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. the Emperor goes the big dump on the hapless Hockey

    [West Australian Premier Colin Barnett
    WA Premier Colin Barnett has defended Tony Abbott’s leadership by taking a swipe at Joe Hockey. Source: AAP
    WEST Australian Premier Colin Barnett has defended Tony Abbott’s leadership by taking a swipe at Joe Hockey.

    MR Barnett said the Prime Minister had been let down by a couple of his colleagues, before singling out the Treasurer.

    “I don’t think the Treasurer’s done a great job and that last budget was flawed and therefore the leader ends up wearing it,” Mr Barnett told Perth radio 96fm on Tuesday.]

  2. “@abcnewsNT: #BREAKING: “I don’t believe Willem Westra van Holte has the capacity or the integrity … to be chief minister” says Giles”

  3. From previous thread:

    [the philosphy of the modern liberal party is deeply sociopathic. no empathy. no understanding of humanity. no accepting of blame. constant lying to get what they know most people do not want.]

    Which is why I have less fear now of the consequences for the centre-left of Abbott being dumped. It is a necessary, but nowhere near sufficient step, in making the Libs electable. They still have to do a major policy reset, but culturally and ideologically can’t get out of the basic policy position they have got them selves into, without a politically devastating mea culpa to the voters, and, in effect, a disowning of their financial backers.

    That is assuming they have even cottoned onto the fact that they need the policy overhaul component. Considerable public evidence a lot of them have not yet.

  4. from previous thread.

    The most important part of the RBA statement was that the RBA now expects the unemployment rate to rise above previous forecasts. Late last year: 6.3% Current rate: 6.1%. Previous RBA forecast 6.4%. new forecast “higher than preivous”

    They think the labour market is going to be destroyed

    This must be an Oh Sh$t Oh Dear moment for the Libs. Wonder if any of them are now questioning the wisdom of a Productivity Commission Inquiry into IR timed to report back just as big job losses hit home in the car industry??

    Tony is throwing an barbecue for the team.. Given the poisonous relationships in Cabinet I Hope the food tasters are on hand

    Serving Salmon Mousse perhaps? 🙂

    Good to see DF has come slithering out of the woodwork again to entertain with his idiot dick-headedness. 🙂

  5. Desert(ed) Fox
    [The woman’s allegation were made on Facebook and at the time, it was reported that she had written on the social networking site (which social networking site in 1985?):

    “In 1985 I joined the ALP. In 86 at the age of 16 I … became a delegate for state and national conferences. In 86 I went to a Young Labor camp down near Geelong … I was alone … at about 4am there was a knock at my door. It was ‘Desert Fox'</b? at the door. He pushed me into a bathroom, up against a towel rail, pulled down my pants and raped me.”]

    Easy to make allegations, isn’t it?

    Prove it wasn’t you, Desert Fox, at the door, in 1986 – you know, 30 years ago.

    Then, report it to Vic Police, get them to investigate, and then for VicPol to say there’s nothing to substantiate the claim.

    How do you reconcile that?

    It was you, wasn’t it? Trying to blame someone else, aren’t you?


  6. Julie won’t challenge. Not a problem, I’m happy for Tony to stay until the election. Obviously Bishop and/or Turnbull are unacceptable to the party. The Libs are a total mess.

  7. Ctar1

    How much does it cost a department to implement a policy.

    Let’s say it the Dept of Soc Sec.

    And a new govt wants to implement a $20 million policy.

    How does that dept go about it?

    Is the $20 million budget for the policy, and the implementation costs are extra, or does the budget itself incorporate the costs of implementation?

  8. You may want to be a bit careful Kezza. Just because DF is a dickhead skirting defamation on a blog, dont let him drag you down to it. 🙁

  9. [ I’m happy for Tony to stay until the election. ]

    Overall i reckon if they dont knife Abbot in the next two weeks they will wait until after May and see how the budget is received.

