ReachTEL has leapt into the post-budget field on behalf of the Seven Network, with an automated phone poll conducted last night from 3180 respondents. It records a slight improvement for the Coalition compared with the pollster’s earlier holding pattern, with the Coalition primary vote on 41.1% (up 1.3%), Labor on 38.3% (down 1.0%), the Greens on 12.1% (up 0.2%) and Palmer United on 2.2% (steady). Interestingly, the poll provides breakdowns by respondents’ employment status, which I might take a closer look at later in comparison with past post-election survey data. The budget doesn’t get a huge endorsement, with 16.4% rating they will be better off, 30.3% worse off and 53.3% about the same.
Contrary to other recent polling, this result gives Bill Shorten a clear lead on preferred prime minister of 57.2-42.8, with the important methodological distinction that respondents to this poll were not allowed an uncommitted option. Questions on leadership approval provide more evidence of Tony Abbott’s ongoing improvement, while Bill Shorten’s satisfactory result is up at the expense of both favourable and unfavourable responses. A three-way question on who has done the best job promoting the budget finds only 11.7% favouring Tony Abbott, with the rest divided between Joe Hockey (44.8%) and Scott Morrison (43.4%). Full results here.