Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

This week’s Essential Research shows no real change in voting intention on last week, with the Coalition up a point on the primary vote to 49 per cent, Labor and the Greens steady on 31 per cent and 11 per cent, and two-party preferred steady at 56-44. The poll also measures Bob Brown’s approval rating at 42 per cent and disapproval at 34 per cent (including very favourable figures among Labor voters of 60 per cent and 15 per cent); has 31 per cent favouring Kevin Rudd as Labor leader over 16 per cent for Julia Gillard (Gillard leads 40 per cent to 33 per cent among Labor voters); and 30 per cent favouring Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal leader with 23 per cent for Tony Abbott (Abbott leads 39 per cent to 26 per cent among Coalition voters). Further questions on the mining boom have 66 per cent believing it has benefited them “not at all”, 51 per cent supporting the mining tax (down one on mid-March) and 29 per cent opposing it (down five).

Federal preselection happenings in New South Wales:

• The NSW Liberal Party state executive has voted to dump Garry Whitaker as its candidate for Craig Thomson’s seat of Dobell. He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in December. Whitaker has since been struggling with allegations he had lived for several years without council permission in an “ensuite shed” on his Wyong Creek property while awaiting approval to build a house there.

• More proactivity from the NSW Liberal state executive in neighbouring Robertson, a seat the party was disappointed not to have won in 2010. Local branches have had imposed upon them Lucy Wicks, who herself holds a position on the executive by virtue of her status as president of the party’s Women’s Council. Wicks was identified by the Sydney Morning Herald last year as a member of the “centre right” faction associated with federal Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, which in alliance with the moderates had secured control of the state executive. Like the Dobell intervention, the imposition of Wicks occurred at the insistence of Tony Abbott – local branches in both seats have called emergency meetings to express their displeasure.

Michelle Hoctor of the Illawarra Mercury reports Ann Sudmalis, the candidate backed by retiring member Joanna Gash, won Liberal preselection on Saturday in Gilmore with 16 votes against 10 for her main rival Andrew Guile. Rounding out the field were Alby Schultz’s son Grant, who scored four votes, and Meroo Meadow marketing consultant Catherine Shields on one. For those wondering about the small number of votes, the NSW Liberals’ preselection procedure involves branches being allocated a number of selection committee delegates in proportion to their membership, rather than a massed rank-and-file ballot.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports the Nationals are in the “‘initial stages’ of discussions with popular independent state MP Richard Torbay about endorsing him for a tilt at independent federal MP Tony Windsor in New England”. Torbay has been the independent member for Northern Tablelands since 1999, and served as Legislative Assembly Speaker during Labor’s last term in office.

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.

5,940 comments on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. Gary at 5641, that is true. That is where we are today. I guess having seen the results in NSW and Qld, where the polls didn’t change, I am increasingly pessimistic. I am not sure what the circuit breaker, if any, will be. Any ideas?

  2. Slipper could also take civil action against Abbott for defaming, Abbott keeps on saying slipper is a problem

    yet will not tell anyone what the problem is

  3. guytaur,

    I never supported the idea of pollies taking the suing for slander and defamation because I thought it would unnecessarily tie up govt in sideshows. But now I am reconsidering my stance. All it would take is a flurry of legal cases for both the media to back off and think twice and dogdy pollies and vexatious litigants to think twice about playing this game.

    It really has gone beyond the pale.

  4. Lynchpin

    Who knows what the circuitbreaker will be. The govt just need to get on with governing.
    I am sure these spears being thrown at them is not unexpected. Remember Qantas. That case was very instructive. The govt was somehow prepared, despite Qantas themselves saying it was a last minute decision. The PM is two steps ahead of the pack. For anyone who wishes to look, will see that.

  5. BW

    I wonder if the betting people are running books on who is going to get the most swimming pools? Mr Thomson or Mr Slipper?

  6. Shockjocks & Brithey said they are manual dockets, required when a cab’s electronic system fails. What if Slipper wanted only manual. Idiot

  7. ratsak

    [Slipper will be calling in the new pool designers as we speak.]

    Would Peter be then able to take a Slippery Dip?

  8. A bit off topic, on the impact of technology/internet etc

    JBHiFi made its quarterly trading update; like many companies of late, poorly received byt he stock market, down 5% (not as bad as Seven’s yesterday). But what caught my eye was:
    – In shop sales +8.8% (+1.3% comparable basis)
    – On line sales +76%

    Now I assume the latter is a lot lower in absolute $ terms, but interesting nonetheless (+ they discuss digital delivery)

    Making “disruptive technology” work for your business model…

  9. Also we should not forget the Sky bid for The Australian network. The govt did the right thing on that as well. Despite the screeching, what can they all say. Look at what is occuring with the Leveson inquiry.

