Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Another poll records a drift back to the Coalition after the post-leadership spill blowout, along with strong support for quotas to boost female parliamentary representation in the Liberal Party.

The Guardian reports the latest Essential Research poll has Labor leading 53-47 on two-party preferred, down from 54-46 a fortnight ago. We are told the Coalition is up a point on the primary vote to 37%, and Labor down one to 36% – we will have to await the full report later today for the minor party primary votes. UPDATE: Genuinely unusual results on this score, with One Nation slumping three points to 5% and the Greens up two to 12%. Full report here.

The poll also finds 61% support for female representation quotas for the Liberal Party (68% among Coalition voters), with 21% opposed; 37% supporting proposed government legislation to safeguard religious freedoms, with 26% opposed; and 82% supporting a federal anti-corruption body, with only 5% opposed. Also featured are Essential’s recurring questions on trust in institutions, which as usual find high levels of trust in police forces, the High Court, the ABC and the Reserve Bank, but lower levels for trade unions, religious organisations, federal parliament, business groups and, especially, political parties.

Other polls of late that I have so far neglected to mention:

• A poll of the regional New South Wales seat of Hume finds Liberal member Angus Taylor leading 57-43, which represents a 3.2% swing to Labor. Both parties are well down on the primary vote compared with the 2016 election, with the Liberals on 41.8% (down 12.0%) and Labor on 26.9% (down 4.9%). This reflects both a 10.4% showing for One Nation and a 6.6% increase for “others” to 14.3%, with the Greens steady on 6.6%. The poll was conducted by ReachTEL for the Australia Institute from a sample of 690.

• Also from the Australia Institute comes a survey of 1449 respondents regarding recent royal commissions. This finds the one into the banking and finance industry to have the highest level of public awareness, followed in order by those into child sex abuse, trade unions and the Murray-Darling Basin. As the organisation no doubt hoped, the survey found the banking and finance industry inquiry was overwhelmingly perceived to have been more productive than the one into trade unions.

• A poll of Victorian state voting intention, conducted by ReachTEL a fortnight ago for the Bus Association of Victoria from a sample of 1008, found Labor leading 53-47 on two-party preferred, and 42% to 40% on the primary vote.

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.

3,474 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. Classic DTT. Ford was “ditzy and disturbed”, “fudged quite a few times”, “made A LOT of changes and corrections” and “definitely appeared to have been coached”. But she also said she was “credible”, so how DARE you etc etc.

  2. Well, at least the government can’t any longer claim that we are going to meet our Paris commitments …

    The figures show that Australia’s policy vacuum on climate continues to drive emissions upward and further away from the country’s Paris targets.

    The data show emissions climbed 1.3% in the year to March 2018.

    The March quarter for which the data was published recorded a 0.3% increase.

    Oh, wait …

    The environment minister, Melissa Price, did not respond to questions about the increase in emissions.

    She said in a statement that emissions were currently 11.2% below 2005 levels.

    The statement said the latest report on Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory clearly showed the country was on track to beat its 2020 emissions target.

    Someone is delusional 🙁

  3. The Daily Telecrap published a hagiography of Morrison today. He’s got an ‘average sized mortgage’ apparently. Not an average sized salary, but that isn’t mentioned. Also not found were the words ‘boat’, ‘asylum’ or ‘refugee’. He doesn’t bang on about these any more.

    Won’t bother linking. You can copy and scan the article in

  4. As I said, I do not know who is telling the truth and I am not going to try to guess. I just think there is enough to pause the process until the allegations are investigated in an attempt to get at the truth of the matter.

    Oh, and if Rowe V Wade gets overturned, don’t be surprised if all hell breaks loose.

    I do not think it is the reactionaries and RWNJs who will be taking to the streets with sharpened pitchforks, baseball bats and whatever the NRA sold them for personal protection. It will be enraged and desperate ordinary people. It will be the displaced workers, disenfranchised minorities, angry women, and our hope-deprived youth.

    Why do you think the Hard Right are militarising police forces, curtailing civil liberties and banking our data?

    It is not because they are scared of doomsday preppers and Trump admirers. Those dopes are too busy canning capsicums and swapping recipes for pies made using five-year old bottled pumpkin and dried buckwheat pastry, to be any trouble. The first sign of smoke and they are 30 foot underground guarding their hoard with enough weaponry for a small South American revolution. They will come out when it is all over, if at all.

    The powerful beast fears the ants. They fear the angry man and woman who says, ‘Fuck it! They’ve left me nothing left to lose.’

    Someone had better start redistributing resources and putting in place ethical democratic systems or the fall of Rome and the French Revolution could end up looking like picnics in the park.

    Didn’t Warren Buffet warn of this very thing?

  5. All this concentration on “only in America” when, in Australia, the pm and his government have been stripped bare including in regards his and their defence

    Hayne will bring the government down – and rightly so

    As did the RBA Governor bring down a government in 2007, when the proposition of government was that interest rates would always be lower under a Liberal government was torn asunder during an election year and during an election campaign, both unprecedented

    Do not dismiss what is happening in Australia today where a pm (particularly given his response) and a government are on the ropes, staggering and terminal

    The GG needs to reconvene the parliament to test the credibility of this government subsequent to debate on the interim report of Hayne and the response of the pm (as the immediate past treasurer)

  6. Player

    If I am a one woman barmy army you are in the line up as my understudy. Hows the gas fire?

