Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition

The first polling conducted since the Prime Minister’s polarising parliamentary speech on sexism and misogyny finds both leaders with their highest “strongly approve” ratings in well over a year. On voting intention however, the Coalition maintains its solid lead.

This week’s Essential Research survey has Labor down a point on the primary vote to 36%, but is otherwise unchanged on last week: the Coalition on 47%, the Greens on 9% and the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred. With very good timing, it also offers us Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which unlike the voting intention figures are derived entirely from the most recent period of surveying from Wednesday to Sunday. These figures are also of particular interest in the current environment in that they involve a four (strong approval, approval, disapproval, strong disapproval) rather than two point scale. This finds Julia Gillard gaining two points on strong approval since last month to 9%, her best result since February 2011, while also gaining four points on the milder approval measure to 32%. Her combined approval rating of 41% is her highest since May 2011. Her combined disapproval rating is down three points to 51%, also her best since last May, with strong disapproval steady at 27% and the milder disapproval rating down three to 24%. Opinion of Tony Abbott would appear to have polarised even further: he is up three on strong approval to 9% – his best result since December 2010 – but also up two on strong disapproval to a new high of 31%. His overall approval is up five to 37%, and disapproval down one to 54%. Gillard has opened up a seven-point lead as preferred prime minister of 43-36, its highest since February.

The survey also gauges attitudes to the presidential election, finding Barack Obama favoured by 63% to just 9% for Mitt Romney, with Obama leading 53-18 even among Coalition voters. Respondents were found to have an overwhelmingly more favourable view of their own country than the United States with respect to access to health care and jobs, standard of living for ordinary people, and other such. The US obviously rated higher on “international influence”, but even here 17% felt able to conclude Australia’s was “better”. Respondents were also asked about climate change, with much the same result as when the question was last asked a year ago: 48% believe climate change is occurring as a result of human activity, with 39% plumping for “we are witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate”.

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.

4,610 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition”

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  1. Conversation next week in Liberal Party room:

    Mr Abbott: “I recently took my Chief of Staff to Indonesia.”

    Mr Hockey: “Jakarta?”

    Mr Abbott: “No. No. No. She went of her own accord.”

    Boom boom!

  2. Agree or not. An interesting read I would guess. Yes I will read at some stage.

    @wikileaks: Mon Oct 15 04:19:15 UTC 2012

    Basic solidarity in WikiLeaks & Anonymous.

    By Julian Assange

    Freedom isn’t free, (cont)

  3. “@ericcampbellfcp: Many thanks everyone (Especially “@GregJessop1: you should be sacked by ABC you are a disgrace I’d spit in your face if I saw you”) Farewell”

  4. Those predictions from a few pundits that Thomson would never face charges look a bit optimistic.

    Any ideas if any criminal charges will be laid?

  5. The Wran gov’t in SA paid Armstrong a heap of $ to compete in the Tour Down Under. It probably did the job of getting lots of publicity for SA and the TDU but Armstrong’s current problems are being milked by Lucas.

  6. The press release wont help any plea in mitigation on penalty if Thomson decides to pull the pin on his defence.

    It is also defamatory of Belinda O’Neill re political pressure driving the prosecution.

  7. Funny how the actual “charges” against Thomson are still unknown, with Slipper Lewis had them online within a millisecond.

  8. You can sense the excitement in Latika’s head; great now we have Thomson to feed on for a while. Get the focus off Abbott. Yipeeee

  9. [@kieranaway: How @abcnews chalked up its first @YouTube viral video – the extraordinary @JuliaGillard remarks hits 1.5 million views

    The ratio of “Likes” to “Dislikes” is about 10:1 “Like”:”Dislike”, except in America, where it’s 20:1.

    On the whole this has been a positive for Julia. It’s outweighed or cancelled out the unemployment rise, the Banks’ failure to pass on interest rate reductions, the scare campaign on electricity bills, Slipper’s resignation and lewd texts, Bali and any residual effect of Margie Abbott’s sudden appearance the week before last.

