Essential Research: 51-49 to Coalition

NOTE: Server issues appear to have deprived the site of a day’s worth of data, hopefully not permanently. Here’s the post that went missing.

The latest weekly Essential Research poll shows no change on last week: the Coalition is on 45 per cent of the primary vote, Labor is on 37 per cent and the Greens are on 11 per cent, with the Coalition leading 51-49 on two-party preferred. These results cover two separate periods of surveying from Tuesday to Sunday over the previous fortnight. Essential tells us that 90 per cent of those polled in the second of the two periods were questioned after the government’s flood levy announcement.

The headline-grabber over the short term is likely to be a question on respondents’ favoured method of funding flood reconstruction, which was formulated before the levy proposal was announced. The question is entirely reasonable given what was known at the time it was framed, but is wide open to misinterpretation in light of subsequent events. As such, we can shortly expect to hear tosh of the “78 per cent oppose the flood levy” variety, based on the fact that only 22 per cent picked this as their favoured option. Since respondents were allowed only one choice out of five, we have an entirely predictable result in which no one option was heavily favoured. “Scrap or postpone the NBN” attracted 28 per cent (or 72 per cent opposed, if you want to be dishonest about it), but “sell off Medibank Private” got only 2 per cent. Of the 10 per cent who chose “raise taxes on mining company profits”, I suggest most would settle for the flood levy if that was what was on offer. Twenty-four per cent opted for “postpone returning the budget to surplus”, which neither major party is advocating.

Fortunately, Essential Research did add an extra question on straight approval or disapproval of the flood levy after it was announced, the results of which will be announced on the Channel Ten news this evening (UPDATE: Actually George Negus’s program at 6pm). So do tune in for that, and take with a grain of salt anything you might hear from the news media in the interim.

The survey also canvassed which services would be better run by the private or government sectors. The government was overwhelmingly favoured for utilities, roads, public transport, prisons and universities, with the private sector favoured heavily for broadband and property insurance, and slightly for health insurance.

UPDATE: Essential Research has now published figures on the flood levy proposal, and it’s bad news for the government: 53 per cent disapprove (29 per cent strongly), against only 39 per cent who approve (12 per cent strongly). There’s some consolation for the government in that 41 per cent of Greens voters oppose the levy, suggesting some of the opposition is coming from the left – the 24 per cent who favoured keeping the budget in deficit, who are presumably even less impressed with Tony Abbott’s approach. Opposition is strongest in New South Wales and Victoria, with opinion evenly divided in Queensland (although samples here would have been fairly small). Since 45 per cent of the voting intention results come from after the announcement, the poll might be seen to offer evidence that the overall effect on voting intention has been neutral, although it’s not much to go on. A Newspoll tonight would be nice.

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.

4,528 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. lizzie@4499

    The Catholic Church has given the thumbs up to an iPhone application called Confession.

    The Church is going back to its roots, but in a modern way. In mediaeval times, penitents could buy “indulgences”. Sprang immediately to my mind.

    We await new catholic church Apps including:
    iCrotch-uMouth (interface)

  2. Re Farts
    Gough Whitlam told a funny story about a visit to the Queen at the Palace,and whilst sitting on a couch with her and several corgis,they made an awful stench…but she kept on with a flicker of concern
    He later remarked he hoped she didn’t think it was me

  3. Reminds me of another story regarding farting. I heard this one on a radio segment the ABC used to run called “Brush With Fame”, back in the 1980s (although the story refers to the 1970s, of course).

    A man and his son are in the lift at Chifley Square commonwealth offices after filing for a passport. The son has a bad case of wind and the runs from a curry he ate the night before.

    As they’re coming down in the lift, just the two of them, it stops, the doors open, and in walks Lionel Murphy, the then Attorney-General.

    This was the brush with fame.

    The doors close and the lift resumes its descent with three passengers. Suddenly a bad smell permeates the lift. The father, knowing about the son’s illness, turns to the son and says, “Jesus! Did you do that?”

    The son replies, “Wasn’t me”.

  4. Re iphone confessions

    Will Cardinal Pell be hearing Tony’s confession on the iphone?
    What a scoop for Murdoch if they hack the line as in London..

  5. [The Catholic Church has given the thumbs up to an iPhone application called Confession.]

    That would be an interesting one to hack into.

    Sure to be some interesting yarns. 😉

  6. So the reference to the BER program by Murdoch minions was all about creating a thread to hang the levy on?
    Will voters buy it or is it an issue that has meandered past?

  7. b_g

    MT is preferred in a open contest amongst all voters. He beats hockey and abbott becuase Greens and ALP voters prefer him. Amongst Libs they prefer Abbott. It has been stable for almost a year.

