Essential Research: 50-50

The latest weekly Essential Research survey finds the two parties still gridlocked at 50-50. Both parties are up a point on the primary vote – the Coalition to 45 per cent and Labor to 40 per cent – with the Greens down to 9 per cent. Both leaders’ personal ratings have improved slightly since before the election: Julia Gillard’s approval is down a point to 45 per cent and her disapproval down three to 37 per cent, while Tony Abbott is up two to 43 per cent and down seven to 37 per cent. However, Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is almost unchanged, up from 46-35 to 47-35. Fewer respondents now rate an election within 12 months as desirable – it’s now 43 per cent all, compared with 52 per cent supporting and 33 per cent opposed a fortnight ago – and there also fewer who deem it likely, although it’s still a clear majority at 59 per cent (down from 70 per cent a fortnight ago). More voters thought the media did a good (32 per cent) than a poor (23 per cent) job reporting the election and its aftermath, while Coalition supporters were found to be more likely to believe the media wasn’t fair to their side.

UPDATE: Some fine print reading from Bernard Keane in Crikey:

But in the wake of Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor deciding to back Labor, there’s now a much stronger party split on that issue, with 75% of Liberal voters calling for another election, compared to 65% a fortnight ago, whereas support for another election among Labor and Green voters has fallen dramatically, with more than 70% of Labor and Green voters not wanting another election.

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.

4,064 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

Comments Page 2 of 82
1 2 3 82
  1. “Boat arrivals were all over the media; but stories were positive, highlighting the horrors many experienced in their homelands, from pirates en route, in refugee camps.”
    Thanks Tragic. Yeah, that’s how I remember it. Geez, wouldn’t it be nice to see 60 Minutes (is that still on TV?) or someone do this type of story? Amazing tales of heroism and survival. And at the end, the good guys are the Australian people!

  2. [It’s not the country’s fault your side ran a crappy leader. And don’t give me the “ZOMG! Did ya see how many seats he took!” argument. He should have won, considering the backlash against the ALP.]

    That is actually the point. Abbott was in the box seat to win with the full support of News Ltd behind him and a compliant TV network. The fact he didn’t is a daming assessment of his capabilities.

  3. It will never changed until we have non partisan approach from all political parties. As long as the AS issue can be used as a covenient political football by the parties and the MSM, it’s just blowin the wind.

    [When Professor Louise Newman took the unprecedented step of speaking out plainly on Lateline last week about the impending mental health crisis in Immigration detention centres, the reaction was zero.

    As the antipathy towards asylum seekers grows, carefully nurtured through successive elections by our politicians, Australia is reaching a position which allows any cruelty and indignity to be visited upon asylum seekers and their children. ]

  4. [More voters thought the media did a good (32 per cent) than a poor (23 per cent) job reporting the election and its aftermath, while Coalition supporters were found to be more likely to believe the media wasn’t fair to their side.]
    What equates to a good job?
    Problem is that if you don’t know the truth it is sometimes difficult to spot the lie.
    If you don’t take an active interest in politics you would not know if the coverage was poor form or extremely unfair or biased.

  5. The AFR, quoting a Goldman Sach’s paper compares the 5 year average annual population growth (%) of Australia with the G7 largest economies and the BRICs largest emerging economies…very interesting (numbers are guessed from chart)

    [US 1.0
    JP negative
    DE negative
    FR 0.6
    IT negative
    UK 0.6
    CA 0.9

    Brazil 1.3
    Russia 1.3
    India 1.5
    China 0.5

    NZ 1.0

    AU 1.7]

    Very rapid population growth here, even more so than the BRICs…

  6. [Marilyn, if the subject matter of this website doesn’t interest you, don’t come here. You won’t be missed.]
    Oh, William don’t get offended by Marilyn. She has an acid tongue but a big heart especially when it comes to human rights.

  7. Laocoon

    People in my line of work have been trying to explain that for several years now. Our population growth rate is VERY high. Brisbane this decade grew faster than the ABS High population growth forecast. Even Adelaide is well ahead of forecast. This is why there is such a burning need to invest more in social services such as health and education, not just transport. The stimulus was a great excuse to get infrastructure spending up to where it needed to be anyway, but health spending is still hopelessly underfunded.

