Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Only the barest of improvements for the Coalition in the latest Essential poll, as reports of private polling in Wentworth confirm a collapse in the Liberal primary vote.

The fortnightly Essential Research result has Labor’s lead at 54-46, down just slightly from its 55-45 in the poll conducted in the very immediate wake of the leadership change on August 24. All we have of the primary vote at this stage is that the Coalition is up a point to 36%. Scott Morrison records a 39-27 lead on preferred prime minister, little changed from his 39-29 lead in the last poll. As with Newspoll, Essential’s second poll of the Morrison era includes its first approval ratings for the two leaders: Morrison debuts on 37% approval and 31% disapproval, while Bill Shorten is on 35% approval, up one on a month ago, and 43% disapproval, down one.

UPDATE: On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 36%, Labor is down two to 37% – solidly lower than Newspoll – the Greens are steady on 10% and One Nation is up one to 8% (their second increase in a row, the opposite of what Newspoll has shown). The full report is here.

The poll finds 47% disapproving of the leadership change compared with 35% in support, widening a gap that was recorded at 40% to 35% in the last poll (the narrowness of which I found hard to credit). Presented with a series of propositions on the leadership change, 63% agreed with the proposition that they had lost trust in the government and wanted a new one; 60% that Morrison “was not elected by the people and has no legitimacy” and “needs to go to an election as soon as possible“; and 67% that they were “sick of the major parties changing their leaders” and “consider voting for a third party to send a message to them both”. Also included are a finding that 69% think a policy to reduce carbon emissions important, versus 23% for unimportant; and leadership attribute ratings which I may or may not take a closer look at when the full report comes out later today.

Also today, The Australian has some results from a poll of 1000 respondents in Wentworth. The poll was conducted for Andrew Bragg, the early Liberal preselection frontrunner who is now set for a seat in the Senate, who seems to be publicising it to back his decision to vacate the field in Wentworth for a woman. A straight voting intention question recorded the Liberal primary vote at just 39%, compared with Malcolm Turnbull’s 62.3% in 2016, with Labor’s Tim Murray on 25% and Kerryn Phelps, who is expected to announce shortly she will run as an independent, on 20%. However, a secondary voting intention specifying a female Liberal candidate found the party’s vote increasing to 43%.

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.

2,254 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Thanks William.
    Despite the fact that we have a parliamentary system, for a long time now, probably since 1972, Federal election campaigns have been focused on the leader.

    I still remember the ‘Give Bob the job’ slogan.
    In the last election campaign, didn’t some major party candidates in a minimal press interviews and referred media inquiries to tthe parties campaign office.

  2. Poll Bludger Federal Election Seat Count Sweep
    Welcome to the Poll Bludger Federal Election Seat Count Sweep. If you would like to join email your prediction for the number of seats that Labor will win to Your email will be deleted after your prediction is recorded with my apologies in advance to anyone inadvertently caught by the spam filter. I’ll try to keep track of any predictions posted in the thread if you’d prefer not to email me, without a guarantee it’ll be included.

    The rules of the competition are:
    • Your seat count prediction must be an integer
    • All forms of cheating and capitalising on insider knowledge are encouraged
    • Your first prediction is final

    The prize is gloating rights.

    Player One__________83
    Edward Boyce__________84
    Steve davis__________85
    Outside Left__________86
    A Different Michael__________87
    Kambah Mick__________87
    The Silver Bodgie__________87
    Lord Haw Haw of Arabia__________87
    A R__________88
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    Left E__________89
    John Reidy__________89
    Harry “Snapper” Organs__________90
    Jack Aranda__________94
    Libertarian Unionist__________97
    Dan Gulberry__________98
    Asha Leu__________99

  3. It appears Roman has flipped, dribbling out more of how the Potato is channeling a former politician who allegedly said:

    “Now what about my little mate?”

    And kudos to Doyley who yesterday speculated that Labor went easy on Potato yesterday, cause something bigger was about to drop. This in The Age…

    Mr Quaedvlieg, who was based in Canberra, had meetings in Brisbane with Mr Stock and Mr Lewis, where he advised the pair about how to get jobs with the agency.

    According to a source, after Mr Dutton asked Mr Quaedvlieg to help Mr Lewis and Mr Stock, Mr Quaedvlieg discussed with Mr Dutton the fact that he had met both men. Mr Dutton sought updates in relation to the progress of at least one of the pair’s candidacies.

    It is understood Mr Quaedvlieg advised Mr Lewis and Mr Stock on how to improve their chances of getting a job at the agency, but was not involved in the interview, short-listing or selection process.

