Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor; ReachTEL: 53-47

New and new-ish federal voting intention numbers from Essential Research, ReachTEL and YouGov, plus a bonanza of same-sex marriage polling that is consistent only in pointing to a big win for “yes”.

Three new results on federal voting intention:

The Guardian reports Labor’s lead in this week’s Essential Research fortnightly rolling average is 54-46, up from 53-47 last time. Primary vote numbers to follow later today. (UPDATE: The full results reveal the Coalition is down a point to 36%, Labor up one to 38%, the Greens steady on 10% and One Nation steady on 7%)

• A ReachTEL poll for Sky News, conducted on Thursday from an unusually big sample of 4888, has Labor’s two-party lead at 53-47, out from 52-48 at the previous poll on August 23. The primary votes are all but unchanged, with the Coalition steady on 34.5%, Labor down 0.3% to 36.4%, the Greens down 0.1% to 10.2% and One Nation up 0.6% to 11.0%. On 2016 election flows, the result would have come in at 54-46. The poll has Malcolm Turnbull leading Bill Shorten 51.7-48.3 on preferred prime minister; Turnbull’s performance rated as very good or good by 26%, average by 34% and poor or very poor by 39%; Bill Shorten’s respective numbers coming in at 31%, 31% and 37%.

• The YouGov poll for FiftyAcres maintains its idiosyncratic form in having the Coalition with a 51-49 lead on respondent-allocated preferences, compared with 50-50 a fortnight ago. After producing somewhat more conventional primary vote numbers last time, it’s back to having both major parties deep in the doldrums, with Labor down two points to 33% and the Coalition steady on 34%. The Greens and One Nation are also steady on 11% and 9%, with minor players soaking up the difference. Labor is credited with a fairly conventional 73% of Greens preferences, with the Coalition getting 68% from One Nation and 60% from the rest. A two-party result based on 2016 election flows would have come in at around 53-47. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1054.

Same-sex marriage survey latest:

• The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ yesterday released the first of what will be weekly estimates on the response rate for the same-sex marriage survey. It estimates that 9.2 million survey forms have been received, amounting to a turnout of 57.5% of eligible voters. The result will be announced on November 15.

• The ABS figure is at odds with two polls that have emerged in the last few days, which can only partly be explained by postal lag effects. A ReachTEL poll for Sky News, conducted from a sample of “nearly five thousand people”, found 79.5% identifying as having voted. This included 64.3% who said they had voted yes compared with only 15.5% for no, with another 6.0% saying they still intended to vote yes and 5.7% for no. The other poll is a survey for the Marriage Equality campaign finding 77% of those eligible had voted, including 69% of the 18-to-24 cohort and more than 80% of those aged over 65. However, the Essential poll comes in a good deal lower, with 47% saying they had already voted, up from 36% a week ago, and another 33% saying they will definitely do so.

• Essential Research now has support for same-sex marriage at 61%, up from 58% last week and 55% the week before, with opposition tracking from 34% to 33% to 32%. Of those who voted, 64% said they voted yes compared with 30% for no.

• Without providing further detail, Sky News relates that a ReachTEL poll “separate” to the one it commissioned itself had a 72-28 forced response split in favour of yes, reducing to 61-39 among those who said they had already voted.

“ The Sky News ReachTEL poll has 47.2% very concerned or somewhat concerned about “what might be taught in schools if same sex marriage is legalised”, compared with 42.8% for somewhat or not at all concerned.

• The YouGov poll found 64% of respondents saying they had discussed the survey with family, 54% with friends, 21% with work colleagues and 14% with others, with only 17% saying they had not discussed it with anyone.

Other recent attitudinal findings:

• The ReachTEL poll found a 53-47 split in favour of Labor on who was best to manage the energy crisis and rising power prices. It also found 41% would support more coal seam gas mining if it meant reduced gas prices, with 36% opposed.

• Absent qualifications about lower prices, a Research Now survey of 1421 respondents for the Australia Institute found 49% would support a moratorium on fracking in their own state, with 24% opposed. Seventy-four per cent said they would support higher renewable energy targets in their own states.

• The YouGov poll finds 42% saying Tony Abbott should “play a quieter role and not be so critical of Malcolm Turnbull”, compared with 31% for “he should continue to speak up in the media, even if it involves being critical of Malcolm Turnbull”. Results were fairly similar across different voting intentions, with the exception of One Nation, whose supporters were notably harder on Turnbull. It was also found that 40% thought it wrong of Tony Abbott to relate the headbutt incident to the same-sex marriage campaign, compared with 34% who thought it was right, with clear distinctions emerging in this case betweeen Labor/Greens and Coalition/One Nation supporters.

• Also from the YouGov poll, 59% were in favour of a royal commission into the banking industry, with 19% opposed.

• Essential Research has results from its occasional questions on trust in institutions and media organisations, but all we have from The Guardian is that the the federal police performed best on the former, with religious organisations, trade unions and political parties bringing up the rear, with the ABC as always taking the mantle of most trusted news organisation.

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.

