Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition

The latest Essential Research survey is a relatively good result for the government, with the Coalition’s two-party preferred vote down from 56-44 to 55-45. The primary vote has the Coalition down a point to 48 per cent, Labor up one to 33 per cent and the Greens down one to 11 per cent. While a dismal set of figures for the government in absolute terms, the primary vote is in fact Labor’s best result since June 14, while the two-party preferred is their best since July 25.

Other questions posed offer more evidence of gloom about the economy, with 58 per cent expecting conditions in Australia to worsen over the next 12 months. This is a 9 per cent increase since the question was previously asked at the start of the July, and compares with just 19 per cent who expect things to improve (down 6 per cent on last time). However, the pessimism is not quite as bad as first appears. The increase on the former figure is entirely accounted for by those who opted for “a little worse” (up 10 per cent to 41 per cent), with “a lot worse” actually down a point to 17 per cent. Respondents were also slightly less glum about their personal circumstances, with 24 per cent expecting them to get better and 41 per cent believing they will worsen. The proportion expressing concern about their job security, while high, has increased only two points to 47 per cent. Labor supporters are by far the most optimistic in relation to the economy generally, with 26 per cent believing conditions will get better and 39 per cent expecting them to worsen. Fully 72 per cent of Coalition supporters gave a negative response.

To coincide with the tax forum/summit, the survey also presented a smorgasbord of options on tax reform. By far the most popular were decreasing income tax for low income earners (81 per cent support, 11 per cent oppose) and improving tax breaks for small and medium businesses (76 per cent and 10 per cent). The idea of cutting company tax proved quite a lot less popular, with 32 per cent supportive and 41 per cent opposed. At the bottom end of the spectrum was increasing the GST, favoured by 9 per cent and opposed by 84 per cent, though “increasing the carbon tax” was scarcely more popular (19 per cent to 68 per cent). Respondents were fairly evenly split on abolishing negative gearing on new property purchases (33 per cent to 37 per cent) and repealing the fringe benefits tax (30 per cent to 28 per cent).

The News Limited tabloids also brought us results from a small-sample Galaxy poll (500 respondents) on Friday and Saturday, with a couple of posers for the government: Kevin Rudd led Julia Gillard as preferred Labor leader 57-41, while 32 per cent said they would be more likely to support Labor if the carbon price were abandoned against 14 per cent who said less likely. There will presumably be no Newspoll this week due to the long weekend.

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.

4,027 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition”

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  1. At the op shop I got a copy of Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men” for 50c, and am looking forward to reading it. It started with a vintage Dubya quote:
    [It’s amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity and incumbency.
    ____George W Bush June 14 2001
    speaking to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Perrson,
    unaware that a television camera was still rolling.]
    Well, it helped when brother Jeb, Daddy and Friends and the Supreme Court fixed Florida, but it was still amazing he won – let alone managed a re-election.

    But he sure did bugger it up on the peace and prosperity side, and the damage done maybe took away from incumbency advantages as Obama is now finding.

    I suppose we are seeing something similar now. In the way we are being governed now, there is very little wrong compared with the rest of the advanced economies.

    Yet still, powerful interests are lining up, through pressure of repeated opinion polling and media speculation, to urge Labor to at least change leaders before it is all too late. The achievement agenda is surely a much higher priority than leadership, especially considering the risk of NSW revolving door leadership games.

    I tend to side with the Vex account against the MSM ones, but even if we put aside all of them, Andrew Elder has by far the most realistic account of it all. The Labor process of building up policy achievements is going painfully slowly, but it is still going. Opinion poll support may even be slower to follow but it will.

    But the real story will ultimately be what a hollow vessel the coalition alternative is. All Abbott is offering, apart from stunts, is a vague Howard restoration. In 2 years, the public won’t buy it.

  2. [confessions

    The msm will be salivating at the thought of Rudd being at the community cabinet.]
    I think it’s a good move though. It maybe the thawing, which is needed.

  3. z

    I was not arguing for or against any of Mr Katter’s points. What I was doing was indicating my judgement about whether or not Labor could deal with Mr Katter on each of the points.

    My main point is that people who are speculating about a Rudd/Katter government in the absence of Mr Wilkie are being mischievous because the bottom line in Mr Katter’s 20 point list is the ETS and that is a non-negotiable for Labor. OTOH destroying the ETS is core to Mr Abbott’s litany of ‘I’ll destroy it if I become Prime Minister.’

    I assume that the ETS is why Mr Katter could not support Ms Gillard as prime minister.

    Therefore, no change. All the related leadership column inches are mischief by people who should know better.

