Essential Research: 51-49 to Coalition

Slight movement to Labor in Essential Research’s first poll for the year, which also finds that Labor and Coalition voters feel almost exactly the same way about the US presidential election.

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.

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.

688 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Coalition”

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  1. steve777,

    The key is whether Abbott believes he can become PM again. If he thinks that is too hard then forming a blocking bloc in the Senate would enable him to wield plenty of power.

    I’d also question whether Abbott would run for the Libs and defect later. You look at his history and he is big on loyalty and going the journey.

  2. @StevePriceMedia has confirmed on @theprojecttv that Tony Abbott is determined to have a crack at becoming Australian PM again

    ROFLMAO! 😀

    Back to the Tennis. 🙂

  3. I see that well known lefty Abbott flew out of Canberra with Credlin in tow…or was that the other way around…mmm

  4. Greensborough Growler,
    Air Con bought. Just waiting for the Installer to find the time to put it in. Putting up with the heat and barely surviving till then. 😀

  5. The rumour mill is suggesting Loughnane to the Vatican as ambassador. Interesting to see the Credlin play in that situation.

  6. mike

    [On that note I haven’t seen any posts relating to lemmings on this thread yet, but may have missed them.]

    We haven’t seen Rex, prophet of doom, for a while either.

  7. GG, mikeh:

    They’ll be back. Soon’s the polling blows out to the coalition again they’ll be spreading their message of doom and gloom.

  8. Hmm is Sen Dean Smith taking a snide pot shot at Abbott and reports he hopes to make like Menzies with this Facebook post?

    [Senator Dean Smith
    Page Liked · 1 min near Canberra, ACT ·

    An important date in Australia’s political history.

    On this day in 1966 Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, announced his retirement from politics.

    It is an anniversary every Liberal can celebrate – the principles he espoused during his career were the foundation for a modern Australia.

    In charting a contemporary future course for Australia, there is still much to be gained by adopting his commitment to the Liberal values.

    On this day it is worth reflecting on the comments made by John Howard AC on page three of his book ‘The Menzies Era’:

    “…The Liberal Party is the trustee of both the conservative and the liberal traditions in Australian political life. It is the party of both Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill. When the Party was formed, Menzies said the name Liberal was chosen to indicate that it would in no way be reactionary but rather progressive, with much emphasis on the individual.”]

    In other words, Tony, time to retire!

  9. GG, mikeh:

    True. On a serious note however it is troubling when people place so much stock on who leads a political party. Surely it’s the party’s values and aspirations for Australians that is more important?

  10. [An important date in Australia’s political history.

    On this day in 1966 Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister, announced his retirement from politics. ]

    Menzies would be rolling over in his grave with shame when he looks at what his beloved Liberals have become.

    Menzies would be a ‘lefty’ based on the rantings of todays Liberals like Abbott, Pyne, Morrison, Brandis etc

  11. confessions

    [ Surely it’s the party’s values and aspirations for Australians that is more important? ]

    When the party itself obviously has none, those of the leader must suffice.

    Sadly, Mal the Magnificent has no aspirations for anyone other than himself either.

  12. [On a serious note however it is troubling when people place so much stock on who leads a political party. Surely it’s the party’s values and aspirations for Australians that is more important?]

    YES. a very loud and resounding YES

  13. Yes it’s always funny when today’s Liberals like Abbott and Howard talk about Menzies in a way as if he’d be welcome in today’s Liberal partyroom.

    History tends to grow its own rose-tinted glasses!

  14. fess

    [True. On a serious note however it is troubling when people place so much stock on who leads a political party.]

    I like Gillard question the Americanisation of our society on that one.

  15. @Confessions/625

    Its also obvious that Media Watch also supports Trump because they gave publicity of Murdoch Paper (Daily Terror) on this very subject.

  16. William in today’s Crikey on the future of PUP and its Senators elected at the last election, even though they have since parted terms:

    [Family First and the Democratic Labour Party may have won Senate seats with as little as 2% to 3% of the vote, but the truly freakish results turned up by the group voting ticket system have been to the advantage of parties who are harder to place on the ideological spectrum.

    Certainly that applies to Ricky Muir, whose share of the vote in Victoria at the 2013 election was 0.5%; it very nearly applied to Wayne Dropulich of the Australian Sports Party, which came within an ace of being declared a winner in the original Western Australia Senate contest despite polling only 0.2%; and it could be said of the Outdoor Recreation Party and Reform the Legal System, which won seats in the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1% of the vote or less before the system there was reformed in 2003.

    The reason for this is that micro-parties are generally very happy to boost each other’s chances through their preference allocations — often with the encouragement of entrepreneurs like “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery — but only if the other parties are not explicitly offensive to their own ideology.

    Few had such concerns about Ricky Muir and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, which was able to scoop up votes from everybody from Family First to Help End Marijuana Prohibition.

    That’s an encouraging precedent for the amiable Glenn Lazarus, who has adopted purposefully centrist policy positions and represents a state with a particularly high level of support for fringe parties.

    It’s less good news for Jacqui Lambie, whose potential appeal to the anti-Turnbull right stands to be tempered by her incapacity to draw preferences from the Greens or any other left-of-centre concern.

    The PUP itself was excluded from the preference networks organised by Druery in 2013, as it was seen as one of the bigger players the genuine micro-parties needed to combine their forces against.

    However, now that the party has barely 1% of the national vote to rub together, it could well be able to deal itself in — and in doing so illustrate the perversity of the existing Senate system by benefiting from its own collapse in support.]

  17. 630

    I do not think the current system will survive until the election. I think the Greens and government are likely to be able to come to a deal on ATL/BTL optional preferential.

  18. TBA at 582

    “Who cares if Tony Abbott runs for his seat again.”

    Albeit that he has every right to do so, the real question is whether it is in Australia’s or the Liberal Party’s best interest that he do so? I suspect the majority would suggest not.

  19. 637

    Tony Abbott not running for he seat would, to an extent, stabilise Turnbull`s position in the leadership. That would increase Turnbull`s chances of winning the election and thus be bad for Australia.

  20. [Show full conversation
    10h10 hours ago
    graciegrace ‏@g4gracie2
    @NickRossTech @RichardTuffin not with 60 minutes I hope]

    [Nick Ross
    Nick Ross – ‏@NickRossTech
    @g4gracie2 @RichardTuffin ACA
    2:38 AM – 20 Jan 2016

  21. Leanne O’Donnell ‏@MsLods 3m3 minutes ago

    Leanne O’Donnell Retweeted Comms Alliance

    The Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms is an issue to watch this year. An outline of industry’s concerns:

  22. ‘ Despite talk of a civil war in the NSW Liberal Party, it is now looking increasingly likely that deals will be struck to keep keep Mr Taylor, Mr Kelly and Senator Fierravanti-Wells in place.’

    Read more:–20160120-gma25y.html#ixzz3xmSwtD3g

    Yes, please keep the place fillers and sub par performers in place. 🙂

  23. C@t:

    If Abbott chooses to stick around he becomes the Liberal party’s problem rather than the country’s, as he is a backbencher. 🙂

  24. This one day match between India and Australia in Canberra is as dodgy as all hell.

    ICC and its anti corruption unit will need to investigate. Not sure how much blatant match fixing could be.

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