Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Another status quo result from Essential Research, as a new entrant in the Australian polling market prepares to take the field.

The latest Essential Research poll, conducted for The Guardian Australia, has two-party preferred steady at 53-47, with both major parties up a point each, to 38% in the Coalition’s case and 37% in Labor’s, and the two biggest minor parties down one, leaving the Greens at 9% and One Nation at 7%. Other findings:

• Compulsory voting has the support of 66% of respondents, which is down five points since the question was last asked in October 2013, with 27% opposed, up two. Eighty per cent say they would have been likely to vote if it were not compulsory, versus 12% for unlikely.

• Economic sentiment has improved since December, with 30% now describing the state of the economy as good (up seven) and 29% as poor (down seven), and 29% thinking it headed in the right direction (up three) against 41% for the wrong direction (down four).

• A question on budget priorities find respondents want spending increased on nearly everything, with the exception of defence, foreign aid and business assistance, with health care, education and age pensions at the top of the chart. Respondents expect the budget will most favour business and the well off, and least favour “older Australians” and “you personally”.

• Contrary to expectations earlier in his career, respondents are confident that Malcolm Turnbull can deliver on “tougher citizenship requirements”, “tighter regulations for foreign workers” and “secure borders”, but not a strong economy, jobs and growth, a balanced budget and, most of all “action on climate change”.

In other polling news, there will shortly be a new entrant into the market in the shape of British market behemoth YouGov:

A new nationally representative political poll launches and goes into the field for the first time this week — a partnership between leading international research and polling firm YouGov and Australian engagement and communications agency Fifty Acres.

YouGov is an international online market research firm, headquartered in the UK, with operations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Australia …

The poll will be a fortnightly online survey conducted amongst 1,000 Australians aged 18+. The poll sample is nationally representative with quotas based on age, gender and region.

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.

1,698 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. If retweets are anything to go by, Dutton is truly hated. I posted that Barry Cassidy clip showing Dutton was lying and got more retweets for a single item that I’d ever had!

  2. J
    The Australian and I assume the DT are completely ignoring Dutton’s latest bout of public lies.
    100%.
    With the Budget session coming up Labor is unlikely to pursue a concentrated strategy on Dutton.
    So he may get away with it.

  3. Boerwar

    Surely you would go for the Saints ? St Kilda is up in Scotland. The haggis bashers like the Nederlanders have had their arguments with the pomgolians and any chance to beat an English based name should appeal 🙂

  4. …centrists do far more damage to societies than far-right fringe parties.

    Because thus far in most modern democracies, the Far Right hasn’t had its hands anywhere near the levers of power, or at least it had been contained. Woe betide everyone when they succeed through fear, deception and indifference in grabbing a few of the levers.

  5. Boerwar – totally agree but unless we’re all dreaming, Trump is the current reality.

    And like politicians, we have to deal with the current reality and find answers … fast. The Americans even more so because their system is open to more skewing than our is.

  6. Boerwar – totally agree but unless we’re all dreaming, Trump is the current reality.

    And like politicians, we have to deal with the current reality and find answers … fast. The Americans even more so because their system is open to more skewing than our is.

  7. Sorry, but politicians – or at least their campaign managers – would probably like a ‘none of the above’ option.

    Less people to have to try and reach and thus more emphasis on the base.

    If you really want to ‘change politics’ you have to be part of it.

  8. itzadream @ #1589 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Barney
    Thanks for taking the time.
    I think we’re saying the same thing with inverted terminology – that restrictions are needed on the excesses of capitalism for survival. I would call that a Darwinian step in that I categorise anything that enhances the prospect of survival same. I’m happy to be wrong on terminology, which matters nought in the face what we are dealing with – “potential extinction”.
    I am a closet pessimist. As I said, I think this has come upon us so quickly and the consequences so yet to be sufficiently acknowledged or absorbed as detrimental to survival, it will be/ is already too late to alter outcomes. I was clumsily attempting to note that the time arc of climate change and the time arc of adaptation are not synched enough for adaptation to be effective.

    Yes, not huge differences but the main thing that stuck out was your use of Darwinism.

    Darwinism is about what evolves naturally.

    So while people gathering together for a mutual benefit could be described as Darwinism, as soon as they started making rules to facilitate them staying together, that would be seen as anti-Darwinism, as you are imposing artificial conditions on the continuation of the gathering.

  9. Nicholas

    ‘ Austerity is a very great evil, and centrists do far more damage to societies than far-right fringe parties.’

    But if far right fringe parties get into power, then they will do more damage than centrists.

