Honeymoon polling and state by-election news

The first embers of polling since the election record strong support for the new Prime Minister and his agenda.

US pollster Morning Consult, which conducts monthly international polling on world leaders’ domestic personal ratings, has found Anthony Albanese with an approval rating of 51% and a disapproval rating of 25%. Its final result for Scott Morrison was 40% approval and 54% disapproval. The poll was conducted May 23 to 31 from a sample of 3770.

Essential Research published its usual fortnightly poll this week, which had nothing to offer on voting intention or leadership ratings, although it did find that 23% rated themselves more likely to vote Coalition with Peter Dutton as leader compared with 27% less likely. Questions on attitudes to Labor policies found 70% support for increasing the minimum wage and 69% support for a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, with only 9% opposed in each case. Fifty-two per cent felt Labor should “look for opportunities to rebuild relations” with China, with only 19% favouring a more confrontational position and 12% favouring the current set of policies. Support for the Uluru statement was found to have increased significantly since November 2017, with 53% supporting an indigenous voice to parliament in the constitution.

Some notable state news that got lost in the federal election rush:

• A by-election will be held on June 18 for the Queensland state seat of Callide after its Liberal National Party member, Colin Boyce, moved to federal politics as the Nationals member for Flynn. This is a very safe rural conservative seat, but Labor has nonetheless endorsed Bronwyn Dendle to run against Bryson Head of the LNP, a 26-year-old mining industry geologist. Also in the field are candidates of One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party, Legalise Cannabis and Animal Justice.

• The by-election to replace Vickie Chapman in the safe Liberal seat of Bragg in South Australia has been set for July 2. The ABC reports four nominees for the Liberal preselection: Jack Batty, adviser to the Australian High Commissioner in London; Sandy Biar, national director of the Australian Republic Movement and public affairs officer with the army; and Melissa Jones, a law firm director; and Cara Miller, former co-owner of a radiology business.

• Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced he will introduce legislation this year to increase the size of the state’s House of Assembly from 25 seats to 35, reversing a change made in 1998. The move has the support of the Liberals, Labor and the Greens.

Week zero plus one

As the Liberal party room prepares to anoint Peter Dutton as Opposition Leader, the first poll of the new term suggests he has his work cut out for him, in Western Australia at least.

This is one of three new posts I have on offer, providing a thread for general discussion. The other two featured below deal with the ongoing counting for the House of Representatives, with Labor’s potential parliamentary majority remaining up in the air, and the race for the Senate, in which I expect Labor and the Greens to account for half the seats between them, but with a number of outcomes depending on complex flows of preferences.

Election results aside, the main item of news to relate is that the Liberal and Nationals party rooms will hold their first meetings to sort out party leadership positions. Peter Dutton and Sussan Ley will be confirmed as Liberal leader and deputy leader unopposed, but a contested vote looms for the Nationals, in which David Littleproud and Darren Chester will seek to depose Barnaby Joyce. In Joyce’s favour is the fact that the Nationals retained all their seats at the election; in Littleproud’s is the fact that Joyce had a lot to do with the Liberals losing so many of theirs, leaving the Nationals in opposition; Chester I’m guessing is a dark horse.

Thanks to The West Australian, Peter Dutton can be welcomed to the opposition leadership with the first published opinion poll of the new era, conducted on Thursday by Painted Dog Research from a sample of 1354 Western Australian respondents. It finds only 19% rating Peter Dutton a “suitable candidate” to lead the party, compared with 58% who registered a view to the contrary. Dutton’s positive ratings were 16% among women and 23% among men.