Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

This week’s Essential Research records a somewhat less allergic reaction to the budget than the other pollsters, and shows little change on voting intention.

Essential Research displays its trademark stability this week by failing to record the big shift evident from the other pollsters, with two-party preferred steady at 52-48 and Labor up only one point on the primary vote to 40%, with the Coalition steady on 40%, the Greens down one to 8% and Palmer United steady on 5%. The results on the budget are also somewhat less spectacular than those seen elsewhere, with 30% approval and 52% disapproval, and 40% deeming it good for the economy overall against 32% for bad – quite a bit different from the 39% and 48% registered by Newspoll. The budget was deemed bad for working people by 59% and good by 14%; bad for those on low incomes by 66% and good by 11%; bad for families by 62% and good by 11%; bad for older Australians by 66% and good by 10%; bad for younger Australians by 55% and good by 16%; but good for people who well off by 45% and bad by 16%.

Response was also sought in relation to particular budget measures, of which the least popular was the raise in the pension age (61% opposition, 17% support), followed by deregulation of university fees (58% opposition, 17% support). Opinion was evenly balanced on making Newstart recipients wait six months (41% opposition, 39% support), while there was a net positive response to making graduates pay HELP loans more quickly (53% support, 23% opposition). Cuts to foreign aid had 64% supportive and 13% opposed, while those to the ABC had 27% supportive and 41% opposed. Fifty-six per cent believed there was a “budget emergency” against 32% who did not, but only 24% believed the budget addressed it, against 56% who did not.

The other relative latecomer to the budget poll party was yesterday’s fortnightly Morgan face-to-face plus SMS result, which was more in line with other polls in having Labor up 1.5% to 38.5%, the Coalition down 2.5% to 35%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer up a point to 6.5%. Whereas Morgan polls usually combine two weekends of polling, this one was entirely from Saturday and Saturday, so all the responses are post-budget and the sample is somewhat smaller than usual. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead was up from 53.5-46.5 to 56.5-43.5 on 2013 election preferences, and 55-45 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.

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.

1,395 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Abbott approval rating and hence credibility last seen heading in the direction of Antarctica…

    Watch out for the New Idea homey schtick type articles from those close to him who covet his job. They’re a’sellin.



    Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 – 23:58

    I hope this organisation is not in line to benefit from the deregulation of higher education where funds that were previously only provided to universities would be open to more ‘colleges’.

    Gavin Moodie
    Posted Thursday, May 22, 2014 – 00:27

    Whitehouse Institute of Design would be a very considerable benficiary of the changes announced in the 2014 Commonwealth budget; its higher education programs would receive subsidies of from $6,021 to $9,033 per equivalent full time student, depending on the disicpline of each subject.

    Furthermore, for the first time its students would have access to government guaranteed loans on exactly the same terms as students of public universities.

  3. The Murdoch Empire will perish when he does

    The Oz will be gone in a few months It loses 1/2 million a month but is his pivate vanity paper It gives him influence over politicians, It’s his pride and joy
    A recent book on Murdoch paints him as a would=be politician …and he is just that….he has many hates

    In the US he runs The Weekly Standard…a very neo-con ,warmongering weekly journal …it is a similar function for Murdoch
    It’s also a heavily zionist journal…another of Murdoch’s loves…Isreal..and it’s leads his campaings against the welfare state and Obamacare…which he loathes(as he does with all national health schemes)

    But his kids aren’t into the same political passions as he ..and like Packer they may branch into a range of things,,,and even avoid politics Packer in into gambling
    His father and grandfather were right-wingers and would be politicians
    but Murdoch the Monster is like his late father Keith…a interfering would be politician of the right

  4. [William, Do you apply a bias to pollsters in your leader approval and PPM graphs?]

    Yes. First I run a model without bias adjustments; then I derive bias adjustments for each pollster by comparing their published results with the model’s; then I run the model with the bias adjustments applied. Otherwise it would jerk up and down depend on which pollster had reported most recently.

  5. Carefully avoiding the other stuff, Deblonay.

    However, totally agree with your observation.

    ‘But his kids aren’t into the same political passions as he ..and like Packer they may branch into a range of things,,,and even avoid politics Packer in into gambling

    His father and grandfather were right-wingers and would be politicians

    but Murdoch the Monster is like his late father Keith…a interfering would be politician of the right’

  6. William, while I think of it.

    Do you have and are able to provide the Nielsen SA breakdowns?

