Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor

Shortly after Newspoll found the Coalition’s tentative momentum grinding to a halt, Essential gives them their worst result since August.

Essential Research has come out with a second poll in consecutive weeks, the previous one having departed from its normal practice in having a longer field work period and a later release, tailored to work around the interruption of the long weekend. Coming after a period in which a media narrative of Labor taking on water over franking credits has taken hold, the results of the latest poll are striking: the Coalition has sunk four points on the primary vote to 34%, Labor is up two to 38%, the Greens and One Nation are steady on 10% and 7% respectively, and Labor’s two-party lead has blown out from 52-48 to 55-45. Other questions relate to the banking royal commission: you can read more about them from The Guardian, or await for Essential’s full report, which I assume will be with us later today.

UPDATE: Full report here. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1067.

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.

2,398 comments on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor”

  1. Boerwar says:
    Friday, February 15, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    ‘Ok Boer War, you’re the resident defence expert, so a few questions:’

    I prefer ‘thoughtful and well-read armchair warrior whose sensibilities go to extended family members who suffered terribly as a result of being on the losing side in a war.’ But if you insist on ‘expert’, so be it.

    ‘How much has the United States spent on defence since the end of World War II?’
    Far too much. Debt funded as well. $22 trillion in the red and climbing rapidly.

    ‘What was the most significant attack on the United States in that period, and perhaps in U.S. history?’
    9/11.

    ‘How much did the attackers spend to get that result?’
    Too much.

    ‘What was it that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned his fellow Americans about in his farewell speech as he left office?’
    Beware the military industrial complex.

    -0-

    Pretty good, BW, four out of five, although I imagine that $22 trillion is an underestimate, especially in 2019 dollars. Unlike your usually thoughtful contributions, the terseness of your answers suggests you might have been uncomfortable with the thrust of the questions.

    Your only miss was on the attacker’s costs for 9/11. You say they paid “too much” to pull off the greatest attack on the United States and its run-on effects which are still with us. How about a couple of dozen box cutters, a dozen one-way flight tickets and some pilot training. What good therefore was the $22 trillion, or for that matter in the current circumstances the $50 billion worth of French subs and $20 billion of F-35A jet fighters which you seem to think we must have.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

    I watched Ike deliver that farewell speech on CBS, one of the most significant statements ever by a U.S. President. His words, coming from a highly respected military leader, are just as true almost 60 years later. And I’m wondering whether his warning about the military-industrial complex should have included “armchair warriors.”

  2. She has a razor sharp mind and I suspect she has never forgotten anything, except when she forgot she had bought the house next door.

    She would particulaly remember anything to do with her enemies in labor and the unions.

    The Court is not some press conference. The lawyers are not journalists or PR hacks. It’s not opinion or he-said/she-said.

    If Cash is telling lies under oath she is committing perjury.

    You can go to jail for that. As she should.

  3. ‘NSW Greens policies are available to anyone who can read or could be bothered to look…’

    You’d better tell the NSW Greens that. They’re the ones saying they don’t know what the policies are. We’re taking their word for it.

    Of course, they could be lying, I suppose.

  4. The complexities of exiting the EU means the referendum should never have proceeded

    The considerations are just far, far too complex

    Even for experts noting that no one would be expert other than in components

    And then it is like putting your finger in a full glass of water – the consequence is the collateral

    The public should never have been given the option especially as the pm of the day supported remaining

    And now they say Australia will be a major trading partner

    In what?

    And why?

    May should announce that the UK is remaining in the EU, then go to an election

    And Labor and the other parties should also campaign on remaining

    If there is a Party which supports leaving and they gain government (against a Conservative/Labor Coalition with the Party with the most seats providing the Leader) then so be it – and the disaster will unfold with the population turning on the government as the fuller ramifications become the fact

    This will be a transitory situation until normal positions are resumed – with Brexit an animal of the past

    Parliaments govern

  5. The Greens appear to be rudderless. In NSW their party members pine for a slogan (not policies it should be noted, even if they reportedly don’t know what they are) ahead of the next election.

    Federally their leader wants to oppose everything Labor proposes even while their sole lower house rep votes with Labor in defiance of his leader to support its bills.

