Newspoll and Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition
The always reliable James J relates in comments that the latest Newspoll result is 56-44, with primary votes of 31% for Labor, 48% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens. Julia Gillard’s ratings have gone backwards, her approval down three to 27% and disapproval up two to 61%, and her 39-38 lead as preferred prime minister last time has become a 39-36 deficit. Tony Abbott is up a point on approval to 32% and down one on disapproval to 57%. UPDATE: Newspoll also reports 32% find Labor most to blame for the asylum seeker impasse against 28% for the Coalition and 16% for the Greens; 66% believe Labor at least partly to blame against 60% for the Coalition and 57% for the Greens; and 37% think the Coalition best to handle the asylum seeker issue (down 10% on last time), with Labor on 17% (down 4%) and “others” on 13% (up 1%).
The weekly Essential Research poll also has the Coalition’s two-party lead at 56-44, where it has been for six successive weeks, from primary votes of 31% for Labor (down a point for the second week in a row), 49% for the Coalition (steady) and 11% for the Greens (up one). There are further questions in asylum seekers, of which the most illuminating is the findings that 60% believe the government is too soft, the carbon tax (31% say they have noticed an increase in costs, 54% say they haven’t) and the European economic crisis. We have also had Roy Morgan publish results from its last two weekends of regular face-to-face surveying, which interestingly shows the Greens up 4.5% to 14.5%, their best result since February and equal best result ever from this series. Both parties are down on the previous fortnight, Labor by 3% to 29.5% and the Coalition 2.5% to 45.5%. The Coalition’s two-party lead is down from 54.5-45.5 to 54-46 on previous election preferences, but up from 56.5-43.5 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.
• NSW ALP state secretary Sam Dastyari will present a motion to the party’s state conference on the weekend calling for the party to put the Greens behind the Coalition on preferences at the federal election. Despite the focus of some news reports, this would mean little with respect to the lower house: Labor can be relied on to make the final count in all seats which matter to the Greens, meaning their preferences are not distributed (the key question remains what the Liberals will do, which will most likely be to follow the Victorian party’s example at the state election and put them last). However, it could come at a very high cost to Labor as well as the Greens by delivering to the Coalition Senate seats which would otherwise stay “left”. In 2010 the Greens polled well enough that would have won seats in each state in any case, having scored quotas in their own right in Victoria and Tasmania, and close enough to it elsewhere that preferences from left-wing micro-parties would have make up the difference. However, it would only take a gentle swing to cost them seats in New South Wales and Western Australia without Labor preferences, which on anything like present form would mean results in those states of four seats for the right against two for Labor (as well as making life all but impossible for the Greens in South Australia, given the complication of Nick Xenophon).
• The most excellent pseph blog Poliquant has analysed the likely impact of Labor preferencing the Greens list with reference to current state-level opinion polling, which suggests it would result in 4-2 rather than 3-3 left-right splits in Western Australia and possibly New South Wales, and that a 4-2 split looms in Queensland regardless of preferences. In each case, one of the four right-wing seats would go to a minor party, obvious possibilities being Katter’s Australian Party in Queensland and the Nationals in Western Australia. Poliquant also offers a review of the lower house effects, which argues the Greens stand to lose a share of anti-major party protest voters whose preference flows are not especially favourable to Labor.
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Categories: Federal Politics 2010-2013