Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

Bill Shorten’s personal ratings take a hit in Essential’s latest poll, while Galaxy charts One Nation’s ongoing progress in Queensland.

The Essential Research fortnight rolling average moves a point back to the Coalition for the second week in a row, reducing Labor’s lead to 52-48. Labor is down two points on the primary vote to 35%, with the Coalition steady on 36%, One Nation steady on 10% and the Greens up a point to 9%. The monthly leaders ratings find Bill Shorten taking a big hit, down seven points on approval to 30% and up three on disapproval to 47%, and Malcolm Turnbull a smaller one, down three on approval to 34% and up one on disapproval to 49%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is out from 39-28 last month to 39-25.

The survey also asked respondents if they would be likely to vote for Cory Bernardi’s Conservative Party, to which 14% said yes – which, as is always the case when questions like this are asked, is well above the party’s plausible vote share. Sixty-two per cent say they would be unlikely to, which is on the high side as these things go. The poll also has 17% saying Bernardi’s defection is good for the Liberal Party, 26% bad, 29% neither, and 28% don’t know. As of next week, the Essential Research poll will be published in conjunction with The Guardian.

We’ve also had federal voting intention results from the weekend’s Queensland poll by Galaxy for the Courier-Mail, which has One Nation on 18% (up six since November), the Coalition on 35% (down four), Labor on 29% (down one) and the Greens on 8% (steady), with the Coalition down a point on two-party preferred to lead 51-49. The poll was conducted last Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 867.

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.

1,956 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Can anyone clarify as I’m not a finance guy – does the government dropping the zombie measures affect Labor’s costings too? That is do Labor include them so as to make their costings comparable to the Liberals’? Or does it essentially mean that the government have blown a $13 billion hole in their election promises?

  2. Yep, and I daresay that the US Intell agencies might have some idea……………

    John Schindler‏ @20committee
    There is only one Big Issue in DC now: How deep do Team Trump’s Kremlin ties actually go? Everything else is a distraction or deflection.

  3. Tom – maybe Shorten should carry a cat into press conferences. Yeah, Malcolm’s shown he’s got spark by going vicious. But in a week or two everybody will say, yeah, so what? Where are the policies, Malcolm?

  4. Shiftaling

    Ed Husic was on Sky talking about it

    Sky News Australia‏ @SkyNewsAust
    .@edhusicMP says the government is finally realising they can’t push unfair budget reforms through the senate. More: (link:

  5. From the previous thread.

    confessions @ #1038 Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Again with the snark. No wonder I don’t take your comments towards me seriously, you just won’t quit it.

    Psyclaw is a serious troll like bemused, in fact cut from the same humourless and abusive cloth.
    Best bet is to ignore. There are way more intelligent and insightful PBers than those two.

    Oh the irony. 😀

  6. Who woulda thunked it

    John Schindler‏ @20committee

    I notice many of the angry people who are denouncing IC leaks now really loved them a year ago when the leaks were about Hillary. #EmailGate
    8:20 AM · Feb 15, 2017

  7. Yeah Vic – like all naked emperors, their balls get exposed very quickly … and someone with no experience of anything other than doing a deal, juggling said balls is nearly impossible.

    Malcolm has found the same to a slightly less glaring extent

  8. Scott threatens to raise taxes – please go ahead Scott, maybe then we will get a true social democracy where education & health are properly publicly funded and not privatised.

  9. Good Morning


    No the zombie measures make no difference to Labor’s budget. Labor did not falsely include them in their finances. Labor knew they were not passing the parliament.

  10. Tom

    ‘As much as I detest Turnbull, it’s BS to say the attack was unwarranted – Shorten was repeatedly calling him “Mr Harbour side mansion”.’

    As did Peta Credlin, who originated the phrase. I didn’t hear Turnbull hoe-ing into her.

    And leaders shouldn’t lower themselves to note slurs like that, anyway. If they really feel aggrieved, they should send out one of their attack dogs, not get down and dirty themselves.

    ‘But it had the desired effect on the polls.’

    Disagree. It hasn’t had time to impact.

    There is a lag between events and their impact on polling of about three weeks.

    This is because the non-politically engaged need time to (1) hear about the event; (2) discuss it; and then (3) internalise a reaction.

    In this case, I believe it was Turnbull ‘standing up’ to The Donald and Getting A Win that would be responsible for any shift in polling (and anything we’ve seen so far is within MOE so we don’t actually know if there’s been a shift).

    This would take longer than most events for people to work out whether it was a positive or not (they’d wait to see if there was any backlash against Australia).

    As it is, however pathetic we think Malcolm’s stoush was, in the public arena what was seen was an Australian PM taking on the most powerful man in the world and winning.

  11. I heard that interview with Shorten on AM. Mr Shorten proving in that interview why he is prime ministerial material.