    I agree with others during the week that Di Natale’s leadership is terminal. And anyone who cares about the environment, climate change, biodiversity, or even the prospect of the Greens party going forward should be hoping and wishing for a Greens leadership change to move beyond the disastrous RDN years.

  6. You say they paid “too much” to pull off the greatest attack on the United States and its run-on effects which are still with us. How about a couple of dozen box cutters, a dozen one-way flight tickets and some pilot training.

    And, y’know, their lives.

  7. BK@8:09pm
    On other point I noticed that Mark Kenny is no longer writing articles for Fairfax media group. I saw his on Medevac bill in Adelaide Advertiser or is it Adelaide Now (do we have any online edition with that name?)

  8. Confessions, you may be right that political parties need slogans. Slogans sell who you are, they are simple, profound and positive attributes to to encourage others to buy what you’re selling. I suppose too that they hold people together and fire them up. And importantly a slogan needs to be unique. Labor seems to have slogans around the word “fairness”. The Liberals might go for “individuality” or “independence”. A Nationals slogan would use the word “country”, and by it mean not-city. But Greens I’m having trouble with. It used to be “environment” but all I’m hearing at the moment is “Adani” and “refugees”. They might be better off using “decency” as their guiding principal.

    As for Di Natalie, I think he understands that Labor is his biggest threat. Unfortunately his instinct seems to be to oppose what threatens him. That’s not smart when you have less real power. I have nothing to base this on, but my gut tells me the Greens will be embarrassed at the upcoming election, Di Natale will be replaced, and the Greens will recover in time for the election after that.

  9. I don’t think it is the role of the court to make a finding whether Cash is lying about her knowledge or not. If it were, it would not be possible, on the evidence led so far to make such a finding.

    My understanding is that the Court is seeking to determine whether the ROC investigation was a proper exercise of power or not. I think this would involve the totality of the conduct of all those involved. It may well be open to the court to find that the convergence of factors including:

    . a new organisation; a direct referral (twice) from the Minister;
    . the involvement of parties in her office, in Keenan’s office and the ROC in making the fact of the raids known to the media;
    . the fact that the matter was eleven years before (was there nothing more immediately pressing in the union world to investigate???);
    . and the fact that it involved the current leader of the Opposition

    is enough to make it more likely than not that the investigation was not undertaken because of its political benefits for the government of the day (even if not directly requested by the government) rather than in an arms-length judgement of the proper exercise of power of the Commission.

    The question of whether Cash is guilty of abuse of power personally is thus a political one, rather than a legal one.

  10. “Your only miss was on the attacker’s costs for 9/11.”
    The 9/11 terrorists budget was estimated to be about half a million, which is much more than most terrorist operations but pretty trivial compared to the cost to the US.

  11. Late Riser:

    Actually I was incredulous that Greens members reportedly want slogans rather than policies. But agree with everything else you’ve said.

  12. Diogenes says:
    Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    “Your only miss was on the attacker’s costs for 9/11.”
    The 9/11 terrorists budget was estimated to be about half a million, which is much more than most terrorist operations but pretty trivial compared to the cost to the US.
    -0-

    The point I was trying to make is that all those billions of defense dollars could not stop 18 determined guys armed only with box cutters from wreaking such havoc. They were, of course, also armed with a suicidal zeal that is hard to counter.

    But I can’t wait until my 120th birthday in 2057, when the last of those dozen subs is commissioned.

  13. beguiledagain
    But we can’t know how many plots have been prevented or deterred by security forces. The cost of preventing one successful terrorist attack might be billions but 9/11 cost the US at least $50B ignoring the trillions lost on an idiotic war.

  14. Leroy, three hours ago posted this link.
    https://www.wired.com/story/italy-five-star-movement-techno-utopians/

    It concerns Italy’s Five Star political party and beppe­grillo.it (a blog), Facebook, Brexit and obliquely Trump too. While I was reading it I couldn’t help but think of how Poll Bludger and GetUp fill some of the niches it describes. It’s a warning.


    Casaleggio would select topics from the firm’s internal forum and assign members of the group specific roles to play in each discussion. Say he wanted a forum debate to reach conclusion X: One member of the restricted group would suggest X, a second would argue for contradictory conclusion Y, and over time a third would post a variation on X—and so on, subtly driving the rest of the unwitting employees toward the preordained conclusion.

