Essential Research: 58-42

No Newspoll this week, but the always dependable Essential Research weekly survey shows Labor’s lead stuck at 58-42. Also featured are prime ministerial approval ratings (56 per cent for, 31 per cent against) and questions on the Productivity Commission’s maternity leave recommendations (trending negative), party leaders’ responses to the financial crisis and government plans to tackle climate change (don’t go far enough).

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.

361 comments on “Essential Research: 58-42”

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  1. William, your post in the last thread links to the .pdf file not to this actual… not sure if that was your idea or not, but thought I’d let you know.

    One thing I always wonder with polls, and yeah I already know the answer, but it’s disconcerting looking at the Nats figure which is only 1% above FF, yet their representation in parliament is fairly large. depressing.

  2. I am not sure of the media coverage of recent events but if they have been at least a little bit balanced you would have to think Rudd’s and Swan’s personal ratings would have improved.

    It is going to be hard for them to put a foot wrong for a while and as I said before, their actions/policy will be informed by and linked to the economy, making it doubly hard for the Liberals to attack effectively.

    The ace in the hole for Rudd here is his Chinese specialty and the perception of their increasing importance for us at this time. Any trade or other deal he does with China at this time is going to ‘feel’ welcome by the general public. So I would expect him to play this card at some time, maybe.

    Another plus for Rudd despite the media’s attempt to malign it is Rudd’s international standing and relationships, something of increasing importance in ‘these’ times and the perception of the LNP being negatively focused stay-at-homers.

  3. [Another plus for Rudd despite the media’s attempt to malign it is Rudd’s international standing and relationships, something of increasing importance in ‘these’ times and the perception of the LNP being negatively focused stay-at-homers.]

    You’d be kidding yourself if you thought Howard didn’t have equally good relations with overseas leaders. The myth perpetuated by lefties that somehow our reputation flailed under Howard is just that: a myth.

  4. The Libs and their media mates have been so busy painting the meetings between the government, the RBA and the big banks as far too cosy, even sinister, that they forgot to consider the possibility that something good might come of it… which seems to have happened.

    LOL, the connection isn’t as great as they made out, but having got a lot of mugs to swallow the story, it seems to have backfired on the Opposition.

  5. This has also happened with Rudd’s international trips. The Liberal Party’s and their media sychophant’s various attacks on Rudd to try and detract from them also served to highlight them and helps to keep them in the public’s memory.

    In a time of global economic crisis it may feel handy to have a PM with an international profile, courtesy of his critics. The media thought they had invented a negative meme in K747 but it might just backfire in this climate, if Rudd is called upon for more international meetings with other leaders re global economy and trade.

    The Liberal party and their friends in also making a big issue out of small issue in Fuelwatch also help to highlight the Government’s attempt to do something. Better than paid for advertising really. Whilst the critics may argue the mechanics of it to the general public the idea is an intuitive one and, not likely to be seen in a negative light.

    The same goes with the Alcopop tax, it is intuitive that the tax will reduce consumption by teenagers regardless of the reality and, with the government morphing it into a Revenue issue the Liberal party’s stance is a net negative for them IMO.

    I think the only tactic suitable for the LNP for the foreseeable future is quite honestly, silence.

  6. Thought it was interesting that with central banks having to guarantee bank depositors funds around the world, not Swan, Australian banks are strong enough and safe enough to not need that sort of guarantee.

  7. Rudd and Swan have looked like statesmen these last couple of weeks, the fact that other world banks look like following ours with rate cuts makes them look as if they are standing out as leaders, i’m wondering if Newspoll isnt showing a bounce to Turnbull so the OO isnt showing it.
    GP i dont know how much travelling you’ve done but believe me Howard was on the nose with a lot of people overseas, especially for his gulags and the way he treated Hicks, washing your hands of one of your citizens and handing him as a gift to your good mate Bush to torture whilst other countries were hauling their own people out of gitmo wasnt a good look.

  8. Rees is also doing a Kev and holding community cabinets followed up with town hall type meetings so the locals can quizz him and his ministers. Gutsy bloke considering the anger out there at present lol. The first one was last night out Penrith way.

  9. Thomas Paine @4 mentioned Rudd’s Chinese specialty. here’s evidence of him being in touch with them and keeping up to date with things there.

