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

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  1. Lizzie @ 483 – can you IMAGINE the stories Peta would have if she and Tones had a falling out? I’m entertained just at the thought of it.

  2. If, as many here have suggested, it was not the carbon or mining taxes that lost Labor the election, but the Rudd/Gillard war, then perhaps Labor had already won the 2016 election by making it almost impossible to depose the leader… just a thought.

  3. Ah delicious….

    @8one3: Tone: “Vlad, what the fuck are your boats doing?”
    Vlad: “Sorry Tone, can’t say, it’s an on-water matter.”

  4. [perhaps Labor had already won the 2016 election by making it almost impossible to depose the leader… just a thought.]

    That’s something I still wonder about direct election of the party leadership. Does the choice get affirmed at later conferences?

    Even the incumbent US President has to face their own party in the primary season, before going to the country at large.

  5. [Just saw a WA tourism add on TV and it occurred to me that Vlad’s Navy is closer to me than WA. Its all a bit worrying.]

    And you lot scoffed at our threats of secession. 😀

    Be careful what you wish for!

  6. [555
    Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm | PERMALINK
    A reminder for those that missed it. Paul Keating is guest on tonight’s Lateline]

    The real Paul Keating? Or some sort of new Lateline vaudville segement, because that stuff is oh so clever these days…

  7. OK, the Gillard book tour thing was fantastic. Standing ovations, great speech, great response to questions (including politely but firmly defending decisions the audience clearly didn’t agree with).

    Better than I expected!

    Huge line for the book signing. At least three hundred people in the queue, many with multiple books.

  8. The government will be desperate to downplay it, but China committing to an absolute cap is a significant shift in global climate politics, along with US-China setting an agenda.

    Hey Abbott – the times will not suit you.

  9. Frankly, today was a major turning point in the struggle to save future generations from a scorched earth.

    We’re still basically screwed, but one thing is clear: denialism just got kneecapped. Now it crawls.

    Mreover, I back the Demss to keep the Whitehouse in 2016, continuing the executive climate action.

  10. Bolt sees it all crumbling away: Obama’s climate deal, and no shirt-fronting no matter how long Bolta keeps yelling “Did! Did! Did! Did! Did!”

    And now: Adam Goodes… uppity, leftist and aboriginal. The horror!

    [Adam Goodes is entitled to his views, however ill-informed or unfair. But why was a man that contemptuous of his country named Australian of the Year?

    But what’s with the Australian the Year, anyway? It seems increasingly to be a position held by scolds pushing a Leftist agenda. ]

    There aren’t any comments. No-one could be bothered.

  11. Lenore Taylor sees Garnaut’s “up shit creek” and raises him a propulsion accessory…

    [Ross Garnaut is usually professorial in his language. But the academic who wrote two voluminous climate policy reports for the former government used front-bar vernacular when asked where Wednesday’s historic climate announcement by China and the US has left Australia. “Up shit creek,” he said.

    Direct Action, as it stands, is unlikely to be a viable alternative and its costs will certainly become prohibitive as Australia is required to reduce its emissions further – as Malcolm Turnbull kept telling us and has been repeatedly borne out by modelling (done by third parties because the government hasn’t done any, preferring as Abbott said during the election campaign, to just “have a crack”).

    And so we find ourselves under extreme pressure to make much deeper cuts to emissions without any cost-effective policy to get us there. Not just up shit creek, but without a paddle. ]

  12. Beat up of the week.

    [Russian warships ‘heading to Australia’
    A CONVOY of heavily armed Russian war ships, including at least one high powered missile cruiser, are cruising international waters to Australia’s north. ]

    Daily Telegraph, of course.

  13. “Passing Russian fleet provides opportune training experience to plucky Oz submariners” would be a more fun headline.

    Honestly, what mindless sensationalism. Yes, there’s three Russian boats in international waters near Australia. Everyone panic.

    I doubt the fact the world is moving on without Australia in climate change action will bother Abbott remotely, to be honest. He seems to find great glee in being on the outside looking in, telling Australians just how great it is to be ignored by everyone else.

  14. The downing of MH17 was an act of war, whichever way it’s looked at. Maybe it should count as the first time since the bombing of Darwin that Australian civilian citizens and residents have been deliberately killed as a result of military conflict.

    Abbott’s conduct might reflect his anger at this, but surely it also magnifies his weakness and his impulsiveness – traits for which he has now been mocked at home and abroad.

    Abbott has a tendency to indulge in a basically childish exhibitionism. This can be seen in nearly everything he’s done, from his reactions to Putin, to the vacuous trope he’s been running on climate change and the environment, to his idiotic policies on science and technology, the plain daftness of his revival of imperial honours, his moral cowardice with respect to Ebola and to his grandstanding on the budget, social policy and economy.

    [NATO accused Russia of sending columns of troops and heavy weapons into Ukraine in the past two days, as the government in Kiev warned the nation’s eastern combat zone is close to returning to open war.

    Russia’s Defense Ministry denied the accusations, according to state-run RIA Novosti. Pressure has been building for days in eastern Ukraine, with the government and rebels accusing each other of gearing up for a renewed military push that risks swelling the death toll of more than 4,000. The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency session in New York today over the intensifying conflict.]


    […figures released today by the ABS revealed that Australian wages growth fell to the slowest pace on record (1997) in the September quarter, clocking int at only 2.6% seasonally-adjusted and 2.5% trend over the year: When adjusted for underlying inflation, annual wages were dead flat in the September quarter in seasonally-adjusted terms and fell for the third consecutive quarter in trend terms, down 0.1% in the year to September 2014.]

    Considering bracket creep takes an extra bite from wages, real disposable income has been falling. This is very unusual in Australian economic history and will be a recession-like experience for many.

    The LNP obviously do not know how to respond to this trend, and which must be eating away at their electoral support.

  16. Morning all. Fairfax has ran another story on the blatant corruption of our ui system to extract maximum income from foreign students. They now make up tha majority of income for many universities. Administrators now let in students with such poor english that they cannot understand the course work. The lecturers are not allowed to fail them. At Adelaide Uni any fail grades get referred to an admin committee, which overrules academics.
    [While a spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said there would be “very severe consequences” for those caught cheating, the federal government encouraged more international students to study in Australia.]

    Another Pyne lie. He is almost as bad an education minister as Gillard was. Labor talked about schools but did nothing about universities. The tertiary staff union is about as effective as the HSU.

  17. Excitement builds as Obama approaches Brisbane for the G20. Will they actually do something about global corporate tax avoidance, or will it be another few days in weird shirts? It is far from clear that Australia actually wants to lead on this issue.

    Have a good day all. The politics has looked awfully theatrical lately. Shorten seems to be performing better. Abbott faces the challenge to look and sound like a leader at G20.

  18. Peter Hartcher says Tony’s under no pressure at all.

    [But all of this is to apply to the post-Kyoto phase. The Abbott government has not yet made any commitments to this phase so is unpressured by the Sino-American announcement.

    Indeed, the environment minister, Greg Hunt, welcomed the news: “This is an unalloyed good thing. We want a good agreement in Paris.”]

    Read more:

  19. 0600hrs …. Not much happening on the ABC News 24 reports of the China US Emissions agreement.

    Infact I would say absolutely zilchamondo. Nothing.

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