Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Essential’s two-party gap narrows to its lowest point in 18 months, despite Labor’s tax and budget policies being favoured over the Coalition’s.

We have an Essential Research poll for the third week in a row, last week’s post-budget poll having been additional to the normal fortnightly cycle, rather than an adjustment. The result is the Coalition’s best from Essential since November 2016, with the Labor lead down to 51-49 from 52-48 last week, and 53-47 the week before. Primary votes will be with us when the full report is published later today. UPDATE: Full report here. The Coalition is up two to 40%, Labor is steady on 36%, the Greens are steady on 10% and One Nation are up a point to 8%.

This is despite a range of results on tax and budget matters that are uniformly favourable for Labor and/or unfavourable for the Coalition. As reported by The Guardian, the poll finds Labor’s income tax policy favoured over the Coalition’s by 45% to 33%, and 44% favouring Labor’s “increasing spending on health and education while giving a tax cut to low and middle-income earners”, over “the Coalition’s approach, which is to give both companies and workers a tax cut”. Sixty per cent said they did not want company tax cuts to proceed; 50% supported Labor’s proposed tightening of negative gearing, with 24% opposed; and 42% supported Labor’s dividend imputation policy, with 27% opposed. However, the two parties were tied at 32% on the question of best party to manage a fair tax system, with 22% saying it made no difference.

The funding cut to the ABC was supported by 35% and opposed by 45%, and 36% supported the cut to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, with 39% opposed. Questions on a republic found 48% supportive and 30% opposed, with 65% favouring direct election of a head of state compared with just 9% for “a governor-general style appointment by the prime minister of the day”, and 12% for appointment by a two-thirds majority of a joint sitting of parliament.

Also note the post for the Western Australia’s Darling Range by-election immediately below this one.

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.

2,114 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. Is malky seeing something like this in internal polls? Is this why he’s holding off the by-elections?

  2. Voters might prefer Bills tax cuts and spend – but have a niggling worry about where the money is coming from,
    51 -49 is no surprise. Next Newspoll will be interesting.
    The other issue is the CFMEU. The opticsare as important as the court judgement.
    Fun time for Albo.

  3. Rick Wilson‏Verified account @TheRickWilson

    1/ Busy week last week, lovely weekend with our daughter, some fine meals in Nashville. With that, let’s get on with the matter at hand, since Team Stupid thinks this phony “infiltration” panic is their killer app and now require a solid scourging.
    2/ You know what the Trump fluffers are ignoring, yes? They don’t want to ask the first causes question, and it’s pretty clear why. The origins of so, so, so many counterintelligence operations start with SIGINT. This wasn’t some political hack job. This was a rising wave…
    3/ …of information reaching various points in the IC and trickling UP the chain, not some top-down “Get Trump” operation. This wasn’t the ripshit “We gots us a dossier, let’s RIDE, cowboys!” fantasy being sold by the Trump right media and Gentry Breitbart.
    4/ When you, your family your private attorney, your most senior (and junior) campaign staff, business partners, and associates are ass-deep in contacts with people tied to Russian organized crime, Russian intel, and Russian oligarchs (but I repeat myself), it’s going to show up.
    5/ As we’ve discussed, the FBI, DOC, IC, and FISA court ain’t playing beanbag. They don’t just say, “WHOA, Trump’s a flaming dickbag! Let’s subvert our oath and violate the law to screw him!” The Fox crowd uses the asymmetry of what the FBI/DOJ/OSC is forbidden to reveal (yet)
    6/ …to draw this lurid, stupid portrait for an evil Deep State conspiracy directed by Kenyan Muslim Sleeper Agent Obummer and Evil Sorceress Hillary the Child Cannibal for the credulous, the slow, and the wilfully mendacious who know better.
    7/ With all the contacts, associations, meetings, business deals, money, and hard intel that the Russians were attacking our election that *caused* the attention the Trump, if you think the system should have sat quietly and done nothing, allow me to propose a gedankenexperiment.
    8/ Substitute “Trump” for “Clinton” and “Russian” for “Muslim” (or “Chinese”) and tell me you wouldn’t want the FBI to *do it’s damn job*
    9/ I’ve said this from the very, very start. The IC has a royal flush, or damn near it. The fact that you haven’t seen it yet is evidence of discipline, not absence.
    10/ All this show, and bluster, and hair-tearing flim-flam from Team Trump is their usual disservice to the rule of law. Steady on.

