Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Labor loses some of its edge on the primary vote in Essential’s last poll for the year, but retains a commanding two-party lead, and is widely expected to win next year’s election.

Courtesy of The Guardian, the final Essential Research poll for the year moves a point in favour of the Coalition, who now trail 53-47. We are also told the Coalition primary vote is at 37%, down one on a fortnight ago, and Labor is on 36%, down three. Which minor parties have taken up the slack will remain a mystery until the full report is published later today.

As it does in its last poll every year, Essential asked respondents to nominate if it had been a good or bad year for various political principals and politics in general, finding 65% rating it a bad year for Australian politics, compared with 54% last year, and 57% a bad year for the federal government.

There is also Essential’s occasional question on leaders’ personal qualities, which provide a more nuanced picture than the usual approval ratings of a decline in Scott Morrison’s popularity. Other findings: only 21% expect the Coalition will win the election, compared with “over half” for Labor; and 27% want an early election, with 52% preferring a full term.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1026.

UPDATE: Full results here. Greens up one to 11%, Labor up one to 7%.

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.

1,921 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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    I’ve recently retired from Facebook and Twitter for what was basicly mental health reasons and now potter about here and a few other places in order to find stuff of a generally political nature that I am interested in.
    I guess like any community we have our ‘special’ people That like to clog up the flow of information with their ‘pissing contests’ , and it would be nice if all posts containing containing any mention of the Greens had a warning at the top as demonstrated .
    However, all that aside, Thankyou to all of you who can generally string a few words together and provide an informative and reasoned take on the political state of this wonderful land.
    William, BK, Bushfire, Lizzie et al take a bow, your services are exemplary, and to all the LNP folk…..Thankyou for the comic relief
    Long may the blog continue….and a Happy Seasonal Greeting to you all.

  2. Apparently there are some other recipients of Andrew Broad’s affections about to drop … in the meantime, some more detail of his Honkers adventure.

    “Mr McCormack did not alert Scott Morrison, who found out about the allegations against Mr Broad yesterday morning and “acted immediately” to sack him from the ministry.

    The disgraced MP, who is considered one of Mr McCormack’s key supporters, was forced to resign following the publication of allegations he met up with the younger woman in Hong Kong via a “sugar daddy” dating site.

    Government sources said Mr Broad’s travel on September 2-7, reportedly for the Asia Fruit Logistica conference, was personal and not funded by taxpayers.

    The Australian understands Mr Broad, aged 43 and married, conducted electorate-related business in Hong Kong and charged taxpayers for return flights between Mildura and Melbourne, before flying to Hong Kong and back at his own expense.

    Mr Broad, who was sworn in as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister on August 28, could be forced to repay the domestic taxpayer-funded flights.

  3. This teaser from the SmearStralian, but story not up yet….

    Three more women have contacted the National Party with allegations about the behaviour of Victorian MP Andrew Broad.

  4. From the Herals-Sun article on Broad:

    “There was a Lib/Nat tent there so I went in and told them they were all a pack of idiots and that they needed to get into the real world.

    “They said it was put up or shut up — I knew if something was going to change I’d have to do it myself.’’

    His colleagues believe he’s ambitious — fiercely so.

    “The best thing I can do is (work to) make Barnaby Joyce the best Agriculture Minister and Tony Abbott the best PM and that makes the best for our country,’’ he said. “If you mean serving my electorate as best I can, then I’m guilty. But if you mean I’m after some title or position, no, not really.’’

    Broad is not lacking in self-confidence and can rub some of his colleagues the wrong way. But he says he’s found a great team to work with in Canberra.

