Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

In the first new poll of the year, both major parties are up on the primary vote, yet their leaders’ disapproval ratings have shot upwards.

Essential Research is back in business, its first poll for the new year no change on Labor’s 53-47 lead in the final poll last year. Both major parties are on 38% on the primary votes, which is a two-point improvement for Labor and a one-point improvement for the Coalition. Minor party primary votes will have to wait for the publication of the full report later today. In a spirit of seasonal goodwill, monthly leadership ratings find both leaders well up on disapproval – by five points in Morrison’s case to 39%, and four in Shorten’s case to 47% – while Morrison is up one on approval to 42% and Shorten is unchanged on 35%.

As related by The Guardian, further questions mostly focused on the recent far right rally in St Kilda, the most interesting finding being that 48% thought Scott Morrison “demonstrated poor leadership by not immediately condemning the rally, and those who attended it, in stronger terms”, compared with 36% who disagreed. Only 22% thought it appropriate for Senator Fraser Anning to “use taxpayer money to attend the rally”, with 66% saying it was appropriate; 74% felt there was ”no place in Australian society for the use of racist and fascist symbols used by participants in the rally”, whereas 17% were apparently all in favour of them; and that 73% nonetheless felt that “Australians have the right to peacefully protest, no matter how extreme their views”, while 19% didn’t.

The poll also find 63% support for pill testing, although the question was very particular about the specifics, specifying circumstances in which “trained counsellors provide risk-reduction advice informed by on-site laboratory analysis of people’s drugs”.

UPDATE: Full report here. The Greens are down a point to 10%, and One Nation are steady on 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.

2,042 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

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  1. Here’s something you don’t see every day – actual corporate social responsibility (from Microsoft). They are allocating $500m million in low interest loans to build middle and low-income housing in the Seattle are to reduce the housing affordability crisis there. They acknowledge that their activity partly causes the problem.

    “Executives said they hoped the plan would spur other companies to act, adding that the industry had a responsibility to help people left behind in areas transformed by the tech boom.”

    Australian mining companies take note.

  2. Question

    Corbyn has a ‘briefly’ wing in the party. So he is caught between that lot and what Ray was talking about . If he came out strongly for either side the party could end up in a huge fight among themselves. May as well sit back with some popcorn and watch the Tories biting kicking scratching and gouging each other.

  3. ‘fess,
    Hopefully sanity prevails. What I’d like is for a leader, in this case, Theresa May, to just tell the truth for once! Obviously Brexit is a bad deal and the sane and level-headed in Britain, their leader among them, know this. So she should just call the whole thing off. Tell the Leavers that, for their own good Britain should remain in the EU. Give a speech to the nation and just lay it all out. Instead of carrying on with this absurd thing called Brexit. Which only benefits Putin at the end of the day.

  4. Australian mining companies take note.

    Actually Australian mining companies do give back to communities, albeit in ways that aren’t necessarily sustainable. Plenty of funding for sports programs in NW WA communities; funding of youth development positions in councils down south.

    Btw I had reason to be discussing trackless trams today, which are now in vogue in certain circles and remembered you (I think it was you) weren’t a fan, but couldn’t recall why. If that was you, are you able to restate your views?

  5. Cat
    I agree. But miners are just as profitable as techs, and pay typically zilch in tax. So if they won’t play nice they should expect to pay more tax. Labor owes them nothing after their funding of the campaigns against the mining tax and the carbon price came to light.

  6. C@t:

    Perhaps, like Gillard and Turnbull she is forced into straddling the various wings of the party, in her case the Brexiteers and the Remainers.

    I don’t envy May the position she’s in, even though it is one she took on.

  7. I understand Credlin has an opinion. Grab hold of the member for Warringah, puts some things on it, and fix the present set of maladies confronting the UK less Scotland.
    A special envoy role for the Rhodes scholar

  8. By a kind of oversight – initially, a lapse of memory – I have adopted a new diet. It seems to suit me, though it’s probably too soon to know for sure.

    I’ve reduced my meals to just two a day – breakfast and an evening meal. I no longer eat between these meals, and ensure they are heavy with green vegetables, have few or no carbs, only rarely include meat or chicken, but have some dairy, eggs and fish. I eat very little fruit, and then mainly berries; and a few nuts. I have oils and vinegar – dressings – with the vegetables. Because fish is quite sating, I have really reduced the total quantity that I eat without also feeling hungry.

