GhostWhoVotes reports that the latest Newspoll has the Coalition in the lead for the first time since late November, their lead of 51-49 comparing with Labor’s 52-48 lead in the poll of a fortnight ago. The primary votes are 43% for the Coalition (up three), 34% for Labor (down two) and 11% for the Greens (down two). More to follow. UPDATE: Tony Abbott’s net approval improves slightly with approval steady on 40% and disapproval down three to 47%, while Bill Shorten is respectively down five to 31% and down one to 42%. There is also a less decisive result on preferred prime minister, with Abbott down two to 41% and Shorten down three to 33%. The Australian’s report here.
Morgan had its fortnightly face-to-face plus SMS poll out today, encompassing 2869 respondents over the past two weekends. It too has Labor losing ground on the previous poll, down from 54-46 ahead on respondent-allocated preferences to 51.5-48.5 (and on previous election preferences, 53.5-46.5 to 52-48), from primary votes of 34.5% for Labor (down four), 38.5% for the Coalition (up half a point), 12% for the Greens (up one point) and 5% for Palmer United (up half).
UPDATE (Essential Research): This week’s Essential Research fortnightly average records very little change, with Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead from primary votes of 43% for the Coalition, 38% for Labor, 9% for the Greens and 3% for Palmer United, the only change there being a one point drop for Labor. Also featured are the monthly leaders ratings, which have Tony Abbott up a point on approval to 41% and steady on disapproval at 47%, Bill Shorten up two to 32% and down one to 38%, and Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister up from 39-33 to 42-32. Other questions find 25% support for the privatisation of Medibank Private and 46% opposition, 61% expecting it would cause health insurance fees to increase against just 3% who think they would decrease, and 25% approving of the sale of government assets to fund new infrastructure against 58% disapproving. A semi-regular question on climate change finds 56% thinking it caused by human activity, up five on January, with 34% favouring the more skeptical response, down five.