The West Australian has published a Westpoll survey of 400 voters in the outer southern Perth seat of Brand, held by Kim Beazley from 1996 to 2007 and by Gary Gray thereafter. The two-party vote is said to be 50-50, but it’s hard to square this with primary vote figures of 43 per cent for Labor (3.2 per cent below their result in 2007) and 42 per cent (up 3.4 per cent) for the Liberals. On 2007 preferences it would have been approaching 52-48, pointing to a swing against Labor of 4 per cent. Oddly, we are also told that if the old boundaries were in place the Liberals would be leading 45 per cent to 41 per cent on the primary vote and 52-48 on two-party (I make it 50-50), even though the redistribution has only boosted Labor 0.4 per cent by Antony Green’s estimation. The poll had a typical Westpoll sample of 406, giving it a high margin-of-error of a bit below 5 per cent.
Fifty-six per cent of respondents oppposed the resources super profits tax, with only 25 per cent supporting it.
Julia Gillard was found to be preferred over Kevin Rudd as preferred leader, 34 per cent to 31 per cent.
Thirty-nine per cent said Tony Abbott’s gospel truth remark made them think less of him, against 54 per cent who said it made no difference.
The government received poor ratings of 82 per cent poor rating for handling of the insulation program, 81 per cent for asylum seekers as poor (against 14 per cent good) and 60 per cent for climate change policy (against 29 per cent0 good).
By contrast, and in good news for Julia Gillard, 46 per cent rated the government’s handling of the school hall construction program as good against 43 per cent poor.
Respondents were split down the middle on the federal government’s health reform package, rated good by 45 per cent and poor by 46 per cent.