Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

The latest Essential records no change on voting intention, be it for a federal election or a same-sex marriage survey.

The Guardian reports the latest Essential Research poll has Labor’s lead steady at 53-47, but provides only incomplete detail of the primary vote. The poll also records 59% in favour of same-sex marriage with 31% opposed, compared with 57% and 32% a fortnight ago, with 62% (down one) saying they will definitely “vote” in the survey if it survives the High Court challenge, and another 16% (down two) saying they will probably do so. Again, this skews towards the yes camp, with 74% of supporters rating themselves as definite compared with 58% of opponents.

On power prices, the poll finds 49% holding energy companies principally responsible, compared with 22% for the Turnbull government and 9% for “environmentalists pushing action on climate change”. It also finds 54% opposed to changing the date of Australia, with 26% in support, and 70% believing “believe everyone can celebrate on that day”, versus 18% against. Forty-two per cent disagree with changing inscriptions on public statues. The full report should be with us later today.

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.

497 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. I dont wish to come off as rude but sometimes there is an air of holier than thou attitude running through the site and its kinda off putting. I get this is a partisan site (for mostly one party) but the put downs dont further the discussions.

  2. I so desperately want this dumb postal survey knocked down. Am I being too optimistic?

    BTW, where exactly is the High Court? Could I visit it in Melbourne if I wanted to?

  3. lizzie @ #351 Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 5:33 pm

    This is crazy stuff.

    Lyle Shelton, the head of the Australian Christian Lobby, says if Australia legalises same-sex marriage people could assume heterosexual men such as himself are gay.

    Speaking to Sky News on Sunday Mr Shelton says if there is a change to the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples it could no longer be assumed that ‘millions of people like myself are married to women’.

    ‘That affects me straight away’, he said.

    ‘People no longer assume that I am married to a women, I have to explain myself’.–acl.html

    A very insecure person is Lyle.

  4. poroti @ #345 Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 5:30 pm


    The unions Socrates referred to deserve a good swipe. Valid criticism is not being anti-union. Or are you of the “my country right or wrong” school ?

    As you would know, Socrates’ swipes at the SDA are legion and as regular as clockwork. I get it already.

    Do YOU agree that we need to read all about it on a regular basis??

  5. Rex has to bring up Rudd, troll.

    Josh Butler @JoshButler
    left: Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister, big fan of coal

    right: CEO of AGL Energy, apparently not a big fan of coal, correcting Tony

  6. @Lizzie

    And that is a bad thing because?

    I think the idea that the most ardent homophobes are people with deep insecurities about their sexuality is an over-generalisation, but in the case of Lyle Shelton he really does protest too much. What exactly would be so bad about people assuming Mr Shelton is gay, it couldn’t be, because perhaps it’s true could it? And he’s been trying his whole life to keep that truth from coming out? To the point where it’s become a blinding irrational obsession? What possible reason would a securely straight person have for being concerned about being misidentified as gay? That’s only a fear a closeted gay person would have. Most of us would have no problem with being misidentified as a slightly different ethnicity for example. We would brush it off. It would be the same I assume for sexual preference, unless of course someone is terrified of the truth coming out. Just spitballing, but if you can see how anyone other than a closeted gay person would have this anxiety please explain it to me.

  7. So does that mean men who are not married are currently being persecuted because people could assume that a single heterosexual man such as myself is gay.

    Bah, ha hahahahahahaha.

    Please people legalise same sex marriage so people stop thinking I might be gay.

  8. Good evening all,

    Turnbull had rushed out again with some half cocked ” announceable ” re AGL. AGL has been spending millions on advertising confirm its commitment to exit from coal. Nothing has changed. Turnbull was seeking a bit of ” look over there ” cover from his problems and will now look like a complete idiot as AGL shoots his arguments stone motherless dead.

    Turnbull is a idiot and is simply running scared.


  9. Blanket Criticism

    Perhaps Shelton is worried about being approached by a gay man. Somehow I thinks gays have more good taste than that.

