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. Well, it’s pleasing to see that Newspoll was wrong with its WA prediction.

    At least we saw a tightening of the polls and the Liberals struggling to hold government.

    On ‘ya, Julia!!

  2. LoL the polls have Labor losing safe seats in Western Sydney…Safe seats….the same polls say said seats would be easily saved if Rudd were PM.

    Likewise many many polls tell the same story. PMKR makes a big change to the number of seats ALP can save. This has been simple polling fact for a long time.

    Surely it must get through some skulls that the only way Labor would be keeping the persistently failing leadership of Gillard when they have something that could save their arses….is they are more concerned about saving their own power within the party. How obvious does this have to get??

  3. Dear oh dear

    I am not alone but I find this endless Rudd/Gillard personality discussion so repetitive and boring.

    While a discussion on how the ALP can lift it’s performance would be very valuable and enlightening, the assumption that the only answer is “Rudd” is so limited.

    It assumes for a start the the only issue is the leader.

    I do not agree that that is necessarily the only issue.

    It is true the Government has severe problems with communicating the value of its policy/legislation for people.

    The ALP is, objectively speaking failing (pretty emphatically?) to win the political debate.

    I wish the staunch Rudd supporters would address that issue BEFORE they assume that all would be resolved with a Rudd leadership.

    They may be right but I would prefer the analysis.

  4. You’re right feeney, we should have taken the 47/53% Newspoll months out from the election seriously, rather than the one directly before the election. We should praise McGowan for barring the PM from WA and leading Labor to one of its worst defeats in the state. *eyeroll*

  5. [On ‘ya, Julia!!]

    The Prime Minister has had no involvement with the WA campaign whatsoever.

    Trying to pin this result on her is tenuous at best.

  6. confessions@5458

    On ‘ya, Julia!!


    The Prime Minister has had no involvement with the WA campaign whatsoever.

    Trying to pin this result on her is tenuous at best.

    Didn’t you get the memo, confessions? State results predict federal results in any states where the LNP is doing well.

    In those states where the LNP is imploding, state results have NO IMPACT WHATSOVER on the federal vote.

  7. That’s right CONfessions, they’ve never heard of Julia Gillard in WA.
    That’s what I’ve heard.
    If you say ‘carbon tax’ to a west Australian they have no idea what you’re talking about.
    Go figure.

  8. confessions@5458

    On ‘ya, Julia!!


    The Prime Minister has had no involvement with the WA campaign whatsoever.

    Trying to pin this result on her is tenuous at best.

    And the party in WA will be thankful for that small mercy. Otherwise it could have been worse.

  9. If Rudd was Prime Minister the result would have been as bad in WA – its a red herring.

    Ignoring the poor support for Labor everywhere except Victoria is stupidity – it can be turned around but not by pretending everything is ok

  10. Player One
    I think you know the names. AWU/SDA/HSU mainly. Swan; Gillard; Shorten, Howes; Conroy, de Bruyn; Ludwigs; Farrell; ex Bitar; ex “Quiet American” Arbib; ex Williamson; ex Thomson; Burke; Emerson; ex Feeney; ex Roxon.

  11. feeney@5451


    Well, it’s pleasing to see that Newspoll was wrong with its WA prediction.

    At least we saw a tightening of the polls and the Liberals struggling to hold government.

    On ‘ya, Julia!!

    FMD – A Labor person cheering a Labor loss – A state Labor loss in order to give payback on Rudd.

    Totally unconscionable!

  12. [Psephos
    Posted Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm | PERMALINK
    A few seats have improved in the later counting. Labor 16 is probably about right. The Labor primary vote before the WAEC website crashed was 33%.]

    What do you think about Antony Green’s prediction of 20 ALP seats at present?

  13. dave@5464

    feeney@5451


    Well, it’s pleasing to see that Newspoll was wrong with its WA prediction.


    At least we saw a tightening of the polls and the Liberals struggling to hold government.

    On ‘ya, Julia!!


    FMD – A Labor person cheering a Labor loss – A state Labor loss in order to give payback on Rudd.

    Totally unconscionable!

    Funny, I interpret it as giving credit where it is due!

  14. http://yfrog.com/5e4j10j

    The Galaxy leadership questions are outrageous for an outfit which expects to be taken seriously.

    “a)Stick with Julia Gillard
    b) Dump Julia Gillard for Kevin Rudd
    c)or elect a fresh faces like Greg Combet or Bill Shorten”

    This is the type of neo-push polling questions you expect to see on the self selecting web “polls” on NewsLtd sites. So it appears Galaxy lets the customer write the questions.

    Is one of the more loaded quest

  15. [Didn’t you get the memo, confessions? State results predict federal results in any states where the LNP is doing well.]

