Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition

Bernard Keane at Crikey reports Essential Research has the Coalition’s lead unchanged on last week at 55-45, from primary votes of 34% for Labor (unchanged), 47% for the Coalition (down one to a six-month low) and 9% for the Greens (down one). The monthly personal ratings have Julia Gillard up four on approval to 35% and down three on disapproval to 54%, while Tony Abbott records his worst net rating yet with approval down four to 32% and disapproval up four to 55%. Gillard now leads 40-37 as preferred prime minister after trailing 38-36 last time. There are also the following findings on the present government’s reforms:

The introduction of a carbon price is the only major Labor reform with net voter opposition, Essential found. Only 28% of voters thought the introduction of a carbon price was good for Australia, with 51% rating it bad — indeed, 35% of voters rated it “very bad”. Otherwise, support for Labor reforms seems to split into three: highly contested reforms that have majority support, such as the mining tax (supported 49-25%); the NBN (43-28%) and the abolition of WorkChoices (42-27%); mid-tier reforms with widespread approval — paid parental leave (52-20%); stimulus spending during the GFC (54-22% – the BER program is supported 53-20%); accepting the recommendations of the Houston panel on asylum seekers (45-15%) and paid parental leave 52-20%.

Then there are the reforms with very high support: lifting the age pension (70-11%); increasing super to 12% (68-9%); lifting the tax-free threshold to $18,200 (75-4%); the NDIS (58-5%); marine reserves (controversial in some areas but with 67-8% support); dental care (77-5%) and the Gonski education reforms (54-8%).

Also canvassed are Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan and the role of unions in the wake of the HSU scandals and the CFMEU/Grocon dispute in Melbourne – matters which were also covered in a Morgan phone poll of 410 voters conducted Wednesday, results of which can be seen here and here.

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.

4,836 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition”

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  1. TLM

    Being naive and ignorant, this isn’t about Labor’s dirt unit.

    Stop trying to defend Abbott and drawing attention away from him, back onto Labor.

  2. Puff,

    [I want in on this. I will bring deluxe popcorn, including that caramel-dipped one, a picnic lunch and champagne.]

    I’m bringing pate, terrine, brie, baguette, grapes, strawbs, and MOAR fizz…

  3. I read the Marr piece today.
    Of more concern to me is Abbott’s affiliation with Bob Santamaria & the DLP – that’s where Labor should be fighting Tony Abbott, on ideas & philosophy, not on whether or not he really bashed in a wall at Sydney Uni in the mid 1970s.

  4. GG

    Given that man has defined marriage and has changed that definition one at least so mixed races can marry. Man can define marriage for equality again.
    It should worry you that you are relying on the same arguments that have been used by known homophobes in the past.
    You are on the wrong side of history.
    Luckily your opinion no longer matters in this country as Tasmania, South Australia and now Western Australia are doing Marriage Equality. So get used to it.

  5. GG, this issue really provokes you, as far as I can see.

    For the record, I know or have known many gay and lesbian people; I count some among my dearest friends; and am proud that my own family also includes some who have had the courage and integrity to disclose their homosexuality. So my encounter with this is very personal. It touches the people I love most and for whom I have the deepest respect.

    Apart from wanting to defend the equality and the dignity of all the people I love, I also think that as a matter of principle, we are all entitled to be treated equally under the law and according to our customs.

    Accordingly, I would say my thinking is very clear, and that I do not have a dilemma. Instead, I have a coherent position founded in justice and our common humanity.

  6. GG @ 4762……this analogy is a provocation and you know it.

    What you are saying is that people are not equal with respect to the quality of their love. In every single respect, you are saying heterosexuals (like the white folk of Mississippi) are entitled to ride in the front of the bus, and homosexuals (like the coloureds) must ride in the back.

    This is a worldview that belongs in the past. What you are really saying is that you think – as a heterosexual – that your claim on social respectability is greater than homosexuals are entitled to expect. This is to say, in your view, some people are to be afforded lesser treatment than others purely by virtue of their sexuality. This is a completely indefensible position.

  7. thanks for the link SK – good to see Laurie throwing Abbott’s own words back at him

    [“I am not asking the Australian people to take me on trust, but on the record of a lifetime,” the Opposition Leader said.

    “As student president, trainee priest, Rhodes Scholar, surf lifesaver and volunteer firefighter, as well as a member of Parliament and as a minister in a government.”

