solid pressure.

Anyhoo, the usual charts come in like this:

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We’ll go over yesterday’s Galaxy and the polling trends later today as well.

Oh, and Tim Dunlop of Blogocracy fame has a spiffy new Crikey music blog – give it a squiz.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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