    He got his points across. He did this answering questions not ignoring them just finishing his answer not falling for the gotchas. The gotchas came under the excuse no need to reprosecute your already made points.

    Mr Shorten still got the important points across and you could almost hear the sighs of frustration from the AM team as Mr Shorten did not let himself be led around by the nose.

  12. Lots of good suggestions this morning.

    Basically, it has come down to the fact that Bill Shorten should calmly and coolly answer Turnbull’s attacks on Bill’s character…and mention the cat. 😛

  13. Jenauthor

    Trump and his cronies have been under investigation for months by the FBI and other intell agencies. Trump and his crew worked hard to discredit the media and call out what they didn’t want to hear as fake news. This was to protect them from any negative reporting etc. Trump also thought to like the Don of the Mafia (no pun intended) that as he had his eyes and ears in the New York field office of the FBI, that he was protected.
    I am convinced more than ever that his gesture of affection directed at James Comey when he assumed office, was a message that he was untouchable. Funny that. I believe Comey will have the last laugh

  14. ABII – The libs have not had policies for how long? We need to debunk the idea that Turnbull is passionate about anything other than being PM. They need to highlight his weak and spiteful personality. The electorate, in relation to Turnbull, are focussed on his personality, not the policioes. Thdey believe that if they give him long enough, he will overcome the RWNJ’s. The ALP needs to debunk this idea and make the electorate see him for what he is. A fraud.



  15. Vic:

    Russia deployed a missile overnight in violation of the arms treaty with the US. This is now a test for Trump. How will he respond?

  16. NBCNews: JUST IN: Sources tell NBC News that VP Pence was informed of DOJ warning about Flynn 11 days after White House and Pres. Trump knew

    chrislhayes: So did WH Counsel and Pres and his advisors keep this from VP?…

  17. victoria

    Comey is not having a last laugh. He is finally doing his job but too late for the democracy that is the US as we know the GOP is cementing the gerrymanding in the States and stacking the Supreme Court so they can undo rights like the Roe v Wade decision.

    Its going to take decades for the US to recover from this debacle if they ever do.

  18. Zoomster,
    There is a lag between events and their impact on polling of about three weeks.

    This is because the non-politically engaged need time to (1) hear about the event; (2) discuss it; and then (3) internalise a reaction.

    I respectfully disagree. As with most events of importance these days, people are hearing about things at light speed due to social media and so are reacting much more quickly than they used to. In fact, they are reacting instantaneously to their friends ON social media.

  19. If trunbull takes the current poll as an indication of success of his attack against Shorten let him step it up and do so regularly.

    Let him did himself a deeper hole.

    Labor should stick to forming good policy and blocking bad policy particularly that aimed at the most venerable in society.

    If voters can’t work out the tories are phoney’s or don’t care – more fool them.

  20. The Senate should refuse to carry out Trump’s ‘Nuclear Option’ direction on his Supreme Court nomination until the Russian imbroglio is resolved.

  21. Shift @ 7:53

    Your description matches what I call a ‘hand grenade thrower’.

    On your next –

    I’d definitely avoid purely personal attack of the sort Turnbull trotted out last week

    I agree.

  22. Victoria

    I am in no two minds. Of course he is. Look at his record as Governor. However like you to me its still an open question if he knew about the Russians.

    However we now know he does know about the Russians. A man of principle would resign to end legitimising a foreign agent or the appearance of that.

    I am not expecting that as his record as Governor shows he is not that kind of man.

  23. shiftaling @ #28 Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I thought the definition of a troll is someone who posts material with the main intention being to provoke a reaction, conflict or offence rather than expressing an honestly held opinion

    Whereas a few on PB seem to think anyone who thinks differently to them is a Troll and seeks to have them ignored by others.
    Disgraceful behaviour.

  24. Victoria

    I am right. Comey is no hero. His actions before the election are the proof he knew of two ongoing elections and only leaked the one damaging to the Democrats.

    There is no need to wait to find out.

  25. Vic,
    I have already said this previously. I am still in two minds as to whether Pence is corrupted

    As far as I can see, Pence is in on everything Trump does. If he doesn’t know anything about the Russian Connection, then he is an idiot.

    Also, as far as the Russian Connection goes between the Trump camp and Putin, remember that story from before the election about that group of computer scientists who had discovered evidence of a secret server with a direct line between Trump Tower and the Kremlin? And all trace of it disappeared, as if by magic, as soon as the story surfaced? I’m sure the NSA and the other Intel Agencies haven’t forgotten about it. I’d assume they are just gathering watertight evidence as they are dealing with a President of their country here.

  26. Zoomster – what a utter load of garbage!

    As did Peta Credlin, who originated the phrase. I didn’t hear Turnbull hoe-ing into her.

