Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

The Essential Research yo-yo moves back to the Coalition, with further questions providing modest evidence for a medevac effect.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll has Labor with a 52-48 lead, which can alternatively be seen as a dramatic cut in their 55-45 lead from last time, or a reversion to where things stood in the poll before, with the 55-45 result standing out as anomaly. The Coalition is on 38% of the primary vote, which is up four on last time but unchanged on the poll before; Labor is on 37%, down one from last time but up one on the time before; and the Greens and One Nation are both down a point, to 9% and 6% respectively.

Further questions suggest the medical evacuations bill suggest the issue leans negative for Labor: 30% say it will weaken Australia’s borders, 38% say it strikes the right balance and 15% think it doesn’t go far enough, but the negative view is taken by 57% of those who say it might change their vote, who account for around a quarter of the total. Respondents were also presented with trade-offs between social spending on the one hand, and negative gearing and tax concessions on the other – most expressed a preference for the former, although I have my doubts about the value of this exercise. Thirty-five per cent felt Labor would increase taxes compared with 22% who didn’t; 37% thought taxes would always be higher under Labor, with 23% disagreeing.

All this is related by The Guardian – the full report should be available later today. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1085.

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.

1,552 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Don’t know what iq’s mean… it should obvious if people are exceedingly bright or the reverse. But most people are slightly less intelligent to say 15% beyond the mean. I was told when I was young a teenager 45 years ago I got the hard questions right and the easy questions wrong…… what did they make of that? did they adjust my score?

  2. Last 3 recent polls Ipsos, Newspoll and Essential shows average 2PP being 52 ALP, 48 LNP. Seems to indicate contest tightening with border protection being main issue. It will be interesting in future polls especially if border protection dies down as an issue to see if ALP will maintain or strengthen their 2PP advantage over LNP.

  3. 52/48 is a bit disappointing. But given we’ve yet to fire a shot, it ain’t all that bad.

    I caught up with Morrison’s 7:30 interview and didn’t think Leigh Sales did an overly bad job. She broached the right issues but there was too little time for forensic analysis (a clear problem with the shows format)… particularly when dealing with a lying self righteous motormouth. I’m guessing a few MSM articles will be written on the character tests of tourists (wtf?)… so some good may come of it.

  4. Someone should now ask Morrison to define what the ‘Right Stuff’ is in a person’s character who flys in over our weakened borders and claims asylum?

  5. So is it Border Patrol officers who have been tasked with assessing a person’s good character? The Hosties on the plane they flew in on? Is there a list of questions? If so, what are they?

    Scott Morrison has questions to answer! 😀

  6. Charles – just saw that (wrong thread and all) – that is pretty stunning. Corbyn can see his position weakening and acted.

    As for this poll – is the total polls that Labor has been in front (from all companies) since shortly afer the 2016 election now in the order of 100+ ?

  7. When you’ve been caught slinging salacious mud at a Federal MP, sling some more around in court!?!

    Derryn Hinch has been forced to deny sexually harassing Labor MP Emma Husar after online publisher BuzzFeed alleged in court documents that she told a female staffer the Victorian Senator “touched her all over her body” before she allegedly replicated the manoeuvre on her staffer.

    The publisher also revealed in court documents that Labor frontbencher Ed Husic and Ms Husar were previously in a relationship.

    So two MPs, who are both single, aren’t supposed to have a relationship!?!

    The other stuff…well, I think Buzzfeed will be back in court facing Senator Hinch next.

  8. Gecko, sitting for 14 hours straight in cattle class is the base-line character test although what it proves is up to conjecture

  9. 2b on climate fund (or whatever it’s called) over 10 years – 1.4b on Christmas Island inside 1 year. Fairly plain where priority lies.

  10. Gecko

    I didn’t see this (and couldn’t bear to watch it now – I find Morrison totally unwatchable!).

    But he has now set himself up to be quizzed on this constantly.

    He has zero political nous.

  11. Good to know?.

    Roman Quaedvlieg

    The PM claimed on 7:30 that people arriving by plane in Australia need to pass a ‘character test’, thereby implying that a lesser risk is posed by asylum seekers arriving by air than there is by asylum seekers arriving by boat. Let’s examine that statement…

    There are approximately 36 countries, including the Vatican City, with which Australia has an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which means a person from this countries can answer a set of simple online questions, uncorroborated, and get an auto approval to travel to Australia.

