Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

The Coalition cops a two-point hit on the primary vote from Essential, as new results elsewhere cover same-sex marriage and voting intention in cabinet ministers’ seats.

Essential Research’s fortnight rolling average records Labor improving a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, puttings its lead north of Newspoll at 54-46. The Coalition is down two on the primary vote to 36%, leaving it steady with an unchanged Labor, while the Greens and One Nation are steady at 11% and 7%. The poll features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which have Malcolm Turnbull up one on approval to 37% and up four on disapproval to 49%, while Bill Shorten is up two to 36% and up one to 44%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister remains about the same, at 41-27 compared with 39-26 a month ago. In other findings, it turns out you get a much stronger response on trust in secure storage of personal data if you say “security agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, local police and ASIO” (64% a lot of or some trust, 32% little or none) than you do if you say “the government” (43% and 52%), while telcos and private companies rate considerably worse again.

Also in polldom:

• The Australia Institute has also produced results of polls conducted in cabinet ministers’ seats to emphasise the point that the government is on the wrong side of public opinion in the blue belt on such matters as taxpayer subsidies for the Adani Carmichael coal mine project. More to the point, they also feature results on voting intention, with samples from 627 to 692. These suggest swings of 2.4% against Scott Morrison in Cook, 3.8% against Greg Hunt in Flinders, 5.7% against Julie Bishop in Curtin, 6.8% against Malcolm Turnbull in Wentworth and 7.3% swing against Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong, but better results for the government in the two most marginal of the seats covered, with no swing at all against Christopher Pyne in Sturt and a swing of 4.4% in favour of Peter Dutton in Dickson.

• A second tranche from Newspoll finds 46% in favour of a plebiscite on same-sex marriage versus 39% for “have the politicians decide”. This reverses a curious result on the same subject in September, which had the respective numbers at 39% and 48% – although then there was the presumably significant difference that the question stressed a plebiscite in February. Essential Research’s poll last week found 59% supporting a “national vote” and 29% the matter being “decided by parliament”, despite the wording of the latter option being less unappealing than Newspoll’s invocation of “politicians”.

UPDATE (YouGov/Fifty Acres): The second YouGov poll for Fifty Acres has strayed well away from the rest of the field, with the Coalition bouncing three points on the primary vote to 36% while Labor drops one to 33%, with the Greens and One Nation steady on 12% and 7%, and the remainder down two to 12%. Previous election preferences would place Labor’s lead slightly above 52-48, which isn’t too radically. But YouGov’s respondent allocation method, which presents those who complete the online survey with a mock ballot paper to fill out, continues to elicit extraordinary results: enough in this case to give the Coalition a lead of 52-48.

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.

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

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  1. Only joking? Many in the shock jock’s audience are so blighted by bigotry and hatred that they will take you at your word.

    A conservative commentator on Sydney’s 2GB radio station has joked about wanting to “run over” Yassmin Abdel-Mageid, after the Sudanese-Australian engineer detailed death threats and rape threats she had received while in Australia.

    Former journalist Prue MacSween made the comments on 2GB’s Chris Smith show on Wednesday, on a segment called “Smithy’s Deplorables”– a reference to the nickname adopted by supporters of Donald Trump.

    Abdel-Mageid left Australia for London last week, writing that she had become “Australia’s most hated Muslim” and received daily death threats and videos of beheadings and rapes after a post made on Anzac Day was seized on by conservative media.

    MacSween told Smith Abdel-Mageid’s fears might be well-founded.

    “She has fled the country and is blaming all of us”, MacSween said. “She says she’s been betrayed by Australia and didn’t feel safe in her own country. Well actually she might have been right there, because if I had seen her I would have been tempted to run her over mate.”

  2. ‘Some utter rubbish from Paula Matthewson in today’s Crikey’

    Indeed. And Crikey markets itself as being different from the mainstream…

  3. Prue MacSween is a great fit for a bloke like Chris Smith with his criminal conviction for a dishonesty offence and a pants man reputation

  4. Smith, if correctly recorded, may have said one word too many:

    “Suffice to say it was meant in a light-hearted non-literal fashion and we’re hardly ever going to encourage people to run someone over”

  5. trog sorrenson @ #146 Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    The shitfers are running out of excuses.

    Yet another misleading headline from RenewEconomy – what a surprise! What this article is actually calling for is for the government to implement the ‘full Finkel’, which will effectively entrench burning coal for decades.

  6. So we have YouGov looking like it is going to be a serious outlier. Appologies if this seems like a silly question, but with YouGov using a mock ballot paper to determine its preferences, is it not possible that results could be influenced by the order in which the parties are placed on the ballot? Are respondents all given different candidate orders to avoid this possibility? I ask because YouGov is certainly getting a very different preference flow to other polls who use respondent allocated preferences, i.e Reachtel and Essential.

