A strong result for Labor from Newspoll sees blue and red cross paths on the BludgerTrack two-party preferred aggregate, with Labor seizing its first substantial lead since the aggregate opened for business late last year. Labor has also been boosted to one shy of an absolute majority on the seat projection, with the Coalition crashing to 70. The state breakdowns find Labor back to 2010 territory in Victoria, and doing rather a lot better than that in Queensland and Western Australia.
While mostly the work of Newspoll, part of the shift to Labor is the result of a modelling tweak to deal with the particular difficulty posed by Essential Research, which instead of favouring a particular party over time appears to have a bias towards stability. Bias adjustments based on its pre-election performance have accordingly been correcting for a lean to Labor that disappeared together with the Coalition’s polling ascendancy. So I will instead be plotting the trend of Essential’s deviation from the model’s results, with the bias corrections adjusting over time.
The other big news on the BludgerTrack front is that it is now tracking leadership ratings as well as voting intention. Such data is available fortnightly from Newspoll and monthly from Nielsen and Essential Research, which at this state leaves a fairly shallow pool. It is nonetheless clear from the sidebar that meaningful trends are already evident. I am excluding from consideration the personal ratings from ReachTEL, whose refusal to give respondents an uncommitted option leads to idiosyncratic results.
In other news, Crikey subscribers might care to enjoy my article yesterday on the inquiry into the missing WA Senate ballots.
UPDATE: Kevin Bonham offers an excellent review of what the polls say, and what they mean (and don’t mean).