Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

Reasonably good personal ratings are the only consolation Scott Morrison can take from another diabolical poll result.

The Guardian reports the Coalition’s recovery in Essential Research a fortnight ago has proved shortlived – Labor has gained two points on two-party preferred to lead 54-46, returning to where they were the poll before last. Both major parties are up on the primary vote, Labor by four points to 39% and the Coalition by one to 38%. We will have to wait on the full report later today for the minor parties. The monthly personal ratings have Scott Morrison up one on approval to 42% and down three on disapproval to 34%, while Bill Shorten is down three to 35% and down one to 43%. Morrison leads 40-29 as preferred prime minister, barely changed on 41-29 last time.

Also featured are questions on Labor’s dividend imputation policies and negative gearing policies. The former had the support of 39% and the opposition of 30%. On restricting negative gearing to new homes, 24% said it would reduce house prices; 21% said it would increase them; and 27% believed it would make no difference. Thirty-seven per cent believed it would lead to higher rents, 14% to lower rents and 24% make no difference. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1032.

UPDATE: Full report here. Greens down one to 10%, One Nation down one to 6%.

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.

2,545 comments on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor”

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  1. Ayes 44

    Noes 12

    The bill is passed.

    Australia’s security and intelligence agencies have legal authority to force encryption services to break the encryptions.

  2. @Boerwar, 6:17pm:

    Uh huh. They wear cotton but the cotton should be grown out of Australia?

    1. Why not?
    2. Alternatively, grow it further North, where there’s much more rainfall. A decent long-term agricultural program could undertake large-scale soil development & improvement, greatly increasing an area’s ability to bear crops without taking harm from it.
    3. Rather than putting people out of a livelihood, we could instead grow less water-intensive crops there – even if they bring lower returns. Perhaps an ongoing subsidy if it’s not economically viable on its own;
    4. If we must persist in growing cotton in an increasingly drying-out part of Australia, then can we at least – for our own sakes! – build some kind of mass water-transfer mechanism to get water from where it’s abundant to where it’s scarce?

    The Murray-Darling river system is literally dying of thirst and rainfall patterns show zero sign of reverting to the historical “normal”. Yet we persist in draining ever-increasing amounts of water from it, turning it into a political football, giving our mates (and political donors – hi, Barnaby!) unlimited water-drawing rights and coming up with back-of-the-envelope “plans” to insert more and more levels of management over what little water remains!

    The status quo is not sustainable. Not if we want the MDB to be capable of supporting any natural life, far less the massive agricultural operations which depend on its waters.

    This is an area in which I’m actually in full agreement with the Greens’ goals, if not their methods.

  3. Barney in Go Dau @ #2195 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 7:28 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #2189 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 3:21 pm

    Shortens personal polling

    Pegasus @ #2180 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 7:19 pm

    The Guardian:

    Oh it looks like the Greens are trying to move Labor’s amendments, and force them to vote against them,

    Mathias Cormann has stepped in to try and stop the Greens from moving the amendments.

    The chamber divides.

    It’s Labor and the government voting against it

    Labor is voting against their own amendments ??


    Just like the Greens proposing amendments they weren’t going to support, eh!

    The votes are now officially recorded.

    Labor again cravenly voted for Liberals flawed policy.

    The Greens, CA and Storer voted against.

  4. Why not export the problem overseas to a country that has oodles of water? There are very rainy areas of Qld where rice and cotton grow easily…

    Because that’s where we grow high-value commodity crops, like horticulture and sugar.

    but forcing it on the plains of NSW is bad policy. They are products we can easily import.

    It’s not forced to grow there, it’s where it is economic.

    Again, don’t mix up appalling natural resource management and outright theft of water with the need to remove an entire industry from the continent. It is an opportunistic crop – much more is grown when water is abundant. Same with rice and melons.

  5. Boerwar says:
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm
    Does your Queensland ‘take’ per centage include or exclude overland flows?