  4. The LNP and the budget created confusion which was the only LNP option. The ownership of the MSM and their lackeys is particularly pronounced as its coming from all forms without respite. Labor has held off hammering its case mostly because of the unknown election date and the habit of this government to shoot itself in thd foot.
    The LNP need a few more rabbits in the hat to get out of their come from behind situation. Are the public just sick of the melee of the political circus?

  5. In the Australian. Can you guess where “the researchers” are from ?

    “The vacant role of a national race discrimination commissioner fulfils ‘no substantive function’, according to researchers.

    Of course you can. The Coalition policy development department.

    A parliamentary research brief from think tank Institute of Public Affairs will be sent to all federal MPs

  6. ‘Panicked’ Trump roundly mocked after parroting Fox News conspiracy theory in Monday morning Twitter meltdown

    The crux of Bongino’s conspiracy theory is that former CIA Director John Brennan is behind the Russia probe, based on the famous Russian dossier, which he falsely claims is “phony.” In fact not a single aspect of the dossier has been proven false, and many portions have been proven true.

  7. I don’t wish to know this.

    What is happening? Everything seems to be going well for Labor, but the polls (and more importantly William’s aggregate of the polls, 52-48 if I read it correctly) are showing otherwise. I would have hoped for more like 53-47 or better by now.

    Beats me.

  8. One of Putin’s fiercest critics explains how Russia propaganda has changed to accommodate Trump

    “There is something quite unusual that has been happening in Russia over the last eight months,” Kasparov noted. “For many years, America bashing was a core of Putin domestic propaganda — 24/7 bashing America, criticizing America, calling America all the names and trying to defy America and America’s interests worldwide.”

    “But today we could see the same pattern with one notable exception, the President of the United States is not mentioned,” he explained. “Any Trump name appears on Russian state news, it’s more like being sympathetic with his inability to confront the deep state.”

  9. There are lots of reasons to go Aug-Sept, including the fact that the Libs have absolutely NO agenda and there might be blackouts over the summer.

  10. ‘He’s on his own’: Trump allies are hanging Michael Cohen out to dry as scandals become indefensible

    The Daily Beast reports that Trump allies are turning down opportunities to defend Cohen’s actions on cable news programs, as they are trying make sure they keep a distance between Cohen and Trump.

    “He made a fortune [off of his Trump connections] and has been nothing but a headache,” one former Trump campaign official tells the publication, while also noting that Cohen is mostly “on his own” now.

    In fact, sources tell the Daily Beast that many longtime friends are wary of calling Cohen because they believe their phone calls would be picked up by law enforcement officials.

  11. poroti

    Isn’t this turning logic upside-down?

    “The position of race discrimination commissioner is based on the concept that Australians should be divided and separated according to their ‘race’ — a concept which should find no place in modern-day Australia,” IPA research fellow Morgan Begg said.

  12. Lovey

    Well, what are the factors?

    I am convinced Labor has lost a lot of support from older voters with the foolish dividend imputation “policy”. The idea that all us oldies were grasping Liberal voters anyway is not true. My generation were pretty socialist.

    I don’t think they will win equivalent votes from young voters.

  13. ’51 -49 is no surprise. Next Newspoll will be interesting.’

    No not interesting.

    50/50 will confirm what I’ve been saying here since last year….

