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. WB,
    “As far as I know it will be fixed in the next 24 hours”, is the word from the bunker”.
    That’s what they said about WW1!

  2. mari
    Has Turnbull pooped his pants in the Rowe cartoon?
    A suspicious stain ,when I enlarged ,yes! I had missed that

    It could be blood.

  3. Has anyone heard whether Frances will be divested of her position as Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly?
    If they do that to her as well, they are total bastards.
    In the event she decides to run next year, she will win in a canter. Which will mean the Health Minister, having made the decision to leverage a sitting Unaligned, but basically Very Left member out of her seat in order to shore up 2 seats for the Right (Playford and Florey) is now in danger if being chucked out of the parliament entirely.
    So instead of +2 Labor Unity seats, they will have (no change) + 1 less seat held by a Labor MP.
    Utterly idiotic and repulsively arrogant behaviour.
    Sucked in, Jack (and Farrell, whose fingerprints are all over this deal)

  4. Well, I’m relieved, to say the least, that the bludger set up is a glitch, rather than deliberate.
    Very comforting, snort!
    Will you still do your Dawn Patrol for The Pub?

  5. My workplace pays the same penalty rates for Sunday as Saturday. I hardly ever take work shifts on a Sunday. Don’t ring me, I busy not working.

  6. GG
    Lovely to see it all going so swimmingly for Turnbull on penalty rates. Now there’s an appetising merde sandwich to tuck into.

  7. GG
    Turnbull appears to have the reverse Midas touch. It makes for entertaining politics for sure.
    Sneering at Shorten is working so well, don’t you think?

  8. Okay, at least I can now see comments on the laptop which is better than this morning.

    And I like the concept of a reply button. It will definitely aid in flame wars by containing the discussion in one spot.

  9. I’ve just logged in and now and can load only six comments at a time. And newest are at the top.

    Have the IT destroyers at Bureau of Stats, ATO, Centrelink etc been engaged by Crikey?

  10. If you follow a link you have to the more comments to get back to where you were. Following Poll Bludger is a shocking habit; just what I need to break it.

  11. Ghost tweeted earlier today some old primaries from a ReachTEL that was done 14 March. Also on twitter, Kevin Bonham reckons it works out to about 53-47 TPP to Labor (although its old news now anyway). It was referred to in Bloomberg & Guardian articles about a week ago, but Ghost must have just noticed it. I have found the original source, it was Bob Brown / Stop Adani Alliance that commissioned it. here is the ReachTEL sheet, careful reading that Q 1b bit, that’s not the TPP for the whole sample.

  12. zoidlord

    You have to give them credit for honesty. I’ve always thought a lot of the Young Liberals have an attitude that make them just the sort who back in the day would consider themselves Übermensch.

    Truth be told a lot of people today , without the benefit of hindsight, would have joined even though today they would never consider doing so.

  13. poroti

    And I think that’s the distinction to be made – whilst one might have joined a party in the 1930s because it was the quickest way to promotion, one would hope that very different decisions would be made now, when we know what the implications are.

    I think a lot of the pushback with Trump shows that we have learned some lessons.

  14. Whew. My nephew – who works on Hamilton Island – has just texted his mum to say he’s OK.

    Fantastic news zoomster and what a relief for your family!

  15. Up here in Hervey Bay 9pm Qld time, continuous solid rain for the last 2 hours. The BOM says it may get heavier and last through to Thursday. No heavy winds so it appears we are more fortunate than those a few hundred kilometres north.

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