Primary support for Labor back up two points

LABOR has clawed back some ground from the Coalition in the latest Newspoll, but still faces the prospect of losing as many as 20 seats at the next federal election.

Primary support for Labor has risen two points in the past fortnight to 32%, while the Coalition's vote was down by a similar amount, but still sits at a very strong 48%.

Using preference flows from the 2010 election, the Coalition's two-party-preferred lead has been trimmed by three points to 55-45%, which is replicated on election day would give Opposition Leader Tony Abbott a landslide victory.

Labor holds 18 seats by a margin of 5% or less, while the notionally Labor seat of Dobell - held by ALP-turned-independent Craig Thomson - and Peter Garrett's seat of Kingsford-Smith are held by 5.1% and 5.2% respectively.

The ALP would almost certainly lose those seats if a 5% swing against it was replicated on September 14.

Among the seats in danger are Treasurer Wayne Swan's seat of Lilley, which he holds by 3.2%.

Mr Abbott still leads Julia Gillard on the question of who would make the better prime minister 40-37%, although this has tightened significantly in the past fortnight from 43-35%.

Satisfaction with Ms Gillard's performance was up two points to 28%, while those dissatisfied was down three points to 62%.

The number of people satisfied with Mr Abbott's performance was down four points to 35% and those dissatisfied was up by the same margin to 54%.

Meanwhile, the Coalition's two party preferred lead over Labor remained unchanged at 56-46% in this week's Essential poll.

Essential also asked its respondents how they would describe the current state of the Australian economy.

Interestingly 45% said the economy was in good or very good shape, 26% said it was poor or very poor and 28% said it was neither.

This represented a net improvement from +6 to +19 since May last year.



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