Essential Research: 50-50

The latest Essential Research survey confirms the picture of last week’s Newspoll in showing a decline in Tony Abbott’s popularity, but essentially no change in voting intention. Labor has in fact lost its 51-49 lead on two-party preferred, but the primary vote figures are all but unchanged with the Coalition steady on 44 per cent, Labor down a point to 40 per cent and the Greens up one to 9 per cent. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 39 per cent, down four points on when the question was last asked in the September 20 poll, while his disapproval is up seven points to 45 per cent. Julia Gillard on the other hand is steady on both approval (45 per cent) and disapproval (37 per cent), and her lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 47-35 to 49-33. Questions on expectations for the economy, personal financial situation and job security find respondents leaning towards optimism, while one on the Murray-Darling Basin has 36 per cent believing the government should “purchase water rights from irrigators willing to sell” rather than “leave existing water allocations in place” or “compulsorily buy water rights from irrigators and farmers” (17 per cent each).

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.

3,668 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

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  1. Halfway decent question from leader of nats re MDBA… at least gives Julia the chance to address the dross the opp’n is spruiking.

  2. Tone’s time in the oppo leaders seat is increasingly looking like a silly, silly experiment, I wonder how long before the executioners come…

  3. 1. Voters think that Julia is much more competent than Tone;
    2. But many are not in the mood to be thinking about politics again and change their vote (they’re really over politics, right now);
    2. Maybe quite a few are also unsettled about the dumping;
    3. They also want to see that the minority government scenario will work;
    3. As a result, there is a lot of inertia out there;

    But surely if there is a new election (and it’s not labor’s fault), and they have to focus on politics again, the split on preferred prime minister will manifest itself.

  4. “A huge cost of doing nothing.” On the MDB, this point needs to hammered home by the gov’t, again and again and again.

  5. Despite the widening credibility gap between Abbott and Gillard, confirmed by these approval numbers, the actual voting intention remains stubbornly on 50/50 TPP.

    I suspect that this effect is due to voters not yet being prepared to alter what was their real vote at the election because we’ve only had a confirmed, re-elected Government for less than a month. That is, not enough water has gone under the bridge yet for people to start changing their intended vote (as reflected in an opinion poll) to follow their actual current approval of the two leaders based on their performance since the election.

    As Abbott’s disapproval deficit continues to widen, expect the TPP gap to the ALP to follow soon.

  6. Very strange that the 2PP hasn’t budged whilst the rabbits approval ratings head south.
    Whats wrong with these people? I’m just hoping there is a lag effect at play that will manifest itself further down the track. Would like to see labor open up a gap on the coalition to really put Abbott under the pump.

  7. [Tone’s time in the oppo leaders seat is increasingly looking like a silly, silly experiment, I wonder how long before the executioners come…]

    Next month, by the look of it!

    [The Libs and Murdoch. A senior federal LNP member (and good friend) tells me that senior LNP “faceless men” have an appointment with his highness, Prince Rupert Murdoch, for next month’s visit.]

    I wonder if Rupe plans another breakfast meeting with Abbott. Given recent polls show Tone’s sinking popularity via à vis Gillard, I doubt Tony would be looking forward to it. Nor will the LNP’s “Faceless men”

    During this meeting, I hope the fly on the wall turns its mobile’s videocam on!

    After News of the World scandal’s second-coming, last week’s shareholder grilling and Fleet Street unites against Murdoch, Rupe will hardly be jumping with glee by the time he arrives Down Under to demand an explanation of why Abbott’s Lot, having “drawn” the election, managed (with the OO’s help) to blow the hell out of their post-election chances of forming government. Rupert hates losers, and his OO + anointed PM 2010 lost spectacularly.

  8. the polls are stubbornly at 50/50. Even though Abbott’s popularity has declined, who can they replace him with that would improve their standing?

  9. What might cause the 2PP voting intentions to change?

    1. NSW Labor gone.
    2. QLD Labor gone.
    3. Regional processing centre in place.
    4. Interest rates plateau.
    5. A regional processing center is in place and is working.
    6. Health reforms are in place and are making a difference.
    7. The BER, the Batts, the Boats have had some time to fade into the background.

  10. [BK
    You have pay a lot of money to get a stylist to make your hair look like you haven’t brushed it.]
    I don’t have that problem. I’ve gotta carry my dandruff around in my pockets.

  11. Rosa
    [Average voters have had a gutful of politics. They’re just not prepared to connect.]
    Looking at this QT, it looks to me that average members have had a gutful of politics. They’re just not prepared to connect and are waiting for Christmas

  12. 8. On-ground works have started on that Sydney railway.
    9. The Australian Cricket Team wins a test series.
    10. People have had some time to deal with the negative emotional impact of the appalling result of the AFL Grand Final.
    11. The Rudd replacement saga becomes background noise.
    12. The fifth Liberal Party Leader in less than five years is put in place. [Unless the souffle scenario becomes real and Turnbull rises twice.]
    13. There is functional price on carbon.
    14. People are actually confronted with having to make a real choice, rather than repeating the last choice.

  13. BK
    [I don’t have that problem. I’ve gotta carry my dandruff around in my pockets.]
    Then I better say nothing about Anthony Rabbott’s thinning crown reflecting the light back into the camera lens.

  14. rosa@7

    2. Maybe quite a few are also unsettled about the dumping;

    If the election were being held now, as was planned, much of the dumping anger would have dissipated. Labor would also probably have rebuilt its incumbency advantage as the punters became comfortable with Gillard as PM.

  15. The Member for Indi’s Puff Piece was based on THE DASTARDLY DRAFT PLAN.

    Burke’s response: wtte, Hello? There is no DRAFT PLAN.

    Mind you, The Guide proposes cuts of up to 70% in the allocation for the Ovens Valley. That’s going to be very difficult.

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