The weekly Morgan multi-mode poll finds the Labor primary vote slipping three points to 38.5% and the Greens up 1.5% to 10.5%, with the Coalition up half a point to 41.5%. That translates to 52-48 to Labor on respondent-allocated preferences, down slightly from 52.5-47.5 last week. The change is sharper on the generally more useful two-party measure which distributes preferences according to the previous election result, with Labor’s lead down from 52-48 to 50.5-49.5.
Meanwhile, today’s Essential Research has the Coalition down a point for the second week in a row to 44%, with Labor steady on 39% and the Greens up two to 9%. After shifting a point in Labor’s favour on the basis of little change in the published primary votes last week, two-party preferred remains at 51-49 despite more substantial change this week, suggesting the result has moved from the cusp of 52-48 to the cusp of 50-50.
Essential also finds 61% approval for the government’s new asylum seekers policy against 28% disapproval, and concurs with Galaxy in having the two parties almost equal as best party to handle the issue. Labor is favoured by 25% (up eight on mid-June), Coalition by 26% (down 12) and the Greens by 6% (down one). Asylum seeker arrivals are rated the most important election issue by 7%, one of the most important by 28%, quite important by 35%, not very important by 16% and not at all important by 8%. The poll also has Malcolm Turnbull rated as best person to lead the Liberal Party by 37% against 17% for Tony Abbott and 10% for Joe Hockey, and also includes further questions on workplace productivity.
William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.