Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

Not much doing in Essential Research this week, apart from results showing uneasiness about data retention. Elsewhere, a union-commissioned poll finds Joe Hockey taking a hit in his seat of North Sydney.

Absolutely no change whatsoever in this week’s Essential Research result, except that the “others” reading is up a point to 9% without making any change the other primary votes, because rounding. That means Labor leads 52-48 on two-party while trailing 40% to 38% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10% and Palmer United on 4%. We also get Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which have Tony Abbott down one on approval to 39% and up two on disapproval to 50%, Bill Shorten up two on both measures to 37% and 38%, and Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister narrowing from 38-32 to 36-34. Further questions are inspired by data retention, the most direct of which finds 41% broadly supportive and 44% broadly opposed. A slight majority indicated a lot or some trust for police and intelligence agencies not to misuse data (53% against 42% for little or no trust), but few did so for private companies. Only 34% expressed support for the AFP using data retention to pursue illegal downloaders, with 47% opposed.


• United Voice has commissioned ReachTEL to conduct automated phone polls of the North Sydney (Joe Hockey, Liberal) and McMahon (Chris Bowen, Labor) electorates, by way of promoting its campaign for childcare funding. The full results, including responses to questions on childcare, can be downloaded here. Excluding the undecided, the North Sydney poll has the Liberals on 49% (down 12%), Labor on 34% (up 14%) and the Greens on 13% (down 3%), translating on 2013 preferences to a Liberal two-party vote of 53.7% (down 12.2%). However, the McMahon poll is almost bang on the 2013 election result: Labor 49% (down 2%), Liberal 40% (down 1%) and Greens 4% (up 1%), with Labor’s two-party vote unchanged at 55.3%.

• The Australian Electoral Commission has been rebuked in an Australian National Audit Office report for failing to implement promised improvements to ballot box and polling booth security before the 2013 election, and not doing as much as it claimed to have done to implement the recommendations of the Keelty report following the WA Senate disaster. More from Harley Dennett at The Mandarin.

• South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has flagged the possibility of Legislative Council reforms, in particular an end to staggered eight-year terms, to be implemented after a referendum.

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.

587 thoughts on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

  1. citizen @ 450 – it was very much presented as if Russia was invading Australia. I have no doubt this is part of the security detail and the Australian government would have been aware well before hand they were coming. My opinion is that this story was designed to bury the highly embarrassing (to Abbott) deal between the US and China. And now a highly flattering story of Howard attacking history curriculum. I have been thoroughly reminded of why I don’t watch corporate news any more.

  2. citizen@450

    Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm | PERMALINK
    Channel Seven lead news story – Russian Warships heading for Australia. Not kidding. Kerry Stokes sure is keen to rescue Abbott.

    No problem. Abbott is an expert at turning back boats.
    Mark Riley says there are four Russian ships in the Coral Sea just outside Australian waters. He thinks it is a message from Putin to Abbott. Riley also asks what would Australia do if they asked permission to enter Australian waters?

  3. News Ltd cant help themselves.

    [The Courier-Mail ‏@couriermail 3m3 minutes ago
    #BREAKING: Reports Russian warships parked off #queensland coast in show of strength. ]

  4. That is exactly the move Putin would have made if Tony had really shirtfronted him. The media are going to have a tough job separating reality from their dreams.

  5. Now the truth from Lowy

    [The flagship of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, the guided missile cruiser Moskva, is conducting unilateral live-fire drills in the South China Sea after transiting through the Indian Ocean and Singapore. The ship’s appearance in Southeast Asia was described by the US Naval Institute as ‘a rare show of surface presence in the region’.

    Also in the region are the Russian Navy frigateYaruslov Mudry and a replenishment ship, which were until yesterday berthed in Jakarta. The ships were in town principally for last week’s Indonesian Defence Expo, at which 14 Russian defence companies were represented.

    Russia’s defence industry appears to have had modest success at the expo, with suggestions that Indonesia is interested in purchasing more Sukhoi fighters, and some small-arms contracts being completed. Interestingly, one Russian exporter flagged that it is willing to sell up to three submarines to the Indonesian military; offers to develop Indonesian coastal radar installations were also made. These moves play into Indonesia’s newly flagged strategic maritime aspirations and are a reminder that Russia has multiple connections into Indonesia’s military, chiefly as a supplier of materiel.]