  4. Dam I just. Tpedalong bit about tonight. So now. Its short

    Missed outonforum. They. wanted. Non devotees. So. Now. That proves. It. Is. Not. Not. Rigged
    300. Going. It filled in. 24hours

  5. [But the real story will ultimately be what a hollow vessel the coalition alternative is. All Abbott is offering, apart from stunts, is a vague Howard restoration. In 2 years, the public won’t buy it.]

    Thanks GD, I appreciate your post and agree with most of it. But you raise an interesting juxtaposition, namely Bush vs Abbott. The US public bought Bush for 8 years. Are you confident the Australian public won’t similarly “buy” Abbott?

  6. Sorry, Boer.

    I think my comments show, however, what you were saying – that some of them no sensible government would or could agree to.

  7. [I think it’s a good move though. It maybe the thawing, which is needed.]

    Maybe Gillard and Rudd have reached some kind of understanding?

  8. [So Labor has closed the gap from 56/44 to 55/45 on essential.

    Big whoopy woo]

    Centre, in these dark days, I will take any good news I can get!

  9. Morning PBs

    I received some sad news today: Della Elliot died. Some of you old time lefties may have known her or of her. I knew her well and she influenced my life and politics in the best possible way. She had courage, intelligence and good humour. She lived a truly significant life.

    A little taste of Della for those interested:

  10. What about the Grand Final yeasterday. What a game 🙂

    Congratulations to the mighty Sea Eagles on their 8th title in the clubs history.

    And for all those who hate Manly – we love it!

    Suck eggs 😛

  11. Sunday morning News & Current Affairs audiences from Glenn Dyer at Crikey.
    The decline in numbers for Bolt continues.

    Weekend Sunrise (Seven) (8am) — 324,000
    Weekend Today (Nine) (8am) — 258,000
    Insiders (ABC) (9am) — 190,000 (+37,000 on News 24 simulcast)
    Inside Business (ABC 1, 10 – 10.30 am) — 136,000
    Offsiders (ABC) (10.30am) — 115,000
    The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 86,000
    Meet the Press (Ten) (10.30am) — 67,000

  12. david

    The interview between Bolt and Albo was linked yesterday. Before Bolt spoke to Albo, he said something about his show being more popular than Insiders. Obviously not true.


    [Now Cameron to be subject of sitcom that scandalised Australia
    By Adam Sherwin
    Monday, 3 October 2011

    The domestic dust-ups and amorous exploits of David and Samantha Cameron are set to be the subject of a sitcom from the producers of a comedy about Australia’s Prime Minister which has provoked outrage.

    At Home With Julia, which mocked Julia Gillard and her “first bloke” Tim Mathieson, provoked calls for a cut in state broadcaster ABC’s funding following a scene in which the couple had sex in the Prime Minister’s office using the Australian flag as a sheet.

    The producers plan to relocate the series, satirising the domestic disharmony suffered by a leader struggling with a fragile majority, to Downing Street. The format is being sold at the Mipcom television market held this week in Cannes and producers Quail Television are holding talks with UK producers and broadcasters. The series would be the first sitcom based around a real incumbent PM.]

    More in the article. Was it SO good they wanted to do a version in the UK?

  14. David – but…but…but Bolt said during his diatribe before the Albo interview that his program outrated Insiders. Bolt couldn’t be fibbing, could he?!

  15. I’m baack!

    My mum and dad dropped in with prezzies and pecan pie (my favourite) which was a nice surprise. Thanks to all those birthday wishes, much appreciated. It has made my day!

    To BK and Mrs BK,

    Congratulations on making 42 years despite the obvious temptations of Ms Sophie! I hope you both have a fantastic day!

  16. Of course all of Australia, in fact the world was told:

    Man of the Match – Glenn Stewart.

    First try Scorer – Brett Stewart.

    Final Score – 26/10. (Apologies to all concerned, it was actually 24/10, I was out by 2 points with the score of the Premiers) 🙂

    *You didn’t read it from anyone in the MSM.

    *You didn’t read it from any commentator or Phil Gould

    *You didn’t read it from any other expert.

    *You READ IT HERE FIRST on PB. 😎 😀


  17. As for the poll, it may not be a significant shift but at this stage of the game every little bit helps. If they can keep creeping back some of Abbotts lead it may (wishful thinking?) result in a little more pressure on Abbott.

  18. [To BK and Mrs BK,

    Congratulations on making 42 years despite the obvious temptations of Ms Sophie! I hope you both have a fantastic day!]
    It is testimony to our relationship that such temptation has been ineffective.
    Any special birthday celebration for you?

