Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Labor continues to dominate on voting intention, though few seem impressed by its stance on Adani.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll has Labor’s two-party lead at 54-46, up from 53-47 last time. Primary vote numbers will be with us later. Also featured are Essential’s monthly (I think) leadership ratings, and they find Malcolm Turnbull little changed at 41% approval (up two) and 41% disapproval (on one), but Bill Shorten improving to 37% approval (up four) and 44% disapproval (down two). Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is 41-26, compared with 42-25 last time.

Other questions relate to Adani, on which 30% favour the Greens’ position, 26% favour the Coalition’s and 19% favour Labor’s, though it would be important to see the question wording on that one. Other findings related by The Guardian are that 42% support and 39% oppose company tax cuts; that regulating energy prices had 83% support, an “Accord-style partnership” 66% support and boosting Newstart 52% support; and that same-sex marriage is supported by 65% and opposed by 26%. Essential Research’s full report should be with us later in the day.

UPDATE: Full report here. Primary vote gains for the major parties at the expense of other/independent, with the Coalition up one to 36% and Labor up three to 38%, with the Greens down one to 9% and One Nation steady on 8%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1025.

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.

2,546 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Well …. well… Ardani.
    Labors position seems quite clear to me. Mine has to stack up on it’s own; no government money to make it do so; not going to create risk for a future government with answer that goes further. Labor have moved a long way from “lets chuck a few billion towards this”; which seems to be the Liberals position; and unlike the Greens; Labor can create a risk for future Government so they have to be a little more careful .

    Adani policy has become the standard “kill bill” question; over and over and over again; with the CPG opinion being they don’t understand the answer. It may be the average punter gets it, the collective noun for CPG is a “bunch of dills”; as William says above; it is important to see the wording of the question.

  2. Weird headline and story focusing on Adani instead of the main numbers at the Guardian. What is going on at the Guardian?

  3. How ironic
    In past elections the Greens have played the victim when its their election bunting being defaced and removed

    In 2014 Victorian state election they caught liberal candidate about to rip down Labor signage in the wee small hours

    In 2016 Kimberley kitchings partner faced court and was fined for removing election corflutes

  4. Pritu – i’d suggest the Adani focus is because of Batman. Media/guardian wants to see a fight, any fight they can get, because it generates clicks/column inches.

  5. pritu (Block)
    Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 6:12 am
    Comment #3

    Weird headline and story focusing on Adani instead of the main numbers at the Guardian. What is going on at the Guardian?

    Katherine Murphy trying to paint the pig. Starting to feel a bit sorry for her really; destroying her integrity for what?

  6. The polls have been solid for a fair while. It reminds me of 2006 when Howard was heading for the executioner and said, when confronted with the polling evidence,’ maybe they are having a joke.’He couldn’t quite believe the people had finished with him. Turnbull, with his 30 Newspoll noose tightening, can’t quite believe that statistic applies to him because he would never have believed it was possible for him, the great winner, to lose 30 in a row. His Faustian pact to become PM is what will likely do him in.

  7. Kartharine Murphy closed comments on her columns months ago.
    Now you can’t find a link on the guardian Australia front page (well I couldn’t).
    But the article is there if you google it.
    Looks like the “kill bill” campaign is not going well.

  8. Adult-film star offers to pay back alleged Trump affair hush money: letter

    The adult-film actress who says she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president offered on Monday to give back the $130,000 that Trump’s personal lawyer paid her to keep mum about the alleged relationship.

    Under the proposal in Avenatti’s letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Clifford would be allowed once the funds were returned to speak “openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and attempts to silence her.”

    She also would be able to “use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages,” the Avenatti letter said.

  9. Appreciate the posters on the night shift who commented knowledgeably on 4C and Q&A and the planning vacuum. One point which badly needs attention is the effect of lobbyists and developers and billionaires with Big Ideas.

  10. Mueller Reportedly Putting Off Filing Obstruction Of Justice Charges Until After Interviewing Trump

    According to a Bloomberg report published Monday, Mueller might be temporarily putting aside his obstruction of justice investigation regarding President Trump’s attempts to stop the ongoing Russia probe in favor of looking into other pressing issues.