    The NSW Libs aren’t in enough trouble for the Abbott Factor to matter in the March election.

    If they put a new team up front now they risk having them burnt by a bad reaction to an unfair budget in May.

    So….see how the budget flies or flops in May, and then replace Abbott with a team that can step in and rescue us from a “Good Govt that has lost its way”.

    I reckon that would be their least worst tactic.

  10. “@ellehardytweets: Matthew Gardiner vindicated for his decision to leave NT politics for the relative safety of the Kurdish front”

  11. [ don
    Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    So Julie won’t challenge.

    Until she changes her mind, of course. ]

    Someones calls for a spill and has the numbers to do so, then all bets are off.

    Newspoll etc – do your work.

    In the meantime the blood remains in the water.

    abbott will continue to self harm himself.

  12. kezza2

    The great hope of all the sleaziest conservatives is that they can flush out something really sleazy against a labor leader. It’s because they understand sleaze and underhanded conduct. Cue Pickering and ERNST Rommel (aka Desert Pox).

    Now the way I see this issue re Bill Shorten. It’s been investigated and police say there is nothing to go on. Presumption of innocence. End of story. Now if the woman concerned has decided not to take the matter further, we must leave it at that. It is clear that she has decided not to pursue it further.

    The only remaining interest will be if the woman raises it again in the next election campaign, which will immediately imply that the whole accusation has a political agenda. Of course the poisonous slime in our community will run with it – but they will still be pig manure.

  13. All these leadership challenges etc.

    Its all very Plantagenet or Tudor era – once challenges get rolling – little reason why others can’t do the same.

  14. Kezza2 @ 22

    On a moral level imacca has a point. On a legal level, as ERNST Rommel is anonymous to everyone who reads this blog there is little chance of actually defaming him. He would actually have to prove hurt and damage to reputation.

    The only risk is if Desert Pox is actually a flunky of Rupert Murduck and Crikey has to rely on the current government for its funding.

  15. Of COURSE both rotten apples are narcissists.

    Both parties chose their rotten apples knowing that they were strange, brutal and badly-behaved people.

    Despite this, both parties chose them thinking that they would win government power as a result.

    Both parties believed that their bad boys would be subject to the normal human constraints.

    The rotteness of both rotten apples was multiplied by the power they amassed.

    Both rotten apples used every trick, every lurk to centralize power.

    In both cases the rotten apples’ PMOs turned into dark satanic mills where the normal traditions and processes of policy development and decision-making were destroyed.

    Both parties were faced with the awful realization that not only were their bad boys bad, truly bad, their bad boys were going to LOSE them government.

    Both parties tried to manage their bad boys.

    But narcissists are unmangeable so both parties failed.

    Both parties ejected their bad boys.

    But by then both bad boys had done horrific damage to the polity and to their parties.

    Keating, in his inimitable way, summed it up with visceral accuracy: ‘Gimme the job or I’ll wreck the joint’.

    As it turned out, they wrecked and they wrecked and they wrecked.

    (Polled) trust in politicians is around 16%.

  16. TPOF

    Morally, I wanted to see how DF would defend himself against an unsubstantiated allegation.

    Legally, I would never put William in a situation of having to defend the publication of an allegation, even though it (the allegation) was quite obviously bullshit.

  17. Kezza you made a good point but why waste your time and effort?

    Unless he/she is having us on, claiming not to know who Ernst Rommel is/was, shows what kind of knowledge base this soul has.

    Many are those who have come here, said their trolling bit and then disappear back into the mire that popped up from.

    This one is of like type and not worth your energy.

  18. [‘Gimme the job or I’ll wreck the joint.’]

    Clearly we misheard Tony. What he really said was:

    ‘Gimme the job and I’ll wreck the joint.’

  19. Let’s correct that

    [Legally, I would never put William in a situation (again) of having to defend the publication of an allegation, even though it (the allegation) was quite obviously bullshit.

