The latest result of the Essential Research fortnightly rolling average is back at 54-46, after moving a point to the Coalition last week. On the primary vote, Labor is up one to 41%, the Coalition is down one to 39%, and the Greens are down one to 9%. The result combines two polling periods from the past two weekends extending from Friday to Monday, and so does not meaningfully account for the three-days-and-counting that the Prime Minister has spent as a national laughing stock.
Other questions ask respondents to rate the government’s handling of various issue areas, and since this question was last asked at the peak of a recovery period for the government in September, the movements are adverse. There has been a 10% correction in the government’s biggest strength of that time, relations with foreign countries, the net rating down from plus 15% to plus 5%, but managing the economy is also down solidly from minus 6% to minus 14%. Other movement is in the order of zero to 5%.
A separate question also finds the government copping a surprisingly mediocre rating on handling of asylum seekers, with good down three since July to 38% and poor up one to 36%. However, a further question finds 26% rating it too tough, 23% too soft and 35% opting for taking the right approach, which seems to be the best result that can be hoped for. Forty-four per cent expressed support for sending asylum seekers to Cambodia with 32% opposed.
Not sure if we’re going to get the Morgan face-to-face poll we would ordinarily have seen on Monday, but I can reveal that Ipsos will be in the field this weekend for the Fairfax papers.
UPDATE (Morgan): Morgan has published a poll that’s not quite cut from its normal cloth. The method is the usual face-to-face plus SMS, the field work period is normally Saturday and Sunday, and the results published the combined work of two weeks’ polling. But this time the field work period was Friday to Tuesday, and not inclusive of any polling from the weekend of January 17-18. In other words, a substantial part of the survey period comes after the Prince Philip disaster. The portents for the government are not good: compared with the poll that covered the first two weekends of the year, Labor gains a point on the primary vote directly at the Coalition’s expense, leaving them at 37.5% and 39.5% respectively. After a hitherto soft set of polling results so far this year, the Greens shoot up from 9.5% to 12%. Labor now holds formidable two-party leads of 56.5-43.5 on respondent-allocated preferences, up from 54.5-45.5, and 55.5-44.5 on previous election preferences, up from 53-47 to 55.5-44.5. The sample of 2057, while still large, is about two-thirds the usual.
ReachTEL, which is not normally prone to hyperbole, is talking up results federally and from Ashgrove which the Seven Network will reveal shortly.
UPDATE 2 (ReachTEL): The ReachTEL poll, conducted last night to take advantage of the Prince Philip imbroglio, is bad-but-not-apocalyptic for the Coalition in terms of voting intention, with Labor’s lead up from 53-47 to 54-46. The primary votes are 40.1% for Labor, 39.7% for the Coalition and 11.3% for the Greens.
However, the headline grabbers relate to Tony Abbott’s personal ratings. The poll finds him a distant third for preferred Liberal leader, on 18% to Malcolm Turnbull’s 44% and Julie Bishop’s 30%. The five-point scale personal ratings find Tony Abbott moving 9.5% in the wrong direction on both indicators, with very good plus good at 21.6% and bad plus very bad at 61.6%.
Bill Shorten is respectively up from 21.3% and 27.1% and up from 37.7% to 38.3%, and while that’s a net improvement, it’s interesting to note he does less well on the five-point scale than approve-uncommitted-disapproval. The poll also found 71% of respondents were opposed to the Prince Philip knighthood, with 12% in support.