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. Davidwh says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    PeeBee it depends on what type of pension fund and investment mix but most likely there would be some level of rebate. Also you don’t need to be wealthy to lose some level of rebate.

    And arrange you affairs so you have no other taxable income. At 5.9 billion lost to revenue we are not talking little old ladies with a few shares. We are talking serious capital and serious levels of wealthfare.

  2. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:21 pm
    Andrew_Earlwood @ #2637 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:16 pm

    I reckon you should travel to Dickson and campaign against Ali France Pegasus. That would be the principled thing to do – run a ‘put Labor last’ campaign.

    Our world that has a polluted environment and divided/warring societies is that way because we continually vote in politicians with no values and no ethics.

    You mean like Christine Milne ?

  3. #WeatheronPB: Sydney Olympic Park has received 46 mm rain in an hour. Earlier today it maxed out at 36 degrees. Forecast for tomorrow, hot, more storms and, as always in Summer, humid.

  4. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    zoomster @ #2631 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:13 pm

    Pegasus

    The Greens candidate who talked about how to shoplift removed her posts….
    because it was wrong ..?

    _______________________________

    No. Because it embarrassed her political party.

  5. This bullshit over “voices silenced” – the left took a postion to conference and lost. That’s democracy. If they want to continue virtue signalling, then I say “don’t let the door hit your arise on the way out – here’s a Greens party membership form”. However, candidates like France and Kearney will stay for the same reason I stayed even when the left wing fucked over industrial dispute settlement procedures back in 1993 (protected bargaining is a cancer and it was a left wing idea) because Labor the the first, last, best and only chance to achieve public progress for the betterment of Australia’s people and natural heritage.

    The likes of Pegarex and naff naff are at best Auxillary spear carriers for the anti labor party. Clem is an even bigger disgrace – a hard boiled democratic socialist and acolyte of Joe Chamberlain yet he’s not even a party member these days. I just can’t work out whether he’s a splitter or just a quitter. Probably just a loser.

  6. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:25 pm
    If your not prepared to toe the Party line on policy, don’t stand.
    Dis-own your values, your credibility, your beliefs, your soul… and do as we dictate.

    ________________________________

    Stand yourself – and see what you achieve.

  7. electionblogger2019.simplesite.com @ #2648 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:27 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:21 pm
    Andrew_Earlwood @ #2637 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:16 pm

    I reckon you should travel to Dickson and campaign against Ali France Pegasus. That would be the principled thing to do – run a ‘put Labor last’ campaign.

    Our world that has a polluted environment and divided/warring societies is that way because we continually vote in politicians with no values and no ethics.

    You mean like Chrstine Milne ?

    Tell me why you think Christine Milne has no values/ethics ..?

  8. I can’t believe peg and rex are such simpletons as to not understand how to affect change in an organisation like the Labor party from within. They are just trying to score cheap points. Lets not mention how greens members are censured for ‘allowing themselves to be quoted criticising the party’

  9. TPOF @ #2650 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:28 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    zoomster @ #2631 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:13 pm

    Pegasus

    The Greens candidate who talked about how to shoplift removed her posts….
    because it was wrong ..?

    _______________________________

    No. Because it embarrassed her political party.

    …because it was wrong ?

  10. Rex Douglas @ #2649 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 3:25 pm

    If your not prepared to toe the Party line on policy, don’t stand.

    Dis-own your values, your credibility, your beliefs, your soul… and do as we dictate.

    How is she doing this?

    I’m sure, if she is successful, she will be a strong advocate for change within the Party, but outside she will accept the Party’s policy position in all areas.

    Do you think all Labor policy has 100% support within the ranks?

    I now understand why you aren’t in a Party, you could never work with others if your’s and their views diverged slightly.

  11. “#WeatheronPB: Sydney Olympic Park has received 46 mm rain in an hour. Earlier today it maxed out at 36 degrees. Forecast for tomorrow, hot, more storms and, as always in Summer, humid.”

    Frack. I was 10 minutes from home when the sky opened on me whilst riding my motorbike home from work. Stopped at the Town and Country @ St Peters until the storm passed … looks like that wont happen until 1am. .. It is pissing down, although no thunder and lightening, which is what really stopped me in the first place. Should I ride the bike home or Uber (I reckon I might lose the bike if I leave it overnight because it is parked in the construction zone for the M5 exit ramp) Delimma …

  12. Davidwh says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm
    PeeBee it depends on what type of pension fund and investment mix but most likely there would be some level of rebate. Also you don’t need to be wealthy to lose some level of rebate.

    In fact, the more wealthy you are the less rebate you will lose. Basically because you will be making a taxable income for which the credit can be used to discharge your liability.

  13. This is a complex issue. If the person is getting $100k in dividends, it is not tax free and they are not eligible for an age pension. They will have a tax liability of (about) $30k.

