Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

Essential Research’s primary vote numbers suggest the worst isn’t over for federal Labor, while ReachTEL rolls out the welcome mat for Julia Gillard in western Sydney.

Essential Research suggests Labor’s recent slump may not have bottomed out yet, with their primary vote down two to 32% and the Coalition steady on 49%. With the Greens up a point to 10%, two-party preferred nonetheless remains steady on 56-44. Further questions relate mostly to the Greens, whose performance in the federal parliament is rated good by 17% and poor by 47%; whose politics are related too extreme by 52% and representative of the views of many by 24%; and whose leader Christine Milne is approved of by 22% (up two since November) and disapproved of by 29% (down four), with 48% (up one) still not knowing. The end of the formal agreement between Labor and the Greens is rated good for the Greens by 33% and bad for them by 26%, while the respective numbers for Labor are 26% and 40%. The poll also gauges firmness of vote, which I tend not to find too illuminating, and has 29% believing the mining tax should be amended to raise more money and 21% believing it should be maintained as is, with only 28% favouring its abolition.

We’ve also had ReachTEL striking while the iron is hot on behalf of the Fairfax papers in western Sydney, with automated phone polls of between 617 and 662 respondents conducted on Thursday in four of the area’s traditionally strong Labor seats. It finds the Liberals with a crushing 63-37 lead in Laurie Ferguson’s seat of Werriwa, a 62-38 lead in Chris Bowen’s seat of McMahon, a 54-46 lead in Ed Husic’s seat of Chifley, and a 54-46 lead in Jason Clare’s seat of Blaxland. The respective Labor margins in the four seats are 6.8%, 7.8%, 12.3% and 12.2%. Further questions on how respondents would vote if Kevin Rudd were leader get the usual response. Less usual is the strength of Tony Abbott’s personal ratings, which are net positive in two of the four seats, and the very weak results for the Greens, who score between 2.6% and 3.6% compared with 8.1% and 8.4% at the election.

ReachTEL has also conducted a poll of 693 respondents in Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley for Andrew Bolt’s Channel Ten program The Bolt Report. This has Swan trailing his LNP opponent 54-46, almost perfectly replicating the result of another poll ReachTEL conducted for United Voice in January. As usual, it finds things would turn around if Kevin Rudd was Labor leader.

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.

5,557 comments on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition”

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  1. @Bh/2003

    I’m not concerned at this point, reviewing the few years with polls being up and down.

    Senator Conroy now on the attack run.

    Conroy said that if the Coalition tries to “tear up the contracts” that NBN Co is signing, it would be engaging in sovereign risk. He questioned why Turnbull would want to stop NBN Co from signing new contracts if the Coalition is committed to completing the NBN project.

  2. “@genericleftist: Hahaha! Baillieu says he’s keeping his chief of staff, Tony Nutt, who says Peter Ryan is a “liar” and “lied to Parliament” #springst”

  3. zoidlord Thanks for the link. Conroy is going to have to stop laughing at Turnbull and be really serious.

    I noticed the OO has latley been trying to savage the need for the NBN.

  4. Melissa Clarke repeating the falsehood that last night was “invitation only” to ALP members.

    As leone said she received an invitation but isn’t an ALP member.

  5. Reposting from other thread:

    Essential, Morgan, Newspoll and Nielsen from the last two weeks are all 55 or 56 when adjusted for house effects.

    My increasingly formalised (but not quite there yet) aggregator now gives 55.3. Would be hard to defend any figure that wasn’t 55-point-something.


    As for ReachTEL I disagree with a lot of their 2PPs, the Lilley one should be more like 52:48 (as discussed in the updated Silly Lilleys at and a couple of those W Syd ones I checked yesterday seemed a bit harsh, but only by a point or so, which is chickenfeed in the context of the findings.

    If the national 2PP was in the mid-55s it would be expected that Swan would be trailing, so the Bolt Report poll (with a more realistic 2PP) is no surprise. I don’t trust Bolt any more than he would probably trust me but I don’t see anything suss about the primaries on that one.

