Courtesy of The Australian, the first Newspoll in what has been a dramatic three weeks finds the Coalition restoring its two-party lead, now at 51-49 after being the other way around last time. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up two to 42%, Labor down two to 34%, the Greens up one to 13% and One Nation up one to 5%.
These changes are modest compared to the leaders’ ratings, which, as Kevin Bonham notes in comments, produce the strongest improvements in Newspoll history for a prime minister on both personal ratings and preferred prime minister. Morrison’s approval rating is up 20 to 61%, with disapproval down 18 to 35%, and his preferred prime minister lead has blown out from 42-38 to 53-29. However, Anthony Albanese’s ratings have also improved, up five on approval to 45% and down four on disapproval to 36%. Eight-six per cent of respondents expressed approval for the JobKeeper scheme with 10% disapproving, with 64% rated the $130 billion expenditure the right amount, compared with 14% for not enough and 16% for too much.
The poll also repeated a suite of questions on coronavirus and the government’s response that featured in the last Newspoll three weeks ago. The headline findings are that 84% profess themselves worried (up eight) and 14% confident (down six) about the impact of the virus on the Australian economy; 41% are confident (down six) and 57% worried (up six) about the preparedness of the public health system; 67% are confident (up four) and 32% worried (down three) about information available on how to protect one’s self; 47% are confident (down fourteen) and 33% worried (down fourteen) about the performance of federal and state governments in managing the economic impact; 59% are confident (up eight) and 28% worried (down five) about governments’ preparation of the public health system to cope; and 75% are confident (up ten) and 20% worried (down eight) about governments’ performance in informing Australians how to protect themselves.
Sixty-seven per cent professed themselves worried about catching the virus, 38% about higher government debt, 36% about job loss, 35% about falling superannuation balance, 15% about house prices falling and 7% about none of the above. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Friday, a subtle shift from its usual field work period of Wednesday to Saturday, from a sample of 1508.