Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

More evidence of a narrowing trend federally from Essential Research, albeit based on small shifts in the primary vote.

The Guardian reports the first result from Essential Research in three weeks has Labor’s two-party lead at 52-48, down from 53-47 last time. The changes on the primary vote are slight, with the Coalition up a point to 38% and Labor steady on 36% (CORRECTION: the Coalition is steady, and Labor down two). The Guardian report notes that Essential has changed the provider of the online panel from which its respondents are drawn from YourSource to Qualtrics, without changing the underlying methodology. Perhaps relatedly, the sample size is identified as 1652, where in the past it has been a little over 1000. The Guardian provides no further findings from attitudinal questions – we’ll see if the release of the main report later today provides anything on that front, along with the minor party primary votes.

UPDATE: Full report here. No change for the minor parties, with the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 7%. The poll was conducted between January 23 and January 31 – I’m not sure if this was a contingency for the long weekend, but in the past Essential’s field work dates have been Thursday to Sunday. Other findings:

• When presented with a number of explanations for a lack of gender parity in politics, the most favoured responses relate to the failures of political parties, and the least favoured relates to “experience and skills”. Gender quotas for parties have 46% support and 40% opposition, with age interestingly more determinative of attitudes here than gender.

• There are a number of questions on Australia Day, the most useful of which is a finding that 52% support a separate national day to recognise indigenous Australians, including 15% who want that day to replace Australia Day, with 40% opposed.

• Respondents were presented with various groups and asked who they felt they would prefer to see win the election. The most interesting findings are that the media was perceived as favouring the Coalition by 32% and 25%; that despite all the recent talk, pensioners were perceived to favour Labor by a margin of 42% to 28%; and that families with young children were perceived as favouring Labor by 50% to 21%.

UPDATE 2: It turns out that both the longer field work period and the larger sample were a one-off, to it will be back to Thursday to Sunday and samples of a bit over 1000 in future polls.

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.

2,781 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

  1. Grimace, Andy, Poroti,

    It is interesting that a report, also from the ANU, only last Novemember said we wouldn’t make the agreement.

    Although good news about all the solar and wind proposals, it will be interesting to see which report is correct.

    I suspect, the sneaky ones (current government), will slip in their criteria “emissions per capita” rather than “emissions” to prove they have made the target.

  2. Victoria says: Friday, February 8, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Phoenix/fess

    There is heaps going on. Just wish it was end game.

    ***************************************************

    I have a feeling, Victoria, that it is not too far away. I get the impression that the SDNY is itching to bust open the whole Trump Org – and doing it by taking down his kids as a means of putting the squeeze on Trump ….. I think since the House changed hands that the whole process has been accelerating ……fingers crossed however in saying that …..

  3. PeeBee

    I also found the ANU report, as reported, hard to believe. Although there are many promising potential developments in renewable energy, they are because of economics, and in spite of Federal policy. They can all be blocked, unless policy changes. Meanwhile other areas like transport there is no policy or action reducing emissions. Our actual emissions trend is still rising. This UN report summarises the false assumptions behind ScumMo’s claims we would meet our commitments “in a canter”. They are as believeable as the surplus forecasts.
    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/un-report-australia-not-on-track-to-meet-paris-target/

  4. Employer group COSBOA (Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia) tells employees to be grateful for the crumbs they receive and not to seek higher wages.

    COSBOA has called on workers to be grateful for what they have.

    “So step back and say: ‘OK, am I happy with what I’ve got and will it help me live the lifestyle I’m used to? Am I happy with that? And if I am, as much as I’d like more money, I should be happy that I’ve got a job’,” Mr Strong argued.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-08/businesses-tell-workers-wanting-a-pay-rise-they-are-dreaming/10792724

  5. I think since the House changed hands that the whole process has been accelerating

    That’s my perception too, but perhaps only because the previous Republican controlled House did nothing to ensure appropriate checks and balances on how Trump conducts himself in office. Nunes buried reports and refused to allow full testimony to his committee. Now the adults are in charge things are very different.

  6. PeeBee,

    Check out this map: http://www.aemo.com.au/aemo/apps/visualisations/map.html

    Click on ESOO to get an idea of the magnitude of renewable capacity awaiting connection approval or network augmentation before the begin construction.

    Click on the 2018 ISP to get an idea of where it will be located.