  10. Boer – glad to hear it!

    We all need to take heart. And maybe join forces a little instead of continually shining a light on our minor differences of opinion. Power in numbers.

  11. nicholas @ #1597 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    If there are only two choices and both are appalling, it is a legitimate choice not to vote.

    You are just contradicting yourself. First you say one is the “lesser of two evils”, then you say you’d be perfectly content to accept either one (this is what not voting means, even if you don’t realize it). So which is it?

  12. If I were a Frenchman I would vote for the other candidate, pretty much regardless of who they were, even if they were a French equivalent of Tony Abbott or Eddie Obeid. It would be a matter of “vote for the clown/crook, not the fascist”.

  13. Zoomster

    I am still a convert to compulsory voting even though I advocate a “None of the Above” option. People whose concerns are not being addressed by any party have as a legitimate right to their view as anyone. A NotA vote option would mean pollies would be made aware of these people and have the option to try and win them over.

  14. In everything in life we have a choice of walking toward something or away from it. Every choice, every dilemma, requires a response. Waiting does not absolve you of choice – it merely delays the inevitability of choosing. The choice to delay has its own consequences.

    Abstention is the myth of self-deception

  15. At least Merkel had the grace and dignity to not give a shit. Turnbull was seconds away from being on his knees.

  16. poroti @ #1587 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Boerwar
    What I like about the “None of the Above” option is that it would show the pollies that there is a “market” out there that is not being addressed and give them an incentive to try and win those votes.

    And in pursuing that ‘loon’ market, they lose their appeal to the sane.

  17. Poroti

    Not denying you the right, not saying you shouldn’t do it, just saying what would happen (and I’ve run a few campaigns in my time….)

  18. S777
    Having spent a year living in Paris, and having studied French history somewhat assiduously, I would have to agree with you 100%
    Le Pen has done a grand job of doing a paint job.
    But it is just a paint job.
    The gut setting for the Le Pen mob will be extremely active, vicious and nasty action targetting the 4-5 million French muslims.
    Of course the Melanchonites know all this stuff perfectly well.
    And still two thirds of them propose to waste their votes entirely.
    Collaborateurs to the grand tradition of Vichy and the Melice.

  19. Jenauthor
    Abstention is a perfectly good choice when it comes to choosing between political ebola or cholera. Making people choose between the two allows one side to go down the route of “At least we are not Stalin/Hitler” . A race to the bottom.

  20. It’s unlikely that this thing will get through the United States Senate, and even if it does, Republicans will sustain major electoral damage:

    the GOP health bill is projected to result in 24 million people losing insurance by 2026. It slashes $880 billion from Medicaid. And it has particularly devastating effects on older, poorer Americans who had to buy insurance on the individual marketplaces — CBO projected a 64-year-old making $26,500 would see her premiums rise by 750 percent. Most major health care industry and patients groups have condemned the bill, and polls showed it to be incredibly unpopular.

    Regardless of what happens next, Trump has now yoked 217 House Republicans — all but 21 of them — to this bill, and put them on record supporting it. And that could have very serious electoral consequences.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/4/15542806/trump-ahca-health-house-passes

  21. poroti @ #1625 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Jenauthor
    Abstention is a perfectly good choice when it comes to choosing between political ebola or cholera. Making people choose between the two allows one side to go down the route of “At least we are not Stalin/Hitler” . A race to the bottom.

    For your analogy to be valid, you will get ebola or cholera even if you don’t make a choice. I would, of course make a choice for cholera as it is easily treated. You would apparently prefer to risk ebola. Good luck!

  22. Rundle (in today’s crikey) reckons ‘Le Pen will reign’, if not this time then probably the next time when Macron has served up more of the same. His view is that this election is important for Le Pen to gain momentum and cred. (He does not say that it is therefore terribly important for the Far Left Melanchonites to help deny her this momentum and cred). Rundle’s general rationale is that it is very difficult to see current systems, policies and approaches doing terribly much to alleviate the stultifying economic conditions and flat spiritual life of many citizens. (I trust I am not verballing him.)
    While I tend to agree with his fundamental proposition, I am not so sure that people are going to go for reckless abandonment as the only possible political antidote.
    I note that in this article his insights lacked their usual razor sharp (anglophone) perceptions. IMO he may be finding that the sort of reserve he easily penetrates in England and the US is rather more robust to his casual attempts at gaining insights through discussions with stray individuals.
    FWIW and IMO, there has been a significant shift in the global righteous protest vote since Trump got up and since the protest vote citizenry confronted the consequences of their actions (or inaction by not voting) in relation to both Trump and Brexit.
    Since then Austrian and Dutch ultra right racists have not done nearly as well as they were once expected to.
    It is why I am confident Le Pen will fail, despite the forthcoming destructive behaviour of two thirds of the Far Left Melanchonite vote.

