Essential Research: 50-50

Following on from the weekend’s radical Nielsen result, Essential Research records only slight changes in voting intention this week. Also featured: support for campaign advertising caps, the minimum wage and fair trade agreements, and a wary view of Palmer United’s Senate balance of power.

This week’s Essential Research fortnightly average has the parties at level pegging after two weeks with Labor leading 51-49, with Labor’s primary vote down a point to 37% and the Coalition steady at 42%. The surge to the Greens in Nielsen is not replicated, their vote up only one point to 10%, with Palmer United likewise up a point to 4%. Other findings from the poll:

• A semi-regular question on leader attributes records a slight decline in sentiment towards Bill Shorten since the question was last asked in October, with “intelligent” and “understands the problems facing Australia” down six points and “arrogant”, “superficial”, “erratic” and “narrow-minded” respectively up five, six, seven and eight. Tony Abbott’s ratings are somewhat more negative, with “arrogant” up four points and “out of touch with ordinary people” up five.

• Seventy-seven per cent oppose abolition of the minimum wage, with only 15% supportive.

• Eighty-four per cent of respondents were in favour of spending caps on campaign advertising by political parties, and 78% for caps on advertising by third parties. Opinion here was consistent by party support.

• Fifty-two per cent approve of the free-trade agreement with Japan, versus 13% who disapprove, while the respective numbers for free-trade agreements generally are 49% and 11%. Coalition supporters were most in favour on both counts, while Greens supporters were most opposed.

• Thirty-two per cent think Palmer United’s balance of power position in the Senate bad for democracy versus 27% for good and 19% for no difference. Major party supporters recorded similar responses, but 62% of those in the “others” category were approving.

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.

842 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

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  1. Here is something on homelessness and death rates:

    [Research in the USA over the last 30 years has found an average age of death ranging from 41 to 51, and mortality rates 1.6 to 10 times that of the general population.

    In Denmark, studies in the 2000s found standardised mortality ratios ranging from 3.8 to 6.7 for homeless people compared to the general population.]

    The info was here:

    and referred to this study …

    … suggesting that in the UK death rates among the homeless are consistantly higher than the general population, usually more than twice as high – it seems between 3 and 5 times higher likelihood of dying if you are homeless.

    I dunno if that qualifies as “desperate” but it ain’t a picnic. Also most deaths aren’t due to starvation – most drugs/alcohol and lack of related care, but also exposure violence etc etc.

    Its not right comparing people in the Philippines to the US or here either. From the POV of the homeless person from english speaking homes – odds are compared to what was a normal life previously they may feel very desperate. (I know people here who dumpster dived for food while homeless. Its easier cos we waste more food.)

    BTW A friend of mine has a sticker on her car with a pic of the former NSW premier saying “Does this ASS make my car look big?”

    What will she do now? Any suggestions on an update?

  2. [All the wanker Liberals who are saying that BOF honestly forgot are forgetting that he had a duty to declare all gifts on the pecuniary interest register!]

    Yep, the “I honestly forgot a $3000 bottle of plonk for which I wrote a handwritten thank you note” is up there with “We honestly didn’t know we were in Indonesia’s territorial waters”


  3. [From the link posted by Pegaus @ 456

    Reflecting on the Australian Labor Party’s dismal showing in the Western Australian Senate by-election, former WA premier Geoff Gallop presciently asked of the ALP:

    Is it a union-based party or is it a social democratic party?]

    It was a union-based party, that now needs to become a more broadly based social democrat party. ASAP.

  4. “@ABCNews24: NSW Opposition Leader @JohnRobertsonMP will speak to the media in approx 10mins. Watch LIVE on #abcnews24 #nswpol #icac”

  5. sceptic,

    [I don’t think so…. as someone said there may be no “Clean Skins” to pick from]

    I bet BOF wishes it had a cleanskin label and not a Grange one.

  6. [guytaur
    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm | PERMALINK
    “@ABCNews24: NSW Opposition Leader @JohnRobertsonMP will speak to the media in approx 10mins. Watch LIVE on #abcnews24 #nswpol #icac”

    I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. At a time like this it might be better if he just stayed out of it and let the MSM and social media do their work. The MSM in particular feast on situations like this so what could he hope to gain?

  7. “@annajhenderson: ALP Vice President Tony Sheldon wants a national ICAC style investigation into donations to all political parties #auspol”

  8. Well well well. I was very wrong about Bottlegate – BO’F gone.

    I agree that there has to be more to this than lying about a receiving a bottle – I certainly hope so because this could be calamitous for something approaching ok government in NSW.

