Essential Research displays its trademark stability this week by failing to record the big shift evident from the other pollsters, with two-party preferred steady at 52-48 and Labor up only one point on the primary vote to 40%, with the Coalition steady on 40%, the Greens down one to 8% and Palmer United steady on 5%. The results on the budget are also somewhat less spectacular than those seen elsewhere, with 30% approval and 52% disapproval, and 40% deeming it good for the economy overall against 32% for bad – quite a bit different from the 39% and 48% registered by Newspoll. The budget was deemed bad for working people by 59% and good by 14%; bad for those on low incomes by 66% and good by 11%; bad for families by 62% and good by 11%; bad for older Australians by 66% and good by 10%; bad for younger Australians by 55% and good by 16%; but good for people who well off by 45% and bad by 16%.

Response was also sought in relation to particular budget measures, of which the least popular was the raise in the pension age (61% opposition, 17% support), followed by deregulation of university fees (58% opposition, 17% support). Opinion was evenly balanced on making Newstart recipients wait six months (41% opposition, 39% support), while there was a net positive response to making graduates pay HELP loans more quickly (53% support, 23% opposition). Cuts to foreign aid had 64% supportive and 13% opposed, while those to the ABC had 27% supportive and 41% opposed. Fifty-six per cent believed there was a “budget emergency” against 32% who did not, but only 24% believed the budget addressed it, against 56% who did not.

The other relative latecomer to the budget poll party was yesterday’s fortnightly Morgan face-to-face plus SMS result, which was more in line with other polls in having Labor up 1.5% to 38.5%, the Coalition down 2.5% to 35%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer up a point to 6.5%. Whereas Morgan polls usually combine two weekends of polling, this one was entirely from Saturday and Saturday, so all the responses are post-budget and the sample is somewhat smaller than usual. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead was up from 53.5-46.5 to 56.5-43.5 on 2013 election preferences, and 55-45 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.

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