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. briefly

    No. But it may become public if Vlad the Impaler and the Chinese premier seal the deal during the visit. The fact that Vlad is dropping in pretty much assures that the deal is already done , else he would not turn up.

  2. deblonay
    Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm | PERMALINK
    Re that Big Deal
    Re that huge Gas deal .the new Indian Govt is said to be negotiating for a Russianm gas pipeline across Afghanistan after the US departs ,to supply India and Pakistan with Gas ,,,of which the Russians have an abundance

    seems like the US scanctions on Russia are of little account

    BTW the Russians have completed an emergency pipeline across the Black Sea to supply the Crimea with Russian water,making Ukrainian water once supplied there … no longer required the fairly warm arid Crimea in the coming summer

    —–you really are a dangerous adolescent malinger (fool) with your infatuation with russia. why not go to moscow and give us all a break. next you will celebrate the rapprochment of two great ex communist states – bring on the GCD (great chinese depression) shake out the geopolitics

  3. deblonay

    there were major anti russia rallies in east ukraine today – the pro russian leaders are dodgy ruskie militias … not a word from the mildred gillars of PB

  4. Rummel.

    Pardon. Only just back to the computer.

    ‘What you should be commenting on’.

    I believe I heard something about fire fighters having their money cut back. It may be something you could more easily than I will find out about.

    Let me know.

  5. The poorest 20 per cent of Australian families will pay $1.1 billion more into government coffers than the richest households as a result of the budget, highlighting the huge inequity in the government’s four-year blueprint for fiscal repair.
    New analysis from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has underlined how heavily the burden of budget consolidation has fallen on those less well-off, especially if they have school-age children.
    NATSEM divides the community into five segments or quintiles, each with a little over 2.5 million families. It finds the poorest 20 per cent – those with $35,000 or less in disposable annual income – will forgo $2.9 billion over four years thanks to changes to family benefits, pensions and other payments.

  6. [1297

    Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 10:49 pm | PERMALINK
    I wonder when William will post the next thrilling episode of Bludgertrack….

    In honor of Baghdad Bob…. It’s currently 60/40 Libs in the polls.]

    The LNP PV will soon be in the low 30’s. Ooh-la-la, Hockey, Pyne, Bishop and Dutton are showing the voters what the LNP are really are actually made of, and it’s not a pretty sight.

    Give them a few more months and the LNP will have trashed their nearly 70-year-old reputation for orthodoxy and safety. They’ve seldom been much good at policy, but they have been good at “safe”. They always had nice rims, chrome-plated bumpers, bucket seats and a new paint job. But not any more. They are a rust bucket with no brakes, bald tyres, no lights, no seat belts, torn upholstery and a winking grog-monster at the wheel. That’s the LNP. Busted crankcase, gearbox rooted. Utterly bloody rooted.

  7. ABC Victorian rural radio today played a piece of audio which was clearly someone delivering a speech via a loudspeaker (and thus loud and incoherent) as evidence of how ‘rowdy’ the student protest was.

  8. victoria/1306

    The LNP have just shredded their standing with voters….and given Labor and the other parties a platform from which they can show they will defend the social compact.

    Presuming we all get through this, I think the voters will deliver a very big lesson to all the parties. Voters care about equity and opportunity, and they deeply resent being deceived.

    The budget will largely fail and the LNP will fail with it.

  9. Liberal numpty going on about the budget taking pressure off of interest rates.

    Really? Libs are playing the “interest rates will always be lower” nonsense with record low interest rates currently?

  10. My absence on site included obliging (forcing) someone to watch Chris Bowen. His extremely impressive Press Club address.

    That person was glued to it. Would most usually refuse to watch anything of that nature for over ten or so minutes.

    Despite being a Labor voter.

    As was mentioned, I too was particularly impressed by Bowen’s articulate and wide ranging answers to the questions.

    I was pretty unimpressed by the expressions on the journo’s faces, with some exceptions.

    Their skepticism, as I read their faces, was amazing. Without prejudice, no such expressions were evident in the Abbott years.

    Even Laura, turning her lip up slightly at one point. She would not usually give anything away in her expression. I will see how she writes about it.

  11. Retweeted by sortius
    Canberra Memes ‏@CanberraMemes 10h

    Lib’s twitter account is going nuts trying to drown out #winkgate and Abbott daughter scholarship story.

