Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

No change from Essential Research this week, which also records Malcolm Turnbull dipping into net negative territory on personal approval for the first time.

The latest result for Essential Research is largely unchanged on last week, with the Coalition steady on 42% of the primary vote, Labor steady on 38% and the Greens down one to 9%. One change is that the pollster has dumped Palmer United from its survey and replaced it with the Nick Xenophon Team, which opens it account on 3%. The poll also features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which find Malcolm Turnbull up one on approval to 40% and up three on disapproval to 42%, Bill Shorten up four on approval to 34% and down one on disapproval to 43%, and Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister narrowing from 44-22 to 43-28. There is also a suite of questions on social class, something 81% agreed existed in Australia, with only 8% saying otherwise. Only 2% of respondents identified as upper class, yet 53% thought the Liberal Party mainly served that party’s interests. Forty-eight per cent of respondents identified as middle class, which 15% thought mainly served by Liberal and 17% by Labor, while 34% identified as working class, which 39% thought mainly represented by Labor and 4% by Liberal. The poll also found 48% approval of the budget’s internships scheme for the young unemployed, and 52% rating the election campaign too long versus 5% for too short and 32% for about right.

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.

1,374 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. There’s an argument that societies that didn’t change (much) for thousands of years were actually more successful than those that did.

    After all, conservatives believe that if something isn’t broke, you shouldn’t fix it.

    A society which didn’t have to change its fundamentals probably had them pretty right. Societies which continually change do so because things aren’t working.

  2. Regarding Glen Lazarus.
    I do not believe he would be so appallingly stupid as to make the statement attributed to him. He is, of course, a decent christian boy.

  3. Lizzie

    ..that Glen Lazarus tweet is genuine ..though the link attached takes you to a message saying the Facebook page is unavailable ..or has been removed..

  4. “Aboriginal Stone Age culture didn’t leave any evidence of civilization as it is generally accepted. ”

    The is because they had “learned to live within their means” …….

  5. Michael Gordon.

    It’s not yet day 10 of the campaign, and Malcolm Turnbull has played the asylum-seeker card with all the deftness and subtlety of a Tony Abbott shirtfront.

    Until now, Mr Turnbull has been content to let Peter Dutton do the dirty work, serving up his daily tally of the number of Labor MPs who have ever expressed the slightest discomfort with any elements of Coalition (or Labor) border protection policy.

    Now, with a Border Force patrol boat to provide the photo opportunity, Mr Turnbull has stepped up to declare that Labor doesn’t have the courage, or the will, or the conviction to stop the boats.

    …After almost three years in office, you have only come up with one third-country option, Cambodia: one of the poorest and most corrupt countries on Earth. Tens of millions has been spent and fewer than a handful resettled (unsuccessfully).

    This is the policy failure Labor says it would rectify, though neither Mr Shorten nor his immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, have nominated their preferred resettlement countries.

    It is the policy failure you are banking on the electorate being content to ignore.

  6. Sep 9, 2005

    “Ridiculous, that’s the only word to describe it,” Graham told Crikey. “It just indicates a complete lack of thought about privacy issues.” Graham also told Crikey that the costs the government would save would just be transferred onto the public and that she doesn’t believe that Turnbull has thought any of this through at all.

    Nothing in Turnbull’s failure should surprise anyone. Brainfarts and bullshit are all he’s ever had.

  7. Crank

    Classic that you left off the third definition from the one you quoted!

    “the society, culture, and way of life of a particular area.”

    What a person you are.

  8. zoomster
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm
    If it’s so successful then why aren’t you wandering around the bush living a subsistence lifestyle eschewing all modern technology?

    They didn’t even invent the wheel.

    We are in a civilization that has evolved over thousands of years to what it is today and what the rest of the world aspire to. We are living in the most magnificent time in all of history and you are claiming that this evolution is an indication of bad things? You really are a fringe nutter coming up with that tripe.

  9. Cranky …are these friends of yours?



    Private enterprise doing what it does best…ripping of unsuspecting customers…

  10. Men looking to pick up on the gay smartphone app Grindr​ are set to be inundated with Greens political advertising as the party pursues all avenues to win lower house seats.

    Geographically targeted ads on Grindr – “the largest gay social network” – will be used to promote Greens candidates in Higgins and Batman in Melbourne.

    After being successfully used by the Victorian Greens in their upset win in Prahran at the 2014 election, Jason Ball said he will use the advertising to promote his campaign to unseat Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, who holds the seat by 9.9 per cent.

  11. Lenore Taylor’s piece in the Guardian pleading for Malcolm to be given more time is being torn apart in the comments – I have never seen such animosity.

  12. Lizzie – a very interesting post. I, too, am keen to understand how the ALP thinks they are going to be better able to resettle the Manus Island and Nauru detainees in unwilling third countries. It is a secret the ALP appear unwilling to let us voters in on.

    Another East Timor option, maybe?

