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. sondeo – spot on
    We’re seeing something that’s probably been in the drawer since “acme fightback” days – the “intellectual wedgie”. And isn’t it an great sight after the last lot perfected, but then over-used the “anti-intellectual wedgie”.
    At some point in the near future someone is going to look up the domain details of “” and find “K. Rudd” in the ownership column.

  2. 250

    Keating hasn’t lost the art of the barb has he? And he’s dead right, Costello is a gormless git that coasted along bathing in the reflected glory of a good economy and boom times.

    One of the Forex jocks quipped (and so damned accurately) that the economy had done more for Costello than he’d ever done for it! LOL

    Great line, worthy of Keating that one.

  3. If anyone wants to break the market power of any retailer(s), it’s their distribution network you need to break up. Reduce their access to customers and you reduce their market share and power.

    The three biggest oligopoly markets that give us all the shits are: banking, fuel, grocery.

    Each of these markets has a few very powerful players.

    The only way to break their collective dominance is to force them to sell 25% of their distribution outlets to competitors not currently in the Australian market. Most probably they would be international players, although new consortia may be developed here.

    This would have most effect in grocery, followed by fuel, and then banking.

    I have no idea what the legal ramifications would be with this sort of policy, but that is the only way you can break their dominance.

  4. 254 Aristotle
    What you’re suggesting is only a problem with the ideologists (and the businesses themselves). It’d pretty hard to argue the high school economics ideology of the free market against the societal detriment on at least 2 of the 3 you’ve named.
    How does the 4 pillars banking thingy work?

  5. Loved PJK’s the line that he unfortunately made Malcs rich along with everone else!!:lol: (although he seemed to have missed me.)
    I know it really upsets some people if I say mean things about Kevvie, but he is soooo boring compared to Paul!


    Dept of Justice of the USA website, land of the free market ideology, explaining and describing the antitrust laws that prevent the dominance of economic sectors by monopolies [and an oligopoly is not too far away conceptually and practically] and give free trade some teeth.
    Worth a read.
    If they can do it so can we.

  7. BB at 240, 243.

    Couldn’t agree more re Aldi, and they’ve had unit pricing for quite a while too – haven’t noticed it resulting in aisles full of confused shoppers or hand-wringing owners.

    Like many people, I haven’t got much money to throw around, but since I started shopping there a couple of years ago, I have certainly been able to spend a lot less, and eat better quality, and fresher, food than I could ever get at the (closer) big two chains. In fact I’ve spent almost nothing (about fifty dollars in twelve months) at the big two.

    All the non-food items I’ve bought from Aldi have been excellent too, and for me it’s a much faster, less stressful, more pleasant shopping ‘experience’ all round.

    Also thoroughly agree with the comments regarding the quality of your posts. Put me down for a copy if you ever decide to publish!

    How did you go with your smoking campaign – I had to abandon blogs for a while, so don’t know if you posted what the outcome was. If you achieved what you set out to, good on you. If you didn’t quite get there, you’re sure to next time.

  8. Another Aldi convert here too.

    The thing is that it is not the Supermarkets per se, it is the “name brands”. Aldi brands may be no name but they are not no frills quality.

    Are we paying for the Name Brand’s advertising? Of course.

  9. Agree that supermarkets are less competitive than they look. New entry is very difficult and there is probably pricing policy which includes undercutting new entries and the small independents.

    A few years ago a swag of executives from a certain oligopolic Australian supermarket chain went to Europe specifically to have a look at Aldi.

    They returned and stated that it would never work here.

    A few years in and Aldi has, I think but I may be wrong, about 5% of the Australian market. That is a lot of bikkies.

