Stephen Murray tweets that the fortnightly Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian has Labor’s lead at 54-46, down from 55-45, from primary votes of 37% for Labor (down one), 36% for the Coalition (steady), 12% for the Greens (up one) and 15% for others (unchanged). However, the leadership ratings have moved back to trend after wild movements in the wake of the budget, with Tony Abbott up three on approval to 33% and down one on disapproval to 59%, and Bill Shorten down four to 38% and up four to 43%. Shorten’s big lead as preferred prime minister is nonetheless intact, the result shifting from 44-34 to 45-35.
Also out today is the latest result from Morgan, combining two weekends’ worth of face-to-face and SMS polling from a sample of 3247, likewise shows a holding pattern with Labor down half a point on the primary vote to 38%, the Coalition steady on 35%, the Greens down one to 11%, and Palmer United up one to a new high of 7.5%. On two-party preferred, Labor leads 55-45 if preferences are allocated as per the 2013 election result and by 56.5-43.5 based on respondents’ allocation, which respectively amounts to a drop for Labor of 1.5% and 1% on the poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of the budget.
In other polling news, it emerged today that Nielsen will shortly quit the political polling game to focus on core strategic work directed at consumer purchasing and media consumption. This will be effective from July, which I take to mean two more monthly results are still to come. Nielsen has been providing Fairfax with polling since the start of 1995, at which point the series travelled under the name of AGB McNair, which would shortly be acquired by the global market research concern then known as ACNielsen. Despite Fairfax’s present program of heavy cost-cutting, the organisation promises it is currently exploring a range of options to strengthen and broaden the new Fairfax poll’s depth and reach.
As one pollster leaves, another arrives we will be hearing more in future from an outfit called I-view, which has lately taken to publishing fortnightly attitudinal results from its online polling. Its most recent results gauged opinion on the budget both before and after the event, and are well in line with the findings of other pollsters. I-view’s parent company is international market research firm Ipsos, whose UK branch Ipsos MORI is one of the biggest names in polling in that country.
UPDATE (Essential Research): This week’s fortnightly rolling aggregate finds the good ship Essential Research catching up on the budget backlash with a two-point drop in the Coalition vote to 38%, with Labor steady on 39% and the Greens and Palmer United each up a point, to 10% and 6% respectively. Labor gains a point on two-party preferred, its lead now at 53-47. Of the other questions asked, two are of particular interest. One relates to best person to lead the Liberal Party, the first such poll conducted since the election. This has Malcolm Turnbull leading Tony Abbott 31% to 18%, with Coalition voters favouring Abbott 43-27 and Labor supporters doing so for Turnbull to the tune of 37-3, with Joe Hockey on 6% and Julie Bishop on 4%. The last time Essential asked this question was in late July last year, at which point Turnbull was on 37%, Abbott on 17% and Hockey on 10%, lending credence to the notion that the latter has taken a hit from the budget. The other is the spectacular finding that 47% would support Labor blocking the budget and forcing a new election, with only 40% opposed.
Further questions find the budget having been deemed to have cut too heavily by 48%, too little by 11%, and just enough by 21%; 53% thinking Labor should vote against some of the budget, 18% against all of it, and 18% against none of it; the deficit levy deemed least deserving of blocking and deregulation of university fees the most. A semi-regular question on party most trusted to handle various issues has the Coalition taking double-digit post-budget hits on education, health, climate change and protection of Australian jobs and local industries, more moderate ones on management of the economy and political leadership, and none at all on security, asylum seekers and managing population growth.