Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

A somewhat surprising status quo result from Essential Research this week, but plenty of bad news for Tony Abbott in the numbers for all that.

True to form, Essential Research bucks the trend in recording little change this week, with the Coalition down a point on the primary vote to 38%, Labor steady on 41%, the Greens steady on 9%, Palmer United up one to 3%, and two-party preferred unchanged at 54-46. Reflecting other polling, Tony Abbott is now running third as preferred Liberal leader on 11%, behind Malcolm Turnbull on 24% and Julie Bishop on 21%. A semi-regular question on leader attributes is particularly interesting at this point in time, with Tony Abbott up eight points since early December on “erratic” and down nine on “capable”, together with smaller adverse movements on other measures. However, Bill Shorten’s ratings are slightly worse than last time, which I’m inclined to put down to this week’s survey being a somewhat bad sample for Labor, hence their surprising failure to record any improvement on voting intention despite a strong result last week.

Further questions find a 34-34 draw on the question of whether Australia should become a republic, compared with 31-31 when the question was last raised in October; 26% in support of the reintroduction of knights and dames with 46% opposed; and 14% supportive of the Prince Philip knighthood with 69% opposed. Strikingly, a question on the minimum wage finds it to be deemed too low by 61% and too high by only 6%.

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.

1,096 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. [1038
    Greensborough Growler

    In further news from the front…..

    Stephen Mayne retweeted

    News Australia ‏@NewsAustralia · 1m1 minute ago
    Tensions and threats rising in late evening phone calls between Abbott thugs and MPs who won’t pledge loyalty to loser Abbott. Ugly #auspol]

    The most collegial government in Australian history, Abbott-style…where the electoral college, the Liberal Party Room, is given a very handsome thrashing. (It’s no wonder Morrison smiled so wryly while listening to Abbott’s speech on Monday. He obviously understands that “collegial” is a Liberal synonym for “merciless”.)

  2. More news and views.

    Comrade Badham ‏@vanbadham · 1h1 hour ago
    If Malcolm Turnbull is “progressive” then Scrooge McDuck is a communist. And at least Scrooge McDuck didn’t WRECK THE NBN. #auspol #libspill

  3. If the Coalition have the arrogance to think the electorate got it wrong, why wouldn’t Abbott and his cronies think that the party is getting it wrong?

    Total arrogance – part of the “Born to Rule” mentality.


  4. [Peter van Onselen @vanOnselenP · 9m 9 minutes ago
    The convention in the Liberal Party is a secret ballot for spill motions. But my prediction is the PM tries to change it to a show of hands.]

  5. Another day of liberal luminaries and the msm putting pressure on Abbott to accept the inevitable.
    They so desperately want him to step down for the good of the party.

  6. Can anybody tell me what the Coalition is referring to with the claim Labor that is blocking its own recommendation when in office? (Worth $5b I think)

  7. Obviously I hope the LNP stick with Abbott, but the last two days shows how hopeless the task is: you can’t put this sort of thing back in the bottle.

    The fact that Abbott spends all day denying there’s a problem is now the problem. It might move on if there wasnt any number of backbenchers being lukewarm to hostile, but there are, and at least one of them cant be ignored – Sinodinos matters.

    Nup, Abbott is borked!

  8. [sohar

    Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Did I hear Sabra Lane say tonight that Sinodinis is a highly respected member of the Liberal Party. Perhaps him standing down as a minister because of corruption allegations was just a dream?

    Corruption and incompetence are badges of honour with the Lib’s.

  9. 1049

    It is not an Athur Sinodinos comment. It is a lack of capital letter comment. If you are not using a capital letter, you are not writing about a nation.


    Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    The big question in my mind is whether Turnbull will be able to withstand the insistent calls for an election to confirm his mandate. Can he really dodge that for 18 months or will people just get more and more pissed off.

    A new leader already has a mandate to pursue the policies and commitments made at the last election.

    If they wants to change direction on these then he should take them to an election.

  11. [Newman threatened any electorate that voted ALP]

    That particular piece of mid-20th c authoritarian arsehattery – along with the ‘bikies donate ALP go google it’ – converted a lot of waverers to the baseball bat.

    Newman ran the worst campaign Ive seen in donkeys. Remember how Bligh screwed up by accusing him of criminality in the dying days of the 2012 campaign?

    Yeah, why not try that!

  12. [15 out of 16 of the hardest hit seats under the LNP 2014 Budget are ALP seats!]

    I’d honestly like to know the thinking behind such a strategy.

  13. All this talk about Liberal MPs being monstered by thugs reminds me of a conversation which some friends of mine had with some villages in (then)Zaire back in the 80s.

    Friends: “Who is your President?”

    Villagers: “President Mobutu”.

    Friends: “Why is he your President?”

    Villagers: “Because we love him”.

    Friends: “Why do you love him?”

    Villagers: “Because he is our President”.

  14. confessions @ 1075

    [15 out of 16 of the hardest hit seats under the LNP 2014 Budget are ALP seats!

    I’d honestly like to know the thinking behind such a strategy]

    Well…if they didn’t vote for the Coalition in 2013 they never will. However, I suspect it is just the demographic unfairness of the budget. Or, to put it in other words, it is the class war being waged by the wealthiest against the poorest people in the country.


    Hockey says, in regard to the instability:

    [“It is, sadly, a legacy of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and what’s happened over the last few years.”]

    Apart from the TBAs of the world, this endless blaming of the last government for everything this mob is doing wrong cannot be impressing the swinging voter. Again, with Labor saying and doing virtually nothing while the Liberal Party implodes, and Hockey blames Labor he and his Government look like fools trying to take the public for fools.

  16. Are we there yet????

    On one hand I would love watching Tony giving an election night concession speech but on the other hand can he just bugger off.

    He leads the worst government I haev ever seen, even worst then the Kirner government.

    The Aussie ten year bond rate is currently 2.46%, earlier it was done to 2.26%.

  17. rossmcg

    That article sums up nicely the vary point I use to make to the likes of Crank, Truth and GP but did did the Liberal PBérs listen, no, all we got was but your a leftie and you just love deficits and what ever. being proven right is way more fun than being to the right.

  18. Mex

    The point is will the Tories learn? If they were in any way anything other than ideologues they would look at the Queensland result and think “whoa, we pushed too hard there.”

    But I suspect not. It is good in a way because it opens the day for Labor.

    But there also are lessons for Labor too. Don’t make,promises you can’t or won’t deliver.

  19. Sure there are lessons for the ALP and I think the calm and measured way in which they have been responding to the the child like tantrums we are seeing from the Libs is an indication that they may have learned some of those lessons.

  20. LU @1047:

    I’d hardly say that Germany and the ECB are in a poor bargaining position – they have the wherewithal to inflict incredible agony on Greece (yes, even by the standards of the last 6 years there) if they see nothing to lose. They’re both pointing loaded guns at each other, neither wanting to shoot but neither willing to back down.

    Any deal has to involve something about the eurozone’s structural issues, or else it’s just kicking the can down the road.

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