Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition

The one survey that uses an internet rather than telephone-based methodology remains resolute in not participating in the Labor poll recovery.

NOTE: Apologies for the present technical problems. I’m afraid I can offer no insight on how long they’re likely to last.

Essential Research this week maintains its apparent determination not to participate in the Labor poll recovery, unless you count a one-point lift in the primary vote to 35%. Otherwise, the Coalition (48%), the Greens (9%) and two-party preferred (55-45) are unchanged. Labor has in fact gained three points on the primary vote over the last five weekly polls, but with the Coalition down only one and rounding perhaps also playing a part, this has only translated into a one-point gain on two-party preferred.

Other findings:

• Racism (71%) and religious intolerance (65%) are rated by most as problems in Australia, but homophobia (50%), sexism (45%) and ageism (44%) not so much. Labor might be perturbed to discover that slightly more think the Liberal Party better at dealing with such matters, although that’s clearly because the question pits it in direction competition with the Greens.

• A question on same-sex marriage finds 55% support and 36% opposition, respectively up one and up three since August.

• The poll also finds 55% considering recent protests unrepresentative of the Muslim community, against 29% who think it demonstrates a tendency to extremism.

• A question on the treatment of the public sector lately in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, which presumes rather a lot of knowledge on the part of respondents, finds a 23-38 good-bad split for Queensland, 23-34 for New South Wales and 26-25 for Victoria. Thirty-nine per cent anticipate bad treatment under a future Abbott compared compared with 30% for good treatment, while the result for the present government is 37% apiece.

UPDATE (25/9): The weekend’s Morgan face-to-face poll has Labor at parity with the Coalition on two-party preferred using the previous-election preference distribution method, something Labor last managed in late February and early March. The Coalition continues to lead 52-48 on respondent-allocated preferences, which is down from 53.5-46.5 on the result published for the two previous weeks. The primary vote has Labor up from 35% to 37.5%, the Coalition also up slightly from 40.5% to 41.5%, and the Greens down from 12% to 10%.

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.

3,772 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition”

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  1. fiona@35,
    OH went to school in the 1940s and 1950s, back in the days of short-back-and-sides and Brylcreem for the boys. He avers that he and his brothers never had nits – which I suppose is not unreasonable, given that the eggs would sort of slide off the hair …

    Actually, the nits were dropping off the perch in your OH’s hair because they breathe through their stomach wall and if an individual blocks their respiratory system with an oleaginous substance like Brylcreem or Olive oil or Conditioner, as is most common nowadays, the nits asphyxiate and die. 🙂

  2. Thanks William. A definite trend in PV for ALP. Interesting that the TPP has only gone up by 2 points in the same period (with PV up 4 points). Any theory on that?

  3. [rian Mc, Essential Research has a pool of 100,000 volunteers to draw on who agree to participate in its online surveys when randomly nominated to do so. Within]
    William posted.

    Yes but William you yourself have to ask to go on the list.

    you email ess. and then some other company emails you
    you get allsorts of polls nothing to do with politics.

    i just delete them now, cannot be bothered saying what i think of products. i cannot imagine any thing so boring
    but thats not every one of course some people with time on their hands may be enjoy saying what they think of stuff

  4. This should be interesting

    [About the house RBA’s gov Glenn Stevens and retired deputy-gov Ric Battellino to front House Economic’s Com hearing into NPA & Securency on Monday 8 Oct.]
    3:09pm – 24 Sep 12

  5. [Kellie Connolly ‏@kellieconnolly
    @Buffygirly he said the piece was thoughtful and he took it on board. If u heard the message you’d vote for him]

    Hilarious. Oh sure, That’s Just Tone bagged the PM for being in NY and not going to Jakarta, even though the Indonesian President is actually in NY as well. But whatever, he leaves lovely phone messages for Tele writers so yeah, like, totally vote for Tone!

    Jesus wept.

  6. The transcript of the 2GB “Should be in Jakarta not New York, oh whoops” interview is taking its sweet time to get onto Abbott’s website

  7. Lynchpin@47,
    chris murphy‏@chrismurphys

    Lawyers stunned by absolutely indefensible defamation of MsRamjan by Michael Kroger in The Australian. Deliberate.Agenda? #auspol

    I wonder how Planet Janet feels about her boyfriend speaking that way about a female?

    Oh wait, she’s a ‘Lefty’ so that’s OK then?

    The thing I can’t understand is, why is Barbara Ramjan being so passive in the face of such disgraceful behaviour from the defenders of Abbott? If the shoe was on the other foot the Liberals would have engaged the services of a Defamation QC faster than you could say, ‘Payout’.

    Is she really intimidated by it all? Is she hoping that it will play itself out eventually and she can go back to obscurity?

    If that’s the case she doesn’t understand how the Liberals play this game.

