Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

The latest Essential Research result has Labor gaining a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, with the Coalition now leading 56-44, and has Labor gaining three points on the primary vote – a very unusual occurrence in this series, which publishes weekly results derived from a two-week rolling average. Labor’s primary vote is at 33%, with the Coalition and the Greens each down a point to 49% and 10% respectively.

The first of the supplementary questions measures respondents’ knowledge rather than opinions: namely, the question of whether interest rates are higher or lower now than they were when Labor came to power, the purpose presumably being to determine whether misapprehensions are behind Labor’s diabolical polling. A majority (35% to 20%) were in fact aware that they were now lower, but only 10% thought they were a little lower against 25% for a lot, when the official interest rate has in fact gone from 6.75% to 3.75%. Respondents were then asked how much credit they gave Labor for the drop: 7% said a lot, 19% a fair amount, 27% a little and 35% none. Further questions cover the casualisation of the workforce, the mining boom, the value of various industries to average Australians, and the notion that the government is engaged in “class warfare” (28% agree, 46% disagree).

Further polling snippets:

• Yesterday’s Sunday Mail reported that the Galaxy poll of Queensland respondents covered in the previous post also found that Kevin Rudd’s lead over Julia Gillard in the state at 67-21, and at 62-37 among Labor voters.

• News Limited tabloids carried another Galaxy poll yesterday, this one conducted online from a national sample of 606, which showed support for gay marriage at 50% against 33% opposed. However, 26% of respondents said legislation to allow gay marriage would make them less likely to vote Labor, against only 22% who said more likely.

• Labor has gone public with polling conducted for it by UMR Research, which apparently found that 25% of respondents “would vote for” Julian Assange if he ran for a Senate seat. This tendency was fairly evenly spread among supporters of different parties: 39% for Greens, 26% for Labor and 23% for Coalition. The combined figure is similar to the 23% of respondents to a Galaxy poll in September last year who rated themselves “likely” to vote for Katter’s Australian Party at the Queensland state election: 11.5% would actually do so. It is not clear if the poll was entirely national, as the report from Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald only spoke of results from New South Wales and Victoria, which perhaps surprisingly showed slightly stronger support for Assange in the former.


• Tasmanian Labor Senator Nick Sherry, who had already announced he would not contest the next election, has brought forward his retirement. David Killick of The Mercury reports the vacancy looks set to be filled by Lin Thorp, member for the state upper house seat of Rumney from 1999 until her defeat in 2011. Thorp has the backing of Sherry’s Left faction, including from Premier Lara Giddings. However, earlier reports suggested others in the Left wanted a younger candidate, and that a move was on to have the party’s administrative committee reserve the position for a candidate from northern Tasmanian – with Launceston commercial lawyer Ross Hart fitting the bill on both counts. Notably, Unions Tasmania secretary Kevin Harkins, who was said to have been locked out preselection in 2007 because Kevin Rudd had him confused with Kevin Reynolds, and again in 2010 because Rudd did not want to admit to his mistake, had ruled himself out because “we’re likely to have a very conservative government in just a tad over 12 months’ time, (and) the best place for me is with the union movement”.

David Killick of The Mercury reports nine candidates have nominated for the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s preselection, to be determined on June 16. They are incumbents David Bushby and Richard Colbeck, together with “trade and investment adviser Sally Chandler, vineyard owner Sarah Courtney, Launceston Chamber of Commerce staffer Kristen Finnigan, business manager David Fry, Hobart businesswoman Sue Hickey, business development manager Jane Howlett and senior political adviser Don Morris”. Morris is a former chief-of-staff to the state Opposition Leader, Will Hodgman.

• Angus Taylor has been preselected as the Liberal candidate to succeed the retiring Alby Schultz in Hume, winning 26 out of 33 votes in a ballot of delegates from local party branches. Taylor is a 45-year-old Sydney lawyer, Rhodes Scholar and triathlete who had the backing of Schultz and Tony Abbott, and is also said to be close to Malcolm Turnbull. As detailed by the Yass Tribune, other candidates were Ross Hampton, an olive-grower and former adviser to Peter Reith, Ian Campbell and Brendan Nelson; Rick Mandelson, a Mittagong-based chartered accountant; and Ed Storey, a Yass-based grazier.

• Peter Hendy, former Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive and previously a staffer to Brendan Nelson and Peter Reith, has been confirmed as the Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro. Hendy reportedly had a comfortable victory over three other candidates, including Sustainable Agricultural Communities director Robert Belcher. Leslie White of the Weekly Times reports that the Nationals have approached Cooma mayor Dean Lynch to run, having determined that the Liberals’ endorsement of Hendy offers them “a point of difference” owing to his stance on foreign investment and the currency of foreign farm ownership as an issue locally.

