Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

After taking a step forward in ReachTEL, the government takes a step back in the year’s second Essential poll.

The second poll of the year from the now-fortnightly Essential Research series has Labor’s lead widening from 53-47 to 54-46 — the primary votes will be with us later today.

Among the poll’s other findings are that 73% believe the cost of living has increased over the past year, and 75% believe energy prices have done so. Fifty-one per cent believe the cost of living has increased more quickly than their income, 28% that it has stayed even, and only 14% that their income has increased more. Eighty-three per cent thought the government should do more to make health insurance affordable, and 60% believed health insurance wasn’t worth the premiums.

Thirty-two per cent of respondents thought the political and economic system needed to be fundamentally changed, 48% favoured refinement, and only 8% registered satisfaction with the status quo. Questions on which party was best to handle various issues evoked the usual responses, with the Liberals doing better on managing the economy and terrorism, and Labor doing better on climate change and industrial relations (and, less predictably, housing affordability).

The poll was conducted Thursday to Monday from a sample of 1028.

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.

2,702 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. C@t (from last thread),
    It is very tempting to think there is method to the madness, with each outrage quickly superceded by the next, giving little opportunity to pause for thought. But I still think he is just king of the idiots 🙂

  2. We mustn’t forget that Morrison was as brutish as Dutton in his attitude over AS and he was rewarded by being given Treasurer.

    [ Andrew Laird‏ @ReclaimAnglesea · 8m8 minutes ago

    Scott Morrison tried to delay asylum seekers’ permanent protection visas, documents reveal (The Federal Government’s public behaviour is bad enough, but when information comes out about what they plot behind the scenes it is sickening #auspol) … via @abcnews


  3. Speaking of idiots, how many Hockey’s and Morrison’s does it take to kill off the idea that the L-NP are good at economics?

    I think people confuse Big business perks with economics.

  4. Question

    No matter how often it is explained to me, I can’t understand why voters still trust the LNP with the economy. Possible reason? Coalition have had that theme front and centre for so many years, backed up by MSM.

  5. Questions on which party was best to handle various issues evoked the usual responses, with the Liberals doing better on managing the economy and terrorism, and Labor doing better on climate change and industrial relations (and, less predictably, housing affordability).“0

    This highlights the point Monbiot was making that it is the *narrative* that cuts through, not facts and figures. Again, the spivs convey the belief they are better economic managers by virtue of appearances and who they hob nob with, and bald face lying. Labor needs to work hard on this, driving the point that the economy is there to equalise individual opportunity and individual prosperity, to reduce inequality, not widen it.

    But, but but …”less predictably” …. Labor has achieved the prized goal of being better at housing affordability. That’s a story in and of itself.

  6. There was a really excellent comment on Trump by a bloke called Jordan Orlando on the blog Rectification of Names yesterday:
    Jordan Orlando • 16 hours ago
    This is very important. The “art” of the deal, according to Trump (and therefore The Art of the Deal as bowdlerized by Tony Schwartz) is about screwing someone — generally the person you’re negotiating with. That’s the whole point, in so many words: you win, they lose (and are therefore “losers,” which is the worst thing to be in the Trump cosmogony; vastly worse than being unintelligent or immoral or, apparently, utterly tasteless). (Josh Marshall has written about this.)

    So, already, it’s a model that doesn’t fit politics, which is about compromise and negotiation and both sides walking away happy; it’s an intrinsic mismatch. (Business ideas don’t carry over into politics in general, despite what Ross Perot and many others have claimed, but it’s not Donald Trump’s fault that people don’t understand this, although he adopted Perot-style rhetoric to get elected.)

    But with Trump it’s even worse because the assumption was always that his “artful” deals as President would mean that we, the Americans, win (and our enemies or competitors lose). It’s a dubious proposition already, as I’m saying, but fine. What nobody seemed to realize is that Trump doesn’t think this way — it’s not about us winning; it can’t be. It’s about Trump winning. He, personally, is the only entity in the game. (We’re just spectators, looking at photographs of him in his gaudy apartment with his gaudy wife.)

