Last night the Twittersphere #auspol hashtag was thrown into chaos with the results of the latest Nielsen poll purporting to show a sizeable comeback for the Australian Labor Party and for its leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But is the 2-Party-Preferred result consistent with other more regular polls or is it out of place?
On the Primary vote the Coalition leads the Gillard Government 45% to 33% but does appear to be edging closer, but still some way from the magical 40% Primary Vote required to be electorally strong. No doubt a 4 point jump from the last Nielsen poll is an improvement.
The 2PP vote also favoured Labor with a 4% increase and the corresponding 4% drop in the Coalition vote translating to a 2-party-preferred vote with the Coalition on 53% and the ALP Government 47%.
The question is though, can this poll result really be trusted as an indication of a huge jump inn support for Prime Minister Gillard and the Labor Party? I would say no, not really, but there is a small up-tick in support at best.
I say that this poll cannot be trusted for one major reason and that is because the same poll has had the ALP far behind those results of the other more regularly conducted Essential and Newspoll surveys have shown for a time. Now, the same survey has the Gillard Government ahead of the position in the two other polls mentioned in one fell swoop. Yes it is only a tick ahead, but still ahead.
Overall, a 6% gap in 2PP is still a big gap to overcome and the other more consistent polls have failed to show bigger improvements for the Government as yet and probably won’t show much change from the current position for some time at least. Makes for an interesting year in Australian politics.