Essential Research: 51.5-48.5 to Labor

Labor maintains a modest yet decisive lead in the final Essential poll for the campaign, as YouGov Galaxy prepares to unload a barrage of seat polls throughout the day.

Update: YouGov Galaxy seat polls

As explained below, the News Corp papers are releasing YouGov Galaxy seat polls today on an hourly schedule. The results will be updated here as they become available. The polls were conducted Monday and Tuesday from samples of around 550.

Deakin (Liberal 6.4%, Victoria): Liberals lead 51-49. Primary votes: Liberal 44% (50.3% in 2016), Labor 37% (30.1%), Greens 9% (11.3%) and the United Australia Party 4%. Sample: 540.

Flynn (LNP 1.0%, Queensland): The LNP leads 53-47. Primary votes: LNP 37% (37.1% in 2016), Labor 33% (33.4%), Greens 3% (2.8%), United Australia Party 11%, One Nation 7%. Sample not specified.

Macquarie (Labor 2.2%, NSW): Labor leads 53-47. Primary votes: Labor 43% (35.5% in 2016), Liberal 42% (38.2%), Greens 8% (11.2%), United Australia Party 5%. Sample: 573.

La Trobe (Liberal 3.2%, Victoria): Dead heat on two-party preferred. Primary votes: Liberal 43% (42.2% in 2016), Labor 39% (31.4%), Greens 7% (10.6%), United Australia Party 3%. Sample: 541.

Forde (LNP 0.6%, Queensland): Dead heat on two-party preferred. Primary votes: LNP 42% (40.6% in 2016), Labor 41% (37.6%), Greens 5% (6.4%), One Nation 7%, United Australia Party 4%. Sample: 567.

Reid (Liberal 4.7%, NSW): Liberals lead 52-48. Primary votes: Liberal 44% (48.8% in 2016), Labor 36% (36.3%), Greens 7% (8.5%), United Australia Party 6%. Sample: 577.

Higgins (Liberal 7.4%, Victoria): The Liberals lead 52-48 over the Greens, with Labor running third on the primary vote: Liberal 45% (52.% in 2016), Greens 29% (25.3%), Labor 18% (14.9%). Sample: 538.

Herbert (Labor 0.0%, Queensland): Dead heat on two-party preferred. Primary votes: Labor 31% (30.5% in 2016), LNP 32% (35.5%), Greens 5% (6.3%), One Nation 6% (13.5%), United Australia Party 9%. Sample not specified.

Gilmore (Liberal 0.7%, NSW): Labor leads 52-48. Primary votes: Labor 40% (39.2% in 2016), Liberal 26% (45.3%), Nationals 17% (didn’t run last time, hence the Liberal primary vote collapse), Greens 7% (10.5%), United Australia Party 2%. Sample not specified.

Dickson (LNP 1.7%, Queensland): LNP leads 51-49. Primary votes: LNP 41 (44.7% at 2016 election), Labor 35% (35.0%), Greens 10% (9.8%), United Australia Party 9%, One Nation 3%. Sample: 542.

Original post

The Guardian reports Essential Research has concluded its business for the campaign with a poll that reports a 51.5-48.5 lead for Labor, having decided to mark the occasion by reporting its results to the first decimal place. This compares with a rounded result of 52-48 last time. On the primary vote, the Coalition is on 38.5% (up, probably, from 38% last time), Labor is on 36.2% (up from 34%), the Greens are well down to 9.1% from an inflated-looking 12% last time, and One Nation are on 6.6% (down from 7%). Scott Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 42-31 to 39-32. The poll went to the effort to inquire about which campaign stories had registered with voters – I will be very interested to see the full numbers when Essential Research unloads its full report later today, but apparently Labor’s tax plans, the egging of Scott Morrison and the Daily Telegraph’s inspirational profile of Bill Shorten’s late mother all left an impression.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here. It turns out respondents typed up their own responses on election news stories they had noticed and Essential has produced the results in word cloud form, which you can see in the release.

We can also expect national polls from Newspoll and Ipsos over the next day or two – and, starting at 10am this morning, the News Corp papers will today be treating us to an hourly schedule of YouGov Galaxy seat poll releases targeting (deep breath) Flynn at 10am; Macquarie at 11am; La Trobe at noon; Forde at 1pm; Reid at 2pm; Higgins at 3pm; Herbert at 4pm; Gilmore at 5pm; Deakin at 6pm; and Dickson in Queensland at 6pm. Except, it seems, the the Deakin poll is already with us, courtesy of today’s Herald Sun. It credits the Liberals with a lead of 51-49, or a 5.4% swing from the 2016 result. The primary votes are Liberal 44% (50.3% in 2016), Labor 37% (30.1%), Greens 9% (11.3%) and the United Australia Party 4%. The poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday from a sample of 540.


• The Greens were hawking a poll on Monday conducted by Environmental Research and Counsel, an offshoot of Essential Media, suggesting Josh Frydenberg was in serious difficulty in Kooyong. The poll showed Frydenberg’s primary vote at 41%, slumping from 58% in 2016, with Greens candidate Julian Burnside on 21%, Labor’s Jana Stewart on 16%, and much-touted independent Oliver Yates lagging on 9%. However, Frydenberg maintained a two-party lead over the Greens of 52-48. Phillip Coorey in the Financial Review reported on Tuesday that the Liberals were more confident than that, believing Frydenberg’s primary vote to be at around 48%.

Andrew Tillett in the Financial Review reported on Monday that Labor was becoming “increasingly bullish about picking up seats in Victoria and Western Australia”. Concerning the former, the report relates that Liberal strategists are “split on whether to pour resources into Higgins, where Liberal candidate Katie Allen is narrowly ahead, or concentrate on other Melbourne marginals such as La Trobe, Casey or Deakin”. As David Crowe of noted in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, the Coalition’s $4 billion East West Link motorway commitment was “seen by Labor as an attempt to hold the Liberal electorates of Casey, Deakin and La Trobe”, none of which it would be so high on its priorities list if it was feeling confident.

• A slightly different view of the situation in Western Australia is provided by Andrew Burrell of The Australian, who reports Labor has scaled back its ambitions in the state, which once ran to five seats. Swan is said to be Labor’s best chance of a gain, and Labor says its internal polling has Pearce at 50-50, but the Liberals claim to be slightly ahead. But Labor sources sound discouraged about Hasluck, and the party is no longer bothering with Canning. Stirling, however, is said to be “close”. Scott Morrison visited the state on Monday, paying special attention to Swan; Bill Shorten followed the next day, where he campaigned in Pearce.

Also today: Seat du jour, covering the Perth seat of Swan.

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.

1,601 comments on “Essential Research: 51.5-48.5 to Labor”

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  1. I just caught up with the news of Bob Hawle’s death. Vale Bob, you made Australia a better place. Too bad you could not last till Saturday.

    I was too young to vote for Whitlam and Hawke was the first Labor PM I voted for. I heard him speak in a workers club decades ago. He was not as witty as Keating, but the intellect, fire and passion were there. I naively assumed the calibre of Hawke and Keating was typical of national leaders. ROTFL! If only! ! How I miss them both.

    This is a significant event, and it will dominate news, as it should. Lest ScumMo complain, it will also crowd news of how the Liberals allowed murderers into the country as part of a refugee deal to be crowded off the front pages too.

    Shorten should acknowledge the great legacy of Hawke and Keating, the last PMs who truly fought for a fair deal for average Australians, not a tax cut to appease the wealthy, and promise to hold those values.

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