It looks like the only two new federal polls this week are the regular Essential Research and Roy Morgan series, and a solid drop for the Coalition from Roy Morgan brings the two much closer together than they have been since Malcolm Turnbull assumed the prime ministership. Essential is its usual stable self, with the Coalition’s modest two-party lead of 51-49 unchanged on last week. The primary votes are 43% for the Coalition (down one), 35% for Labor (steady) and 11% for the Greens (steady). The voting intention results were derived from online polling conducted over the two previous weeks, from an overall sample of about 2000. From this week’s sample of 1000 only, the poll also offers us Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which find Malcolm Turnbull steady on 51% approval and up two on disapproval to 27%, while Bill Shorten is steady on 27% approval and up one on disapproval to 48%. Turnbull’s lead on preferred prime minister has increased from 51-18 to 52-15. Respondents were also asked to register two reasons why the government might wish to reform the tax system, for which the most popular response by some margin was “to address the budget deficit”, which was rated first or second by 58%. Favoured possibilities for revenue raising followed the usual pattern in coming in highest for proposals targeting multinational corporations and high income earners, with a GST increase rating last out of seven listed options. When forced to choose between higher income tax or a higher GST, 37% came down for don’t know.
Morgan’s two-party measures record their first significant movement of the Turnbull era, with the Coalition’s respondent-allocated two-party lead down from 55-45 to 52.5-47.5, and previous election preferences down from 54-46 to 52.5-47.5. Clearly rounding and changed preference flows had a fair bit to do with this, because the primary votes are little changed, with the Coalition steady on 43.5%, Labor up a point to 29%, and the Greens up a point to 16%. The poll was conducted by face-to-face and SMS over the two previous weekends, from a sample of 3072.