    Sounds like a tactful description of a bombastic bully, full of his own self-importance. The only ‘excuse’ for his showing off at the restaurant was that he was drunk.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Katharine Murphy examines the Essential poll results.
    The Morrison government is facing a growing scandal over former assistant minister Andrew Broad, amid revelations he used taxpayer funds for part of his travel to Hong Kong to meet a “sugar baby” he then asked the police to investigate.
    Ross Gittins takes the shine off the MYEFO fanfare from Morrison and Frydenberg.
    And the SMH editorial says that it’s far too early for the government to be hubristic over the budget position. There is still no certainty Australia will get back in the black next year, much less three years from now, and only the tiniest of miscalculations could wipe away the $4 billion surplus in 2019-20.
    Phil Coorey reckons the MYEFO result keeps the chance of an early election alive.
    Tony Wright gives us his slant on the Broad affair and how news of it was received at the Labor conference in Adelaide.
    Bevan Shields writes that Broad built himself a pedestal and then promptly fell off it.
    And Wendy Touhy writes that Andrew Broad is a lucky guy. After a year stuffed with horrendous headlines about Australian politicians’ interactions with women, our stocks of outrage are bottoming out. It feels like too much effort to fire up over any incident short of about an eight on the sex scandal/sexism Richter scale.
    Shane Wright says that a summer spendathon on cards as tax windfall delivers an election purse to Morrison.
    Michael Pascoe writes about what he calls Scott Morrison’s $10 billion pork barrel budget distraction.
    The Grattan Institute says that, more mirage than good management, MYEFO fails to hit its own targets.
    And he writes that another budget, another downgrade to wages growth points to further pressure on household incomes
    Greg Jericho says Frydenberg presented MYEFO as sunshine and rainbows but workers won’t benefit.
    Yesterday morning, the mid-year budget update unveiled research funding cuts of A$328.5 million over the next four years. This budget raid on research was more than double the size expected by the university research community.
    Eryk Bagshaw opines that the government is breaking its own budget rules.
    Paul Kelly writes that compassion towards refugees is his trade-off the party demands to allow Bill Shorten to stop the boats.
    This Young Liberal is lamenting that his party had a strong chance of retaining government but its delusional right wing has handed Bill Shorten almost certain victory.
    Jennifer Hewett writes, “How can the Coalition hope to effectively counter Labor when this demonstrates, yet again, that its biggest enemy is within, reflected in party dysfunction and personal lack of discipline?”
    Elizabeth Knight tells us how there’s a regulatory race in Australia between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for who can be the toughest cop on the corporate beat.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that given the backdrop of tumbling markets and skittish investors, this week’s US Fed meeting is probably as important in terms of its influence on financial markets as any since May 2013.
    ASIC has taken wealth giant AMP and law firm Clayton Utz to court over the file notes of interviews between AMP employees and Clayton Utz lawyers.
    The pillars of the global financial system are fundamentally unstable and could lead to a frightening chain reaction in the next crisis, the world’s top watchdog has warned.
    John Passant writes that newly released ATO figures indicate that big business has avoided tax for the fourth year in a row.,12209
    Jeremy Corbyn has piled pressure on Theresa May to table her Brexit deal by moving a vote of no confidence in her.
    Peter Wicks reports on the latest developments of the “Jacksonville” matter.,12210
    Two men involved in a Turkish lobbying campaign led by former national security adviser Michael Flynn have been charged with illegally lobbying in a case related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
    The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman wonders if Is there anything Trump touches that isn’t corrupt?
    A new report prepared for the US Senate shows Russia used every major social media tool to help Trump.
    Gagging free speech for public servants is like stopping MPs speaking their mind when holding governments to account, Australia’s human rights commission has told the High Court.
    Gideon Haigh tells how cricket became a contact sport in Perth yesterday.

    Cartoon Corner

    A classic from David Pope.

    Cathy Wilcox applies the wisdom of Solomon.

    Mark David being unkind to Frydenberg.

    Fiona Katauskas on Labor’s refugee positions.

    A few from Matt Golding, though not as punchy as usual.

    Zanetti depicts Shorten as the Bradbury of politics.

    John Shakespeare on the G-G appointment.

  6. So the AFP were investigating a complaint from a government minister of a HongKong tryst gone wrong on November 8. And the Prime Minister was not told until December 17th. Yeah, Nah!

  7. ‘ol Sugar Daddy wasted no time –

    – sworn in as assistant minister to the Deputy Prime Minister on August 28

    – travelled on September 2-7, reportedly for the Asia Fruit Logistica conference

  8. So despite this, Michael McCormack used this lecher’s vote to grasp the prize of Nationals leader. Some questions to answer..

