This week’s Newspoll, conducted July 26-29 from a sample of 1,700, gave Labor a 51-49 lead, unchanged on last fortnight. Primary votes were 39% Coalition (up one), 36% Labor (steady), 10% Greens (steady) and 7% One Nation (steady). Three of the four days of this poll’s fieldwork were taken before the Super Saturday byelection results were known.
This was the Coalition’s 37th successive Newspoll loss under Malcolm Turnbull, four more than the previous record of consecutive Newspoll losses for a government. However, the primary vote shift in this poll indicate the Coalition is closing in on a 50-50 Newspoll.
42% were satisfied with Turnbull’s performance (up one), and 48% were dissatisfied (down one), for a net approval of -6, equal with a Newspoll four weeks ago for Turnbull’s best net approval this term. Bill Shorten’s net approval fell one point to -25. Turnbull maintained an unchanged 48-29 lead as better PM.
By 40-29, voters thought Anthony Albanese would be better than Shorten to lead Labor. Albanese led by 34-35 points with Coalition and One Nation voters, but Shorten led by 49-33 with Labor voters and 32-29 with Greens voters.
This week’s Essential, also conducted July 26-29 from a sample of 1,022, gave Labor a 51-49 lead, unchanged on last fortnight. Primary votes were 41% Coalition (up one), 36% Labor (steady), 10% Greens (steady) and 6% One Nation (steady). Essential is using 2016 election flows, and this poll would be 50-50 by Newspoll’s new methods.
55% thought the parties’ policies were very important to their votes, 28% the parties’ leaders and 27% local candidates. By 64-21, voters agreed that parties should not change leaders before elections, yet by 56-29 they also agreed that parties should replace their leader if they are unpopular.
28% (up four since April) thought Turnbull the best Liberal leader, 16% Julie Bishop (down one), 10% Tony Abbott (down one) and 5% Peter Dutton (up two). Among Coalition voters, Turnbull had 51% (up six), Bishop 14% (up one) and Abbott 11% (down six).
19% (down one since August 2017) thought Shorten the best Labor leader, 19% Anthony Albanese (up six) and 12% Tanya Plibersek (down one). Among Labor voters, Shorten had 37% (up three), Albanese 17% (up two) and Plibersek 13% (down two).
Since November 2017, there has been an eight-point decrease in perception that the Liberals are divided, an eight-point increase in “has a good team of leaders” and a five-point increase in “clear about what they stand for”. For Labor, there was a seven-point decrease in extreme, a five-point decrease in “too close to the big corporate interests” and a five-point increase in divided.
The Liberals were 30 points ahead of Labor on being too close to the big corporate interests, and 16 points ahead on being out of touch, but they were seven points ahead on having a good team of leaders. Labor was 20 points ahead on looking after the interests of working people and eight points ahead on understanding the problems facing Australia. In November 2017, the Liberals were 13 points ahead on divided; now both parties are equal.