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The latest monthly Resolve Strategic federal poll for the Age/Herald marks a return to this series’ lean to the Coalition relative to other pollsters, with a two-point increase in their primary vote to 39% and a corresponding drop in Labor’s to 32%. The Greens, One Nation and other parties are steady at 11%, 3% and 5% respectively, with the low collective major party vote reflected in a likewise steady 9% for the pollster’s “independents” measure. The latter is a contentious feature of the poll, as it is unclear how or if the pollster deals with uncertainty as to where independents might run, as nothing is publicly known about how its questionnaire is structured.

Resolve Strategic doesn’t provide two-party preferred numbers, but I estimate a 51-49 break in favour of the Coalition on two-party preferred based on 2019 preference flows, reversing the result from last month. Breakdowns for the large states suggest the Coalition leads 53-47 in New South Wales, compared with 50-50 last time, and a swing of a bit over 1% in their favour compared with 2019; Labor leads 53-47 in Victoria, little changed on either the last poll or the 2019 election; and the Coalition leads 56-44 in Queensland, compared with 51-49 last time, for a swing to Labor of about 2.5%. Despite the voting intention numbers, the poll finds Scott Morrison has taken a solid hit on his personal ratings, consistent with the finding of other polls over the past month, with his approval rating down seven points to 40% and disapproval up to 49%. Anthony Albanese is respectively up one to 31% and four to 45%, and he has narrowed his deficit on preferred prime minister from to 44-26 to 40-29.

Full results from the poll, which was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1606, can be viewed here. Further results from the poll concerning the economic outlook (most expect it to improve) and immigration (most believe there should be less of it than pre-pandemic) can be viewed here. The pollster’s bi-monthly New South Wales state voting intention result will presumably be along this evening.

Also out yesterday was the regular fortnightly poll from Essential Research, which now comes with a flash new display, though I personally will miss the PDF that brought it all together in one easily stored file. This release features neither the monthly leadership ratings nor the quarterly dump of voting intention numbers. What it does include is the regular question on COVID-19 response by the federal government, whose good rating is down three to 45% with poor steady on 29%, and the state governments, with New South Wales’ good rating steady on 57%, Victoria’s down six to 50% and Queensland’s down two to 60%.

A question on best party to manage the economy does not follow the usual form for this issue in favouring the Coalition: instead, Labor and Liberal are tied on 34%. Furthermore, Labor leads 40-29 as the better party to “ensure the economy works in the interests of everyday Australians”, and 37-23 as best party to manage household expenses. Perhaps relatedly, fully 62% wanted the government to play a more active role in managing the economy, with only 16% wanting it to be less active and 22% thinking it has it about right. Further questions relate to government help for businesses to recover from the pandemic (respondents overwhelmingly in favour), an emissions target for 2030 (respondents believe it should be more ambitious) and freedom of speech (respondents actually aren’t all that keen on it). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1095.

Finally, Sky News has a curious set of figures from a poll of 4010 respondents conducted way back in September by unheralded outfit Ergo Strategy, described as “News Corp’s final exclusive survey”, though I can’t find any record of anything earlier. No voting intention figures are provided, but we are told how voters for each party in 2019 intend to vote this time. Eleven per cent of Coalition voters said they were switching to Labor compared with 5% vice-versa, suggesting a shift of around 3% in favour of Labor.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

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