The first opinion poll of the Malcolm Turnbull era is a ReachTEL survey of 3278 respondents conducted for the Seven Network last night, and it has the two parties tied on two-party preferred, which is at the milder end of what I would have expected from the Turnbull bounce. It compares with leads to Labor of 53-47 in the last two polls under Tony Abbott. The primary votes are Coalition 43.3% (up 3.0%), Labor 35.9% (down 1.6%) and Greens 11.9% (down 1.5%). However, Malcolm Turnbull records a clear 61.9-38.1 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister, whereas Shorten had consistently strong leads over Tony Abbott in this particular series of 57.9-42.1 at the most recent poll on August 28. Shorten’s rating on the five-point satisfaction scale has also taken a hit, with his combined good plus very good rating down 4.6% to 18.9%, satisfactory steady on 32.5%, and poor plus very poor up 4.6% to 48.7%. Respondents were asked to rate the performance of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister rather than Malcolm Turnbull, and it found little change in his ratings at 27.8% for very good or good, 18.8% for satisfactory, and 53.4% for poor or very poor.
Also today, Roy Morgan unloaded its final tranche of polling conducted over the weekend, departing from its normal routine of accumulating two weekends of polling before publishing a combined a result. This poll also does not feature the usual SMS component, consisting purely of face-to-face polling, for a sample of 826 compared with its usual 3000-plus. Labor’s primary vote was up a point on the previous Morgan poll to 36.5%, with the Coalition down 1.5% to 35%, and the Greens down half-a-point to a still-imposing 16%. Labor’s two-party lead on respondent-allocated preferences blew out from 55-45 to 57-43, and rose from 55.5-44.5 to 56.5-43.5 on previous election preferences.
The BludgerTrack poll aggregate on the sidebar has been updated with the latest Essential and Morgan results to produce a concluding result for Tony Abbott’s prime ministership. This records a 0.2% shift to Labor on two-party preferred compared with last week, and credits Labor with single gains on the seat projection in New South Wales and Western Australia. There were, however, no new results on the leadership ratings.
Also of note: the Australian Electoral Commission published draft boundaries on Friday for a redistribution of the Australian Capital Territory’s two seats. This is chiefly notable for proposing that the electorate of Fraser, held for Labor by Andrew Leigh, be renamed Fenner, in honour of virologist Professor Frank Fenner. The rationale is that the name Fraser should be freed up for use in the next redistribution in Victoria, in honour of the late Malcolm Fraser. More substantively, the redistribution proposes the transfer of the city centre and the southern parts of Turner and Braddon immediately to the north, together with Reid and Campbell to the east. This involves the transfer of around 10,000 voters from Fraser to Canberra (which is held for Labor by Gai Brodtmann), leaving Labor’s two-party margin in Fraser unchanged at 12.6%, while increasing the Canberra margin from 7.0% to 7.4%.