  12. Woe.

    For those of us who only stand and wait. And wait.

    Willunga SA, is at midnight having its internet and phone by copper delivery turned off.

    Among the earliest FFTP recipients, the entire community is so lucky and blessed. Then and now. It enhances an already incredibly attractive just out of town wine growing precinct the place to be.

    I was and am, hugely jealous.

  13. Briefly,
    My purpose was to inform Bludgers about the self-inflicted misery of watching “The Drum”, which I can only stomach once every few months.

    It is unimaginable that a member of that rare species, the undecided voter, would be a regular viewer of this program. The ABC24 journos fool nobody but themselves.

  14. NM investigates
    21 May 2014
    Leaked Documents Cast Doubt On Abbott’s $60k Scholarship Claims
    By Chris Graham and Max Chalmers
    tony abbot
    francés abbott
    leanne whitehouse
    les taylor
    whitehouse institute
    clarissa sertise

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is tonight under fire over a $60,000 education scholarship awarded to his daughter Frances. Chris Graham and Max Chalmers reveal why

    Assurances by the Prime Minister that a $60,000 scholarship awarded to his daughter Frances on the basis of merit have been contradicted by testimony and documents obtained by New Matilda.

    And in breaking developments, the Australian Parliament’s Registrar of Members’ Interests has tonight also contradicted the Prime Minister over an explanation he provided earlier today about why he did not publicly disclose his daughter received the scholarship.

    In February of this year, Frances Abbott – the Prime Minister’s middle daughter – completed a three-year Bachelor of Design course at the Whitehouse Institute of Design.

    New Matilda can reveal that the Prime Minister’s daughter paid just $7,546 for the $68,182 degree.

    Read the rest…

  15. crikey whitey,

    Thanks for most informative post on Bowen’s speech. These journos have been humiliated by the obvious fact that Bloggers called out Abbott and Hockey’s bulldust during the election, but Non-Murdoch professionals were derelict in their duty to inform the nation of so many blatant absurdities in Coalition’s campaign. Now, they’re trying to reassert celebritiy status by telling us that nothing the Labor Opposition politicians say can be trusted.

  16. De rien, c’est mon plaisir, M’seur Atticus.

    I must say that the journos most likely to be taken to my guillotine were rather teary eyed.

    Oddly enough, not La Grattan.

    And my recent even more so hero, Simon Banks, was there. Don’t think he asked a question. Love him though.

    Do watch it. Despite the beauty of Shorten’s speech, this one was delivered in such a real way. Iview, I imagine. If not youtube.

  17. Business confidence in steep fall

    According to The Business on ABC…confidence is in sharp decline as also reported by Morgan
    Many Businesses have found that in the weeks leading up to and beyond the Budget there has been a fall of as much as 15% in sales

    I know from a friend in the catering trade that some local cafes,etc…have already been hit by a fall of in spending ,notably from families and those catering for the lower income trade with a cheaper menu…and they fear it will grow worsein the weeks ahead
    More probloms for the Govt

  18. Icky Abbott’s net-sat is somewhere between -20 and -30…I wonder what the worst net-sat is from which a PM has been able to go on and win the subsequent election?

    Possibly KB or William may know…

  19. The Daily Telegraph achieves a new high in Stupid.

    What a fabulous headline. It’s such a non-sequiter, it literally made me laugh out loud…

    [NSW Disability Support Pensioners now outnumber Australia’s total war wounded by more than 44,000 ]

    And yes,there’s a photo from the Kokoda track of the wounded soldier being helped by a fuzzy-wuzzy, alongside a photo of… a dole queue.

    Of course everyone’s standing up,no unhealthylooking bods in it, and people don’t form queues like this anyway, at Cantrelink, but what the hell… run it anyway!

    Jesus wept!

  20. A Nice example of political bullshit
    Some weeks ago(in March) during Obama’s visit to China.. he said before hand that he hoped to get the Chinese to join in his efforts to “isolate” Russia

    This pious hope is seen today to be worthless ,with the meeting between the Russian and Chinese leaders and the new trade and gas much for isolation
    I guess we are expected to ignore Obama’s impotent policies…or to forget what he said
    now seen as a joke

  21. @BB/1331

    DT attacking Pensioners again isn’t going to win the Coalition Party support, just makes them more stupid (as you said a new high in stupid).

