Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

Essential Research again records no change in voting intention, but finds trust in the news media to have fallen since November.

The fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research has Labor leading 52-48 for the seventh successive week, with the primary votes showing the Coalition down a point to 41% and Labor, the Greens and Palmer United steady on 39%, 10% and 1%. Other findings:

• An occasional question on “trust in media” records lower results across the board since November, with the most trusted outlets down the most. The ABC is down six points for television to 63% and four for radio to 58%, “local newspapers” are down three to 50%, and “daily newspapers” are down five to 45%. Commercial television and radio are stable, at a respective 46% and 44% for news and current affairs and 34% for talkback.

• Opponents of same-sex marriage are found to be more likely to hold their views “very strongly”, at 46% compared with 37% for supporters. However, the latter outnumber the former 59% to 28%. Fifty-eight per cent support a conscience vote in parliament, with only 19% believing it should be set by party policy (though presumably respondents would say this about all manner of things).

• Fixty-six per cent of respondents disapproval of people smugglers being paid to take asylum seekers back to Indonesia, but a quite substantial 29% approve.

• Presented with a list of infrastructure items their state might invest in, respondents overwhelmingly favoured hospitals and health centres (74%) over all options.

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.

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

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  1. “@Pollytics: The ALP are being completely played on terrorism and national security, and they don’t have the faintest idea what to do.”

    Maybe. Or maybe they understand that you have to deny Abbott the only wedge he has left, and the nastiest one of them all: national security.

  2. To make things clear, an organisation potentially using the lives of many people to wedge another organisation is nothing new.

    As guytaur said, employee strikes are a form of leverage against employers. And they too have the potential to harm people; whether it stops businesses from functioning (hopefully for all the right reasons), or it there were violent protests that could harm innocent by-standers, or the protesters themselves are harmed by industrial machinery; depending on the situation.

    But most of the time, that leverage does not directly threaten the lives of people. Had Labor taken tried to use this leverage, it could’ve caused direct physical and mental harm to thousands of asylum seekers. Not that offshore detention centers aren’t places of depravity, violence and downright inhumane cruelty; but total anarchy/ PNG-Nauru control wouldn’t have been an improvement.

  3. Mill

    Your danger concern applies if the High Court strikes it down. That won’t stop the High Court.
    The response will be flying back to Australian detention centres if the offshore ones close.

    However a delay while Labor negotiates would not mean immediate closure so those dangers would not apply unless legislation is permanently blocked.

  4. [

    As far as I am concerned the showing of such a map is completely inappropriate not just as this is clearly an operational matter but from a national security perspective this kind of information is likely to raise fear within the community.

    He is openly suggesting targets for the anti-moozi crowd to focus on.

    The ‘man’ is disgrace and a danger.

  5. guytaur #853
    Yes, I agree, in that flying the asylum seekers to Australian detention centers would’ve probably the best solution had Labor decided to use the leverage against Abbott.

    However, I do not put it past Abbott to try to counter-wedge Labor by refusing to fly the Asylum seekers to Australian detention centers; probably accompanied by some vague comments like “…keeping Australia’s border policies strong…keeping back the death cult…stopping illegal maritime arrivals…we stopped the boats.”

  6. [Maybe. Or maybe they understand that you have to deny Abbott the only wedge he has left, and the nastiest one of them all: national security.]

    Nah they either don’t know or don’t care.

    Joel Fitzgibbon said civil liberties should take a backseat to national security at the start of the week. Denying a wedge by surrendering other peoples civil liberties is cowardly and leads me to expect that if they do get power they won’t bother to repeal the extreme national security laws that they inherit.

  7. Maybe Bill Shorten should hold a presser with 10 flags behind him. I think Australians will recognise that he is taking the mickey out of Captain Chaos – but who could accuse him of being unpatriotic?

  8. Mill

    Its still Abbott putting people in harms way for political purposes. Stop fighting to abuse children and families pass the legislation with our amendments,

    As a Labor response in this hypothetical

  9. guytaur #860
    If that was Labor’s hypothetical reply, I imagine Abbott’s hypothetical rebuttal would be somewhere along the lines of: “No, no, no we are stopping abuse of women and children because we stopped the boats and therefore there’s less of it in those pesky offshore detention centers.” and “Then why didn’t you stop abuse when you were in Government?”

