Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Essential Research closes its account for the year by recording a slight improvement in the Coalition’s position, and a generally more positive outlook than in recent years.

The final Essential Research result for 2017 (actually released yesterday, but who’s keeping score at this time of year) has the Coalition gaining a point on two-party preferred for the second week in a row, reducing the Labor lead to 53-47. They’re also up two on the primary vote to 37%, with Labor steady on 38%, the Greens down one to 9% and One Nation steady on 7%.

Essential closes the year with a particularly interesting series of supplementary findings, one of which is that only 29% approve of tax cuts to medium and large businesses, with 54% opposed. On political donations, overwhelming support is recorded for immediate disclosure of donations (84% versus 6%) and politicians’ meetings with companies donors and unions (82% versus 5%), very strong support for a ban on foreign donations (67% to 16%), capping donations at $5000 (59% to 20%) and banning donations from companies and unions (58% to 22%), but opposition to banning donations altogether and replacing them with public funding (30% to 50%).

Another series of generalised questions on how things have been going over the past year suggest Australians are feeling a good deal more positive than they have at any time since this annual series began in 2013. In particular, there are greatly improved perceptions on the state of the economy; neutral but improved ones on respondents’ personal financial situations; greatly improved, but still somewhat negative ones on how “the average Australian” has fared; and a view on “Australian politics in general” that remains highly negative, but is still greatly improved. Included for the first time is a question on “the planet”, with 20% consider to have had a good year versus 42% for bad.

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.

2,526 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

  1. The desal plant is a rort wasting public water utility money for shareholders of the companies involved and is bad for the environment.

  2. Taylormade:-
    Yes …… some spivs are more equal than others…..
    Your point is ……… Uni Super is not a properly paid up member of spivs incorporated
    Or you dont like the plant being built? What?

  3. Tom the first and best @ #2507 Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 – 12:10 am

    Water restrictions, water recycling, increased efficiency, etc.

    Melbourne has had very severe water restrictions in the past and less stringent more recently.
    Water recycling is a proposal that the public were not ready to go with.
    Increased efficiency? Closely related to water restrictions but care to explain how?
    I think you live in the Greens fairyland.

  4. Newspoll quarterlies are out in case anyone missed them, I haven’t scrolled back through comments.

    “The Coalition has suffered a two-point fall in its two-party-preferred vote in the five mainland state capital cities since September to trail Labor 55-45”
    Which doesn’t seem to match state breakdowns,
    “On a two-party-preferred basis, Labor leads 55-45 in Queensland, 54-46 in NSW and Victoria and 53-47 in both South Australia and Western Australia. This represents a 4 per cent swing nationally to Labor, which, if ­repeated at the next election, could result in the loss of between 20 and 30 seats for the Liberal and Nationals parties”

  5. Remember the water restrictions in Queensland? Now water rates shoot through the roof…

    From 2007 to 2013 had restricted water usage, now their is voluntary water restrictions again in 2017!

  6. Perth draws about 50% of its water from 2 desal plants that are solar and wind powered. The only alternative source would be already-over-exploited aquifers. We should be building more desal in Perth and conserving ground water for use in agriculture and horticulture, both of which are essential for our food supply.

  7. Compulsory super turned everybody into shareholders, with one eye on the stock market.Any government in power during a market dive is now pretty much toast, indeed the Rudd bubble burst pretty soon after the market crashed so governments are now slaves to the markets.

    Labor introduced this as a trade off for cuts in real wages back in the eighties with a view to using compulsory savings to reduce dependence on the aged pension It was a huge welfare reform. based on the neoliberal concept of self reliance with some paternalism chucked in via the compulsion.

    It is not employer funded, just like health insurance in the States super is indirectly coming out of your wages, if it didn’t exist wages would be higher.To an employer its just part of the wages bill.Neither the state nor the employer is contributing to your retirement savings, only you are doing that.

    I am not sure Labor grasped the long term consequences of what they were doing ie turning everybody into part owners of public companies via confiscating part of there wages and giving it to third parties to play the financial markets with. , Thanks to Labor were all ruthless capitalists now.

  8. Think of it like this, if any government were elected proposing a genuinely social democratic manifesto. like say the Atlee government in 1945 rather than the gentrified twaddle the Shorten and co crap on about what would happen?

    The markets would get really nervous the stock market would lose a lot of value and people would look at their super falling and say fuck this. for a joke.

    The new government crashing in the polling sacks the PM, puts a new leader in who backs off Thanks to Hawke and Keating we are on the neoliberal train now indeed it will just keep going faster until it crashes at high speed probably in about twenty years time

  9. Water conservation, contol, supply, distribution, planning and ownership is perhaps Australia’s greatest challenge.
    At the moment all aspects of water are haphazard and vulnerable at many levels.
    Have a read of the Murray Darling River system debacle in the Eastern States and in South Australia. We have created a mess of water shortage, corruption and environmental catastrophe.
    Western Australia, particularly the south and south east of the state have had to deal with water supply problems since the WA colony began.
    Northern Australia both east and west have their own water supply problems and are at the mercy of the monsoon.
    These water problems are widespread and vary from place to place because of population pressure, storage, and climate.
    Australia generally has an unreliable distribution of rain, political problems as a result of the states and ever increasing demand for ths various uses of water.
    As a nation we have to be careful on many levels.
    The Ord River Scheme has had its problems. The Snowy River Scheme a multitude of problems seeming becoming more complex daily. The Murray Darling devastation. Wivenhoe Dam near Brisbane. The Great Artesian Basin. Many aspects to water across this continent.
    What to do to secure water! Many have a need for water and a multitude of solutions abound.
    Water is Australia’s greatest challenge.