    Nothing complex – they pay their tax, like I did when I was working, an employee on a salary of about that amount, earned from hard work, not sitting on my bum getting
    dividends.

    If a person is getting $100k p.a. in dividends, they have a share portfolio worth about $2 million.

  14. It”s more difficult to stand as an independent or, as a candidate for a micro or minor party.

    They are the ones who are doing the hard yards, challenging the political duopoly with the aim of achieving a greater diversity, as well as a more representative parliament that more truly reflects the wishes of the electorate (state or federal).

  15. It’s about to flood into the Town and Country pub at the moment. Obviously with all the construction work there are damaged storm water drainage.

    #weatheronPB!

  16. Steve777, no doubt you work hard for your money and pay your tax. The point I was making that if you earned it through dividends, you would also have a tax liability, which (unlike you currently do) you wouldn’t have to pay as the dividends came with a franking credit which would distinguish your liability.

  17. I’m just thinking about possible a counter protest against the franking credits inquiry.

    Maybe you could get workers to stand outside the meetings holding placards saying something like;

    I earned $40,000 and paid $4,657 in tax.
    How about you?

    Each sign would be different depending on the persons earnings.

  18. “Town and Country pub”

    At St Peters, Sydney?

    Setting for Slim Dusty’s song “I love to have a beer with Duncan, ’cause Dunc is a drunk” (or something like that).

  19. “Tom says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Davidwh @ #2610 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 6:18 pm

    If you have converted your super to a pension fund then income in the pension fund is not subject to tax.

    That is what I have done, but I thought that I am still limited to $18k per year to stay tax free? Although I am under 65.”

    After your preservation age for super the pension you draw is tax free, and the earnings of the fund are tax free. ALP has / had a policy to tax earnings in the fund over $75k @ 15% (the rest tax free) and the Libs put in place ( i think) a $1.6M cap on what you can have in a super account before it gets taxed.

    Sounds to me like you need to do a bit of reading on this. 🙂

  20. Frednk if you are retired you likely don’t have any level of taxable income. That’s retirement. Also you don’t have to be wealthy to be impacted by Labor’s policy change despite their focus on people with very large investments.

    But that’s their policy and they will have to live with some pushback. I doubt their current rhetoric will work with some folks.

  21. I am so pissed off with people whinging about their $100k and just about to loose their tax funded holiday scheme!

    If I had $100K pa and lost some who cares!

    They should be put on Newstart.

  22. “Also you don’t have to be wealthy to be impacted by Labor’s policy change despite their focus on people with very large investments.”

    Davidwh……

    I suspect the people who are NOT actually wealthy that are impacted by the ALP’s policy will be the ones who gain enough value from the “social wage” benefits of the policy to more than offset their “losses”.

    That argument is already being made in a way But that’s a more nuanced argument better saved for the campaign.

  23. I am a publicly funded superannuant, like those wankers in Chatswood today, although they mistakenly call themselves “self-funded retirees”. In May, I will be voting to end my $80/week refund of tax I didn’t pay (excess franking credits). I worked hard, I did well, I paid my tax, now I’m retired. I don’t need handouts.

  24. DavidW

    Also you don’t have to be wealthy to be impacted by Labor’s policy change despite their focus on people with very large investments.

    __________________________________

    The problem is that most of the cost to revenue is down to a relatively small proportion of people with very large investments. There are a larger number of people who get enough from this to pay for Christmas presents for the grandkids. From a broader public policy perspective a lot of revenue can be repurposed from a small number of people who don’t need it to a lot of people who do.

  25. Vogon Poet @ #2664 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 7:32 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #2648 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 6:25 pm

    If your not prepared to toe the Party line on policy, don’t stand.

    Dis-own your values, your credibility, your beliefs, your soul… and do as we dictate.

    Join a party and do the hard work of trying to effect change,
    or post glib fuckwitteries on social media…

    Quite. Other Greens have chosen to walk away – to decimate green membershit in NSW – in the true meaning of decimate –

    Hundreds of members of the NSW Greens have quit the party as ongoing factional battles eat away at party morale before the upcoming state and federal elections.

    An internal party report described the loss of up to 485 party members in the 12 months to November 2018 – a decline of almost 13 per cent – as a “significant and worrying reduction”.

    The report, prepared by the party’s membership officer David Briggs in December, noted that elections traditionally were a time when they increased membership.

    The hemorrhaging of members followed an escalating factional war within the party, between the “left” wing, which includes upper house MP David Shoebridge, and the “right” wing,

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/hundreds-of-members-quit-nsw-greens-amid-internal-instability-20190204-p50vjs.html

    Only the impotent remain….

  26. Pegasus

    ‘as well as a more representative parliament that more truly reflects the wishes of the electorate (state or federal).’

