The Essential Research fortnight rolling average maintains its recent habit of shifting between 53-47 and 54-46, the latest instalment going from the latter to the former. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 37% and Labor is down one to 36%, with the Greens and One Nation steady at 10% and 8%, so that the result is in all respects identical to the week before last. The poll also finds 40% think Tony Abbott should resign from parliament, 17% that he should stay on the back bench, and another 17% that he should be given a position in the ministry. This is worse for him than when the same questions were posed in August last year, when the respective results were 37%, 21% and 25%. Other findings relate to the tightening of 457 visas: 16% said they went too far, 28% not far enough, and 39% that they were about right; 59% approved of allowing visa holders to apply for permanent residency, against 23% disapprove; 78% agreed that those applying for permanent residency should first be put on a probationary visa, against only 10% for disagree.

The Australian also had extra questions from Newspoll, which found that 70% favoured the government prioritising spending cuts over 20% for increasing taxes, but that only 30% favoured cuts to welfare payments with 61% opposed.

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