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. ‘Confessions says:
    Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    On Insiders Stutchbury mentioned some fund farmers contribute to which is designed to smooth out their income during lean times. From memory he mentioned a figure of some $6billion sits in this fund.

    Surely if this fund does indeed exist, and has that kind of capital in it, shouldn’t farmers be accessing that first before receiving taxpayer handouts?’

    Income smoothing is designed to reduce taxation obligations to the lowest common denominator in any three year period. No fund is required to support this.

    There is, in effect, a new national farmers bank capitalized by taxpayers. It is designed to provide cheaper loans to farmers who are in situations which no commercial banks would touch. I doubt whether the capital is $6 billion.

    One of the recent absurdities is farmers complaining about interest free loans. They were complaining that this only increased their debts.

  2. Some irrigation farmers are making fortunes in drought-affected areas. Turnbull was being very coy about the means-testing arrangements.
    In effect people with many millions of dollars of net capital value will be given freebies of $12,000 in cash.
    One rule for poor pensioners. Another rule for rich farmers. Turnbull does it again.

  3. Pegasus @ #2347 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 5:06 pm

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/labor-frontbencher-tony-burke-knew-some-time-ago-about-high-staff-turnover-in-husar-s-office-20180805-p4zvlo.html

    Correction: An earlier headline on this story said “Labor frontbencher Tony Burke knew ‘some time ago ‘about Husar investigation.”

    The headline has been updated to show Mr Burke knew ‘some time ago’ about high staff turnover in Ms Husar’s office, not the investigation.

    Do try and keep up! Burke’s repudiation of this story was reported hours ago.

  4. The NEG is an attempt to bind future Governments to coal and to continued climate inaction for 12 years. The Coalition could go into opposition for a term or two, come back and find everything pretty much as they left it. No Labor Government should touch the NEG in anything like its current form with a 90 foot pole.

  5. Richard Flanagan’s speech at the Garma Festival

    The world is being undone before us. History is once more moving, and it is moving to fragmentation on the basis of concocted differences, toward the destruction of democracy using not coups and guns to entrench autocracies and dictators, but the ballot box and social media.

    My warning is this: if we here in Australia do not reimagine ourselves we will be undone too

    And unfinished business is at the core of our reimagining

    At the heart of the Uluru statement is a single terrible, haunting sentence, which reads, “This is the torment of our powerlessness.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/05/the-world-is-being-undone-before-us-if-we-do-not-reimagine-australia-we-will-be-undone-too

  6. Ven @ #2202 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 9:29 am

    We have somebody called Grimace, who says farmers shouldn’t get any government assistance. Well Grimace, you are completely wrong in saying that. Why?
    Farming is not a business in true sense of that word ( although astonishingly MT today called it a business while declaring an assistance so that people like you justify it as business ) because they are ones produce the thing that keeps us alive and sustains our lives and that is called food. So be grateful to them. They may never vote ALP. That doesn’t mean we should be hostile to them.

    Utter nonsense, farming is a business in the way every other private enterprise in the world is a business: a product is produced and sold to the highest bidder – there is absolutely no need to be grateful to them. There are some farms which are publicly listed.

    They are not heros, they are not special, they are not doing anyone a favour. They are doing it for all the reasons that the rest of us do the jobs or own businesses do – primarily money. Take that money away and very few would do it for free.

    In the current circumstances, I say call in the administrators, hand the farmer a family a Centrelink form and tell them not to close the gate on the way out.

    When the administrator attempts to sell the farm, if the property can be farmed at a profit, and that is a big if in the case of some of these farms, you can be as sure as night follows day that someone will acquire the property and give the farming of something a go. If nobody acquires the farm, even at firesale prices, that should tell us all something.

  7. The other thing to keep in mind for droughts and other events such as floods, is that farmers in other areas are usually able to cash in by selling produce (hay, animals in good condition etc) at a high price and also to buy in drought affected stock and farm land if prices drop at a low price.

    In SA for example this is the year when farmers in high rainfall areas cash in. Often too wet in an average year, this year they will have quality stock to sell at record prices and good feed to buy in cheap replacements. Equally it favours the big operators who have risk spread over a wide area and often a number of states.

    We always get the estimates of what is the “cost” of a drought but that is usually based at least initially on the people directly affected without accounting for the benefits to a lot of other people. That is why various advisers have been promoting drought bonds or other mechanisms to provide support over the years.

