This week’s better-late-than-never BludgerTrack poll aggregate reading finds the MH17 effect boosting the Coalition by 1.1% on two-party preferred, and putting it two points clear of Labor on the primary vote. On the seat projection, the Coalition this week gains two in Queensland and one in every other mainland state, a net gain of six that nonetheless leaves Labor with an overall majority of 79 seats out of 150. The bigger effect is on the personal ratings, for which Newspoll contributes to a lift of nearly six points on the reading for Tony Abbott’s net approval, albeit from a dismally low base. Newspoll also causes the previously downward trend for Bill Shorten’s net approval rating to level off this week, although his lead as preferred prime minister continues to narrow.
Also on the better-late-than-never front, this week’s Essential Research, which I neglected to cover on Tuesday, had the Coalition gaining a point for the second week in a row to now trail 51-49, from primary votes of 41% for the Coalition (up two on a week ago), 38% for Labor (down one), 9% for the Greens (steady) and 5% for Palmer United (down one). Other questions found a very healthy 67% approving of Tony Abbott’s handling of the Malaysia Airlines disaster with only 13% disapproving; Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysian government and the United Nations also credited with handling the matter well, but the Russian government not so much; 49% believing Vladimir Putin should not be allowed to attend the G20 versus 29% for should be allowed; and 62% supporting trade sanctions against Russia, 46% supporting the withdrawal of diplomatic relations and 28% supporting support for the Ukrainian government against the rebels, with only 8% preferring that no action be taken.
The poll also finds 59% of respondents not expecting their electricity bill to decrease as a result of the carbon tax repeal, which includes 16% who actually expect it to go up, versus only 33% who expect it to fall. A question on actions on climate change policy has only 5% nominating the government’s direct action policy of the available options and only 19% going for an emissions trading scheme, with 43% insteading opting for incentives for renewable energy. Another question finds 51% favouring an increase in the childcare rebate over the government’s paid parental leave scheme, which is preferred by only 25%.