Essential Research leadership polling

The second set of leadership ratings since the election is featured in the latest release from Essential Research, which may also offer a hint of how it plans to respond to the great pollster failure.

The fortnightly Essential Research release is the second since the election to encompass the monthly leadership ratings. These offer positive signs for Anthony Albanese, who is up four from his debut on approval to 39% and down one on disapproval to 24%, while Scott Morrison is slightly improved in net terms, with approval steady on 48% and disapproval down two to 34%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is effectively unchanged, shifting from 43-25 to 44-26. The poll also features a series of questions on the ban on tourists climbing Uluru, which 44% support and 30% oppose, and 69% professing awareness of the issue.

Of particular interest in this release is the revelation that Essential is inquiring about respondents’ income, which appears to be a new development. The only detail provided in the polling results is that Morrison has 59% approval among higher income earners, but the appendices go to the trouble of telling us that Essential has set three income cohorts for its surveys: low (below $52,000), high (above $104,000) and medium (in between).

I suspect this means Essential’s response to the pollster failure will be to start using income to weight its results. This is a departure from the Australian industry norm of weighting only by geography, gender and age, and would also seem to be a bit unusual internationally. An American pollster noted last year the practice had fallen out of favour there due to the high non-response rate to questions on personal income. The preference is to instead weight to other factors which themselves correlate with income, notably education and, particularly in Britain, social class.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1091. In the Guardian report accompanying the poll, the elephant in the room was addressed thus:

There has been controversy post-election about the reliability of opinion polling because none of the major surveys – Newspoll, Ipsos, Galaxy or Essential – correctly predicted a Coalition win on 18 May, projecting Labor in front on a two-party preferred vote of 51-49 and 52-48. The lack of precision in the polling has prompted public reflection at Essential, as has been flagged by its executive director, Peter Lewis. Guardian Australia is not currently publishing measurements of primary votes or a two-party preferred calculation, but is continuing to publish survey results of responses to questions about the leaders and policy issues.

Also in The Guardian today are results from a separate Essential Research poll, this one for Digital Rights Watch concerning recent police raids on journalists. In response to a question noting raids on “the offices and homes of News Corp and ABC journalists who reported on national security issues”, 40% said they were very concerned, 34% slightly concerned and 26% not concerned. Similar results were produced on questions relating to metadata and police powers to break into online communications systems. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1089.

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.

819 comments on “Essential Research leadership polling”

  1. Andrew_Earlwood @ #437 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 10:50 am

    That said C@t, I reckon that Labor should abstain on the final vote of all obvious wedge legislation. Albo can easily explain this on his Channel 9 slot:

    “There are parts of the legislation we agree with, and that reflect good policy (and agreed bipartisan positions) but the remainder is just a wedge and (potentially) bad. We are not going to vote against the parts we agree with, but we are not going to sign onto bad policy either. The government (and cross benchers) own this hot mess” ….

    or something along those lines.

    Further, Labor should keep hammering the government with its own stunts – or every money bill the government introduces Labor should propose amendments to bring forward the stage 2 tax cuts immediately and when the Government votes the amendments down, Labor should run a vicious and targeted social media campaign targeting the low interest, hi-vis ScoMo Lovers out in lala land with a simple message: ScoMo hates you and your family: otherwise he’d give you a tax cut now. Individual LNP MPs should be targeted as well, and I suggest that Lucy Weeks would be a good place to start.

    You started off well, but you lost your way with that last paragraph of neo-lib claptrap.

  2. Steve777 @ #545 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 3:43 pm

    “Yet, for all the government’s disdain of finger-pointing, its response so far to the dodgy buildings scandal has been to thrash around like a deranged spider-monkey on ice, pointing fingers in every direction but the true one.”

    Sydney’s stupid building boom:

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-s-stupidest-building-boom-was-born-in-a-bonfire-of-regulation-20190725-p52aq7.html

    Someone else remembers 2014:

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would create “the biggest bonfire of regulations in our country’s history” as it moved to cut A$700 million from business compliance costs.

