Essential Research leadership polling

A belated account of the first set of post-election leadership ratings, recording a victory bounce for Scott Morrison and a tentative debut for Anthony Albanese.

Contrary to expectations it might put its head above the parapet with today’s resumption of parliament, there is still no sign of Newspoll – or indeed any other polling series, at least so far as voting intention is concerned. Essential Research, however, is maintaining its regular polling schedule, but so far it’s been attitudinal polling only. The latest set of results was published in The Guardian on Friday, and it encompasses Essential’s leadership ratings series, which I relate here on a better-late-than-never basis. Featured are the first published ratings for Anthony Albanese, of 35% approval and 25% disapproval, compared with 38% and 44% in the pollster’s final pre-election reading for Bill Shorten.

To put this into some sort of perspective, the following table (click on image to enlarge) provides comparison with Newspoll’s debut results for opposition leaders over the past three decades. The only thing it would seem safe to conclude from this is that Albanese’s numbers aren’t terribly extraordinary one way or the other.

Scott Morrison’s post-election bounce lifts him five points on approval to 48%, with disapproval down three to 36%, and he leads Albanese 43-25 on preferred prime minister, compared with 39-32 for Shorten’s late result. Also featured are questions on tax cuts (with broadly negative responses to the government policy, albeit that some of the question framing is a little slanted for mine), trust in various media outlets (results near-identical to those from last October, in spite of everything), and various indigenous issues (including a finding that 57% would vote yes in a constitutional recognition referendum, compared with 34% for no). The poll was conducted June 19 to June 23 from an online sample of 1079.

Elsewhere in poll-dom:

• Australian Market and Social Research Organisations has established an advisory board and panel for its inquiry into the pollster failure, encompassing an impressive roll call of academics, journalists and statisticians. Ipsos would appear to be the only major Australian polling concern that’s actually a member of AMSRO, but the organisation has “invited a publisher representative from each of Nine Entertainment (Sydney Morning Herald/The Age) and NewsCorp to join the advisory board”.

• A number of efforts have now been made to reverse-engineer a polling trend measure for the last term, using the actual results from 2016 and 2019 as anchoring points. The effort of Simon Jackman and Luke Mansillo at the University of Sydney was noted here last week. Mark the Ballot offers three models – one anchored to the 2016 result, which lands low for the Coalition in 2019, but still higher than what the polls were saying); one anchored to the 2019 result, designed to land on the mark for 2019, but resulting in a high reading for the Coalition in 2016; and, most instructively, one anchored to both, which is designed to land on the mark at both elections. Kevin Bonham offers various approaches that involve polling going off the rails immediately or gradually after the leadership change, during the election campaign, or combinations thereof.

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.

1,688 comments on “Essential Research leadership polling”

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  1. According to the link posted here in the last week, scientists are saying it is not how many will survive but will any.
    I wish I had bookmarked it.

  2. ar…there are no grounds whatsoever for voting for the Greens.

    Their purpose is to sabotage social democracy, labour market justice and the egalitarian social order. They are wreckers.

  3. Vote Greens? What the feck for? They have not cut emission by even a 10000th of a percent in all the time they have been in existence and they have squashed any slight progress Labor put up for legislation.
    Vote Greens and we are all fucking guaranteed to die off.

  4. “Labor voted for tax cuts. They have called for more cuts. This is the very least the economy requires right now. The Greens and the Liberals are as one on the economy – in their book, there will be no relief for working people, for the unemployed, the under-employed, the precariously placed.

    It is a matter of considerable pride to me that Labor voted to support the economy.

    The Greens can go fuck themselves. They are no friends of working people. They are Lib-like.”

    Come back to me in five or so years time, when the money is gone for the hospitals for the workers, when the money is gone from the schools of the kids of the workers, when the environment is stuffed for the workers and their kids.

    When the government can’t be a Labor government. Cos they already bought into today’s magnificence and people like you told them they were wonderful.

    No money left.

    But that’s okay, Briefly has bought into the Liberal’s bullshit and found a silver lining. It’s good for the workers!

    Apparently 🙁

    You have lost the plot, today was not a good day for the Labor party or lower/middle Australia.

    AKA the workers.

    You can go into the same corner with C@t and Nath 🙂

  5. Labor are correct in wanting to stimulate the economy.

    The Greens and the Liberals do not want to improve the material circumstances of working people. They have a unity ticket on the economy.

    The Greens pretend to lament the pressure on social spending. They should have thought about that before helping the LNP win the election. They have absolutely no credibility at all. They are Lib-lite.