  20. Tricot @ 29

    Re Ernst Rommel. That was just Desert Pox being a smartarse. In fact, the historical Desert Fox was Erwin, not Ernst, Rommel. However, Desert Pox probably has more in common with Ernst Rohm, rather than Erwin Rommel.

  21. If Julie is now coming out and saying she will not challenge Abbott, that means that she has agreed with Turnbull that he will challenge.

    Turnbull does not even owe Abbott the right to keep his word, given that Abbott did the dirty on Turnbull back in 2009. I think he would feel not morally obligated.

  22. [If Julie is now coming out and saying she will not challenge Abbott, that means that she has agreed with Turnbull that he will challenge.]

    Or it could just mean that the Liberals have gone mad and are going to stick with Abbott.

  23. 1tep @ 37

    It would not necessarily be madness to stick with Abbott. Given what happened with Labor, they know that dumping Abbott will kick off a whole world of pain. Most of the Liberals are desperately willing Abbott to come good. But they know that he is constitutionally incapable of doing so.

    So they will hang on until Abbott goes one step too far and all but those most personally invested in him remaining decide enough is enough.

  24. Giving the iPad a go on the new thread to see if we have the same problem of crashing. I wondered if the problem might relate to the previous thread being 20 pages or something.

    Seems a bit more stable now … Or maybe the monkeys in the crikey dungeon are pedalling faster.

  25. rossmcg
    Pretty sure it’s to do with a specific 3rd party ad served up in the sidebar rather than crikey. If it’s stable now it’s because you’re getting different ads.

  26. Hey guys and gals

    Plea from the heart. Please do not distract from the pleasure of watching the current Prime Minister get everything he deserves by returning to comparisons with RGR.

    Whatever we think of the players in that episode, there is more than enough meat to chew on as the current government tears itself apart in angst and sheer existential terror.

    Just look at this picture and think: it could be pretty much any Liberal Party backbencher at the moment:

  27. [I seriously think that part of Abbott’s problem is that he’s far too nice.]

    I’m convinced that DF is Prince Philip himself.

  28. DN

    Now don’t get technical on me … Long may it continue. I much prefer the iPad for net browsing and I can just reach over in the morning and read BK’s links in bed. Great way to start the day.

  29. William, when my browser complained to me, it mentioned a script from doubleverify as the source. A quick googling reveals other complaints about them and allegations of distributing malware.


    Kevin Andrews enacted a policy – to help couples not divorce – to the tune of $20 million (the reason d’etre ~50,000 marriages a year end in divorce – never mind the “nanny” state).

    The cap was 100,000 couples. The vouchers were worth $200 each.
    100,000 x $200 = $20 million. In effect, a $20 million policy.

    The starting date was July 1, 2014.

    By mid-December 2014, 7785 couples had registered for help.

    Cue the cabinet reshuffle.

    Kevin Andrews was given Defence. And the new minister for Social Security was Scott Morrison.

    In January, Scott Morrison issued a directive that Kevin Andrew’s Marriage Guidance (oops, relationship guidance) Counselling was to bite the dust.

    And, Scott Morrison announced, that’s $17 million back in his portfolio to play with.

    Good work, Scotty.

    Except, Scotty told us the reason why he’d dumped Kevin Andrews’ policy was because:

    (a) only about 10,000 had taken up the proposal (I guess about 8000 is now the new 10,1000); and

    (b) about only a third of those had actually taken hold of a $200 voucher (because the reality was it was going to cost a helluva lot more than 200 smackeroos to get some help from private enterprise – and let’s not talk about how Kevin Andrews wanted to help his wife’s business).

    So 1/3 of 7785 = 2295. And 2295 x $200 = $519,000.

    Now, forgive me for asking, but doesn’t a cap of $200 million MINUS $519,000 EQUAL $19,482,000?

    So, and I ask seriously, why is there only $17 million left in the kitty?

    Where’s the other $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money? Who got that?

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