The Age/Herald has published the second of what hopefully looks like being a regular monthly federal polling series, showing Labor down three points on the primary vote 39%, the Coalition up four to 32%, the Greens down two to 10%, One Nation up one to 6% and the United Australia Party steady on 2%. Based on preferences from the May election, this suggests a Labor two-party lead of 57-43, in from 61-39 last time. Anthony Albanese’s combined good plus very good rating is up one to 62% and his poor plus very poor rating is up two to 24%. Peter Dutton is respectively down two to 28% and up three to 40%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 55-17 to 53-19.
The poll also finds 54-46 support for retaining the monarchy over becoming a republic in the event of a referendum, reversing a result from January. The late Queen’s “time as Australia’s head of state” was rated as good by 75% and poor by 5%, while David Hurley’s tenure as Governor-General was rated good by 30% and poor by 13%, with the remainder unsure or neutral. Forty-five per cent expect that King Charles III will perform well compared with 14% for badly. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1607.
Also out yesterday was the regular fortnightly release from Essential Research, which features the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, though still nothing on voting intention. Its new method for gauging leadership invites respondents introduced last month is to rate the leaders on a scale from zero to ten, categorising scores of seven to ten as positive, zero to three as negative and four to six as neutral. Contra Resolve Strategic, this has Albanese’s positive rating up three to 46%, his negative rating down six to 17% and his neutral rating up three to 31%. Dutton’s is down three on positive to 23%, steady on negative at 34% and up four on negative to 34%.
The poll also gauged support for a republic, and its specification of an “Australian head of state” elicited a more positive response than for Resolve Strategic or Roy Morgan, with support at 43% and opposition at 37%, although this is the narrowest result from the pollster out of seven going back to January 2017, with support down one since June and opposition up three. When asked if King Charles III should be Australia’s head of state, the sample came down exactly 50-50. The late Queen posthumously records a positive rating of 71% and a negative rating of 8% and Prince William comes in at 64% and 10%, but the King’s ratings of 44% and 21% are only slightly better than those of Prince Harry at 42% and 22%. The September 22 public holiday has the support of 61%, but 48% consider the media coverage excessive, compared with 42% for about right and 10% for insufficient. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1075.
The weekly Roy Morgan federal voting intention result, as related in threadbare form in its weekly update videos, gives Labor a lead of 54.5-45.5, out from 53.5-46.5 and the pollster’s strongest result for Labor since the election.
Finally, some resolution to recent by-election coverage:
• Saturday’s by-election for the Western Australian state seat of North West Central produced a comfortable win for Nationals candidate Merome Beard in the absence of a candidate from Labor, who polled 40.2% in the March 2021 landslide and fell 1.7% short after preferences. Beard leads Liberal candidate Will Baston with a 9.7% margin on the two-candidate preferred count, although the Nationals primary vote was scarcely changed despite the absence of Labor, while the Liberals were up from an abysmal 7.9% to 26.7%. The by-elections other remarkable feature was turnout – low in this electorate at the best of times, it currently stands at 42.2% of the enrolment with a mere 4490 formal votes cast, down from 73.8% and 7741 formal votes in 2021, with likely only a few hundred postals yet to come. Results have not been updated since Sunday, but continue to be tracked on my results page.
• A provisional distribution of preferences recorded Labor candidate Luke Edmunds winning the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke by a margin of 13.3%, out from 8.7% when the electorate last went to polls in May 2019. Labor’s primary vote was down from 45.2% to 39.5% in the face of competition from the Greens, who polled a solid 19.3% after declining to contest last time, while the Liberals were up to 28.8% from 25.3% last time, when a conservative independent polled 18.4%.