  10. Ides of March @ #351 Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 5:34 pm

    I dont wish to come off as rude but sometimes there is an air of holier than thou attitude running through the site and its kinda off putting. I get this is a partisan site (for mostly one party) but the put downs dont further the discussions.

    I agree absolutely. Judging by the number of Greens here on PB, you’d think that party ran the country and achieved 75% of the popular vote … instead of being a fringe party that can barely muster 10% of the vote, who appear to stand for nothing that anyone can discern (particularly nothing “green”) and whose policies are incoherent and unquantifiable.

  11. BTW, where exactly is the High Court? Could I visit it in Melbourne if I wanted to?

    The proceedings are being heard in the High Court of Australia, located in Canberra.

  12. lizzie

    Ellen Fanning less than ‘Stella’ at running the Drum.

    Just throws subjects at guests in a random way and ignores what they say.

    Next subject, Tick. Next subject, Tick.

    Theme, Nil.

  13. CTar1

    Agreed. I’ve had less and less confidence about her lately, and tonight took the biscuit. She seems to pick up all the wrong signals.

  14. Please, please, please; ANYONE may have their cake and eat it too – here, let me give you a cake, now you can eat it.

    What you CANNOT do is eat your cake and have it too…

  15. kevjohnno @ #324 Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 – 4:46 pm

    While I’m tempted to dismiss the YouGov results I’ve decided it might be wiser to wait & see how they go in a real election before saying something I’ll rue later.

    In the meantime it is a good reminder to Labor not to take the lead for granted, accept it is still close & stay disciplined focused on presenting themselves as a better option for voters.

    My interpretation is that they are still finding their feet and sorting out their sampling methodology.
    I am expecting them to improve and converge on other polls.
    But that is nowhere near as exciting as a PB conspiracy theory.

  16. “Donald J. Trump‏Verified account

    Big week coming up!

    Ron Perlman‏Verified account

    Thinking of taking Poland?

    0 Tuesday, September 5, 2017 5:29 pm”

    Happens to me every time I listen to Wagner.

  17. CTar1

    Last night Paul Bongiorno was called off the bench to fill in b/c they didn’t have the numbers (he was OK). That says something, I think. Anyway, I’d rather have 2 experts than 4 timewasters.

  18. kevjohnno / bemused


    As long as their methodology is consistent, then their polling output ‘bias’ will become clear and something will be able to be made of at least some bits of it.

    So, as bemused suggests, we’ll see when there’s an election.

  19. Blanket Criticism What possible reason would a securely straight person have for being concerned about being misidentified as gay?

    Well, today they shouldn’t, but it is only about 30 years, less in some States, since homosexual acts between men were subject to criminal sanctions. Those laws were not much enforced in the 70s and 80s, but sometimes they were. And community attitudes were very different. Look at the attitudes expressed in popular movies from that the time, for example. Gay people were the butt of jokes, if not worse, even after the law was changed. Back in the 60s and 70s, you didn’t want people to think you were gay, even if you were. People like Tony Abbott and Lyle Shelton still hold those attitudes.

    And in spite of ourselves, even some of the liberal-minded of us (small ‘l”) whose teenage years were the 60’s or earlier never wanted to be misidentified as gay.

    Which reminds me of an old and probably incorrect joke from that time: “how do you tell an Aussie man is gay? He’d rather spend time with his wife and kids than down at the pub with his mates”.

  20. mikehilliard

    I’ve always thought Ellen F was excellent in one on one interviews. She seems too anxious to be ‘balanced’ now. I wish Julia was on all week.

  21. If being gay was dangerous, which it was, then it was entirely rational not to want to be misidentified as being gay.

    And that is before you address your personal innards about whether or not, to be or not to be, bothing… and the like.

  22. lizzie / mh

    “Last night Paul Bongiorno was called off the bench’

    If you need a general purpose bit of common sense he’s a handy thing to have around.

  23. Coal can’t compete with renewables in long term
    THEO COMINO JUN 22, 2017

    Op-Ed, published in The Australian, 22 June 2017.

    By Andy Vesey – Managing Director & CEO, AGL Energy Limited

    Once again, we are back in the middle of a national debate on energy policy. There is no dispute that we need an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system, the sticking point is agreeing on how to get there.

