The fortnightly Newspoll in The Australian brings the government little respite, Labor’s lead down from the 55-45 blowout last time to 54-46, from primary votes of 37% for the Coalition (up one), 37% for Labor (down two) and 13% for the Greens (up two). Tony Abbott’s personal ratings continue to deteriorate, with approval down three to 33% and disapproval up two to 57%, while Bill Shorten’s remain broadly stable as they have for so long, with approval unchanged at 39% and disapproval up two to 43%. Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister widens just slightly from 43-37 to 43-36.
Also out today was the regular fortnightly face-to-face plus SMS poll from Morgan. This has the Coalition up a point to 39%, Labor down one to 37.5%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer United down half a point to another new low of 2%. Two-party preferred moves two points in the Coalition’s favour on the respondent-allocated measure, from 55.5-44.5 to 53.5-46.5, and previous-election preferences moves one point from 54-46 to 53-47.
UPDATE (Essential Research): The latest fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research ticks a point in Labor’s favour, from 52-48 to 53-47, with the major parties tied at 40% on the primary vote (Labor up a point, the Coalition steady), the Greens down one to 9% and Palmer United steady on 3%. Further questions:
Opinion on the balance of power in the Senate is found to be unchanged since July in being slightly favourable, with 37% reckoning it good for democracy, 29% bad and 18% indifferent. When asked if the Senate has been right to block or reject various items of legislation, yes outpolls no in every case.
A little surprisingly (to me at least), 42% think the 1.5% pay increase for defence personnel fair, versus 47% for unfair.
Fifty-six per cent disagree with the Prime Minister’s contention that his government has fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people with respect to election promises, with 31% in agreement. Opinion is inevitably divided along party lines, but Greens voters are found to be even more negative than Labor ones, albeit that the sample for the latter is extremely small.
As Essential does from time to time, respondents were asked for their view on various attributes with respect to the two leaders. The last time this was done was at the height of the Coalition’s post-budget poll collapse, and the latest survey finds Tony Abbott’s position very slightly improved, most noticeably with respect to hard-working (up five to 62%) and good in a crisis (up seven to 42%), the latter being an interesting bit of residue from his now vanishing poll recovery on the back of MH17 and terrorism concerns. However, he has dropped a further four points on visionary, to 27%. Reflecting his long-standing poll stasis, Bill Shorten’s readings are little changed, although he is down five on a capable leader to 46%.