    The end result? Asylum seekers arriving by air have had NO character checks done other than a self-declaration.

  12. Gecko

    $5b a year and growing on franked dividend refunds to 4% of the population who already have $1m or so in shares.

    $200m a year on a Climate Change figleaf

  13. Rocket Rocket

    My feeling is that the Ipsos and Essential are a sugar hit for the Coalition. More like white noise than a trend. Time will tell but to me Labor are on the right track. Also, in another week or two the extent of the Coalition’s brazen corruption and self dealing will be more common knowledge in the electorate. I have noticed a heap of government ads on TV and online streaming. Could be having an affect also.

  14. Scotty’s ‘if you arrive by plane you need a character test’ gaffe is symptomatic of Scotty’s Trumpesque propensity to tell smartarse half truths.

    What Roman Q doesn’t say is the obvious, if you are from one of the 150 countries which don’t have an ETA arrangement, you have to apply in writing, and will be assessed.

  15. Rocket Rocket @ #17 Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 – 6:58 am

    Gecko – there are mates all over the place making hay while the sun shines (very hot) – getting loads of governmnet money in the last days of this terrible government.

    Attorney-General Christian Porter has appointed one of his own ex-staffers to a plum job on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal just two months after the former adviser left his office.

    Mr Porter last week appointed William Frost, a lawyer and his former senior adviser, to a seven-year, full-time position on the review tribunal, a position that pays up to $244,520 a year.

  16. From Speers newsletter..

    08:00 AM
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison will visit the Snowy Hydro Tumut 3 Power Station with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Energy Minister Angus Taylor and Environment Minister Melissa Price.
    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will meet with locals in Cloncurry, Queensland following the recent extreme weather events.

  17. Questions I’d like asked: If, as Morrison says, we are already providing huge over-the-top amounts of adequate medical care – how come the medical profession (national & international) are saying the opposite? Whose lying? And why, if all is well, are people setting fire to themselves?

  18. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Katharine Murphy unpicks the latest Essential poll.
    The chums are at it again!
    Martin Hirst poses the question of whether or not the Morrison government corrupt.,12412
    Greg Jericho comes out swinging and says the government thinks we’re idiots and is not serious about reducing emissions. He really pulls apart Morrison’s policy announcement.
    And Tim Baxter agrees.
    Katharine Murphy calls BS on it.
    Economist Ian MacKenzie calls the government’s $2bn climate fund: a rebadged rehash of old mistakes.
    Derryn Hinch has been forced to deny sexually harassing Labor MP Emma Husar after online publisher BuzzFeed alleged in court documents that she told a female staffer the Victorian Senator “touched her all over her body” before she allegedly replicated the manoeuvre on her staffer.
    Nick Miller reports that Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Labour will support a push for a second Brexit referendum, bowing to pressure from his party and MPs who believe it could be the only way to avoid a worst-case Brexit.
    History professor Frank Bongiorno writes that a Shorten government could shift the country on important issues and show a little spunk.
    Alexandra Smith explains NSW Labor’s plan to tax the rich to pay for extra nurses and midwives.
    The AFR says that we are facing weak income growth for years and that this will affect budget outlooks.
    Peter Hartcher tells us that China is playing mind games and he suggests how to deal with it,
    In an op-ed Morrison drags out the wrecking ball argument on climate change action.
    Nicki Ison opines that when the polls are tight the Coalition pretends to care about climate.
    Michael Koziol reports that Dave Sharma has broken ranks by saying the Coalition do more to tackle climate change, arguing Australia must put itself in a “credible” position to convince other countries of the merits of stronger international action.
    The Morrison government has locked in Malcolm Turnbull’s pet hydro project.
    “All governments refresh”, PM Scott Morrison said a few weeks ago when three senior government ministers decided to abandon the shipwreck. Since then the beached hulk has fallen apart more rapidly than ever, although it has remained sludged in the same spot after running aground with the first Abbott-Hockey budget six years ago.,12414
    ASIC is pressing the federal Parliament to enact tougher laws to make it easier to jail rogue bankers in order to deter misconduct and improve culture in the financial services industry.
    The Australian reports that funding for high-care nursing home residents would be doubled and aged-care providers given ­operating payments to “keep the doors open” under a multi-­billion-dollar plan being examined by the federal government.
    Elizabeth Knight looks at the fortunes of Origin Energy and AGL.
    Tony Walker reckons Morrison has made the right call on ABC chair appointment.
    John McDuling examines the appointment.
    Survivor Peter Gogarty tells us what the Pope didn’t say when he blamed the devil for child sex abuse.
    Nick Miller reports on the underwhelming response to the “damp squib” Vatican summit.
    Doug Dingwall reports that the push to relocate public service jobs to bush towns is here to stay under the Coalition government as it tells departments to consider their regional footprint annually.
    More decentralisation projects will emerge this year as the government flags Canberra and the centres of Sydney and Melbourne as the potential sources of relocated bureaucracy jobs.
    And about time! The ACCC is taking aim at the monopolistic behaviour of airports, particularly Sydney.
    Ian Macdonald says that he’s “absolutely” innocent and has called for an “immediate inquiry” into the state corruption watchdog’s investigation of him as he walked out of prison after having his conviction over the granting of a multimillion-dollar coal exploration licence set aside.
    Flammable cladding must be urgently removed from Melbourne’s skyscrapers, says engineer British government turned to in the wake of the deadly Grenfell blaze.
    In the New Daily Michael West reports that over the four years of available transparency data from the Australian Tax Office, Ford Motor Company has booked more than $11 billion in total income yet paid zero tax, despite producing a small taxable profit of $45 million.
    Dana McCauley looks at the industrial relations landscape.
    The former National Australia Bank executive at the heart of an alleged fraud scandal inside the troubled $68 billion institution will head to court mid next month as the NSW Crime ­Commission continues its ­pursuit of the extraordinary ­affair.
    A staffer on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign says he kissed her without her consent at a small gathering of supporters before a Florida rally, an interaction that she alleges in a new lawsuit still causes her anguish.
    Chinese companies are muscling in with stylish, more innovative devices, challenging rival smartphone makers like never before.
    Industry experts predict Julie Bishop could earn as much as $70,000 per engagement on the world speakers circuit.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope and the climate gods.