    A shame. And mind boggling in why BO’F would get let himself get caught out over this. A few more “don’t recalls” and he would have been home free.

  9. Pratt tips the bucket on Bullock and concedes.

    [“It is a blow to progressive voters that I would be replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known for many years to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice, and has recently emerged disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent,” she said.

    “I had pointed this out on many occasions that Labor was at risk of losing a second Senate seat here in WA, and I am ashamed that a factional power grab was privileged over principles, deeply held by an overwhelming number of party members and indeed Western Australians more broadly.

    “It goes to the heart of the need for reform.”]

  10. It actually makes it a good time for the ALP to be seen to be doing something serious about reform of their party structure.

    I bloody well hope so. If this triggers ongoing instability in the NSW Libs and given recent polling (before today’s crisis of course) we might see a woefully underprepared and unreconstructed ALP government elected in less than a year here, and that prospect is not one I savour if the ALP don’t get their act together.

  11. I have a lot of antipathy for Bullock and sympathy for Pratt but I did see Pratt or her allies voting against the stitch ups at state executive when it was others being excluded. She is right that reform is needed but it is a bit rich when it is ok when it benefits her but now it is at her cost.

    They came for faction x and I said nothing because I was not in the faction x but when they came for me ‘reform now’ I screamed.

  12. What BOF did is corruption 101.

    Accepting gifts or donations without declaring them.

    The fact Abbott got offended by this being called corruption demonstrates how thin skinned he actually is.

  13. Hmmm not sure I agree with you ShowsOn. What I saw was Abbot putting in her place a journalist who made a scurrilous accusation. Of course if she’d followed it up with “maybe given your own rorts of the expenses system are you really qualified to make a judgement” she could have won the exchange, but as it stands I think it’ll be a net positive for him mores the pity

  14. [Hmmm not sure I agree with you ShowsOn. What I saw was Abbot putting in her place a journalist who made a scurrilous accusation.]
    Absolute bullshit. The journalist pointed out that a corrupt Premier of a corrupt government was forced to resign due to corruption. The fact these statements of fact annoyed Abbott so much on what was meant to be his big day was clear for all to see.

  15. All this will be off the front pages very shortly as the Kate , George and William show has left NZ for Aus .
    Get ready for a master class in fawning from PMBO.

  16. Yeah but it came across as righteous indignation. When he pressed the journalist for corroboration she said nothing. You and I both know that BOF is corrupt full stop, but that’s not how it’s coming across to those who vote Liberal. I wasn’t surprised to see Sky spinning it as Barry doing the honourable thing after a genuine mistake, but I was very disappointed to see the ABC doing the same

  17. [Yeah but it came across as righteous indignation. When he pressed the journalist for corroboration she said nothing.
    No, it just looked like Abbott was sticking up for his corrupt mate.

    Not a good look at all for an alleged Prime Minister.

  18. poroti

    Liberal dream. Not going to happen. There is money to be made doing entrail reading on next Premier. What that will mean as a moderate or not and what that means for Abbott in Coag.

  19. You’re not getting my point. It’s not a good luck to those of us who already believe TA is corrupt and incompetent, but we’re never going to vote for him or his brood anyway. The narrative being spun is that BOF has fallen on his sword honourably after making a genuine mistake, and in that context Abbot looks loyal and prime ministerial.

  20. Lardy

    A narrative that will fail as more LNP members appear before ICAC. Those comments by Abbott do not hold up to scrutiny.

    BOF did what he had to. That is not honourable. It may be right but its not honourable its what he had to politically.

  21. “@MartinGHodgson: So far for comment on #barryofarrell the ABC has gone to Hewson, Greiner, Collins and Chikarovski. All Libs, w/ nice things to say about BOF”

  22. Yep Guytaur, that’s certainly what I’m hoping. I’m just very aware of all the things Abbot has already got away with and I see. The media already spinning in OFarrel’s favour.

  23. “@paulkidd: BOF will be remembered as a man of unimpeachable integrity, brought down by the minor technicality of lying under oath to ICAC.”

  24. Another election promise goes out the window:

    [A sharp reduction in projected iron ore royalties has led to a freeze on all public sector hiring in Western Australia, and warnings there will be increases in household costs.

    The state’s Treasurer Mike Nahan said household fees and charges were unlikely to be limited to the rate of inflation, even though it was a key election promise.

    In the lead-up to the March election, the Premier Colin Barnett promised to keep electricity prices “at or around” the rate of inflation, which is about 2.75 per cent.]

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