Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Spill motion or no spill motion, Essential Research remains stuck where it’s been for three weeks. But it also finds little unconditional support Tony Abbott remaining as prime minister, and few expecting him to do so.

Essential Research once again fails to show much sign of the post-Australia Day collapse in Coalition support evident from other pollsters, with two-party preferred still at 54-46 (only one point weaker for the Coalition than before Australia Day) and primary votes unchanged on last week at 39% for the Coalition, 41% for Labor and 10% for the Greens, excepting a one point drop for Palmer United to 2%. But once again, there is still plenty of bad news for Tony Abbott in the subsequent attitudinal questions, with only 28% saying Tony Abbott should be kept as Liberal leader until the election under all circumstances versus 22% who went for an option allowing him six months to improve, and 39% believing he should go right now. Among Coalition voters, the results are 48%, 34% and 14%. Support for the party room’s decision to reject the spill motion is evenly divided at 40-40, becoming 71-18 among Coalition supporters. The poll reports 49% of respondents expecting Labor to win the next election versus just 23% for the Coalition, and 61% considering it unlikely Tony Abbott will still be leader at the time versus on 20% for likely.

On top of that, a semi-regular suite of questions on which party is most trusted to handle various issues actually finds movement in the Coalition’s favour on economic management, education, climate change and treatment of asylum seekers since the question was last asked at June, albeit that the poll was conducted at the lowest ebb of post-budget backlash. Other results are effectively unchanged, the Coalition retaining strong leads on security and the war on terrorism (up three to 19%), economic management, controlling interest rates and treatment of asylum seekers, but marked down heavily on protection of the environment, and Labor strongly favoured on health, education and industrial relations (UPDATE: I should observe that a flaw in Essential Research’s “difference” column is that it shows Liberal minus Labor, when respondents are in fact given a third choice for the Greens. Presumably Labor would have generally better “difference” ratings otherwise). The poll also finds 44% opposed to the government’s data retention policy with 40% in support, and 37% holding a strong view that submarines should be built in Australia, 34% believing it should only be so if the cost is similar to alternative options, and 12% requiring that the cost be lower.

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.

714 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. [ I get most of the acronyms, but IPA? ]

    Institute of Public Affairs.

    They are a “think tank” that writes Liberal Party policy, spruiks it on the ABC, and fly’s the odd policy kite for the Libs.

    If you think i am joking, read this.


    My personal opinion very mildly expressed is that its a sewer of right wing nuttbaggery…..but the same could be said of the actual Parliamentary Liberal Party is suppose. 🙂

  2. The point I was trying to make In post 692 is that bullying and threats don’t always win
    Did Marie Antoinette win even though she offered cake.
    Did Hitler win.
    Did Vietnam go well for the greater force.
    Add Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Have any of them ended up how the Powerful people
    who pushed their weight around wanted.

  3. My local GP practice has informed me recently that, as of March 16th, they will no longer be bulk-billing, except for under-16s and aged pensioners.

    Because screw the unemployed and disabled. Thanks, Tony Abbott.

    Labor should commit to restoring Medicare and maxing out Bulk Billing. By all means, give doctors a raise and restore automatic indexation of the payments, but on the condition that they MUST bulk bill patients. After all, this is why we pay a Medicare levy.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The president of the AMA says that ideology and good health policy don’t mix.
    Peter Martin says this government is considering scrapping the national census to “save money”. There’s no doubt about this mob – they don’t like reliable factual data and analysis.
    Matt Wade chimes in with support for the census.
    Greyhound racing – the sport of grubs (and as I type I hear that the entire board of Greyhound NSW has stepped down).
    “View from the Street” wanders what today’s excuse for extended data retention laws will be.
    And we will pay for the government’s privilege of keeping all out private metadata.
    David Murray reckons it’s time to tackle the superannuation tax breaks for the quite rich.
    David Hicks wins his legal challenge in the US. I’m sure a number of Liberals and shock jocks will be ling up to comment.
    Have we reached the point where further reducing interest rates might actually make things worse in the long run?

  5. Section 2 . . .

    There is a need for greater clarity on food labelling but in the case of Hep A berries it would not have changed things.
    David Tribe writes properly about the Hep A berries. A good example of responsible journalism.
    It’s starting to get serious for HSBS over its rampant tax avoidance practices.
    How the Department of Immigration rips families apart.
    Alan Austin follows through with Hockey’s budget megafail II. Last time it was expense and this time it is revenue that he examines.,7384
    Stephen Koukoulas exposes Alan Jones’ own goals on Q and A.
    The 24 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    The Department of Human Services is heading for a huge stoush with its employees.
    It’s clear that Shane Watson has to go!
    The ACCC wants tougher penalties for exploitative companies.

  6. Section 3 . . .

    Why there is no room for Hockey’s hedonism.
    Is Josh Faulks George Brandis’s Peta Credlin?
    Alan Moir has Turnbull making preparations.

    There is an elephant in the budget room says Andrew Dyson.

    Ron Tandberg loves to nail hypocrisy.

    Mark Knight goes shopping for frozen berries.

    David Pope rightfully ridicules Abbott’s comments linking death penalty clemency and tsunami aid.

    A sombre look at the Indonesian firing squad by David Rowe.

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