1,728 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor; ReachTEL: 53-47”

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  1. Steve….the resources are extracted and sold, but hardly for ‘a song’. The internal rates of return will be miles above the cost of capital in most cases. The problem is the royalty regimes are too weak, especially with gas.

    On a brighter note, Gina is making not a lot from Roy Hill… too much debt….going well for the secured lenders in the US tho….

  2. briefly @ #1645 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:33 pm

    I think our privacy is one of those things that ISIS wish to destroy. I can hardly see why we should do it for them.

    Sorry, but last time I looked I was sitting here in my pyjamas and dressing gown with no camera in my bedroom in complete privacy. No cameras anywhere. Tomorrow I will go about my business in total privacy and so it will continue to be so, despite the proposals agreed to by COAG on Friday.

    The only place where my ‘privacy’ will be invaded is if I go to a place of mass gathering, and there are already security cameras in most of those places already.

    However, if the technology can be used for good, to pick out a person of interest who has demonstrated via their communications and plans to be engaged in planning and attempting to carry out a terrorist atrocity, then if they can be taken out of general circulation before carnage occurs, then I am all for it.

  3. adrian @ #1650 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:41 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1646 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:34 pm

    poroti @ #1642 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:20 pm


    We will never be “there”. Every concession encourages them to demand more. As you can see at the Bludger Lounge there are people from the Left and Right who have drunk the “nothing to hide nothing to fear kool-aid”.

    And you have a simplistic take on the issue which boils a day of nuanced back and forth down to a slogan.

    Unlike your highly nuanced, incredibly complex, faith based approach.

    All hail the true believers!

    More facile sneering from you, I see, adrian.

  4. C@tmomma

    And you have a simplistic take on the issue

    Says the person so ‘simplistic” that they appear to have zero comprehension of the risks of such laws. Oh and I did notice your condescension, obviously sophisticates like you,unlike us simplistics, can see no dangers .

  5. poroti @ #1654 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:44 pm


    And you have a simplistic take on the issue

    Says the person so ‘simplistic” that they appear to have zero comprehension of the risks of such laws. Oh and I did notice your condescension, obviously sophisticates like you,unlike us simplistics, can see no dangers .

    Thank you for your condescending assessment that I ‘have zero comprehension of the risks of such laws’.
    Wrong, of course.

    But it’s interesting, isn’t it, when some of us here do not wish to sing from the same song sheet for once, how the verbal blows go low. I expected better. Or should I have?

  6. briefly @ #1655 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 10:47 pm

    C@t….would be good to know how the capabilities will be used….data held/protected….what protections will be created

    Exactly. When the rubber hits the road I will be going over the legislation with a fine tooth comb. To be sure it’s a fine line that is drawn by government between keeping the populace safe from harm, and intrusively surveilled.

    Some here are too one-eyed about it and think it can only go one way.

  7. Urban Wronski‏ @UrbanWronski
    “Six months later PM still hasn’t delivered on gas. Companies today are still being offered contracts of $15, $16, $17 or $18 a gigajoule.”

    Malcolm Turnbull: All show, no go.

  8. Well time for me to say Goodnight.

    On the day Bill Shorten does dabbing. The right falls apart as Xenophon votes with his feet. We get fear plus from Turnbull selling the Facial ID laws.

    If the Photo ID turns out to be just a national drivers licence I will be happy.

    Room for optimism as long as Trumps “storm” comment does not mean missiles flying soon.

    So happy thoughts 🙂

  9. [frednk
    Anyone who supports increased surveillance should probably read 1984; the outcome is not good.

    That’s the problem, you read it as an absolute, while I read it as a cautionary tale.

  10. Makes Bronnie’s efforts look quite insignificant. No wonder he looks so well fed and watered these days.

    Meanwhile, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo spent $342,000 on overseas travel in the March quarter, the highest in the parliament and more than Foreign Minister Julie Bishop ($283,955), Malcolm Turnbull ($74,000) and Defence Minister Marise Payne ($48,000).

    Mr Ciobo charged taxpayers $157,566 for a two-week trip to Switzerland and the United States, which included taking part in the G’Day USA event.


  11. When are bemused and cat having their ears microchipped. They obviously are very keen and should lead the way to our brave new future.

  12. Dan Gulberry @ #1665 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 11:41 pm

    bemused @ #1662 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 8:21 pm

    And a work of fiction.

    Actually it’s a parable about the excesses of power. Like all parables its underlying theme is factual with a story on top that illustrates and illuminates that theme. It’s about Totalitarianism of which Communism, Fascism and Religious Fundamentalism are manifestations.

    Yes, but still a work of fiction about an imaginary, dystopian future.
    A good book and I enjoyed reading it.

  13. Concerns about the facial recognition technology being used aren’t solely due to supposed paranoia about surveillance. This will create a centralised list of all drivers licence holders, which offers a trove of information to would-be hackers/identity thieves. Yes, all of the photos are on file already somewhere, but not on a single, national register. It’s extremely naïve to think that access to this database could not fall into the wrong hands or be exploited. But hey, let’s not give that a second thought, ’cause, you know, we can trust the current mob (and all future mobs) in government, and it will save us from terror!