  6. Sigil
    The first stage is a positive for workers and it could be argued that the second part is good as well but the issue is with the third stage that sees someone on $199,999 on the same tax rate as someone on $50,000. The tax changes wont do a great deal to the economy beyond around the edges because what is needed is some kind of large scale action that can drive unemployment down to a level that wages spike and as I wrote earlier this tax cut weakens the argument against increasing newstart and DSP/aged pension. Another thing that needs addressing is the high rents paid by small business and payroll tax needs to be abolished.

  7. The tax legislation just passed by all and sundry will be redacted to become a relic of itself in a short time as the newly endorsed regime of unfairness and corruption exposes itself.
    The voters have received their ” just deserts”.
    The tax changes are just an early taste of the avalanche of bullshit which will surely follow.
    The voters found that Morrison’s smelled like bullshit, walked like bullshit, then voted for the bullshit and as the government has very quickly identified itself to be bullshit, it’s no surprise.
    Some will be marching in the streets before Morrison’s mob achieve three years.
    Albanese fails to inspire.
    The Greens have trashed their brand.
    The nutters will soon become dipleased.
    Good luck Australia, a country with another’s flag upon their own and and an uninspiring unnational anthem.

  8. Sigil:

    … when the money is gone for the hospitals for the workers, when the money is gone from the schools of the kids of the workers

    No money left.

    Horseshit! – If you think that the money that pays for services comes from taxes then perhaps you can explain where the money used in paying the taxes comes from…

  9. Hey Mexicanbeemer,

    I’m not against all aspects of the bill.

    I’m from Tasmania and Jaqui Lambie has been sold a dead horse. Which frustrates me even more. If you are going to trade horses… you don’t do what she did 🙁

    It’s the totality is what I have a big problem with, because even the partisans know that it’s incredibly difficult to repeal tax decreases.

    And that what’s gonna fuck workers.

    And workers need services.

    If any Labor fan thinks it can be fixed up in the next term of Parliament….

    I’ve got some magic beans for sale 🙂

  10. Goll:

    Good luck Australia, a country with another’s flag upon their own and and an uninspiring unnational anthem.

    Good Golly Goll – if having an uninspiring anthem is the second worst impediment we face then we’re laughing – in fact I think the fact of the defective anthem and that no one can remember it is actually a good thing about Australia!

  11. E.G Theobore,


    Shit costs X much

    We take away money from X.

    All’s good!!!11One!11ONe!11Eleven!!!11

    Go away.

  12. Hi Sigil
    Income tax only covers about half the federal budget and if wages did return to a more normal level then it wont have that much effect on services. The problem will be if the government refuses to accept a surplus is less likely and tries to implement cuts which I think the ALP should oppose outright on principle that these cuts are substantial.

  13. Grrr.

    Mexcianbeer, you are obviously a smart guy/girl, but you are missing something….

    You are supposing wages will return to a normal level.


    That the libs aren’t trying to fuck us.

  14. Sigil:

    Right now, you seem to have bought Murdoch’s lies completely.

    I suggest you learn economics from somewhere other than the Murdoch press, which is a tainted source.

    Alternatively, you could try to answer the question: where did the money that taxpayers pay as taxes comes from?

  15. Sigil
    The rules of supply and demand still matter to wages so wages will only return to normal when supply becomes tight and if it doesn’t then we potentially face a deflationary environment and the RBA better be ready with the printers which will benefit the worker through their super funds. When it comes to the Liberals, I think they are clueless and that is why the passing of these tax cuts leaves them exposed.

  16. E.G. Theodore
    Enough are laughing, as the election suggests, and ‘Robin Hood’ Albanese will find it an unfriendly mob of peasants just yet.
    At least until it becomes apparent.

  17. Hey E.G,

    I don’t think I have bought into Murdoch’s lies.

    Unless it’s some funny rope a dope, where I care about things he doesn’t argue against his (and his papers) position and still lose….

    Although how could I know?

    You might be right…

    The truth will set us free mate, but maybe it doesn’t and then Rupert tells me lies I lap up or something.

    Damn I’m confused.

  18. Sigil, Lambie is a Lib. She went thru the motions of bargaining. But she always wanted to pass the tax bill. Win/win for Lambie and the Libs.

    Yes. Tax cuts will be hard to reverse. The Greens should have considered this before campaigning against Labor in the election.

    These high-income tax cuts have co-authors – the Greens and the Liberals. The unity ticket is intact.

