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”

  1. Kold Konnection @ #291 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 4:26 pm

    If you have $50000 to invest, you are not living on Struggle Street.

    But Labor is still planning on giving the franking credits to those who earn over $18,000 per year from their investment. They are only planning on stripping them from people that earn under $18,000 from investments.

    Yes, but not the cash refund.

    Also, do you not agree that Labor are targeting carefully-arranged SMSF accounts that minimise taxable income?

  2. I care little for corflutegate. And I am no supporter of the Greens.

    I care about the Ditch the Witch rally, because that was disgrace, but this is one corflute defaced by one stupid vandal, and I think it is a stretch to tar the whole Greens party with one graffiteed corflute.

  3. steve777
    That’s exactly what I put in an email to Shorten and a phone call to Bowen’s office. Labor can get (almost) what it wants but not lose the votes.

  4. I think it is a stretch to tar the whole Greens party with one graffiteed corflute.

    Because they don’t melt?

    That’s what a friend told me.

  5. P1
    SMSFs will tend to adjust their portfolios to move from dividend to growth shares and this represents a riskier profile. Just what a retiree with a modest fund does NOT want.

  6. Melbourne city council has made four adverse findings against former Lord mayor Robert Doyle. He sexually harassed both Cr Tessa Sullivan and Cr Cathy Oke, the investigation found.— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 13, 2018

    The Council's summary of the investigation found Robert Doyle on separate occasions grabbed Sullivan's breast, stroked Oke's thigh under a table numerous times, attempted to kiss Oke on the mouth, and on each occasion drank substantial amounts of red wine.— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 13, 2018

  7. BK @ #298 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 12:28 pm

    Students and graduates are forking out $1000 to undertake unpaid internships with a one in 64 success rate of picking up a full-time job and which don’t even take place at the company’s office. Is this what the screeching minister wants?
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/companies-defend-charging-1000-for-unpaid-internships-20180312-p4z3zv.html

    That just shows how f@#ked the whole intern system is especially when it is something that is allowable in the Act! 🙁

  8. An investigation is ongoing in regards to a third complainant, the council has been told. Doyle is too unwell to respond to that investigation so it has been, for now, suspended.— Melissa Davey (@MelissaLDavey) March 13, 2018

  9. Labor announced it wants to use money saved from the changes to franking credits to be used for business to acclerate depreciation write offs when investing in Australia.

    Im not keen on that particular argument. I’d rather it go elsewhere or be used to plug a structural hole in the budget.

  10. Your argument is bollocks. The consequences of your ‘zero biodiversity agriculture’ proposal may indeed be more productivity in the short term, but it results in less resilience in the long term. It cannot go on indefinitely. It can only go on until you end up sufficiently damaging the very biodiversity on which you actually depend, but pretend you do not.

    I generally keep well out of arguments involving P1, but I believe there is a huge amount of truth in this. Intensive farming practices are essentially a form of mining. The resource is extracted and therefore depleted. To continue to use the land the resources must be brought back onto the site. These have to have been extracted and processed from some other source. Simple law of conservation of energy means that an enormous amount of energy/resource is wasted/lost in this process. At some point the debts built up by the process must be paid.

    There are lower intensity farming methods that do not deplete the land resource. The bio processes which are largely destroyed by intensive monoculture act to recycle and or replenish the nutrient extracted as the farming income. Because it is done on site by bio processes there is no loss in the process.

    However if such low intensity farming can support a population anything like as large as we currently have is very unlikely.

    It seems to me the solution must come from a synthesis of the two modes and much much better use of technology to grow food close to the final user, better use of waste products as inputs into food production, on-site processing and retention on site of all but the final food product, and greater commitment to reducing agricultural footprint and increasing biodiversity through better land use and land care techniques. (and read in aquaculture/water for agriculture/land)

    A purely synthetic extractive food production system is not one that is likely to be resilient in the longer term.

