Essential Research: 50-50

The latest Essential Research survey has the two parties locked together on 50-50, suggesting Labor has not received a dividend from its success in forming a minority government. The more recent part of the rolling two-week survey was conducted from last Tuesday, when the rural independents’ made their announcements, until yesterday, and it has dragged Labor down from the 51-49 recorded in the previous survey. However, the primary vote figures suggest there is unlikely to have been much in it either way: the Coalition is up a point to 44 per cent and Labor steady on 39 per cent, with the Greens down a point to 10 per cent. Approval or disapproval of the independents’ decision was predictably split on party lines, for a total of 41 per cent approve and 45 per cent disapprove. Respondents were asked to rate the performance of the parties since the election and for some reason the Coalition rated better than Labor, recording a net positive rating of 9 per cent compared with 4 per cent for Labor. However, Julia Gillard was thought to have shown “more leadership abilities during the period since the election” than Tony Abbott, 47 per cent to 35 per cent. Forty-five per cent of respondents rated the increased strength of the Greens as good for Australia against 38 per cent bad, which goes against other polling conducted earlier. Conversely, 44 per cent agree the independents will hold too much power, with only 36 per cent disagreeing.


• Anna Bligh has raised the prospect of a return to compulsory preferential voting in Queensland, with The Australian reporting the matter is likely to be considered by a (Labor-dominated) parliamentary committee. Bligh notes concerns that the operation of different systems at state and federal level causes confusion and a higher informal vote, and it is indeed the case that the optional preferential states of New South Wales and Queensland generally have a slightly higher informal rate at federal elections than other states. However, that hasn’t been the case this time – in Queensland the informal vote was 5.45 per cent, against 5.55 per cent nationally (the national total admittedly having been pulled up by a 6.82 per cent rate in New South Wales). It is clear that Labor’s sudden enthusiasm for compulsory preferential in Queensland is due to their parlous electoral position, and the very high likelihood they will bleed votes to the Greens that might not return to them, as they mostly did at the federal election. As an opponent of electoral compulsion in all its forms, I would much sooner the confusion be resolved by a move to optional preferential voting at federal level – though Labor is most unlikely to be keen on this, as it would have cost them three seats at the federal election. UPDATE: As Kevin Bonham correctly notes in comments, it would also have saved them Denison. Note that Peter Brent at Mumble has expressed sentiments almost identical to my own.

• A by-election looms in the Western Australian state seat of Armadale, which Alannah MacTiernan vacated to make her failed run for Canning. Armadale is Labor’s safest seat, and the by-election will not be contested by the Liberals. Labor’s candidate is Tony Buti, a law professor at the University of Western Australia. Also in the field are Owen Davies for the Greens, Jamie van Burgel for the Christian Democratic Party and independent John D. Tucak, who polled 298 votes as an upper house candidate in 2008. The by-election will be held on October 2.

• Another by-election following from the federal election is for the Brisbane City Council ward of Walter Taylor, vacated by newly elected Ryan MP Jane Prentice. Emma Chalmers of the Courier-Mail reported on August 18 that even before his defeat in Ryan, dumped Liberal Michael Johnson was sizing up the seat. The Liberal National Party will hold its preselection tomorrow. The by-election will be held on October 23.

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.

682 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

Comments Page 14 of 14
1 13 14
  1. i know this is shallow but every time they showed palmer i saw jabba the hutt from star wars

    So does Mrs Palmer (boy their is line there with that name)

    not sure how many daughters he has…possibly five

  2. A primary vote of 34 is parlous for Labor. The ALP would do well to remember that it is a left wing party that relies on left wing support, there is only room for 1 political force on the right of the spectrum and that is the Coalition, Labor gains nothing by trying to imitate them at the neglect of their left wing base.

  3. [i know this is shallow but every time they showed palmer i saw jabba the hutt from star wars]
    Funny I see two of the seven deadly sins………Sloth & Gluttony

  4. madc

    If you didnt get mugged or eaten by a knife wielding tick ethnic cannibal,then you tick knew it were fair melbourne

    Waded kneedeep thru blood and guts just to get the tick daily paper

  5. [Labor has gone backwards rather than get a lift from forming government and the public have not been bothered by the black hole. And labor hasn’t changed their media strategy one bit.]

    I agree Andrew. I’ve been banging on about the govt running too quiet. The Libs have been left to get away with far too much – no serious capitalisation on the costings issue. Their strategy must change.

  6. re: newspoll – looks like we need a labor/green coalition. labor has lost its grassroots, pandering to the right. strange days indeed but kinda fun, the uncertainty paradigm. real uncertainty is global economy. (back to incomplete sentences – but most PB sentences are incomplete. Almost.

  7. [ ty #663
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    clive looks as if he’s swallowed laurie oakes whole!]

    Ty you win first prize, of all the comments about Palmer, yours is brilliant.
    wonderful 🙂

  8. [Ty you win first prize, of all the comments about Palmer, yours is brilliant.

    OK. The First Prize is an evening with Diog.

  9. people dont really care about the costings…they half accept the fibs bs about interpretation differences….and in their minds its history….the unwashed want a positive agenda….the way forward is to make the fibs seem like the party not co-operating in the new paradigm…..leave them marginalised

  10. I wouldn’t be too concerned about any polls up until the next election campaign given what we have witnessed over the past term. The Coalition could be ahead 60-40 at some point and its just as likely the ALP would end up winning as it ever was.

  11. Considering all the ‘illegitimate govt’ garbage and clear white noise over the past two weeks — it isn’t surprising that it is 50/50.

    I’d be waiting a few weeks before worrying one way or another.

  12. [Gusface
    Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink


    the OO’s parting shot?]

    I think its probably due to the publics confusion over the electoral process and the horse trading that went on with the IND’s . A lot of people think the ALP stole the election thanks to the iligitimate lies from the fibs and their supporters.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 14 of 14
1 13 14