The Age/Herald’s monthly Resolve Strategic poll has caught me off guard by coming out early Tuesday rather than Wednesday as it’s done in the past. It’s the Coalition’s best poll result in quite some time, recording a two point rise in their primary vote to 40% while Labor is down three to 32%, with the Greens steady on 12% and One Nation down two to 2%. While Resolve Strategic doesn’t publish a two-party result, this pans out to 51-49 in favour of the Coalition based on 2019 election preference flows.
Scott Morrison records 46% approval and 46% disapproval, both unchanged from last time, while Anthony Albanese is respectively down two to 28% and up one to 47%. Morrison holds a lead of 46-23 as preferred prime minister, out slightly from 45-24 last time.
The poll was conducted Tuesday to Saturday from a sample of 1607.
UPDATE: The poll also finds 62% support for a national cabinet deal to ease restrictions when “key targets” are met, with only 24% preferring that states and territories should “go their own way”. However, a great deal would depend here on how the question was worded, and on this the reporting is not specific. Nor can we expect any further clarity from the pollster, since it is not a member of the Australian Polling Council which requires publication of question wording as part of its code of conduct. On the more straightforward question of whether Australia will ever return to complete suppression of the virus, the poll records 27% for yes and 54% for no.
A couple of further points on the poll. The biggest driver of Labor’s drop on the primary vote is the Victorian sub-sample, which had it at 33% compared with 40% in the last poll and 37% in the poll before (it was 36.9% at the 2019 election). Labor also scored a weak result of 26% in Queensland, although it was also at this level in the previous poll (and much the same in 2019, at 26.7%), after ranging from 30% to 35% in the pollster’s first three results. It seems the pollster is no longer providing breakdowns for Western Australia, as it had been before now.
Whereas the Age/Herald released its results online early yesterday, only today has it appeared in the print editions — so to that extent it has maintained its earlier pattern in publishing the results. That presumably means tomorrow will bring us the regular bi-monthly state voting intention results for Victoria, using combined results from this and last month’s surveys.
UPDATE 2: The Age/Herald online report now contains more context, including full wording for the question on easing restrictions, which read thus: “Some state and territory leaders have suggested they might apply different rules at different times, such as using less severe restrictions once their populations reach 50 per cent vaccination or easing restrictions at 70 and 80 per cent if case numbers are still high. Do you think that each state and territory should stick to the national plan of 70 and 80 per cent or do you think they should have the freedom to decide on their own goals?”
UPDATE 3: The Age/Herald brings further results from the poll, which found 38% had a positive and 36% a negative view of Scott Morrison’s handling of the pandemic. Respondents were also unusually asked how they felt about the performance of the Premiers of the three biggest states, and not just those of their home states. This found good results for Daniel Andrews, with 52% positive and 25% negative, and Annastacia Palaszczuk, with 51% positive and 20% negative, but had ones for Gladys Berejiklian, with 26% positive and 56% negative.