    Some Aldi features. Not certain about these but are likely to be right:
    1. a much smaller number of items (ie no faux choices between dozens of items that are essentially the same). It used to be a couple of hundred items and the checkout chicks were expected to memorise the prices for each of the items.
    2. small stores, therefore you don’t wear yourself out going through all the isles. Also, the real estate cost per the unit item you actually end up buying is less.
    3. because the stores are small, the carparks tend to be small – you are much closer between the car door and the store door.
    4. Aldi virtually gives away items to lure the customer in I think the concept is something like loss leader. So, TVs at cost, for example. Not sure about the after sales service. Aldi also spends less on advertising than competitors.
    5. long term deals with suppliers, so suppliers can invest in more efficient production, know their prices et cetera. This compares with certain other oligopolical supermarket chains who will screw suppliers. Short term this is cheaper for the consumer, long term, I]m not so sure.
    6. Aldi has home brand stuff sometimes has a certain familiar look and feel about it – test this proposition next time you work through an Aldi store. I think Aldi policy is to have home brand stuff that is equal in quality or superior in quality to branded stuff but to have a competitive price. That is, they don’t undercut by giving home brand the status of crap.
    7. more pallet work – ie the the product stays in the pallet, it is the pallet that comes out and the items are not individually unpacked by store workers, but by shoppers
    8. fewer check out aisles, and customers pack it themselves.
    9. I am not sure if Aldi sells shelf space. Certain other oligopolical supermarket chains do. That is, if you want them to sell your brand new food thingie, you have to pay them to put it on their shelves. Also, if you want the prime, high traffic spots, you have to pay them more. This also means that their home brands have an edge.
    10. I think but am not certain that Aldi has a preference for buying store sites rather than renting space. I am not sure how it works in terms of finance and tax, but it does work in the sense that they are not at the mercy of the really big shopping centre owners. There can be some argy bargy where certain oligopolical supermarket chains and shopping centre owners try to stop competition by working the local planning laws to their advantage to stop new entry.
    So, there are a lot of savings from the Aldi way of doing things, some of which get passed on. I think one oligopolical response has been more corner store, petrol station store, convenience store openings.
    I don’t think Aldi is a listed company. I think it is owned by a couple of brothers (Aldi brothers) in Germany, so all profits are repatriated.

  10. MayoFeral & Diogenes.

    Slightly off topic.

    Are you aware of these studies.

    Quite a few mates of mine from the grey funnel line have succumed in the last couple of years including my brother. They are all in and around that age group.

    I am aware that the NZ Govt has recognised that some of their guys were sprayed but still not sure what the Aus Govt’s position is.

  11. 220 Chris Curtis – the DLP had some very good policies, attending a conference a couple of years with the last of the old time comms and groupers speaking the remarkable thing was how many groupers would reflect a moderate left of centre position today.

    Roy Orbison – yes it is about 500 active members and about 6,-7000 active members. But hey ignore the facts if that makes you feel better. Besides easier to stack out the party if you want a seat.

    Thomas Paine – of course the ALP is going to abolish WorkChoices. I think the comrades from the ACTU might tell you different.

  12. ESJ @ 269 cf DLP, spot on. In many areas the DLP was socially far more progressive than the libs. After all, their roots were labour. The schizophrenic thing was that they tended to see the rest of reality through the prism of a death struggle between catholicism and communism.

  13. When the rumour of Costello going for leader get PJK going, I’m almost half hoping the LIbs do put him as leader (actually I am really hoping they’ll do it as it’ll lock in an ALP victory at the next election)

    “”In national terms, to have such a nong – and he is, in policy terms he is a mouse – to have him back again, speaks volumes about the Liberal Party,” Mr Keating said.

    “In Labor Party terms, I sort of hope he does, as he makes it a better pitch for us.”

  14. Yes communism ironically is something trendy today – in Sydney we have the Lenin Bar which is decked out in red kitsch. Sadly the reality was death and executions.

  15. Gaffhook

    Australian soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam and received compensation about 10 years ago. I don’t know how many. The link between prostate cancer and Agent Orange would have been pretty hard to find but that study looks pretty conclusive to me. The journal “Cancer” only publishes studies with very well designed methodology.

