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. A few days ago there was some discussion about population projections of various parties. For interest in SA the Stop Population Growth Now party has suggested preferences of 2 Aust Conservatives, 3 Greens and 4 Labor for SA Legislative Council which is “interesting”.

    Aust Conservatives websites doesn’t say much about population except some rather vague statements about removing abuses in current immigration policies. But with the SPNG website saying that Aust current population of 22 million perhaps already being too high perhaps they need an update. Current Aust population according to ABS is about 24.8m.

  2. grhutchens: Labor’s new imputation credits policy is getting an interesting reaction. Check the reader comments over at the SMH #auspol

  3. File this one under ‘they would say that’.

    House Intelligence Committee Republicans have completed a draft report in their year-long Russia probe that states they found no evidence President Trump or anyone affiliated with him colluded with Russian officials to affect the outcome of the 2016 elections, a conclusion expected to incite backlash from committee Democrats.

    Republicans also determined that while the Russian government did pursue “active measures” to interfere in the 2016 election, they did not do so with the intention of helping Trump’s campaign, contradicting the findings of the intelligence community.

  4. .. then it has turned into a wrought rort?

    I would like to hope that this is just the first instlament in a series of measures to undo the havoc wrought by Howard and Costello on Australia’s taxation and revenue base.

  5. The Greens have proposed introducing mandatory fuel efficiency standards, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and imposing a four-year 17% tax on luxury petrol and diesel cars as part of an electric vehicle policy announced on Tuesday.

    Under the proposal Australia would adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency standard of 105g of CO2 a kilometre by 2022, three years earlier than a proposal being considered by the federal government.

    It would also cut tariffs and charges on new electric or zero-emissions vehicles, including the 5% import tariff, GST and stamp duty, in order to lower the purchase price to match new petrol or diesel cars, and offer three years free registration on new zero-emissions vehicles.

  6. And has there ever been a bigger, more dishonest beat up than Adani?

    Labor from opposition have been entirely consistent since at least the last election.

    Not really fans, it needs to stack up on it’s own merits and shouldn’t get a single taxpayer dollar, but Labor won’t be cancelling contracts already in place when they come to government. No it doesn’t enjoy the irresponsibly simplistic appeal (to idiots) of ‘Coal is good for humanity’, or ‘Stop Labor’s Mine’, both of which are less than flattering reflections on the ideologues that parrot them.

    But it does respect the responsibilities of governing and the limits of power of an opposition, whilst pretty much ensuring the stupid thing falls on it’s arse of it’s own accord. Everyone knows the damn thing is a dog and isn’t really going to happen. Even the Trumblists know that actually putting the money up now is a desperately bad idea. It’s simply the emptiest of political attacks. Of course the fleas in the media are beating it up, because Kill Bill is something even those morons can understand. But the idea that Shorten has radically changed his position dies the moment you do the simplest of Google searches. At best his position could ever be describes as very lukewarm support with massive caveats (that he put in in full knowledge the thing could never meet them).

    The idea that he has suddenly shifted or has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth is just patent bullshit that only the deliberately dishonest or the those with a memory of a goldfish could propagate.

    The government has been trying to bag Bill since before the last election about not supporting Adani. Canavan was out making quite a bit of play about Labor candidates bagging it and Shorten being noncommittal in May 16

    On June 1 2016, in the middle of the campaign, Shorten was reported stating it wasn’t up to him to support it and it had to stand up on it’s own merits.

    On Dec 6 2016 Shorten says categorically that no Commonwealth money should be spent on Adani or the rail line to service it. Again quoted saying
    “If the Adani coal mine stacks up commercially, then we welcome the jobs that will provide in Queensland. In terms of accessing taxpayer money through the NAIF, we haven’t seen the case made out for that. The deal should stand up under its own commercial merits.”

    May 1 2017, after Butler made the comment it would be a miracle for Adani to go ahead Shorten again reiterated…
    “The case for lending a multibillion-dollar Indian coal company, the case for lending them a billion of Australian taxpayer money, that is not one that I would be up for,” Shorten said. “I think the deal has to stand up on its own two feet and it shouldn’t be subsidised by the Australian taxpayer.”

    It’s just bullshit to claim Labor’s position hasn’t been consistent. Nuanced, of course, but dickheads don’t do nuance do they? It’s much easier to spin nuance into a political attack from right or left than to deal with the complexity of a situation.

