Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Most post-budget opinion poll stasis, this time from Essential Research.

No change on voting intention from Essential Research this week, at all – Labor leads 54-46, from primary votes of Coalition 37%, Labor 38%, Greens 10% and One Nation 6%. Nonetheless, there is a net positive response for the budget, which records 41% approval and 33% disapproval, and for each of eight individual measures, ranging from 82-7 in favour of a levy on vacant properties owned by foreign investors to 49-39 for the Medicare levy increase. However, 56% felt the increase should be higher for high income earners, as per Labor policy, with 27% favouring a flat increase (though no allowance was made for those who didn’t think it should happen at all). For all the “Labor lite” talk, the Liberal Party’s reputation dies hard, with the budget rated best for “people who are well off” and “Australian business”, and worst for “you personally” and, suggesting at least some insight as to what the budget specifically contained, university students. On the question of preferred Treasurer, Scott Morrison (26%) and Chris Bowen (22%) ran a distant third behind “don’t know”.

Newspoll and Ipsos: 53-47 to Labor

Two more pollsters add to an impression of little immediate change on voting intention in the wake of last week’s budget.

Two more sets of post-voting intention budget numbers, though nothing yet on their regular questions on response to the budget:

• Newspoll moves slightly in favour of Labor, who now lead 53-47 after dropping back to 52-48 in the previous poll three weeks ago. Both parties are on 36% of the primary vote, with the Coalition steady and Labor up a point, with the Greens up one to 10% and One Nation down one to 9%. The report states that Malcolm Turnbull’s net approval has improved from minus 25% to minus 20%, while Bill Shorten’s is down from minus 22% to minus 20%, although approval and disapproval ratings are not provided. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 42-33 to 44-31. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1716.

• The post-budget Ipsos poll for the Fairfax papers, conducted Wednesday to Thursday from a sample of 1401, has Labor leading 53-47, down from 55-45 in the previous poll in late March. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up four to 37%, Labor down one to 35%, and the Greens down three from a hard-to-credit result last time to record 13%. Both leaders have improved substantially on person ratings, with Malcolm Turnbull up five on approval to 45% and down four to 44% – the first net positive result we’ve seen for either leader in a long time – and Bill Shorten up seven to 42% and down six to 47%. The preferred prime minister shifts from 45-33 to 47-35. Newspoll hopefully to follow.

ReachTEL: 53-47 and 54-46 to Labor

Disappointing results for the government from the first two voting intention measures after the budget, despite strong support for the bank and Medicare levies.

Sky News reports the first post-budget poll, from ReachTEL, has Labor leading 53-47. After exclusion of the 10.6% undecided, the primary vote results are Liberal 34.2%, Nationals 3.8%, Labor 34.1%, One Nation 11.0% and Greens 10.9%. Nonetheless, the bank levy appears to have gone down well, recording 39.8% strong support, 22.3% support, 22% neutral, 8.3% oppose, 7.9% strongly oppose, and the Medicare levy appears to have been well received as tax hikes go, with 48.2% in favour and 34.1% opposed. Nonetheless, 51.6% rated that the budget would make them worse off, 10.8% better off, and 37.6% about the same. I believe the poll was conducted last night; can’t help you with sample size at this point (UPDATE: correct on the first count, 2300 on the latter).

UPDATE: It seems a second, completely different ReachTEL poll was commissioned by Seven News and conducted on the same evening, and this one had Labor’s two-party lead at 54-46. However, no primary votes are provided, which is significant because a closer look at the numbers from the Sky News poll suggests the two-party result reflects a strong flow of respondent-allocated preferences to Labor – applying flows from last year’s federal election, the result would be 51.5-48.5. The Seven poll had similar supplementary questions and got similar answers: the bank levy recorded 60% approval and 18% disapproval, the Medicare increase 51% approval and 28% disapproval, but the budget overall was rated good or very good by only 29%, poor or very poor by 33%, and average by the rest. No sample size to relate at this point.

UPDATE 2: Here’s the regular weekly BludgerTrack update, which incorporates only the latest Essential Research results and not these two from ReachTEL.

Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

A budget eve widening of the Coalition’s electoral deficit from Essential, while a private poll finds cabinet minister Christian Porter struggling in his marginal seat on the fringes of Perth.

The regular Essential Research result is the only entry in an inevitably quiet week of opinion polling, to be followed by a post-budget deluge next week. This result is a good one for Labor, who tick up a point on two-party preferred to lead 54-46, with the Coalition down one on the primary vote to 37%, Labor up one to 38%, the Greens up one to 10% and One Nation maintaining an ongoing trend in dropping a point to 6%. Despite that, the regular monthly leadership ratings find Malcolm Turnbull up two on approval to 37%, although he is also up one on disapproval to 48%. Bill Shorten is up one on each, to 34% and 45%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 39-28 to 39-31.

