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”

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  1. Re Citizen @8:13PM.

    The one person who spoke in favour of Labor’s policy, a 63 year old lady, was booed and jeered by the publicly funded wankers.

  2. PeeBee @ #2698 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 4:19 pm

    “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.

  3. Did you catch Wilson chatting with Credlin? He is of the view that the criticism of how he has used a parliamentary committee for partisan party profit is just a smear campaign!
    No, confessions, I didn’t have the pleasure.

  4. poroti @ #2705 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 8:27 pm


    You can catch it here….

    For your edification, here is another dubious highlight from @TimWilsonMP ‘s franking credit circus today. Thrill to the sight of self-entitled retirees booing a woman who suggests a $5 billion cash rort might better be spent on public schools. #auspol

    That needs to be on their AB Fcuking C!

    A disgrace.

  5. I would just add that if you utilise professional Fund Manager Companies, they pay tax on earnings on behalf of liable members – and because of that tax liability they receive the benefit of Franking Credits whether their client is in accumulation or pension phase

    SMSF’s in Pension phase do not “enjoy” the same status because they do not have a tax liability

    Just another of the various reasons (being ALL reasons) that I would never entertain a SMSF

    And that from someone who spent a working like lending to major businesses – and analysing their Financial Statements at the least annually so I would present as very well versed in that analysis

    But that is when I worked – and could question Directors, CEO’s and CFO’s (and their external Accountants and Auditors)

    Happy to now pay someone else to accept that responsibility on my behalf

    This week the ASX is up (but still down 5% from 31 August so in context), Global Markets are mixed but the AUD has weakened offsetting any decline in Global Equities

    So it should be a welcome positive week (one week at a time!!)

    NAB Shares on the week?

    There is the safety valve

    Diversification including from Bonds to Alternatives including Global

    And you can choose your Risk catagory with your Fund Manager



    To much risk – and too much work (did I mention I am now retired?)

  6. I know I am late to the party but….
    I assume Clive Palmer now has a lock on the Nutter vote…. It looked like One Nation would pull the Nutters but no with a wet sail Clive pulls the Chinese airbase in WA…. Is even enough tin foil for Clive’s head? Seriously, the media most love the amount of money he is blowing on this campaign.

  7. Wilson’s travelling taxpayer funded hate fest has now concluded. The location of meetings is interesting. Aside from East Melbourne, it has been restricted to Queensland and NSW in places presumably inhabited by rich retirees who vote LNP. That says a lot about what Wilson was trying to do. How about retirees in Western Sydney, Outer Melbourne, Newcastle, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin etc? Presumably they are not wealthy enough to be affected by any changes to franking rebates and would not have provided the reaction that Wilson wanted. What a sham! has a list of places visited.

  8. citizen @ #2713 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 5:38 pm

    Wilson’s travelling taxpayer funded hate fest has now concluded. The location of meetings is interesting. Aside from East Melbourne, it has been restricted to Queensland and NSW in places presumably inhabited by rich retirees who vote LNP. That says a lot about what Wilson was trying to do. How about retirees in Western Sydney, Outer Melbourne, Newcastle, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Darwin etc? Presumably they are not wealthy enough to be affected by any changes to franking rebates and would not have provided the reaction that Wilson wanted. What a sham! has a list of places visited.

    I get the Parliament House press releases for its committee work, and the location choices for this particular committee were the first thing that came to mind.

  9. Mrs & Mr Wilma Slurrie
    ‏ @WilmaSlurrie
    4h4 hours ago

    Today the Morrison Government had Tim Wilson and Dutton’s Dept both referred to the AFP.

    Yesterday an MP apologised for doing something ‘stupid’ to a military officer. Another is still under a cloud over internet charges and an MP forgot to declare their business they promoted.

  10. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    You mean like Chrstine Milne ?

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

    Christine Milne became leader of the Greens in the Tasmanian Parliament 1993. She oversaw a minority State Government alliance between the Greens and Liberals after the 1996 general election to 14 September 1998 which allowed the Liberals to impose policy the Greens would normally oppose. Where was her moral fibre then ?

