Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor

Further post-spill polling from Essential finds clarity on voting intention but mixed messages on other measures, while Newspoll bids farewell to the Turnbull era with one last set of state breakdowns.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research follows Newspoll in recording an allergic reaction to the dumping of Malcolm Turnbull, with Labor’s 52-48 lead blowing out to 55-45. The report in The Guardian reveals the Coalition is down four on the primary vote to 35%, but that’s all we have for now. There is also no direct indication of whether the poll adjusted its usual Thursday to Sunday field work period to account for the leadership change on Friday, as Newspoll did by chopping out the Thursday, but the supplementary questions suggest as much. UPDATE: Full results here. They indeed held back starting the field work until Friday evening. The primary votes are Coalition 35% (down four), Labor 39% (up two), Greens 10% (steady), One Nation 7% (up one).

Some of these findings add to a confused picture when considered in conjunction with other polls. Scott Morrison holds a 39-29 lead over Bill Shorten in prime minister, which reverses the Newspoll result but is in line with the findings of ReachTEL’s seat polls for the Fairfax papers. Fifty-two per cent supported an early election, which is a very different finding from the ReachTEL polls. Then again, 56% agreed Scott Morrison should be given time “to show he can do a better job of governing Australia”, so who knows what people want.

Conversely, a question on preferred Liberal leader produces similar results to Newspoll: Malcolm Turnbull falls from 28% to 15% as support shifts to Julie Bishop (up seven to 23%) and Scott Morrison (up eight to 10%), while Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton remain much as they were, on 9% and 4% respectively. The poll also includes the somewhat surprising finding (to me at least) that 35% approve of the leadership change, with 40% disapproving. A striking 57% agreed with the proposition that “the Liberal party is divided and no longer fit to govern Australia”.

Also featured are semi-regular questions on the parties’ attributes, which I might have something to say about when I see the full results, and questions on six policy propositions, which find support for lower immigration, opposition to withdrawing from the Paris agreement, mixed views on funding more coal-fired power plants and opposition to company tax cuts.

Also today, The Australian has rolled together results from the last three Newspolls under Malcolm Turnbull to produce a final set of quarterly state breakdowns for his prime ministership, interrupting their usual schedule of publishing these at the end of each quarter. The results are very like those of BludgerTrack in finding solid swings against the government in Queensland (4.1%) and Western Australia (4.7%), only small swings in New South Wales (0.9%) and Victoria (2.2%), and a swing to the Coalition in South Australia (3.3%), where the Liberals seem to be benefiting from the new state government’s honeymoon and the decline of Nick Xenophon. UPDATE: Full results here; HT to GhostWhoVotes.

Finally, it is anticipated that a by-election in Wentworth will be held on October 6, after Malcolm Turnbull today told colleagues he would resign from parliament on Friday. While Christine Foster, Sydney councillor and sister of Tony Abbott, has attracted the most media attention, Andrew Clennell of The Australian reports the more likely Liberal candidate is Dave Sharma, former ambassador to Israel. Others mentioned as candidates are Andrew Bragg, a director at the Business Council of Australia and former leader of the Yes same-sex marriage survey campaign, who will vie with Sharma for backing from factional moderates; Peter King, tha barrister who held the seat from 2001 until Turnbull defeated him for preselection in 2004; Katherine O’Regan, a Woollahra councillor.

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.

1,467 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor”

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  1. The Essential PPM figure (and the Newspoll one), illustrate how useless the figure is. It might have some meaning if both parties were 50-50 and there was a consistent lead by one side.

    It would have been interesting to see a Shorten, Morrison PPMpoll a week ago.

  2. @John R

    The Newspoll is the most recent one.

    While Essential is two week average.

    So both would have captured the saga over the week or so.

  3. Zoidlord – Now that Essential is only comes out every two weeks, its no longer a rolling average. Each poll’s voting figures are just for that week’s results. It changed at the start of this year.

  4. Are there any breakdowns of the post-Turnbull polls by age, state, gender, etc? It would be great to see how the LNP chaos is playing out in different demographics.

  5. See William’s main post: the ER polling was done Thursday to Sunday. I believe ER abandoned the 2 week rolling average some time ago.

  6. No mention of Essential at all on ABC24 this morning. I reckon Hastie may have a few problems in Canning going by some comments from voters …..” I never realised he was that right wing “…….

