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. So why get rid of Telstra in the first place? Most people didn’t need really fast speeds anyway. Most were happy with enough to watch porn, cat videos, send an email. The whole thing was an exercise in technological masturbation

    You have no clue about this nath. There is no possible future in which copper has not been replaced with fibre. None. All this government has achieved is spending tens of billions creating a temporary network, delaying the inevitable roll out of fibre and forcing us to pay twice.

    You make yourself look foolish when you support bad policy.


    It’ll be interesting to see how the Comms/ Finance Ministers statement of expectations for Nbnco might change or not after the 2019 Federal Election. Though so far it sounds like may be less copper outside and addressing copper inside premises from the progressive side of pollyTICs, and no change from the conservative side of pollyTICs.
    Presumably pieces of Nbnco will be flogged post 2020 to service the taxpayer loan and then there is the lowered risk-adjusted return on taxpayer equity to be delivered, may be competition will be returned to extended metro to regional, even rural and remote through holistic regional development adequately subsidised enabling sea or tree changes, remedial efforts continued (be it coexistence and state and length of copper, HFC interference, wireless congestion, …).
    Because nbn/ NBN/ Nbnco is
    overdue (a delayed 2020 and going),
    overpriced (benchmarking against The Netherlands – cableco/ mobileco/ telco/ serviceco competition, Wi-Fi on stations, DVB-S/C/T competition -, Singapore – stack seggregation -, New Zealand – largely fibre, plus wireless, using carriers and tech vendors instead of ‘crats and hatred -, France – competition in metro, subsidies outside metro – or Canada – vast country/ small population – pretty clearly shows what could have been done, be it Gbps or Mbps/ $, TB/ $, latency or jitter, mean time between failures, mean time to repair …) and
    (fortunately) not yet over here.
    Though friends in regional say their Nbnco fibre copper FTTN/ VDSL2 is less troublesome in the wet post-Telstra.
    We’re still on pre-Nbnco Telstra underground HFC in metro and only take 50/ 5 Mbps out of an available 100/ 5 Mbps and it pretty much delivers – even over Wi-Fi – consistently (Netflix included). In this decade a Telstra Comms Tech has been around once to replace a splitter in the utility box between pit in the street and premise.
    nbn from 2013 is/ NBN from 2007 was Australian Federal Government policy in terms of the transition to broadband from narrowband.
    nbn MTM from 2013 was tasked for 88% of premises to get up to 50/ 20 Mbps, at around $51B (and 2020 to 2022) so far.
    Of course the shared 2.5GPON FTTP/ wireless NBN of 2009 was an uncool billion dollars more as an initiative at $43B (but asserted to be double that and 2024 to 2028) than the market cap of Telstra at the time, and should have meant 93% of premises had up to 100/ 40 Mbps.
    OECD policy advise was for regulatory reform, competition – rather than renationalising the access to POI/ exchange access network – for infrastructure and services, besides neutrality of technology.
    Successive governments had cancelled Opel Networks (less than $1B from taxpayers, settled out of court), said no the Telstra FTTN, privatised a vertically-integrated Telecom/ OTC, and offloaded Aussat with something like three times debt over equity onto a then start-up Optus …

  3. rob @ #735 Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 – 11:08 pm

    Do you guys understand how the tech works..fibre optic.travels at light speed so theoretically the tech can be improved without replacing the basic infrastructure. that’s why its so much better than copper or mobile. 5G will be faster better can never match fibre to the premises. businesses and people working from home benefit from the ability to upload faster and with much greater bandwidth. also once the infrastructure is built mainly underground it is less vulnerable to weather etc. Its like a pipe a small pipe and a wider pipe can run at the same speed but a wider one allows more to pass through…bandwidth. It costs more initially but will be cheaper over time to upgrade to faster speeds.

    I am on your side, but I think your description is not very good.
    All electromagnetic radiation travels at or very close to light speed, including wireless. That is a red herring.
    Some issues are: light in a fibre optic cable is not subject to any interference, light has an enormous bandwidth supporting much higher data rates, fibre optic cable is not an electrical conductor and therefore not an electrical safety hazard and is not subject to lightning strikes.

  4. Simon² Katich – I hope you don’t mind, but I quoted below economic management view to some one who was dissing Labor’s record.

    Simon² Katich® says:
    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 4:54 pm
    I am no ad-man but I reckon the ALP should focus on the myth of Libs being strong economic managers. The Kouk has given them a lead with his research suggesting 3/4s of Howards surplus was from selling government assets – assets that, ofcourse, can not be sold again. The reason I think this will work is that most peeps recognise that selling the off these assets has had bad consequences – think Telstra. Think energy transmission.

    The $96 billion “Labor debt” inherited by the Howard Government in 1996 comprised $39.9 billion of Fraser Government debt that carried through the Hawke/Keating period meaning that the true level of Labor debt in 1996 was $56 billion. To pay that $56 billion off, the Howard Government sold almost $72 billion of Government assets meaning the move to negative net debt was not really due to any miraculous and bold fiscal settings, but owed everything to a series of asset sales.

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