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. Should we be surprised that the Government might think forced wage suppression is a good thing?

    In the IPA inspired economic nirvana they dream of more and more workers would be relegated to gig jobs on minimal hourly rates and tips.

    We have had a practical wage freeze for a few years now but the workers, the unions and even the RBA are getting restless.

    In their deluded state the Tories will think this is an ideal time to legislate for a wage freeze.

  2. Some interesting commentary from some of the participants in the Brexit stalemate.

    There have been some remarkable turns of phrase from commentators and politicians in their attempts to capture just what exactly has gone on in British politics in the last few days.

    The most quotable quote from an MP on Brexit in a while (forever?) came from Conservative backbencher Steve Double yesterday who said in parliament:

    This is a turd of a deal, which has now been taken away and polished, and is now a polished turd. But it might be the best turd that we’ve got.

    This is also pretty good from Tom Peck at the Indy, who says:

    The House of Commons was a Benny Hill chase on acid, running through a Salvador Dali painting in a spaceship on its way to infinity.

    View image on Twitter
    View image on Twitter

    Tom Peck

    @tompeck
    A vague, and vain attempt to make sense of the great mad nights in British political history.

  3. Ante Meridian,

    I have a similar requirement although I am in a totally different type of job 🙂
    I nominated a couple of key responsibilities from my position description and some of the requirements as goals: for example,

    Maintain current best practice (profession) for Clients
    • Attendance at (profession) relevant conferences or workshops as opportunity presents. At least two per year
    • Continued involvement on working parties: abc; ywz
    • Maintain continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio

    Ability to prioritise workloads, work under pressure and make sound judgements, and to work independently and as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.
    • Establish personal KPIs and monitor through supervision
    – Commence action on referrals within 2 working days
    – Complete reports within 3 weeks of last interview and or observation

  4. Apparently the next step in the Brexit negotiations.

    Parliament will vote on a motion that sets next Wednesday as the deadline for MPs to pass a Brexit deal. It says, if a deal is passed by then, the government will seek an extension of article 50 until 30 June. But if the deal is not passed by then, then the government will need a longer extension, requiring the UK to take part in European elections.

  5. “imacca,
    Increasing Newstart is the big one that everyone will approve of, except the avaricious class, but Labor will need to have put aside a large war chest to pay for it.”

    Oh Yeah. 🙂

    C@t, ALP have announced a review of payments as a priority with a view to increasing Newstart and i approve of that.

    However, IF they can fit it into the spending commitments pre-election i would love to see them come out with something like an immediate, “interim” increase with an acknowledgment that this does NOT rule out any further increase coming out of the review.

    Libs would have virtually no way of matching that as they orient heavily to tax cuts which aren’t of any benefit to NewStart recipients.

    So…..tactic for the ALP may well be to wait until the Libs have promised and committed to tax cuts blowing their windfall, and THEN announce an interim increase in NewStart. 🙂

    Increasing NewStart would have a LOT of benefits for the wider economy that are easily sold.

    More $ in the hands of people who HAVE to spend it locally into the economy. Stimulus that flows through to local small business.

    More $ means that they will be better equipied and able to FIND a job and get off NewStart.

    More $ means they can better look after, feed and house their kids.

    Could go on all day about the benefits on the ground. Yeah their will be pushback from the economically illiterate dickheads banging on about “dole bludgers”. Fwark them.

  6. Rossmcg @ #1500 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 11:49 am

    Should we be surprised that the Government might think forced wage suppression is a good thing?

    We should be surprised that they’re so bad at counting, I think.

    Labor wants to legislate a wage increase, which may only benefit minimum-wage earners but will likely appeal to anyone employed full-time.
    The Government wants to legislate a wage-freeze, which is only likely to appeal to people that own non-sole-trader businesses.

    Since on average a non-sole-trader business has more than one employee, it’s pretty obvious which party thinks they can win an election by appealing to fewer voters. A novel strategy, but for some reason I don’t expect it will work.

  7. Greensborough Growler @ #1503 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 12:02 pm

    Parliament will vote on a motion that sets next Wednesday as the deadline for MPs to pass a Brexit deal. It says, if a deal is passed by then, the government will seek an extension of article 50 until 30 June. But if the deal is not passed by then, then the government will need a longer extension, requiring the UK to take part in European elections.

