It’s been a big week for federal opinion polling, with Ipsos adding its voice to the regular fortnightly Newspoll and Morgan and the weekly Essential Research. The results are sharply polarised, with Ipsos and Morgan coming in weak for the government and Newspoll and Essential being fairly strong. The BludgerTrack aggregate reads this a slight move to Labor, which consolidates a shift in their favour last week. However, there has been no change on the seat projection this time around, with gains for Labor in New South Wales and Victoria counterbalanced by losses in Queensland and Western Australia. Newspoll and Ipsos both provide new numbers for leadership approval, on which both Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten record substantial downturns for net approval. However, since this was driven by somewhat peculiar numbers from Newspoll’s swansong, I’d reserve my judgement on that for the time being.
BludgerTrack’s current two-party preferred reading of 52.1% for Labor is a bit lower than the other players in the poll aggregation game just at the moment, with Kevin Bonham and Phantom Trend both having it at 52.4%, and Mark the Ballot being even further out at 52.7%. Our relative weightings for Newspoll and Ipsos may have had something to do with this, but another factor will have been that only BludgerTrack has Essential Research’s weekly samples as separate data points, since Bonham and Phantom Trend have only the published fortnightly rolling average, and Mark the Ballot drops the pollster altogether. You may infer from that that this week’s result was on the strong side for the Coalition.
Also of note:
Draft boundaries of a redistribution for the Northern Territory parliament have been published, which Antony Green considers in detail. The big change is the effective abolition of the Alice Springs seat of Araluen to make way for the new seat of Spillett in the north of Darwin’s growing satellite city of Palmerston. This has already had political ramifications, as Araluen MP Robyn Lambley cited it as one of her reasons for quitting the Country Liberal Party yesterday to sit as an independent, having intimated that the redistribution has singled her out for special treatment.
The Lowy Institute has published its annual poll encompassing attitudes towards a wide range of foreign policy issues, which was conducted between February and May from a combined sample of around 6000 respondents by Newspoll and I-view, the latter being a part of Ipsos. Among many other things, respondents were asked to give the government marks out of ten across eight issues, producing a strong 7.1 average for maintaining a strong alliance with the United States (if that be deemed a good thing), a fairly healthy 5.9 for responding to the threat of terrorism, a perhaps surprisingly soft 4.9 for handling the arrival of asylum seekers by boat, another 4.9 for managing Australia’s economy, and a low 4.0 for managing the issue of climate change.
The Lowy poll also found concern over climate change at its highest level of 2008, the potential electoral ramifications of which I considered in an article for Crikey yesterday. I had another subscriber-only Crikey piece on Friday which took a careful look at Essential Research data concerning perceptions of Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten.