Has Labor's comeback run its course?
Since mid-year the opinion polls have told a consistent story, federal Labor's comeback, but new poll numbers today show the Coalition steadying.PT3M27S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-29kvy 620 349 November 19, 2012
Almost every Australian voter backs the royal commission on child sex abuse in an Age-Nielsen poll that shows little change in support for the parties or leaders.
An extraordinary 95 per cent support the inquiry, which has bipartisan backing although it does not as yet have terms of reference. It is highly unusual for a political decision to have such a level of support.
The Coalition would win an election held now on a two-party vote of 53 per cent (up a point since last month) to 47 per cent (down one point). In Victoria, the split is 50-50.
Labor's national primary vote is steady on 34 per cent, while the Coalition's vote has risen by 2 points to 45 per cent, and the Greens are up one to 12 per cent.
This is the third consecutive month that Labor been stuck on 34 per cent, after earlier rises. Pollster John Stirton said while this was the first time in several months that the Coalition's two-party vote had risen, it was too early to say whether the trend to Labor - which has heartened caucus and shored up Prime Minister Julia Gillard's leadership - had run its course.
Tony Abbott's approval has fallen a point to 36 per cent while his disapproval - which has been a matter of concern in Coalition ranks - is steady at 60 per cent. His net approval is down a point to minus 24, a new personal low.
Ms Gillard's approval is steady on 47 per cent; her disapproval steady on 48 per cent, giving her an unchanged net approval of minus one.
She has a nine-point lead over her opponent as preferred PM - 51 per cent, up a point, to Mr Abbott's 42 per cent, up 2 points - in the national poll of 1400 taken on Thursday to Saturday.
With the misogyny debate still resonating, Mr Abbott's disapproval among women is 63 per cent, compared with 56 per cent among men. On the other hand, 52 per cent of women approve of Ms Gillard but only 43 per cent of men.
Only 3 per cent oppose the royal commission, which will look at abuse in a wide range of institutions. ALP supporters are a little more likely to support the commission than Coalition voters (97-93 per cent).
The poll found a majority of voters (53 per cent) believe a return to a surplus budget
should be a ''high priority''; 41 per cent think it should be a low priority. A surplus is important to almost half the ALP supporters (49 per cent) while more than six in 10 Coalition supporters say it should be a high priority. The Prime Minister and her ministers have refused to guarantee that the $1.1 billion surplus for 2012-13 will be reached.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Sunday the International Monetary Fund ''makes the point the forecast return to surplus gives the Reserve Bank more room to move on interest rates''. The government's claim that the carbon tax is going off the boil as an issue gets some boost by a rise from September of 2 points to 39 per cent in support for carbon pricing , as well as an increase of 2 points to 56 per cent in those who say the tax is making no difference to them. But 56 per cent say it should be repealed.
On asylum seekers, 63 per cent - down 4 points since August - support the decision to resume offshore processing. Support was highest among Coalition voters (76 per cent) with 56 per cent of ALP voters backing it.