The ghost with the most reports this fortnight’s Newspoll very much maintains the status quo: two-party steady on 56-44, primary votes of 29 per cent Labor (steady), 47 per cent Coalition (steady) and 12 per cent Greens (down one), personal ratings of 33 per cent (up one) approval and 58 per cent disapproval (down one) for Julia Gillard and 39 per cent and 52 per cent (both steady) for Tony Abbott, and preferred prime minister at 39 per cent for Gillard and 40 per cent for Abbott (both down one). UPDATE: Tables here.

Today’s Essential Research had the Coalition gaining a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, their lead now out to 57-43. On the primary vote the Coalition gained a point to 50 per cent, with Labor down one to 30 per cent and the Greens down one to 10 per cent. In the event of “another global financial crisis”, 43 per cent would more trust the Coalition to handle it against 27 per cent for Labor. Essential also crafted a series of questions to make a statement, as it does from time to time: a quiz question to expose a misapprehension (has the number of boat arrivals increased over the past year?), and the same attitudinal question on either side to show how it affects public opinion. The reach of the misapprehension in this case proved quite remarkable: 62 per cent believed boat arrivals had increased, against only 7 per cent who correctly answered that they had fallen. However, it occurs to me that some may simply be misjudging the time frame since the onset of the escalation which began in late 2009. Nonetheless, the clarification elicited a 10 point cut in the number professing themselves very concerned about boat arrivals, to 33 per cent.

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