Other findings relate to the government’s university funding, with university funding cuts (28% to 56%) and student fee hikes (30% to 60%) heavily opposed, but lowering the threshold for student loan repayment slightly favoured (47% to 44%). Thirty-one per cent rated that students should pay a lesser share of the cost of their degrees, 20% thought it should be more, and 37% thought the current ratio (42% paid by students, 58% by the government) was about right. The poll also finds 71% rating a return to a budget surplus as important, versus only 19% for not important.

One other poll tidbit: the Financial Review reports a poll conducted by WA Opinion Polls for Labor-aligned communications company Campaign Capital finds cabinet minister Christian Porter trailing 52.2-47.8 in his Perth outskirts seat of Pearce, from a swing of 5.8%. The primary vote numbers make no distinction between “other” and “unsure”, so I’m not exactly sure what to make of them, but for the record they have Labor on 38.0% (34.3% at the election), Liberal on 33.8% (45.4%), the Greens on 8.0% (11.0%) and One Nation on 10.4% (uncontested). The poll was conducted a fortnight ago from a sample of 712.

BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor

Poll aggregation records a slight trend in favour of the Coalition ahead of Tuesday’s budget.

Before we proceed, please note posts below on British and French elections, and a bumper post on Tasmania that encompasses newly published federal and state electorate boundaries, today’s three elections for seats in the state’s upper house, and a state poll result that provides good news for the new Labor leader, Rebecca White.

The only new addition to the BludgerTrack aggregate this week is the usual weekly Essential Research result, an all too common state of affairs in Newspoll’s off weeks that should finally be rectified with YouGov’s imminent entry to the Australian polling caper. The trendline is now doing something it hasn’t done since the election – bending back slightly in favour of the Coalition. The Coalition have also picked up two this week on the seat projection, one apiece in Victoria and South Australia. The other trend worth noting is that One Nation are down for the seventh week in a row. Nothing new this week on leadership ratings.

I’ve had two paywalled articles this week in Crikey, which is well worth your subscriber dollars if the state of the Australian news media is of concern to you, as it should be. One of these tackled Peta Credlin’s revisionism concerning the electoral gender gap:

In defiance of the conventional wisdom, Credlin sought not just to dispel the “myth” of the Tony Abbott “woman problem”, but also to argue that the charge could more properly be levelled at his successor. The implications of Credlin’s claim run well beyond the small matter of the Turnbull-Abbott rivalry, as gender has been the most volatile demographic element in the federal electoral equation since the knives came out for Kevin Rudd on June 23, 2010.

The other considered One Nation’s recent fadeout and its implications for the looming Queensland state election:

The One Nation renaissance is once again inviting comparisons to Groundhog Day, as the party faces the possibility of deregistration in Queensland over irregularities in its legal structure. The latest development adds to an accumulation of bad news not just for One Nation, but also for Queensland’s Liberal National Party opposition, which has been hoping that One Nation will provide the key to a quick return to office after its shock defeat in January 2015.

Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Another status quo result from Essential Research, as a new entrant in the Australian polling market prepares to take the field.

The latest Essential Research poll, conducted for The Guardian Australia, has two-party preferred steady at 53-47, with both major parties up a point each, to 38% in the Coalition’s case and 37% in Labor’s, and the two biggest minor parties down one, leaving the Greens at 9% and One Nation at 7%. Other findings:

• Compulsory voting has the support of 66% of respondents, which is down five points since the question was last asked in October 2013, with 27% opposed, up two. Eighty per cent say they would have been likely to vote if it were not compulsory, versus 12% for unlikely.

• Economic sentiment has improved since December, with 30% now describing the state of the economy as good (up seven) and 29% as poor (down seven), and 29% thinking it headed in the right direction (up three) against 41% for the wrong direction (down four).

• A question on budget priorities find respondents want spending increased on nearly everything, with the exception of defence, foreign aid and business assistance, with health care, education and age pensions at the top of the chart. Respondents expect the budget will most favour business and the well off, and least favour “older Australians” and “you personally”.

• Contrary to expectations earlier in his career, respondents are confident that Malcolm Turnbull can deliver on “tougher citizenship requirements”, “tighter regulations for foreign workers” and “secure borders”, but not a strong economy, jobs and growth, a balanced budget and, most of all “action on climate change”.

In other polling news, there will shortly be a new entrant into the market in the shape of British market behemoth YouGov:

A new nationally representative political poll launches and goes into the field for the first time this week — a partnership between leading international research and polling firm YouGov and Australian engagement and communications agency Fifty Acres.

YouGov is an international online market research firm, headquartered in the UK, with operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Australia …

The poll will be a fortnightly online survey conducted amongst 1,000 Australians aged 18+. The poll sample is nationally representative with quotas based on age, gender and region.