  7. WRT the Trump matter I find it bewildering that he, his associates and subordinates are continuing to talk themselves into trouble in spite of the legal difficulties they are causing themselves by continuing to talk.

    A family member of mine, who I have little to do with, is a business person who has spent a lifetime conducting his business affairs very close to the line legally once advised me that if I was ever in any sort of trouble that no matter what, my mouth needed to go straight into the shut position and that any talking that needed to be done was to be done by the best lawyer I could retain.

    It is a sign of tremendous hubris and a symptom of Trump’s born to rule and above the law mentality that he has not shut his mouth, which at the very least would stop him from talking himself into even more trouble than he is already in.

  8. I was also disappointed with Mathesons’ article today.

    The problem far deeper than Menzies, is that the Liberals and the conservative party before them (the UAP), themselves were happy to be categorized as ‘non Labor ‘, that is, they defined themselves by what they were not rather than what they were.

    It was easiest in the fifties, in the bi-polar, Cold War world, but since then it has become very difficult for them to define what they are.

    Certainly Labor and other left of center parties around the world must reconsider the last 35 years of new liberal experiment, but they have something to return to. The right does not.

  9. Interesting development in the US with the email (poetic justice perhaps, that emails might be what brings the Trump house-of-cards down).

    The one who really looks to be in deep Doo Doo is Kushner, apparently. Legally, he knowingly lied on his declaration for Security Clearance … 5 years jail (sic) penalty.

    Poooooorrrrr little Ivanka

  10. Laurence O’Donnell on MSNBC explained that Kuchner is the most likely major victim of Trump Jnr’s email revelations.
    He is the one who could very well end up in gaol, just like his father.
    And that possibility is driving all his ‘advice’ to Trump Snr; who will also not want Ivanka to have a criminal/traitor as father for her children.

  11. Yep that Mathewson article is a bit of a wank. While I get the full Crikey, I’ve learned to ignore Rundle, Razer and Matthewson when they pen their essays … more often than not full of it and out-of-touch.

    Keane and Josh Taylor are more compelling.

  12. Question
    Yep, but what an outlier, which is why I was asking whether William had yet formed a view on their methodology.

  13. ML,
    The voting card sounds like a good idea to me, but you would need the exact card for each electorate, and you won’t know that until the campaign.

  14. Diogenes:
    As with most ideas – it’s complicated!
    The Bible has no mention of sulphur, and not much about hell, or sheol. Until the end – in Revelation, the devil is cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (sulphur) (Rev. 20:10).
    Much of the Christian views of hell are derived from Dante, who was guided by the shade of Virgil. Virgil himself was from Naples, and describes Avernus, now Lago Averno. Nearby is Solfatara. All are within the Campi Flegrei or “burning fields” which remains a potential supervolcano threat to Italy.
    Further on, the Acheron and the Gates of Hades are in western Greece, not far from Albania. The River Styx, however, is in the Peleponnesus.
    Dante’s Inferno was a detailed account of a funnel-shaped pits, with many levels.

    It is likely that much that Dante describes was derived from Islamic legends of the ninth century BCE, then written up by a Spanish priest in a book called La Escatologia Musulmana en la Divina Comedia.
    Confused? Yes, but the message is that poets and priests made their stories from places that they had seen, and then just started imagining.

  15. LNP Lead?? What bullshit black magic is this Pollster using.
    When do we hear this crap on tbe ABC and Murdoch shitsheets as a surge to Fizzer??

  16. Jesus, chill out! It’s just a single poll. More importantly, from a pollster that’s new in the field and still working on its methodology. Take it all with a grain of salt and move on.

    Even if it happens to be “spotting something that other pollsters aren’t seeing”, the election is still ages away.

  17. Frednk
    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm
    There must be something he can be charged with.

    What if the situation had been reversed? That is, a Muslim in the public sphere had said they would run over a well known RW commentator. Would they be charged even if they said they were joking?

    You dare not say anything like this at an airport or on a flight for example. Telling people you were only joking does not prevent you being arrested.

  18. So what is Murdoch gutter rag the NY Post spin on Donald Junior? Talk about polishing the turd, and making excuses for all the reluctants in attendance…

    “In the heat of your father’s presidential campaign, a bozo British publicist e-mails you to set up a sitdown with a “Russian government attorney” promising “documents and information” to “incriminate Hillary” courtesy of the “Crown prosecutor of Russia” as “part of” the Russian government’s “support” for dad — and you eagerly take the meeting.
    “If it’s what you say I love it,” wrote Junior. As if the government of former KGB spymaster Vladimir Putin would do anything so clumsy. (Our former colleague Kyle Smith put it nicely: “Don Jr. is why Nigerian e-mail scammers keep trying their luck.”)