    When you think about it, if the population is growing at 1.7%, and inflation is (say) 3%, unless spending on health, education and transport go up 5% every year, they are effectively going backwards. That is what we have been doing – going backwards.

    If politicians think pressure for more services in these areas are going away any time soon, they are sadly mistaken. Witness Labor’s problems in SEQ.

  8. Socrates

    What is your view on regionalisation – something like the Whitlam Regional Development Corps (Albury-Wadonga, Orange-Bathurst) that Gus reminded me of last night?

  9. And Finnigan, I love that song. Have since it came out.

    Perhaps though with yet another innocent person dead in our illegal refugee prisons – 20 now, the frigging worthless media and useless pollsters will stop asking questions that demand we break the law.

    All of them do it. “who is best to handle asylum seekers” asked Essential, Newspoll, Galazy and the lot of the worthless trash – the question means nothing.

    Not one of them said “should we break our own laws by turning away innocent human beings who have asked for help and could be slaughtered if we did so”.

    Or “as asylum seekers have a complete right enshrined in the migration act to come and ask for protection should we abuse them”.

    Or “should we be locking up innocent men, women and children for politics”?

    Or “are you aware that there is no offence in entering or staying in Australia and that visas are not required and have not been since 1992 so we waste hundreds of millions knowingly locking up people because they don’t have something they don’t need”.

    Honest to god, I have pleaded, grovelled, begged, wept – not one of the worthless polling outfits have ever asked one single question about refugee law, just idiotic whinging about “boats”.

    So William I will stay.

  10. [The Australian will be demanding the Independents call a new election and that this government has “had it’s time” and that the “punters will is being ignored”]

    Let me break a few “facts” to you gently.

    1. Until a Parliament’s full term expires (the last one didn’t until cMarch 2011), only one person determines the timing – the Prime Minister.

    2. The OO is a known RW newspaper few people either buy or read online. It may have king/queen-maker delusions of grandeur; but Howard did not win in 2007, nor Abbott in 2010. In addition, its “we must have a fresh election” campaign bombed so spectacularly the OO not only dropped it, but sat on Newspoll 27-29 Aug results (available to it late in the 29th) until 3 September (by which time everyone knew about the Hobart Hospital bribe & the $7-11 billion Coalition Coting’s “black hole”). As Shanahan wrote:
    [More voters want the three rural independents to back a Labor minority government than the Coalition. As the three incumbent independents — Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter — head to a decision next Monday or Tuesday, a Newspoll survey taken at the beginning of the week suggests more voters want them to back Labor. According to the Newspoll survey of 1134 voters on Monday and Tuesday, 47 per cent want the ALP to get the independents’ support and 39 per cent want the Coalition to form government.]

    So much for the OO’s influence. Waning, one would think. Especially after Howie’s appointments on the ABC Board terminate & with it NewsLtd’s dominance of ABC news & current affairs. BTW, a fresh election after i July 2010 won’t do Abbott any good. The Senate will be ALP-Green dominated. Who’s been a petulant little Lib pollie, eh?

  11. Tzarimas Police & security guards in stand-off with 5 immigration detainees on roof of Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre, after death of detainee. 13 minutes ago via web

  12. [Not one of them said “should we break our own laws by turning away innocent human beings who have asked for help and could be slaughtered if we did so”.]
    I bet 90% of Aussies would not know that & it is in the medias interest to keep it that way. AS seeker issue has been the one point for the Rabbott to hang his hat on.
    You look at every article from the Coalition in the past few days. Illegal boat people, compo payouts to refugees. It is in their political interests to cultivate fear.
    If anyone doubted the strength of the AS issue one just needs to see how many in the Coalition have been getting media runs on the topic.
    When Gillard gets the government up & running one would hope that she could counteract this nonsense instead of pandering to it.

  13. [Not one of them said “should we break our own laws by turning away innocent human beings who have asked for help and could be slaughtered if we did so”.]

    There’s probably a good reason they didn’t ask such a loaded question.