    Not bad for “a social media thing”, as Stutchbury put it.

    Where Julia’s approval goes, Labor will follow.

  10. I dont think the FWA ever releases the charges/complaints against the other HSU people filed against Jeff Jackson and the others all who admitted to them

  11. Essential 53/47 and the ppm is a good outcome for labor given the crazy week. While JG has is coming down from her high disapproval rating Abbott is hitting his highest disapproval to date.

  12. [Conversation next week in Liberal Party room:

    Mr Abbott: “I recently took my Chief of Staff to Indonesia.”

    Mr Hockey: “Jakarta?”

    Mr Abbott: “No. No. No. She went of her own accord.”

    Boom boom!]

    Sexist dog.

  13. guytaur
    So far 8 retweets , 2 favorited and 2 new followers out of that tweet, better watch out Lartika might block me like she did one of my followers this morning
    Now up to another 4 retweets

  14. mari

    Good on ya!
    If Latika blocks me for arguing as distinct from being abusive (I do not get abusive on twitter so far) I will declare the fact to #auspol

  15. Guytaur
    [@stephenfry: Im assuming that you’ve all seen Julia Gillard’a spectacular mauling of the repulsive Abbott in the Aussie parliament?

    Stephen Fry has a mere 4.8 million followers!

    Unless I missed a decimal point (which is possible) the FWA press release said the maximum penalty for each of the offences was around $6500 so even if Craig Thomson was convicted on all charges it’s hardly likely to send him bankrupt.

    The legal fees on the other hand….

  16. [FWA general manager Bernadette O’Neill says the claim against Mr Thomson includes 37 alleged breaches of the duties imposed on officers of registered organisations and 25 alleged breaches of union rules.]

    So what happened to the:

    [FWA found 105 contraventions of civil penalty provisions, and another 76 contraventions of union rules, allegedly committed by Mr Thomson, national secretary Kathy Jackson, then national president Michael Williamson, an auditor, and the union itself.]

    They are hoping on this lot.

  17. During the Biden Ryan “debate” Ryan, challenegd over the “47%” gaffe, claimed the defence they are running now of “sometimes words don’t come out the way you intended”. Regrettably, Biden wasn’t sharp enough to invite Ryan to explain how they were intended or to ask how many other times Romney would have made the same claim at Repug fundraisers. Wouldn’t you have just loved to have been the moderator? I know I would have.

    What is perhaps less well known is that the source of Romney’s “47%” crack was almost certainly … Paul Ryan. He was rather coy in the “debate” on that but let’s have a look.

    [Charlie Sykes is a Milwaukee talk radio host and senior fellow at the right-wing Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and also an author whose most recent book, published last winter by St. Martin’s Press, is titled A Nation of Moochers: America’s Addiction to Getting Something For Nothing.


    Toward the very beginning of Chapter One appears the following passage:

    Even as more people become dependent on government, fewer were paying their share of the tab. By tax day in 2010, nearly half of U.S. households paid no federal income taxes. After years of cuts, credits, and outright rebates, 47 percent of households had no net liability at all.


    Sykes goes on to quote Paul Ryan in his book and on his book’s updated FB page :

    [Charlie Sykes’ A Nation of Moochers provides a much-needed wakeup call for a nation approaching two perilous tipping points: a moral one and a fiscal one. With our country facing unprecedented challenges and stark political choices, principled leaders will benefit from Sykes’ clear vision, keen insight and intellect. If we’re serious about getting our nation back on track, then we would be wise to follow the lessons laid out in A Nation of Moochers.” – Paul Ryan, Member of Congress]

    The article continues:

    [As a Representative from Wisconsin, Ryan has frequently appeared on Sykes’ radio show and at public events with him over the years, including a “Charlie Sykes Insight” conference last March – not long before Romney showed up for two days of pre-primary events in Ryan’s home state. Indeed, among those events was a March 22 appearance on Sykes’ radio program, during which Romney endorsed Ryan’s original budget and his privatization schemes for Medicare and Social Security. Would Sykes let a guest who was about to secure the Republican presidential nomination leave without a copy of his new book?]

