Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Little change from Essential Research this week, as various pollsters drop results on Snowy Hydro, penalty rates, negative gearing, 18C and party leadership.

NOTE: The configuration of comments at the moment is as a result of a glitch which will, I am told, be rectified over the next 24 hours – so hopefully by Wednesday afternoon.

This week’s reading of the Essential Research fortnight rolling average has Labor’s blowout lead from last week moderating slightly, from 55-45 to 54-46. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 35%, Labor is steady on 37%, the Greens are up a point to 10%, One Nation are down two to 8% and the Nick Xenophon Team is up a point to 4%.

The poll also finds 59% approval for the government’s proposal to invest $2 billion in the Snowy Hydro scheme, while its proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, once explained, draw 45% approval and 34% disapproval. However, another question finds 16% saying racial discrimination laws are too strong, 26% too weak and 40% about right.

Asked to select three from a list of favoured government priorities, health and ensuring big business pays a fair share of tax come out on top, and investment in renewal energy gains six points since the question was last asked in the middle of last year. On the importance of various international relationships, the United Kingdom has gained six points since June last year and Japan five points, both of which reverse earlier downward trends, leaving the UK and the United States at level pegging on top of the table. Only 6% rate that Australia’s relationship with the US is getting better compared with 41% for worse, for reasons I can only speculate about.


• Roy Morgan conducted one of its occasional small-sample polls on party leaders, which recorded little change for Malcolm Turnbull since the last such poll in October, with approval down one to 30% and disapproval up one to 54%. However, Bill Shorten recorded particularly weak ratings of 28% approval and 56% disapproval, respectively down three and up seven, while Turnbull’s lead on preferred prime minister widened from 47-32 to 49-32. Peter Dutton was added as a response option to the question of best person to lead the Coalition, and his 5% appeared to cause Tony Abbott to come down from 14% to 9%. Julie Bishop retained her lead over Malcolm Turnbull, although it narrowed from 34-25 to 30-27. Bill Shorten continues to run third on the Labor question, which has Tanya Plibersek up a point to 26%, Anthony Albanese down five to 19% and Bill Shorten up one to 15%. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday two weeks ago from a sample of 534.

• Supplementary questions from yesterday’s Ipsos poll for Fairfax address penalty rates (29% believe the cut will encourage more businesses to open on Sunday, against 63% who do not), negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions (35% believe they should be pared back, 40% do not) and company tax cuts (44% support, 39% oppose). Another tranche of results published today relate to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, finding 78% agreeing with the section’s “offend, insult or humiliate” provision versus 17% opposed, but as there is no allowance for the “intimidate or harass” alternative proposed by the government, I would consider the Essential findings more useful.

The Australian had a follow-up to last week’s Newspoll finding 59% support for higher penalty rates on Sundays, 29% for reducing them to Saturday levels, and 10% abolishing them altogether.

I remain a week behind the eight-ball on BludgerTrack, and continue to promise that normal service will resume at the end of this week. Let’s see if it actually happens this time. For the time being, here is the result I should have published at the end of last week, inclusive of the Newspoll result and last week’s Essential, but not the latest Ipsos and this week’s Essential.

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.

854 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. William Bowe
    New thread. I have no more of an idea what’s happened to comments than anyone else — I’ll get back to you on this shortly, I hope.

    They didn’t even tell William. I’ve got a feeling this was caused by something like…
    “What does this red button do?”

  2. I guess it’s of a piece with the rest of Crikey’s articles and the Comments underneath them but it still feels kind of strange as most of the others are wrt daily opinion articles.

  3. BK
    Test new thread
    Once again, BK you’ve nailed it.
    I now regard myself as tested and testy.

    adjective: testy; comparative adjective: testier; superlative adjective: testiest
    easily irritated; impatient and somewhat bad-tempered.
    “his testy, disapproving father”
    synonyms: bad-tempered, grumpy, ill-tempered, ill-natured, ill-humoured, dyspeptic, irritable, tetchy, irascible, peevish, crotchety, cantankerous, cross, fractious, disagreeable, pettish, crabbed, crabby, waspish, prickly, peppery, impatient, touchy, scratchy, volatile, crusty, liverish, splenetic, short-tempered, hot-tempered, quick-tempered,

    ☮ ✌ 👢
    The emoji as before seem to post OK and parts of CCCP still work. Adblock will works OK. Perhaps somebody who used STFU could inform about that.
    The boot picture is me imagining kicking somebody up the rear end. I usually manage to connect with myself, so perhaps that’s forgettable.

  4. The other thing to note regarding the Guardian comments is you can easily look at your past comments, check for any responses and reply to them to continue the conversation.

    Now with so few comments displayed and no easy way to look back at comments any comments quickly get lost in the ether.

    For Question and an answer to his question.

  5. Jut returned and found this. Rowan Dean thinks he’s funny.

    “Oi am deloyted to accept moi friend Jiff Kunnut’s koind offer to reploice him as the moin person in Orstraya in charge of mental health,” said a clearly deloyted, er, delighted Ms Gillard to an enrapt press conference of mental health experts. “Normally Oi don’t loik men in blue tois but in Jiff’s case Oi am prepared to moik an exception.”

    Ms Gillard is believed to have been hand-picked for the job due to her lengthy experience diagnosing imaginary mental disorders such as sexism and misogyny during her three-year stint as head nurse at the notorious Lakeside Lunatic Asylum in Canberra. The asylum, which is buried deep underground and can house up to several hundred patients at a time in its notorious “Green” and “Red” twin chambers, is known scathingly as Capital Punishment Hill.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

  6. @ C@t – Essential record PHON @ 8%, down 2%.