    Worse, he dragged brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chief Paul Manafort into the meeting, which proved to be a bid by a Moscow fixer to undo a US law causing trouble for her clients. (Reportedly, Kushner walked out within 10 minutes while Manafort did work on his phone.)

    Oh, and someone was so careless with the e-mail trail that it all wound up being fed to The New York Times, for days of headlines that (at best) undermine President Trump’s agenda as both health and tax reform hang in the balance in Congress.

    Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. As were Junior’s shifting, incomplete accounts of the meeting under days of Times questioning.

    Democrats and the media are frothing to find something criminal in it all, with the most unhinged talking treason. What it clearly was, was criminally stupid.’

  19. With 33% ALP, 12% Green, 36% L/NP, 7% One Nation and 12% everyone else, making ‘reasonable’ assumptions about the direction of preferences, I get 33 + 10 + 0 + 3 + 5 for the ALP, a 2PP of 51. Possible conclusions:

    1. YouGov is still bedding down in Australia, it cannot yet be taken seriously
    2. How to vote cards have a huge influence in directing preferences
    3. One Nation, plus ‘Christians’ among the ‘Others’, are solidifying in preferring one of the two major right wing parties (Liberal/National), rather like voters for the old DLP.
    4. More Greens would preference the anti-environment climate-denying ruling coalition if it weren’t for the Greens preferencing Labor. Rather like Turkeys voting to abolish Thanksgiving but giving their second preference to bring forward Christmas, but some people do this.

  20. question @ #184 Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    ML, Almost through Handmaidens Tale.
    Sorry Sohar, it was my tablet what done it.

    I’ve now watched all 10 episodes. I found it to be absolutely riveting and an expression of the knife edge society lives on. The whole production was excellent and I found that the frequent flashbacks were perfectly placed and necessary to answer our questions on how they got to where they were.
    I can’t wait for the second series/

  21. From the news:
    42% of new car sales in Norway are now electric. They get 25% VAT exemption.
    France will issue no further exploration licenses for hydrocarbons.

  22. BK & ML,
    Yep. Great stuff.
    Be great if they have another series but I thought it was following the book? Certainly enough there to spin off a few seasons.

  23. My tablet says riveting, but only if I talk it in. If I’m tapping it spends most of the time guessing what I want next rather than helping with spelling. Then it often goes back and changes words. e.g. it just changed tapping to falling.

  24. YouGov have done a lot of work and consulted with some very well credentialed people, and are no doubt doing a lot of things right. But:
    — Their preference allocations are impossible to credit. I will be giving YouGov polls dedicated posts, including for this one this evening, but will be using primary vote numbers for the headline so long as their results are this eccentric.
    — For what it’s worth, David Briggs of Newspoll/Galaxy says “their current panel in Australia is too small to supply the number of respondents they need”. But I don’t have any hard numbers on the size of their panel, so I’m not sure how true this is.
    — Their weighting by education is likely to make their results volatile from poll to poll, since it involves amping up a small sample of those who left school early. Newspoll used to do this quite a long time ago but stopped, and its polls became less jumpy as a result.
    — I have my doubts about weighting by past vote. This can work for them in the UK because they’ve been working that market for a long time and have recorded their panellists’ responses at the time of the election, and thus don’t have to rely on their recall of how they voted, which is notoriously unreliable. But I don’t think they’d have comparable data to do that at this stage. Having said that, I’m not sure how they’re going about this, and I assume everything that’s occurred to me will have occurred to them to.
    — We’re used to extremely homogenous polling in Australia, possibly because everybody is herding to Newspoll. The sorts of anomalies we’re seeing between Newspoll and YouGov — 35% versus 36% for the Coalition, 36% versus 33% for Labor — wouldn’t blow anyone’s mind in the US or the UK. It’s really just the 2PP where they’re running into real trouble.
    — Yes, I’ll be using it in BludgerTrack, but with low weighting and adjusted for bias in such a way that their inclusion won’t make any difference in the long run (i.e. their fluctuations from poll to poll will influence the result, but if they persist in having the ALP primary 3% below the other pollsters, that will be ironed out).

  25. Just imagine if Prue MacSween’s name had been Aaleyah Abdullah and she had confessed that she would have been tempted to run over a prominent right wing media personality, say Ray Hadley. Imagine the screaming headlines, the acres of newsprint in the Murdich crapsheets, the calls for her to be exiled, charges, put in a chaff bag and drowned. But this will pass mostly without comment.

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