    The original stated aim of the project was to observe how internal electronic communications worked, and then to sell the findings as a consulting service. But the experiment also had more far-reaching implications, Baffè realized. Casaleggio was interested in learning how consensus—on, say, whether people should be happy to work long hours—could be manufactured in a way that looked organic.

    Today, when the most prominent members of Five Star think back to what got them hooked on beppe­grillo.it, most of them describe how it provided a compelling source of alternative information:

    He thought that, through the blog, he was seeing into the belly of Italy—what its people really thought and felt. And what he noticed was anger.

    “The interactive leader will then be the new politician, someone who continually transforms the wishes of public opinion into reality. This new politician will not need interpretation by today’s media, which will thus lose their importance.”

    According to Zanni, this was Casaleggio Associates’ modus operandi when it came to online votes: Provide a “cosmetic” appearance of choice while pushing for a particular option. In the end, 78 percent of the members who voted opted to join Farage. After years of studying how to shape online consensus, Casaleggio had mastered the art.

    It was this meeting, she says, that “planted the seed of ideas” that would lead to the success of Brexit.

    “Representative democracy is obsolete,” he tells me. It will soon be as old hat as absolute monarchy seems to us today. “The future is inevitably direct democracy,” he says. But who knows if that future will be quite as inevitable without a hidden hand to steer it.

    Hmm. There is something stable about the way we do democracy in Australia. And while I suspect Italy’s system and to some extent Britain’s and the USA’s systems are more vulnerable to the type of manipulation described in the essay, I doubt we’re immune.

  15. https://outline.com/xDeWrz

    “Heat on BoM for records rewrite”

    Not looking good. 🙁 Still will stoke the outrage meter of the Denialista community…..again……..and send them off frothing at the scandal of the great hoax.

    Interestingly the article has BOM directly addressing the homogenisation thing in a way thats pretty plain. And its what the science says, not some self appointed genius of the intertubes sitting around in its crusty undies stroking its pet conspiracy theories.

  16. imacca @ #1851 Friday, February 15th, 2019 – 11:51 pm

    https://outline.com/xDeWrz

    “Heat on BoM for records rewrite”

    Not looking good. 🙁 Still will stoke the outrage meter of the Denialista community…..again……..and send them off frothing at the scandal of the great hoax.

    Interestingly the article has BOM directly addressing the homogenisation thing in a way thats pretty plain. And its what the science says, not some self appointed genius of the intertubes sitting around in its crusty undies stroking its pet conspiracy theories.

    It seems to me that the BOM’s message is, sorry but it’s worse than we thought. They could followed that up with, it would be nice if we could afford a few more people to look into this.

  17. Big A Adrian says:
    Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:56 am
    briefly: “In other words, for the Liblings the purpose of politics is to campaign against Labor”

    another way to put that is, the purpose of politics is to bring labor on board.

    Nah. The effect of Libling politics is to repel Labor. In any case, the practice of the Liblings is invariably to try to put distance between themselves and Labor. If Labor were to move closer to the Liblings, they would simply move camp. They run decoys. The Liblings are specialists in distraction. The LNP sell fear. The Liblings sell indignation.

  18. Tick toc on the Nationals time bomb clock.

    The Nationals seem to have decided it’s a good idea to back Labor’s weaponising otherwise uncontroversial legislation – passing Senate bills over Liberal opposition in the House of Representatives. Enter stage right [courtesy of Nationals support], amendments to the obscure Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No5) bill. The amendments are designed to help in competition law cases such as farmers and suppliers taking on Coles and Woolworths in court for misuse of market power.

    Labor senator Doug Cameron tabled amendments which state that people or organisations suing for damages for alleged restrictive trade practices – including misuse of market power, the new “effects test” designed to protect small business – can apply at any time to be exempted from paying their opposition’s costs. The court can agree the party will not be liable for costs if the case is reasonable, raises a significant issue that affects others and “the disparity between the financial position” of the parties might deter the smaller party from taking action. Small and family businesses can also ask the ombudsman for help in preparing a case for a no-costs order.

    Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams said the effects test – which passed in August 2017 – gave small businesses a remedy “if big businesses are using their market share to undersell, sell cheap and squash their opponents.
    The amendment’s mean that

    “ if I was going to sue Woolworths for trying to screw me down and if I lose then I don’t have to pay costs. If you’re getting put out of business by the big end of town, the last thing you can afford to do is go to court, to lose, and then be hit by costs for your and the defendants’ legal costs. They make it easier and fairer for small business to have the courage to go to court without the fear of losing everything if a costs order is made against them.”

