Labor’s vote has fallen further as leadership turmoil tore the party apart, new polling from Essential Research shows.

Labor’s primary vote has fallen a further point, down to 32% from 34% a fortnight ago, to the benefit of the Coalition, whose vote lifted a point to 49%. With the Greens steady on 11%, the two-party preferred vote is 56-44, Labor’s worst outcome for months.

Voters also strongly blame Julia Gillard for Labor’s problems, with 39% of voters saying Gillard is mainly responsible for the leadership problems, compared to 23% for other people in the party, 18% for Rudd and 10% saying the media were to blame. Liberal voters are much more likely to blame Gillard — 55% of them — but 28% of Labor voters blame Gillard compared to 27% who blame Rudd. Greens voters, however, are much more likely to blame the media — 25%.

Essential’s weekly online poll also shows Qantas’ brand has taken a battering, with 41% of voters saying they now had a more negative opinion of the airline compared to a year ago, compared to only 11% who had a better opinion. That included 18% of voters who said their opinion was a lot more negative, and the view was shared across voting intention even if Liberal voters were less likely to be negative about Qantas.

Who was to blame? The actions of management: both those who were more positive and those who were more negative said management was the main reason — 77% of those who said they now viewed the airline more negatively and 62% positively.

The recommendations of the Gonski review of education funding also received strong support from voters, with 68% supporting a potted summary of the recommendations, across voting intention. There was also strong support — 73% — for ensuring that wealthy élite private schools did not receive an increase in funding.

Peter Fray

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