Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

A slight move back to the Coalition on voting intention, and another finding of a resounding victory for yes in the same sex marriage survey.

As related by The Guardian, Essential Research’s fortnight rolling average result for this week has Labor’s two-party lead at 53-47, down from 54-46 last week. As usual we will have to wait until Essential releases the full report later today for the primary votes.

On the same sex marriage survey, an excessive 86% report having voted, of whom 64% say they voted yes, 31% no, and the rest declining to answer. On the question of support for “an indigenous voice to parliament”, 45% expressed support with 16% opposed, while 47% expressed support for an indigenous treaty, with 16% opposed.

Also featured is the latest in the pollster’s semi-regular series on party attributes, with results similar to those from the previous outing in March. Even the Liberal Party’s rating as “divided” is unchanged at 68%, although it is down six points on being “too close to the big corporate and financial interests”, now at 65%. Labor’s biggest change looks to be a six point drop for “moderate”, to 52%. If I understand the report correctly, the Liberal Party is up six on this measure to 53%.

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.

1,743 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. There is only one Australian political party of government that will make Marriage Equality a reality, with no strings attached. The Australian Labor Party.

  2. Cat

    Im sure the supposed 6 Labor MPs not in favour might be considered strings.

    Plus Lab will need the GRNs in the senate. So its Lab and the GRNs to deliver it.

  3. Zoomster
    Glad to hear you’re making progress on your citizenship.
    I may have mentioned, but the closest consulate to Australia is in Tokyo. They do consular missions to Australia usually twice a year. They’re actually in Sydney as we speak for the next few days, but I am unable to make it there, so if I want to get my passport, I may use it as an excuse for a holiday to Japan 🙂

  4. Idesof March,
    I probably should have specifically stated, as the government there is only one party of government that will bring in Marriage Equality, no strings attached. However, on your second point, we would have to see what the numbers are like after the next election. 🙂

  5. Aqualung says:
    Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Why is Brian ringing Sharkie to ask about dates for her renouncement?
    Are we at the start of MAD?
    ***********************************
    Deflect, deflect, deflect….
    “See, everyone is slack, not just the LNP…”
    Not going to fly Brian

  6. Im sure the supposed 6 Labor MPs not in favour might be considered strings.

    Are you sure you’re sure? Isn’t marriage equality settled Labor policy come the next election? I thought that one ALP senator resigned because he would have been forced to vote for it.

  7. Cat

    Barring a DD there will be a minimum of three GRN senators after the next election. Grns senators are likely to be returned in VIC, TAS and WA giving 6. LAB will not be in a position to win enough seats in its own right to control the senate. Greens support will be required.

  8. I know what I would have said to those thugs last night taunting Senator Dastyari:

    “So mate, are your initials, A B?

    For ‘Australian Bigot’?”

  9. Did the Labor conference specify a date for the compulsory vote in favour of marriage equality or did they say “next election”? I had an inkling it was a date in 2018

  10. Lord Haw Haw of Arabia the ABC bod made an interesting point ie that he is trying to ensure he doesn’t lose crossbench support. Taking his thinking a step further I wonder if he’s going to refer the ALP 3 and Sharkie in the hope the ALP 3 lose and Sharkie scrapes through as she appears to have got a letter confirming renunciation before the election date?

  11. mimhoff is correct.

    Also Ides, don’t forget the Cross Bench.

    However, my point still stands, Labor is the only party of government that can introduce Marriage Equality with no strings attached.

    My reference was wrt to the Coalition and their ME Bill with more biased Amendments than you can shake a stick at. Labor will not go down that road.

  12. Turnbull may be trying to justify the proroguing of parliament right now until the Citizenship debacle is worked out. Buys him time and gets him through the December “Killing season”.

  13. Form the last paragraph of Aly’s SMH column on the SSM vote:
    “It’s true that Labor already supports the Smith bill, and that Turnbull could therefore pass it in a day or two even without the support of the Abbott-Abetz faction. But it’s also true that some within that faction have warned that Turnbull faces a party room revolt if he simply ignores them. ”

    A party room revolt by the right, what will Turnbull do, stand with the majority in parliament or cave into his right wing?

