Are Australian voters turning Green? Yesterday’s Newspoll had the Australian Greens primary vote at a whopping 16%, the first time they’ve ever received more than 13% of the vote. What’s happened?

Is this a disaffected progressive vote angry at the treatment of asylum seekers and the lack of an ETS? Does it involve voters not wanting Tony Abbott as leader?

Possum Comitatus examined whether the poll was a rogue or not, comparing Greens results in Newspolls since 2008.

Rogue or not, it’s obviously got both sides of politics concerned.

As Richard Farmer wrote yesterday in Crikey [paywalled]:

That public opinion recently has turned against both Labor and the Coalition Liberal and National parties is no surprise. The leadership of both has shown itself to be untrustworthy. That voters are looking for an honest alternative is what I for one would hope for. That Greens leader Bob Brown’s party might have some views that people disagree with does not stop them being attracted to his straight forward comments. Consistently saying what you think beats shiftiness every time.

With some ALP seats only held by a small margin (Lindsay Tanner’s seat of Melbourne is at serious risk of being lost to the Greens), current figures have one in eight Kevin07 voters, now saying that they’ll vote for the Greens.

Greens’ leader Bob Brown has warned Kevin Rudd about assuming that Greens voters will direct their preferences to the ALP.

So is the tide changing? Here’s what the punters are saying about the voters Greenwash:

The Australian

George Megalogenis: Two parties unpreferred

The only consolation for Labor is their combined primary vote with the Greens remains what it was in 2007, at around 51 per cent.

Peter van Onselen: If Newspoll numbers hold, ALP will win

And with no other viable minor party for conservative protest voters unhappy with the new mining tax but unimpressed with the opposition, it could be that the Greens vote isn’t as left-leaning at this election as it usually is.

Peter van Onselen: Let’s face it, the future is not bright for either helmsmen

If the downward spiral continues, Newspoll might need to think about including Greens leader Bob Brown in the preferred prime minister stakes. Nick Clegg eat your heart out.

The Age

Farrah Tomazin: Progressives look askance and Labor fears a Green tide

Ever since the Rudd Government shelved its emissions trading scheme and took a harder stance against boat people, the party’s stocks have taken a hit among its progressive support base.

Tim Colebatch: Disaffected wave could unseat ministers

Third parties often win in the polls, but lose in the booths. Six months before an election is the time most people express discontent with sitting governments. By election day, they usually do better than polls suggested they would, as voters are bombarded with well-targeted handouts and campaign messages, and recoil from the alternatives.

Sydney Morning Herald

David Marr: Vitriol in front of the doors, parties behind closed ones

Abetz was delivering the opposition’s message of the day: don’t hover with the Greens, come right over.

The Daily Telegraph

Malcolm Farr: What am I bid for this Green preference?

Tony Abbott’s Coalition is considering dumping a habit of an electoral lifetime by hunting Green preferences. Let’s be clear. These are Bob Brown’s Australian Greens who in previous elections the Libs and Nats have held at arm’s length and condemned as the far left and soft on drugs or worse.