    FWIW I think Kavanagh is a bad choice for judge because he is a catholic ideologue right to lifer. I very much doubt he was a Trump pick, but rather he was Victoria and Phoenix’s darling pence’s pick.

    My comments relate only to the electoral impact of it all and in my judgment it will backfire on the Democrats. I am pretty consistent on this stuff. Generally i believe that almost all attacks on individuals backfire. Just look at Justin Milne.

  7. WSJ..

    Kavanaugh Didn’t Watch Ford’s Testimony (Updated)
    Among those watching Dr. Ford’s testimony was Judge Kavanaugh, a committee aide said, from a monitor in another room in the Dirksen Senate Building, where he awaits the opportunity to tell his side of the story later today.

    UPDATE: Later, Judge Kavanaugh said during his own testimony that he didn’t watch Dr. Ford, contrary to what the aide said earlier. He said he had intended to watch it but was preparing for his own testimony.

    — Jess Bravin

    it’s the smalll lies , keep piling up. He was rattled.

  8. Labor have already made an ad out of Scott Morrison’s defence of the Banks, the ‘Tough cop on the beat’ toothless regulators, and his various excuses for not wanting to call a Royal Commission into the Banks and other Financial Industry players. It should go down well at election time.

  9. Confesions


    Yes how bloody dare I point to the logical flaws in whatever it was that motivated your bullshit comments about Ford.

  10. Sceptic

    Lie or not. Rattled is right. All that shouting relying on the lawyer statement when earlier evidence was that was not what the friend said

    Where I do agree with Nate Silver is this could indeed hurt the GOP with white college educated woman. That’s enough voters lost from Trumps base to deliver the Democrats the Blue Wave.

  11. I had a long chat with my wife about this Kavanagh case today. She’s been following it reasonably closely, it turns out.

    She told me – for the first time – some pretty hairy stories about what she got up to on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in the 70s.

    She regarded some of the scrapes she got into as life lessons, but not life wrecking.

    She has little sympathy for any of the peop,e involved, males and females.

    She reckons “lots of things were different then”. Some the same, but lots different.

    She wondered what Kavanagh’s supposed crime was. It certainly wasn’t rape. Maybe assault. Drunkenness. Is it against the law to be an obnoxious teenager? In short, my wife thought it was stupid kids unable to handle their liquor, doing stupid immature things, but no more silly and stupid than some of the things she did. Some of these she now regrets, but they haven’t ruined her life. She just stopped doing them as she grew up.

    As to the blokes? Blokes got drunk and so did she. Regrettable, but not enough to ruin someone’s life and career over. Move on, she said.

    Apart from hooking up with me, she’s a pretty normal person, as far as I can see.

    Of one thing I am sure: unless far more serious allegations than a drunken grope and a bit of a fright (which even the complainant states was unintentional) are brought up, pursued and, most importantly, proved to a satisfactory standard beyond

    ▪ “He’s a frat boy”,
    ▪ “She cried so she must be telling the truth”,
    ▪ “He just looks guilty”,
    ▪ “Republicans always lie” or (as in many cases here today)
    ▪ no justification at all (it’s just assumed Kavanagh must be guilty and anyone who thinks differently is a Trump-loving RWNJ),

    the case against Kavanagh is not made.

    And to say that simply because allegations have been made is enough to destroy his career is beyond cynical. I believed that about Emma Husar, and I believe it about Kavanagh.

  12. Steve777 @ #3354 Friday, September 28th, 2018 – 10:08 pm

    The Daily Telecrap published a hagiography of Morrison today. He’s got an ‘average sized mortgage’ apparently. Not an average sized salary, but that isn’t mentioned.

    Won’t bother linking. You can copy and scan the article in

    As we said to each other at our meeting the other night, HOW has Scott Morrison still got a mortgage!?! It doesn’t make sense.

  13. And the ABC Board needs to step down

    Also, the ABC Board are in no position to appoint a replacement for Guthrie – either temporary or permanent

    They are compromised by the public record

    The resignation of the Chair is not the “end of the matter so an inquiry is now irrelevant” but the start of the matter

    The response of Borrison is akin to Murdoch saying the problem was addressed by closing “News of the World” and our banks saying they have addressed matters by selling off their Fund Manager businesses (ANZ to the discredited IOOF where due diligence is to be completed by year’s end!! At least One Path is not being sold off to AMP!!!)

  14. Oakeshott Country: if I can’t explain same, maybe then we are at cross purposes. I’ll leave it at that save to say H.V Evatt, before his demetia, was in my era a Labor hero – you taking on his screen persona has a duty to remember same.

