Essential Research: 52-48 to Coalition

Newspoll looks to be taking a week longer to return than I expected, but Essential Research was back in action yesterday with a poll showing no change in voting intention since the previous survey on December 20: the Coalition leads 52-48 on two-party preferred, with primary votes of 46 per cent for the Coalition, 38 per cent for Labor and 10 per cent for the Greens. Unusually, the two-survey rolling average for the latest figures encompasses polling done last week and in mid-December, suggesting little change in sentiment over the break. While Labor remains where it was on voting intention, Julia Gillard has enjoyed a spike in her personal ratings. Her approval is up eight points to 51 per cent and her disapproval down four to 36 per cent – her best figures since July 19 – and her lead as preferred prime minister has increased from 45-34 to 47-32. Tony Abbott’s ratings have improved as well: approval up three to 42 per cent and disapproval down two to 37 per cent. Other questions in the survey related to respondents’ online shopping habits.

The Australian Electoral Commission has also published the full report for the redistribution of Victorian federal electoral boundaries. I don’t believe Antony Green has calculated margins for this redistribution (he did for the more radical first version, which was entirely abandoned after a generally negative response), but I have it on pretty reliable authority that the Labor marginals list runs Corangamite (little change, with the margin still under 0.5 per cent), Deakin (pared back from 2.4 per cent to about 0.5 per cent) and La Trobe (a very slight boost but still around 1 per cent), followed by a big gap before Chisholm (6 per cent), Bruce (8 per cent), Melbourne Ports (8 per cent), McEwen (a four point boost to 9 per cent) and Bendigo (9 per cent). On the other side of the ledger, the 1.8 per cent Liberal margin in Aston has been cut to almost nothing, while Dunkley is unchanged on 1.0 per cent – beyond that are Casey (2 per cent), McMillan (4 per cent) and clusters of traditionally safe seats around 6 per cent (Wannon, Higgins and Goldstein) and 9 per cent (Menzies, Flinders and Indi).

UPDATE (24/1): Crikey reports this week’s Essential Research has Labor gaining a point to trail 51-49. The poll also inquired into various leaders’ handling of the flood crises, with 77 per cent rating Anna Bligh favourably against 6 per cent poor; 61 per cent against 4 per cent for Brisbane lord mayor Campbell Newman; 42 per cent against 23 per cent for Julia Gillard; 19 per cent against 32 per cent for Tony Abbott; 34 per cent against 8 per cent for Ted Baillieu; and 21 per cent against 23 per cent for Kristina Keneally.

UPDATE 2: Full report here. Primary vote figures show there’s not much in the shift on two-party: both the Coalition (45 per cent) and Labor (37 per cent) are down a point. Also covered are “most important issues in deciding how you would vote” (“ensuring a quality education for all children” down from 32 per cent to 23 per cent, for some reason) and best party at handling important issues (results much as you would expect).

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.

4,520 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Coalition”

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  1. [This is of little or no international importance, but we have a new phrase in our (American-influenced) language. Apparently Kidman and Urban have a new child, born through a surrogate mother.]

    Is she trying to keep her figure for the sequel to BMX Bandits 😀

  2. I wonder if it’s actually got something to do with any legal cases that may have occurred in the past which dealt with emotional attachment of surrogate mothers and claims on parental rights they may have made as a result.

    I wonder if ‘gestational carrier’ is a contractual term used to supplant ‘surrogate’ in order to overcome any particular rights that a surrogate mother might enjoy in the US.

  3. Murdoch is doing in OZ what he has done in the states. Toxic commentary, questioning all authority and disrespect all loudly sung from the Murdoch song machine including Sky, the Daily Errorgraph and the oz. Continually trying to apportion blame to the Government for everything except that which they put down to good planning by the previous government. Do we need a bunch of murders by some unhinged, un-medicated victim of previous underspending for mental health by all Governments, before we pull up and have a good look at the cistern? The great unwashed have spoken 52-48. No we don’t.

  4. Bob Katter’s Hat,
    Maybe the government is trying to head off the inevitable nitpicking that the Opp’n and its msm fingerpuppets will employ to delay and destroy the NBN? Still, this is not open government.

  5. [So it didn’t rain?

    Their graphic is headed by:

    man made or natural disaster?]