    Cathy Wilcox at the Vatican summit.

    From Matt Golding.

    John Shakespeare with Morrison having a Cleo moment.

    Zanetti’s still right on song.

    Sean Leahy awards an Oscar to Morrison.

    As does David Rowe.

    Glen Le Lievre nicely sums up the Oscars.

    From the US

  19. The Coalition’s Plan for Stopping Global Warming
    1. Ignore Global Warming
    2. Have a Plausible Plan that involves shovelling money to your spivs and farmers.
    3. Ignore Global Warming.
    4. Claim success.
    5. Ignore Global Warming.
    6. Set up a fake binary in which Labor is going to put a wrecking ball into the economy for no good reason.
    7. Ignore Global Warming
    8. State on shock jock interviews that there is no such thing as Global Warming.
    9. Ignore Global Warming.
    10. Go on the ABC and RN and declare success and a plausible plan.
    11. Ignore Global Warming.

  20. Actually the Coalition now have a three point plan to deal with global warming:

    1. Pretend to have a plan
    2. Do nothing.
    3. Go to Step 1.

  21. Ex- NSA John Schindler

    Who—or What—Was the FBI’s Mole at the Heart of the Trump Campaign?

    Feds claim vaguely to know a lot about President Donald Trump’s secret Kremlin ties. What’s behind the spy mystery here? How much does the FBI know and how does it know it? At last, we have more than hints.

    The clear implication of what The Daily Caller uncovered is that the FBI had a highly important intelligence source in or near the Trump campaign. In other words, the Bureau had a mole. Protecting that source was deemed more important in the summer of 2016 than stopping the Trump campaign, which the FBI knew or at least strongly suspected was in bed with Vladimir Putin.

    NSA understood quite a bit about Trump’s connections to Moscow, and by mid-2016, it had increased its efforts to get to the bottom of the mystery regarding the candidate’s Russian ties. In response to urgent FBI requests for more information, NSA rose to the occasion, and by the time that Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican nomination in mid-July 2016, ‘We knew we had a Russian agent on our hands,’ as a senior NSA official put it to me recently.

    The full spy story here, just as with the last major league joint NSA-FBI counterintelligence coup against Moscow, will take decades to be fully revealed to the public.

