Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor; Newspoll: 50-50 in Bennelong

Labor records an unexpectedly strong showing in a Newspoll from Bennelong, and maintains a big national lead from Essential – although the latter also records a lift in Malcolm Turnbull’s personal ratings.

The Australian has a Newspoll survey of Bennelong ahead of this Saturday’s by-election, and while the sample is a very modest 529, the results area a turn-up: a 50-50 tie on two-party preferred and a 39% tie on the primary vote, with the Greens on 9%, Australian Conservatives on 7%, the Christian Democratic Party on 2% and others on 4%. The two-party total would appear to be based on an allocation of at least 80% of Australian Conservatives and Christian Democratic Party preferences to the Liberals, presumably based on the latter’s preference flow in 2016. By contrast, The Australian reported last week that Liberal internal polling had them with a 54-46 lead.

Courtesy of The Guardian, the latest reading of the Essential Research fortnight rolling average has Labor’s national two-party lead at 54-46, down from 55-45. However, the monthly leadership ratings record a substantial improvement for Malcolm Turnbull, who is up four on approval to 41% and down five on disapproval to 44%, while Bill Shorten is up a point to 36% and down there to 45%. Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister increases from 40-28 to 42-28. Other questions related in The Guardian involve sexual harassment and energy policy. More on this, along with primary vote numbers, when Essential publishes its report later today.

YouGov-Forty Acres: 50-50

The relatively volatile YouGov series for Fifty Acres is at 50-50 this fortnight, after Labor recorded a rare 53-47 lead last time. As usual though, this is based on very strong respondent-allocated preferences to the Coalition. The primary votes look relatively normal this time, with Labor up three on the primary vote to 35%, the Coalition up two to 34%, the Greens up one to 11%, One Nation down three to 8% and the rest down three to 13%. Other questions include a finding that 40% think Malcolm Turnbull should “stand down and let someone else take over”, compared with 39% who say he should remain.

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.

1,497 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor; Newspoll: 50-50 in Bennelong”

  1. My back of the envelope calculation for Bennelong:

    80% of Green preferences go to Labor and 50% of ‘other’ gets Labor to 39 + 7 + 2 = 48.

    To get to 50 2PP would require 2/9 of Con + CDP, basically a right wing mirror of the Green vote. Seems credible.

    Margin of error for a sample of 529 would be about 4%.

  2. Given the behavior of the candidates 50/50 makes sense; it looks as if the Liberal internal poll was released to rally the troops. Try and convince JA he should not run around as a sad sack perhaps.

    Put me down for a KK win 105 votes; result not known for 3 days; recount ordered.

  3. From the previous thread:

    However you will now watch the words Sam Dastyari and China disappear from the MSM faster than Edward St John disappeared from here after the Newspoll result was announced.

    Well dear old Aunty doesn’t seem to have got the memo.

    Early AM features a ‘story’ on Bill Shorten having a meeting with Mr Huang two years ago! Sabra Lane pointing out in very grave voice that Huang has links to the Chinese communist party.

    I’m sure that the ALP is actually an offshoot of the Chinese communist party, and this will all be revealed by a breathless Sabra lane in the coming days. Dutton will have all the info.

  4. James Massola on Twitter said that Gareth Hutchens asked JA today about that and he said the rumour of his retirement at the next full federal election isn’t true.

    How nice. A bit of reverse rumour to counteract the Libs’ smears.

  5. CNN Just Took A Massive Shot At Television Addict Donald Trump

    Michael D’Antonio, a Trump biographer, told CNN, “Oh, sure. I think people who have been around the president for any real period of time know that he is a television addict. He is probably watching us right now because as “The Times” reported, he tunes to CNN when there’s breaking news. CNN is the strongest network in hard news, and so, as much as he might berate the network at other moments, he tunes in when he needs the facts.”

    http://www.politicususa.com/2017/12/11/cnn-massive-shot-television-addict-donald-trump.html

  6. Kenny Devine‏ @TheKennyDevine · 8h8 hours ago

    Hi @TurnbullMalcolm
    Claiming indigenous politicians represent all indigenous people is like claiming Michaelia Cash represents all women.

  7. ‘Serial misconduct and perversion’: Trump accusers describe incidents ‘a thousand times worse than what Franken has done’

    A total of 16 women joined together Monday to address their stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment at the hands of President Donald Trump.