    The simple fact is that it isn’t the business of ANY Federal government to be promoting or shit-canning individual business proposals. It is the job of a government to set in place a regulatory framework and perhaps some hands-off funding sources with robust criteria, then leaving the market to work within these. Labor has consistently tried to implement Climate Change policies that would have required Adani to work within or fail. They got thrown out of government and didn’t have the numbers to save the framework they had put in place. Labor has a pretty clear and good track record of hands-off business support compared to the misuse of such funds by the Coalition. But in opposition they don’t have much say in how those bodies are stacked or misused.

    When they return to government they will again implement actual Climate Change policies which the right will oppose to the death and Greens will claim to be not nearly good enough no matter what they are. In government Labor will ensure Commonwealth funds are much more transparently allocated instead of the sort of back door rorting of NAIF the Coalition has been trying on. And until then the major priority for Labor should and will be ensuring they can actually achieve government to actually do these things rather than virtue signaling and claiming credit for shit they didn’t do.

    So fuck the Greens and their irresponsibility and smears. And fuck the media and their dishonest spin.

  7. Socrates @ #19 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 3:25 am

    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).

    This is one thing that stood out like the virtual dog’s appendages when I first started travelling.

    Our cities are huge area wise.

    Outside Australia I think of a city with one million people as a town.

    They are usually easy to navigate with public transport and in many cases largely walkable.

  8. This about sums up many people’s view of the Guardian.
    “It just demonstrates that even the guardian is as corrupt as the rest of mass media given the obvious bias and complete lack of objective balance. No wonder it has to constantly beg for subs because no one is willing to subscribe to a highly bias rag.”

  9. murpharoo: Voters cool on Shorten’s Adani stance as Turnbull loses the 76th Guardian Essential poll… #auspol

    Labor leads 54% on the two-party preferred measure to the Coalition’s 46%.

    While there is focus in Canberra on the prime minister closing in on his 30th negative Newspoll – a metric Turnbull used in part as justification for removing Tony Abbott from the Liberal party leadership in 2015 – his run in the Guardian Essential poll is worse.

    The Turnbull government has not led Labor on the two-party preferred measure since 1 July 2016 and has now lost 76 polls in a row.

  10. ‘Refunds on tax that wasn’t even being paid in the first place by Self Managed Super Funds.’
    is how the head of the Industry Super Funds characterised the Howard/Costello era policy wrt Cash Refunds on Dividend Imputation.

    Sounds like a bit of a rort, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, Shouty McShoutyface, aka Scott Morrison is going to be up on ABC24 in a couple of minutes to shout at Labor about it. 🙂

  11. @AaronBastani

    Tory MP: “May I submit that we remove Russia Today’s licence?”


    Labour MP: “May I submit that we seize the assets of oligarchs?”

    *louder cheers*

    Corbyn: “Can I add that the Tories might stop accepting party donations from the precise same people?”

    *boos* *jeers*

  12. Re Franking credit tax on all of us

    This is a very poorly thought out tax, this tax is a tax on all of us, the ALP wants to sell it as a tax on the wealthy, but every Australian and especially the poor will be affected by this, which will have much less effect on the rich than the poor, and will be a regressive tax on the middle class and the poor.

    First no rich person will have taxable income so low, that they will receive an imputation credit refund. However if you are a middle class or a person on welfare with little income and you have Telstra share, you will now no longer get your imputation credit refund.

    Anyone with a Superannuation fund would be affected, because when a fund goes into a pension phase, it pays no tax. Now we won’t get our franking credit refund back. Let’s say I have $300,000 in my super and it make $15,000 in banks shares, I relies on the franking credit of $6,000 to get my income to $21,000 , which I take out as a pension. Since the superannuation fund won’t get their tax refund of $6,000, I am left with a pension of $15,000.

    The richer people will loses more franking credit, because they will more likely have more investment in Superannuation, but they are also more likely to have properties in their super, which means they will not be losing franking credits on all their income.

    For someone who has $300,000 to $700,000, they cannot afford a property in their superannuation fund, as the property also do not provide them with liquidity in their superannuation fund. So most of their investment will be in shares …. see bank shares. As most of their income will have franking credits attached They are going to lose all the franking credit on their income

    28-30% of imputation credit lost for the rich, and 28-30% for the rest of us as well, that makes it a regressive tax that will hurt the poor more than the rich. Now if a rich person have a property, their lost income is reduced to 15-20%, while we do not have that option.

