The Australian has Newspoll’s quarterly geographic and demographic breakdowns, combining results from its six post-election surveys to obtain samples big enough for state, gender and metropolitan/regional breakdowns. These indicate that Labor has held its ground on two-party preferred thanks to gains in Queensland, where their two-party vote of 48 per cent compares with 44.9 per cent at the election. From a low base, the state has delivered a six-point boost to Julia Gillard’s personal ratings, her approval up to 40 per cent and disapproval down to 44 per cent. This has balanced losses in New South Wales (down 1.5 per cent to 48 per cent), South Australia (down 2.2 per cent to 51 per cent) and Victoria (down 0.3 per cent to 55 per cent). Labor is up 1.4 per cent to 45 per cent in Western Australia, in line with Westpoll’s recent results. Labor is down 0.5 per cent across all capitals, driven by a 5.1 per cent fall in the primary vote, and up 1.4 per cent in non-capitals (which I wouldn’t have picked). The Coalition has suffered an unlikely eight point hit on the primary vote among the 35-49 age bracket, a correction after a rogue result in Newspoll’s famed election eve poll.

UPDATE: The last Essential Research survey for the year has the Coalition’s two-party lead steady at 52-48, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 38 per cent, the Coalition steady on 46 per cent and the Greens steady on 10 per cent. On the poll’s monthly measure of personal ratings, Julia Gillard is steady on approval at 43 per cent and up two on disapproval to 40 per cent, Tony Abbott is one point on each to 39 per cent on each, and Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is unchanged at 45-34. The big winner from the poll is Julian Assange: 53 per cent approve of the release of the Wikileaks material with just 25 per cent disapproving, and 46 per cent disapprove of the government’s response (the question explicitly referring to the Prime Minister’s “grossly irresponsible” and “illegal” lines) against 32 per cent who approve. Fifty per cent believe Assange should receive support and assistance from the Australian Government if he is charged with an offence by the US or another country, against 26 per cent who believe he should not. The poll also finds 43 per cent support (steady on a year ago) and 37 per cent opposition (up two) for the development of nuclear power plants for electricity.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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