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. 294
    I only caught the end 30 seconds.
    The bit I remember is that he refereed to no-spine as
    “Thallium – slow release dope”
    Calling spades f$%king shovels as only PJK can.

  2. Grog,

    What can I do or say? If Labor has a mediocre offering I cannot but tell the truth!

    What a weak echo of a great Laborist tradition in this country. I guess the cause of Labor will end with a whimper and not a bang.

    Weak bureacratic managerialism is sooo much better Grog. More Swannie et al eh?

  3. That is a good question. What does the Liberal party stand for? What are their policy positions and how many of them might know it?

    All i can discern is they are against doing anything on CC and some of them deny its existence. I gather some will want to reinstall Workchoices type laws. So, nothing they can be proud of or can tell the public.

    It appears their only reason for existence at the moment is to be the anti-labor party which is hardly needed since the murdoch media and co have adopted that role.

  4. 304 ESJ [Swannie et al?] C’mon give me another name you think is doing poorly? Gillard? Tanner? Smith? Bowen? Roxen? Burke?

    Swan has been set up by the Libs as a failure purely based on his nervous performance in QT in the first two weeks. I haven’t seen Nelson, Turnbull or Bishop draw much blood from him since then.

    At least he hasn’t screwed around with international finances like Costello did in his first year.

  5. Swan is performing very well now.
    ESJ, what did you think of John Cain Jr? Many say he was a true Labor man heading a true Labor government. I thought he was very good, unlike Kirner.

  6. Looks like Hunt is pinching his talking points from Piers Akerman:

    The former Soviet Union killed the Aral Sea, the fourth largest inland body of water; Saddam Hussein destroyed the marshes at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, the largest wetlands ecosystem in the Middle East – and the ALP soon may have to take ultimate responsibility for killing the Murray-Darling, Australia’s largest river system.

  7. Keating still has it, another masterful performance on TV tonight with Kerry!
    I hope the Rudd Government does something about superannuation in its first or second term.

  8. Greg Hunt? He’s one of Costello’s backers, which isn’t a great surprise, garbage tends to attract vermin.
    Hunt has been off his rocker since he started bleating about millionaire developers not being able to get the solar panel rebate.

  9. 312 Prog – I haven’t seen it yet, but given I think the ALP (and Gillard especially) really got going last year after PJKs criticism of their selling of the IR policy, here’s hoping they do listen to him.

  10. Gaffhook @ 265 –

    Are you aware of these studies.

    Oh, goodie. Something else to look forward to. 😉 Not that I’m expecting to live long enough to have to worry about prostrate cancer.

    I read a study not long ago which found that the more sex you have during your 50s/early 60s the less likely you are to get it. Wonder of the DVA will come to the party on preventative Viagra? 👿

    Boerwar @ 296 –

    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).

    Heard Peter Martin on the radio about this earlier today, and in his opinion most workers don’t need 15% to have a very comfortable retirement. Even at 9% they’ll have a greater disposable income in retirement than when they were earning.

    He pointed out that what isn’t taken into account is that retirees have fewer expenses than workers. They’re not having to travel to work every day, park, buy work clothes or lunches, etc, etc

    IHO, especially in the early years, the money would be better going into mortgage repayments.

  11. I love how for Piers the solution to every problem is always just a penstroke away (but of course the ALP is so idealogically riven that it just won’t do it).

  12. 310 – It has a lot more to do with a lack of rain. Rudd is not god and can’t make it rain.
    And there is no water in the murray system to put into the system anyway and any water from the darling basin will mostly be lost along the way.

  13. 320 BSF yep it’s a bloody hard issue. With any finite resourse if you put more in one area that means you must have taken it from somewhere else.

    Let’s be fricken honest, if it was as easy as Piers and other critics make it out then there wouldn’t even be a crisis.

    It’s always easy to say do this and you’ll save the lakes. And just not bother about considering what has happened to the industries that have had to forego irrigation. And vice-versa.

    Yes the Murray is overused, but it sure as sh*t didn’t just get to this state in the last 7 months.

