The latest monthly Ipsos poll for the Fairfax papers is a steadier for the Turnbull government, recording the Coalition’s lead at 53-47 after it sagged to 52-48 in the previous poll. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up one to 45%, Labor is down one to 31%, and the Greens are down one to 14%. Nonetheless, the poll corroborates other recent polling in finding a plunge in support for Malcolm Turnbull, who is down seven on approval to 55% and up eight on disapproval to 32%. Bill Shorten is respectively up three to 33% and down three to 52%, and he has narrowed his deficit on preferred prime minister from 64=19 to 61-22. The poll was conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1400.
The Australian also has a Newspoll result suggesting Tony Windsor is a real show in his bid to take New England back from Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce. The survey of 518 respondents shows Windsor with a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 46% for Joyce and 44% for Windsor. When respondents were prompted for how they would vote if the contentious Shenhua Watermark mine on Liverpool Plains was approved, Windsor took a 47% to 42% lead on the primary vote, and his lead after preferences extended to 56-44.
UPDATE (Essential Research): The latest fortnightly rolling aggregate from Essential Research has two-party preferred at 50-50 for the third week in a row, with both major parties down a point on the primary vote – Coalition to 42%, Labor to 36% – and the Greens up one to 11%. Also featured are semi-regular questions on same-sex marriage (support up five points to 64% with opposition down four to 26%, and 66% favouring a plebiscite versus only 23% who think the matter should be decided by parliament) and climate change (63% say it’s caused by human activity, up seven since November, and 27% consider it natural fluctuation, down five; 57% think not enough is being done to address it, up four since August).
Other questions look in depth at the leaders, including a finding that 39% favour Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party (down three since December), with Julie Bishop on 12% (down one) and Tony Abbott on 9% (steady). Changes on the equivalent Labor question are slight, but Bill Shorten nonetheless pulls into the lead by gaining two points to 15%, with Anthony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek both steady on 14%, and Chris Bowen up four to 7%. Questions on the attributes of the two leaders are fairly predictable in finding Malcolm Turnbull deteriorating across all measures since September, while Bill Shorten remains steady. Turnbull takes particularly heavy hits on understanding the problems facing Australia (down ten to 53%), being good in a crisis (down seven to 52%), and being visionary (down seven to 44%). Interestingly though, his biggest move is a drop in “aggressive”, from 38% to 24%.