  10. Charles kind of politics. says:
    Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 2:07 am

    The SGC system is intended to operate as a universal retirement income insurance scheme. In principal, this is similar to the way Medicare operates as a universal health insurance scheme. Because of the very long time frames involved, the premiums collected by the Super Scheme are held externally to consolidated revenue and belong to the contributor rather than the State, unlike contributions raised for medical insurance, but they are still applied to a socially-mandated purpose – retirement income.

    The system is designed so that a part of the recurrent income available from present production will be reserved for future use, such that working people may have financial security and independence as they age.

    The criticisms made above of universal, employment-related Super are just utterly effin! idiotic. If you doubt this, just ask a person who has no Super balance whether they would rather have one or would be content to subsist on a State pension. The G position here overlaps with that of the LNP – with the view that the State should have no role in social insurance at all. This is totally retrograde, reactionary rubbish.

  11. Qld did a fantastic job in reducing water consumption during the millenium drought and it changed consumption long term. Sure it might be drifting back up, but water restrictions and conservation worked wonders. it was a tremendous example of how community education combined with government carrot and sticks was really effective.

    it still did not avoid the need for dams, water connectivity and desal plants.

  12. @DTR

    Completely rubbish, it was not a long term solution and it helped to put water rates up.

    And the problem returned, as a QLDer I reject your assessment.

  13. Re the Jobs guarantee/USB and indeed Keynsian arguments there should be no need to argue about them a they could all work together in complete harmony as part of a comprehensive package.

    Here is my still being developed comprehensive package:
    1. Yes there should be a basic UBI, set somewhere at newstart levels but combined with a much more progressive tax system such that those earning more than 10 times the median wage would essentially get no more than 5c in the dollar of any such UBI. This progressive tax rate would be set to achieve revenue/cost neutrality in providing the UBI

    2. Every employee of Australian citizens or Permanent resident would be entitled to a wage subsidy of roughly 25% of the Newstart allowance for every employee paid full time (or pro-rata). This would stop (or slow down) the off shoring of jobs wherever wages was the dominant factor. Very, very severe penalties would apply for anyone rorting the system, including repayment of wages, a fine of triple the amount underpaid or stolen AND mandatory jail time for EVERY director unless they could demonstrate efforts to prevent the rort – eg by board resolution or whistle blowing. It is probable that the extra tax revenue from on-shore jobs would comfortably pay for this expense. (a $50,000 pa job will generate almost $10,000 in tax revenue, way more than 25% of Newstart.

    3. There should be a sensible Infrastructure program which would be set at standard levels but designed to immediately ramp up the moment unemployment reaches high levels or where there are negative economic indicators. So in addition to the usual programs funded from government coffers there would be already identified major infrastructure projects on the back burner but essentially shovel ready and start up funding would be ready to go in true Keynesian fashion.

    4. There should be a comprehensive Job Guarantee program targeting in particular the more marginalised sector of the community – those for whom finding jobs in the mainstream economy is difficult. A job should be found for every person who wants one (perhaps following three of six months of unemployment). Ideally these jobs would be ones which are labor intensive but which do not impede on works normally carried out in the private sector. Examples of the types of jobs include:

    a. weed clearing and tree planting (yes this is a tried and true idea), (target group the young fit possibly low skilled workers)

    b. Domestic services for the aged or disabled that are NOT currently provided by the private sector or which are beyond the financial reach of most. Ironing and laundry services are some such along with home maintenance and just general emotional and support eg shopping trips or companionship. Target groups the older unemployed, women returning to the workforce, single mothers

    c. Administrative assistance in government offices and NFP. There is always lots of this to do. Target groups – older workers, recently retrenched white collar workers, young people with high school or University qualifications not yet employed.

    d. Sheltered or special workplaces – target groups those with disabilities. There should be places not just for the physically or intellectually disables such as currently exist, but places set up which would cater for those with mental illness that do not fit easily with routines. Attendance could be more sporadic and work on an accumulated hours system. Those with severe depression for example would not lose their job because of a two week bout of depression but may be expected to catch up at some time. Obviously the type of work would need to be flexible but crafts of different kinds could well be handled in this way.

    e. Arts support programs for musicians, artists actors and writers that could tour regions or schools or aged care facilities. When the economy is booming they may all find jobs in theatres or galleries but in economic downturn lets make them useful in the regions.

    f. I am sure there are plenty of other work types that could be identified – urban beautification programs, road maintenance, social supports etc

    In other words you have a UBI that ensures everyone can eat and have shelter even those too lazy or emotionally damaged to want to work, a keynsian infrastructure program that ramps up on an as needs basis that picks up all those with skills to ensure the economy keeps ticking over, a job promotion program in the private sector AND a jobs guarantee to ensure jobs are available for those who have difficulty finding a place in the modern economy.

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