Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

A new poll suggests voters want parliament to legislate for same-sex marriage if they can’t get their favoured option of a plebiscite, as the Coalition primary vote maintains a slow downward trend.

This week’s Essential Research finds the Coalition down a point on the primary vote to 37%, Labor steady on 37%, the Greens steady on 10%, One Nation up one to 6% and the Nick Xenophon Team steady on 4%, with two-party preferred unchanged at 52-48 in favour of Labor. The poll also finds 53% favouring a vote by parliament on same-sex marriage in the event that the Senate blocks a plebiscite, with only 29% opposed. Support for the proposed plebiscite question, “should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”, is at 60% with 30% opposed, compared with results of 57% and 28% when the same question was posed a month ago. Only 22% of respondents supported the goverment’s plan for $7.5 million of advertising to be provided for both sides of the argument, with 68% opposed. When asked about the biggest threats to job security in Australia, 31% nominated “free trade deals that allow foreign workers into the Australian market”, 23% companies using labour hire and contracting out, 18% the impact of technological change, and high wages in last place on 11%.

In other news, I mean to start shaking myself out of a spell of post-election laziness, so I’ll have BludgerTrack back in one form or another next week. In the meantime, I have the following to relate:

The Australian reports that factional arrangements ensure that Stephen Conroy’s own sub-faction of the Victorian Right will decide his successor when he vacates his Senate seat on September 30. That seems to bode well for his ally Mehmet Tillem, who previously served in the Senate from late 2013 until mid-2014, when he served out David Feeney’s term after he moved to the lower house seat of Batman at the September 2013 election. However, some in the party are said to be arguing that the position should go to a woman, specifically to Stefanie Perri, the former Monash mayor who ran unsuccessfully in Chisholm at the recent election.

• A draft redistribution proposal has been published for the Northern Territory’s two electorates, in which early 3000 voters are to be transferred from growing Solomon (covering Darwin and Palmerston) to stagnant Lingiari (covering the remainder of the territory). The transfer encompasses Yarrawonga, Farrar, Johnston and Zuccoli at the eastern edge of Palmerston, together with the Litchfield Shire areas around Knuckey Lagoon immediately east of Darwin. This is a conservative area, so the change would strengthen Labor in Solomon and weaken them in Lingiari.

• A redistribution for the five electorates in Tasmania is in its earliest stages, with a period for preliminary public suggestions to run from November 2 to December 5.

• The Liberal National Party announced last week it would not challenge its 37 vote defeat in the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, despite complaints from Senator Ian Macdonald that the Australian Eleectoral Commission had promised hospital patients it would take their votes on polling day without delivering, and that students outside the electorate were denied absent votes because the required envelopes were not available. The 40-day deadline for lodgement of a challenge closed on Saturday.

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.

2,992 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Dio@#2819

    The Dutch were even more gutless and anti-Semitic than the French and shamefully collaborated with the Nazis, handing over Jews for extermination as fast as the Nazis could take them.

    I do not want to offend anyone – after all it is now 2.5 generations ago, but I was working with a youngish Danish guy a few years ago, who commented “What is it with the Dutch still hating the Germans after all this time?”

    It was an interesting comment, because growing up in Oz, I had got used to the Dutch “hating the Germans”. It just seemed to be the way things were. Even to the stage when I turned up about a decade ago to an institute in the Netherlands in my rented (from Bonn) Hertz smallish Mercedes, my host greeted me with ” I hope you start talking English loudly as soon as you get out of that thing”.

    My Danish colleague’s comments got me thinking, and I wondered if it was because the Danes went to so much trouble to evacuate “their” Jews before the Nazi’s took over Denmark.

    However, history is a tricky thing, and things may have been far more difficult for the Dutch than for the Danes.

    I do not know.

  2. Amanda Vanstone confuses civil rights with dividing the winnings from a horse race.

    And she was Immigration Minister deciding peoples’ lives.

    It’s obvious, but the analogy makes no sense whatsoever.

  3. Vanstone saying her party took the plebiscite to an election and won that election therefore the plebiscite should proceed.

    Where was she post 2013 election when her party took a series of statements to the election and then tried to overturn them all the following year in 2014 budget? I’m sorry but you can’t have it both ways.

  4. TPOF:

    yes that had me scratching my head as well. Weatherill’s point was simple and to the point, but as usual the anti marriage equality types need to contort and twist in order to make their view sound plausible.

  5. D&M @ 10.38

    I think it has everything to do with the brutality of the German occupation in the Netherlands. The treatment of Jews would not have been a big one by comparison with the day to day need to survive the Nazis. From the little I know the occupation of Denmark was more benign (purely relatively) than the occupation of the Netherlands.

  6. The reform of the Marriage Act cannot come soon enough for mine. We owe it to all our brothers and sisters; to our children and to their cousins; to each other and to our own conscience. There is emancipation.

  7. Remeber the good old days when the most controversial thing about the census was that they were moving “No Religion” to be the first option on the list?

  8. Tiernan Brady very good on Lateline. Makes the serious point that the people are being lost in the politics. I think the politics will run Shorten’s way if Labor blocks a plebiscite, but that is no reason to oppose it.

