Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Crikey reports that what is presumably the last Essential Research poll for the campaign has Labor’s lead at 51-49, down from 52-48 last week. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up two points to 44 per cent and Labor is down two to 39 per cent, with the Greens steady on 10 per cent. As always, it should be noted that Essential Research is a composite of two weeks’ combined polling: reading between the lines, the week-level results for Labor through the course of the campaign seem to have gone 55, 55, 53, 51, 51. Jason Whittaker at Crikey relates:

There’s little movement in personal approval ratings, with Julia Gillard climbing a point to 46% approval (her disapproval ratings remains steady at 40%), while Tony Abbott also jumps a point but remains behind on 41% approval (44% disapproval). Head-to-head, 46% believe Julia Gillard would make a better prime minister (up one point) ahead of Tony Abbott on 35% (up two points). Gillard’s attention on the economy in the final week of the campaign is backed by Essential. Asked which leader would better handle another financial crisis should it eventuate, 42% named the Labor leader while 35% nominated Tony Abbott and the Liberals.

Full report from Essential to follow shortly.


George Megalogenis in The Australian argues that while the mortgage belt “has less reason to be grumpy with Julia Gillard this year than it had been with John Howard in 2007”, owing to slightly lower interest rates and an even lower real debt burden than at that time, “the grey belt has a simple financial trigger to loathe Labor, and to long for a return to the Coalition’s brand of economic management, because superannuation nest eggs have been smashed over the past three years”. He also says Labor’s troubles in Queensland can in part be traced to the sharpest rises in petrol prices in the nation, “while Brisbane home owners have seen their capital gains party come to an end at a time when the rest of the nation was still booming”.

Peter Hartcher of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that according to media buying agency MindShare, Labor spent $3.5 million on television advertising in capital cities during the second fortnight of the campaign compared with $3 million for the Coalition, after “sitting out” the second week of the campaign. A “close student of the TV ad industry” says Labor is screening four attack ads for every one positive, while the Liberal ratio is three to one.

Steve Lewis of the Daily Telegraph reports an Auspoll survey finds Wayne Swan with a 54-46 lead over Joe Hockey as “best able to manage the budget”, 32 per cent rating the Building the Education Revolution program a success against 42 per cent who deem it a failure, and a narrow majority being comfortable with the Greens holding the balance of power.


Longman (Qld, Labor 1.7%): News Limited has obtained footage of an incident in which a Labor agitator was set upon by a campaigner for Liberal National Party candidate Wyatt Roy. As AAP reports it, Roy “can be seen just metres away on his phone during the altercation, but does not intervene”.

Dawson (Qld, Labor 2.4%): Labor candidate Mike Brunker has been involved in an altercation with 68-year-old Bowen Turf Club president Cyril Vains during a dispute about the former’s attempts to place election signs near the entrance to the racetrack. Brunker says the club president “king hit” him on the nose in an “unprovoked assault”. His account is backed by Whitsunday deputy mayor Rogin Taylor, who says Vains “seemed intent on fighting Mike”. The turf club says Vains has “scratches and a bruise from being punched in the face”.

Parkes (NSW, Nationals 13.7%): Barrie Cassidy referred to a strong independent prospect in Parkes on yesterday’s Insiders. This turns out to be John Clements, a former staffer to New England independent Tony Windsor, who has been talking up his chances. Windsor also rates Louise Burge “a good chance in Farrer”.

Lingiari (NT, Labor 11.2%): The management committee of the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party has defied its leader in the Territory parliament, Terry Mills, by refusing to disendorse Lingiari candidate Leo Abbott for neglecting to inform the party he had pleaded guilty to breaching a domestic violence order.

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.

1,802 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Antony Greens Election Calculator is seriously flawed and limited by its design. He applies the notion that the National Sing is applied evenly across the spectrum. It will not. The approach taken in the Marginal seats is a valid method of determining the likely outcome. They calculate a national marginal electorate swing which then in turn can be applied to the pendulum to determine the likely outcome. It is much more reflective then the Green broad sweep approach approach.

    Green took three months back in 2007 to realise that had One Nation preference the Liberal party ahead of the ALP before the Greens. The Greens winning not on merit but on the delivery of 7,000 bonus votes as a result of afla in the way the Senate vote is counted. If the same vote occurs in 2010 the Greens will win a Senate again with the advantage in the distortion in the way the Senate vote is counted, not on merit.