  13. Very strange reaction by Morrison to the backpacker tax backdown. First he says it was not in the budget, then states labor have a $500 million black hole for wanting to scrap a tax.

    If it wasn’t in the budget it will show up in PEFO. Plus labor has deliberately said it wants to see the full cost details before deciding a position, so Morrison was wrong on that front.

    Above all he was trying to attack labor for cutting taxes, he has either gone mad or the election pressure is getting to him. 🙂

  14. daretotread @ #78 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    The answer to your question is about 90% because Briefly has bats in his belfry. The other 10% is just trying for logical analysis and predictions.

    The situation is very fluid just now, but Labor is not putting a foot wrong and the Libs are getting nothing right.
    Briefly could turn out to be a pessimist if there is a sudden collapse in the Lib vote as is quite possible.

  15. Daretotread @3:59pm

    There were swings of 11.8% to Labor in SA 1966, and 11.3% to the Coalition in Tas 1975. So a swing of 10% wouldn’t be unprecedented, although it would be the biggest state swing in over 40 years.

    To be clear, my expectation is that Labor will get a swing of 2-5% nationally and 6-9% in WA. Just saying that bigger numbers would be consistent with history.

  16. corporate_misfit
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm
    Fine examples of the unintended consequences of government policies in action. Who knew people try these things on? Oh, look – Pink Bats, National Rental Affordability Scheme etc

  17. CC
    “” It is a secret the ALP appear unwilling to let us voters in on.”
    They have to proved better negotiators than the Libs will ever be!.

  18. In jest, it has been said that a society can be judged in its level of “civilisation” by the way it treats its prisoners, its animals and the cleanliness of its public toilets. I would suggest that very few “societies” these days would score 3/3.

  19. “Fine examples of the unintended consequences of government policies in ”

    I didnt know that the govt was offering PWC internships…..when did this start?

  20. CC re ” Pink Bats, National Rental Affordability Scheme etc”

    You left out the biggest rorts…Direct action and the fossil fuel subsidies

  21. Hey Crank you might know……what with the Team Turnbull rubbish…..are they afraid of being associated with the Liberal brand and maybe Tony Abbott?

  22. Here are the lyrics for Unchained Melody. Who can come up with some for Unchained Malady?

    Oh, my love, my darling
    I’ve hungered for your touch
    A long, lonely time
    Time goes by so slowly
    And time can do so much
    Are you still mine?
    I need your love
    I need your love
    God speed your love to me

    Lonely rivers flow
    To the sea, to the sea
    To the open arms of the sea
    Lonely rivers sigh
    “Wait for me, wait for me”
    I’ll be coming home, wait for me

    Oh, my love, my darling
    I’ve hungered, for your touch
    A long, lonely time
    Time goes by so slowly
    And time can do so much
    Are you still mine?
    I need your love
    I need your love
    God speed your love to me
    Lonely mountains gaze
    At the stars, at the stars
    Waiting for the dawn of the day

    All alone I gaze
    At the stars, at the stars
    Dreaming of my love far away

  23. Compact Crank
    Given how the NBN FTTP supporters have spruiked how wonderful it will be because everyone will want to use it so much – the take up numbers are underwhelming.

    I would love to be connected to the NBN but there is absolutely no timetable for when we might be connected.

  24. This isn’t going to help Feeney in Batman:

    Labor frontbencher David Feeney owns an undeclared $2.31 million property, potentially placing him in “serious contempt” of the Parliament.

    And the ALP power broker says he “doesn’t know” if the house is negatively geared – despite Labor’s proposed changes to property tax rules being a key election issue – while also admitting the renovations he claimed had prevented him from living in the home have not actually begun.
    The Right faction powerbroker, and key ally of Labor leader Bill Shorten, is under mounting pressure to hang on to his seat and is locked in a fierce fight with Greens candidate Alex Bhathal.
    In practice, that means Mr Feeney could be referred to the House Privileges committee and censured.?blockquote>

    Read more:
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

  25. It intrigues me that CC thinks the definition of ‘civilisation’ is to manipulate of destroy your environment.

    What of morality?

    Complexity does not necessarily signal ‘civilisation’. To leave your environment as at was, without wholesale destruction would be considered very civilised to many.

    Is building fortresses and creating war any better?

    And how do you know the Aboriginal didn’t ‘invent’ the wheel. Did they even need one since they were in tune with their world and could survive quite well with out one?

  26. More Cranky nonsense
    “Former Telstra chief economist John de Ridder said consumers were not prepared to pay for 100Mbps”
    I have had 100mbs via HFC cable for around 5 years …and I happily pay extra for it…

  27. @cranky

    The r9llout and participation of FTTP is vastly outnumber FTTN in the same 4 years.

    During that time it was LNP who said we don’t need more satalites and yet years later praising them,

  28. Lenore Taylor’s piece in the Guardian pleading for Malcolm to be given more time is being torn apart in the comments – I have never seen such animosity.

    I see finn’s has made a contribution to the comments…..