    Boerwar from memory that include overland flow as well – the figure is calculated across all water take in the system

  6. briefly @ #2188 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 4:21 pm

    The Gs are the greatest frauds ever seen in Australian politics. They are a hoax.

    A classic piece of “look over there” to try and distract from his own party’s, now obvious to all, failings.

    The real hoax is Labor pretending to be a centre/left organisation. They are now firmly on the “right” end of the political spectrum.

    First the TPP, now the AABill.

    Shame, Labor. Shame.

  7. I get the sense Labor are not allowing themselves to get wedged so late in the piece. It’ll by like Whitlam when they get in … wholesale changes while the muppets fill their nappies.

    The guardian. “Australia’s security and intelligence agencies have legal authority to force encryption services to break the encryptions.” And they will say stuff you! Unenforceable. Naturally Labor will say stupid stupid law must change yesterday.

  8. So to recap: Morrison called Shorten a "Clear and present danger to Australia's safety" Pyne suggested the ALP were "allowing terrorists and pedophiles to do their evil work" And in response the ALP submitted to the govt's will— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) December 6, 2018

  9. One good side effect of Labor winning the next election & governing well for 3 years will be the Grees getting 3% & maybe one House seat at the election after next. Labor will take no prisoners

  10. ‘Diogenes says:
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Queensland is already farming cotton and rice. They just keep doing it as they have the right conditions. It’s like an ETS but for water. Some places are efficient enough and others aren’t put they have to pay an appropriate cost for water, same as for CO2 production.’

    I had thought that you were for closing down the Australian cotton and rice industries because cotton and rice should not be grown in Australia and because we can buy cheaper and better quality rice and cotton from overseas.

    The extent and distribution of cotton farming in Australia is the result of a number of factors:
    1. Historical investment in infrastructure in particular irrigation and transport infrastructure.
    2. Soils. Cotton is generally grown in heavier soils. Most soils in Australia lack suitable structure for growing cotton.
    3. Domestic and international transport costs.
    4. Competing domestic uses for the infrastructure, water and soils.
    5. International competition. (By way of comparison, our dairy herd is reducing because world dairy commodity prices have collapsed.)
    6. Availability of GMO varieties.
    7. Climate.

    IMO, and FWIW, and barring a Greens Government, cotton growing in Australia will tend to migrate north wards. Infrastructure investment for dams in northern australia is now being subsidised by the taxpayer. Ditto transport infrastructure. Small regions of suitable soils and landforms have been identified. GMOs. (Cotton grown in earlier phases of the Ord Scheme where endless sinks of chemicals and the experiments failed. Ditto rice production at places like Humpty Do).

    What is not clear to me at all is whether competing domestic uses for the land, infrastructure and water will eventually out-compete cotton in the central and southern MDB. At the moment, the trends are the reverse: cotton is replacing other crops.

  11. Labor – Trust us when we get into power.

    Coalition – Trust us when we are in power.

    The trust deficit has reached an all time low.

    Ordinary citizens are no longer willing to be taken as mugs by the political duopoly.

  12. ‘Upnorth says:
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Boerwar says:
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 6:47 pm
    Does your Queensland ‘take’ per centage include or exclude overland flows?

    Boerwar from memory that include overland flow as well – the figure is calculated across all water take in the system’


  13. {Begin rant}

    I think that pretty much all the anti terror legislation passed since 2001 is unnecessary crap.

    Between now and when Parliament next resumes:
    – about 200 Australians will die on the roads
    – an unknown number will die or be injured in bushfires, some if which will be deliberately started by people whose names aren’t Mohammad or similar
    – an unknown number will die from heat-related causes and others will suffer death, loss or injury from other weather-related causes, including flooding, storms and cyclones
    – people will die, others suffer injury of loss as a result of crimes perpetrated by people who don’t have names like Ahmed or Mohammad.
    – Most likely no one will die from crimes that could be characterised as terror-related, whether or not this latest crap anti-terror legislation passes. If the worst happens, the Police and Courts will deal with it.