    Sources told the news outlet that Mueller has nearly wrapped up the obstruction of justice case, but he’s wary of revealing his results before he speaks to other key witnesses in the president’s camp who may still have information about possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

  11. Mueller has Trump and his allies pinned down

    The rich specificity of the emerging Trump-Russia narrative, found in the indictments of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, is now smothering the president’s defenses, overwhelming his counterattacks and depriving him of options and friends. No wonder Trump is in a terrible mood.

    Mueller’s indictment of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort illuminated the financial face of collusion. “This is all about money laundering,” former adviser Steve Bannon told Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff. “[Robert] Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to f**king Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner.”

  12. Leaks from Trump’s own legal team reveal they’re scrambling in desperation

    According to New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait, it’s becoming obvious that President Donald Trump and his attorneys are getting desperate.

    Examining leaks from Trump’s own legal team that appeared in the Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed, it’s obvious they’re searching for a way out. Last week, The Journal reported that the lawyers made a huge demand of special counsel Robert Mueller. They asked that if Trump agrees to meet with investigators, would Mueller end the probe after 60 days.

  13. Urban planning in melbourne used to be done by melbourne metropolitan board of works who would rezone land and release subdivisions as well as providing water building and repairing sewers.

    Now it’s all done through grey power where powerful people trade favours see
    Game Of Mates by Paul Fritjers and ???

    When the corner of my suburb increased its population density through replacing houses with flats the sewer overflowed, and we are on a high point, so sewer and electricity were upgraded. Suburbs with infill housing and original electric substations suffered blackouts

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    In a hard hitting article Peter Hartcher writes that Donald Trump’s tough guy theatrics no match for China’s economic weapons.
    Right wing parties have their eyes on the balance of power in the NSW election.
    There has been improvement in internet peak period speeds but from what I heard at a Telstra information night here this does not apply to fixed wireless NBN.
    A $500 billion pool of home loans potentially underpinned by fake customer information – so-called liar loans – will be front and centre at the banking royal commission begins this week.
    John Birmingham says that Border Force has been targeting the wrong foreigners.
    Theresa May has delivered an ultimatum to Russia over the now-identified nerve agent used on British soil.
    Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims an affair with President Trump, on Monday offered to give back the $130,000 payment to Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. In return, she wants to walk away from an agreement she reached in October 2016 with Cohen to keep quiet about the alleged tryst. Only in America!
    Maureen Dowd on “Donald Trump, the first porn President”
    Here’s a rundown on Turnbull’s 7:30 appearance last night.
    An Oxford University expert says Australia would be $90 billion better off if it adopted European-style resource tax policies and argues the Turnbull government has given up on collecting a meaningful amount of revenue from some of its most valuable resources. We are being ripped off big time!
    Detectives investigating two decades of alleged ”horrific” child sexual abuse at a Sydney boys’ home more than 30 years ago say the case is so large the number of victims around Australia is unknown. One man has already been arrested and further arrests are said to be ”imminent”, in relation to alleged abuse at the now-defunct Daruk Training School at Windsor, in Sydney’s north-west.
    Labor’s axing of cash payments relating to franked dividends will hurt hundreds of thousands of investors with self-managed super. This would really hurt me – and I’m not a high wealth individual. It will tend to move us away from stable stocks to look for growth, a more risky strategy. And you can bet your bottom dollar the very rich will still find a way to benefit.
    A leading energy analyst says a reluctance by banks to finance the controversial Adani coal mine is no longer an insurmountable hurdle because the billionaire family behind the proposal has enough wealth to fund the project itself.
    A summary of the ‘outcomes’ of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations made against former lord mayor Robert Doyle is expected to be handed to Melbourne City councillors today.
    The pontiff’s efforts at church reform have stalled, letting down liberal Catholics on issues such as child abuse and the role of women.
    Jim Chalmers writes that the big problem with Malcolm Turnbull’s $65bn corporate tax cut is that it comes with absolutely no guarantees that the multinationals who receive it will increase investment in Australia, or even invest any of it onshore.
    Michael West writes that a mad pursuit and a “non-denial denial” prove the government of NSW has indeed lengthened the toll roads on its WestConnex Project by way of a sneaky mathematical formula designed to lift toll revenues.
    Will changing its offshore detention policy cost Labor an election win?,11289
    Turnbull has ruled out Australia joining in on a WTO complaint about Trump’s tariffs.
    Elizabeth Knight unpacks the woeful state of the McGrath real estate group.
    Trump’s decision to deport 200,000 to his ‘shithole countries’ has been challenged in a lawsuit.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe reprises a famous WWII meeting.

