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. Shorten’s speech also likely put paid to the Business Council’s plans for its advertising blitz in favour of the tax cuts

    Bill will be hoping he hasn’t killed them off. It ain’t 2010 and the Mining Boom any more. They’ll be fighting a previous war if the BCA think they can repeat the Miner’s ad success. Every single opportunity to contrast what Labor are proposing with shoveling billions to big biz is one Shorten will celebrate.

  2. Most amusing, P1, but nice try.

    200 million euros over 40 years to one of the world’s biggest agricultural exporters is nothing. Literally nothing. It is not even statistical noise.

    $5 billion is not a bagatelle but it is not going to lead to the end of the Dutch being one of the world’s biggest exporters of food commodities.

    Your yen for catastrophe has once again led you up the garden path.

  3. ‘The Liberals and most of our media will stop at nothing to ensure Labor does not win. Nothing is off limits, I can assure of that.’

    They held a Royal Commission to Get Bill. No one is under any illusions.

  4. Boerwar @ #1852 Thursday, May 10th, 2018 – 10:10 pm

    Most amusing, P1, but nice try.

    You really don’t get it, do you? Your own environmental agency is telling you that unless you change your agricultural practices, your groundwater will continue to deplete, your land will continue to subside, and your C02 emissions will continue to rise.

    Your yen for catastrophe has once again led you up the garden path.

    Your yen for yen is blinding you. All you can ever seem to think of is the money 🙁

  5. They held a Royal Commission to Get Bill.

    and now they’re holding a Royal Commission to get the banks they want to shovel billions at and so making Bill’s life sooooo much easier.

    Just because these clowns will try all sorts of lies and dirty tricks doesn’t mean they have the wit to make it work.

  6. @P1

    Are you not thinking of the money?

    We not the ones who suggesting to use Gas (which both Fossil Fuel companies use) to make profit on the whole energy crises..

  7. Player One @ #1858 Thursday, May 10th, 2018 – 10:26 pm

    Zoidlord @ #1857 Thursday, May 10th, 2018 – 10:23 pm


    Are you not thinking of the money?


    We not the ones who suggesting to use Gas (which both Fossil Fuel companies use) to make profit on the whole energy crises..

    No, you are the ones accepting that it is better to burn coal. Which of us is the more foolish?

    P1 repeats its stale old lie that anyone who is not an enthusiast for burning lots of gas wants to burn coal.

  8. I’m hoping like hell that a Federal ICAC will dig deep to scoop out the corruption that is going on between some politicians and business interests. Ordinary Australians have been reamed for generations by fat cats in cahoots with elected officials. When a light is shone on what is still going on it will hopefully put a few people behind bars.

  9. Despite the Hare-Clark electoral system, the National party never established themselves in Tasmania like they did in other states.

    That is a reason why Labor has had more support in Lyons, Braddon and Bass than they would in similar seats on the mainland. I believe Labor in Tasmania in small towns and rural areas attracts voters who would vote for the Nationals on the mainland.

  10. zoomster says:

    ‘They held a Royal Commission to Get Bill. No one is under any illusions.’

    I think things can get even more sordid unfortunately. The other day I unfortunately heard even Greens supporters banging on about ‘rumours surrounding Shorten’.

    Turnbull is a vicious character. If things look grim he will enter those swamps.

  11. Desert Qlder – the Libs have been trying ‘kill bill’ tactics for years. Unfortunately for them, it wears thin with the electorate after a while. If they’d had anything more ‘juicy’ on him they’d have used it by now. And the last time Turnbull tried something based on a fallacy … he lost the leadership because unlike Libs, ALP face down their accusers when they are false.

  12. What I have heard about Shorten’s budget reply. I disagree with the following with one thing. Mainly lifting the cap on university places, because a lot of university degrees are literally pieces of paper. I am in favour of increasing university funding and even free university education. However we need to seriously limit the number of university places to prevent students from graduating with degrees they can’t find work remotely related to their degrees. Giving more funds towards TAFE courses, so they can significantly reduce or eliminate fees would much more beneficial for the nation to what Shorten has proposed.

