Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

No sign of seasonal goodwill extending to our political leaders, both of whom score declining approval ratings in the first federal poll for the year.

The New Year poll drought has been brought to an end by Essential Research, which will henceforth be conducting fortnightly polls, dispensing with its long establishing practice of polling weekly and publishing two-week rolling averages. As related by The Guardian, the poll has Labor’s lead unchanged on the final poll last year at 53-47 – as usual, primary votes will have to wait for the publication of the full report later today. Both leaders’ personal ratings have weakened: Malcolm Turnbull is down three on approval to 38% and up one on disapproval to 45%, Bill Shorten is down four on approval to 32% and up four disapproval to 49%, and Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is out from 42-28 to 42-25.

Other findings: 53% support a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, with 38% opposed; 44% support and 29% oppose “Australia becoming a republic with an Australian head of state”, which is all but identical to when the same question was asked a year ago (44% and 30%); and society is widely seen as going to pot, with crime perceived as on the rise across all categories, regardless of what the official statistics might say.

UPDATE: The primary votes are Coalition 37% (steady), Labor 38% (steady), Greens 9% (steady), One Nation 6% (down one). Full report here.

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.

3,426 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. SK:

    The mid terms are going to be interesting for Republicans. No doubt Trump is a huge motivating force to vote Democrat which leaves sitting Republicans in a quandry as to whether they let him campaign with him, tell him to naff off, or handball him to Republicans not up for re-election or in safe seats.

  2. davidwh
    — Simon but then they wouldn’t be Righties —
    They would be lefty righties?

    And here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

  3. and all of Mount Warning

    I love Mt Warning.

    Such a beautiful spot, and the day I climbed it with friends 20 years ago, clear as day (rare I’m told by locals) and you could see forever.

  4. ‘fess
    if republicans get a sniff the investigation will blow up in Trumps face before the midterms then they will start jumping off the Trump train like lemmings off a cliff.

  5. Simon Katich @ #3047 Monday, January 22nd, 2018 – 8:06 pm

    if republicans get a sniff the investigation will blow up in Trumps face before the midterms then they will start jumping off the Trump train like lemmings off a cliff.

    I was reading a polling report the other day. Apparently there are a number of ‘never ever Trump’ voters who are now Trumpers and on the bandwagon. I’m guessing things aren’t as cut and dried as we might like to think when it comes to Trump’s support.

  6. Trump’s and the GOP’s America:

    Lukasz Niec was 5 years old when his parents brought him and his sister to the United States from Poland. With two suitcases in tow, his parents — both doctors — left behind a country on the verge of social turmoil. It was 1979, about two years before the country’s authoritarian communist government declared martial law.

    Niec received a temporary green card and, in 1989, became a lawful permanent resident. He grew up in Michigan, went to medical school, became a doctor, and raised a daughter and stepdaughter.

    Niec, now 43, never fathomed that his legal status in the United States would become an issue. With a renewed green card, and nearly 40 years in the country, his Polish nationality was an afterthought for Niec, his sister told The Washington Post. He doesn’t even speak Polish.

    But on Tuesday morning, immigration authorities arrested Niec at his home, just after he had sent his 12-year-old stepdaughter off to school. Niec, a physician specializing in internal medicine at Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo, Mich., has been detained in a county jail ever since, awaiting a bond hearing and possible deportation.

  7. poroti

    no – you seem a bit over cynical re day – on contrary i think most people take it more seriously than easter.

    this is the tragedy of our nation – we seek identity, would go much further with reconciliation, would tolerate further constitutional change, and would accept and soon love a new flag but no-one has shown or been able to show the way forward through leadership (Keating could never produce consensus on any other than his first name)

  8. ‘fess
    I love it too. I have climbed it countless times – several for sunrise. Special place.

    But I reckon I love The Pinnacle more. Partly because the view includes Mount Warning and partly because Border Ranges and Lamington NPs are really wild jungles to try to traipse through.

    But my favourite is still Kanangra and Thurat Walls

  9. And these kinds of reports were always going to happen, which makes the Republican hold out on bipartisan support for DACA just crazy, esp to the point it has led to a govt shutdown. WTF were they thinking?

    Washington Post
    5 hrs ·
    He was brought to the U.S. at age 2 and eventually became a priest. But with the future of DACA up in the air, he now faces the possibility of being deported.

  10. SK:

    From Mt Warning we went onto Lamington NP and I loved that as well, even thought it was junglely and filled with creepy crawly critters just waiting to strike or latch onto you!

  11. Confessions

    As a kid growing up in WA in the 60s Australia Day was just a public holiday and it didn’t mean much because we were on holidays anyway.