    She just made it into federal politics in 2004, despite Labor preferences FF above the Greens in Tasmania, and held a grudge against Labor into federal politics. The BS started when the 2007 election came along. Labor front-bencher- Lindsay Tanner -confirmed during the 2007 election that the AG were about winning seats from Labor rather than working with them to defeat the Howard Government. Milne was part of that BS.

    Milne became Deputy Leader of the Federal Australian Greens in November 2008 and party leader in April 2012. In early 2013 Ms Milne used a National Press Club address to sell out on a female Labor Prime Minister. She ended the relationship forged between the Greens and Labor, that allowed Ms Gillard to form government. Where was her moral fibre then?

    And what of her nonsensical “political strategy” to oppose things that Tony Abbott introduced even when Abbott proposes things that Greens support such as petrol taxes, increasing taxes on high-income earners, the PPL etc etc. Where was her moral fibre then?

    I could add things like her rejection of an ETS. But that’s enough I think.

  11. NT Labor…after 33 years in the ALP,,,,

    Exiled Labor MLA Jeff Collins has quit the party and will sit in the Northern Territory Parliament as an independent.

    The Member for Fong Lim was dumped from the Labor caucus in December, along with former minister Ken Vowles and backbencher Scott McConnell, for publicly criticising the Gunner Government’s economic strategy.

    Since then he has been barred from government sections of Parliament House and earlier this week he was booted off two parliamentary committees.

    “And then they have told me that I must take instructions or my directions from the Leader of Government Business, or the Government Whip,” he said.

    “So effectively I am to sit down in a box, shut up, and then vote when I am told to vote by people who have shown me no respect and the voters of Fong Lim no respect.”

  12. Wilson asset Managements View of the world:

    Wilson Asset Management and the listed investment companies we manage have nothing to lose from this policy over and above the broader impacts the economy and financial markets. On the contrary, listed investment companies can convert into trust structures to offset a reduction in the benefit of fully franked dividends to underlying shareholders.

    I first met Tim Wilson MP during March 2018 at the Nexus Australian Youth Summit in Melbourne. It was there that we discovered that we are distant relatives. My father’s father’s father was his father’s father’s father’s father. I am currently unaware if I am related to Labor MP Josh Wilson, who is also on the Standing Committee on Economics.

    Wilson Asset Management did not fund I personally contributed to the website in the appropriate way, along with a number of other concerned individuals.

    Tim Wilson MP is one of 80,000 shareholders in our listed investment companies; he is not a shareholder in the investment manager, Wilson Asset Management.

    Our shareholders’ data is safe and has not been shared.

    We have only communicated with our shareholders and signatories of our petition.

    Our investor call on 25 September 2018 was open to the public. Our intentions to march on the inquiry hearing were reported on by the Australian Financial Review the following day. Shortly after the call, we published the recording on our website and emailed it to our shareholders and contacts, including journalists. We also shared photographs of the march on the Sydney inquiry hearing and the event was covered by major media outlets at the time.

  13. I would suggest that Wilson has misread certain in East Melbourne – and they include the very well heeled

    The comment on here that Wilson presented in East Melbourne is the only knowledge I have of this event – and East Melbourne is a very close knit community

  14. nath

    Do you reckon the donors are buying influence and want something in return for their largesse to the two major parties?

  15. electionblogger2019
    “I think that is enough”
    I think it is not enough. Go on and enlighten us even more with examples where Christine Milne and others did not show moral fibre.

  16. Pegasus
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    Do you reckon the donors are buying influence and want something in return for their largesse to the two major parties?
    I would suspect that they are hoping that whatever energy mix the parties go for that they will be allowed to make juicy profits. with all the solar coming on board, they wouldn’t want people getting paid a good rate for it to go back into the grid I would think.

  17. Dan Gulberry @ #2723 Friday, February 8th, 2019 – 6:05 pm

    SkyNews Poll:

    Should the government wind back tax concessions on property (negative gearing and capital gains) and shares (dividend tax refunds)?

