Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Most post-budget opinion poll stasis, this time from Essential Research.

No change on voting intention from Essential Research this week, at all – Labor leads 54-46, from primary votes of Coalition 37%, Labor 38%, Greens 10% and One Nation 6%. Nonetheless, there is a net positive response for the budget, which records 41% approval and 33% disapproval, and for each of eight individual measures, ranging from 82-7 in favour of a levy on vacant properties owned by foreign investors to 49-39 for the Medicare levy increase. However, 56% felt the increase should be higher for high income earners, as per Labor policy, with 27% favouring a flat increase (though no allowance was made for those who didn’t think it should happen at all). For all the “Labor lite” talk, the Liberal Party’s reputation dies hard, with the budget rated best for “people who are well off” and “Australian business”, and worst for “you personally” and, suggesting at least some insight as to what the budget specifically contained, university students. On the question of preferred Treasurer, Scott Morrison (26%) and Chris Bowen (22%) ran a distant third behind “don’t know”.

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.

1,263 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Trump Is So Crazy That His Advisers Are Afraid To Leave Him Alone In Meetings

    Trump is so nuts that his advisers are afraid to leave him alone in meetings with foreign leaders because they are afraid of what he will say.

    When the President Of The United States can’t be left alone in a room with other foreign leaders for fear that he might do something to jeopardize international relations or national security, that is an unprecedented problem in presidential history.

  2. The National Security Adviser Just Made The Russia Leak Scandal Much Much Worse For Trump

    While trying to clean up the scandal from Trump leaking classified intelligence to Russia, national security adviser H.R. McMaster made things even worse.

    McMaster said, “He shares information in a way that is wholly appropriate. I should maybe just make the statement here that the president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the sources and methods.”

    That is worse than if Trump knowingly decided to declassify something and share it with the Russians.

    If Trump did nothing wrong, the White House could clear this up by releasing the transcript.

  3. Israel feared Trump would spill their secrets to Russia — and that’s exactly what just happened

    According to the Times’ sources, “the revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries” because it “raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.”

    Israeli spies were reportedly warned by some of their American counterparts earlier this year to avoid sharing information directly with the Trump administration over fears that sensitive intelligence could leak out to hostile powers.

  4. Israeli intelligence officer: Trump’s intel blunder is ‘our worst fears confirmed’

    Now an unnamed Israeli intelligence officer tells BuzzFeed that they are very concerned about the leak — despite the fact that the government is publicly saying that it won’t change its intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States.

    “We have an arrangement with America which is unique to the world of intelligence sharing,” the official explained. “We do not have this relationship with any other country… There is a special understanding of security cooperation between our countries. To know that this intelligence is shared with others, without our prior knowledge? That is, for us, our worst fears confirmed.”

  5. If this was a typical post election budget with a lot of unpopular changes I could understand that any polling benefits would be medium to long term.
    But for a budget like this, with nothing innocuous and popular uncharacteristic measures like a bank tax I cannot accept the line that no immediate polling improvement was expected.

  6. How The Pro-Trump Media Responds To A Crisis In Just 4 Steps

    Stay quiet, blame and discredit, change the news cycle, and then close the loop. Seventeen hours in the fever swamp.

    The latest came in the form of a bombshell report from the Washington Post that President Trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week and, in doing so, may have jeopardized a source in the fight against ISIS.

    The pro-Trump media operates as a mirror image of its mainstream counterpart with its own “alternative facts,” audience, and interpretation of truth. And perhaps never has this been clearer than in its response to Monday’s news.

    Below is a timeline and breakdown of how — in just 17 hours and 4 steps — the Upside Down media flipped the script on a particularly thorny news cycle.

    Phase 1 – Quiet Period:
    Phase 2: Blaming The Usual Suspects/Dismissal
    Phase 3: Changing The News Cycle
    Phase 4: Close The Loop/ Merge The Dueling News Cycles.

  7. suggesting at least some insight as to what the budget specifically contained, university students.

    Que? Did we all get a free university student in the Budget!?!

  8. Trump becoming ‘sour and dark’ as he turns against son-in-law Jared Kushner: report

    According to a New York Times report by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, the president has not only been overheard complaining about having to fire his disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, but has also begun directing his mood swings at his son-in-law-turned-adviser Jared Kushner.

    “His own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark,” the report claims, “turning against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — and describing them in a fury as ‘incompetent,’ according to one of those advisers.”

