After a string of mediocre post-election ratings from other pollsters, the first Newspoll is more in line with what governments can normally expect in the first blush of their honeymoon.
The first Newspoll in the life of the new government shows the anticipated honeymoon bounce which has not been evident in earlier entries from Essential Research, Morgan and Research. The poll has the Coalition leading 56-44 on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 47% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 10% for the Greens. Tony Abbott leads Bill Shorten 47-28 as preferred prime minister, which is a lot closer to Essential Research’s result from last week than Morgan’s. Tony Abbott’s net approval has gone from minus six to plus thirteen, his approval up three to 47% and disapproval down sixteen to 34%, while Bill Shorten’s debut ratings are 32% approval and 24% disapproval.
UPDATE: The weekly Essential Research is unchanged at 53-47, although both sides are up a point on the primary vote – the Coalition to 45% and Labor to 35% – but with the Greens (10%) and others (11%) unchanged owing to the vagaries of rounding. Also featured are questions on leader attributes (Abbott is up five or six points on capable, understanding of the problems facing Australia, good in a crisis and honest, although off a low base in the latter two cases). Debut numbers are also featured for Bill Shorten, and his biggest deficits against Abbott relate to the negative qualities of the latter – narrow-mindedness, arrogance and intolerance. Questions on the New South Wales bushfires are perhaps a little more climate-sceptic than I might have anticipated, with 48% thinking them unlikely to be linked to climate change. Similarly, 46% say the carbon tax should be replaced either with the Liberals’ “direct action ” plan (15%) or nothing at all (31%), against 15% in favour of keeping the carbon tax and 21% opting for an emissions trading scheme. Forty-eight per cent of respondents thought Tony Abbott too soft on politicians’ expenses against 26% for about right and 3% who somehow thought he was too tough.