Essential Research: 50-50

The Essential Research rolling aggregate records an unusually sharp move away from the Coalition, and finds strong support for Senate reform legislation.

The normally placid Essential Research fortnightly rolling average records a rare two-point shift on two-party preferred this week, which eliminates a settled 52-48 lead for the Coalition over previous weeks. Particularly remarkable is a three point increase in the Labor primary vote, from 35% to 38%, although the Coalition is down only one to 43%, and the Greens are steady on 10%. Also featured is a very detailed question on Senate reform, in which the legislation was explained to respondents in meticulous detail, producing a result of 53% approval and 16% disapproval. A question on election timing finds 56% wanting the election held later this year versus 23% who want it called early, although the distinction is an increasingly fine one. Also featured: most important election issues (health topping the list, followed by economic and cost-of-living concerns), best party to handle them (Labor for industrial relations and environment, Coalition for national security and the economy, although Labor has a slight lead on housing affordability) and perceptions of the parties as right or left wing (indicating Labor is seen as more centrist than the Coalition, although there is little sense that this has changed in recent years). This week’s poll was conducted online Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1017, with the voting intention numbers also including the survey results from the previous week’s poll.

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.

1,038 comments on “Essential Research: 50-50”

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  1. Fess

    The msm and Liberal MPs are reporting that Abbott is leaking against Turnbull and damaging the latty’s re election chances and bemused cant handle it.

  2. confessions@996

    The only person who cannot be slagged off is the dud Rudd. although that aint gonna stop me

    And nor should it. If people are such delicate petals they can’t cop hearing criticism of their man crush they should probably stay off the internet.

    Hypocrisy much!

  3. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since the Howard govt was elected. That election was my first federal election I voted in!

  4. victoria@1001


    The msm and Liberal MPs are reporting that Abbott is leaking against Turnbull and damaging the latty’s re election chances and bemused cant handle it.


    Crazy stuff. I am delighted to hear that.

  5. victoria:

    How’s this for vomit-inducing – from MT’s facebook page:

    [Malcolm Turnbull
    2 hrs ·
    20 years ago today was a political watershed in our nation. 13 years of Labor rule ended and the country elected a Coalition team that would deliver one of the greatest periods of prosperity our country has ever known.

    I had the greatest honour of serving in John Howard’s government as Minister for Environment and Water Resources.

    The Howard Government was the gold standard of Cabinet Government. Policy preparation was patient, thorough and forensic and always in the national interest – a tradition that we will continue today.

    Thank you John Howard.]

  6. Abbott’s DNA is to wreck and destroy …. He wont stop. He has Turnbull on the ropes and he wont back off. He wants his job back. The cheering for his speech at tonight’s Howard shindig will embolden him.

    He has visions of repeating Churchill’s return to to the Admiralty in 1939 …”Tony’s back’. He has zero insight that this has the potential to utterly wreck the LNP as a brand. He is, always has been, the ALPs best asset.

  7. david @ 962

    As Karl Marx wrote:

    [Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce]

    Tragedy, then farce is certainly the order of events here.

  8. fess @1007: Vomit-inducing indeed. Now I know how Turnbull ingratiated himself with the Libs after the referendum – he kissed Howard’s arse ’till it shone!

  9. David

    “saying that the pre-selction process is all corrupt so it does not matter to parachute candidates doesn’t hold alot of merit.”

    That’s not what I said.

    Twice now you have been unable to comprehend my statement.

    Perhaps I need to go to writing school ….. or you to comprehension school.

  10. Please, can’t we on the Labor side just bask for a moment in the glory of the Libs in fighting and forget about our own leadership scars?


  11. [ Please, can’t we on the Labor side just bask for a moment in the glory of the Libs in fighting and forget about our own leadership scars? ]

    I second the motion.

    The lasting significance of the RGR years now seems to be what the Liberals didn’t learn from it. 🙂 I am still gobsmacked at the rapidity with which the Libs are imploding.

