Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition

Essential Research’s monthly personal ratings show a substantial weakening in Julia Gillard’s position, while the two-party preferred result ticks over a point in the Coalition’s favour.

The latest weekly Essential Research poll has the Coalition ticking over from 54-46 to 55-45, as it must have come close to doing last time, with the major parties’ primary votes unchanged at 34% for Labor and 48% for the Coalition and the Greens down a point to 9%. The monthly personal ratings find Julia Gillard taking a solid hit over the past month, her approval down five points to 36% and disapproval up six to 55%, while Tony Abbott is up three to 36% and down four to 53%. The handy lead she opened up over late last year as preferred prime minister has all but disappeared, down from 42-33 to 39-37. The poll also finds 63% support for fixed terms against 23% for the current system. Also gauged were most important election issues and party best equipped to handle them, showing no great change since the question was last posed in November.

UPDATE (12/2/2013): Now Labor cops a shocker from the normally friendly Morgan face-to-face series, which on last weekend’s result has Labor down five to 33.5%, the Coalition up 2.5% to 45% and the Greens up half a point to 9%. That translates to 56-44 on respondent-allocated preferences and 54.5-45.5 on previous election preferences.

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.

6,171 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition”

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  1. Boerwar, I think the cost/full-price reader would be much higher than $150 pa. It is really unlikely that online subscriptions go anywhere near covering the supply costs inherent in running a daily paper, and it’s not obvious they would attract any advertising revenues at all.

    There must also be a lot of discounted cross-selling of advertising space within the News titles. It would be very interesting to know not only how many copies are sold, but how many advertising-pages are going into each issue. Most likely, the papers are being hollowed out, so the real “volume” is falling much faster than the nominal circulation numbers would suggest.

    The real fully-paid hard-copy readership is maybe around 60-70,000 per day…if that. The OO is probably throwing $300-400 per year into this readership, trying to hold them together while they evolve a digitally-based business model that will work. This cannot go on for long.

    I think the future in digital publishing is in having lots of niches…sport, business, fashion, current affairs…the range is unlimited. They have some things in common – especially in terms of promotional costs and production/distribution technologies, but they can be cross-sold and still be uniquely packed and priced.

    Maybe the biggest changes in media will come when some bright-spark abandons existing advertising models and starts to look at mass broadcasting as an opportunity for advertisers to collaborate. When advertising buyers are teamed together to buy and broadcast, say, the footy, the cricket or the tennis, without any inter-mediation by the media companies, things could radically change.

    Viewers will be able to buy their sport-preference from the syndicated sponsor-broadcasters. News, Seven, Ten, Fox…you could kiss them all goodbye.

  2. [ If a Labor pollie was treated the same when meeting pro-democracy leaders, PB would have declared war on the country. ]

    Depends who it was:

    Gillard – yes, of course.
    Rudd – not so much.

  3. Player One none of the above. It’s the best radio program to start the day while stuck in Bruce Hwy traffic. Most of the other programs are of soap opera standard.

  4. Player One

    You might have a solution to the Rudd Problem then.

    A visit to Malaysia after a few comments from Rudd on what a crap country it is.

  5. Z

    In London, they bombard you with free copies of the papers wherever you go. You can hardly leave a tube station without being assaulted by newspapers.

  6. Has bemused been banned or something as he/she doe not appear to be around today?.

    However, Bemused has been arguing for some time now that the current Government and by implication all Governments should not take ownership of the figures in their budgets. He/she argues that Governments should back away form the figures prepared by Treasury just in case the figures/forecasts/estimates turn out to be wrong.

    Of cause, in any budget some of the budget figures will prove to be wrong simply because in forecasting the future what Treasury is doing is some crystal ball gauzing. In fact it is remarkable that they get so close to the final figure so often. It demonstrates a considerable amount of skill and dedication being applied by those in Treasury as they are in most case look forward in excess of 18 months.

    Bemused’s has been particularly critical of the Treasurer and his forecast (really Treasury’s forecast) of a surplus this financial year. Bemused has been arguing that somehow Swan should have backed away form the figures prepared by Treasury. If Swan and the Government had shown a lack of support for the figures one could imagine the doubt that would have been thrown over the entire budget and the ramifications that would have had for the entire economy. As an example of this one only has to see the hullabaloo that arose over Swan’s slip concerning the current unemployment rate during QT this week. It was corrected very quickly but still it made the evening news and many articles in the MSM.

    A government has no choice but to give 100% support to its budget for if it does not it is courting disaster.