    Mr Stock and Mr Dutton moved together in Queensland policing circles.

    Mr Stock applied for a job as superintendent, an executive-level position. It is understood that while his application was progressing through Border Force, and after he met Mr Quaedvlieg in Brisbane to discuss his potential application, he invited Mr Quaedvlieg to dine with him and Mr Dutton at Portia’s restaurant in Canberra.

    Mr Stock got the superintendent job, the equivalent of executive level 2 in the public service, and later moved into Mr Dutton’s office as the liaison officer between Border Force and the minister’s office.”

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Here are all the details of the latest Essential poll.
    Phil Coorey writes that Labor will take the National Energy Guarantee or something similar to the next federal election as business and industry clamoured for certainty and new data showed power prices had jumped since the NEG was scrapped.
    Tony Wright on that unanswerable question put to Morrison. Why?
    Michelle Grattan writes that Wentworth looks scary for the Liberals who are having trouble explaining why they sacked a PM.
    Paul Bongiorno reckons Morrison is counting on voter amnesia.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports on how the RBA has warned that Australian households and the financial system are over exposed to an economic shock with the country’s debt levels rocketing to the top of global standings.
    And Stephen Bartholomeusz concludes this worrying contribution with “The central banks may (or may not) have averted another Depression by kicking the can down the road with their post-crisis policies but their decision to prioritise the maintenance of economic growth above all else means they have created a new complacency, a new set of risks and the potential for a new, albeit different, outbreak of financial and economic stress.”
    Greg Jericho tells us how the Parliamentary Budget Office has very clearly shown the government’s sales pitch for the income tax cuts to be false. He says the PBO has shown that the tax cuts are overwhelmingly targeted towards giving the wealthiest the biggest cut.
    Karen Maley reports that the Hayne royal commission began its latest round of hearings with a tawdry tale of unchecked greed and duplicity that would make even a banker blush. And it didn’t even make much money for the perpetrator, the financial group ClearView.
    The SMH tells us that Dutton pressed then Customs chief Roman Quaedvlieg to help two Queensland policemen get jobs in the new Border Force agency Mr Dutton was setting up – a revelation set to escalate the political furore surrounding Mr Dutton’s decisions as immigration minister. Quaedvlieg is playing a blinder.
    Fergus Hunter reports that Dutton has released fresh evidence that confirms a pre-existing relationship with a former colleague who asked him for help with a detained au pair, while still strongly rejecting claims he misled Parliament over the saga.
    The SMH editorial comes out strongly, saying that rather than focusing on threats at the margins Morrison would do better to spread a positive message about Australia’s strong record of religious tolerance.
    And Geoff Thompson says that Scott Morrison’s claim to be ‘on God’s side’ is fraught with danger.
    Elizabeth Knight explains how National Australia Bank has a new product for sale – it’s called trust. Its decision to separate itself from the banking pack and not increase mortgage rates won’t deliver customer trust, but it might buy it some market share.
    John Passant says the massive voter desertion of the Liberal Party in the previously safe seat of Wagga Wagga will take some explaining.,11873
    The Australian gas market sits once again on the cusp of government intervention as the nation’s two major political parties appear determined to go head-to-head over energy prices rather than focus on the fundamentals of supply that actually shape what the nation is paying. Canavan’s got his work cut out.
    Woolworths is facing a potential $100 million payout to aggrieved shareholders who saw the value of their investments plunge when the supermarket delivered a shock downgrade to its profit outlook in 2015. Oh dear!
    Jennifer Hewett explains Morrison’s big problem in Wentworth.
    This huge international investor sees no sovereign risk at all in Australia.
    Alexandra Smith writes that he NSW Nationals will need standalone policies to differentiate themselves from the Liberals if they are to hold on to country seats in next’s year NSW state election.
    Doctors for the Environment say that climate change denial is the denial of many public health casualties.,11876
    Here’s Kate McClymont’s second piece on the recent drug ring bust.
    Jenna Price says, “I thought conservative parties had a woman problem. I was wrong. They’ve got man trouble.” Ouch!
    Peter Hartcher writes about China’s hubris and forms of aggression,.
    Roy Masters is pleased to report that television ratings for the NRL season have eclipsed the AFL’s audiences for the first time since 2010, reflecting the closeness of games in the rugby league competition compared to AFL, where the frequency of one-sided matches continued with last weekend’s three semi-final blow-outs.
    Greg Baum describes Serena’s quadruple fault.
    The Australian renewable energy industry will install more than 10 gigawatts of new solar and wind power during 2018 and 2019. If that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% renewables in 2025.
    Three-quarters of people in New South Wales are unaware that abortion remains a criminal offence in the state and almost as many believe it should be regulated as a healthcare service, a study has found.
    Priests who fail to report suspected child abuse revealed through confession would face up to five years’ jail, if a push by SA Best to toughen penalties is supported.
    Nicole Hemmer tells us why so many Americans believe in an all-powerful ‘deep state’.
    That’s America for you!
    For several reasons these guys deserve nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner.