    Note that Abbott specifically mentioned student politics and the position of SRC president at Sydney University.]

  8. womble,

    Grafting a lemon tree to an orange tree for a filmic effect proves the whole artificiality of the homosexual marriage movement.

  9. [4771
    Greensborough Growler


    Grafting a lemon tree to an orange tree for a filmic effect proves the whole artificiality of the homosexual marriage movement.]

    You are saying a homosexual marriage is a counterfeit or a front. Once again, this is to deny the equality that is the birthright of every person.

  10. GG

    How far do you want to go to deny Homosexuals equality? Iran executes gay people. Hitler sent them to the gas chamber. So how far do you want to go down that road.
    If you profess you do not want to go down that then accept the reality that equality really is equality including with the right to marry.

  11. Briefly,

    No. It’s they’re actually your words. So you should own them.

    I’m quite happy for my words to stand without your special assisatance to write special meanings and interpretation. But I’m sure that’s not going to happen.

  12. GG

    I’d argue the fact it can be done and is accepted as being ok, even though it’s a little different to what we had in the past, highlights the other side of the argument

    Of course you’re welcome to your point of view though, and it’s very unlikely we’ll change your mind – I just hope you accept it when (not if) the laws change and the right to marriage becomes equal.

  13. TONY Abbott is hardly in a position to complain that his behaviour at university 35 years ago is being scrutinised now as people make judgments about his fitness to be prime minister.

    He virtually invited that scrutiny himself, in a speech a couple of months ago.

    “I am not asking the Australian people to take me on trust, but on the record of a lifetime,” the Opposition Leader said.

    “As student president, trainee priest, Rhodes Scholar, surf life saver and volunteer firefighter, as well as a member of parliament and as a minister in a government.”

    Note that Abbott specifically mentioned student politics and the position of Student Representative Council president at Sydney University.

    Allegations that he used intimidatory tactics in his pursuit of that office have come back to haunt him, and his clumsy response has made the situation worse.

    Yesterday, after virtually hiding from the media since the matter erupted a week ago, he finally came to his senses and met the issue head-on in a tough television interview on Nine’s Today show, and later at a news conference.

    It was what he should have done right at the start.

    Abbott repeated the mistake Julia Gillard made over allegations concerning an incident in her pre-politics days when she was a lawyer – letting the controversy drag on rather than dealing with it quickly.

    When Gillard eventually called a news conference and promised to stay until journalists had exhausted all their questions, the fuss died away. Abbott will be hoping for a similar result. He has made things harder for himself than they needed to be, however.

    He now flatly denies the central allegation – that, after rival student politician Barbara Ramjan beat him in an election for the SRC presidency in 1977, he punched the wall on either side of her head.

    “It never happened,” Abbott said repeatedly yesterday.

    But he made no such categorical denial in his initial response to journalist David Marr, who reported the Ramjan claim in a Quarterly Essay profile on Abbott.

    Abbott simply told Marr he had no recollection of the incident, adding: “It would have been profoundly out of character had it occurred.”

    Why did Abbott’s memory improve in the space of a week? A cynic might suggest that minders, recognising that this is very dangerous ground for him, insisted on it.

    Abbott’s aggressive style worries many voters. And it is claimed he has a particular problem with women.

    The alleged intimidation of Ramjan combined both areas of vulnerability. Abbott could not afford to leave any doubt. He had to try to kill the issue off.

    Deciding the truth or otherwise of the allegation comes down in the end to who you believe. It is Ramjan’s word against Abbott’s.

    Abbott argues that, if the incident really occurred, Ramjan would not have waited this long to talk about it.

    But Sydney barrister David Patch, also prominent in student politics back then, says a “very shaken, scared and angry” Ramjan told him about Abbott’s behaviour at the time.

    Abbott and his supporters simply say that what Patch says should be ignored because he was once an ALP candidate.

    Another alleged witness is ridiculed and pronounced irrelevant because he does not want his name made public.

    Cartoonist Lindsay Foyle has disputed the claim that violence would not have been in the young Abbott’s character, telling a story about the future Liberal leader wanting to knock his block off in an argument over contraception. But Abbott says that didn’t happen either.

    A lot of people are making stuff up if you believe the Abbott camp.

    Abbott himself claims a Labor Party dirt unit is behind the whole thing.