    Yeah, unless it works the other way, and then it’s 😮 nobody say anything about an elephant.

    😆 Love the Rudd Cult. They’ll go down spluttering until the man himself announces his retirement from parliament.

  16. And Galaxy’s paymaster could have asked similar questions of the Coalition

    A) Stick with Tony
    B) dump the walls for Turnbull
    C) roll the dice for Hockey or Morrison

    But this does not fit #newscorpse narrative

  17. dave@5464

    feeney@5451


    Well, it’s pleasing to see that Newspoll was wrong with its WA prediction.


    At least we saw a tightening of the polls and the Liberals struggling to hold government.

    On ‘ya, Julia!!


    FMD – A Labor person cheering a Labor loss – A state Labor loss in order to give payback on Rudd.

    Totally unconscionable!

    dave, you must know as well as I do that feeney is not a real Labor supporter.

    And I’ll bet the next one who chimes in will be bemused. Then I’m sure alias will support them both. Then J V will spout some nonsense about gay marriage and how it is all Gillard’s fault. Finally, MTBW will post something in support of all of them. Then bemused will post something else …

    … around and around and around we go!

  18. You would think that a Party that does demonstrable things to the benefit of the majority of the poorer sections of our society would win over the rich overclass but that is not happening at all.

    I am beginning to think that the media is a major explanation, not just in outright political bias but the slow grind that changes a culture:

    1. the many programs on Radio of rightist broadcasters.

    2. the denigration of the Australian tradition (acknowledging its British and Aboriginal heritage as a basis for later migrants)

    3. the fact that 70% of our newspapers are Murdoch propaganda sheets which the broadcasters take as starting points;

    4. the downplaying of any value of an Australian independent position in the world by both major parties and ALL the media, despite that fact that we are becoming a significant economic power;

    5. the endless US movies the glorify the US black/white view of the world and that violence (by the “goodies”) always solves problems. Indeed to Americans no problem is too small that it cannot be solved by war.

  19. JV

    Would like to see Galaxy poll the Greens leadership

    A) stick with Milne
    B) dump Milne for Sarah Hanson Young
    C) go for a watermelon red ragger like Senator Rhiannon or Adam Bandt

  20. jaundiced view@5463

    Player One
    I think you know the names. AWU/SDA/HSU mainly. Swan; Gillard; Shorten, Howes; Conroy, de Bruyn; Ludwigs; Farrell; ex Bitar; ex “Quiet American” Arbib; ex Williamson; ex Thomson; Burke; Emerson; ex Feeney; ex Roxon.

    Yes, I know these names. Is this your “they and they alone” list? At least 6 of them seem to have departed.

    So what exactly is it you think the remaining 10 are “solely responsible” for? Keeping Australia prosperous during the worst recession in living memory, perhaps? Because I’m sure you will find that quite a few others helped out with that one – and they would be mighty pissed at being left off your list.

    Why, I’d even be prepared to add Rudd to your list!

  21. Ouch!

    GaryGravy @garygravy
    If I was the labor procurement officer I would be negotiating for mini vans. One for each state. #auspol

  22. Unfortunately/fortunately – depends on which way you look at it, Alannah McTiernan in an emotional reaction to how Labor has gone is the West has just come right out with the “Unless Rudd leads Labor, labor voters will not vote for Labor”.

    So there you are.

    The best WA Labor minister who did not want the leadership has set the cat among the pigeons on the national scene.

    If her prognostications are not repeated 100 times I will be surprised.

    And, good old ABC gave Julie Bishop a free kick with “Labor’s vote would be 15% worse if JG had come over” while ignoring Smith’s dignified and trenchant reply that we should all see the whites of Abbott’s eyes in the election campaign before making such stupid comments.

    And for those who want to make the comparisons, the labor vote in the corresponding State seats, if translated federally, still means all three Labor members would hold their seats.

  23. Well, well, well, this will cause some conniptions…
    Tricot on the WA live thread

    Tricot@106

    Alannah McTiernan laid the blame on Julia too, so there you go. She has joined the “It’s all Julia’s fault” chorus.

    She virtually said Labor cannot win without Rudd coming back – I suppose she is referring to the West.

    That is bound to keep the Rudd talk going for months now. Gary Gray did his best to hose it down with reference to “emotional rather than rational behaviour” but it was noted her comments got applause from wherever she said it.

    So now, according to the PB Julia cultists, the WA golden girl, Alannah McTiernan, is now ‘disloyal’ and all the other epithets you wish to hurl at her.

    So, I and feeney, JV, MTBW, alias et al are in good company.

    And confessions will be distraught as she is torn between conflicted loyalties, Alannah or Julia.