Amy Kelly of City North News reports that Brian Nally, “local activist and president of the Kalinga Wooloowin Residents Association”, will be a contestant for LNP preselection in Lilley, together with the candidate from 2010, Rod McGarvie, and – possibly – Clive Palmer.

• The Barossa Herald reports Tom Zorich has been preselected as the Liberal candidate for the South Australian seat of Wakefield. Zorich is a local sports store retailer and former Gawler councillor, and a former player and club president of the Central Districts Football Club.

Richard Willingham of The Age presents a helpful list of Liberal preselection candidates for five Labor-held seats, and places particular emphasis on Jagajaga hopeful Nick McGowan, who is press secretary to state Planning Minister Matthew Guy, served as Ted Baillieu’s media director at the 2006 election campaign, and was a civilian peacekeeper who served in Afghanistan, Liberia and Burundi. Phil Barresi, former Deakin MP and unsuccessful candidate in 2010, has decided against nominating again, with John Pesutto, an adviser to Ted Baillieu, widely rated the front-runner. Corangamite: Marcus Dripps, Sarah Henderson, Rod Nockles. Chisholm: Blair Barker, Adrianne Fleming, Mark Lane, John Nguyen, Nicholas Tragas, Theo Zographos. Deakin: Terry Barnes, Michelle Frazer, Phillip Fusco, Andrew Munroe, Simon Olsen, John Pesutto. Jagajaga: Nick McGowan, Mathew Whiffin. La Trobe: Michael Keane, Sue McMillan (Knox councillor and former mayor), Martin Spratt, Jason Wood, Mark Vershuur.

Online voting has begun for the primary preselection process by which Labor will choose its candidate for the Sydney lord mayoral election, part of a process in which half the vote will be determined by participating voters who declare they are not members of a rival party. Andrew Crook of Crikey reports Chinatown restaurateur Jonathan Yee has reached a preference deal with “legal type Damian Spruce and refugee agitator Linda Scott”. Another candidate, Cassandra Wilkinson, founder of independent radio station FBi and wife of former state minister Paul Macleay, has accused Yee of branch stacking in a bid to strengthen his position in the 50% share of the preselection vote reserved for party members. Wilkinson and Cameron Murphy, NSW Civil Liberties chief, are preferencing each other. How to vote cards are distributed along with candidate statements to the 90,000 Sydney eligible residents.

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.

4,622 comments on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. Right now it’s like a nasty wave of sludge has just washed over us. The tide has washed it out, but it’s likely to see polling settle around that 55-45 or 54-46 zone. Essential, thanks to the two-week rolling average, probably saw the most recent polling more at 54-46.

    There’s not much more to do about Thomson. The opposition demanded he speak up and he did. They can’t demand it again. They can’t go on about “what we don’t know” any more. Whatever they say now is going to look like bluster.

    There’s not much more mileage to gain from Slipper either. They don’t want to talk about Ashby, they’re running a mile from him.

    Parliament still functions, policy will still get passed. July 1 is not far away – it won’t mean much by itself, but it’s a milestone at least. Now we talk policy – unless there’s another Australia Day or Qantas standdown up the sleeves of the Coalition.

  2. Essential today shows what I’ve always thought about Galaxy which seems to be excessively LNP outside election time but comes right back to the fold as we get closer to election day.

  3. I still love how 44-56 for the govt is good, but at one stage 52-48 was the end of the world. I must have lost my way.

  4. I was surprised – I actually believed Thompson as I watched. I thought I was a cynic – but somehow his explanations made sense, especially his call for police to capture CT footage outside brothels. Of course, it could all be a great big new lie – but now I don’t think so. Be interesting to see how this plays out politically, and personally for Thompson.

  5. [Extrapolating these polls to polls 16 months down the track is such a waste of time.]

    Still, it seems to be a fun game for political journalists to get published playing… 😉

  6. [All they did was to knock on the front door. In the first case, it was answered by a woman. On the other occasion, there was no answer. In both cases, they left as soon as it was obvious no-one was home or wanted to speak.]

    Thanks 7 for admitting the reporters were there. 😆

  7. [Pyne may have said the email to Ashby was “innocuous”, but he didn’t explain what it meant, either.

    Nor why he lied about it’s existence in the first place.]

    yes, the email he never sent.

  8. [In both cases, they left as soon as it was obvious no-one was home or wanted to speak.]

    How did they know it was obvious no-one was home, did they take a casual walk around the house?

  9. [In both cases, they left as soon as it was obvious no-one was home or wanted to speak.]

    After peering in through the bathroom window.

