Newspoll has come a day early or six days late, depending on your perspective. Key findings of the survey, which was conducted over the past two days:
Labor’s two-party lead has blown out to 58-42 from 54-46 at the last Newspoll three weeks ago (although Peter Brent‘s rough calculation had it at 55-45).
Fifty-seven per cent believe the stimulus package will be good for the economy, and 48 per cent believe it will make them personally better off. Support is inversely proportional to age.
Labor is up five points on the primary vote to 48 per cent, with the Coalition’s down three to 36 per cent.
Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is steady on 63 per cent, and his disapproval up one to 26 per cent.
Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is down one point to 44 per cent, and his disapproval is up seven to 38 per cent.
Sixty-three per cent believe the government is doing a good job managing the economy, and only 33 per cent believe the Coalition would do better.
The Greens’ parliamentary leader in New South Wales, Lee Rhiannon, has quit her Legislative Council seat and declared her intention to run for the Senate (UPDATE: Not quite she has informed the party that when federal elections are called, I’ll resign to stand for Federal Parliament, if I win preselection). Brian Robins of the Sydney Morning Herald says Rhiannon appears to be positioning herself to replace the party’s federal leader. She may have her work cut out: the only time the Greens have won a seat in the state was when Kerry Nettle got in on One Nation preferences in 2001. Generally the problem has been that Labor are too strong in the state for the Greens to get ahead of their third candidate. Two scenarios for success suggest themselves: one involves the Greens gaining at least 5 per cent on the Coalition on the primary vote, which would raise the possibility of a result of three Labor, two Liberal, one Greens; the other is a double dissolution.
Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports the Coalition has been desperate to find a high-profile candidate to take on Maxine McKew in the Sydney seat of Bennelong, which it hopes will be enough for Labor to consider transferring McKew to a safer seat. It doesn’t sound like they’re having much luck: among those to have knocked back the offer are Kerry Chikarovski, former Opposition Leader and member for the locally situated state seat of Lane Cove, and Andrew Tink, former Shadow Police Minister and recent departee from state politics.
UPDATE: Essential Research has Labor’s lead at 61-39, recording no change from last week. Nothing on the stimulus package (Essential Research advises there will be a truckload of such data next week), but includes the usual leadership questions showing Rudd holding up and Turnbull going backwards.