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. Repost:

    From the discussion with GP (aka Generic Person) last night about who would be effected by the “GP Tax”, this article from the Guardian proves Hockey is a continued Liar:

    “But according to the Australian Medical Association, Gunnis is very probably right.”

    “The budget does exempt doctors’ visits listed as “chronic disease management items” from the co-payment, but these are likely to be only a very small proportion of the visits to the doctor by someone with chronic health problems like Gunnis.”

  2. Lynchpin
    Poroti, 1924 – seems to be the direction Abbott et al want to take us.]
    Wouldn’t be surprised. Tones used to be a regular visitor to some annual Tory get together in the UK.

  3. Opinion was evenly balanced on making Newstart recipients wait six months (41% opposition, 39% support)

    This is the most dispiriting thing.

    This measure is not only the most unpleasant, arbitrary, mean approach – it makes absolutely no sense at all. Providing support for the 2nd, 4th, 6th half years? It’s basically not providing support at all dressed up as some sort of cruel mind game.

    That anyone could think of this with approval, let alone 39% … I feel more depressed by the day.

  4. Simon Katich@1915


    Conservatives would like to cut inheritance tax

    So its a good tax then

    Yep – Many other countries have an inheritance tax – but not Australia.

    Seem to recall the tories here running a scare campaign back in the 1980’s approximately.

  5. 6

    The stigmatisation of the unemployed has been on-going since the 1990’s. It reeks of hate…a creeping, stalking cowardly hate…

  6. It is now obvious the Essential has a flawed polling method. The point of polling is to see how people respond to recent events, not what they thought weeks ago or what a group of immoveable voters think.

  7. [zoidlord
    Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm | PERMALINK
    Palmer United Party ‏@PalmerUtdParty 2m

    The truth about Australia’s debt. It’s not what the Govt would have you believe #budgetreply #auspol]

    I watched several minutes of this (it goes for 23 minutes) and was quite impressed by Clive’s presentation.

    He has graphs showing OECD data on government debt by country, collated by the parliamentary library. Australia’s low debt levels stand out on the graphs.

    His taxation policy for the election was populist but unrealistic – he now seems to be relying on hard data to support his statements. Maybe he is employing a statistical economist or two.

  8. 56% believe there is a budget emergency? Was Essential asking about their own financial position or the Country’s.

  9. Roughly 2 weeks ago, pre budget, Essential, Galaxy, Newspoll, Nielsen and Morgan had ALP 2PP at [respectively and rounded] 52, 52, 53, 52 and 52/53
    Post budget they have all, except Essential, shown a marked increase of ALP 2PP of [excuding Essential] +1, +2,+4 and +4.
    For Essential the change is nil.

  10. 8

    Technically what is common is the estate taxation rather than inheritance taxation. This taxes money being given out rather than inherited. Inheritance taxation is preferable to estate taxation because it taxes receiving rather than giving and that is less open to criticism of taxing the dead and switches the tax reduction from multiple sources to multiple recipients.

    To make it even more progressive, inheritance taxation should be part of income tax, with its own tax free threshold, and allowing people who inherit from people they cared and/or worked for (mainly family) to spread the inheritance over the tax years the cared and/or worked for said person.

  11. From the previous thread,

    [what are your thoughts on company taxation? How do we best handle it for the maximum benefit to society?]

    I think that high levels of company tax stifle innovation because they act as a deterrent to new enterprises testing their ideas and products in the market. How low to set them? – I’m not sure.

  12. Perhaps a PBer could answer this question.

    A former colleague of mine told me of her experiences when her mother died

    Her mother had died and left a very detailed will about her house and cash assets which weren’t that high.

    She told me herself and siblings had to sell the house within two years to avoid capital gains tax.

    The cash however, even though bequested had to go through a lengthy court process.

    It was only $14,000 but they lost $4000, that was through the Public Trustees.

    As conversations often go, one thing led to another and I failed to find out ‘exactly’ what this process was called.

  13. That’s what I thought on the weekend when I was discussing it with a colleague. It’s interesting that the LNP have kept him in the tent, so to speak. I thought given his spat with Can Do that he would be given the cold shoulder; and possibly replaced with another canditate.

  14. Re: “Inheritance tax” or death duties or whatever: I was under the impression that beneficiaries get to avoid capital gains taxes that would normally be payable on a transfer of assets. For example, if I have investment properties or shares which have accrued CGT (which is only payable on transfer), a beneficiary is allowed to take and dispose of the asset without assuming the existing CGT liability.

    Is there anyone who knows if this is actually the case? If it is, it seems that not only do we NOT have an inheritance tax, but that there are specific tax exemptions associated with the dynastic transfer of wealth.

    I could be wrong though..

  15. [ABC: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pushed the debate over changing the GST back to the states]

    Having pulled the pin on the hand grenade and tossed it at the state premiers, Abbott now walks away nonchalantly. Apparently he expects the premiers will calmly debate amongst themselves how to deal with this live grenade and he will no longer be involved.

