Stephen Murray tweets that Newspoll has come in at 51-49 in favour of Labor, down from 52-48 a fortnight ago. Both parties are unchanged on the primary vote, the Coalition at 40% and Labor at 34%. Labor’s missing point on two-party preferred is down to a two-point drop on an excessive reading last time for the Greens, who are now at 11%. Bill Shorten has recovered the narrowest of leads as preferred prime minister, leading 40-39 after trailing 41-37 last time, and his personal ratings are solidly improved on the previous poll, with satisfaction up three to 39% and dissatisfaction down four to 40%. Tony Abbott’s ratings are effectively unchanged at 36% satisfaction (steady) and 55% dissatisfaction (down one). The poll also finds 77% support for laws requiring visitors returning from certain areas to prove they weren’t in contact with terrorists.
UPDATE (Essential Research): Labor retains its 52-48 lead from Essential Research, with both major parties down a point on the primary vote the Coalition to 39%, Labor to 37% and the Greens up one to 10%. A question on Australia’s best Treasurer recently, at least has Peter Costello beating Paul Keating 30% to 23%, with Wayne Swan on 8%, Joe Hockey on 5% and 35% opting for don’t know. Bernard Keane in Crikey notes that Costello benefited from great ambivalence from Greens voters, 52% of whom declared don’t know rather than endorse the more progressive Keating, and Swan stole more votes from Labor supporters than Hockey did from the Coalition. The poll also found 38% of respondents rating Chinese investment as good for the economy versus 36% who said it wasn’t. The remaining questions dealt with social class, which 79% of respondents agreed existed, 31%, 49% and 2% respectively nominating themselves as working, middle and upper. Most interestingly, association of the parties with particular classes has increased since April last year, 41% associating Labor with the working class and 47% the Liberals with the upper class, up from 30% and 40%.