The latest fortnightly Newspoll has given the Coalition its best result since the election of the Rudd government, with Labor’s lead at 53-47 – its narrowest since the 52-48 election eve survey, and essentially the same as the actual 52.7-48.3 result. Labor’s primary vote is down two points to 41 per cent, the equal worst result since Kevin Rudd became leader (the other occasion being October last year, shortly after Malcolm Turnbull assumed the Liberal leadership) and solidly below the 43.3 per cent election result. The Coalition primary vote is 40 per cent, the first time this figure has had a four in front of it since the election.

A somewhat different story from Essential Research, which for the second week in a row finds Labor gaining a point on two-party preferred, their lead now at 57-43. Also featured: perceptions of the government’s handling of the financial crisis (good), expectations of Australia’s economic performance over the coming year (mixed but somewhat optimistic), reaction to Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation (muted), whether the Greens should support the emissions trading scheme legislation (yes, sort of), whether unions should campaign for more industrial relations reforms (ditto), and whether the government is doing enough to support working people (lineball).

UPDATE: Newspoll graphic here. Explanations for Labor’s decline evidently can’t be laid at the feet of the Prime Minister, who has gained two points on approval (58 per cent) and dropped two on disapproval (31 per cent). Interestingly, Malcolm Turnbull’s ratings have continued to rebound: his approval is up a handsome four points to 44 per cent while his disapproval is down three to 37 per cent, his best set of figures since early February. Preferred leader is basically unchanged with Rudd on 57 per cent and Turnbull on 25 per cent (up one).