    Are these the same clowns that were having a dig at Brown for getting stuck in too early only a matter of hours ago? Is there any intellectual consistency at all to what goes on over there?

  6. I know this is still off track but a few photos on telly a fair while ago showed Kidman with a bit of a baby bump accompanied by comments that another one was on the way. Obviously wasn’t to be so in the 21st century with many ways of now getting a family, it’s good news for all those women who cannot, for gynaecological reasons, carry a baby full term.

    Sorry William

  7. Pancho.
    [Is there any intellectual consistency at all to what goes on over there?]
    At the OO?
    ROFL drumming heels on floor while choking on coffee, struggling to get breath, okay, oh, read it again, ROFL…

  8. Maybe the government is trying to head off the inevitable nitpicking that the Opp’n and its msm fingerpuppets will employ to delay and destroy the NBN? Still, this is not open government.

    Didn’t take long ………..

    Update –

    “Greens say they will fight to reverse decision”

  9. BH
    [it’s good news for all those women who cannot, for gynaecological reasons, carry a baby full term.]
    Yes, that is true. In past centuries I think women who had lots of kids would give a baby to a sister etc who couldn’t have one. I get the impression from my reading that swapping kids between families was more common in days of yore.

  10. A very different story at the courier mail

    [RAIN was so heavy in the 7020sq km Wivenhoe Dam catchment before Brisbane’s floods last week, that levels in Wivenhoe Dam were rising by up to 5 per cent an hour.

    Seqwater figures, distributed before yesterday’s royal commission was announced, show the dam produced a marked reduction in the flood passing through Brisbane.

    Total inflow into Wivenhoe Dam at this time was 2.6 million ML a day, equivalent to the dam’s entire storage.

    SEQ Water Grid spokesman Barry Dennien said this compared with a flow of 1.5 million ML in 1974, showing what an extreme event was under way.

    Mr Dennien, who last week defended the operation of the dam leading up to the flood, indicated that total flow in the Brisbane River in 1974 was 9500 cubic metres per second.

    “The estimated flow from this (latest) event in the river would have been 13,000cu m per second, if Wivenhoe did not exist,” he said.

    “This final number will need to be calculated and confirmed by the Bureau of Meteorology.”

    Mr Dennien, who has been under pressure over how dam releases were handled, believed that water was released according to a prescribed manual laid down by the State Government.

    “The whole idea is that we have a very strict set of rules about how we handle these events, and we didn’t stray from the manual,” Mr Dennien said. “The more we look at the rainfall event and how water was released, the more confident we are in how we handled things.”

    The dam had never held such large amounts of water, since being built in 1984, and had never operated under such extremes.

    After every flood event, operating instructions were reviewed.

    He said staff monitored the dam 24 hours a day, right until the weekend leading up to the floods via 200 gauges.

    As to whether the Brisbane flood could have been avoided by releasing more water on the weekend leading up to the floods, Mr Dennien said the dam was operated as per instructions.

    “We went into Monday holding what the dam manual told us to hold,” Mr Dennien said.

    He said 50 per cent of the catchment was downstream of the Wivenhoe Wall, an area over which dam managers had no control.]

  11. Lindsay Fox basically said that he felt compelled to get involved in this taskforce, much in the same way he did with the vic bushfires. He has sent up 50 containers to Qld to help with storage and distribution of goods. There were lessons learned with vic bushfires that can be applied now. He said that Nick Slater who is heading up the Qld recovery is the type of leader that is needed. He will take no crap from anyone, especially not politicians that may get in the way of doing what is needed. He said that with the type of disasters at hand, it doesn’t matter if you are Labor or Liberal, we need to put our shoulders to the wheel together to recover from these disasters (which include now the Vic floods).

  12. The OO kicks off another one of their vox pop campaigns, “forcing” Anna Bligh to institute an inquiry:

    DAVID Goodwin and his family drove up to Wivenhoe Dam on the afternoon of Sunday, January 9, to witness the release of water from the dam’s gates.

    When they got there, the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president was struck by something he regarded as odd.

    The volume of water coming through the gates was not nearly as large as he had expected, given the rising levels in the flood compartment, the widespread rain, the warnings of La Nina-linked extreme wet weather on the way and the onset of the wet season.

    “It was not the time to be holding water when you’re coming into the wettest time of the year and the dams are already at full capacity for water supply,” Mr Goodwin told The Australian.

