Galaxy: 52-48 to federal Labor in WA

As cabinet assembles in Western Australia, more evidence that the state looms as a big problem for the Turnbull government.

A quiet week looms on the opinion poll front, but Perth’s Sunday Times newspaper entered the breach yesterday with a WA-only poll of federal voting intention conducted by Galaxy, tailored to coincide with cabinet’s visit to the state this week. The results delivered the paper the hard-hitting headline it was presumably angling for, recording Labor with a 52-48 two-party lead that amounts to a 6% swing compared with last year’s election. The primary vote results were Coalition 39% (down from 48.7%), Labor 37% (up from 32.4%) and Greens 11% (down from 12.1%), with One Nation on 5%. Malcolm Turnbull nonetheless recorded a 43-33 lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister. The poll also found 59% saying they would vote yes at a same-sex marrige plebiscite, compared with 32% for no; and 61% saying they did not trust the government to “change the distribution of GST revenue to ensure WA receives a fairer share”, with 21% saying they did. It was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 850.

BludgerTrack: 52.7-47.3 to Labor

An improvement in the Coalition’s still weak position on the poll aggregate, and a possible first sign of the Greens paying for their recent turmoil.

A bumper crop of three new polls this week has caused the BludgerTrack poll aggregate to revert to type after blowing out in Labor’s favour for a couple of weeks. The Coalition had a particularly strong result in the weekly Essential Research sample, which elicited a one-point movement on its fortnight rolling average. The Coalition has gained three on the seat projection – one apiece in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. The Greens have taken a fairly solid knock on the primary vote, which certainly seems intuitively reasonable. However, a two-point drop from YouGov has had something to do with that, and this may for all I know reflect methodological fine-tuning. Newspoll has furnished a new set of data for leadership ratings, which hasn’t yielded anything too dramatic. YouGov also had approval ratings for the two leaders, but I gather they won’t be making a habit of this, so it hasn’t been included.

YouGov-Fifty Acres: 50-50

YouGov again calls a tight race on two-party preferred, but only because of preference flows that have the Coalition outperforming their result at the 2016 election.

The third voting intention poll from YouGov again has primary vote numbers that aren’t wildly off beam from the other pollsters, but leans heavily to the Coalition in terms of preference allocation. However, this is less severe than it was in the last poll, so I’ve decided to revert to type in running the two-party result as my headline, at least on this occasion. Whereas the Coalition led 52-48 in the last poll, this time it’s level despite both major parties being unchanged on the primary vote, at 36% for the Coalition and 33% for Labor. However, the Greens are down two points to 10%, which a) brings this result closer into line than other pollsters, and b) would actually have led to you expect movement away from Labor on two-party preferred, if previous election preferences were applied. One Nation is up a point to 8%. Applying 2016 preference flows to these unrounded figures, the result come out at around 52-48 in favour of Labor.

Other findings from the poll:

• Malcolm Turnbull records 45% approval and 47% disapproval, while Bill Shorten is on 42% approval and 47% disapproval, which is better than what both are used to. Also featured are ratings for a number of second-tier political figures, with results of 34-56 for Tony Abbott, 25-38 for Richard Di Natale, 31-44 for Christopher Pyne, 39-52 for Pauline Hanson, 33-43 for Bob Katter and, with the only net positive result, 50-25 for Nick Xenophon.

• Twenty-six per cent say Malcolm Turnbull “represents what the Liberal Party stands for” more than Tony Abbott, 19% the opposite, 22% call it a draw, and 18% say neither does. The respective numbers are 20-19-13-38 for being in touch with the concerns of ordinary Australians, 30-14-14-30 for electability and 23-19-13-35 for strength of leadership.

• Fifty-three per cent say they would support a referendum on establishing a new body representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but it may just be that people like referendums: of those in favour, 38% would vote yes in such a referendum and 15% would vote no. Support was presumably lower among those opposed to a referendum, but the numbers are not provided.

• Thirty-seven per cent would support a referendum proposal to allow dual citizens to run for federal parliament, with 48% opposed.

• Sixty-eight per cent believe women in sport should get the same pay as men, with only 18% opposed. Sixty-four per cent think the AFL officials who resigned over relationships with younger female staff members were right to have done so, with only 17% saying they were wrong to have.

The poll was conducted online from Thursday to Monday, with a sample of 1005.

NOTE ON COMMENTS REDESIGN: As regular users will know by now, we have a new comments facility which looks a lot sharper than what we had before and has a number of welcome new features. It also publishes the results in reverse chronologically, which is not to everybody’s tastes but has been done for good reason, and which you get used to quicker than you might think. Most of all, this has had a spectacular effect on the efficiency with which Crikey’s servers are operating.

Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

After two successive stronger results for Labor, Essential Research is back on Team 53-47.

The Guardian reports the Coalition has recovered a point in the latest fortnight rolling average from Essential Research, which returns to 53-47 in favour of Labor after two weeks at 54-46. After accounting for an apparent transpositional error in the report, I believe the primary votes are Coalition 38% (up two), Labor 37% (down one), Greens 10% (steady), One Nation 7% (steady) and Nick Xenophon Team 4% (up one). The poll also finds that 56% approve of the new national security ministry, with 18% disapproving; 45% expect it will strengthen national security, 28% think it will make little difference and 8% think it will weaken it; and 45% registering concern that Peter Dutton will have control over all security services, with 35% not concerned. The report provides an incomplete account of questions on an emissions intensity scheme taxing pollution above a certain level (54% are in favour) and the National Broadband Network (48% of the 40% who have it say it beats their previous service, but only 19% say it is much better, and 51% say it’s about the same or worse). Full results should be with us later today.

In other news, if you’re a Crikey subscriber you’ll find that I’ve had a lot to say about the Greens recently, in a report on the succession to Scott Ludlam’s Western Australian seat that may be showing its age; an account of the deficiencies of Section 44 (see also Laurie Oakes); and a look askance at conservative suggestions that the party is, uh, “cooked”.

UPDATE: Full report here. We also have bonus Newspoll questions on Tony Abbott, which find 58% favouring Malcolm Turnbull on “best values and leadership credentials” against 23% for Abbott, and pose a question on his future in politics that unusually doesn’t feature an option for him to leave it.

NOTE ON NEW COMMENTS ARCHITECTURE: Regular visitors will shortly notice that the design of the comments section has been overhauled. This has mostly been done for site performance reasons, to which it has made an immediate and massive difference. As you can see, there are lots of new features that people have long asked for. If we can get used to reverse chronological comments, I think it will prove to be a great outcome. A tip for acclimatising yourself here: you do not need to refresh the page to see new comments, and you will cause yourself an annoyance if you try. You will see, at the top of the comments thread, a green “x new comments” button when new comments appear – all you need to do is press this and they will slot into view. Also, for emoji that work, see here.

One way or another though, this is how it will be for the next few days, after which the situation may be reviewed.

Newspoll: 53-47 to Labor

Another stable Newspoll, as both major parties gain a point on the primary vote at the expense of the various “others”.

Another fortnight (or so), another 53-47 to Labor result from Newspoll. This time out the primary votes are Coalition 36% (up one), Labor 37% (up one), Greens 9% (down one) and One Nation 9% (down two). Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings are slightly improved, with approval up two to 34% and disapproval down two to 54%, and his lead as preferred prime minister out from 41-33 to 43-32, while Bill Shorten is unchanged at 33% approval and 53% disapproval.

UPDATE: Paywalled Australian report here. Kevin Bonham: “Same 2PP five #Newspolls in a row, a new all-time record. #auspol”.

BludgerTrack: 53.4-46.6 to Labor

Labor records a second week of solid movement on the poll aggregate, although this doesn’t yet account for the Coalition’s relatively good result from ReachTEL.

BludgerTrack moves half a point and three seats in favour of Labor this week, which mostly reflects the fact that it’s been a while now since the Coalition had one of the relatively good data points that are discernible in late May and early June on the two-party trend chart below. This week’s movement may have been ameliorated if the ReachTEL result had been included, but it hasn’t been because I haven’t yet seen the primary vote numbers inclusive of the forced response for the undecided. In other words, the only new result is a strong one for Labor from Essential Research. On the seat projection, Labor is up one in Queensland and two in Western Australia. Nothing new on leadership ratings.

Another new poll worth noting is the Political and Social Views Survey from JWS Research, based on an online survey of 1251 respondents earlier this month. Respondents were asked to identify where they placed parties, leaders and themselves on a zero-to-ten scale along two dimensions: left-right politically, and progressive-conservative socially. The average respondent identified as fairly solidly right of centre, with respective mean scores of 6.3 and 6.0. However, this may indicate a bias towards right-of-centre results across-the-board: even the Greens barely made it to the left on the left-right dimension, and all comers were in the conservative half of the conservative-progressive dimension. Respondents overall saw little distinction between the Coalition and One Nation, and regarded Tony Abbott as the most radical actor out of those on those offer. While the average respondent identified slightly closer to the Coalition on left-right, they landed much closer to Labor on conservative-progressive.