Both sides down on the primary vote in Ipsos, as ReachTEL reiterates early findings of a big lead for Rebekha Sharkie in Mayo, and a squeaker in Longman.
My warning of a poll drought in the previous post hadn’t reckoned on Fairfax’s Ipsos series, which fills the void with a 53-47 result for Labor, down from 54-46 from the previous poll six weeks ago. As best as I can tell, all we have to go on at this stage is an editorial in The Age that suggests both major parties are on 35% of the primary vote, which is a two point drop for Labor and a one point drop for the Coalition. Leadership ratings and minor party primary votes will have to wait. Recent form suggests the poll will have had a sample of 1200, and been conducted Thursday to Sunday.
We also have two more federal by-election polls for the Australia Institute from ReachTEL, keeping in mind that the prestige of ReachTEL’s electorate polls have just taken a knock with the Liberals’ clear win in Darling Range. That’s all the comfort Georgina Downer can draw from its results, the latest of which gives Rebekha Sharkie her biggest lead yet in Mayo: 62-38 on two-party preferred, from primary votes (after exclusion of the 2.6% undecided) of 43.5% for Sharkie, 32.7% for Downer, 9.0% for the Greens and 8.2% for Labor.
In Longman, ReachTEL now records a 50-50 result after showing Liberal National Party candidate Trevor Ruthenberg leading Labor Section 44 victim Susan Lamb by 51-49. Primary votes after exclusion of 3.2% undecided are Labor 40.4%, LNP 36.1%, One Nation 15.2% and Greens 4.5%, so presumably One Nation’s respondent-allocated preferences are flowing solidly to the LNP. This poll was also conducted on Thursday, from a sample of 727. Full results from both polls are available here.
Two polls last week landed right on the existing trend readings from BludgerTrack, which has accordingly recorded next to no movement.
Newspoll and Essential Research both had polls last week, and since we’re probably not due yet for a ReachTEL (the last was three weeks ago), we presumably have a lean week coming up. The latest BludgerTrack update accounts for the two aforesaid polls, and they have had the most minimal of impacts on the voting intention aggregates, on which the biggest move is a 0.6% drop for One Nation. The seat projections have the Coalition up one in Victoria and Western Australia, and down one in Queensland. A new set of leadership ratings from Newspoll makes a modest addition to the established pattern of improvement for Malcolm Turnbull, with Bill Shorten flatlining. Full results through the link below.
After a spike to Labor a fortnight ago, it’s back to business as usual in the latest Essential Research poll, which also finds Donald Trump slightly less unpopular with Australians than he was a year ago.
Labor’s two-point gain in last fortnight’s Essential Research poll has proved to be an aberration, with the latest result snapping back to 52-48. This is matched by the primary votes, on which the Coalition is up two to 38% and Labor down two to 35% (we will have to wait for the full report later today to see how the minor parties have gone). According to The Guardian’s report, the poll also finds 50% favouring Labor’s tax policy over the Coalition, with the result for the latter not stated, except of course that it’s lower; 79% supporting the first stage of the government’s tax cuts, targeting lower and middle income earners, but only 37% for stage three, whereby the tax scales will be flattened to the advantage of higher income earners; support and opposition for company tax cuts tied at 39% apiece; support for higher finding for the ABC, though we will have to wait for hard data on which areas of the broadcaster’s activities were most favoured.
Other questions relate to international matters, with 35% responding that the North Korea summit would make the world safer, 8% less safe, and 41% no difference. On foreign leaders, Justin Trudeau (up nine on last year) and Jacinda Ardern (on debut) both scored 54% approval, and if I’m reading this correctly, Theresa May scored 42% (up nine) and Donald Trump 22% (up six) – I believe other leaders will have been canvassed as well, but further results will have to wait.
