This week’s Essential Research fortnight rolling average result finds Malcolm Turnbull slipping a point further towards the danger zone, with Labor’s lead now at 54-46. It also has One Nation once again reaching a new peak, of 9% (up one on the final poll of last year), with the Coalition now only able to manage 35% (down two), and Labor, the Greens and Nick Xenophon Team steady on 37%, 10% and 3%.
The poll also finds 36% approval and 48% disapproval for the Centrelink debt recovery program, from a question with less problematic wording* than was offered in the GetUp! poll by ReachTEL. Those opposed were more likely to do so strongly (29% of the total compared with 19% for less strongly) than those in favour (13% strongly, 23% less strongly). Another question finds 46% more concerned about politicians’ expenses than welfare overpayments and 8% vice-versa, with 40% opting for both equally.
A series of national identity questions to coincide with Australia Day includes a finding of 44% support and 30% opposition to Australia becoming a republic, which is more favourable than other such poll results in recent years – no doubt because the question specifies “a republic with an Australian head of state” Also featured is an occasional question on “trust in institutions”, which finds an across the board improvement since September, except for the ABC, environment groups and the Commonwealth public service, which are steady. Police forces and the high court continue to rate best, parliaments, religious organisations and trade unions worst.
In other polling news, Ipsos has a global survey on the American presidency that finds a very narrow band of results internationally with respect to Barack Obama (with the dramatic exception of Russia), with Australia being fairly typical in having 84% rating him good and 16% poor. Views on Donald Trump are a little more diverse, with Australia ranking at the low end in having 25% expecting he will be a good president compared with 75% for bad. Australians are evenly divided on the question of whether he will make it to the end of the year without being impeached.
* “Centrelink is currently conducting a debt recovery program in which welfare recipients are being automatically sent notifications regarding possibly overpayments. From what you have heard do you approve or disapprove of the way this program has been conducted?”