  6. [AussieAchmed
    Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm | PERMALINK
    four Russian ships in the Coral Sea just outside Australian waters.

    Morrison will have these boat people all sent to Manus]

    I was thinking that Morrison would be itching for his flotilla to see some action. Also, he has all these unused orange lifeboats…

  7. [385

    Briefly, Victoria and lizzie, having seen Shorten talk in person, it wouldn’t be the cameras but Shorten’s robotic, dissociated manner that would be causing that. I was very impressed by Shorten as the union guy covering the trapped miners, I have been underwhelmed seeing Shorten on TV, but having now witnessed him in person, I have to say he is truly dreadful. His lack of interest and depth on anything except IR is patently obvious, and his approach to politics is pure NSW right.]

    It would help Bill if he could relax a bit. He’s clearly very smart (he thinks much faster than he speaks) and has, I think, a nuanced, responsive mind. He’s also observant (I’ve watched him watching others), reflective and capable of learning quickly. He’s one the least overtly ego-centric people I’ve seen a leadership position but he’s certainly not one to take refuge from a fight either. He should get credit for that.

    Abbott is not going to be pushover and Shorten is going to need help to win.

    It does seem to me that Labor should do a lot more to fortify their leaders. Leadership does not have to be a single-handed tournament all the time. Too, often Gillard was left to fend for herself when she could have done with a bit of collegial team-play. I hope the Labor ranks stay tight around Shorten. He’s entitled to expect that.

  8. briefly – I’ll admit that I find Shorten a little dry and uninspiring, but I can’t help but think that after the Rudd?Gillard era, this is a positive not a negative for Labor. Look at Andrews in Victoria.

  9. So Seven News is at sport and has made no mention of the climate deal. I’m completely disgusted but unsurprised that Seven is apparently now promoting the interests of conservative governments and big business.

  10. [ “@ABCNews24: Shorten: This is a historic agreement, the two largest emitters are saying climate change is real #ABCNews24 #auspol” ]

    Shorten certainly nailed that one. I think i will wander over to NutterTruckers and see what the frothing right wing nuttjobbies reaction is. 🙂

  11. Message from dry Bill

    [Hi ru,
    You’d be forgiven for getting whiplash if you were following the news on climate change today.
    I was just about to update you on Labor’s announcement on the Renewable Energy Target when I got the news of an agreement between China and the US to take dramatic action to reduce carbon emissions.
    It’s a huge announcement and one which gives me real hope that the world will act to prevent irreversible climate change.
    With China and the United States representing around one-third of the global economy and over 40 per cent of global emissions, there will now be significant global momentum to deal with climate change. You can read the White House Statement here.
    This news makes Tony Abbott’s refusal to deal with the issue at the G20 in Brisbane later this week all the more embarrassing and irresponsible.
    More than that, it reveals Tony Abbott’s determination to take Australia backwards, to reverse our action on climate change, as a complete failure of leadership.
    Labor has been desperately trying to drag the Abbott Government back to a position of bi-partisan support for the Renewable Energy Target.
    The Renewable Energy Target has been driving investment in renewable energy. Under Labor, renewable energy jobs tripled, homes with rooftop solar went from 7,400 to 1.3 million and pollution levels declined.
    But Tony Abbott wants to cut the Renewable Energy Target by 40 per cent and Labor won’t stand for that.
    A reduction of the Renewable Energy Target by 40 per cent would cost jobs, stall investment and see Australia’s electricity prices and carbon pollution rise.
    By 2013, Australia was rated one of the four most attractive places to invest in renewable energy, alongside China, the US and Germany.
    The uncertainty caused by Tony Abbott reneging on his commitment to the Renewable Energy Target has already seen Australia to go backwards, to tenth in the world.
    On top of that, Tony Abbott wants to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    Labor will fight for real action on climate change and a strong future for renewables in Australia. And I’m asking you to fight with me.
    Thanks for standing with me,

  12. The Russians are coming ! Sounds familiar 🙂

    [>…… paranoia of a Russian invasion gripped the Colony, and Russophobia increased. In 1855, the Colony built fortifications around Admiralty House and completed Fort Denison on Pinchgut Island, as the emergence of the Pacific Ocean Fleet of the Imperial Russian Navy furthered the fear of a Russian invasion of the Colonies, and rumours spread that the Russians had invaded the Port of Melbourne

  13. Just got Reachtel polled for the state Seat of Balmain.

    Who would you vote for today: named three candidates (Green, then ALP, then Lib) then Ind/Other, who I voted for in 2011 (green, ALP, Liberal or Independent/Other), age and gender.