  14. John Reidy @ #1463 Thursday, November 9th, 2017 – 5:54 pm

    Form the last paragraph of Aly’s SMH column on the SSM vote:
    “It’s true that Labor already supports the Smith bill, and that Turnbull could therefore pass it in a day or two even without the support of the Abbott-Abetz faction. But it’s also true that some within that faction have warned that Turnbull faces a party room revolt if he simply ignores them. ”

    A party room revolt by the right, what will Turnbull do, stand with the majority in parliament or cave into his right wing?

    I reckon the answer is plain for all to see!

  15. Mal putting on the pressure? She’s not in his party.

    [Henry Belot‏Verified account @Henry_Belot · 51m51 minutes ago

    Crossbencher Rebekah Sharkie says the Prime Minsiter personally rang her earlier today, saying she might have to refer herself to the High Court…]

  16. Labor have already backed Liberal’s Dean Smith’s SSM bill

    In THIS parliament. I cannot say for sure but going on the interview I read with Mark Dreyfus in The saturday Paper last weekend, Labor are not inclined to support any Amendment which weakens Anti Discrimination Law. Which Exemptions does. Also, if they may be in government, they would not support such things.

  17. Asked whether they thought dual citizens should be allowed to be members of parliament, 41% said yes and 40% said no, with 18% saying they didn’t know.

    Sounds right to me.

    Properly put and debated, a proposal to reform 44(i) would easily pass a referendum.

  18. ‘this email could not be effective as a renunciation
    because it was not sent to the appropriate authority, namely the Home Office in
    the United Kingdom. In addition, as I have found, this email could not be
    effective as a renunciation of his UK citizenship because it did not contain a
    declaration of truth, and it was not accompanied by the prescribed fee’

    ‘Senator Roberts could have made effective inquiries of the British High Commission by which he would have been informed of the steps necessary to renounce his foreign citizenship. He could have obtained and completed a form of renunciation declaration, such as Form RN,and returned it with the required fee to the Home Office as he belatedly did’

    http://eresources.hcourt.gov.au/downloadPdf/2017/HCA/39

    The implication here seems to be that, if Roberts had taken these actions, he might well have been safe.

    Windhover’s position seems to be that 72

    A person who, at the time that he or she nominates for election, retains the status of subject or citizen of a foreign power will be disqualified by reason of s 44(i), except where the operation of the foreign law is contrary to the constitutional imperative that an Australian citizen not be irremediably prevented by foreign law from participation in representative government. Where it can be demonstrated that the person has taken all steps that are reasonably required by the foreign law to renounce his or her citizenship and within his or her power, the constitutional imperative is engaged.

    is the definitive statement of the judgement (and any subsequent cases). Fair enough. It says what it says. But the judgement is much more than this one paragraph.

    Also I think he may be misconstruing the constitutional imperative.

    Firstly the judgement does clearly state that the reasonable steps requirement is triggered even if you are not aware of the foreign citizenship. There is no reasonable steps for inquiry into a foreign citizenship. If it can be discovered it must be discovered. Then and only then do reasonable steps come into it. This is where Joyce et al failed at the first hurdle.

    But the judgement discusses the issue of inquiry:

    nomination for election is manifestly an occasion for serious reflection on this
    question;

    Not several months prior to nominating, or perhaps years from nominating. At the time of nomination. This is of course reasonable. s44 only demands that you not be a dual national at the time of nomination (and during your term). If you aren’t aware that you are going to nominate there is no reason to inquire, nor start the process of renunciation. So there is at least arguably an implication that turning your mind to the question of foreign citizenship is reasonably expected at the time of nomination and so a candidate who does do so has the opportunity to follow the correct process prior to nominating.