  8. Essential, Newspoll and Nielsen are all projecting 2PP results off their primary vote numbers the same way, so a failure to convert a primary vote gain into equivalent on 2PP has to be down to a) bad luck on rounding or b) lower support for the Greens.

  9. correction by the Kouk re monthly repayments quoted earlier

    [@paulcramsie I did a Barnaby – yes – $34 a month! Not $340. Even better. The debt servicing ratio is very low. Thanks for pointing it out]

  10. Victoria @ 39,

    The surprise dinner on Saturday worked a treat: OH only realised something was on when were were climbing the stairs to the “private” part of the restaurant – and when he saw his eldest three, plus one SIL, plus a few v special friend his face was a sight to behold.

    It was great company, spectacular food, a very funny evening.

    Yesterday – the actual birthday, the family was here for lunch and dinner (I sent them plus OH out for an afternoon’s sight-seeing as I needed a break). This morning we had a late breakfast together, then stepdaughters and step-SIL headed for the airport.

    It was a brilliant weekend, and geez I’m tired 😉

  11. William

    The suppression order on Finnigans identity has lapsed as the magistrate said he has a case to answer. I assume that means the judge tossed out the defense that the children hadn’t been identified so it couldn’t be proven they were under 14.

  12. [@paulcramsie I did a Barnaby – yes – $34 a month! Not $340. Even better. The debt servicing ratio is very low. Thanks for pointing it out]

    So that’s the equivalent of a person on a salary of $100,000.00 a year with a monthly mortgage of just $34.00? Hell, this is the lucky country. So why the need to cut services like breast cancer screening and why sack tens of thousands of public servants? Absolute madness and bastardry.

  13. William

    We’ve covered the internet poll (essential)What is the perceived wisdom on face-to face polls (eg morgan) compared to telephone. Do they have biases? Morgan seem to have the biggest turnaround.

  14. zoidlord

    [Going offline, Storms in QLD atm.]

    Last one of 4 in a row just passed here, 3 with hail; but the valley is still behind an opaque dark cloud. Though our hail was thankfully small, it wasn’t on the other side of town & in farming areas. Not good for carnival gardens and mid-growth crops.

    Before the first storm arrived, our storm warning had been cancelled; but the high-level oceanic mass arrived on time (c2.20pm) and we were back with not one but two of BOM’s mean red ovals moving east. It was clear enough to watch the eastern whitish clouds pushing into and over the western black ones, luckily quite gently, so little turbulence and no circular motion.

    There’s a really nasty one moving towards Hervey Bay.

    Hope you, all in their path and homes and cars are safe.

  15. Now I read my say’s information that the Essential pool have all asked to be there. So the pool is made up of people like us, interested in politics, not normal Australians, busy with living and not really all that interested in politics. Those who turn up at polling places on voting day with closed or empty minds, regarding their task as something of a nuisance. At least polling those Australians who have land line phones and are willing to talk for a few minutes would be more representative of what will happen on voting day, late next year.

    As William pointed out with different words; there’s quite a difference between Precision (MoE) and Accuracy and the latter is something we only get on Election Day.

  16. [Brylcream and Cardigans are in now but essential won’t pick that up]

    I’m hearing elastic sided boots are also on the way back. The Dave Clark Five might have a new single out soon as well. And News may have something criticla to say about their boy. One of these scenarios is in jest. Which one?

    I’m in pieces, bits and pieces…

  17. See the SMH and The Australian has picked up on Tony Abbott’s gaffe, re where Julia Gillard should be. The Terror reckons Swan will have to rewrite the budget???

  18. See the SMH and The Australian has picked up on Tony Abbott’s gaffe, re where Julia Gillard should be. The Terror reckons Swan will have to rewrite the budget???

  19. See the SMH and The Australian has picked up on Tony Abbott’s gaffe, re where Julia Gillard should be. The Terror reckons Swan will have to rewrite the budget???

  20. As is very well known, Morgan face-to-face has a Labor bias, although this did seem to dissipate at the peak of the backlash against the carbon tax. The best theory I’ve heard for this is that phone pollsters who can’t get hold of a targeted respondent can keep trying until they do. With face-to-face polling, if they’re not home they’re not home and the surveyor has to move on. This means people who tend to be away from home are excluded from the sample, and this is more likely to be true of those on higher incomes.

  21. The Essential poll results raise several questions:

    1: how are the respondents chosen

    ** we have William saying: randomly from a fixed 100,000 list
    ** we have My Say saying that she was sampled on a regular fortnightlky basis, until she resigned

    2: how are the questions phrased – it’s possible there is some bias here that under-reports Green and Undecided.

    3: really important: how often does the 100,000 master list get replaced?

    4: is the master list itself an outlier? This seems likely, as Green and Undecided are consistently given low numbers. Bear in mind that the total must be 100%, and since both ALP and Coalition primaries tend to be high, this means that Green and Undecided primaries must necessarily be low.

