A quick replay of yesterday’s polling:
Essential Research has two-party preferred steady at 51-49 to the Coalition, from primary votes of 38% for the Labor (down one), 43% for the Coalition (down one) and 9% for the Greens (steady). The survey finds only 44% saying they will definitely not change their mind, with 30% deeming it unlikely and 21% quite possible. Respondents were also asked to nominate the leader they most trusted on a range of issues, with Tony Abbott holding modest leads on economic management, controlling interests rates and national security and asylum seeker issues, and Kevin Rudd with double-digit leads on education, health, environment and industrial relations. Kevin Rudd was thought too harsh on asylum seekers by 20%, too soft by 24% and about right by 40%, compared with 21%, 20% and 31% for Tony Abbott.
Morgan has Labor down half a point on the primary vote to 38%, the Coalition up 1.5% to 43%, and the Greens up one to 9.5%. With preferences distributed as per the result at the 2010 election, the Coalition has opened up a 50.5-49.5 lead, reversing the result from last week. On the respondent-allocated preferences measure Morgan uses for its headline figure, the result if 50-50 after Labor led 52-48 in the last poll.
BludgerTrack, which was formerly updated weekly but will now be brought up to date whenever substantial new data arrives, records no change on two-party preferred from the addition of the two new polls, although the Greens are up on the primary vote at the expense of Labor. However, there’s a fair bit of movement on the state seat projections, with Labor up one in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania and down one in Queensland for a net gain of two seats. That leaves two state-level projections at which one might well look askance: a finding of no gains for Labor in Queensland, against three gains for them in Western Australia. Whereas poll results in the weeks after the Rudd takeover had Labor outperforming the national result in Queensland as often as not, I now have five data points over the past fortnight all of which have them below. And while three gains in Western Australia certainly seems hard to credit (for one thing, the model is not adequately accounting for Labor losing the Alannah MacTiernan dividend from 2010 in Canning, which at present is rated a probable Labor gain), all five data points from the past fortnight show Labor improving on the 2010 result a pretty solid result given how noisy small-sample state-level data tends to be.
As far as I can tell, Labor and Liberal each had one television ad in business yesterday, and they read from much the same tactical script: both are positive, showcase the leader, and appear tailored to launching the parties’ rather nebulous campaign slogans. Kevin Rudd speaks to us of a new way, Opposition Leader style, while the actual Opposition Leader makes like Luke Skywalker and offers us new hope. The latter effort is a fairly obvious exercise in image softening, but what most stands out for me, having grown accustomed over the years to face of Australia advertising being served with a thick layer of political correctness on top (Qantas being an acknowledged leader in the field), is that all but a very small handful of the 50 or so faces in the ad are white.
UPDATE: ReachTEL has published the results of an automated phone poll of 702 respondents in Kevin Rudd’s electorate of Griffith, and it points to a 4% swing to the Liberal National Party paring his margin back to 4.5%. The primary votes from the poll are 45.6% for Kevin Rudd, 41.0% for LNP candidate Bill Glasson and 8.0% for the Greens.