  14. I’ll always remember that moment when I realised that the fictional world of 1984 which I had always considered far fetched due to the need to have as many secret police as there are citizens, actually paled in comparison to the likely reality of AI and big data married to video surveillance. Once I realised that the surveillance could be automated, that younger person who avidly and earnestly read Orwell as an avoidable cautionary parable was gone. It’s inevitable.

  15. bemused @ #1666 Friday, October 6th, 2017 – 8:45 pm

    Yes, but still a work of fiction about an imaginary, dystopian future.

    Not that imaginary actually.

    Is there any real difference between Big Brother and North Korea’s Dear leader? There are many more examples of personality cults throughout the world.

    Citizens spying on each other was rife and encouraged in the former Soviet Bloc right through to the “Dob In A Terrorist” hotline.

    Massive amounts being spent on the military instead of society, and the glorification of war.

    The manipulation of language (Collateral Damage = the slaughter of innocent people; Human Resources = something that can be used and then discarded when deemed necessary, Workchoices = the transfer of power from labour to capital and many more examples).

    Jingoism and Nationalism masquerading as Patriotism.

    Those are just a few examples off the top of my head.

  16. I seen ad on TV from the government, how they solved the energy crises.

    Except they claiming that they are installing the batteries.

  17. Here’s a prime example of the Ministry Of Truth in action:

    As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria.

    By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page.

  18. That said, I do have to admit there are many benefits to modern communications technology that I would never have dreamed of at a younger age. Many of these benefits appear to be dependent on giving up some privacy – you can’t connect to a network without the network seeing you in return

  19. Trump will be a one man band before long totally isolated and impotent from doing anything.A lame duck President in less than a year.

  20. It seems quite a while since I’ve seen a positive news report about happenings in Australia in the international broadcast news but the current gun hand-in amnesty is getting a thumbs up. It’s been the number 2 story on many of them for the last day or so.

    Unfortunately on most it’s immediately followed by one on George Pell.

  21. CT

    Bit of a surprise to me too. I don’t know if this be a regular thing but I hope so.

    The surprise is because transport is doing rock drilling at night as part of an upgrade

  22. KayJay

    You’ve got no time for coffee.

    You should be out doing the lawn.

    You’re neighbours will be cool with this, believe me. 😀

  23. gt

    Boris’ sole aim in life is to be the UK PM.

    But time is running out for him.

    As soon as the actual effect of Brexit dawns on the UK he may regret that he renounced his US citizenship.

  24. CT

    I think Boris has rolled the dice or had it rolled for him. When May goes he may get passed over. HIs performance as FS has not been scintillating

    Of course as the best representative of Hard Brexit the Brexiteers may overlook that.

  25. gt

    I think we’ll soon see that not many normal voters will own up to voting for Brexit and the politicians who championed it will be out on their arse.

  26. ct

    Yeah. Farage did Russia’s work well. Laid the groundwork for the Trump operation.

    The UK is now paying the price. Cameron’s legacy is done. Letting fear rule is up there with utegate for bad political decisions

  27. Speaking to Poms from Reading aged 60+ a few days ago who voted to Brexit. They say that there are anti migrant protests that are not being reported in the press

  28. gt – They’ve tried to make ‘smart phones’ do too much in my opinion.

    Most people only use the phone, messaging and read news, weather and check facebook.

    Other than that they use bugger all of the functionality but with it all shoehorned into a phone it’s no wonder the batteries get a flogging.

  29. No one knows if Russia changed 2016 vote counts and no effort has been made to find out: Dem Senator

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said on Friday that the we are by no means certain that Russia didn’t alter vote counts in the 2016 election and that “no systemic analysis” has been done of the votes, nor any “forensic evaluations of voting machines.”

    Mother Jones‘ David Corn spoke with Wyden, who was responding to Wednesday’s press conference with Republican Sen. Richard Burr (NC) and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (VA), the top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    “We can certifiably say that no vote totals were affected,” said Burr on Wednesday, “that the tallies are accurate.”

    Wyden said this is patently untrue.

    “The chairman said that he can say ‘certifiably’ that there was no vote tampering,” Wyden told Mother Jones. “I do not agree with this judgment. I don’t think it is possible to know that. There was no systematic analysis of the voting or forensic evaluations of the voting machines.”

  30. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner called Trump a ‘moron’ — and isn’t taking it back

    Beatrice Fihn, the executive director an anti-nuclear weapons group that just won the Nobel Peace Prize, shares at least one thing in common with members of President Donald Trump’s administration — she, too, thinks the president is a “moron.”

    As Slate pointed out, Fihn, who heads the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, tweeted earlier this week that “Donald Trump is a moron.”

    When jokingly asked by a fellow Twitter user if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who made headlines this week for calling the president the same thing, had hacked her account, Fihn responded in kind.

    “I guess it’s the first time I wholeheartedly support a statement by him!” she quipped.

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