Newspoll came out 53-47 in favour of the LNP, so support for Turnbull looks solid and enduring. Bill Shorten’s personal ratings were a smidgeon better but still disastrous at 57 points behind Turnbull. To make matters worse, internal ALP polling on Bill has been leaked.
Research undertaken before Christmas was unflattering to say the least:
- Shorten is described as an “underachiever”, “average”, “bland”, “not a strong leader”, “inadequate”, “don’t trust” and — perhaps most devastating — just “blah”.
Turnbull probably has enough political capital to get away with upping the GST. Newspoll found 54 per cent opposed to lifting the GST and 37% against.
Phillip Coorey thinks the Government will settle on a 15% GST on the existing base, but they want to spend it all on tax cuts and on compensation for the needy. Coorey thinks their GST proposals will be announced after the budget and shortly before the election is called, to minimise the opportunity for a Labor scare campaign.
Newspoll found that a massive 71 per cent of people want the Government to go full term. Turnbull has threatened a double dissolution if the Senate doesn’t pass his ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) bill. Most likely that is just scare stuff, a DD would be too complicated. Antony Green spells out the full options, but in simple terms a DD has to be in the first half of the year, irritating voters, and then there would have to be a half-senate election in 2018.
Michelle Grattan says Turnbull has a gun in his pocket, but don’t expect him to use it.
Newspoll found voters divided on the future of Tony Abbott. Some 45 per cent think he should leave parliament at the next election, but 26% want him back on the front bench and 20% say he should just continue on the backbench.
Elsewhere the Iowa caucus votes have been decided. Cruz on 28% has trumped Trump on 24%. Marco Rubio got 23%, the rest can go home. I don’t know anything about Rubio, apparently favoured by the establishment, but Cruz is about as nutty as Trump.
Adrian Beaumont thinks Rubio was the big winner, and may pick up more as others drop out. Trump now need New Hampshire, or he’ll be in trouble. Polls say he has it.
Nate Silver says the important thing is Republicans rejected Trump in numbers.
For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton has declared herself the winner. If so only by a whisker. Effectively she and Sanders both won. Clinton is grateful, because she didn’t bomb out the way she did against Obama eight years ago. Sanders remains a genuine candidate, at least for now. He’ll get New Hampshire, but the southern states after that may be a different story.
By the way Essential Report only has the LNP ahead 51-49, narrowing from 52-48 last week.
They also asked about a republic. Only 36% are in favour, 31% are against and 33% have no opinion.
Essential then went on to ask about trust in the media.
- The most trusted media were ABC TV news and current affairs (66% a lot/some trust), SBS TV news and current affairs (63%) and ABC radio news and current affairs (62%).
The rest were trailing on less than 50% with internet blogs bringing up the rear on 23%.