Newspoll back down to pre-Julia levels

Newspoll this morning is reporting that the Labor/Coalition split is back to 52% to 48%. This is just a statistically significant result. Their measure of the relative popularity of the leaders is certainly statistically significant with a sharp decline in Gillard's approvals and an increase in her disapprovals.

Abbott has improved his approval levels. I've inserted a table below which shows the change since last week. It's been quite dramatic, although the most significant figure isn't the vanity polls but the voting intentions.


The Australian puts the change in sentiment down to the proposal for a Citizens' Assembly. I think that is unlikely although our survey showed it was a bit of a stinker. It's just that randomly polled voters rarely make decisions based on a single issue. Their voting patterns reflect feelings about candidates, which can be as much to do with body language as it can with policy.

My suspicion is that the first polls, which all showed a boost for the government were as much an expression of relief that the campaign had been called, accompanied by women thinking it would be good to have a woman prime minister. Now voters are starting to think about the reality of having to make a vote, and so intentions are narrowing up.

Of course issues like the assembly will have an impact, but it takes longer than a few days for this to show up.


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