  7. Re PM Scrote and “his” Cronulla Sharks.
    “Mr Speaker I wish to make a statement” (sorry for the lengthy post)

    As a lifelong supporter of the Cronulla Sharks (51 years following since day No1 in the comp) I believe I can speak with some authority. I consider myself one of the Sharks tragics with more downs than ups. I believe my loyalty cannot be questioned

    I would like it to be noted that PM Morrisons gushing public love of his ‘beloved’ Sharks is detested by a large number of the clubs supporters, especially those that have backed the club over decades.

    I have been an active member of a popular Sharks online forum for 15 years now (with over 28,000 posts) and also follow a supporters Facebook Group Page.

    During the clubs hardtimes when they were considered the low hanging fruit of the NRL there was not a whisper of support from Scotty boy.

    The Sharks are the only club in the NRL that owns its own ground and surrounding land. Years ago they faced serious debt and were looking at folding. (at least the 3rd time in 50 years) The banks were calling in a 10 mill plus debt. Things were desperate, possibly fatal.

    The Management of the club came up with the plan to develop the surrounding land and create a strong financial stream that would not only clear the debt but would guarantee the clubs ongoing survival well into the future.

    Guess who was strongly against it and spoke publicly about it …. Yeah Morrison. There were strong objections from members of the local Happy Clappers … put 2 and 2 together. Scotty had picked his side.

    When the Sharks were in the cross hairs re Dr Dank and his sports medicine (the same bloke and Essendon) – Dank was only at our club for 3 months and then shown the door by the Committee. (3 months and he had spent 4 years with the Manly club – nothing to see there) ………. Not a word from our Scotty.

    This year the NRL announced the introduction of a womens RL competition. Cronulla and Souths were the fore runners in the push for the comp. Sharks had already successfully hosted the inaugural Womens RL World Cup, had a structure ready for the competition start, have the strongest womens comp in NRL, the Sharks were the first club to have a professional contracted female player, had a major sponser with $200,000 signed up. Cronulla and Souths were unbelievable omissions from the announced comp. Was always going to be six clubs but the NRL idiots made it a four team comp.

    Did we hear anything from Morrison … just crickets.

    He (Morrison) was like a miracle mushroom. When the Sharks started to look like a big chance to crack our first ever premiership (2016) Morrison all of a sudden was seen in his scarf and beanie and his sharks ties. His Mighty Sharks.

    I believe I can speak with authority there are a hell of a lot of supporters out there that are disgusted with this fine weather, band waggon jumping supporter.

    I want to put these facts on record before people assess Sharks supporters and their relation with the smiling two faced No1 ticket holder. Morrison has similiar form like this with most things. He has a proven track record and is not fooling most Shark supporters. Please don’t be fooled.

  8. Wonder what Dutton thinks of the SmearStralian calling him ‘ham-fisted’ and drawing him with a clown’s nose on the front page? Is this a warning shot accross his bow so he gets back in his box and leaves Morrison alone – at peril of being lampooned?

    Has Morrison made a Faustian pact with the demented plutocrat?

  9. Morning all. Turnbull’s son “can’t in good conscience vote Liberal”.

    I like his line that “his father fought the stupid and the stupid won.”

    Morrison may try to act cute and cuddly but his stance on climate will cost many votes. Labor can oppose any attempt to subsidise new mines or power plants. They only expose the truth of what Labor has been saying about energy policy and investment.

  10. Joe Aston in the AFR on fire this morning..

    For those still black at last week’s Liberal self-sabotage in Canberra, Scott Morrison’s first ministry delivered schadenfreude in XL portions. Malcolm Turnbull lived by the sword and died so, but he’s also learned that no good deed goes unpunished. Gaze here, upon the names of political giants:

    Michael Sukkar, Assistant Treasurer under Turnbull, is back on the backbench, where he can now focus on losing his marginal seat. Senators Concietta Fierravanti-Wells and James McGrath had their self-imposed exile made permanent, a fate so richly-deserved. As was Steve Ciobo’s demotion from Trade to Defence Equipment; from the Peninsula or Four Seasons in Los Angeles to the Hilton Garden Inn right by Adelaide shipyard. F— his life.