  10. jules

    As concerned about it all as you are, Labor’s hands are very far from clean on this stuff. But when you are faced with somebody like Abbott you don’t have the luxury of playing nice.

    [Joel Fitzgibbon said civil liberties should take a backseat to national security at the start of the week.]

    Not sure too many inside Labor listen closely to JF’s words of wisdom.

  11. But to put my point succinctly, if hypothetically Labor wanted to wedge Abbott with the loophole, it would be guaranteed that Abbott would not budge an inch on flying those asylum seekers into Australia.

    Abbott’s whole immigration policy hinged on two things: 1. The boats stopped and 2. There were no unauthorized asylum seeker arrivals in Australia. I think it’s reasonable to assume that Abbott would never cede any battleground to any his opponents, lest the only portfolio that his Government have to claim any resemblance of a ‘victory’ over.

    And all the logic and reasonable thinking in the world doesn’t stand a chance against pure, simple distilled Fear-Mongering(TM).

  12. Edit to my #866 post:

    And all the logic and reasonable thinking in the world doesn’t stand a chance in a political atmosphere where pure, distilled Fear-Mongering can simplified down to three words: Stop. The. Boats.

  13. This whole terrorist thing is bullshit. The Abbott Government is exploiting the issue to win votes. After all, they don’t want to talk about jobs, the economy, industry, education or pensions. And they certainly don’t want to talk about their plans for a future Australia (2014 Budget; IPA’s 75 and 25 point checklists). They’re ballot box poison. They have apparently decided that they can’t sell these to the punters.

    Terror, fear, dogwhistling, and bullshit, because the Liberals have no hope of presenting a positive agenda. The terrorist threat is a furphy. Terrorists kill fewer Australians than thunderstorms. They kill fewer people than unemployment. They kill fewer people than would the 2014 budget were it to be passed in full. When Abbott appears in front of 200 flags and blathers ‘Wah! Terror!’ Labor and the Greens should say ‘Yeah, whatever’ and change the subject to something that matters.

  14. I should also add to my not-quite-succinct #866 post that I expect a hypothetical Abbott to be very hesitant about supporting any amendment on Immigration not proposed by his own government; lest Abbott be seen to compromise his government’s ‘strong’ border policies.

  15. Just me – no they probably don’t but he outlined labors position on citizenship and was no different to the libs. Ciobo seemed surprised by this.

    [When Abbott appears in front of 200 flags and blathers ‘Wah! Terror!’ Labor and the Greens should say ‘Yeah, whatever’ and change the subject to something that matters.]

    That would be nice.

  16. [Labor and the Greens should say ‘Yeah, whatever’ and change the subject to something that matters.]

    better yet, they should call abbott on it. just keep saying: “do you notice than whenever mr abbott is asked about his unfair budget, all he wants to do is strut about khaki and talk about border security”. and “Have you noticed that when you want to talk about border security; when you want ask about Mr Abbott’s final solution for refugees and the impact is having on innocent women and kids; when you want to talk to him about paying people smugglers to keep people on dangerous waters in leaky boats for longer; when you want to ask about people dying at sea because of his shady deals that have been condemned by the UN; THEN he decides he can’t talk about border security because of ‘operational matters’. Australians aren’t stupid and they know when they are being bullshitted to. Mr Abbott can stand in front of as many flags as he likes, but I think most Australian’s bullshit alarms ring pretty loudly every time he does, and the alarms go up a few decibels with every flag he adds to his jingositic posturing. Mr Abbott is a fraud, he had no vision for the future, and most Australians know it. Let’s have an election now.”

  17. A few people told me I was crazy when I suggested this after reading the Lib party room briefing on Citizenship, but…

    [Under the legislation, dual nationals who are convicted of certain offences would be automatically stripped of their citizenship. Those offences range from treachery, sabotage and mutiny all the way down to damaging or destroying Commonwealth property.

