Newspoll breakdowns find the Turnbull government sinking in Victoria and South Australia; another poll suggests the government will have a hard time selling its budget; internal polling reportedly shows Bronwyn Bishop's goose to be cooked in Mackellar; and a Liberal-versus-Nationals stoush looms with the retirement of Sharman Stone in Murray.
Probably not much doing in the land of polling over Easter, but The Australian as always takes advantage of the situation to unload Newspoll’s quarterly aggregates, providing breakdowns of the combined polling so far this year by state, gender and metro/regional. The results strongly suggest the Coalition’s recent downward movement has been driven by Victoria.
Also of note:
• The Australian has results from a privately commissioned poll by MediaReach which suggests Bronwyn Bishop would suffer a heavy defeat if Dick Smith ran against her as an independent in Mackellar, as he says he will do if she again wins Liberal preselection. The poll of 877 respondents showed Smith on 54% of the primary vote, compared with just 21% for Bishop. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said Bishop should retire, and she recorded a net favourability of minus 30% compared with plus 59% for Smith. A report in the Daily Telegraph this week said support for Bishop was rapidly waning ahead of the preselection vote on April 16.
• A poll conducted for Sky News by Omnipoll, a new venture involving former Newspoll director Martin O’Shannessy, suggests the federal government will have a difficult sell with its mooted company tax cut. Out of four budgetary options offered, this one was most favoured by 3% of respondents, compared with 46% for fixing the bottom line, 27% for spending more on education, and 25% for personal income tax cuts. Respondents also faced a forced choice question on whether Malcolm Turnbull had lived up to expectations and Prime Minister, which broke 62-38 against. A table at the Sydney Morning Herald features breakdowns by age and, interestingly and unusually, income. The results suggest the most indulgent view of Turnbull’s performance is taken by the young and the wealthy.
• An intra-Coalition stoush looms in the rural Victorian seat of Murray, following Sharman Stone’s retirement announcement on Saturday. Stone gained the seat for the Liberals upon the retirement of Nationals member Bruce Lloyd in 1996. Rebecca Urban of The Australian reports candidates for Liberal preselection will include Duncan McGauchie, “a Melbourne-based communications specialist and former policy adviser to previous Victorian premier Ted Baillieu”.
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