    “As someone who stood near the spillway that afternoon, I was surprised at the relatively moderate volumes coming through.”

    Well, being the head of the Queensland Chamber of Commerce apparently qualifies Goodwin to be a judge of the fickle art of hydrology. He was “surprised” to see not as big a flow out of the dam as he thought there’d be.

    Let’s have a Royal Commission then.

    And he has “some hydrologists to back him up:

    Some engineers and hydrologists who are not involved in the dam’s operations but who have studied the release data believe the Brisbane River flood was mostly attributable to the fact the dam had stored too much water over the weekend.

    Wow, with an irresistable scientific case like that – “some engineers who are not involved in the dam’s operations” and no less a personage than a businessman who went up to the dam to show his kids the outflow and was “surprised” it wasn’t greater – I’d bring in the High Court to run the inquiry, or the Queen even!

    Of course it mightn’t be La Nina, or poor management of the dams. It might be Climate Change exacerbating all this… but that would be going a bridge too far wouldn’t it?

  13. btw before Neil Mitchell interviewed Lindsay Fox, he spoke to the Governor of Victoria, David de Kretser. Governor said that we should expect these events to occur more frequently. He is a believer of climate change.

  14. Two versions of a reason to have an Commission Inquiry about the floods:
    1. To make sure it never happens again.
    2. To be better prepared if the floods are repeated.

    No. 2 is not mentioned, because they might have to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

  15. BB

    David Goodwin was a NATs candidate!!!!!!!!

    [Election 2007 – David Goodwin (Nationals) – Senate Candidate for Queensland
    Born in 1978 I grew up in just outside of Toowoomba attending school at St Mary’s CBC. Finishing in 1995 I commenced studies at University of Queensland studying Commerce majoring in accounting and finance.

    My first job was running a cotton chipping contracting business whilst at university, employing over 50 workers each year. On finishing studies at UQ I commenced work at KPMG, moving to Ernst & Young where I finished my Chartered Accountancy qualifications.

    After consulting back to Ernst & Young I ventured into my own consulting business that serviced clients of all sizes in many different industries providing management consulting, financing and corporate governance. In 2005 I acquired a significant share of Interport Cargo Services, one of Brisbane’s longest running full shipping services businesses. Working in an executive role (whilst continuing my consulting business) I have seen the size of the business more than double it becoming a significant player in the Brisbane marketplace.

    I am married to Belinda (a medical doctor) and now have 4 children, we live in Brisbane’s western suburb of Corinda. Belinda has deferred practicing medicine and is now fulltime mum.

    Both Belinda and I have taken a broad community interest being involved in conservative family organisations. We share a vision for Queensland where family and community can florish. I am most interested in helping to foster an environment that is pro business and pro reward for individual endevour.

    Mr David Goodwin
    The Nationals Federal Senate Candidate]

    Anyone going to send it to media watch.

  16. [the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president was struck by something he regarded as odd.]

    So a very important person, eh! A person the Qld Labor Govt. must listen to at all costs, or else.

    I hope Lindsay Fox does get stuck into the big mouths falling out of the ratholes and the bl…dy Australian newspaper while he’s at it.

    Wow – for a fairly sedate old duck I’m in a foul mood about this.

    BTW – I missed the first question to the PM this morning but her answer was to say wtte ‘it’s been reported wrongly. This is what I said’. She then read out her full statement from yesterday and, blow me down, I can’t even remember what it was now because at the time all I could think of was …. which journo reported that wrongly and which paper. So, there you go, I’ve been in a foul mood since then.

  17. BH

    It has not taken long for the loyal opposition to muddy the waters so to speak. Honestly, I really believe that the govt should go on the front foot and state that whoever is obstructing and obfuscating, is not supporting this nation.

  18. btw changing subject. For those cricket fans, there is a suggestion that Michael Clarke was out on the town during the cricket test, and that is upsetting some people. Anyone heard anything further on this?

  19. [Honestly, I really believe that the govt should go on the front foot and state that whoever is obstructing and obfuscating, is not supporting this nation]

    victoria – I’m with you on that. Forget being nice – I notice that on most Essential things the Libs were well in front so that has been done purely on their propaganda over the past 3 years.

    Time for Labor, Greens and Indies to get heavy whenever the Oppn turn this into a political nightmare.

    Thanks for the Lindsay Fox and Vic Govt. heads up – most appreciated.