    Michaelia Cash, an utterly hopeless IR minister who misled the Senate, refused to give a witness statement to the Australian Federal Police and is now under subpoena, was demoted to Small Business. What she knows about commerce of any size would fit on a leadership ballot paper. Mitch Fifield (the greatest weathervane since Tony Abbott himself) lost the deputy Senate leadership. Andrew Hastie’s self-important posturing (from claiming unswerving loyalty to Turnbull “under God” in his “sacred office” to bragging about his role as first signatory to the spill) went utterly unrewarded. As did Craig Kelly’s, whose goose is now cooked; who can save him from his local branch members now? Alan Tudge, whose ministerial office is never dull, is no closer to Cabinet. Two-faced Greg Hunt was deprived of Foreign Affairs, is stuck in Health, and is still wondering how protégé Josh Frydenberg jumped straight over him, and why nobody talks about him as a deputy leader; the truth being that nobody talks about him full-stop.

    Tony Abbott got his revenge and nothing more. He says he doesn’t want a title without a job, seemingly oblivious that nobody could trust him with more. He had a real job once, yes, and there’s a first and last time for everything.

  11. @sprocket……nah….Murdoch has read the entrails of Newspoll and knows that if the Libs get trashed the next govt may decide to take him on.
    What better way to save the furniture than to back the moderate rather than who he really wants when he knows his choices are poison with the voting population.
    He does not want the ALP in power with a big majority because if they get one the NBN may get to be FTTP and he does not want that because he will lose customers to others. He is protecting his own backside or tbh his own hip pocket.
    He’s just trying to prop up the Libs…..the polls are crap for them and he will do his bit in the prtection racket to save them.

  12. Quite apart from leadership stability, on these figures, how long before marginal seat Liberals start planning post-politics careers and begin to jump ship? Right now a three year ambassadorial appointment would look pretty good for those used to living on a Minister’s salary but still with debts. Yet a one seat majority means they have to stay on. Will Morrison’s government leak like a seive?

  13. Listening to radio this morning where they said just because you are in the city doesn’t mean you will not be effected with the drought.

    They said there will be shortages of certain food like Chicken because they rely on the grain.

  14. Right on cue, the Daily Telecrap front page screams “Boats!”. Dutton warns ‘14,000 boat people ready to launch mission to Australia’.

    No link.

  15. Morning all

    The polls as expected are bad for the coalition.
    So surprise surprise. boats front and centre.
    Seriously this tune is so old and so repetitive.
    Enough already!!

  16. Socrates @ #19 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 4:56 am

    First dog on the moon with some excellent suggestions on a new nickname for the newer, kinder Scomo. He suggests Typhoid Morrison, in memory of some sick refugee kids he would not let in the country. I like “the Liar from the Shire”.

    While I agree he is a disease, I think


    more fully encapsulates the man’s best qualities!

  17. Such a small, small man. And only agreed to fly the WH flag at half mast after pleas from Democrats and Republicans in the congress.

    Mark KnollerVerified account@markknoller
    6h6 hours ago
    Pres Trump declined to answer questions at the end of the announcement. Was asked to reflect on the legacy of Sen. McCain, but declined. Sat silent and cross-armed as press pool herded out of the Oval Office.


  18. Turnbull’s son has described the Labor candidate for Wentworth as “A great guy and I know him well. It’s hard to back a Labor candidate, but not Tim”

  19. “Michael Sukkar, Assistant Treasurer under Turnbull, is back on the backbench, where he can now focus on losing his marginal seat.”

    I was rather stunned to see the backlash on Sukkar’s own Facebook page to his mealy-mouthed
    glossing over his own central role in the most incompetent political operation in Canberra in years.

    This is the statement. The comments section underneath is worth a glance. Many of these people would be fairly hard-core Sukkar supporters.

    “The events of the week in politics have been difficult for all Australians.

    When Malcolm Turnbull decided to spill his leadership on Tuesday, significant concerns with the policy direction of the Government crystallised.

    Sadly, Malcolm Turnbull was unable to unite the Liberal Party room. As a result, we now have a new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and Deputy Leader, Josh Frydenberg.

    In my former role as the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, I worked very closely with Scott Morrison and know he will serve our country with distinction.

    As always, I will continue to stand up for our community and work to improve the lives of everyday Australians.”

  20. ‘Australia’s political shakeup is evidence of the decline of party politics.’

    We’ve made the Opinion page of The Washington Post!

    I’d link it but I don’t know how to do it on my phone. 🙂

  21. Barney in Go Dau @ #25 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 8:12 am

    Socrates @ #19 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 4:56 am

    First dog on the moon with some excellent suggestions on a new nickname for the newer, kinder Scomo. He suggests Typhoid Morrison, in memory of some sick refugee kids he would not let in the country. I like “the Liar from the Shire”.

