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. Thanks, DWH, I suppose the point then is that, despite the small swings, this week’s polling may have been more like 54/46. I know that’s well within the MOE, which is why I talked of a trend rather than specific figures.

    There also seems to be an inbuilt disconnect between Essential and Newspoll re the ALP primary vote?

  2. Darn, what about the Victorians, they cheer their team as if they’ve got their entire life savings on them.

    Life is always better on the dark side – betting and flirting 😈

  3. victoria,

    They kick for touch, they drop kick, they kick for goal, they kick field goals, they grubber kick, they kick bombs …

  4. Centre

    We do take our footy a little seriously. But if it makes you feel better, the NRL prematch entertainment was far superior to the AFL.

  5. victoria,

    I shouldn’t talk NRL put food on the table in the past as did Super League, but truth is I love all sport!

  6. Yes, and the skill from those banana kicks is amazing, not to mention the catching of the bombs.

    The AFL has nothing on the NRL in the kicking department, hell they even feel sorry for you that they give you a point for missing 😆

  7. victoria,

    When I think of all the quality Australian acts, one wonders why they felt the need to bring in OS acts. Same goes for the NRL although at least Kelly Clarkson really could sing and was at least known to most of the spectators.

  8. To be honest, I didn’t even consider watching the pre match entertainment.

    I was trying to examine the nervousness of the players.

    I know my palms were sweaty before the game, and I really couldn’t lose on it.

  9. SK

    I cannot defend the AFL for their choice in entertainment. It was atrocious and frankly embarrassing. Thank goodness, the game was the real entertainment.

    Mind you. Andrew Demetriou and the AFL do a great job running the League. Dont know what possessed them.

  10. [Space Kidette
    Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    They kick for touch, they drop kick, they kick for goal, they kick field goals, they grubber kick, they kick bombs …]

    About once every five minutes by my count. 😆

  11. The essential poll is good news

    BUT as BW points out

    The sharp increase in people who think they will be worse off is a worry.

    The Gillard Government (Swan, Comber, Shorten) must convince the electorate they will do a better job on the economy than the other mob (Hockey, Robb, Turnbull)

  12. Hit up, hit up, short run, try a longer run, pass the ball, final tackle – kick a bomb.

    Repeat in the opposite direction.

    Repeat if closer to the line, but substitute dribble kick for bomb:)

  13. Gweneth – thanks for the link. A very strong woman indeed and I love the story of Della hiding the funds in the rice canisters.

  14. Something the AFL aministration MUST consider is staging the GF on the Saturday night. It would attract a much larger viewing audience nationally. 😎

  15. p

    [On the bright side when things are tight people become more averse to trying out a new government.]

    But not, I imagine, when they have been persuaded that the government is the reason things are tight.

  16. In theory a RL scrum takes 12 players out of the defensive line and opens up the field for the attacking team. In reality most RL coaches have forgotten how to line up a deep backline to create space and opportunities so basically thay means scrums have become redundant.

  17. z

    I have no doubt that many of Mr Katter’s points would cause a great deal of angst amongst sensible people in both Labor and Liberal Parties.

    They would me.

  18. [The sharp increase in people who think they will be worse off is a worry.

    The Gillard Government (Swan, Comber, Shorten) must convince the electorate they will do a better job on the economy than the other mob (Hockey, Robb, Turnbull)]

    I think its all about the carbon price. If people are convinced it won’t harm them, then that figure will improve. Unless some external thing happens.

  19. The AFL has nothing on the NRL in the kicking department, hell they even feel sorry for you that they give you a point for missing

    apart from those raking left foot kicks, delivered, with pin-point accuracy, to the Full Forward from 40 + metres up the ground.

  20. Lynchpin @ 40 Della put the historic motion to the ACTU congress for equal pay for women. She is up there with Jessie Street and other great women activists. If we achieved only a small portion of what she achieved in there life we would be doing well. She never backed away from a fight. Vale.

  21. Thanks for the scrum answers. I have to say I enjoy all codes, although I obviously prefer Aussie Rules, but I’ve wondered about the RL scrums which seem to be just about going through the motion of a scrum, compared to the test of strength of a RU scrum.

  22. Order of the three best callers in the country:

    1. Ray “Rabbits” Warren
    2. Bruce “can u believe it” McAvaney
    3. Dennis Comeeti


  23. rishane

    Not the carbon price, IMHO, although Mr Abbott’s framing of ‘Now is not the time for a carbon tax,’ has not helped.

    IMHO, it is beginning to get through to Australians that Mr Hockey’s GFC ‘hiccup’ is a tsunami that might yet sweep us all away.

  24. BH – she had many such tales to tell. I think that the Australian National Library has recordings of her telling some of them. She used to tell me that she wanted to write a book called “Bastard Bosses I have Worked For”.

  25. I used to listen to Ray Warren calling the Harold Park trots eons ago.

    Not in the same class as Dennis Cometti, although Aussie Rules gives commentators more scope compared to the more structured RL.

  26. victoria – Sydney is always more flashy with its entertainment at sports events. I don’t mind the non-entertainment at the AFL GF – most of us just want it to be over so the game can start.

    BK – I watched Briggs this morning and decided not to mute him. Phew, he is one irritable cookie for the way he mostly begins and finishes his answers with a rant against the Govt. Andrew Leigh was good, as always, but I wondered why he never responds to the misrepresentations by Briggs. Why do most Labor pollies sit in silence and take it. Surely Andrew Leigh could have made some response. What say you, please.

    Gillan is clever in that she usually allows the Oppn person to have the last say which is always the usual put down of the Government. I know Sky doesn’t have a big audience but 1 person listening and believing the Oppn relays that to others who then relay it on, etc. etc.

  27. DavidWH


    I don’t blame the coaches, it’s the refereeing and administration. The defensive team should not be allowed to move before the ball has cleared the scrum.

    The rule should be properly policed!

  28. victoria


    Is NRL football? When do they kick the ball? ]

    In 1889 on their way through Australia before heading to England a New Zealand Natives rugby union side played “Victorian Rules ” vs Carlton,Sth Melbourne St Kilda and Essendon. A tour which involved a staggering 109 matches !!

  29. I think the silliest question was the one on increasing the carbon tax.
    Read my lips: we don’t have one yet.
    This adds to the myth that it’s already thee, and affecting prices. 🙁

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