    So the actual Trumpian “deal” — the only one that really matters, and the one that fits his model of screwing everyone else over — is, of course, his election, where he beat Jeb and the “12 best candidates ever” and won the White House. He continues to crow over this victory; we’re invited to admire it, or, somehow, evince enjoyment or satisfaction out of it…but it’s about him winning. Now that he’s actually President, he’s confused that the game is still going on, past that magic point of his victory…so he’s looking (as Michael Wolff chronicled) for more “wins” for himself.

    We don’t have anything to do with it, and never did. Voting for him is like buying the book — a totally vicarious experience; another expression of his supreme narcissism.

    I recommend a visit to the thread.

  7. Urban Wronski‏

    Not every US company is using Trump’s tax cut for share buybacks. Tissue and nappy giant Kimberly-Clark is using the tax cut to fund redundancies for around 5,000 US workers, or 13% of its workforce.
    Tell the truth about US company tax cuts, Morrison, you repulsive, lying rodent.

  8. Maybe a disastrous Shorten Pmship will give us the majority for fundamental change? It can’t belong till we move to some form of proportional representation.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Here’s the rundown on what’s in the latest Essential poll.
    Michael Koziol on how two unlikely bed-mates are teaming up against the new donations legislation.
    With the help of the IMF Greg Jericho destroys Morrison’s “it’s the vibe” call for big corporate tax cuts.
    Cape Town is heading for an horrific situation where the city is about to run out of water.
    Purportedly leading the charge against increased taxpayer support for electric cars Craig Kelly says there is no looming backbench revolt, as other Liberals dismissed divisions over the issue as “nonsense”.
    Dan Andrews tells it as it is after the Victorian blackouts. Confirming Andrews’ position the Australian Energy Market Operator said there was more than enough capacity in the state’s energy grid on Sunday, with no lack of reserve, even though Victorians set a record for peak power demand.
    Stephen Leeder, an emeritus professor of public health and community medicine. Wonders how much our doctors are getting from Big Pharma.
    FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, criticised by Trump for alleged bias against him and favour for his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, has stepped down as the agency’s No. 2 official.
    Lenore Taylor introduces a series of article on the growing list of critical environmental challenges.
    Massive corporations who pay no tax can lock workers out to force lower wages. Workers face big fines if they fight back. Welcome to the fight of our time, writes ACTU president Ged Kearney.
    Where else are Huang’s tentacles?
    There’s some stark contrast between these innovation announcements.
    The SMH editorial says that Turnbull is playing with fire with the government’s arms manufacture and export announcement.
    Thanks to the Coalition’s policies and foreign trade agreements, Australia’s trade is failing while global trade is booming, writes Alan Austin.,11141
    According to The Spectator’s Katy Balls the Tories are ready to leap into the abyss to get rid of Theresa May.
    Anna Patty tells us that the failure of many Australian workers to get a real pay rise has been linked to a decline in industrial action, including strikes.
    Elizabeth Knight says that the choice of the insider to replace Narev is risky.
    Adele Ferguson says he’s carrying a bit of baggage.
    ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott says the bank’s initial submission to the royal commission underlines “significant failures over the last decade,” as the industry prepares for a wave of fierce scrutiny into misconduct. All four big banks have now made their submissions to the royal commission.
    Some are saying that our resurgent dollar will slip back to US$0.70.
    Tanya Plibersek gets stuck into our patchwork abortion laws and services.
    A pretty clear article on the role of sugar in the increase in Australia’s obesity rate.
    The weekend’s Invasion Day protests are symbolic of a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction with Australia’s unjust laws, says John Passant.,11146
    A nice contribution from Jenna Price in making a success of marriage.
    An anonymous article from a guy who helped make our roads safer as a human guinea pig on drugs.
    How virtual 3D modelling and simulation can help us create better cities.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and our arms super-salesmen/

    Cathy Wilcox and some double standards.

    And John Shakespeare gets into the act.

    David Pope joins the dots.

    Peter Broleman on SA’s heatwave.

    Zanetti follows Tomic into the jungle. (If you’re interested!)

    A couple from Matt Golding.

    Pat Clement has a Pig Iron Bob moment.

  10. ESJ. Mr. Shorten will use his negotiation skill and consensus politics to incrementally unwind the worst of neo-liberalism, and lead Australia to a new golden era.