    @ William – Your post ad the Essential as a fortnightly rolling average. Do you know for a fact that is still the case? The Guardian always referred to it as weekly numbers, and the Essential methodology section doesn’t mention rolling ave anymore.

    I’m finding it hard to believe the solid run of 52s, followed by 55 and then 54 as fortnightly averages, as this would be something along the lines of weekly results of 53, 53, 57, 51

    Which seems like quite a stretch, even with rounding making the swing a bit smaller

  7. Frances Bedford, Labor member for Florey in the SA parliament, has quit the ALP, costing the Weatherill government the one-seat majority it has had since the Fisher by-election in December 2014.

  8. Yes, Voice Endeavour — see what it says at the bottom of page four on the Essential Research PDF. It’s weekly in the sense that it comes out once a week, fortnightly in the sense that that’s the range of the result.

  9. PhoenixRed

    If you are about a Louise Mensch has put together her theory re the Nunes intervention/wire tapping etc. Worth having a look at it!!

  10. WB – I assume this is because Snelling has said he’ll be nominating in her seat due to a redistribution putting his home within Bedford’s electorate?

  11. Looks to me like someone updated something in WordPress and accidentally overwrote all the customisations they’d done previously

  12. WB – I assume this is because Snelling has said he’ll be nominating in her seat due to a redistribution putting his home within Bedford’s electorate?

    Not all that tuned in to SA politics ATM TBH.

  13. Sean Kelly assuring us that everything fuck-up that occurred in recent parliamentary proceedings is a good thing for Malcolm Turnbull. Even though it might not seem that way of course. Twists himself in a few knots does this bloke:

    “Labor thus handed the prime minister certain defeat on the matter and he duly backed away from introducing it to parliament. This was bad for the prime minister: embarrassing, avoidable, and badly handled. But, on our topic of the differing varieties of defeat, Labor’s support could have ended up being even worse for the prime minister, if the backdown had ultimately been forced by his own MPs. Better an obstructionist Opposition than a divided government.

    Later in the day the senate debate over section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act began. It seems certain the government will lose the Senate vote on this, which, as has been widely noted, is about the best result the prime minister can hope for at this stage. Sure, Labor will campaign against the government on the basis it tried to make the change, but the argument will lose much of its potency the moment the legislation dies in the Senate.

    Finally, by late yesterday the government’s company tax measures had moved even closer to the edge of defeat, where they’d been teetering for a while now. Pauline Hanson limited her support to companies with turnover under $50 million and Nick Xenophon made his support conditional on the adoption of an emissions intensity scheme, which almost caused government implosion last time it was raised.

    It’s true this will leave Turnbull with little of the “economic plan” he brought to last year’s election, but given it was never much of a plan I don’t rate this as much of a loss. What it will do is remove the tax-cuts-for-big-businesses albatross from Turnbull’s neck. Significantly, it will also ensure that the hit to the budget caused by walking away from zombie budget measures (left over from budgets past and never legislated) is balanced by the money saved from not handing back cash to multinationals, as Ross Gittins has pointed out.

    Keating, of course, went on to win the 1993 election, declaring: “This is the sweetest victory of all.” But sometimes losses can be pretty sweet too.”

  14. From Advertiser “The ALP last month moved to cut short Ms Bedford’s parliamentary career against her wishes, moving Health Minister Jack Snelling from Playford to her seat of Florey.

    In a fiery speech to Parliament, Ms Bedford hit out at the “faceless men” who had made deals to parachute Mr Snelling into her electorate.

    As revealed by The Advertiser earlier this month, internal Labor Party polling this month found Ms Bedford was on track to double Mr Snelling’s primary vote if she ran as an independent.

    The polling had Mr Snelling (15.7 per cent) running a limp fourth in the primary vote, behind Ms Bedford (33.4), the Liberals (17.2) and the Nick Xenophon Team (16.2).”

  15. Victoria


    If you are about a Louise Mensch has put together her theory re the Nunes intervention/wire tapping etc. Worth having a look at it!!


    Hi Victoria – I think ???? I posted it earlier but today’s posts are is so screwed up you might have missed it – sounds as if it ties a lot of things together. Gets murkier every day and just so many people and situations ….. mind boggling – truth really is stranger than fiction ….

  16. Voice Endeavour: Your calculation assumes that the raw numbers are integers. I expect that the base results of the poll, each week, are calculated to one decimal point, and these are then averaged over the two weeks, and then rounded for the published numbers. In such a situation, the weekly swings can be somewhat less drastic to produce the reported outcomes.

  17. William – I suggest that you inform readers that the newest comments are at the top. That will save them a lot of frustration.

  18. The Madness of ‘King’ Donald, Episode 294:

    He has asked the House Intelligence Committee to begin investigating Hillary Clinton.

    Be careful what you wish for, Don! These things have a way of coming back and biting you on your naked bum.

  19. Lizzie

    John Barron is completely derailing the climate change discussion on The Drum.

    He’s less than useful on any subject.

  20. Publishing in Nature Scientific Reports, Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and a group of colleagues at research institutes in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands find that at least in the spring and summer, the large scale flow of the atmosphere is indeed changing in such a way as to cause weather to get stuck more often.

    The study, its authors write, “adds to the weight of evidence for a human influence on the occurrence of devastating events such as the 2003 European heat wave, the 2010 Pakistan flood and Russian heat wave, the 2011 Texas heat wave and recent floods in Europe.”

    But what does it mean for global warming to alter the jet stream? The basic ideas at play here get complicated fast. The study itself, for instance, refers to “quasi-resonant amplification (QRA) of synoptic-scale waves” as the key mechanism for how researchers believe this is happening — terminology sure to impart terror in nonscientists worldwide.

  21. Thanks for BludgerTrack William, certainly it appears as a continuation of the trend figures with Labor in 53.5 and scope for improvement!

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