Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Essential finds Malcolm Turnbull increasing his lead as preferred Liberal leader, Anthony Albanese drawing level with Bill Shorten for Labor, and little change in voting intention.

The latest fortnightly result from Essential Research has Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead, with the Coalition up one on the primary vote to 41%, Labor steady on 36%, the Greens steady on 10% and One Nation steady on 6%. Also featured are questions on best Liberal and Labor leader: the former finds Malcolm Turnbull on 28%, up four since April, with Julie Bishop down one to 16% and Tony Abbott down one to 10%; the latter has Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese tied on 19%, which is one point down since August 2017 in Shorten’s case and six points up in Albanese’s, while Tanya Plibersek is down one to 12%.

The poll also has Essential’s occasional question on attributes of the main parties, which are chiefly interesting in having the Liberals up eight points since November 2017 for having “a good team of leaders”, to 45%, and down eight on the obverse question of being “divided”, to 56%. The biggest movements for Labor are a seven point decrease for being “extreme”, to 34%; a five point decrease for being too close to corporate interests, to 37%; and a five point increase for being divided, to 56%.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1022; full results can be found here.

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.

2,484 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

  1. It is a pattern throughout the english speaking world. This Guardian UK article calls the BBC to task for giving equal time to “balance” pieces on climate change when one side is plainly lying. Time to call lies as lies.

    As I’ve said previously you can’t balance facts with anti-facts which is what the vast majority of ‘debates’ on AGW and GHGE reduction amounts to.

  2. I’m tired of calls to support our drought affected farmers. They are running a business which has become unviable for reasons beyond their control. It’s happened to countless other Australian business owners. Countless Australians have been made redundant from their jobs for reasons beyond their control.

    Farmers are not heros, or special. They deserve no special treatment.

    Send in the administrators, give them a Centrelink form and tell them not to let to the gate hit their arse on the way out. Just like happens to any other Australian who looses their business or gets made redundant from their job.

  3. “This crap is taking away good Insiders time!”

    get with the program BK!! Its how to advertise the Govt for free.

    Annoying that they are not saying anything that hasn’t been on high rotation reporting for the last day or so. but hey! Its the PM saying it! Soooooo…….may all be wrong or a lie is suppose????

  4. I do feel for the farmers but is it not now the time to examine the sustainability of our agricultural practices and begin to restructure?

  5. lol

    Josh Taylor
    ‏Verified account @joshgnosis
    32m32 minutes ago

    Wait…aren’t they normally opposed to “safe spaces”?

  6. It is good news that the idea of a federal Job Guarantee is gaining traction in the Democratic Party and in institutions aligned with the Democrats. In a piece called “Centrism is Dead”, Osita Nwanevu wrote this for Slate magazine:

    “the most significant development in the Democratic policy conversation over the past year has been the rise of proposals for a federal job guarantee, which would have the government directly create employment for all who seek it—an idea with roots in New Deal programs like the Works Progress Administration and Democratic pushes for “full employment” in the 1960s and 1970s. Bernie Sanders is on board along with a few unlikely advocates. Cory Booker, who came to prominence in the early 2000s as a committed moderate backed by groups like the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, announced in April that he would introduce legislation to pilot job guarantee programs in 15 local areas around the country, and Kirsten Gillibrand, formerly a prominent member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition who has also broadly endorsed the concept of a guarantee, is a co-sponsor along with Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. The Center for American Progress, a think tank in the Democratic mainstream, released its take on the idea last year.”

  7. The ABC reporter on the ground in rural NSW is wearing the requisite akubra just in case you didn’t know he was reporting from on the ground in a rural area.

  8. With the farmers I think they are in three categories:
    1. Land that is no longer viable and there is no practical or economic way of farming it.
    2. Marginal land where farming is boom bust and a high risk endeavor and requires access to a lot of science to get it right. Best left to large agribusiness with the ability to spread the cost of the required science across vast amonts of such land.
    3. Land with temporary difficulty with drought.

    We should not be subsidising the lifestyle choices of farmers regardless of how many generations they’ve been on the land.

    Any financial assistance needs to be repayable during the next boom time.

  9. It’s hard to imagine a complainant who *wouldn’t* be anxious about the result of an investigation into their complaint.

    This does not excuse breaking confidentiality.

    And as for Bill Shorten and others not knowing about it, that is precisely why these matters are supposed to be confidential: in order to keep all aspects of possible executive interference and conflict of interest out of it.

  10. Insiders ABC
    ‏Verified account @InsidersABC
    8m8 minutes ago

    Even the Great Barrier Reef foundation doesn’t know what it’s going to do with its $444 million grant, @Tony_Burke tells @barriecassidy

    “All that they know for sure is that they’ve been given it”

    #Insiders #auspol

  11. “Good on Barrie Cassidy. He’s pulling a near hysterical Alice Workman to pieces.”

