Newspoll has it at 50-50, with Julia Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is essentially unchanged, from 50-34 to 50-35. The primary votes are 37 per cent Labor, 44 per cent Coalition and 12 per cent Greens. More to follow.
UPDATE: Full results here, plus bonus stuff on leaders’ personality traits here. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is actually up a point to 42 per cent, but her disapproval is up three to 40 per cent. Tony Abbott’s approval is up four points to 44 per cent and his disapproval steady on 46 per cent.
We also have Essential Research in at 54-46 for Labor, down from 55-45 over recent weeks. As Bernard Keane reports it in Crikey:
Labor’s primary vote has dropped a point to 40%, only slightly ahead of the Coalition, which has remained steady on 39%. The Greens, too, have remained steady on 13%, as yet undented by the impact of the campaign. That yields a 2PP outcome of 54-46.
On approval ratings, however, Gillard has gone backwards, with a three-point fall in approval and a five-point rise in disapproval, to 46-38% — her lowest net approval rating in her limited time as PM. Abbott has picked up three points in approval, although that’s offset by a small increase in disapproval, meaning he continues with a net disapproval rating — 38-48%.
Gillard’s lead as better PM has shrunk seven points from 25 last week to 48-30% this week. There’s still a very big gender gap on better PM: Gillard’s lead among men is 12 points; among women, 24 points — 50-26%. Men and women now equally disapprove of Tony Abbott — 48% — but he leads amongst men in approval ratings, 41-35%. Gillard has a much lower disapproval rating among women.
However, the Coalition will be buoyed by the positive reception of Abbott’s pledge to cap immigration at 170,000, with 64% of voters approving and only 22% rejecting the notion. Support is very strong amongst Liberal voters — 91% — but even Labor voters like it (52-32%). The Coalition has a big lead among voters in perceptions of who is best at handling immigration, 35-23% over Labor.
UPDATE 2: Full Essential Research report here. “Reason for voting preference” has four times as many people voting Coalition because the government has been bad than voting for Labor because it has been good, and four times as many people citing the leaders as the reason for voting Labor than Coalition. Julia Gillard’s personal ratings reflect the overall trend in showing her three points down on approval to 46 per cent and up five points up on disapproval to 38 per cent. However, Tony Abbott records more modest changes, up three on approval to 38 per cent and up two on disapproval to 48 per cent. At 47-30, Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is basically the same as Kevin Rudd’s in his last poll, although her +8 approval rating compares with Rudd’s -6. A question on attitudes to the Senate finds respondents perfectly divided as to whether a minor party balance-of-power situation is a good thing (though I can only say the 10 per cent who favour Opposition control of the Senate haven’t thought things through). Very strong support is recorded for Tony Abbott’s lower immigration target, and the Coalition are favoured as best party on immigration.