Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

A new national poll from Essential, less new state breakdowns from Newspoll, and a not-all-that-new poll of Tony Abbott’s seat from uComms/ReachTEL.

The Guardian reports the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll has Labor’s lead unchanged at 53-47 – as usual, we must await the full report to see the primary votes. Other findings: Scott Morrison is credited with a 35% to 28% edge over Malcolm Turnbull, which he appears to owe to Coalition supporters falling in behind the incumbent; only 20% believe the leadership change has “refreshed” the government, with 59% saying it hasn’t; 26% support moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, with 32% opposed; 56% say Australia is not doing enough to address climate change, with 23% saying it is; 63% express belief in anthropogenic climate change, compared with 25% favouring the alternative response attributing climate change to normal fluctuation. UPDATE: Full report here. No change whatsoever on the primary vote, with the Coalition on 38%, Labor on 37%, the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 7%.


The Australian has published one of the occasional sets of Newspoll breakdowns by state, gender, age and metropolitan-versus-regions, aggregated from multiple poll results over a period usually consisting of three months. This time though, the July-September quarter suffered the interruption of the leadership coup in late August. So results from the last three polls under Malcolm Turnbull were published shortly after the coup, and now the first four polls under Scott Morrison have been aggregated, with one more set presumably to follow at the end of the year. The two-party results show the Coalition doing three points worse than the late Turnbull period in New South Wales and Victoria, where Labor respectively leads by 54-46 and 57-43; four points worse in Queensland and Western Australia, both of which have Labor leading 54-46; and fully nine points worse in South Australia, where the Coalition led 51-49 last time, and Labor now leads 58-42. The Labor primary vote in South Australia is up fully 12%, from 28% from 40%, with “others” as well as the Coalition well down, perhaps reflecting the decline of Xenophonism. However, it should be noted the sample in the case of South Australia was only 478.

New Matilda has results of a uComms/ReachTEL poll for GetUp! from Tony Abbott’s electorate of Warringah, although it may be showing its age, having been conducted on September 13. The poll credits Abbott with a two-party lead of 54-46 over Labor, a swing of 7% – though in fact it was the Greens who made the final count in 2016, with a final two-party result much the same as it would have been against Labor. Perhaps more to the point, 52.6% of respondents said they would consider voting for an independent, although it was only 21.7% among Liberal voters. After allocating results from a forced response follow-up for the initially undecided, the primary votes were Liberal 41.7%, Labor 25.3%, Greens 12.7% and One Nation 4.4%. The kicker for Abbott is that 46.3% of respondents rated his performance very poor, and 10.3% the ordinary kind of poor, compared with 23.8% for very good and 10.4% for good, with a tellingly few 9.3% opting for average. The sample for the poll was 854.

• Counting in Wentworth continues, and will do so in steadily diminishing form until the end of next week. You can follow the action on the ongoing live count thread. For what it’s worth, Andrew Tillett of the Australian Financial Review quotes a Liberal source clinging to the hope that late postal votes arriving from Israel might yet yield a surprise. I had a fairly extensive look at the excitement that unfolded on Saturday and Sunday in a paywalled article in Crikey yesterday.

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.

1,471 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. Felix

    Yes I think the Coalition have settled into a pre-Turnbull zone.

    I heard Dutton said that the Coalition was headed for a loss of 20 seats and that’s why they dumped Turnbull. If he truly believes that he is exteremely delusional!! They are now headed for a 30-35 seat loss, so this is a very different situation to Labor under Rudd II saving some furniture and keeping Labor competitive for 2016.

  2. @PhoenixRED: Palmer’s always fun to read, for when I want to see what the loony left thinks anyway. Face the reality: There is zero, count it, ZERO probability that Trump will be “removed from office” any time prior to January 2021.

    Why not? Because there is only one way to remove a sitting POTUS from office, impeachment. And that requires 67 Senators to convict and remove an impeached officeholder from office. And the Democrats literally cannot win that many seats in 2018; assuming that each and every Senate election, all 35 of them, goes to Democrats, that will leave Team Blue with 57 Senators as of January next year, plus two Independents.

