Essential Research: 57-43

The latest Essential Research survey was conducted during the worst period for Labor of the “utegate” saga, from June 17 to 21, but it shows Labor’s two-party lead steady on 57-43. Further questions: would respondents support tax increases to improve spending on services and infrastructure (mostly not); which taxes would you most and least care to have increased (alcohol and cigarettes okay, GST and petrol big no); whether the government’s emissions trading scheme is tough enough (leaning towards no, but with a high don’t know response); who should or will be Labor’s next prime minister (big win for Julia Gillard on both counts); whether Peter Costello’s departure will be good or bad for the Liberal Party (split decision).

UPDATE: Essential Research have been in touch to point out that their results are composites of two weeks’ polling, and each survey is mostly completed by the weekend, so the impact of the OzCar issue should not be overstated.

Two news nuggets to go:

• State upper house member Lee Rhiannon has been confirmed as the Greens’ lead Senate candidate for New South Wales. The Greens have only previously won a Senate seat in the state in 2001, when they benefited from the one-off of One Nation preferences, but it’s conceivable that a rise in the Labor vote at the next election (assuming it’s a half-Senate rather than a double dissolution) could deliver them enough preferences to secure a seat at the expense of the Liberals. Rhiannon will quit her state seat when the election is called, at which point the Greens will choose her replacement.

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a newly updated elections timetable, laying out what might happen and when at federal, state and territory level.

Finally, a reminder that I’m on semi-holiday so apologies if comment moderation isn’t being dealt with promptly.

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.

3,436 comments on “Essential Research: 57-43”

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  1. Lee Rhiannon will make a fine senator. She has already proved herself in the field. I congratulate her and wish her every luck. I think its also possible that she could be elected at the expence of the ALP.

    As for the poll. If this is the result “during the worst period for Labor of the “utegate” saga” then I think the Libs will poll even worse in the next one.

  2. On the speculation about Mr Grech’s possible motives discussed in the previous thread.

    I doubt he is the author or instigator of the sham email. My guess is he was set up by somebody BECAUSE he was a diligent, thorough ,efficient and HONEST man.

    i.e. Who ever sent him the email hoped he would simply act on it without question because he’d be the last person to suspect a fraudulent communication.

    My thought’s are he’s the patsy of a Lib sypathizer in Treasury (if that’s where it came from).

  3. [Elections took place in Iceland on Saturday, the 25th of April.

    One voter decided to use his rights to vote. Showed up at the voting station and literally took a dump on the political party system, the power abuse and the general democracy distortion, wiped his ass on the ballot, neatly folded it and slipped into the ballot box.

    The video is here]
    Iceland has become really interesting since the economy collapsed. Once just the land of Bjork and Sigur Ros it has now become a bistallion of the libertarian Left. With the local Tories embattled by even more corruption scandles, it would apear that the real opposition to the Social-Democratic Party/ GreenLeft Movement coalition government comes from the Anarchists!

  4. Now four Liberals have revolted against Turnbull’s Alcops position in the HoR with the rest of the Libs locked in the toilet while the vote was taken.

    [In the House of Representatives, Liberals Wilson Tuckey and Alby Schultz, Nationals Darren Chester and Paul Neville and the independent Tony Windsor voted against the increase.

    Mr Tuckey says the tax does not address binge drinking and if the Government were serious about tackling alcoholism, it could introduce other measures.

    “You could have a law that said you’re not allowed to add more than x per cent of alcohol in any mixed drink,” he said.

    “But no, all they wanted to do was tax the packaged product that had no more alcohol in it than mid-strength beer.”

    The rest of the Coalition stayed out of the chamber for the vote.]

  5. Grech was seconded for a short time to Hockey’s office. No wonder Laurie Oakes and Hockey could have a cosy chat tossing names around above the heads of the television viewers in early June. Nor did any of the Liberal senators mention it on Friday when grilling Grech in the Senate.

