Essential Research: 50-50

Still no sign of Newspoll, but the ever-reliable Essential Research still has a two-party deadlock, and offers responses on Peter Cosgrove, unions, parental leave and intolerance.

Essential Research has two-party preferred at 50-50, with both major parties up on the primary vote: the Coalition by a point to 43%, Labor by two to 38%. The Greens are down a point to 8%, the Palmer United Party down one to 3% and others down to two to 7%. Also covered:

• Only 4% rate Peter Cosgrove “not a good choice” for Governor-General, with 30%, 34% and 11% respectively rating the choice excellent, good and acceptable.

• Forty-three per cent are happy for the Governor-General to be appointed by the government, with 40% favouring direct election.

• Sixty-one per cent think unions “important for Australian working people today”, compared with only 30% who think them not important, with 45% thinking workers would be better off if unions were stronger compared with 27% for worse off.

• In response to a question which first explains the specifics of the government’s policy, including the $150,000 ceiling and 1.5% levy, only 23% favoured the government scheme over 36% for the current policy and 32% for neither.

• There are also questions on the prevalence on various forms of intolerance, which you can read about in the report.

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.

875 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

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  1. BW@1686 in previous thread: I’ll take your word for it re Indonesia. If true, it would be disturbing some of the business backers of the Libs (although see my earlier post in which I pointed out that the Libs these days are increasingly the political party of “lazy” investors in mining and property rather than the promoters of the sort of entrepreneurial types trying to build up trade with our near neighbours.

    Re the promise to deliver 5% emissions cuts by 2020: I doubt that the Abbott Government sees that as a promise for which the constituency they pitch to will try to hold them to account.

    Leaving all of this to one side, I was never trying to set myself up to defend Abbott and his mob. I wasn’t trying to say that they were doing a great job, merely that they are coming across publicly as being far more disorganised and incompetent than they actually are.

    I think I need to choose my words more carefully next time.

  2. [Only 4% rate Peter Cosgrove “not a good choice” for Governor-General, with 30%, 34% and 11% respectively rating the choice excellent, good and acceptable.]

    Cosgrove was always going to be a popular GG. I don’t recall polling on whether previous GGs were a good choice or not, but I guess they’ll ask about anything these days.

  3. Good to see the unions getting a strong tick of approval. Abbott’s union bashing might not be the sure fire winner he thought it would be.

  4. mb

    One guy I know has lost all the business he was doing in Indonesia. He has been doing business over there for well over a decade. He is ropeable. The head of the Indonesian Institute based in Perth has been making very anxious but somewhat discreet noises. These are examples. There are other examples I could give you.

    I would question a general view that the Abbott Government is actually doing policy work/cum governing well but presenting awfully:

    The Gonski repeal and repent was a policy nightmare.
    They are failing utterly on climate change.
    They were all over the shop internally on Holden.
    The NBN is descending into some sort of uncertain chaos.
    Their rural debt policy is all over the shop.

    Five months in, and they have yet to do anything other than cut things, tweak things, stop things, whinge about things, criticise things, establish some bodgie debt figures, cutting world heritage, limit restrictions on recreational angling in marine parks, and set up witch hunts into other things. All these things are pre-existing. It is goverment by tinkering, cutting, chopping, undoing and hacking.

    Their various consultation processes appear to be a series of forming business focus groups that then operate entirely in secret. The findings of the Commission of Audit, essentially an outsourced policy making body on the run, will not be made public before the the Budget.

    I am not aware of a single new major policy that they have introduced from scratch. They had six years to get ready for this stuff but turned out to be a bunch of numpties.

    Even the current boats policy was largely inherited from Rudd.

  5. meher

    4 may be so (although the polling on this has been very muddled, and there’s little evidence they don’t want an ETS – it’s ‘the carbon tax’ which polls badly) but that doeesn’t mean the government has handled/is handling the issue well.

    There’s a difference between ‘doing what The People want’ and ‘doing what The People want competently’.

    The second is good governance.

    The Coalition created a rod for their own back on this issue. Firstly, they were stupid to stick with Direct Action, which was a bandaid measure slapped together in the context of the 2010 election, and never meant to be a permanent policy. When the ‘carbon tax’ deal was announced, they should have leapfrogged over Labor and the Greens and promised to go straight to an ETS.

    By not doing this, they’ve put themselves in a position where the policy they support is at direct odds with their core beliefs – Direct Action means ‘bigger’ government, picking winners, subsidising private companies, and so on.

