Two post-budget polls are in – Newspoll from The Australian, Ipsos for Nine Newspapers – and they offer contrasting pictures as to whether support for the government has gone up or down in the wake of last week’s budget.
Newspoll produces an encouraging result for the Coalition in showing Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, rather than 54-46. Ordinarily I would point out that a two-point movement from Newspoll is a rare occurrence, which close observers of the polling industry suspect is down to Newspoll smoothing its numbers with some variety of rolling average, in which the results of the previous poll are combined with those of the latest. However, the last Newspoll was, very unusually, four weeks ago, the delay being down to the New South Wales election a fortnight ago and a desire to hold off until the budget last week. So it would not surprise me if things were different this time, and the result was drawn entirely from this week’s survey, which will have been conducted from Thursday to Sunday (UPDATE: as indeed it was, from a sample of 1799).
The report currently up on The Australian’s website is a bit sketchy, but it tells us the Coalition is up two on the primary vote to 38% and Labor is down two to 37%, with One Nation down one to 6%. Scott Morrison’s approval rating is up three to 46% and Bill Shorten’s is up one to 37%, but there is no word yet on disapproval ratings, preferred prime minister, the Greens primary vote and the sample size. The report also rates the budget has scored the highest since the last Howard government budget in 2007 on impact on personal circumstances and cost of living. Stay tuned for further detail.
UPDATE: The Greens primary vote is steady at 9%; Morrison is down two on disapproval to 43%; Shorten is steady on disapproval at 51%; Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is out from 43-36 to 46-35.
The post-budget Ipsos poll for Nine Newspapers, which is the first since mid-February, records an actual deterioration for the Coalition on the last since last time, albeit that that was an anomalously strong result for the Coalition (the one that had The Australian proclaiming “Morrison’s Tampa moment” across its front page headline). The two-party headline in the poll is 53-47 in favour of Labor, compared with 51-49 last time, which I’m guessing applies to both respondent-allocated and two-party preferred preference measures since the reports don’t specify. Ipsos’s primary votes are as usual on the low side for the major parties and well on the high side for the Greens: the Coalition are down a point to 37%, Labor is steady on 34% and the Greens are steady on 13%. If it might be thought odd that such small primary vote movement should produce a two-point shift on two-party preferred, it would appear that rounding favoured the Coalition last time and Labor this time.
On the budget, the poll finds 38% expecting they would be better off and 24% saying worse off, which is around the same as last year. Forty-one per cent thought it fair and 29% unfair. Leadership ratings are, as usual, more favourable from Ipsos than other pollsters, but otherwise notable in recording increased uncommitted ratings across the board. Scott Morrison records 48% approval and 38% disapproval, both down one from last time; Bill Shorten is is down four on approval to 36% and one on disapproval to 51%; and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister shifts from 48-38 to 46-35.