  14. Thanks for the link, Grog. I was driving at the time and missed some of the conversation so the article has filled in many of the blanks

  15. [I love how for Piers the solution to every problem is always just a penstroke away (but of course the ALP is so idealogically riven that it just won’t do it).]

    Get REAL! Everyone knows the Murray-Darling was doing FINE up until last November. ’twas then that the threat of Australia-wide Socialism scared away all the water.

    [as usual, he makes some good points.]

    True, very thought provoking. However, I like the idea of earning more when I am retired than when I work. It would mean extra cash to spend on things I could never afford when working. Or money to give away to family, or to a charity, or to leave to others when I’m gone.

    I see it as a bit of an extra reward for working for all those years.

  16. [Get REAL! Everyone knows the Murray-Darling was doing FINE up until last November. ’twas then that the threat of Australia-wide Socialism scared away all the water.]

    SHowsON, I would try and counter that, but I can’t. As usual Piers has got it nailed. Damn he’s just got us commies beaten at every turn. Always thinking two moves ahead.

  17. The lower Murray and the two lakes have historically often filled with sea water during droughts. And at times it has come a long way upstream. It’s only since the Goolwa barrage was built in the 1930s that they’ve been exclusively fresh water. Plus, as I posted a couple of weeks ago, due to evaporation, the water there is now nearly as saline as sea water anyway.

    While it’s going to be bad news for the farms and vineyards in the area, the river and lakes will cope and will recover if good years return.

    Bottom line: In the absence of substantial rainfall there is nothing anyone can do that won’t damage the interests of one group or another. Sad, but farming is like that.

  18. Doug


    (and ESJ)

    Doug we both agree “Workers will ALWAYS be the main part of Labor’s demographics. I cannot see them vacating this area and loosing the votes. Labor’s policys ar always geared to equity & fairness for workers Sir Kevins achievements todate prove this preference list #279)

    ALL of th other Parties would love this Labor owned ‘workers ground’ ,but will never get it Labor has held it since its formation by workers in 1891 For all th fantasy talk of th Democrats & Greens wishing to expand , its not political posible in reality Those Partys ar permanentley frozen in th ‘outer left’ by Labor Despite ESJ’s ‘hopes’ , th Libs ar frozen out of this area in th ‘conservative right’
    These terms represent political reality of different Party’s philosphies & principas & consequent policys Your point is th small “L’ liberal voters could move to Labor and we both agree “they could change to ALP without a single policy change.”

    A diference in our views is you think small “L” liberal voters WILL do so (AND in big numbers) due to lesser control of Labor by Unions and that Labor does represent there interests (and so lead to th Liberals Party’s significant demise
    Alterntively I think all small “ L” liberal voters SHOULD come because Labor reely represents them in th PRIMARY Labor ‘left’ philosophys & principas & consequent policys , but I’ll list in a fewer seconds why I think only some of these small L” liberal voters actually may come permanently (perhaps 2% to 3% max) coincidentley roughly th current 2PP % Labor vote increase it has presently from 2007 electon

    I tink th balance of small “L” liberals will stay with th Liberal Party permanently , and ensure its survival , and see its current demographic ‘hole’ problam temporarily , due to ‘young/generational Agend issues that th Libs arr missing on presently , but over time will correct (including CC , W/C , ETS , envoronment , econamy still buoyant fr job , Water , no ‘attractive goody’ foreign ‘war’/threat to swing support around )I think this will self correct by Libs politcaly waking up (abit) and ‘save’ Libs Party

    Th equal other major saving grace for Libs Party’s continued existence I see , is th balance of small “L” liberals will stay ALL with th Liberl Party due to ALL th other importent “left” Labor philosophical , principals & & consequent policys
    differences vs small L” liberal voters , which small L” liberal voters do actually think ar as important a equity They ar

    (AND ESJ may take consider following (which excludes hard ‘right’ Liberal philosophies) WHEN YOU ASK WHAT DOES LABOR STAND FOR my philosophical opponent ) :