    Most of it is waiting on AEMO/AER to get approval to expedite the ISP and thereby allow the states (commonwealth won’t help) to chip in on the network build, to move the energy to where it’s needed.

  7. Steve777 @ #2438 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 10:08 am

    Publicly funded wankers with a sense of entitlement the size of a small planer:

    …But that was not the view of one man who interrupted the beginning of the Chatswood session by repeatedly yelling “this process is a sham” and “this process is a scam”.

    The man was forcibly removed by other attendees – during which he tripped and fell over, prompting the crowd to cheer and clap. Asked if there was a security presence, Mr Wilson said: “No, because we don’t normally have this childish behaviour.”

    The one attendee who spoke in favour of Labor’s proposal, a 63 year old lady, was booed and jeered.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/this-is-a-sham-chaotic-scenes-as-man-ejected-from-tim-wilson-s-franking-credits-inquiry-20190208-p50wil.html

    Also this.

    They can’t even get their story straight.

    Outside the inquiry, Mr Falinski said accusations the fundraiser was tied to the inquiry was “an absolute lie, a frustrating lie [put out by] the Labor Party”.

    “There is no politicking involved in the inquiry. The inquiry is a straight-up inquiry,” he said.

    “Labor has got themselves into all sorts of trouble over this and so their response is to close it down.”

    However, Liberal MP Craig Kelly said he thought it was perfectly reasonable for the party to raise funds off the back of the inquiry.

  8. Fess/Phoenix

    From my perspective, I was convinced Trump would be out of picture 2 years ago, so you can see why I am little fatigued and impatient.

    Yes based on what is happening now it feels like we are in eye of storm.

    Also Jeff Bezos has played it brilliantly. I guess being a billionaire gives you some power to stand up to blackmail.
    Of course unless the subject matter was a totally taboo. In this case, it looks like a big meh

  9. Respected lawyer :
    Benjamin Wittes‏Verified account @benjaminwittes

    A 93-year-old WWII vet, rushed to an emergency room recently and informed he had hours to live offered the following before drifting into his terminal unconsciousness: “Shit. I’m not gonna see the Mueller report, am I?” True story.

  10. The pensioner says:

    “I’m pissed off.

    I’ve paid taxes all my life, but I have very little super.

    Centrelink puts me through the hoops to get a pittance of a pension. The more I earn from my own efforts, the lower my pension.

    For my troubles I get called a ‘welfare dependent’ with ‘an entitlement mentality'”

    The Self-Funded Retiree clutching a Franked Dividend in his hand replies:

    I’m pissed off too.

    I don’t pay any tax, but I have a million in super.

    I self-assess my own income, so I don’t need to go near Centrelink. They are all bludgers there anyway: welfare dependents with a sense of entitlement.

    The more I earn from the efforts of others, the higher my dividend payout from the government.

    I am the bedrock of the economy, and I’m fully entitled to everything I get.

    So why does Bill Shorten want to steal my money?”

  11. “I don’t think the retirees tax scare will change many votes – old rich tax dodging retirees already vote LNP.”

    They’re not the problem. The government and certain pockets of the media are deliberately obfuscating what the policy is – hence calling it a “retirees tax”.

    A lot of people don’t look too deeply into things like this; I guarantee that there are people who aren’t self-funded, who have nothing to do with this policy, but are still concerned, thinking that it’s some complicated policy that will somehow hurt all retired people.

  12. Are these students related to you Rex?

    “School Strike 4 Climate Action says more than 5000 students have gone on strike in Melbourne and Sydney, supported by and thousands more students across the country.

    The campaign has reached out to the office of opposition leader Bill Shorten to stop the Adani coal mine, which the company yesterday annouunced it would self-finance and start constructing imminently.

    ‘He still hasn’t committed to stopping Adani,’ the young people said in a social media post. ”

    Why don’t they reach out to some liberal office? After all they are the ones in government and are running the place.

    As I say to young people I know (who may or may not share some of my genes), if you want something done about climate change, vote Labor.

  13. James Comey buys into what’s going down in Virginia to call for the removal of confederate statues in Virginia’s capital.

    White people designed blackface to keep black people down, to intimidate, mock and stereotype. It began during the 19th century and wasn’t about white people honoring the talent of black people by dressing up to look like them. It was about mocking them and depicting them as lazy, stupid and less than fully human. It was a tool of oppression. As a college kid in Virginia during the 1980s, I knew that and so did my classmates. But a whole lot of white people seem to not know that history or understand why blackface is so offensive, whether it’s practiced by a college student or a new doctor. The turmoil in Virginia — where I have lived most of my adult life, including nine years in Richmond — may do some good if it reminds white people that a river of oppression runs through U.S. history, deep and wide, down to today.

