The result of the first Newspoll for 2013 has been reported by AAP (your guess as to how that’s come about is as good as mine) and almost simultaneously by the ever-reliable James J, and it’s a relatively encouraging one for Labor who trail just 51-49 on two-party preferred, down from 54-46 in the final poll of 2012. The primary votes are 38% for Labor, up six on last time, with the Coalition and the Greens both down two, to 44% and 9% respectively. Julia Gillard is up two on approval to 38% and down three on disapproval to 49% while Tony Abbott is up one to 29% and down one to 58%. Gillard leads as preferred prime minister by 45-33, up from 43-34.

UPDATE (16/1/13): A Morgan face-to-face result covering both the previous two weekends (and presumably warranting more than the usual degree of caution on account of the holiday period) has the Coalition leading 51-49 when preferences are distributed as per the 2010 election result, and by 52-48 according to respondent allocation. The primary votes are 36.5% for Labor, 41.5% for the Coalition and 10.5% for the Greens. This follows what now looks an aberrant result in the final poll of last year, when Labor led 53.5-46.5 on previous election preferences and 52.5-47.5 on respondent-allocated.

UPDATE (19/1/13): AAP reports a ReachTEL poll of 511 respondents conducted for the United Voice union in Wayne Swan’s Brisbane seat of Lilley suggests he is heading for defeat, trailing LNP candidate Rod McGarvie 45% to 38% on the primary vote.

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