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. [I have been ejected, removed, or quietly excluded, from various processes for making various people feel uncomfortable about home truthes.]

    BW, something i said? i thought we are business partner

  2. PtMD,

    One is not enough, two are too many. Now, with Guinness, I stop counting after three pints (I do not use 15 ounce trainers)

  3. Anti imperialists is on full display on Their ABC1 tonight.

    * On now is anti British, suppression and exploitation of the British Raj in India

    * Followed by anti the Great Satan propaganda – THE MOST SECRET PLACE ON EARTH: THE CIA’S COVERT WAR ON LAOS

  4. confessions @ 4321


    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but the comments I’ve seen here from you over the past couple of weeks have taken the same predictable course of:

    1. The PM looks better in an army/workman jacket. My interpretation: OMG her clothes!

    She was in a disaster area. A bit of the ‘action woman’ look was appropriate rather than the sheltered spectator. She was at her best when shown out and about with the people.

    2. OMG her hands! My interpretation: I’m watching, not listening to what you are saying!

    Not at all. I am a great believer in a speaker showing life with hand gestures and other manifestations of ‘body language’. She can do it, I have seen her. She did improve her performance as events progressed.

    3. The PM has a boring voice. My interpretation: I’m still not listening to what you are saying. But can you do that thing again with the flack jacket, that looked nice.

    Not sure I ever said that but others have so I will address it.
    Surely you are influenced by presentation as well as content? A good presenter will be animated and engage their audience using their skill to convey the message. I thought Julia did not do herself full justice on occasions. Again, she seemed to grow into the role and got much better.

    You then excuse these very same criticisms of a male leader as being, well, what men do. And wear.

    Not just any male leader, Ted! And as I said, Ted has taken bland to a new level. Anyone who has observed Ted before would not bother commenting.
    Unfair? Probably, but also the reality.

    Nobody that I’ve seen has levelled the same criticisms at Baillieu, who in my view is truly awful in his media presentation. Why do you think this is?

    What it means is that Ted does not excite people and win them over. But neither does he arouse strong feelings of antipathy.
    He has always been like this to the best of my memory. He won’t change, he can’t change, that is just him. The media all know it and no change is no news so they don’t comment. What could they say? Ted was being Ted again?

  5. Finns

    No, no, no. We have a single bottom line, easy. We have 50:50 split, no problems. We are humungously rich without deserving it in the least, except we got IP coming out of our gills and whose fault is that? Why not be a plutocrat, I always say. Better than being poor.

    I was actually thinking, inter alia, about a certain meeting (in the olden days) that involved a certain staffer from a certain PM’s office who was not very impressed with some very direct, honest and courageous advice in relation to a certain particular community Indigenous housing issue. It turned out that mine was the dissenting view. Got his nickers in a knot, it did.

  6. Never mind what Ted looks like or sounds like or moves like or wears.

    Name me one real thing Ted has done to fix the floods!

    The time for Opposition smooth talking is over. Ted is the man. He has to show that he can handle a crisis. So, what has Ted done?

  7. Ok, just be careful that you don’t call every minor criticism sexism or Julia exclusive. Some of the things that even I have brought up are things we’d bring up against a male MP as well. (Julia is not the first PM to receive superficial criticism.)

    And yes, I am one of those people who thought it poor form to constantly whinge about her appearance while she was occupied with the floods and have called out sexism plenty of times.

  8. I will state that all my criticisms of TB were irony, juxtaposing criticisms of Julia onto a new male leader. I assume you all got that.

  9. Finns

    If you are interested in Raj history, ‘The Siege of Krishnapur’ by JG Farrell is about as good a historical novel as you will ever get. I think he also wrote the marvellous novel ‘The Singapore Grip’. But if he wasn’t the novelist who wrote that novel, then it was someone else. A great read.

  10. [My oldie has a small glass of Guinness or Stout most nights with his dinner. He will be 94 in April.]
    In 29 years time, perhaps, I’ll be in the same parlour.

    Cheers to you and your longevity.

  11. IMHO, anyone who criticizes Ted’s pants is being sexist.

    It is entirely his personal choice whether he wears a dress or not.

  12. bemused:

    My impression is that you focus almost exclusively on the style of our political leaders rather than the substance. I’m still of that view.

  13. [It is entirely his personal choice whether he wears a dress or not.]

    BW, i agree. Afterall, Father Ted wears a dress.

  14. TSOP:

    I’ll call sexism where I see it, regardless of whether it is viewed as politically correct or not. I’m fed up with the nonsense from our media where Gillard is concerned, and the comments from those who should know better.

