The latest monthly Nielsen survey of 1400 voters has Labor leading 57-43, up from 55-45 last time. The survey also finds 56 per cent of Coalition voters want Malcolm Turnbull to delay finalising negotiations on the emissions trading scheme until after Copenhagen, rather than pursue his current policy of proposing amendments beforehand (supported by 23 per cent). Labor is up two on the primary vote to 46 per cent; the Coalition is down three to 37 per cent; Kevin Rudd’s approval is up one to 71 per cent and his disapproval down two to 23 per cent; Turnbull’s approval is steady on 35 per cent and his disapproval down two to 53 per cent; and Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is unchanged at 69-23.

UPDATE: The Australian has also published a “special Newspoll survey” conducted over the weekend to ascertain views on the Liberal leadership, which also featured the usual questions on voting intention. These found Labor maintaining the 58-42 lead recorded the previous week, with both Labor (47 per cent) and the Coalition (36 per cent) up a point on the primary vote. The Liberal leadership figures directly contradict Friday’s Morgan poll: where Morgan had Joe Hockey leading Malcolm Turnbull 30 per cent to 21 per cent, Newspoll has Turnbull leading 32 per cent to 24 per cent (or 39 per cent to 31 per cent on a head-to-head basis). This seems outside the normal range of house effects and margin-of-error static, suggesting the events of last week might have produced a move to Turnbull (or away from Hockey).

The West Australian has also published two Westpoll surveys of 400 WA voters in recent days. One shows 46 per cent supporting delaying emissions trading scheme legislation until after Copenhagen, against 47 per cent opposed (63 per cent to 32 per cent among Coalition supporters). From the other, “62 per cent of people believed that changes brought in by Labor were a factor in the increase in boat people, with only 16 per cent believing they were either quite or very unlikely to have made a difference”. Curiously, “it was predominately people identifying themselves as traditional Labor voters who were most likely to believe it was the Government’s policy which had caused the spike in arrivals”.

UPDATE 2: Essential Research has Labor’s lead down from 60-40 to 58-42. It also has 58 per cent agreeing that “Turnbull has shown he hasn’t got the temperament, patience and judgement to be a leader of a major party” (a formulation I have my doubts about) against 42 per cent disagreeing, and sundry questions on annual leave.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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