    “Nationals MP Andrew Broad faces a barrage of sexual misconduct allegations this morning with reports at least three other women have complained to the National Party about his behaviour.

    The new claims come a day after a failed tryst with a Hong Kong “sugar babe” forced Mr Broad to resign as an assistant minister with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack now under pressure to say when he knew of the allegations.

    The Herald Sun reports today that three separate women have contacted National Party officials during the past 12 months about Mr Broad’s alleged inappropriate behaviour online and in hotels and bars.

    Nationals officials reportedly said those women had threatened to expose him to the media and that they feared revelations he had gone on a “sugar babes” website was the “tip of the iceberg.”

    Those officials also told The Herald Sun that multiple women over the past three years had contacted the Nationals claiming “dalliances” with Mr Broad.

    “I have resigned. Please respect my family,” Mr Broad told The Herald Sun.

  9. Thanks BK. I’m guessing Rowe is on leave as there hasn’t been a cartoon from him for a few days.

    Btw hope the renovations went well.

  10. “The AFP can confirm it received a referral from Andrew Broad MP on 8 November 2018, and assessed the information provided,” a statement read. “No applicable offences under Australian law have been identified. No further comment will be made at this time.”

    mmmmmm… the AFP explicitly mentioned the date of the referral when (a) the statement would have made perfect sense without it and (b) they must have know it contradicted the lie from the Deputy Prime Minister of “a few weeks”

  11. The proposed tax cuts will not have an immediate effect and will not ‘sweeten’ those of us who already pay no income tax. Morrison/Frydenberg would buy more votes by immediately raising Newstart, but I suppose that’s too obvious.

  12. “I have resigned. Please respect my family,” Mr Broad told The Herald Sun.

    Perhaps Broad should have respected his family. Hypocrite. The son of Christian missionaries to boot.

  13. “I have resigned. Please respect my family,” Mr Broad told The Herald Sun.

    Just like Barnaby. Only gives a thought to his family once his behaviour and conduct becomes public.

  14. [‘The scandal overshadowed the government’s budget update and forced the Nationals MP to quit the frontbench, with Coalition sources saying he was willing to repay any cost to taxpayers for his travel.’]

    It’s damn decent of Broad to offer to repay the money he fraudulently expended. What should happen though is that he should be charged with obtaining a financial advantage by deception, like that which would occur to Joe Average if he defrauded, say, Centrelink. But, no, the wriggle-room in the guidelines on travel will save him. Ms.”Sweet Sophia Rose” dodged a bullet when virtually telling him to eff off for being a cheapskate.

  15. ‘Please respect my family’ !?!

    Andrew Broad should practice what he preaches! He’s the one who hasn’t respected his family and that’s what has caused his family the attention and embarrassment.

  16. Benjamin Studebaker makes the compelling observation that Democratic politicians aged 40 to 60 are a lost generation. If you want to vote for a democratic socialist, your choices are the distinguished old or the very young. The people in that 40 to 60 age group like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Beto O’Rourke came of age when the New Democrats were dominant. They don’t know any other way to be a Democrat. They are genuinely mystified that many people don’t consider them sufficiently progressive.

  17. Mavis Smith
    It’s damn decent of Broad to offer to repay the money he fraudulently expended.

    Shows that parliamentarian expenses control “system” is still scandalously weak; perhaps in practical terms, non-existent

  18. PS. Still very happy with the poll numbers, just hope they hold up under all the pressure of Xmas & New Year and that all the wine & beer consumed does not put a rosy tint on the Government’s performance in 2018.

  19. Morning all. Like other posters I find the hypocrisy of Broad, hiding behind his family, rather pathetic. Still, if the following is true, he is not guilty of anything that should see him expelled from parliament.

    “The revelation confirms that Mr Broad travelled to Hong Kong as a minister on electorate business but paid for the international travel and accomodation privately before meeting the woman.

    “I paid for it. I paid for it all myself,” Mr Broad told The New Daily.”

