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”

Comments Page 13 of 16
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  1. So after over an hour on the phone with Telstra, the upshot is that the Node closest to the house has a ‘buffering issue’ (whatever that is), that requires a technician to attend to it. This is happening tomorrow morning, and that should fix the NBN issues, and even then they can’t guarantee it.

    So far Turnbull’s Fraudband is a massive fail.

  2. Sometimes Captain GetUp wears underpants. And sometimes he doesn’t. I just wanted you all to know
    Only worn when he’s Captain GotitUp!

  3. Quoll @ #599 Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 8:25 pm

    How Australia’s coal madness led to Adani

    A very extensive and sometimes searing review of the Galilee Basin and Adani saga and how contemporary Australia has got to where we are, and where we may be in the future, in a warming world

    Uncomfortable reading for some no doubt due to the role played by leaders of both the major parties, from state and federal levels, in getting us to here over the last 15 yrs or so

    Anything other than keeping all the coal in the ground at Galilee basin seems impossible to sustain
    Stopping Adani coal is something many Australians support and is only growing as a proportion

    A proportion of what?

  4. davidwh:

    I’m sure, however that doesn’t make it acceptable.

    The only consolation is that Telstra won’t be billing us for the period our broadband isn’t working.

  5. Nath
    One of the great campaigns of the mordern world, you flogging the horse, you wearing the blinkers, don’t stop know, everyone else is under a false illusion.

  6. My changeover to the NBN FTTN actually went off without a hitch.

    The technician who tested the line speed (which they do to see if you are able to upgrade to 100Mbps service) did say though that most of the FTTN lines he tests get about 20Mbps though.

    Which does reflect rather poorly on the exercise.

  7. Liberals facebook ads might hurt. There are some really good micro-targeting opportunities on Facebook.
    Labor is apparently running 5 QLD ads talking about cuts to 5 different hospitals but so far Liberal party seems to be spending more on facebook.

    I also saw an ad on youtube from Michael Sukkar blaming Labor for East West Link and saying Labor is screwing Eastern suburbs. The problem is I’m in western suburbs. So poor targeting there.

    Apart from that I have seen an education union ad that was aggressively attacking Morrison over funding.

  8. Fess ours only worked once a NBN person came out and corrected something and confirmed the connection in the house was ok. I think they work on the principle “they all work until we are told they don’t” .

  9. Confessions: If you have one of the Telstra “smart modems” (which you should, given that it’s being connected at the moment) then it should be falling back to its own internal 4G connection while the NBN connection is failed?

  10. Troy Bramson’s column today has some stark realities for the coalition.

    The Liberal Party had 150,000 members in the 1940s. The membership has fallen to about 30,000 today. The party is more factionally riven than ever before. (Peter Costello told me last year that the toxic factional mix in the NSW Liberal Party is now ­nationalised.)

    The party is split between moderates and conservatives. Liberals and Nationals do have a problem recruiting and electing women. Anybody who suggests otherwise cannot count.

    These organisational difficulties weaken their campaigning ­capacity. The Coalition is routinely out-campaigned by Labor, the Greens, unions and left-wing groups like GetUp. Cory Bernardi talked about establishing a conservative rival to GetUp a few years ago but nothing significant has emerged. The conservative Advance Australia group has had little impact.

    Polls suggest the Coalition has lost perhaps a million voters since the last election. Despite being in government, with the benefits of incumbency, the centre-right has splintered. The Coalition competes with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, David Leyonhjelm’s Liberal Democrats, Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, Katter’s Australia Party and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

    He goes on to note that the Liberals have lost blue ribbon seats in Mayo, Indi and Wentworth, and are currently being challenged by socially liberal, economic conservative indie candidates in more of its blue ribbon seats.

    Hence my incredulity earlier today at the decision by its conservative CPAC equivalent to send an orange blow up cartoon figure to campaign in these seats., presumably dogging the LNP candidates as it traverses their electorates.

  11. “Fess if it’s any consolation we have all gone through this at changeover.”