  15. Since no actual accusation of rape was made, and it was indeed a very long time ago, it may well be fair enough to conclude that Ford’s testimony provides no basis for his disqualification. However, the manner in which he defended himself made it very clear that he is purely and simply a Republican politician and that he means to conduct himself as such. In which case the doctrine of the separation of powers, and hence of the entire US Constitution, is fundamentally broken. Though perhaps that isn’t news.

  16. BB

    Kavanaugh’s testimony did a lot of damage, refusal to concede any wrong doing, even not accepting he “ralphed “ from too much alcohol

  17. Yes William

    I said all of those things and they ARE not inconsistent unless you are very narrow minded and totally lack subtlety. You can be flaky and believable and indeed most of the time people with something REAL to say are both flaky and believable.

    Someone may be seriously assaulted and there will be no doubt about the severity or reality of the assault. However they may well filibuster and fudge about the REASON for the assault – perhaps if they had been doing some shady dealing, SP bookie or cheating on the wife. So in a witness stand they will be credible and genine about the assault but fudgy about the why etc.

    Yes she made a lot of corrections and there were obvious signs of her changing her story. She had obviously been coached, which the lady questioning her very cleverly extracted. There were huge credibility holes in her story like where the party was, just which weekend it was, how she go home and a 100 other things. I skipped over all the detailed questioning about meetings with Democrats etc because that was questioning designed to catch out Feinstein and co not Ford.

    However she was credible to the extent that she had as a 15 year old had a very scary experience involving near rape. I thought she probably knew some of the boys. So yes a credible witness.

    However she was also quite flaky although that MIGHT have been deliberate to gains sympathy. The coffee stuff was definitely a bit odd ,as was consing a while bottle of coke on camera in the witness seat.

  18. The presidential election of 1876, like that of 2000, was decided by the Supreme Court on purely partisan grounds. Both were recognised as such contemporaneously

  19. William

    I am surprised you read that into his testimony. His working history clearly puts him into the republican camp, but i did not get from his statement that he would be a republican yeas man indeed he went to some pains to say otherwise. in practice i think you are right but i did not read that in his testimony.

    I got from it extreme angers, full on christian zealotry but not really republicanism.

  20. The coffee stuff was definitely a bit odd ,as was consing a while bottle of coke on camera in the witness seat.
    From what I understand public speaking for some can lead to an incredibly dry mouth. Maybe that the reason for the beverages.

  21. nath

    she made a big deal about needing caffeine. Now as a bit of a caffeine addict i can sympathize but I probably would not consume a giant bottle of coke while on camera. Kavanagh consumed vast quantities of water.

  22. the case against Kavanagh is not made.

    “The case against Kavanaugh” is that the Senate needs to pause and investigate further.

    That case has well and truly been made on the strength of everything we’ve seen the past few months. That includes his debts as well as his attitude and the allegations.

  23. In Australia this has become less of a feature in the last 40 years. I think it unlikely that a contemporary Australian government would attempt to put Gar Gar Barwick or Lionel Murphy on the bench. The outcry would be overwhelming

  24. DTT, you say:

    “Generally i believe that almost all attacks on individuals backfire. ”

    This in proposing that Democrat questioning of Kavanaugh’s suitability for office will help the Republicans this November.

    I completely reject your characterisation of what Democrats are trying to do here as “an attack on an individual”. That description would be accurate for what Liberals & RWNJ’s did to PM Julia Gillard in 2010-2013, or what Republicans, Russians and Julian Assange did to Hilary Clinton in 2016. (Note: this didn’t demonstrably backfire on the attackers in those instances.)

    Has it not occurred to you that what the Democrats are trying to do here is to defend the integrity of a central national institution? Should a nominee to the SCOTUS really be able to skate through, without being made to account for possible wrongdoings of his in the past? This man is putting himself forward to be literally a judge of right and wrong. Not a spear-carrier for a narrow, sectional ideology.

    Remember that. Because more Americans than you realise sure aren’t forgetting this.

  25. However, the manner in which he defended himself made it very clear that he is purely and simply a Republican politician…

    Which is a different matter that we can all agree on, without having to resort to bringing up quasi sexual allegations concerning his schoolboy past.

    Callinan J. was a home grown example of cronyism and the High Court (although he did go native a couple of times). The ABC Board is another, plus countless examples in various courts and tribunals, stacked with Lib mates.

    It seems that whoever has the votes, has the power. As a psephologist William, you’d have to agree with that, shitful as it may be.

  26. BB

    I can see why you wife copped it at work

    That is meant to be a compliment.

    She seems very wise but how dare she not follow the group think of woe woe evil male right wing republican.

  27. What Dr Ford described was attempted rape BB. We were all young, drinking, drugs, pairing off etc, but nobody would just shrug that off as high jinks, or a “life experience”. These guys would have had their lights punched out.

  28. M2

    The Democrats can’t afford to forget.

    All it takes is another hanging Chad election

    Would Kavanaugh recuse himself after his show of partisanship?

  29. Michael 2

    Not at all. What the democrats are trying to do is to prevent and extreme RW judge be appointed and to preserve the stability of the supreme Court. Their goal is admirable but their methods are not nice and somewhat tricky.

    My judgement which I know is not that of 90% of people in the media and politics is that it backfired. We will see.

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