    Also I believe Labor aren’t going further enough to address the revenue problems both state and federal governments have. Because we have much more of a revenue than a spending problem. I believe the following needs to occur to address this revenue problem, which are for example; firstly, scrapping negative gearing and capital tax discounts on property, secondly; in order to help state government finances the GST needs to extended to areas which don’t currently attract it and the rate increased to 15-17.5% (the lower rate is what New Zealand currently has).

    Also the rare of Newstart, Youth Allowance, Partner and Parenting payment to at least the level of the Old Age and Disability Pension. Not to mention such more rigorous means testing for the old age pension. Because I see the Aged Pension as a safety net, rather than an entitlement.

  13. So charging pensioners/ the disabled/ the poor 15 to17.5 percent tax for everything- including food and health that currently attracts no GST is the way to improve the revenue base…
    I think a Labor Govt can do better than that.

  14. John O’Grady’s “They’re A Weird Mob” sits comfortably as an appropriate description for the ragtag bunch of self-serving righteous individuals that loosely assemble under the not so broad umbrella of liberals and nationals that have managed to become neither.
    The slomo budget is unfolding in what must be a nightmare scenario for a coalition of political parties that profess to be all things to all men(sometimes women) and have presented a plan to be all things to a few and shouldn’t we be grateful for that.
    The most amazing aspect of this very lucky country as Donald Horne described Australia in his book “The Lucky Country” is that we continue to be so despite the rubbish ‘dished up’ by the likes of Turnbull as PM.
    The man is a pompous twit surrounded by a ragtag bunch self-interested grandees.
    Both Howard and Costello, a very formidable duo of the art of con, have both recently displayed astonishment at the paltry effort produced by the PM recently given the suitably selected moniker of ‘ten buck turnbull’.
    The LNP have become a struggling side-show of pontification in a melee with their own bullshit. Hockey’s attempt at a budget landed in the gutter and Slomo has, after two days, jumped in with joy with his predecessor. There’s always the plum overseas sojourn in the pipeline.
    The LNP are devoid of policy and foresight. They are dishonest and devious.
    Australia is waiting as patiently as a restless teenager a day before a birthday. Turnbull, do one thing correctly before you go, give us an election now!

  15. @Torchbearer

    There would be appropriate compensation for these increased GST rates of course for people most affected by them.

  16. Last election Shorten galloped all over Aus while the PM didn’t go far from the mansion.
    Looking at Malcolm lately, think he is feeling the pressure from Abbott, Dutton, the BCA, the NBN, poor policies and exposure for being a phony. He did not look happy tonight sitting waiting for the hits to arrive and the Treasurer had to shut his trap while all his smoke and mirror tricks were exposed.

    The energy of Shorten v the lethargy of Turnbull will shift votors to Labor from the first day of the election campaign. Shortens town hall meetings all over the country have covered the things that are important to the average punter.
    All that work helped him put together part of his election package which we saw tonight. I think he knows what the majority wants and agrees with them.

    ScoMo and Co put manure on all the ALP tax reforms for the last two years and they appear to have totalled an extra $350B. The Labor front bench are ready to take over.

  17. Applying GST to health would get lots of tax from the rich but not much from the poor because the poor use the public system (for which they pay very little directly, where GST would be directed) but the rich go to the private system much more than the poor and thus would pay more GST. The same applies with education. The poor currently pay a significantly greater proportion of their income in GST partly because of these exemptions. Private schools and medical care should be subject to the GST.

    Food is more complicated because the poor do spend on food.

  18. Jay, you said you want the Age Pension to be a ‘safety-net’ instead of an entitlement.
    The name ‘safety-net’ is a metaphor, an analogy, if you prefer.

    You propose using a means test which would result in more old people who are unable to work, who still must pay for food, clothing, house repairs and increasing medical costs, receiving less, or no, pension.
    People, by the way, who were told by Bob Menzies they would be looked after, and who paid much higher tax rates than people now.
    So, they had the money taken from them when young, and now you want to widen the holes in the ‘safety-net’ so more of them fall through now.
    Well, Jay, I hope your chooks turn to emus and kick your dunny down.

  19. Good speech by Shorten, haven’t seen it but it reads well.

    I think Darn was questioning the $350 billion war chest for Labor figure.

    From the Government: $220b
    Company Tax Cuts – $80b
    PAYE cuts – $140 b

    Negative gearing
    Dividend Imputation
    Capital Gains
    and other savings.