    Meanwhile, energy prices continue to rise because the best way to put downward pressure on prices is to increase investment to in turn, increase supply, and the best way to unlock that investment is to create a policy framework which most people agree is the best way to modernise our electricity system.

    We have welcomed the Finkel blueprint, but it is bipartisan support of policy that’s needed rather than the perfect policy solution, so industry can just get on with it. We can’t wait for a perfect policy solution because it’s our customers who literally pay the price.

    Finkel’s Clean Energy Target provides a realistic framework for investment. Finkel has estimated a $900 billion investment is needed in the energy system over the next few decades. AGL is ready to contribute to that challenge and the investment we will make will be in low-emissions technology because we know the costs of these technologies are coming down, while coal is not.

    Around 75% of the nation’s thermal generation assets are now past their use-by date and need to be replaced – whether by coal, which AGL has pledged not to do, and we do not believe doing so would deliver the cheapest generation long term, or by a combination of renewables and lower emissions generation.

    When these very large power stations close down without warning, as happened in South Australia and Victoria last year, wholesale prices spike because a large amount of generation is suddenly unavailable. Finkel argues that three year’s notice should be given for any closure to give investors time to respond to the upcoming decline in supply by building new capacity. In 2015, AGL announced when we would close our coal-fired power stations for just that reason.

    While our coal-fired power stations are ageing, the cost of household rooftop solar has fallen by around 80% over the past decade and now as many as 25% of homes in some states have solar power installed. This shift shows no signs of abating and demonstrates the changing nature of the energy market from one in which electricity is sold via regulated transmission and distribution networks, to one in which a consumer can also be a generator – and except in peak periods (thanks to the now ubiquitous air-conditioner) demand for energy has fallen as prices have risen.

    Given the technology is changing, investors are increasingly sure that the cheapest source of electricity is likely to come from renewables supported by firming or storage and it is highly unlikely to come from baseload coal or gas – technologies which haven’t changed a great deal in decades.

    Current wind and solar technologies do not provide around the clock supply and battery storage technologies, although improving all the time, are immature. That’s why we need to consider firming options like quick start gas peaking plants for times when renewables need to be supplemented, and that’s what we announced in South Australia earlier this month.

    As the country’s largest electricity generator, AGL is in a unique position – we are both the largest ASX-listed investor in renewables, but we have the largest carbon footprint, and we cannot afford to approach the climate change debate with an ideological perspective. Our investors, many of whom are ordinary Australians that own AGL through their superannuation, want us to be planning for the future. We know our customers rely on coal-fired generation now, and we understand they want a cleaner source of generation into the future, so while political certainty would be very helpful, we will continue to get on with creating our own certainty to deliver the energy our customers need.

  24. “I think a good definition of balanced reporting/interviewing is that bullshit will be called out regardless of source or quantity. “

    I agree that’s a good definition. All parties do it and all deserve to be called out from time to time, some more than others. If any one Party (let’s call them the “Liberals”) gets called out more often under such a regime, well there’s an obvious answer. Hell, even their name is bullshit. And they would rather keep most of their Big End of Town agenda hidden rather than try to convince the punters of its merits, so on balance of probabilities, they probably would need to be called out more often.

  25. [BK
    I think a good definition of balanced reporting/interviewing is that bullshit will be called out regardless of source or quantity.

    Unfortunately in an interview that requires understanding the topic as well if not better than the interviewee.

    Too few appear to be able to do this.

    Most just seem to run through pre-written questions and are unable to adjust during an interview.

    David Spears stands out at the moment as the exception.

  26. can anyone help with an annoying excel problem
    The dates have reverted to bloody stupid serial no format. Whatever I do does not change them. it seem to be a system wide problem as a newly opened file automatically also changes the bloody dates.

  27. LNP also sexist in top of being discrimination:

    Ben Cubby @bencubby
    No Liberal women leading tickets in three of Sydney’s biggest councils

  28. ACL….

    Josh Taylor @joshgnosis
    Just in case anyone forgot that the Australian Christian Lobby supports gay conversion therapy.

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