Two very different poll results today, one in line with the ReachTEL and Galaxy polls that reported in the immediate wake of the leadership change last week, the other not. In the former category is Newspoll, which had the Coalition with a lead of 51-49 compared with a Labor lead of 54-46 a fortnight ago from primary votes of Coalition 44% (up five), Labor 35% (down four) and Greens 11% (down one). Malcolm Turnbull opens his account with an approval rating of 42% and disapproval of 24%, and leads Bill Shorten 55-21 as preferred prime minister. Shorten’s approval rating is down a point to 29%, and his disapproval down four to 54%.
The other poll for the day was Roy Morgan’s extraordinary finding of a 10% shift on two-party preferred, which blows out to 12% under respondent-allocated preferences. This leaves the Coalition with leads of 55-45 on the former measure and 53.5-46.5 on the latter, from primary votes of Coalition 46% (up eleven), Labor 29.5 (down seven) and Greens 13% (down three). The poll was conducted on Saturday and Sunday from 2059 respondents, and appears to have have been conducted only using face-to-face polling, which has traditionally shown a lean to Labor. The Newspoll will have been conducted from Friday to Sunday, from about 1700 respondents contacted through robopolling and online surveying.
UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research has published a result just from its latest weekly polling, together with its normal fortnightly rolling average, and its debut result for Malcolm Turnbull is 50-50 (52-48 in Tony Abbott’s last poll), from primary votes of Coalition 43% (up two), Labor 37% (steady) and Greens 11% (steady). Turnbull records a 53-17 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister; 58% approve of the leadership coup, against 24% who disapprove; and 34% say his ascension makes them more likely to vote Coalition, against 14% for less likely. Forty-six per cent expect the government to run a full term versus 26% who expect an early election, and 40% expect the Coalition to win it versus 27% for Labor.
An extended question on Malcolm Turnbull’s personal attributes finds him much more highly regarded as Abbott across the board, with particularly big improvements since the question was last asked of him in February on intelligent (up seven to 81%), capable (up ten to 70%), understanding of the problems facing Australia (up eight to 63%) and visionary (up seven to 7%). His relative weak spots are, on the negative side of the ledger, arrogant (47%) and out of touch with ordinary people (46%), and on the positive, trustworthy (44%) and more honest than most politicians (39%). Bill Shorten’s position has deteriorated across the board since June, the worst movements being on aggressive (up eight to 36%, although maybe that’s a good thing), narrow-minded (up seven to 41%) and capable (down seven to 36%).
Essential also welcomes the Turnbull prime ministership with a question on whether Australia should become a republic support for which is, interestingly, up five points since February to 39% with opposition down five to 29%, although 32% are in the no opinion category. Other questions find 67% support for a national vote on same-sex marriage compared with 21% who say it should be decided by parliament, and 45% choosing incentives for renewable energy from a list of favoured approaches to climate change, compared with 11% for an emissions trading scheme, 10% for the government’s direct action policy and 12% for no action required.