After an anomalous drop to 51-49 last week, the Labor two-party lead in the Essential Research rolling average is back to 52-48 this week, from primary votes of 40% for the Coalition (down one), 38% for Labor (up one), 11% for the Greens (up one) and 2% for Palmer United (up one). Further questions find the Liberal Party rated too right wing by 34%, too left wing by 7% and about right by 26%, whereas only 20% think Labor too left wing compared with 16% for too right wing, and 28% about right. The poll also features an occasional question on best party to handle various issues, which finds the Coalition improving from a low point when the question was last asked in February, with the biggest movement in education, health, environment and climate change, generally smaller ones in its economic areas of strength, and no movement on national security and asylum seekers. A question on the ABC’s Q&A program finds is to be considerably more popular than its critics in the government, with 46% rating it good and 11% poor (including 37% and 23% among Coalition voters). After given a precis of the two parties’ National Broadband Network policies, 38% favoured Labor’s and 29% the government’s. On the economy, 35% rate it as headed in the right direction against 41% for the wrong direction, essentially unchanged on May.

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