Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Labor maintains its existing lead in the latest Essential poll, despite improving perceptions on the outlook for the economy.

With Newspoll holding its fire ahead of tonight’s budget, the one new federal poll for the week is the regular fortnightly result from Essential Research – which, The Guardian reports, has maintained its recent form in recording Labor’s lead unchanged at 53-47. Primary votes to follow with the publication of the full report later today. The poll also features Essential’s monthly leadership ratings, which have Malcolm Turnbull on 40% approval (up one) and 42% disapproval (steady), Bill Shorten on 37% approval (up two) and 41% disapproval (down two), and Turnbull leading 40-26 as preferred prime minister, little changed from 41-26 last time.

As related in The Guardian’s report, other questions relate to what respondents would like in the budget, of which the most interesting findings would seem to be an 11% increase for “assistance for the unemployed” compared with last year, along with 8% increases for age pensions, affordable housing and assistance for the needy. The most favoured categories overall are health care, age pensions, education and affordable housing; the least favoured are foreign aid, business assistance and the military. Eighteen per cent expect the budget to be good for them personally (up eight on last year) compared with 24% for bad (down six), and 39% now rate the economy good (up six since November) compared with 24% for bad.

Note also the post below this one on the looming Western Australian state by-election in Darling Range.

UPDATE: Full results from Essential Research here. Both major parties are up a point on the primary vote, the Coalition to 38% and Labor to 37%, with the Greens down one to 10% and One Nation down two to 6%.

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.

1,901 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. We are seeing the real Bill Shorten here I think.


    Yes I agree with you do the hard yards on policies and you do reap the rewards

  2. Some minor stumbles by both Shorten and Sales. Sales is definitely nicer tonight than she has been for the last couple of years.

  3. rossmcg

    Re “And house by house, street by street, suburb by suburb, my team and I will make this a referendum on your $80 billion corporate tax giveaway to multinationals, big business and the big banks.””

  4. ‘Ides of March not.logged in says:
    Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Some minor stumbles by both Shorten and Sales. Sales is definitely nicer tonight than she has been for the last couple of years.’


  5. Sales going way off track not Shorten. It was mean’t to be about the budget reply but now citizenship. Hopeless.

  6. So, Sales went the biatch late in the interview and got pwned. She was basically accusing Shorten of dishonesty and decalring he would be a dishonest PM.

    Shorten substantially untroubled against teh lightwieght. I liked his finish. 🙂

  7. Sales lost the citizenship part of the interview too.

    Liked Mr Shorten ending with the 10 million better off under Labor.

    Thats what people will remember

  8. poroti

    had same thought …

    Stakes are not as high as they were then but another three years of the Tories is a troubling propsect.

  9. Ben Davidson tweets

    Listening to media personalities ask “what about people on $200,000?” Is a reminder why people think media personalities are out of touch with real life #ABC730 #auspol

  10. Pig after pig. Cow after cow. Village after village. Army after army. And they call me an assassin.

    Folks , it sounds like it is inspired by the Apocalypse Now script

  11. So desperate. Can’t get anywhere re the budget, which is what the interview was supposed to be about, so gets stuck into Shorten on the irrelevance that is s44.

  12. Simon Breheny tweets
    The ideology behind Bill Shorten’s use of the terms ‘give-away’ and ‘hand-out’ to describe lowering rates of tax and allowing people to keep what they earn should be called out for what it is: communism. The idea that the state owns what you create is abhorrent. #BudgetReply18

  13. Shorten’s point about insecure employment is well made.

    You can earn Ok money as a casual. I know. I was permanent five day a week casual employee for two years back in the 90s.

    But it’s a shit way to live, not knowing whether the next roster is going to see your hours cut.

    Cant ring the bank and say “sorry, I can only pay four-fifths of the mortgage this month.”

  14. I take back anything negative I have ever said about Shorten. He just hit turnbull out of the ground with one of the best budget replies I have ever seen – the ashen faces of the LNP was a sight to behold. They know they are cooked. Shouty mcshouty face/ScoMo looked as though he’d been hit between the eyes. I’m reconsidering my greens membership – if Labor follows through on this budget and commitments, I’ll join the ALP. My local ALP member is labor left and at every meet the candidates forum she and the greens candidate agree on about 99.9%, including criticising labor’s refugee policies.

    speaking of which, I’m guessing the libs are about to go ballistic on immigration, national security and boats – they’ve got nothing left now.

