Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition; Morgan: 51.5-48.5

Essential Research records a spike on Tony Abbott’s monthly approval rating, and finds less concern about the Senate electoral system than one feels there should be.

Essential Research and Morgan are still the only pollsters back in the game, and both have shifted slightly to the Coalition this week. The regular Essential Research fortnightly rolling average has the Coalition lead up from 52-48 to 53-47, from primary votes of 44% for the Coalition (up one), 34% for Labor (down one) and 10% for the Greens (steady). Monthly personal ratings have Tony Abbott up five to an all-time high of 46% approval and down one on disapproval to 35%, and with a 41-22 lead over Bill Shorten (who doesn’t get his own personal ratings yet) as preferred prime minister. There are particularly large gender gaps in these results, Abbott having a net approval of plus 14 among men and zero among women, and leading Shorten 48-21 among men and 35-23 among women.

Pleasingly, this week’s supplementary questions look at electoral reform. A question on the Senate voting system offered respondents the option of keeping the present system (a surprisingly high 32%), introduce New South Wales-style optional preferential above-the-line voting (33%) or look into other options (20%). There also seems to be a benign attitude to the Senate’s crop of successful micro-party candidates, who despite having mostly scored very few votes are rated “good for democracy” by 36% and “bad for democracy by 26%, with 17% opting for no difference. Support for compulsory voting remains very high at 71% with only 25% opposed, closely reflecting results of a comprehensive Australian National University survey on attitudes to electoral reform from August. Essential also features a semi-regular question on same-sex marriage, with results essentially unchanged from May: support and opposition are both down a point, to 57% and 31% respectively.

The latest Morgan multi-mode poll, which will be reporting fortnightly for the rest of the year at least, is a better result for the Coalition than the last, having their primary vote up 1.5% to 43.5%, Labor’s down 2.5% to 34.5%, the Greens up a point to 10%, and the Palmer United Party steady on 4.5%. On respondent-allocated preferences, Labor’s 50.5-49.5 lead from a fortnight ago has turned into a Coalition lead of 51.5-48.5, which aligns precisely with my own calculation based on modelling of preference flows from the recent election. Morgan is also publishing previous-election preference figures, but since they have made the curious determination to grant all PUP and KAP votes to the Coalition until the AEC makes available breakdowns from the election, they are of no value at present.

In other news, I had a post-mortem on Labor’s remarkable Miranda by-election victory in New South Wales in Crikey yesterday, available to subscribers only.

UPDATE (25/10): Morgan has published results from an online poll conducted on the weekend from a sample of 1169, which limits itself to the question of preferred prime minister. Despite the similar methodology, it’s considerably better for Bill Shorten than the Essential poll, putting Tony Abbott’s lead at 40-36 compared with Essential’s 41-22. Abbott’s lead is entirely down to those aged over 50, with Shorten leading in each of the three younger cohorts. Abbott’s lead is at 43-36 among men and 38-36 among women. Qualitative findings are also featured, which you can read here.

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.

3,199 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition; Morgan: 51.5-48.5”

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  1. victoria

    Its the honeymoon period. Voters not paying attention. Just done that. Glad pollies not constantly bombarding them with appeals.

    Thus a rise for the incumbent. Worry for LNP. Its so small.

  2. @annabelcrabb: Join me for 7.30 – Treasurer Joe Hockey is our interview guest. @abc730 Lots to talk about… your thoughts welcome.

    Here is your chance. You might get Hockey fired with a question.

  3. [There also seems to be a benign attitude to the Senate’s crop of successful micro-party candidates, who despite having mostly scored very few votes are rated “good for democracy” by 36% and “bad for democracy by 26%, with 17% opting for no difference.]

    How on earth can people think that a Senator who is elected based on minuscule voter support is good for democracy?

    How despairment!

  4. Not much to show for a “thumping victory” but still enough to win a handy lead at this point.

    Not much of a honeymoon, but then, voters not actually flocking back to Labor just yet.

    Suspect it is all wait and see.

    Has my vote for Abbott been vindicated or not? People will hold for awhile until some really heavy stuff starts to happen.

    Time will tell.

  5. OMG

    [Annabel Crabb ‏@annabelcrabb 2m
    Join me for 7.30 – Treasurer Joe Hockey is our interview guest. @abc730 Lots to talk about… your thoughts welcome.]