  23. Sorry Poroti but it’s not.
    You can’t make something better by ignoring it. If you are dissatisfied with the choices then you are beholden to provide a valid alternative.

    Doing nothing (or drawing a dick on your paper to invalidate it) is the same as screaming into the void. It is meaningless because others can infer and interpret whatever they choose from your inaction. So you’re still handing power to them though you have NO control instead of a little.

  24. jenauthor @ #1630 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Sorry Poroti but it’s not.
    You can’t make something better by ignoring it. If you are dissatisfied with the choices then you are beholden to provide a valid alternative.
    Doing nothing (or drawing a dick on your paper to invalidate it) is the same as screaming into the void. It is meaningless because others can infer and interpret whatever they choose from your inaction. So you’re still handing power to them though you have NO control instead of a little.

    Good on you Jen. I am 100% onside.

  25. Bemused
    For your analogy to be valid, you will get ebola or cholera even if you don’t make a choice. I would, of course make a choice for cholera as it is easily treated. You would apparently prefer to risk ebola. Good luck!

    Exactly. Abstention only makes sense if you’re Amish or live in a cave. Otherwise you’re a part of society and subject to its laws, so you might as bloody well have a say in who writes those laws – and anyone’s better than a fascist!

    Those impotent lefist purists who want to “abstain” (in my view, more like abrogate) from their responsibility to vote should remember Niemoller’s line, “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me” – if they don’t turn out now to help stop a fascist from taking power simply because Macron is not sufficiently ideologically identical to them, then they cannot complain down the track when they suddenly find themselves aghast at what a President Le Pen does.

  26. Not choosing is a choice. It means you let others decide and you have decided to accept their choice.

    Yep. And if Le Pen were to defeat Macron due to the decisions of the people who can conscientiously support one of these bad candidates, that would be the lesser of two evils outcome in this scenario.
    I note that Le Pen’s party does not have a paramilitary force that is intimidating people into supporting their candidates; that they don’t treat criticism of their leader as an affront to the state or the nation; that they have a long track record of participating non-violently in fair elections. They are not a threat to democratic norms. They are not my cup of tea but it is a sign of moral cowardice and intellectual laziness to bandy the term “fascist” about because of policy differences.

  27. If you are dissatisfied with the choices then you are beholden to provide a valid alternative.

    Many people do that, but in a larger context. In a run-off election between two candidates with no provision that permits write-in candidates, it isn’t possible to provide that alternative within that narrowly circumscribed procedure. It would be great if electoral laws permitted voters to write in candidates. I wouldn’t expect centrists to support anything that would empower voters like that, however.

  28. It’s amazing how many people are ambivalent to a far Right candidate.

    There is a reason why they have failed so dismally for the last 70 years.

    Lest we forget.

  29. Nicholas
    I note that Le Pen’s party does not have a paramilitary force that is intimidating people into supporting their candidates

    Give it time:

    “A lawyer representing a police officer accused of using his baton to rape a young black man — an assault so violent that the victim needed major surgery on a ten-centimeter wound to his rectum — claimed that the baton had entered his anus “by accident.” A police investigation did not find significant evidence of rape. In a television interview about conflicts between the police and minority youth, a union representative remarked that the racist epithet bamboula was “more or less acceptable.” More than half of France’s police force votes National Front.

  30. nicholas @ #1634 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Yep. And if Le Pen were to defeat Macron due to the decisions of the people who can conscientiously support one of these bad candidates, that would be the lesser of two evils outcome in this scenario.

    So you claim to know where the lesser of two evils lies, but will do nothing to prevent the greater of two evils prevailing.

    Moral hypocrisy in its purest form.

  31. One does not necessarily need a paramilitary group to enforce power … the Russian hackers found another, equally expedient, method.

  32. I note that Nicholas @ 9.34pm comes out in favour write-in candidates.

    Over 100,000 people voted for Sanders in this fashion in the US election. These people are the Nicholas’s of America. (Thankfully, only about 1 in 1000 voters.)

    I haven’t seen state-by state results, but I doubt there were enough in any one state to change the result. At least they can enjoy their sense of self-satisfaction:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvUItaradGE

  33. nicholas @ #1635 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    If you are dissatisfied with the choices then you are beholden to provide a valid alternative.