    Based on medical evaluations conducted between 1998 and 2006, the study revealed that twice as many men exposed to Agent Orange were identified with prostate cancer. In addition, Agent Orange-exposed men were diagnosed two-and-a-half years younger and were nearly four times more likely to present with metastatic disease.

    Prostate cancer has such a high prevalence that there could be a huge number of veterans affected.

    oakshott county is a urologist so he would know better than me.

  16. But diogenes is it the roundup or is it just a factor of getting older explaining the prevalence of prostate cancer for vets?

  17. ESJ @ 275 It looks like they stratified large samples.
    What is not clear from the release is whether they did anything more than PSA tests, which, according to some, are not all that useful

  18. ESJ

    They used soldiers who were not exposed to Agent Orange as a control group and compared them with those exposed to Agent Orange. The two groups were also matched for BMI, race and smoking, all of which are linked to prostate cancer. The study looks pretty robust to me. A bet a whole bunch of lawyers are salivating.

    PS Hope you saw my link to NIT starting in October 08 in Israel.

  19. Ron 196 Catching up with your Post at 11.36 last night.
    I was referring to the small “l” Lib voters themselves and the philosophical difference that occurs mainly at that level. No, I was not referring to Senior Libs or present MP’s. These have too much allegiance invested in the Party to change to another.

    The main sticking point for those voters has been their attitude to Unions and their role within the ALP. Now that this influence has diminished and they no longer have such a key role as they used to , there is nothing philosophically I can see to prevent them going to the modern ALP. After all, most of them are workers and the ALP has plenty of people with aspiration in their ranks. Rudd is the obvious example whose family because of his wife is wealthy. Garret is also wealthy. On top of this as you point out their own Lib party has failed them. In fact, the polling figures the ALP is getting at the moment would have to include a number of small “l” Lib voters who have defected at the moment and are obviously considering their position. And as you say they could change to ALP without a single policy change.

  20. Shanahanigins has diverted posts here from future solar , and from th liberls CC problems , and from th liberals leadership problems

    Shanahanigins red herrings of interst rates going up ar bad , interst rates going down is ar worse , and interest rates unchanged hav ‘narrowed’ to not up and not down , so ar between bad and worse Consevative ‘oz’

    Next will be cool dude Tanner to chalenge Swanee as Treasurer for a red herring I mean ‘oz’ at least to divert our attention from Liberals woes of unhappinesses could hav given some juicy snippets of Costello’s impending exsiting best seller
    ‘how to be Treasurer for 12 years and afterwards even wonder myself in th mirror each morning , did I achieve anything at all but fluff and smirks’

    Sir Kevin to th Shanahanigans : apology , ratifyied Kyoto , green paper on CC ETS , roll out start National sppeedy broadband , internet & panels in schools , 12 billion Water program , price watchs , assault on indigenous health and welfare , today bigest tax review in 50 years

    Sir Kevin has DONE these things already , making him already a great ‘left’ social & equity reformist on ‘big picture’ social , equity , financial , environment & CC Programs AND YET a ‘right’ consevative ‘oz’ writer miserabley looks on in jealously and uses a miserable oily pen to divert our shining eyes from Kevin07’s golden gems Why ? to help a ‘right’ consevative Liberal rabbles of ashs of there plastic philosophys of dooms & pessismisims and of wealthiest can plunder our poors peoples , and can not even ‘spin’ th liberals 43% irelevance Think CC think our Tomorrows , Think solar think future bright , Think the Consevatives tink dirty enegy oils , and Think Shanahanigans no think Sir Kevins , Think not th ‘oz’

  21. ACA had it that the new grocery check site was a total waste of time and should be closed down while TT had that the ACCC has gone to the dogs. Each one had an “objective” expert of course.
    Not a good word at all. Surprise, surprise.

  22. ESJ 178 your eg of NSW Labor

    From my 176
    “But Labor will not cross the line to become a party belonging to business. After all, the true wealth of a political party is not measured in donations, but in voters and that is who has the say. Labor on just these logical grounds alone will always be the party of workers.”

