Labor’s two-point gain in last fortnight’s Essential Research poll has proved to be an aberration, with the latest result snapping back to 52-48. This is matched by the primary votes, on which the Coalition is up two to 38% and Labor down two to 35% (we will have to wait for the full report later today to see how the minor parties have gone). According to The Guardian’s report, the poll also finds 50% favouring Labor’s tax policy over the Coalition, with the result for the latter not stated, except of course that it’s lower; 79% supporting the first stage of the government’s tax cuts, targeting lower and middle income earners, but only 37% for stage three, whereby the tax scales will be flattened to the advantage of higher income earners; support and opposition for company tax cuts tied at 39% apiece; support for higher finding for the ABC, though we will have to wait for hard data on which areas of the broadcaster’s activities were most favoured.
Other questions relate to international matters, with 35% responding that the North Korea summit would make the world safer, 8% less safe, and 41% no difference. On foreign leaders, Justin Trudeau (up nine on last year) and Jacinda Ardern (on debut) both scored 54% approval, and if I’m reading this correctly, Theresa May scored 42% (up nine) and Donald Trump 22% (up six) – I believe other leaders will have been canvassed as well, but further results will have to wait.
UPDATE: Full results from Essential here – the Greens are up one to 11%, and One Nation down one to 7%. Further international leadership approval ratings include a 43% for Angela Merkel, unchanged on last year, 42% for Emmanuel Macron, up one, 19% for Vladimir Putin, up three, and, if you could credit it, 9% for Kim Jong-Un. Fortuitously, this comes as the Lowy Institute publishes results of a survey of 1200 respondents on Australian attitudes to the world, which similarly finds high levels of confidence for Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron, and low ones for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
Also out today is further results from the Newspoll in The Australian, finding Malcolm Turnbull favoured by 47% as best leader to handle the asylum seeker issue (down five from December) and Bill Shorten on 30% (up two). It also finds 26% expecting Labor will “improve the policy”, 37% that it will “open the floodgates”, and 24% that it will make no difference.