    What? That first part needs to be struck out. There’s no room for dawdling before requesting the extension.

    Or…I guess since they already voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit, the upcoming vote is entirely superfluous and the UK just needs to request an extension, immediately. An indefinite one would be best. 🙂

  8. Taz,

    Some of those don’t look relevant to my job, but there are a couple that could be adapted. Especially “Maintain continuing professional development”, which could apply to just about anything.

    Thanks!

  9. a r,

    They voted for a motion last night that specifically rules out a “No Deal” option.

    May is trying to get that voted on again next week.

  10. Re Ante Meridian @12:33

    I left the Dilbertverse early this decade.

    Re Goals, the manager would normally give guidelines, possibly generic ones applying to their area of responsibility, with some individual tailoring. In fact,in the Dilberverse, goals, if not profits, generally trickle down. It would be unusual for them to give carte Blanche. They would typically want people doing similar work to have similar and aligned goals.

    So some goals might, depending upon the job detail, relate to:

    – meeting deadlines
    – Meeting costs (on time, on/under Budget)
    – throughput / production rate
    – customer waiting times / delivery times
    – error rates / incident reports / complaints

    Personal objectives might be to learn or master a particular technology or business process

    Thos managing teams might have objectives relating to staff turnover, recruitment, staff development, etc.

    If it’s any comfort (probably not), your boss probably enjoys all this even less than you do.

  11. “Or…I guess since they already voted to rule out a no-deal Brexit, the upcoming vote is entirely superfluous and the UK just needs to request an extension, immediately. An indefinite one would be best. ”

    And where the F do they go if the EU doesn’t agree to an extension??

    Or they do get a long extension and they keep suffering simply because of the uncertainty as to whether Brexit will happen or how it will happen??

    Its not like decisions made in the UK parliament on this are absolute. The EU has to agree.

  12. On spending promises Labor secured First Movers advantage long ago by securing revenue streams the Coalition are opposed to. They can now counter any and all offers from the government at their leisure.

    This is the complete reversal of the normal way of things. Even Hewson did not have this advantage because he announced the compensation for the GST at the same time as the Tax, and was then forced to rejig with the reduced rate.

  13. Apparently Hungary and Italy are not supporting an extension of time. So, the choice is get the Deal passed as negotiated or withdraw the application to leave.

  14. AM

    Look at things you do because of your job but which aren’t a formal requirement of it – for example, if you subscribe to a professional journal, “Undertake research to stay up to date in my field”; if you attend gatherings of people working in your field (a couple of friends drinking beer) “Developing and maintaining networks”, etc.

    In my case, I read a lot of articles on education and follow the links to research papers. I’d do it anyway, because I’m interested, but I can describe it as “Researching the latest trends in education” or “Expanding my professional understanding” or “Undertaking private research into educational trends internationally” — all perfectly legitimately.

    I remember once being stumped by a requirement to ‘develop meaningful relationships with members of the wider educational community’ and being told that this meant talking to other staff.

  15. “I remember once being stumped by a requirement to ‘develop meaningful relationships with members of the wider educational community’ and being told that this meant talking to other staff.”

    In a large bureaucratic organisation, it often helps to be fluent in Managerialese.

  16. C@tmomma @ #1500 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 9:48 am

    imacca,
    Increasing Newstart is the big one that everyone will approve of, except the avaricious class, but Labor will need to have put aside a large war chest to pay for it.

    Maybe not as big as you might imagine. If the level is raised that money will be spent straight into the economy (including extra GST for the government). This will create more demand which will lead to more jobs which will lead to less people who need Newstart.

    It might actually be a net positive for the nation’s coffers. It will certainly be better than giving tax cuts to people who don’t need them.

  17. Burgey says:
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    NSW 8/49. What a shitshow. Absolute disgrace.
    ———————————————————————————-
    Let’s hope NSW plays State of Origin like its’ cricket.

  18. Stephen Bartholomeusz doesn’t seem to think that MMT or anything approaching it will work on the other hand:

    If the drivers of the low-growth settings are fundamental rather than transitory and structural rather than part of an elongated post-crisis cycle, then ultra-expansionary fiscal policies – like the MMT thesis that deficits don’t matter for countries that can borrow in their own currency and can print more currency to fund their increased spending – probably aren’t going to provide a solution.