    [But when asked why he didn’t disclose the information in parliament yesterday, Mr Hockey said the relationship was “totally irrelevant”. “It’s just a distraction from Labor,” Mr Hockey said.],25197,25674993-5013871,00.html

  6. Seriously, for Australia’s sake. Peter Costello should re-nominate for Higgins and should become the new Opposition Leader.

    Turnbull has no credibility left and is now a figure of ridicule.


  7. NSW Newspoll.

    Labor done two points to 31, Coalition up 1 to 41 for a 2pp of 45-55.

    Rees is satisfaction is done 4 points to 30 and dissatisfaction is up to 49.

    Not that good for Rees but today’s the latest caucus meeting for months and no one expects Sartor or anyone else to launch a leadership attack.

    My opinion is that the 2pp for Labor is inflated as I expect The Greens to recommend exhausting.

  8. Like I said, for Swannie, lots of bullets on the floor, but no smokin’ gun.

    [The pity for Turnbull is that there is a perfectly pursuable case against Wayne Swan, whose initial, modest account of the Government efforts made to accommodate car dealer John Grant now appears, in hindsight and with greater knowledge, inadequate. It’s a reasonable prosecution for the Opposition.

    And if it wasn’t for the Gothic drama of Godwin Grech And The Incredible Exploding Email, playing over on cable, maybe more people would be tuning in. But the case against Swan is procedural, rather than literal.]

    Crabby is getting better.

  9. Yes I doubt anyone else will want leadership of the NSW ALP for some time now. Once the public have decided they’ve had enough there’s virtually nothing you can do to stop the inevitable.

  10. Just to clarify: Lee Rhiannon’s replacement will be chosen alongside the state upper house ticket for 2011 in a preselection later this year, which will (almost certainly) be before a federal election is called.

  11. Rudds experience at very senior level in Qld government has held him in very good stead in all of this. He has been kicking goals all over the paddock while turnbull is bloodied and injured and in great danger of being dropped. Maybe not straight any, but the wheel is turning.

  12. Hell hath no fury like a (more than usually) RW NewsLtd hack with a face covered by egg hurled by the one it’s gone overboard on hyperbole & spin to support.

    Ah, and back in Oct-Nov 07, TheOz “Kingmaker” clique thought it would have a new King in Malcolm.

    BTW: As Cossie made it clear in a speech to the Faithful (last year, I think; it was raised again when he retired) he expected Rudd to win the next election, as the last single term government was Scullin’s which took the brunt of the Great Depression.

  13. PS, Dave @13 Checking its facts before taking action is (all to obviously) not a Liberal characteristic. All I can assume is that Malcolm & Co fell for Rudd’s mild-mannered, boring Clark Kent of politics routine, and forgotten that he really does turn into Dr Death, relentless, nit-picking pursuer of a previous government’s loyal PServants playing political silly-bug#ers.

    If Piers A had gone for this tack instead of the Heiner Affair, Canberra’s fakers might have done their homework before pulling this stunt. Any QLDer would have told them (and did say on blogs before the eggs hit Malcolm) Rudd would bring in the heavy ammo & pursue the issue relentlessly,

  14. As predicted the News Ltd papes have dumped on Turnbull as well as Fairfax. Its all over for him.

    At this point Rudd, Swan and co would be wise not to overplay the counterattacks. They will be better off loking like the innocent victims rather than those who got down to the same level. There is plenty of ammo in pursuing this chapter to its conclusion. Issues like seeking an explanation from Abetz or an apology for comments on Dr Martine would be justified.

  15. [57-43 beats 55-45 but I wonder what the next newspoll will show? 61-39?]

    This is News Ltd, they’ll probably concoct a good poll for the Libs, like last week.

  16. Still a far bit to play out in the overall story – like what is the real story on grech ?

    Was thinking last night looking at the clip of him from friday that he looks a heck of a lot older than 42. Yep we know he was/is in poor health, but still ?

    Was he set up or what ?? If so by whom ?

