The Fairfax broadsheets report this month’s Nielsen result has the Coalition’s two-party lead at 58-42, from primary votes of 28 per cent for Labor (up two), 48 per cent for the Coalition (down three) and 12 per cent for the Greens (up one). Although a bad result for Labor by any measure, this is nonetheless an improvement on their 61-39 from Nielsen the previous month, and it maintains a trend evident throughout this year of Nielsen being a few points worse for Labor than all other pollsters. It accordingly sits quite well with the 56-44 Newspoll and what I am interpreting as a 57-43 result from the substantial Morgan phone poll released on Friday.
Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have risen slightly from the canvas: her approval rating is up four to 38 per cent with disapproval down five to 57 per cent, while Tony Abbott is down four on approval to 43 per cent and up four on disapproval to 52 per cent. Abbott maintains a 47-44 lead as preferred prime minister, down from 51-40 last time. Michelle Grattan’s report tells us Labor has a 52-48 two-party lead in Victoria, compared with a 55-45 deficit in last month’s poll, and that the Coalition lead in Queensland is 65-35, down from 68-32 last time. It should be remembered here that state-level results are from small samples. Further from Grattan:
Victoria … is also where Ms Gillard has a big lead as preferred PM – she is ahead by a hefty 51-40 per cent; in New South Wales she is ahead by 46-43 per cent. By contrast, in Queensland … Ms Gillard is behind as preferred PM 36-55 per cent. In Western Australia, she is behind Mr Abbott 33-57 per cent. Voters are disillusioned with the current leaders as economic managers. Almost three in 10 (29 per cent each) think former leaders Kevin Rudd or Malcolm Turnbull would be ”best to manage another economic crisis if one occurs”. Mr Abbott was rated as best by 21 per cent, compared with 15 per cent for Ms Gillard. A total of 58 per cent prefer a leader other than the current leaders. People remain strongly against the government’s carbon price, with opposition to it steady on 56 per cent and support at 39 per cent. Backing for the carbon price is highest among the Greens (79 per cent) and ALP voters (68 per cent); overwhelmingly, Coalition voters are opposed (82 per cent). More than a quarter of Labor voters are against the carbon price, and one in five Green voters. Regional voters are more likely to oppose the carbon price (62 per cent) than city voters (53 per cent).
UPDATE: Gordon Graham on Twitter:
#Nielsen best to manage another economic crisis if one occurs: Rudd 29%, Turnbull 29%, Abbott 21%, Gillard 15%
UPDATE 2: Full results from Nielsen here. The Coalition two-party vote is 58 per cent in New South Wales (down one on last month), 48 per cent in Victoria (down seven), 65 per cent in Queensland (down three), 61 per cent in South Australia/Northern Territory (steady) and 61 per cent in Western Australia (down two), remembering that the smaller states especially come from small samples. Labor has a better overall result on respondent-allocated preferences (56-44, a five-point improvement) than on the previous-election measure, and while I don’t recommend reading much into this, it’s interesting to note how different this is from Morgan, which has consistently had Labor doing worse on respondent-allocated preferences throughout this year.
UPDATE 3: Essential Research has the Coalition lead unchanged at 57-43 on two-party preferred, Labor has gained a point on the primary vote to 31 per cent, but the Coalition and the Greens are steady on 50 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. As with Nielsen, Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have rebounded from a diabolical result a month ago: most encouragingly for her, this is the first poll since June 14 (Newspoll and Essential results from the same day) in which she has led Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, now leading 38-36 after trailing 37-39 last month. Gillard’s approval is up six to 35 per cent and her disapproval down seven to 55 per cent, while Tony Abbott is down two to 37 per cent and up one to 50 per cent.
Tellingly, 47 per cent of respondents say they think it likely there will be another global financial crisis similar to the one that occurred in 2009 against 39 per cent who think it about 50/50, with only 8 per cent opting for not very likely. In that event, 40 per cent would more trust the Liberals to deal with it against 31 per cent for Labor and 20 per cent no difference, while 36 per cent would favour stimulus spending in response against 39 per cent who would not. For all that, 54 per cent believe the government has handled the economy well in recent years against 39 per cent who rate it as poor.