  24. “So what exactly is it you think the remaining 10 are “solely responsible” for? Keeping Australia prosperous during the worst recession in living memory, perhaps? Because I’m sure you will find that quite a few others helped out with that one – and they would be mighty pissed at being left off your list.

    Why, I’d even be prepared to add Rudd to your list!”

    Put the GFC down to Ken Henry when Rudd was PM. The comprises some of the more obvious right-wing union bosses or their puppets who have come via union appointments then to the ALP and gutted the party of any philosophy or vision. They have taken its heart.

  25. [ And for those who want to make the comparisons, the labor vote in the corresponding State seats, if translated federally, still means all three Labor members would hold their seats. ]

    Hey! Get with the program Tricot! This was a disaster for federal Labor … because … well … you know … it just is, ok?

  26. Bemused, that is ridiculous as Rudd didn’t really do any better in WA. They’re trying to find excuses for their poor result. They distanced the federal party as much as possible and got caned, and yet it is still federal Labor’s fault. Its pathetic, and I don’t care who it comes from. WA Labor needs to admit its own faults and admit they faced a better opponent.

  27. WA has 15 Federal seats.

    NSW, QLD and VIC have 117 between them.

    What happens in the West matters, but the makeup of the Federal Parliament won’t be decided over there.

  28. Bugler@5490

    Bemused, that is ridiculous as Rudd didn’t really do any better in WA. They’re trying to find excuses for their poor result. They distanced the federal party as much as possible and got caned, and yet it is still federal Labor’s fault. Its pathetic, and I don’t care who it comes from. WA Labor needs to admit its own faults and admit they faced a better opponent.

    And they had better do it soon – or we will fly bemused, feeney, JV, MBTW etc out there to help them!

  29. Player One – well the loss of at least 7 seats – one of which is a real pity in Morley, is nothing to write home about but totally expected.

    Like many others in the West there was absolutely no chance of a Labor win.

    One would be stupid not to note that Labor did cop a bit of federal backlash but a loss has been on the cards for months and there are no surprises other than solid Labor performers held their seats, new Liberals came in where old Labor members left and Royalties for Regions bought the Nationals seats.

    The swing in general seems to be about 7% but this has not be uniform at all.

    The Greens however have had a really rough time and part the drop in their vote may have cost Labor a seat or two in preferences though I can’t be sure about this.

    The loss here is not the Queensland or NSW debacle but nonetheless a comprehensive win seat-wise for the Liberals.

    It is noteworthy that not one of the four independents got back and the Green vote seems to be down a lot.

  30. Bugler@5490

    Bemused, that is ridiculous as Rudd didn’t really do any better in WA. They’re trying to find excuses for their poor result. They distanced the federal party as much as possible and got caned, and yet it is still federal Labor’s fault. Its pathetic, and I don’t care who it comes from. WA Labor needs to admit its own faults and admit they faced a better opponent.

    Merely quoting what Tricot reported Alannah as saying and the reaction to it.

    If you have an issue, I suggest you take it up with Tricot or Allanah.

  31. Tricot

    [The best WA Labor minister who did not want the leadership has set the cat among the pigeons on the national scene]

    Oh Tricot – she wanted the leadership alright – but without factional support couldn’t get it. So we got Ripper who ground the party into the ground

  32. The only thing destroying the ALP is the ALP. Where is the basic party discipline? For example,as soon as the WA poll is over a member of the ALP is talking leadership. This sort of thing should not be happening.

    The PM has hopeless advisers. Who are these people? The party decides to talk about 457 visas and then it is revealed that one of the PM’s advisers probably has one.This is just stupidity. Who is giving the PM such bad advice? You can’t blame the media, the advisers are supposed to handle the media, they are paid to do it, it’s their job. They are failing.

    This is not a bad government, but it is committing suicide. If the ALP loses, then it’s the fault of the party, nobody or nothing else is to blame.

  33. Oh and Bemused – in Machiavellian moments I do believe you are a Gilard supporter after all – your comments are so counter productive to the chances of Rudd coming back.

  34. [ It is noteworthy that not one of the four independents got back and the Green vote seems to be down a lot. ]

    Yes, I noticed that. A worrying trend if repeated nationally.

  35. And it is true, the election will not be won or lost in the West.

    At best I think Labor has only ever held 7-8 of the 15 seats and while 3 is a low point, to win just two more would be status quo.

    Despite what the media will try to make of this, while the loss of seats – could be even 9-10 – is a bit of slap, it is not the wipe out Labor got in either Queensland or NSW.

    In fact, with a base of 20 or so to work with, there are now a number of seats for next time, as is the case in Queensland, where the margins are now genuinely thin for the Liberals.

    It will not be so easy for them next time around as they will have absolutely no excuses being able to govern in their own right.

    Every whinger will now be able to point their finger at the Liberals and their county cousins.

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