    The question of if inquiries at that time leave sufficient time for the foreign power’s processes to be completed at their end in order to return a confirmation of renunciation in time for nomination is not explored again because no case has turned on it. But never in the judgment is leaving sufficient time for those foreign processes ever raised as part of the requirements of reasonable step.

    This is further backed up by the judgements in Sykes:

    A majority (Mason CJ, Brennan, Dawson, Toohey and McHugh JJ) held that Mr Delacretaz was disqualified by s 44(i) because, as the plurality said, he:
    “omitted to make a demand for release from Swiss citizenship which would have been granted automatically as he has no residence in Switzerland and has been an Australian citizen for thirty-two years. Because he has failed to make such a demand, it cannot be said that he has taken reasonable steps to divest himself of Swiss citizenship and the rights and privileges of such a citizen.”
    65 The plurality said that Mr Kardamitsis was disqualified by s 44(i)
    because54:
    “in the absence of an application for the exercise of the discretion [of the Greek Minister] in favour of releasing [him] from his Greek citizenship, it cannot be said that he has taken reasonable steps to divest himself of Greek citizenship and the rights and privileges of such a citizen.”

    In both cases the judgement refers to the candidate’s actions – “omitted to demand a release”, “in the absence of an application”. Neither mentions the processes of the foreign power and timelines required to have their processes completed to the point of confirmation, other than to note that the Swiss renunciation would have been granted “automatically”. There was no need to because the question was decided on other issues, but again there is at least the arguable implication that the reasonable steps would have been satisfied by both Delacretaz and Kardamitsis at the point that they had ‘demanded a release’ and ‘applied for release’. There is certainly no definitive statement that the requirement of a final confirmation was absolutely required.

    Indeed the language used is specifically not that ‘reasonable steps’ are unavailable to both because Switzerland and Greece offer processes to renounce as Windhover asserts. Quite the contrary. There is the clear implication that ‘reasonable steps’ are available to both despite the existence of reasonable methods to renounce. Those ‘reasonable steps’ have not be definitively stated, but again there is nothing to imply that the court meant for the candidate completing their part of the process would be insufficient. If as Windhover asserts in the cases where a citizen can reasonably renounce such as Switzerland and Greece, there would be no need for the judgment to even discuss reasonable steps. It simply would have stated that both candidates had not received their confirmations of renunciation and so were disqualified.

    Also the judgment makes the uncontroversial statement:

    The plurality in Sykes v Cleary said that the steps reasonably available to a candidate to free himself or herself from the ties of foreign citizenship depend on “the situation of the individual, the requirements of the foreign law and the extent of the connexion between the individual and the foreign State”

    But follows that with:

    The circumstance that Mr Kardamitsis had participated in a naturalisation ceremony
    in which he had expressly renounced his foreign allegiance was not sufficient to justify the conclusion that he had taken reasonable steps to divest himself of his foreign citizenship because under the foreign law he could have applied for the favourable exercise of a discretion by the appropriate Minister of the Greek government to release him from his citizenship. The application for the
    favourable exercise of the discretion was a step reasonably open to him.

    So again the implication is that just because Greece permits renunciation doesn’t mean that ‘reasonable steps’ are completely unavailable and explicitly the application was a step reasonably open to him. The court may have held the application itself to be insufficient on it’s own, but that judgement wasn’t required so wasn’t made. Nothing in the judgment implies that it would have been deemed insufficient however. The judgment doesn’t state that the “favourable exercise of discretion” absolutely required.

    The judgment contrasts this with the example of countries that do not allow renunciation unless carried out in their territory and such journey may be dangerous. But the judgment explicitly notes that this is not the only example where ‘reasonable steps’ may be adjudged sufficient.

    It is not necessary to multiply examples of requirements of foreign law that will not impede the effective choice by an Australian citizen to seek election to the Commonwealth Parliament. It is sufficient to say that in none of the references with which the Court is concerned were candidates confronted by such obstacles to freeing themselves of their foreign ties.

