A poll conducted immediately after yesterday's election timing announcement from the Prime Minister shows the Coalition retaining a modest lead, while an earlier poll from Essential Research has the parties still locked together at 50-50.
This evening’s Seven News has results from a ReachTEL automated phone poll of around 3000 respondents, conducted last night in the immediate aftermath of the Prime Minister’s announcement on election timing. The poll shows the Coalition leading 52-48 on two-party preferred, down from 54-46 at the last poll on February 11; Malcolm Turnbull leading Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister by 60-40, well down on 74.9-25.1 in the last poll; and a slight edge in favour of the double dissolution ultimatum. More detail to follow. UPDATE: Full results here. Primary votes are Coalition 46.6% (down 1.5%), Labor 34.4% (up 1.6%) and Greens 10.5% (up 0.4%). The double dissolution ultimatum has 39.3% support and 32.5% opposition.
Also out today was the Essential Research fortnightly rolling average, which was steady at 50-50 with both major parties up on the primary vote – the Coalition by one point to 43%, Labor by two to 38% – with the Greens are down one to 10%. Further questions found 34% saying they would approve of a double dissolution election if the Senate rejected the bill to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, with 22% disapproving and 44% opting for “don’t know” – a provident question, since it was set well before yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister. As for the substance of the bill, 35% supported the government line, 17% were opposed, 27% opted for neither, and 22% said they didn’t know.
Another question found no change in opinion on Tony Abbott’s future since December: 18% wanted him back in the ministry, another 18% wanted him to stay on the back bench, 29% thought he should resign now, and 18% thought he should do so at the election. In response to talk of plebiscites for same sex marriage, another question asked what other issues should be dealt with in this way. The results suggested strong support for plebiscites on social issues (61% favour one for euthanasia and 58% for abortion), but mild opposition for economic ones, and strong opposition concerning the size of the defence force (14% support, 71% opposition). The online survey encompassed 1003 respondents, with the voting intention question also including responses from last week’s sample.
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.