    This leaves the Democrats 8 Senators short, assuming that every Democrat and both Independents are even on-board with impeaching Trump (they’re not, but I’m feeling generous). Now, I dare anyone reading this to seriously defend the prospect of 8 Republican Senators willing to impeach Trump. Ever. Under any circumstances.

  3. Matt
    Agree. Statistically and in reality, there is more chance Trump will be shortened by assassination or a serious illness than impeachment. It’s just wishful thinking. He’s got about a 50% chance of being re-elected as well.

  4. Rocket Rocket, the current DLP was founded by dissidents immediately after the old DLP was merged back into the ALP. Even if the organisational vehicles aren’t in continuity, the AEC considered the party to be a continuation of the original party. And as a group of people working together, its founding members were almost exclusively drawn the final membership of the old DLP with the stated goal of continuation. If the legal organisation is what makes a group of people working together into a unity, then sure, they’re completely distinct. But if, as common sense dictates, we think of a group of people working together as forming a unity by nature and the legal organisation as reflecting what truly exists into a legal system that views groups of people as a leader and his subjects, then it is just to say there is a form of continuity.

    It’s more like there was the original Split, and then there was a later split at the moment of merger. The DLP wants to claim to itself the trappings and heritage of a labor party although by now of course it has diverged to the point is basically a vehicle for anti-abortion sentiment. (The ability of their former MLC to join the Bernardi party demonstrates they aren’t actually part of the labor movement, nor particularly interested in worker’s rights.)

    It’s nothing like the UAP situation, where the old party has closed down and the new party has nothing in continuity with it, neither tradition nor membership nor ideology nor spirit.

  5. @Rocket Rocket to your post directed at me. I’m not sure if by “pre-Turnbull” zone, you mean Abbott era or more like pre-dumping. I remembered the Abbott-era polling as being a lot worse but when I look at BludgerTrack historical just now, it looks pretty similar up to the knifing, just a bit spikier. So I was talking about the 2017 polling but maybe it makes no difference.

    As for Dutton saying that. Remember his goal. “We knifed our own Labor PM Turnbull to get an improvement, but look at what this two faced moderate gets us. We’ve capitulated on church school rights, we’ve capitulated on Nauru, we’ve lost two points 2PP, the base is getting ansty and the donation dollars are walking out the door.” Saying it was about the polling serves his interests as long as the polling is bad.

  6. (Do we get a new BludgerTrack update in an Essential/Newspoll state breakdown week, or only after Newspoll? I know it should change the headline numbers around but I’m interested to see what the state breakdown does.)

  7. Matt @ #1452 Thursday, October 25th, 2018 – 11:58 pm

    Now, I dare anyone reading this to seriously defend the prospect of 8 Republican Senators willing to impeach Trump. Ever. Under any circumstances.

    No, you’re right about that. But it only takes a simple majority in the House to kick off the impeachment process. And the process itself might generate enough pressure that Trump just walks away (okay, unlikely given his ego), or walks away in exchange for not being prosecuted (even Trump might take that deal). Like Nixon did.

  8. Felixstowe

    Yes I remember with that DLP stuff there was argument as to the ‘legality’ of the winding up. What amuses me now though is that having fought to retain the name they are now too scared to use it in all its historical glory and instead feel the need to prefix “Labour” onto it.

    Both Abbott and Turnbull in their long terminal Newspoll droughts sat around 47-53 mostly, with Abbott getting worse at the end and Turnbull getting marginally better. It just seems that Morrison has got into the same zone and it does seem fairly resilient.

  9. I dunno, Mr Trump’s still young but he wouldn’t be the youngest person with his characteristics to die. I think being as arrogant as he is should probably increase his lifespan a bit. But I don’t think cancer cares as much about your personality as your heart does. If he dies (or becomes sufficiently ill) before 2020 — it’s probably the most likely way to see him out. And much more likely than Obama, Bush or Clinton at this stage in their respective terms.