    Currently 74% Yes; 22% No; Undecided 4%.

    The poll closes in 18 hours, so vote early, vote often.

    If that current result is close enough to the finished one, I wonder if Sky will broadcast it (rhetorical question).

    LOL what a mistake by Sky News in asking people whether the government (ie the current coalition govt) should wind back those things rather than framing the issues as Labor policy. No wonder it’s nudging 75% yes!


    As leader of the Greens, Christine Milne’s public persona was that of the dogged, high-minded school ma’am. While we might prefer charisma in our politicians, this down-to-earth memoir is a reminder of what principled flintiness can achieve. Central to the book’s appeal is the way Milne has structured her story around ordinary objects in her life that have personal significance, from the wooden butter pats that her mother used on the family dairy farm to the pink quartz sand from Lake Pedder, the drowning of which spurred her awakening as an activist and politician. As a woman and a Green, Milne faced intense hostility when she was elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1989. Yet her vision for Tasmania has been vindicated, with the issues that she championed – particularly the environment and the arts – now driving forces in the state’s economy.


    Former Greens leader Christine Milne tells her story through 18 objects, interweaving the personal and political to recount a truly inspirational life.

    An Activist Life is the story of an apparently ordinary woman – a high-school English teacher from northwest Tasmania – who became a fiery environmental warrior, pitted against some of the most powerful business and political forces in the country.

    In it, Christine Milne tells her story through the objects that have symbolic meaning in both her personal and political life, from the butter pats in her kitchen that represent her journey from farm girl at Wesley Vale to environmental and human rights activist at the national and global level, to the Pride t-shirt she wore walking in Mardi Gras next to her son, after years of fighting for the legal reform of gay rights in Tasmania. She describes how politics actually works: the deals, the promises kept and broken, the horse-trading and treachery involved in some of the most controversial and difficult issues of our time, including the attempts to forge a workable and effective climate change policy for Australia, and our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

    This is a fascinating insider’s account of what it means to be a woman in politics: the sacrifices of family life and relationships, the relentless misogyny and sexism that must be endured, the gritty conviction that you must never, ever give up the pursuit of the greater good. It is the story of Australian politics and the fight to save the world, and essential reading for anyone who cares about either.

  20. I’ll give this much to Tony Abbott, he knows where his political weaknesses are. Tonight on the way home from Western Sydney in the car I heard on the news on one of those mostly music FM radio stations that Tony Abbott has finally explained why he ate THAT Onion! It was simply to show the farmer that grew it that he appreciated the effort he went to to grow it. 🙄

  21. Chris Bowen
    ‏Verified account @Bowenchris
    8m8 minutes ago

    Chris Bowen Retweeted Josh Frydenberg


    Chris Bowen added,
    Josh Frydenberg
    Verified account @JoshFrydenberg
    Where is Labor’s formal response to the Banking Royal Commission? @Bowenchris you have now had the report for 5 days which is a full day longer than we did before we replied! I hope in your own words you have a ‘very very very good reason’!
    5 replies 26 retweets 46 likes


  22. nath

    As someone who campaigned in Victoria against the privatisation of electricity supply in the 1990s, I can only, sadly, shake my head in unsurprisement.

    Privatisation of essential services – how effing stupid.

  23. I never saw Christine Milne smile in any of her public outings. She always had that constant scowling frown on her face. However, I voted Green 1 when she was Greens leader because both Lib and Lab were bad at that time.

  24. I tried to vote in that Sky Twitter poll but cannot because I’m not on Twitter. Perhaps a majority of rich retirees are also not on Twitter. Bad move, Sky!

  25. The Liberal Party president on Sky News:

    Sky News AustraliaVerified account@SkyNewsAust
    5m5 minutes ago
    Teena McQueen on the asylum seeker medical transfer bill: If Labor backs this bill, we will do very well in this election.

    MORE: #hardgrave

  26. I had face to face chats with Christine and mixed with her at functions. She is quite reserved and always exudes genuine warmth and sincerity, and smiles a lot.

