News National Confusing polls for Abbott

Confusing polls for Abbott

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The Abbott government woke on Tuesday morning to very mixed messages in the polls.

On one hand, a Newspoll published in The Australian has the Coalition making a remarkable comeback, and narrowly trailing Labor on a two-party-preferred basis, 49 to 51 per cent.

A Morgan Poll published on the same morning, however, has Labor gaining ground and leading the government by a healthy margin, 44 to 56 per cent.

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The government could be forgiven for scratching its head.

Roy Morgan poll manager Julian McCrann put it down to different polling methods and said sometimes the major polls branched off.

“I think the polls really aren’t saying much at the moment given that divergence,” Mr McCrann said.

“Sometimes you get so-called ‘rogue polls’ and the next polls we both put out will be interesting to see which way it goes.

“The impact of the budget will be pretty important for Mr Abbott for the immediate future.”

The Newspoll released on Tuesday shows the Coalition has increased its primary vote to 41 per cent compared to Labor’s 37 per cent — its highest lead since September.

The Morgan Poll also has Labor ahead of the Abbott government in the primary vote, 40 to 38 per cent.

Bill Shorten’s own disapproval rating is up. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has attempted to turn his government around after narrowly surviving a leadership spill motion in February.

Controversial chief of staff Peta Credlin has been largely absent from parliament, while the government has continued to dump unpopular measures like the GP co-payment.

According to the Newspoll, voters appear to have responded favourably, with Mr Abbott managing to claw back support as preferred leader.

He trails Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 36 to 41 per cent, but this figure is improved from 33 to 44 per cent at the start of March.

While the Coalition is ahead on all measures, support for Labor has dropped.

The Opposition’s primary vote is down two points, while their two-party-preferred vote is down four points.

In the past fortnight, Mr Shorten’s disapproval rating has also grown by five points to 47 per cent.

Mr Abbott’s disapproval rating fell by two points but still sits at a high 61 per cent, while his approval rating has improved one point to 29 per cent.

The Greens primary vote is down one point from 12 to 11 per cent.

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