  19. Mexican;

    Supply and demand matter yes, but can you think of how it might work for the workers.. and how it might exploited… which has been my zany overall point tonight. ..

    That I’m very disappointed.

  20. Mex, the Libs are not clueless. They know exactly what they’re doing. They will repress wages and employment. This will suit their agenda.

    The Libs have a reliable political resource in the Greens. These two outfits figure they can win again. They have been winning most of the time since 1996.

  21. Briefly;

    I know that Lambie is a liberal, or better yet an idiot when it comes to deals with them.

    But you can’t keep blaming the Greens mate.

    I know you will, though, and in a weird way I respect your passion for your party.

    But go back to what I thought about services for workers in the next Parliament.

    Given the Greens obviously hate you and you hate them, how do we all stop the Tories?

    If the antagonism is the norm, how do Green voters and Labor voters and the Party’s try and actually stop the buggers?

  22. briefly
    The Libs may want to keep wages repressed but at some point that will blow up on them because the RBA doesn’t have much room to cut interest rates. If they cut again and the economy doesn’t respond then the Liberals might get what they want but also run the risk of getting what they don’t want.

  23. The federal government should fund post-secondary education and training completely and cancel all outstanding HECS debts. The public benefits of post-secondary education and training are large enough to justify treating it as a public good with no user fees.

  24. Sigil, from where do taxpayers get the currency that they need to pay the taxes imposed by the Australian Government?

  25. Nicholas
    The problem with HECS is that it doesn’t include all the other parts of studying like books, course material, networking and mentoring programs and the like. HECS isn’t the burden the American system is and the 50:50 split between student and government seems about right at this point. Maybe a job guarantee type arrangement might work if it enabled students to use their studies in someway.

  26. Nicholas,

    I have interest (and even sympathy) in your social economic posts.

    But I’m not quite ready to stop arguing about the way things actually are… 🙂

    And I know that opens me up to arguments from the usual suspects.

    But I truly believe with the way things are that the changes brought into legislation today are going to make some peoples lives much worse over the next decade.

    And I hate that.

    Without what you are proposing.

  27. Theodore, what do you think would be the optimal approach to taxing income, capital gains, land, and wealth in general?

    I agree with your idea of abolishing payroll tax.

    Employing people is a social good. We shouldn’t be taxing social goods. Taxing social bads makes sense. Taxing social goods does not.

  28. Can I also point out that, the discussion tonight was actually fun!

    I know pretty much everyone disagrees me, but it was really nice to see the comments filling up with people challenging and me trying to do the same. I am actually a bit simple sometimes, but I wasn’t scroooollllllinnnnng.

    Thanks all. 🙂

  29. Sigil:

    The mechanism by which Murdoch, Thatcher and their ilk seek to repress workers (and also productive businesses, aka. profitable non-financial businesses) is based in large measure on the lie that governments tax and then they spend what they have taxed. Their gloss on this lie is that governments should tax less and hence must spend less, but in arguing thus they have already shifted the goal posts to be based on their lie. And of course the result of accepting the lie and arguing back for higher income taxes so as to “afford” higher spending is that one is playing the game that they have rigged in their favour, and one will lose that game (almost certainly).

    Now our resident prophet Nicholas (I mean the term kindly) will tell you (ad nauseam, some would say) that instead governments spend and then they tax (back). This is at least logically possible (the Murdoch/.Thatcher lie is logically impossible) but is not quite right either (except in very primitive situations, such as the European colonies in Africa). And the position of Nicholas tends strongly to pro-worker, whereas the Murdoch/Thatcher position obviously does not.

    Instead, national governments (with strong currencies) tax, spend, issue bonds, set discount rates and do various other things somewhat independently, and there are complex relationships between the various instruments (based mainly on information content). Reserve bank interest rates in particular are almost wholly information signalling, as is clearly seen in the idiotic repetition of the “passing on” / “not passing on” nonsense every time there is a change to the RBA rate.

    All sorts of things are possible. For example, the Japanese government is engaged in the world’s longest running kabuki trick: the government ran up debt of about 300% of GDP, sold bonds to that extent and these bonds have now mostly been purchased by the Bank of Japan, which is wholly owned by the Japanese government. Net effect is rather similar to the government “owing” 300% of GDP to itself, and the debt has substantially disappeared (it might well later reappear, however). This strategy (and this outcome) is not available to any other kind of entity (the Nugan-Hand bank in the 1970s did try to capitalise itself in this way, but what it did is (quite properly) illegal and of course at a relatively minute scale).