  11. Yes, but not the cash refund.

    So why would Labor allow a person who earns over $18,000 per year from fully-franked share investments to use $0.429 for each fully-franked $1 earned to reduced their tax-liability? They are giving money to those people and withholding it from those that earn less that $18,000 per year from their investments. Reverse Robin Hood.

  12. doyley @ #267 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 1:08 pm

    Good afternoon all,

    Ignorance is my middle name when discussing in any detail the policy announced by labor today.

    So, please treat me gently.

    A question , if I may.

    All of the discussion appears to me to centre around those who hold fully franked shares.

    Given that dividend imputation is not being affected should investors,big or small, not look to moving their money into shares they are not fully franked to minimise any ” downside ” to this policy ?

    Cheers.

    No. Unfranked shares will be taxed at whatever the investors tax rate is, whether in a super fund or not.

    Franked dividends will continue to be tax free in super funds and for low income earners. High income earners will pay tax at their marginal rate minus the franked rate (30%). Under Labor’s plan, super funds and low income earners won’t receive a refund for the excess that the company tax rate is above their marginal rate.

    Yes, it will affect my super fund, but as it’s still in its growth/accumulation phase, dividends are of secondary importance. I expect the “loss” for me will be somewhere around the $150 a year mark. Yawn.

  13. Rex Douglas says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    …”100% of new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2030″…

    .
    When did the Green’s start hiring out of work comedians to write policy?

  14. Ratsak

    Following on we know medieval farming pratices tended to run with alternating crops in a field and a year of fallowing to restore nutrients to the soils.

  15. P1

    ‘Your argument is bollocks. The consequences of your ‘zero biodiversity agriculture’ proposal may indeed be more productivity in the short term, but it results in less resilience in the long term. It cannot go on indefinitely. It can only go on until you end up sufficiently damaging the very biodiversity on which you actually depend, but pretend you do not. ‘

    Excellent. In your last post you could not detect my argument at all. Now you have found it! That is real progress right there. So, let’s just skate past all the new goal posts you introduced in your last post but one.

    1. I am not making a ‘proposal’. (Is this another goalpost created right there? Yep). I am describing the most productive farming systems in the world. Low or zero biodiversity is what they aim for. Those that achieve it most closely are those that are inside buildings designed to exclude all biodiversity except for the plants. These totally enclosed systems are also, naturally, by far and away the most productive agricultural systems in the world.

    2. My description of facts is not about what you misname ‘may increase productivity in the short term’. The increased productivity is feeding bilions NOW. As for your putting a term on current farming systems as if the systems are absolutely fixed, non adaptive or resilient, but nevertheless assuming definite (if entirely notional) fixed consequences… here is the thing. Assumptions and first principles do not feed people. Food does.

    3. You keep projecting biodiversity outcomes onto agriculture. This is fine for high biodiversity agricultural systems such as organic farming, peasantry and subsistence. Biodversity principles work in those farming systems: people routinely starve to death as a consequence of these systems and the ecology is routinely buggered by these systems.

    4. The resilience to low/zero biodiversity farming systems like the Whyalla Sunrise tomato farm are indifferent to biodiversity principles. They do not need biodiversity. Whether biodiversity is resilient to them is an issue but it is not an issue to their productivity.

    And here we get to your nub. Here are your points in a nutshell:

    ‘The notion that agriculture depends on biodiversity and that many specific species of animals and plants depend on sustainable agricultural landscapes is key in the approach of resilient agricultural systems.’

    It is a notion. Yes, this ‘notion’ applies when you deliberately seek high biodiversity farming systems and when you deliberately leave your farming systems as open as possible to biodiversity. The evidence is that these systems kill people now in famines. Now. Not some time in the future.

    The notion that the so-called ‘balanced’ biodiversity systems are axiomatically better for biodiversity is open to serious question as well. Just look at what actually happens to biodiversity in peasant, subsistence, organic and slash and burn systems. Famines in such systems kill people and they kill the plants and they kill the wildlife. Regularly. These are not hypothetical notional future scenarios. They are happen now.

