Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Labor maintains its solid lead in this week’s Essential Research, which also finds respondents to have become curiously indecisive on the republic question.

This week’s Essential Research poll finds Labor retaining its 53-47 lead after gaining a point last week, with both major parties on 39% of the primary vote – the Coalition down a point, Labor steady – the Greens down one to 9%, and Palmer United up one to 4%. Further questions relate to the international big picture:

• For some reason, there has been a turn to indecision on republican sentiment: for and against are tied on 31%, respectively down two and down 11 since the question was last asked in April, with “no opinion” up 13 to 38%.

• Respondents were asked to evaluate the importance of our various international relationships, with the results little changed since the last time the question was asked in June. The United States, United Kingdom and China headed the pack – Saudi Arabia and Russia were included in the list for the first time, but both ranked bottom out of the 10.

• Perceptions of the government’s handling of international relations have improved, with 40% saying they had a lot of or some trust (up five) and 53% little or none (down six). Forty-nine per cent professed confidence in Tony Abbott representing Australia abroad, up four, with 47% not at all confident, down three. The government’s handling of the Indonesia relationship was rated good by 32%, up seven, and poor by 39%, down four.

• Seventy-three per cent rated the G20 meeting important to Australia’s economy, against only 17% for not important.

• On a different note, respondents were asked to identify the three most important achievements of the Whitlam government (without allowing naysayers an outlet for indicating that there weren’t any). Establishing Medibank was first on 68%, with daylight second.

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.

664 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. From previous thread.

    [Yeah, I shudder to think what would happen if Ebola arrived in one of our poor neighbors.]

    India, Indonesia are the worries. High population densities and poor medical services. That’s why it needs to get stopped and contained in Africa.

    What i cant believe is that the Govt have been running the line for weeks now that they dont have a plan to retrieve sick aid workers if needed.

    WHY THE FWARK NOT?? How long does it take to come up with a plan and get the equipment in place?? We can deploy bombers, radar and tanker/transports in a few days, but not have the logistics of an isolation medical transport worked out after weeks??? This is a serious indictment of their competence which naturally the press is not pursuing.

  2. [Repeated from previous thread]

    Essential asks the question:

    “Q. When you think of Tony Abbott representing Australia at international conferences and meetings, how confident are you that he will do a good job in representing Australia to the international community?”

    And then breaks the answers down to three categories:
    1.Very confident … 17%
    2.Somewhat confident …32%
    3.Not at all confident…47%

    And headlines that as:

    “Very/somewhat confident …49%”I find that just a little bit strange.

    Why include the middle category as a positive – which is what I see as the implied value by lumping it in with ‘Very
    confident”?

    What would be the implied value of a heading that added the middle category with the negative thus?

    “Somewhat/Not at all Confident”…79%

  3. So far as the wording question goes, I can see merit in Essential’s point that confidence and no confidence are opposite sides of the coin. But realistically, however you word it, I think people are going to treat it as a three point scale of good, average and poor.

  4. Imacca

    [We can deploy bombers, radar and tanker/transports in a few days]

    A lass pointed this out on Q&A last night.

    [ QUESTION FROM THE FLOOR

    An audience member asked: I was wondering why you can send troops to take on ISIS but not doctors to Ebola victims?]

    And from….

    [Stuart Robert was elected to the Queensland seat of Fadden in November 2007. He is currently the Assistant Minister for Defence.]

    Because he knows exactly what facilities are available if soldiers get hurt.

    Ummmmmm…..

  5. Repeated from previous thread –

    On the method of imposing the fuel excise increase, the Guardian explains:

    [The excise increase will be imposed through tariff proposals to be tabled in the House of Representatives this week.]

    This sounds like a back door method of increasing the excise. I know nothing about taxation law but I thought that a tariff applied to goods being imported into Australia. If the import tariff on imported fuel were to be raised, would that not have trade implications?

    Can any tax experts explain the mechanics of what the government intends to do?