  10. [ his explanations made sense, especially his call for police to capture CT footage outside brothels. ]

    Why did FWA ignored his call on this, any smart journo asked from a response from FWA.

  11. We know from the UK that journalists and the media organizations they work for would never lie about a privacy breach!!!

  12. BH
    When you are headed this way, let me know. Maybe we can round up the SA Chapter for lunch?

  13. [In the first case, it was answered by a woman. On the other occasion, there was no answer. In both cases, they left as soon as it was obvious no-one was home]

    The presence of a woman would seem to suggest that someone was home, non?

  14. [ShowsON, that is one way of looking at it.]



  15. [Pyne not happy. His mud thrown right back in his face.]
    Clearly Pyne is worried that the TREND is going to stop him from becoming a minister.

  16. Ch7: First occasion, it was answered by a woman. On the other occasion, there was no answer. Because she’s in the shower, you fucking idiot

  17. [There’s not much more mileage to gain from Slipper either. They don’t want to talk about Ashby, they’re running a mile from him.]

    I recon there is a veritable marathon left. Fortunately its Slipper that’ll be getting the mileage. Slipper is a tried and true conservative so isn’t concerned about Labors polling or agenda. I believe he has plenty of ammo, both about Ashby/Pyne and about the NLP in general.

  18. [Latika Bourke @latikambourke 1m
    Coalition MP just pulled out of Capital Hill 2 hrs before broadcast. Is there anyone else available at this short notice? Seriously stressed]

  19. [Will Abbott (aka The Oaf) now refuse to accept Heffernan’s tainted vote?]
    I think he will because the TREND doesn’t seem to be working in Abbott’s favour.

  20. Son of foro @ 71

    Yes, that is an interesting slip up with their language if those words are a direct quote from 7.

    7 can deny it as much as they like but they now admit that they turned up at his home on more than one occasion whereas CT denies being in the brothels at all.

  21. Hearing reports the Libs Party room meeting was like an episode of world championship wrestling, not a happy lot of campers.

  22. [ Latika Bourke @latikambourke 1m
    Weird, coalition MP’s office said they’d been ‘told’ to cancel their appearance. Wonder by whom? They wouldn’t answer that directly.]

  23. [Latika Bourke @latikambourke 1m
    Coalition MP just pulled out of Capital Hill 2 hrs before broadcast. Is there anyone else available at this short notice? Seriously stressed

    Perhaps the mp is doing IT training on how email servers work and how impossible it is to delete emails.

  24. [Latika Bourke @latikambourke 18s
    What’s weirder, is that the MP texted early this morning to confirm their appearance. But 2 hrs before, pulls out after being ‘told.’]

  25. Perhaps the shower was located near the front door?

    In any case apparently everyone is telling lies except for Thomson and despite all the contrary we should accept everything he says just because he says it. What a complete waste of parliamentary time.

    The only thing we can be sure of is that we have to wait patiently until all the ongoing actions work their way through the system. Until that is done we are all just waxing lyrical.

  26. [Jeremy Sear ‏@jeremysear
    Farr on Thomson “saga”: “He has not been found guilty of anything, apart from a Liberal charge of not resigning to allow Abbott to win.”]

  27. [Latika Bourke @latikambourke 27s
    Anyways, thanks to the very late notice, I really hope @RichardMarlesMP is ready to fly solo for 15mins if it comes to that…]

  28. [So, ShowsOn, The Oaf will buck the trend to stop the TREND?]
    The TREND is that he is leading by a country mile and has been doing so for about 7 months.

  29. Can this only happen here

    Got a very nice phone call from laras person seretary thanking me for a thoughtful email i sent

    Very nice, see they do appreciate nice words

  30. davidwh @89 – that’s precisely what should happen, and what would ordinarily happen were it not for the numbers.

    And by numbers I don’t just mean those on the flooer of the House. Does anyone think this would be as big an issue if the published opinion polls were at 50-50 right now?

  31. Shows On, why do you come onto this site? Are you capable of having a rational debate? Your comments seem very immature.

  32. davidwh

    At the very least, Thomson has laid out the areas of dispute, so that we are clearer on some of the allegations/findings.
    I would have thought that a Lib supporter would have been very ready to believe that “union thugs” would chuck out someone who tried to reform their organisation. It’s happened before. 🙂

  33. [I still love how 44-56 for the govt is good, but at one stage 52-48 was the end of the world. I must have lost my way.]

    Because Rudd’s dismissal never was exclusively about the polls, it was more about problems with his dysfunctional governing style.

  34. [Latika Bourke @latikambourke 24s
    nup. RT @Margy011: @latikambourke @sspencer_63 Was the MP supposed to be on Capital Hill Craig Kelly]

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