Essential this week has the Coalition on 52, Labor on 48 percent, two party preferred. The Liberals are on 52, Nations on 3, Greens on 10, PUP on 1, Other/Independents on 9 percebt.

The Greens, on 11, are up from 8.6 percent in 2013, the Other/Independents on 9 percenf, up from 6.9 percent in 2013. PUP, on 1, down from 5.5.

Now pay attention. The Liberals got 18 percent of the Green vote, as preferences, in 2013. They will get only 8 percent this year. This means Labor gets 35 percent, plus 9.2 percent, that is, 44.2 percent.

It is likely as well that the Other/Independents (the Windsor Independents, the DLP) will lean more to Labor this year too. If, say, they get 5.2 percent of the 9 percent, that puts Labor on 49.4. If they get, as well, 0.6 perent of PUP, they will be 50-50.

Now…Turnbull said this week the Japanese could kill as many whales as they liked. It is probable he lost a few more Green votes, 0.3, say, by saying this, and put Labor in a winning position, at 50.3.

This is if the landlines Essential rang had any validity — at Christmas, in summer heat, when many were out shopping or partying. It is likely another 0.4 percent could be accounted for in this way. Labor is now on 50.7, and winning handily.

Essential, moreover, rates ‘the Australian economy’ at 23 percent ‘good’ 28 percent ‘poor’. It rates ‘small business’ at 21 percent ‘good’ and 26 percent ‘poor’. It rates ‘your personal financial situation’ at 24 percent ‘good’ and 42 percent ‘neither good nor poor’.

These figures argue a score more like 50-50 than 52-48.

It is difficult to imagine when Essential might be prevailed upon to print the actual truth.

It is time Labor did some polling of their own.

Or am I wrong?

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