    Beautiful work from David Rowe.

    Mark David has Morrison and a Muppets worked out.

    A reminder from Peter Broelman.

    Mark Knight and Melbourne’s suburban rollout.

    Zanetti serves it up to Serena Williams.

    As does Mark Knight.

    Sean Leahy sums up the Newspoll results.

    From Pat Campbell.

    Johannes Leak joins in.
    David Pope hits Morrison with coal and prayers.$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/abde4e43d94f090889ad1c81be87a964ccf65efd
    More in here.

  5. As a casual observer of the Australian’s homepage and a regular paywall jumper I’ve observed the Australian is running an ongoing attack on Australia’s compulsory superannuation system. Today’s gem from Adam Creighton helpfully opinions that the benefits of our superannuation system are overstated or unproven –

    Is this a case of the Smearstralian spitting the dummy following the Banking Royal Commission on the basis that if our spiv mates can’t monopolise the loot then they’re going to trash the joint?

  6. Morning all

    Today’s Age newspaper has quite a few letters to the editor not v happy with Serena’s behaviour at the tennis on the weekend.

  7. grimace 702am

    Yes the jihads that The Australian conducts are both predictable and amusing. Again today we have one from their Batman-like “Two-Face” series on unions, which are both –

    1. An all-powerful threat to the world, and getting bigger and stronger


    2. Disappearing into the ether, and getting smaller and weaker.

    Today’s offering is from the second stream –

    And re Super – for years they have been raging against the industry super funds (part of their anti union jihad also), but now that the Banking Royal Commission has found the industry funds have been so much better for their members than the retail funds they have decided it’s best to just burn the whole house down!

  8. Interesting how Mark Knight decides to portray Serena”s opponent as a blonde (contrasting, of course, the black beastly caricature of Serena), given that it was a Japanese/Hatian who is just as dark as Serena. This is not the first time Knight has dabbled in offensive racist depictions.

  9. lizzie 658am

    Echoes of similar meetings in Sydney in early 1931 I would imagine, with the foundation of a new patriotic organization (lots of WW1 veterans involved, apparently including one Lyle Howard) to combat the rise of the “Left” with Labor in power at State and Federal level.

  10. Good morning all,

    Morrison will officially bury government support for the NEG today and push ahead with his ” lower power prices ahead of emissions reduction ” mantra.

    I find it amazing how much of a free kick Morrison is about to hand to labor.

    For month and months the government and its ministers had been touting how effective the NEG would be in reducing electricity bills by up to $500 a year yada yada yada.

    Now, all of a sudden, the NEG is dropped and the government will look for other policy to do exactly the same thing Morrison and co were claiming the NEG would.

    Labor, business and other stakeholders will jump on this debacle and I will look forward with great interest how Morrison will defend dropping a policy that had strong industry support and he has claimed for months and months would reduce power bills and move towards some yet undeveloped approach supposedly to do exactly the same thing !


  11. lizzie @ #8 Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 – 4:58 am

    Here are your conservative leaders, saving you from the dreaded “Left”. Notice the influence of retired soldiers?

    ” rel=”nofollow”>:large

    And not a woman in sight! Clearly ‘saving Australia from the left’s agenda’ means sending us back to the kitchen where we are neither seen nor heard!

  12. Saving us from the left’s agenda.
    Look at how you can pay, no electronic methods , but you can use cheques. Summarizes the demographic noicley.

  13. Hey guys,

    Who can I make a complaint to regarding LNP false advertising propaganda? That’s been placed at our local train station?

    The sign says “Labor Rail Cuts Leave Stranded” Mark Robinson, Member for Oodgeroo.

    Do I take it to AEC, LNP, Queensland Rail?

  14. Good to see Mark Knight internationally slammed as a disgusting racist overnight, Zanetti lining up for the same treatment.

    Don’t be like Mark, don’t be like Zanetti, they are racist.

