The Guardian reports the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll includes its monthly leadership ratings, showing further improvement in Scott Morrison’s standing. He is up three points on approval to 66% and down four on disapproval to 23%, while Anthony Albanese is respectively steady at 44% and up two to 30%, and his lead as preferred prime minister is at 52-22, out from 50-27.
The small-sample breakdowns on state government performance finds the Victorian government still holding up reasonably well, with 49% rating it good (down four on a week ago, but well down on a 75% peak in mid-June), while the New South Wales government’s good rating is down a point to 61% and Queensland’s up a point to 68%. Results for the federal goverment are not provided, but will presumably be in the full report when it is published later today.
Fifty per cent now rate themselves very concerned about COVID-19, which is up seven points on a fortnight ago and has been progressively rising from a low of 25% in mid-June. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they would seek a vaccine straight away, 35% less immediately and 8% not at all. Twenty per cent believed that “hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment”.
UPDATE: Full report here. The federal government’s good rating on handling COVID-19 is down a point to 63%, and its poor rating is steady at 16%.
• We had a rare opinion poll for the Australian Capital Territory, which holds its election on October 17, conducted by uComms for the Australia Institute. It offered no indication that the Liberals are about to break free of their status as a permanent opposition, with Labor on 37.6%, Liberal on 38.2% and the Greens on 14.6%, compared with 2016 election results of 38.4%, 36.7% and 10.3%. This would almost certainly result in a continuation of the present state of affairs in which the Greens hold the balance of the power. The poll also found overwhelming support for “truth in political advertising” laws, with 88.5% supportive and 4.9% opposed. The poll was conducted on July 20 from a sample of 1049.
• The preference distribution from the July 4 Eden-Monaro by-election has been published, offering some insight into how much Labor’s narrow victory was owed to a Shooters Fishers and Farmers preference recommendation and a higher than usual rate of leakage from the Nationals. The former was likely decisive: when Shooters were excluded at the final count, 5341 (56.61%) went to Labor and 4093 (43.39%) went to Liberal, which includes 5066 first preference Shooters votes and another 4368 they picked up during the preference distribution (including 1222 from the Nationals). When the Nationals were excluded earlier in the count, 4399 votes (63.76%) went to the Liberals, the aforementioned 1222 (17.71%) to Shooters, 995 (14.42%) to Labor and 283 (4.10%) to the Greens. This includes 6052 first preference votes for the Nationals and another 847 they picked up as preferences earlier in the distribution. That would be consistent with maybe 20% of Nationals votes ending up with Labor compared with 13% at the 2019 election, which would not quite account for Labor’s winning margin. At some point in the future, two-candidate preferred preference flow figures will tell us precisely how each candidate’s votes split between Labor and Liberal.