  12. Bemused

    “What is the point of being a branch member and doing all the work if you don’t get any say in pre-selections and other matters?”

    People are branch members for many reasons.

    If one reason is 101% essential for them, ie preselecting candidates, then they should choose to resign. Because it is never going to happen in all pre-selections. Never has; never will. IMHO that’s how it should be.

    Now Comrade, don’t read into my words what I have not said, as others have tonight.

    There are caveats I have mentioned.

    As a matter of fact I totally support branch preselections as the routine or default. Even for the vast majority of selections. But I am not going to complain, in fact I will be happy, when manifestly excellent and exceptional candidates are parachuted in, as the fairly rare exception.

    And for example,just for the record I don’t think the parachuting of Fitzgibbon into the new Hunter seat is a worthy exception …… to speak of “manifestly excellent and exceptional” in the same sentence as “Fitzgibbon” would be oxymoronic.

  13. Agreed imacca. It is astonishing, and reinforces what Keating said of Abbott a few years back:

    “Give me the job, or I’ll wreck the joint!”

  14. [roger bottomley
    Posted Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 12:05 am | PERMALINK
    Please, can’t we on the Labor side just bask for a moment in the glory of the Libs in fighting and forget about our own leadership scars?


    That would be nice.

  15. Here we go again:


    [ $19bn hit in Labor negative gearing strike on investors: report ]

    Which is all most people will read, over a pic of Bill Shorten.

    All appears……. BAD ALP.

    Then, if you actually read the article it pretty much says to me that the modeling and analysis is complete biased crap.

    Limited News editors on the job…again.

  16. Made its way into Fairfax

    This caught my eye:

    [BIS Shrapnel associate director Kim Hawtrey said the report was not about opinions, but “crunching numbers”. The identity of who commissioned the report was kept “confidential”.]

    I bet it’s a real estate or property group.

    Frankly, I don’t believe it. After 9 years property prices will be lower? With ongoing demand from people who are able to actually target the price of a home and further demand from immigrants? There are plenty of reputable economists who don’t have an interest in keeping NG going who are calling “bullshit” – they are even quoted in the article.

  17. I was hoping Abbott would save up all his spinach for the campaign, but if he wants to slog it out now all the better.

    And why wouldn’t he think he could get his job back? Going on the reports of how he and Turnbull were received at Howard’s do, he has far more support from the people who matter (to him).

    Sure Rudd had popularity that got him back before the polls, but Turnbull only has popularity, and as soon as the LNP TPP hits 49% what is that worth?

    Also, who did the seating at Howard’s do, having Turnbull and Abbott oposite? Howard should have had a table facing the room on the long side with him in the middle and Abbott and Turnbull the same number of seats away on either side, out of each other’s faces.

  18. TPOF,

    Negative gearing is magical. Removing it will smash the economy, and the value of housing… but rents will be higher… you know it adds up!

    After all, as Morrison will tell you, cheaper cars always cost more to rent.

  19. ‘doing a rudd’ is now part of the lexicon.

    It might become ‘doing an abbott’ if Tony keeps to his current form.

  20. I went through a stage where I reactively detested the parachuting of candidates. It absolutely enraged me. I think now I was correct in a couple of cases but wrong in a couple of others where the choice proved to be a good one.

    In this case I think Shorten has probably made a very good decision in backing Dodson. I have only bumped into him a few times and don’t know him personally. He’s not the warmest person I’ve ever met, but seems very serious about his aims and the quality of his work.

    I think Dodson would be very effective on senate/estimates committees for example. If Labor win government this year his seriously well informed knowledge of issues in communities will be invaluable in improving policy settings that impact on the real people in those places.

    I would expect him to be equally concerned when confronted with social equity issues that affect the broader Australian population.

