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. Julia Banks said that some of the bullying came from Labor people.
    Surely they all kept well away from the Libs and let them implode all by themselves; any guesses as to whom she was referring?

  2. Julia Banks:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/joshtaylor/this-female-politician-says-she-was-bullied-and-intimidated?origin=shp&utm_term=.ymRgQ9WmB#.qm7Lk9KJV

    The MP said she had experienced “bullying and intimidation” from both within her own party and from the Labor party.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/aug/29/liberal-mp-julia-banks-to-quit-parliament-next-election-citing-bullying-and-intimidation

    Banks revealed she had experienced intimidation and bullying both from within her own party and from the opposition Labor party.

  3. I believe some adviser suggested she add the reference to bullying coming from Labor as well, as a way to kind of soften the statement and not give too much of a free kick to Labor. Having said that, it’s clear from the factual circumstances where the substantial bullying has come from. I am looking forward to seeing Michael Sukkar asked hard questions about his conduct.

  4. Victoria @ #1201 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 2:48 pm

    Barney IDG

    Turnbull tendered his resignation which becomes official Friday. You wanna be pedantic. You are welcome
    Doesn’t change the point that including him in leadership question is now moot

    I disagree, if you look at the increase in Morrison and the decrease in Turnbull it gives you an idea of how many people just prefer whoever is PM. 🙂

  5. Puffytmd @ #1195 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 5:43 pm

    ItzaDream @ #1193 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 5:10 pm

    I thought the original NO WAR job on the opera house was genius. I wanted the world to know that Howard and the Crims were so despised here that life and limb were put at risk. No harm was done, and we hit the world news as saying we were not all party to an illegal and immoral invasion.

    It was brilliant. And I was not very old at the time. So you are you worried there is still a warrant out for you? 🙂

    Oh I wish. I’m getting old and creaky. In fact, did my second ever yoga class today. My intent is to be happy and resolved about where I am. This fkn Govt isn’t helping, but change is close. Very close I smell it in the air, like rain, and it’s good.

  6. Chris Uhlmann tweets…

    All three Liberal MPs named to @NineNewsAUS as having been involved in bullying and intimidating @juliabanksMP categorically deny the allegations. #auspol

  7. Things might have been different if the Victorian Court of Appeal had not pulled its punches over the contempt shown to it by Tudge, Hunt and Sukkar

  8. Puffytmd @ #1198 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 5:46 pm

    Puffytmd @ #1195 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 5:13 pm

    ItzaDream @ #1193 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 5:10 pm

    I thought the original NO WAR job on the opera house was genius. I wanted the world to know that Howard and the Crims were so despised here that life and limb were put at risk. No harm was done, and we hit the world news as saying we were not all party to an illegal and immoral invasion.

    It was brilliant. And I was not very old at the time. So you are you worried there is still a warrant out for you? 🙂

    oops. I got mixed up with the Vietnam War. I marched against Howards illegal and opportunistic war. The grizzled goat.

    Taking the streets is something that’s been taken from us by the fascists. I walked against Iraq, walked across the bridge on a cold Sydney morning under the wafting SORRY sign in the sky, it was very emotional, under the flag I would happily embrace, and with my then new now spouse person, I walked in Mardi Gras for my first time, and was asked by some international microphone (BBC I think) what it meant and heard myself say, it means I am me.

  9. The Drum finished this evening with a very personal & harrowing representation of Aboriginals in custody.
    Repeat on News 24 at 6.13

  10. Rob Harris tweets….

    Michael Kroger says he’s spoken to one female MP and from that conversation he’s confident in saying no-one was bullied and even if they were that’s what happens in politics.

  11. Re Julia Banks

    Liberal MP Craig Kelly has said that her resignation is the wrong thing to do and that she should “roll with the punches in this game”.
    —-
    The problem is that being an MP isn’t a game, Craig Kelly.

    You are there to legislate on behalf of the people of Australia, to their benefit, not yours.

    You are not there to use standover tactics against your fellow parliamentarians to bend to the will of a few MPs. You are there to serve the people.

    We are your employer.

    This isn’t footy, where men’s rules are the only rules. About time you learned that lesson, pal.

  12. A shame Banks is leaving, she sounded quite compassionate.

    An affluent Liberal Party backbencher has been lambasted for claiming she could sustain herself on a $40-a-day government welfare allowance.

    Julia Banks, who holds the marginal Melbourne seat of Chisholm, angered welfare recipients when she told her ABC Local Radio station existing Newstart and Youth Allowance payments were adequate for the the unemployed.

    ‘I could live on 40 bucks a day knowing that the Government is supporting me with Newstart looking for employment,’ she said.
    Her statement contradicted economist Chris Richardson’s assertion the $539 a fortnight unemployment benefit was ‘unnecessarily cruel’, and should be raised by $50 a week, ABC News reports.

    Ms Banks said such a suggestion amounted to ‘socialism’, and it was possible to live on $40 a day – prompting talkback listeners to accuse her of being ‘insulting’ and ‘out of touch’.

    ‘I am certainly not,’ she responded.

