Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

Another pollster finds an incremental movement to Labor, and gives Bill Shorten an improved set of personal ratings.

The latest fortnightly result from Essential Research follows Newspoll in recording a one-point move to Labor, who now lead 53-47 on two-party preferred. As reported by The Guardian, the primary votes have the Coalition down a point to 37%, Labor up a point to 38%, the Greens down a point to 8% (their weakest result in any poll since September 2016) and One Nation up a point to 7%. The pollster’s leadership ratings (which they normally do monthly, but this is the first set since January) have Scott Morrison steady on 43% approval and up two on disapproval to 41%, Bill Shorten up three to 38% and down three to 44%, and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister at 44-31, compared with 42-30 last time.

Other findings relate to climate change and asylum seekers. On the former cont, 62% express belief in climate change caused by human activity, and 51% say Australia is not doing enough to address it. On the latter, 52% believed the government was acting out of genuine concern in reopening Christmas Island while 48% said it was a political ploy (suggesting there was no uncommitted option, which would be unusual for Essential). Also featured was an occasion suite of questions on best party to handle various issues, which seems to have produced typical results, with the Coalition stronger on broader protection and economic management and Labor stronger on the environment, wages, health and education, as well as housing affordability. The full report should be with us later today.

UPDATE: Full report here. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1089.

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.

1,959 comments on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor”

  1. poroti @ #1393 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 9:07 am

    Labor’s tax on luxury cars, which will hit any vehicle over $100,000

    Would farm equipment be classified as a ‘car’, for the purposes of determining luxury tax? I’d tend to think not?

    And also, isn’t there already a luxury car tax, and doesn’t it kick in at $75,000? Or maybe that’s just a QLD thing?

  2. “Some* people using the Poll Bludger comments section have a tendency to write using an unusual syntactical style”.

    Very observant of you autocrat but it seems to me that the style some or one person uses is far too undisciplined and idiosyncratic to be anything like a haiku and the intention is certainly not to succinctly capture a feeling or an image which is the point of haiku poetry.

    It seems to me more like a stream of consciousness style in which the narrator attempts to “depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind” fondly believing that these personal observations are anything more than the musings of someone who despite having lived a very narrow and shallow existence imagines that because he was able to take advantage of others less able than himself, he is a superior man.

  3. shellbell, quick question if I may!

    There is currently a case before the HC challenging Qld’s ban on developer donations.

    It was reported that the commonwealth SG appeared, why would this be the case?

  4. Red13 @ #1381 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 9:48 am

    I’m hearing that Big Business is spooked by the Living Wage proposals coming from Labor and they are in Morrison’s ear howling for him to do something.
    Apparently his advisors are saying the time maybe right for a blast from the past and a campaign put together around the PM leading the charge against wage rises. A case to be put that the time is not right in these troubling times for wage rises and that the right and patriotic thing for people to do is to vote against them for the wellbeing of the country.
    A similar campaign was used successfully by the Liberals in the past decades ago, and it worked.
    The Salesman in Morrison, likes the idea and he thinks he can sell it with MSM help. He thinks this can put him on the front foot in his fight with Shorten.
    I’ve also heard this morning that Liberal polling in NSW is showing the TPP is closer to 52/48 to Labor and still moving up.

    If the NSW polling is correct, it explains why ABC TV and radio news is spruiking for Gladys and her motley crew for all it’s worth, conveniently forgetting the principle of equal coverage during an election campaign.

  5. Alpha Zero @ #1363 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 6:14 am

    Tax cuts in this country are theft.

    Theft of funds that could be better allocated.

    The tax cuts always go disproportionately to higher income earners and significantly increase inequality.

    They then cut services to fund these things…

    You could change the disproportionate benefit to higher income earners by modifying the marginal rates to ensure their benefit is limited.

  6. BK @ #1335 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 7:29 am

    Doug Dingwall writes that the Coalition is targeting 76 Canberra jobs as another agency goes bush. This time it’s the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

    Too easy. The entire MDB Authority, plus the minister responsible, plus that minister’s department, should be moved to Finley …

    Finley’s problems would be solved immediately, and the entire MDB problem would be solved within months.

  7. So Morrison has six billion to spare.

    Perhaps before he splurges it on voter bribes he might have a chat with Christian Porter who, as WA Treasurer, thought a mining boom would go on forever and spent accordingly.

