If you’re reading this on Tuesday morning, the results of the Essential Research poll should be available at The Guardian, but I’m on Sydney time right now and thus unable to post it overnight like I normally would (UPDATE: See below). What we do have is the latest quarterly state breakdowns from Newspoll in The Australian, which aggregate the four polls published so far this year. Some of these results seem a bit quirky this time out – the political class will be looking askance at the finding that the Coalition has recovered three points in Victoria, and that the Greens vote is lower there than that it is in New South Wales and Queensland. Nonetheless, let the record note that poll has Labor’s lead steady at 54-46 in New South Wales, but down from 56-44 to 53-47 in Victoria, 54-46 to 53-47 in Queensland, 53-47 to 51-49 in Western Australia, and 58-42 to 56-44 in South Australia. Labor’s national lead in this period fell to 53-47 from 55-45 in the previous quarter. The Australian has packed the full results into one report, rather than rolling out state and then age, gender and region breakdowns like they sometimes do. Apart from the age breakdowns (not to mention the leadership ratings), you can find the primary vote numbers in the BludgerTrack poll results archive.
With the Newspoll numbers in hand, I have finally done what I would regard as a proper full update of BludgerTrack for the first time since the start of the year. Up to now, I have just been updating the national numbers, leaving the state-level relativities as they were at the end of last year. This is because I have hitherto had only the data provided by Essential Research to work with for the current year, and this was a shallow pool for the smaller states, where there was rather too much noise mixed together with the signal. Now that it’s all in the mix, the national seat projection is unchanged, but this comes from Coalition gains in Victoria and Western Australia (two seats apiece) cancelling out losses in New South Wales and Queensland (also two apiece).
Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor
The Essential Research poll records a one-point move back to the Coalition, reducing Labor’s lead to 52-48. The Guardian’s report notes this may have been assisted by static from the New South Wales state election, since it records an increase in the Coalition primary vote in the state from 39% to 41%. The national primary votes were Coalition 39% (up two), Labor 36% (down two), the Greens 10% (up two) and One Nation 7% (steady).
Other findings related directly or indirectly to the Christchurch attacks, including approval ratings for a range of international leaders which had Jacinda Ardern on 71% favourable, compared with 41% for Scott Morrison, 36% for Angela Markel, 31% for Teresa May and 19% for Donald Trump. High uncommitted responses were recorded for Merkel and May, at 42% and 38% respectively. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said social media platforms should be required to prevent the broadcast of violent material; 49% believed media outlets that have provided platforms for extremist and racist views bore some responsibility for the Christchurch attacks; 42% believed major party politicians in Australia had deiberately stirred up anti-Islamic sentiment; 40% believed Christchurch was an isolated act rather than being connected to broarder debates; 37% reported regularly hearing racist or Islamaphobic statements.
Questions on the federal budget produced typical responses with respect to budget spending priorities, with health, education and pensions most favoured, although it’s perhaps telling that affordable housing came fourth out of a list of 14. Fifty-eight per cent expected the budget would be good for the well off and 50% believed it would benefit business, but only 19% expected to benefit personally, and 34% thought it would be bad or very bad. Other than that, “ a majority of voters want more spending in health, education and aged pensions”.