    Peter Broelman prepares for the Trump/Kim talks.
    A couple of Murdoch specials from Zanetti.

    I don’t know who this is from.


    Three from Matt Golding.

    Glen Le Lievre gives us the Peter Meter.
    Alan Moir and Morrison the prisoner.

    Pat Clement takes us to a Turnbull presser.
    There are some more Fairfax cartoons in here.

  15. Good to see a move in the right* direction.

    I see the Right are attacking Labor’s moves to drop Howard-era tax concessions on dividends for self-funded retirees (I’m one) as ‘class warfare’. This from class warfare’s major practitioners – I give you ‘Union thugs’; constant attacks on welfare claimants.

    * i.e. left

  16. Morning all. Some good numbers for Labor and Shorten though would the insiders please note that they are in spite of, not because of the fence sitting on Adani. Appeasing the CFMEU comes at a cost.

    You are correct about the planning vacuum (far worse now than when I first started working in the Hawke era) and the regrettable influence of lobbyists, be they developers or financiers (or freeway builders). Almost everyone who works in the area professionally would agree the following:
    1. We either need to stop growing population or stop spreading out. Melbourne (4m) is already larger than Paris (12m).
    2. We need to have linked long term land use and transport plans
    3. High rise has high amenity costs (and infrastructure)
    4. Sprawl has very high infrastructure and high social costs (the fringes tend to be job deserts and commuting time kills quality of life)
    5. We must build mass transit; our freeway tunnels will not be sufficient
    6. We already spend the highest % of GDP on transport infrastructure in the OECD: the problem is building the wrong stuff, not shortage of funds.
    7. There is an urgent need to reform some of our state road agencies, as well as rules over charging developers headworks.

    As Sydney and Melbourne demonstrate, both Liberal and Labor state governments are doing this stuff wrongly now. Federal leadership is non existant.

  17. Those who cannot understand low/zero biodiversity closed system high productive farming might just contemplate why Holland, which has to feed 16 million people from a land base a third the size of Tasmania, is also the world’s biggest exporter of tomatoes, potatoes and onions and is the world’s second or third biggest exporter by value of vegetables.

    For cost input reasons, eventually this style of production will shift to countries like Australia which has abundant potential for renewables. This has already commenced with 15% of Australia’s truss tomatoes being grown in a single small closed system near Whyalla using Dutch technology. This system ‘creates’ reliable and cheap water and energy inputs as the basis for its competitive advantage.

    The problem here is that people are applying well-proven biodiversity principles to a system that is essentially extra-biodiversity.

    In colloquial terms farmers know this as farming out of the bag.

  18. Billie
    I agree. Paul Fritjers hit the nail on the head. We let developers build uneconomic suburbs because we do not make them pay for all the services. Then we tax the workers into the ground proving them later.

    Another point to my earlier diatribe – the missing middle. Most people do not like living in high rise, unless it is in New York. Only those who cant afford anything else want to live on the fringe. We need to develop a lot more medium density housing 3 to 6 story) closer to the city. Building regs that deter this need to change.

  19. ‘Socrates says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:32 am


    I didnt know you were a land use planner. I share your pain.’

    Hell, I am not even a land use planner and I share the pain as well.

    While living and working in remote Indigenous communities could be remarkably difficult, there was one thing I was smart enough to appreciate at the time: the commute!

