The BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week mostly splits the difference between a strong result for the government from ReachTEL and a weak one from Ipsos, translating into a 0.3% shift to Labor on two-party preferred and a two-point change on the seat projection, with Labor picking up one each in New South Wales and Victoria. The Ipsos poll also furnished one set of leadership ratings for the week, the impact of which on the trend measures is fairly minor.
On top of that, I’ve got an avalanche of new material to treat you with this week, most of which has been hived off to a separate post dealing with preselection news. There are two further poll results I’ve so far neglected to cover:
• This week’s Essential Research moves a point in favour of the Coalition on two-party preferred, who now lead 52-48. The primary votes are Coalition 43% (steady), Labor 33% (down two) and Greens 11% (steady). Further questions find 28% reporting the Malcolm Turnbull prime ministership has been better than expected, 22% worse than expected, and 41% as expected; a very even divide on the issue of babies born to asylum seekers in Australia, with 39% wanting them sent to Nauru and 40% believing they should remain in Australia; 34% believing conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island are good, versus 40% for poor; and 64% disapproving of suggestions the administration and payment of Medicare, pharmaceutical and aged care benefits should be outsourced, with only 17% approving.
• The Galaxy Queensland poll that provided state results for the Courier-Mail on the weekend also had a federal voting intention component, which had the Coalition’s lead in Queensland at 57-43 (unchanged from the 2013 election), from primary votes of Coalition 49% (up 3.3% since the election), Labor 30% (up 0.2%), Greens 10% (up 3.8%) and Palmer United 1% (down 10.0%). The poll was conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 869.
Other notable news:
• The federal redistribution process for the Australian Capital Territory was finalised last month, leaving undisturbed the draft proposal from September. The Fraser electorate, which covers the northern part of Canberra, is to be renamed Fenner, with the Canberra electorate continuing to account for the capital’s centre and south, along with the unpopulated areas of the territory’s south. The two seats are respectively held for Labor by Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh. Around 10,000 voters are to be transferred from Fraser to Canberra, leaving Labor’s two-party margin in Fraser unchanged at 12.6%, while increasing the Canberra margin from 7.0% to 7.4%.
• The process for a redistribution of the Northern Territory and its two federal electorates has commenced, but with a final resolution for the process being scheduled for early next year, the new boundaries will not take effect at the next election.
• The Northern Territory parliament has voted to change the electoral system from compulsory to optional preferential voting, so that voters will be required to do no more than number a single box, as is the case at state elections in New South Wales and Queensland. The bill was passed with the support of cross-bench independents in the face of opposition from Labor.