    Was watching on ABC24 but they are going full drought…a fwarking gain…as they have for the last couple of days. FFS, how often can they repeat this same stuff?? 🙁

    fine, a lot of farmers didn’t know about this assistance. If they dont by now then they are idiots.

    And now they are doing a muso who wants to talk about how good the govt is about drought??


  12. We should not be subsidising the lifestyle choices of farmers regardless of how many generations they’ve been on the land.

    I agree with your point that farmers are treated differently from other business owners who face difficulties. Part of the reason is that farmers are concentrated in several House of Reps seats whereas most business owners are geographically scattered and lack the electoral bargaining power to gain subsidies and soft loans.

    However, it isn’t just a “lifestyle choice” to work the land. There are legitimate considerations about social ties, community cohesion, and longstanding family traditions. These are very important to human beings and they should not be taken lightly. People who are fourth or fifth generation farmers are not on the land for a lark. Their choice to work the land is not akin to choosing a new car or pair of shoes. There are strong and healthy cultural, social, and psychological reasons behind their choice; they want to contribute, they want to belong, they want to honour their ancestors.

    I think there is a strong ecological case for phasing out farming in many parts of Australia. However, it would need to be done sensitively and creatively.

    One option would be to use a Job Guarantee to create a wide variety of secure, good quality minimum wage jobs in the affected areas for people who wanted to live in those communities.

    Another intervention would be for the federal government to invest in improving services and infrastructure to attract more people to those areas to make them more viable in terms of diversity of skills. There might be some regional and rural towns where this would make sense; in other places, not so much.

    Another intervention would be for the federal government to provide five year transition income replacement packages to farmers who choose to leave the land. The farmers get their most recent annual farm income paid to them for the next five years while they transition to some other line of work. They would also get free education and training of their choice (this should be available to all citizens, not just people whose livelihoods have been displaced by technology or climate or major policy changes).

  13. One of the points behind Workman’s reporting on the AWU raids was that the media was being played for political purposes.

    With the Husar reporting I think Alice is the one being played! 🙂

  14. I wasn’t watching Insiders, but I take it that ABC24 cut to Turnbull while ABC’s main channel continued to show Insiders? Fortunately, most people would watch Insiders on the main channel anyway. Insiders actually rates pretty well, so it may well have been the first time some have heard of #reafgate. I think we all need to be patient; #reafgate will be a slow burn, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  15. “BOM declares a 50 per cent chance of El Nino this spring, possible dry and warm conditions ahead”

    I think we are getting to the point where we need to have a good look at what and where we are farming.

    Fwark off with cotton as it uses vast amounts of water and takes that away from producers in need further down the Murray Darling.

    Review everywhere else and assess for viability of cropping / livestock production into the future given what we think we know as to the affects of AGW.

    Where it looks like being mid-long term viable, help out the farmers with $ assistance.

    Where its not going to be viable, some assistance in $ terms while they exit the industry. Maybe employment program for them to rehabilitate nonviable farmland??

  16. Insiders finishes with the blight of western civilisation & democracy

    “ LIVERPOOL is a continent ”

    Reality tv & celebrities, the West won’t recover, all is lost.

  17. Cheryl Kernot‏ @cheryl_kernot · 22m22 minutes ago

    I find it v disconcerting that you have ignored all principles of natural justice pointed out to you @workmanalice to double down to defend your unprofessional actions by REPEATING the most salacious on #Insiders Fellow panellists giving cues.

  18. “Is Insiders worth catching up on iView later on?”

    Sounds like it. In W.A. its not scheduled for ABC2 for another 3 hours and wont be on iView till tomorrow i think. Annoying as i get up early on a sunday to get it on ABC.

    And ABC24 is STILL doing the fwarking drought thing.

    Anyway, looks like we are in for expensive fruit and vege and cheap meat for a while. Farmers in W.A. possibly going to make a killing on this.

  19. Where its not going to be viable, some assistance in $ terms while they exit the industry. Maybe employment program for them to rehabilitate nonviable farmland??

    Yes, there are environmental service jobs that the federal government could create for people in lands affected by environmental degradation. That is one type of job that farmers might want to transition to. They have an intimate knowledge of the land and they would be able to continue to live in a place where they have social and community ties and a strong sense of history.

  20. Victoria

    Tony Burke was good. Workman insisted she was always right, PvO was fair, Stutchbury not as dominant as usual because Alice. 🙂

  21. “Stutchbury not as dominant as usual because Alice. ”

    So, she has been pwned by a nasty faction in the ALP, but has her uses nevertheless?? 🙂

    Wonder if she will learn anything from being used like this??