  20. Geez that Zenetti cartoon is pitiful!

    BTW if you believe that climate change is real, then you should also be concerned at decreasing biodiversity because one leads to the other. That is decreased biodiversity accelerates or exacerbates climate change.
    According to the experts.

  21. Farmers are going to have to produce as much food over the next forty years as farmers have produced so far over human history to keep people fed.

  22. Billie,

    The are specific laws covering approved polling material attached to polling booths on Election Day. This is why Landeryou and his mates were charged.

    The only thing I’ve found relating to theft of corflutes was a guy in QLD being charged with property theft after being caught on cctv pinching corflutes from a candidates front lawn.

    I’m got limited internet access at the moment, so more than happy to be corrected if someone can point to a specific electoral law covering removal of campaign materials other than those applying to polling booths.

  23. William’s write up on Labor’s 54-46 lead seems to be a lift from the strange mind of Katharine Murphy (kill Bill-Adani). There’s a lot of other important stuff in the poll – Newstart, regulating energy, etc. – that is ignored or relegated.

  24. Steve7777 – Looks like Labor are soaking the rich to build up a massive war-chest ($5.9 billion saving in first year) Excellent move!

  25. Adrian
    Yes I am concerned about climate change and biodiversity. CC is one of the reasons I prefer to work on light/heavy rail projects rather than freeways. (These days there are enough social and economic reasons to prefer them even for people who deny climate change).

  26. I am not in the kill Bill camp, but I think Adani will cost Labor Batman next weekend. If it wasnt for Green infighting it would not be close.

    Have a good day all.

  27. Have to congratulate ABC today.

    While Fairfax and Murdoch both claim new Labor tax initiative will slug taxpayers for $59 billion, ABC explains the reality.

    Australia’s $5 billion-a-year system of cash refunds for some shareholders would be abolished under Federal Labor’s latest tax policy.

    Key points:

    A Howard-era policy means some shareholders not paying any tax can convert franking credits into a cash refund from the ATO

    The parliamentary Budget Office found some self-managed superannuation funds got returns of up to $2.5 million, according to the ALP

    The new system would start in 2019

    “John Howard and Peter Costello made it unsustainable by introducing tax refunds,” Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said.

    “We can’t afford this any longer, the budget’s under pressure, and difficult decisions are necessary to ensure the budget returns to surplus.”

    Mr Bowen said the cost of the Howard-era policy had exploded and now exceeded the Commonwealth’s annual spending on public schools.

  28. “Socrates says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 8:00 am
    I am not in the kill Bill camp, but I think Adani will cost Labor Batman next weekend. If it wasnt for Green infighting it would not be close.”

    Yep, agree with this. The infighting is a little unfortunate, but going in Alex’s favour is being a local social worker. I am anxiously confident of a Greens win. We just need the Greens to win to help stop the insidious spread of neoliberalism.
    It’s nice living in Australia’s most progressive state. I don’t know how I’d go living in Queeensland – my eyes would be eternally rolling in conversation…..

  29. The imputation proposal will smash 100,000 small and medium retiree investors and those who own smsf’s with balances under $500,000.

    The ALP have just lost those 100,000 votes and could drag the coalition into a winning position.

    Killing Bill is now killing the retirees.

  30. Whatever criticisms you feel like throwing at Shorten, lack of courage ain’t one of them.

    I’m not really a fan of this change, but FMD it’s a massive set of balls Shorten must have on him to take the attention off the Coalition’s incompetence and come out with a pretty substantial revenue measure such as this.

    I suppose he’s assessed that Kill Bill is just a joke now. It’s done all the damage it was ever going to do, and nothing he can do from opposition will make much difference to his ratings. But it isn’t going to lose him the election.

    That and the fact he knows Trumble will do something incredibly stupid soon enough and in the meantime his over-reach on this will just reinforce what a slug he is.

  31. Morning

    I mentioned yesterday that the UK weren’t going to turn a blind eye this time.
    I keep thinking about the Fifa World cup to be held in Russia in a few months time.

    British PM May says she’ll give Russia until Wednesday to respond:

    “Should there be no credible response, we will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.”

