The latest ACNielsen survey of 1400 voters has Labor’s lead at 56-44, following an aberrant 58-42 result the previous month. Labor leads on the primary vote 46 per cent to 38 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating is down a point to 31 per cent and his disapproval is steady at 60 per cent, which Tony Wright of The Age notes has him the same territory as Brendan Nelson and Simon Crean in the terminal phase of their leaderships. Peter Costello remains favoured as Liberal leader by 35 per cent, against 19 per cent for Joe Hockey, 17 per cent for Turnbull, 10 per cent for Tony Abbott and 3 per cent for Andrew Robb. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is up a point to 68 per cent, against a disapproval rating of 24 per cent, and his lead as preferred prime minister is up from 66-25 to 67-24. Fifty-nine per cent want the government’s emissions trading scheme bill passed as soon as possible, and 58 per cent approve of Rudd’s handling of the relationship with China.
Essential Research should be through any moment now (4.30pm EST), but I won’t be able to help you with that until this evening: Possum‘s often quite quick on that front though (and The Finnigans has a small amount of detail in comments). UPDATE: Here it is. Labor’s lead is down from 60-40 to 58-42. Also featured: the performance of Australian law enforcement in preventing terrorism (most excellent), whether such efforts have been unduly concentrated on the Muslim community (no), who should lead the Liberal Party (Joe Hockey), a really interesting one comparing Kevin Rudd’s performance across various issues with John Howard’s (slight lead to the latter on economy and defence/security, thumping ones to the former on everything else), and whether Malcolm Turnbull is fair dinkum on climate change (no).
Mumble man Peter Brent has a paper in the latest Australian Journal of Political Science criticising the anachronism of the Divisional Returning Officer, part of what government consultants described as far back as 1974 as the Electoral Commission’s flat organisational structure: one national office at the top, six state ones in the middle, and no fewer than 150 divisional ones at the bottom. Occupants of the latter posts have too much to do during election periods, too little to do outside of them, and few paths to promotion, with resulting problems for staffing and morale. Regionalisation into offices covering four or five divisions has been advocated by the Electoral Commission itself, but has been resisted in part because MPs enjoy the convenience of a local electorate office, and also because they form troublingly close relationships with their local DROs.
Two doses of cold water for Alannah MacTiernan’s tilt in Canning. The ABC’s Rebecca Carmody strikes back over past acts of condescension in the Sunday Times, noting she has a big obstacle to overcome in winning over the electorate’s semi-rural areas beyond her Armadale base. Tony Barrass of The Australian concurs, describing her as a polarising figure, perhaps the most admired-disliked state political figure in the past decade, and chiding the local media for talking as though she’s home and hosed.
Glenn Milne beats the drum for a Kerryn Phelps candidacy against Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth. For what it’s worth though, Labor’s local federal electoral council is making noises about the need for a local rank-and-file vote.