    …Allan Asher, a former Commonwealth Ombudsman and now regulation academic at ANU, said most governments since Paul Keating have had “a general deregulatory tilt” and Australia had a “much leaner” approach than many other countries.

    “The current concentration on deregulation has a lot to do with positioning and a desire to appeal to a constituency,” he said.

    “Business confidence is in part a function of the government’s friendliness toward business and their regulatory agenda is a reasonably powerful indicator of that.”

    He was sceptical about the government’s target for $1 billion in year-on-year savings, warning they could lead to reckless or unprincipled actions.

    http://theconversation.com/abbott-claims-700m-in-red-tape-savings-for-business-24562

    Darn tootin’ the cowboys loved it!

  3. Tricot @ #548 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 3:45 pm

    Can anyone suggest why it was in the last election here that the LNP hammered the “Bill we can’t afford” as a jibe at Shorten and Labor’s modest reform proposals, yet over in the Old Dart, Bojo is talking about spending squillions of quids on making Britain Grate again?
    How come when Labor has costed policy proposals this is seen as a total waste of taxpayer money, but when the conservatives do the same thing, it is ‘nation building’ or some such tripe?
    Point of evidence – the Alice Springs-Darwin rail line. No Cost-Benefit analysis (the love of the fiscal conservatives), and millions spent on a line which will never make a cent of profit – all in the name of ‘nation building’ one supposes…………………………

    Labor always has to fight with one hand tied behind its back, and sadly it has come to accept that this is just how things are.
    The double standard has been the in operation for so long, and is so pervasive among most of the media, that Labor seems to have given up trying to fight it.

    All those well costed, responsible policies. What a waste of time…

  4. Psyclaw,
    There is a general supposition that the Labor hardheads are stupid. The paradigm conforms to the opposite equation. The hardheads are too subtle for the electorate to fully comprehend.

    The Greens end want Labor to say, ‘Stop Adani!’, even though they aren’t yet in government.

    The Coalition want Labor to say, Start Adani!, even though Labor aren’t in government.

    Labor just want to get into government.

  5. For those on twitter, a thread worth pursuing:

    Heidi N. Moore
    @moorehn

    This is a massive ongoing catastrophe in journalism, a slow-motion car crash of failed ethics and corrupt news judgment. It’s been going on for four years, getting progressively worse, and it’s hurting both media and the country.

  6. Melbourne crooks are all class.

    Gunning down a dad in front of his kid’s Saturday footy game. Class.

    Executing an totally innocent garbage collector because of feckless mis identification. Class.

    That salt of the earth crime family fictionally portraited in Janus and Animal Kingdom. All class.

  7. As I’ve said before, if battling climate change is your war cry, you should focus on shutting down brown coal. Adani is something like a sixth order issue in that scenario.

    Brown has form on this; he previously convinced people that protecting Tasmania’s forests was a higher priority than tackling climate change.

    The Greens themselves should stop blindly following the man, look at the evidence, and focus their efforts where they’ll be most effective.

  8. Tricot @3:45PM –

    Many make the mistake of assuming that Right wing Governments care about fiscal rectitude, free markets, balanced budgets and reining in spending, as they and their allies in business and media claim.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. They want to spend money on people and interests their constituency favours and spend as little as possible on those they don’t. So billions in franking credits to millionaires who don’t pay tax? No worries. A similar amount to rebate private health fund premiums? Great. Generous handouts to wealthy “private” schools ditto. $122 million on an unnecessary plebiscite to hose down divisions in the ruling Coalition – go right ahead. How about subsidising new coal mines? How much do you want?

    But suggest an increase in Newstart? Social housing? A stimulus program to ward off recession? Renewable energy? The screams that we can’t afford it are deafening.