  27. Barney in Go Dau
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm
    Hey Peg!
    Did Christine write a book?

    Don’t you have people to teach? I hope you are not teaching them that all English speakers use emojis as equally as they do the alphabet.

    I’d like to know what on earth you would be qualified to teach, apart from being a smartass on a blog that is. I have yet to decipher any skill, apart from being a Labor stooge, that you may possess.

  28. The article contains dates for some of the events and problems facing the UK as a hard Brexit approaches.
    Trade problems start today and there are deadlines for introducing Brexit legislation as early as next week, followed the week after that by international treaty legislation deadlines. Today’s problem is minor (in the scheme of things) but it will intensify as each day passes, and ever more serious problems will be added every week from today.

    From this week, freighters setting sail from UK ports with cargo for far-flung destinations such as Australia and New Zealand, a journey of about 50 days, risk arriving after Brexit day with – in the event of a no-deal Brexit – no idea of the trade rules that will be in place.

    Its like a virtual blockade of Britain. Is it this possible? If it is would the UK be that stupid? Surely an extension becomes more likely rather than less. Surely. ??

  29. nath@9:27pm
    I thought you work and on holidays. But I see you on PB through out the day. I don’t know whether Barney is a smartass but you certainly are or am I giving more credit to you than what you are?

  30. Federal ICAC

    Ipp, who led Icac between 2009 to 2014 and presided over the investigation of corrupt former Labor politician Eddie Obeid, said corruption cases were often complex and most prosecutors had little experience in dealing with them. He said if a federal integrity body was not able to make findings of corrupt conduct, such conduct would not be properly exposed.
    Ipp and fellow former senior judge, Anthony Whealy, were appearing before a Senate inquiry into the crossbench and Greens’ models for an anti-corruption commission on Friday morning.
    “We repeat that the government’s model falls disastrously short of providing an effective anti-corruption agency, and moreover an ineffective commission is worse than no commission at all,” Ipp said.

  31. Late Riser@9:31pm
    “brexit it is”.
    That is a quote from May. So how can she postpone the date? If brexit is written in stone and once the article is invoked, the date of brexit is also set in stone.
    Europe has made it absolutely clear that they will not renegotiate the brexit deal

  32. Its like a virtual blockade of Britain. Is it this possible? If it is would the UK be that stupid? Surely an extension becomes more likely rather than less. Surely. ??

    Some of us were talking about this not that long ago. Yes it is real.

  33. Maybe Tim Wilson can hold an enquiry into the policies of Palmer, Pauline and Bernardi. What are they? Are they good for our Nation?
    Perhaps an enquiry about the effectiveness of giving $M444 to some unheard of business so they can do things for the Great Barrier Reef. Why not incorporate the welfare of fish in our inland waterways as well.
    No study of droughts, bushfires and flooding rains and don’t mention climate change!!!
    I hope if Labor get elected in a couple of months time that they don’t forget what this lowlife has done.

  34. Ven
    Friday, February 8, 2019 at 9:35 pm
    I thought you work and on holidays. But I see you on PB through out the day. I don’t know whether Barney is a smartass but you certainly are or am I giving more credit to you than what you are?
    Ven, don’t be like that. I still think we can be friends. I haven’t even made fun of Mr Shorten in some time. Does that not help a bit? I don’t want to upset you any more.

  35. Ven, Confessions
    Yeah, I know. PB consensus is running at 41% Hard Brexit, 18% extension, 3% Soft Brexit. I just can’t get my head around the intransigence. The front of the train has reached the cliff.

  36. 😆 There sure was.

    Possum Comitatus

    Follow Follow @Pollytics
    Some of those people at the franking credits fiasco. Hoooboy, that was some arsehole per square footage going on

  37. May unviels Hard Brexit planning

    Defra is recruiting for at least three different roles: briefing emergency centre officers; liaison emergency centre officers, and situation emergency centre officers.

    In what appears to be a military-style set-up, the emergency control centre will have a team of officers producing briefing notes for ministers “at pace” and checking the “battle rhythm” for emerging urgent policy changes.

    All ably lead by Major Mainwaring.

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