Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

The latest weekly Essential Research survey shows no change on last week, bar a one point drop in the Greens vote to 10 per cent: the Coalition is on 49 per cent of the primary vote and Labor on 32 per cent, with the Coalition’s two-party lead at 56-44. Essential also found plenty of interesting questions to ask about the Labor leadership. Respondents were asked to evaluate the performance of various actors during the challenge, with Kevin Rudd coming out least badly (33 per cent good, 35 per cent poor), “Labor Party ministers” the worst (10 per cent and 52 per cent), the media also very poorly (14 per cent and 43 per cent), Julia Gillard not well at all (23 per cent and 49 per cent) and Tony Abbott hardly better even if it might be hard to recall what he did exactly (25 per cent and 40 per cent).

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said the leadership challenge was bad for the government and 47 per cent that it has made them less likely to vote Labor (64 per cent among Coalition supporters, obviously including many who wouldn’t vote Labor in a pink fit), against 13 per cent who said it was a good thing and another 13 per cent (or perhaps the same 13 per cent) who they were more likely to vote Labor. A question on Kevin Rudd’s future produces a miraculously even three-way split with 29 per cent saying he should stay in parliament and again challenge for the leadership, 28 per cent saying he should stay in parliament and not challenge for the leadership and 30 per cent saying he should resign from parliament.

Respondents were asked to indicate whether they supported the Australian system of leaders being elected by MPs (36 per cent), American-style presidential primaries (31 per cent) and British-style election by both MPs and party members (11 per cent). Fifty-six per cent believed MPs should be guided by public opinion in leadership contests against 30 per cent by who they believed was the best person. The poll also points to a slight increase in support for an early election since the end of January, up three to 44 per cent with support for a completed term down two to 46 per cent.

We have also had Newspoll publish results from last week’s polling on the most important political issues and the best party to handle them. Such figures are invariably very closely associated with voting intention, and since this was a 53-47 poll result, it finds Labor improving considerably since the question was last asked as part of the poll of October 7-9, which was a 57-43 result. Labor has recovered big leads on its traditional strong suits of health, education, industrial relations and climate change, and closed the gap on the economy, interest rates and national security. Full tables from GhostWhoVotes.

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.

2,780 comments on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. [Good topics for them to pursue, politics is a bit too hard for them.]

    Although I didn’t watch it myself, HI tonight reported that ABC TV News at 7pm didn’t contain any politics, not even the fact that Stephen Smith has lost the confidence of Dennis Shanahan and Colonel Blimp.


  2. [Queensland’s Liberal National Party leader Campbell Newman has defended his decision not to axe an election candidate over his links to a pornographic website.]

    Kate Jones will be pleased

  3. Re polls – I don’t think we’ll see an immediate shift. Never seems to happen that quickly. This week’s will be a lot like last week’s. What’s important is that there won’t be a drift away from the ALP. Just being stable at 46-54 or 47-53 is a big win if most of the ‘bad’ news is behind them.

    The main task (politically speaking, anyway, as opposed to policy work) is to keep closing off the lines of attack. As mentioned previously most of them are now dead-ends – asylum seekers, NBN, mining tax, economy, leadership ructions. Carbon pricing is on the right track to be nullified as a point of attack.

    The Lib/Nats are going to have to create issues to attack the ALP with from here on in. They’ve used up a lot of their ‘A’ material already.

    Turns out Smith is a dead end too. As is PPL. In fact any attempt at attacking on policy seems to open up rifts within the Coalition, so that’s not wise either.

    I said earlier this year (and last year as well) that the Libs are stuck with Abbott because of the policy void they’ve created. I wonder now whether they might have to bite the bullet and ditch him this year some time. If so, they can kiss the next election goodbye.

  4. If IPA and ACC are speaking out against PPL Abbott is in trouble. This must a first for 7.5 in ages -a mildly critical piece on the Tories. Definitely something happening…..

