The Guardian reports the first result from Essential Research in three weeks has Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, down from 53-47 last time. The changes on the primary vote are slight, with the Coalition up a point to 38% and Labor steady on 36% (CORRECTION: the Coalition is steady, and Labor down two). The Guardian report notes that Essential has changed the provider of the online panel from which its respondents are drawn from YourSource to Qualtrics, without changing the underlying methodology. Perhaps relatedly, the sample size is identified as 1652, where in the past it has been a little over 1000. The Guardian provides no further findings from attitudinal questions – we’ll see if the release of the main report later today provides anything on that front, along with the minor party primary votes.
UPDATE: Full report here. No change for the minor parties, with the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 7%. The poll was conducted between January 23 and January 31 – I’m not sure if this was a contingency for the long weekend, but in the past Essential’s field work dates have been Thursday to Sunday. Other findings:
• When presented with a number of explanations for a lack of gender parity in politics, the most favoured responses relate to the failures of political parties, and the least favoured relates to “experience and skills”. Gender quotas for parties have 46% support and 40% opposition, with age interestingly more determinative of attitudes here than gender.
• There are a number of questions on Australia Day, the most useful of which is a finding that 52% support a separate national day to recognise indigenous Australians, including 15% who want that day to replace Australia Day, with 40% opposed.
• Respondents were presented with various groups and asked who they felt they would prefer to see win the election. The most interesting findings are that the media was perceived as favouring the Coalition by 32% and 25%; that despite all the recent talk, pensioners were perceived to favour Labor by a margin of 42% to 28%; and that families with young children were perceived as favouring Labor by 50% to 21%.
UPDATE 2: It turns out that both the longer field work period and the larger sample were a one-off, to it will be back to Thursday to Sunday and samples of a bit over 1000 in future polls.