    It is tempting to say that the only meaningful way to interpret Essential is to look at the RATIO of ALP to Coalition.

    The trouble with that idea is that this ratio(eg typically 34:47) might be itself an outlier which re-enforces itself due to the master list being continually resampled.

    Bottom line, IMHO, is that the Essential polling data should be taken with some caution.

  22. [THE DECISIONS made by Wivenhoe Dam engineers during the 2011 floods were “reasonable”, a new report has found.

    The report, released this morning, finds the four dam engineers were following the operations manual when they kept outflows to a minimum over the crucial weekend of January 8-9.]

    So will Hedley Thomas now admit he was wrong?

  23. The Finnigans,

    [ The suppression order on Finnigans identity

    Diog, i am a dolphin, what else they want to know 😛 ]

    Blimey! What have you been up to Finns?

  24. Brian MC 75

    Yes, good point. That was a point I meant to raise. How does Essential get its 100,000 respondents. If they themselves apply, that is not a random sample, but must have some bias within it.

    Whatever bias that would be would be open to speculation.

    Psephologists should really have looked into this, and there should be something on the net somewhere. Does Peter Lewis explain his sampling methodology on the Essential website?

    Memo to myself: check this.

  25. @skywake: @GoneHomeR @DoctorKarl @oliyoung Think of it as a battle of Hz. Radio has ~1Ghz to play with, Optics has more than 1000x that #NBN

  26. Thanks William re face-to-face

    You should create a William Bowe Weighted-Index (WBWI)of polls taking into account all the biases/house effects of each Australian pollster and stamp a educated opinion on the current state of the polls. You know we want it and Australia needs it! Possum can graph it.

  27. Looking at the budget papers released today it seems that the Future Fund is not really doing anything.

    Total employee and superannuation liabilities = $249,889,000,000

    Whats in the FF $70 billion? (and it is not in the budget figures).

  28. Anyway, so what if Barbara Ramjan was a ‘serial accuser’? Maybe she has been serially abused?

    Anyway, everyone knows Michael Kroger is a serial Liberal fixer and standover man.

  29. i emailed essential and to my surprise got an email from another company.
    i kept perserving page after page till i got a political question.

    so when one arrived on say a wed. or thurs i thought this may have a politcal question in it so i did the survey.

    but as i said i got bored with doing the survey hoping a politcal question was amounst the others l

    so now i just delete

  30. #TonyIKnow has trended up to top of the pops. Their is some really funny ones too , too many to list. Space Kidette is having fun. A few bashing Hockey’s budget dummy spit. The LNP are not good under pressure and look like spoilt kids.

  31. Essential’s website gives no information on the size of its master list. Maybe that is an urban myth.

    Nor does it show how they select respondents – phone, email? Maybe they make it up.

    The current poll had a sample size of 1992. The previous poll had a much lesser sample size (about 1100 from memory).

    The way Essential words the questions is quite weird – particularly Q2, which is basically the second part of Q1 repeated. The wording of Q2 is especially sloppy.

    Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

    Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

    Sample size = 1992 respondents

    Now here is something in the Essential explanation:

    “Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.”

    That might explain a lot – though how don’t ask.

  32. @lurlibel: @abcnews Y does the ABC keep repeating on News 24 that Joe Hockey says Swan has “fudged figures” when they know it’s untrue?Y give airspace?

  33. Andrew Robb has an op-ed piece in the AFR today

    [Labor has ruined good government

    Failure of leadership, not ministerial staff numbers, is the root cause of legitimate business concerns over “major policies unravelling before our eyes” and “short-term thinking”…

    Australia is being run by a bunch of political cowboys who refuse to accept the disciplines of a sound, robust decision-making process, or the inconvenience and attention to detail that effective policy implementation demands…

    It explains the “culture of intimidation” and absence of civility that so marks this government’s policy and political approach…

    The absence of strong parliamentary leadership has meant that the COAG experiment has largely been a failure. Australia desperately neds direction, not short term politics masquerading as reform]

    Bizarre piece. Born to rule mentality. Remember that lack of civility when watching QT next.

  34. I have a study which was conducted in the US in 2010 into online panel polling, which criticises it on the basis that a third of the adult population didn’t have regular internet access (surely less true now) and high non-response rates (although it’s not clear to me that this is any less of a problem in phone polling). However, it ended up noting:

    [One special case is electoral polling where studies using nonprobability panels sometimes have yielded results that are as accurate as or more accurate than some surveys using probability samples. However, these studies are especially difficult to evaluate because of the myriad of design choices (likely voter models, handling of item nonresponse, weighting, etc.) pollsters face, the proprietary character of some of those choices, and the idiosyncratic nature of the resulting surveys.]

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