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 He has been replaced by Karen McNamara, a WorkCover public servant who reportedly has backing from the party’s right, who was defeated by Whitaker in the original preselection vote in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”

  1. Just a tiny detail that Messrs Speers and Gilbert seem to have missed – those vouchers are not from the same driver. If you look carefully they show several different driver ABNs as we can all see on the info kindly provided by Their ABC –

    A close look shows that hree different companies and at least three different drivers were used. That shoots down Britney and Fool Gilbert’s claim that all the vouchers came from the same driver. Surely B and FG checked this before going on air to perform their comedy duo this morning. Surely they would have thought to check, wouldn’t they?

    The Forces of Darkness really, really want to get rid of Slipper and are frantically clutching at the most fragile of straws. As shown in that ABC link, they now have some idiot complaining that Slipper just used the word ‘suburbs’ instead of writing the actual suburb. This, of course, has to mean that he was hiding the location as a way of over-claiming.

  2. leone

    Perhaps the govt should announce that all cabcharges lodged by every single MP is reviewed. That would throw a cat amongst the pigeons

  3. [victoria
    Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the govt should announce that all cabcharges lodged by every single MP is reviewed. That would throw a cat amongst the pigeons

    The cat might catch some friendly pigeons.

  4. bg

    I make this comment in the context that the coalition want the govt to fall over because “fraud” will be established against the speaker, who happens to be a former LNP now indie. If fraud is found on both sides of the aisle, there will be shit to go round.

  5. Just read Grattan’s piece. She says that Slipper’s case should be distinguished from turnbull’s, but doesn’t give any reason for this.

    I guess a couple of hundred million alleged fraud thereto and the loss of thousands of customers’life savings doesn’t rate next to saying someone looks fat in a polo shirt, or asking them whether they’re a twink or a bear.

    Gee, if you want to get someone by a smear, allege a sexual, preferably a homosexual smear. It’ll get Ol’ Coke Bottles’ attention every time.

    Whether Slipper’s conduct was sexual harassment or not, she reckons people shouldn’t talk that way in an office environment, anyway. Has she ever seen House Of Cards? Does out precious La Stupenda think it’s only a TV show, and that nothing like this goes on in real life?

    Her real argument is that the spell has been broken, the Bubble Burst. How can Slipper stay in the Big Chair, not when it’s proved he says something cheeky to a gay employee, but merely when that gay employee alleges he said something raunchy?

    Why didn’t we hear this about Abbott saying “Shit happens” over the death of one of our soldiers he claims to care for so much? Abbott has a penchant, a real feeling for the word “shit”: “bullshit” and “shit-eating” being a couple of other examples. And when he stubs his toe on a rock does he say, “Holy Shit”? OR just “Jesus, Mary and Joesph”? Why is Abbott’s propensity for bringing shit into his conversation different?

    Now that we know Abbott swears – and heaven forfend, maybe other parliamentarians swear too, or even get into each others’ pants, or make poor taste remarks! – should we suspend the whole lot?

    Grattan is a grub. I’d like to hear what comes out of her mouth when she gets her knickers in a knot.

  6. I hope Abbott’s latest restating of his intention to use the Navy to turn back boats gets front page coverage. I think there are quite a few decent people in that 56% who might be turned off by that.

  7. [Australia not to have nuclear propelled submarines because it would mean establishing a nuclear industry to maintain them.]

    Now that is educating the media.


    [Surplus not just accounting exercise: Wong

    Finance Minister Penny Wong says returning the budget to surplus is more than just an accounting exercise, it is good economic management for the future.

    Treasurer Wayne Swan will hand down his fifth budget on May 8.

    In his mid-year budget review released last November he predicted a $1.5 billion surplus in 2012/13 after a forecast $37.1 billion deficit in 2011/12.

    Addressing a conference in Sydney on Friday, Senator Wong said returning a surplus “is not simply an accounting exercise”.]