  22. Michael McCormack
    ‏Verified account @M_McCormackMP
    11m11 minutes ago

    Farmers are the backbone of this country. We’ve returned to Strathmore Farm in Trangie to announce a $190 million package for immediate drought support. #auspol #agchatoz

    $444M to dodgy reef donation.
    $30M to foxtel.
    $130B to big corporates.

    Eddy Jokovich
    ‏ @EddyJokovich
    1h1 hour ago

    Farmers have a complex form to fill out for $12,000 relief grant? No problem. Rebadge yourselves as a Reef NGO, $443 million coming your way, no forms, no questions asked. #insiders #auspol

  23. Nicholas@9:55 – I think that’s a nuanced and sensible analysis. I am a multi-generational urban dweller and, like Grimace, bump against the fact that Australian farmers who are experiencing tough times receive a level of attention and sympathy that other people doing it tough don’t. Still I think many of them have a long standing connection to their land and communities, as well as an important place in our economy. It’s in all of our interests that in parts of the country where farming is sustainable that we have smart long term strategies to support them through difficult times. As we should for all in our community.

  24. The problem with #Reefgate is not whether the people involved are dodgy, or that the money might be misspent, or whether the terms of the agreement are sufficiently comprehensive, or whether another organisation may have been a better recipient, or the obscurity of the actual recipient, or any of the other after-the-event concerns.

    It’s that there was no process in place to test any of this BEFORE the award of the grant.

    A few million here and there for rain-making is bad enough. But half a billion dollars is serious money.

    If this one is just let through, then it’s open slather for the granting of taxpayer money to any mate of whoever is in government, at any time, for any reason.

  25. max

    in parts of the country where farming is sustainable

    That’s the point, isn’t it. Yet land prices are still rising, apparently.

  26. Cassidy was right to take Workman on. She was caught out on what actually happens with Clare. He nailed her feeble excuse for highlighting that incident.
    The press gallery is turning into a grubby mob-like gang who print first and justify later. It’s a takeover by click baiting on line reporting. The days of checking, verifying and rechecking are over.

  27. Eddy Jokovich‏ @EddyJokovich · 18h18 hours ago

    The media is dropping off the #ReefGate scandal, after pressure from the government. I’d imagine they’d pick if up again if Emma Husar was found to have attended the Barrier Reef meeting where $443 million was given to Turnbull’s mates. #auspol

  28. Victoria @ #2126 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 10:05 am

    Is Insiders worth catching up on iView later on?

    Sort of. Sorry to be so definite Victoria 😉

    My take on it is

    Drought gets mentioned a zillion times but climate change once, and then preceded by an *if*, and then by Stutchbury, not the host.

    Tony Burke was subjected to the kind of questions that should have been directed at the Govt, unless he was just shadow boxing letting TB get a run, which he eventually did, on reefgate, but only to be hosed down later by Cassidy with the panel.

    Alice Whoever comes across to me as a juvenile wannabe.

    Stutchbury believes co tax cuts will grow the economy and mean more money for hospitals. AFR duh there. Business mixing with science makes for a better outcome. Yeah right. Business listening to science might make some sense, but directing it? Gimme a break.

    PvO, supports Co tax cuts, (duh again) and in the highlight of the show, informs the otherwise less aware that Cash is dead but not buried or cremated, cos she’s a woman, and they need lipstick on their pigs.

    Recent polls show Cons lead in WA, subsequent to GST reboot.

    Dutton announced his prime reasons for being – the economy, getting people off welfare, securing the borders. The ‘man’ comes across as completely inhuman.

    I’d watch while house cleaning or something, like I did, when you can expend pent up frustrations on the furniture.

  29. The farmers I know would find it a challenge to work ‘for’ someone or even worse, work under the pay and supervision of, say, Parks and Wildlife or NRM as part of regeneration projects.

    Working around that would take a lot of thought and creativity.

  30. lizzie @ #2105 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 10:17 am


    in parts of the country where farming is sustainable

    That’s the point, isn’t it. Yet land prices are still rising, apparently.

    Well, I woke up Sunday morning …with no place to hold my head that didn’t hurt (September 1968).

    I have a vision of drought stricken land being bought by a worthy descendant of the original Australian meritocracy – The Rum Corps) and sown with high grade smokeless coal.

    A huge opportunity exist for astute investors to design, manufacture and sell harvesters for this crop.

    The end product will be of a quality able to be used to produce material for GBR Sunshields and subject to suitable upmarket design, really fine swimming togs (does anybody still say that ❓ ) fit for ex Prime Ministers.

  31. Mr Denmore‏ @MrDenmore · 38m38 minutes ago

    Alice Workman seems like an energetic reporter full of curiosity – great qualities for her trade. But for journalism to work in the public interest, it also needs astute editors with sound judgement. That seems what was lacking in this case. #Insiders

    Forgot to say: PvO says that Michaelia Cash’s position as Minister for anything is cactus.

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