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. And away she goes. (They are planning to roll it out to 3 years tertiary). Let’s Jacinda gets some more progressive stuff like this going in the very near future. Give local Labor a chance to see rolling back the edges of “neoliberalism” does not produce a visit from the four horses of the Apocalypse.

    The great tax debate is set to ramp up on Thursday with the introduction of a bill repealing National’s tax cuts to help fund policies such as Labour’s free year of tertiary education or training

  2. What have you people been doing that you are so worried?

    An eminently sensible idea, obviously security of the system and access protocols need to be very strong, but apart from that what’s the issue? 🙂

  3. zoomster @ #1245 Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 7:47 pm

    Or is it that we just trust the experts when they’re saying what we want them to say, and dismiss them when they don’t?

    It is not the experts I mistrust. It is the government, who have demonstrated complete incompetence with all similar security and privacy issues. I personally do not believe this system could be made foolproof enough to justify the invasion of privacy it represents.

    If you have no health issues you would rather the world did not know about then you probably don’t see why those who do might object … but of course then you also probably don’t need it.

  4. Update on the eHealth Records if not already posted:

    The Conversation published a story earlier today that was incorrect.

    The story, titled “We have less than three months to opt out before the My Health Record system has our details, and no-one told us”, asserted that a three-month period to opt out of being registered for a My Health Record had already begun.

    This is incorrect. According to the Australian Digital Health Agency, which is responsible for the My Health Record, the date the period begins has not yet been set.

    In a statement to The Conversation, the Agency said:

    The opt out period will be set by a Notifiable Instrument which is anticipated to be around mid-2018 […] The Agency will implement a comprehensive communications strategy to advise Australians that a record will be created for them in 2018, unless they tell us they don’t want one.

    We are committed to providing accurate and reliable information. Where errors do occur, it’s our policy to correct them promptly and be transparent about what happened.

    We apologise for this mistake and greatly appreciate the Australian Digital Health Agency bringing the error to our attention.

    The Conversation

  5. P1

    As I said, I’m not talking about the security issues – and neither are a few of the posters here who are objecting to the idea. They’re saying it is of no benefit at all, security issues aside.

  6. Fulvio

    I thought it was funny. was about to post the same line but saw you had beaten me to it.

    I have regular colonoscopies because of family history (hope that will be on my e-record) and it is kinda funny at the time. And the guy I go to is the nicest man, one of the best at the bedside I have ever encountered. I can’t help thinking it is a strange business to be in.

    But I guess not so for those who get a bad result.

  7. Mr Newbie @ #1235 Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 7:34 pm


    But the last three times I was at first amused and then on mature reflection gratified, as to how many times they asked me my full name and birth date, and asked me what procedure I thought I was in for. There were no leading questions, it was totally on the up-and-up.

    Precisely. Despite claims to the contrary, centralised digital medical records are not going to save time, and certainly are not going to make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

    Just not true.
    They certainly have that potential and if you are in a public hospital in Australia, anything that was done to you in any other public hospital will be known so they will have access to your full medical history and not just part of it. That can matter.

    This may also prompt some cleaning up of data as the current paper system leaves a lot to be desired.

  8. Greensborough Growler

    “Big story breaking is that CBA have admitted to Money Laundering offences.”
    Also just in ,speculators have greeted the news with a rush on “Wet Lettuce” futures.

  9. If I go in for a colonoscopy, and the surgeon thinks I am there to have my left lung and right leg removed, it could ruin my whole day.

    That’s why the questions about who you are and why you are there are so important, and why they were instituted in the first place.

    The wrong medical procedure being undertaken is no laughing matter. It has happened before, with tragic consequences.

  10. zoomster @ #1261 Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 8:02 pm


    As I said, I’m not talking about the security issues – and neither are a few of the posters here who are objecting to the idea. They’re saying it is of no benefit at all, security issues aside.