  22. I am looking forward to the next Bludgertrack update. Particularly the third and fourth graphs down the page on the right hand side on the leadership ratings and ppm.

    Beware hubris but I think it is ok to celebrate an occasional bit of good news in a long hard war.

    I get annoyed when I see Labor and Greens people squabling. Please keep it to a minimum and concentrate on the common enemy. This is a seriously bad government that is going to do a stack of damage to how most of us live.

  23. Actually Barnaby Joyce’s silly attacks on PuP and Palmer himself,is also an exampole of real stupidity How can he expect a deal with people he insults?
    He is worse than I ever thought possible amd that’s great in a way as I may lead to an early downfall

  24. From The Australian (no link):

    [Tax-cut pay-off, PM vows

    TONY Abbott has raised the prospect of tax cuts after the next election, delivering a prosperity dividend for tough measures in the budget.]

    Oh really? Another vow?


  25. J341983
    Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm | PERMALINK
    Hockey did say he was prepared to send the LNP to 40/60 in the polls, he’s nearly achieved something!

    —–as if hes in control of anything or everything … hubris all over his fat face … not even a fat controller of trains

  26. I am guessing that the Abbott approval rating graph on Bludgertrack will be looking a bit more vertical in a not good way for him after the next update.

    No doubt Credlin and co will be getting similar info from their internal polling. My guess is that they will give the *family man* sales pitch another crack.

  27. I pondered today on the Medi Couldn’t Care Less affect on my nearby IGA.

    It is very well attended. In my observation, it has heaps of customers who are evidently of pensionable age, and beyond.

    They walk in, by and large. On frames sometimes, often with their little dogs. Lots of people drive in, as well. If I were to categorise them, they would fit the Howard’s Battlers profile.

    The fresh goods are quality and fine, by and large.

    Occasionally, as a nearby shopper, I am asked by a sometimes uncertain older person for a little help in selecting something which they want to and could cook and which would satisfy a certain longing.

    All quite companionable, really.

    A similar IGA about 2 Kilometres beyond, stocks exactly the same goods, but its prices for example, spuds and other vegies are invariably a dollar per kilo dearer.

    I suppose that the dearer IGA is in a position to charge a little more as it is located in a position more heavily trafficked, situated as it is just off a major road.

    Anyway, laboriously, I will make my point.

    The nearby IGA will stand to lose heavily if the walk in pensioners and low income earners need to spend their available income on health care.

    They will necessarily have less to spend at their local shop.

    Is this smart? Helpful to that business?

    Which is busy, has numerous young people working there, some of whom I see in another capacity in school uniform.

    I am thinking of approaching IGA about this potential impact.

    IGA’s website portrays itself as a generous community supporter.

    Any ideas?

  28. But but BB.

    Joe KNOWS how tough it is.

    He did the Kokoda trail.

    With someone else, erm, an old mate of some kind.

  29. Bushfire Bill @ 1331

    ‘The Daily Telegraph achieves a new high in Stupid’.


    Stupid is not the word. Let us try for the appropriate descriptor. Nothing springs to mind. I am too aghast!

    Have they gone berserk?

    Surely that would offend about 99% of their readers.

    Even they are not that lacking in perception.

  30. May as well mutter on. Not ready for bed yet.

    ‘TONY Abbott has raised the prospect of tax cuts after the next election, delivering a prosperity dividend for tough measures in the budget’.

    To the long suffering high income leveed, for their exquisite pain, suffering and sacrifice in support of their country in its direst need.

  31. Especially love Para 3!!!

    Tax-cut pay-off coming for those who wait, Tony Abbott vows

    SID MAHER and DAVID CROWE The Australian May 22, 2014 12:00AM

    Will the Senate save Australians from Abbott’s budget cuts?

    Many Australians are concerned about the impact the 2014 budget will have on their lives, could an obstructive Upper House save their savings?

    TONY Abbott has raised the prospect of tax cuts after the next election, delivering a prosperity dividend for tough measures in the budget, as Labor faced calls to back tax rises for higher-income earners to rein in the deficit.