  30. Sigil
    No one is really disagreeing, I think its safe to say that if bludgers were the government then these tax cuts wouldn’t be happening. A $150 billion dollar infrastructure package would be better value for money.

  31. Mexican;

    I’m going to have a good read over the last pages of posts.

    But I want to get back to my worry… that people will be hurt by the decisions made today.

    And I do want to talk about that, and how things can be changed in that context.

    But Nicholas, Theodore and Mexicanbee…

    That type of discussion is why I keep coming back to this blog.

    Thanks 🙂

  32. Nicholas:

    Tax idle wealth (which is bad), reward wealth deployed into increased real output (which is good), and possibly also into increased employment (which is good). Make it better for the wealthy to put their wealth into productive enterprise instead of fiddling the taxes system or otherwise being mendicant on the government via monopoly concessions, as they currently are. The biggest “leaners” by far are in fact the idle rich, whose leaning is hidden behind the “lifting” of the active, and apparently concealed.

    An notably eloquent orator once said (or at least wrote), in respect of idle wealth held in idle land:

    LAND MONOPOLY is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies — it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly. Unearned increments in land are not the only form of unearned or undeserved profit, but they are the principal form of unearned increment, and they are derived from processes which are not merely not beneficial, but positively detrimental to the general public.

    Land, which is a necessity of human existence, which is the original source of all wealth, which is strictly limited in extent, which is fixed in geographical position — land, I say, differs from all other forms of property, and the immemorial customs of nearly every modern state have placed the tenure, transfer, and obligations of land in a wholly different category from other classes of property.

    Nothing is more amusing than to watch the efforts of land monopolists to claim that other forms of property and increment are similar in all respects to land and the unearned increment on land.
    They talk of the increased profits of a doctor or lawyer from the growth of population in the town in which they live. They talk of the profits of a railway, from the growing wealth and activity in the districts through which it runs. They talk of the profits from a rise in stocks and even the profits derived from the sale of works of art.

    But see how misleading and false all those analogies are. The windfalls from the sale of a picture — a Van Dyke or a Holbein — may be very considerable. But pictures do not get in anybody’s way. They do not lay a toll on anybody’s labor; they do not touch enterprise and production; they do not affect the creative processes on which the material well-being of millions depends.

    If a rise in stocks confers profits on the fortunate holders far beyond what they expected or indeed deserved, nevertheless that profit was not reaped by withholding from the community the land which it needs; on the contrary, it was reaped by supplying industry with the capital without which it could not be carried on.

    If a railway makes greater profits it is usually because it carries more goods and more passengers.

    If a doctor or a lawyer enjoys a better practice, it is because the doctor attends more patients and more exacting patients, and because the lawyer pleads more suits in the courts and more important suits.

    At every stage the doctor or the lawyer is giving service in return for his fees.

    Fancy comparing these healthy processes with the enrichment which comes to the landlord who happens to own a plot of land on the outskirts of a great city, who watches the busy population around him making the city larger, richer, more convenient, more famous every day, and all the while sits still and does nothing.

    Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains — and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labor and cost of other people and the taxpayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare, he contributes nothing to the process from which his own enrichment is derived.

    While the land is what is called “ripening” for the unearned increment of its owner, the merchant going to his office and the artisan going to his work must detour or pay a fare to avoid it. The people lose their chance of using the land, the city and state lose the taxes which would have accrued if the natural development had taken place, and all the while the land monopolist only has to sit still and watch complacently his property multiplying in value, sometimes many fold, without either effort or contribution on his part!

    But let us follow this process a little further. The population of the city grows and grows, the congestion in the poorer quarters becomes acute, rents rise and thousands of families are crowded into tenements. At last the land becomes ripe for sale — that means that the price is too tempting to be resisted any longer. And then, and not until then, it is sold by the yard or by the inch at 10 times, or 20 times, or even 50 times its agricultural value.

    The greater the population around the land, the greater the injury the public has sustained by its protracted denial. And, the more inconvenience caused to everybody; the more serious the loss in economic strength and activity — the larger will be the profit of the landlord when the sale is finally accomplished. In fact, you may say that the unearned increment on the land is reaped by the land monopolist in exact proportion, not to the service, but to the disservice done. It is monopoly which is the keynote, and where monopoly prevails, the greater the injury to society the greater the reward to the monopolist. This evil process strikes at every form of industrial activity. The municipality, wishing for broader streets, better houses, more healthy, decent, scientifically planned towns, is made to pay more to get them in proportion as it has exerted itself to make past improvements. The more it has improved the town, the more it will have to pay for any land it may now wish to acquire for further improvements.