    We need to get things in perspective. Fortunately no one is panicking about road deaths or drownings, nor is anyone trying to exploit them for political purposes. Our authorities are acting as best they can to prevent or deal with them, mostly no thanks to the Federal Government.

    The Government has decided that terrorism is the new “Boats” and they and their media allies won’t stop exploiting the issue just because they lose office.

    {End Rant}

  14. The pure are impotent…I hate the wheeling and dealing, and the creeping police state- but I hate the Coalition Govt even more.
    Shorten has been a master of not getting wedged on security, and keeping the debate away from the Coalition’s favoured areas. Yes it stinks that the ALP has to do this, but they are not gonna let a scare campaign derail things a couple of months from an election.
    A full review of all security laws after the election will hopefully clean a lot up. Some have been there unreviewed since 9/11 (that’s 17 years).

  15. Just been on social media, so many people have completely lost their shit over this encryption bill, which we know won’t work. The circle jerking echo chamber reminding me of SkyFoxNews after dark.

    Thankfully, sane and sober people here.

  16. Regarding the anti-encryption bill: What the actual FUCK is Labor thinking? They had this won! They had it referred back to committee, or to reconciling it with the House version – they had it put safely under wraps until Morriscum reconvened the House! And since Morriscum doesn’t want to reconvene the House (where any more defections would essentially force an early election), that means that it was safely on the back-burner. Labor had weeks, months even, to have the bill under a microscope, expose all of its flaws and let them dominate the headlines.

    And then they throw that away, betray the Party’s values…for what?! The bill isn’t called for on a “security” basis – it’s an appallingly poorly-written piece of gibberish and yet another piece of Australia’s Police State closing in about us all – the banks will be ropeable at the potential breaches of their customers’ security – WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT.

    I….words cannot describe my fury at the moment. How many times does the Party’s membership have to stand by impotently, watching as the Parliamentary caucus cravenly betrays our espoused values in the name of some eleventy-dimensional “strategy” that just validates the endless bleating about “both sides are the same” from certain smelly people!

  17. Rex Douglas @ #2200 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 6:29 pm

    So much now to discuss for the next few months….

    I reverse my position regarding a leadership change for Labor. I was opposed, but this last-minute capitulation has ‘captain’s pick’ written all over it. Props to Labor for having the discipline to fall in behind it, I guess, but it’s still a horrible decision for a horrendous outcome.

    Shorten has gone from unpopular and uncharismatic to dangerous and politically inept in one fell swoop. All apparently because he’s unable or unwilling to prosecute the incredibly easy argument that the link between the encryption laws and terrorism is ephemeral at best and the laws will not make even one person the slightest bit safer this summer because it’ll take at least that long for the first TCN’s to be issued and complied with.

    Which is an insult to the intelligence of the average voter, really. Shorten is saying he doesn’t think they’re smart enough to get how this law operates or why it won’t actually do anything substantial between now and March.

  18. Looks to me as if Labor voted against its own amendments so that the government could not blame it for any terrorist happening over Christmas. Sounds like a smart move to me. Why give the LNP a chance to do the only thing they’re good at: try to scare people. The test will be whether they amend the legislation in government (whatever the amendments are – I haven’t really bothered following it).

  19. Labor will have learnt it’s lesson well.. don’t let the Greens repeat the treachery of the Greenhouse targets & off shore processing of asylum seekers
    The Greens would vote for their own lobotomy before voting for a coherent policy. Their idea of playing the long game is looking 5minutes into the future.

  20. Shorten looks weak now and Morrison looks strong. Shorten negotiated with terrorists in the government and lost. There will be no favourable media coverage. Labor won’t get credit for being the “adults in the room”. They will still be wedged on national security and the encryption law won’t do a damn thing to stop an attack.

