Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

A positive reception to the budget fails to move the needle on Essential Research’s voting intention reading. Also featured: a closer look at the budget response results from Newspoll.

As reported by The Guardian, Essential Research has provided the third post-budget poll, and it concurs with Newspoll in having Labor leading 52-48, but in not in finding the Coalition’s improved, since 52-48 was where Essential already had it a fortnight ago. Both major parties are down a point, the Coalition to 38% and Labor to 35%, the Greens are up one to 11% and One Nation is down two to 5% – which means the residue is up fairly substantially, by three points to 10%.

The poll also agrees with Newspoll and Ipsos in finding a positive response to the budget, which was rated favourably by 51% and unfavourably by 27%. Respondents were presented with a list of budget measures and asked yea or nay, with unsurprising responses: strongly positive for infrastructure spending, tax relief measures aimed at those on low and middle incomes and the projection of a surplus, but much weaker on flattening tax scales. Also featured was an occasional question on best party to handle various issues, which does not appear to have thrown up anything unusual. Full detail on that will become available when the full report is published later today.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1069.

Backtracking a little to the weekend’s Newspoll numbers, I offer the following displays covering three of their measures in two charts, placing the results in the context of the post-budget polling that Newspoll has been conducting in consistent fashion since 1988. The first is a scatterplot for the questions on the budget’s anticipated impact on personal finances and the economy as a whole (net measures in both cases, so positive effect minus negative effect), with last week’s budget shown in red. Naturally enough, these measures are broadly correlated. However, respondents were, relatively speaking, less convinced about the budget’s economic impact than they normally would be of a budget rated so highly for its impact on personal finances.

Nonetheless, the standout fact is that the budget was very well received overall – the personal finances response was the second highest ever recorded, and economic impact came equal seventh out of thirty-two. There are, however, two grounds on which Labor can take heart. First, the one occasion when the personal finances result surpassed this budget was in 2007, immediately before the last time the Coalition was evicted from office. The second is provided by the question of whether the opposition would have done better, which if anything came slightly at the high end of average. For Labor to hold its ground here in the context of a budget that had a net rating of plus 25 on personal impact, compared with plus two last year, suggests voters have revised upwards their expectations of what Labor might do for them financially.

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.

754 comments on “Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor”

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  1. Morgan had the ALP ahead on the eve of the 2004 federal election.

    Morgan did a poll on the eve of the Victorian election (accurate) and one a while back in NSW.

  2. This week’s polls will presumably see a continuation of Bludgertrack’s small incremental shifts in favour of the Government, starting from the 55/45 split following Turnbull’s removal. But Labor will still take heart. The Government has benefited from massive Budget media coverage, they’ve managed a week where nothing has gone too badly wrong, and we have had saturation Government paid TV ads. Yet the cumulative poll numbers have barely moved.

  3. The libs/nats need to not only retain but need to win more seats to retain government

    38% combined primary vote will likely put the libs/nats in opposition for at least 2 terms , anything less than 38% for the libs/nats will put them in opposition for over 3 terms

  4. Why are Christian Porter and other Coalition figures banging on about the Vegan demonstrations in Victoria yesterday? After all, they are a State matter, as are most matters of law and order. Presumably if any identifiable people have broken the law, for example harassed members of the public, damaged property, trespassed or whatever they’ll be dealt with under Victorian law.

    I’d suggest a few reasons:
    – right wing virtue-signalling on law and order. In particular right wingers love talking about how severely they want to punish evil-doers
    – attacking class enemies, and that probably includes vegans. If they’d been farmers demonstrating against environmental laws you wouldn’t see this
    – attacking a State Labor Government
    – distraction, shifting the conversation onto their turf

  5. Some Warringah qualitative research, attributed to GetUp from last year

    “Researchers suggested rolling out the catch phrase “New Year. New Voice” in January to launch a campaign while slowly ramping up policy discussions about climate change through April and May.

    Voters were grouped into four target categories with Mr Abbott’s Liberal base described as those who lead “heartless” or “blue chip” lifestyles without concern for the environment.

  6. Steve777,
    I don’t remember the Coalition complaining about the Truck Blockade that was organised to demonstrate against the Carbon Price (I refuse to use Credlin’s word ‘Tax’).

  7. Will Shorten? Seems odd to me, and pretty ordinary for an organisation which regularly entertains crackpot opinions in the interests of “balance.”