    After about 3 months of this regime, I have lost several inches off my waist, sleep better, have much more energy and find my physical strength has improved significantly. I no longer feel like dozing in the afternoon, which is a great boon, and have been gaining muscle mass again after losing quite a lot of muscle in my legs, torso and arms over the last few years.

    I also find I can concentrate better and have far better mood; and I think my blood pressure has fallen too. I haven’t had my blood lipids checked for a while but think they will have improved.

    In the afternoon, instead of feeling tired, I reckon I can approximately feel my body metabolising its energy stores and – if I’ve been doing physical work – can sense my muscle systems being strengthened.

    I dunno if there is a theoretical basis for any of this. But I do feel much healthier than I had been feeling.

  9. ‘…the most healthy people in Europe are inhabitants of Iceland, Switzerland and Scandinavia, consuming great amounts of food of animal origin..’

    As vegetarianism often correlates with other healthy lifestyle choices, this is interesting:

    ‘meat eaters who practiced healthy lifestyle factors—meaning they didn’t smoke or drink excessive alcohol, they exercised regularly, and they consumed plenty of fruits and vegetables—had results similar to those of vegetarians and vegans who also practiced healthy lifestyle factors.’

    So, on a very brief survey, there’s no evidence that vegetarians live longer.

    And Okinawa is pipped by Monaco, which is scarcely a nation famed for its restraint –

    If vegetarianism was a big plus, you’d expect countries like India, with big vegetarian populations, to be up there. In India, however, vegetarians are ‘normal’ – not a health obsessed subset – so their rates of heart disease etc are also ‘normal’.

  10. I admire May’s ability to eat shit sandwiches. I assume that is the main reason that UK Labour are not a mile ahead in the polls (or perhaps Corbyn needs to eat some shit and marry ‘fairness’ with principle).

    EDIT: By principle I mean “Fuck off Brexit”

  11. C@T: “Where’s Rex Douglas when you want to rub his nose in his hypocrisy?”

    (re: “1975, over 67% of those voting voted to remain then.”)

    As we now know – Rex only considers only the past twenty years (of Lib-Lab) to be relevant – anything before that… didn’t happen.

    Bring on the Ministry of Truth

  12. Socrates @ #1957 Thursday, January 17th, 2019 – 11:06 pm

    I agree. But miners are just as profitable as techs, and pay typically zilch in tax. So if they won’t play nice they should expect to pay more tax. Labor owes them nothing after their funding of the campaigns against the mining tax and the carbon price came to lights.

    But, as you know, they don’t play nice. They will never concede and inch to Labor or the concept of fairness and decency.

  13. Fess
    Trackless trams are being marketed and lobbied for across the western world. But their claims do not add up. Capacity has been overstated (+50%) and costs understated. The buses are heavy (axle loading >11 tonnes) and will need to run on a deep concrete or asphalt pavement. Just to build the stops they show in their videos will cost more than they claim for the line. Meanwhile the autonomous capability is still under trial and they are running with a standby driver behind the wheel. Certification to drive autonomous under Australian standards is years away. So it is a large, heavy, high quality, expensive ($2.2 million US each = 5 buses) bus of unproven reliability. See this piece by one of David Hensher’s Chinese researchers:

    If they were really as good as claimed, somebody should ask the question – of all those growing cities in China, spending billions on new rail lines and conventional busways, how many are building trackless trams? Answer: only Zhuzhou, where they are being manufactured. Why no other Chinese buyers?

  14. They don’t call her the ‘Maybot’ for nothing! She just ploughs on regardless.

    My dad is a Pom, and a lefty, and he loves her for it. Poms love that kind of shit.

  15. Socrates:

    Thanks for that. Professor Peter Newman has been spruiking trackless trams as an alternative to light rail here. I knew there were limitations to them but couldn’t recall them off hand in my conversation.

  16. Cat

    No they don’t, consistently. From Wittenoom to Ok Tedi to Adani, and too many others in between.

    Speaking of questionable claims by engineering industries, the nuclear power industry is finally being exposed for its inability to compete with renewable power on price in the UK. It cannot beat wind power, even less so wind + battery storage.

  17. Confessions @ #1897 Thursday, January 17th, 2019 – 7:45 pm


    I haven’t followed the Brexit issue at all, apart from skimming comments here. But several articles this week have appeared in my Facebook timeline, including that George Will article I posted. He says 2015 saw a surge in asylum seekers into Europe which he argues could’ve been the catalyst for the Brexit vote on the back of anxiety about resultant social cohesion.

    It seems plausible to me – just look how we respond to increased boat arrivals here.