    Or is it another 42 year old from the the same suburb who are “helping police with their enquiries”.

  17. Turnbull on ABC AM raised white flag on Rudd and now pushing the line that it’s all Swannie’s fault because the email was faked in the Treasury. Also accused Martine of intimidating Grech. Agree with Soc, an apology to Martine is needed.

    * Sloppy Joe called Grech yesterday to “enquire” about his well being.

  18. [SNIP: Quote from defamatory comment deleted – The Management.]

    Evan14, we at PB frown upon such unsubstantiated attacks on politicians such as this! I hope you have the email to prove it 🙂


  19. I think people are still missing the real story here. The government, now that they have Grech’s private email account have teased out a single thread in the whole tapestry of unofficial communications. Grech’s account will have links to other accounts which will have links to yet other accounts, all going back for 7 years.

    If everyone has been meticulous in their use of this “unmonitored” medium, then it will all blow over. However…

  20. From today’s front page story in The Age:
    [The wording of the fake email is similar to a genuine email sent by Dr Charlton to Mr Grech about another car dealer, reinforcing suspicion that Mr Grech had a role in creating the fake.]

  21. Hockey this morning on the Sunrise show, tells Koshie that he phoned Grech on the weekend to equire about his health and only spoke to his answering machine.
    Is this one of the reasons why Grech was in a safe house?

  22. Haven’t posted for a while but have had a bit of a read of the last few days adventures – have to go to work shortly 🙁 but wanted to get people’s thoughts on the following on the way out

    1 – How will Labor blow away the Turnbull argument that as the email was produced in Treasury it’s nothing to do with him (well at least until the link is drawn)? Personally I’d go harder on the due diligence arguments.

    2 – Is Hockey really stupid enough to believe that he can continue with the argument that there was an email so all is fine?? It’s a fake you IDIOT

    3 – Will Turnbull go this week or hold on for the winter break???

    4 – Finally, will the Senate get to vote on Alcopops this week and if they do – has Turnbull got the numbers to get it through????

    Have a great day

  23. Curious as I am I cant help but feel that this little lot has FAUX NEWS opps sorry the Australian and NEWS LTD all over it.
    It started with that fine honest paper The Telegraph,as we know they don’t make things up,and slotted in with The Australians anti Govt attacks and Conservative columnists attacks as well,Ackerman must have egg all over his face did the Bolter say much ?

  24. ABC National Radio replayed part of an interview between Turnbull and Koche,who asked him all the questions O’Brien should have. Extraordinarily, he stuck to the “its Swan’s fault” line and refused to apologise to Rudd or admit fault. He pointedly avoided the question of whether he saw the email before Friday. Its amazing if he can’t see that its all over for him. He’s not fooling even the lightweight media figures.

    Labor should just sit back and watch the AFP and media do the work now. Lines like “can we move on from this distraction and focus on returning protecting the Australian economy” would go down well.

  25. Re Grech – at the hearing, and moments before saying that there may or may not have been an email, Grech turns in his chair and looks at someone in the gallery behind where he is sitting. His body language is that he is signalling that he is about to fold. I wonder who that person was that Grech was looking at as I suspect he/she may be a significant link in the email chain.

  26. Following on from Steve Price’s shock yesterday that his listeners weren’t interested in this affair at all, far more concerned with the GFC, he doesn’t want to talk about it. Even though he was all excited first thing yesterday morning. As far as he’s concerned the whole thing blew up in Turnbull’s face.

    This is his summary of his listeners views: Overwhelmingly not interested in the affair, and they could not see anything unusual or mass conspiracy from Rudd or Swan.

    There’s a message there.

    Yet, the thickhead Libs will still pursue it today.

  27. And Grech has been in communication with Turnbull’s office, directly or indirectly (probably through Lewis).

    [He would not say whether Mr Grech had contacted his office before the Senate hearing, but indicated he had expectations about the official’s evidence.

