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. Sprocket – What on earth does this mean in rear window?

    “Alan Tudge, whose ministerial office is never dull …”

  2. @Don

    The problem with that is it’s 4 years old and Mother Nature you cant predict.

    I remember the discussions like a year ago about a possible El Niño on PB, and ya all said not gonna happen.

    Now there is higher chance of El Niño this yeah.

    Also with shortages of Bale already I wouldn’t be surprised about shortages of food.

  3. I wonder how many people are going to see the way the boat people that got off in the Daintree as different to those that come from Indonesia because Vietnamese.

    Already Dutton is talking deportation not detention.

  4. On names for our beloved new PM, as he comes from the Shire maybe,


    A hobbit who craved power, but ultimately was overthrown by his own bullies who were really in the employ of Sauraman. 🙂

  5. Further to zoomster’s post…

    “A massive underground suburban rail network will be built, linking every major rail line in Melbourne and the new airport rail, the Victorian government has pledged.

    Billed as “the biggest public transport project in Australian history”, the Suburban Rail Loop will connect key train lines from Frankston to Werribee.

    There will be 12 stations, starting near Cheltenham and connecting the south-eastern train lines, with potential stations at Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill.

    Heading north, it would travel underground, with potential connections at Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner and Broadmeadows.”

  6. Wasnt Essential was around this mark this time last year?

    Just checked. Yes, it was. On and off for a month or so in fact. And Newspoll was at 54-46 for at least one poll.

  7. Political Alert tweets

    Shadow Financial Services Minister @ClareONeilMP is in Melbourne today and will hold a doorstop interview on ‘Stuart Robert’s appalling comments about banking misconduct’, 9.30AM #auspol

  8. Trump is getting screamer as more is exposed.
    Hence why I always imagined him eventually being hospitalized for a breakdown of sorts.

  9. phoenixRED @ #46 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 8:34 am

    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.

    But of course! Who doesn’t pay off their porn-star and Playboy-model mistresses? All part of the normal daily routine.

  10. Julie Bishop is to hold last press conference as Foreign Minister at 10:00 am.

    Virginia Trioli says its going to be bring your own flamethrower.

  11. Patty Mac tweets

    @Scottludlam @SteveKinlan @junkee If it’s any comfort, my teenage son & his mates (his mates are not lefties) think “ScoMo” is effin hilarious, that it’s not cute & cuddly, or “humanising the monster”, but pathetic as can be. Whilever he is called ScoMo, the kids are laughing til their sides ache. Can’t be good.

  12. As I mentioned yesterday, it would be quite amusing if this illegitimate child who is now 29 years old turned out to be true. And Trump his it from view for all this time.
    Surely his evangelical base would draw a line on this?

  13. Alex Greenwich not running

    I look forward to working with whoever becomes the new member for Wentworth on behalf of the constituents we will jointly represent and thank Mr Turnbull and his electorate staff for the good working relationship our offices have shared over the years.

  14. From Murdoch’s Hun:

    Joyce unleashes on Turnbull’s exit plan
    As new ministers prepare to be sworn in today, Barnaby Joyce has lashed out at Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to quit parliament and trigger a by-election, risking a Labor takeover.

  15. Just goes to show how big the Liberal base is! 🙂

    Peter Dutton, the challenger who precipitated the implosion by declaring he would challenge Turnbull for the top job, was picked by only 4% of the sample, while 9% backed Abbott.

    Among Coalition supporters, Bishop was ranked first, Morrison second, Turnbull third, Abbott fourth, and Dutton – who was portrayed by his backers and a coterie of conservative media boosters as the pick of the party base – was ranked fifth.

  16. Barney, what is “Teh Base” they are always talking about? Seems to me it is just donors and pre-selectors. Amazing that the Lib Cons never talk about Liberal “Voters”

  17. Victoria says:
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 9:01 am
    As I mentioned yesterday, it would be quite amusing if this illegitimate child who is now 29 years old turned out to be true. And Trump his it from view for all this time.
    Surely his evangelical base would draw a line on this?

    Judging by the number of ‘evangelical’ leaders who have been pinged for all sorts of immorality over the years, many would not blink an eyelid.

  18. Jon Faine asks Bill Shorten if he has approached the GG given the government minority status with Turnbull gone and Hogan on the cross bench. Thats 73 as pointed out by Mr Shorten

  19. Just reading about the suburban rail loop in Melbourne. Great idea! Finally a state is getting serious about building a Rail network, rather than a few bandaid treatments.

  20. Coalition primary down a 7pts since election. Even assuming an improvement, it will still make for some very tense 3 corner battles. Thinking QLD, will they continue to preference PHON?

  21. Melbourne would join several cities that have orbital rail lines to allow cross-suburban journeys. Places like London, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo come to mind.

    Sydney badly needs something similar.

  22. antonbruckner11 @ #79 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 6:08 am

    Barney, what is “Teh Base” they are always talking about? Seems to me it is just donors and pre-selectors. Amazing that the Lib Cons never talk about Liberal “Voters”

    It has always been a confusing statement, but it seems clear now that it is those voters that support the RWFWs of the Party and are leaking to Divided Nation and Cory! 🙂

  23. Victoria @ #71 Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 – 6:01 am

    As I mentioned yesterday, it would be quite amusing if this illegitimate child who is now 29 years old turned out to be true. And Trump his it from view for all this time.
    Surely his evangelical base would draw a line on this?

    How is this relevant?

    Trump doesn’t adhere to some peoples moral standards and yet they still support him.


    Hold the press!

  24. In reference to a story in The Oz. Hypocrisy much.

    Peter van OnselenVerified account@vanOnselenP
    11h11 hours ago
    Queensland Liberals want a quota for positions in the ministry? But not for women…

  25. Vic:

    Not just evangelicals, but puritanical wowsers like Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions and all the other Republicans who went apeshit over Clinton’s affairs.

    Do as I say not as I do….

  26. Dave Sharma wrote an article for the SMH talikng of need for stability etc 4 days before Turnbull was tossed. Did Turnbull give him a heads up or just saw the writing on the wall.

  27. Victoria@9:01am
    He is one who will appoint a judge which will result in the reversal of roe vs wade
    So anything “sinful” he did in the past is not important
    Some of the evangelicals may even be thinking of rapture and things associated with that.

  28. Sydney was on track, ‘scuse the pun, to having a rail line that did a good job of going around the city but the Coalition junked it when they took over NSW.

  29. This is probably a timely reminder. Will someone ask Morrison what he believes?

    Scott Morrison is a creationist. Eg he does not ‘believe’ in palaeontology, or in climate-change science.


  30. Victoria:

    As I mentioned yesterday, it would be quite amusing if this illegitimate child who is now 29 years old turned out to be true. And Trump his it from view for all this time.
    Surely his evangelical base would draw a line on this?

    The fact that these people support him at all shows that they don’t actually have a line where Trump is concerned.

  31. If there is indeed a child that Trump kept hidden by paying off people for their silence. Me thinks it does change things.
    But of course his treasonous conduct is the main game considering he is President and all

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