    While many of these women came forward during the 2016 election, the Trump campaign attacked them, their lives and many right-wing activists invented information designed to discredit them.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/serial-misconduct-and-perversion-trump-accusers-describe-incidents-a-thousand-times-worse-than-what-franken-has-done/

  8. Bennelong demographic includes many ABC viewers and listeners, so this Newspoll should be causing a lot of angst in the Lib Bunker.
    The ABC has been in perpetual pro-Lib campaign mode since Guthrie took over, yet Labor appears to have all-but eliminated JA’s ~10% buffer.
    Murdoch was shown to be toothless in July 2016.
    Most younger Australians watch very little TV, so TV news has lost impact.
    No wonder the Libs are trying to stop charities commenting, and are targeting GetUp. They lack their own, decent on-ground campaign infrastructure, so it’s all they have left.

  9. The Daily TurdBurgler has the whoop whoop panic stations siren blaring….

    BILL Shorten is turning voters off in the crucial Bennelong by-election, with his campaigning in the seat actually encouraging people to vote Liberal.

    Internal Liberal Party research, obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph, reveals the extent to which the Opposition Leader’s unpopularity is affecting his star candidate Kristina Keneally’s campaign against tennis legend John Alexander.

    The research, conducted last month, amazingly indicated Mr Shorten was “repelling voters towards the Liberals more than he is driving voters towards Labor”.

    Mr Shorten has been in Bennelong eight times since by-election campaigning kicked off last month and featured prominently at Ms Keneally’s campaign launch on November 19.

    A Labor spokeswoman said it was “highly likely” Mr Shorten would visit a school in the Bennelong electorate with the former NSW premier today.

    Polling on the weekend showed the race is still incredibly tight.

    “Despite Bill Shorten’s unpopularity, this is a very tight race. Voters in Bennelong should understand that a vote for Kristina Keneally is a vote for Bill Shorten,” a senior Liberal campaign source said.

    “A Labor victory in Bennelong would put Bill Shorten perilously close to becoming Prime Minister, something which would have serious consequences for our country.”

    But it’s not just Mr Shorten causing headaches for the Keneally campaign team.

    A wall of at least 50 illegal signs promoting her were driven into the ground with stakes and fixed to an electricity pole at West Ryde yesterday. This is despite council laws stipulating the “affixing of political advertising posters to electricity poles, fences or any public land is not permitted”.

    And in an awkward twist, the offending signs were authorised by City of Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale, who also happens to be Ms Keneally’s campaign manager.

    Mr Laxale became the youngest mayor elected in Ryde’s history when he won the election in 2015 at the age of 31.

  10. Malcolm said in a sound-bite from Q&A that the proposed indigenous assembly could veto Parliament? How on Earth could it do that? Was there a follow-up question? He surely knew he was talking bullshit.

    From Phoenix’s post above, Trump watches CNN when he needs facts. That’s a bit comforting, ie. that he feels a need for facts. Malcolm apparently feels free to make them up.

  11. Sprocket – I don’t think the Daily Turd is noted for its deep penetration in Bennelong.
    What a fascinating man our Prime Minister is. A moron would know that berating voters on Q & A is a big no-no. But he has such a fragile ego that he must destroy any threats – blow them out of the sky before they get close. Deep down, his self-image is an utter mess.

  12. sprocket_ @ #16 Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 – 7:13 am

    The Daily TurdBurgler has the whoop whoop panic stations siren blaring….

    BILL Shorten is turning voters off in the crucial Bennelong by-election, with his campaigning in the seat actually encouraging people to vote Liberal.

    Internal Liberal Party research, obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph, reveals the extent to which the Opposition Leader’s unpopularity is affecting his star candidate Kristina Keneally’s campaign against tennis legend John Alexander.

    The research, conducted last month, amazingly indicated Mr Shorten was “repelling voters towards the Liberals more than he is driving voters towards Labor”.

    Mr Shorten has been in Bennelong eight times since by-election campaigning kicked off last month and featured prominently at Ms Keneally’s campaign launch on November 19.

    A Labor spokeswoman said it was “highly likely” Mr Shorten would visit a school in the Bennelong electorate with the former NSW premier today.

    Polling on the weekend showed the race is still incredibly tight.

    “Despite Bill Shorten’s unpopularity, this is a very tight race. Voters in Bennelong should understand that a vote for Kristina Keneally is a vote for Bill Shorten,” a senior Liberal campaign source said.

    “A Labor victory in Bennelong would put Bill Shorten perilously close to becoming Prime Minister, something which would have serious consequences for our country.”

    But it’s not just Mr Shorten causing headaches for the Keneally campaign team.

    A wall of at least 50 illegal signs promoting her were driven into the ground with stakes and fixed to an electricity pole at West Ryde yesterday. This is despite council laws stipulating the “affixing of political advertising posters to electricity poles, fences or any public land is not permitted”.