    They have also made climate change an issue which will run and run. If they’d gone for an ETS, it’s likely it would be in place now (the Greens and Labor would have looked silly opposing its passage through both Houses). “How we tackle climate change’ would thus be dead as an issue, and the series of hot days we’re experiencing would reinforce that we had a sagacious government who had foreseen the problem and were already acting on it.

    As it is, every spot of peculiar weather will remind people that we don’t have effective action on climate change in place.

    And, of course, Abbott still hasn’t repealed the ‘carbon tax’ – as Sharman Stone pointed out. He’s made some big statements on this (‘Parliament will sit until this is sorted!”) which have proven to be specious. If he keeps trying to get it through with the present unco operative Senate, he keeps the issue – and his inability to do anything about it – alive. If he doesn’t, he’ll be accused of dropping the ball (as Rudd was, in the same circumstance).

    There is also very little evidence that he’s actively trying to build relationships with the incoming Senators to ensure that it’s a done deal (that would be thinking ahead; this government doesn’t do that).

    Come July, Palmer will have him over a barrel. He knows that Abbott has to get the legislation through. He knows that, for it to mean anything real, it has to go through by September (several business groups have said this). It’s in absolutely no one’s interests but the Coalition’s that this legislation sails through the Senate — so it won’t.

    It’s quite likely, therefore, that instead of action on climate change being an issue which could already be done and dusted, we’ll still be discussing it for at least the next six months.

    I’d take a punt and say ‘that’s if the government’s lucky’ — and that many a journo will be recycling their pieces on ‘by Christmas, the government will have in place the first half of the trigger they need for a double dissolution’ and changing the 2013 date to 2014.

  6. mikeh:

    I suppose the appointment of a new GG gets blanket, widespread media coverage, and there’s a very good chance that most people would have heard about it.

  7. [I am not aware of a single new major policy that they have introduced from scratch. ]

    As I said the other day, the coalition have no new ideas or no new thinking in response to any of the issues the country is facing. It’s quite extraordinary.

  8. I would have thought that p*ssing off major companies like Coca Cola, Holden, Ford and Toyota wasn’t a wise decision for a government.

  9. Lordy. Cf Cosgrove.

    I am a four per center. I think it is a risky choice for a number of reasons.

    The risk will be realized if anyone who might have been bastardised, sexually assaulted or raped during the two years in which Cosgrove commanded Duntroon comes forward.

    But perhaps the thousands of allegations by thousands of ADF personnel might have skipped those particular years in that particular place.

  10. “Tony Abbott won’t hesitate to put the boot into SPC workers earning less than $25 an hour, but he’s happy to shell out $200 an hour for vested interests to sit on his Commission of Audit,” said Mr Shorten.

    “It’s the worst type of hypocrisy – these SPC workers are slogging it out to take home average or below average incomes, only to have Tony Abbott attack their pay packets as ‘too generous’.”

  11. Yeah i think there has been more coverage of the appointment of the new GG, there hasn’t been as much mention of the use of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Its been mentioned on the Age website and here but hardly mentioned anywhere else.

  12. Boerwar:

    I think of Cosgrove in terms of who Abbott’s mob might have recommended for GG. In that sense he’s probably the best of a very poor lot.

  13. [Yeah i think there has been more coverage of the appointment of the new GG, there hasn’t been as much mention of the use of the Great Barrier Reef.]

    CNN has a story dated 31 Jan which paints the dumping of material on the reef in a very bad light. Above the story is a slideshow of reef coral and fish, the sort that overseas tourists come to see.

    This dumping approval will cost the Australian tourist industry hugely and further tarnish Australia’s reputation overseas.

  14. Boerwar

    I am finding the indonesian situation intriguing. As i stated this morning, it is eerily quiet at present from the Indonesian side. Could it be a case of Indonesia are giving Oz enough rope?

  15. The COALition government, currently led by Abbott, is not doing policy it’s doing ideology.

    Which gets it into trouble when the vested interest groups to which it is beholden have different ideologies.

    For example:
    farmers vs mining companies and fracking
    wets vs dries over who gets industrial subsidies
    recreational fishers vs industrial fishing and supertrawler
    one stop government wheat board conflict between ideology and self interest

    Plus quite a few other issues.
    Hence the running around in circles squawking.

  16. v

    I doubt it. They have elections to come, a volcano to deal with and, most urgently, the business of dealing with the Fed’s Taper.

    The latter will be drawing a lot of investment funds out of Indonesia back to the US.

