The eagerly awaited pre-spill Newspoll concurs with Galaxy in having Labor’s two-party lead at 57-43, from primary votes of 35% for the Coalition, 41% for Labor and 12% for the Greens. The Coalition result is down three points on the last Newspoll of December 12-14, and one point lower than Galaxy; Labor’s is up two, and two points lower than Galaxy; and the Greens’ is steady, and one point higher than Galaxy. The previous Newspoll result was 54-46 on two-party preferred. Phillip Hudson’s paywalled report on the Newspoll result in The Australian can be read here; the tables are featured on The Australian’s website here.
Tony Abbott’s personal ratings are 24% satisfied and 68% dissatisfied, for a net satisfaction rating of minus 44%. In a history going back to 1985, the only occasions when Newspoll produced a worse result for a Prime Minister were when Julia Gillard recorded minus 45% in the poll of September 2-4, 2011, and in four polls under Paul Keating from August to October in 1993. Alexander Downer had two worse results as Opposition Leader near the end of his tenure in December 1994, and Andrew Peacock matched it in a poll conducted during the 1990 election campaign. Bill Shorten leads Abbott as preferred prime minister by 48-30, up from 44-37 last time, a result surpassed only by a 20% lead for Alexander Downer over Paul Keating during the former’s short-lived honeymoon period in July 1994. Shorten is up five on approval to 42% and down three on disapproval to 40%.
Head-to-head questions on the Liberal leadership find Malcolm Turnbull favoured over Abbott by 64-25 and Julie Bishop favoured 59-27, while Turnbull is favoured over Bishop by 49-38. The poll was conducted from Friday to today from a sample of 1178.
UPDATE: To follow today’s action as it unfolds, you could do quite a lot worse than to tune in to Crikey’s Liberal leadership spill live blog.