    I am often wrong. …

    Britain is an island; a relatively small one. That evolves a deeply conservative society. (Social change is a dangerous thing in an enclosed space where conformity reduces conflict.) If I find it I’ll post the quote and link but towards the end of Tuesday’s vote on the Brexit deal, Cox (the Attorney General I think) pleaded with MPs to vote in favour of the deal using words to the effect that under the deal no foreign boat will enter a single metre into British waters. It was a pretty stark example to me that Britain (as a nation) does not like foreigners, to the point that they do not even realise it. (Like that joke about fish not knowing what water is.) Visitors are fine, entertaining even. But they have to go home. I think this also explains Abbott, who is basically British in the colonies, on another island. A surge in asylum seekers on the continent would have freaked Britain out.

  18. Fess

    It looks like by the time you rebuild the road to take the weight of the bus (47 tonnes!) there is not much saving over a track slab. Meanwhile the tram has lower energy usage and operating costs.

    I don’t blame Newman – he was shown what they wanted him to see, and there was a very hard marketing push on them. But it was exaggerated. You simply can’t fit 300 people on a 27m long bus, when you can only fit 210 people on a 32m LRV, that is slightly wider! Autonomous shuttle buses to link suburbs to rail stations are far more promising.

  19. Soc:

    What does a track slab weigh out of curiosity?

    Incidentally, when in Sydney over xmas I loved the light rail but was critical of the carriages they ran – small, hardly coped with demand, and overall they needed to run way more frequently to cope with demand.

    Could trackless tram be better, or is not analogous?

  20. Yabba,

    ‘’ is one doctor and he may/may not be correct in his assessment that veganism increases longevity. Okinawans, if I recall correctly, eat very natural whole foods with nothing refined.

    Often the reviews are extrapolations and are associative, not proven cause/effect. Not sure about the statement being ‘peer reviewed’.

    I have been studying ketogenic diets (peer reviewed papers & extensive research) and their effects on health and longevity and will admit you can be on a ketogenic diet as a vegan but it is very difficult to maintain nutrition.

    The piece states that more food is eaten because vegetarianism is calorifically sparse.

    The high fat nature of ketogenic means that a much smaller volume of food satiates more readily, thus consumption overall is much less.

    Contrary to the myth perpetuated by Ancel Keyes (who was also extensively peer reviewed) – fat does not cause a rise in cholesterol (and it is questionable that cholesterol is a villain) – the metabolic research of the past 10 or so years smashes those assumptions out of the water.

    So a small amount of nutritional dense food, to me, seems far more sensible than a much larger volume of vegetable matter. Especially since most vegetable matter raises insulin levels which can, over time, lead to Type2 diabetes (which has reached epidemic proportions in cultures which live on a western diet who eat high volumes of grain/carbohydrate based foods).

  21. Pegasus says:
    Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    They will collude with the Liberals…
    Yes, Labor will as it has done so often in the past

    The Gs will do what they cannot help doing – taking out their frustrations by opposing Labor.

    The Gs do not spend their days attacking the LNP. There’s a reason for that. The reason has been that the Gs figure this could support Labor.

    This is the very last thing the Gs will ever do.

  22. Fess

    A tram/LRT track slab will typically be 3.5 m wide and 300-350mmm deep, so about 2.5 tonnes per linear metre of track slab, double to five tonnes per metre for twin track.

    For all rail transport the solution to capacity is to run longer train sets and/or increase frequency. Sydney SE LRT when it opens will do both: LRVs running in 2 car sets 66m long every four minutes; vs 1 car sets 32m long running every 8 minutes for the current operation. So capacity will be increased by a factor of four when SE LRT opens.

    The trackless tram could also run very frequently, but I am not clear if they can be coupled together the way LRVs can.

  23. jenauthor,

    What you have to remember about diet is that it’s personal. What is good for you is not necessarily the answer for everyone. For me it is not eating after dinner. No midnight snacks. And if I can do that for a few days then it starts to get easy, because something about carbs.

    Just because you have some meat thing that works for you does not make meat “right”. You don’t have to pretend because it’s good for you that it must be good for the planet.

    As I said, earlier, I am not a vegetarian let alone a vegan, but I still understand that vegans have a much smaller environmental footprint than me. It’s just a fucking fact.

  24. Jenauthor….I really try to eat food only for its nutritional value….so no sugars, few carbs….no cakes, no biscuits….no sweet lollies….no soft drink, no fruit juices….

