Another week in which the BludgerTrack aggregate has essentially shrugged its shoulders in response to a headline-grabbing opinion poll surprise, in this case the narrow 51-49 lead recorded for Labor by Newspoll. With Roy Morgan and Essential Research both going fairly solidly the other way, the Coalition records a gain of only 0.3% on two-party preferred, yielding a dividend of one seat in Western Australia on the seat projection. The Coalition and Labor are both up on the primary vote at the expense of the minor parties, with Palmer United notably hitting a record low in the wake of Glenn Lazarus’s resignation. Interestingly enough, both Labor’s two-party vote and seat projection are exactly as they were at the 2007 election.
Newspoll provided a new set of numbers for the leadership ratings, and as usual the trend reading is highly responsive to the latest seat of results. That means another improvement for Tony Abbott’s net approval rating, which is now back to what had previously been his career-worst result before the Prince Philip knighthood. Bill Shorten is down too, and it’s now clear that the change in dynamics after the Liberal leadership spill vote has taken a bite out of his approval rating. On preferred prime minister, Tony Abbott is now rating very slightly better than he was prior to Australia Day. Full results on the sidebar, further down from the very similar looking display for the New South Wales state election.