Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

Another national poll finds a narrowing in Labor’s lead, but there’s less encouraging news for the government out of Western Australia.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll echoes the weekend Ipsos result in recording a narrowing in the Labor lead to 52-48, in this case from 54-46 in the previous poll. The report in The Guardian is more forthcoming than usual on the primary vote, revealing that the damage to Labor has taken the form of a four-point drop to 35%, with the Coalition up only one point to 37%. Beyond that, we will have to wait for the publication of the full report later today.

The supplementary questions include two gauging support for independents in parliament (42% would consider voting for one, 38% felt there should be more); two in which they were asked to rate the overall quality of the Coalition (28% good, 35% poor) and Labor (28% good, 33% poor) front benches; one in which they were asked who would do a better job running the country (36% Labor, 35% Coalition); one series in which they were presented with various propositions about the major parties and asked whether they agreed or disagreed (51% agreed both had no long-term plan for the country, 38% said there was no substantial difference between their policies and 42% said they were too ideological); and another in which they were asked if the government was doing enough to tackle various issues (no to pretty much everything).

There was also a small-sample poll of federal voting intention in Western Australia published in yesterday’s West Australian, conducted by local market research firm Painted Dog Research. This showed Labor leading 51-49 in the state, compared with a 54.7-45.3 result at the 2016 election. The primary votes were Coalition 32% (48.7% in 2016), Labor 34% (32.5%), Greens 11% (12.1%), One Nation 6% (no candidates fielded) and, echoing the findings of the Essential Research, 11% for independents. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday last week from a sample of 474. The report also relates that Labor internal polling in Cowan has Anne Aly adding 5% to her 0.7% margin, with the Liberal primary vote down 15% from its 42.2% in 2016, and that the party “believes it is in a strong position in Hasluck and in front in Stirling and line-ball in Pearce”.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential here. The full primary votes are Coalition 37% (up one), Labor 35% (down four), Greens 11% (up one) and One Nation 7% (up one). The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1027.

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.

1,214 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. I am amazed. A pity bounce? How many people are dumb enough to fall for “fair dinkum ScumMo”?

    Meanwhile he still cannot actually run the country. I wonder how many farmers yet realise they will be the ones who really pay for the embassy move? If they still vote COALition after this they deserve what they get.

  2. What is noteworthy is the large percentage of people willing to vote for Independents, this might mean the Liberals and Nationals losing a number of safe seats to Independents. It might be the beginning of a split in the Liberal party into two separate parties.

    These “small l” Liberal independents will in the longer term form into a “radical centrist” party like En Marche! in France, Ciudadanos (Citizens) in Spain or prehaps the Five Star Movement (M5S) in Italy.

  3. @A different Michael

    Changes to the Senate electoral system and the sheer fragmentation of the populist right is going to make it more difficult for Senators of these parties to be re-elected.

  4. 52-48 2PP to the ALP is about what I expect to see at an election. While 54-46 looks good I don’t think you will see that kind of vote for the ALP federally unless the govt does something really stupid. That’s not to say they are competent at the moment but the coalition are still set to lose govt on these figures and I think 48 is the top of where they will get to.
    We live in hope.

  5. Oh dear. Lucky ScoMo isn’t a member of Hillsong, isn’t it?

    Jarryd Hayne, a Christian & member of @Hillsong has been arrested over an alleged sexual assault on NRL grand final night.

  6. Holden Hillbilly
    Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 6:24 am
    INB4 arrogant elitist lefties criticize the australian electorate.

    I love the unaware symmetrical hypocrisy of this comment. 🙂

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Here’s the Guardian’s report on its latest Essential poll.
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    Tony Walker writes that as tensions ratchet up between China and the US, Australia risks being caught in the crossfire.
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    Simon Benson reports that an alliance of well-known Australians has launched a centre-right political machine in a bid to rival activist group GetUp.
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    And Elizabeth Knight tells us how the royal commission lit a fuse under mortgage broker payments.
    Yesterday Matt Comyn revealed CBA’s profit preservation strategies at the royal commission.
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    And we found out why mortgage brokers are still trousering millions upon millions!
    Greg Jericho explains how the economy is ticking along in all states, but households are not benefiting.
    David Crowe says that parliament will be asked to give the Treasurer the personal power to force the big energy retailers to restructure their companies and sign financial contracts, in a government bid to pressure the industry into cutting prices.
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    The Washington Post says that Facebook’s mark Zuckerberg should declare mission accomplished – and find something else to do for the next few decades.
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    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe channels South Pacific.

    Peter Broelman with Pamela Anderson.

    Paul Zanetti has APEC worked out.

    Matt Golding at the royal commission.

    David Pope after the royal commission revelations.$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/3e9b5d3d27b34ad3609ee90e81c389589a616d06
    More in here.

  8. Essential Poll: “51% agreed with the statement that neither the Liberal or Labor parties had a long -term plan for the country.”

    But we were all assured that if we abandoned our Australian tradition of three year terms for the Yankie four year terms, our politicians would miraculously become assiduous planners.

    It was, of course, self-serving nonsense to make politicians lives easier by lowering accountability to the electorate.