    They’re not going to let Bill win/Malky lose take your pick.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Voters are more attracted to Bill Shorten’s tax and economic plans than Malcolm Turnbull’s but the contest between the major parties appears to be tightening, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.
    Sydney is approaching a tipping point that would see people abandon public transport and choose to drive to work as the city struggles to cope with population growth.
    The national Property Council has given Adelaide a big tick over how it is transforming itself.
    Oh oh! Pauline Hanson has sensationally reneged on her promise to support a company tax cut in a move that likely scuttles Malcolm Turnbull’s beleaguered policy once and for all.
    Peter Hartcher tells us about China’s militaristic movements in the South China Sea.
    Mark Kenny says that when it comes to live sheep export problem the government would do well to recognise this early rather than bleed in defence of an industry whose moral mandate was never there.
    Aaron Patrick wonders why Malcolm Turnbull can’t seem to manage Tony Abbott.
    Spoilsport Greg Jericho explains why the job increase is less inspiring than the government would like you to believe.
    And Alan Austin chimes in on this by saying Malcolm Turnbull ought not be so braggy. Australia’s jobs and growth situation is nowhere near as strong as he wants voters to believe.,11518
    Peter Martin reckons the proposed company tax cut and the major bank levy would leave banks more highly taxed than they were before the 2017 budget.
    David Crowe is of the opinion that Labor has cleared more ground to accept the second phase of the Turnbull government’s income tax cuts ahead of an “all or nothing” vote in Parliament, amid a growing contest over the financial gains for millions of workers from the full reform.
    Elizabeth Knight reports on yesterday’s royal commission hearing where evicting a blind old woman proved to be a Westpac public relations debacle.
    Karen Maley writes that the Hayne royal commission has set its sights on one of the bedrocks of small business lending in the country – parents pledging their homes as security.
    Jennifer Hewett says that somehow, despite all the preparation of the bank’s key defence witnesses by armies of expensive lawyers and advisers, the most obvious booby traps still spring wide open in the box.
    The big four banks, Suncorp and BOQ have been cowed by the Hayne royal commission into confessing fresh examples of poor behaviour including fraud, incorrectly taking the homes of customers, overcharging and hounding customers over debts on the first day of hearings into small business lending.
    And Cara Waters tells us that scrutiny on the nation’s $170 billion franchising is set to intensify as lending to the troubled sector is examined this week at the banking royal commission. It certainly could do with it!
    The New Daily tells us about a trend that is seeing several major banks expand their reach by offering unbranded home loans through apparently independent third parties.
    Stephen Koukoulas gives us an investor’s view of the federal budget.
    The SMH editorial calls for NSW sexual consent laws to be carefully reviewer.
    It may well happen that quotas will be the only solution to the Libs’ women problem. There is some interesting stuff in this article.
    And Urban Wronski has a good lash at the Liberals on this subject.
    Jane Gilmore has written an excellent piece on what are the characteristics of the acts of terrorism on US schoolchildren.
    Jessica Valenti writes that the recent mass shootings in the US all have one thing in common: misogyny.
    US politicians who say they want to protect the rights of the unborn are doing nothing meaningful to protect school children from guns.
    One of the largest environmental grants in Australian history was handed to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation – a non-profit that employs only a handful of staff – without a competitive tender process. This really came under fire at Estimates yesterday.
    The Australian Public Service commissioner, John Lloyd, has repeatedly refused to say whether he is under investigation for his relationship with the Institute of Public Affairs and Labor is calling for his head.
    Owners in an award-winning Newcastle building have been left with huge repair bills for ‘significant defects’.
    An Australian entrepreneur has reportedly been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that AGL was never going to do anything but reject Alinta offer.
    Without any fallback plan to keep the Liddell coal-fired power station open, the Turnbull government is placing all its faith in the ability of the competition watchdog to punish gas producers into providing more, and cheaper gas.
    The Grenfell Tower inquiry has begun.
    Parts of regional South Australia could be declared priority rural migration areas under a plan to boost shrinking agricultural communities.
    The NSW state government has ignored another parliamentary order to release critical documents about child protection despite offering to show a secret report to a crucial crossbench MP.
    Jenna Price has a spit about what she calls “entitled motorists” and the dangers of being a pedestrian.
    Elon Musk’s Model 3, once touted as Tesla’s $US35,000 car for the masses, can now set a buyer back almost $US80,000.

    Cartoon Corner

    Another bedroom scene from David Rowe.
    Mark Knight at the wedding.
    Alan Moir sums up Morrison.
    Zanetti’s going for a pay rise!
    As is Jon Kudelka.
    And a few good ones in here.