    The philpsophical , policy & principals differences of Labor to a Peacock type small ‘L’ liberal: Labor ,believe strong role for National govt in an economy Small L Liberals believe some role Labor believe National govt must ensure benefits or plus’s from any changes must be shared equally by people & not concentrated to a minority Small “L” Liberals believe National govt must be small govt providing basic public services otherwise its role is to facilitate/encourage private enterprise & free markets Labor believe National govt must ensure fairness and achieve more equitable share of richs & income for all Small “L” Liberals believe in liberty of individual for entrepreneurshp

    In specific Policys , these variances of ‘left’ Labor philpsophical , policy & principals vs small “L” liberals ar general only : Labor supports universal healthcare , public hospitals rather than private hospitals , public education rather than private education , expanded public housing , welfare as a right usually without strings , usually means teting of Govt benefits , firm support of Unions , more regulated IR system , usually more govt/quasi funded Infrastucture , usually public transport over privatised transport , water in control of govt not private enterprise , more subsidised pharmacuticels , more humanitarian treatment of ‘illegals’ , more muliculured immigration , more independent foreign affairs from US , more accountability of ASIO etc , more equitable tax system skewered low/middle , tighter Govt regulation of market economy , firmer support of ACCC as institution , firmer on social justice issues like detentions gay issues human rights etc , is more “suspicious of Big Business profiteering conduct & exploitation , more pro a Republic , more inclusive on aboriginal affairs , far more pro environment , far more pro CC

    Some of these areas Doug , I accept th differences of Labors ‘left’ phlosophies vs ‘right’ small “L” liberals philosophies may be smaller margins than between ‘right’ ‘conservative’ ones , but I wished to emphasise th general ‘right’ idealology ingrown thinkings generally in all ‘right’ philosophies /Liberal voters , then I tried to delete inappropriate small L ones or ones needing nuansing to take account of small L’ vs conservative therein I my ruh , may hav made sdome erors there I think the above other ‘right’ philosophies should not theoretically prevent all small “L” liberals ‘coming permanently to home’ ie. to Labor (thereby destroying th Libs Party) , but think those or some of those will
    ( th surface differences between th ‘left’ and ‘right’ spectrums today ar different to yesterdays , but only in some of there specific areas due to Globilisation etc , but those ‘left’ vs ‘right’ differences ar still there in there fundamentel underlying principals and outcomes and overall objectives ie. Chiflys light on th Hill’ diference is still there , despite Liberals , Greens , Democrats & extrem hard conservatives pretending otherwise ( Medicare & all solars & computers in all Schools ,& tax policy ar mere examples )

  19. Extra examples:

    and CC and environmet and Govt giving Govt moneyies to poor/middle peoples not th rich

    AND Octiober 2007 Howar promises 34 billion tax cuts including 3 billion to th richer folks BUT ‘left; Rudd promises only 31 billion in taz cuts AND RIPPS OFF Howards 3 billion to th richer , and pomises into Schools etc Peoples unlike us doug , saying no diference of ‘left’ vs ‘right ‘ anymores do live in Gilligans or in fantasylands of th rich in moneys but not necessairlys th rich of harts

  20. You are correct MayoFeral (@325). Before the barrages were built, in times of drought there are reports of people catching snapper as far upstream as Murray Bridge, and I think sightings of dolphins in the river as well.

    As for the vineyards etc in the area, well one vine grower down that way spent $250,000 and built his own desalination plant. He now has unlimited water and it will pay for itself in a couple of years.

    The problem with trying to “fix” the Murray (and nothing but an end to the drought will do that), is that every single stakeholder group doesn’t give a crap about anybody else. So every single group wants something different to be done. The people at Goolwa want either weirs built or sea water let into the lakes to preserve their tourism. But the farmers don’t want that because they wouldn’t be able to use the water for their crops/livestock.

