Essential Research: 58-42

Essential Research’s latest weekly survey features questions on refugees, climate change and the Olympics, along with the finding that federal Labor holds a 58-42 lead over the Coalition. Read all about it.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

389 comments on “Essential Research: 58-42”

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  1. If Costello takes over, can he better Nelson’s ratings?

    If the economy does go into recession (and I certainly hope it doesn’t) I think it will help Labor overall. It will be to close to Howard’s era for them to duck responsibility for it. And actions such as that silly refusal to pass revenue measures like the luxury car tax in the senate will expose that they don’t really know how to be responsible about budgets – the Libs were just lucky.

  2. How reliable is Essential Research?
    Another poll has the Liberals way behind, probably much to the astonishment of their media mates, eg. Shanahan, Milne

  3. Moose: it can get a whole lot worse for those dickheads, especially if they parachute Smirky into the top job. And if Costello does as I suspect and announces he’s leaving politics, all of the last few weeks will have been for nothing, and the right wing idiots will keep Nelson as leader to stop Turnball!
    The Liberals are always a rabble in opposition!

  4. It’s pleasing to see that voters with lower earnings are just as racist as their redneck US counterparts. They think the Rodent’s mandatory detention didn’t go far enough.

    Rudd hasn’t been praised all that much here for his “politically courageous” decision to wind back mandatory detention but I think it’s the best thing he has actually done in power.

  5. Socrates at 4

    It is more likely that the majority of swing voters will either blame Labor for a recession since Labor has now been is power for 9 months, or if Kevin Rudd can win the argument about the international forces affecting the local economy then neither party will get the blame. Only a continuing of the current level of incompetence by the Liberals after a recession has been officially declared could see them become the loser.

  6. I dont think you can say the govts changes are a ‘politically unpopular position’ using that poll.

    How many of the respondents have a clue about how many refugees we take in and ever notice them and, how often does the issue register in their mind. The issue is nowhere near emotive as it once was.

    They also say that Rudd has increased our refugee intake to 13,500 and ask if that is too high etc. But of course it gives them nothing to compare against. How much was the increase and how many have we taken in past years. The number is meaningless by itself.

    The question really amounts to do you think 13,500 is a big number, small number or just right number.

  7. People who support reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing air pollution and road fatalities should oppose the luxury car tax rise.

  8. TP

    I’ve been a bit surprised at the lack of dog-whistles from the LNP about the end of mandatory detention. It does show that the Rodent really didn’t leave behind a successor to take his place. There was abominable succession planning from the Libs, which happily will make them unelectable for at least one election and probably more.

  9. #8

    Voters may blame Labor if there’s a recession, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will vote for the Coalition. They may feel Labor is the lesser of two evils in hard times.

    Remember Hewson – voters blamed Keating for the recession, but felt Hewson’s “cure” (a GST, public sector job cuts and throwing the unemployed off the dole) would just make a recession harder for them.

    The Coalition needs to take notice of the lesson here. It needs to have a policy for getting out of economic trouble that doesn’t involve making it harder for the low-paid and the unemployed. Labor has an image (whether justified or not) of caring more for those who can’t help themselves, and for supporting basic public services more than the Coalition. The Libs/Nats need to work out policies to stimulate employment and economic growth without savaging welfare.

    While I think voters will cut Rudd some slack, because the economic problems are global, the harder times will certainly prompt many of them to vote for the Coailtion if they think the Coalition can do a better job. That’s a big if, at the moment.

    There are a lot of signs of unemployment increasing for low-skilled, low-paid workers (cuts at Don Smallgoods, Starbucks, SPC cannery), and quite a few small companies in country towns are quietly going out backwards at the moment. Basic manufacturing and food processing are getting particularly knocked around, and China will continue to undercut us in these areas.

  10. GhostWhoVotes 9

    Surely someone could remind the punters about the Coalitions continuing fondness for Workchoices and how it might be abused in a recession?

  11. ABC is reporting that Paul Wriedt attempted suicide, which seems to be more to do with a marital breakdown and work stresses that Sam Newman’s comments, which were probably just the last straw rather than being the main problem. It does remind us of how easy it is for us to comment on politicians from the comfort of our chairs without remembering what a stressful job it can be. Lets hope she gets well soon.

  12. Paula Wriedt has my sympathies!
    It reminds me of Nick Sherry harming himself some years ago, after one Peter Costello launched a nasty personal attack on him in parliament!
    We should remember politics is a stressful business.