  8. It’s a shame Labor didn’t maintain the rage and enthusiasm in relation to the proper NBN.
    Unfortunately most punters just regard the NBN they ended up with as a Laaaaaabor mess……playing to the same old same old which the coalition are now belting them around the heads with…..makes you want to cry……

  9. Re Outsider @8:50
    “I will be happy if Labor wins 75 seats, with Adam Bandt as Speaker! That will do me.”

    No, it needs to be a convincing win otherwise Labor’s powerful enemies will be working from day 1 to delegitimise and tear down the Government. They’ll assume, in Abbott’s words, that the voters had a fit of ‘absent-mindedness’ and voted wrong. The dirt units will be in overdrive looking to force resignations and by-elections.

    Ideally the Government will be utterly trounced. 90-5-46 would do. 120-31 would be better. Unfortunately the best Labor can hope for, going by the polls, is a comfortable but not landslide win, maybe something like 80-5-66.

  10. Oh dear. The Greens’ partisans on this blog are going to lose their minds. The dedicated ‘Stop Adani’ Twitter account has congratulated Bill Shorten:

    Stop Adani
    Adani can’t be trusted to protect QLD’s groundwater and neither can this Government. As
    has recognised, there is so much political interference on Adani’s groundwater plans it warrants review by a future anti-corruption commission.#StopAdani


  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Katharine Murphy outlines the findings of the latest Essential poll.
    I could only take five minutes of Frydenberg on Q and A last night. Neil McMahon’s report on his appearance backs me up.
    So it still is “It’s not what you know but who you know” when it comes to dealing with this government.
    The AFR tells us that Bowen will argue that the government’s 30 per cent flat rate tax is too expensive to commit to in the long term.
    Greg Jericho tells us why it’s dumb to think the government can pay down debt like John Howard did. He says the economy today does not need surpluses, it needs to be improved instead
    Shane Wright writes that the Coalition government’s personal tax cuts for middle and high income earners will cost $30 billion a year, new independent costing of the plan shows amid warnings they may drive the budget back into deficit.
    Jennifer Duke says that the chief of Optus has criticised the $50 billion National Broadband Network as a “ticking time bomb”, while rejecting industry calls for a write-down in favour of upgrading the network.
    And ACCC boss Rod Sims has warned that NBN Co is failing to deliver on its promise of delivering faster and affordable broadband, with entry-level NBN plans becoming increasingly more expensive for homes.
    In The Australian Troy Bramston writes that a large part of the Coalition’s difficulties — whether it be ­revolving-door prime ministers, policy U-turns, the lack of a clear narrative to illuminate its purpose, the fracturing of the centre-right vote and the rise of minor parties and independents — can be explained by confusion over what it believes in and whom it represents.
    In a very good contribution Peter Hartcher writes that now that Brexit is indisputably established as one of the most monumentally stupid pieces of self-inflicted injury by a developed nation this century, other nations are learning key lessons from its mistakes. He looks at the rise of populism in Australia.
    Pharmacists have written to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to express their anger at a $15,000 donation to One Nation made in two separate payments in June and July.
    In this analysis of Australia’s essentially good economic record the New York Time comes to some interesting conclusions.
    What will the Coalition be remembered for on tax? Tinkering, blunders and lost opportunities say these two academics writing for The Conversation.
    The department overseen by Energy Minister Angus Taylor is investigating his brother over allegations of illegal land clearing, it emerged in Senate estimates on Monday. Nicole Hasham tells us about it, including the indication that Angus himself is a shareholder in the subject company.
    Former water bureaucrat Tom Crothers tells us why Melissa Price should not bow to internal pressure to approve the Adani mine’s groundwater plan.
    Michelle Grattan says it’s the internal agitators who are bugging Morrison on Adani.
    And Katharine Murphy reports that the Australian Conservation Foundation has warned the Morrison government will make itself vulnerable to a legal challenge if it rushes remaining approvals for the Adani coal mine before the election, or if the decision maker, the environment minister, has been subjected to political interference.
    And the AFR explains how the split in the Coalition over Adani is worsening.
    Michael Koziol and Nicole Hasham tell us about the over the top crap coming from the Coalition and its boosters over electric vehicles.
    And Hasham says the Morrison government’s derision of Labor’s electric cars policy has been undermined after it emerged that the Coalition has spent millions of dollars encouraging Australians to use the vehicles and its MPs routinely spruik the technology.
    Gabrielle Chan explains why water politics is about to go into hyperdrive in rural Australia.
    Sally Whyte tells us that private companies responsible for sensitive security clearances for government officials have “frequently” breached information security requirements.
    Sam Maiden reports that workers’ income tax assessments will be retrospectively amended to deliver a planned $1080 tax rebate if Parliament fails to pass the laws before July 1. In a move Labor has slammed as “a mess”, the “Plan B” emerged after the Australian Tax Office was forced to clarify statements earlier in the day that it could not deliver tax cuts “administratively” before the passage of legislation, as it had in the past.
    A quarter of NSW children are starting school a year later than they are eligible, and the delay is helping them fare better in kindergarten than their younger peers, a landmark study has found.
    Christopher Knaus writes that a long-serving former senior federal police officer has warned that the Coalition’s proposed integrity commission is flawed, weak and would “not be capable of responding to current corruption threats”.
    Cole Latimer tells us that a government report has found Australia faces potential energy shortages as electric vehicle numbers rise unless it begins to prepare the grid to handle the increased power demand.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison and energy minister Angus Taylor have tied themselves up in knots over electric vehicles, software billionaire and clean energy campaigner Mike Cannon-Brookes says.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison may be determined to paint Bill Shorten as the enemy of ute owners over his ambitious electric vehicle target, but the reality is that the global automotive industry is way ahead of him.
    Labor has backed the IMF’s warning that not spending fast enough on infrastructure could worsen a recession-like property market.
    Health services professor, Peter Curson, serves it right up to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children,
    In Estimates yesterday Home Affairs admitted the government was forced to pay $8.1 million to Toll Holdings foe six days’ work after it abruptly cancelled a building project on Manus Island.
    Dana McCauley reports that Shorten has promised a $500 million fund to shrink treatment waiting lists for cancer patients in state-run hospitals if he is elected prime minister.
    The Independent Australia investigations editor Ross Jones reports on the visa saga of one small-time offender and why Ray Hadley, News Corp and Peter Dutton seem obsessed with him.,12546
    Latika Bourke reports on the vegan protest in Melbourne yesterday. I know it sounds trite, but the images of the protestors gives a certain impression.
    Craig Emerson looks at how the country might bring an end to wage stagnation.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that only Trump could nominate two such unsuitable candidates to the board of the world’s most powerful central bank. It stinks!
    Chris Middendorp writes that Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten would be recognised for generations if they did something about the housing and homelessness crisis in Australia.
    It seems Wesfarmers might have overstepped the mark when lobbying the Malaysian government over licence conditions for the Lynas rare earths plant.
    Jenna Price explains how rape is used as a weapon of war.
    Kerry Sackville bemoans the enormous pressure on teen girls to look sexy – or, more accurately, f—able.
    Donald Trump announced on Monday that he will remove Secret Service director Randolph “Tex” Alles from his position, as one anonymous official described “a near-systematic purge” at the Department of Homeland Security.
    Investors were furious to find their high-tech battery lab in Thailand was stocked, not with high-tech batteries, but with old ice cream machines. Surely the corporate regulators would fire up now at this, yet another deception by a company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange? Michael West reports.
    “I think she might be hurt” says the commentator. Watch the video.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe goes berserk on election billboards.

