UPDATE: The first Newspoll result of the year has just been reported, and I’m sticking it on the top of the existing post because of technical difficulties we’re having. The poll has the Coalition leading 54-46 on two-party preferred, in common with Essential Research and Galaxy (see below), and indeed with last year’s final Newspoll result from December 2-4. However, Newspoll has both parties solidly lower on the primary vote than the other two pollsters, at 30 per cent for Labor and 45 per cent for the Coalition which is respectively down one and up one on the December poll. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is also down three points to 33 per cent and her disapproval is down one to 55 per cent. Tony Abbott’s numbers are all but identical to Gillard’s, his approval steady on 32 per cent and disapproval down two to 55 per cent. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 43-36 to 40-37.
The Daily Telegraph reports Galaxy’s first poll of federal voting intention since October is in line with other recent polling in showing the Coalition’s two-party preferred lead at 54-46, from primary votes of 34 per cent for Labor, 48 per cent for the Coalition and 12 per cent for the Greens. However, Kevin Rudd’s big lead over Julia Gillard in a head-to-head contest for preferred Labor leader is essentially unchanged at 52 per cent to 30 per cent, compared with 53 per cent to 29 per cent in October. When Bill Shorten is thrown in as a third contender he scores 14 per cent to Rudd’s 44 per cent and Gillard’s 27 per cent. The poll was conducted on Saturday and Sunday (i.e. today if you’re reading this soon enough) from a sample of 1001, with a margin of error of about 3 per cent.
Essential Research has the Coalition leading 54-46 from primary votes of 35 per cent for Labor, 48 per cent for the Coalition and 10 per cent for the Greens, which differs from last week only in that the Greens are a point higher, and is exactly the same as the week before. The supplementary questions include some zingers, not least the finding that our greatest Prime Ministers of the past 70 years were John Howard (33 per cent, up from 28 per cent when the question was last asked in January 2009) followed by Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke (15 per cent). Howard scores no less than 61 per cent among Coalition voters, leaving Bob Menzies for dust on 18 per cent, while Labor supporters divide much more evenly between Hawke and Rudd, and to a lesser extent Whitlam and Keating. Poor old Malcolm Fraser scores a third of Gough Whitlam, a fifth of Bob Hawke and an eleventh of John Howard. Also featured are blast-from-the-past questions on how respondents rate the Building the Education Revolution: 30 per cent good and 31 per cent poor, although that includes 15 per cent very poor and only 7 per cent very good. Desire for a new election is essentially unchanged on December, at 40 per cent for and 48 per cent against, and support for a trial of mandatory pre-commitment is at 58 per cent with 29 per cent opposed though I would sooner have seen support for it compared with a non-trial introduction before the election