  13. Oh no, Diogenes. Those in the community who are least able to compete for resources are most afraid of competition for resources. How could this be? I’m sure an enlightened, compassionate body like the AMA would never be afraid of a little competition from overseas.

  14. I suspect a recession will hinder Labor – but only a little overall. It will exacerbate their looming NSW problem, other than that probably won’t make much difference to the size of what ought to be a comfortable victory at the next Federal election.
    A focussed, determined Costello would be by far the Libs’ best option if there was a recession. But, judging from his continued inaction over the past few days, I am probably referring to a Costello who doesn’t actually exist?
    As to whether there will be a recession – Tanner has taken the best line so far, pointing out that it’s very premature to be calling one. But if you have any doubt about where the US is heading, have a look at this graph showing the amount of help the Fed has given the US banks at various times over the past hundred years: scary, considering the current series of “loans” (aka handouts) don’t really seem to have fixed the problem.

  15. I am leaning more and more to the view that Brenda will lead the libs to the next election. I may be wrong but if you think about it it makes a bit of sense.
    Cossie the great saviour won’t stand, all this hubub in the past few weeks is designed by him to maybe get a few more book sales. He has deliberatly led on his drip fed msm mates and they have duitifuly done the job and stirred the pot.
    2 Turnbull has to many enemies at the moment who would rather they lose than be beholden to the rich lefty one.
    3 Really who else have they got ,that in in the next 2.5 years can engage the public, build a profile and take on Mr. Rudd.
    4 Maybe the libs knew that lab. are in for more than 1 term and brenda is a 1 term leader.
    The odds on Brenda being the leader at the next election are pretty good so a little wager may be a smart move.

  16. The general consensus is that the interest rate has peaked and it is on the way down. Some are predicting that it will go down to 5.25% about 2010.

    That will be 8 interest cuts till 2010 election time. Much better than 8 interest rate rise leading up to the last election. In addition, inflation is also expected to be in range. Who will be sitting pretty then in the election cycle? This will send shiver down Cossie’s spine.

    [THE Reserve Bank said today there would be more scope in the future to cut interest rates after keeping rates steady for a fifth month

    The statement said the Reserve Bank was maintaining its projection that inflation would be back within the 2-3 per cent target band by the middle of 2010.],25197,24132206-20142,00.html

  17. So Rudd in 2010 can boast that interest rates are always lower with a Labor Government in power? That’d be a nice turnup for the books.

  18. TW

    Doctors love people coming from overseas. About 20% of doctors are overseas trained. The whole health system would fall apart if we didn’t have overseas doctors.

  19. The RBA will drop interest rates next month, the first since Dec 2001. Anyone think Swan will fail to point this out?

    A quick sharp shock, people have stopped applying for credit. Started paying off debt and saving.

    Swanee will be hailed an economic genious. 😛

  20. Finns @ 21,
    I’m not an economist, and you may be for all I know, but I’d have thought the only way there’ll be eight rate cuts by 2010 is if we’re experiencing a pretty severe downturn?
    In which case interest rates will not be the only, or even the main economic issue.

  21. A solar Day , another new solar invention

    Am not convinced either th MSN or Nelson & his bandits , realise th magnitude of econamic and structural reform Kevin07 is proposing with his ‘oz’ brand of ETS , which will change th face of ‘oz’ industry at every level and
    our personal use of and for diferent vehicles & appliances affected ETS seems boring , is reely simply a tax and a cap But th final output should be solar geothermals etc , and th inputs will be th most fundamental reform change in ‘oz’ history My interest has been in th solar , an end enegy infrastucture & worry ETS will be ‘abused’ by big Oilys etc to prevent solar/equivalent

    Whilst I’ve always thought this , describing a view of Costello today in #1433
    actually annoyed because here is a consevative politcian who himself in 12 years produced his conservative program to us , but gave no vision and produced no futuristic econamic or structural reform (GST being a minus) but th Media loved him & treats him as a star Yet our Sir Kevin , bland and cautous is actualy producing a massive revolution affecting every walk of business & personel life , but professionally & quietley , but without Paul’s rope de dope flair

    Challenge will be getting th solar etc going , when & by whom , and a huge problem is techno is moving so fast , when to draw line and say go with this one Today Gaffhook #1435 & Thomas Paine #1435 links of a new solar option (had copied yours Thomas when you posted it th other day ) option under this techno is solar as th starter (not dirty fossils) and pssible for hydrogen powered cars and creatng carbon-free electricity to power a house or an electric car, day or night , by new catylists developed avoiding need of expensive platinum Needs more engineering work to interface , but projected 10 years go th other altern as posted a month ago , of US alternative plan of tracts of land of photovoltaic cells erected , excess daytime energy stored as compressed air in underground caverns to be tapped during nighttime hours , solar concentrator power plants and a direct-current power transmission backbone

    Perseptions ar false , Costello a MSN news pop star but no legacy , and Sir Kevin quietly creates a reform legacy , and we may be even more th luckey country , as with so much land and so much sunshine (solar awaiting) it could be exported to Asia

  22. I think the point is that at the next election not all of the economic news will be bad. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, which can only assist the government.

