The latest weekly reading of the Essential Research fortnightly rolling average records a widening of Labor’s two-party lead, which is out from 52-48 to 53-47. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 37% and Labor is up one to 37%, with the Greens up one to 11%, One Nation down one to 5% and the Nick Xenophon Team steady on 3%. Quite a few interesting supplementary questions this week:
• Respondents were asked to retrospectively evaluate major government decisions, recording big majorities in favour of Medibank/Medicare and compulsory superannuation, lesser but still favourable results for the GST, floating the dollar and free trade agreements, an even balance on reducing subsidies to car manufacturing, and strong opposition to the privatisations of Qantas, Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank.
• There is an even balance of opinion on the New South Wales government’s backflip on banning greyhound racing, with 41% approving and 38% disapproving.
• Seventy-nine per cent would be “concerned” if Donald Trump became President, with only 14% not concerned.
• With a plebiscite off the table, 55% say a vote should be held in parliament, while 30% say the matter should be left on the table until the election.
• Sixty per cent said they would support a tax cut for small businesses, with 17% opposed; almost the exact reverse say the same for larger companies (20% and 61%); and if small business was taken to apply to companies with upwards of $2 million revenue, 26% would be in favour and 41% opposed.
• Fifty-eight per cent approve of Labor’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
• Fifty-eight per cent are “not confident” that the government together with the current Senate will be able to get things done that the nation needs.
• Thirty-five per cent expect the government will run full term compared with 39% who expect an early election.