  10. Can someone point to exactly what Abbott has said that is libellous?

    ‘the speaker must stand down’ is not libellous.

  11. There is always the sweet possibility that Slipper is playing rope a dope, in anticipation of a comfortable retirement.

    I did this in a court case I was recently involved in. I negotiated away, made good faith offers etc., knowing all the time that the plaintiffs had gotten the date of alleged service wrong in their statement of claim by four years.I never mentioned this to them. When it came time to respond I didn’t list my offers, counter evidence etc. I simply said, “The dates are wrong. No case to answer on those dates

    Went to the court, produced evidence – their own documents – they were out by four years. All their documents/invoices/WIP lists brought as evidence of debt were irrelevant. Magistrate didn’t allow them to amend to the right date as it was their problem they got the dates grossly wrong and said I could only answer the case they presented.

    Case dismissed. They haven’t re-filed with the correct dates. More money after bad, I’d suspect.

    They should have taken my offer. I roped a dope. Hoping Slipper is letting his enemies put the noose around their own necks by going too far in their condemnations, straying into defamation.

    The simple thing to me is that Slipper wouldn’t produce these dockets unless he was sure that his underlying case was sound. These might just be the icing on the cake, if a little ambiguous.

    The sour grapes among the media are a sight to behold, rather giving away the game that they’re interested in the “Aussie fair go” they’re always on about around Anzac Day.

  12. [‘the speaker must stand down’ is not libellous.]

    True. It would be a stretch to claim that such a statement was defamatory. Hadley’s statement on the other hand…..

  13. [The PM is two steps ahead of the pack. For anyone who wishes to look, will see that.]

    But no one can say that, because the entire media narrative is LOOK AT TEH POLLS~!!

  14. It’s getting more and more like Godwin every minute.

    Even in the face of rock solid evidence that it was a set up the Right Wingtards were looking for an angle, any angle to make it stick to Rudd and Swan, somehow.

    Just desperate and stupid stuff.

    To everyone who says Gillard and Labor needs to get down and dirty with these creeps I say patience. That’s just what they want. By staying above the fray these clowns can and will do themselves in.

    Slipper on the other hand should be briefing lawyers. Hadley for one has just volunteered to pay up handsomely and there are no doubt plenty more easy wins about for him.

  15. Lynchpin #5642:

    Imagine the conversation:

    Adviser: “You need a good lawyer Mr Hadley”.
    Hadley: “I was thinking of briefing Brandis SC”
    Adviser: “You need a good lawyer Mr Hadley”.

  16. Laocoon. Good observation. JBHiFi is a ‘destination’ whether it be in-store or online, as its product and brand span the two locations quite easily. People are used to paying for what they have, AND their reputation for size-of-range and low pricing is equally at home online. Compared to newspapers, which peolpe read in lunch rooms, pick up discarded ones in trains, get free ones at work, read it while waiting for a haircut, read for free at cafe with a coffee… it doesn’t translate quite as well as what JBHiFi does.

    It’s why i’m amazed Mr Whinge (aka Gerry Harvey) never understood the potential to extend his brand into online. Its cream on the top of your store sales…

  17. “The Sun readers don’t care who runs the country as long as she has big tits ..”

    Yes, Minister, on Fox Classics +2 now. Brilliant!!

  18. [True. It would be a stretch to claim that such a statement was defamatory. Hadley’s statement on the other hand…..

    I just read through a number of Transcipts and found nothing that was anywhere near libellous for Abbott. In some cases the press tried to lure him into it. He did actually did a stellar politcal communications jobs of making it all about Gillard and her character.

  19. [Funnily enough Arbib has re-appeared at the Australian Rugby Union as a consultant assisting it with.. wait for it…. wait… its governance structures.]

    So Karl Bitar goes into Casinos / Gambling and Arbib wanders off to help out Rugby UNION. Undercover Tories all along?

    I’m not one for class warfare… by Rugby UNION *shudder*

  20. I think the only reason the PM is two steps ahead of the pack is because the pack has stopped following her. I think they have become transfixed almost statue like with wide eyes and open mouths thinking to themselves “what is she doing”.