    The manufacturer proposing to start a new industry, proposing to erect a great factory offering employment to thousands of hands, is made to pay such a price for his land that the purchase price hangs around the neck of his whole business, hampering his competitive power in every market, clogging him far more than any foreign tariff in his export competition, and the land price strikes down through the profits of the manufacturer on to the wages of the worker.

    No matter where you look or what examples you select, you will see every form of enterprise, every step in material progress, is only undertaken after the land monopolist has skimmed the cream for himself, and everywhere today the man or the public body that wishes to put land to its highest use is forced to pay a preliminary fine in land values to the man who is putting it to an inferior one, and in some cases to no use at all. All comes back to land value, and its owner is able to levy toll upon all other forms of wealth and every form of industry. A portion, in some cases the whole, of every benefit which is laboriously acquired by the community increases the land value and finds its way automatically into the landlord’s pocket. If there is a rise in wages, rents are able to move forward, because the workers can afford to pay a little more. If the opening of a new railway or new tramway, or the institution of improved services of a lowering of fares, or of a new invention, or any other public convenience affords a benefit to workers in any particular district, it becomes easier for them to live, and therefore the ground landlord is able to charge them more for the privilege of living there.

    Some years ago in London there was a toll bar on a bridge across the Thames, and all the working people who lived on the south side of the river had to pay a daily toll of one penny for going and returning from their work. The spectacle of these poor people thus mulcted of so large a proportion of their earnings offended the public conscience, and agitation was set on foot, municipal authorities were roused, and at the cost of the taxpayers, the bridge was freed and the toll removed. All those people who used the bridge were saved sixpence a week, but within a very short time rents on the south side of the river were found to have risen about sixpence a week, or the amount of the toll which had been remitted!

    And a friend of mine was telling me the other day that, in the parish of Southwark, about 350 pounds a year was given away in doles of bread by charitable people in connection with one of the churches. As a consequence of this charity, the competition for small houses and single-room tenements is so great that rents are considerably higher in the parish!

    All goes back to the land, and the land owner is able to absorb to himself a share of almost every public and every private benefit, however important or however pitiful those benefits may be.

    I hope you will understand that, when I speak of the land monopolist, I am dealing more with the process than with the individual land owner who, in most cases, is a worthy person utterly unconscious of the character of the methods by which he is enriched. I have no wish to hold any class up to public disapprobation. I do not think that the man who makes money by unearned increment in land is morally worse than anyone else who gathers his profit where he finds it in this hard world under the law and according to common usage. It is not the individual I attack; it is the system. It is not the man who is bad; it is the law which is bad. It is not the man who is blameworthy for doing what the law allows and what other men do; it is the State which would be blameworthy if it were not to endeavour to reform the law and correct the practice.

    We do not want to punish the landlord.

    We want to alter the law.

  33. Sigil and All,

    Thanks for the interesting discussion tonight. The problems that face us are complex, and if we can tease them out rather than pushing each other to extremes, we all benefit.

    I also suspect there are a lot of lurkers here, who find the argy bargy annoying, but value the times we have considered (if strident) discussions.

  34. I also find at the moment that I really need to take a deep breath when horrible days like today (yesterday for you guys) happen in federal politics.

    As you probably all know, I think something fundamentally broke in Australian Federal politics on the night of 18th May. It showed that Australian elections can now be bought if people like Clive Palmer can shell out enough money, and if the media refuse to call out the L/NP lies over Facebook stunts such as “Labor will tax you to death”.

    The EU for now is fighting back, but it is one of the few places, and the success is patchy.

    So, my OH’s family come from Antibe (near Cannes). We have often dreamed of buying a bed-sit in the south of France to retire to. We are now more serious, as I cannot live in the prosperity theocracy by stealth towards which Australia is heading, and I think war with Iran will be a disaster for Australia, but we will become involved anyway.

    You would be amazed at what you can get for $AUD 80,000 in the south west of France. Also your pension is taxed here, but you get a lot back in the way of subsidised transport and healthcare.

    Of course, knowing my luck, once I move there, Marine Le Pen will probably stage a revolution in L’Occitaine, and fascism will get me anyway. So, I am planning in living in the Pyrenees, about 5 km from he Spanish border.

  35. “Given Labor didn’t take your cynically pragmatic path of abstaining from the tax cuts vote, are you taking some consolation with the ‘optics’ of Labor being seen to vote with the Coalition rather than the Greens?”

    No. Own goal. Blunder.

    You and the wiggle and all The mountebanks sure are gloating though.

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