    But the reporters hurrying to the state capital to cover this important story about a poorly understood tool of white oppression are literally rushing past much larger and more powerful symbols of that oppression — symbols born of a similar desire to keep black people down. There is no doubt that Virginia’s leaders need to be held accountable for their personal history, but every Virginia leader is responsible for the racist symbols that still loom over our lives.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/blackface-is-a-tool-of-white-oppression-there-are-many-moer-towering-over-us/2019/02/07/4ea303b6-2b11-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html?utm_term=.b21c55173f3c

  14. Kate

    Yep. The elites convinced those who will suffer most to vote for Brexit. Like turkeys voting for xmas.
    It will be a smorgasbord of opportunity for them.
    Diluting regulations and reducing wages. What’s not to like.
    Poor fellow my country

  15. Citizen, unbelievable.

    I heard a flea bag, low end builder on the same Fran Kelly program saying he was doing quite well at the moment, but his workers didn’t deserve a pay rise, except for 2 who were tradesmen, but they wouldn’t get a pay rise either, and the other 8 were just labourers and there were plenty of them about, and he had to send his kids to school, so stuff everyone else. Besides, he had given a $20 per week pay rise last year to (unspecified) employee/s.

    This was the jist, not a direct quotation.

    Listening to the jerk made my skin crawl. I wouldn’t have a dog house built by his firm.

  16. poroti @ #2600 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 11:53 am

    With all his ‘bankering’ I guess Mike Baird’s flavor of Evangelical is very much of the ‘Prosperity Theology’ flavor. Look out NAB customers.

    Nah. He was Sydney Anglican Evangelical but not of the overt Jensonist/Dominionist cult – more an Accommodationist condom over the detumescent pricks that reign in the Sydney Tory Synod. His sister (and father) were quite active in the St John’s Darlinghurst Push, and are thereby excommunicated from the Righteous for the sin of not sneering at the Working Girls. Li’l Mikey will do whatever his Owner’s tell him to do – including colluding with the Religious Spivs of lesser faiths like the Pentacostalists and the Riverview Mafia, as long as there’s a buck in it. Fucking Rum Corps.

  17. COSBOA has called on workers to be grateful for what they have.

    “So step back and say: ‘OK, am I happy with what I’ve got and will it help me live the lifestyle I’m used to? Am I happy with that? And if I am, as much as I’d like more money, I should be happy that I’ve got a job’,” Mr Strong argued.

    When Marx (Karl not Groucho) wrote his books on how capitalism would develop he said that eventually the employers would be in a position to be able to keep wages of workers just above starvation level so that they would be able to make great profits but have a supply of labour at minimal cost. With the development of trade unions, social democratic parties and the welfare state we all thought Marx had got it wrong on this point. From the comments of COSBOA it appears that starvation wages wouldn’t be a bad thing from their POV. I wonder if they have read Marx’s suggestion of the consequences of such a practice?

  18. In response to the story by phoenixRED about the WW2 veteran, I have a similar true story. The day before my Mother died, against her wishes she was taken to hospital. The admissions nurse asked some questions, I guess to find out how lucid she was. Date of birth, a mumbled reply about 30 years out, day of the week, got that wrong too. Who is the Australian Prime Minister? That dickhead Abbott came the loud and confident reply.

  19. RE emission reductions reports
    I believe previous reports about not meeting emissions targets were based on just recent past data trends and lack of movement with emissions aside from electricity.
    The more recent report from Prof Blakers incorporates the on-paper and under development and construction of renewable power and estimates how different that will make things ongoing. Where the growing and cheaper renewables will basically drive coal and fossil fuel power out.
    So my understanding is that not meeting targets report is based on recent past of actual power and emissions.
    The more recent report suggesting we will meet targets, and go screaming past any renewable energy targets from either the LNP or Labor, is based on what is now known to be coming down the line from renewables.
    If there was further movement to support transformation of transport as well, we would be even further down the track to de-carbonisation of the economy.
    If both Labor and LNP get out and stay out of the way, the people and businesses of Australia will likely surpass the mediocre targets the major parties have, before the next electoral cycle.
    Or they could get on board and support the transformation and de-carbonisation of the economy..