    We were often at Rottnest for the last week or so before school went back and it was notable for the extra people who came across on boats and there was usually a band, yes a band, at the pub.

    I am not sure exactly when the big Swan River fireworks became a thing in Perth. I remember taking my No.1 son for a look in the early 80s and we saw them when we were in Adelaide on a stinking hot January 26 in 1985.

    My parents had come across on the bus (my mother wouldn’t fly) and my dad said it was 46 in Port Augusta when the bus stopped for a break and he ducked across the road for a beer.

    As I am sure you are aware the Perth Skyshow came to represent just about everything that can be bad about Australians. Drunkenness, violence, general hooliganism and trashing of the foreshore was regarded as OK.

    I was always surprised that it was never banned. I am sure if the police had their way it would have been, though behaviour seems to have improved in recent years.

  12. Confessions says:
    Monday, January 22, 2018 at 9:42 pm
    Rowe brilliant as always, and so much to see. The barnacles, the tax cuts still valiantly hanging in there. Turnbull still keeping his head above water. Just. Abbott faux lord and master of all he surveys (ie not much).

    Thanks for sharing mari! And I hope you’ve been well.

    Pleasure. Yes happy to be home after a week in Sydney,ate too much going to try and lose the 2 kilos i put fingers crossed

  13. Rossmcg:

    I don’t remember when the rah rah element attached itself to Aus Day, but it’s getting progressively worse over time in the big cities.

    We have family friendly events and activities associated with Aus Day here. Much more reserved and without the bogan element.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Peter Martin reports that a sugar hit from the Trump administration’s US tax cuts is expected to propel world economic growth to 3.9 per cent in 2018, the best result in eight years.
    Australia is set to reach its Renewable Energy Target earlier than predicted due to record levels of renewables investment last year, says the Clean Energy Regulator. However, concerns have been raised for continued growth in the sector after 2020. South Australia is leading the states in developing world-leading renewable energy projects.
    A builder in Victoria is offering free Tesla batteries and solar panels to new homes. Could be the start of a new competitive trend?
    Frydenberg kicks sand in idiot Craig Kelly’s face over electric vehicles.
    Want to throw up? The read this effort from Tom Switzer!
    Jenna Price makes a case for retaining 26 January for Australia Day but changing what we celebrate and recognise.
    Adam Gartrell outlines the humanitarian emergencies the world ignored in 2017.
    ALP president Mark Butler has lashed out at the “backroom buffoonery” of the party’s factional warlords, accusing them of blocking internal reforms and leaving Labor’s members with fewer rights than in any comparable movement in the world.
    A peak American business group has complained Australia’s new “foreign influence” laws will deprive its members of freedom of speech, while universities warn US Defence funding will be put at risk. The Law Council of Australia said the proposed law would have a “chilling” effect on legitimate public debate.
    The SMH editorial says that a government shutdown should be regarded as a shameful failure of executive and parliamentary leadership. Yet in the US it has become a tactic.
    Greg Jericho sees some good economic signs and says that it gives Turnbull a chance of retaining power.
    How parents can do more to stop cyber bullying.
    The mother of a young man who tragically died writes that until mental health and substance misuse is seen as a combined medical issue by professionals and the community, until our health system’s failures are addressed and recovery support increased, nothing will change.
    The Australian bangs the drum again as Simon Benson writes that NZ’s offer to resettle 150 asylum-seekers is believed to have prompted an escalation in people-¬smuggling operations. Google.
    Natalie Reilly explains why Germaine Greer is out of touch and her motivation is obsolete.
    Frydenberg protests that the Turnbull Government is on track to achieve climate goals. Unfortunately, that’s not the same as cutting emissions.,11123
    Remember the Beaumont children case?
    Stephen Koukoulas says we should get ready for election economics.
    Melbourne’s St Kilda Road will be reduced to one lane in both directions between Kings Way/Toorak Road West and Dorcas Street for up to four years. Ouch!
    Bob Katter has questioned why two Queensland councils are paying $34m to build an airport to service a massive Adani coalmine, saying there is an “unpleasant odour” to the deal.
    The inflamed debate over the so-called African youth gang crisis was, in part, based on a dodgy statistic from a Coalition-led committee. Well fancy that!
    Why foreign investors are the only sure winners from Morrison’s tax cuts.
    The National Audit Office has dropped a load on the AEC.
    Pope Francis has apologised for insisting that victims of paedophile priests show “proof” to be believed. He said he realised it was a “slap in the face” to victims. But he doubled down on his defence of a Chilean bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country’s most notorious paedophile priest. He repeated that anyone who makes such accusations without providing evidence is guilty of slander. He keeps digging!
    The listed property company run by high profile real estate agent John McGrath faces scrutiny from the Australian Securities Exchange after a board and management exodus and shock earnings downgrade led to a share price plunge.
    Tess Lawrence has managed to get a copy of Donald Trump’s cognitive exam questions. Take the Trump test!,11126
    Michael West’s website begins an examination of the statins war between drug companies.
    Nine things we should know about a potential Australian republic.
    Clive Palmer held two meetings with himself in November to approve more than $170m in questionable payments. Google.
    Has Nick Kyrgios finally grown up?

