GhostWhoVotes tweets that the latest Nielsen poll, conducted for Fairfax from a sample of 1400, has the Coalition’s lead blowing out to 57-43 after a relatively mild 54-46 last month. The primary votes are 29% for Labor (down three) and 47% for the Coalition (up three). That becomes 50-50 under a Kevin Rudd leadership scenario, with primary votes of 40% for Labor and 42% for the Coalition. The poll also finds Julia Gillard crashing on preferred prime minister from 46-46 to 50-41 in Tony Abbott’s favour.
I don’t normally give too much coverage to the internals in these polls, but there is very interesting movement beyond the margin of error in the gender breakdowns. Whereas all voting intention figures and personal ratings are little changed on the last poll for women, Labor’s primary vote among men is down seven to 24%, with Gillard down eight on approval to 28% and up ten on disapproval to 69%, and Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister widening from 48-42 to 56-35. The other noteworthy feature of the breakdowns is a big movement away from Labor among respondents under 40, but little change in the older cohorts.
We also had a Galaxy poll of 996 respondents published in the Sunday News Limited papers, which had the Coalition’s lead up from 54-46 to 55-45, from primary votes of 32% for Labor (down two), 47% for the Coalition (up one) and 11% for the Greens (up one). With Kevin Rudd as leader, the primary votes became 38% for Labor, 43% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens, with two-party preferred at 50-50. Nonetheless, only 34% said Gillard should make way for Rudd with 52% opposed (32-60 among Labor and 33-51 among Coalition supporters).
UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research has Labor down a point on the primary vote to 35%, but is otherwise unchanged on last week with the Coalition on 47%, the Greens on 8% and two-party preferred at 54-46. Respondents were also asked who they voted for in 2010, an exercise which is generally recognised as being blighted by the tendency of some to mis-remember having voted for the winning party. Sure enough, once didn’t vote and don’t know are excluded, the results are 44% for Labor, 42% for the Coalition and 8% for the Greens, compared with election results of 38.0%, 43.6% and 11.8%. Respondents saying they had changed their vote were given a list of choices for why, but the samples here are very small and no clear pattern emerges from the results.
The poll also inquires about importance of election issues and the best party to handle them, which for some reason has management of the economy declining in importance since February (47% nominated it as one of their three most important issues, compared with 62% in February), with political leadership increasing (from 14% to 22%). Labor has gone substantially backwards as the best party for political leadership, along with environmental and population issues. Further questions on asylum seekers have 38% rating the Coalition as having the best policy against 13% for Labor and 7% for the Greens. A five-point scale of the issue’s importance has 37% rating it in the middle, 34% as important, and 24% as less important or not important.
UPDATE 2 (Morgan): The weekly Morgan multi-mode poll defies Nielsen in recording a shift to Labor on last week’s result, their primary vote up two to 33% with the Coalition down 1.5% to 44.5% and the Greens down 0.5% to 9%. The Coalition two-party lead narrows from 56-44 to 54.5-45.5 on previous election preferences, and from 56-44 to 53.5-46.5 on respondent allocated preferences.