I don’t usually post about the regular polls that we will see more of over the next few weeks as we plunge into the election, but I’ll make an exception for the two polls coming out overnight.
We have had two polls in the last few hours. The Galaxy poll in the Courier-Mail and the Neilsen poll in Fairfax newspapers. Both have Julia Gillard on 52% on two-party preferred teams, and both have the Greens recovering votes, up from 11 to 14 in Galaxy and up from 8 to 13 in Neilsen.
It is now worth noting that we now have a series of polls since Gillard took over as Prime Minister. All have the ALP in a winning position for the election, but with the exception of the weekend’s Morgan poll which had the ALP on 56.5%, none of them have the ALP on any more than 55%.
While they are a slight improvement over Kevin Rudd’s performance, overall the ALP’s chances of re-election have only really improved slightly. Kevin Rudd’s polls put him in a position where he was the favourite to win. After the last week’s events around asylum seeker policies, you would have to say that Julia Gillard, while the favourite to win the election, could very easily lose to Tony Abbott if things don’t go her way.
We now also have the first poll showing a recovery in support for the Greens after the Green vote fell when Gillard became Prime Minister. It isn’t at all surprising that the Greens would be recovering considering recent developments in climate change, asylum seeker and mining tax policy, but does indicate that the appeal of an atheist, childless woman as Prime Minister can only obscure the rightward drift of the Labor government for so long.
Having said all of that, it does appear that not a great deal has changed in terms of polling since Kevin Rudd was deposed. The ALP has a small but election-winning lead over the Liberal Party, with the Greens on track for an increased vote, but much of that appears soft and willing to consider switching back to Labor. You’d have to say that, based solely on polling, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd was one of the biggest over-reactions in recent political history.