  20. Thanks Socrates, that report also confirms my suspicion.

    Andy great link. I will book mark it. Good to see something happening.

    On a previous post someone mentioned what a benign premier Ted Baillieu was. It reminded me of the anti-environment things he did. I just recall another one…… Stopping wind turbines being built within a certain distance of a dwelling. That stopped them being built anywhere in the state and crippled the Wind Turbine Industry in Victoria.

  21. Granny Anny says: Friday, February 8, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    In response to the story by phoenixRED about the WW2 veteran, I have a similar true story. The day before my Mother died, against her wishes she was taken to hospital. The admissions nurse asked some questions, I guess to find out how lucid she was. Date of birth, a mumbled reply about 30 years out, day of the week, got that wrong too. Who is the Australian Prime Minister? That dickhead Abbott came the loud and confident reply.

    **************************************************

    Great Story Granny Anny 🙂 ……. we will never forget the pensioner who called Abbott a dickhead to his face

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRMI4Z7ri8A

  22. PeeBee
    says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm
    Thanks Socrates, that report also confirms my suspicion.
    Andy great link. I will book mark it. Good to see something happening.
    On a previous post someone mentioned what a benign premier Ted Baillieu was.
    _________________________________________
    He’s now in charge of the cladding taskforce on apartment towers in Melbourne. Why Daniel Andrews? Why?

  23. Good to see the court decision re Hunter Valley coal mine.
    The court of public opinion I believe passed judgement on Adani some time ago.
    I have little doubt there will be many turning up to enforce that judgement, no new coal mines. Whatever other political or legal strategies are raised or tried.
    If anything I would imagine that this recent court decision will embolden many Australians to get even more behind the stop Adani campaign and convoy.

  24. A lot of people don’t look too deeply into things like this; I guarantee that there are people who aren’t self-funded, who have nothing to do with this policy, but are still concerned, thinking that it’s some complicated policy that will somehow hurt all retired people.

    I agree up to a point, but this is why we have election campaigns: to get the truth out.

    Yes, yes, I know: sounds naive doesn’t it?

    But this Coalition scare campaign is far too early, too premature to survive scrutiny. The whingeing “retirees” don’t have a leg to stand on, once the truth of what they’re whingeing about comes out, sometime in the next three months or so. Rich bludgers getting freebie tax “rebates” just won’t stand any long term scrutiny.

    And three months in which to scrutinize this scam is an awful long time to maintain the secret.

    I just cannot see an entire election being fought about the “right” of wealthy superannuants to double dip on unearned tax rebates. Too confusing, and nobody likes old crankies anyway.

    Every attack takes some prisoners and incurs some casualties, especially in the early phase. But there is always the counterattack to contend with, and Labor has plenty of places to launch theirs.

  25. But this Coalition scare campaign is far too early, too premature to survive scrutiny.

    And Labor haven’t opened the lollie jar yet, either.

  26. I have been reading this blog for years, and am finally moved to make a comment.
    I really wonder if the dividend imputation policy will directly move many votes towards the LNP. I am semi retired, and have a SMSF operating in a range such that I will never qualify for a part pension. I stand to “lose” substantial $ p.a. if the dividend imputation reform kicks in, but I had never planned for such a benefit when setting up my retirement arrangements about when John Howard conferred it. Anyone relying for his retirement income for the rest of his life on a special targeted tax break which gives over the odds return on his investment is being naive. I have voted Labor most of my life (except for while for the Greens!) and fixing up this rort only strengthens my conviction. I hope other Labor voters in my position see it my way.
    The main negative about the dishonest “retiree tax” line is that it contributes to a general meme that “Labor increases taxes”, and “Labor doesn’t care about retirees” etc, seeking to influence people who wouldn’t even know what an imputation credit is, and most of whom would never be adversely by the policy anyway.

  27. The wealthfare rorters are using the internet to recruit signatures for their 100,000 signature petition against Labor’s dividend imputation policy. I was on a technology website a short while ago, about to download some software when a banner ad appeared inviting me to sign up. It was headed “Australian Stock Report.” I’m not sure how much Google or whoever charges for sending ads across the internet, but it does suggest those bludgers are getting very serious.

  28. If the Ross River dam flood gates had been opened early, but the rain had stopped, then hundreds of homes would have been lost. Writs would have flown like confetti.