  6. My point about the confidence thingy is that “Very” is a positive, “Not at all” is a negative and ‘Somewhat’ implies or suggests a bit of both – a mixed response, ambivalence, indecisive, fence sitting.
    To lump such in with “Very” [as in the heading] creates a false impression.
    I would have preferred to see the 2 ‘ends’ as the point of contrast ie “17% are very confident and 47% are not at all confident”.

    I find it just a little strange the at Essential chose to maximise the positive for Tony by including the middle with the positive.

  7. I don’t think Whitlam’s passing had much (or anything) to do with this.

    The focus is off foreign policy and bullying Muslims and back onto the Budget. Plus I think Abbott has wrung the national security sponge near to its limits… the only beneficiary in future is Julie Bishop.

    So I think as long as the Budget is at the heart of the coverage, they’re in trouble. Keep in mind, MYEFO will be out in December, there will likely need to be some kind of mini-Budget (or so I’ve heard) … so, they’ll go into the New Year with the Budget millstone still around their necks and the next Budget only 5 months away.

  8. Excerpts

    [Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended the Government’s decision to bypass the Senate and push through a fuel tax increase, saying the Coalition has a mandate to fix the budget.]

    [It means the price of petrol will rise by about half-a-cent per litre from November 10. The Government says “every cent” will be spent on new roads.]

    [“We are asking Australians to pay 40 cents a week extra now in order to help to deliver the biggest infrastructure program in Australia’s history – the biggest road-building program in Australia’s history,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said in Question Time.]

  9. [The Victorian Premier has hit out at the Abbott government’s hike on petrol excise warning it will hurt families and business.

    Premier Denis Napthine also would not say if Mr Abbott would be invited to address the Liberal Party Victorian campaign launch next month.

    With a month to go before the state election, Dr Napthine said he would be raising the government’s frustration with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to increase the fuel excise on November 10.

    The tax hike has also been linked to the Napthine government’s signature project, the East West Link, with federal Treasurer Joe Hockey saying Victorians were being asked to make a modest contribution, through the tax, to pay for the tunnel.]

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victoria-state-election-2014/victorian-state-election-denis-napthine-hits-out-at-tony-abbotts-petrol-tax-hike-20141028-11d1fa.html#ixzz3HPgf5dnT%5D

  10. [J341983
    Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm | PERMALINK
    I don’t think Whitlam’s passing had much (or anything) to do with this.

    The focus is off foreign policy and bullying Muslims and back onto the Budget. Plus I think Abbott has wrung the national security sponge near to its limits… the only beneficiary in future is Julie Bishop.

    So I think as long as the Budget is at the heart of the coverage, they’re in trouble. Keep in mind, MYEFO will be out in December, there will likely need to be some kind of mini-Budget (or so I’ve heard) … so, they’ll go into the New Year with the Budget millstone still around their necks and the next Budget only 5 months away.]

    At the rate they’re going, unpassed budget and mini-budget measures will start piling up. There is no indication that the Senate will acquiesce to the government’s pleas or bullying any time soon. The $7 GP tax, pension changes and others may still be unresolved come election time.

  11. Richard Marles is copping some flack for his boat turn back comments. I would say that the timing of those comments was to confirm the current govts policy of boat turnbacks. This was done in light of the new President taking over in Indonesia. From what i have gathered, he and his new team are making noises that this policy is not to their liking.

  12. Looks like Abbott is going get a lot of pain for daring to impose a 40 cents per week tax hike on motorists. Will be interesting to see if it causes any further erosion of support for the Government.

    In some ways it’s like the Medicare co-payment fiasco. They’ve copped a shellacking in the electorate and it hasn’t been introduced.

    Howard abolished indexation of petrol prices as a part of a suite of initiatives to regain support in 2001 and it worrked. Abbott is playing with electoral fire on this.

