Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Essential Research records movement to Labor; ReachTEL provides a relatively good result for the Coalition on federal voting intention in Western Australia; both suggest yes should win big in the same-sex marriage survey.

Essential Research has Labor’s lead back to 53-47 after a dip to 52-48 last week, with both the Coalition and Labor on 37% of the primary vote, which is one down in the Coalition’s case and one up in Labor’s. The Greens are steady on 10%, and One Nation is down one to 7%. After last week’s poll had a headline-grabbing dip in support for same-sex marriage, this week’s has it back up: support has been registered at 59% three weeks ago, 55% last week and 58% this week, with opposition tracking from 31% to 34% to 33%. Forty-four per cent of supporters report having voted, compared with only 28% of opponents. Further questions probe the impact of the no campaign’s efforts to shift the focus to religious freedom: 34% of respondents profess themselves concerned about the impact of allowing same-sex marriage on religious freedom, with 58% not very concerned or not at all concerned, and 24% say their concerns have increased “over the last couple of weeks”, compared with 61% for stayed the same and 5% for decreased.

The survey also contains an intriguing set of questions on beliefs in various religious and scientific questions, which show rather a lot more people than I might have figured believe in heaven and hell, angels and demons, ghosts, extraterrestrial visitations and the biblical account of creation. However, few outside The Australian’s op-ed page believe global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists; even fewer believe that vibrations from wind farms can cause long-term health damage; and fewer still believe that vaccines cause the autism. A further series of questions on private health insurance finds strong support for government intervention to keep down premiums.

There was also a ReachTEL poll of federal voting intention in Western Australia in Saturday’s edition of The West Australian, which had the Coalition ahead 51-49, representing a 3.7% swing to Labor compared with last year’s election – a fairly modest result compared with other polling from the state. After exclusion of the 8% undecided, the primary votes are Coalition 39.2% (48.7% at last year’s election), Labor 30.8% (32.5%), Greens 13.3% (12.1%) and One Nation 10.7%. The poll also recorded a 63-37 split in favour of same-sex marriage, and found strong support for measures in the recent state budget to increase the gold mining royalty rate (58% in favour) and increase payroll tax on businesses with payrolls of over $100 million (61% in favour), although the cutting of 3000 public sector jobs had only 34% support, with 37.5% opposed. The poll was conducted last Thursday from a sample of 1723.

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.

1,720 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. “The great thing about the internet is you can put anything in quotes and attribute it to whoever you want, without a date or source, and most people will believe it to be real, without question.”

    – Julius Caesar

  2. [BK
    From the parliamentary NBN inquiry report. Let’s hop the government follows through on this recommendation.

    I think the most likely outcome will be both Labor and the Greens use it to help formulate their policies in this area at the next election.

  3. I reckon we should just get computers to do governance for us. It’s only fair. Lobbyists can run the computers of course but at least computers aren’t narcissistic and don’t require a salary.

  4. I think the NBN will be a much bigger problem for the Liberals the longer this term drags on and the current leader is about as closely associated with the problems as any individual can be.

    It will come home to roost.

  5. I think a sensible compromise would be that people in such professions would need to take leave without pay from the time of nomination until the election is decided.

    A friend of mine works for the local council and this year is running as a candidate in the local govt elections. She has simply been asked to take leave without pay from the council for the duration of the campaign. If she loses she returns to work the following monday.

    If this can be done for LGA elections in WA I can’t see why it can’t happen in other levels of govt in Australia.

  6. I knew I remembered H L Mencken. He seems to have been a right winger, even racist, but he said some good stuff:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    H. L. Mencken
    US editor (1880 – 1956)

  7. Here’s another one:

    “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

    H. L. Mencken
    US editor (1880 – 1956)

    Actually, in Australia, Labor needs to get better at that.

  8. [Briefly

    Barney in Go Dau
    Barney, the question of foreign citizenship is not a matter of Australian law. It arises because of the operation of foreign laws. In essence, the intricacies of foreign laws are affecting our electoral system. It’s just rubbish.]
    But we have our own laws.
    We can say if you want to become an Australian you need to renounce your rights to all other citizenship.
    Sykes illustrates that it is not sufficient simply to become an Australian citizen, even if this also involves making an oath of allegiance and expressly denying other allegiance/s. The operation of the laws of other countries give rise to foreign citizenship, even when it is not sought or invoked. On a very tough construction, s 44(i) would disqualify from Parliament any person who may once have had a foreign allegiance even if they no longer have that allegiance and have become sole citizens.
    If you wish to make Australia your home and become a citizen I don’t see an issue with having to formally renounce any other citizenships.

    What are we after by offering citizenship to people not born here if not a commitment to Australia for the rest of their lives.

    I don’t believe this should not be about convenience for the individual but commitment to the country.