  6. “@bellfrances: Ted Baillieu says he has not sacked Tony Nutt. Says he was not aware Tristan Weston was paid $22,500 by the Liberal Party.”

  7. “@latikambourke: OL Tony Abbott again promises to fund tax cuts and pension increases despite removing the carbon tax and its revenue.”

    “@latikambourke: OL Tony Abbott ‘don’t assume that’ we’ll reverse the tax cuts associated with the introduction of the carbon price.”

  8. Allo, Allo!!
    Someone suggested that Abbott would reverse this one!
    [Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
    OL Tony Abbott ‘don’t assume that’ we’ll reverse the tax cuts associated with the introduction of the carbon price.]

  9. [Andrew Lund ‏@andrew_lund
    Ted Baillieu says he was unaware of conversations btwn T Weston and Tony Nut- will refer details to IBAC @9newsmelb ]

    Sounds like Baillieu’s presser has either happened or is underway.

  10. g

    ‘…Says he was not aware…’

    These Liberals. They are not aware of… They forgot… They overlooked… They have specific knowledge of…

    And they want to run the country.

  11. The Murdoch Press has been saying some quite nice things about Julia recently (from what I have observed on the front page of the Daily Telegraph). I can only assume (being deeply cynical) that the plan is to prop her up and try to forestall a change of leadership. They’re probably also concerned about proposals to change media ownership laws.
    When people like Michael Kroger say that Labor shouldn’t shift leaders, you know it’s way past time to change.

  12. Nuttgate Tapes

    ‘Outraged by slurs’

    Michael Strong, a former judge of 20 years who headed the OPI, says he is outraged by what he says is a “totally gratuitous slur” against his staff by some of the remarks heard in the tapes.

    Mr Strong says Mr Nutt appears to be alleging the OPI was corrupt and “fitted people up”.

    “What that means is that, allegedly, we made allegations and findings against people, knowing those allegations and findings were false.

    “That I assume is the basis of the allegation that the OPI under my leadership was corrupt.

    “Now that is all outrageous.

    “It is an outrageous slur, after many, many years of public service, 20 years as a judge, and a terrible slur on my very dedicated staff.

    “I have no problem with anybody investigating the OPI, I have nothing to hide.

    I have no problem with anybody investigating the OPI, I have nothing to hide.
    Michael Strong, former judge and head of the OPI.
    “Me and my staff acted with complete integrity.”

    In another recording, OPI staff are described as third-rate staff and the biggest bullies in town.

    “It’s a totally gratuitous slur,” Mr Strong said.

    “They (his former staff) are some of the finest people I have ever worked with.”

    He also raised concerns about the future of his former staff saying the recordings appear to reveal Mr Nutt’s plan to ensure OPI staffers did not work in the new anti-corruption regime.

    “Now the Minister, Mr Andrew McIntosh, has repeatedly said that the staffing of IBAC would be entirely a matter for the new commissioner, and I told the staff the same thing, relying on Mr McIntosh’s assurances.

    “It now seems there’s been a plan afoot for a very long time from within the Premier’s office to get rid of a lot of them, and I find that disturbing.”

  13. Does anyone expect a poll bounce from the tour of western Sydney? That is, in the 2 or 3 weeks following? If not, what are the ramifications of that?

  14. KEVIN ONE SEVEN at 20
    Correctomundo and have been saying it for ages the Liberals do not want to face either Rudd or Shorten and News Limited clearly wants to keep Gillard as Labor leader.
    Zoidlord keep believing in Andrew Catsaras’s “Insiders” theory (“wishful thinking”) where he cherry picks polls to give your mob false hope. They have not been in front on a respected poll in over two years plus. Good luck

  15. That can’t be true, if it were true, they would be rigging the polls favourably for PMJG, and they’re doing the opposite!

  16. Jeff Sparrow
    That’s why it’s useful to remind ourselves that, in almost every protest campaign in recent years, Gillard’s been on the wrong side. Think about the equal love marches, think about the refugee issue, think about civil liberties and war and pensions to single parents. It’s not as if activists and community campaigners will be losing an ally if Gillard goes. On almost any issue you can name, the struggles will continue, irrespective of who wins the election.

