GhostWhoVotes reports that Nielsen, which has unusually conducted its poll from Tuesday to Thursday for publication at the start of the weekend (UPDATE: Ghost indicates that this is its normal practice during election campaigns), shows the Coalition with a lead of 52-48 after a 50-50 result in the previous poll of four weeks ago. On the primary vote, Labor is down two to 37% and the Coalition up two to 46%, with the Greens up one to 10%. Kevin Rudd’s approval ratings are down, though not quite to the same degree as in Newspoll: his approval is down three to 48% with disapproval up four to 47%. Tony Abbott on the other hand scores his best personal results from Nielsen since July 2011, his approval up four to 45% and disapproval down four to 52%. Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has shrunk from 55-41 to 50-42. The poll had Nielsen’s usual large sample of 1400. Full results including state breakdowns here.
Also through this evening is a Galaxy poll showing the Coalition with a 56-44 lead in Queensland, compared with 55.1-44.9 at the 2010 election. Annoyingly, the only detail on the primary vote provided in the Courier-Mail is that Labor is on 34%, compared with 33.6% in 2010. We are however provided with the following results from largely uninteresting attitudinal questions: 50% said Rudd had a good or very good understanding of issues that affect Queensland compared with 36%, with the respective poor ratings at 25% and 29%; 10% said they were more likely to vote for Rudd because he was a Queenslander; 35% of respondents over all, and 65% of Labor supporters, said they expected Labor to win. The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 800 respondents. (UPDATE: The poll has the Greens on 7%, Katter’s Australian Party on 4% and the Palmer United Party on 4%).
The above results have been used to update BludgerTrack, causing it to tick two seats in the Coalition’s direction with gains in Victoria and Queensland. I’m pleased to say that the tracker has done a good job of picking up Labor’s evident deflation in the latter state, with an early brace of projected Labor gains after Kevin Rudd’s return steady evaporating and now putting them very slightly in negative territory. It would not of course have picked up any Peter Beattie dividend for Labor as of yet. Less happily, the projection insists on granting Labor an implausible third seat in Western Australia. While the two most marginal Liberal seats of Hasluck and Swan could well be in the Labor firing line, the model is very likely overestimating their chances in Canning off the back of the boost Labor received there in 2010 from Alannah MacTiernan’s candidacy.
Finally, The Guardian reports on an automated phone poll conducted in Anthony Albanese’s inner-city Sydney electorate of Grayndler by Lonergan Research, who I have not encountered previously but whose work appears well regarded by those who have. It turns in a highly plausible set of numbers with Albanese at 47% on the primary vote (compared with 46.1% in 2010), the Liberals at 28% (up from 24.2%) and the Greens at 22% (down from 25.9%). A 66% two-party preferred vote for Labor is provided in the poll, which presumably means versus the Liberals (the Greens made it to the final count in 2010, leaving Albanese with a margin of 4.2%), although I’m not clear if this is previous-election or respondent-allocated preferences (UPDATE: It seems respondents were not asked about preferences, so evidently it’s the former). The sample is a hefty 966.
UPDATE: Now we have a ReachTEL poll, conducted today, showing the Coalition leading 53-47. More to follow.