    The media inspired drought disaster showing the starving stock or withered crops just plays into the hands of farmers who do not make adequate plans for bad years. And the Nationals are always there demanding more handouts. Talk about “moral hazard” for the economists or blind faith for the climate denialists.

    Sympathy is appropriate, but not stupid subsidies which just perpetuate the problem.

  8. C@tmomma@3:49pm
    He is same guy, who was crushed by Bob Carr. I was not a big fan of Bob Carr but I liked what he did to that guy. Anderson reportedly said that the rules for selective schools should be adjusted such that kids of Asian background do not join in large numbers. For example he said that a lot of kids of Asian are joining Sydney Boys High School. Hence, Rugby Union was not being played in that school.

  9. In 1999 Peter and Tanya Costello and Anthony and Margaret Abbott won a defamation case against Random House for a damaging allegation about them in ‘Goodbye Jerusalem’ by Bob Ellis, who in this book had quoted as his source Roddy Cavalier telling him the allegation. Cavalier had subsequently stated the allegation was untrue and denied ever telling it to Ellis. Furthermore, Cavalier also stated that no one had contacted him to verify what Ellis had written prior to publication of the book.

    The sums awarded to each of the plaintiffs were:
    Mrs Costello $90,000
    Mr Costello $74,000
    Mr Abbott $66,000
    Mrs Abbott $47,500

    As one of the people called to comment by the Judge in this case, journalist Laurie Oaks offered the following observation about his colleagues: “Journalists love stories of sex and political defections. Journalists also like to assume gossip to be fact.”

  10. Spence @ #2363 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 6:18 pm

    The other thing to keep in mind for droughts and other events such as floods, is that farmers in other areas are usually able to cash in by selling produce (hay, animals in good condition etc) at a high price and also to buy in drought affected stock and farm land if prices drop at a low price.

    In SA for example this is the year when farmers in high rainfall areas cash in. Often too wet in an average year, this year they will have quality stock to sell at record prices and good feed to buy in cheap replacements. Equally it favours the big operators who have risk spread over a wide area and often a number of states.

    We always get the estimates of what is the “cost” of a drought but that is usually based at least initially on the people directly affected without accounting for the benefits to a lot of other people. That is why various advisers have been promoting drought bonds or other mechanisms to provide support over the years.

    The media inspired drought disaster showing the starving stock or withered crops just plays into the hands of farmers who do not make adequate plans for bad years. And the Nationals are always there demanding more handouts. Talk about “moral hazard” for the economists or blind faith for the climate denialists.

    Sympathy is appropriate, but not stupid subsidies which just perpetuate the problem.

    Terrific post and thanks for your contribution.

    The announcement today reeks of dire polling for Turnbull and the LNP in the bush.

    Longman tells them they are in trouble. Today’s posturing proves it is is more pervasive.

  11. Lovey says:
    Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Let me get this straight. There is an internal investigation happening on a Member of Parliament. This fact, and the allegations, are leaked to a journalist and other journos say she should have NOT published this fact? Yet once published they are all happy to run with the details. I reckon most of them would have done the same.

    Many journos also criticised Workman when she reported that the tipoff about the AFP raid on the AWU came from Cash’s office. If PvO is correct in saying that Cash’s career is effectively over then the person who brought that about was Workman (and Cash).

  12. Sympathy is appropriate, but not stupid subsidies which just perpetuate the problem.

    Someone (I think it was BK) said earlier that while everyone might feel sympathy for farmers experiencing the drought, surely this is an opportunity for us to position our agricultural sector on a more sustainable footing? After all, the planet is heating so it stands to reason we’ll see more drought events into the future.

  13. We are seeing farming families, and their livestock, doing it tough because of the drought. Some of the stories we see on programs like 7.30 are heart wrenching. People are right in saying that farmers in these situations get assistance that isn’t afforded to other small business owners. I think one difference though is that we don’t see small businesses failing on TV. And if we do it’s just as likely to be a report on them not paying staff or ripping off customers.

    I think one of the main reasons farmers attract assistance is because the reports show the human face of what’s going on. People are then able to empathise with the plight of these farming families (and the reports always feature the families).

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-31/drought-through-the-eyes-of-a-16-year-old/10038094

    I personally think that empathy is a good thing and the more the better. People without empathy are commonly called psychopaths. Empathetic leaders are good (and Shorten comes across as having some empathy on shows like Q&A). Thatcher and Trump spring to mind as examples of leaders who lack empathy.