    “The global financial crisis was crippling markets around the world and had affected China, Mr Rudd said on Wednesday.
    He spoke with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao two days ago about the country’s annual growth projections, which he estimated had slipped from a lofty 12 per cent to about nine per cent.”

  10. Rudd’s chinese connections is going to stand us in good stead in the next year or so, it’ll have far better impact on us for trade and finance than any other country, in fact it will probably be the key as to how well we come out of the world economic crisis.

  11. Can’t believe it! what I mean is I thought about whether he’d try, but had to dismiss the possibility as too cringe-inducing. There you go, I was wrong.

    Turnbull has claimed credit for the rates cut by the banks. Well, not all the credit… but he’s claiming he forced them to think hard:

    [“If I had run up the white flag and abandoned the interests of borrowers, small business and homebuyers in the same way that Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd did, do you think that the banks would have passed on four fifths of those rates cuts?” he told Radio National.

    “I’m not taking credit for any particular amount of it … but the reality is when you call on people to be accountable and to be transparent and justify what they’re doing they have to sit back and think, ‘OK how much is this really costing us, how much can we really bear?’ and that causes them to reflect and perhaps be more precise.”]

    So, how much does he think he got them to pass on? 0.1%? 0.2% We can never know, and that’d be the what Malcolm wants us to think. He wants to mark to believe good things happen when he’s around. There’s even a name for this didge: The Rainmaker Scam.

    [Rainmaker scam – The con artist (a “rain maker”) convinces the mark to pay him to make something happen. If it happens, then the mark is convinced it is because he paid the rainmaker; if not, then the rain maker says he needs more money to do it.]

    Substitute “votes” for “money” in the definition above, and you have Turnbull’s classic con. Malcolm “Rainman” Turnbull, our esteemed Opposition Leader. I wish the ABC still ran The Investigators. Malcolm would be first cab off the rank. They used to have scams like his on the show just about every week. Usually it was dodgy race betting capers, or footy results frauds, but never underestimate the con man. They’ll be in anything for profit.

  12. Note: for another notable “rainmaking” scam see:

    Howard, J.W, Australian Prime Minister, “Interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government”.

  13. Exactly! And if they set up their machine… and if it had rained… they’d have been in clover.

    Merchant bankers and “investment consultants” do this all the time. They use phoney “influence” and “insider knowledge” to sell everything from superannuation to shares in dodgy gold mines. When it’s all going swimmingly, they take the credit and rake in the fees. If you ask how they could possibly influence a certain event, they tell you they move in vaulted circles, far too esoteric for you, the mug, to possibly comprehend. When it goes bad, and you ping them for it, you usually get told, “It’s the market, mate.” (that’s if they’re still around to take your call).

    Religion is another: when something good happens, it’s the grace of God. When your life turns to $hit, it’s “God’s will”.

    You could add a lot of similar scams: water divining, wine appreciation (when it taste’s good the scammer is a genius, when it tastes like vinegar, he was were “just testing” you).

  14. Turnbull was hopeless on RN this morning, totally painted into a corner. Nooooooo of course he wasn’t criticising the banks, heaven forfend. He was only criticising Rudd and Swan. For what? For not criticising the banks, of course. Noooo he wasn’t trying to influence the RBA, noooo he was not claiming credit for the banks passing on 80%, but of course it was all Rudd and Swan’s fault for not forcing the banks to pass on 100% – and so on and on in a tight circle of self-contradiction. Coming from an intelligent man it was really pathetic. He is beginning to sound like Andrew Peacock – all wind and bluff, no substance – which is a dangerous place to be.

  15. As I have said before on Turnbull, he may be intelligent but being a merchant banker does not make you an economist. As recent events illustrate, our market systems have allowed some financiers to make a lot of money doing deals with other people’s savings, but that does not mean they are good at judging how the nation should be run.

  16. You classic Rainmaker scammer will usually negotiate down from his original pitch.

    They’ll ask for 10% (“It was me who heavied the banks”)

    Go straight down to 5% (“Of course I have no influence over the RBA or the banks”)

    And then tell you their bottom lin (“I caused thethe banks to reflect and perhaps be more precise”)

    When the scam negotiation session starts you owe them nothing. If they get even 1% or 2% out of you, they’re ahead, seeing as they don’t intend to do any work for you, and know that even if they did it wouldn’t work.