  20. Thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol.

    From the BK files.
    Paul Kelly writes that compassion towards refugees is his trade-off the party demands to allow Bill Shorten to stop the boats.

    Shorten said a Labor government would accept the New Zealand offer to take 150 people annually from the offshore centres. If accepted when made in 2013, the offer would have meant that about 750 people would have gone to New Zealand from Manus and Nauru.

    Can we consider the possibilities. Should those transfers have begun – to a compassionate country with a rational Government – may not there have been an increase and may not multiples of the 750 have taken place so that a demand for more boats take place to provide the numbers required ❓ I now consult my cards (substitutes for tea leaf reading, entrail study etc) to determine the possible errors contained herein.

    Confusion reigns – I cannot reconcile the idea that I (or Mr. Kelly) have indulged in bad thinking with the laughable and obviously false idea that a slippery slope is hidden within either the article or my bullshit erudite translation.

    Labor’s calculation is that Australian opinion wants a more compassionate pro-refugee stance. But this collapses completely if the boats reappear, thereby proving compassion and border security don’t fit together.

    This a direct copy from the Pontificators* Handbook whereby one can make a statement manufactured from the dreams/nightmares of the small hours and present that same fragment of ephemera (from the Greek) as solid as flat earth science.

    There is a new article of Labor faith emerging from its national conference — that strong border protection fits with compassion to asylum-seekers and refugees. It is highly convenient, part delusional but pitches to public sentiment.

    Question ❓ To whom belongs the delusion.

    Pontificators | Define Pontificators at

    pontificate. v. 1818, “to act as a pontiff,” from Medieval Latin pontificatus , past participle of pontificare “to be a pontifex,” from Latin pontifex (see pontiff). Meaning “to assume pompous and dignified airs, issue dogmatic decrees” is from 1825. Meaning “to say (something) in a pontifical way” is from 1922.

    Fresh coffee required. ☕
    E & OE

  21. Good to see vintage Murdoch today in the Oz.

    Headlines include:

    PM’s $9.2bn tax cut plan for election

    Shorten’s policy ‘risking borders’

    Paris target ‘eight years early’

    and for a bit of sex:
    More complaints about Nat MP

  22. KayJay

    No the Nationals MP is Valdemort Broad, perhaps a distant cousin of the english cricketer. Though they are both reluctant to leave the game when given out.

  23. The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans, used an array of tactics to try to suppress turnout among Democratic voters and unleashed a blizzard of activity on Instagram that rivaled or exceeded its posts on Facebook, according to a report produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    The report adds new details to the portrait that has emerged over the last two years of the energy and imagination of the Russian effort to sway American opinion and divide the country, which the authors said continues to this day.

    “Active and ongoing interference operations remain on several platforms,” says the report, produced by New Knowledge, a cybersecurity company based in Austin, Texas, along with researchers at Columbia University and Canfield Research LLC. One continuing Russian campaign, for instance, seeks to influence opinion on Syria by promoting Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president and a Russian ally in the brutal conflict there.

    The New Knowledge report, which was obtained by The New York Times in advance of its scheduled release on Monday, is one of two commissioned by the Senate committee on a bipartisan basis.

  24. KJ: “Is this Broad dude the Pommy batsman.
    If so I think there is a spot for him as a number 1-4 batsman in our glorious Australian cricket team”

    I’m not sure, but he certainly has the moral attributes to be an Australian cricketer.

  25. frednk says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:04 am
    How disappointing I was hoping to see William’s tracking poll break through 55 before Christmas.

    Yes, bloody Essential ruins the party again. But as Maude pointed out, it’s within the MOE of the other polls.

  26. Re Scrott’s tax cut “bonanza”. Check out this number from the GG .Can Australians be bought that cheaply ? Sadly The Rodent showed they can be.Unfortunately for Scrott the old bullshit does not sell so well these days.
    The tax cuts would amount to about $6 a week if spread evenly among low- and middle-income earners, but could be more finely tuned to deliver greater electoral benefit.