    ‘I speak to constituents every day and all I can say is the dignity of having a job and finding work is what our policy is about.’

  13. If Morrison thinks he’s solved the Tony problem, most people think he’s setting up more problems for himself and the First Nations.

    Generally, over half of the Australian populace sighed with relief when the result went to Morrison instead of Dutton. Certainly, government spinners and moderate “small-l” liberals assured all within earshot that calamity had been averted. But First Nations onlookers recognised the two were cut from the same cloth. Now, with Tony Abbott accepting the role of special envoy to the new prime minister on Indigenous affairs, our immediate misgivings have been fully realised.

    It’s ironic that the bloke essentially tipped out of the big chair in 2015 for a series of poor decision-making is now, as the “captain’s pick” of Australia’s latest PM, welcomed back into the cabinet fold of the federal government. For Morrison’s decision to appoint Abbott to that role is every bit as tone-deaf as Abbott’s 26 January 2015 decision as the then PM to bestow upon Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband to the Queen of England, resident of the United Kingdom, and an abiding symbol of a bloody colonial empire, the controversially reintroduced Knight of the Order of Australia.

    Overnight, it emerged that after some deliberation around what he might bring to the role (read: how the gig could potentially yield enough political capital for a full-blown return tilt at the frontbench), Abbott accepted. Be disturbed. Be very disturbed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/29/abbott-as-indigenous-affairs-envoy-be-disturbed-be-very-disturbed

  14. Thanks JimmyD! I seem to remember that bemused thought very highly of her. Not that I am lamenting bemused being around, don’t get me wrong! 😀

  15. Vogon Poet

    Oh, so another one infected with the Bronwyn virus.

    Ms Banks said such a suggestion amounted to ‘socialism’, and it was possible to live on $40 a day

  16. Roger @ #509 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 4:48 pm

    During the Hawke – Keating period:

    -Medicare
    -The most progressive university funding system in the world, tripling the number of Uni entrants
    -The most brilliant superannuation system in the world
    -Ground breaking anti-discrimination legislation and disability support
    -Massive advancement of aboriginal rights, respect and reconciliation
    -Massive step change in environmental protection
    -Removal of last ties to the british parliament and commencement of the republican referendum process

    This all at a time when the neoliberal paradigm was near omnipotent globally.

    All the Greens offer in the face of this is sanctimonious, narcissistic grand-standing.

    Roger

    You are letting emotion cloud facts

    – Medicare replaced medibank – a Whitlam era reform – good on them for fixing the Fraser era butchery but credit to Whitlam mostly
    – HECs is no where near as good as the Whitlam era free places. Going to uni and copping a HECs debt is ONLY useful if you get a good job and this has to be a lot better than the one you would otherwise have got. Basically our universities are now advanced child minding centres, delaying entry into the workforce to make the figures look better. The current wage stagnation applies to uni graduates too.
    – Yes the super system IS good BUT it is not really a left right issue – it was really a RIGHT Wing neoliberal solution although it is a good one. Also remember its PURPOSE which was to gradually allow for the removal of the old age pension.
    – Yes there were some real positives in terms of indigenous rights and anti discrimination
    – Environment – just what were these massive gains. I think in fact they were bloody useless environmentally. Some of the Libs were actually better – that South Australian – was he Robert Hill or some such. Now I worked in this area and I think there was very, bloody little at a Commonwealth level. The REAL gains were because Victoria and NSW were leapfrogging each other – including Liberal governments – and SA always pretty good. Environmentally the Hawke Keating era was actually characterised by non involvement of of the Commonwealth and pressure from the states – consider the establishment of the NEPC and its potential power.
    – British stuff – ho hum

    It was the era of sale of the Commonwealth bank and Qantas. Setting up immigrant concentration camps in the desert. There was much that was good but a helluva lot of bad too.

  17. I am of the opinion that Peter Dutton despite being a very divisive character would have been the best option electorally for the Liberals. If even the Coalition lost, I predict the result would have been close.

    Because the Liberals would become a Conservative Nationalist party rallying against ‘Globalism’, advocating Social Conservatism and Economic Nationalism (Protectionism) would rally a lot of the Coalition base, attract those voters from One Nation and other right-wing populist parties. Also a fair slice of the ALP base would switch over as well. However the Liberals who subscribe to ‘Globalist’ views would leave the party, that would meant the lost of inner city ‘leafy’ seats such as for example; Wentworth, North Sydney, Ryan, Higgins, Kooyong and Curtin.

    I personally disagree with this kind of political agenda, however I can see it as electorally popular enough to get governments elected. Also I believe the Liberals would need to change their name to the Conservative Party of Australia.

  18. Barney in Go Dau @ #869 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 6:21 pm

    Vogon Poet @ #1222 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 3:16 pm

    A shame Banks is leaving, she sounded quite compassionate.

    She is!