    A positive statement of logic like this actually implies the negative. If a Labor Gov’t does cross the line and become a party of business and neglect their own voters they run a high risk of being voted out. This quite possibly will happen to the NSW Labor Gov’t at the next election.

    Your example actually verifies my statement and does not disprove it.

  23. Gusface 180
    Labor is now the party of everyman/woman not just the workers”

    The majority of voters are workers or are supported by workers. I am talking of the major constituency of the ALP, not the minority who can be made up of Academics, Professional People, Managers, or from any other walk of life. In fact many of those from these other areas are attracted to the ALP due to an emphasis on fairness and equity in Society.

    Workers does not just include blue collar people or labourers. It includes Admin people and many professional people who work for an employer.

    It is no accident that Rudd aimed his election pitch at “working families”.

  24. Gaffhook@265,

    Re: Viet vets:

    Would be interesting to see if Motor Neurone Disease has been just as prevalent with the US soldiers and Vietnamese civilians.

    Further, makes you wonder what side-effects the military cocktails being used in Iraqi and Afghanistan will cause our current troops.

  25. “287
    Grog Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 8:06 pm
    And remember B of P – he (Hunt) is one of their stars of the future.”

    Well he thinks he is. But not too many others agree.

  26. No Chris it was in the NSW Parliament, Jim McClelland spoke, Bob Gould, Laurie Short, the usual Sydney suspects at the time.

  27. Grog @ 285

    Revoltingly dopey thing for Hunt to say. ‘Any news is good news’ is going to catch up with him if he keeps that sort of boys own stuff going. The libs had 11 years and the current government has had 9 months. Following Hunt’s paradigm, who would mostly be like Saddam Hussein?

    BTW, I wonder if Hunt also acknowledges the role of our friends and allies had in the US stirring the marsh arabs into revolt against Saddam only to let them swing in the murderous breeze of Saddam’s retaliation which included destroying their reedbeds and hidden water channels. No? Hunt isn’t 100% stupid, so probably knows about it. Well, Australian politicians have always been very good at selective history mongering.

    Final point, I imagine that when inhabitants of certain pacific islands started calling for Australia to receive climate change refugees as a result of rising sea levels, they would not have got a lot of sympathy from some Murray Darling denizens and their dog whistling pollies? The rather ugly irony is that farmers from the Murray Darling may well beat the pacific islanders to become the first climate change refugees in the region. Bottom line, no irrigation water, no farming in a lot of that country, just expensive dust and sand with huge debt overlays. Perhaps the climate change refugees could relocate to some of the pacific islands that are a bit higher than the others?

  28. ESJ,

    Bob Gould spoke at the Melbourne Conference too – an interesting fellow. We also had Frank Scully, now the last living ALP(A-C)/DLP MP, Tim Hayes, grandson of Tom Hayes, Bill Barry, son of the Bill Barry and uncle of Peter Kavanagh, John Cain, and a host of others.

  29. Grog @ 294
    He spoke about the unfinished business of superannuation reform (9% rather than 15% and said that Baby Boomers were going to suffer because Howard/Costello reneged on that bit).
    He brushed off Red Kerry’s suggestion that he was still bitter about JWH.
    He repeated the lack of structural reform line on Costello, the low flier line and the opiate line.
    He made an implied criticism of Rudd by stating that it was an impossible job to micro manage.
    He ended by stating the hope that Costello would return because it would be good for the labour party.
    Not a brilliant interview but a good one, with PK in a mellow mood.
    Red Kerry’s smarmy smirks put me off a bit.

  30. ESJ @ 295
    Our posts crossed. I think what he was saying was that all the bits needed to be collected into ‘a narrative’ which would be a bit different from interpreting it as PK stating that labour stands for nothing.

  31. [In a polite way PJK confirmed what everybody has been saying – Rudd Labor stands for nothing.]

    They stand for keeping the economic dunces in the Liberal party out of government, which is a very good start.

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