  15. Apparently Kim Jong un has written to Trump overnight and the letter has predictably been leaked.

    Bill KristolVerified account@BillKristol
    3h3 hours ago
    Dear The Greatest (as you suggested I call you),
    Unlike your COS, I don’t think you’re an idiot. Unlike your SecDef, I don’t think of you as a fifth grader. Unlike Anonymous, I don’t admire McCain (my family never liked POWs either).
    I’m your bro! So let’s make a deal!
    Rocket Man

  16. That great Murdoch propagandist, Mark Knight has come to the attention of J.K Rowling:

    J.K. Rowling


    More J.K. Rowling Retweeted Mark Knight

    Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.

  17. Zoidlord

    QR should have some policies in place re advertising particularly political advertising. Contact them first off.

    Wouldn’t bother with the LNP.

    Perhaps a letter to the Curious Snail might help too.

  18. “Good to see Mark Knight internationally slammed as a disgusting racist overnight, Zanetti lining up for the same treatment.”

    Yes that Mark Knight “cartoon” is just disgraceful.

  19. Morning all. Thanks BK. The poll result on climate change action is great – finally even a majority of coalition voters are demanding change. I have just been reading Labor’s policy and it is good, but could go further.

    For car emissions we should adopt EU, not US standards, because we also need to adopt EU safety regulations. (Our road toll is rising.)

    For transport, we need to overhaul IA assessment and investment rules similar to what NZ has done.

  20. As for Reichs Potato Dutton, he was not the messiah, just a very naughty boy. Imagine, an ex Qld cop lying to parliament!

    I agree with others, at this point they are just rorting as much as they can before being turfed. Have a good day all.

  21. Hard to see what the US wants to achieve out of this, but it certainly isn’t diplomacy!

    Classic bully tactics and a complete refusal to accept that there are boundaries in how Nations should behave.

    But then again it is the US.

    Trump administration orders closure of Palestinian office, threatens ICC with sanctions

    The Trump administration has ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington and threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it pursues investigations against the US, Israel, or other allies.

  22. CNN Poll: Trump approval down 6 points in a month, hits low among independents – – worse than any president over last 64 years.

    President Donald Trump’s approval rating has fallen 6 points in the last month and stands at a new low among political independents, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

    Overall , just 36% approve of the way the President is handling his job, down from 42% in August

    Trump’s numbers have slipped amid the release of an op-ed in The New York Times and reports about the Bob Woodward book that will be released Tuesday. Both paint a picture of a White House in chaos, with staffers actively thwarting the President’s agenda

  23. Ides of March

    One of those odd nomenclatures for newspapers over many years for example

    West Australian is the West or Worst Australian

    Australian is the Oz or Smearstralian or the GG (Govt Gazette)

    Age and Syd Morning Herald known as Smage as they both are published by Fairfax and have similar stories. SMH also known as Sydney Moaning Herald.

    Adelaide Advertiser known as the Tiser.

    Geelong Advertiser known as the Addy

    Daily Telegraph often known as Daily Toiletpaper

    And so on

  24. I wanted to slam my head against the steering wheel just now as I listened to gormless Greg the Lying Hunt on AM. At least Sabra Lane tried, if somewhat insipidly, to get an answer to the question of ‘Why?’ did the Coalition feel the need to replace Malcolm Turnbull with Scott Morrison.

    Apparently, and this is from a guy who didn’t even vote for him, yet is still on his front bench so feels free to make nice, Scott Morrison is Australia’s Everyman, so deserves to be Prime Minister. Simple as that. You upend a government for the second time in 5 years and install an unelected Prime Minister because the Liberal Party has decided that Scott Morrison is the best reflection of Australia and Australians…for the rest of the scurvy bunch of elitist Tories and their vested interest donors to hide behind so that they can continue to prosecute their self-serving Serfist agenda.

  25. C@tmomma @ #44 Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 – 8:40 am

    I wanted to slam my head against the steering wheel just now as I listened to gormless Greg the Lying Hunt on AM. At least Sabra Lane tried, if somewhat insipidly, to get an answer to the question of ‘Why?’ did the Coalition feel the need to replace Malcolm Turnbull with Scott Morrison.

    Apparently, and this is from a guy who didn’t even vote for him, yet is still on his front bench so feels free to make nice, Scott Morrison is Australia’s Everyman, so deserves to be Prime Minister. Simple as that. You upend a government for the second time in 5 years and install an unelected Prime Minister because the Liberal Party has decided that Scott Morrison is the best reflection of Australia and Australians…for the rest of the scurvy bunch of elitist Tories and their vested interest donors to hide behind so that they can continue to prosecute their self-serving Serfist agenda.

    I find that it is good for the blood pressure to never ever listen to AM, particularly when Sabra Lane is in the chair.

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