  25. Question – I don’t eat red meat at all – like briefly, mostly fish/eggs/ dairy/leafy greens and nuts and natural fats.

    I know it is personal, I agree with that wholeheartedly, BUT cheap grain-based foods and refined vegetable oils are causing a major issue for ‘western countries’ and that issue is growing exponentially. The trajectory of what can only be termed lifestyle diseases (Type2, coronary heart disease etc.) has shot up alrmingly and the cost to society will be huge in the years to come.

  26. Briefly, you’d be going into nutritional ketosis at various times during the day/night. Ketones are a much cleaner biological fuel than sugars – by that I mean the byproduct of burning ketones as fuel in the body has less ‘waste’ that the body has to deal with and there is no need to produce insulin in the process.

    Ketones also fuel the brain better – thus better clearer thought processes (mother’s milk is full of ketone bodies which help grow a baby’s brain).

    In some ways ketosis mimics the fasted state that our ancestors underwent before food was readily available. Hunter gatherers might not have eaten a ‘meal’ for days but needed to be alert to hunt. The body’s ketones (synthesised from stored fat) allowed this. Thus the better energy levels despite the fact you’re actually eating less (less often).

    Also, the stored fat can, if needed, be converted to glucose (glycogenesis) for those aspects of metabolism that do require glucose.

  27. jenauthor,

    I am not sure what we are debating, because those problems you mentioned are not vegan, they are Trump diet problems.

    You also have to understand, that I don’t actually have a vegan diet, I am simply stating the fact that the vegan diet is best for the planet. Do you have a problem with that fact? It seems to me you need your diet to also be the best for the planet for some reason.

  28. Question, I think we are at cross-purposes, though my main point was volume. Mass agriculture is also an issue for the planet.

    I don’t think there is a black/white, right/wrong answer because as long as human population continues to increase, with the increased demands of food and increased longevity, whatever the form of food production, it will be overloading the planet one way or another.

  29. So much generalized and simplistic ‘analysis of Brexit on here. Most Leavers have quite reasonable reasons for wanting out, that have nothing to do with nationalism, racism or any of Not So Briefly’s conspiracy theories. Putin and Le Pen say hello. Chief among them is the fact that low skilled workers cannot compete against cheap eastern European labour. Speak to some British people and you will see that being a Remainer does not necessarily make one a supporter of UKIP, or dare I say the BDL So just ignore the generalizations that Not So… and others make which really just suit their own warped and prejudiced view of what British people are. In saying this, I am not a Leave supporter. One way or the other, Britain has suffered and survived much worse, Hitler, Thatcher, Blair… the list goes on.

  30. Jen there is a B&W answer.

    Meat is another layer. It adds another layer of consumption. It is not an efficient form of food. But I eat it too, so I am not judging you at all. Vegans have a smaller footprint.

  31. Not So Briefly, ” I prefer it if sugar has been fermented and been converted into alcohol.” Ha, ha, and doesn’t it show.

  32. Question, did I say that…no I didn’t? It is going to be tough. Fuckwit Tory Cameron did this to shut up his hard right and didn’t think it could get up, but it did. All I’m saying is that being a Leaver, does not mean you are some sort of crypto fascist.

  33. Most people who voted Leave were motivated by the fact that low skilled British people were not able to compete with expoited eastern European workers. others still adhere to the view that only Westminter should have the power to legislate for Britain. others were motivated by the nonsense that the NHS would be boosted by a withdrawal. The leavers ran a scandalizing campaign arguing that a Leave vote would result in over 350 million pounds for the NHS per week, others were tired of congestion and housing shortages which they blamed on the free movement of Europeans into Britain. Clown Shoe Boris did a number on Cameron. I guess Not So… counts him as a fascist too, (really he’s just a dirty opportunist.) Judging by some of the commentary on here, one could be forgiven for thinking that every single Leaver was some sort of latter day Alf Garnett.

  34. clem attlee @ #1995 Thursday, January 17th, 2019 – 8:25 pm

    … Chief among them is the fact that low skilled workers cannot compete against cheap eastern European labour.

    How is this the EU’s fault?

    Surely that’s the UK’s fault for not policing and enforcing minimum rates of pay.

    From my experience in the pub trade the European kids got paid the same as the British kids, and their taxes and National Insurance was fully paid up as well.

  35. low skilled workers cannot compete against cheap eastern European labour

    Unless you mean this in the sense that, in Britain, products of low skilled British labour cost more than the products of cheap eastern European labour, it does sound nationalistic. Because the other way to read it is, they are coming to take our jobs.

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