The latest Newspoll result from The Australian has the Coalition opening a 52-48 lead after a 50-50 result a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Coalition 45% (up two), Labor 35% (steady) and Greens 11% (down one). Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister has blown out from 57-19 to 63-17, and his personal ratings are 58% approve (up eight) and 23% disapprove (down two). Bill Shorten is down two on approval to 26% his lowest Newspoll result yet and up five on disapproval to 58%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday by automated phone and online polling, from a sample of 1606.
UPDATE (Essential Research): Movement to the Coalition now from Essential Research as well, which has them up a point on both two-party preferred, on which they now lead 52-48, and on the primary vote, putting them at 45%, compared with 35% for Labor (down one) and 11% for the Greens (steady). This score is from a fortnightly rolling average of weekly polling, the latest tranche of which was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1012.
Other questions relate to the union movement, and as usual they find it to be viewed more favourably than some of the narrative might indicate. Sixty-two per cent rated unions as very important or quite important for Australian working people today, a semi-regular question which has been tracking upwards from a result of 52% in September 2012, while responses of not very important or not at all important have fallen over that time from 38% to 28%. Forty-five per cent agreed that workers would be better off if unions in Australia were stronger, with 26% opting for worse off. However, 42% deemed the trade union royal commission a legitimate investigation of union practices compared with 27% who favoured the alternative proposition that it was a political attack on Labor and the unions, which is similar to when the question was last asked in August (don’t know remaining at a high 31%).
Another semi-regular question, on same sex marriage, records no significant change on August, with 59% in favour and 30% opposed, both of which are down one point on last time. Opinion is evenly divided on whether the matter should be determined by a plebiscite (43%) or a vote in parliament (41%). Also featured is a question on whether Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison will be better economic managers than Tony Abbott than Joe Hockey, with 50% opting for better and 10% for worse.