    It also includes a broad range of speech-related offences such as urging violence or advocating terrorism. ]

  18. And they’re going to punish the children too…

    [Children of terrorists stripped of their citizenship could also have their citizenship taken away provided it does not make them stateless, and if they do not have another responsible Australian parent.]

  19. 874

    Punishing children for having bad parents, which they must have done something to deserve you know, is a major plank of political conservatism.

  20. Meanwhile, Kathy Jackson is in the shit. So, apparently is her lover boy, Michael Lawler. I bet by now he wishes he’d never set eyes on her.

    Jackson has been trying to offload her home out of reach of her creditors, by flogging it off in a book entry to boyfriend and Abbott appointee, Lawler.

    Now Lawler reckons HE’S broke!

    I am amazed the Court has put up with this bullshit for so long.

    [If Ms Jackson is found liable in the lawsuit, it is unlikely the union could recover any money awarded by the court by seizing property held in Mr Lawler’s name.

    Mr Lawler has been paying the mortgage on the property and helping Ms Jackson pay for legal proceedings.

    He told the court today that he had no assets and was financially strained.

    As the vice president of the Fair Work Commission Mr Lawler earns $435,000 a year. ]

  21. Re TTF&B @876: it also has similarities to Noth Korea’s Juche ideology – punish wrongdoers to the third generation.

  22. SadLy, Kathy Jackson couldn’t make the HSU court case yesterday.

    Now worries, her current squeeze Abbott appointed Fair Work Commissioner on $435,000 a year (currently on sick leave) Michael Lawler stepped into the breach.

    [In a remarkable development, Mr Lawler suddenly returned to the court and, after sitting at the table for a few moments, announced that he wanted to address the court himself.

    He strode to the microphone, whereupon a ­moment of drama ensued as Mr Lawler tried to use it and the judge, from Melbourne, repeatedly declared that he could not hear. Eventually Mr Lawler leaned closer in.

    “Your Honour, it’s been necessary to withdraw my counsel’s ­instructions … which she only got after 1pm today,” Mr Lawler said, explaining that his lawyer had been unable to grasp matters during a brief adjournment.

    He added that with the media in the court, his intervention would no doubt be “luridly” ­reported.

    Justice Tracey betrayed no hint of astonishment, although Mr Lawler’s counsel, Claire Latham, looked stunned. Mr Lawler commenced a complicated explanation of the structure of de facto finances. He told the court that while he had been in the process of obtaining loans, there had been a tightening of prudential standards in the banking sector, making this difficult. Mr Lawler went on to ­explain to the court that he had been operating the mortgage for Ms Jackson while she had spent time in hospital last year.

    At this point, Justice Tracey interrupted to remind Mr Lawler that he was addressing the court on his own behalf and could not speak for Ms Jackson, who had her own lawyer present.

    Both Ms Jackson (through her lawyer) and Mr Lawler continued until next Monday their undertaking not to conclude the transfer of the beach property. Mr Lawler ­advised the judge that he would continue with his own evidence ­regarding the couple’s financial situation, and Ms Jackson’s ability to borrow, on Monday.]

  23. TPP gets “fast track” passage approved in the US –

    [ Obamatrade Passes, The Corporations Win Again… And Now They Gloat

    …Moments ago, the passage of “Obamatrade” was assured when in 60-38 vote, the Senate cleared the “fast track” passage of the TPP also known as the Trans Promotion Authority with no votes to spare, ending the president’s long struggle]

  24. Dave,
    I wonder how long the corporate class can keep on screwing 8 billion people before the tumbrils start rolling again?

    Which billionaire said that what he hears is the sharpening of pitchforks?

  25. I got an A for my assignment in my writing studies, in the subject speech writing. I chose the topic Coding in Schools for a MP to deliver to a school meeting.

    I just want to give credit to Pollbludger and The Pub for sharpening my argument skills and being able to coherently lay out a proposition. That I could just sit down and write it easily is because I am used to putting comments together for Pollbludger. And thanks to all those who make me follow up my arguments and comments.
    I really enjoyed that A. Thanks peeps.

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