Another empty and meaningless week with no Newspoll. Essential Research however offers us its usual weekly poll, this one showing the Coalition’s lead on two-party preferred narrowing from 52-48 to 51-49. However, there has been little change on the primary vote: both the Coalition (45 per cent) and Labor (37 per cent) are down a point, with the Greens (11 per cent) and others (7 per cent) up one. The poll also inquired into various leaders’ handling of the flood crises, with 77 per cent rating Anna Bligh favourably against 6 per cent poorly; 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.

Also covered were “most important issues in deciding how you would vote” and the best party to handle those issues, which Essential Research last canvassed in a poll about six weeks after the election. The main change on the former is “ensuring a quality education for all children”, which for some reason has gone down from 32 per cent to 23 per cent. On the latter, the report does not provide figures from the October 2010 survey for easy comparison, but you can find them here. Given that the voting intention figure has only changed from 51-49 in Labor’s favour to 51-49 against, Labor’s across-the-board deterioration is rather surprising. They have gone backwards on every measure, most markedly on fair taxation and population growth (down seven points) and political leadership, interest rates and asylum seekers (down six points). Tellingly, this has not translated into gains for the Coalition, with “don’t know” taking up most of the slack.