    That angered the publisher and the editor of the respected Quarterly Essay, who said it was “completely implausible” that an author and journalist of Marr’s standing would be connected with a “dirt unit”.

    Journalist Greg Sheridan, Abbott’s best friend and staunch political ally in their university days, put forward another explanation for the emergence of the allegation.

    “This is the most disgraceful sectarian anti-Catholic campaign I’ve ever seen,” he said yesterday.

    “It comes down to anti-Catholic sectarianism on behalf of the ABC and David Marr.”

    Wow! Quite a conspiracy if that’s right. At this point it all starts to feel just a bit weird, don’t you think?

    Abbott made one admission yesterday, though, that his critics will regard as having relevance to today’s politics.

    As a female SRC president, Ramjan asked to be called “chairperson” rather than “chairman – but Abbott confirmed that he referred to her instead as “chairthing”.

    He concedes he is not proud of this, calling it “silly, childish, embarrassing”. But many will see it as more than that.

    Patch, for one, has argued that it displays a gender-based lack of respect “similar to the disrespectful way that Abbott treats the Prime Minister and her office today”.

    Laurie Oakes is political editor for the Nine Network. His column appears every Saturday in The Daily Telegraph

  14. I agree with TLM,

    I think the ALP should focus on Tone’s views and even in recent years his views don’t appear to have changed.

    I think most people’s views change overtime as they move from school to employment, middle aged, family and retirement but Tone doesn’t appear to have moved a great deal.

  15. womble,

    Assumptions about the inevitability of changes to the law by people who largely talk to people who have the same opinion as themselves, is a bit of legal roulette imho.

    Who can forget the Republic!

  16. @mexicanbeemer/4781

    People need justice, people want to a bully free workplace, and environment.

    If we have our next PM as a past-bully, what do you think will happen if it happens again?

    Repeat offenders are likely to re offend.

  17. GG

    Another good analogy – both had PM’s determined to maintain the status quo despite popular opinion, as indicated by opinion polls, suggesting change was wanted. Both also had PM’s manipulating the debate – Howard by stirring the fight between the different models and asking us to vote on that, Gillard by only allowing a conscience vote and not binding the party to a position.

    Are you saying we’ll never become a republic???

  18. zoidlord – I agree with you that bullies have no place in the workplace and I have no respect for a man that hits a women.

    But having read a piece in last Saturday Age and flipped though a book of Tone’s quotes, I think Tone has some very strange and sad views.

    My point is that people can do silly things at Uni or in their younger days and mistakes are allowed as long as you learn the lesson and change.


  19. womble,

    Never’s a long,long time.

    It may happen through attrition. But, I have no real confidence that it will happen soon. The current Queen is a from a longevitous line. Could still be another 20 years. Who knows what will be the the situation then.

  20. take a bow, GG, you are making TLM and Guytaur both look really good, I’ll be at their table if there’s ever a physical PB meet up involving all of us.

  21. Comparisons between reform of the Marriage Act and creating a republic are just misleading. Parliament has the power to amend the Marriage Act, but, by itself, cannot change the Constitution.

    This is a very simple issue: are people going to be treated equally under the law, or not? My own view is that the Constitution may well be found to contain an implied assumption that we are all entitled to be treated equally. This has never been expressly tested, but it should be. The law is good at finding and expressing individual rights. Were the High Court asked, it may well find that the Marriage Act as it is now framed is invalid to the extent that it denies equality of treatment on the basis of sexuality.

  22. GG i’d feel sorry for the Queen if she was in the top job in 20 years time, no one should have to work so late in life 🙁

    I think Turnbull was right – time for the republic will be at the of the Elizabethan era – it’s coming either way though, just a question of when – one thing for sure, it will be after marriage equality in Australia 😉

    I’m outta here, night all

  23. zoidlord – We are not really disagreeing, I think many of Tone’s views are strange and I see nothing to indicate that he has changed those views over time.

    I agree that Tone is aggressive and negative in QT. I just think there needs to be a focus on his views.

    I don’t see him as PM or management material

  24. Were the High Court asked, it may well find that the Marriage Act as it is now framed is invalid to the extent that it denies equality of treatment on the basis of sexuality.

    briefly #4797 , nice try, nice thought, but I’m sorry you dont appear to know much australian constitutional law? where exactly in the Australian constitution is there an equal protection clause? thats right, nowhere.

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