    Equally, simply redistributing existing wealth from the haves to the have-nots within stagnating or low-growth economies is more likely to detract from growth than generate it.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/global-slowdown-is-becoming-more-intense-and-no-one-knows-why-20190313-p513td.html

    😐

  19. Have been trying to ponder what moves Morrison may pull in the coming weeks. I suspect that in the budget there will be tax cuts, maybe as part of a package of measures, to come in on July 1. He will therefore say that these must be passed by parliament before it rises for the election. This will be his attempt to wedge Labor. I have no doubt Labor will have considered this scenario, so it will be interesting to see how things fall if this does play out as I suspect.

  20. One thing Shorten does well is Budget replies. I’ve no doubt his last one will be one of the best.

    The Coalition has to do almost all of their big announcements on Budget night. They’ll keep a little in the ‘decisions not announced’ jar, but being so far behind they can’t afford not to throw the sink at it and pray.

    Then two days later Shorten gets to tip a bucket on it and explain what’s really going to happen. So there’ll be some really big goodies announced then and there. He’ll also keep much more up his sleeve than the Coalition are going to be able to in order to keep the good news announcements coming all throughout the campaign.

    Using the budget as a campaign launch is another massive blunder that the Libs are too stupid to learn from how it failed last election.

  21. “It might actually be a net positive for the nation’s coffers. It will certainly be better than giving tax cuts to people who don’t need them.”

    I would love to see analysis from a mob like ACOSS around this.

    I cant help but think though, that if this kind of stuff is being disussed by people like us, here on a blog site, that it hasn’t already been thoroughly wargamed by the ALP machine….which is in fairly good shape at the moment.

    Would not expect to hear much if anything commital on this until we are into the campaign proper. But, i have my suspicions that its such a good opportunity in an electoral sense that we will see some kind of movment on this during the campaign. I’d trust Shorten and the ALP tacticians with the timing. 🙂

  22. C@t,

    Bartholomeusz gets that the problem of identifying the magical “spare productive capapcity” that MMT claims to be able to unlock isn’t a task for the public sector, because it inherently involves search and commercial risk, which requires prudent financing and detailed market analysis, and a willingness to bear commensurate commercial losses. The government is not cut out for that business, and just chucking money at it doesn’t work.

    On the other hand, he is (deliberately, IMO) conflating MMT with standard Keynesian redistributive policies, which have historically been shown to improve economic performance, time and time again.

  23. I’d say Labor has been long overdue for some ‘luck’. This election may determine how busy I will be, working in the renewables sector, and also whether I end up being able to afford to buy a property of some kind.


  24. a r says:
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 9:44 am

    frednk @ #1354 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 7:59 am

    All Labor has to say: IF ( a big IF), there is a 6 billion dollar iron ore bonanza we will use it to pay down some of the Liberal debt burden.

    More effective would be to promise matching tax cuts, but allocated so that they only apply to people earning under $120k/year or so. Because high earners don’t need them, and there aren’t that many high earners anyways.

    I think most people are over pretending government services come for free, and I think a few have worked out we get useful services.

  25. They’ve tried to wedge Labor on tax cuts before. Another idea that you’d think they’d learn doesn’t work.

    They aren’t giving themselves enough sitting days to do anything more than pass supply. All tax cuts etc have to be in separate bills that will simply be ignored until the new Senate sits.

  26. “Using the budget as a campaign launch is another massive blunder that the Libs are too stupid to learn from how it failed last election.”

    Unless they call the election and dissolve parliment before Shorten makes his speech??

    Can they actually do that with the days that are scheduled??

    ” maybe as part of a package of measures, to come in on July 1. He will therefore say that these must be passed by parliament before it rises for the election.”

    Could do. Would also be an attempt to show that the Govt actually does control the Parliament and its not all about Kaos and Dysfunction.

    then…………….Enter the Barnaby?? 🙂

    How long does it usually take to pass a budget through both houses….given that its not something like the still discussed (lol!) 2014 HockeyMonster??

    Libs must be sweating on the NSW election big time?? The fallout from that and the implications of whatever the result is could well go to overshadowing their Budget / campaign launch. 🙂

  27. but i reckon the emphasis will be on services and infrastructure spending, paying down debt, and structural budget repair.