    “We certainly were expecting, based on information we had received, that he would say he had a communication,” Mr Turnbull said. ]

  28. Working on the assumption that Grech is tied up in all of this, I wonder if Labor suspected as much before Friday? That might explain the Senate business. It might also explain the safe house stuff. If he were under suspicion, he may have been moved for his own safety, but also to keep him away from possible evidence, contact from other parties etc.

  29. Why would Joe Hockey phone Grech on the weekend if, as he contends, the man only worked in his office for 2 weeks 10 years ago?? Can’t imagine any of my former employers (and I worked for all of them for years, not weeks) ringing me in that situation. I would have thought you’d want to keep your distance.

  30. After Sloppy Joe’s self-immolation yesterday in the House, it would be folly to try and explain his actions using rational thought.

  31. [Why would Joe Hockey phone Grech on the weekend if, as he contends, the man only worked in his office for 2 weeks 10 years ago??]
    If the appearance of anything untoward is enough to hang a bloke, as the opposition would have had us believe the last week or so, then Hockey has the appearance of a man who just put his own head in a noose.

  32. [Re Grech – at the hearing, and moments before saying that there may or may not have been an email, Grech turns in his chair and looks at someone in the gallery behind where he is sitting. His body language is that he is signalling that he is about to fold. I wonder who that person was that Grech was looking at as I suspect he/she may be a significant link in the email chain.

    A good pick up and very interesting clue.

    Where is there vision of the hearing? (not a philisophical question or riddle)

  33. We know that Turnbull, Hockey and Abetz all knew about the email by Friday (before it was in the papers). Did they discuss it in Shadow Cabinet? Surely someone must have asked how they got hold of it? Public servants don’t just volunteer information in committee hearings, so someone must have told Abetz what questions to ask to bring out the allegations sought after.

  34. Far too “sloppy” from Joe!
    And Turnball’s bizarre performance on TV last night provided Rudd & his tough guys with more avenues for attack today, QT should be hilarious!

  35. TP – it is the only time he turns right around in the chair so if footage can be found shouldnt be hard to fast forward and pick the moment. Unfortunately I didn’t record proceedings (wish I had as would be fascinating to revisit as events unfold).

  36. And remember they’d been asking questions in the House for weeks – based upon what?

    They were clearly establishing in the public’s mind that there was a strong link between Grant and the PM (I think I can remember one question on it that came out of nowhere, everyone expected a follow up and there wasn’t one, it was left hanging – if it was part of building a case, then it becomes explicable).

    The goss from the ground (referred to by the PM and others, backed up by Turnbull’s ‘conversation’ with Charlton, and Charlton’s clear linkage of that with Grant – even Charlton’s version has him saying something like ‘I’ve never talked to Grant’, when Grant had not been mentioned in Malcolm’s comments) seems to be that MT had been foreshadowing this for sometime.

    To suddenly shift the timescale to ‘we only discovered this on Friday, after estimates’ is audacious, to say the least.

    On Hocky and Grech, if I was Hockey I’d be stressing that I hardly remembered the guy, not that I had his home phone number.

  37. [Evan, “Turnball” is a banned name. Please refrain from using it.]

    Funny that you were singing his praises 3 days ago, how the worm has turned.

  38. My Wikipedia article on Grech has been nominated for deletion, on the grounds that he isn’t notable enough! We should all rally around Our Godwin. This is really an attack on Australia, suggesting that our political scandals aren’t very important. Well they jolly well are!

  39. Glen, the only time a leader hasn’t tried to talk over Kerry was Turnbull last night. And that was only because he was feeling like a fragile, broken man, scrambling around with his notes and Homer Simpson glasses.

    On another note, surely the AFP will be able to tell from this computer if there is contact with anyone in Liberal circles – former staffers or whatever. Then their computers will be seized. If there is any thread back to ‘I only got it on Friday after timetravelling to Saturday for the Tele’ Turnbull, that lie should be the final straw.

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