    The problem here is that the biodiversity people may be more concerned about saving biodiversity now than they are about feeding everyone now – not some time in the future, but right now. Since their arguments are contradicted by current evidence of what systems are feeding which people, they are forced to project. The projections are based on various assumptions. The key assumption is that capital intensive low/zero biodiversity farming systems are set in concrete and non adaptive. ALL the current evidence is directly to the contrary.

  16. They say the tax is “already paid” when we now know that 1/3 of our biggest companies pay nothing, and almost all pay under 10%. All they have in reply is a hollow lie.

    Companies only get franking credits for tax they pay. If they aren’t paying tax they don’t get franking credits, and there is no tax credit for people who receive dividends from them.

  17. Socrates if a company pays no tax then they can’t pay dividends with imputation credits attached therefore the investors won’t get a refund. It’s the amount of company tax paid that creates the imputation credits in the first place.

  18. As one of the significant beneficiaries of the various Howard/Costello election buying gifts to those who needed it least, I am glad that Shorten has the political balls to systematically reform middle and upper class welfare – and to do so openly as part of an election promise.

    Political Balls Bill!

    I trust that the savings will mainly go into social welfare for those who need it, public education, public health and public transport and that some it will go to paying off the stupendous debts being run up by that pack of sectional and vested interest barking dogs in Canberra.

  19. Catprog @ #320 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 4:51 pm

    @Kold Konnection

    Is it just dividends or can you use it on any income?

    Any income. The way it works is that the value of the franking credit is added to your taxable income on top of the dividend and both the dividend and the franking credit are taxed at the marginal rate plus the Medicare levy. Then the tax payable is reduced by the amount of the franking credit in the same way that PAYG payments reduce the tax payable.

  20. So, the Bobo Greens have proposed something today, and come the revolution, promised something else in a couple of decades?
    Day 72 of Year 35 has been a busy day for the dream sellers.

  21. The way the present system works is as follows. You receive a dividend and are advised the amount of franking credits attached to the dividend. For your personal tax you have to gross the dividend up, basically dividend plus franking credit, then pay tax at your marginal rate on the grossed up amount. Then you deduct the franking credit from the amount of tax calculated.

    Very generally speaking anyone with a marginal tax rate above 30% will pay tax any anyone with a marginal rate below 30% will get a tax refund.

  22. Let’s not start arguing over what to use this tax saving until it is in the bag. We still have to win an election first.

    It is a good idea to use the time to iron out any problems this may cause to people on a low income who get extra money from this scheme.

    I would love to see some used to increase the dole. These are people who look at an aged or disability pension with envy.

  23. I am glad that Shorten has the political balls to systematically reform middle and upper class welfare

    He isn’t though. He is only doing it to those that earn from $1 to $18,000 per year from franked share investments. Those that earn more than $18,000 per year are still entitled to the ‘welfare’. Bill seems to have forgotten which side of the fence he says he lives on.

  24. KayJay says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I go now to a far better place – out to fill the green waste bin with clippings and cut branches.

    Hate to disappoint you, KayJay, but since China no longer wants our waste, our ingenious waste collecters – whether green waste or foul – are collected by the same trucks. To whit, last week our general rubbish was collected by the “green only waste” people.

    It’s all a bit sus.

  25. $37,000 does not equate to a marginal tax rate of 30%. It will be much lower than that as a large part of it falls below threasholds.

  26. Player 1,

    Just on superannuation.

    Why do safe stocks have a lower yield than risky stocks?

    Actually the highest risk shares don’t pay a dividend at all, or a very modest one. Either because they’re still in their growth phase, or because they just don’t make any profits.

    The highest yielding (dividend paying) shares are either a) blue chips with limited growth prospects (the banks, Telstra, etc.).; or b) Listed Property Trusts.