  21. [Will, please define “a reasonable level of offensiveness”. I believe it was the lovely Kathy who introduced the term “charity fuck” into public discourse, after all…]

    A level that would be deemed reasonable by a reasonable person, as distinct from one who needs it explained to them that it might not be okay to make crude jokes about the death of a private individual a few hours after the event.

  22. I’d like to see some marginal seat polling now we are heading back into a 50:50 overall situation. Where exactly are the swings occurring?

  23. Way back when…

    Some here thought I was a crank about the stranglehold that tunnel and motorway constructors have on the NSW government.

    Well, cop this…

    [ Community angst over the WestConnex motorway will soon spread when plans for new motorway interchanges are unveiled for Rozelle and at Sydney University, Camperdown.
    The interchanges will almost inevitably involve property acquisition and, in Rozelle and adjacent Lilyfield in particular, will require the construction of elevated ramps to Anzac Bridge and Victoria Road.
    More detailed plans for the motorway interchanges are set to be unveiled by NSW Planning and Environment in the next few weeks, after the organisation building the $16.8 billion toll road – the Sydney Motorway Corporation – lodged planning documents last month.


  24. Gee, isn’t that funny?

    An American tourist happens to find a piece of “debris” from MH-370, in Mozambique, and “US officials” reckon it’s from a Boeing 777.

    [ (CNN)A piece of wreckage apparently from a Boeing 777 — like the missing MH370 airliner — was found washed ashore over the weekend on the coast of Mozambique, a U.S. official told CNN on Wednesday.

    A Mozambican official told CNN the plane part, measuring 35 inches by 22 inches, was discovered by an American tourist, Blaine Gibson, and a local fisherman on a sandbank in Mozambique. ]

    How convenientment.

  25. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Wroe – A breathtaking breach of basic responsibility from an ex-PM.
    More from Wroe as Turnbull calls in the AFP to investigate the leak of Security Council documents.
    Mark Kenny with an exclusive on secret NBN trials of a much cheaper FTTH option.
    Judith Ireland on how Senate crossbenchers think that the Coalition is in “caretaker mode”.
    Peter Martin on the “game changer” GDP figures.
    Malcolm Maiden agrees, saying income growth is the missing ingredient.
    Peter Martin has a sneaky thought that Turnbull could think the TPP is a dud and wouldn’t mind if it fell over.
    Lenore Taylor has started it all off with her Turnbull = Rudd 2.0 article yesterday.
    Michelle Grattan on the Turnbull -Abbott conflict “going nuclear”.

  26. Section 2 . . .

    Calls for the Pope to act or for Pell to resign. There are several links to further article at the head of this piece by the winner of a Walkley Award for uncovering child sexual abuse in Newcastle.
    This lawyer can see a parallel between Pell and Hollingworth and says Pell should go.
    And another one from a religious school goes down.
    Bob Ellis has his say on Pell.
    And yet another NSW council office holder come to the attention of ICAC.
    Chris Christie thinks, “What have I done?”
    Super Tuesday plunges the Republican Party into crisis.
    Donald Trump may have to build a different wall. This one to the North!
    Remember the Fiat/Chrysler scandal in Australia?
    “View from the Street” farewells Bullock and weighs up DD chances.

  27. Section 3 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Abbott swings into the tax debate as Turnbull’s options narrow. From Mark Kenny.
    New Liberal MP Trent Zimmermann hits the ground running and goes after George Christensen and his Neanderthal offsiders in the party.
    Peter Wicks on why the Australian Christian Lobby is so deservedly despised.
    Health insurers come under fire for selling “junk policies”.
    David Pope and the aftermath of Super Tuesday for the Republican Party.

    Ron Tandberg weighs up the Royal Commission.

    John Spooner doesn’t thing the pathology industry wil absorb Sussan Leay’s rebate cuts.
    Mark Knight welcomes back a US astronaut.
    David Rowe with more on the concerns of the Republican Party.

    First Dog on the Mon goes all the way with Pell and the church.

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