    While I agree he is a disease, I think


    more fully encapsulates the man’s best qualities!

    #Typhoid Morrison has the jump (since the epidemiology of Salmonella rupertii – lying dormant in the gut and gallbladder of carriers but killing millions with enteric fever when the carrier cooks the books), but Scummo the Tuberculous Dogfish (in sympathy with Sharks supporters like Jeffemu) has its charms – particularly the acronym.

  22. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. The next few Bludger Tracks will be interesting!

    Paul Bongiorno writes that the Liberal vote has collapsed, but there are no regrets from the plotters.
    Peter Hartcher examines the very quietly announced decision to freeze Huawei and ZTG out of the building of the new 5G network.
    The SMH editorial says that Morrison needs some policies. Urgently.
    The Liberal Party could be left with just two safe federal seats in all of Victoria if it cannot improve its performance in the polls, a leading Melbourne political scientist has warned.
    Adele Ferguson can’t work out who in the new ministerial line up will have carriage of the fallout from the banking royal commission. It could be Stuart Robert. He knows a thing or two about bad behaviour!
    Eryk Bagshaw is similarly concerned.
    Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle has prompted cheeky observers of the financial services sector to ask one obvious question – is banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne now the de facto Financial Services Minister?
    A myriad factors lead to Malcolm Turnbull’s demise, but senior Liberal Party members have said Tony Abbott shoulders some blame.
    Economics professor John Freebairn writes that Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s new special envoy for drought assistance and recovery, will have to be careful he doesn’t do more harm than good.
    There was a whole lot of fuss during Malcolm Turnbull’s reign as Prime Minister, with nothing much to show for it at the end, writes Ben Eltham. Except for maybe the Liberals being in an even weaker position, which is very hard to imagine.
    Phil Coorey tells us that the federal government has dumped long-standing plans to dilute union and employer group influence on industry super fund boards after the damage done to retail funds by the Hayne royal commission ended any prospect of securing Senate support.
    Financial planning businesses are waiting to find out what study they’ll have to do when new standards kick in from next year.
    Former Treasurer Scott Morrison is the new neoliberal Prime Minister, but the right-wing reactionaries in the Liberal Party will never be appeased, writes John Passant.,11829
    Oh oh! David Crowe and Fergus Hunter are saying Morrison faces a test on the Paris climate deal,
    And Michelle Grattan says that with Turnbull’s resignation Morrison now has a real-time test.
    Michelle Pini attempts to shed light on the latest #libspill bloodbath winner, Australia’s current Prime Minister Scott “ScoMo” Morrison. She says he will uphold bigotry and failed Newspolls.,11831
    Banks have stopped rewarding mortgage brokers who sell the most home loans with bonus payments, admitting they risked encouraging excessive borrowing.
    The insurance industry is the next to come under Hayne’s spotlight.
    I reckon the real estate industry should be given the once-over too.
    Last Friday the big royal commission news was overshadowed by leadership spill. A scathing 222 page report was released by Counsel Assisting Michael Hodge.
    Brent Finlay, former president of the National Farmers’ Federation, says Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce are the latest who are failing the bush
    Erwin Jackson says that if we want strong climate action, we need to get the moderate Liberals on board.
    Jacqui Maley tries to work out what Abbott will get up to now.
    Here’s the SMH rundown on last night’s unhinged Q&A. BTW Bob Katter needs help, serious help.
    In the inelegant butchering that took place in Canberra over the week, one event should stand out in its ghastly affront: Parliament was shut down as the Liberal Party fought over who should lead it.,11830
    Jenna Price has an excellent contribution on the insidious power and the motives of the likes of Jones, Hadley and News Ltd.
    And Michaela Whitbourn tells us how Sydney radio station 2GB’s star broadcaster Alan Jones has triggered an advertising boycott after he used a racial slur on air during a segment on the leadership rumblings in Canberra.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz reports that The BIS has warned that increasing protectionism could win back decades of global economic progress and create a ”perfect storm” in which everyone loses.
    Peter Hannam writes about Turnbull’s son, Alex, who has come out swinging about the power of the rent seekers in the Coalition who brought down his father.
    Tony Wright talks about the use of Akubra hats.
    A shuttle bus ferrying Home Affairs public servants around Canberra each day will expand its route as it replaces a service costing nearly half a million dollars.
    Keith Aston makes some good points in this contribution in which he says that Australia is behaving like a spoiled brat.
    And here is this week’s favourite for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe brings out the wrecking ball.