    From the prolific Matt Golding.

    Mark David has a couple of new ones for us.

    John Shakespeare chimes in on political advertising.

    Cathy Wilcox trips Morrison up.

    Sean Leahy comes to the defence of meat eaters.

    Alan Moir and a certain medivac.

    A good one from Jon Kudelka on EV policy.

    From the US

  12. Mark Kenny@markgkenny
    15h15 hours ago

    “It’s a war on your weekend” rails Scott Morrison about Labor’s electric car and vehicle emissions standards. Chutzpah indeed from a party that blithely cut longstanding Sunday penalty rates. #AusVotes2019

  13. Mundo, it needed the MSM to maintain the rage over the NBN, which, of course, they would not do.
    It was Murdoch who wanted it destroyed. Job done.
    Supporters were just yelling into the wind. Still are.

  14. Zoidlord says:
    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 6:52 am
    Lol Scott sounds like Wayne.


    Looking at state and federal elections results , when the libs/nats primary vote decline they lose seats

    here are examples

    2013 federal election result , the the libs/nats combined primary vote was 45.8% which net 90 seats
    2016 federal election result , the libs/nats combined primary vote was 42.6% which net 76 seats

    2019 if the libs/nats combined primary is around 38% , the libs/nats are not going to retain many or will gain seats

  15. Some people try to compare the 1998 federal election result , where the libs/nats were retain despite losing on primary and the 2PP

    There is no comparison to 2019

    1-The libs/Nats in 1998 had a reasonable Majority over the required number of seats to be in government

    2- The current libs/nats coming into the federal election are in minority by 1 or 2 seats ,

  16. Fixed it for ya Troy
    In The Australian Troy Bramston writes that a large part of the Coalition’s difficulties — whether it be ­revolving-door prime ministers, policy U-turns, the lack of a clear narrative to illuminate its purpose, the fracturing of the centre-right vote and the rise of minor parties and independents — can be explained by confusion over what it believes in and whom it represents. their having sold out to vested interests,donors and their own greed…………oh and did I mention corruption ?

