The latest Newspoll result from The Australian has the Coalition opening a 52-48 lead after a 50-50 result a fortnight ago, from primary votes of Coalition 45% (up two), Labor 35% (steady) and Greens 11% (down one). Malcolm Turnbull’s lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister has blown out from 57-19 to 63-17, and his personal ratings are 58% approve (up eight) and 23% disapprove (down two). Bill Shorten is down two on approval to 26% – his lowest Newspoll result yet – and up five on disapproval to 58%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday by automated phone and online polling, from a sample of 1606.

UPDATE (Essential Research): Movement to the Coalition now from Essential Research as well, which has them up a point on both two-party preferred, on which they now lead 52-48, and on the primary vote, putting them at 45%, compared with 35% for Labor (down one) and 11% for the Greens (steady). This score is from a fortnightly rolling average of weekly polling, the latest tranche of which was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1012.

Other questions relate to the union movement, and as usual they find it to be viewed more favourably than some of the narrative might indicate. Sixty-two per cent rated unions as very important or quite important for Australian working people today, a semi-regular question which has been tracking upwards from a result of 52% in September 2012, while responses of not very important or not at all important have fallen over that time from 38% to 28%. Forty-five per cent agreed that workers would be better off if unions in Australia were stronger, with 26% opting for worse off. However, 42% deemed the trade union royal commission “a legitimate investigation of union practices” compared with 27% who favoured the alternative proposition that it was “a political attack on Labor and the unions”, which is similar to when the question was last asked in August (“don’t know” remaining at a high 31%).

Another semi-regular question, on same sex marriage, records no significant change on August, with 59% in favour and 30% opposed, both of which are down one point on last time. Opinion is evenly divided on whether the matter should be determined by a plebiscite (43%) or a vote in parliament (41%). Also featured is a question on whether Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison will be better economic managers than Tony Abbott than Joe Hockey, with 50% opting for better and 10% for worse.

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