  11. Question @ #1 Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 6:55 am

    C@t (from last thread),
    It is very tempting to think there is method to the madness, with each outrage quickly superceded by the next, giving little opportunity to pause for thought. But I still think he is just king of the idiots 🙂

    from last thread, in reply to Q:

    C@tmomma (Block)
    Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 5:58 am
    Comment #735
    Question @ #731 Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 5:38 am

    C@t, for a man-baby Trump has amazingly thick skin. I am almost envious, but I think it is borne by a complete lack of self-awareness.

    Q, I actually believe he is a genius, in the Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer mode. You know, a person capable of devising ways to knock off, metaphorically, person after person, that is between him and his goals, while at the same time giving the outward appearance of normalcy.

    I mean, I know he has a person who also does some of his Tweets, but the way he uses the medium himself, and he does a hell of a lot of the Tweeting himself, is masterful. You have to admit it, he gets just the right amount of mass hysteria-inducing persuasion of his base and psychological manipulation into every Tweet!

  12. BK
    Thank you. That link to the Capetown water situation is interesting. For political and ideological reasons the Right in Australia went apeshit over the construction of desalination plants, framing them as a unionist lefty genuflection to global warming alarmism.

  13. The Monthly, Feb 2018

    Being an Australian citizen today also means being a member of one of the most diverse multicultural societies in the world. Australia was officially “for the white man” until the late 1940s (at least), but its ethnic composition changed radically in the following years, at a rate at least twice that of similar shifts in countries such as Canada, Brazil and the US.

    As James Button points out in his essay, this massive and relatively peaceful transformation could only have occurred under “a vast, government-inspired effort, unlike any other in the world, [which] was undertaken to create harmony between old and new Australians”. How strange that sounds today, to read of a government openly welcoming migrants and making every effort to create harmony between them. We can barely recognise this approach to immigration any more. What happened? The boats happened, and a generation of politicians allowed immigration policy to drift out of public debate, and be overwhelmed by “border protection”.

    Peter Dutton has in recent months overseen the comprehensive and possibly final defeat of the old model of immigration, and “for the first time since 1945 no Commonwealth government department has the word ‘immigration’ in its name”. There is no longer a unified program to deliver the services that once helped settle every migrant. There is, in its place, a government only too willing to use racial politics and the fear of foreigners to exploit fear for its own advantage.

    James Button’s essay casts Australia’s immigration history in a new light, and is a compelling portrait of the bureaucracy that built modern Australia but was dismantled itself.

  14. I don’t think we should subsidize arms exports which Turnbull is doing.
    But I do think that if we import arms, manufacture arms and arm the ADF, there is no reason not to export arms.
    In fact there is probably a case to be made for ethical arms exports. The contracts should stipulate use according to our ethical standards and control over end users.
    The Swedes, for example, used control over ethical standards to refuse to allow us to use our Carl Gustavs M2s during the Vietnam War.

  15. C@tmomma

    I’m sure you’re too sensible to undergo any ‘facework’, but as an example of the ugliness that results, one of the women on MKR last night was a ghastly example.

    Don’t they realise that so many of them end up looking like manufactured dolls, with no personality?

  16. zooomster

    If those things are happening in Germany a regulated environment you can assume it is happening here without that regulation.

    Thus the culture of empathy ethics and accountability are lacking in the corporate culture worldwide.

  17. Zoom
    They have targetted a lot of diesel sales here. Sorry a bit of a non sequiter. But we have really ignored what the rise in diesel cars is doing to our urban air quality.

  18. Re Capetown Zero Day, reminds me of when I lived in Macedon, Vic in 1982. Water supplies were running out and everyone was restricted to 15 litres of water per person per day. Surprisingly, that was enough for personal consumption, washing clothes and quick showers.

    It is no wonder that the Ash Wednesday fires (Feb 1983), were as bad as they were. Everything was tinder dry.

  19. Sanders does damage to Trump’s base. They listen to him.
    SenSanders: You know what Trump won’t be talking about in his State of the Union? He will surely not be apologizing for the many lies he told American voters: how he promised to defend the interests of working people, but then sold them out to Wall Street and the billionaire class.