  9. barry reynolds
    That makes two. I am so sick of the energy war on here. I know the protagonists are passionate about the subject but PLEASE give the rest of us a break. Why not start a Facebook page devoted to the subject? At least then I wouldn’t kill the scroll wheel on my mouse.

    Energy, the methods of harvesting it, the advantages and disadvantages of each method and the way it is implemented, the time scale on which the technologies come into fruition are top political topics.

    We are not discussing gluten free diets.
    We are not discussing cats.

    If you cannot understand that energy is one of the most important political subjects in Australia and the world, you have not been paying attention.

    Our politicians understand that energy is political.

    Remember the lump of lacquered black coal in Parliament?

    Remember the Snowies 2 brainfart by the PM?

    Remember the SA blackouts and the reasons (some false, some correct) given out by politicians and engineers?

    This is a political discussion, and this is a politics blog.

    However, if you want instead to discuss fad diets, what film star shares your birthday, and cute kittens, go ahead.

  10. AshGhebranious‏ @AshGhebranious · 10h10 hours ago

    Today. Turnbull claimed that the LNP strongly supported the NDIS in opposition. Here is a photo of HoR when Gillard introduced it

    AshGhebranious‏ @AshGhebranious · 10h10 hours ago

     More

    Today. Turnbull claimed that the LNP strongly supported the NDIS in opposition. Here is a photo of HoR when Gillard introduced it


  11. For more than a year, camp managers and security staff have waged a campaign to make Australia’s detention centre for refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island as inhospitable as possible, leaked documents reveal.

    A plan drafted in early 2016 outlines moves to coerce those recognised as refugees into leaving the detention centre and accepting resettlement in Papua New Guinea, while pushing asylum seekers to abandon their protection claims and return home.

    “Many cohort members have forged friendships under very difficult circumstances thus creating support networks,” one document says. “Some groups even have gardens but in the main they have created a space to call their own.

    “It is not ‘home’ but it is the next best thing, it is what they have become used to and moving these individuals around at any time will elevate the tension across the MRPC.”

  12. patribotics latest :US Marshalls readying plan approved by Justice Department official

    The U.S. Marshals Service presented a plan to a senior Justice Department official yesterday for the service of warrants in the Trump-Russia inquiry, separate sources with links to the intelligence and law enforcement communities report.

    The extensive plan was approved yesterday by a senior Justice Department official who is closely involved in prosecuting the case.

    Sources say that the extensive plan, multiple pages in length, covered not only the serving of warrants, but logistical arrangements such as the closure of streets, if necessary.

    They further report that while timing is uncertain, such plans are normally only presented and approved when arrests are imminent.

    Patribotics knows the identity of the senior justice official who approved the plan, and the court in which it was approved. We are redacting that information for now.

    More on this story as it develops.

  13. More than 250 public servants at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection face the sack as the department moves to outsource its key call centres to a private operator.

    The move presents a “serious security” risk, with no guarantee that the call centres would continue to be staffed by Australian workers, according to the main public service union.

  14. This is from 2015. I wonder how many pollies or their advisers have read it.

    A new report from the International Monetary Fund suggests that the widely popular “trickle-down” economics just increases the gap of income inequality, creating injustices in almost every country. The study written by five IMF economists said that if governments want to increase growth, they should focus on helping the poorest 20 percent of citizens.

    “We find that increasing the income share of the poor and the middle class actually increases growth, while a rising income share of the top 20 percent results in lower growth — that is, when the rich get richer, benefits do not trickle down,” the report said.

    Trickle-down economics has been glamorized by wealthy Americans, who suggest that they shouldn’t be taxed as heavily because of their input in the economy. As the theory goes, the powerful moguls provide jobs and relinquish the money they earn back into the country in which they operate. But instead of boosting the economy by the spending power of the 1 percent, the system creates an imbalance, leaving the lower class well below the poverty threshold and the upper class even better off, according to the study.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Federal funding for some of Sydney and Melbourne’s most prestigious private schools – which charge fees up to $34,000 a year – will soar over the next decade under the Turnbull government’s “Gonski 2.0” changes, while others will have their funding slashed. What a bloody disgrace!
    And what WILL the Greens do with Gonski 2.0?
    Real wage growth has fallen into negative territory and stalled at an all-time low, figures to be released today are expected to show, as workers receive pay rises that have failed to keep up with the cost of living. Yet the budget assumes wages growth will get to 3%!
    Financial heavyweights Bernie Fraser and John Edwards are united in calling on the Government to increase taxes if it wants to balance the budget.
    Phil Coorey says that the fight between the government and the banks is getting personal. Google.
    Yes, the banks’ fight with the government is just beginning.
    And analysis by Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson, a former banker, finds the levy of 0.06% on the big five banks would raise less than the planned $6.2bn. If it’s tax deductible the levy will raise $1.5bn less.
    Another day of pain for Centrelink yesterday as lawyers working for community legal centres told a Senate inquiry on Tuesday that it was extremely difficult dealing with Centrelink on behalf of people with “robo debts” and that correspondence was often “frankly incomprehensible”.
    All is not well within the White House!
    The New York Times’ David Brooks says that the world is being led by a child. It’s one hell of a psychological assessment that deserves to be read.