  21. [I have the latest version. Not missing much, just ABC & some other stuff (CAN watch Q&A, if on Iview, but ot the Q&A web site), but strange nevertheless.]

    Did you remember to empty the caches, dump the cookies etc before you uploaded? If your updates are automatic, that may be a problem. Usually it isn’t necessary; sometimes it is. You should be able to set (& time) your computer to do that automatically. I set my laptop to empty when I close it down – google’s master computers hate that; extra incentive!

  22. [Gary at 5641, that is true. That is where we are today. I guess having seen the results in NSW and Qld, where the polls didn’t change, I am increasingly pessimistic. I am not sure what the circuit breaker, if any, will be. Any ideas?]
    Not really. A hope that people will wake up in time. If they don’t there will be a positive for Labor supporters and that is watching PM Tone disintergate before our very eyes. As a close relative to me says an edifice of BS will come crashing down, it’s only a matter of time. Whether it’s before or after the next election, it will happen.

  23. Sossman. One point we beg to differ on… league lost me with its 5 hit-ups and kick boredom. give me the variety and REAL scrums of union any day.

  24. The questions raised by a “hand writing expert” over Slipper’s signature appear to me to be rather simplistic.

    I know that my signature changes depending on a number of things. Firstly, is the surface on which the document I am signing is lying, The height of that document and the available lighting.. The pen I am using and many other variables.

    I have used CabCharge quite often and I have found that trying to sign a small bit of paper in a car is not the best conditions for penmanship.

    The light can be very bad, the surface on which to place the docunment can be just ones leg or the seat the pen may or may not work are a few that come to mind.

    To me the claim concerning Slippers signature needs to be taken with a large lump of salt.

  25. Gillards judgement is the issue on trial here.

    It all started when Gillard and swany talked kev into dumping the ETS.

    From this point on though the knifing and onwards Gillard has made some ripper judgement calls that have been epic failures.

    The state of the Labor party as it stands is the result of gillards fatefull leadership. NSW/QLD here we come, 16 months To go.

  26. following union is good for developing my debating skills as well… although it shoudl be said that out in the cheap seats, its not all that right wing. plenty of non-GPS schools play it, and they bring a far less elitist outlook with them.

  27. I expect Indonesia to call Abbott’s latest announcement silly. But I also expect that to be great publicity for it.

  28. Ratsars,

    Exactly. Of the thousands of cabcharge docs I have signed over the years, you would be battling to find one that looks anything like my normal signature. In fact, knowing they aren’t checked in order for payment to take place, I really haven’t given a rats arse about what I put in there.

  29. I understand that Union is a much more pure form of Rugby, but I still can’t bring myself to ignore the class / school / career elements of the rival crowds.

    I’m much more at home in the heartland (Davies Park) watching some grassroots Q Cup football with $3 beers and close mates.

  30. does anyone else think it’s strange Slipper would fill out the trip details, isn’t that something the driver would normally do???

    as to their not being blanks, i don’t think that has been proved yet – i.e. Slipper does swipes on the manual machine, signs them and the details are completed as the trips are completed – might just be easier way of doing business

  31. [Gillards judgement is the issue on trial here.]
    And if Slipper is found to be innocent her judgement will have been spot on. Is that what you are saying?

  32. [does anyone else think it’s strange Slipper would fill out the trip details, isn’t that something the driver would normally do???]
    He may have but he couldn’t sign Slipper’s name.

  33. Gary, not sure about that re Abbott as PM. We will see a different persona. He will get a lift in the polls because everything will settle down with a compliant media and be relaxed and comfortable. He will have a very big majority. I am not sure he will go about repealing everything he has said he will. Because expectations of him are currently so low, his change in persona might work for him to have people say “He isn’t such a dickhead after all.” That is my fear. Abbott has defied most commentary about him to date. He is unlike any Liberal leader I have seen in my time.

  34. Bluegrien @ 5661

    Abbott keeps on saying slipper is a problem

    what kind of a problem , was he for abbott

    Doesnt that reflect on some kind of defamatory comment about slippers reputation, if he is not willing to prove it

  35. [The state of the Labor party as it stands is the result of gillards fatefull leadership. NSW/QLD here we come, 16 months To go.]
    I love the smell of Liberal hubris at lunch time.

  36. [transfixed almost statue like with wide eyes and open mouths thinking to themselves “what is she doing”]

    I’d put any money, any money at all, on Gillard in an IQ competition with Abbott.

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