Easter followed by the Anzac Day long weekend has resulted in a lean period for polling, with Newspoll very unusually having gone three weeks without. In an off week for Morgan’s fortnightly publication schedule, that just leaves Essential Research for this week, which I have so far neglected to cover. The poll has Labor’s lead up from 51-49 to 52-48, which is Labor’s best result from Essential since two weeks out from the 2010 election. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down a point to 40% and Labor up one to 38%, while the Greens are on 10%, losing the point that brought them to a temporary peak last week. Palmer United is steady on 5%, which is two points higher than four weeks ago. Other questions in this week’s Essential survey were to do with political party membership (26% say Bill Shorten’s proposed Labor membership rules would make them more likely to vote for the party versus 6% less likely and 59% make no difference; 72% say they would never consider joining a party versus 15% who say they would; 60% won’t confess to having ever engaged in party political activity), the fighter jets purchase (30% approve, 52% disapprove), republicanism (33% for and 42% against, compared with 39% and 35% in June 2012; 46% think a republic likely one day versus 37% for unlikely; 54% approve of the idea of Prince William being King of Australia versus only 26% who don’t).

As for BludgerTrack, Essential Research has had next to no effect on two-party preferred, and none at all on the seat projection, either nationally or any particular state. However, there is movement on the primary vote as the effects of Nielsen’s Greens outlier of three weeks ago fade off. That still leaves the Greens at an historically high 12.0%, but it still remains to be seen if they are trending back to the 9% territory they have tended to occupy for the past few years, or if they find a new equilibrium at a higher level. The Coalition is also down on the primary vote, which is beginning to look like a trend (it is only by the grace of rounding that its score still has a four in front of it). This cancels out the effect of the Greens’ drop on the two-party preferred vote for Labor, whose primary vote has little changed. Palmer United’s slight gain to 4.6% puts them at their highest level so far this year. There haven’t been any new leadership ratings since Nielsen, so the results displayed are as they were a fortnight ago.

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