Absolutely no change whatsoever in this week’s Essential Research result, except that the others reading is up a point to 9% without making any change the other primary votes, because rounding. That means Labor leads 52-48 on two-party while trailing 40% to 38% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10% and Palmer United on 4%. We also get Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which have Tony Abbott down one on approval to 39% and up two on disapproval to 50%, Bill Shorten up two on both measures to 37% and 38%, and Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister narrowing from 38-32 to 36-34. Further questions are inspired by data retention, the most direct of which finds 41% broadly supportive and 44% broadly opposed. A slight majority indicated a lot or some trust for police and intelligence agencies not to misuse data (53% against 42% for little or no trust), but few did so for private companies. Only 34% expressed support for the AFP using data retention to pursue illegal downloaders, with 47% opposed.
United Voice has commissioned ReachTEL to conduct automated phone polls of the North Sydney (Joe Hockey, Liberal) and McMahon (Chris Bowen, Labor) electorates, by way of promoting its campaign for childcare funding. The full results, including responses to questions on childcare, can be downloaded here. Excluding the undecided, the North Sydney poll has the Liberals on 49% (down 12%), Labor on 34% (up 14%) and the Greens on 13% (down 3%), translating on 2013 preferences to a Liberal two-party vote of 53.7% (down 12.2%). However, the McMahon poll is almost bang on the 2013 election result: Labor 49% (down 2%), Liberal 40% (down 1%) and Greens 4% (up 1%), with Labor’s two-party vote unchanged at 55.3%.
The Australian Electoral Commission has been rebuked in an Australian National Audit Office report for failing to implement promised improvements to ballot box and polling booth security before the 2013 election, and not doing as much as it claimed to have done to implement the recommendations of the Keelty report following the WA Senate disaster. More from Harley Dennett at The Mandarin.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has flagged the possibility of Legislative Council reforms, in particular an end to staggered eight-year terms, to be implemented after a referendum.