The slump in Labor support recorded in the year’s first Nielsen poll has been exactly enough to erase a two-party lead in the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which it had enjoyed since mid-December. This was despite a strong result for Labor from Essential Research, which appears to be maintaining its curious status as a lagged indicator. On the state breakdowns, the biggest movement is in Victoria, where Nielsen had Labor’s lead at a well below-par 52-48. This has helped cut the Victorian swing on BludgerTrack from 7.9% to 4.3%, and reduced Labor’s projected seat gain from five to two. Elsewhere, Labor is down one seat each in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The overall projection is now for a Coalition absolute majority, providing another indication that the BludgerTrack model considers the electoral terrain to be weighted in the Coalition’s favour. Leadership ratings from Nielsen provided further evidence of diminishing support for Bill Shorten, who is now only fractionally ahead of Tony Abbott on net approval. Abbott’s lead of about 10% as preferred prime minister has nonetheless been stable since early December, as has his slightly negative net approval rating. Full results as always on the sidebar.
On the back of the Coalition’s best poll result since November, the BludgerTrack aggregate finds Labor’s two-party lead evaporating and the Coalition back in charge on the seat projection.