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Labor and Albanese gain in post-budget Newspoll, but other polls don’t look as rosy

A national Newspoll, conducted after the May 14 budget from a sample of over 1,200 people, gave Labor a 52–48% lead over the Coalition, a one-point gain for Labor since the previous Newspoll four weeks ago.

Primary votes were 37% Coalition (down one point), 34% Labor (up one), 13% Greens (up one), 7% One Nation (steady) and 9% for all others (down one).

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s net approval jumped six points to net zero, with 47% (up three points from four weeks ago) satisfied with his performance and 47% (down three) dissatisfied.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s net approval improved three points to -12. Albanese’s lead as better prime minister over Dutton widened to 52–33%, from 48–35% previously.

The graph below shows Albanese’s net approval in Newspoll this term, with a smoothed data line. This is the first time Albanese’s net approval has not been negative since before the Voice to Parliament referendum last October.

Albanese Newspoll ratings.

While Newspoll shows an improvement for Labor and Albanese, other polls listed below from Resolve and YouGov are much less rosy. On average, Labor remains narrowly ahead.

After every budget, Newspoll asks also three questions:

  • whether the budget was good or bad for the economy

  • whether it was good or bad for you personally

  • whether the opposition would have delivered a better budget.

This budget scored a net zero on economic impact and a net -2 on personal impact. Analyst Kevin Bonham said it’s relatively poor on the economy, but relatively good on personal impact, with the two measures closer than ever.

By 43–37%, voters thought the Coalition would not have delivered a better budget, compared to the 49% who believed they would last year.

Labor down further in Resolve poll

A national Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, presumably taken after the budget from a sample of over 1,600 people, gave the Coalition 36% of the primary vote (steady since April), Labor 29% (down one), the Greens 12% (down one), One Nation 7% (up two), the UAP 2% (steady), independents 12% (up one) and others 2% (down one).

Resolve doesn’t generally publish a two-party estimate, but applying 2022 election preference flows gives Labor about a 51–49% lead over the Coalition, a one-point gain for the Coalition since April. This is Labor’s worst result in Resolve, which was easily the most favourable pollster for Labor in 2023.

After gaining nine points in the April poll, Albanese’s net approval dropped eight points to -10 in this poll, with 49% giving him a poor rating and 39% a good rating.

Dutton’s net approval slid one point to -3. Albanese led Dutton as preferred prime minister by 40–32% (compared to 41–32% in April).

The Liberals’ lead over Labor on economic management slid to 38–29% from 38–27% in April. On keeping the cost of living low, the Liberals’ lead was steady at six points.

Labor drops to tie in pre-budget YouGov poll

A national YouGov poll, conducted May 10–14 from a sample of 1,506 people, showed Labor and the Coalition in a 50–50% tie. This was a two-point gain for the Coalition since late April.

Primary votes were 38% Coalition (up two points), 30% Labor (down three), 13% Greens (steady), 8% One Nation (steady) and 11% for all others (up one).

Albanese’s net approval slid one point to -12 since March, with 53% dissatisfied and 41% satisfied, while Dutton’s net approval rose five points to -6. Albanese led Dutton by 44–37% as better prime minister (compared with 46–34% in March).

On the most important issue for the government, 36% said housing affordability (up four points since November), 34% said living standards (down three points) and 29% said health care (down two points).

In another national YouGov poll conducted April 19–23 from a sample of 1,514 people, 35% of respondents thought the Australian government should recognise Palestine as an independent state, 21% were opposed and 44% were undecided.

Pre-budget Essential poll

In last fortnight’s national Essential poll, conducted May 1–5 from a sample of 1,150 people, the Coalition led Labor by 47–46%, including undecided (compared to 49–47% in mid-April).

Primary votes were 34% Coalition (down one point), 31% Labor (steady), 13% Greens (up two), 7% One Nation (down two), 1% UAP (steady), 7% for all others (down two) and 7% undecided (up three).

Excluding undecided and applying 2022 preference flows to the primary votes, The Poll Bludger had a Labor lead of about 52.5–47.5%, compared with Essential’s Coalition lead of 50.5–49.5% (excluding undecided). Essential’s respondent allocated preferences have been very poor for Labor.

By 59–30%, voters thought the budget would not make a meaningful difference on cost of living. By 59–41%, they also thought it better to focus on law enforcement than preventative measures to reduce crime. And by 70–30%, respondents backed the eSafety commissioner over tech billionaire Elon Musk in the argument over dangerous content vs free speech.

Age verification for pornography and gambling websites was supported by 80% of respondents. When asked who they would trust most to verify their age, 43% said the government, 14% businesses whose services they access, 12% not-for-profit third parties and 32% none of these.

Morgan polls

In the national Morgan poll conducted April 29 to May 5 from a sample of 1,666 people, Labor led the Coalition by 52–48%, unchanged from the April 22–28 poll.

In the Morgan poll conducted May 6–12 from a sample of 1,654 people, Labor again led by 52–48%. Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady since the previous poll), 32% Labor (up two), 13.5% Greens (up 0.5), 5.5% One Nation (down 0.5), 7.5% independents (down one) and 4.5% others (down one).

NT Freshwater poll: CLP leads by 54–46

The Northern Territory election will be held on August 24. A Freshwater poll released by Sky News last Thursday gave the Country Liberal Party a 54–46% lead over the Labor government. This was a four-point gain for Labor since last December.

This poll was conducted for Australian Energy Producers NT from a sample of 1,000 people. Primary votes were 39% CLP, 29% Labor, 9% Greens and 22% independents.

Tasmanian upper house election results

I covered the May 4 Tasmanian elections for three of the 15 upper house seats on May 6. At that time, there were no two-candidate counts, with only primary votes known.

In Labor-held Elwick, independent Glenorchy Mayor Bec Thomas defeated Labor by 53.3–46.7%, from primary votes of 33.9% Thomas, 28.4% Labor, 19.0% Greens and 18.7% for a left-wing independent. Thomas slightly increased her lead after preferences.

In Liberal-held Prosser, the Liberals defeated Labor by 52.9–47.1%, from primary votes of 38.5% Liberals, 28.8% Labor, 12.4% Shooters and 20.4% combined for two independents.

In Hobart, which was previously held by a retiring left-wing independent, the Greens defeated independent John Kelly by 59.7–40.3%, from primary votes of 36.9% Greens, 22.3% Kelly, 18.5% Labor and 13.6% for another independent. This is the Greens’ first-ever upper house seat.

The overall composition of the upper house is now four Liberals out of 15 seats, three Labor, one Green and seven independents. Bonham said three of the existing six independents are centre-right, one centre and two left-wing. He expects Thomas to be centrist. Thomas’ win in Elwick will make it a bit easier for the Liberals to pass legislation in the upper house.

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