    Deficits, balanced budgets and fiscal rectitude only apply to Centre-left Governments. Deficits and debt are used by right wingers as a rod to beat on their opponents. However, the rules don’t apply to them. They doubled the national debt from 20014 to 2019? No worries.

  9. Yes, it was the greens, or…..

    Suncorp have listened to that bastion of green politics, the International Energy Agency, who have explicitly warned about stranded coal assets for about 5 years now, based purely on economics.

    It’s all about risk and return, and the risk is too high to underwrite these investments.

  10. “You started off well, but you lost your way with that last paragraph of neo-lib claptrap.”

    Except that bringing forward tax cuts for the middle class would be positively Keynesian as stimulus, plus fair, then of course you are right: 100% neoliberal. …

  11. Tricot @ #548 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 3:45 pm

    Can anyone suggest why it was in the last election here that the LNP hammered the “Bill we can’t afford” as a jibe at Shorten and Labor’s modest reform proposals, yet over in the Old Dart, Bojo is talking about spending squillions of quids on making Britain Grate again?
    How come when Labor has costed policy proposals this is seen as a total waste of taxpayer money, but when the conservatives do the same thing, it is ‘nation building’ or some such tripe?
    Point of evidence – the Alice Springs-Darwin rail line. No Cost-Benefit analysis (the love of the fiscal conservatives), and millions spent on a line which will never make a cent of profit – all in the name of ‘nation building’ one supposes…………………………

    How come no one in the Labor party seems bothered by it?

  12. zoomster @ #559 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 4:07 pm

    As I’ve said before, if battling climate change is your war cry, you should focus on shutting down brown coal. Adani is something like a sixth order issue in that scenario.

    Brown has form on this; he previously convinced people that protecting Tasmania’s forests was a higher priority than tackling climate change.

    The Greens themselves should stop blindly following the man, look at the evidence, and focus their efforts where they’ll be most effective.

    While you’re attacking Bob Brown, I think I’ll focus on the deeds of Matt Canavan and Joel Fitzgibbon…

  13. Andrew_Earlwood
    says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 4:05 pm
    Melbourne crooks are all class.
    Gunning down a dad in front of his kid’s Saturday footy game. Class.
    Executing an totally innocent garbage collector because of feckless mis identification. Class.
    That salt of the earth crime family fictionally portraited in Janus and Animal Kingdom. All class.
    _____________________________
    It’s true, they’ve got nothing on the NSW ALP, who next to Sydney cops are the real criminal experts in this country.

  14. Adrian…………think you are depressingly on the money………………..When a party is in opposition the only option is to speak against elements of any proposed legislation that is found to be a shonk, accept some and just point, out when the wheels fall off, that what was opposed was legitimate. Though, I have become fed up over the years with Labor being “right” eg. opposition to overseas wars, yet this seems to mean sod odd when it comes to election time. I think the LNP have it about right……………..self-interest, the pocket and when that does not do the trick, some real or fake fear and smear. After the last debacle, nothing really matters – other than debating points – until about 3 weeks out from the date of the election, from when it seems, government is lost or won…………………..

  15. David Crowe over at the SMH has done a piece on Australia’s next Prime minister?
    Apparently Chrissy Pothead is the bees knees.
    So that’s that then.
    I expect he’ll do a follow up on Labor’s next opposition leader.

  16. mundo @ #569 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 4:13 pm

    David Crowe over at the SMH has done a piece on Australia’s next Prime minister?
    Apparently Chrissy Pothead is the bees knees.
    So that’s that then.
    I expect he’ll do a follow up on Labor’s next opposition leader.

    Crowe always has his finger on the pulse – of government press releases.
    Being an LNP stenographer, what a tough gig.

  17. Andrew_Earlwood @ #562 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 4:09 pm

    “You started off well, but you lost your way with that last paragraph of neo-lib claptrap.”

    Except that bringing forward tax cuts for the middle class would be positively Keynesian as stimulus, plus fair, then of course you are right: 100% neoliberal. …

    You seemed determined to ensure the middle-class remain ‘entitled’ as John Howard saw it.

