The regular weekly Essential Research is the only new national poll this week following last week’s post-budget deluge, and true to the pollster’s form it fails to reflect a big shift evident elsewhere. Labor’s two-party preferred lead is at 52-48 for a fourth consecutive week, and it is fact down a point on the primary vote to 39%, with the Coalition steady on 40%, the Greens up one to 9% and Palmer United steady on 5%. Also featured are semi-regular questions on leaders’ attributes, finding a sharp decline in Tony Abbott’s standing since six weeks ago, including an 11 point rise on out of touch with ordinary people to 67%, a 10-point drop on good in a crisis to 35% and an 11-point drop on trustworthy to 29%, while Bill Shorten has gone up in respondents’ estimations, enjoying nine-point lifts on understands the problems facing Australia (to 53%) and a capable leader (to 51%).
The poll also canvassed sources of influence on the major parties, finding the Coalition too influenced by property developers (53% too much to 18% not enough), mining companies (52% to 20%) and the media (44% to 24%). Labor’s worst ratings were for unions (47% to 24%) and the media (46% to 18%), and it too scored a net negative rating on property developers (39% to 21%). Both parties were deemed most insufficiently responsive to students, welfare groups and average citizens (in last place for both), with employer groups also in the mix for Labor. Other findings show strong opposition to increasing the GST to 12% (32% support to 58% oppose) or expanding it to cover fresh fruit and vegetables (18% support to 75% oppose); 51% concerned about Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations being closed to the public and the media against 37% not concerned; 37% supporting an agreement to resettle refugees in Cambodia versus 39% opposed; and only 5% thinking the government should be funding religious chaplains only, with 17% opting for secular social workers only and 37% opting for both.
Another poll nugget emerged yesterday courtesy of the Construction Mining Forestry and Energy Union, which produced a UMR Research poll of 1000 respondents in the marginal seats of La Trobe in Victoria, Forde in Queensland and Lindsay in New South Wales, respectively showing results of 60-40 to Labor (a swing of 14%), 58-42 to Labor (12.4%) and 50-50 (3%).