Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition

Crikey reports the latest Essential Research poll has the Coalition lead at 53-47, up from 52-48 last week – which managing director Peter Lewis indicated Labor was lucky to get to because of rounding. On the primary vote, Labor is down two points to 34 per cent, with the Coalition and the Greens up a point each to 47 per cent and 12 per cent. I should have the full report shortly, but in the meantime Bernard Keane of Crikey summarises the other findings thus:

Voters strongly support Labor’s moves to trim middle-class welfare, according to today’s Essential Report.

Fifty-two per cent of voters back Wayne Swan’s budget night measure to continue the pause in indexation of the thresholds at which family payments are phased out, to 28% who oppose them. Even Liberal voters back them, 47-38%. Voters were strongly of the view that households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need family payments — 67% of voters agreed with that, and only 27% disagreed.

Only 35% agreed that all taxpayers should be eligible for some form of payment, regardless of income, compared to 57% disagreeing. However, most voters distinguished between family payments and welfare, with 61% agreeing that family payments to middle-income earners were different to welfare payments to low income earners (we’ll discuss Essential’s results on views toward middle class welfare in more detail tomorrow).

There has also been a further rise in support for the Government’s plan to impose a price on carbon. After reaching the nadir of support at the end of March, when support was just 34% and opposition 51%, support grew in April and last week was at 41% support and 44% opposition, with Greens voters now strongly in favour of it after initially being lukewarm.

The poll also revealed a quite remarkable ignorance of one of the government’s key reforms, its scheduled increase in the compulsory superannuation rate to 12%. Around 53% of voters said they had not heard of the proposal and a further 27% saying they had heard little — a damning indictment of Labor’s efforts to sell what began as a key part of its mining tax package, particularly given there was strong support for the proposal across voters of different stripes.

UPDATE: Full report here.

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.

8,354 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. [Turnbull was a failure the first time around and nothing leads me to believe he’d be any better a second time.]
    True Itep. But politics is weird. John Howard was not that great first time around, but he made it. I don’t think MT will get back to the top either, but he will try. My point was that the discussion (and Govt) needs a spoiler in the Coalition, and a big one. MT currently the biggest spoiler.

  2. BERNARDKEANE | 2 minutes ago
    [So #QT begins without Bob Katter, who presumably is off counting his tanks and artillery #anewpoliticaldirection]

  3. [The ‘perceptions of welfare’ questions are very reassuring.]

    Indeed Confessions:

    Households earning more than $150,000 a year don’t need help through family payments: 67% Total Agree

  4. nappin

    I don’t conflate the ABC with Murdoch. If Murdoch did own it, the difference would be stark. We need to protect the ABC; it’s all we’ve got as independent media, and having it beats much of the rest of the world. It’s OK to keep reminding it of its charter, but we don’t want to get so shrill we give a malevolent government an excuse to wreck it, and we see the baby thrown out with the bathwater.

  5. [All the deniers asking questions came across as propeller hats.]
    Problem with ours, jv, was that they were selling the propeller hats at the door on the way in. If I get on TV, I’m the one standing at the back with my head down in embarrassment!

  6. [Pyne has already attracted Harry’s attention twice today.]

    Not hard when he’s wearing a clown nose, makeup, a skirt and a donkey tail (made from real donkey!)

  7. Dee
    “GreenJ Jonathan Green
    it would appear the opposition intends employing props later in the day … #qt
    7 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    Must be referring to JoHo, a fine rugger prop if ever there was. Able to be Loose Head or Tight Head Prop.

  8. Ms Gillard’s listing of various asylum seeker cockups under the Howard Government took a bit of wind out of Mr Abbott’s sails.

  9. While a lot of the bluster about budget surpluses is certainly being driven from a political perspective, rather than an economic perspective, and hence isn’t particularly rational, this isn’t the whole story.

    Even Ross Gittins has had it both ways on this issue, while commenting that the hysteria surrounding Australia’s debt position is irrational and overblown, he has ALSO done a couple of articles pointing out the virtue of having a net balanced budget over the economic cycle. Specifically he did an article commenting on the fact we have been lucky as a country that our politicians have over the last 20 years or so feared persistent deficits more than the desire to porkbarrel to curry favour, unlike other countries (Europe and the US to name but a few) that were in weak budgetary conditions going into the GFC, didn’t really have the room to stimulate as much as they should have, and are now finding themselves trapped with no room to move.

    That’s kind of the flip-side of being a keynesian – timely strong deficits in a downturn to moderate recessions, and not being afraid to use debt during troughs in the economic cycle, but this relies on strong surpluses in the upswings. Deficits are not always bad of course, and surpluses are not always good, but they are virtuous only when they match the appropriate economic context. Surpluses ARE important, and having a surplus as the economy strengthens is important to take the edge off the boom and to provide a cushion for the looming crash. And GFC part 2 “The Re-Recessioning” is coming. Having the budget in a state where it can be squeezed for further substantial deficits is very important.

    So yes, the ALP is dancing to a political tune not of its own making, and driven largely by irrationality, BUT it also happens to coincide with a good time to be getting the budget into shape regardless. Silver linings and all that.

  10. [rishane
    Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Boats: the last refuge of the scoundrel.]

    They are so devoid of topics Asylum Seekers is becoming the Oppositions last refuge, I will be very surprised if there is one question from the rabble about the climate report.

  11. [Do you reckon respondents would be truthful?]

    Nope 🙂 I would have liked to see all those in the 65%+ say they earned over $150,000, just to completely confuse the stats 😉

  12. JG recites the litany of environmental doom. What grabs will TV News take?

    Now wedging Abbott with Hockey and Cameron, and bashing him with the report.

    “(Abbott’s) costly sceme that cannot work” should be repeated ad nauseum.

  13. Mr Morrision on asylum seekers. Would Malaysia have the right to veto asylum seekers going to Malaysia?

    Government now onto a winner vis-a-vis asylum seekers. The Opposition starting to lead with its chin on asylum seekers.

  14. TSOP – I was told by a friend in SA that a redistribution in Pyne’s seat will be done before 2013 and Pyne will be safer.

  15. So, Tony Abbott cares more about a few thousand refugees than the health of hundreds of thousands of Australians who are addicted to smoking and the millions of young who are targeted by the tobacco companies.

  16. [TSOP – I was told by a friend in SA that a redistribution in Pyne’s seat will be done before 2013 and Pyne will be safer.]

    Probably. He is wedged into the eastern suburbs. If his boundary expands, it’ll probably take on some of the hills, if it retracts, it’ll lose some of the inner city suburbs – both would make it more conservative.

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