    And in an awkward twist, the offending signs were authorised by City of Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale, who also happens to be Ms Keneally’s campaign manager.

    Mr Laxale became the youngest mayor elected in Ryde’s history when he won the election in 2015 at the age of 31.

    Yeah, Bill Shorten is so unpopular, Labor is on the verge of taking Bennelong.

  13. What we learnt ( had re-inforced?) about Turnbull after last night’s Q & A.

    #Qanda what I’ve learned about PM:
    1) no empathy
    2) can’t relate to ordinary people
    3) zero accountability
    4) arrogant
    5) rude and dismissive
    6) passive aggressive
    7) zero vision
    8) very weak leader
    9) disrespectful
    10) no idea about real issues for real people

  14. I wonder if the Liberals will now go mysteriously silent on Dastyari?

    Too bad for a them Fairfax is going to give it a kick along, they have a ‘scoop’ to pursue.

    After reading Hartcher’s column today, I am firmly in the view that Dastyari should stay. A par
    “But there wasn’t much magic, just naked greed, in the way Dastyari took Huang Xiangmo​’s money in return for preaching China’s righteousness in taking disputed territory from its neighbours. Australia’s policy was wrong, his own party’s policy was wrong, and Beijing was right, according to Dastyari.”

    Fairfax won’t drop this but unless there are additional meaningful revelations he should stay proudly where he is as an elected ALP member of the senate.

  15. Lizzie
    Makes me wonder what the Lib caucus meetings are like. Do all the MPs believe his bullshit? Do any dare question his lordship?
    Yes I think they do believe their policies:
    Unions have too much influence.
    Tax cuts are always good.
    A poor decrepit Liberal government is better than the best ALP government.
    Social security recipients are always bludgers.

  16. > “Au contraire – I am hopeful Saturday doesn’t cement the Beijing Obeid labor corruption axis.”

    Turnbull didn’t seem very concerned about the “Beijing Obeid labor corruption axis” when he sounded out Keneally for ambassadorship to the Vatican.

    theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/turnbull-sounded-out-keneally-for-vatican-ambassador-post/news-story/80df0775df88521a9d5109a5bc00050e

