Labor’s vote has reversed its gains of recent weeks in today’s Essential Report poll, with its primary vote falling two points and the Liberals picking up two. With a lower Green vote of 10%, the Coalition has returned to a 2PP lead of 52-48, in effect wiping out the polling effect of two weeks of Liberal infighting. This is the Coalition’s strongest ever lead in Essential’s polls.

Essential’s poll was conducted last week and over the weekend, with most responses after the government’s announcement on Thursday of its commitment to carbon pricing mechanism from 1 July 2012. The plan has been attacked as a broken promise given the government repeatedly and vehemently ruled out a carbon tax prior to the election.

The first poll taken after the announcement appears to suggest that tack is working for the opposition.

Tony Abbott, however, has failed to strengthen his grip on the Liberal leadership in voters’ eyes, with a small slip in his rating for “best leader of the Liberal Party” from 26% at the end of September to 24% now. In particular, Abbott has dropped eight points among Liberal voters as “best leader”. Neither Malcolm Turnbull have been able to take advantage of this, however — Turnbull’s rating on the same question has fallen from 20% to 18% as “best leader”, while Hockey has edged up from 15% to 16% — still below his strong rating of 22% on the eve of the three-way leadership spill at the end of 2009. Turnbull leads strongly among Labor and Greens voters.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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