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe gives Trump a rest and comes up with this cracker!

    Andrew Dyson with Turnbull’s contemplation of corporate tax cuts.

    Cathy Wilcox with a truth bomb.

    Paul Zanetti celebrates Trump’s fort year in the White House.

    Three from Matt Golding.

    And a couple from Sean Leahy.

    Glen Le Lievre gives us “The Planet of the Republicans”.

    Alan Moir and the first boat people.

    A beauty from Jon Kudelka on great moments in Australian history.

  15. Trump staffers are fed up with John Kelly’s nagging — and are now calling him ‘The Church Lady’: report

    White House chief of staff John Kelly has been credited with bringing a certain level of discipline to an otherwise chaotic West Wing — but apparently some members of the administration are growing tired of his style.

    Trump has reportedly been very unhappy with Kelly after the retired general called some of the president’s past immigration positions “uninformed” during a Fox News interview.

  16. MORE : on John Kelly

    Ivanka reportedly takes charge in firing Chief of Staff John Kelly after Trump calls him ‘nut job’

    John Kelly’s time as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff may be coming to an end.

    “The more Kelly plays up that he’s being the adult in the room—that it’s basically combat duty and he’s serving the country—that kind of thing drives Trump nuts,” one Republican close to the White House explained.

    Trump recently suggested to a friend that Kelly had overstayed his welcome.

    “I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things,” Trump reportedly said.

  17. Boerwar @ #3152 Monday, January 22nd, 2018 – 10:12 am

    It has to be done but I can’t quite see how.
    I suppose it is a rate of change thing but I cannot envisage a timely exclusion of fossil inputs from getting food to the world’s tummies any time soon without massive global disruption to all agriculture and substantial starvation. There are some extremely inflexible thresholds in there. As more and more people live in urbs, more and more fuel is required simply to distribute the food.
    Part of the nexus is that when food commodities are plentiful food is cheap and the hungry eat.
    As soon as there is a shortage food commodities zoom in price and the hungry go hungry.
    Even now there are an estimated 500 million people who go to bed hungry at least some of the time.

    I know I’m very late to this discussion. I’m going to jump in because this has become one of my bugbears.

    There is absolutely no shortage of food in the world. We have a food distribution problem, not a food production problem. My in-laws are farmers and on average, they throw out 30% of their crop for cosmetic reasons each season (too big/small, cosmetic skin blemishes), which is the industry norm for their crop. There are other farmers where the industry norm is to dispose of 50% of their crop for cosmetic reasons.

    I’ll say it again, there is no shortage of food in the world.

  18. Victoria says: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 10:21 am


    And Trump’s crimes were well known. So it does beg the question. How did he get to sit in the biggest chair in the land?


    Everyone even going back to Michael Moore – right up to Michael Wolff – maintain that Trump never actually wanted to be President but wanted exposure for a new TV show – to wanting to be the most famous man in the world ….. but being the supreme con-artist that he has always been he managed to baffle enough people to vote for his brand of racist, white supremacy, promise them the world, politics……. and maybe throw in a foreign ‘intervention’ and a poor choice of Democrat candidate, he pulled it off …… but is said to hate what he inherited and having his private world of sloth and greed on the front page of US newspapers etc

    Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President

  19. ours remains a party that gives ordinary members fewer rights than any other Labor or social democratic party I can think of

    Mark Butler, federal Labor frontbencher and President of the ALP

    Imagine what Labor’s policies would be if it gave its members a meaningful, non-tokenistic, not easily overridden say in policy and pre-selections? I doubt that an ALP that empowered its members would be so timid and half-hearted about undoing disastrous policy decisions such as privatizing the VET sector, eroding public sector capacity through endless rounds of “efficiency dividends”, suppressing wage growth so that the wages share of national income keeps falling, under-funding education at all levels, creating an unemployment industry that disciplines and torments the unemployed instead of creating socially useful and interesting jobs for people to do.

    On more symbolic questions, such as the date that Australia’s national day should be held, I doubt that a member-driven ALP would be behaving as shamefully as it has this past week.

    The parliamentary ALP is woefully out of touch with ALP members. That is a feature, not a bug, of the party.

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