Labor's lead slides in Newspoll, but honeymoon continues in Resolve poll after budget

A Newspoll, conducted October 27-30 from a sample of 1,500, gave Labor a 55-45 lead, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the last Newspoll in early September. Primary votes were 38% Labor (up one), 35% Coalition (up four), 11% Greens (down two), 6% One Nation (down one), 1% UAP (down one) and 9% for all Others (down one).

59% were satisfied with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s performance (down two), and 33% were dissatisfied (up four), for a net approval of +26, down six points. Both Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s satisfied and dissatisfied ratings were up, respectively up four to 39% and up three to 46%, for a net approval of -7.

There was large movement on the better PM indicator, with Albanese’s lead over Dutton dropping to 54-27 from 61-22 in early September.

While Labor still has a large lead in Newspoll, their lead has dropped since early September. But the Resolve poll continues to give Labor a huge lead. I believe Newspoll is more realistic as the October 25 budget was not well received, and Essential’s poll shows a large increase in economic pessimism.

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 budget was rated good and bad for the economy by 29% each. On the personal side, 47% rated it bad and just 12% good. By 48-34, voters thought the Coalition would not have delivered a better budget.

The Poll Bludger said this budget was the sixth worst out of 36 polled by Newspoll on personal impact and the ninth worst on economic impact, but it rated about middle on whether the opposition would have done better. The Poll Bludger has graphs of these Newspoll questions for all budgets they have been asked.

An additional question asked whether voters thought the budget properly balanced the cost of living and the budget deficit. By 25-6, respondents thought it put too much emphasis on the deficit, while 31% thought it didn’t do enough for either and 23% that it struck the right balance.

Resolve poll: Labor maintains huge lead

A Resolve poll for Nine newspapers, conducted October 26-30 from a sample of 1,611, gave Labor 39% of the primary vote (steady since three weeks ago), the Coalition 32% (up two), the Greens 13% (up one), One Nation 4% (down one), the UAP 1% (down two), independents 8% (down one) and others 3% (up one).

Resolve does not give a two-party estimate until close to elections, but my calculations using 2022 election preference flows give Labor about a 58.5-41.5 lead, only about a 0.5-point gain for the Coalition.

On Albanese, 57% thought he was doing a good job and 28% a poor job, for a net approval of +29, down six points. Dutton’s ratings were 41% poor, 29% good, for a net -12, down two points. Albanese led Dutton by 53-19 as preferred PM (53-18 three weeks ago).

Labor led the Liberals by 38-32 on party best for economic management (36-30 three weeks ago). But on keeping the cost of living low, Labor’s lead dropped to 31-24 from 30-20 previously.

By 43-21, voters gave Jim Chalmers a good rating for his performance as Treasurer. After the March 2022 budget, the former Coalition Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had a 52-28 good rating, and a 54-27 good rating after the May 2021 budget.

Asked if Labor has broken election promises to cut power bills and get wages moving, 36% said Labor had broken promises, 12% said they had kept their promises and 53% said it was too early to tell or were undecided.

Several proposals to tackle power prices were well supported, with the most popular “setting price caps that utility companies cannot go over” (79-3 support).

Asked to choose between higher wages at the cost of higher prices, or lower prices at the cost of lower wages, 29% selected each option.

Essential poll: large rise in economic pessimism

In an Essential poll, conducted in the days before November 1 from a sample of 1,038, 52% thought economic conditions in Australia would get worse in the next 12 months (up 12 since June), 24% thought they would get better (down eight) and 19% stay the same (down one).

Politicians were rated from 0 to 10, then ratings from 0-3 were counted as negative, 4-6 as neutral and 7-10 as positive. Albanese was at 45% positive, 20% negative (46-17 in September), Dutton was at 32% negative, 29% positive (33-23 previously). Chalmers was at 31% positive, 20% negative.

By 67-20, voters thought the government can make a meaningful difference on energy prices. Concerning easing COVID lockdown restrictions, 63% thought their state had moved at about the right speed, 22% too slowly and 15% too quickly.

On the Melbourne Cup, 34% said they regularly bet on horse races and will bet on the cup (down eight since last year), 29% that they rarely bet on horses, but will make an exception for the cup (up eight), 19% that they will watch the cup but not bet (down three) and 18% that they are not interested in the cup and won’t bet.

By 72-10, voters thought the cup was a unique part of Australia’s identity, but by 45-25 they thought it promoted unhealthy gambling behaviour. Voters were split 34-34 on whether the cup normalises animal cruelty.

Lula defeats Bolsonaro in Brazil and US midterms update

I covered Sunday’s Brazilian presidential runoff election for The Poll Bludger. The leftist challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (called “Lula”) defeated the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by a 50.9-49.1 margin. Lula won the October 2 first round by a 48.4-43.2 margin, but did not secure the majority needed to avoid the runoff. Bolsonaro had won the 2018 runoff by a 55.1-44.9 margin.

The US midterm elections will be held next Tuesday, with polls closing from late Wednesday morning AEDT. Republicans have continued to improve in the FiveThirtyEight forecasts since my update last Friday.

They are now a 51% favourite to win the Senate after Democrats had a 52% chance last Friday, and an 83% chance to win the House of Representatives (82% previously). This is Republicans’ first lead in the Senate forecast since July.