  17. Turnbull is doing the job Abbott asked him to do on the NBN and doing it well. By the time of the next election very few will have the (promised) upgrade and there may be a lot of expenditure locked in on the node cabinets to make sure that it will be very hard for labor when it gets in at the next election to cost effectively upgrade

  18. The ABC has fired the latest shot in its increasingly bitter stoush with News Corporation Australia by hiring one of The Australian’s most senior journalists to manage its media relations.
    The Australian’s media editor Nick Leys, who wrote the paper’s media diary column for two and a half years, has resigned from the company and will begin his new job as ABC media manager in March.

    Read more:

  19. Just got around to watching last nights four comers on the trucking industry.
    Another ABC leftist attack on the good Aussie companies who keep this country ticking.
    But don’t worry, Labor’s road transport reforms legislation is up for review and you can expect Erica betts to give the cowboy trucking firms the green light later in the year
    My blood ran cold when the industry spokesman said there was no evidence that pay rates were linked to fatigue that caused accidents.
    We are having a royal commission into pink batts, but a couple of hundred deaths in trucking in however many years is dismissed as an occupational hazard.

  20. Its interesting to note that prior to the election Abbott was rabbiting on about how those on $150k were struggling when Labor wanted to means test Private Health rebate.

    The anti-worker rhetoric now sees Abbot yelping about SPC workers on $50K being over paid overpaid.

    If it wasn’t for such a corrupt media these lies would be spread all over the front pages

  21. [SPC Ardmona says claims made by Tony Abbott and other ministers about its industrial conditions are wrong and exaggerated.

    The government has explained its decision not to contribute $25m to the retooling the fruit processor says is essential for its survival on the grounds that its parent company, Coca Cola Amatil, is profitable and because SPC offers employees overly generous working conditions. It has called on companies to get their industrial relations “house in order” before asking for taxpayer money.]

  22. As per article, i particularly like this bit

    His statement comes as Coalition backbencher Sharman Stone, the local member for the Victorian regional seat that houses the fruit processor, upped her already strident attacks on the government’s handling of the issue to directly accuse her own government of “lying” about the issue.

  23. Interest comment from the Criminology Prof at Flinders

    I’m sure he’s right about corruption in general but I really don’t think there is enough corruption in unions to warrant that approach.

    [Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive. They advocate the pursuit of “rotten apples”. This is a discredited approach to corruption analysis…

    While criminal law retains an important role in attacking corruption, police investigation and prosecutions alone rarely dent the structures and cultures that sustain corruption…
    A royal commission is better resourced than standing agencies to undertake a root and branch examination… A royal commission that takes a systemic approach to the examination of the issues, rather than one mainly driven by criminal law standards, is less likely to look like a witch-hunt against either corporate or union interests. It is more likely to secure co-operation from otherwise reluctant sources holding important information about corruption and intimidation.]

  24. Lynchpin@35

    That’s all very well, but Stone should resign if she has a conscience.

    She can damaged abbott much more from within though – as long as she doesn’t ‘roll over’. Either way abbott won’t be going put of his way to do much for her, so no promotion in the offing.

  25. Lynchpin
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm | PERMALINK
    Will Shepparton disappear off the map?

    Hope you don’t mind put on twitter with suitable comment about Whyalla and is taking off at the moment

    BTW did you get my email re PB gettogether

  26. Lynchpin and Poroti

    One of the replies back to me

    The Abbott wrecking ball is about to strike at Shepparton wiping it off the map?? and missed Whyalla for now #auspoI

  27. [I’m sure he’s right about corruption in general but I really don’t think there is enough corruption in unions to warrant that approach.

    It is accepted corruption theory – I think there is enough information for unions to look to create the right corruption intolerant culture – if they haven’t already – without a royal commission. Perhaps if the unions developed a voluntary code of practice like business have.

  28. The SPC stuff will be miniscule compared to the Drought Assistance Barnaby Joyce and Artie Sinodinos have been telling local Mayors in is the bag.

    Barnaby told the Mayor of Gympie a $7 billion fund would be established to help struggling farmers, the Mayor believed him and told all his mates about it on ABC Radio. Artie raised the issue of a rural reconstruction bank, the Mayor liked the Artie Bank idea as well.

    Cabinet must have been a hoot today.

  29. WWP

    Exactly. It might be a good idea for unions/ACTU to be proactive and announce some beefed up mandatory safeguards and standards rather than have a RC.

  30. I don’t quite get the picture. Companies are bribing unions and it’s entirely the unions’ fault? Bet the cost of the bribes are added to the tenders. “It’s the way we do business.”

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