  15. Mind you, I just overheard Morrison going on about how the boats would flood back if Shorten was elected. The horror…the horror.

    It’s possible they will overplay this scare, and people will see through it.

  16. lizzie,
    Isn’t this turning logic upside-down?

    You could almost say, Orwellian.

    In the same vein as the justification that Matty Cormann came out with this morning in an effort to get the Corporate Tax Cuts, now on life support, off the ventilator.

    Apparently, the CORPORATE Tax Cuts are only being proposed by the Corporate Coalition government, to help the Workers! If you don’t help the wealthy to become wealthier, according to Matty’s logic, the Corporates will become upset and not sweep the crumbs off the table in the direction of their workers, they’ll just put them in the bin.

    So, pass the Multinational and Large Company Tax Cuts now, or the Workers get it in the neck!


  17. Mesma says it is rosy but how is Australia’s standing with China ? The Chinese gave Ciobo some ‘subtle’ hints.

    At least, that’s what Ciobo’s speech said he said. For those in the room — which was light on senior Chinese officials — the visiting minister was hard to make out over the clattering of plates that began, loudly, exactly when he started speaking.

    It would have been written off as bad luck if it wasn’t for Ciobo’s “microphone incident” the following night.

  18. Lovey,
    Think not what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for your country!

    Your/our generation have been immensely financially advantaged by, generally, Coalition governments, in order to buy our votes. Do you really think we should get more from the Budget than Defense!?!

  19. The idea that all us oldies were grasping Liberal voters anyway is not true. My generation were pretty socialist.

    No-one’s saying you’re a bad person. The country just can’t afford it anymore. It’s the age pension by stealth.

    Give us a good reason why you should receive a tax refund on tax you didn’t pay, tax that was paid on money you didn’t earn, other than asserting you should get it because you’vd been getting it up until now.

    You’re saying that this company profit, in your case at least shouldn’t be taxed at all, at no stage, or even assessed. How is this just, when people who don’t have the benefit of share investments have to account for every cent they have (or their partners have) to Centrelink, and be hounded for their whole lives over it?

  20. C@t

    I’ve noticed that people here are more concerned about the politics of issues than the ethics of them.

    This is such a case. If Labor’s call is for people affected to suck it up, think of the country, it will lose votes. Basic politics.

  21. ABC24 News Breakfast let Matt Cormann rabbit on till he ran out of breath.

    They cut off Chris Bowen just now after a minute! Just so they could go back and repeat Cormann’s drivel again!

  22. Lovey @ #19 Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 – 7:49 am

    Mind you, I just overheard Morrison going on about how the boats would flood back if Shorten was elected. The horror…the horror.

    It’s possible they will overplay this scare, and people will see through it.

    It is deep seated. Generally speaking, people are Ok saying they want to help asylum seekers, but it doesn’t extend to boats.×190.jpg

  23. Lovey,
    This is such a case. If Labor’s call is for people affected to suck it up, think of the country, it will lose votes. Basic politics.

    No, greed, pure and simple.

  24. BB

    Tax is paid on those dividends. To that extent all shareholders did pay tax due. It is just some shareholders will no longer retain the benefit of the imputation.

  25. I’ve noticed that people here are more concerned about the politics of issues than the ethics of them.

    And as far as the ethics of the situation goes, do you honestly think that you should be gifted a more comfortable life by the taxpayer than someone trying to survive on Newstart?

  26. Labor made a calculation that they could release controversial policy and sell it.

    It’s a good reminder to them (and us) that achieving government is not supposed to be an effortless cake walk.

    Ditto for Bill Shorten. He needs to try harder and be cleverer. And I’m sure he will.

  27. BK

    You have linked to this article twice (the second time instead of the link to Jane Gilmore’s piece —

    The conclusion seems to be that, since the Liberals can’t sort out their gender problem, there should be intervention at the parliamentary level, such as federal laws mandating a proportion of women.