    In effect, the Morrison Government may face a second parliamentary defeat with Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce, Keith Pitt and Andrew Broad indicating they would support the amendment bill in the HOR. On Thursday night, Senate leader Cormann rose to quash a division which would have seen Nationals senators crossing the floor to support the bill- the optics of that in the media after a HOR defeat earlier in the week was a bridge too far. The amendments passed in the Senate with a deathly silence when the call for “no’s” was made. Cormann slumped back in his chair, dismayed.

    Another time bomb is heading to the House or Representatives to test the duck-and-weave skills of Christopher Pine and Scott Morrison. They will try to keep if off the agenda for debate or capitulate.

    It seems the Nationals have decided [at least some of them] they have nothing to lose and making a big noise about this policy will send a message to their constituents that the Nationals are not the Liberal Party, they are standing up for regional and rural farmers and small businesses and they should not be punished for the sins of the Liberal Party on the Banking RC, for example.

    With 7 of the their 16 HOR seats under genuine threat, they have to do something to remain relevant to farmer brown et al.

  19. Trump officially declares a national emergency to get funds for his border wall

    President Donald Trump on Friday announced that he would declare a national emergency to fund his border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Trump insisted that a wall was necessary for border security. America was facing “an invasion” of drugs, human traffickers, and criminals gangs, he claimed.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/trump-officially-declares-national-emergency-get-funds-border-wall/

  20. Bitter Ann Coulter scolds Trump’s wall plan: ‘The only national emergency is our president is an idiot’

    Coulter started out by ranting about the president’s poor character, saying that the only reason many conservatives could stomach voting for him was to get the border wall built.

    In contrast with Trump, Coulter said, former President Ronald Reagan was “a competent man whom we trust to run the government” and “a decent person” who deserved the title of commander-in-chief.

    “None of that was true with Trump!” she fumed.

    “Forget the fact that he’s digging his own grave,” she said. “The only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/bitter-ann-coulter-scolds-trumps-wall-plan-national-emergency-president-idiot/

  21. GOP strategist Rick Wilson :

    When the next Democratic president grabs ‘emergency’ powers, blame Trump

    By going along with his phony emergency declaration, Republicans are giving permission to the next White House occupant — of either party — to do the same.

    First off, there’s no emergency: As The Washington Post and the New York Times both recently reported, the number of apprehensions at the southern border has decreased in recent years. And the Trump administration’s oft-stated contention that the situation at the border is a national security crisis is, in the words of CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, “a barrel of bunkum and balderdash served with generous helpings of hogwash.” When our nation’s intelligence chiefs recently briefed Congress on the actual threats we face, you know what alarm they didn’t sound? The one about Trump’s imaginary border crisis.

    So, years from now, when you’re taking your kid to the National Health Clinic™ for an upset stomach brought on by President Booker’s government-mandated vegan school lunch, and you’re wondering how Democrats raised your top marginal income tax rate to 70 percent without a vote in Congress, don’t blame Vice President Ocasio-Cortez. Blame Trump.

    MUCH MORE : https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/15/when-next-democratic-president-grabs-emergency-powers-blame-trump/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.837977250a45

  22. On Tuesday, during the refugee medivac debate, Pyne suffered the ignominy of Labor’s Tony Burke moving that Pyne – as leader of the house – no longer be heard while he tried to head off the inevitable defeat. The parliament supported the gag on Pyne, the numbers holding through a series of votes to deliver the government’s humiliation. There are two precedents of a government losing in similar fashion – 78 and 90 years ago – which led the respective prime ministers of the day to immediately advise the governor-general to call an election. These governments were both defeated.

    Morrison has no intention of following suit. As he told the assembled press gallery midweek, “I know you don’t like the phrase, but the ‘bubble nonsense’ of people going on about all sorts of precedents, all the rest of it – frankly, not interested. I’ve got too many other important things to focus on.”

    Conclusion: ScoMo does not believe in ‘precedents’. Forget tradition. He will do whatever he thinks will produce a win for him, as he has before. Anyone else might call this a kind of immorality.

