Crikey reports the latest Essential Research poll has the Coalition’s two-party lead steady at 54-46, with both the Coalition (47 per cent) and Labor (35 per cent) steady on the primary vote and the Greens down one to 10 per cent. The survey also inquires about perceptions of the parties, the findings of which are summarised thus by Bernard Keane:

Seventy two per cent of voters believe “will promise to do anything to win votes” applies to Labor, up nine points since March last year, while 66% believe “divided” applies — a massive 30-point increase since last year. “Out of touch” has increased 13 points to 61%, and “moderate” has dropped 12 points to 51%. Even otherwise uncharacteristic descriptions such as “extreme” now garner significant support, up 12 points to 38%. And whereas even last year 52% of voters thought Labor had a good team of leaders, only 34% now feel that way.

For the Liberals, however, it’s all positive: a drop in the number of voters who think they’ll promise to do anything to win votes — down from 72% to 65%; a rise in “moderate” perceptions by five points to 55%; “out of touch” down to 54%, “divided” down from 66% to 49%. There was also a big improvement on “good team of leaders”, but off rather a low base, up nine points to 40%. The Liberals lead Labor on nearly every positive indicator and trail on nearly every negative indicator. Labor still has a one-point lead on “looks after the interests of working people.”

UPDATE: Full report here. It should also be noted that Newspoll published figures on support for a republic on Monday, finding it at its lowest ebb since the 1999 referendum: 41 per cent support (down four on January 2007, and ten points off a decade ago) and 39 per cent opposition (up three on 2007). There has been a seven-point rise in the uncommitted over 10 years, from 13 per cent to 20 per cent. Personally though, I’d like to see such results when a royal wedding isn’t due within a few weeks, before I reach any conclusions about declining support for a republic over the long term.

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