  15. Boerwar
    I too like J G Farrell. He was a great writer who died too young. He did write “The Singapore Grip”, plus “Troubles” which made up a sort of empire trilogy with “The Siege of Krishnapur”.
    He also wrote a couple of interesting books earlier – “The Lung” and “A Girl In the Head”.

  16. Any PBrs in Melbourne with a taste for good music might like to help the Qld Flood recovery by attending this:

    “Blues Harp Blow Out”

    A Queensland Flood Fundraiser

    Sunday 27th February 5.30 – 10pm Entry: $15 Grand Central Hotel Richmond (Cnr Swan/Coppin Sts)

    All proceeds will go to the Blues Association of South East Queensland (BASEQ) to assist with the restoration of the flooded ROYAL MAIL HOTEL in Goodna, which is the Premier live blues music venue in the Brisbane region.

    All Star Line up including – Collard Greens and Gravy, Rod Paine and the Full Time Lovers, Sweet Felicia and the Honeytones, Blues Mountain Trio, Cold Snap, Chris Wilson, Andrea Marr Band, Dutch Tilders.

    There will also be a special feature “Blues Harp Blowout” lead by Chris Wilson, featuring Ian Collard, Rod Paine, “Fast” Eddy Boyle, Chris Mac, Kaz Dalla Rosa and “Smokin” Sam!!

    ** Donations of services or goods for the Flood Fundraiser raffle are most welcome. If you’d like to contribute please contact Gary Jones (MBAS President) on or 0425 776613 **

  17. Finns

    The universal little black party number?

    Or the Italian grandmamma number?

    If the latter, how unbecoming but how utilitarian.

  18. TSOP
    It is not all of the individual criticisms that I believe are sexist, but the trend and the use of them as reasons why Julia is ‘failing’ as a leader. I might say I like her jacket or that her hairstyle is not the best for an outside presentation in the wind but I do not imply it to be a sign of failure as a PM. The Coalition and their finger puppets in the msm slant it as a lack of personal qualities or abilities needed for PMship. The same scrutiny is not applied to male leaders. No-one said Howard shouldn’t run the country because of those caterpillar eyebrows. He shouldn’t have run the country because he was a lying, scheming, socially-divisive, economically-stupid ideologue.

  19. vp @ 4370


    I recommend Occam’s razor: the simple explanation is the most probable.

    Agreed. Now tell me what you were referring to?

  20. Boerwar, HI not travelling too well ATM, but has daughter’s marriage to very funny Kenyan dude in May to look forward to, as well as some work.

  21. confessions @ 4371


    My impression is that you focus almost exclusively on the style of our political leaders rather than the substance. I’m still of that view.

    Then you are mistaken.

  22. Boerwar@4381

    I was rather young and innocent and was rather surprised to discover the true nature of the Singapore grip.

    Yes, of course a lady never admits to having such sophisticated skills, nor a gentleman to enjoying them. 😆

  23. Finns

    Wild horses would not have dragged me into the chapel with that lot up the front… near the burning candles, and the flowers, and the incense and… and…

  24. Perhaps the lightweight MSM scribes would prefer Julia’s hair to be like the polystyrene appliances worn by Maggie Thatcher, Ronnie Regan and Bronnie Bishop.

  25. Puff and Confessions, I agree with you both completely. I am just advising caution to others who yell sexism because someone says she didn’t carry herself well on a TV interview or something. That same scrutiny is held to male leaders too and to Liberal leaders.

    Call sexism or ridiculous standards where you see it, of course. But don’t allow yourself to think Gillard is immune from criticism.

  26. Boerwar
    Suffice it to say the girl to go for at a party is the one with the most well-developed pubococcygeus muscles, but it is difficult to bring the conversation around to how often she does the requisite training, such as pelvic floor exercises. 😆

  27. BK,
    [Maggie Thatcher, Ronnie Regan and Bronnie Bishop.]
    I think those hairstyles come from the days of women going once a week to the hairdressers to get their hair ‘set’ aka 50’s film star style. That hair had to stay set for as long as possible.

    I reckon the invention of the blowdryer changed all that. So Julia is a modern gal.

  28. [Suffice it to say the girl to go for at a party is the one with the most well-developed pubococcygeus muscles]

    JV, which one are you trying to impress?

  29. TSOP:

    My remarks are in relation to the absurd fascination some have with the PM’s hands, her clothes, her hair and her voice in the wake of the worst flood disasters we’ve seen in living memory. If these fascinations are to be believed the PM is unfit to run the country.

    As the flood of ironic observations in relation to Ted have intuited, where is the same criticism for a genuinely appalling presenter of a leader?

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