  14. Just a thought… how many of the journos who criticised Workman over Michaelia Cash are criticising her now over Emma Husar?

  15. The desperation moves happening on the coalition side of politics are in marked contrast to the narrowing in the published polls.

    It seems everyone with access to more detailed information knows the published polls are misleading.

    The Nationals must really be bleeding in the bush for such a major push for votes with drought relief, and this is probably also pitched at some One Nation inclined voters in the outer parts of cities.

    To me it seems there is massive fragmentation on the right of politics and that is causing enough of a leak through preferences to put Labor in a very strong position. The LNP primary vote in Longman was the most obvious sign of this so far. If the LNP don’t get rid of Turnbull they will suffer major loss of votes to fringe right wing parties and if they do get rid of him in favour of (say) Dutton they risk losing lots of the voters in the middle to Labor.

  16. Bushfire Bill says Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Just a thought… how many of the journos who criticised Workman over Michaelia Cash are criticising her now over Emma Husar?

    That’s a good question. And are they the same journalists?

  17. Meanwhile in Sydney, the homeless have lost almost everything:

    Greyhound racing 1. Homeless 0.
    You know the Missionbeat mob, yes? They are the ones on the frontline with the homeless, handing out blankets, advice and support to all those they find in doorways, back alleys and the like. There used to be three vans patrolling Sydney Streets 7am-11pm seven days a week, with medical support.

    Then that was cut to two vans with no medic, before being cut to just one van, with the weekend hours to be cut to eight hours in the day. This week, I received a report from someone involved, warning that the NSW government is about to cut it again, with Missionbeat’s hours being pulled back from just 11am-7pm, due to a reallocation of the $500,000 funding away from the van service and towards social housing for the vulnerable, outreach workers and so forth.

    While my correspondent supports the move to better fund social housing, he asks “Who is going to be providing help to the suicidal recently homeless teenagers who fetch up at Central from country trains of an evening?” What prompted him to write was an article I wrote on Thursday, noting the cruel juxtaposition of the government announcing they are putting $500,000 towards supporting the very greyhound racing they had previously wanted to ban – at the very time they want to move that very amount away from a frontline service to the homeless!

    Surely, surely, the NSW government wouldn’t do that, would they?

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-mean-how-hard-is-it-to-ditch-plastic-bags-20180803-p4zvfl.html

  18. Farmers have had massive economic advantages bestowed on them by governments in Australia for decades.

    From all the taxation rorts I saw during over three decades working in the Tax Office to subsidies, exemptions and drought relief on drought relief they have become the most genuinely “entitled” class in the nation.

    Even provisions pictured as tax “smoothing” or income “smoothing” always seen to leave them better off over time that they would have been in a system that was a level playing field.

    Why is a city business owner or a long term employee of a company any less entitled to government largess to maintain their preferred economic position?

    They’ve had it too good for too long. Time to become “lifters” like the rest of society rather than “leaners”, or perhaps even “leeches”.

  19. Workman upset reporting conventions in her reporting of the ROC/Cash affair IIRC. Maybe that led to her being played the second time around: people with mischief or revenge on their mind thought she would be the CPG person most likely to ignore conventions around the reporting of salacious allegations before the subject of said allegations has received due process.

  20. I have little knowledge of farming or pastoralism, but it has occurred to me that for much of Australia, maybe settled European style family farms aren’t the best way to conduct either activity here.

    If the weather statistics say that a location receives, say, 500 mm rainfall per annum, with a Winter maximum, on the face of it that’s good for wheat. However, even without climate change, that means 5000 mm per decade but distributed pretty much any which way, with maybe a flood or two, a few drought years, other years when the rain falls in the wrong season and maybe if you’re lucky 5 good years.

    Even in well-watered Sydney, stats say our rainfall is high and relatively uniform, but it essentially falls completely at random, with deluges, lengthy dry spells, a cool wet summer and mild dry Winter one year, a hot Summer and wet Winter the next.

    Not suggesting Soviet-style collectives, but maybe there’s a model that works better here.

  21. Greensborough Growler @ #2366 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 6:26 pm

    The announcement today reeks of dire polling for Turnbull and the LNP in the bush.

    Longman tells them they are in trouble. Today’s posturing proves it is is more pervasive.

    Yep.

