This week’s reading of the Essential Research rolling fortnightly aggregate finds Labor maintaining the 52-48 lead it opened up last week, from primary votes of Coalition 40% (steady), Labor 38% (down one) and Greens 10% (steady). The poll also features its occasional series of questions on the leaders’ attributes, which find Malcolm Turnbull slipping around three points on most measures since March, but suffering particular reversals on “narrow-minded” (up eight to 41%), “erratic” (up seven to 34%) and “intolerant” (up eight to 34%). Bill Shorten has generally improved a couple of points, and particularly well on “a capable leader” (up seven to 41%). However, Turnbull has significantly better results than Shorten across nine out of 15 categories, while Shorten’s only advantages are on “out of touch with ordinary people” and “arrogant”, where Turnbull’s scores are rather high.

Other findings:

• What was described to respondents as Labor’s “policy to tackle climate change which includes a target of reducing Australia’s carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 (compared to the Coalition Government’s target of 26-28%) and introducing an emissions trading scheme” recorded 57% approval and 21% disapproval.

• The decision to award a $50 billion submarines contract “to a French company with most of the construction to be done in South Australia” had 52% approval and 27% disapproval.

• As a general principle, negative gearing had 43% approval and 36% disapproval. Changes to it “so that, for future purchases, investors can only claim tax deductions for
investments in newly built homes” had 36% approval and 38% disapproval. Twenty-four per cent thought such a change would causing housing prices to fall, 31% to rise at a slower rate, and 13% felt it would result in little change.

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