  14. William and management I do get sick of tiresome children whining about swearing but not whining about the torment and torture of innocent human beings for political gain.

    I am pushing 60 and have been swearing since I was 9 years old but seriously, people need to get a life if that is more important than content.

    And yes itep, the question is loaded but it is the truth. We have turned away innocent people and they have been slaughtered and we broke our own laws to do it.

    It is the type of thing that needs to be addressed not the worthless “who is best to manage the asylum seeker “issue”, It is not an “issue”, it is about the rights and safety of civilians escaping the Taliban and so on and who have asked for our help.

    We don’t have to lock them up to do so and we have never had to Vera, it’s a lie they perpetrate still today because Gerry Hand once freaked out about the arrival of 192 Cambodians after Gareth Evans had falsely declared peace with the Khmer.

  15. [Just searched the ABC site for the phrase:

    Opposition leader Tony Abbott says


    About 1,410,000 results]

    A search for “Prime Minister Julia Gillard says” turns up 1.71 million results.

  16. Police & security guards in stand-off with 5 immigration detainees on roof of Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre,

    Another 20 gone on a hunger strike according to Sky.
    Showed them sitting on the lawn with a big SOS sign

  17. [the question is loaded but it is the truth. We have turned away innocent people and they have been slaughtered and we broke our own laws to do it.]

    It’s not the job of a pollster to make political arguments.

    [It is the type of thing that needs to be addressed not the worthless “who is best to manage the asylum seeker “issue”, It is not an “issue”,]

    In politics and elections everything boils down to being an issue. Unfortunate but true.

  18. Some quotes from a speech by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens…points to potential official cash rate rise at next board meeting of 5th October. Also puts the current minerals boom into a longer historical timeframe – i.e. more than the 1960s…

    [In Australia, growth has been quite solid over the past year, unemployment is relatively low, and inflation has, for the moment, declined. In fact, growth trends have been favourable over several years now in comparison with many other economies…

    We expect, and indications from businesses are that they do as well, that resource sector investment will rise further – as we experience the largest minerals and energy boom since the late 19th century.

    Even with continued caution by households, that probably means that overall growth, which has been at about trend over the past year, will increase in 2011 to something above trend. We think that means that the fall in inflation over the past two years won’t go much further.

    Of course that central forecast could turn out to be wrong. Something could turn up – internationally or at home – that produces some other outcome. We spend a fair bit of time thinking about what such things could be. Possible candidates might be a return to economic contraction in the United States, or a bigger than expected slowdown in China, or the resumption of financial turmoil that abruptly curtails access to capital markets for banks around the world and damages confidence generally.

    But if downside possibilities do not materialise, the task ahead is likely to be one of managing a fairly robust upswing. Part of that task will, clearly, fall to monetary policy.]

  19. shepherdmarilyn
    So no need for health and security checks then?
    I’ve got compassion for refugees, Heck when Howie had them behind barbed wire for years I sent the govt my address and said I had a spare room, but we need to house them somewhere first while these checks are done.
    Surely after the hell in their own countries 3 months “locked up” would be a small price to pay

  20. And actually they were not refugees being compensated.

    Sorry about the format here but you will see the truth, a document I sent to all media. The ABC have simply cut and paste from Newsltd. again. Check the statement that this was for Australians illegally locked up, I found the cases just before Solon was discovered, and check the date at the end for the time span – up to 1 AUGUST, 2007. As I said, the ABC simply cut and paste the Newsltd. wrong story.

    The other lie was by Joe Hildebrand pretending he “had secret DIAC” information about only 75 asylum seekers being deported, I sent the Terror the full set of estimates questions myself and what he forgot to report was the other lie of the acceptance rates for Afghans and Sri Lankans that supposedly went right down. The rates for Sri Lankans this year actually rose from 29% to 69%, Iraqis by sea dropped while Iraqis by air rose, Afghans by air remained over 90% while Afghans by sea fell from 99% to 84% this year before the suspensions. He also neglected to point out, though Mike Steketee at the OO did, that 80% of Chinese are rejected but we don’t demonise them.

    Come to think of it I sent them to Crikey who have ignored them entirely.

