Good news and bad news for both sides this evening courtesy of the latest ReachTEL polls for the Seven Network, which have Labor opening up a 52-48 lead on two-party preferred nationally, but trailing 54-46 in the fairly crucial Liberal-held Victorian marginal of Corangamite. The national poll has the Coalition down 1.5% to 41.1%, Labor down 0.1% to 36.5%, the Greens down 0.3% to 9.6% and the Nick Xenophon Team back up to 4.3% after an anomalous drop from 4.2% to 2.7% last time. This gives Labor a two-party lead of 52-48 after three successive results of 50-50. It should be noted that this was achieved from a heavy flow of respondent-allocated preferences to Labor: using preference flows from 2013, and folding the Nick Xenophon Team into a generic “others” category, the result would be around 50.6-49.4. Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings are stable: combined very good and good is up 0.8% to 29.4%, combined poor plus very poor is up 1.7% to 36.8%. Bill Shorten’s improving trend continues, with very good plus good up 1.2% to 29.1% and poor plus very poor down 1.5% to 36.9%. Preferred prime minister continues a slow narrowing trend, now at 54.9-45.1 in favour of Turnbull compared with 55.6-44.4 last time. The automated phone poll was conducted last night from a sample of 2700.
The Corangamite poll is quite a different matter, with Liberal member Sarah Henderson credited with 54-46 lead on two-party preferred, and 48.3% of the primary vote when a forced preference question for the 7.7% undecided is included with the result. Both numbers are exactly identical to the result in 2013, when she unseated Labor’s Darren Cheeseman with a 4.2% swing. The primary votes also record Labor losing ground to the Greens, with Labor on 27.1% and the Greens on 15.0%, compared with 32.0% and 11.9% at the election. This poll was also conducted last night, from a sample of 770.