  23. Ron,
    Style over substance is a curse that blights almost every aspect of society.
    In the commercial setting, brand is more influential in success than manufacturing excellence. It’s a product of the same mentality.

  24. You sort of get used to the main parties having a certain sort of inevitability about them. They get knocked flat, stuff around for about ten years, then crawl back up again as the other lot wears itself out in government. However, the conservatives have imploded and rebirthed in the past. The LNP is a current example.
    This leads to a question – Are the liberals more likely to regroup within the current party framework and start on their Great March back to power, or is there a greater chance they will they disintegrate, restructure, rebrand and start again? I have to say I don’t really detect too many centrifugal forces, except for sheer frustration.

  25. Quite possibly so, GB. In fact I’m with Tanner, it’s too early to be making assumptions about a recession coming.
    The only definite bad I can see for Labor is NSW, with its utterly inept Govt that doesn’t face the polls till after the next election. That might cost Labor 2-3 seats at the Federal poll, but frankly, it’s not a big deal in the overall picture.

  26. Boer
    the fibs are finished kaputsky

    before the last election i said they would turn on each other like sharks and devour their own

    a few days ago i said vale fibs

    it will be along slow and sometime agonising death

    quite poetic really

  27. Boerwar,
    Barring a startling late-life development of intestinal fortitude from PC, the Libs need to go with Turnbull to become relevant again in the immediate future. It’s really that simple.
    Longer term – Hunt, maybe? There’s not a lot else out there that I have seen.
    If Labor becomes the party of business (which I actually think is a serious possibility, and definitely a logical consequence of the sort of predictions the Piping Shrike is making), then the Libs will be dead. However I’d imagine most Labor supporters would see becoming the party of business as anathema.
    So – dunno. The Labor brand will definitely survive (and probably flourish), but the party may become unrecognisable. The Liberal brand – not so sure.

  28. gusface,
    If you’re right, business will surely take over the Labor Party. After all, they’re not going to languish on the sidelines with no chance of having a say in the important stuff, and the unions (traditional owners of Labor) are going backwards anyway.
    Good news for the Labor brand.
    Bad news for the Labor Party as we have always known it.

  29. Alternatively, this may just be a bad time in the cycle for the Libs. We’ll know for sure, one way or the other, in about five years I reckon.

  30. Dyno

    i believe a composite fibs will happen ( much like the LNP)

    the neocons will hold onto an increasingly irrelevant brand (liberal)

    possibly the formation of a few splinter groups (state as opposed to federal)

    and labor and the greens battling out for the other 80% 🙂

  31. Yes, but if Labor and the Greens are fighting it out for 80%, Labor will be the party of business.
    I personally won’t have a problem with that, and would support Labor under those conditions, but I doubt if many current Labor supporters would be too thrilled.
    Still, it’s only my opinion. We’ll find out soon enough!

  32. Can’t see it, madk.
    I can see your logic, but I just think the Liberals’ desperation to win (or at least avoid total humiliation) will overwhelm them in the end.
    Good luck with your punt, though, you’ve thought it out sensibly, you deserve to win.

  33. Dyno @ 36. I agree that is the most likely scenario but five years may not be long enough. One risk for the laborites is if Rudd becomes a bit like Howard – so dominant that there is no natural successor, or succession plan.

    I note that Mr Kennett is quoted as having said that the messiah has all the attributes of a dog except loyalty, so not much future there, methinks.

    But, lol, If Labor does become a small ‘l’, socially wettish, business-owned party, and with a bit of knocking the rough edges off any market failure thrown in, they could just change their name to the LabLib Party. Then the Greens could change their name to the Greenish Labor Party and form the loyal Opposition. This would leave the Nats. They could change their name to the National Independents Party. They have always been rural socialists but the new party constitution would need to take something from late nineteenth century anarchist theory and some latish twentieth century chaos theory so that the inmates could all feel comfortable that they have a framework for addressing any internal conflicts.

