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”

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  1. C@t:

    Early evidence is suggesting Albo’s a dud. Which is why members like me didn’t vote for him back in whenever it was. I hope he can turn it around, but am extremely doubtful.

  2. Fessy
    I think what it shows is that despite the often stated claim that progressives are more intelligent than conservatives but in reality they are prone to the same kind of irrational over reactions that progressives mock conservatives for. You are well right, Trump isn’t certain of winning a second term although I think he starts ahead of the Democrats and Morrison isn’t certain in 2022.

  3. Have to say I thought Albo would be OK, but am starting to have my doubts.

    Hoping for a longer term settling-in period for him, so that he can wake up to who he is and what he’s supposed to be doing as LOTO.

    Jesus, Labor only lost by a relative whisker. It wasn’t a landslide.

  4. I am not getting the criticism of Albo, all I can see he did was to support the stage 3 tax changes and the ALP has been on point with Angus Taylor so what has been missed.

  5. Nicholas:

    I relied on an earlier post of yours: to wit, that bank deposits – no matter the quantum – were guaranteed. I researched thereof, to find that such is not the case. Thank you for alerting me.

  6. Tristo says:
    Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    What if an economic crisis happens?

    Because a No Deal Brexit is an example of such an economic crisis happening.

    A No-Deal Brexit will be rough on the UK and some sectors of some of its EU counter-parts, including Ireland in particular. But it will not give rise to a global crisis. The UK is not so significant in the global context that even a serious contraction in the UK economy could precipitate a widespread crisis.

    If UK or EU banking is deeply affected the monetary means exist to confine any liquidity or solvency issues to the banks directly affected. Bi-lateral trade between the UK and the EU will be disrupted, but this will not cause significant dislocation in trade elsewhere. It may even assist trade between other countries and the EU or UK.

    Brexit will be pointless, gratuitous self-harming by the the provincially-minded nativists of England and Wales. It will not be a catalyst for global economic disorder.

  7. Labor has to campaign negatively this time. It can’t be too hard, the Government comprises a bunch of incompetent, lying, malevolent clowns, some at least of whom are corrupt.

    OK, Labor doesn’t have major media outlets campaigning for it. The old media are owned by the Government’s friends, who will own the new media soon enough. In spite of this, Labor just had to find a way to get through.

    It’s no good talking about the environment. It’s no good talking about the climate. It’s no good talking about asylum seekers. It’s no good talking about fairness. Those whose votes decide either don’t care or at least are not prepared to risk one cent of cost to themselves to address these. They vote for what they think is their economic interest. They are easily scared.

    Many of these voters, or their adult children and grandchildren, are being robbed blind by Big Money, not just through wage stagnation or outright wage and super theft but through dodgy dealings, monopoly pricing by privatised oligopolies, and especially through grossly inflated home prices. Yet they vote for Big Money’s political wing a.k.a the Coalition.

    I don’t know what a strategy based upon these apparent truths looks like. Nor do I know whether It would be effective, nor whether any party that pursued it would be worth voting for.

    And yes, I know that was all a bit muddled.

  8. Mexicanbeemer @ #805 Saturday, July 27th, 2019 – 9:19 pm

    I am not getting the criticism of Albo, all I can see he did was to support the stage 3 tax changes. The ALP has been on point with Angus Taylor so what has been missed.

    I don’t know either! Albanese did the same thing Bill Shorten would have done with the National Security legislation, ie not get wedged by it. However, he proposed all the Amendments that the Security committee proposed, in order to have the government vote against them.

    He determined to attack the weakest link in the Ministry, Angus Taylor, and succeeded in flushing out the lie in the defence that Taylor has decided to rely on to get himself out of jail, to wit, that he only went to Frydenburg about the Grasslands because he was representing his constituents, having produced a letter to that effect, when, in fact, that letter was written 7 months AFTER the meeting with Frydenburg, which fact Albanese will be pursuing in the next session of parliament.

    And, he hasn’t been doing too badly in his media performances.

    So, it mainly seems to be the Stage 3 Tax Cuts thing. Which he decided he wasn’t going to get the Labor Party wedged on either.

    So, what’s the problem?

  9. C@tmomma
    Some people seem surprised that after losing an election policies are being reviewed, makes me wonder if they are new to politics because policies are always reviewed after an election.

  10. Mexicanbeemer @ #812 Saturday, July 27th, 2019 – 9:53 pm

    Some people seem surprised that after losing an election policies are being reviewed, makes me wonder if they are new to politics because policies are always reviewed after an election.

    Yes, strangely some think that the same policy suite should be kept because they liked it! Also because 48.5% of the electorate voted for it! And that’s good enough as a reason not to change anything!

  11. Stuff me, in days of yore this site was on heat. Now, however, it’s bland, boring. I blame WB for this state of affairs.

  12. Maybe everyone is out celebrating after the Wallabies’ win? Yeah nah.

    I agree, its been quiet since the election. I’ve been too busy to chirp up much myself.

    But like others, I can’t see the big problem with Albanese’s performance to date? What would you have expected him to do at this stage?

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