    WA voters know that can only end in tears.

  8. @Red13

    Very interesting posts; love your insights! I would put a question though, when did such a campaign work for the Liberals? The first thing that came to mind was the 1983 election campaign when the Liberals campaigned to retain a wage pause. This campaign failed spectacularly.

  9. “Yes, but tax cuts do nothing to help those on welfare or the underemployed.”

    Wonder if the ALP may be going to use some of that $6 billion to fund an upfront increase in NewStart, and some increased tax cuts for people paid under $120k????

    Would put that money into the hands of people who will spend locally.

  10. Barney

    The case of Spence v Queensland involves a challenge to Queensland electoral funding legislation on constitutional grounds including in relation to any interaction with the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

    Any constitutional challenge being heard in the High Court triggers the involvement of the Commonwealth Attorney General who is supporting Mr Spence as to most of his argument and Queensland to a lesser degree.

    The Commonwealth AG submissions are linked here

    All the States and Territories are involved save NT. I think generally they support Qld.

  11. Grimace and Barney

    All Labor has to say is taxes not philanthropy:)

    Seriously as they are not going to do that spend the money as a subsidy for renewable energy manufacturing. At least it would encourage a future revenue stream from lowering unemployment

  12. Every cent Stunt Robinson and Fraudboy find under the sofa is just another cent for Labor to do something more politically advantageous with.

    $6 bil? Not cashing out franking credits pulls in that much each year. Labor can match and better (and better target) any goodies offered from windfalls and still leave the budget in better shape.

    Trying to bribe their way out of their problems won’t help the Coalition one iota.

  13. “I agree, and it’s not how I’d spend the money. We need to be unwinding the expenditure/concession items that have got us into structural deficit, not baking in a new one.”

    Agreed….but there is an election coming up. Still, i suspect the ALP has a pretty significant area to maneuver in to deliver a real budget post election regardless of a temporary increase in revenue like this 6 bill.

  14. Barney

    Tax cuts also don’t help that other great Tory support group, retirees.

    I expect some handouts for them in the budget as well.

    If I recall correctly late in his reign Howard made one off payments to pensioners.

    I’ll take mine …

  15. Tea Pain
    It’s not even 6:00 and…

    1) Trump campaign manager sentenced to 7.5 years in prison
    2) Trump campaign manager indicted on 16 felony counts
    3) Rudy Giuliani floats pardon to Michael Cohen
    4) Trump actin’ Attorney General admits discussin’ acts of obstruction with Trump

  16. Steve777 says:
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 9:57 am

    “A case to be put that the time is not right in these troubling times for wage rises and that the right and patriotic thing for people to do is to vote against them for the well-being of the country.”

    Funny how this patriotic duty only ever applies to workers, not the capital owners.
    Nothing but self-interested bleating from business. They can get stuffed.

    insert **applause**

    I remember when Peter Costello found the same $6 billion dollars in a bottom draw ahead of an election. I am pretty sure I did not get one cent of that magically appearing $6 billion then either.

    My cynical side says it is another break-glass in emergencies to save some of the furniture trope from the last chapter of the campaign play book.

  17. “Trying to bribe their way out of their problems won’t help the Coalition one iota.”

    Fist full of $ to buy the election is a natural reaction from the Coalition. Default built into their DNA.

    But….there has been so much out there for so long about the effect of stagnant wages growth and cost of living on the economy that i dont think it will do it for them this time around. Too many people not satisfied for too long. If they go total throw $ at people mode it will be seen as cynical and contemptuous.

    Hey , will claw them back a few votes but not enough.

  18. imacca,

    I agree with grimace and others in that windfalls like these should not be used to justify new ongoing spending.

    That said Labor already have plenty of savings that would allow measures around welfare.

  19. “That said Labor already have plenty of savings that would allow measures around welfare.”

    Yup……I reckon ALP could simply just pay it all off debt and use those other savings for expenditure changes. Shorten / Bowen have rational options that will appeal to the electorate that ScoMo can only dream about. 🙂

  20. Quite a bit of news about

    Nick Confessore
    BREAKING: Facebook’s controversial data-sharing deals are under criminal investigation. A grand jury in New York has issued multiple subpoenas to device-makers that partnered with the social media giant.


    Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation
    A federal grand jury is looking at partnerships that gave major tech companies broad access to Facebook users’ information.
    10:02 AM · Mar 14, 2019 · Twitter Web Client


    She’s known for her fashion forward dress sense, with an off-duty uniform of bike shorts, an oversized sweater and sneakers.

    But there’s one trend Shanina Shaik won’t be wearing this autumn/winter season — and that’s flares.

    Yep, the ’70s staple of bell-bottomed jeans has slowly been returning to the runway, even filtering down to fast fashion chains like Zara and Topshop.

    “You know what? Flared jeans I just don’t want to wear,” Shaik said. “You can’t wear flats with them, you always have to wear heels or boots.

    Never having worn shoes such as those depicted being displayed by the young lady featured, I remain bewildered as to the reason the shoes cannot be moulded to fit the arch of the foot thereby giving support. I don’t get the pointy toe either. A square design would be much better if one were called on to perform goal kicking.👞 🏉

    I would be very pleased to have one of the fashion conscious enlighten me.

    Sorry, not a lot to do with polling, its just an item I spotted in the Telegraph which, for a moment, lead me to believe that the old standby at the side of the wardrobe, the Bell Bottom Jeans, may be the new fashion icon for the unwary or the extreme adventurers.
    Not having a bell-bottom I guess I will have to stick with my latest gear (circa 1980). 🔔👖❌

  22. Matt31
    My source referred to a successful campaign run by the Liberals He did not say successful election campaign.
    From 81 to 83 Fraser, with Business and MSM help successfully put together the wage freeze which won Coalition state government support and 6 month support from Labor states who were successfully pushed into supporting the freeze by opinion.
    Morrison believes, on advice, this carefully formulated campaign with support from the usual suspects can be used to hurt Labor. Morrison believes he can spearhead this campaign hand on heart for Australia.

  23. If Scrott was really smart, not just too cleaver by half, he’d just bring forward the scheduled increases in the 32.5% and the 37% thresholds to take effect on July 1 this year. On face value that would appear to be targeting middle income earners (of course there would also be flow on to upper income earners as well, but they might not be noticed that much). Leave the abolition of the 37% rate altogether and the lifting of the 40% rate until when they are currently due (I think without checking that is not until 2023).

    If he really wanted to put the cat amongst the pigeons he’d cut the 32.5% rate to 30% and the 37% rate to 35%.

  24. 😆

    If the kids were protesting that they want coal fired power stations, Craig Kelly and co. would be out there doing a sausage sizzle for them.

  25. Many Australians’ wages have effectively been frozen for a few years.

    The Tories reckon master salesman Morrison can sell an official wage freeze in an election campaign?

    More chance of flogging ice to Eskimos.

  26. A viral video claiming to show passengers in their final moments on board Sunday’s doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight has been labelled a hoax, sparking warnings against sharing footage of tragic events online.

    Following the plane disaster that killed 157 people, Ethiopian community members across the world, including in Australia, began receiving a distressing video that had also been shared online and viewed more than 33,000 times by Wednesday.

    The footage, purporting to show those on board Flight 302 panicking inside the aircraft, prompted widespread distress with viewers believing it was real.

  27. The only reason Morrison stayed the Election till after the Budget was because they knew they’d have to bribe voters in order to give themselves a chance of winning said Election.

    Labor has known this for months. So, they’ll be well prepared.

    I presume the Libs will run the line that tax cuts are better than wrecking the economy with unaffordable wage rises that Labor is proposing.

    1977 here we come!

  28. Victoria

    Labor have announced plans for tax cuts targeted at lower and middle income earners.

    A panicked Morrison can be expected to go further. A fistful of dollars is about all he has to offer.

  29. Greensborough Growler says:
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 11:01 am
    I reckon Morrison will demand New Zealand pays for any tax cuts!
    Also a “sea wall” – gotta keep all those boat people out some way.

  30. I see some photos of an allegedly rugged new candidate for the US presidency popping up on the blog.

    Can never be as good as the Aussie product though.


    Tasmanian councils could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars after the High Court declined to hear an appeal against a ruling that exempted some charitable organisations from paying rates, Hobart’s Lord Mayor says.

    The High Court declined on Wednesday to hear the appeal by Tasmanian councils against a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that found not-for-profit organisations like retirement villages should be exempt from paying council rates.

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