  13. [ There is no indication that the Senate will acquiesce to the government’s pleas or bullying any time soon. ]

    Plus Clive has the capacity to retaliate on the way the fuel increase is to be brought in – like block more stuff, even unrelated matters in the senate.

    Presto – PUP back in the limelight ?

  14. JulieB is doing a little destabilising against Labor. Trying to distract from rumours in Libs, I suppose.

    [Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told colleagues that Tanya Plibersek has “taken a leaf out of Julia Gillard’s playbook” and is engaged in a “campaign” to undermine her leader Bill Shorten.

    In an extraordinary address to the Coalition join parties meeting on Tuesday, Ms Bishop linked Labor’s internal ructions over the party’s policy on turn-backs of asylum seeker boats with the ALP leadership.

    She told colleagues the deputy Labor leader had embarked on a “campaign to undermine Mr Shorten”, according to a source at the meeting.

    “It is increasingly obvious that Mr Shorten is having to fight off an attack on his leadership by Tanya Plibersek.

    “The next step will be to get the unions onside, which is what she is doing.”]

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/julie-bishop-claims-tanya-plibersek-undermining-bill-shorten-in-leadership-campaign-20141028-11czn9.html#ixzz3HPjvqRGf

  15. [ JulieB is doing a little destabilising against Labor. ]

    Projection. Bet abbott and Co are keeping close tabs on the Asbestos Queen.

  16. I notice that Annabel’s Kitchen Cabinet has Andrew Robb and that dancing Senator. From the promos it has been easy to decide not to watch it.

  17. Imacca

    We can retrieve people from west Africa in isolation pods but they would often be dead by the time they made the 30 hour flight so we need a country nearer to west Africa to agree to take them.

  18. A slew of Morgan SMS state polling, big sample (including me)

    [The SMS Morgan Poll on State voting intention and preferred Premiers was conducted over the past weekend October 24-27, 2014 with a cross-section of 6,370 Australian electors including 1,860 New South Wales electors, 1,700 Victorian electors, 1,286 Queensland electors, 546 Western Australian electors, 423 South Australian electors and 297 Tasmanian electors.

    A special SMS Morgan Poll on State voting intention conducted over four days (October 24-27, 2014) with a representative cross-section of 6,370 Australian electors around Australia shows the Coalition leads strongly in NSW: L-NP (56%, up 3%) cf. ALP (44%, down 3%) and it is too close to call in Queensland: ALP (50.5%, up 1.5%) cf. L-NP (49.5%, down 1.5%). Both NSW & Queensland face State Elections early in 2015.
    ]

    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5898-morgan-poll-state-voting-intention-october-2014-201410280412

  19. This is why it’s pointless for anyone other than William to actually do something, because he *can* do something, whereas we can only bark at each other.

  20. GG

    It would probably be even worse than the first time if you caught it within a year of the first time as your reserves would be very depleted and the “second hit” would almost certainly kill you.

  21. I think this petrol excise could well be the nail in the electable coffin for Abbott. As toxic to his narrative as the carbon tax meme was to Gillard.

    Its the double whammy. People will feel the pain in the hip pocket and then the whole mess as the Senate does not validate it.

    As political strategy it looks to me to be lose lose

  22. [ DisplayName
    Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    “Asbestos Queen”
    Is that really necessary? ]

    They dish it out and will cop it back.

    If she ever contests the party leadership etc you will hear much much more of it.

    The precedence is well and truly set.

  23. [Diogenes
    Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2014 at 4:40 pm | PERMALINK
    Has the “clown terror” arrived in Australia yet?]

    I hope Ronald McDonald doesn’t go down the evil path.

  24. The petrol excise is a weird political move, is the Govt so desperate for revenue it needs every million it can scrape up?

    Napthine must be fuming, lets introduce a petrol tax to pay for the new road. Does Abbott hate the Vic Libs?

  25. dave
    [They dish it out and will cop it back.

    If she ever contests the party leadership etc you will hear much much more of it.

    The precedence is well and truly set.]
    What boring logic.

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