    A trio from Mark David.

    And a couple from Peter Broelman.

    Sean Leahy also has three for us.

    Paul Zanetti farewells Julie Bishop.

    As does Mark Knight.

    Cathy Wilcox gets this one right.

    Glen Le Lievre on our asylum seeker policy.

    And he has a nice little gif for us.
    Alan Moir.

    A little cracker for Jon Kudelka.
    Some very good ones in here, including David Pope and Matt Golding.

  23. Andrews government announcing a major development – an underground railway loop linking ALL rail systems in and out of Melbourne. (Alas, I can’t work out photos so can’t post the map).

    Preselections have opened for Labor candidates in the remaining (?) Victorian federal seats, with nominations closing tomorrow. (Indi has one confirmed nomination already).

    A comment on polls: I was expecting a swing to Labor before the leadership change, as reefgate began to bite. This means (i) some of those who shifted were shifting regardless, which is actually a Good Thing because their change will be more solid; and (ii) there may still be a few percentage points to pick up…

  24. There is a contradiction between the AFR article referred to and what Abbott is saying, including Abbott’s approval of Ministerial appointments particularly on climate and immigration

    Abbott is presenting the outcome as vindicated on the change of government direction confirmed by Ministerial appointments

    So who is right?

    And, if there are so many losers in Morrison’s front bench who exactly are the winners?

    Because for every winner there is a loser

    The AFR (Fairfax) has as its audience the business demographic and is therefore supportive of the government of business, as is its record

    I would therefore not take any notice of opinions such as those referred to which are simply positioning to attempt to improve public perception of the Liberal Party

    aka Morrison shows strength by punishing the plotters against Turnbull therefore has a moderate administration

    But a glance at the names on his front bench tell a different story – as does Abbott’s presentations

    I understand Sukkar is now toxic within the Parliamentary Liberal Party due to his persona including that there in now tension with Bastiaan over the reporting of Sukkar moving to Menzies (no pre selection)

  25. Paul Manafort wants a plea deal from Robert Mueller — but he probably won’t get one: report

    Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought a plea deal from special counsel Robert Mueller to avoid trial in D.C. in September — but the talks reportedly “broke down.”

    Sources close to the talks told the Wall Street Journal that the talks stalled after unspecified issues were raised by Mueller.

  26. Good Morning

    From all the reports I am glad I did not watch QandA last night. I also gather the Labor and the Greens made the others look ridiculous. From the sounds of it they did not have to work hard to do so.


    Some great cartoons there. I like the boat signal. 🙂

  27. ‘Trump is nuts’: Ex-White House official says president spent the weekend ‘calling people and screaming’

    A former official at President Donald Trump’s White House has told Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman that the president this weekend blew a gasket after watching both his former campaign chairman and former personal attorney become convicted felons.

    “Trump is nuts,” the former West Wing official explained. “This time really feels different.”

    Sherman also cites a former White House official who claims that Trump “spent the weekend calling people and screaming” about his situation.

    Additionally, Trump’s lawyers have tried to convince the president that he should publicly admit to making multiple payoffs to mistresses over the years so he can argue that the payoffs to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal were part of routine business, not campaign finance violations. Trump, however, rejected the offer, Sherman writes

  28. Thanks BK. Poroti and Vogon those cartoons on boats are brilliant. Is Australia finally starting to see through the boats dog whistle?

    I am happy to bow to the collective wisdom of others and nickname our new PM Scummo.

  29. Zoidlord says:
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 7:53 am
    Listening to radio this morning where they said just because you are in the city doesn’t mean you will not be effected with the drought.

    They said there will be shortages of certain food like Chicken because they rely on the grain.


    Wheat production in Australia is forecast to INCREASE by more than 11% this season:

    Australia is forecast to produce 24 million mt of wheat during the 2018-2019 (October-September) harvest year, up 11.63% from last season’s harvest of 21.5 million mt, the US Department of Agriculture attache report released Tuesday showed.

    Sounds like an unjustified ambit claim for drought relief.

    See the graph on this URL:

    Australian Chicken Meat: Outlook to 2018-19
    11 March 2014
    Chicken meat production is projected to grow over the period to 2018–19, reflecting continued growth in domestic consumer demand, according to Clay Mifsud in the ‘Agricultural Commodities’ report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) for the March Quarter 2014.

    Chicken meat is projected to remain the most consumed meat in Australia over the outlook period, by an increasing margin.

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