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”

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  1. Clive Palmer says there should be a profits based tax

    Warren Truss says its ok to charge royalties on the ore even if no one is making a profit.

    Pure Gold 🙂

  2. Fat Boy Palmer and Buffoon Truss have really shown their colours tonight. How pathetic they look.
    SHY is really getting under Truss’s skin (and Palmers’s blubber).

  3. Palmer would rather pay an 8% profits tax than a 4% royalty tax?

    Well that’s rich isn’t it! A 4% royalty tax would be equivalent to about a 15% profits tax.

  4. Hey Fat Man, your company doesnt pay your workers Super. Everyone salary is a package including the compulsory super, whatever the % is.

  5. If Truss were to front me as a representative of a company bidding to do work for my company (when I was a GM there) he would struggle to get past first base.
    1. Shallow
    2. Unconvincing about his own product
    3. Goes on and on
    4. Possesses insufficient factual information
    5. Continually rubbishes opposition companies

  6. This poll is very concerning. 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.

    Come on guys lift your game

  7. Despite the hyperbole and hysteria of some Pbers there is nothing in the Greens Party climate change and energy policy that calls for the closure of all existing coal mines and existing coal-fired power stations.
    [· oppose the establishment of new coal-fired power stations, new coal mines and the expansion of existing mines, as the technology to capture and store greenhouse gas emissions remains unproven.

    · ban public funding to refurbish any existing coal fired power stations.

    · develop a plan to assist affected communities in the transition from dependence on coal mining and coal-fired power stations, given that global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will inevitably reduce the demand for coal.

    · adopt the precautionary principle in relation to carbon capture and storage (geosequestration) by opposing public funding, and ensuring that companies are financially responsible for the risks of CO2 leakage.]

  8. BK

    [If Truss were to front me as a representative of a company bidding to do work for my company (when I was a GM there) he would struggle to get past first base.
    1. Shallow
    2. Unconvincing about his own product
    3. Goes on and on
    4. Possesses insufficient factual information
    5. Continually rubbishes opposition companies]

    So you meaan the entire opposition is enemployab;e

  9. [
    My point was that “multicultural Melbourne” is a feastering pit of ethnic gang violence. All those stabbings of Indians… wouldn’t happen up here in Townsville. It wasn’t even white fellas doing the stabbings it was asian gangs, way to go Melbourne.

    Truthy’s right. I went down to Woolworths after work tonight. I got home and realised, you’ll never guess. Stabbed … again. Those crazy ethnic gangs, that’s the third time this year. Oh well, better get to bed so I can be up nice and early for the usual madcap drive to work, you know dodging drive by shootings, armed hold ups and the like. I love Melbourne.

  10. Gus no. He dosen’t want to pay both.

    Royalty System: If a project is unprofitable a royalty fee is still charged.

    Profits Based: If a project is unprofitable no tax is charged.

    A 4% royalty fee would be equivalent to a 15% profits tax.

    Palmer wants to pay 8% profits based, or effectively only a 2% royalty fee.

    In other words Palmer wants to pay less tax!

  11. madcyril

    you were loocky

    when I lived in melbourne town
    it was tick mandatory to get slippered at tick shops at least once a week

    the wife wouldnt tick countenance any other tick outcome

    those were the tick days

  12. [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)

  13. [427
    The Finnigans

    Gillard Govt needs to do 3 things well for it to be re-elected;

    1. Keep spruiking about how it saves Australian bacon from the disaster of GFC
    2. Ensure NBN is successfully managed and implemented
    3. Make sure that the punters know that it is doing its best to keep the stability of the Govt for the next 3 years. It is Tony Abbott and his 40 thieves that hell bent on de-stablising the Govt.]

    In three years time, hopefully, the GFC will be a distant memory.

    The electoral equations are simple. If Labor does not improve its vote in WA and QLD and win some seats in those States, then it is almost certain the next PM will be a Liberal. As things stand, Labor will lose one seat in Victoria. It will take a miracle for Labor to increase its already-stunning 54% 2PPV in that State. They will find it exceedingly difficult to win seats in SA and have a lot of ground to make up in NSW before they can take seats away from the LNP.

    How can Labor win seats in WA and QLD?

    By pouring money into regional infrastructure
    By re-weighting the allocation of GST monies in favour of these States
    By going nowhere near anything that looks, smells or sounds like an RSPT
    By fixing the asylum-seeker issue
    By delivering on the deals they have made with KOWW
    By balancing the budget and keeping the pressure off interest rates and inflation

  14. palmer and truss were talking such bs…as if jabba wasnt aware that first mining tax would abolish royalties….that was one of its key features

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