  17. [neukauf17… no it’s an Essential Research result which I don’t think has ever had Labor much below 57%. What’s the lowest its had?]

    56 is the lowest it’s been since January

  18. One of the points that I think lends to the credibility of this poll as opposed to some others is that its more consistent. They need a few elections to find their bearings, howver, at least the Greens and the Minors don’t jump around like some of the other polls.
    Its quite fascinating watching Malcolm , We are about to see what its like watching someone with total self belief never gain the office of PM. Not because he is no good, just the cycle is all wrong for him,. Kim Beasley had all the makings of a good PM, and again was caught up in the cycle. Poor old Malcolm!

  19. Oz @ 24: On experience, Rudd also worked for KPMG for three years, he does know something about business. And being head of the Qld Premier’s Dept is not quite the same as being a “political staffer.”

  20. Yes, I know Rudd is quite experienced in a variety of different fields and I most certainly was not ragging on Arts degrees. It was actually a subtle jibe at the ridiculous “experience” arguments being run all over the world.

  21. Just listened to Turnbull on Fran Kelly – amazing he claims that the reason the banks lowered rates by 0.8% and not only 0.5% was due to HIM!!!

    Geez; what utter… yes hubris.

  22. Grog, you missed the earlier discussion on the “Rainmaker Scam”.

    Basically, “I’ll make it rain. If it does, you pay me,” (or vote for me, depending on the exact nature of the scam).

    As Listy @ 16 points out, “Rainman” Turnbull even literally tried to make it rain.

  23. Woops thanks BB – I should know beter than to post without reading above.

    Un be liev able.

    Who would have thought a man with no actual power would be able to hold the entire Australian financial industry to account.

    He truly is a god.

  24. Oh dear… it was a computer glitch.,22049,24465025-5001021,00.html

    OK, so computers can fail, but if it was because some sensor hadn’t been properly maintained, or a cable not plugged in securely, then there will be absolute hell to pay.

    (Yes, I know, I’ve watched seconds From Disaster too many times… but if I’d have been in that plane I’d still be throwing up… I’m a very bad flyer, a real arm-rest gripper).

  25. Bushfire Bill @ 14 –

    Turnbull has claimed credit for the rates cut by the banks. Well, not all the credit… but he’s claiming he forced them to think hard:

    BB, you should know by now that when it comes to the Born-to-Rulers it’s all about them.

    We the ‘little people’ should just be grateful they drop their daks every morning to allow the Sun to shine!

  26. First time I’ve read a Tele blog. It’s frightening to think that those people are in the upper echelons of Tele readers, ie they can use a computer!

  27. When I had money (in younger and happier days) I decided to act out the fantasy I’d had when I was a kid: get my pilot’s licence.

    I lasted two lessons. It wasn’t that I couldn’t fly the plane. That was easy. It’s just that I couldn’t see how I wouldn’t faint with fright if I got lost in the clouds and the aircraft was jinking around (that awful sinking feeling, all too common with light planes).

    Irresponsible too: I’d be the idiot pilot who decided to keep flying when tired or needing a pee, and then crashed into a mountain in the Barrington Tops looking for a toilet or a sofa to snatch 40 winks upon (never to be seen again, except by funnel web spiders and bush fly larvae).

    All in all, I did the Australian public a favour in deciding to reitre from flying whilst ahead (i.e. still alive, along with my instructor). No expensive searches. No grieving rellies. No protracted court actions to have me declared legally dead.

  28. Just as an aside that isn’t meant as a dig at either side oif politics, there are some interesting developments on the Aussie dollar diving to remarkable lows with great speed lately. See

    Many good professional economists can’t explain this rapid a shift – a lot of panic going on in financial markets. Someone needs to drop the apocalyptic language and tell these guys to calm down. See

  29. BB@45
    re your flying abilities, and how we should be thankful to you … you sound like Turnbull (ie. Turnbull trying to claim credit for the rate drops)

    No insult intended 😛

  30. I don’t get the dollar drop. Surely the fact that our banks and are unlikely to collapse as they have overseas, our stocking market is posting literally have the drops as compared to Asia, Europe and the US (4% for us and 9% for the Japanese) and the fact that our growth, whilst predicted to slow, is not predicted to go into the negatives means that Australia is a kind of safe haven? Yet we’re dropping against the US and the Yen none of which seem to me to be worth particularly much even going into the immediate future.

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