The regular Essential Research result is the only entry in an inevitably quiet week of opinion polling, to be followed by a post-budget deluge next week. This result is a good one for Labor, who tick up a point on two-party preferred to lead 54-46, with the Coalition down one on the primary vote to 37%, Labor up one to 38%, the Greens up one to 10% and One Nation maintaining an ongoing trend in dropping a point to 6%. Despite that, the regular monthly leadership ratings find Malcolm Turnbull up two on approval to 37%, although he is also up one on disapproval to 48%. Bill Shorten is up one on each, to 34% and 45%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 39-28 to 39-31.
Other findings relate to the government’s university funding, with university funding cuts (28% to 56%) and student fee hikes (30% to 60%) heavily opposed, but lowering the threshold for student loan repayment slightly favoured (47% to 44%). Thirty-one per cent rated that students should pay a lesser share of the cost of their degrees, 20% thought it should be more, and 37% thought the current ratio (42% paid by students, 58% by the government) was about right. The poll also finds 71% rating a return to a budget surplus as important, versus only 19% for not important.
One other poll tidbit: the Financial Review reports a poll conducted by WA Opinion Polls for Labor-aligned communications company Campaign Capital finds cabinet minister Christian Porter trailing 52.2-47.8 in his Perth outskirts seat of Pearce, from a swing of 5.8%. The primary vote numbers make no distinction between “other” and “unsure”, so I’m not exactly sure what to make of them, but for the record they have Labor on 38.0% (34.3% at the election), Liberal on 33.8% (45.4%), the Greens on 8.0% (11.0%) and One Nation on 10.4% (uncontested). The poll was conducted a fortnight ago from a sample of 712.