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Mark Kenny thinks Turnbull’s OTT outbursts on Dastyari might be crazy-brave.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/coalition-risks-its-majority-in-rush-to-skewer-bill-shorten-over-sam-dastyari-20171211-h02dpi.html
    David Wroe says the screws are tightening on Dastyari.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/screws-tighten-on-sam-dastyari-as-labor-elders-weigh-in-20171211-h02ly9.html
    Turnbull turned his pent-up anger and resentment towards Shorten onto the easy target of Sam Dastyari and unleashed it with vehemence, writes Mungo MacCallum.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-turnbulls-pre-christmas-gift-of-sam-dastyari,11020
    Primrose Riordan says that the Coalition has mishandled a key part of the China influence debate. Google.
    /opinion/loose-lips-could-sink-liberals-bennelong-ship/news-story/602f912a098baba7c86130b7528ca155
    Peter Hartcher posits that in a perverse way, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has done Australia a favour
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/sam-dastyaris-shame-can-be-australias-gain-20171211-h02d4j.html
    James Massola tells us that Turnbull has for the first time suggested he is prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-opens-door-to-national-anticorruption-body-but-dismisses-icac-model-as-beset-by-hearsay-and-rumour-20171211-h02ivi.html
    Most Australians think we need an ICAC.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/most-australians-support-a-federal-anticorruption-commission-research-20171211-h02ger.html
    Katharine Murphy reviews Turnbull’s Q&A appearance. (I couldn’t go the distance as I found Turnbull to be arrogant, supercilious and condescending.)
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/11/malcolm-turnbull-denies-he-is-anti-china-in-combative-qa-appearance
    Laura Tingle wonders if Turnbull has been finally unshackled from 2015. Google.
    /news/politics/is-malcolm-turnbull-finally-unshackled-from-2015-20171211-h02m35
    Peter Hannam details how there are “significant risks” associated with the controversial emissions reduction Fund set up by Abbott and continued by Turnbull.
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/bastard-child-review-of-controversial-emissions-fund-finds-significant-risk-20171211-h02hbw.html
    Here we go. Allegations of fraud totalling almost $450,000 at an organisation part-owned by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union have been referred to the police. The other part owner (not in the headline) is the Master Builders Association.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/unionowned-training-organisation-referred-to-police-over-alleged-450k-fraud-20171211-h02gve.html
    Turnbull has expressed regret for citing the loss of 30 consecutive political polls by Tony Abbott’s government on the day he took over as Prime Minister. Well he would now. Wouldn’t he?
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/i-do-regret-having-said-it-malcolm-turnbull-wishes-he-had-not-mentioned-newspoll-20171211-h02rgy.html
    Nick O’Malley goes to the streets of Bennelong as the campaigns hot up.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claims-of-chinese-influence-betrayal-and-racism-on-the-streets-of-bennelong-20171211-h02ni7.html
    Has the High Court saved us from the hideous bighead Jim Molan?
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/high-court-pauses-liberal-senate-replacement-20171211-h02jsj.html
    Anna Patty explains how hundreds of women have started work for the first time with the help of a jobs program designed to help them break the cycle of inter-generational unemployment.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/breaking-the-cycle-of-intergenerational-unemployment-20171211-p4yxlf.html
    The couple who planned to divorce if same-sex marriage passes back down on promise. Hardly surprising for pious hypocrites!
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/couple-who-planned-to-divorce-if-samesex-marriage-passes-back-down-on-promise-20171208-h01khq.html
    The operator of several large franchiser companies, RFG has received a “please explain ”from the ASX. Adele Ferguson continues her story.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/retail-food-groups-shares-plunge-to-fiveyear-low-20171211-h02l1c.html
    Business profits expectations for 2018 are the highest they’ve been since 2011, with companies set to boost employee numbers in the first quarter on the back of the positive outlook, according to illion’s latest Business Expectations Survey.
    https://thekouk.com/item/556-illion-business-forecasts-bumper-profits-in-2018.html
    The Coalition says it will consider economic cost-benefit analyses and public consultations as part of forced public service relocations to the regions.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/how-the-coalition-is-picking-forced-public-service-relocations-20171210-h0206x.html
    David Pegg says that large scale tax avoidance is possible because the way we tax multinationals is obsolete.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/tech-giants-taxes-apple-paradise-corporation-avoidance
    Tax avoidance is systemic and big business has the resources – and the globe – to play games with the ATO, writes John Passant.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/big-business-tax-avoiders-is-it-time-for-the-fiscal-guillotine,11018
    Peter FitzSimons calls for Gladys to make the stadium figures public.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/premier-berejiklian-please-make-public-your-stadium-figures-20171211-h02e84.html
    Sexual abuse survivors fear being ‘deserted’ after royal commission ends.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/11/sexual-abuse-survivors-fear-being-deserted-after-royal-commission-ends
    Jenna Price writes about politics, sexual harassment and why some women will never come forward.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/politics-sexual-harassment-and-why-some-women-will-never-come-forward-20171210-h02a8e.html
    Three women who accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment press Congress to investigate the allegations against him. Google.
    /news/world/donald-trumps-accusers-call-for-inquiry-into-alleged-sexual-misconduct/news-story/837a3ee2980ef5843929caeb80ceb581
    Paul Mason writes that the prospect of a Roy Moore victory should make your stomach churn with fear.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/the-prospect-of-a-roy-moore-victory-should-make-your-stomach-churn-with-fear
    While Trump ran as a populist, he has governed as a plutocrat, most recently by endorsing the discredited supply-side theory of taxation that most Republicans still cling to.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/11/trump-core-supporters-blue-collar-voters-plutocrats
    The SMH editorial says that the law must adapt to deal with sexual harassment claims
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/burke-case-shows-law-must-adapt-to-deal-with-sexual-harassment-claims-20171211-h02j8h.html
    Channel Nine’s refusal to pay a multimillion-dollar fee to have the final bid in cricket’s TV rights war means the way we consume cricket could change forever.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/cricket/2017/12/11/channel-nine-cricket-coverage/

    Cartoon Corner.

    Cathy Wilcox with a spot of spying.

    John Shakespeare thinks all of Turnbull’s Christmases have come at once.

    Look at this cartoon from David Pope and be frightened!
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0
    According to Mark David Turnbull’s on fire.

    Three from Matt Golding.


    And on plastic bags being made from prawn shells.
    Mark Knight on Trump’s move to Jerusalem.

    Look in the background for this David Rowe contribution.’

  18. Possum Comitatus‏ @Pollytics

    For the umpteenth time – politics in Australia isn’t broken, it’s arguably never been of more concern to more people since WW2, with more clarity about what they want. It is half the people in (P)olitics that are broken. Mostly deliberately so

  19. Greensborough Growler @ #21 Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 – 7:23 am

    What we learnt ( had re-inforced?) about Turnbull after last night’s Q & A.