  29. The term “conservative syndrome” was coined to describe a person who attaches particular importance to respect for tradition, humility, devoutness and moderation.

    Such a person tends to hold conformist values like obedience, self-discipline and politeness, and emphasises the need for social order coupled with concerns for family and national security.

    A conservative person also subscribes to conventional religious beliefs and has a sense of belonging to and pride in a group with which they identify. The same person is likely to be less open to intellectual challenges and will be seen as a responsible “good citizen” at work and in society, while expressing rather harsh views toward those outside their group.

    Up to 16% of “conservative syndrome” is reportedly due to low cognitive ability.

    Overall, smart people tend to be socially liberal in their outlook. It was also found that countries whose citizens score low on international tests of mathematics achievement tend to be more conservative in their political outlooks and policies.

  30. Richard Ackland:

    Election 2016 is just as manufactured and banal as the campaigns that came before it. In the race to win the day, voters are the only losers
    In the world of the backroom boys and girls, the question asked every 24 hours is “who won today?” It’s not the same as asking, “have we come up with something that will make a real difference to the people we serve and the betterment of Australia?”

  31. Afternoon all
    A bit out of the news cycle with other issues and worries but does anyone know how PUP is travelling. Is Clive recontesting his seat or making a run at the Senate?

  32. Nicholas
    You missed this bit:

    Politics versus psychology

    Political scientists were quick to point out that conservative syndrome belongs to what they refer to as social conservatism.

    Many members of conservative political parties, both in the US and in Australia, undoubtedly subscribe to the values captured by the syndrome. But there is also a distinct group of conservative voters who do not feel strongly about such views. These are the people who are sometimes labelled as economic liberals.

    Economic liberals’ beliefs are based on the idea that individuals should be free to engage in voluntary transactions with others and to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. The typical leftist socialist position is opposed to such a view.

    It was pointed out that economic liberals as a group tend to be better educated than the rest of, say, Republican Party voters and sympathisers in the US. Therefore, the correlation between intelligence and political behaviour may be essentially zero or even slightly positive.

    In other words, intelligence is correlated with socially and economically liberal views.

  33. Is Clive recontesting his seat or making a run at the Senate?

    He’s not re-contesting but not sure on the Senate. I reckon he will try and keep some guessing going on re the Senate but wont try.

  34. Steven Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    Afternoon all
    A bit out of the news cycle with other issues and worries but does anyone know how PUP is travelling. Is Clive recontesting his seat or making a run at the Senate?


    Clive Palmer eyes four senators

    Clive Palmer said internal polling shows the Palmer United Party could win as many as four senators at the July 2 poll, despite him not contesting his own lower house seat.

    Most political pundits have written off Palmer United Party’s chances in the general election but Mr Palmer said he believed there was enough support to pick up senators in Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland and possibly NSW.

    Mr Palmer remained coy about whether he would have a tilt at a Senate seat in Queensland, with the Palmer United Party opening nominations on Monday

    Read more:

  35. Crank ….yep keep going you missed the next bit”
    Psychological world atlas

    Several recently reported cross-cultural studies show the correlation between social conservatism and intelligence is lower than previously thought.

    In that work, psychological scales for the assessment of conservatism syndrome were given to people from 33 countries from around the world.

  36. In the US and New Zealand, when advertising broadband plans, the emphasis is on the different speeds available. AT&T and Verizon do not even mention download limits as these are “unlimited”.

    In contrast, in Australia, Telstra does exactly the opposite, selling plans on the basis of download limits. To actually find out what the speed of the broadband connection is, a customer needs to open a document to get a link to a page that talks about speeds of all of their different types of internet plans.

    It turns out that Telstra’s standard NBN plan is 25 Mbps. To get 50 Mbps you have to get a “Very Fast Speed Boost” and to get 100 Mbps, you need to opt for a “Super Fast Speed Boost”. Of course, you need to look at the original document to find how much extra, the speed boosts will cost (AUD $20 and $30 extra a month).


    A new report from the CSIRO mapping Australia’s innovation and investment priorities out to 2030 has put its energy focus squarely on fossil fuel exports and the technologies required to best exploit them, under a number of different possible future scenarios.

    The report, published on Tuesday to mark the launch of the CSIRO’s new business advisory service, appears to put Australia’s premier science and research organisation in lock-step with the Coalition government, whose stated preference is to keep the national economy firmly tethered to coal and gas, despite the global trend – and scientific mandate – for rapid decarbonisation.

    And, like the Coalition’s 2015 Energy White Paper and recent Budget, the 66-page report barely mentions climate change, ignores 2°C emissions scenarios, and gives scant mention to the numerous renewable energy technologies many consider will be a key ingredient of the global effort to avert dangerous climate change – something the CSIRO’s own Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station has now confirmed we are not doing nearly fast enough.

    It also appears to reflect the new corporate direction the CSIRO has taken under the leadership of former US venture capitalist Larry Marshall, which has so far included the sloughing off of as many as 110 of the organisation’s world-leading climate researchers.

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