The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll sharply reverses a recent trend away from Labor, who are back to leading 54-46 on two-party preferred after their lead fell to 51-49 in the previous poll. This is apparently driven by a four point drop in the Coalition primary vote, but as usual we will have to wait until later today for the full numbers. However, it’s a curiously different story on leadership ratings, on which Malcolm Turnbull gains two on approval since last month to reach 42% while remaining steady on 42% disapproval, while Bill Shorten is down four to 33% and up five to 46%. Turnbull’s lead over Shorten as preferred prime minister is unchanged, shifting from 40-26 to 41-27. Like ReachTEL and unlike Newspoll, Essential has posed a straightforward question on company tax cuts that finds approval and disapproval tied on 37%. The poll also finds 68% support for an increase in Newstart.
UPDATE: Full results here. The Coalition primary vote crashes from 40% to 36%, Labor’s rises one to 37%, the Greens are steady on 10% and One Nation are steady on 8%.
UPDATE 2: Further details from those ReachTEL polls for Sky News, which were conducted last Wednesday. In the national poll, after allocating results from a forced response follow-up for the 5.1% undecided, the primary votes were Coalition 36.5%, Labor 35.3%, Greens 10.7%, One Nation 9.3% and others 8.2%, translating into a 52-48 lead for Labor after respondent-allocated preferences favoured them by 54.8-45.2. Malcolm Turnbull’s lead on the forced response preferred prime minister question was almost exactly unchanged at 54.6-45.4 (54.5-45.5 last month); his very good plus good rating went from 29.9% to 30.8%, and his poor plus very poor from 32.6% to 37.0%. Bill Shorten went from 28.4% to 27.7% on good plus very good, and from 35.5% to 39.9% on poor plus very poor.
In the poll for the Braddon by-election, after allocating the forced follow-up results from the 5.9% undecided, the primary votes were Liberal 48.2%, Labor 34.5%, Greens 6.6%, independents 7.2%, others 3.5%, resulting in a 54-46 Liberal lead on respondent-allocated two-party preferred. In Longman, with the 7.1% initially undecided likewise allocated, the results are Liberal National Party 40.4%, Labor 37.3%, independents 5.5%, Greens 2.7% and others 14.1% (confirming there was no specific option for One Nation), resulting in an LNP lead of 52-48. Respondents for these polls were asked how they would vote “if a by-election in the federal electorate of X were to be held today”. The by-election polls were conducted last Wednesday, from samples of 824 in Braddon and 810 in Longman; the national poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 2523.