    Interesting to see that, not only do Liberal voters prefer Abbott, but they would much prefer Hockey over Turnbull as an alternative leader to Abbott. Looking at that, I can’t see much chance of Turnbull challenging in the near future. Family First and independent voters also prefer Hockey to Turnbull.

  8. [Interesting to see that, not only do Liberal voters prefer Abbott, but they would much prefer Hockey over Turnbull as an alternative leader to Abbott. Looking at that, I can’t see much chance of Turnbull challenging in the near future. Family First and independent voters also prefer Hockey to Turnbull.]

    Yes and the redistributed Abbott supporters prefer Hockey over Turnbull likewise. But I am not sure how much this polling will come into it.

  9. It’s a sad inditement on the media and the standard of political discourse in this country that such a lightweight like Abbott almost got the keys to the Lodge.
    What is it that they say – Aussies get the leaders they deserve?

  10. [THE Gillard government could have avoided its temporary floods levy if it had managed schools stimulus programs better, the federal opposition argues.]
    Ah yes, if we had saved money on the BER, the floods would have never hit. NO?

    Surely he isn’t suggesting you can “save” $5 billion out of an $11 billion program? Which schools would have missed out? Does he think that every building contract has a 40% profit margin that can just be trimmed like Joe Hockey’s dinner plate? Not even in NSW.

  11. Insulation death prosecution

    [QHI Installations fined $100K for home insulation death

    * By Christine Flatley
    * From: AAP
    * February 04, 2011 3:21PM

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    o What are these?

    A COMPANY has been fined $100,000 over a death linked to the Federal Government’s home insulation program.

    Matthew Fuller, 25, was electrocuted on October 14, 2009, while installing foil insulation in the ceiling of a home at Meadowbrook, south of Brisbane.

    His girlfriend and co-worker Monique Pridmore, 18, sustained severe electrical burns to her leg.

    Their employer, QHI Installations Pty Ltd, was charged with failing to conduct its business in a way that was electrically safe.

    Director Christopher William McKay and his father, company manager Christopher John McKay, were also charged with failing to ensure the company complied with its obligations.

    Christopher John McKay pleaded guilty to this charge today in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court.

    A guilty plea was also entered on behalf of the company.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    But the charge against Christopher William McKay was dropped.

    QHI was fined $100,000 and Christopher John McKay was released on a $2000, two-year good behaviour bond.

    No conviction was recorded.

    He and the company were both ordered to pay costs, totalling around $6000.

    During the hearing, the court was told Mr Fuller died when a metal staple used to secure the insulation pierced a conductor.

    The court heard it was not industry practice at the time to cut power to the house before installing the insulation.

    Prosecutor Peter Matthews, who appeared on behalf of Fair and Safe Work Queensland, said Mr McKay failed to give Mr Fuller and Ms Pridmore specific and comprehensive training in electrical safety.

    “(Saying) ‘Be careful’, in my submission, is not sufficient,” Mr Matthews said.

    Magistrate Jim Herlihy questioned whether the Government could have done more to supervise the training of young workers.

    “Who’s at fault? This was a Government program which amounted to the Federal Government rollout, presumably with a state-regulated regime to be properly in place governing the insulation industry,” Mr Herlihy said.

    “There’s been a failure here … who’s to blame?

    “I find it quite funny if it’s the state, and the state is here belting a drum and prosecuting people after the fact.”

    However Mr Matthews said there had been compliance systems in place, and that the insulation industry, even prior to the scheme, had never required specialist training for installers.

    The Government axed its $2.45 billion insulation scheme in April 2010 after the death of four installers, 100 house fires and accusations of fraud and unsafe work conditions.

    Less than one week after Mr Fuller’s death, it was also mandated that metal staples could no longer be used.

    Mr Fuller’s parents were in court for the hearing today, but declined to speak about the incident.

    Mr McKay also declined to speak outside court, however his lawyer told the hearing his client thought about Mr Fuller daily and was extremely saddened by what had happened.]

    Is the judge blaming the state (queensland) and the company? I’m confused.

  12. Well,bang goes that proposal to replace journo’s at the “OO” with Bushfire Bill.

    Regular articles about “brain” farts coming out of the Orifice might be a bit to much for some to handle! 😉

  13. [Surely he isn’t suggesting you can “save” $5 billion out of an $11 billion program? Which schools would have missed out?]

    They could have left out Coalition electorates! Errr, no, perhaps not!

    Maybe Labor electorates! Yeah, that’ll fly, we’ll try that one! 😉

  14. Just watched ABC24 and the two girlie presenters were having a bit of a chuckle about Tony’s ‘bipartisan’ suggestion that he and Jules have a chat over his suggested budget cuts and the likelihood of JG welcoming him into the cabinet room.

    Maybe the tide is turning with the media. Maybe his msm credits have run out.

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