Essential Research and Morgan are still the only pollsters back in the game, and both have shifted slightly to the Coalition this week. The regular Essential Research fortnightly rolling average has the Coalition lead up from 52-48 to 53-47, from primary votes of 44% for the Coalition (up one), 34% for Labor (down one) and 10% for the Greens (steady). Monthly personal ratings have Tony Abbott up five to an all-time high of 46% approval and down one on disapproval to 35%, and with a 41-22 lead over Bill Shorten (who doesn’t get his own personal ratings yet) as preferred prime minister. There are particularly large gender gaps in these results, Abbott having a net approval of plus 14 among men and zero among women, and leading Shorten 48-21 among men and 35-23 among women.
Pleasingly, this week’s supplementary questions look at electoral reform. A question on the Senate voting system offered respondents the option of keeping the present system (a surprisingly high 32%), introduce New South Wales-style optional preferential above-the-line voting (33%) or look into other options (20%). There also seems to be a benign attitude to the Senate’s crop of successful micro-party candidates, who despite having mostly scored very few votes are rated good for democracy by 36% and bad for democracy by 26%, with 17% opting for no difference. Support for compulsory voting remains very high at 71% with only 25% opposed, closely reflecting results of a comprehensive Australian National University survey on attitudes to electoral reform from August. Essential also features a semi-regular question on same-sex marriage, with results essentially unchanged from May: support and opposition are both down a point, to 57% and 31% respectively.
The latest Morgan multi-mode poll, which will be reporting fortnightly for the rest of the year at least, is a better result for the Coalition than the last, having their primary vote up 1.5% to 43.5%, Labor’s down 2.5% to 34.5%, the Greens up a point to 10%, and the Palmer United Party steady on 4.5%. On respondent-allocated preferences, Labor’s 50.5-49.5 lead from a fortnight ago has turned into a Coalition lead of 51.5-48.5, which aligns precisely with my own calculation based on modelling of preference flows from the recent election. Morgan is also publishing previous-election preference figures, but since they have made the curious determination to grant all PUP and KAP votes to the Coalition until the AEC makes available breakdowns from the election, they are of no value at present.
In other news, I had a post-mortem on Labor’s remarkable Miranda by-election victory in New South Wales in Crikey yesterday, available to subscribers only.
UPDATE (25/10): Morgan has published results from an online poll conducted on the weekend from a sample of 1169, which limits itself to the question of preferred prime minister. Despite the similar methodology, it’s considerably better for Bill Shorten than the Essential poll, putting Tony Abbott’s lead at 40-36 compared with Essential’s 41-22. Abbott’s lead is entirely down to those aged over 50, with Shorten leading in each of the three younger cohorts. Abbott’s lead is at 43-36 among men and 38-36 among women. Qualitative findings are also featured, which you can read here.