  6. Diogs

    Only the last 40 years or so in that data I think. However happening more often than the “every ten years” meme would suggest. Given NSW is a big state and people tend to build in the bush in a way that gives a Victorian the heebiejeebies….well its usually wetter here, but when its not look out. I notice that 4 out of the 5 worst bushfires in historical times have been in Vic/SA and the other one in Tastania

  7. And as someone who actually has a PhD in science, I know that you can’t demonstrate that any single bushfire is due to climate change.

    Just like no-one can point to which cigarette caused the cancer.

  8. The Libs just want everyone to shoosh up so they can get on with robbing the joint. Medicare the first to go. Firesale auction off to the private health mates

  9. After all the ranting about Labor bad debt we are now getting Liberal good debt.

    If Labor’s budget is so bad why hasn’t Hockey come out with a mini-budget to fix the claimed problems?

    It seems the Labor budget really is good enough for the Liberal Govt.

  10. Shorten has his work cut out for him. In that sense the almost universal recognition of the depth of Labor’s problems are an opportunity for Shorten to demonstrate that he can match his words with action.

    Other than that all he as to do is present Labor as a viable alternative government and hold the Coalition to account ;).

  11. Crank

    Yes its a honeymoon. Only explanation for LNP being in front.

    However compare and contrast with previous governments not looking good for LNP.

  12. mikehilliard

    Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Blokes just love Tony, jeez..

    Redneck ones …… oh and our resident TROLL ones …..

  13. If it’s anything like her powder puff snow job with BOF last night then Joe should be safe.
    Interesting how they come out of the woodwork these libs when Lethal Leigh is not around (and she aint that lethal either IMO).

  14. CTar1@11

    You might get Hockey fired with a question.

    Not likey. She loves HoJo.

    The obvious test will be if she lets him get away with surprises or excuses.

    Of course she will.

    He must have a note from nurse credlin.

  15. The size of debt is not a problem, the issue Shorten will need to focus on is how the government implements its audit of commission.

    Its not the cuts that matter as there is plenty of fat but its important that the government is able to transfer some of the benefits to those that haev missed out due to the fat getting in the way.

  16. IPA 75 radical ideas

    30 Cease subsidising the car industry – wavering on this one

    44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states

    to come;
    48 Privatise Australia Post
    49 Privatise Medibank
    72 Privatise the CSIRO

    Abbott is following the script written by the IPA

  17. AA

    Hope you went well with your interview

    I can live with Medibank Private being sold but the Government would be wise to keep the other two.

    The Government could just become a sensible share investor and invest in high value stocks as a source of revenue.

  18. WB From the intro – “The regular Essential Research fortnightly rolling average has the Coalition lead up from 53-47 to 52-48”

    Should that be down to 52-48 – or are the numbers in the wrong order??

  19. “@Picketer: What Gov with self-respect hands a #CommissionofAudit into public finances over to the org of the banks, the miners, & their service firms?”

  20. Generally it makes sense to have qualified auditors carry out an audit.

    If the government were serious it should have people like David Malley from CPA.

  21. 48 Privatise Australia Post
    49 Privatise Medibank
    72 Privatise the CSIRO

    Sell off assets and then do a Howard.

    Tell everyone the surplus was due to good economic management when in fact it was the result of sale of over $70billion of taxpayer assets.

  22. Guytaur – it’s a fair cross section of large sectors and all of them have heaps of experience.

    Who would you have do it? Big Idea hawkers?

  23. [anthony ackroyd ‏@anthonyackroyd 21 Oct
    Peer reviewed research – Blue Mountains can expect 84% increase in fire risk by 2050 due to evil pixies. Oh sorry, due to climate change.]

  24. Zoidy – the ALP recognized before the last election that they’d flushed the relationship with business down the toilet and committed to improving it . Business confidence jumped as soon as the Coalition won.

  25. Crank

    How about Dick Smith. Even been on government board so knows public service pros and cons.

    Just one example.

    Truth is this is a put up job and all know it. Its just a tool to get an excuse to cut cut cut. As long as the rich get more money it will be alright jack

  26. [SENATOR Nick Xenophon says the federal government must establish whether any Australians have been spied on by the US National Security Agency ]

    ‘X’ really is an idiot.

    Why would he not find it obvious that most Australians have had internet data collected by the NSA.

  27. “@TheKouk: In Opposition, @AndrewRobbMP was shadow minister for debt reduction, a title that went to no one post election for obvious reasons”

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