  9. Danny Lewis

    Latest Essential that measured this:

    Approval: Gillard 32, Abbott 32

    That’s some hell of a margin! 😆

    Danny, if you think that is cause for satisfaction then you are deluded.

    The fact that Gillard isn’t way more popular than Abbott should be of the utmost concern to any ALP supporter, particularly considering what an obvious loony Abbott is.

    Can you imagine how it might look if the Libs installed a more credible leader?

  10. mm

    Sadly i believe Abbott is taking a populist position. He is a grub and a despicable human being, but he knows how to play populist politics

  11. This just lobbed into my mailbox.

    Show your support for a nationwide campaign for cash deposits on
    beverage containers to help reduce litter and waste.
    The Nation’s environment ministers are meeting in June to make decisions about packaging
    regulation, including possible introduction of a nationwide container deposit scheme (CDS). CDS
    has proven successful in greatly reducing litter and promoting resource recovery around the world,
    including in South Australia for the past 35 years! Let’s show the ministers we want it here too!
    Bring empty plastic and aluminium beverage containers to the Cooks River Demonstration Recycling Depot & Get your 10-cent ‘deposit refund’! (Until money runs out)

    · World’s Biggest Coke Float!
    · Prizes for the best model plastic boats
    · Put a message in a bottle for the Environment Ministers
    · Bev the Bottle
    · Information & petitions
    · Free food & drink – please bring your own reusable cup & plate

    Saturday, 28 April 2012, 11am – 2pm
    Steel Park, Marrickville South & Illawarra Road Bridge, Earlwood
    Tell your friends, family, neighbours and organisations to start collecting now!
    Due to health risks associated with sewage and other pollution in the Cooks River, we recommend
    you wear gloves when collecting and advise against direct contact with Cooks River water or
    sediment at any time.

    For more information:
    Cooks River Valley Association –
    Total Environment Centre –
    Boomerang Alliance –
    To make a donation to support this event, contact

  12. [Tony Abbott to reintroduce protection visas for asylum seekers by: Alison McMeekin Political Reporter From: The Daily Telegraph April 27, 2012 11:47AM

    TONY Abbott has pledged that if elected prime minister he would call a double dissolution election if the parliament blocks a move to reintroduce temporary protection visas for asylum seekers]

    Absolute rubbish. No way he would go to DD for that. Would be a mssive waste of politcal capital. A referundum on TPV’s. Most of the public dont even know what they are.

  13. Abbott said said if elected, he would fly to Jakarta in his first week to explain his policy on turn the boats – Indo already said fuckoff

  14. [5757
    middle man
    Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink
    ‘knifed him and wiped out’ – do you live your life at this heighted level of catastrophe all the time?]

    Its up there with forces of darkness that a team labor supporter has trotted out on the page before

  15. [It would be good if the coalition got a more credible leader. Not sure who it might be, but bring it on I say]

    I don’t think there is one Liberal MP that I could be comfortable with as the next PM of Australia. I know some could tolerate Turnbull, but he reminds me too much of Hewson.

  16. zoidlord @ 5767


    I like how you tried to deflect Danny’s answer.

    Avoiding any Liberal talk.

    My comment was the stark reality.

  17. Guytaur

    Linking a CDS to the health of the Cooks River is nonsense.

    Litter is a minuscule part of the reason that the Cooks is stuffed. Firstly its an entirely developed catchment. Secondly, at least half its length its a concrete channel. Thirdly all the SYdney Water pipes leak crap into it daily.

  18. Vic. yes it is a populist position – but i question whether its popular with 56% of australian’s, or more importantly those ALP supporters who answer ‘Coalition’ when asked by pollsters what their current voting intention is.

  19. why would Abbott go back to boats today??? looking for a change of subject on the Slipper stuff??? worried where it will go maybe

  20. Mr Hadley and Mr Speers. The government says the cab charge dockets clear Mr Slipper. Are you going to continue to contradict the government?

  21. a DD on TPV’s would be brilliant. Australian’s hate the frivilous use of snap elections. It would use up plenty of political capital.