    We do not know the full range of cases that the HC will adjudge that reasonable steps have been sufficient to satisfy s44(i), because they have not needed to. But they have clearly stated that examples beyond that provided in the judgement may exist.

    So the construction given that all dual nats of countries that permit renunciation are absolutely unable to access a judgment of reasonable steps complying with s44 seems a very narrow interpretation of a summarizing paragraph that is supported no where else in the judgment.

    On the question of the Constitutional imperative it is summarised in the judgment:

    It is the evident intention of the Constitution that those of the people of the Commonwealth who are qualified to become senators or members of the House of Representatives are not, except perhaps in the case of a person “attainted of treason” within the meaning of s 44(ii), to be irremediably disqualified. They have the entitlement to participate in the representative government which the Constitution establishes. In oral argument this was described as the constitutional imperative. The purpose of s 44(i) neither requires nor allows the denial by foreign law of that entitlement.
    Consistently with that view, the Court in Sykes v Cleary recognised that an Australian citizen who is also a citizen of a foreign power will not be prevented from participating in the representative form of government ordained by the Constitution by reason of a foreign law which would render an Australian citizen irremediably incapable of being elected to either house of the Commonwealth Parliament. In this regard, Mason CJ, Toohey and McHugh JJ said:
    “It would be wrong to interpret the constitutional provision in such a way as to disbar an Australian citizen who had taken all reasonable steps to divest himself or herself of any conflicting allegiance … [Section 44(i)]
    … could scarcely have been intended to disqualify an Australian citizen for election to Parliament on account of his or her continuing to possess a foreign nationality, notwithstanding that he or she had taken reasonable steps to renounce that nationality.”

    Now the argument seems to be that the word irredeemably should be taken to mean “for all time”, and as such a candidate who simply has to miss out on this election whilst they wait for the foreign power to get around to processing their paperwork is not irredeemably disqualified. It’s arguable, but it is surely a better construction to say that because you are only held to be ineligible for a particular election that you have nominated for then to be irredeemably disqualified is better defined as “without hope” for this particular election that the candidate’s eligibility is being tested for. To say ‘well maybe you’ll be ok for the next election’ is no answer to the constitutional imperative of not disqualifying “an Australian citizen for election to Parliament on account of his or her continuing to possess a foreign nationality, notwithstanding that he or she had taken reasonable steps to renounce that nationality.”

    As the question is only in relation to a particular election, then any aspect of the foreign power’s process that makes it impossible for the candidate to have renounced in time for that particular election despite having taken all reasonable steps (such as taking months to process when the candidate only has weeks) must qualify as “by reason of a foreign law which would render an Australian citizen irremediably incapable of being elected to either house of the Commonwealth Parliament.”

    As with everywhere else in the judgment the language never examines the processes of the foreign power other than to note they may or may not exist and that different countries have different levels of difficulty in renouncing (the cases did not require it), but at all times the judgment refers specifically to the actions of the candidate being reasonable and implying that this should be sufficient. The paragraph Windhover seems (and apologies if I’m missing more) to be relying almost exclusively on states it explicitly.

    Where it can be demonstrated that the person has taken all steps that are reasonably required by the foreign law to renounce his or her citizenship and within his or her power, the constitutional imperative is engaged.

    Labor’s position seems absolutely consistent with this. Do everything in your power reasonably to renounce and the constitutional imperative of not disqualifying a candidate because of some feature of the foreign law is engaged. To hold otherwise is to say that one sentence of one summarizing paragraph of the judgment outweighs the entirety of the rest of the judgment. It also leads to ridiculous side effects as I noted earlier, such as candidates trying to renounce from a country that doesn’t allow renunciation have a much easier path to being eligible than those who are trying to renounce from a country that has a reasonable (but bureaucratically lengthy) process.

  19. How can a politician not be allowed to hold dual Australian/British citizenship, when the people who elected them – us voters- are allowed to hold such citizenship?
    Politicians sole allegiance is to Australia under the constitution. So why does not the same law apply to every other Australian, including those who hold dual citizenship?