    (71) Program: Internal Product
    Senator Hanson-Young (L&C 25-26) asked:
    In relation to compensation payouts that the Commonwealth has paid for either injury
    or wrongful detention, provide a breakdown of what money we have had to spend
    over the last decade, from 2000-2010.
    As at 31 March 2010, the Commonwealth had paid out approximately
    $12,347,374.77 in compensation for alleged injury to immigration detainees or
    alleged wrongful detention of immigration detainees for the period 2000-2010. This
    is broken down below. These figures are approximate only as some settlements are
    inclusive of costs and some are exclusive of costs:
    Financial year number of cases amount paid $
    2000-30/6/2005 4 -163,225.00
    2005/2006 1 – 200,000.00
    2006/2007* 4 – 2,590,000.00
    2007/2008** 13 – 3,993,200.00
    2008/2009 32 – 3,345,045.27
    2009/2010 year to
    22 – 2,055,904.50
    Total 76 – 12,347,374.77
    *Includes settlement for the Solon matter.
    ** Includes settlement for the Rau matter
    All matters relate to clients who were in immigration detention prior to 1 August 2007.
    In most cases, the Commonwealth’s insurer, Comcover, pays the compensation, in
    accordance with the Department’s insurance policy.
    When a compensation claim is received, the Commonwealth is bound by the
    Attorney General’s Legal Services Directions 2005 and may pay compensation
    where legal advice indicates that it is in accordance with legal principle and practice
    to do so. Settlement on the basis of legal principle and practice requires the
    existence of at least a “meaningful prospect” of liability being established.

    Of course two of the cases were published – one was Shayan Badraie’s $400,000 after DIAC admitted to torture of a 6 year old, (Read “The Bitter Shore” by Jacquie Everett), and the other was a man named Parvis Yousefi who was so injured and ill he had 20 requests from ACM to have him released – he was awarded $800,000.

    There will be more to come as so many thousands were damaged.

  21. absolute classic case of injustice with amanda rishworth not being promoted in the gillard ministry. you get the biggest swing of your party and not even a parliamentary secretary role? she will probably be out of camera view as well now that she is in a safe seat, all that hard work for nothing. at least she can be grateful her party is in govt.

  22. OK, have been doing a little quantification of the number of results that a Google search of the ABC site for Tony Abbott’s name as Opposition leader yields – and compared that with the same search for Kevin Rudd, Opposition leader.

    Using Internet Explorer

    The search strings were these:

    [“+opposition +leader +tony +abbott +says”]


    [“+opposition +leader +kevin +rudd +says”]

    Now the raw results:

    Tony Abbott: About 1,300,000 results

    Kevin Rudd: About 19,600 results

    Next, to standardise the results, I’ve divided the number of results for each OL by the number of months they (as of now) served in that role.

    Abbott Opposition Leader December 2009 till (today) September 2010 – 9 months

    Rudd Opposition Leader December 2006 till November 2007 – 11 months


    Abbott – 1,300,000 results divided by 9 months = 144,444 results per month

    Rudd – 19,600 results divided by 11 months = 1,781 results per month

    Abbott, being the very clear ‘winner’, I next divided Abbott’s net figure by Rudd’s.

    (Abbott) 144,444 divided by (Rudd) 1,781 = 81

    Which suggests that Abbott has had 81 times as many mentions per month during his time as Opposition leader than Kevin Rudd did during his time.

  23. [A search for “Prime Minister Julia Gillard says” turns up 1.71 million results.]

    Poor Tone. Can’t win a thing; not even the number of Google results. Sad. 🙁

  24. Even Greg Sheridan, from the OO is impressed. Jules did the right thing and our FAs are in a very good hand. There is no reasn why Gillard/Rudd cannot be as effective as Obama/Hillary partnership.

    [BARACK Obama has ratified Julia Gillard’s choice of Kevin Rudd as Australia’s new Foreign Minister in the most emphatic fashion possible.

    Over the weekend, the Obama administration pulled out all stops to demonstrate how seriously it takes Rudd, and by extension Australia.

