Essential Research has opened its account for 2016 with a poll that records a one-point shift away from the Coalition off what was already a very low base for them, relative to the other pollsters. Compared with the last poll in mid-December, the Coalition is down a point to 44%, while Labor and the Greens are steady on 35% and 10%. This being the first result of the year, the result encompasses 1011 respondents polled from Friday to Monday, rather than Essential’s usual two-week rolling average. Also featured are the monthly personal ratings for the leaders, which find Malcolm Turnbull down five on approval to 51% and up two on disapproval to 25%, while Bill Shorten is exactly unchanged at 27% and 47% respectively. Turnbull’s lead on preferred prime minister is down from 54-15 to 51-18.
The poll also has a straightforward question on favoured candidate to win the US presidential elections, offering four named options: Hillary Clinton on 40%, Donald Trump on 12%, Bernie Sanders on 6% and Ted Cruz on 2%, leaving 8% for “someone else” and 32% for “don’t know”. Remarkably, breakdowns by party support show statistically identical results for Labor and Coalition supporters (but nearly ten times as much support for Sanders among Greens voters). Further questions find consistent agreement that sexism and discrimination against women exists to at least some extent in workplaces, media, politics, advertising and sport (from 58% to 62% opting for a lot or some), but less so in schools, where 44% opted for a lot or some, and 41% for a little or none.