The latest monthly ACNielsen poll has produced an encouraging debut performance for new Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull, with the Coalition leading Labor on the primary vote 42 per cent to 41 per cent. However, Labor maintains a 52-48 lead after preferences. Kevin Rudd leads Turnbull as preferred leader 56 per cent to 33 per cent. The poll also finds 33 per cent believe Peter Costello should quit politics against 29 per cent who think he should stay. Last month’s ACNielsen poll had Labor leading 55-45, from primary votes of 43 per cent and 39 per cent.

There are rumours of an early Newspoll this evening, so stay tuned.

UPDATE: Newspoll says 55-45, down only marginally from 56-44 last fortnight. Labor is down two points on the primary vote to 42 per cent and the Coalition up one to 38 per cent. Kevin Rudd’s personal ratings are continuing their long-term move southwards: this time his approval rating is down four points to 50 per cent, while his disapproval is up five points to 37 per cent. Consistent with the Galaxy poll, Rudd heads Turnbull as preferred leader 54 per cent to 24 per cent, after leading Brendan Nelson 62 per cent to 16 per cent a fortnight ago. No straightforward approval rating for Turnbull at this stage, but he has scored a remarkable 74 per cent on being “decisive and strong”, the flip-side of his much vaunted arrogance.

UPDATE 2: New shadow cabinet announced. Main changes: Julie Bishop in treasury, Helen Coonan in foreign affairs, Christopher Pyne in education, Andrew Robb in “a new portfolio covering infrastructure, COAG and an emissions trading scheme” and Joe Hockey in finance. No-brainer: Bronwyn Bishop dropped.

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