The BludgerTrack pendulum swings back to Labor this week following moves away from the Coalition in both Newspoll and Essential Research although not Roy Morgan, which was little changed on what for it was an unusually strong result for the Coalition a fortnight ago. Newspoll in particular was a surprise packet, but it should be noted that Labor once again appeared to get the better of rounding on its two-party result. If a simple application of 2013 election flows is made to Newspoll’s rounded primary vote numbers, the result that comes out is 52-48 rather than 53-47. Even so, Newspoll has driven a shift of 1.0% on the BludgerTrack two-party preferred and caused six seats to flip on the seat projection two in New South Wales, and one each in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
I say moves away from the Coalition rather than moves towards Labor advisedly, because this particular crop of polling actually found a degree of softness for both major parties. Both are down on the primary vote, the balance being absorbed by the Greens and especially others. The others result from Essential this week was at an equal high since it began reporting Palmer United separately last November. Newspoll’s didn’t change, but it was high in absolute terms something it’s been making a habit of lately, as Kevin Bonham explains.
The other manifestation of collective major party weakness came from Newspoll’s leadership ratings, which have caused fairly substantial shifts to the relevant BludgerTrack readings. The uptick to Tony Abbott that was showing up in recent weeks has well and truly been blunted, and a weak result for Bill Shorten has also caused his upward trend towards parity on net approval to disappear. With both leaders down on net satisfaction to about the same degree compared with last week, there is little change this week on preferred prime minister.