  16. Section 2 . . .

    Daniel Flitton looks at the ramifications of Trump’s inability to keep secrets.
    Richo writes ” A regime which is hostile to ever being put under the microscope and is now flirting with the idea of cancelling all press briefings is more akin to a dictatorship than a democracy. The real victim in all this is American democracy and not a petulant President who can’t stand the heat yet refuses to leave the kitchen.” Google.
    Richard Wolffe writes that after his alleged blabbing of highly classified intelligence to the Russians, Trump can now lay claim to the greatest superlative of any sitting president: he is the biggest bozo of them all. Bigger than the Bush who thought invading Iraq would be easy. Bigger than the biggest president who got stuck in his bathtub.
    CNN’s Jake Tapper revealed that the same information that Trump leaked to Russia that is so sensitive that CNN was warned in march not to report it because it would get people killed.
    Lindy West says that Kellyanne Conway is a collaborator in the US’s disgrace and that feminists must criticise her actions,
    Rental affordability in Sydney has fallen to a record low, with the average tenant spending 29 per cent of their household income on accommodation, pushing them towards the rental stress threshold of 30 per cent.
    Ross Gittins says that we have a big problem in Australia that has been happening for so long we hardly notice it. It’s that far too many of our young people leave school with an inadequate education. He also wonders about the motivation of the Teachers’ Union.
    The SMH editorial says that public sympathy has gone dry as the banks get all sooky over the new levy.
    The Guardian has an exclusive where documents show how the Australian government sought to drive refugees and asylum seekers from its detention centre in Papua New Guinea. There has been a tear long government push to make life more difficult for detainees on Manus Island it says.

  17. Section 3 . . .

    Chris Bowen will use an address to the NPC today to slam Morrison’s housing affordability package as a sham. Should be worth watching.
    The Medicare rebate thaw will not apply to 93 per cent of scans, including the X-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds used to diagnose some of the most common forms of cancer. So much for THAT big announcement!
    Turnbull is on a collision course with four state Labor governments over funding of the ¬National Disability Insurance Scheme as premiers warn that services such as mental health, justice and transport for disabled people could be cut if they are forced to pay more. Google.
    Rob Burgess writes that the ‘bank levy’ that is causing such a political storm in Canberra may not be great policy in itself, but it will still be overwhelmingly good for Australia.
    Things are hotting up in side BHP according to Elizabeth Knight.
    The tax office has warned that at least a dozen companies are in the “red zone”, risking possible litigation for claiming massive tax deductions from related party loans. The ATO issued the warning while releasing draft guidance on Tuesday designed to force companies, many in the resources and energy sectors, to restructure loans so they are not used to minimise Australian tax.
    The Conversation says that Coalition fails to get post-budget boost predicted by the commentariat.
    Hundreds of workers at Australia’s largest equipment-hire business, Coates Hire, face a pay cut of up to 40 per cent unless they agree to let the company slash new employees’ wages and conditions. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said the threat of agreement terminations was a hardline tactic that was becoming increasingly common in workplace negotiations.
    Jennifer Hewett goes inside the fight within the Liberal Party over who to install as the new federal director. Google.

  18. Don,
    However, if you want instead to discuss fad diets, what film star shares your birthday, and cute kittens, go ahead.

    You can bet your freaking life we will! This ‘politics blog’ isn’t what you or anyone else think it should be, and I know it may sound hypocritical of me to say that, but, at it’s core it is a meeting place and virtual town square where all sorts of thing organically come up and are discussed.

    I mean, honestly, are you so hardbitten and humourless that you would like it if Bemused didn’t discuss the lovely interactions he has with his granddaughters, or Lizzie didn’t tell us about the birds and the trees and her garden?

