Full results available from Peter Brent at Mumble. Labor’s 52-48 lead is a slight improvement on 51-49 from three weeks ago, and under the circumstances will come as an enormous relief for the Prime Minister. One sting in the tail is that Labor’s primary vote remains steady on a parlous 35 per cent. The Coalition is down one point to 40 per cent and the Greens are on 15 per cent, one point off their record-breaking effort from three weeks ago. The two-point slack has been taken up by “others” on 10 per cent.
Another sting in the tail is that the preferred prime minister rating has swung to Abbott: Rudd is down three points to 46 per cent and Abbott is up four to 37 per cent, which is respectively a personal worst and the best result achieved by a Liberal leader on Rudd’s watch. This is despite the fact that the leaders’ approval ratings are basically unchanged. Kevin Rudd’s approval is steady on 36 per cent and his disapproval is up a point to 55 per cent, while Tony Abbott is respectively up a point to 38 per cent and steady on 49 per cent.
A further question on prospective standard of living produces a neutral result: “improve” and “get worse” are both on 17 per cent, with 65 per cent nominating “stay the same”.
Next cab off the rank: Essential Research, which should be through at about 1pm EST.
UPDATE: Hats off to Dennis Shanahan, who shows he’s not scared of a renewed round of opprobrium from the Laborsphere.
UPDATE 2: Essential Research joins the party by also showing Labor’s lead up from 51-49 to 52-48, although it gets there by showing a primary vote recovery for Labor (up three to 38 per cent) at the expense of the Greens (down three to 11 per cent), with the Coalition down one to 40 per cent. Again, there’s a sting in the tail for Kevin Rudd – 40 per cent say Labor would have a better chance of winning if they changed leaders, against only 37 per cent who say he is the best person to lead the party to the election. However, the results on this measure are substantially worse for Tony Abbott – 29 per cent and 47 per cent. Kevin Rudd remains preferred prime minister over Abbott by 47 per cent to 30 per cent, and also over Julia Gillard by 36 per cent to 33 per cent. There’s also a very interesting finding on troops in Afghanistan, with 61 per cent saying out troops should withdraw.