    This argument has been put by The Minister of Trade in an op-ed piece in the weekend press where he says in part “Treasury and the finance department cannot predict the future with certainty, but they offer the best available official projections. Governments, then, must rely on them. During the later Howard years, Treasury consistently underestimated revenue as rivers of gold flowed from the first China boom, but at no time did the Coalition abandon the budget processes or projections” – see for copy of the article.

    Note the use of the word must in the above quote, not may, not should, not can, not maybe but must. This means that any Government has no option but to support the figures in its budget and any mover away from this position must be resisted at all costs. It is not a “sin” to be wrong but it sure is if one is unwilling to demonstrate support for ones budget.

    Bemused argument of walking both sides of the street (usually with some barb wire running between ones legs is nothing but a receipt for disaster and economic chaos.

  7. And to be even-handed about this, Paul Murray, former editor of the West and regular from 9 am-12 on 6PR a Fairfax station, almost, without exception quotes straight from the OO – or gets a News Limited journo to comment.

    He admits to getting the OO paid for on-line but for a paper which has poor circulation, the conservative mouthpieces have it as their paper of choice.

    The OO has some kind of cult status and for a paper whose editor has sworn to destroy the Greens at the ballot box and does all he can to put the worst spin on much of what the Labor government does, the sooner it goes out of business the better.

    I suspect when Uncle Roop goes to the Big Presses in the Sky the OO will go too – though if he survives as long as his mum, this could be a long time.

    No more of the West seeking to buy the Sunday Times in Perth that I have noticed of late.

  8. The rest of the parliamentary delegation SenX was part of (who haven’t yet departed Aust) have reportedly withdrawn from the trip.

    This has the makings of diplomatic discomfort.

  9. [6114
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    That is bad news about the digger in NZ.]

    The report said the soldier was walking beside the road and was struck by a semi. NZ roads and driver-conduct are absolutely terrifying. I’ve been there a few times in recent years. The engineering and design standards, and general approach to road safety, are about 50 years out of date. Perilous.


    Sums up so much of what is written on PB, but does not include throwing all the blame on JG, as some posters would have it.
    [If Abbott has achieved anything in his time as leader of the Liberal Party it is only to alienate Liberal moderates (who I suppose will still vote for him anyway) and to build an army of fundamentalist right wing nasties who inhabitant Bullshit Mountain. This army does his bidding for him on social media, independent blog comments, in the mainstream press (think Jones, Bolt, Ackerman and Reith) and in café’s and workplaces near you. There’s no doubt that Australia will be a meaner and more selfish place under an Abbott led government. And this is what Gillard is fighting against.]

  11. Ratsars

    I understand the point you are making but i disagree.

    The job of a minister is to be across his/her portfolio so if we are to say okay Swan should accept the advice and only follow the advice then that indicates to me that Swan is not able or not willing to be across his portfolio.

    Sure Swan could raise questions out of sight of the media but Swan was clear cut that he would deliver a surplus even when it was clear as daylight that the forecast needed to be reviewed.

    It is much better for a minister to be cynical than gullible and there is no excusing Swan for going so hard on something that was always borderline.

    The consequences are now such that Swan is unbelievable and if the budget comes in at less than $20 Billion he wont be able to claim any credit for an unproved budget position because he went hard on it will be a surplus.

    I’m pretty sure no one in Treasury recommended Swan go as hard as he did on his surplus promise.

    Swan needs to be moved, yes he was successful in avoiding a recession but its time for new challenges.

  12. briefly

    I am sure that when accountants are involved the truth might rather hard to dig out.

    The general point is, given that it makes losses every year, ‘The Australian’ is nothing more or less than an agitprop rag.

  13. NZ drivers are better than those in Sydney in my experience, not that that’s saying much. It’s the sort of tragedy that could happen anywhere and does.

  14. Tricot

    I am not so sure it was seven west media (owners of The West Australian) wanting to buy he Sunday Times. My feel is News is wanting to sell. But I believe the asking price might have been a bit high
    Somebody mentioned above that when Rupert shuffles off the family will keep the newspapers in Australia. I reckon they are more likely to follow the Packer example and get out of the family business all together … Although it seems James isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box so I guess anything is possible

  15. PvO arguing with others on Twitter. Says he correctly predicted Rudd’s demise and now Shorten should move.
    Sounds a bit up himself, frankly.

    [Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP
    Everyone is talking about what a poor week Wayne Swan has had. I think it’s been every bit as good as the other 5 years he’s been treasurer.]

    [Peter van Onselen ‏@vanOnselenP
    My column in today’s Weekend Australian ‘PM’s in check, now Shorten must move’ … ]

  16. m
    Several thousand australians died today. Most of them will involve grieving, sorrow and sadness. Those Australians are from all walks of life. Some of them will have contributed little or nothing to the social warp and weft. Others will have contributed a lifetime’s work to society – doctors, teachers, nurses, volunteers, carers, firies, public servants, etc, etc…

    But a soldier dies in a traffic accident and it is news.