    One-off payments to low-income households are far more responsible than permanently lowering income tax rates.

  18. Tricot @ #548 Friday, July 26th, 2019 – 3:45 pm

    Can anyone suggest why it was in the last election here that the LNP hammered the “Bill we can’t afford” as a jibe at Shorten and Labor’s modest reform proposals, yet over in the Old Dart, Bojo is talking about spending squillions of quids on making Britain Grate again

  19. Andy Murray
    says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 4:13 pm
    nath, Andrew_E,
    Let me stop your bickering – have you heard of a place called Queensland?
    ____________________________
    well said. We often forget the political/criminal history up there.

  20. Good on the Greens.
    They know that the best way to stop more coal getting burned, the best way to stop the relentless culture wars torture of LGBTIQ kids, the best way to stop the concentration camps on Manus and Nauru, the best way to halt the extinction catastrophe and the best way to stop the systematic bastardization of Indigenous people is to go full throttle attack on Morrison and the Coalition.
    Because it is Scomo who is leading this massive betrayal of ordinary decent silent Australians.
    It is the Coalition that enables this systematic bastardry of LGBTIQ kids and adults alike.

    And the Greens, thought leaders, energetic, correct and ethical are doing just that – going for Scomo’s political jugular.

    It is excellent that the oppressed people in our society know that they can rely on the Greens to target their energy against the oppressors – Morrison and the Coalition.
    Well done, the Greens!

  21. Steve777 – same puzzle I have too……………………The LNP are no better/worse than handling budgets than Labor. Barnett ran up $38 billions worth in WA but still the punters (some) are in awe of the new stadium…………….Meanwhile Federal govt indebtedness double in the last six years and still the LNP are credited with being “better managers”…………………………….It was not until some friends came over from Qld (so-say Labor voters) who told me the “The Bill we can’t afford” jibe made sense to them so they voted for Morrison. When I called them on it, they claimed they still supported Labor but not with a “high spending leader like Bill Shorten”. Bloody hell, where do you go from there?

  22. Pokies

    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/afl-clubs-fill-boots-with-pokies-cash-as-losses-hit-2-9bn-20190726-p52b1z.html

    AFL clubs reaped millions of dollars from poker machines last year, as pokies losses in Victorian pubs and clubs swelled by to $2.9 billion – the second highest amount on record.

    As losses hit the highest level in ten years, it was the state’s poorest suburbs that were over-represented, data from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulator released Friday shows.
    :::
    The $2.9 billion lost in the 2018/19 financial year is the second highest on record, after 2009. The figures do not include more than 2500 machines inside Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
    :::
    Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello said poker machines lead to the loss of “much more than money”.

    “In extreme cases, poker machines cause the loss of lives due to suicide,” said Rev Costello, from the Alliance for Gambling Reform.
    :::
    Rev Costello called on the Victorian government to outlaw some “predatory” and addictive features on poker machines that “trick people into believing they are winning when they are actually losing money”.

  23. My registration issue still isn’t resolved!

    Tried Sarah Mitchell (NSW Ed Minister) – most unhelpful office I’ve ever encountered.

  24. Newstart

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/newstart-poverty-crisis-raise-rate-now

    While Labor is now saying Newstart is too low, it is refusing to name an amount by which it should be raised. While it voted for the July 24 Senate motion, it voted against a previous Greens’ motion proposing a $75 weekly raise.

    The $75-a-week rise proposed by the Greens is in line with what the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has been campaigning for.

    However, ACOSS’s Pas Forgione has made clear that a $75 raise is just a first step — not an end point.

    While some Labor MPs have broken ranks and even tried to outbid the Greens — Michael Freelander, member for the Western Sydney electorate of Macarthur, has proposed raising it to $400 a week — most are sticking with the party’s line of remaining vague.