    Most of the others argue to take it away completely, at least for some time. 🙂

    Well she did vote for legislation that tried to limit payments :

    Julia Banks voted strongly for decreasing availability of welfare payments

    https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/chisholm/julia_banks/policies/34

  19. Bemused was what he was, and could be argumentative and irascible, as well a sexist and opinionated at times, but he was well informed and knowledgeable about ALP and Australian politics generally, and his absence from here overall leaves us the poorer, even though some of us don’t walk on eggshells as much any more.

    A pity we couldn’t just have the good parts of the curate’s egg.

  20. Zoomster
    I suspect that Julie Bishop is actually quite popular with people who don’t know her. Fellow parliamentarians on the other hand ……..

  21. Mehar baba@9:17am
    I like wage increases ( who doesn’t). However like Wayne Swan, I prefer employment for everyone who is able, capable and/or willing to work. An idle brain is a devil’s playground. Also, you cannot aspire for wage increase without a job.

  22. @Leon

    Agreed, plus the Coalition’s hardcore right wing supporter base would despise her as a ‘globalist shill’, like they did about Malcolm Turnbull. I predict either these people take over the Liberal Party or leave it and found their own party.

  23. Speaking of the Russians, while I was down at the shops this afternoon I saw a current model Lexus coupe parked semi legally, as in where other cars drive past on their way to a legitimate spot. Fair enough I thought, they can obviously afford to pay the fine should a parking inspector happen by, but it was only when I got up close and saw the gold -embossed personalised number plate that I laughed out loud at their chutzpah.

    The number plate was : RUSSIA 😀

  24. I am always a bit cautious when it comes to the use of the word “bully/bulling/been bullied” as these words become generic for virtually any bad experience (as experienced by the bullied one) rather than the totally inappropriate use of power by one person/persons over another/others. As any primary kid will answer, if they have “been bullied at school”, they will usually say “yes”. On further questioning quite often the “bullying” has encompassed just being told to do something…..such as pick up a bit of paper or some such.
    I don’t know any of the details of Julia Banks and her experiences and I would hope she has been treated with respect. However, as some have pointed out, politics is a “brutal” business and just where tough treatment ends and bullying begins is almost impossible to isolate I would have thought.
    One would hope that human interaction would not include such behaviour but clearly this is not so in the real world.

  25. Tricot,
    If you read my post the other day about Abbott’s Liberal Party droogs, then I would be believing Julia Banks if I were you. There are some very nasty and aggressive types associated with the Liberals.

    And, yes, I’m sure there are some in Labor somewhere but they could probably learn a thing or two from the Right.

  26. Ven @ #585 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 6:40 pm

    Mehar baba@9:17am
    I like wage increases ( who doesn’t). However like Wayne Swan, I prefer employment for everyone who is able, capable and/or willing to work. An idle brain is a devil’s playground. Also, you cannot aspire for wage increase without a job.

    Ven

    Circular argument. without reasonable wages ordinary people have to cut back on services – hair cuts, eating out, magazines, car repairs, gardeners etc. This then reduces the number of jobs and it spirals down.

    Basically the way to full employment is to increase wages in the sector most likely to transfer it on WITHIN Australia. Increasing wages or profits from those most likely to holiday in Europe or purchase property in Costa Rica will not generate jobs in Australia. Helping the lower end workers will – they can afford to repair the car, take mum out for her birthday, have a camping holiday with the kids in the summer, have a haircut etc. Essentially EVERY $ extra for this group will go straight back into the community. If 1000 shop assistants get $20 extra per week, then that is 10 extra hair cuts each year (Women cost more than men) so 10,000 extra services- let us say that is an extra 2000 days of work ie about 6 full time jobs.

  27. What wonderful vetting we have.

    Suspected asylum seekers found in Queensland spark warnings of exodus from Vietnam

    Vietnamese community leaders fear a group of suspected asylum seekers found in Queensland are part of a potential flood of people fleeing human rights abuses and state seizure of their land in Vietnam.

    Most of the 17 Vietnamese have been taken to Christmas Island for processing by immigration authorities and are eventually expected to be deported back to Vietnam, after their fishing boat washed ashore in Far North Queensland on Sunday.

    It is not yet clear where in Vietnam the group is from and whether, or why, they are seeking asylum.

    It’s not clear where they are from or what their claim is, but they’re expected to be deported.

    There is something very wrong in this chain. 🙁

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-29/fears-suspected-asylum-seekers-part-of-flood-from-vietnam/10179322

  28. I would just like to say

    that Craig Kelly MP has appeared on SKYNEWS today several times over about a 6 hour period. Does he head home between appearances or does he hang around the studio eating cold pizza? I would like to know how many hours a week he spends at SKYNEWS plus travelling to and from.

  29. DaretoTread @ #1238 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 6:45 pm

    Millennial @ #582 Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 – 6:38 pm

    Oh Dear. It seems there are going to be lots of Russian soldiers doing push-ups and jumping jacks on China’s borders soon.

    Russia to Stage Biggest Military Exercises Since Cold War
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-28/russia-to-stage-biggest-military-drills-since-height-of-cold-war

    China and Mongolia are joining the exercises.

    I presume China and Mongolia will also join in on the jumping jacks and the push-ups.

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