    Barely off the plane from the Middle East, and with the inaugural US-Indonesia Joint Commission to host the same morning, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a lengthy meeting with Rudd on Friday morning and then fronted a short, joint press conference with him. Rudd later met for an hour with US National Security Adviser Jim Jones. Most revealingly, Rudd also had a short meeting with Obama in the White House.

    There will be dozens and dozens of foreign ministers from all over the world at the UN in New York this week. I doubt that any of them will have a private meeting with Obama. Indeed, at this stage, Obama is only scheduled to have bilateral meetings with six heads of government (or, in one case, a group of heads of government).

    Clinton was effusive in her welcome of Rudd, saying: “I was delighted to hear of the Prime Minister’s appointment of Kevin and I look forward to continuing to work with him on the full range of important regional and global issues that both the US and Australia are facing.”]

  25. [The Shadow Minister for Immigration has just released these figures:..]

    Thanks Steve. Useful material. But presumably it was the Minister or the Department who released the information, rather than the Shadow Minister?

  26. No itep, that is another bit of mindless hysteria.

    And why is Scott Morrison bothering to “release” stats from last month? They are available to anyone on the DIAC website, the estimates are freely available on the legal and constitutional committees site on the government site, all hansards are available to anyone who can read and the reports about Woomera and so on are readily available.

    But Scott walked around with his head up his fundamental while children were drinking shampoo in Woomera, making suicide pacts, going on hunger strikes and slashing themselves in their hundreds in 2001-03 when the hell hole was finally closed.

    The maximum numbers in Woomera were 1500 with a capacity for 400. I do wish he would stop pretending he has some mystery knowledge.

    The real problem is that DIAC are over 1 month behind in their updates because they are worthless trash.

  27. Cuppa, the search:

    [“+prime +minister +john +howard +says”]

    Only brings up 160,000 results which seems too low so you can probably assume there’s something that’s changed about the way ABC News articles have been archived.

  28. Hey Finns
    Kev’s been 2 timing Hillary! Saw him on the news with the Lady Pres of FINland!
    They were smiling and joking together too, Kev’s becoming a bit of a tart 😉

  29. [I just met with someone who claimed it’ll cost $5000 to be connected to the NBN. True?]

    It’s an Opposition meme. As far as I know, the Oppo’s never cited so much as a shred of evidence for it.

    Tone did warn us that, unless his statements were scripted, rehearsed & Gospel truth, we shouldn’t believe him! And he’s sure been running to non-scripted form with his claims about election statistics!

    But ask someone from Tassie, where a lot of NBN been rolled out. my say might know.

  30. “+opposition +leader +brendan +nelson +says” brings up 17,900 results, which is a more comparable point of time. Roughly the same amount as Rudd as Opposition Leader.

    Needless to say this means nothing in terms of bias.

    Looking at the Estimates transcripts for the ABC last time the Opposition raised the following in terms of bias:
    – Joe Hockey interrupted 20 times in a joint interview with Wayne Swan, Swan not interrupted once
    – From a 3,482-word segment with Mr Hockey, 42 per cent of the words were uttered by Tony Jones, whereas with Mr Swan it was only 29 per cent.
    – ABC tweets in reference to Tony Abbott being sent to #budgies
    – Number of anti-Coalition focused Four Corners articles 4 times as many as anti-Labor

    It seems neither side believe they’ve got the ABC on side. Might just be part of the conspiracy though.

  31. I think you get $5000 if you divide $43 billion by the number of proposed households although I haven’t don it and don;t know the number anyway.

  32. [
    Only brings up 160,000 results which seems too low so you can probably assume there’s something that’s changed about the way ABC News articles have been archived.

    You also need to take into account the overall size of the ABC website in comparison to what it was in 2006 – 2007. They may well add alot more articles per day than they did then.

  33. [I just met with someone who claimed it’ll cost $5000 to be connected to the NBN. True? – Not true]

    STOP THE MISINFORMATION – Get onboard the NBN Super Fast Train.

  34. [ And that may suit opposition leader Tony Abbott, who donned a wetsuit this morning to ride a few waves at Manly. ]

    I’ve heard Portsea is lovely this time of year.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 2 of 82
1 2 3 82