Newspoll Tuesday comes in via The Oz with the primaries running 39 (down 1) /40 (down 1) to the Coalition, washing out into a two party preferred of 53/47 to Labor – a one point gain to Labor since the last Newspoll. The Greens are on 12 (steady), while the broad “Others” are sitting on 9 (down up 2). This comes from a sample of 1151, giving us an MoE that maxes out around the 2.9% mark.

First up, the history of the vote estimates:

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The first thing you may notice here is how the primary vote of Labor is and has been much more volatile than the two party preferred? That’s (mostly) the Greens preferences washing back into the system, stabilising the two party vote.

What is happening now with these relatively low Labor primaries around 40 of late is the same thing that actually caused Rudd to overthrow Beazley for the leadership – a weak Labor primary giving an uncertain and soft two party preferred lead – however with one key difference; the Green vote today is much higher than in was in late 2006.

Since the last election, the largest shift we’ve seen from voters has been a Liberal to Labor and Labor to Greens, leaving Labor better off on net in the primary vote stakes (from ex-Coalition voters) as well as reaping the two party rewards from their left flank on the Greens as preferences flow back.

With the Abbott leadership, what we’ve seen over the last few months is a hollowing out of that Rudd centre vote – enough to put him equal to the Coalition on primaries, but with the strong Green vote still delivering a two party lead around the same as the last election.

Labor’s positioning this term is why the Coalition needs to be around 4 points ahead of the ALP on the primary vote to be in with a chance of winning.

Rudd’s goal will be to lift the Labor primary back up – but it won’t be by targeting the broad left block of the Greens that already send him prefs, it will be the ex-Liberal voters that have returned back to the Coalition – so expect to see Labor jump a little to the “urban” right to pick them back up over the next month. We’ll be dealing much more with economic policy matters and clichés in the media over the next 6 weeks or so than we have been for the last six.

The other problem Rudd has is to lift his satisfaction ratings back up – the net-satisfaction ratings tells the story:


Because as we know, as goes the PM’s personal satisfaction, so goes the two party preferred vote:


So expect the new economic focus to be a little populist with faux conviction thrown in for good measure.”Oh for joy” I can hear you say 😛

Abbott on the other hand, from the net sat chart, seems to have picked all the low hanging fruit he was ever going to pick with his satisfaction ratings – that low hanging fruit is the rush we often see in the first few polls of a new leader and there hasn’t been much movement from his starting ratings:


Now he’s on to the grinding job of getting a net gain from the undecideds as they break – and they never break en masse in the one direction. Well, at least not historically.

We’ll go through the other Newspoll questions later today along with Essential Report. Here are the additional questions for Newspoll and the Essential Report. Meanwhile, the usual charts we haven’t already looked at come in like this (including last nights silliness while we had the early Newspoll hoax – just so the comments don’t sound odd):

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