  21. a r – the average voter can’t even spell encryption. Good luck getting them to understand the bill. Seriously, I’m pretty politically engaged and I haven’t bothered to look into it. Should I be worried!!!

  22. “And they will say stuff you! Unenforceable. Naturally Labor will say stupid stupid law must change yesterday.”

    I would say thats whats on. ALP will not let themselves get wedged on an issue that basically, is a “good” one for the Coalition. Will be interesting in the meantime if the Govt gets caught breaking its own laws on what they can demand breaking of encryption for??

  23. antonbruckner11 @ #2224 Thursday, December 6th, 2018 – 4:45 pm

    Looks to me as if Labor voted against its own amendments so that the government could not blame it for any terrorist happening over Christmas. Sounds like a smart move to me.

    If there is an attack, it will show exactly how useless this new law is, and Labor will look weak for caving in to a deeply flawed policy.

    There is no upside for Labor in this. They have alienated progressives, and won’t win a single conservative vote in return.

  24. Labor folding so late in the day on the encryption legislation just looks too clever by half. But, for all the hand-wringing online right now, nobody whose vote it needs to win gives a rat’s about the issue. Clearly, its priority was not getting wedged.

  25. Matt

    Why not, you ask.

    Australia grows around a million tons of rice.
    If that is stopped, then there is a million tons less rice in the world.
    It will not be wealthy Australians who miss out on their rice.
    It will be starving people who do.

    In terms of simply shifting cotton growing further north, IMO cotton growing will head north. But that will not stop cotton growing in the MDB. Unless a Greens Governments decide to shuts it down with 10,000 jobs.

    I invite you to identify the five hundred thousand hectares in northern australia that will have to be cleared to grow our cotton and our rice.

    We could replace cotton with something less profitable as you suggest. And subsidize it as you suggest. If the cotton crop is killed off then some alternative use of the infrastructure, water and cleared soils will have to be considered. The areas next to the irrigated areas are often being desertified through goat farming. Perhaps that might be extended to former irrigated cotton areas?

    Your point four is the Bradfield Scheme. Google it.

    I agree that the take from the MDB is too high for the environment.
    I also agree that the long term drying trend consequent to global warming is making this worse.
    It is not cotton growing that is shrinking those parameters.

  26. DG – You really think that if there is a terrorist attack people will rubbish labor for supporting the bill? The libs will scream that Labor is weak on National Security and its their fault. It’s the only plank they’ve got. Once again, Bill Shorten played a blinder. If he gets into office and doesn’t fix it up, then you should complain.

  27. “off the reservation.”

    While I enjoy your posts Swampy, you might was to think about what that expression means for USA’s Aboriginal people. It’s not very nice at all……..

  28. I will now eat my Christmas dinner 100% safe in the knowledge that terrorists will not be using encrypted messaging to cause a massacre.

    Thank you Mr Shorten.

  29. Out of curiosity guys, how is this going to compromise my freedoms if I’m a law abiding citizen. Just asking! They’re not going to sell my data to google or anything, are they?

  30. Get over it- 99.9999 percent of people have no idea or interest in the minutiae of encryption debate in Canberra today. We are in the Canberra cyber-bubble here.
    People have falling wages and pensions, rising costs, congestion, deteriorating climate, health and education worries- they are not interested in the political machinations of today. Labor wanted it off the agenda so they can get back to their areas of strength- the things people really care about.
    Doesn’t mean it was good or right….but some perspective.

  31. ‘pica says:
    Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    “off the reservation.”

    While I enjoy your posts Swampy, you might was to think about what that expression means for USA’s Aboriginal people. It’s not very nice at all……..’

    Despite intensive and extensive study of US history, I had never made that connection. Thanks.

  32. And here we go:


    Security agencies will gain greater access to encrypted messages after a Labor backdown allowed the Federal Government to pass its legislation

    “Labor backdown”. No credit. Government won. Except this isn’t a game!

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