The latest weekly Essential Research result has the Coalition’s two-party lead steady on 55-45, although the primary votes suggest Labor would have come very close to gaining a point: their primary vote is up two to 34 per cent, their best result since June, with the Coalition down one to 47 per cent and the Greens down one to 10 per cent. Of the supplementary questions, the most interesting for mine relates to the Occupy protests, as they allow for comparison with Essential’s polling on the Convoy of No Confidence in late August. That poll had 40 per cent agreeing the convoy protests represented their views against 38 per cent who disagreed, which was more favourable than I might have expected. However, the current poll has fully 69 per cent expressing agreement with the concerns of the Occupy protesters, even if only 29 per cent support the protests as such. Opinion on their removal is evenly divided.
Other questions have 28 per cent believing the current government favours businesses and 41 per cent believe it favours workers, with respective figures of 61 per cent and 8 per cent for the opposition; 50 per cent supporting greater restriction of coal seam gas mining on farm land; and a ten-point drop since April in the number believing poker machines need more regulation to 52 per cent, with no clear pattern evident for other types of gambling.