  22. polls needs to ask people what they think about the alternative policies

    i would be very surprised if the coalition 2pp was over 35%

  23. BB
    [Whether Slipper’s conduct was sexual harassment or not, she reckons people shouldn’t talk that way in an office environment, anyway.]

    And the way Ashby spoke to Slipper!! doesn’t grattan feel that a subordinate shouldn’t speak to a boss in such an ungodly manner? Grounds for dismissal?

    Certainly doesn’t come across as an employee feeling intimidated!
    [Ashby texts Slipper at 5.44pm: “DO NOT DO THE SOCIAL MEDIA INTERVIEW WITH CATHY. They are digging for a new angle. It will not be good!!!! The questions are laced with double meaning. It’s like answering the ‘do i look fat’ question. There’s not (sic) right answer. The daily do not like u! U do not like them! I do not like them! Do not help them sell papers!”.

    After finding out Slipper had done the interview he text him at 6.10pm: “You’re not funny! I cannot believe you called her! We’ll have to clean this mess up now !! f**k f**k f**k”.]

    And i’ts after those filthy dirty-languaged texts that Slipper sends x then xxx – for goodness sake, that’s “calm down, it’s all sweet” in my book

    And then after claiming he thought the xxxx were weird, engages in a little hot to trot convo about sexual proclivities of the seemingly promiscuous ‘random root’ “Tim” –

    c’marn Grattan, where’s your sensitivies now about how people should behave in the workplace?? Huh?

  24. [ The government says the cab charge dockets clear Mr Slipper. Are you going to continue to contradict the government?]

    Oh so now the government clears people not the authorities. Its getting confusing between the labor double speak between slipper case and Thomson case.

  25. [Vic. yes it is a populist position – but i question whether its popular with 56% of australian’s, or more importantly those ALP supporters who answer ‘Coalition’ when asked by pollsters what their current voting intention is.]

    77% of Australians agreed with the Howard Govt actions during the Tampa crisis. If anything, Abbott doing his pugilistic chest-beating routine on Boat People again will grow it to 57 or 58%. It is a ribbon of Electoral gold for the Coalition.

  26. Guytaur while I think the dockets likely go a long way to clear Slipper on the criminal matter it’s actually not the governments right to clear the man. That’s the responsibility of the FP or finance department. The government should wait until the matter has been finalized.

  27. I realize that local government/council elections are happening up here in Queensland this weekend and allegations re a formal Howard minister have been bought into the mix on the Sunshine Coast in that context but I find it interesting that those allegations are also happening at the same time as Mr. Slipper arguing his innocence.

    Perhaps a connection between the two issues will be drawn at some stage ?

    I have no idea, just speculating.

  28. rummel

    When you have proof the government is lying about the publicly released cab charges then get back to us. LIke Speers and Hadley you have to prove your case.

  29. Womble

    [why would Abbott go back to boats today??? looking for a change of subject on the Slipper stuff??? worried where it will go maybe]

    Classic Abbott – look over there!

  30. @rummel/5788

    I think it’s you that is contradicting with the hatred for Labor party and trying to be objective between the two cases at present.

    Then claim it’s the government that clears people.

  31. Given that few voters accept minority government as an excuse for the govt not getting its way on everything, a government which threatens to go for a DD election every time it’s will is thwarted – on carbon pricing and now TPVs – will be seen as very weak indeed.

  32. Haven’t had time to catch up since last night, so apologies if this has been covered, but

    WHY haven’t any of the MSM found any parallels between the accusations against Slipper and the rigged Comcar logs that purported to show that Justice Kirby had been visiting an underage male!

    I know Heffernan (I think) had to apologise, and that the apology was accepted, but I don’t recall anybody being prosecuted for the fraudulent log entries.

    And I don’t think any of us can forget John Howard standing up in Parliament pretending to be above all that sort of thing, but still telling us that wtte “anyway, I understand the young man in question was over 18″…

    Am I misguided?

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