More evidence that the Barnaby Joyce saga has shut out the Coalition’s glimmer of polling sunlight at the start of the year.
The latest ReachTEL poll for Sky News is the Coalition’s worst result from that pollster this term, showing Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46, out from 52-48 at the previous poll on January 25. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 33%, Labor is up one to 37%, the Greens are up one to 11% and One Nation are down one to 7%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead on the forced response preferred prime minister question is 53-47, down from 54-46. The poll was conducted on Thursday, the evening before Barnaby Joyce’s resignation: it found 57% thought he should indeed resign, against 32% who thought he should remain. A question on who should be Nationals leader had Joyce on 23%, Bridget McKenzie on 15%, Michael McCormack on 11%, Darren Chester on 6% and “don’t know” a formidable 40%.
UPDATE: As noted in comments, the Coalition have done well to make it to 54-46 on ReachTEL’s respondent-allocated two-party preferred result. If 2016 election preference flows are applied, the result is around 55.5-44.5.
Ten candidates take the field in Batman, as the first published poll of the campaign shows a better-than-expected result for Labor.
Two notable developments in the Batman by-election campaign:
• The Age has results of a poll conducted by Lonergan Research which, unusually these days, targeted only landline phones. The poll of 700 respondents found Labor leading 53-47, from primary votes of Labor 40%, Greens 39%, others 16% and don’t know 5%. However, it might be thought the lack of mobile phone polling could skew the result in favour of Labor. It should also be noted polling ahead of the Northcote by-election in November understated support for the Greens. The poll also found 36.2% of respondents had the impression Labor supported the Adani coal mine, 28.3% believed it did not, and 20.3% did not know, with 76% saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed the mine, against 24% for less likely.
• With this week’s closure of nominations, it emerged that ten candidates had come forward, which is at the low end of normal for federal by-elections these days. The ballot paper order runs Yvonne Gentle (Rise Up Australia), Ged Kearney (Labor), Alex Bhathal (Greens), Kevin Bailey (Australian Conservatives), Tegan Burns (Australian People’s Party), Debbie Robinson (Australian Liberty Alliance), Teresa van Lieshout (Independent), Adrian Whitehead, Mark McDonald (Sustainable Australia) and Miranda Smith (Animal Justice).
Tasmania’s Liberals on track to retain majority government next Saturday, according to a large-sample poll.
The Mercury today has the first public poll of the campaign for next Saturday’s Tasmanian state election, being a ReachTEL survey of 3179 respondents conducted on Thursday night. The result is encouraging for the Liberals, indicating enough support to win an absolute majority with three seats apiece in Bass, Braddon and Lyons, and two in Denison and Franklin. Labor’s numbers suggest two in each electorate, including a likely gain from the Greens in Bass, a probable gain from the Liberals in Braddon (although the Liberals could just about hold their fourth seat on these numbers), and a firm gain from the Liberals in Franklin. All of which is more in line with internal polling the Liberals were hawking last week than the last public poll from EMRS, way back in December.
The headline figures from the poll are Liberal 46.4%, Labor 31.1%, Greens 12.1%, Jacqui Lambie Network 5.2%, others 2.0% and 3.3% undecided. After excluding the undecided, which accounted for 5.0% in Bass, 3.5% in Braddon, 2.9% in Denison, 2.4% in Franklin and 2.5% in Lyons, the breakdowns are as follows:
A preferred premier question finds Will Hodgman with his nose in front of Rebecca White, by 51.8% to 48.2%. This is not the first indication that White’s personal ratings may be outpointing her party’s electoral support. After the Liberals circulated their favourable polling a fortnight ago, Labor came back with their own finding that White led Hodgman by 46% to 41%, while noticeably failing to provide any numbers on voting intention.
Following Newspoll, the latest poll aggregate reading washes away the Coalition’s gains from the earlier polling since New Year.
This week’s Newspoll result had added 0.3% to Labor’s two-party reading on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, and added one seat to their national on the seat projection, the gain being in South Australia. The biggest change on the primary vote is an improvement for One Nation, who reversed a weakening trend over the past few months with the latest poll. Newspoll also recorded a weakening in Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings, but evidently the aggregate had this priced in already, as the trend results show little changed on last week. As always, full results on the sidebar.
A neck-and-neck result in a key Adelaide marginal, and a somewhat disappointing result for SA Best in one of their main Liberal-held targets.
The Advertiser has two polls of Adelaide seats conducted by YouGov Galaxy, one from Labor-held Lee, the other from Liberal-held Morialta.
In Lee, Labor front-bencher Stephen Mullighan trails the Liberal candidate by 39% to 34% on the primary vote, with everything depending on preferences from SA Best, who are a distant third on 18%. Galaxy estimates that this translates into a two-party result of 50-50, but this would seem to be highly speculative.
The Morialta poll has SA Best clearing the first hurdle, outscoring Labor by 25% to 21% on the primary vote, unless preferences from the Greens on 6% closed the gap. However, Liberal incumbent John Gardner is estimated to emerge 52-48 in front, from a primary vote of 40%. The SA Best result is consistent with a statewide vote more in line with the 24.9% it recorded for the Senate in 2016 than the 30% plus figures that were coming through in earlier Galaxy polling.
A better premier question has Jay Weatherill on 31%, Steven Marshall on 25% and Nick Xenophon on 22% in Lee; in Morialta it’s all but a three-way tie, with Xenophon 28% and Weatherill and Marshall on 27% each. The polls were conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from samples of 520 in Lee and 505 in Morialta.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents want Barnaby Joyce out as Nationals leader, as the Coalition and Malcolm Turnbull lose their gains from the year’s first poll a fortnight ago.
Newspoll has Labor’s lead back at 53-47, after its first new poll for the year a fortnight ago had it down to 52-48. The Coalition is down two on the primary vote to 36%, with Labor steady on 37%, the Greens steady on 10%, and One Nation bouncing back three points after a recent slump to 8%. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 45-31 to 40-33. All we have in terms of leadership approval at this stage are that Malcolm Turnbull’s net rating has weakened from minus 13% to minus 18%. Also featured is a finding that 65% of respondents believe Barnaby Joyce should resign as leader of the Nationals, which breaks down into a lot of detail I’m finding hard to parse from Simon Benson’s report in The Australian. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1632.
UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull is down three on approval to 34% and up four on disapproval 54%; Bill Shorten is steady on 34% approval and up two on disapproval to 54%. Only 23% agreed that Barnaby Joyce should remain Nationals leader, with 29% favouring him resigning from the front bench, 15% bowing out at the next election, and 21% quitting parliament immediately. The poll also finds 64% support for a ban on sexual relations between politicians and their employees, with 25% opposed.