A ReachTEL poll conducted for Seven last night finds two-party preferred at 50-50, unchanged on the last such result three weeks ago. Primary votes are likewise little changed, with the Coalition up 0.9% to 41.4%, Labor down 0.7% to 35.1%, the Greens down 0.3% to 9.5% and the Nick Xenophon Team is up 0.4% to 4.2%. ReachTEL has slightly changed its methodology in that there is now an undecided option on the first question, with those selecting it then prompted as to who they are leaning towards, which more closely replicates the established practice of live interview phone pollsters. The results show 8.5% of respondents choosing the undecided, and then showing a lesser tendency of first responders to favour Labor, and a considerably stronger tendency to favour “others”.
The poll also finds an overall negative response to the budget, with 33.8% saying it has made them less likely to vote Coalition compared with 16.6% for more likely. On the question of personal impact, 7.1% said it would make them better off, 33.4% worse off and 59.4% the same. There is still a view that the government will be returned, with 49.1% saying they expect the Coalition to win, 28.1% opting for Labor and 22.8% choosing a hung parliament option that for many would have been a proxy for “don’t know”. On personal ratings, ReachTEL records the first improvement in Malcolm Turnbull’s position this year, his combined very good and good rating being up from 25.5% to 28.1%, while poor is down from 36.6% to 34.5%. Bill Shorten is respectively up from 23.3% to 24.6%, and up from 42.2% to 44.0%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down very slightly, from 58.4-41.6 to 57.7-42.3.
There are also personal ratings today from Roy Morgan, which has published one of its occasional phone polls on the subject, in this case a survey of 584 respondents conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. The results were published through separate releases focusing on Turnbull and Shorten and preferred Labor and Liberal leader. Along with the revelation that voting intention among the sample broke 51-49 in favour of the Coalition, the poll found the following:
• Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister is 57-24, well down on the 76-14 lead he recorded at the last such poll in mid-October. The net change of 29% compares with a 22.8% shift in the BludgerTrack trend measure between that time and April 15, which was the last time new leadership data became available.
• Turnbull’s approval rating is down 23% to 43%, with his disapproval up 25% to 41%. The net change of 48% compares with 42.1% in the equivalent reading from BludgerTrack.
• Shorten is up nine on approval to 34% and down 13% on disapproval to 49% – a 22% net shift to compare with just 6.9% from BludgerTrack.
• Malcolm Turnbull’s rating as preferred Liberal leader has slumped from 64% to 41%, while Julie Bishop’s has doubled to 24%. Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce and Scott Morrison continue milling around in single digits.
• Despite his improved standing, Bill Shorten is in third place as preferred Labor, which is at least one better than he managed last time. Tanya Plibersek is down five to 22%, Anthony Albanese is down three to 20%, Bill Shorten is up five to 14%, Wayne Swan is down two to 8% and, in a rejoinder to the beard skeptics, Chris Bowen is up three to 8%.