    How boring would that be!?! Probably about as boring as the Energy Bores Wars. And, yes, you can draw a thread linking the Energy subject to politics, validly even, however, when it comes to dominate a politics blog I think it is more than reasonable for some to question whether a forum that specifically discusses that issue might be a more appropriate place for it to be discussed.

    Of course, that isn’t to say that the subject should be banished altogether because it’s bound to come up again in the normal course of politics, as subjects normally do on PB, but when it keeps coming up so regularly that it’s all anyone sees, no wonder others want to discuss lighter subjects!

    Also, the fact is that this particular subject is being discussed in a highly technical way, frankly isn’t what a politics blog should be about, imho. That you try and assert that all the technical stuff is politics is disingenuous. The politics of Energy is the politics, not the seemingly endless technical back and forth from entrenched positions.

    Not that I think you will care one jot about my position, however I felt compelled to put it after your too curt by half post.

  19. Section 4 . . .

    A Supreme Court judge has dismissed a last-ditch attempt by former powerbroker Eddie Obeid and his son Moses to have their forthcoming committal hearing delayed for a third time. It hasn’t been a good year for the family.
    And for someone else not having a good year Bob Day will be investigated by the workplace umpire amid claims he engaged in sham contracting before his home building empire went bust last year.
    Evan Jones looks at how the banks will handle the impost of the levy.,10307
    The Coalition’s controversial reforms, to an already bewildering area of taxation law, are due to take affect within weeks, with one superannuation specialist saying the lack of detailed subject knowledge within the ATO was already well-known within the sector.
    Government MPs are set to be granted a conscience vote on a draft bill that would allow terminally ill NSW residents aged at least 25 to end their own lives with medical assistance, once the issue goes before cabinet and the joint party room. The Premier remains silent on the matter at this stage and Foley says he’ll vote against it.
    Taxpayers will now have to throw good money after bad with the Turnbull Government’s proposed ‘broadband tax’, in an attempt to fix the bottomless pit crisis the NBN is now resembling writes Paul Budde.,10306
    Meanwhile Telstra has become the first retail service provider to offer financial compensation to thousands of angry NBN customers who have received substandard internet speeds.
    Stephen Koukoulas writes “Let’s repair the budget once and for all”.
    More than 250 public servants at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection face the sack as the department moves to outsource its key call centres to a private operator. Where does this government get off?
    Further to this the problems of dealing with private sector providers and contractors are a persistent theme in the analysis of government shortcomings.

  20. Section 5 . . .

    The wheels are really falling off the NSW RSL.
    Victoria Police has received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions about its investigation into Cardinal George Pell, days after fresh details of historic sex abuse allegations were aired. While they consider what action to take as a result of the advice they will be making no comment.
    After saying justice in Australia “is a game”, Clive Palmer claimed privilege at least 84 times in court as he evaded questions about the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
    Amy Remeikis writes that drug users who return a positive test as part of a welfare crackdown will not be referred to police, the government says, but will instead be offered a more “compassionate” path.
    Turnbull says Australia is considering a United States-style ban on airline passengers bringing laptop and tablet computers into the cabins of some international flights. Just another thing to make flying even less enjoyable.
    Caitlin Fitzsimmons examines the effects of age discrimination and the change in the nature of the workplace.

  21. Section 6 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir with the big banks’ cries of pain.

    Broelman sees off Abbottism.

    Cathy Wilcox and George Christensen’s about face over his association with a rabid right wing outfit.

    Ron Tandberg agrees that the banks will pass on the levy to consumers.
    David Pope lowers the boom on Trump’s “intelligence”.
    Mark Knight explains how Turnbull’s budget works.
    Jon Kudelka and the changesin espionage methods.
    David Rowe continues to depict Trump as the emperor with no clothes. It’s gross!

  22. The New York Times
    34 mins ·
    Exclusive: President Trump asked James Comey in February to close the Michael Flynn investigation, Comey said in a memo at the time.


  23. Comey kept a record of his conversation with Trump. ” I’d like you to drop this” the President said to Comey in relation to investigation into Flynn.

  24. GG – From the NYT article you linked:

    “The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”

    Gee, just everyone’s going to believe that.

    Master stroke by Trump …

  25. Gittins’ article puzzled me, particularly when googling it I found he’s often written on the subject and also because I know that retention rates (students staying at school from Year 7 to Year 12) in Victoria are around 90%*, far from the 26% the study cites.

    But this is what skews the figures —

    ‘Only half of all young people in the Northern Territory graduate and only 60 per cent of students in Tasmania.’