    [Dual citizenship is very common. Maybe as many as half of all Australians are dual citizens or could easily acquire foreign citizenships. All these people have the rights of citizens, including the right to enrol to vote. It is highly peculiar that persons eligible to vote may not also be eligible to nominate for election.]

    And if they choose to do so lose their Australian citizenship for the same reason as above.

  9. It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.


  10. Ides:

    They’ve obviously done a bit of a refresh of the site and perhaps culled some earlier content.

    Dunno. What matters is that it is still current and he’s still posting.

  11. [confessions
    I think a sensible compromise would be that people in such professions would need to take leave without pay from the time of nomination until the election is decided.

    A friend of mine works for the local council and this year is running as a candidate in the local govt elections. She has simply been asked to take leave without pay from the council for the duration of the campaign. If she loses she returns to work the following monday.

    If this can be done for LGA elections in WA I can’t see why it can’t happen in other levels of govt in Australia.]

    Federally, the Constitution. 🙂

  12. BK sound recommendations I think.

    At the moment, you don’t really know what speed you will get until after you have bought a plan and the reality kicks in.

  13. “Power will go to the hands of ras­cals, rogues, free­boot­ers; all Indian lead­ers will be of low cal­i­bre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst them­selves for power and India will be lost in polit­i­cal squab­bles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed in India.”

    Not Churchill?

  14. ‘…democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people’s true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that people with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals…are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers.’


  15. “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

    Douglas Adams

  16. The young Churchill charged through imperial atrocities, defending each in turn. When concentration camps were built in South Africa, for white Boers, he said they produced “the minimum of suffering”. The death toll was almost 28,000, and when at least 115,000 black Africans were likewise swept into British camps, where 14,000 died, he wrote only of his “irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men”. Later, he boasted of his experiences there: “That was before war degenerated. It was great fun galloping about.”

    Then as an MP he demanded a rolling programme of more conquests, based on his belief that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph”. There seems to have been an odd cognitive dissonance in his view of the “natives”. In some of his private correspondence, he appears to really believe they are helpless children who will “willingly, naturally, gratefully include themselves within the golden circle of an ancient crown”.

    But when they defied this script, Churchill demanded they be crushed with extreme force. As Colonial Secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed the notorious Black and Tan thugs on Ireland’s Catholic civilians, and when the Kurds rebelled against British rule, he said: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes…[It] would spread a lively terror.”

  17. Boerwar @ #1644 Friday, September 29th, 2017 – 8:50 pm

    “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
    ― H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy

    Well, chop my legs off and call me ‘Shorty!’. My eldest son has just finished reading all of Mencken’s books! I didn’t know his thoughts had become popular again. However, considering the times we live in, I guess it makes sense.

  18. “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

    There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

    Douglas Adams

  19. William Bowe @ #1628 Friday, September 29th, 2017 – 8:21 pm

    Of course teachers, nurses and policemen should have to quit their jobs if they want to run for parliament. Nothing demented about that at all.

    Police should probably be separated from teachers and nurses. President Trump is bad enough. President Trump, Director of the FBI would be a nightmare. Even Republican Nominee Trump, Director of the FBI is scarily bad.

    There are good reasons to not want your political actors to have an active hand in law enforcement.

  20. Reading the book ‘The Proud Tower”, Europe 1870-1910 (a prequel to “Guns of August “), in the U.K. they were debating the introduction of democracy.
    One component was salaries for MPs. It was argued only those with money should be in positions of power as they were less corruptible than those without.

  21. cud,

    Adams as entertaining and enjoyable as he is, is often like reading philosophy.

    You often have to pause, think, reread and think again.

    I love a writer of fiction who can make you do that.


  22. OK, so now we know that Malcolm Turnbull has officially lost the plot. He’s thinking of adopting a recommendation from a Grants Commission review of the GST distribution to the States that will PENALISE those States, by taking part of their Commonwealth GST money away from them, if they DON’T ALLOW FRACKING!

  23. C@t: I get a 404 error when I click on the image from my iPad.


    Re C@t @11:00PM: Funny how “Liberals'” enthusiasm for States’ rights waxes and wanes according to the political exigencies of the day.

  24. Mmmm – it all bubbles along, nicely ?

    Harvey Norman’s audited 2017 accounts released on Friday show how the group has moved off its balance sheet up to $782 million of franchisee debt.

    The result is that the franchisee accounts are more opaque than ever.

    The retail group’s new auditor, Ernst & Young partner Renay Robinson, has signed off on the group’s accounting approach, which has made no significant changes to raise the level of disclosure of its financial arrangements with franchisees.

    This sets the scene for a possible clash with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which raised questions with Harvey Norman earlier this year over its 2016 accounts.

    There was no announcement about Harvey Norman by ASIC on Friday after the release of the annual report, which is customary after the regulator concludes a high-profile review, leading to the prospect that the matter remains unresolved.

    Executive chairman Gerry Harvey has lashed out at journalists and shareholders who have questioned the opaque arrangements with franchisees

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