  14. So where is Mesma’s famous diplomatic skills when we need them? Who is our Defence Minister anyway? Who has hidden Abbott’s brown budgies?

  15. [466


    This was a troll-like person whom you should not take seriously.]

    Thanks lizzie. I suspected as much…but it doesn’t hurt to pass some warmer reflections on The Leader… 🙂

    today’s been a good one for Labor and for Shorten…

  16. [469

    So Seven News is at sport and has made no mention of the climate deal. I’m completely disgusted but unsurprised that Seven is apparently now promoting the interests of conservative governments and big business.]

    Seven also owns Westrac, the largest Caterpillar dealer in Australia, a supplier of heavy machinery to the mining sector in WA and elsewhere, including to the coal industry.

    Seven can hardly claim to be automatically impartial and should have to publish disclosures every time it reports on anything to do with mining, the environment, exports and foreign investment….

  17. Did Al Gore give Clive a big hint about the secret 9 month climate negations between China & the US?

    Clives plan could fall into place now, with Australia forced to follow world agreement

  18. Two profoundly important elements – the economic and the environmental – are now linked together by this statement. Both nations clearly see their economic futures as inseparable from sustainable energy technologies.

    No longer can it be said that we have to choose between the economy and the environment – that it is an either/or game. The future is arriving while we watch. Choosing economic prosperity now relies on choosing low- or zero-emissions technologies.

    This may also turn out to be watershed moment in Australian politics too. Labor stood up for the RET and gets a surprise reward from Beijing and Washington while Abbott is told to put up or shut up by the Kremlin.

    In a statement, the White House said the announcement marks the first time China has agreed to cut its carbon emissions, and said the Chinese are calling for “an energy revolution” that would include a broad economic reform program that would address air pollution. China has agreed to provide an “additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030, more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.”

  19. Clive-centricity is in the party’s name! Why would you join a party named after a businessman with an axe to grind and expect it to be democratic?

  20. So, Lambie is going to vote against all Government bills until they buckle on ADF pay.

    Sounds fair enough to me.

    But then there is Tasmania. Tasmania needs lots of money.

    So Lambie will probably vote against all Government Bills until the Government buckles on giving Tasmania a lot of money. A lot of money.

    Sounds fair enough to me.

    As for her PUP colleagues, they appear to be lazy, do-nothing useless duffers.

    Sounds fair enough to me.

    We may have yet another kangaroo loose in the national top paddock.

  21. [China and the United States have agreed on a set of ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets, with Beijing setting a goal for its emissions to peak “around 2030”.

    It is the first time China, the world’s biggest polluter, has set a date for its emissions to stop increasing, and the White House said China would “try to peak early”.

    At the same time the US set a goal to cut its own emissions of the gases blamed for climate change by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.]

    Well well. So much for the govt trying to keep it off the G20 agenda.

  22. Look, Mr Walsh seemed to be saying, ‘Look, give the coal mining industry yet another ten years and we will have the technology sorted’.

    Look, he did seem to be saying it, like look, in many different ways.

    But, look, he had nothing else to say.

  23. Just Me:

    It’s acutely embarrassing how quickly these idiots have taken us back to being a vision-less nation again. A global backwater with no aspirations other than intensely selfish ones.

  24. The Russians in the Coral Sea (if that is where they are) is about as close to Brisbane as Christmas Island was “off the coast of WA”.

    I gather most of these Russian ships have been in Indonesia while the Ruskies try to sell the Indons more weapons – which is the real concern.

    However, nothing like “The Russians Are Coming” to stir up the natives by the conservative press.

  25. And if German submarines are likely to have cruised off the coast of Oz 70 years ago, what have the Russians, Chinese and soon to be Indians doing with their nuclear subs?

    Mind you, as the film “On The Beach” demonstrated, Melbourne was as good a place as any for the end of the world to come during the Cold War.

    Don’t know which is worst…Reds Under the Bed…or…The Russians Are Coming…..?

  26. [The Russians in the Coral Sea (if that is where they are) is about as close to Brisbane as Christmas Island was “off the coast of WA”.]

    The Australian reports that the Russian “Fleet” is south of Bougainville. Yet they write as if they are visible from the Brisbane CBD.

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