Two new poll results this week from Nielsen and Essential Research have contributed to a continuation of the moderating trend of Labor’s post-budget poll lead, which sees the two-party preferred result in BludgerTrack come in at 52.6-47.4, down from 53.5-46.5 last week. The peak reading of 55.0-45.0 was recorded four weeks ago, a fortnight after the May 13 budget. The Coalition also has the lead on the primary vote for the first time in six weeks. Labor retains a reasonably comfortable majority on the seat projection, although the numbers once again illustrate how difficult the model considers the electoral terrain to be for Labor, as the present projection of 79 seats is four fewer than Labor managed with an almost identical two-party preferred vote when Kevin Rudd led it to victory in 2007.
There were some striking results in the state breakdowns in Nielsen this week, and BludgerTrack reflects this in having the swing in New South Wales moderate considerably, cutting their projected seat gain from 11 to seven, while in Victoria the gain is up from four to seven. Further shifts beneath the surface find Labor up a seat in Queensland, but down one in both Western Australia and South Australia. The Nielsen poll also furnishes us with a new set of leadership ratings, which after accounting for the model’s standardisation procedure are almost identical to last week’s results from Newspoll. The movements on last week are accordingly very minor.
Last week I offered a closer look at Palmer United’s polling trend, so this week I thought we’d home in on the Greens. After watching their vote fall from 11.8% at the 2010 election to 8.6% in 2013, polling has shown the party on a steady upward trend, with a short-lived spike occurring in April. While this was partly driven by one outlier result from Nielsen, all of the other polling conducted at that time has them clustered around the high level of 12%. All of these results were conducted in the immediate aftermath of the Western Australian Senate election, at which the party’s vote was up from 9.5% to 15.6%. The party’s polling in Western Australia has remained strong, the present BludgerTrack reading of its primary vote being 15.8%. Coincidentally or otherwise, the downward trend that followed the WA election spike coincided exactly with the federal budget.