    MORE –

  22. Who—or What—Was the FBI’s Mole at the Heart of the Trump Campaign?

    I’m putting my money on Corey Lewandoski. He has had zero charges brought against him by Mueller, unlike just about everyone else except the Trump kids. He looks like an FBI agent. He left the campaign after pushing a journo. Was that a set-up to get him out? He seems to have evaporated after some early appearances on the TV once he left the campaign.

  23. Analyst: Cohen Will Provide ‘Sordid and Chilling’ Evidence Against Trump

    It would be an understatement to say the Cohen’s congressional testimony is “much anticipated.” In fact, what Cohen has to say could create a firestorm in Washington that will last for months. According to experts, he will provide “detailed, sordid and chilling” evidence against Donald Trump, and this could be the beginning of the end of Trump’s tenure in the White House.

    “I’m told Cohen has been prepping with this for a long time, and he knows he’s got credibility issues, so he’s coming with documents

    “We were told that he has new information that he has given the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. He has provided those prosecutors documents relating to the Trump Organization that will help those prosecutors in their criminal investigations of the president, his children and his business.”

  24. I assume Morrison does know that the entire Snowy Mountains Scheme is located in Eden-Monaro currently held by Dr Mike Kelly for the ALP who is dug in like an Alabama tick (to quote Preditor). Guess its only about the electricity then.

  25. If Christian Porter loses his seat at the next election, his greatest legacy as Attorney-General may well be to make George Brandis look competent by comparison.

  26. I just found out the reason why Trump’s kids haven’t been indicted by Mueller yet. It’s a courtesy afforded family of the target. Well, at least in America. As Ari Melber explains in this interview with the journalist who wrote a book about the Enron investigation, which also involved Robert Mueller and his ‘pit bull’ investigator, Andrew Weissman:

    But it’s not to say that they won’t come after the Trump kids in a different jurisdiction in other probes focused on them.

  27. C@tmomma says: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 8:35 am

    I just found out the reason why Trump’s kids haven’t been indicted by Mueller yet.


    Omarosa: If Michael Cohen Mentions Ivanka During Testimony, Trump Will Become Truly Unhinged

    Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka are all expected to be mentioned during Michael’s Cohen’s Congressional testimony. Former Trump aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman’s predicts any mention of Trump’s beloved daughter will cause him to fly off the handle.

    Manigault-Newman made the comments during an appearance on MSNBC Live with Alex Witt. She said of the upcoming testimony, “I’ll be interested to see how much he shares about the role of Trump’s children in a lot of these deals including senior adviser Ivanka Trump, Jared [Kushner], her husband, and the children, Don [Jr.] and Eric Trump.”

    Omarosa made the point that Cohen knows everything about the inner-workings of the Trump family business. Host Alex Witt followed up by asking Manigault-Newman what she thinks Trump fears most about the testimony.

    The former Trump aide replied, “There is no question that big red line for Donald Trump is his children, particularly Ivanka. And once Michael Cohen starts sharing details that may actually implicate them, you will see him truly become, well, unhinged.”

  28. Morning bludgers

    Thanks BK Phoenix and ors for latest.

    The building cladding situation really needs to be dealt with.
    Remedial work needs to be started pronto, even if it means the govt has to get the ball rolling financially.

  29. Labor have been generally holding their powder dry coming up to this election. But I still have nagging feeling that they may just get over line rather than a comfortable win.
    I guess timing is everything

  30. Victoria says: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 8:45 am


    I’m going with FVEYS providing intercepts to the NSA


    Like you Victoria I am sure that the 17 US intelligence agencies, the 5 Eyes Intelligence Coalition comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, Bundesnachrichtendienst – Germany, Mossad in Tel Aviv, Dutch Military Intelligence etc etc ……. all had SIGINT that they all exchanged and all fed into Robert Mueller in his investigation ….

    I would not doubt John Schindlers claim today that a *mole* existed in the Trump circus tent ……

  31. Victoria @ #42 Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 – 8:45 am


    I’m going with FVEYS providing intercepts to the NSA

    You’d think they would need to step delicately the closer they get to the family members but, yeah, it’s already been speculated that there is evidence against the Trump kids out there from intercepts in Russia.

    I just listened to Maggie Haberman being interviewed about the NYT bombshell article as well:

  32. PhoenixRed

    John Schindler’s latest basic confirms why Trump was not stopped at point of his candidacy or when he won the Presidency.
    In my naivety I thought his inauguration would not take place due to what they already knew about him.

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