  15. Sustainable,

    I recalled the look on Abbott’s face when Gillard launched into full throttle during the misogyny speech. The libs looked like that. Slowly shrinking into their chairs, cowering almost.

  16. Cormann was just on the Price and Bolt show sounding a bit rattled. Bolt said he sounded desperate. Most unusual for that talking head who usually has his lines off pat.

  17. WOW
    That speech was electrifying. I just want to get out on the hustings and start taking on these rightwing thieving bastards.

    Let me at ’em.

  18. I came to the Sales interview for the last few minutes. Did she really ask why people like her couldn’t have a tax cut?

  19. ABC should flick Sales. She gets a chance to talk about ALP policy for the Nation and she tries to get smart with citizenship stuff.
    I wanted to hear Shorten expand / clarify anything in his speech that time did not allow him to cover.
    Is she supposed to be an interviewer about the budget or an interrogator on unrelated crap.
    What an amateur and sounds like she thinks lots of people are on $120k.

  20. Jenauthor,
    The misogyny speech is one of the highlights of my life. I actually had tears in my eyes from gratitude for having a powerful woman say it like it is and call out the misogyny we face. Far out, it was wonderful.

  21. The reality of Labor’s fiscal strategy with regard to capital gains, dividend tax rebates, negative gearing etc. has just hit the Coalition out of the park… and then some. The government is mired in tax cuts for multi-nationals & the banks and cannot extricate itself. Shorten has outplayed them yet again and there’s nothing they can do about it.

  22. I know PBers don’t like him, but can we say that PvO called it 2 days ago?

    Peter van OnselenVerified account@vanOnselenP
    May 8
    Why Bill Shorten will tear the government limb from limb in his budget in reply speech tomorrow night: … @australian #auspol

    The AustralianVerified account@australian
    May 8
    Bill Shorten will be so successful at destroying this budget that it poses a real risk of ending Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, writes @vanOnselenP

  23. Puffytmd @ #1738 Thursday, May 10th, 2018 – 6:45 pm

    The misogyny speech is one of the highlights of my life. I actually had tears in my eyes from gratitude for having a powerful woman say it like it is and call out the misogyny we face. Far out, it was wonderful.

    I bought 2 tea towels from Emily’s List with Gillard’s misogyny speech printed on it, one for me and one for mum. Mum absolutely thought it was the best gift I’ve ever bought her.

  24. Boerwar @ #1516 Thursday, May 10th, 2018 – 5:14 pm

    This literally does not compute for people like P1. They assume from (erroneous) first principles that all this must be impossible therefore it IS impossible. It is not happening because it cannot happen.

    They nag like harpies about any and all bad side effects and caterwaul about the future, while missing the big picture: this stuff is working big time right now, and it is the harbinger for humanity, not some failing leftover from the past.

    Magic Happens, eh Boerwar. No need to worry.

    This is classic “stage 3” denial.

  25. Toby
    We’re going to have to agree to disagree. I’m done arguing the fundamentals of the doctrine of precedent with you.]

    I’m bemused to hear the basis for your exhaustion. Not a contested word has passed between us in respect those fundamentals. Indeed we both agreed the HC could, in appropriate circumstances not presently relevant, change the law in unprecedented ways.

    Otherwise I note agreeing to disagree seems as fruitful a discussion as can be expected from you.

  26. PvO from the other day:

    For four budgets in a row the government has underestimated Shorten’s ability to fire back two days later, shifting the narrative in his favour and putting the Coalition under pressure. It won’t be any different tomorrow night.

    He’ll highlight that Labor agrees with the first set of income tax cut changes, asking the question why they can’t be decoupled from the unfair elements due to take effect in the electoral cycles ahead.

    In doing so he’ll also point out the absurdity of announcing income tax cuts slated for so many years from now, especially by a government which has spent the best part of two years down and out in the polls. Especially when it wouldn’t hold a tax summit or hand down a tax white paper.

    Don’t be surprised if Shorten gets even bolder — announcing an alternative set of income tax cuts which cost less than the government’s but are more clearly targeted at lower income earners.

    For those who can’t access the Oz link, here it is:

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