  17. The Liberals believe that they have the Western Sydney vote sewn up.

    Meanwhile the Victorian Liberal government is going from crisis to crisis and Newspoll shows a Labor polling lead at a State level.

    So why is Tony Abbott tailing PMJG in Sydney this week instead of going to Melbourne to shore up the Liberal vote there?

  18. “@emma_os: Ted Baillieu denies that his chief of staff Tony Nutt offered to resign today, says he has full confidence in him”

    I think Mr Baillieu knows he is a oncer. Why hasten the day?

  19. mimhoff

    Actually Jeff Sparrow is correct. However what he does not get is how retrograde Abbott is. Like Newman rights will go backwards under an Abbott Government.

    Maybe some on the first day. eg the racial discrimination act. Brandis and others seem to have a big bee in bonnet about Bolt having to go to court.

  20. I noticed that Sky got Ted off the main screen fairly quickly and at one stage when he fumbled on answering a question about criminality we suddenly got music instead of Ted.

    Back to Ted for the next question. Am I too cynical?

  21. rua

    He does well in the Pier to Pub across the Bay. His next trick is the underwater swim. He’s practising invisibility.

  22. [Allo, Allo!!
    Someone suggested that Abbott would reverse this one!

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
    OL Tony Abbott ‘don’t assume that’ we’ll reverse the tax cuts associated with the introduction of the carbon price.]

    JoeHockey and Andrew Robb must be pulling their hair out.

    One minute their boss says this and then next minute contradicts it 180 degrees.

    He’s dumping billions of dollars onto the accounts, then erasing them, then putting them back, seemingly to survive what by any other standards would be pretty mild questioning.

    They must be praying for an early election, which they would probably win.

    How they think they can sustain this farce of a campaign for another six months is beyond me.

  23. Canasta76 thanks for the link. Will go back and get it now. Mch appreciated.

    Does anyone know what this is about?

    [joy cooper ‏@patiogardener
    @markjs1 @Artspeakcentral @AustralianLabor Christine Milne has given the Greens their Meg Lees moment.]

  24. Time for a Victorian ICAC?

    Also take a leaf out of NSW and appoint someone not from Australia as Commissioner to take on clean out of culture role.

  25. Lynchpin

    I will have a go at your question and it is purely my gut feeling.

    I would suspect there will be almost no bounce maybe a point or two at best.

    If you saw my comment on the previous page the demographics I have described in my seat will have the same effect on Western Sydney seats.

    Some of those areas were filled with DOH properties and were somewhat barren re services etc. It is not the case now.

    Tradies who were once living in DOH properties or whose family homes were bought out by their families are now self employed.

    They are building their own businesses and homes raising their children there and enjoying a comfortable lifestyle. Some of their kids are in Private Schools and they enjoy the lifestyle of open space a booming growth area.

    Building new highways takes both a lot of time and a lot of money for governments. The State Government is not keeping pace with the growing population and although I realise the PM has promised give $1 billion towards a highway it will take years to get done and they will have to get money out the current Lib State Government.

    Who knows what will happen in the future but people have very little faith in Governments of any persuasion today so who really knows what will happen.

    Those seven seats in Western Sydney are not a big danger for the ALP for no reason.

  26. How does Mr Abbott propose to do these things?

    [We’ll scrap the carbon tax, we’ll build WestConnex, we’ll stop the boats and we’ll stop the guns.]

    He really has become a walking slogan machine.

  27. BH

    Labor people look for Meg Lees moment all the time.
    Not going to happen with Greens. They have no GST. They have Environment as core and as long as stick by that even if they go right on economics they stay true to core.

    Of course Greens will not go right economically. So wishful thinking by those that think the Greens will conveniently disappear.

  28. @MTBW/46

    Roads for alot of time are a state issue, If State Goverment (READ: O’Farrel and his Roads Minister – then perhaps they should be sacked for unable to supply the state?

    This is another reason why Policies from the Labor Party such as the National Broadband Network are trying to divert traffic to other area’s instead of clogging up more roads.

    More roads isn’t the answer.

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