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AAP/Mick Tsikas

Gains for Labor in three post-budget polls, as budget has weak response compared with historical record

The polls presented here are in addition to Monday’s Newspoll (54-46 to Labor) and Ipsos (55-45 to Labor), which I covered here.

Overall, Labor still has a large poll lead, with little change since the budget. Analyst Kevin Bonham says that, while the Coalition isn’t toast yet, Labor is the clear favourite to win the election in May.

A Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, conducted March 30 to April 3 from a sample of 1,618, gave Labor 38% of the primary vote (up three since mid-February), the Coalition 34% (up one), the Greens 11% (up one), UAP 3% (down one), One Nation 2% (down one), independents 9% (down one) and others 3% (down two).

As usual, Resolve did not provide a two-party estimate, but Bonham estimated 55.5-44.5 to Labor from the primary votes, a 1.5-point gain for Labor since mid-February.

53% thought Scott Morrison was doing a bad job and 39% a good job, for a net approval of -14, up three points. Anthony Albanese had a net approval of -4, up one point. Albanese led as preferred PM for the first time, by 37-36 (39-30 to Morrison in February).

The Liberals and Morrison led Albanese and Labor by 37-27 on economic management (37-25 in February). On COVID, the Liberals led by 34-27 (33-26 in February).

Read more: The polls look grim for the Coalition. Will Queensland buck the trend again?

Essential “2PP+”: 50-45 to Labor

This week’s Essential poll, conducted March 31 to April 3 from a sample of 1,086, gave Labor a 50-45 lead on its “2PP+” measure that includes undecided (48-44 last fortnight). Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady), 36% Labor (down one), 10% Greens (up one), 4% One Nation (up one), 3% UAP (up one), 5% for all Others (up one) and 5% undecided (down two).

Respondent preferences were better for Labor than a fortnight ago, hence their gain despite the primary vote movement against them. Essential continues to have the all Others vote lower than other polls, and is currently the most pro-Coalition pollster.

61% thought cost of living the most important economic issue, and Labor led the Coalition by 38-27 on addressing this. 47% thought the government had a lot of influence in controlling household expenses, 41% a little influence and 12% none.

56% thought the budget was more about helping the Coalition win the next election, while 44% thought it was more about helping the economy over the long term.

Morgan poll: 57-43 to Labor

A Morgan poll, conducted March 28 to April 3 – which means the first two days were before the budget – from a sample of 1,367, gave Labor a 57-43 lead, a 1.5-point gain for Labor since the March 21-27 previous poll.

Primary votes were 39.5% Labor (up four), 33% Coalition (steady), 11% Greens (down 1.5), 3.5% One Nation (steady), 1% UAP (steady), 9% independents (down one) and 3% others (down 1.5).

Newspoll budget questions

Newspoll has asked three questions after every budget since 1988: whether the budget was good or bad for the economy, good or bad for you personally and whether the opposition would have delivered a better budget.

The worst result for the Coalition was that by 42-40, voters thought Labor would not have delivered a better budget. This two-point lead for no is easily the worst for any Coalition government (see The Poll Bludger’s graphs). It is the third worst overall behind Labor 1993 and 2013 budgets, with 1993 the only time more thought the opposition would have done better.

26% said they would personally be better off from the budget and 25% worse off, while 33% said it would be good for the economy and 23% bad. The net +1 for personal compares well with past budgets, but the net +10 for the economy does not. It is the worst economic rating for a budget since Tony Abbott’s first budget in 2014.

Read more: Politics with Michelle Grattan: Election expert Antony Green on the election map

Two SA federal seat polls have big swings to Labor

The Poll Bludger reported that polls of the Liberal held federal SA seats of Boothby and Sturt had Labor leading by 57-43 in Boothby and 52-48 in Sturt; these would both be swings of 8-9% to Labor from the 2019 election.

These seat polls were conducted by uComms for the left-wing Australia Institute on March 30 from samples of just over 800 per seat. Seat polls are unreliable.

A seat poll of Braddon (Tas), also by uComms for The Australia Institute, gave Labor a 53-47 lead, about a 6% swing to Labor, but Bonham says it’s 50-50 by 2019 election preferences. This poll is in contrast to a Telereach poll of the neigbouring seat of Bass, which implied the Liberals were easily winning their most marginal seat.

From the front page of Thursday’s West Australian, a seat poll in Curtin (WA) gave the Liberals just a 51-49 lead over an independent, compared with a 63.9-36.1 Liberal margin vs Labor at the 2019 election.

Victorian Resolve poll: Labor down but would still win easily

A Victorian state Resolve poll for The Age gave Labor 37% of the primary vote (down four since January), the Coalition 33% (up two), the Greens 10% (down one), independents 12% (up two) and others 9% (up two). Bonham estimated this poll would be 55.5-44.5 to Labor, a 3.5-point gain for the Coalition.

Incumbent Daniel Andrews led Liberal Matthew Guy by 48-31 as preferred premier (47-30 in January). This poll would have been conducted with the federal Resolve polls in February and last week from a sample of about 1,100.

Tasmanian premier resigns

Tasmanian Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein announced his resignation as premier and from parliament Monday. There will be no byelection to replace him; instead the Hare Clark countback method will elect another Liberal. The ABC says current deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff will be the next premier.

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