    So, as you can see they have a lot to play with and most of it gifted to them by the Government! 🙂

  20. ‘Once tipped to be among China’s next generation of leaders, Sun Zhengcai will now spend the rest of his life in prison.’.

    If only LNP follow suit.

  21. Lovey @ 6.33pm

    “I just want to clear things up, are you saying the HC was “wrong” in law or in in conflict with precedent, in this case?”

    No Lovey, nothing of the sort.

    The HC was just going about its everyday business of refining and clarifying the law, as new circumstances (questions of law) arise.

    In Gallagher, unlike in Sykes and Canavan, the HC took the opportunity to be deadly specific as to when the “reasonable steps taken” argument by a dual citizen will apply. It makes three points which are not spelt out in Sykes or Canavan.

    1. In Gallagher the HC (at 31) actually explicitly stated that to satisfy s 44 by the “exception method” (ie the reasonable steps process) both the conditions must be present ie the existence of foreign law which makes renunciation irremediable AND that all reasonable steps to renounce have been taken.

    2. In Gallagher the HC (at 32) specified that all the reasonable steps must be done notwithstanding that the renunciation will fail.

    3. In Gallagher the HC (also at 32) specified that renunciation does not occur until all the reasonable steps have been completed.

    As I have stated about half a dozen times since yesterday morning, in Gallagher the HC by its explicit language has significantly reduced the ambiguity surrounding the application of the “reasonable steps” exception.

    A further point of interest is contained in the judgement of Edelman J at 60-64. In those sections of the judgement the presence of “unreasonable” steps being part of the renunciation process is raised. Edelman states that his circumstance also might activate the “reasonable steps taken” exception.

    This flags the probability that further refinement of s44 issues by the HC will be required when an appropriate case is referred.

  22. Also I believe Labor aren’t going further enough to address the revenue problems both state and federal governments have. Because we have much more of a revenue than a spending problem.

    The federal government does not have and never has a revenue problem. The constraint that it needs to be mindful of is the availability of real goods and real services that are for sale in the Australian dollar. There’s a real resource constraint; not a revenue constraint.

    At present there are ample amounts of unused real resources in Australia (unemployed and underemployed people, unused materials, unused plant and equipment). In other words, there is plenty of fiscal space for the federal government to increase its net spending into households and firms in a non-inflationary way.

  23. “Flat tax … flat tax … flat tax … flat tax …” Take a breath Bill, and keep going. “Flat tax … flat tax … flat flat tax …”
    And don’t forget to thank ScoMo.

  24. What the high court has said is that govts will be in the box seat when selecting candidates because they will be able to bully foreign govts (e.g. NZ with Barnyard) to get quick renunciations. Well done, boys.

  25. Turnbull gives away so much by his body language.

    5 hours ago

    Turnbull feeling discomfort. Eye blocks by constant squinting at Shorten. The squint is used by the squinter who narrows the eyes not wanting to see whats in front of them when feeling threatened. It shows dislike and is used to intimidate by dominant people #auspol #budgetreply

  26. Innovation disappeared.

    “It just looks like the old stuff has been repackaged again and old funding commitments previously announced have been relabelled. It’s hard to see what’s happened to the original ideas boom and innovation agenda,” he said.

    “That was launched with much fanfare, but it just seems to have faded. All of the stuff with the tech boom, I can’t see how the budget gets us there.”

    The Turnbull government’s focus has now shifted far away from supporting the growing tech sector in Australia, he said.

    “There needs to be a rethink between the various jobs and innovation agendas because a lot of what has popped out of this budget says where the priorities are and they’re not in support of tech and cyber, despite what they say,” Mr Pretty said.

    “Where are the people promoting the ideas boom and new agenda now? They’re deathly silent. There is a vacuum in the market for some plain speaking.”

  27. Nicholas

    I think it has been accepted by both parties that the government must still inject funds into the economy; I think we will hear less bullshit from the Liberals going forward as they have injected funds at a records rate. I think Swan’s real mistake was promising surpluses instead of defending providing the support the economy needed.

    The real question here; do you inject funds with company or low income tax cuts. As low income earners will spend in the local economy and companies will transfer the funds overseas I think it’s a no brainer. If you want to simulate the local economy that way, put the money into the hands of people that will spend it locally.

