The Fairfax papers report that a ReachTEL poll commissioned by GetUp! has Labor leading 54-46 (I wouldn’t normally give a non-media poll its own post, but you take what you can get at this time of year). When responses for a separate follow-up question prompting the 7.8% undecided are integrated into the result, the primary votes are Liberal 33.8% and Nationals 3.2% (a combined 37.1%, compared with 42.0% at the election), Labor 35.0% (up 0.3% on the election), Greens 9.8% (down 0.4%) and One Nation 10.6%.
The poll also finds 46.2% supporting and 31.8% opposing the government “stopping the automated debt collection system”, though I wonder if the wordiness of the preceding explanation* and the negatively framed question might have caused confusion, resulting in opposition being understated. Certainly that might help to explain the finding that more respondents (49.8%) said the system had made them less likely to vote for the Coalition than said they wanted it stopped. Of the remainder, 14.4% said it had made them more likely to vote for the Coalition, while 35.8% said it would make no difference.
A GetUp!-styled money shot question found 82.2% responding that “cracking down on corporate tax dodging” should be a “higher priority for the Turnbull government”, compared with 17.8% who favoured recovering debts from Centrelink overpayments, with even Liberal voters dividing two to one in favour of the former option. A further question had 78.6% responding that the burden of proof in establishing wrongful overpayment should fall on Centrelink, compared with 21.4% for the recipient – though here too the question is a bit wordy for my tastes**.
The automated phone poll was conducted on Thursday from a sample of 2126.
* “The Turnbull Government recently started using an automated system issuing tens of thousands of letters to Australians about alleged debts from Centrelink overpayments. The Government admits that at least 20% of these letters are incorrect, but the burden is on Centrelink clients to correct the information or pay the debt. Do you support or oppose the Government stopping the automated debt collection system?”
** “The Turnbull Government has acknowledged significant errors in the Centrelink automated debt collection system. Where there are potential errors, do you think the burden should be on Centrelink to verify their claims against information they already have on file or on the individual to defend themselves, which may include accessing pay slips and employment records from up to five years ago?”