Relatively good news for Labor from Newspoll, which shows the Coalition’s eight point two-party lead cut to four. Labor is up a point on the primary vote to 34 per cent and the Coalition down two to 44 per cent, while the Greens have shot up four points to 14 per cent. Two points of this gain seems to be a correction after an anomaly last time; it could be that the other two show there’s some sort of an audience for criticism of News Limited. Personal ratings are essentially unchanged: Gillard’s approval up one to 35 per cent, disapproval down one to 54 per cent, Abbott is down one to 37 per cent and up two to 53 per cent, and Gillard’s preferred prime minister lead is up from 42-38 to 44-37. Full tables from GhostWhoVotes.

Today’s Essential Research wasn’t as kind to Labor, though the different time frames should be noted: Newspoll was conducted from Friday to Sunday, whereas the survey period for the more recent half of the Essential result covered Wednesday to Sunday. The Coalition lead was up from 53-47 to 54-46, but since the primary votes were unchanged (Coalition 47 per cent, Labor 34 per cent, Greens 12 per cent), there is obviously not much in this. The poll also turned up another painful personal result for Gillard, who trails Kevin Rudd as preferred Labor leader by 32 per cent to 23 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull likewise leads Tony Abbott, but by a lesser margin of 25 per cent to 22 per cent. As usual, Rudd and Turnbull secured their leads off the back of supporters of the other party.

We also get results on which party represents the interests of various groups, which show Labor holding modest leads for various manifestions of Joe Public and the Liberals maintaining brand recognition as the party of business and the wealthy. The Liberals however hold an interesting 31 per cent to 19 per cent lead on “the next generation of Australians”, which I can only assume represents a belief they will leave them with less debt. Yet another question on support for the carbon tax finds a spike in its favour last week to have been aberration: support is down three to 38 per cent and opposition up four to 48 per cent, almost exactly where it was two polls ago. On the question of whether an early election should be held as a result of the carbon tax, opinion is perfectly evenly divided on 42 per cent, with “yes” up two and “no” down two since the question was last asked in March.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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