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.

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