    It is a tax that will hurt all of us, so do not let the ALP slogan fool you. Everyone who has a superannuation balance from $1 to $1 mil will be worse off.

    Everyone should ask your Superannuation fund, how much Franking Credit you receive last year. Because when you retires, that is the number Shorten and Bowen will steal from you each year.

  13. political_alert: Opposition Leader @billshortenmp will address the Chifley Research Centre, hosted by KPMG, at 10am. A press conference will follow #auspol

  14. Good morning all,

    Big announcement by labor today. Good to see.

    Interesting that the ” Shorten Adani stance ” has not affected his personal ratings and has not affected the labor vote. So, perhaps not a great vote changing issue ?

    It will be interesting to see the actual question re Adani. Perhaps it was more of a ” which do you prefer” question rather than a ” should we hang Shorten high “for his position.


  15. Morrison said Labor’s plan, ‘Is an attack on retirees’.

    Nope. Nope. Nope. It’s a plan to take back from rich retirees the cash that Howard and Costello splashed at them during the Mining Boom years.

  16. dovif

    First no rich person will have taxable income so low, that they will receive an imputation credit refund.

    Ya reckon ? They seem very ‘innovative’ when it comes to that sort of thing.

    “Meet the 48 millionaires who pay no income tax, not even the Medicare levy
    Each of the 48 earned more than $1 million before deductions, an average of $2.46 million each.

    All were able to drive their taxable incomes down below the $18,200 tax-free threshold. Extraordinarily, the biggest deduction claimed by 19 of the 48 was “cost of managing tax affairs”, averaging about $1.07 million each.”

  17. ZekeJMiller: ABOARD A U.S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT (AP) — Tillerson says ex-spy’s poisoning in UK ‘clearly came from Russia,’ vows it ‘will trigger a response’

  18. For example, one respondent to ABC News Breakfast this morning said that when she was getting her father’s financial affairs in order after he died she found that he had $70000 in his bank account, the proceeds of this measure. She said he didn’t need it and had never needed to use it for supporting himself during his life.

  19. Poroti

    I believe Labor has already committed to restricting that loophole to put a $3,000 cap on managing tax affairs expenses.

  20. The polling on Adani reflects what Adani actually is. It is not a proposal for a mine. It is a stick with which the Blue Tories and the Crypto Tories take turns to smite Labor.

  21. PaulBongiorno: So we are now defending wealthy people who have arranged to have no taxable income and then get a taxpayer funded hand out costing the budget billions

  22. Tim_Beshara: The scare campaign that the Libs are running on Labor’s dividend imputation policy is the same one that Labor ran on the pension changes the Greens supported. Affects the same demographic on the fringes.

  23. Poroti

    glad to find someone on the same wavelength as me.

    As I said earlier, these changes will cost me, probably not enough to send me to the workhouse though.

    The problem with tax reform ideas in this country is the first question to the proponent is nearly always “can you guarantee no person will be worse off”.

    Of course some people are going to be worse off. But we can’t just go on expecting something for nothing forever.

  24. rossmcg

    With the ‘rortier’ side gone they will have the money to better direct assistance where it is actually needed………………I hope.

  25. vanOnselenP: Tune in to #ABC24 for the details: I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that within the hour when Labor outlines what they will do with the money their dividends tax policy “saves” the knee-jerk overreaction from the government will look even more ridiculous….stand by people

  26. GT

    Has PvO got a drip from Labor HQ?

    Mind you lets play spending game bingo with the money saved.


    Unlikely category

    Pay down the debt.

  27. The policy announcement today which will raise approx $55 billion over ten years is just step one.

    Over the coming weeks labor will be moving the discussion to what it will do with the savings.

    Health, education, tax relief for low and muddle invoke earners etc etc.

    That will be step two three and four.


  28. Guytaur,

    Perhaps PVO is correct re timing.

    I was thinking a longer time frame between the announcement today , letting that argument flow through and then one or more announcements re spending measures.

    We shall see.


  29. doyley @ #85 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 6:16 am

    The policy announcement today which will raise approx $55 billion over ten years is just step one.

    Over the coming weeks labor will be moving the discussion to what it will do with the savings.