    Interestingly, if you read the article, like Romney’s father, Sykes exactly fits the definition he gives of being a moocher. Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue.

    Clearly there’s more to this than pure fundamentalism. There’s guilt and angst as well.


  18. Looking at the line-up of Labor figures in the ABC report on Thomson & Fair Work, I can quite understand the average voter seeing it simply as “more Labor skullduggery” and voting Labor down in the next poll.

  19. The ALP did drop the ball with Craig Thomson at the 2010 election. There was already an investigation underway and allegations were floating around, so the ALP could well have pre-empted most of these problems by not allowing Thomson to stand for the ALP at the 2010 election.

    There’s a lot of hindsight in that of course, but unfortunately (in a way) the ALP in the last two terms has been remarkably scandal free such that Craig Thomson and the HSU stands out like dog’s bollocks. Heading the Thomson issue off at the pass would have made life considerably less painful for the ALP, although the HSU issues would still have exploded, and Michael Williamson is more than enough to tar the ALP with.

    Compared to the Howard government, the Rudd and Gillard governments have been bastions of probity and integrity as far as MPs and ministers go.

    Sadly according to the OM that’s apparently not context…

  20. Public administration in NSW…
    [A PLAN to build motorways across the west, inner west and south of Sydney is a throwback to 1950s transport planning that will quickly lead to congested roads, says one of the state’s most respected transport figures.

    In rare public comments, the former chief road builder and rail bureaucrat, Ron Christie, has delivered a scathing critique of the plan being proposed by the head of Infrastructure NSW, Nick Greiner, as part of its 20-year strategy for the state released this month.]
    The response…the equivalent of fingers in ear and shouting “la-la-la-la-la I cant hear you”:
    [A spokeswoman for Infrastructure NSW said: “Mr Christie is entitled to his opinion but the state infrastructure strategy is all about generating fresh ideas, fresh thinking and moving on from past failures.”]

    Meanwhile, the issue is not a biggie…
    [Sydney is the fourth-worst major city in the world for public transport, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers says.
    In global terms, it would be better taking a train or bus in Mumbai, Moscow, Istanbul, Shanghai or Beijing than travelling here…]

    Read more:

  21. The thomson case should have little effect on the polling

    People knew it was a matter of time til he went to court

    and if ewes ltd trys to get political points for the coalition it could back fire the news/ Abbott coalition like last time , they went overboard

  22. People got sick of the coalition trying to pressure on Thomson to leave Parliament

    funny thing is i dont think the coalition under Abbott would have learnt, and they will try to put motions on Thomson again in question time

  23. {guytaur
    Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | PERMALINK

    Good on ya!
    If Latika blocks me for arguing as distinct from being abusive (I do not get abusive on twitter so far) I will declare the fact to #auspol]
    I read the conversation between my follower(who was blocked) and Latika, I couldn’t see any abuse, only questions that obviously she didn’t like he seems OK still happily tweeting and retweeting one of my gems

  24. [Stephen Fry called Abbott ‘repulsive’. Fry is a man of good judgement.]

    I agree, I admire Stephen Fry and am delighted he’s called out Abbott on his disgusting behavior.

    If Australians elect Abbott as PM next year, I think Australia will be in quite low esteem by the world’s intellectuals.

  25. Meguire Bob – if Kathy Jackson was arrested (unlikely this year), she will be “ALP Union official”, and a compromised whistleblower, but there will be next to no criticism of Abbott, and certainly nothing that will get through to the average voter. I’d put money on it.

    If however something happened with Lawler, who Abbott appointed, that might do a bit.

  26. lizzie

    That was a tweet by Rhys Muldoon. I have not seen the youtube clip. I must confess to not really wanting to. I agree its 😆 😆

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