  10. a r

    There is no appetite among Democrat politicians for an impeachment. In fact in the mid terms none are mentioning it as a possibility (though some Republican candidates are telling their supporters that it is important to vote Republican to stop the Democrats impeaching Trump).

    The Democrats do not want Pence in the Whte House. They want to run against Trump in 2020, and do not want the relative “cleanskin” Pence – who could in theory stay as President until January 2029 if Trump departed after January 20th 2019.

    Felix – sorry about the suffix – iPad has a mind of its own!

  11. Rocket Rocket, especially “Labour”, unable to hold to their tradition or believe in themselves and to believe in Australia, they have had to dig the depths of tradition and pull something out of blessed old England. Even though they should be Irish republicans.

    They used to write just “DLP”. I don’t know when they added the hideous “Labour” appendage but it must be recent. I think the shortform and longform names thing is generally confusing.

    It would probably be better if they got to register their own name, but the AEC chose for each election the appropriate shortening to put on the ballot (based on the party’s logo, advertising and habits as well as third party commentary).

    Parties have stuffed their own short forms up on numerous occasions, or they try to pick a short form to attract votes meant to go somewhere else. Even the ALP can’t decide what to call itself — in the last election, depending on your state, you got to vote for or against a member of the “Australian Labor Party”, “Labor”, or “Australian Labor Party (Northern Territory branch)” iirc.

  12. Think this is the first election they are running with that new name. I thought it was just the short form that will be on ballot paper, but they are using it on their website as well.

    Their last two elected representatives in Victoria (Senator and State Upper House) both left their party while in office. I can’t see them getting anyone elected this time, but it’s always hard to predict Upper House preference flows and the order that candidates are eliminated.

  13. Sohar yes The Age used a very old photo of Chapel St, when did Footrest Shoes go out of business?
    Also the cars, even at the Dandenong Rd end are more 4WD and BMW Mercedes etc

    That was a Robo poll that questioned me twice

  14. Well Madigan left to be an independent because he and the party hierarchs didn’t get on. Very different from Carling-Jenkins who left to join the Bernardi party — diametrically opposed on all the core policies of a labor party, only sharing the anti-abortion/anti-marriage equality stance (she quickly left the Bernardi party because she didn’t get on with the party hierarch, not because of policy differences which should have been plainly obvious if she were as Labour as the party).

    But if as you say they’ve only started with the “Labour DLP” bit for this election, then perhaps that’s a reaction to Carling-Jennings and other people who don’t realise the L in DLP really is meant to refer to working people not capital owners.

  15. There is almost no chance of Trump being impeached before the public vote in November 2020. If Trump looses badly, there may be enough Republicans willing to get rid of him after the election. There is also the possibility the Democrats will get 2/3 of the Senate in 2020 and then impeach him in his final days in office in January 2021 (There are 17 days of overlap between the new Congress and the old President).

  16. Trump adviser John Bolton and top aide ‘have the knives out’ to get rid of Mattis: report

    According to a former senior defense department insider, National Security Advisor John Bolton and his top deputy are leading a “whisper campaign” hoping to accelerate the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis in order to solidify the hawkish Bolton’s influence over President Donald Trump.

    Foreign Policy reports Bolton has enlisted one of his senior aides — Deputy National Security Advisor Mira Ricardel — to spread rumors about Mattis leaving sooner rather than later.

  17. Saudi Spy Met With Team Trump About Taking Down Iran

    Mueller’s investigators examined a series of meetings between an Israeli social media strategist, the general blamed for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, and Trump adviser Michael Flynn.

    Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, the Saudi intelligence chief taking the fall for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, hobnobbed in New York with Michael Flynn and other members of the transition team shortly before Trump’s inauguration. The topic of their discussion: regime change in Iran.

  18. “Six more months of frothy Morrison trying to be an everyman PM.”

    He was described on Insiders last Sunday as resembling a relief teacher that no one takes the least bit seriously. Nailed it.

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