As you can see from the Pollytrend graphic in the sidebar on the right, the government has taken a chunky hit over the last 6 weeks or so. If we blow that out to take in the entire period of the Rudd government, we can see that the Coalition is currently equalling their best period of performance this term – last September when Turnbull took over the leadership.
In broader terms, a 55/45 position is still a wipe out for the Opposition, but they have managed to roundup the wandering members of their base back into the Coalition voter herd.
If we zoom into that graphic and look at the results for just 2009, it gives us a more accurate picture of when the trend changed.
The polling trend line started dropping for Labor when the two big issues taking up the news cycle were Ruddnet and boat people.
Since then, both the pre and post budget periods have been pretty much dominated by the debt vs stimulus debate – a debate which Labor appears to be losing so far. Yesterday’s Essential Report questions on aspects of economic management pretty much condensed the story into a single graphic.
While that trend looks nasty for the ALP, if we look at the primary vote patterns of the majors over the period of this government, it provides a bit of a reality check.
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The Coalition vote, even after their recent spurt, is still stuck on trend below 40%. Keep in mind that the Coalition needs to be ahead of Labor on primary vote terms by around 3-4% for them to win an election, simply because of the current nature of the minor party vote share and where those preferences end up flowing in two party preferred terms. Even if Turnbull continued to gain ground over the next 6 weeks at the same rate as he has over the previous six, Labor would still be holding an election winning lead.
I was going to go over the Galaxy poll today, but there isn’t actually much in it – Peter Brent of Mumble fame has the tables for those interested.