For a couple of weeks there, those of us who follow opinion polls a little more closely than we should felt that the inflation in Labor support after the May 13 budget was losing a bit of air.
That's looking less clear now, after four new polls this week which covered the full methodological gamut:
- Labor's lead was back to its 55-45 peak in the latest Newspoll, after falling to 53-47 the previous fortnight. The poll was conducted for The Australian from Friday to Sunday, by live interviewers contacting 1161 respondents by landline phone.
- Reflecting a long-established pattern, the fortnightly Roy Morgan poll leaned still further to Labor, showing an eye-catching two-party preferred result of 57.5-42.5. However, this comes down to 54.5-45.5 on the more conventional two-party preferred measure, which allocates minor parties' preferences as they flowed at the previous election. This poll was conducted by face-to-face and SMS over the last two weekends from a combined sample of 2797.
- Labor’s lead in this week’s Essential Research poll was steady at 52-48 -- a stronger result than it looks given that Essential publishes a fortnightly rolling average, and the previous week’s result had Labor down two points. This suggests that Labor’s weakness in last week's sample wasn't repeated this week. Essential's weekly samples encompass around 1000 respondents from a volunteer panel of 100,000, who are surveyed online.
- A ReachTEL poll for the Seven Network had Labor's lead at 53-47, compared with 54-46 at its last poll two weeks before the budget. This was an automated phone poll of 3376 respondents, conducted last Thursday.
A trend measure of all published federal polling, known to readers of my blog The Poll Bludger
as BludgerTrack, records Labor increasing half a point on last week’s reading to reach a two-party lead of 53-47, while an accompanying seat projection has them one shy of Kevin Rudd's total of 83 seats at the 2007 election.