    I know Fox is a conservative but he is a doer and doesn’t suffer fools gladly so he is a good one to get others going in the right direction on this. He won’t play politics with it either – Bill Kelty will vouch for that. Pity we don’t hear more from Bill nowdays.

  20. So the NBN is supposed to be measured by commercial standards but isn’t entitled to protect it’s commercial interest. Absurdly stupid arguments both and they contradict each other.

  21. vic

    The Daily Tele is running the story on Clarke and Phillip Hughes being out on the town during the Melbourne Test. I’m no fan of Clarke but this one feels like a beat up to me

    TWELVE hours after this photo was taken of Test vice-captain Michael Clarke and opener Phillip Hughes in a Melbourne bar, Australian cricket slumped to one of its lowest ebbs – surrendering the Ashes on home soil.
    Now the mere fact two Australian cricketers were out on the town during the Boxing Day Test has put the professionalism and discipline of the team under the spotlight – and not for the first time this summer.

    Clarke and Hughes hit the World Restaurant Bar on the third night of the Test, where they enjoyed a meal and a few drinks before they posed for photos with fans, including members of the Barmy Army


  22. [confessions
    Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Good find blue-green.

    Could the OO be any more obvious?]

    If you want to correlate it further.

    Business Association Page

    [David Goodwin

    David is the President of Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland, Director, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Director, International Chamber of Commerce (Australia). He is also a Director of Interport Cargo Services Pty Ltd, a company that has successfully operated since 1960.]

    Nat page

    [ In 2005 I acquired a significant share of Interport Cargo Services, one of Brisbane’s longest running full shipping services businesses. ]

    It can only be the same Dave Goodwin

  23. How’s this for News Ltd online poll result for Bligh

    [Newspaper readers around Australia agreed, with 83 per cent of 43,000 respondents on one national online poll rating Bligh’s leadership during the crisis as “outstanding”.]

    Cant wait to see a proper survey.

  24. [This morning he interviewed a South African man who had been a lawyer and judge who worked against apartheid in that country and who had been tortured, as well as losing an arm and an eye in a bomb attack.

    (Sorry, I didn’t catch his name.)]


  25. To make up for my foul mood I decided to make OH a cake (of course, I’ll eat some … I’m only human!).

    Anyway, put the radio on for weather report and heard Goldman (2SM) talking to a woman about looters in flood areas. He said, with aggression, ‘do what they did in the old days – shoot ’em, shoot ’em. That’s what they did with them. That’s what I’d do.’

    Yeeha! back in the days of the old wild west in Goldman territory. Switched him off and came out to the puter for the weather report.

  26. madcyril@90

    The Daily Tele is running the story on Clarke and Phillip Hughes being out on the town during the Melbourne Test. I’m no fan of Clarke but this one feels like a beat up to me

    What is wrong with the media? All Australian cricketers go to bars during test matches. So they should. It is a game, not a matter of life and death. Some of our greatest players wouldn’t have performed as well without the touch of a hangover. Keith Miller, David Boon, me ( 😆 ) and too many others to mention.

  27. [“how does an approval rating rise so much yet voting allocations don’t change”

    I would imagine that it’s possible to answer the question ‘do you approve of the way Julia Gillard is doing her job as Prime Minister?’ in the affirmative while not necessarily believing she should be in the job at all.

    They’re not necessarily mutually exclusive positions.]

    People, I think, unless they were very uncertain at the time, have a tendency to stick with their last “choice” when it comes to voting intention after an election. Otherwise they’d be saying to themselves “gee , I got that wrong”.

    It is easier to change an opinion about a leader. After all, we vote for a representative of a party, not a prime minister or opposition leader. It is easier (at least for those not welded to one party or another) to say to themselves “Gillard is doing a pretty good job, even if I don’t like Labor” or ” I voted against Labor because of x, y, or z, but not against her, and I reckon she is due more respect as Prime Minister than she is being shown by the Opposition and some in the media” without suffering the tinge of dissonance occasioned by changing one’s stated voting intention early on. The emotions occasioned by the process of her original accession are fading more into the background, too, and Rudd certainly doesn’t seem unhappy as Foreign Minister, probably helping to get some of the Labor people who were upset by it all back on side.

    My bet is that , while there may be ups and downs, voting intention will follow her approval rating before too long.

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