    Gimme a break.

  17. why doesnt peter van onselen

    explain why and others in news ltd , exposed abbott lies

    he has not once said the truth during his trust me campaign

  18. why doesnt peter van onselen

    explain why and others in news ltd , dont exposed abbott lies

    he has not once said the truth during his trust me campaign

  19. ‘fess

    [Plus, Fran Kelly is a dreadful interviewer. Constantly interrupting and looking for gotchas. That kind of interviewing just makes me tune out.]

    Especially when her interruptions are themselves MBCM memes. Seriously groanworthy.

    These days, I listen to 2WS. Yes it’s vacuous and indolent as well, but at least it’s vaguely amusing in a young adolescent kind of way, has the odd memorable tune and isn’t laundering The Australian as insight. OK, you have to put up with silly Bing Lee ads and that really annoying one about how many extras you can get on some Toyota Diesel ute but the mute button is handy.

    I arrive at work in far better shape than after an hour or so of Fran Kelly, Michelle Grattan and their silly, maundering, arrogant, and often equally ignorant cohort.

  20. Boerwar:

    It is news because we have allowed a culture of news reporting to develop whereby every soldier death is reverenced and solemnised by every political leader in the country.

    Personally I found the report a bit quirky; we’re used to seeing reports of soldiers dying in places like Afghanistan where there are wars, not in peaceful nations like NZ, and not in freak traffic accidents.

  21. it would be all over for the coalition

    if the media even reported 35 % – 65 %
    for the government

    The only hope abbott has if news ltd and other pro coalition media continue to report 3% -97% in favour of the coalition

  22. Boerwar

    The irritating thing I find about PvO is that he sees himself as above the hurly-burly of “the media”, and delights in making controversial statements on Twitter to stir people up. As I don’t watch him on TV I have no idea how he comes across there.

  23. MB

    Most people are not buying newspapers so whilst i agree the media standards are in need of improvement but the current Government’s problems are self-inflected.

    By focusing on the media reflects from the positives that the Government needs to sell.

  24. lizzie

    Peter van onselen

    is not much better than other pro coalition media journalist

    He has to keep up with the agenda of , helping the coalition

    because the abbott coalition can not help itself

  25. Boerwar, you’re spot-on. It is a sop to Murdoch’s sense of his own magnificence. He has traded through his whole career on a myth of his own concoction, a tale that portrayed his father as the victim of an injustice perpetrated by the “toffs”. By his lights, Murdoch is a modern rebel and a hero, and this exempts him from the demands of truth and balance. He is a missionary and can do as he pleases with his own dogmas.

    This is probably all feigned, like everything else to do with Murdoch. He is a circus promoter and a story-teller, when all is said and done. He makes money by inventing things and putting them up in full colours. He likes to depict himself as an outsider. He certainly enjoys being seen as a barbarian at the gates of orthodoxy, complacency and convention.

    How much longer can he sustain this charade? His mother lived a good long life. Maybe he will too.

  26. lizzie:

    He isn’t too bad on TV. At least he has some idea of how to interview people. Although from memory he did nothing to stop the disgraceful and disrespectful behaviour of fellow panelist Paul Kelly towards the PM that day.

  27. mexicanbeemer
    Posted Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    but the current Government’s problems are self-inflected.


    In what way, yes they may been a few gaffe

    But the coalition has done far more and which are more serious than what the governemnt has

  28. Detaining Senator X was a really stupid thing to do.

    Senator X is hardly a terrorist or a threat, and if your aim is to avoid highlighting political dodginess I would think detaining a foreign elected official is not the right way to do that. Neon signs pointing to the government saying “we’re dodgy” would be more subtle.

    If they’d let the delegation proceed Senator X and co would have been almost completely ignored, as he (and they) are normally.

    The Malaysian government must be in a panic. Not a good sign for them.

  29. confessions

    I think that played to the PM’s advantage giving her the opportunity to give Kelly a whack

    The PM has shown that she is at her best when she is on the front foot

  30. Lizzie –

    and delights in making controversial statements on Twitter to stir people up.

    You’re not accusing PvO of being a … a … a troll are you?

  31. [But a soldier dies in a traffic accident and it is news.

    Gimme a break.]

    Kinda different BW. The soldier was on transfer and therefore representing his country overseas. A news report is the least we can do and I suspect all serving ‘representatives’ of our nation, no matter how trivial the circumstance may appear, would be accorded the same courtesy and respect. RIP.

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