    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2019/02/16/morrison-doubles-down-security/15502356007462

  23. Thanks Lizzie. I guess my frustration is getting to me

    I’ve tried twice now to post something but it looks like WordPress doesn’t like it.
    It’s just text, for goodness sake!

    Maybe it’s the web link…..

  24. Labor’s Tony Burke moving that Pyne – as leader of the house – no longer be heard while he tried to head off the inevitable defeat. The parliament supported the gag on Pyne,

    Oh how I wish that I’d been able to watch that 🙁

  25. I was unaware Pyne was gagged, Lizzie.

    Given he is Leader of the House that is incredibly important.
    This Gov’t has trashed parliamentary traditions without being held to account.
    The Doctrine of Ministerial Responsibility went a long time ago.
    If this was UK parliament Senator Cash would barely be a memory.

    (Copied before posting 🙂

  26. Maude Lynne

    Sometimes if you’re trying to post a web hyperlink the message just disappears. I don’t now why – I had a period where I couldn’t link to ‘outline’ web addresses, and ended up putting DOT where the dot was and that worked. I think it may be some platform clash or soemthing – I am no expert!

  27. Thanks for the link, imacca

    “Heat on BoM for records rewrite”
    Not looking good. Still will stoke the outrage meter of the Denialista community…..again……..and send them off frothing at the scandal of the great hoax.

    Interestingly the article has BOM directly addressing the homogenisation thing in a way thats pretty plain. And its what the science says, not some self appointed genius of the intertubes sitting around in its crusty undies stroking its pet conspiracy theories.

    the self appointed genius to whom you refer is
    Dr Jennifer Marohasy (born 1963), an Australian biologist, columnist and blogger and ex “senior fellow” of the IPA. (Wikipedia).

    Meteorology is an extraordinarily complex science. Some of the smartest people on the planet work on the statistical models used by the BoM.

    Just why a biologist’s opinions have any relevance is not explained by The Oz.

    But as we all cook slowly, like frogs in a pot, we will be comforted by reading that it’s all a hoax. Nothing to worry about.
    Let’s build another station powered by ‘clean coal’ ( now THAT’S a hoax).

  28. Bushfire Bill @ #2353 Friday, February 15th, 2019 – 10:30 pm

    She has a razor sharp mind and I suspect she has never forgotten anything, except when she forgot she had bought the house next door.

    She would particulaly remember anything to do with her enemies in labor and the unions.

    The Court is not some press conference. The lawyers are not journalists or PR hacks. It’s not opinion or he-said/she-said.

    If Cash is telling lies under oath she is committing perjury.

    You can go to jail for that. As she should.

    As much as we all would like this be to be the ultimate outcome, even if proven it will never happen.

    Firstly, it needs to be proven that she was lying under oath. So another court case, this time a criminal one instead of a civil one, and how far down the line? Who in the Liberal pantheon of flunkies would dare testify against her? A case which anyway would be a year or so away? Just when, hopefully, Prime Minister Shorten was wanting to make a positive impression with the nation. Also, I don’t think, for that reason that the AWU would want to bring that case. In this instance, better for her to be thought a liar by one and all, than for it to be proven conclusively in a court of law.

    This leads to the second reason why it would probably be an anti-climax anyway. As many examples that have come up recently show, if you are a Professional of some sort in society, and most especially if you are a Senior Government Minister, or were, and facing a Perjury charge, I think you’d find that even if it could be proven that you told lies in court, that the judge would let you off with a slap on the wrist. The absolute last thing you would end up doing is Porridge.

  29. Ann Coulter on Trump’s declaration on a National emergency: ‘The only national emergency is our president is an idiot’

    We can say something similar about the PM’s decision to reopen the Christmas Island detention centre.

  30. In the Australian article linked above, Jennifer Marahasy is referred to as a ‘scientist’ and given the title ‘Dr’, to give her an air of authority in the ‘debate’ she does not have. True, she has science qualifications (presumably including a PhD or Doctorate) and has conducted research published in peer-reviewed journals – on biology.

    She has also been a senior member in organisations which have a political agenda to cultivate doubt about climate change and to lobby against any action being taken to mitigate it. That would surely seem more relevant to her contribution than her scientific qualifications in an unrelated field.

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