    This system is of no benefit unless it explicitly bypasses your right to determine who you wish to access your medical records, and when.

    This is not being done for your benefit, or even the benefit of your doctor – it is being done for the benefit of governments, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

    On top of all that, there is the security issue, and it is quite likley that this system – like all similar government systems – will be rife with instances of hacking, unauthorized access, outsourcing of data to commercial entities, and illegal sales of data on the dark web.

    And on top of that there is the issue of the perfectly legal (but utterly immoral) cross-referencing of this data with other government-held data.

    I will be opting out. I am pleased that we seem to have a bit more time to figure out how to do so.

  11. P1

    The EU seems to have managed the E Health thing. I am sure we can if we bring in the right laws and explicityly like the EU have fines big enough to enfore appropriate bodies to comply.

  12. bemused

    Well sunshine I explicitly said this in regard to how Apple convinced their customers to trust them on privacy.

    I was pointing out what this government is doing wrong and what I think Labor will do first. Just like Apple has done.

  13. rossmcg @ #1262 Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 8:05 pm


    I thought it was funny. was about to post the same line but saw you had beaten me to it.

    I have regular colonoscopies because of family history (hope that will be on my e-record) and it is kinda funny at the time. And the guy I go to is the nicest man, one of the best at the bedside I have ever encountered. I can’t help thinking it is a strange business to be in.

    But I guess not so for those who get a bad result.

    I have had 3 now and a couple of polyps removed. So I am down for another in 2 years.

    A fabulous team of people at the place I go with most of a variety of Asian backgrounds, but all good Aussies and a competent and friendly team.

    The procedure itself doesn’t bother me in the least. Day 2 of the preparation on the other hand is something I would prefer not to go through. 😮

  14. Fantastic result in Alabama! Moore is refusing to concede, but at least his party isn’t going to back his calls for a recount.

    After the race was called by the Associated Press, Moore declined to concede defeat, saying he believed that the margin of victory could narrow enough to trigger an automatic recount. “Realize that when the vote is this close that it’s not over,” he said. “We also know that God is always in control.”

    The Alabama Republican Party said it would not support Moore’s push for a recount.

  15. Being a rash sort of person, I decided to look at Turnbull’s crooked website.

    However searching on Google and Yahoo will only provide a link to the genuine website (

    Has anyone looked at the Liberals’ sleazy website?

  16. With regard to data:

    Centrelink has repeatedly had the wrong information on our financial situation, despite our religiously sending in the right data in a timely fashion.

    Every time I ring up to tell them what I have earned or what is in our bank accounts (there is no use trying to use the electronic version which they tout, it is useless) the person on the other end of the phone finds more mistakes and omissions in the records. These are mistakes by the data entry people in centrelink, not us.

    But the mistakes never get to the top of the ‘to do’ file. It has to be ‘assigned’ for someone to look at and take action, but that never happens.

    I can’t help but feel that online medical data might be in the same parlous state.

  17. Amazingly women voted for Moore! Are they crazy after what he was accused of?

    In Alabama, Moore held a small edge among white women with college degrees and a roughly 25-point lead among white men with college degrees. Moore led by almost 50 points among white women without degrees and by 60 points among white men without college degrees.

    And Jones won 96% of the black vote.

    Fully 96 percent of African Americans supported Jones, similar to President Obama’s 95 percent support among this group in 2012. But Jones fared much better than Obama among white voters, garnering 30 percent of their votes, twice the 15 percent who voted for Obama. Jones made particularly large gains among white women and those with college degrees.

  18. rossmcg @ #1288 Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 – 8:30 pm


    I have been having them for over a decade. My man has changed his prep. Much less nasty stuff to drink. Same result though.

    Yeah, Chinda was mentioning that so I raised it with the specialist and he didn’t think there was much difference in the degree of nastiness.
    It is not the drinking of all that stuff that bothers me, it is the ‘ring of fire’ one experiences and the general feeling of weakness.

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