    If an electorate decides to vote in a Labor or Liberal MP, then that truly reflects the wishes of the electorate.

  27. Whilst in accumulation phase the Fund Manager pays tax at 15% on earnings

    Once in Pension Phase there is no tax on earnings in the Fund AND the Allocated Pension is tax free to (now) a balance of $1.6 Million per Account holder (so both spouses because each spouse is an account holder given they have accruals)

    The amount you MUST take as an Allocated Pension is dictated by legislation and increases with age – so whilst there is a minimum there is no maximum

    Outside of your Allocated Pension, you have recourse to the tax free threshold plus Senior’s rebates so you can earn another $25,000-tax free outside of superannuation This is the same for both spouses

    So, if you are accessing an Allocated Pension (say $1.6 Million @ 5% = $80,000- PA) and have further income of up to $25,000- (from net rent, dividends, interest, distributions from Family Trusts etc etc) that income is tax free – and you do not submit a tax return (noting you have a Tax File Number so the ATO can audit your circumstances)

    The question is that if people are bleating that the amendments to the Franking Credit regime is going to reduce their income per annum by $30,000- or 30% or whatever the figure is then work backwards to calculate the value of the Shares they hold that return the level of “income” they say they are going to lose

    Given the arrangement of their financial affairs to receive that “income”, the chances of them being very well heeled are probably so high as to be 100%

    Then you look at the cost to the Budget for further confirmation – and if the arrangement continues past the next election every man and their dog is going to avail not just those with too clever by half Wealth Managers like the Shareholders of Wilson Asset Management and the like

    The option upon the change of government is for those availing of such “income” is to sell the shareholding – they will lose the dividend but will be able to claim the Capital loss as a tax deduction – sorry, forgot, they have no tax liability to allow the offset from Capital losses (perhaps the Coalition could offer them a rebate for Capital losses they can not otherwise use to offset taxable income)

    And this is just for starters!!

    Back to spring garlic – except I only weed and mow!!

  28. TPOF agree but I believe they are a minority in numbers despite being a majority in cost to government. I just don’t believe there is an army of retirees out there earning $100k income per annum. I wish Labor would publish the numbers affected in investment levels to prove me wrong.

  29. Tom, the pension you recieve from the fund is tax free as is the income generated in your pension fund. Therefore, if you have shares as part of your investment options then the dividends and capital gains are tax free.

    It appears to me the franking credits attached to the dividends your fund has has recieved is now returned to the fund as cash.

    I assume, that under the Labor policy this will no longer be the case. Therefore the income into your fund will be lower.

  30. Those retirees at Wilson’s hate fest today are a really nice bunch. Would probably be cheerleaders at a lynching.

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

    “In a free country, that is what you’re allowed to do,” he said. “Everyone is free to attend. People are free to do whatever they want with people that come here. People can stand out the front and lobby. They can stand here and hand out forms for the Labor Party, for GetUp! and for One Nation or for the Greens.”

    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.”

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

  31. Pegasus @ #2670 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 6:39 pm

    It”s more difficult to stand as an independent or, as a candidate for a micro or minor party.

    They are the ones who are doing the hard yards, challenging the political duopoly with the aim of achieving a greater diversity, as well as a more representative parliament that more truly reflects the wishes of the electorate (state or federal).

    Ah yes, because Australia needs more One Nation clones.

  32. Millennial @ #2691 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 5:13 pm

    Pegasus @ #2670 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 6:39 pm

    It”s more difficult to stand as an independent or, as a candidate for a micro or minor party.

    They are the ones who are doing the hard yards, challenging the political duopoly with the aim of achieving a greater diversity, as well as a more representative parliament that more truly reflects the wishes of the electorate (state or federal).

    Ah yes, because Australia needs more One Nation clones.

    Or KAP, PUP, LibDem and Shooters and Fishers ignoramuses.

  33. Observer, “the arrangement of their financial affairs to receive that “income”, the chances of them being very well heeled are probably so high as to be 100%”

    Don’t forget Observer, that the truely wealthy investors will not lose their franking credits. They will continue to get them to offset the tax liability on the high income their large wealth generates.

  34. “Setting for Slim Dusty’s song “I love to have a beer with Duncan, ’cause Dunc is a drunk” (or something like that).”

    Just got home. Managed to avoid aquaplaining in the flash flooding.

    There is a mural of Slim on the back wall.

  35. “Ah yes, because what Australia needs more of is more One Nation clones.”

    No, but Tony Windsor clones, or Rob Oakshott, Andrew Wilkie, Rebecca Sharkie or Ted Mack replacing “Liberals” and Nationals would be good.

  36. “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.”

    That man was assaulted and he should take the matter to the police. ‘Other attendees” have no right to man handle him and throw him to the floor.

  37. Some people reside within a Ferris wheel.
    No matter what heights they are taken to, they return to the same position they started from.

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