Newspoll looks to be taking a week longer to return than I expected, but Essential Research was back in action yesterday with a poll showing no change in voting intention since the previous survey on December 20: the Coalition leads 52-48 on two-party preferred, with primary votes of 46 per cent for the Coalition, 38 per cent for Labor and 10 per cent for the Greens. Unusually, the two-survey rolling average for the latest figures encompasses polling done last week and in mid-December, suggesting little change in sentiment over the break. While Labor remains where it was on voting intention, Julia Gillard has enjoyed a spike in her personal ratings. Her approval is up eight points to 51 per cent and her disapproval down four to 36 per cent – her best figures since July 19 – and her lead as preferred prime minister has increased from 45-34 to 47-32. Tony Abbott’s ratings have improved as well: approval up three to 42 per cent and disapproval down two to 37 per cent. Other questions in the survey related to respondents’ online shopping habits.

The Australian Electoral Commission has also published the full report for the redistribution of Victorian federal electoral boundaries. I don’t believe Antony Green has calculated margins for this redistribution (he did for the more radical first version, which was entirely abandoned after a generally negative response), but I have it on pretty reliable authority that the Labor marginals list runs Corangamite (little change, with the margin still under 0.5 per cent), Deakin (pared back from 2.4 per cent to about 0.5 per cent) and La Trobe (a very slight boost but still around 1 per cent), followed by a big gap before Chisholm (6 per cent), Bruce (8 per cent), Melbourne Ports (8 per cent), McEwen (a four point boost to 9 per cent) and Bendigo (9 per cent). On the other side of the ledger, the 1.8 per cent Liberal margin in Aston has been cut to almost nothing, while Dunkley is unchanged on 1.0 per cent – beyond that are Casey (2 per cent), McMillan (4 per cent) and clusters of traditionally safe seats around 6 per cent (Wannon, Higgins and Goldstein) and 9 per cent (Menzies, Flinders and Indi).

UPDATE (24/1): Crikey reports this week’s Essential Research has Labor gaining a point to trail 51-49. The poll also inquired into various leaders’ handling of the flood crises, with 77 per cent rating Anna Bligh favourably against 6 per cent poor; 61 per cent against 4 per cent for Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman; 42 per cent against 23 per cent for Julia Gillard; 19 per cent against 32 per cent for Tony Abbott; 34 per cent against 8 per cent for Ted Baillieu; and 21 per cent against 23 per cent for Kristina Keneally.

UPDATE 2: Full report here. Primary vote figures show there’s not much in the shift on two-party: both the Coalition (45 per cent) and Labor (37 per cent) are down a point. Also covered are “most important issues in deciding how you would vote” (“ensuring a quality education for all children” down from 32 per cent to 23 per cent, for some reason) and best party at handling important issues (results much as you would expect).

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.