    So they left the gates closed, as the water management plan dictated… but the rains didn’t stop, and more hundreds of homes were lost. Writs will, again, flow like confetti.

    But no piece of paper, no judge, no court will stop Global Warming.

  29. I agree that the ‘Frankenstein Tax’ is unlikely to get too much traction this far out and really just gives the LNP a brief sugar rush of faint hope in an atmosphere of increasing despair about their ultimate fate at the hands of the voters

  30. steve davis

    Excellent fodder to start a “mediscare’ . “Only Labor will protect your pension. The Liberals have tried to cut it before,they’ll try again”

  31. Katharine Murphy in today’s Guardian shows why she should probably stick to writing adulatory articles about Malcolm Turnbull …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/08/australia-can-meet-its-paris-targets-if-government-doesnt-hinder-progress

    From the very first sentence, it simply makes no sense at all …

    New research finds Australia is installing renewable energy faster than any other country …

    I cannot find any “research” – new or old – that says any such thing, and – if you think about it – it is completely nonsensical. For instance, China alone commissioned 157GW of renewable energy generation last year alone – more than 3 times our total generation capacity. The US, India and Europe also all installed more renewables than we did last year. In fact on most lists of who is installing/using the most renewable energy, Australia is rarely even mentioned – we are quite simply too small to even bother with.

    Some light dawns when you read a little further …

    The lead researcher, ANU professor Andrew Blakers, says Australia is currently installing renewable power four or five times per capita faster than the European Union, Japan, China and the United States. That finding is based on preliminary data available for installations globally last year.

    Aha! Some clues – “per capita”. And “currently”. And “preliminary data”. And only faster than a small set of specific countries, not “any other country”.

    So, now it makes a little more sense … or does it?

    The answer is of course, No. Because it is really only solar that Blakers is talking about us installing faster “per capita” than any other nation, not other types of renewables. And worse, it is not all solar, it is only utility-scale solar that is currently growing at unusually high rates – growth rates in rooftop solar have essentially been static for years now. And when it comes to other types of renewables – such as wind – we are still sluggards. Probably not even in the top half dozen countries.

    Don’t get me wrong – installing utility-scale solar at a good clip is good news, even if we are having to import all those solar panels from China. But it is those other renewables – specifically, wind – that actually matter. Because solar can only ever make a small contribution to replacing our coal-based generation. It is wind that has to do the heavy lifting, as Blakers himself has pointed out.

    Murphy should stick to subjects she knows at least a little about … if she could find one 🙁

  32. I’ve been tossing up between 53-47 and 54-46 for Newspoll, but reckon the news around the banks, plus some of the other stories floating around, will tip it over to 54-46. Not sure about other news, but Nine News have been particularly unfriendly to the government in their packages this week, surprisingly.

  33. PeeBee @ #2429 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 1:54 pm

    According to the TV, we are going to make our Paris targets, and make them 5 years before the deadline. This is based on research done at the ANU. The research tells us our take up rate of rooftop solar is 4 times that of somewhere else.

    Although I respect the ANU, I can’t believe they have it right.

    1. We are already ABOVE the target now
    2. Our emissions are climbing
    3. Direct action isn’t doing anything to reduce CO2
    4. We have one of the fastest growing populations of the developed nations.
    5. The growth of rooftop installations may not continue at current rate, particularly as we dense up with high rise flats.

    I just think the report looks suss.

    It is suss. I just posted why.

  34. Nice to hear from you WMGA!

    I agree in terms of planning. You can NEVER base your planning on the assumption that what happens now will happen forever.

    I’d suggest most of these retirees have been ‘directed’ by financial planners to vacuum up every policy that allows them to rort the system, if they have the means.

    OTOH most people of retirement age are not yet in a position to have super working for them in the fullest sense. Multiple property ownership/investment, or having had a successful business, probably allows many of the people at these ‘events’ to have built the required nest egg.

    I also find it offensive that one of the main reasons for protecting this rort, in their eyes, is for inheritance purposes. Again, few are in a position to do it in any meaningful way and their offspring just have to ‘suck it up’. The massive ‘funeral insurance’ market shows that even $5 or 6k is seen by most older Aussies and possibly leaving a large burden for said offspring.

    The Coalition are great at using legitimate policy in order to create a perceived ‘moral panic’ within sections of the society.

    Greens are also trying the same with Adani (even though, as many have said there are other, larger mines owned by Gina and others) that are likely to be damaging in the Basin.

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