  34. madk

    Your logic has only one flaw, desperation. Brenda is a compromise that the divided Fibs seem to be happy with but if he does not start to peg Labor back soon he is toast.

    Costello will not lead, he will resign in Sept-Oct. This leaves Talcum who will only ever lead the Fibs with a slim majority.

    So to my mind they will dump Brenda, not accept Talcum and pick someone else, my bet is Abbott who will lead them to a devastating defeat at the next election. 🙁

  35. Dyno

    Would like to take a bet against your 2010 scenaro , but could be running my rons solar farms by then

    Th Fibs will not splinter in that there core 38% to 42% will remain there’s Labor will not move from where it is for two fundemental but diferent reasons

    Firstly Labor has a ‘left’ philosophical policy base , and so will retain th same voter mass as now Whether it pinchs a LITTLE soft Lib votes will not be becaiuse Labor has moved at all , but due to unhappy Libs There is absolutely no evidence of any Labor politcan remotely talking philo’s or policys inconsistent with curent Labor policys or philo’s Secondly why would they need to move , th Greens ar trapped to there left with no wwhere to go to th right , and th right spectum arc is smaller and Libs ar trapped in it with no where to go to th left

    Libs win electons over Labor generally by pinching ‘labor type’ suporters , usualy when labor st.ffs th econamy or hav a Crean type Leader , and once Libs ar in they usualy hold power with ‘bribes ‘and targetted vote winning handouts or by wedgies to generally that voting group

  36. Dyno, you dont have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing so said Bob Dylan.

    By 2010, the economic wind looks like will be blowing favourably for Labor. If so, the Libs will have nothing left to beat Labor over with.

    A superior economic manager was their only mantra. If that is gone, zip.

    Let see what is left: CC, Environment, Water, Education, Infra-structure, Health, Reconciliation, Immigration, Defense, National security, Foreign Affairs, Housing, IR – Labor has got these well covered.

    There is always Tourism, Sports and the Arts. Where the bloody hell are they?

  37. Amigo Ronnie – [Libs win electons over Labor generally by pinching ‘labor type’ suporters , usualy when labor st.ffs th econamy] – i post too soon at #44

  38. Anyone who still evaluates Australian Politics in terms of Left or Right is a dill (sorry ron).

    This is the fundamental change the Rudd has introduced, some may catch on sooner or later. 😛

  39. The rump of the party that was the national party is instructive to the fibs

    as the demographics change and their natural base dies off so does the party

    with the likelyhood of oakeshott winning a cold shiver must be going down the nats spine- who’s next?

    and still the fibs dither

  40. Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. When Voters Lie.

    “It’s a given that people fib in surveys, and this election season is especially tricky with race looming as an issue. How pollsters are trying to uncover the truth.”

    “One of the toughest questions on any poll is whether people are telling the truth. It is a conundrum that looms front and center as voters look ahead to the first U.S. presidential contest that an African-American candidate has a chance to win. With polls showing overwhelming voter support for the idea of a black president, researchers and pollsters are trying to determine who really means it.”

    “Pollsters look for the “Bradley Effect,” the idea that some white voters are reluctant to say they support a white candidate over a black candidate. The phrase refers to California’s 1982 gubernatorial election, when the late Tom Bradley, a black Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, led in exit polls against white Republican George Deukmejian. Mr. Bradley lost the election. The conclusion: some voters hid their true choice from pollsters. Skeptics say the issue was neither race nor honesty. One theory is that Mr. Deukmejian’s supporters simply didn’t want to participate in polls.”

  41. There is no recession. There will be no recession. Labor will win the next Commonwealth election with more seats than it has now. Just wait for the real reform of the tax system and the real education revolution and the real federal-state reform, to mention just three vote-winners coming up. The Rudd Government is serious about the long term, even though that is obscured by the strangely repetitive fascination of the Liberals in Canberra copying the state and territoy Oppositions in their inability to deal with reality. The Liberals will not win a parliamentary election until NSW in 2011.

  42. Ron,
    Once the business folk work out the Libs are permanently dead they’ll be all over Labor like a rash.
    Under the “Liberals are dead” scenario, the “they” you refer to (Labor decision-makers) won’t be the same people they are now.
    It will take time, but it will happen, in my opinion. If we’re all still PBing in 2020, and it hasn’t happened, I’ll admit you were wrong and I was wrong.
    (BTW, still not convinced the “dead Liberals” scenario is the one that will pan out. But what I am saying is if it does, then the Labor brand will become inhabited by people with quite different views to the current residents, and that will change the ALP dramatically).

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