Essential Research’s fortnight rolling average records Labor improving a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, puttings its lead north of Newspoll at 54-46. The Coalition is down two on the primary vote to 36%, leaving it steady with an unchanged Labor, while the Greens and One Nation are steady at 11% and 7%. The poll features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which have Malcolm Turnbull up one on approval to 37% and up four on disapproval to 49%, while Bill Shorten is up two to 36% and up one to 44%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister remains about the same, at 41-27 compared with 39-26 a month ago. In other findings, it turns out you get a much stronger response on trust in secure storage of personal data if you say “security agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, local police and ASIO” (64% a lot of or some trust, 32% little or none) than you do if you say “the government” (43% and 52%), while telcos and private companies rate considerably worse again.
Also in polldom:
• The Australia Institute has also produced results of polls conducted in cabinet ministers’ seats to emphasise the point that the government is on the wrong side of public opinion in the blue belt on such matters as taxpayer subsidies for the Adani Carmichael coal mine project. More to the point, they also feature results on voting intention, with samples from 627 to 692. These suggest swings of 2.4% against Scott Morrison in Cook, 3.8% against Greg Hunt in Flinders, 5.7% against Julie Bishop in Curtin, 6.8% against Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth and 7.3% swing against Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong, but better results for the government in the two most marginal of the seats covered, with no swing at all against Christopher Pyne in Sturt and a swing of 4.4% in favour of Peter Dutton in Dickson.
• A second tranche from Newspoll finds 46% in favour of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage versus 39% for “have the politicians decide”. This reverses a curious result on the same subject in September, which had the respective numbers at 39% and 48% – although then there was the presumably significant difference that the question stressed a plebiscite in February. Essential Research’s poll last week found 59% supporting a “national vote” and 29% the matter being “decided by parliament”, despite the wording of the latter option being less unappealing than Newspoll’s invocation of “politicians”.
UPDATE (YouGov/Fifty Acres): The second YouGov poll for Fifty Acres has strayed well away from the rest of the field, with the Coalition bouncing three points on the primary vote to 36% while Labor drops one to 33%, with the Greens and One Nation steady on 12% and 7%, and the remainder down two to 12%. Previous election preferences would place Labor’s lead slightly above 52-48, which isn’t too radically. But YouGov’s respondent allocation method, which presents those who complete the online survey with a mock ballot paper to fill out, continues to elicit extraordinary results: enough in this case to give the Coalition a lead of 52-48.