  21. ron,
    You and I might have been at cross purposes the other day on this “Labor becoming the party of business” idea.
    I agree with you that the Libs may well bottom out at roughly 40-45% support (TPP)and then gradually climb back up. In fact I hope that’s what happens.
    But what I am saying is that if (and it’s no more than an if) the libs “die” (let’s interpret that to mean 15-20% of the vote, or lower), which is what some PBers think will happen, then I’d only give the Labor Party 5-10 years before it becomes the party of business. Reasons being:
    1. business people will pretty quickly work out there’s no point supporting the Libs.
    2. the real contest will be between Labor and the Greens. This will get business a lot more motivated about politics than they have been for the past 25 years (during the past 25 years the main contest has been between a party that looks after business well – Liberal, and a party that looks after business ok – ALP). But the Greens as a top 2 force? Many businesspeople will feel quite threatened.
    3. business money and time will therefore flow to Labor. In fact, because of the Green threat that exists in this scenario, there’ll be much more total money and effort going into politics from the business community than is currently the case. The vast majority of this will go to Labor.
    4. couple point 3 with the decline of union influence (which is basically a done deal already), and bingo – what you have is business as the dominant financial force in the Labor Party.
    You and Doug have said “what about the Labor voters?”. Good point, but if the Libs have gone under 20%, the main bloc of voters Labor will need to stay ahead of the Greens are people who would now vote Liberal.
    So, in summary, I am not saying the Libs will go below 20% (though I agree with others, it’s possible to envisage a scenario in which this happens). What I am saying is that if this Liberal death comes to pass, then I’d give the Labor Party five years in its current form. Maybe ten years, tops. The Labor brand will survive and even dominate, but the Labor Party itself, Ron, will be a totally different thing to what you have known up to now.
    But it’s only supposition on my part.

  22. So wrong on so many levels…,25197,24141069-601,00.html

    The Australian’s lead story say Hamdan is guilty of “war crimes” and that he wept as the judge read out the “sentence”.

    Giving material support to terrorism is not a war crime. It is a Guantanamo-only “crime”.

    He hasn’t been sentenced. In fact the next line in the article says he will be sentenced today. How can he have wept at the “sentence” if he hasn’t been sentenced yet?

    “Material support for terrorism” is a catch-all “crime” which basically means “working for the other side”. Last I heard, working for the other side was not a war-crime in itself, except in Guantanamo World.

    Hamdan has been a thorn in the side of the US court system. He made most of the appeals. So I guess they’ll throw the book at him.

  23. 310
    Tobias Ziegler

    It’s bloody rich coming from that mob who sat on their backsides for a decade and made soothing noises right up until the latest election, then whipped out a ‘back of the envelope’ BIG number which they didn’t even pass through Treasury, and then tried to convince us they were ‘on to it’! LOL

    What a hide!

    I do hope Penny Wong gets her $300m from the AWB, she could then forcibly buy back some water allocations and push some farmers off the land and resettle them…Higgins would be nice, eh?

  24. [“Material support for terrorism” is a catch-all “crime” which basically means “working for the other side”. ]

    You mean working for the other side by direct assisting a self confessed terrorist who used his parent’s cement company to fund the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    Sure it isn’t a war crime, but I think it is a very serious crime, and he deserves everything coming to him, which will hopefully be life imprisonment.

  25. 330
    Bushfire Bill

    At Nuremberg they declined to put Hitler’s driver on trial.

    Progress in the rule of law? Not in that little bit of the world that’s not Cuba nor under US jurisdiction either. Not much human progress in that empty space in George Bush’s head either I’m afraid.

    Just how do they think this is going down all over the world? Let alone the Muslim bits of it.

  26. dyno
    quite interesting all this talk of the fibs demise weve been having

    yesterday was talking to a former fib (staffer ) about comp stuff and we were taling upgrades daddaa,when out of the blue the talk steered towards the LDP

    i presumed this was some sort of whizzbahgery but aftre a couple mins realised it was the liberal democratic party he was on about

    maybe the subterranean rumblings are leading to this hybrid of “wets” but would be an extremely interesting melding of the dems and the good (kinda) fibs.

    makes sense when you think about it.

  27. Interesting indeed, gusface. Certainly, “good’ ones like the Member for Kooyong would be ideologically much closer to the dems than they are to the Minchins, Ruddocks and Andrews. But then, so probably, was Attila the Hun!

    I don’t accept the Lib/Nats are as close to political oblivian as some here suggest/hope, but their future is bleak if they continue the march to the ‘right.’ Even Labor is now to the right of Ming the Merciless (and Holt and Gorton, and arguably line ball with Fraser when PM, he much more left-wing these days).