    An even more notable shift has occurred in the corporate media. While the myth of the lazy dole bludger remains a staple, stories allowing people on Newstart to speak for themselves and highlighting the hardships caused by low payments and Centrelink’s compliance regime have become significantly more common.

    This is in large part due to the efforts of grassroots campaigning by the poor.
    :::
    The government is threatening to extend “cashless welfare” to everyone on Newstart.

    Coalition and Labor governments have used the same lies they use to keep Newstart low to repeatedly make the compliance regime more draconian. The main lies are that most people are only on Newstart for a short period and that there are jobs available if only the unemployed could be motivated to get them.

    In reality, the average length of time on Newstart is three years and AUWU data shows there are more than 15 job seekers for each job vacancy.

  25. Monbiot

    “Today corporate power is overlain by – and mutating into – oligarchic power.

    What the oligarchs want is not the same as what the old corporations wanted. In the words of their favoured theorist, Steve Bannon, they seek the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which the new billionaires thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend. The chaos of an undeliverable Brexit, the repeated meltdowns and shutdowns of government under Trump: these are the kind of deconstructions Bannon foresaw. As institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode, the oligarchs extend their wealth and power at our expense.

    The killer clowns offer the oligarchs something else too: distraction and deflection. While the kleptocrats fleece us, we are urged to look elsewhere. We are mesmerised by buffoons who encourage us to channel the anger that should be reserved for billionaires towards immigrants, women, Jews, Muslims, people of colour and other imaginary enemies and customary scapegoats. Just as it was in the 1930s, the new demagoguery is a con, a revolt against the impacts of capital, financed by capitalists.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/26/trump-johnson-nationalists-billionaire-oligarchs

  26. ‘mikehilliard says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Monbiot

    “Today corporate power is overlain by – and mutating into – oligarchic power.

    What the oligarchs want is not the same as what the old corporations wanted. In the words of their favoured theorist, Steve Bannon, they seek the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which the new billionaires thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend. The chaos of an undeliverable Brexit, the repeated meltdowns and shutdowns of government under Trump: these are the kind of deconstructions Bannon foresaw. As institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode, the oligarchs extend their wealth and power at our expense.

    The killer clowns offer the oligarchs something else too: distraction and deflection. While the kleptocrats fleece us, we are urged to look elsewhere. We are mesmerised by buffoons who encourage us to channel the anger that should be reserved for billionaires towards immigrants, women, Jews, Muslims, people of colour and other imaginary enemies and customary scapegoats. Just as it was in the 1930s, the new demagoguery is a con, a revolt against the impacts of capital, financed by capitalists.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/26/trump-johnson-nationalists-billionaire-oligarchs

    Thanks Mike. This article shows exactly why the Greens are right to target Morrison and the Coalition with all their energy.
    As Monbiot says, ‘The killer clowns offer the oligarchs something else too: distraction and deflection.’

    Morrison’s wedges and the unicorns need ignoring, not slaying.
    Morrison’s misdeeds need exposing, not hiding.

    I particularly admire the savvy Greens who can see WHY Morrison and the Coalition are creating the ‘other’ – LGBTIQ, Indigenous people, workless people, sick people…

    And this is exactly why the Greens – Rex, Peg, Guytaur et al are right to focus on the real enemy of the downtrodden: Morrison and the Coalition.

    Admirable discipline. Admirable energy. Admirable thought leadership. Admirable ethics.

  27. With respect to Newstart, as with respect to any other issue, the Greens are right.
    Newstart needs to be lifted.
    And the Greens are right on who needs to lift Newstart: Morrison, Frydenberg and Cormann.
    And this is why the Greens are relentlessly attacking these filthy rich pawns of the oligarchs who refuse to raise Newstart.
    Way to go Rex, Peg!
    Good stuff.
    Pile it on that trio of callous perps: Morrison, Corman and Frydenberg. They have political blood on their hands in their various betrayals.
    But their major betrayal is of people on Newstart.