    Many people do that, but in a larger context. In a run-off election between two candidates with no provision that permits write-in candidates, it isn’t possible to provide that alternative within that narrowly circumscribed procedure. It would be great if electoral laws permitted voters to write in candidates. I wouldn’t expect centrists to support anything that would empower voters like that, however.

    Write-ins in a run-off would completely negate the purpose of having a run-off.
    You really aren’t very bright are you Nicky?

  34. With Boerwar full flight anti Le Pen and anti Left – the test would be if Melanchon had finished in a 2 way fight with Le Pen – would Boerwar have backed Melanchon as the anti FN candidate or found the “plague on both” don’t vote option?

  35. Sorry: not sure why I lost the rest of my comment.

    I went on to suggest that, despite driving from Kapunda to Nuriootpa on so many occasions over the past 3 years I’ve actually lost count, I clearly can’t be trusted to navigate my way out of a wet paper bag.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Barney.

  36. wakefield @ #1645 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    With Boerwar full flight anti Le Pen and anti Left – the test would be if Melanchon had finished in a 2 way fight with Le Pen – would Boerwar have backed Melanchon as the anti FN candidate or found the “plague on both” don’t vote option?

    Borewar is hardly the one to voice an opinion on this considering he advocate an informal vote in 2013.

  37. Jenauthor

    … the Russian hackers found another, equally expedient, method.

    I think the so called “Russian hackers” are 90 % “A dog ate my homework ” excuses for people’s failures.

  38. player one @ #1580 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    grimace @ #1566 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Also, bad news for the gas industry with Synergy also announcing plans to decommission 196MW of gas-fired peaking plants. Synergy and the WA government must have not got P1’s memo on the importance of gas to future energy supply.

    LoL! Even when your state economy is tanking and you find yourselves with an oversupply of electricity, the government had to direct its own state-owned supplier to close its own fossil-fueled power plants. Yes, this certainly sounds like renewables are commercially viable on their own, doesn’t it? Actually, to be fair, what it really says is that both our electricity and gas markets are completely corrupted. But by all means keep trying to prevent the logical solution to reducing C02 emissions. You might even succeed … right up until we get an emissions intensity scheme in place. Then may the best solution win.

    There we go with another fact lite post P1.

    WA’s GDP in 2015/16 was 1.9% and WA Treasurey has forecast it to be 1% in 2016/17, so while most definitely not the high of 9.1% in 2011/12, and things are not great here, the economy is not “tanking”.

    Have you ever been to Muja P1? I have, it’s 50+ years old and it’s it’s on its last legs. Kwinana coal power station (400MW) was decomissioned because it was not economic to maintain. The closure of both plants has nothing to do with renewables.

    The WA Government has stated it wants more private involvement in WA’s power industry and directed Synergy not to commission new fossil fuel plants. Despite this long-term directive, there are no new fossil fuel power plants in WA where final investment decision (FID) is either imminent or planned within some realistic timeframe.

    On the other hand, Carnegie Clean Energy have just made FID on a 10MW solar PV plant.

    Synergy is in the process of decommissioning the biggest power plant in WA, is in the process of decomissioning several gas fired peaking plans and has already decommissioned what was formally the second biggest plant in WA. If your argument about the economic viability of fossil fuel power plants held any substance then the private sector would be clamouring to commission new fossil fuel fired plants.

    WA has a gas reservation policy and does not have the same problems that the eastern states has with gas supply. Synergy’s legacy gas contracts are for about 1/3 the world price. If the eastern states were smart they would have done the same thing.

    The WA coal supply is controlled by two separate private companies who operate mines in close proximity to Collie, both of which in recent times have experienced financial difficulties. There is no corruption of the coal market here and the financial difficulties of both companies are a direct result of their own poor decision making and the comendable refusal of the WA government to bail them out.

    WA is currently adding about 10MW per month of small scale rooftop PV (current installed capacty ~700MW) and has large scale wind, solar and wave energy projects well on their way to FID.

    The market has spoken and it is not talking about coal or gas.

    Disclosure: I currently work casualy for a company that had a contract on the Muja AB refurbishment, has a current maintenance contract at Muja and has a contract with Synergy for decommissioning work at its 400MW coal/gas/oil power plant in Kwinana.

  39. grimace @ #1649 Friday, May 5, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    There we go with another fact lite post P1.

    Whereas your post is full of fact, but short on relevance. Old power stations get decommissioned. What else would you expect? New power stations will replace them, and the state government has decided to force these to be renewables, since otherwise the pure economics of the situation would dictate otherwise.

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