Essential Research: 54-46 to Coalition

Essential Research opens its account for 2013 much as it finished in 2012.

The first Essential Research poll for the year – indeed, the first poll full stop – has the Coalition leading Labor 54-46, a marginally better result for Labor than the 55-45 on which they closed their account in 2012. However, the primary votes are all unchanged on last time: 48% for the Coalition, 36% for Labor and 8% for the Greens. This survey also features Essential’s monthly measures of personal ratings, which have Julia Gillard up four points on approval to 41% and down four on disapproval to 49%; Tony Abbott steady on 33% and up one to 57%; and Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister nudging from 43-34 to 42-33. Whereas Essential surveys are normally a two-week rolling average of about 1000 respondents for each week, this poll is just from the 1014 respondents in the January 9-13 survey period.

Entertainingly, the poll also takes the opportunity of the Queensland government recent effort to liven up the silly season by gauging opinion on electoral reform, with results well in line with other such polling in the past. Support for voluntary voting is at 40% with 49% opposed. Fifty-eight per cent say they would definitely vote if it were not compulsory against 25% for probably, 9% for probably not and 4% for definitely not. Only 13% support the lowering of the voting age to 16, with 78% opposed. The poll also finds first-past-the-post is the favoured electoral system, but only if opposition is allowed to split two ways, in classic first-past-the-post style. Preferential systems are favoured to first-past-the-post 48% to 44%, but that includes 22% support for the existing full preferential system and 26% for optional preferential, such as operates at New South Wales and Queensland state elections and was advocated by Bronwyn Bishop last week.

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.

375 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Coalition”

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  1. Newspoll tonight???

    10:13PM Monday Jan 14, 2013
    3,342 online now
    See today’s paper

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    Labor winning back lost ground: Newspoll

    January 14, 2013 – 10:12PM

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    Labor has recorded a jump in support at the start of an election year but its resurgence appears to have come at a cost to the Greens and other parties, rather than the Coalition.

    The first Newspoll of 2013 in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday shows Labor’s support has risen six points to 38 per cent while the Coalition has dropped just two points to 44 per cent since the previous poll in December.

    The Greens retreated two points to nine per cent as did the amalgamation of other smaller parties.

    Despite the big recovery in its primary vote there were only marginal changes in personal satisfaction ratings for Julia Gillard as prime minister.

    The Coalition retains a slender lead on a two-party-preferred basis, 51 to 49 per cent, but has lost three percentage points to return to the neck-and-neck position that produced a hung parliament at the 2010 election.

  2. I was joking actually about the GST confessions.
    Like Keating I don’t consider it a reform at all – just a shifting of the buckets to capture more revenue.
    As for gun laws, call me cynical but I don’t think Howard had a choice with that. The sentiment was too strong for change post Port Arthur.

  3. The SLUMP is back on!!!

    James J
    Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink


    51-49 2PP to the coalition]

  4. sorry i didn’t clean that up and James still beat me anyway – JUST 😉

    thanks James – interesting Fairfax is getting the Newspoll stuff out so quickly

    51-49 a very nice place to be 🙂

  5. [355
    Danny Lewis

    Ooops. It appears I am cross-pollinating posts between this site and the other which dare not speak its name]

    Does this mean you are bi-focal, Danny?

  6. J M@189

    son of foro – I myself turn off the tv whenever Gillard comes on, and I know that I am not alone there. I can’t bear to listen to any Labor polly speak, and Australians hate Gillard like no other PM has been hated.

    Actually Keating was the most hated PM by some margin, at least since the late 1960s.

    54-46 to start the year, too.

    54-46 from Essential is only worth 53-47. Still better than trailing, of course.

  7. [These are very interesting questions, don’t you think?]

    I do. What is the tipping point away from principle to dogma? It’s not just identity or self awareness.

    What motivates a traditional, small government Liberal to get behind a big government DLP type in Abbott? Or even a high taxing, high spending alleged Liberal in Howard?

    The mind boggles.

  8. pedant@214

    It’s impossible for a candidate who polls more than one third of the formal vote to be excluded, so anyone who votes for a candidate certain to poll more than a third is being forced to engage in a pointless charade when marking later preferences.

    One-third is for NT and ACT; for other states it’s one-seventh.

    While a candidate who polls that well can’t get excluded, when they are elected their votes are distributed at reduced value as a surplus. So it is not true that the voter is wasting their time in numbering preferences.

    It is, however, true that if the voter was smart about it they would probably have voted 1 for somebody inconsequential rather than vote 1 for someone who would be elected on the first ballot. Voting 1 for someone who was going to be elected on primaries anyway slightly reduces the effect of your vote. (Can explain this in detail if necessary.)

  9. Kevin Bonham @ 368: I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my contribution that I was talking about the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

    In the Senate, I always vote up a ticket rather than down, precisely to make it less probable that my ballot paper will reach its ultimate destination at a fractional transfer value. Not that it’s likely to make any difference, but understanding how the system works gives me some small pleasure.

  10. pedant@369

    Kevin Bonham @ 368: I perhaps didn’t make it clear in my contribution that I was talking about the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

    Noted and my figures were wrong anyway; I’ve fixed this on the other thread.

  11. Polls look bad for our vile PM- start packin’ the hair dryer Tim-what a bummer-no more free OS flights or tix to the footy-back to the salon.

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