  28. The government is threatening to extend “cashless welfare” to everyone on Newstart.

    for mine they would be signing a political suicide note if they try try this. Way too many issues and $10,000 per card for admin would blow the budget very quickly

  29. mikehilliard

    Thanks for linking article by Monbiot.

    Precisely what is going on and why the whole Trump Brexit shit show is one and the same project.
    What is the most frustrating aspect is that the citizenry are so very easily stooged into believing it is about preserving their nationhood and immigrants taking away their job, when in reality the ones espousing this bullshit are actually selling their countries down the river to enrich themselves beyond obscenity

  30. ‘Barney in Makassar says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    If the mine story is true, will the Government step in?’

    I imagine (sic) that, even if Carmichael is dead in the water, it would be in the Adani corporate interests to keep it ‘alive’.

    Beyond that, there is absolutely no doubt at all that the coal interest in the Government would do all in its power to redirect taxpayer funds to support the opening of Carmichael.

  31. ‘laughtong says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    The government is threatening to extend “cashless welfare” to everyone on Newstart.

    for mine they would be signing a political suicide note if they try try this. Way too many issues and $10,000 per card for admin would blow the budget very quickly’

    Nice little earner for the Liberals, but.
    I assume that this bit of corruption will engage all the combined energies of the Greens and Labor over the next little while.

  32. How long would it take to extend the welfare cards to all people on newstart, and part of me thinks its a good idea not because I think it will work but because I highly doubt it would work. It is already possible to control how people with Administration orders spend their money and its not an easy exercise which is why its only been used in extreme cases.

  33. ‘Mexicanbeemer says:
    Friday, July 26, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    How long would it take to extend the welfare cards to all people on newstart, and part of me thinks its a good idea not because I think it will work but because I highly doubt it would work. It is already possible to control how people with Administration orders spend their money and its not an easy exercise which is why its only been used in extreme cases.’

    700,000 times $10,000 = $7 billion.

    NOT.GOING.TO.HAPPEN

    The cashless card is a nice little earner for the Party’s coffers. But $7 billion?

  34. The cashless welfare card:

    October 2015:
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/14/senate-votes-in-favour-of-cashless-welfare-card-trials-with-labor-backing

    The Senate has cleared the way for the Turnbull government to proceed with the trial of its cashless welfare card designed to restrict access to alcohol and gambling.

    The bill passed the upper house without amendments on Wednesday evening, prompting the government to hail the “watershed moment in how we deliver welfare”.

    The final vote – 37 in favour to 10 against – reflected the Labor opposition’s decision to support the legislation after it said it had gained assurances about the details. The government also persuaded most crossbenchers to back the plan, despite some of them expressing reservations about the adequacy of community consultation.

    ————–

    April 2019:
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/cashless-welfare-card-trial-extended

    A trial of cashless welfare cards across Western Australia and South Australia has officially been extended for a year, while Cape York will also get the controversial program.

    Laws put forward by the government cleared federal parliament on Thursday, with Labor’s backing.

    Opposition human services spokeswoman Linda Burney says amendments made by Labor have improved the legislation.
    :::
    But the party remains concerned about the card and its rollout.

    “There simply is no evidence that this card works and the government has botched its own assessment of the card,” Ms Burney said.
    :::
    Greens Senator Rachel Siewert earlier said the card “flies in the face of self-determination”.

    She rejected suggestions Labor was in a tough spot and needed to extend the trials to provide people with certainty.

  35. Boerwar
    The headline cost is bad enough and that $7b would be before you try administrating it.

    Forgetting the cost, the card is unnecessary as the state can already impose administration orders on people that are unable to manage their own financial affairs.

    The only time state agencies place restrictions on where a client can spend money is if its to stablise their spending so it goes towards clearing debts or in cases where the client has a severe gambling addiction so they cannot spend at the casino but these restrictions are difficult to police and are not population with the large supermarkets for a number of reasons.

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