UPDATE: Full results from Essential here – the Greens are up one to 11%, and One Nation down one to 7%. Further international leadership approval ratings include a 43% for Angela Merkel, unchanged on last year, 42% for Emmanuel Macron, up one, 19% for Vladimir Putin, up three, and, if you could credit it, 9% for Kim Jong-Un. Fortuitously, this comes as the Lowy Institute publishes results of a survey of 1200 respondents on Australian attitudes to the world, which similarly finds high levels of confidence for Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron, and low ones for Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
Also out today is further results from the Newspoll in The Australian, finding Malcolm Turnbull favoured by 47% as best leader to handle the asylum seeker issue (down five from December) and Bill Shorten on 30% (up two). It also finds 26% expecting Labor will “improve the policy”, 37% that it will “open the floodgates”, and 24% that it will make no difference.
Newspoll returns after three weeks to find the situation all but totally unchanged.
One Nation are off two points on the primary vote, from 8% to 6%, but the latest Newspoll is otherwise as dull as it gets. Labor’s lead on two-party preferred is unchanged at 52-48, both major parties are unchanged at 38% on the primary vote, the Greens are up one to 10%. Malcolm Turnbull is up a point on both approval and disapproval, to 40% and 50% respectively; Bill Shorten is down one to 33% and steady on 55%. Turnbull leads 46-31 on preferred prime minister, compared with 47-30 last time. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday, presumably from a sample of about 1600.
Federal electoral news nuggets, sourced from Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
We are having one of the poll-free weeks that have occasionally bedevilled us since Essential Research moved from weekly to fortnightly, with Newspoll having one of its occasional three-week gaps so its next poll coincides with the resumption of parliament. So here’s some random bits of electoral news:
• A polling nugget I forgot to relate a fortnight ago: according to a report by Nick Butterly of The West Australian, a Labor internal poll recorded a neck-and-neck result in the Perth seat of Stirling, which Michael Keenan holds for the Liberals by a margin of 6.1%. After excluding the 10.8% undecided, the primary votes were Liberal 40.2% (49.5% in 2016), Labor 37.6% (32.2%), Greens 9.0% (11.7%) and One Nation 5.3%. The poll was conducted by Community Engagement from a large sample of 1735.
• Gareth Parker in the Sunday Times reports that Matt O’Sullivan, who ran unsuccessfully in the lower house seat of Burt at the 2016 election, has narrowly won preselection for the third position on the Liberals’ Western Australian Senate ticket, behind incumbents Linda Reynolds and Slade Brockman. O’Sullivan emerged with 56 votes to 54 for Trish Botha, co-founder with her husband of an evangelical church in Perth’s northern suburbs. The closeness of the result surprised party observers, especially given Christian conservative numbers man Nick Goiran backed O’Sullivan. As Gareth Parker noted in his weekly column, Botha appears to have attracted support from “non God-botherers” opposed to Goiran’s alliance with Mathias Cormann and Peter Collier, who may not have been aware of the messianic language employed by Botha’s church.
• Katy Gallagher has announced she will seek preselection to recover the Australian Capital Territory Senate seat from which she was disqualified last month over Section 44 complications, after speculation she might instead seek the territory’s newly created third lower house seat. However, it appears she will face opposition from the newly anointed successor to her Senate seat, David Smith, former local director of Professionals Australia.
• As for the lower house situation in the Australian Capital Territory, Andrew Leigh will remain in Fenner and Gai Brodtmann will go from Canberra to the nominally new seat of Bean, leaving a vacancy available in Canberra. Smith appears set to run if he loses the Senate preselection to Gallagher; Sally Whyte of Fairfax reports he will be opposed by Kel Watt, a lobbyist who has lately made a name for himself campaigning against the territory Labor government’s ban on greyhound racing. Other potential starters include John Falzon, chief executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society; Jacob Ingram, a staffer to Chief Minister Andrew Barr; and Jacob White, a staffer to Andrew Leigh.
• Occasional Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont has launched his own website of local and international election and polling news.
The BludgerTrack poll aggregate continues to record a voteless recovery in Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings.
Two new polls this week, a particularly strong one for Labor from Essential Research and a stable one from ReachTEL, produce a 0.4% shift to Labor on this week’s reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. Labor gains two on the seat projection, those being in Victoria and Western Australia. Essential provided a new seat of leadership ratings, and these conformed with the existing impression of an upswing in personal support for Malcolm Turnbull that has so far done little to improve his party’s voting intention. Full results through the link below.