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  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
The Conversation

As the campaign enters its last days, Newspoll in the Australian shows Labor maintaining its 51-49% lead, while Bill Shorten has closed in on Scott Morrison as better prime minister.

Shorten’s approval has also improved compared to a week ago, in a poll that has both sides increasing their primary votes by one point. The Coalition is now on 39% and the ALP 37%.

The opposition leader’s lift in personal ratings follows his emotional comments after the Daily Telegraph accused him of omitting a key part of his late mother’s story in an account of her career. The Telegraph’s report was widely condemned, and the Shorten response was seen as “humanising” him.

Read more: View from The Hill: Third debate contained some messages about and from the leaders

Labor also released its full costings at the end of last week, showing it would have bigger surpluses than the Coalition.

The election is complicated by the apparent lumpiness of the vote, with seats expected to change hands in both directions.

Read more: Labor's costings broadly check out. The days of black holes are behind us, thankfully

While Scott Morrison retains a clear lead as better prime minister, Shorten has cut this back to 7 points. Shorten improved his rating by 3 points to 38%; Morrison fell a point to 45%.

Shorten had the best result in terms of net satisfaction since March 2015, the Australian reports. His satisfaction rating rose 3 points to 39%; his dissatisfaction number fell 4 points to 49%, for a net approval of minus 10.

Morrison had an equal number of people satisfied and dissatisfied with his performance. This is little changed from the week before when he was on minus 1.

The Greens remained on 9%. One Nation (down a point) and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party are level pegging on 4% each.

The poll was done Thursday to Saturday, of 1644 voters.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/shortens-ratings-rise-as-labor-holds-its-lead-in-newspoll-116976

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