  5. mexicanbeemer + the spectator

    Slashing like that shows that the $ class have forgotten JK Galbraith’s explaination as to why the welfare state system was set up in the first place. To protect themselves the $ class. Start tipping people into abject poverty and by golly the people calling for revolution now start sounding attractive. Imagine how these people would feel when they read a couple of days back of a pommie broker who blew over 200,000 pounds on a bar tab.I’d feel like storming the Bastille and the Winter Palace
    [Revealed: The big-spending businessman who ran up £203,948 bar bill was 23-year-old City whizkid

    Young financier Alex Hope splashed out £125,000 alone on a giant bottle of one of the world’s most exclusive champagnes]

  6. [confessions
    Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
    According to twitter 730 are focusing on Coalition’s shortcomings.]

    They’ll need more than a half hour.

  7. Who would have thunk that #ABC730 did a story on the great Lib split and policy confusion Abbott Vs Hockey Vs Robb Vs Turnbull #auspol

  8. confessions
    Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
    According to twitter 730 are focusing on Coalition’s shortcomings

    Yeah, Fess, but waaaaaay short of the treatment given (traditionally/routinely) to Labor.

  9. [Who would have thunk that #ABC730 did a story on the great Lib split and policy confusion Abbott Vs Hockey Vs Robb Vs Turnbull #auspol]
    The worm.
    It is turning.

  10. Apac is showing some bizarre debate about how our free speech is somehow under threat.

    Features Mark Steyn, John Roskam and Janet Albrecthsten, hosted by Tom Switzer.

  11. Interesting they are targetting Abbott’s “Signature policy”.

    “TONY Abbott says his six-month paid parental leave scheme is a “signature policy” and would be one of the “defining marks of his leadership”.

    This is a set up to show Abbott prevailing or the begining of the end. (what does he do if his “Signature policy” gets rolled?).

  12. Just put some bets on the 2013 election:

    Election between July 1 and 31 Dec 2013 @ $1.50
    ALP to form government @ $3.65
    Julia Gillard to lead ALP at next Federal Election @ $1.33
    Malcolm turnbull to lead Coalition at next Federal Election @ $4.00

    If they all come off then I will have a very nice pay day, despite not wagering very much.

    PS Sportingbet won’t let me bet on elections because I live in SA, yet Sportsbet will.

    Go figure.

  13. Surely the irony has dawned on these people that speaking freely at a public forum about how our free speech is under threat kind of undermines their argument?

  14. Boerwar

    Free speech threatened as in totally unbalanced panel composition?]
    Ironic free speech discussed by some of the best arguments against free speech 🙂

  15. Consensus now “The narrowing”

    Personally don’t think Newspoll next Tuesday will validate that.
    Unemployment up.
    GDP down to 0.4% for quarter with several states in recession.
    16 days to a QLD wipeout and change in COAG with Andrew Fraser gone.
    Yep the n a r r o w I n g
    Gus is right the move against Abbott on his reliable sources is on.

  16. Tony Abbott’s “signature policy” guff is a shot across the bows to his colleagues – nothing more, nothing less.

    After the PPL debacle he can’t afford to have anyone else questioning his authority to make policy without referring to his colleagues. I mean, what were they thinking?

    Don’t they know he is Prince Tony, Defender of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade, Supporter of Racist Bogans and Condescender of Women Everywhere?

    Bloody hell, they are ungrateful! Look at where they are in the polls! It’s because of him, don’t they know?!?

    Either they are with him or agin him, and if they speak out then he will know they are agin him …

    So what we now know is this: If anyone is prepared to speak out after his warning then the spill really IS on (as opposed to repeated high jinx from Labor supporters on Twitter).

    Then life will get REALLY interesting 😆

  17. Is there any chance of Jim Spigelman being able to tame or sack Mark Scott, or otherwise effect some cultural change?

  18. [Consensus now “The narrowing”]

    This time 2013, I expect, before the real turnaround, Saves getting aggro about uneven results.

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