    You are arguing that because Turnbull didn’t respond to an attack from a fellow Lib, he didn’t have the right to respond to his opponent. Utter crap. Also, Credlin isn’t present during question time.

    Disagree. It hasn’t had time to impact.

    There is a lag between events and their impact on polling of about three weeks

    Wrong again, the public has a short memory, not a long one. As is said – a week is a long time in politics. The effect of the Trum phonecall is now folklore.

    Glad you think Turnbull won in his “stoush” with Trump. Who is your supplier – it quality stuff that you are smoking.


  27. A man of principle would resign

    Neither Pence nor Trump will resign in my view. They will need to be forced out of office if they are to depart before being voted out.

  28. On personal attacks see what zoomster said.

    Don’t get in the way time now as the LNP splits more over preferences. The LNP can rule questions out of order but they cannot stop the questions being asked. Not even Murdoch’s turd polishing can do that.

  29. ‘Now, for your information, may I introduce you to another definition of ‘Bipolar’. That is, wildly swinging between the two poles. That is the sense in which I meant what I said”

    So now we can use any perjorative and discriminatory term, so long as we attach our own private meaning to it.

    And if anyone attaches the orthodox meaning to it, then they are just being supersensitive, or a snark, or a stalker.

    So now we can use figures of speech using all the well known LGBQTI perjorative words (like faggot), all the well known perjorative racist words (like the N….. word), all the well known anti-feminine cliches about centred on the word month, all the well known disability words (such as retard) ….. pretty well anything we want, so long as we attach our own private meaning to them.

    And we can do this whenever we want because so many words do have an alternative, less well used meaning, although rarely used for reasons of social sensitivity, and social mores. Of course I can go buy a car and request a n…… coloured one. And everyone will accept that I’m just using that word in its alternative meaning as a particular colour. No! Wait on! ………

    As I said earlier, “I’m not guilty, your honour, never am”

    And on another matter not unrelated to the above, FKelly just did a fantastic interview with Carlos Santana. I had no idea he was so well spoken , and an extremely philosophical man.

    Amongst the gems were:

    * apologising takes much courage (he was referring to the Rudd Apology)
    * ignorance breeds a sense of entitlement; wisdom breeds gratitude
    * childhood is the only developmental stage which is characterised by purity and innocence; as mature adults we should strive to return to that state whenever we can.

    The last point deserves a comment …. he differentiated between being a child and being childish. As an adult, we can return to the child state only when we achieve full maturity …… and have the confidence to do childlike things as an older adult (without needing to be drunk to do so!)…. playing some of the games we all played as kids, doing the adventures we did as kids (e g like sleeping in the backyard under the stars)

    He was getting at things like acting goofy, the enjoyment of swinging on a swing, playing leggo on the floor with kids, etc etc ….. doing as an adult the things we did as a kid.

    Have a listen ….. it all made sense to me, more sense than I am able to convey here in words.

  30. c@t

    Yes and the secret server is one such matter under investigation by none other than James Comey. He was the one who sought the warrants back in July. He only managed to get them in October.

  31. jenauthor @ #46 Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I don’t know that I agree with c@t right now. It is too early in the cycle for Shorten to begin electioneering.
    I think this is why Malcolm’s spurt of ‘reinvertibration’ (:)) will eventually fall flat. Right now, really, only the Canberra Peanut Gallery are impressed and that will be short-lived as it is hard to sustain that intensity for 2 + years.
    Bill showed he could build to a strong crescendo during the election campaign – ramp it up too soon and he’ll run out of puff.

    Reinvertibration! now there’s a word the language needs.
    I trust you are submitting it to Macquarie Dictionary?

  32. That lump of coal wasn’t morisson’s soul – it was his brain.

    Let him bangon about cutting company tax by a gazzillion and at the sametime threaten to raise other taxes. Run with that for another 24 months or so and then take tit to an election – or worse get the greens or X or hansen to pass the increases for them.


    The government has raised the prospect of increasing taxes if Labor and the Senate crossbench continue to obstruct its cuts to family tax benefits, paid parental leave and unemployment payments.

    Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have made the threat as the $4 billion “omnibus” bill, the savings of which they have linked to funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, appears to have failed to attract the necessary support in the upper house.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said a tax increase was not necessary to fund the NDIS, instead calling for the government to abandon its company tax cuts.

  33. Turnbull defending Morrisons tax increase comment and calling Shorten’ AM interview a trainwreck.

    Of course Turnbull is right. Its a trainwreck for the LNP. Bad move by Turnbull. Now a lot of people are going to go back and listen to it.

  34. 1h
    Phil Mattingly‏ @Phil_Mattingly
    Senate Intel Chair Richard Burr confirms to reporters that investigation into Russia election meddling extends to Trump Transition.

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