    I’m not violently disagreeing with Gittins – the number of students who leave school early is a concern – but am disagreeing with the approach which assumes that this is a problem for all schools (and indeed, all school systems).

    As I’ve often said before, the average student in Australian schools receives an excellent education (and, as I always stress, this is not the same as perfect). To solve the problems, however, it is important to differentiate between the schools (and school systems) which are travelling well, and those which aren’t. Gittins’ broad brush approach doesn’t do that, and so it doesn’t help and probably hinders.

    *89.6% of all Victorian students made it to Year 12; 91.8 stayed beyond Year 10.

  26. The Trump Imbroglio is most definitely ramping up.
    What is Trump to do?
    Wait for impeachment
    Claim the 25th ie. That he is cray cray
    Or get on a private plane and seek asylum in the Kremlin.

  27. Sorry, maths failure there: it’s 90% for Victoria compared to 74% nationwide.

    While I’m back on the subject, I’ll also point out the the ABS figures for school retention Australia wide is around 84% (again, a significant difference from the study cited by Gittins).

    Of interest:

    ‘For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, the Apparent Retention Rate to Year 12 rose slightly between 2015 and 2016, from 59.4% to 59.8%’

  28. Meanwhile over at Fox they continue to report stuff in a parallel universe. Whilst Trump is being focussed on for leaking intell, Fox are going with the Seth Rich story. The one Hillary Clinton was supposed to have murdered?

    John Schindler @20committee
    Fox, RT, Sputnik, InfoWars & WikiLeaks are all the same thing now.

    The Family Of A Murdered DNC Staffer Has Refuted A Report Linking His Death To Wikileaks



    John Schindler @20committee
    And by “Third Party” we mean “GRU cut-out”.

    The Reagan Battalion @ReaganBattalion
    •Investigator works for Fox.
    •Was paid by Third party.
    •Pretended to speak for family yesterday.
    •Family statement is refuting Fox report. (link:…

  29. Lizzie,
    Thanks. Of course I would be a staunch ally. 🙂
    Jeez, I just had to think back to that time you were unwell and how PB came to your collective aid to know, in my heart and my bones, how politics isn’t everything on this blog.

  30. “Each day brings news of yet even more staggering incompetence!”
    And that’s only Trump – we haven’t started on Brian Trumble.

  31. Good morning all,

    Chris Bowen gives his budget reply today at the NPC. As well as housing affordability it will focus on the “fairer taxation ” package outlined by Shorten last week. Interesting that today is also the day figures will be released re wage “growth ” over the past quarter.

    I think Shorten, Bowen and labor have placed themselves in a strong position to argue the fairness case when comparing their approach to that of Turnbull. At the same time Turnbull wants to increase the Medicare levy for those earning above $21000 wage growth has stagnated. At the same time those earning $180000 plus will get a tax reduction those earning $21000 plus will get a tax rise. Shorten was right to argue the case for the Medicare levy rise to only apply to the top two income levels and to keep the budget repair levy. The stagnation in wages,growth which will be made clear today adds strongly to that case.


  32. Fess

    Trump thought he could do away with a branch of govt. ie the judiciary. Since taking office he sacked most of those within the Dept of Justice etc. Including acting AG and then of course Director Comey.
    He seriously thought he could continue behaving as mobster. Do whatever and no questions asked.
    If he wasn’t a treasonous traitor,it may have been acceptable. But there is no way Patriots are going to stand one as President in the WH. Which is what I have believed all along.

  33. For those with insomnia, Melatonin has much to recommend it, without side effects other than drowsiness if taken at the wrong time.

    Melatonin is naturally released from the Pineal Gland in response to the rhythms of day-night / light-dark and is the basis for our natural sleep patterns, constantly under stress from modern habits like looking at bright computer screens getting agitated about energy wars when you should have long retreated into a dark cave by the fading light of a waning fire. It is also the killer in long distance travel and the basis for jet-lag as the Pineal continues to release on its old time cycle until slowly resetting its clock, over several days.

    The good thing about it with jet-lag is that an ‘external’ dose of Melatonin will suppress to some extent the natural release of one’s own, so the new time zone can be managed ‘externally’ until the internal clock resets. I swear by it.

    Anyway, back to sleep disorders – 2mg slow release is the way to go, and a prescription is needed. There’s lower doses and herbally stuff around I think, esp in the States.

    Congrats to anyone getting off tobacco. And global congrats to Labor for setting the world up on plain packaging and restricted marketing, which the Cons opposed vigorously at the time. Nice caring people that they are.

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