The good polling news for Labor continues to pile up: the first Nielsen poll of the campaign, unusually published on a Saturday, has Labor with a two-party lead of 54-46, compared with 52-48 a fortnight ago. Labor is up three points on the primary vote to 42 per cent, with the Coalition down one to 41 per cent and the Greens down one to 12 per cent. Among women Labor’s two-party lead is 58-42, compared with 50-50 among men. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is 59 per cent among women, 53 per cent among men and 56 per cent overall, while her disapproval is up a point to 33 per cent. Tony Abbott has an approval rating of 43 per cent and disapproval of 51 per cent, both of which are unchanged. Gillard has a 28-point lead as preferred prime minister among women and a 14-point lead among men, translating to a 21-point lead overall. Labor would be especially pleased to learn that 51 per cent believe Abbott would break his promise not to reintroduce WorkChoices.

Courtesy of The West Australian, we also have Patterson Market Research/Westpoll surveys of four Perth marginal seats conducted from Saturday to Wednesday, each from samples of slightly over 400, which show Labor travelling a lot better than they were in Kevin Rudd’s last days. In Hasluck, earlier thought to be gone for all money, Labor has a two-party lead of 54-46 from primary votes of 47 per cent for Labor, 43 per cent for Liberal and 6 per cent for the Greens. Labor also has its nose in front in Canning, where former state government minister Alannah MacTiernan is challenging sitting member Don Randall. MacTiernan leads 51-49 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 45 per cent Liberal, 44 per cent Labor and 6 per cent Greens. There is better news for the Liberals in the two seats they gained from Labor in 2007. In Cowan, the Liberals hold a two-party lead of 53-47, from primary votes of 51 per cent Liberal, 40 per cent Labor and 7 per cent Greens. In Swan the Liberals lead 52-48 on two-party preferred and 47 per cent to 37 per cent on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10 per cent. The margin of error in any given seat is about 5 per cent; however, pooling the four together halves the margin of error and produces an overall swing to Labor of 1 per cent.

UPDATE: The Illawarra Mercury/IRIS poll from Gilmore mentioned in the previous post turns out to have a sample of 400, and hence a margin of error of a bit under 5 per cent. It gives Liberal member Joanna Gash a hefty primary vote lead of 58 per cent to 31 per cent over Labor candidate Neil Reilly, with the Greens on 11 per cent. This translates into a 60-40 lead on two-party preferred, compared with a 0.4 per cent notional Labor margin after the redistribution.

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