James J relates that the fortnightly Newspoll in tomorrow’s Australian is bad news for the government, showing Labor leading 54-46 on two-party preferred (up from an already above-trend 53-47 last time) from primary votes of 38% Coalition (steady), 36% Labor (up two) and 13% Greens (down one). Tony Abbott is down one on both approval and disapproval, to 37% and 52%, while Bill Shorten is up two to 37% and down one to 45%. Preferred prime minister is at 39-38 in favour of Abbott, unchanged on last time. The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1175.
UPDATE: Essential Research bucks the trend a little to record the Coalition up a point to 40% and Labor down one by 38%, with Labor’s two-party lead narrowing from 53-47 to 52-48. The Greens are up a point to 10%, with Palmer United steady at 4%. Further questions found strong opposition to deregulation of university fees (53% disapprove, 22% approve), support for the NDIS being funded by a higher Medicare levy (44% approve, 34% disapprove), and a willingness to pay a higher GST if used to fund health (56%) or pensions (44%). There was also a very strong view that climate change will lead to a higher incidence of bushfires and severe weather events in the coming years.
Also today, Fairfax offered a further tranche of its Ipsos poll finding Julie Bishop level with Tony Abbott on 20% as preferred Liberal leader, but with Malcolm Turnbull still well ahead of both on 35%. For Labor leader, Bill Shorten on 30% had competition from Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek on 18% apiece.