The only new poll this week was from Essential Research, and it recorded next to no change from its established pattern, which means next to no change to the BludgerTrack poll aggregate. What change there is has caused Labor recover the slightest possible lead on the two-party preferred aggregate, but the seat total and its distribution between the states is entirely unchanged on last week. One point worth noting is the ongoing slide of Palmer United, which can be timed almost exactly to its Senators taking their seats at the start of July, and which has now brought it to its lowest ebb since the election. Essential Research also furnished us with a new seat of leadership ratings this week, the effect of which has been to moderate the upward lurch on Tony Abbott’s net approval rating caused by the recent Morgan phone poll. The overall trend for Abbott remains upward, but Bill Shorten’s rating has also been tracking upwards lightly, albeit more gently. As I explain in Crikey today, this improvement appears to have been driven by men rather than women.

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