    His fatal error, of course, is that the premiers are also politicians like himself. They do not appreciate being treated in this fashion and are in the process of tossing the live grenade back at Abbott where they hope it will explode.

    And most of these premiers are on his side of the political fence.

  16. Lynchpin

    Why would a substantial asset in the heart of Brisbane be OK, so long as you off load it within two years but $14000 cash is not?

    Everything was legally tied and no contest!

  17. [13

    The truth about Australia’s debt. It’s not what the Govt would have you believe #budgetreply #auspol

    I watched several minutes of this (it goes for 23 minutes) and was quite impressed by Clive’s presentation.

    He has graphs showing OECD data on government debt by country, collated by the parliamentary library. Australia’s low debt levels stand out on the graphs.]

    First half was good, mainly for the several clear and relevant graphs (though they really needed an average line drawn through them to highlight where we sit relative to other countries).

    Second half, not so useful, except to know what Clive is thinking.

  18. My understanding is that you inherit property with the same liabilities for tax as the deceased had.

    In the case of the family home or any other CGT exempt property in the hands of the deceased you have 2 years from the date of death to sell it without CGT accruing. But this will accrue only from the date of death.

    For property subject to CGT liability in the hands of the deceased, the inheritor inherits that liability together with the asset, and will have to pay it when he or she eventually sells the property.

  19. [I think changes to the GST have to be approved by the States.]

    Nope, they have to be approved by Federal Parliament. The States stuff was a Costello con job.

  20. A couple of points from earlier posts:

    Wealth is NET of tax.
    Not necessarily. Wealth can be gained without paying tax. For example via inheritance, the sale of your place of residence, or some complex financial structures designed to minimise tax. Mind you, those who engage in such schemes would probably find ways to avoid any wealth tax anyway.

    From my reading of the DD triggers and Anthony Green’s comments is they will get reset after July.M
    Personally I think there should be use it or lose it provisions in the constitution on DDs. Say give a Government three months to call a DD if legislation is blocked a second time. I also think that if there’s more than one piece of legislation that triggers the DD then the legislation should be put to a referendum.

    If you were trying to reward the success you’d tax wealth instead of income because much more wealth is held divorced from success where most income is linked to success.
    The great advantage in taxing income is that it’s fairly liquid. So it’s generally easy for the taxpayer to put aside the cash. However, wealth may be locked up in illiquid assets (e.g. land). Of course there is one form of wealth tax that’s popular in other developed countries – death duty.

    Indeed. However, if the package attending it skews benefits towards lower income groups, relieving them of other costs they would otherwise have to bear, then its net effect may be neutral or progressive.
    The problem with compensating the poor for an increase in the GST is that the compensation may be withdrawn the next time you get a Howard/Costello or Abbott/Hockey in power (notice a trend there?).

  21. Dee

    An executor is entitled to charge a fee for administering the estate. All states are probably different but in wa the public trustee fees are based on the value of the estate, which would include the house.

  22. Interestingly, just a snippet, but…

    [A MAN has been charged with giving false evidence during a coronial inquest in Brisbane last year.

    The 51-year-old Rockhampton man was charged with one count of perjury for his conduct during an inquest into the death of Rueben Barnes, who was killed during the home insulation rollout in November 2009.

    He will appear in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on June 13. ]

    That is the entire article.

    Usually anything to do with Pink Batts gets a bigger splash, doesn’t it?

  23. The GST was created by legislation of Federal parliament. There are various bits of window dressing about how the States can get together to request change, but fundamentally it’s a Federal law, and the Federal parliament can change it whenever they feel like it regardless of what the States have to say about it.

  24. Dee – I’m not an expert, but people can appoint the Public Trustee an excutor of their estate (ie total possessions at time of death) and they charge a fee of amount 7% or 8% (maybe even plus costs too ?) on the total worth of the estate – not just the cash.

    Probate – is the legal proving that a will is valid but probate is only needed when an estate is over a certain amount – which I thought fairly high – but if a house property in say Sydney etc was involved given their value, then probate may have been necessary.

  25. The slowness of Essential results to move is a partial artefact of their 2 week rolling sample methodology, but it may also be resulting from the relative smallness of the Your Source online panel that they use, which has about 100,000 members.

    What we don’t know is how active and engaged are those online panel members, and what sort of survey burden controls do Your Source employ to ensure that they are not going back to the same respondents too regularly to yield a representative sample.

    I suspect that it’s a combination of some, or all of these factors that renders their polling slower than the more volatile and quicker to change phone or SMS polling methodologies, and that’s not to say Essential is less accurate, just less reactive.

  26. Sharri Markson ‏@SharriMarkson 5m

    Breaking: Treasurer Joe Hockey is suing Fairfax for defamation over its ‘Treasurer for Sale’ front page

  27. Bobs Uncle

    My understanding re CGT on inherited assets is as detailed by Fulvio. There is no CGT event at inheritance, but the CG liability remains and is payable when (if) sold by the beneficiary.

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