UPDATE (Essential Research and Morgan): Essential Research is still at 50-50, although Labor has been up three points on the primary vote over the past fortnight, the most recent move being one point to 39%. The Coalition, Greens and Palmer United are steady at 43%, 8% and 3%. There are also personal ratings and further questions which you can read about at the bottom of the post. Morgan has the Labor lead narrowing from 53-47 to 52-48 on respondent-allocated preferences, and from 52.5-47.5 to 51-49 on previous election preferences. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 40.5%, Labor steady on 37%, the Greens down one to 10.5% and Palmer United up 1.5% to 4.5%.
GhostWhoVotes reports the first Newspoll for the year has Labor leading 51-49, compared with 52-48 in the final poll of last year, which was conducted from December 6-8. Labor has dropped three points on the primary vote to 35%, but the slack is taken up by the Greens, who are up three to 12%, with the Coalition up by one point to 41%. The results also support Essential Research’s finding that a good deal of air went out of Bill Shorten’s honeymoon balloon over the break, his approval rating down five points to 35%. More to follow.
UPDATE: James J in comments serves up the personal ratings, which have Tony Abbott perfectly unchanged at 40% approval and 45% disapproval, Bill Shorten respectively down nine to 35% and up eight to 35%, and preferred prime minister effectively unchanged at 41-33 in favour of Abbott, compared with 41-34 last time.
UPDATE 2: Dennis Shanahan’s report on the results for The Oz.
UPDATE 3: Questions on ABC bias produce similar results to the recent ReachTEL poll, with most considering its news fair and balanced, but Coalition supporters more likely to feel aggrieved than Labor ones. Eighteen per cent felt the ABC biased to Labor versus 7% biased against, which naturally enough produced a mirror image when the question was framed in terms of Coalition bias (7% biased in favour, 19% biased against). Results for the Greens were hardly different than for Labor, with 15% thinking it biased in favour, 8% biased against, and 48% balanced. Tables showing breakdowns by party support here.
UPDATE 4: Essential Research’s monthly personal ratings have both leaders heading south, with Tony Abbott down six on approval to 41% and up four on disapproval to 47%, and Bill Shorten down five to 30% and up two to 34%. Better prime minister is little changed at 40-30 in favour of Abbott, compared with 42-31 a month ago. As is usually the case when a party’s position improves in the polls, Labor has improved across the board on the question of party most trusted to handle various issues, the biggest changes being a drop in the deficit on political leadership from 23% to 13% and economic management from 26% to 19%. A question on various types of industry assistance finds strong support for drought relief, private health rebates and tourism development grants, but strong opposition to fuel rebates for the mining industry. Interestingly, automotive production subsidies score a net rating of minus 11%.