    The Prime Minister, fending off continued criticism of tax increases and welfare cuts, thrust the prospect of a post-election tax cut to the centre of his economic sales pitch, declaring budget repair was “not an exercise in sadomasochism’’.

    “I would like to be in a position to offer tax cuts in our next term,’’ Mr Abbott said. “At the moment I’m certainly not guaranteeing that or promising it, but the whole point of getting the budget under control now, is so that we can give tax cuts in the not-too-distant future.’’

    Mr Abbott said it would be “absolutely undesirable’’ for the average worker to be in the 37 per cent tax bracket by 2016 as a result of bracket creep.

    He likened the “debt-and-deficit disaster’’ left by Labor to a fire.

    “We had a fire, and the budget is the fire brigade, and sure sometimes the fire brigade knocks over a few fences in order to put out the fire, but if you’ve got a fire, you’ve got to put it out,’’ Mr Abbott said.

    As the Prime Minister dangled the tax-cut carrot, Bill Shorten said that in the wake of the budget, voters couldn’t believe anything Mr Abbott promised.

    Labor’s Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said he would be consulting the community on tax reform but refused to rule out reversing the government’s company tax cut or modifying the mining tax to collect more money.

    Mr Bowen was cautious when asked whether taxes should rise to help reduce the deficit.

    The opposition has attacked as a broken promise the deficit levy, which will raise the marginal tax rates of people on incomes of more than $180,000 by two percentage points for three years, but is likely to allow it to pass.

    Economist Bob Gregory said the budget was “not in terribly bad shape’’ but it required lifting taxes for high-income earners and some expenditure cuts.

    The Australian National University economics professor’s most pointed criticism was directed at Labor for failing to advocate for tax increases.

    “Now what I can’t understand is why the Labor Party has been unwilling to say that, in order to look after the disadvantaged, in order to look after the growing proportion of the older groups, we just have to raise the taxes,” Professor Gregory told a Melbourne Institute public economics forum in Canberra yesterday.

    He said the problems facing the budget now had come from cutting tax rates “and nobody is prepared to talk about putting them back or taking them further’’.

    Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr Bowen said: “Of course tax is always part of the mix.

    “Do I think that increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio is necessarily an answer to all questions? No I do not. Note that the tax-to-GDP ratio will be higher every year under this government, according to their own estimates, than it ever was under the Rudd and Gillard governments.

    “Of course, Joe Hockey told us for years that Australia didn’t have a revenue problem and then on Q&A the other night I saw him saying, ‘our revenue’s falling — how terrible it is’.

    “He apparently has a revenue problem now and maybe it happened on September 10.”

    Mr Bowen challenged the government to adopt Labor’s “sensible” cuts to superannuation tax breaks, which were targeted at large-balance retirement funds.

    He also attacked the increase in the retirement age to 70 and any accompanying increase in the super preservation age.

    Conceding that the government had taken a hit from the budget, Mr Abbott said a Coalition win at the next election was not a certainty. “Look, first-term governments are not invulnerable and obviously governments can lose elections — no doubt about that,’’ he told radio host Neil Mitchell.

    The Prime Minister again resisted entering the debate on changes to GST and said there would be no changes to super in this term of the parliament.

    Asked about the states’ attack on long-term cuts of $80 billion in funding for health and hospitals over a decade, Mr Abbott said that the money had never been in the budget and was part of the “unsustainable pie-in-the-sky promises that the former government made knowing that it wouldn’t ever have to deliver on them’’.

  32. Shades of.

    ‘Let me be clear.

    Many of the measures in this budget are objectionable, the attacks on Medicare; the abolition of the baby bonus which the government had promised never to touch; robbing Peter to pay Paul on education; and forcing more businesses to do the tax paperwork monthly, not just quarterly.

    But thanks to Labor’s poor management over five years, there is now a budget emergency.

    Hence the Coalition may decide not to oppose any of them; doesn’t commit to reverse any of them; and reserves the option to implement all of them, in government, as short-term emergency measures to deal with the budget crisis Labor has created.

    Far from cutting to the bone, we reserve the right to implement all of Labor’s cuts, if needed, because it will take time to un-do all the damage this government has done

    By keeping, if needed, all Labor’s budget cuts – and – by not implementing any of their budget spending measures unless specified, we will achieve the first duty of every government: namely, to preserve the nation’s finances’.

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