    I’d say leave it to the electorate to sort it out, by not voting for a party which is overtly male dominated. The problem for that, at least for the Coalition, is that the most recalcitrant male MPs tend to hold the safest seats. For some of them, there is no difference, on a personal level, between being in Opposition and being in government, so voting out the Coalition might not result in the realisation that the party needs renewal – particularly when it comes to gender recognition.

    The other problem is that the younger cohort coming through seems even more conservative than dinosaurs like Abetz and Abbott.

    That said, when Labor and the Greens are doing well with gender equality, it seems a little heavy handed to suggest that what we need is new laws.

  28. BB ‘Give us a good reason why you should receive a tax refund on tax you didn’t pay, tax that was paid on money you didn’t earn, other than asserting you should get it because you’vd been getting it up until now.’

    I have two reasons:

    If I were a pensioner before 28th of March 2018, I will continue to recieve the franking credit. I am able to receive a tax refund on tax I didn’t pay.

    If I have a tax liability (say on rent recieved above 18,200 pa). I can claim the franking credits on tax I didn’t pay.

    Are these good reasons? No, shows the unfairness of this policy.

  29. Lovely, be careful. People don’t like hearing your point of view and it won’t belong before they start calling you ‘obsessive’ and tell you to ‘stop banging on about it’ (even though a few posts earlier, they ask you to clarify something).

  30. Morning

    Thanks BK, Phoenix for today’s reports.
    The tightening of polls could indeed give Turnbull the impetus to go to an early election.

  31. Since when have we been able to say so much from just one poll?

    One poll, people!!! One poll!!!!! 🙂

  32. Sam SweeneyVerified account@SweeneyABC

    BREAKING: A baboon escaped an American Airlines flight and is currently on the loose at the San Antonio airport. Police say they have it cornered near the baggage area.

    Why isn’t Trump using Air Force 1?

  33. ‘Spoilsport Greg Jericho explains why the job increase is less inspiring than the government would like you to believe.’

    Why can’t Shorten or Bowen or Wong get out there and explain it….

  34. The silly citizenship debacle hasn’t been good for Labor.
    But if in fact as reported, the coalition still have question marks over their own MPs, this could be what turns things around again.

  35. Good morning all,

    Labor is taking a hit in the polls, no doubt about it now.

    Reasons ?

    I would suggest as others have, that the citizenship saga has played a part and it will be “interesting “to see if it is locked in and voters decide to take it out on labor candidates at the upcoming by elections or if it is just a temporary show of annoyance.

    While citizenship may have addedmomentum to the turnaround it is perplexing trying to understand and determine a ” start date” or ” critical issue(s) starting point ” that gave the change the initial push. What else is bubbling along below the surface I have no idea given essential shows voters appear to support the savings/ revenue policies of labor.

    It is perplexing.


  36. “Don’t be bitter be better” implores Jane Hume, Liberal Senator, yesterday in Q&A to the audible gasp in audience. It implied there is no “women problem” in Liberal party parliamentary wing. I thought she also implied women are not victims.
    This is the same Jane Hume, who is under pre-selection threat in VIC, according to MSM.
    My thought immediately went to PBers. What would they think about above sentence?
    BTW ALP, which was always comfortably placed in essential research polls since 2016 election, is now 51-49.
    What does that signify? Is there a audible gasp in ALP circles?

  37. According to Shanahan, the Libs are powerless in the power war!

    “Without any fallback plan to keep the Liddell coal-fired power station open, the Turnbull government is placing all its faith in the ability of the competition watchdog to punish gas producers into providing more, and cheaper gas.

    If the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission can’t use its market powers to keep down gas prices and increase supply, there will be energy shortfalls in NSW and the South Australian blackout disease will spread and energy prices will rise.

    For a Coalition government that declared war on blackouts and rising energy prices, that is a political disaster”.

  38. Fess

    Trump will do anything to get the whole Nth Korea shebang back on track.
    Kim Jong Un can look forward to a big pay day from the Trumpster.
    Not that it will be passed onto to the actual Nth Korean people.
    Subsequently there will be anger. Dear leader had better watch his back. I don’t see a good outcome for him going forward.

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