The always reliable James J in comments relates that the Newspoll, to be published in tomorrow’s Australian, shows the Coalition back to its post-budget worst, with Labor leading 55-45 on two-party preferred. Primary votes are 39% for Labor, 36% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens. Whereas Newspoll’s two-party results have recently had a habit of coming in better for Labor than the primary votes would lead you to expect, this one sounds about right.

After a period where the two leaders have been roughly even, this poll gives Bill Shorten a 43-37 lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister. Abbott is on 36% approval and 55% disapproval, while Shorten is at 39% and 41%. The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday from a sample of 1166.

Also out today was the regular fortnightly poll from Roy Morgan, which was also unpleasant for the government, with Labor’s headline two-party lead out from 54.5-45.5 to 55.5-44.5. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down half a point on the primary vote to 38%, with Labor up one to 38.5% and the Greens down half a point to 12%. Using preference flows from the 2013 election rather than respondent allocation, Labor’s lead is up from 53.5-46.5 to 54-46. The poll was conducted over the past two weekends from a sample of 3140.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Essential Research turns in another static result on voting intention, with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all stable on the primary vote (40%, 38% and 10%), and Labor’s two-party lead unchanged at 52-48. The only move is that Palmer United is back down to 3% after two weeks at 4%.

Essential has shown good foresight in identifying free trade and China as the subject of its supplementary questions this week. Opinion on a free trade agreement is evenly divided at 34% approval and 35% disapproval, with 35% saying China will benefit more versus only 12% for Australia and 24% for both equally. Respondents are predictably more keen on “greater access to Chinese markets for Australian businesses” (61% support, 12% oppose) than “fewer restrictions on Chinese workers coming to Australia” (20% support, 57% oppose). When asked to rate likeliest beneficiaries of a deal, the Australian government, mining companies and business come on to with 52%, 48% and 44%, and the ever-embattled “working people” bottom on 25%. Beyond that, respondents were found to be highly cynical about the G20, with 62% rating it an “expensive talk fest” over 16% for the alternative option crediting it with “real outcomes for Australia and the global economy”.

Other questions tested respondents about the size of Australia’s refugee intake, with a general but not overwhelming tendency to rate it higher than it actually is. Opinions on the utility of the refugee program are evenly divided, except that only 20% agreed that “Australia‚Äôs overall population is too low and we need to increase the number of refugees to boost the numbers in our workforce”, with 62% disagreeing.

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