    Those of you lucky (perhaps unlucky) enough to have something to changeover from and to. There are many towns in Australia, such as mine, which still can’t get an ADSL connection, let alone NBN. I wonder how they plan to use the copper here to establish an inferior FTTN connection when the copper is in such a state of disrepair that it can’t even support an ADSL connection. I had to get Telstra to rip up half the street a few years ago just to try and get a landline phone, only to be told later after they’d jackhammered up the street that a connection wasn’t possible. And you can bet London to a brick that when the NBN finally gets here that they’ll just connect the fibre to a node, shrug their shoulders, and just leave the broken copper as is. This is the state of Australia’s telecommunications network in 2019 in a town of 3000+ people some 25 minutes from the Gold Coast. It’s not like I’m in the middle of the outback here! It’s far from ideal and drops out daily, but I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t live close to an Optus cellular tower.

  12. Golly
    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    One of the great campaigns of the mordern world, you flogging the horse, you wearing the blinkers, don’t stop know, everyone else is under a false illusion.
    Hang on, am I the jockey flogging the horse, or the horse wearing the blinders? Not everyone is under a false illusion. 51% of the Australian public disapprove of Shorten. He can’t even get a better PPM over an absolute flog who has been a laughing stock for 8 months.

  13. davidwh:

    I am on a stand-by hold tomorrow for a call from Telstra because the technician needs to access the house, lest s/he can’t resolve the buffering issue at the Node. I expect I will need to be available for this.


    The modem isn’t even connecting to the internet, I tried wifi and ethernet cable. Both a fail.

  14. Nath you are in good company. Jo loved to flog a dead horse and then he would turn it over and flog the other side. We have come a long way since the Joresulam days. 🙂

  15. Sounds like what happened to us Fess. No connection for two days and I was working from home back then. It was a pain.

  16. I don’t even know why the government got back into the whole telecommunications industry. They should have left it to companies. Isn’t that why Telstra was sold. Look at the mess now. Now the public own an increasingly outdated technology that they will be writing down for decades.

  17. nath @ #597 Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 8:24 pm

    It’s also funny seeing the gatekeepers of impropriety go after Dutton for a 20k donation when Shorten was brining in millions from companies to the AWU in a clear case of conflict of interest.

    Detail please.

    However, to the general point. You are trying to equate an agent of influence of China (proven), attempting to buy his way into Australian Citizenship via the Minister in charge of that particular portfolio, with Australian companies making donations to an Australian Union?

    Bullshit, pure and simple.

  18. “Firefox:

    I feel your pain. This is the legacy the coalition govt has left the country with.”

    Absolutely. Firstly they turned Telstra into a profit driven disaster which no longer cares about doing anything unless they can make money for their shareholders out of it. Then they deliberately sabotaged the NBN on behalf of Murdoch and their other mates in the legacy media. It will cost Australia for generations to come.

  19. The modem isn’t even connecting to the internet, I tried wifi and ethernet cable. Both a fail.

    They’re supposed to have an internal mobile fallback. Does it have “mobile mode” and “mobile signal” lights on the back?

  20. NBN? The office has had it for a year and still problems. Last week when clients called they were getting either engaged, a fax noise, ringing out or getting through. They fix it for a day then – it happens again. At the same time big files wont download or upload. very very annoying. So going to mobile phones for calls FFS and pot luck with the big files.

  21. Confessions,

    We have a Telstra “Smart Modem”. If you have one of these as well you will have two separate white boxes, small and larger. The smaller one is the cable modem. The larger is the 4G modem and it is also the WiFi router. There should be a short cable connecting the two. The idea is that if the larger 4G modem detects that there is no internet signal coming from the smaller box it will switch to the using the 4G connection, which is slower but at least not zero.

    Is this something like what you have? If you don’t you might be able to request one from Telstra. (We did exactly that after a truck tore out the cables on the street.)

    I had to spend some time on the phone with a “technician” to activate the various boxes and get them working. They didn’t work ‘out of the box’.