  17. Will Bowen will get a Q&A to himself next week
    I doubt it. By next week an election will be be called, and they can’t then, because of ‘balance’.

  18. Re C@t @7:07.
    “I refuse to use Credlin’s word ‘Tax’”

    I agree. I always say ‘Carbon price’ unless I have a fit of absent-mindedness.

    Another piece of right wing framing we shouldn’t accept is “Climate change”. The correct term is “global warming”.

  19. if the decision maker, the environment minister, has been subjected to political interference.

    The environment minister’s brain provides her own political interference.

  20. @Bevan Shields:

    Three of Parliament’s top executives have taken redundancy or are on “personal leave,” amid the fallout from a $14 million rebuild of critical security infrastructure that has imploded amid allegations of cocaine, escorts and Russian loan sharks.… #auspol

  21. Christopher Knaus writes that a long-serving former senior federal police officer has warned that the Coalition’s proposed integrity commission is flawed, weak and would “not be capable of responding to current corruption threats”

    Dear Christopher, you mistake entirely the purpose of their proposed Commission. Which is why the Coalition call it 100% Fit For Purpose.

  22. @Aaron Dodd:

    Good Morning #auspol. Today Morrison and his despicable Libs will spend another $600,000 of our money on election advertising for themselves. How do you feel about that?

  23. From Dawn Patrol (thank you BK):

    Christopher Knaus writes that a long-serving former senior federal police officer has warned that the Coalition’s proposed integrity commission is flawed, weak and would “not be capable of responding to current corruption threats”.

    No doubt a feature, not a bug.

    EDIT: Poroti already said that.

  24. Re: 2019 vis-a-vis 1998

    3. In 2019 there was no bunch of first term Govt MPs who could gain a sophomore surge to survive a significant swing against the Govt and hang on against the tide.

  25. Emerson “How does Australia end wage stagnation?”

    Employer organisations and the Coalition government supported a cut in the company tax rate ostensibly to attract new foreign investment. But there was never any guarantee more foreign investment would flow from the proposed company tax rate cut.

    So there you have it: the most effective way of generating wage rises is to limit the number of temporary work visas in Australia, enforce the existing wage laws and introduce an Investment Guarantee to attract foreign investment embodying the latest productivity-raising technologies.

    Yet, just as it has done with surpluses, the federal government continues simply to assume wages growth will pick up. It’s much easier to assume a stronger economic outlook, stick the assumption in the budget and claim victory, than it is to implement policies actually designed to lift wages.

    Best economic managers? Never in a million years.

  26. @Chargefox official twitter:

    We’re pretty proud of our Ultra-Rapid #EV Chargers: not only do they give 200kms of charge in about 8 mins, they’re also powered by 100% renewable energy. By the end of the year there’ll be 22 of them in Aus, connecting drivers from Adelaide to Brisbane.

  27. Prime Minister Scott Morrison may be determined to paint Bill Shorten as the enemy of ute owners over his ambitious electric vehicle target, but the reality is that the global automotive industry is way ahead of him.

    Auto manufacturers are facing a legislative world demanding lower – and eventually zero – emissions. So, they are building vehicles that respond to that.

    The most significant action of them all is the government-driven commitment to turn the world’s biggest car market in China electric. No auto brand on earth that wants to stay relevant and profitable can ignore that.

    So, no matter what the PM says Mr Shorten can’t dictate vehicle product planning policy to global car companies. But perhaps he can set the regulatory framework to provide more choice sooner for Australian car buyers.

    Even the PM should approve of that.

  28. Hands up who had Greg Hunt as the first Lib who wouldn’t be able to help themselves and would attack a policy which makes cancer treatment cheaper.

  29. Burgey

    I would have picked Abbott were he not in such a fight for his seat but Hunt was not on my list of possibles. But then again there has been a steady trickle of stories about what a nasty bad tempered GHunt he is behind closed doors.

  30. Mar-a-Lago trespasser found to have sensors to detect hidden cameras and other items suggesting espionage: CNN

    CNN reported Monday that investigators have discovered even more suspicious items in the possession of the Chinese woman caught trespassing at Mar-a-Lago — raising even more concerns that she is a spy.

    When she was caught, Zhang had on her person Chinese passports and a thumb drive loaded with malware. When investigators searched her hotel room, they found multiple cell phones, a signal detector that could identify hidden cameras, even more USB drives and SIM cards, and thousands of dollars in cash.

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