    Also I doubt turnbull is helping himself by constantly being in the media day in day out.

    OK as PM he can hardly not be in the media regularly, but there is a world of difference in him being there every time you hear the radio/ TV etc etc.

    ABC TV News at Noon regularly break into the midday news to give him 10 mins or so, effectively abandoning that bulletin. I turn the thing off rather then throw a coffee cup through the TV.

    The Polls ‘seem’ to improve for turnbull when he has a lower media profile, during Parliamentary breaks etc.

    So while I’ve basically stopped listening to turnbull and his government, I probably should be cheering him to do more media, more often, because I’m sure there are many like me who just want him gone, have stopped listening etc and the more we see of him the more determined we are to see him chucked out.

  22. Nicholas @ #2256 Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 1:28 pm

    The principle that some workplace bullying, harassment, and dysfunctional management is okay, as long as one of the allegations (the Basic Instinct thing) wasn’t substantiated?

    I find it strange that you left off the most relevant allegations, which included (at best) misuse of funds and (at worst) embezzlement/fraud. And potentially violating minimum wage laws.

    Most of the other claims are also unlikely to ever be substantiated (putting her breasts on people) or pretty flimsy in the first place (like handing out topless firemen calendars or having sexy gossip time with coworkers).

    Why ignore the serious and verifiable things in favor of other claims unlikely to ever advance beyond ‘office gossip’ and ‘hearsay’ status?

  23. “That’s a good question. And are they the same journalists?”

    That is also a good question, well done to both of you for asking.

  24. Steve777 @7.18

    I recently read “Dark Emu” – a book about pre-white settlement Australia. Fantastic read.

    One of the things discussed was aboriginal agriculture- in particular the use of native perennial grasses as a source of storable grain. This is definitely one of the alternatives that should be looked at as a sustainable alternative to wheat etc, particularly on marginal land.

  25. Crikey.com.au
    ‏Verified account @crikey_news
    2h2 hours ago

    Malcolm Turnbull once demanded the resignation of a prime minister and a treasurer because of the way they handled grants. But he has his own history when it comes to handing out money, writes @BernardKeane https://buff.ly/2NZNRZg

  26. Ben Eltham
    ‏Verified account @beneltham
    26m26 minutes ago

    I call on the daytime journalists working for Sky News who believe in a fair and decent Australia to strike.

    Withdraw your labour.

  27. I find it strange that you left off the most relevant allegations

    There are so many allegations from so many accusers that it is difficult to keep track of them all.

    Like the allegations against Kevin Spacey, people are going to draw the reasonable inference that the sheer volume of allegations from many different people with no incentive to fabricate is damning, regardless of whether a barrister has completed a report about the allegations or not. Her accusers don’t have much of a career ahead of them in the ALP. Sadly, she has damaged their careers as well as her own. There are no winners in this sordid story. Who knew that the preselection processes of the ALP don’t screen out the unworthy?

  28. So someone is thinking that he/she is seeing Husar showing her crutch and beating people with her breasts. Starting too look as if he/she is looking at too much porn.

  29. Workman was the journalist who broke the story that the tip off to journalists that the Australian Federal Police were going to raid AWU offices had come from Cash’s office*. This was after Cash had denied repeatedly before an Estimates hearing that her office was the source of the tip off.

    Since then Workman has been persona non grata with Cash.

    None of this is inconsistent with the way Buzzfeed operates. They were the ones who published the Steele dossier on Trump. It was Buzzfeed journalist Mark Di Stefano who reported being offered cocaine in the toilets at the Walkleys. Buzzfeed tends to publish when other news organisations only hint. Where you stand on this probably depends on who they are publishing about. I doubt anyone here objected to the revelations about Cash’s office leaking the details of the AFP raid, or the contents of the Steele dossier.

    * I’m sure lots of other journalists knew about it, but didn’t report it due to their convention on protecting sources. However, it wasn’t Workman’s source so she had no compunction in reporting it given Cash’s denials. I personally think Workman was entirely correct to do so.

  30. Emma Husar situation is a staff member/former staff member made an accusation, and best put by:

    Mr Denmore
    ‏ @MrDenmore
    8h8 hours ago

    An anonymous claim about an obscure opposition MP not wearing undies is judged more newsworthy than cabinet ministers tipping $440m of our money unaudited into a trust run by their mates to put a fig leaf over the climate denialism destroying our biggest natural wonder.

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