  9. William, just to clarify:

    There was also a small-sample poll of federal voting intention in Western Australia published in yesterday’s West Australian, conducted by local market research firm Painted Dog Research. This showed Labor leading 51-49 in the state, compared with a 54.7-45.3 result at the 2016 election.

    The way you included that 54.7 -45.3 sounds like the Labor party was in front in 2016, whereas it was, surely, the Federal Government which was in front?

  10. @sonar
    Agree. These two polls are arguably closer to reality. I’m sure that the 8-10 point margin, while sounding wonderful for Labor supporters, was recieved with cool heads by Shorten and his team. They can do no more than put their policies out there, take the Coalition to task on its performance and keep their powder dry. The election , when it finally takes place, will pose two interesting questions- how will Independents fare, in both Houses, and how many people will prepoll, having already made up their minds and to hell with the campaign?
    Meanwhile, polls will come and go.

  11. swamprat

    ‘But we were all assured that if we abandoned our Australian tradition of three year terms for the Yankie four year terms, our politicians would miraculously become assiduous planners.’

    Er, and how does this figure prove otherwise?

  12. Thank you as always BK

    On matters US Presidential hopefuls in 2020, questions abound whether Beto O’Rourke from Texas will run. If he does, he will be a strong contender.

    For those who haven’t seen him speak – check out the video half way down this article where he answers a thorny question – is it disrespectful for NFL players to take a knee? I can see why some are calling him the ‘White Obama’ and why he generates excitement.

  13. zoomster

    A poll is only reflecting peoples perceptions. It does not “proove” anything.

    I would suggest that four year terms giving rise to much better “planning” is absolute nonsense and anyway there is no way of testing it.

  14. swamprat

    You’re the one who used the poll as if it proved something. Obviously it doesn’t. You just have a personal opinion. So there was no reason for you to link your comment to the polling.

  15. Boer

    That might be so, but it doesn’t explain any recent shift in the polls.

    I’m not sure what does, although the Liberals do tend to do better when they’re not actually in parliament making decisions.

  16. …I would also speculate that there might be a Victorian election effect, where people deciding to shift from Labor at a state level (which early polls had on 54%, which is an unlikely result, so you’d expect shifts to be happening) means they’re automatically moving their vote federally.

  17. Boerwar

    I just saw your comment on negative gearing etc.
    Sounds about right.
    Remember voters are aspirational. Even if they are not intending to invest in the foreseeable future,
    They want the opportunity to be available to them.
    Tax minimisation is a noble goal for the majority.

  18. On predictions of issues we will face due to climate change according to one published paper this week:

    This chilling prospect is described in a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a respected academic journal, that shows the effects of climate change across a broad spectrum of problems, including heat waves, wildfires, sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, drought and shortages of clean water.

    Such problems are already coming in combination, said the lead author, Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He noted that Florida had recently experienced extreme drought, record high temperatures and wildfires — and also Hurricane Michael, the powerful Category 4 storm that slammed into the Panhandle last month. Similarly, California is suffering through the worst wildfires the state has ever seen, as well as drought, extreme heat waves and degraded air quality that threatens the health of residents.

    Things will get worse, the authors wrote. The paper projects future trends and suggests that, by 2100, unless humanity takes forceful action to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change, some tropical coastal areas of the planet, like the Atlantic coast of South and Central America, could be hit by as many as six crises at a time.

  19. I wonder if concern over falling house prices is starting to influence peoples votes, there has been increased media coverage of it in last few weeks. Only thing i can think of…

  20. Wasn’t ‘The Fair Go’ meant to be the conservative version of Get Up? Barely lasted beyond the launch.

    Huge difference between a genuinely grassroots driven organisation and a manufactured one.

  21. z, vic
    The Australian has had an unrelieved series of attacks on negative gearing. Some of them verge on the scurrilous – such a the articles on an industry report that provided findings based on the assumption that there was no grandfathering.
    In addition, there is a lot of social media work going on in relation to franking credits.
    I assume, without really knowing, that this sort of stuff is more effective in changing votes than Morrison’s stoogin around.

  22. bug1
    That had occurred to me as well. If people are already suffering as a result of falling house prices they might be more fearful of the negative gearing reform.

  23. Boerwar

    House prices have dipped quite a bit of late.
    If it is perceived that Labor policy will further erode their asset value, I can see why this scaremongering is working

  24. Bit by bit the president and the WH are debasing the integrity of institutions that can hold him and his cronies to account.

    Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    8m8 minutes ago
    President Trump and his administration are very concerned about decorum and people behaving appropriately at the White House.


  25. Boer

    And they’ve had an unrelieved series of attacks on neg gearing for yonks. Doesn’t explain moves in the last fortnight.

    Another possibility – and I don’t know more than anyone else – is that Morrison is being perceived as standing up to Indonesia.

  26. Things are tightening as expected, but Labor still wins easily at the moment. Morrison needs to attack the key Labor’s liabilities for the next 6 months to make things any more interesting in the lead-up to the May 2019 election.

  27. Essential Poll: “51% agreed with the statement that neither the Liberal or Labor parties had a long -term plan for the country.”

    It’s all the fault of the press for asking shallow idiotic questions because they can’t be bothered to do the research
    Oh and of the stupidity idiotic punters that would rather watch the Block & Bachelor even if the press covered the real issues in depth.

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