    A plebiscite is simply a bad thing – especially as designed by this Coalition government. It is morally and constitutionally wrong, and will inevitably be hurtful. There needs to be a free vote in Parliament. No other law change, other than ones that were constitutionally required, has been put to the public in a nationwide opinion poll.

    And while I type this the member for Maranoa says he will ignore the national will and vote according to his electorate only.

    What a fraud.

  9. Turnbull:
    Approve 32 (-2), Disapprove 55 (+2)
    Approve 36 (+1), Disapprove 51 (-1)
    Preferred PM:
    Turnbull 44 (+1), Shorten 33 (+2)

  10. I won’t be condemning anyone for what they did or didn’t do in the War in the face if Nazi Occupation – the Dutch, the French, whoever – unless or until God forbid I experience anything remotely like they went through.

  11. ‏From @GhostWhoVotes #Newspoll
    Preferred PM: Turnbull 44 (+1) Shorten 33 (+2)

    Shorten: Approve 36 (+1) Disapprove 51 (-1)

    Turnbull: Approve 32 (-2) Disapprove 55 (+2)

    Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 38 (-3) ALP 37 (+1) GRN 10 (+1)

    Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 48 (-2) ALP 52 (+2)

  12. Primary votes down as well for the govt.

    GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 10m10 minutes ago
    #Newspoll Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 38 (-3) ALP 37 (+1) GRN 10 (+1) #auspol

  13. Ahh……the smell of an awful polls for the forces of evil and darkness. 🙂

    So what driving it? The PM being a no-body on the international stage, the Coalition being silly twats over SSM, or a combination of both?

  14. Education minister Simon Birmingham has conceded some private schools are “over-funded” amid fiery negotiations with states on a new four-year model for school funding.

    However, he says he won’t produce a “hit-list” to name them.

    And yet, when 2 teenage girls get named in an inaccurate news story, the Libs are quite happy to promise to specifically target them with ministerial attention??

  15. TPOF

    Yes, just to underscore what you said at the end of your comment.

    Member for Maranoa (David Littleproud) who is in the only electorate that showed a majority against SSM in the 2013 polling, emphatically said on Lateline that if Maranoa votes “no” in a plebiscite, he’ll vote No in the House vote.

    If this is the “principle” the Waffler’s mob will follow to determine each member’s subsequent House vote, it is possible that a national overall majority Yes vote (made up of very large Yes vote %s in city seats) could occur at the same time a majority of seats vote No (each with a slim majority % of No).

    So following Littleproud’s intention, $200 million could be wasted achieving a national Yes vote which fails to pass in the House, ie just what Abbott and his supporters intended when they dreamed up the plebiscite.

  16. dan gulberry @ #2980 Monday, September 26, 2016 at 11:54 pm


    The Coalition’s primary vote has tumbled below 40 per cent for the first time under Malcolm ­Turnbull’s prime ministership and is now lower than when Tony Abbott was dumped as leader a year ago.

    The big joke about that is that ever since the last election the Liberal lightweights have been going on and on about how low Labor’s primary vote was.

  17. I think polls are returning to their pre Malcolm levels (it was 54-46 in the weeks leading up to the change: as voters realise it’s a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. The attacks on education funding and the unemployed have resumed. We have the absurd plebiscite. We have Malcolm boasting to the world how he stopped the boats. We have Continued inaction on climate change. In due course it will be “see the 2017 Budget, same as in 2014”.

  18. “see the 2017 Budget, same as in 2014”.

    Yup, in 2017 we will STILL be talking about the 2014 budget. Unbelievable what a mega fwark up that was. Its to the Libs what the RGR wars and Census 2016 is to PB. 🙂

  19. displayname @ #2925 Monday, September 26, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    The ‘compromise’ position is, essentially, to remove the definition of marriage from law and just define a ‘civil union’ for all those kinds of official contracts between two people.
    However, as GG pointed out some time ago, those who try to get everything had better be prepared for nothing, The religious lobby, through Howard, refused to compromise and tried for everything by insisting on their definition of marriage in our law. Well, what one man can define, another can redefine. The precedent has been set. I hope they’re prepared ;-).

    Why recreate something that already exists?
    How would that work internationally?
    Everyone understands marriage would they understand “civil union” as being the same thing.
    Would the churches then be able to offer a ceremony and call it marriage, excluding people that didn’t fit their ideal?

  20. How very interesting.

    Channel 7 and the trouble making muslim woman should be ashamed.

    I would say that those on this blog (particularly the women) who so readily criticised the French government and people and defended this ‘poor, persecuted and oppressed woman should feel ashamed too however given the fact these faux feminists sit on their entitled arses in a western democracy and disgracefully laud the burqa as a symbol of freedom and womens rights while brave women around the muslim world risk having acid chucked into their faces for not living in a cloth cage I doubt they have the ability to feel any shame at all.
    As I said before anyone who defends and sickeningly applauds the wearing of this medieval and misogynistic garment are beyond contemptible.

  21. I have no faith that Labor will get up an SSM Bill when it’s next in Government. Just ask Julia Gillard. Labor Right is just playing an excellent dance partner to the Liberal Right and canning the only way towards SSM this side of twenty years.

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