    #Qanda what I’ve learned about PM:
    1) no empathy
    2) can’t relate to ordinary people
    3) zero accountability
    4) arrogant
    5) rude and dismissive
    6) passive aggressive
    7) zero vision
    8) very weak leader
    9) disrespectful
    10) no idea about real issues for real people

    Yep I think me and SWMBO came to the same conclusion beofre switching him off in disgust 3/4 through.

  20. And what was the disappearance of on-screen comments for a sizable period on Q&A about.Were the comments just way too funny to screen,or NBN type technical issue?

  21. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂
    I had an interesting thought. I wonder if Labor are using the new and cost-effective technique pioneered by the Trump campaign, and Russia, in 2016 of micro-targeting sub-demographics of the Bennelong electorate via ad placement on their facebook pages?

    For example, the local Netball network fb page? etc etc

    Although KK has probably got 100% of their votes already. 🙂

  22. “I don’t believe our parliament should have any chambers other than the two that it does – the House and the Senate – and they are open to all Australians,” the prime minister said.

    “If you set up a chamber, an assembly, and put it in the constitution and you say that it is there to advise the parliament on legislation, then inevitably every piece of legislation will have to go through it,” he said.

    And I believe the HC will so rule. 😆

  23. I believe Doyley reminded us of this yesterday

    Rowan
    @FightingTories
    ·
    7h
    The current case of Gillespie’s tenant is a licenced post office (LPO), which is effectively a franchise.
    But the wording of section 44(5) of the constitution could still catch the Assistant Minister:

    High Court asked to consider yet another MP eligibility case
    abc.net.au

  24. As I mentioned previously, whilst there are some legitimate concerns with the likes of Dastyari and influence etc. he is hardly the only one. He has already been demoted. Parliament has risen until next year and it is the Xmas season. Why are the fibs focussing so hard on him now and why should they expect that he will be forced to leave the senate at this time of year anyway.
    Answer does seem to indeed be the Bennelong by election. Although, has this Dastyari bashing actually been counterproductive after all?

  25. Sam telling Tanya not chat with the Chinese activist because it could upset one of our major trading partners, sounds like common sense to me.
    Strange how some get carried away with this Sam bullshit!.

  26. Admittedly a ‘feel pinion’, but based on years of talking to voters as they enter booths, but I would think that donkey voting happens when people don’t know who any of the candidates are.

    In this case, both of the majors are running candidates with established public profiles (although I think KK would be more recognisable to most people than JA) so I wouldn’t think it’d be as much of a factor.

    Any research done on this, that anyone is aware of?

  27. GG

    Sometime ago, it was reported that Abbott was liked on a personal level by all that encountered him, but Turnbull was the complete Opposite. When people met him, they took a dislike to him.

  28. 1934pc

    Me thinks that this was reported to show that Dastyari is inclined to support the suppression of human rights to curry favour with the Chinese Communist party. Something that the local Chinese community in Bennelong will not take kindly to.
    I can think of no other reason.
    Question is how did the media get this info?

  29. It surprises me that William puts so much store in Liberal internal polling for Bennelong – surely not flogging the same dead horse as the Guardian and Fairfax.
    At least Murdoch gets the message:
    “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull criticised for being condescending on Q&A
    MALCOLM Turnbull’s appearance on Q&A has backfired badly, with the PM accused of bullying and patronising the audience.”

  30. Steve777 says:
    Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 6:19 am
    Here is the Bennelong ballot paper:

    http://www.aec.gov.au/bennelong

    Alexander gets the donkey vote.

    He is number four, ahead of KK at number 5. The first three are not serious players, and will likely be eliminated early, so it depends then on the allocation of their preferences, surely?

  31. The ABC coverage is bizarre regarding Huang donations to Labor and Liberal.

    One article lists donations made;

    $210,000 from 11 donations to the Liberals;
    and
    $85,000 from 2 donations to Labor.

    However they don’t actually state these total figures in the article and it’s a general tarred with same brush theme.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/huang-xiangmos-development-linked-to-greater-sydney-commission/9247860

    From this they get their lead story which focuses on one donation $55,000 to Labor, Boardroom lunch with Hon. Bill Shorten, ALP National.

    There is no detail of the lunch, how many or who else was there, it seems to have been picked up purely because of the date and you would easily come away with the impression that it was a one on one.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/chinese-billionaire-paid-$55,000-for-lunch-with-shorten/9248342

  32. phoenixRed

    Are they?
    I haven’t listened to any talkback radio including ABC774, all year.
    So I haven’t got a clue as to how they have been travelling.
    Of course I don’t need to listen to 3aw to know that they are always giving team Labor a hard time!

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