  28. Mayo

    “I don’t accept the Lib/Nats are as close to political oblivian as some here suggest/hope, but their future is bleak if they continue the march to the ‘right.’

    the thing that i think is killing them is their state setups.the drive for a consensus at times is derailed by the varying influence of the current patriarch.

    Each state is essentially afiefdom ruled by (currently) a very narrow clique,not so much interested in “national “affairs but their own vested interests.

    the appeal to mcmansionites was only ever a short term policy and the harsh realities of day to day policy delivery has failed the fibs big time.

    the greens increasing % and labs strong showing consisitently in the polls would be causing significant heartache at fib hq

  29. That has got to be funny.

    Turnbull and Co were getting ready to continue the recession narrative to take focus off possible lower rates and, employment figures go up.

    Now anyone listening to Turnbull might start scratching their heads and wondering how his predicted doom and gloom matches the reality.

  30. 339
    Thomas Paine

    Funny party they’re not running isn’t it? Ten years of winding back infrastructure (like higher education selling expensive degrees to foreign ‘students’ to barely survive…what a complete travesty!) and all the physical stuff, and then have the gall to say that Swan was talking the economy down. Well where did all the ‘boom’ money go? Oh, that’s right, tucked up in the Future Fund! Great, how about investing in our real future, if we’re going to still have one.

    Turnbull’s a clown trying to get the audience’s attention off that other clown, Costello.

    And yes, the next part of his act should be hillarious.

  31. I’d like to point out in thallium’s defence that it is an excellent way to poison someone, but only if they are bald. Having your hair drop out before you die is kind of a giveaway that you’ve been poisoned.

  32. 341

    It’s only taken years for the public to get enough of a toxic dose of the dope’s smugness to put them right, eh?

  33. ESJ

    Litvienko and his friend (who didn’t die) got some bad sushi in London which was laced with polonium. The assasins would have been better off poisoning his sushi with tetrodotoxin and blaming the chef for mucking around with puffer fish.

    Poisoning politicians is becoming quite popular. They’re dropping like flies in ex-Soviet countries. Zimbabwe and Cuba are also pretty keen on the concept.

  34. The Tiser reports that tomorrow it will publish a 460 voter poll suggesting Kaylene Maywald the SA Water Security Minister who is the National Party’s only Minister in Australia, will lose her seat at the next election. She is behind both Liberal and Labor in the poll.

    The Tiser has launched a relentless and bitter campaign against Maywald and Rann on Water, and is threatening to extend it to Wong and Rudd if nothing is done for the Murray.

    Chaffey voters abandon Karlene Maywald in droves, poll finds,22606,24142980-5006301,00.html

  35. That’s it. According to the divine one, Cossie has no ball was because he has been bullied in his younger days by big and nasty brother Tim. And bro Tim has been feeling so guilty ever since that he turned to religion and became a a Baptist minister. As well as atoning his sin by also becoming the chief executive of World Vision Australia to help the poors and needies. Phew, i feel better now and also should confront my own big brother.

  36. Boerwar

    The Tiser is big on environmental flows. They are showing endless photo’s of the dry Lower Lakes which they want rescued. NSW giving a 30 % water allocation to its farmers to “grow cotton and rice in the desert” has gone down particularly poorly when our farmers get 2% or something. There are allegations that Rann has sold out SA at the negotiating table to keep his Federal aspirations alive, as he is reportedly going to debunk from SA in about a year.

    Fortunately for Labor, Federal Liberal has also botched water management but the comments comparing Penny Wong to inept dictators indicate they can see an opening. State Liberal in SA is so hopelessly inept that I am convinced they want to stay in Opposition as they enjoy the lazy, no responsibility lifestyle of not being in power.

  37. On a brighter note, just had a chance to read last Sunday’s Murdoch rag and apparently the ATO is to triple the number of staff monitoring those worth $30 million plus to ensure they pay every cent owed.

    So much for the government not having any substance. This wouldn’t have happened under Howard. Not if he’d been reelected every 3 years for the next millennium! This alone justifies Labor’s victory. Even if it really means they’re only putting on an extra 2 work experience kids.

    PS: Fortunately, I just miss the cut 😉

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