It’s looking a very merry Christmas for pensioners and families and, not unrelatedly, the Rudd government, which has added a further 1 per cent to its already formidable two-party lead in a Christmas eve Morgan face-to-face poll. Curiously, the Greens are down from 10.5 per cent to 6 per cent in a survey conducted half before and half after the government’s emissions trading scheme announcement of December 15. The slack has been taken up by a spike in the Labor primary vote from 48.5 per cent to 52.5 per cent, their best result in almost seven months. The Coalition primary vote is also up slightly, from 34.5 per cent to 35.5 per cent.

Morgan also produced two sets of leadership ratings last week, one comparing Rudd to Turnbull and the other comparing them both with their party colleagues. Rudd’s approval rating was up four points from the previous survey of October 15-16 to 68 per cent, while his lead over Turnbull as preferred prime minister had blown out from 62.5-24 to 69-20. Worringly for Turnbull, his approval rating was down 13 per cent to 42 per cent while his disapproval was up from 24 per cent to 37.5 per cent, a much sharper turnaround than recorded by Newspoll over the same period (from 50-25 to 47-32). The preferred Labor leader results turned up no surprises, but the Liberal ratings interestingly found Turnbull tied with Peter Costello on 28 per cent. This compared with Costello’s lead of 31 per cent to 20 per cent in the previous such survey of September 10-11, when Brendan Nelson was still leader.

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