    I looked for them but no cigar.


  7. BB @ 1337
    Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Assuming he’s telling the truth, that just puts the lie to the Coalition’s claim that the current budget measures are necessary to “fix” Labor’s “mess”. They are there (in part, at least) to pay/pave the way for a future Liberal policy.

  8. Pretty.

    Kim Hames – WA News – › WA News

    Liam Ducey Acting Premier Kim Hames has defended his Government’s shark mitigation policy and says big sharks may be deliberately targetting human …
    Sharks may target human beings in WA: Kim Hames › WA News

    Jan 4, 2014 – Acting Premier Kim Hames has defended his Government’s shark mitigation policy and says big sharks may be deliberately targetting human …

    WA Deputy Premier Kim Hames resigns as tourism minister ……hames…as…/4835916
    Jul 22, 2013 – The WA Premier Colin Barnett has announced that Kim Hames has … Photo: Kim Hames, deputy premier and Health Minister, was forced to …

    Kim Hames – Representative Intro | Liberal Party of Australia …

    As a GP, service to the community was the greatest quality Dr Kim Hames’ father portrayed. It is a quality that Kim has tried to emulate, both by following his …

    Health Minister Kim Hames caught out over Serco-Fiona ……kim-hames…/story-fnhocxo3-1226890012921

    Apr 19, 2014 – STATE Health Minister Kim Hames’ attempt to spin stripping Serco of key jobs at Fiona Stanley Hospital has been undone by his own media …

    Deputy Premier Kim Hames admits accommodation claims ……kim-hames…/story-fnhocxo3-1226682460163

    Jul 20, 2013 – IN a major embarrassment for the Government, Deputy Premier Kim Hames last night admitted claiming $1013 in accommodation allowances …

  9. MMMHHH.

    “Mr Abbott should now reveal if he was lobbied by the chairman of the Whitehouse Institute of Design, Mr Les Taylor, to open up federal government funding to private higher education providers.’’

    Senator Rhiannon said the Greens would use Senate estimates hearings next month to ask questions about the accreditation of a number of courses offered by the Whitehouse Institute of Design by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.

    Mr Taylor said he could not recall ever discussing ‘‘anything of substance on higher education policy’’ with Mr Abbott.

    In the federal budget, the government announced that from 2016 it would for the first time extend direct government funding to private colleges.

    The changes, which also extend support for TAFEs, and diploma and associate degree courses, will cost $820 million over three years. They follow a recommendation from a review of university funding by David Kemp, who was education minister in the Howard government, and Dr Kemp’s former advisor Andrew Norton.

    Read more:

  10. William, while I think of it. Again.

    Do you have and are able to provide the Nielsen SA breakdowns?

    I looked for them but no cigar.


  11. Actually, I am vaguely restless about Mari.

    She asked me something about 24 hours ago then disappeared.

    I imagine that she is in an area affected by the floods.

    Telegram wise.

  12. Here in Italy it is still light so I could just make out the figures on William’s link to Ghost’s teeny tiny twitter photo

  13. Well, there we have it.

    Loss of faith, on my part.

    You are so much closer to Pell. And vicariously, Francis.

    May he keep shining the beautiful light.

  14. Sorry to go on.

    But some clown (female) rang that station earlier and suggested that the woman who called Abbott was angry or defensive or some such because she had failed to declare her earnings to Centrelink.

    Pleased to say that the radio bloke could barely restrain his laughter at this ludicrous and bizarre notion.

    The Age of Women’s Lib has yet to arrive for some.

  15. Yes, church bells are never far away. However, the light of democracy is shining even brighter than Francis’s at the moment. European elections are on Saturday and, here in Italy at least, the socialists (Democratic Party but members of the European Socialist grouping) are in the lead in the polls.

    Now making out what is in William’s avatar is another story.

  16. Too coool, Cog.

    Are the Italian and or other Dems working on a platform against or for the crooks, the IMF, the austerity, Burlesquone, corruption, the mafia or what?

  17. Crikey Whitey

    You called? What would you like me to tweet? I am at your service maa’m

    Have just arrived on Lopud Island lovely

  18. Ah! There you are, Mari!

    Hoped you were okay. Great that you have made it to an island.

    Don’t worry about the tweet stuff, the Age has got it.

    More disgraceful Abbott stuff.