    It’s my view real infrastructure spend is better; but clearly that view is shared by few.

    As for a flat tax; that would be a major shift in the Australian Tax system. Perhaps something a right wing government with political capital to burn could get away with; it would have to be quick and sharp. A government behind in the polls to flag it over two terms; a good sign off for a political suicide note.

    Morrison tried to be too tricky by half.

  28. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. And now it’s time to feed the animals and get ready to head off to start another Bunnings sausage sizzle. And it’s raining!

    David Crowe on Shorten’s entry to the tax wars. Also the debt and deficit war.
    The CBA has accepted a number of the royal commission findings but is refuting others.
    Bevan Shields tells us that Bill Shorten is making sure the argument over income tax does not overshadow three other policy fights signalled in his budget reply speech on Thursday night.
    Michelle Grattan says that Shorten has handed Turnbull a character-forming task on tax.
    David Crowe on how Morrison devised his ‘big bang’ tax cuts to corner Labor. And he has a Shorten leadershit dig.
    Dennis Shanahan says that Shorten ha called Morrison’s bluff – and more.
    Labor will support Liberal MP Sussan Ley’s bill to outlaw live exports, meaning an outright ban on the trade within five years is, for the first time, a realistic prospect.
    North Korea could be taking preliminary steps to close its nuclear test site, or Kim Jong-un is making the rest of the world think he is.
    The SMH editorial says that sixty years after independence, Malaysia is starting to see its own democracy emerge from the shadow of one-party rule. They voted for change and might even get it.
    Jenna Price angrily writes that the government should spend $50 million on the ABC rather than Captain Cook.
    Michael Koziol reckons the ABC says it will have to “cut into muscle” to absorb the Turnbull government’s latest funding cut, as it flags further trade-offs between rusted-on viewers and the new, younger audiences it is desperate to attract. IMHO they can get rid of that awful “comedy” channel.
    The Turnbull government’s plan to dramatically flatten Australia’s income tax scales by 2024-25 would provide a tax windfall to the richest households in Australia’s capital cities, while leaving regional areas with noticeably fewer gains.
    Treasurer Scott Morrison thinks his Budget will be the one that brings home the bacon, but he’s dead wrong, says Dave Donovan.,11484
    Phil Coorey posits that for both Shorten and Turnbull Super Saturday only has downside.
    One of the nation’s largest employer groups has argued against an increase in Newstart Allowance, putting it starkly at odds with the other major business lobbies which say the payment is a barrier to employment.
    Colin Kruger on yesterday’s AMP AGM.
    Elizabeth Knight was there too and says that AMP is in full-throttle damage control.
    The AFR’s Chanticleer writes “AMP’s record-high negative 61 per cent vote against its remuneration report is the least of the wealth manager’s worries when weighed against the prospect of the company’s core advice business disintegrating.”
    Penny Hackett tells us that David Goodall’s story forces us to confront uncomfortable issues surrounding death and dying and the genuine fear that many ill and elderly people hold as they approach the end of their lives.
    Trump’s Iran rumblings could easily lead to a global recession hinged on oil.
    And right on cue fears grow as Israel and Iran edge closer to conflict
    The AFR has some details on how the government will address the cash black economy.
    Turmoil within Australia’s internet domain administration could lead to it being handed back to the government, writes Laurie Patton.,11483
    Rio Tinto and Alcoa have unveiled a new process to make aluminium that they say eliminates all direct greenhouse emissions from the traditional smelting process, and that they believe is the industry’s biggest innovation in more than a century.
    The Liberal Party has launched a last-ditch effort to stop electorate boundary changes which could see two Victorian federal seats fall to Labor at the next election and the Coalition lose government.
    Health authorities have no timeline for the introduction of a real-time prescription monitoring service to stop doctor shopping in NSW, an inquest into opiate deaths has heard.
    If a government’s budget is a measure of its beliefs and priorities, then clearly the Turnbull government still thinks climate change is not real and we need more carbon. Jonathan Moylan explains.
    Regional airlines are really under the pump if this is anything to go by.
    A Senate inquiry has been announced into allegations of multinational tax avoidance among Australia’s largest for-profit nursing home providers. Good!
    A senior child protection worker who had to work a 19-hour shift “ferrying” a distressed child to an emergency placement and stay in a motel room overnight with another child when no accommodation could be found is suing the Victorian government.
    Only in America! An Iowa dog owner was hospitalized after being unexpectedly shot by his pet while playing together.
    And speaking of Iowa if a woman who has been raped doesn’t report the attack within 45 days, a new bill there would not allow her end the pregnancy
    This will turn out to be interesting. The state’s anti-corruption watchdog will hold a public inquiry into SafeWork SA.
    Wouldn’t be too good out there in a tinny!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with Keating’s recalcitrant mate.
    Mark David on Turnbull’s dream.
    Peter Broelman and the High Court outcome.
    Mark Knight also has a dip.
    Jon Kudelka and “reasonable steps”.
    Kudelka on the treatment of the ABC.
    And of course Zanetti couldn’t resist it.
    David Pope destroys the government’s tax plans.
    Quite a few good ones in here.