    Antony Green also failed to properly analysis the 2007 Queensland Senate results, Unwilling or unable, The fact is the Greens should have been elected to the sixth QLD Senate seat had the system been proportional. If you exclude all candidates except the last seven standing (3 ALP, 3 LNP and 1 Grn) Larissa Waters is elected. The reason she was not was due to the system of segmentation applied. Instead of addressing this is the AEC and Green turns a blind deaf ear and failed to verify the analysis of the Queensland results. Professionalism compromised in the process.

  2. Gus

    Finns was arguing with William that it is problematic to say that there is no time like the present in a scientific sense. I was backing him up in a metaphysical sense.

    Somehow it got me to thinking about the fourth Amigo vera. We haven’t heard from her in a while. I hope she is doing OK after her surgery. Best wishes to her if she is lurking.

  3. Calm down folks, remember hardly anybody watches Aunty anyways, especially political stuff, I know you think peeps that mattered watched jules on Q&A last week, sorry to say it didn’t happen, Same with Tone last night. Only the TV ads and MSM sound bites have any effect on the election. Jules can agree to economy debate and rubbish debate afterwards, and all she has to do is not slip up, and she’ll be Ok, OK.

  4. So what should a biography about Tony Abbott and his time as OL be called?

    My suggestion: “Phones and Phoniness: The Great Big Non Leader.”

  5. The approach taken in by the Marginal poll is more reflective. You can not apply a nationwide swing and expect it will reflect on the pendulum barometer. The approach taken by the Marginal poll is noteworthy as it seeks to provide a recalibration based on marginal polling. Using there poll do you can then more accurately reflect in the pendulum in order to provide an expected outcome. Green dismissed the Marginal poll not on its merit but more as a means of defending his own flawed analysis/calculator.

  6. I can’t remain positive for Labor. Regardless of the national poll results, the fact that there are so many marginals leaning towards Tony… there’s no reason to assume they’re going to swing back to Labor at the last minute.

    While it’s not occurred before, there’s no reason to believe a 52% 2PP vote for Labor couldn’t result in a Labor loss.

    I’m happy to be wrong come Saturday night, but I don’t feel at all optimistic of a Labor Gillard victory.

  7. For the nervous types here who still worry that Abbott might win despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m leaving this script.

    It is only valid until Sunday.

    The 2mg tablets are reserved for a 45% ALP-55% Lib poll.

    Use the others accordingly.

    If anyone genuinely thinks Labor could lose with a 2PP of 52-48 in the actual election, we could run out of pills.

  8. BTW

    from some cobbers on Whirlpool

    approx damascenes

    40 odd


    2900 or so

    approx raw poll


    the geeks will inherit the earth

    or at least parliament come sunday





    101 seems good

  9. [The 2mg tablets are reserved for a 45% ALP-55% Lib poll.]

    In the event of that I will be needing to take something you won’t be able to prescribe…

  10. [Voluntary euthanasia?]

    Pfft! Like you need someone else to commit suicide…

    I am of course talking about something that gives you a nice quick buzz, not too good for you but you’re fine as long as you have it in moderation. Excessive use will see you lose your teeth….

    I speak, of course, of chocolate…

  11. [we need some election haiku in this thread]
    Okay i will have a go…

    rain strokes fading leaf
    at dusk
    the dolphin plays

  12. This is an election here the national vote will not be reflected in the results of the election. Again the main statistic missing from the polls is the level of undecided.

    William it would be great if your were able to produce a running trend graph showing the Primary, TPP and undecided.

  13. Gusface, as yummy as that sounds, I am actually nursing an awful toothache at the moment, so no chocolate for me at the moment!

  14. [ rain strokes fading leaf
    at dusk
    the dolphin plays ]

    Can’t do haiku but can do DOW…”Hope is the first step along the road to disappointment” goes well with Xanax.

  15. Don’t worry about McEwan. The swing the polls report in Victoria is on.!!!
    The population growth alone would have ensured a Labor gain and the Greens will do well given the nature of the area.

    Also today Roxon has announced a big grant for the Austin hospital,the major public hospital in the region…which has already done well with earlier funding….and this is going to be given much publicity from today onwards…in this region everyone knows and uses “The Austin” and it will be a big story…a bit of “sandbagging “

  16. [ah it is haiku, i read it as f%^& U apols

    tone pants,sun sets
    lo morning
    border patrol wanks]

    Gus, I give up, you win.

  17. [that was from Fib HQ]
    Yeah right! Gus, you can’t fool me.

    Those are actual words, are they not?
    They make sense, do they not?

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