    I’m not sure that will resonate. Especially with people struggling with stagnant wages and rising energy costs. What do they care of infrastructure and debt reduction?

    I’d go more with:

    1. Climate change/energy/cost of living (these are all related)
    2. Ending government corruption (GBRF, MDB, jobs for mates, etc.); Federal ICAC, anyone?
    3. Stable, united, competent government
    4. Lower taxes and higher wages for people actually under pressure from #1

  28. On the Brexit farce, my only shock was that the “No deal Brexit” plan was defeated by only 43 votes. anyone who does not want Britain to commit economic suicide should have opposed that proposal.

    Even if a “hard” Brexit was to occur, the timetable is laughable. Most of the old border and trade infrastructure has been dismantled. To rebuild it would take 12-18 months, minimum.

  29. Dandy Murray,
    I never thought of Bartholomeusz as a particularly conservative economic thinker either! Nor unintelligent enough to conflate Keynesian pump-priming of the economy and simple measures such as allowing a decent level for Newstart (and I would be interested to see what he thinks about a Living Wage), with MMT, as you say.

    If you are interested I found this article from the NYT a sane analysis of the prospects for MMT and an attempt to carve a pathway out for it:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/07/upshot/modern-monetary-theory-small-country-first.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_up_20190307&nl=upshot&nl_art=0&nlid=70388838emc%3Dedit_up_20190307&ref=headline&te=1

  30. “They aren’t giving themselves enough sitting days to do anything more than pass supply. All tax cuts etc have to be in separate bills that will simply be ignored until the new Senate sits.”

    Could the Libs spit the dummy, “block thier own supply” and make that an election issue??

    Hey maybe hang on for a few months and make it a DD trigger?? 🙂

    doGs above, there are so many possibilities, almost none good for the Libs, even the farfetched ones, and dead set, they will fwark up in ways that NONE of us have even though of so far. 🙂

  31. Yeah, debt reduction your probably right, but i think people do care about infrastructure.

    “I’d go more with:

    1. Climate change/energy/cost of living (these are all related)
    2. Ending government corruption (GBRF, MDB, jobs for mates, etc.); Federal ICAC, anyone?
    3. Stable, united, competent government
    4. Lower taxes and higher wages for people actually under pressure from #1″”

    Yup, those good themes. Choices Choices. 🙂 Enough good ones for the ALP for them to be nimble during the campaign and shift the focus around between positive messages from time to time as needed.

    Not so much for ScoMo. 🙂

  32. The problem with Gladys Berejiklian is that she has never fought an election before

    And even if she scrapes back in Perrottet will make sure she never gets another chance.

  33. Britain

    Sophocles was onto Brexit around 2.5 millenia ago.

    “τὸ κακὸν δοκεῖν ποτ᾽ ἐσθλὸν τῷδ᾽ ἔμμεν’ ὅτῳ φρένας θεὸς ἄγει πρὸς ἄταν” to mean that “evil appears as good in the minds of those whom Farage and Boris lead to destruction”.

  34. Dutton said the government was not opposed to providing support to coal projects, but he was opposed to building them, because money to build that infrastructure would take away opportunities to build new roads and tunnels.

    I agree with others. Wow! Dutton sounding almost PM-like.
    Although I’d like him to think past roads to housing. Probably too lefty a stance for him. 🙂

  35. Dan Gulberry @ #1517 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 1:25 pm

    C@tmomma @ #1500 Thursday, March 14th, 2019 – 9:48 am

    imacca,
    Increasing Newstart is the big one that everyone will approve of, except the avaricious class, but Labor will need to have put aside a large war chest to pay for it.

    Maybe not as big as you might imagine. If the level is raised that money will be spent straight into the economy (including extra GST for the government). This will create more demand which will lead to more jobs which will lead to less people who need Newstart.

    It might actually be a net positive for the nation’s coffers. It will certainly be better than giving tax cuts to people who don’t need them.

    The dolt Bowen still needs to be convinced…

  36. “because money to build that infrastructure would take away opportunities to build new roads and tunnels.”

    So when did roads and tunnels become more important than lower power prices??? 🙂

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