  29. Fox host apologizes for letting torture-defending guest smear McCain as producer told him to end interview

    The host of a Fox Business New segment, where a retired Air Force officer defended torture by smearing former POW Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has apologized for not cutting his guest off.

    Appearing on the program Thursday morning, Fox military analyst Thomas McInerney launched a horrific attack on the Arizona senator — who is currently battling cancer — in an effort to defend so-called “enhanced interrogations.”

    “The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John,” McInerney suggested. “That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’ The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.”

  30. Trump’s Shadowy Money Trail

    This week it has become clearer that questions about Mr. Trump’s finances, and those about whether his campaign cooperated with Russian hacking of the 2016 election, need to be asked in the same breath.

    Russians and cash — they’ve been a part of Mr. Trump’s life for years, and now they’re elements of the investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Moscow to corrupt American democracy. Mr. Trump’s affection toward the Russian president has led many to ask, “What does Putin have on Trump?” Maybe the ledgers will tell.

  31. John Schindler‏Verified account @20committee

    The REALLY BAD STUFF about Cohen’s ex-USSR dirty money payoffs after the inauguration hasn’t dropped yet. It will soon

  32. You would think that a Government that waxes lyrical about intergenerational equity would have at least a primary school grasp on climate change. Yet the forbidden words were nowhere to be seen in the budget speech, save for a small reference to the Government’s plans to walk away from innovation in the renewables sector (whatever happened to that dogged commitment to ‘jobs and innovation’). The devil, as always, was in the detail of the budget papers.

  33. Tom the first and best @ #1876 Friday, May 11th, 2018 – 12:04 am

    Applying GST to health would get lots of tax from the rich but not much from the poor because the poor use the public system (for which they pay very little directly, where GST would be directed) but the rich go to the private system much more than the poor and thus would pay more GST. The same applies with education. The poor currently pay a significantly greater proportion of their income in GST partly because of these exemptions. Private schools and medical care should be subject to the GST.

    Food is more complicated because the poor do spend on food.

    Exactly! I have said this myself for the longest time and believe Howard left these things out on purpose to encourage people into the Private sphere and as a reward for his closest friends and donors. If you can afford $35000/year to send your child to a Private School, you can afford 10% GST. If you can afford Private Health Insurance, plus the Gaps on top when you use it, you can afford 10% GST on top.

    The wealthy people in our society now have too much wealth and it’s long past time they paid their fair share into the national kitty.

  34. BK

    Only in America! An Iowa dog owner was hospitalized after being unexpectedly shot by his pet while playing together.

    Lucky it was Iowa and not Alabama. There they would have laid a charge for attempted murder against the do the dog .

  35. ANTONBRUCKNER11 @ #1886 Friday, May 11th, 2018 – 6:16 am

    What the high court has said is that govts will be in the box seat when selecting candidates because they will be able to bully foreign govts (e.g. NZ with Barnyard) to get quick renunciations. Well done, boys.

    They have not said that, but it may tend to be the effect.
    However, as anyone who has ever dealt with bureaucracies such as Centrelink, Telstra etc can probably attest, you need to keep on the case with plenty of follow up to move them along. I haven’t seen anything referring to those involved in citizenship issues ever doing this.

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