  19. Italian Democratic Party

    From Wikipedia …

    “The party stresses national and social cohesion, green issues, progressivism, progressive taxation and Europeanism. “

  20. Crikey Whitey

    Just turned on the TV EuroNews and guess what was on the demonstration in Sydney about Abbott, went on for quite a while. Lovely to watch 😀

    Give me the link and I will tweet

    Take care my lovely lady

  21. Amazing!

    Great demos around the country. Like the good old days.

    Nice to see the peasants revolting.

    You take care and enjoy.

    I am sure it’s beautiful. I have friends from those parts.

    Speak in 24 hours, I guess.

  22. Crikey Whitey
    Did the link for New Mathilda a little while ago, getting retweets
    Off for dinner now on a beautiful evening

    Take care

  23. I woke up. Bugger.

    Anyway, restless, curious about something, I’m not sure why, I turned to the ABS.

    In particular, I turned to the data…ABS Labour Force, Australia. Here is a little to enjoy with breakfast.

    Aggregate Monthly Hours Worked ; Persons ; Series ID A3346490L, 000’s of hours, monthly, trend FLOW

    Month & Hours

    Jul 2011 1591083.0
    Aug 2011 1596695.5
    Sep 2011 1599874.7
    Oct 2011 1599848.5
    Nov 2011 1597806.1
    Dec 2011 1596260.8
    Jan 2012 1595999.7
    Feb 2012 1597118.8
    Mar 2012 1598786.1
    Apr 2012 1600089.3
    May 2012 1599731.6
    Jun 2012 1597046.4
    Jul 2012 1593568.0
    Aug 2012 1590745.5
    Sep 2012 1590075.4
    Oct 2012 1590505.4
    Nov 2012 1591429.6
    Dec 2012 1592205.2
    Jan 2013 1592879.2
    Feb 2013 1594161.1
    Mar 2013 1596399.0
    Apr 2013 1599436.6
    May 2013 1602746.3
    Jun 2013 1605695.7
    Jul 2013 1606857.8
    Aug 2013 1606460.4
    Sep 2013 1605238.2
    Oct 2013 1604801.1
    Nov 2103 1605115.5
    Dec 2013 1605333.5
    Jan 2014 1604947.2
    Feb 2014 1603077.0
    Mar 2014 1599898.6
    Apr 2014 1595710.2

    Looking back, we can see the month in which the most hours were worked was July 2013 when 1,606,857,800 hours were recorded. Essentially, labour demand has been gradually ebbing since then and in April this year 1,595,710,200. This is a reduction of 0.7% over the period.

    In most months since July 2011 hours worked were greater than in April 2014, the exceptions being the period from July 2012 to February 2013. But the attrition in hours worked since the peak now means that absolute labour demand (expressed as hours worked) has hardly grown in the nearly-three years since July 2011.

    At the beginning of the period, the labour force totaled 11,818,100 persons. In April 2014 it totaled 12,285,200, an increase of 3.8%. This increase in the workforce has been accompanied by a decline in the participation rate and in the employment to population ratio.

    The intensity of labour demand – the availability of work for each worker in the market – has been slowly eroding, a trend that corresponds with the decline in real wages published by the ABS on Wednesday.

    This also corresponds with job vacancy survey published by the Department of Employment yesterday which shows continued muted demand for workers.

    Doubtless this goes at least part of the way towards accounting for the visceral reaction of voters to the abominable fiscal apostasy of the LNP.

  24. I might well add that the expanded availability of work since the 1990’s, including part-time and casual work, is considered to be the single most important factor in raising the welfare of low-medium income households. The tax-and-transfer system by itself is not enough to support low income households.

    We have an economy that is not generating as much demand for labour as there are workers available and real wages have been falling as a result. The cuts to social incomes proposed by the LNP have to be considered in the context of persistent labour market softness and against the very high cost of housing.

  25. Abbott’s day of reckoning. Budget 2014.

    As with Work Choices.

    Work Choices was passed by the Howard Government in 2005 and came into effect in March 2006.

    A The passing and implementation of the new laws was strongly opposed by the left side of politics, particularly the trade union movement. Critics argued that the laws stripped away basic employee rights and were fundamentally unfair. The Australian Council of Trade Unions consistently ran television advertisements attacking the new laws.

    Work Choices was a major issue in the 2007 federal election, as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) vowed to abolish it. Labor under Kevin Rudd subsequently won the election, with Work Choices being one of the biggest issues of the campaign, and repealed the entirety of the WorkChoices legislation shortly after assuming office.

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