Unless ReachTEL has something up its sleeve in the next few days, this week’s BludgerTrack reading is the last for the year, and it finds no indication that the rapid momentum away from the Coalition is tapering off. Indeed, the current output of the model has the Coalition in a worse position than at the height of the budget backlash, when Labor’s two-party vote peaked at 53.8%. Now it’s at 54.2%, following a 0.3% shift since last week that has also delivered seats in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia on the seat projection. Palmer United is also showing no signs of bottoming out, a remorseless downward trend since the mid-year Senate changeover having sent it from 6.3% to 2.3%.
A new set of leadership ratings from Newspoll this week knocks the froth off a recent improvement for Bill Shorten, and in doing so reverts his trendline to its remarkable picture of stability throughout the year, interrupted only by some particularly strong ratings in the immediate aftermath of the budget. Tony Abbott’s net rating slips slightly further, but this is due to the momentum of the trend rather than the effect of Newspoll, which was no worse for him than last fortnight’s. Newspoll also suggests the surge to Shorten on preferred prime minister is levelling off, albeit that he retains what from Abbott’s perspective is an alarmingly big lead by the normal standards of an Opposition Leader.