    All of these are considered to be “safe havens” during uncertain times, mainly because of the high yields.

  27. Boerwar, it is the tax free threshold (I just rounded down). Individuals that have franked investments that earn in excess of $18,000 will still be entitled to the credit to reduced or pay no tax, so Shorten is planning on giving them what they currently receive. Labor’s plan only effects those whose share investments earn between $1 and $18,000 per year.

  28. Socrates @ #309 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 3:41 pm

    They say the tax is “already paid” when we now know that 1/3 of our biggest companies pay nothing, and almost all pay under 10%.

    Hey cool. So the next time I’m due to file income taxes I’m going to claim zero tax liability because my employer has already paid some taxes on that money!

    The government will have my back, right?

  29. Kold Konnection @ #333 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 5:01 pm

    I am glad that Shorten has the political balls to systematically reform middle and upper class welfare

    He isn’t though. He is only doing it to those that earn from $1 to $18,000 per year from franked share investments. Those that earn more than $18,000 per year are still entitled to the ‘welfare’. Bill seems to have forgotten which side of the fence he says he lives on.

    Well, if all the people who earn under $18k a year and have franking credits were to vote for the Liberals it would make 3/5 of Effall difference to the outcome of any election. There are a small number of people who might fall into that category – Jackol here seems to be one – but the vast majority of beneficiaries of this arrangement are people with super investments (especially self-managed super funds).

    It is one thing to be Robin Hood. It is quite another to be the Sheriff of Nottingham kitted out in Sherwood Forest green throwing a bone to a beggar by the castle gate, which is how this aspect of the current arrangement works.

  30. Internships are now compulsory units in some degrees. My son has to do one to complete his – and will have to give up his paid work to undertake it.

  31. Nicko @ #341 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 5:09 pm

    A 5 billion saving from this policy seems to suggest, hurting low income pensioners only doesn’t make any sense.

    Yep. There are just not enough low income pensioners to go around to produce anything remotely like that. I just did a quick sum and there would have to be 274,000 people all of whom get franking credits that take them just up to the tax free threshold and no higher to raise $5 billion.

    That’s a lot of poor people who understand shares! Though maybe that’s how they got to be poor. Bad stockmarket decisions.

  32. ‘davidwh says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    The real problem is family trust structures but no political party is game to do anything.’

    That is ONE real problem. For sure. Labor intends chipping away at the edges, I believe.

  33. ‘zoomster says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Internships are now compulsory units in some degrees. My son has to do one to complete his – and will have to give up his paid work to undertake it.’

    Wage theft, pure and simple.

  34. kezza2 @ #333 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 5:03 pm

    KayJay says:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I go now to a far better place – out to fill the green waste bin with clippings and cut branches.

    Hate to disappoint you, KayJay, but since China no longer wants our waste, our ingenious waste collecters – whether green waste or foul – are collected by the same trucks. To whit, last week our general rubbish was collected by the “green only waste” people.

    It’s all a bit sus.

    Oh ❗

    I have been so carefull (mostly) with recycling, green waste and general rubbish.

    I will pay attention on Thursday (our collection day).

    I will also check the Newcastle Council web site and ask my, in this case, useful son in law about this matter. He does various gardening, cleanup and other jobs involving such matters.

    I have seen the reports about China and refusing to accept various waste products.

    Thanks for that.

    Now back to my trouser hemming chore. Useful stuff the fusible web.

    Good health to you and yours. ♡♡♡

  35. Boerwar @ #343 Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 – 5:12 pm

    TPOF
    Friar Tuck aside, who benefits and who disbenefits from the proposal?

    The benefit goes to Commonwealth revenue. In my view, the primary disadvantage goes to people in SMSFs where income is taxed at 15% and which have a large proportion of shares producing fully franked dividends. There will be others who hold small amounts of such shares and whose income is very low who will be adversely affected. But you can’t raise that sort of money from people who don’t genuinely get much income in the first place.

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