  32. Ratsak – Labor is going to make sure at the next election it can hand out lots of goodies AND show it will have a better budget outcome than the libs. That is the big lesson from the last election. It’s not going to let the libs beat them by one cent on budget repair.

  33. HH – Are you saying that self-funded retirees are selfish bastards who only vote to protect their hip pocket. In that case, they must all be voting liberal already.

  34. Good Morning

    TheKouk: An absurd, expensive and unfair tax loophole is being closed. Understandable that those who lose this largesse are squealing, but everyone else should be mightily pleased

  35. Vic @ #36 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 7:24 am

    “Socrates says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 8:00 am
    I am not in the kill Bill camp, but I think Adani will cost Labor Batman next weekend. If it wasnt for Green infighting it would not be close.”

    Yep, agree with this. The infighting is a little unfortunate, but going in Alex’s favour is being a local social worker. I am anxiously confident of a Greens win. We just need the Greens to win to help stop the insidious spread of neoliberalism.
    It’s nice living in Australia’s most progressive state. I don’t know how I’d go living in Queeensland – my eyes would be eternally rolling in conversation…..

    Actually in Qld we have more Greens in some areas than NSW. Maiwar just went Green as did a major council ward. The Shire of Noosa is so green that they would find the seat of Melbourne insufficiently Green.

    Peter Dutton has a Greenpocket in his electorate that gets up to 35%

  36. I’m in a similar boat to BK wrt removing refunds of company tax.

    I’m not sure how to feel about that. I ‘chose’ to retire at a young age due to anxiety and depression and decided that I couldn’t face the work that I was doing and couldn’t face looking for a new job. I have savings from when I was working which keep me going (I am not on any pension/benefit – can’t even contemplate having to interact with Centrelink), but it is a very frugal existence – my yearly expenditure is currently at $12k for literally everything, and I can live with that for now. I put some of my savings into shares, and so the around $1000 of company tax refund a year that I would lose under this proposal is significant in my circumstances.

    I know my circumstances are far from typical, and I’ve “chosen” to live this way. I only post this because the ALP changes will, clearly, make life harder for me and I’m so very far from a “wealthy investor”. Personal income tax cuts or increases in welfare won’t apply to me.

    (Not to mention the super issue – I do have some super which I haven’t accessed, and it is sitting in the background doing its thing which will be important when I get to real retirement age).

    If this proposed change is being sold as targeting wealthy tax minimizers who unfairly claim refunds … I think it is grabbing the wrong end of the stick. For people like myself who genuinely have very little income the scheme as it is seems fair, the problem is (as has been said by many people at many times) the myriad of deductions which allow the actually rich/high income earners to claim stupidly low taxable incomes, and thus both pay no tax, but take advantage of this refund.

  37. The imputation credit refund decision is interesting.
    It looks like Labor are going through all of the discretionary taxation changes made by Howard and Costello and removing them.
    This is similar to the CGT policy.
    I thought the main Fairfax article on the announcement was biased in its phrasing , given it is meant to be a news article.

    I expect the Guardian will have a full write-up of the Essential poll by Peter Lewis.

  38. hh – if a small SMSF of less than $500,000 is all held in shares then these people would be stark raving mad in their investment choice. Without an ability to spread risk they have far greater issues to worry about rather than a tax check for credit for franked shares.

    If they actively buy and sell shares then there is a tax implication and one would hope that they are paying appropriate full level of tax.

    As is normal in all schemes thought bubbled by the “Lieberals” it is designed and built for the top 1%. When and if seen by the great unwashed then it has turned into a wrought.

  39. Good to see Labor chipping away at another Tory handout to Howard’s other battlers, the wealthy retirees.

    This will cost me money, a few hundred dollars in credits from a small personal shareholding and maybe a bit more through my superannuation.

    But given the other tax concessions applied to superannuation and my belief that here is no such thing as a free lunch I am prepared to pay my way if it means a labor Government has the funds to spend the on things that matter: health, education, welfare, jobs, the environment…

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