    Health, education, tax relief for low and muddle invoke earners etc etc.

    That will be step two three and four.


    Plus $69 billion Business tax cuts.

    That’s $124 billion that the Government don’t have to play with, so far! 🙂

  30. JohnWren1950: I laugh at the defenders of cash-backs for franking credits arguing that pensioners will have less money to spend and it will affect the economy. They were silent when #penaltyrates were cut which has the same effect on the economy and affects far more people. #auspol

  31. The reaction to the new measure so far today that I have perceived has been benign to congratulatory.

    Sounds to me like Labor attempting to sandbag in 53/54 in the polls.

    But, I mean, when you look at the Economics team from both major parties you have a lawyer, Matthias Cormann, an Economic Geography graduate, Scott Morrison, Michael Sukkar and Kelly O’Dwyer, up against Dr Andrew Leigh, Dr Jim Chalmers and Chris Bowen.

  32. “This is a very poorly thought out tax, this tax is a tax on all of us”


    This is not a tax. It’s the removal of an ill-directed tax concession.

  33. Confessions says: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Rachel Maddow MSNBCVerified account@maddow
    1h1 hour ago

    As of *this afternoon* Dems on Intel didn’t know investigation was ending, or that there weren’t more interviews ahead.


    ‘I wouldn’t wipe my ass with it’: Ex-CIA analyst rips House GOP intel committee’s ‘no collusion’ report

    “Their responsibility was not to represent party, Democrat or Republican, but to represent people,” Mudd said. “How do we protect the next election? The last 30 minutes, Wolf––you give me one sentence where somebody spoke about how they’re going to protect us instead of saying this is why the other party did something wrong.”

    “If this report were written on toilet paper, I wouldn’t stoop to wipe my ass with it,” he continued. “These people owe us more. They gave us less.

  34. TPOF
    Bowen has said several times: Nobody will pay more tax because of this measure. Some people will be denied a cash payment that is in effect tax paid by someone else.

    But expect the Tories to run the “great big Labor tax theft” line. And with their media cheersquad in full cry.

  35. ‘Living in their own reality bubbles’: Ex-DNI Clapper rips House GOP for claiming Putin didn’t try to help Trump in 2016

    Responding to news that the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee was closing their investigation into Russia’s electoral interference and had determined that there was “no collusion” between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, the former director of National Intelligence blasted the committee’s sense of reality.

    “This is not bipartisan by any stretch,” former DNI James Clapper told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Monday evening.

    People are “living in their own reality bubbles,” Clapper said, “when we can’t agree on basic facts.”

    He also noted the intelligence community based their assessment on Russia’s intentions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “animus” towards Hillary Clinton and his “belief he could work with Trump.”

  36. AhmedBaba_: Rep. Tom Rooney just went on @CNN and contradicted the @GOP House Intelligence Committee.

    Rooney said Russia did try & help Trump get elected.

    Asked why his committee was ending the probe, Rooney said his committee has “gone completely off the rails” & “lost all credibility.”

  37. rossmcg @ #95 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 10:36 am

    Bowen has said several times: Nobody will pay more tax because of this measure. Some people will be denied a cash payment that is in effect tax paid by someone else.

    But expect the Tories to run the “great big Labor tax theft” line. And with their media cheersquad in full cry.

    Any word from the dastardly Greens yet? Will they side with the Libs yet again?

  38. Ex-Trump aide Sam Nunberg admits Mueller asked about Trump’s payouts to women: ‘It’s obvious they’re looking into this’

    Fresh off the heels of a grand jury testimony he said he wouldn’t do, former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that special counsel Robert Mueller questioned him about the president’s alleged “payments to women” in the wake of the Stormy Daniels scandal.

    Quoting a section from Michael Wolff’s “Fire & Fury” in which former White House adviser Steve Bannon suggested one of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers “took care of” a hundred women via settlements, Melber asked Nunberg if he was questioned on the president’s supposed payments.

    “They asked if I had ever heard anything about that, and my answer is I never have,” Nunberg said. “I don’t know anything about it, and I wouldn’t have known anything about it.”

  39. Completely agree with Ratsak re the ALP position on Adani (9.34am).

    Just imagine the ‘sovereign risk’ rants from the Right and msm if Shorten said today that an ALP government would not honour any existing Government agreements re Adani.

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