  22. nath @ #626 Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 8:54 pm

    I don’t even know why the government got back into the whole telecommunications industry. They should have left it to companies. Isn’t that why Telstra was sold. Look at the mess now. Now the public own an increasingly outdated technology that they will be writing down for decades.

    Maybe it was because, as originally stated by the Labor Party, an agent as big as the government was the only one with the resources to again connect the whole country with the most up-to-date internet technology. If left to Private Industry they would have cherry-picked the profitable areas and left the rest for dead.

    Honestly, I sometimes wonder whether you are willfully obtuse, ignorant or just plain dumb about some things?

  23. Quoll,

    Thanks for the link to the article in The Monthly – a damning indictment of both major parties. Their complicity in enabling the coal / fossil fuel industries and lobby groups to the detriment of facing up to the need of real and urgent action on global warming is now apparent to an ever-increasing number of concerned citizens who are joining grassroots activist campaigns.

  24. I don’t even know why the government got back into the whole telecommunications industry. They should have left it to companies.

    The companies werent going to do it. Or if they did it would be piecemeal and only in areas of greatest profit.
    In the end they actually did leave it to the private companies as it was contracted out and so much cream skimmed out of the bodged up Turnbull freak monster of an NBN that it is a disaster and Telstra and NBN Co play the blame game.

  25. Late Riser:

    There’s only the white modem box and a phone handset. Nothing else.

    Perhaps the new modem they are sending me will have that additional feature, but I’m hoping the technician dispatched to address the buffering Node will tomorrow will have this resolved.

    *fingers crossed

  26. Confessions: Yes, that modem is the one that Telstra connections get on FTTN… other NBN resellers use different devices though.

  27. Simon² Katich®
    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 9:02 pm
    I don’t even know why the government got back into the whole telecommunications industry. They should have left it to companies.
    The companies werent going to do it. Or if they did it would be piecemeal and only in areas of greatest profit.
    Look. I don’t know much about it. All I know is that under the old HFC cable download ten years ago I was getting better speeds than some on the NBN now. Perhaps a government subsidy was the way to go initially. What happens when 6g and 7g change the game again and again. The whole thing will be worthless.

  28. Late Riser:

    On an FTTN connection there’s no smaller box, the larger one connects straight into the wall socket. The backup works the same way though.

  29. Confessions,

    It’s probably not the modem; pack it up and put it in a cupboard as a spare.

    It’s ironic that Telstra prefers to send new hardware to customers instead of reporting a line fault to NBN. (Crap for you, but karma for them.)

    I suffered weeks, if not months, of unreliable ADSL service over the years knowing that there was a line fault, but having to wait for it to die “properly”… lest ye be charged $$$ for a Telstra call-out fee if they didn’t find the intermittent fault.

  30. Telecommunications have been utterly stuffed by this Government…. We could of had a really good, future-proof, fiber optic to the house system, and we stuffed it…..Terrible leadership.


    Most people would notice if they were burdened with an extra $60 grand in their pay packets over a couple of years.

    Especially so, you’d think, if you were the bloke in charge of finance for a $69 billion operation.

    So it was a surprise on Tuesday to find that Victorian Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott had managed to be overpaid by $63,161 between November 2014, when he scored his job as Finance Minister, and September 2016 when the error was identified and be blissfully ignorant of the fact.
    But how different this could have been if Scott’s overpayment had come to light two years earlier when the Labor government was engulfed in scandal arising from two blokes actually rorting that second residence allowance.
    As it stands, the matter didn’t come to light until three years after the money had been paid back. Lucky, that, because it takes a lot of sting out of it.

    Does not look good though.

  32. What appears to be overlooked re the coalition fascination with EV policy is Morrison is ignoring his own budget and concentrating on a labor policy less than a week after the MSM anointed “ game changer “government budget was bought down.

    No fantastic tax cuts, no fantastic surplus , no nothing is being pushed by the government.

    Instead what do we get ?

    A labor government coming to your house in the middle of the night to steal your ute.

    Very telling.

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