  20. MrDenmore: Yes, we should all take pride in our gun-runnin’, fossil fuel lovin’, aboriginal shovin’, refugee clubbin’, plutocrat huggin’ government…
    workmanalice: “The Greens… who seem to be ashamed by the nation of Australia” – PM Malcolm Turnbull tells Miranda Devine.

  21. Socrates, diesel passenger cars now come equiped with diesel particle filter in their exhaust stream. From time to time, these filters heat up by burning extra fuel to burn the particles off.

    The real problem is created by diesel trucks. Often I see them taking off from traffic lights with black plumes of soot emitting from their exhausts.

  22. lizzie @ #25 Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 8:05 am


    I’m sure you’re too sensible to undergo any ‘facework’, but as an example of the ugliness that results, one of the women on MKR last night was a ghastly example.

    Don’t they realise that so many of them end up looking like manufactured dolls, with no personality?

    I’d say they don’t realise because, and this sounds elitist, I know, but they aren’t perspicacious enough, shall we say, to realise it!

    It’s why I love, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ on Netflix so much. They do the back story on many of the women in the prison, and so it allows them to explore those sort of modern-day cultural stereotypes and how they have evolved and amongst which demographic of society. And there is definitely an ‘Upper Middle Bogan’ strata that sees ‘cosmetic enhancements’, as just that, enhancement of what would otherwise be very ordinary-looking people. Not that it makes them look better, or beautiful. I’d say, extraordinary is the best word to describe them. And they all do it, and they all do it because all the other people in their social circle are doing it, and it’s like one of the new ways to keep up with the Jones. Also, the bestest expression of our sick, wasteful First World. 🙂

  23. John Wren‏ @JohnWren1950 · 13m13 minutes ago

    RT @paul4frankston: Twitter Pop Quiz: Who was an adviser to @Jeff_Kennett when Kennett privatised the electricity industry? You guessed it! #springst #auspol

  24. I must admit though, that as you get older, your face loses it’s youthful prettiness and it’s a bitter pill to have to swallow. And I think it’s that that a lot of those women are trying to retain with all their lotions, cosmetics, added bits and pieces like false eyelashes, and, the ‘cosmetic enhancements’.

    So, I think that the reason those women look so gross is because nothing is good enough, yet, to mimic Mother Nature. What they have are gross exaggerations of what they, and the manufacturers think is a natural recreation, plus a little, or a lot, more. 🙂

  25. Socrates

    There was a time when we in Aus ran our OWN government funded vehicle testing stations, which helped to drive down the emissions of our vehicles.

    The drivers of this were a set of absolutely fantastic air quality scientists – chemists and meteorologists mostly who worked in government EPAs.

    They were young, passionate and very, very, very smart. They emerged into government in the early 70s pushing to one side the more fusty public health people in the heath departments (but who were also in their own way good too, but in health departments it was still medicos rule, so he scientists had less clout).

    During that time our emission levels fell dramatically in CO, Nox, SOx particularly and of course most significantly lead.

    NSW (what a surprise) was the first to tumble of the quality scientist wagon, putting in charge of one of the nations very best air quality chemists two social workers, one of whom did not know what CO2 was the other who did not know what a Kg was. (I kid you not). On the day this fellow resigned, there was no farewell party organised by his OWN EPA, but he did get a note of praise and regret at his departure from the Chairman of the Victorian EPA. That little story tells its own tale.

    Slowly the “angry young men” of the air quality departments have left the scene and there is now little in the way of expertise left in government who now rely on “consultants.”

  26. C@t

    Last year I watched a pseudo-doco on retired well-heeled ladies of Florida. In a group, I couldn’t believe how similar their faces were.

    I wonder what image of female beauty (sic) the plastic surgeons have – or maybe they hate women!!

  27. frednk @ #39 Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 – 8:24 am

    Cape Town is heading for an horrific situation where the city is about to run out of water.

    I bet there a lot of people in cape town that wish the government had built a desalination plant when the dams were low just in case they kept getting lower.

    Oh, but they are White Elephants that use too much electricity, just to keep them going! Said no-one ever when they really needed one. 🙂

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