  27. Socrates @ #36 Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – 8:15 am


    No the Nationals MP is Valdemort Broad, perhaps a distant cousin of the english cricketer. Though they are both reluctant to leave the game when given out.

    “Ah so desu ka”

    Pretend wisdom – using Japanese expression to confuse the enemies of the state (Federal Government).

    Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – 8:17 am
    Comment #38

    The gentleman in question could perhaps lead the team in prayer. 🏏 🙏

  28. Not being an affectionado of the Harry Potter series, I am unfamiliar with the character of Voldemort. I would have thought from a general impression that Vladimir Putin would better fit the mould. Am I on the right track?

  29. I would think that the money promised by the Coalition for essentially meaningless tax cuts would be better spent on increasing Newstart.

  30. I didn’t listen to Josh’s fabrications, but I agree with this comment.

    Paul Barratt
    24m24 minutes ago

    I’m afraid, @JoshFrydenberg it’s hard to take seriously a Treasurer who talks about “starting to pay down Labor’s debt” on behalf of a Government that has been in office for five years and in that time managed to double the aforesaid debt. #FakeNews

  31. Wall Street thumped again last night.

    Dow Jones down 507 points – 2.07%
    S&P 500 down 2.08%

    As I’ve said before – there are many ‘sayings’ in the Markets.

    One is –

    “Nothing really bad happens without a significant increase in the number of stocks making making new 12 month lows”

    Last night the New York Stock Exchange recorded 28.7% of ordinary stocks making new 12 month lows.

    Similar for the Nasdaq 100 @ 23.1%

    Yesterday the ASX was looking good……as if it had turned a corner.

    Wednesday the Fed will increase interest rates, but what they say about about future increases will be the thing.

    Things look so oversold and normally you’d be looking expecting a bounce ?
    Doesn’t mean it can’t go lower though….

  32. Karma works!!!

    A big game hunter who sparked worldwide fury when he posed next to a lion he had killed has died after falling 100ft down a ravine while shooting birds.

    Vet Luciano Ponzetto, 55, received death threats and hate mail after he posted the snaps of him with the lion on social media last year.

    He insisted he had done nothing wrong but the controversy forced him to step down as the medical director of a kennel business after being slammed for shooting the lion despite working with animals.

    Officials say he was out hunting with pals when he slipped on ice and fell down the ravine at Colle delle Oche in hills above the Italian city of Turin.

    He had been trying to shoot wild birds to eat – a popular past time in Italy – when he died and had only recently returned from a shooting trip to Canada telling friends he had bagged several big hits.

  33. Time’s up for Trump — his fans ‘Giuliani and Sean Hannity are no longer convincing anyone’

    As chaos continues to roil the Trump administration, the president’s defenders are having a harder and harder time justifying his actions.

    Writing in The Washington Post Monday, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin observed that Americans are sick of witnessing the White House train wreck.

    Once you step away from the right-wing echo chamber—which is increasingly limited to Fox News and Rudy Giuliani—most Americans are not buying the President’s claims.

    “Giuliani and Sean Hannity and the right-wing echo chamber and Republican sycophants can tell themselves and their cult-followers whatever fairy tale they’d like about the president and his involvement in wrongdoing,” Rubin says.

    “They aren’t convincing much of anyone — and if anything they are convincing the rest of the United States that Trumpists are operating in some parallel universe. Here on Earth, Trump looks more and more like a frantic liar who’ll say anything to stay out of jail and in office.”

  34. lizzie @ #44 Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – 8:30 am

    I didn’t listen to Josh’s fabrications, but I agree with this comment.

    Paul Barratt
    24m24 minutes ago

    I’m afraid, @JoshFrydenberg it’s hard to take seriously a Treasurer who talks about “starting to pay down Labor’s debt” on behalf of a Government that has been in office for five years and in that time managed to double the aforesaid debt. #FakeNews

    The irony is MYEFO are projections, not an outcome at this stage. Also by the end of the financial year, Labor will in all probability be the Government delivering the Budget surplus, modest as it is as a percentage of the overall budget.

    Also its probable Labor will be in Government the year after when the Budget Surplus should be large enough to deserve the name “Surplus”.

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