  19. victoria maybe Bolt mean that his 86,000 watchers enjoyed his show more than the 190,000 who watched Insiders or that his show is more popular with his 86,000 watchers. I am sure he has a logical and rational reason for his claim.


    You could do an Australian version of this chart in this article…

    [October 2, 2011, 3:51 PM
    A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial

    A chart of “key components of the climate change denial machine” has been produced by Riley E. Dunlap, regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, and Aaron M. McCright, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. The diagram below (reproduced here with permission) is from a chapter the two researchers wrote on organized opposition to efforts to curb greenhouse gases for the new Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.]

  21. [The Bolt Report (Ten) (10am) — 86,000]

    My prediction of the Bolt Report getting a post court ruling bounce obviously didn’t eventuate.


  22. Is Essential a two week rolling average?

    If so, does this poll show a slightly larger trend back?

    (He asks in hope)

    Secondly, do you have the figures for Bolt’s afternoon viewers, which is what he is basing his total viewers on?

  23. Congratulations to the majority of PB’ers on a poll that finally shows a reversing trend. While I may not be as happy as you all I have to say I am not all that surprised. The past week hasn’t been too bad for the government and even The Australian is starting to ask questions about the Opposition. There has been a subtle change in reporting in recent weeks.

  24. Gwenneth, thanks for that link re Della Elliot. There are some truly remarkable lives that we otherwise don’t get to hear about.

  25. victoria,

    He is doing well. He is now in a rehab hospital learning how to walk and move all over again. But he is up and about and doing hydrotherapy every day. They expect he will be home in a week or two. Medicine today blows my mind! Thanks for asking, Victoria. 🙂

  26. Good to see the steady move over the last 4 weeks of the Labor PV going from 30 to 33%. The same steady flow to the 45-55. Another couple of months of that and Mr Abbott will be looking rather exposed.As Warren Buffet who said,when the tide goes out we find out who was swimming (policy) naked

    [The really big change in the numbers is the move from 49% to 58% who think that economic conditions will get worse]

    On the bright side when things are tight people become more averse to trying out a new government. Also on the bright side is the Coalition “demographic” seem gung ho for individual contracts and all the lovely Work Choices stuff. More pressure on Tones on that front. Oh and some useless information. The term Gung Ho was popularised in China and the West by a Kiwi, Rewi Alley.A totally amazing life story. One that shows fact can truly be stranger than fiction.

    [The man who introduced ‘Gung Ho’ into the Western idiom.
    The remarkable story of a country boy from New Zealand who came to witness and influence some of the great transformations of the Twentieth Century…
    Under the slogan ‘Gung Ho’, meaning ‘work together’, a revolutionary idea was born. Alley arrived with a suitcase and a slogan in the then capital of China, Wuhan …. Alley’s theory, as always not concerned with polemics or semantics, was simple: get the people to do it themselves and build on a group consciousness….
    In 1977, the Premier Deng Xiaoping gave a official banquet in Beijing to honour Alley’s 80th birthday. … He spent the last years of his life as one of Beijing’s living treasures – known as Ai-lao, a popular title of veneration. ]

  27. I’m sure the community cabinet tonight will be reported on in one of three ways:

    If Rudd doesn’t say much = RUDD KEPT QUIET?

    If Rudd says a lot = RUDD OVERSHADOWS PM!

    If they do what the press consider the perfect balance = it won’t be reported on.

  28. Swing Required I believe it is a 2 week rolling average however the changes in primary voting are 1% so I am not sure you can make much of it other than the momentum has halted and likely swung back a touch. The latest Newspoll showed a slight swing back as well. The government has had a few announcements together with the tax and jobs summits while the opposition has been relatively quiet lately.

  29. I’ve had a quick look through the last thread:

    1. The Warriors are officially the New Zealand Warriors.
    2. Betting agencies sponsor many teams and stadiums.

    Stick to dissecting tadpoles 😆

    The Rugby League commentators were NOT biased. In fact they seemed to be hoping the Warriors could continue their late second half surge to make it a contest. 😛

    Ray Warren is a LEGEND and the Number.1 football caller in the country!

  30. [Centre
    Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
    What about the Grand Final yeasterday. What a game

    Congratulations to the mighty Sea Eagles on their 8th title in the clubs history.

    And for all those who hate Manly – we love it!

    Suck eggs]

    Centre – As a fellow Labor supporter I’m happy for you comrade. But frankly I’d prefer to watch grass grow.
    No offence, but you northerners really need to get a life and discover what real football is. 😆

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