  20. There is a very simple way forward.

    Refer the entire parliament to the HC. It is not silly although expensive.

    Every MP and Senator would need to simply present their documentation. I suspect the Judges could even get their Associates to do the leg work or hire several junior barristers to do it. This would keep costs down. When papers are submitted the junior barrister writes a report, which is reviewed by the judge who then makes a determination. Assuming that 90% of the cases would follow standard precedents. Seriously since most would be standard proforma you could probably knock over the first 150 easily in a week. This would leave maybe 50 or so that could need to be more carefully reviewed and where the MPs could contest if they chose.

  21. Al Pal

    Why cannot a serving policeman be elected, or a teacher. They too can vote but they cannot be in Parliament. Or a bankrupt or ex criminal.

    We are not selecting them the run the chook raffle but to make LAWS in the best interest of Australia, not UK or Greece or Equador or Britain or NZ or Crete ir India (have I left anyone off).

    If you value your Australian citizenship so little that you cannot renounce other citizenship then choose another way to serve the country.

  22. Rebekha Sharkie is a bit of a surprise. I was only talking to her parents last Friday night.
    She might be alright on “reasonable efforts”.

  23. Margo Kingston‏Verified account @margokingston1 · 26m26 minutes ago

    Oh boy, the PM is doing the numbers. He knows how many of his doubtful, so he’s hunting for offsets – reckons he’s got Sharkie, Keay & Lamb

  24. BK
    It’s been pretty well established that the “reasonable efforts” test does not apply for the UK, NZ etc. It’s only for countries that won’t cooperate with your request to renounce citizenship.

    On the SSM legislation, I think there should be some “discrimination” allowed but not much. I don’t think a priest/pastor etc should have to officiate at a SSM if it is against their beliefs but I can’t think of too many other times I would agree with sanctioned discrimination. The classic “wedding cake” argument shouldn’t allow refusal of service IMO.

  25. It’s been pretty well established that the “reasonable efforts” test does not apply for the UK, NZ etc. It’s only for countries that won’t cooperate with your request to renounce citizenship.

    I don’t think that’s established at all. But we’re going to find out definitively soon enough.

  26. 6 hrs ago

    Liz‏
    @mivoicetoo
    Liz Retweeted Shahriar Hatami

    New York Time reporter @nytimes is now on #Manus and will be reporting from on the ground about Australia’s Guantanamo + crimes against humanity to a huge international audience.

  27. Has Turnbull said anything about Alexander ?
    Sharkie not withstanding. I assume he didn’t do a presser today.

    He is going to be away for the next 6 days. He had to get something done now or wait until the second half of next week. Shorten would have been aware of this when they met yesterday.

  28. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has threatened to break with longstanding precedent and use the government’s slim majority to refer any Labor MPs under a citizenship cloud to the High Court.

    The Coalition has until now staunchly insisted that any High Court referrals must be made by an MP’s own party, as part of a bid to prevent an outbreak of partisan referrals.

    Despite a two hour meeting to try resolve the citizenship crisis, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten haven’t come up with a resolution.

    In a sign of escalating tensions between Mr Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as they try to negotiate a fix to the citizenship crisis, the pair exchanged strongly-worded letters of demand and counter-demand on Thursday.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/citizenship-crisis-malcolm-turnbull-threatens-to-use-numbers-to-refer-labor-mps-to-high-court-20171109-gzi21x.html

  29. lizzie @ #1482 Thursday, November 9th, 2017 – 3:31 pm

    grimace

    Could you tell me how you get the black lines outside your quoted text, pls?
    Do you have to type blockquote each time?

    That’s a very good question and I’m glad you’ve asked it. If I knew the answer I’d tell you.

    I’ve installed C+ and there is a “quote” button on the bottom left hand side of everybody’s post. The black lines appear as some part of that process. I’m sorry I could not be more helpful.

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