Essential Research: leadership ratings, US and China, abortion law

Higher disapproval ratings for both leaders in the latest Essential poll, which also records lukewarm feelings towards the United States and cooler ones for China.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll again comes up empty on voting intention, but it does offer the pollster’s third set of leadership ratings since the election. As with Newspoll, these record a drop in Scott Morrison’s net approval rating, owing to a three point rise in disapproval to 37%, while his approval holds steady at 48%. However, Essential parts company with Newspoll in finding Anthony Albanese up on disapproval as well, by five points to 29%, with approval down one to 38%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows slightly, from 44-26 to 44-28.

Further questions suggest the public leans positive on most aspects of the “influence of the United States of America” (defence, trade, cultural and business), excepting a neutral result (42% positive, 40% negative) for influence on Australian politics. The same exercise for China finds positive results for trade, neutral results for culture and business, and negative ones for defence and politics. Asked which of the two we would most benefit from strengthening ties with, 38% of respondents favoured the US and 28% China.

The small sample of respondents from New South Wales were also asked about the proposed removal of abortion from the criminal code, which was supported by an overwhelming 71% compared with 17% opposed. The poll has a sample of 1096 and was conducted online from Thursday to Sunday.

Note also the post below this one, being the latest Brexit update from Adrian Beaumont.

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.

1,826 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings, US and China, abortion law”

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  1. Tasmanian Labor

    It is understood Mr Bacon, a member for Clark, is considering a move interstate for family reasons.

    He was also purportedly disappointed Labor had ditched its pokies policy.
    The loss of Mr Bacon will be a blow to the Labor Party.

    He was one of their most bankable election favourites, elected first in Clark last year in a demonstration of his popularity, and Labor’s second-highest vote-getter behind leader Rebecca White.
    Mr Bacon’s departure leaves Ms White without a key ally, and Labor loses one of its most experienced MPs.

  2. “Simon Crean played the Iraq war correctly.“

    Bring back Simon Crean.

    We want Simon!

    Simon Crean for PM.

    Said no one, ever.

  3. Victoria

    Its to Labor’s advantage to make the case of Morrison and Trump being joined at the hip.

    Tax cuts is just one prime example of how you can do it.
    Its happening anyway on twitter all I am saying is Labor should jump on the bandwagon because the Greens have already over the war with Iran thing.

    Correctly in my view. Labor will regret not doing the same.
    Just like Labor will regret not arguing about the inequality caused by tax cuts and instead arguing for tax increases because there is a revenue problem.

    Its bad political judgement not to see the prevailing political wind.

  4. Labor’s third candidate Madeleine Ogilvie just missed out on winning her seat back but ran at this year’s Upper House elections as an independent.

    If she decides to put her hand up (she has not yet made any public comment), political analyst Kevin Bonham expects she would have an advantage over Labor’s fourth candidate Tim Cox, who has confirmed his intention to nominate.

    If Ms Ogilvie won and decided to sit as an independent, Tasmania’s House of Assembly would become even more unpredictable than it already is.

    Ms Ogilvie was a member of the Labor Party’s right faction and split with the parliamentary party over issues such as same-sex marriage and voluntary assisted dying.

    Her tendency towards the more conservative side of politics would likely be welcomed by the Liberal Government, who would only need to ensure they had her vote to get legislation passed, even if it was opposed by Labor or the Greens.

    Ms Ogilvie would also water down the impact of Liberal Speaker Sue Hickey, who would only be called on to use her casting vote if Ms Ogilvie, Labor and the Greens joined forces to oppose the Government.

    But, ultimately, Ms Ogilvie would be unpredictable with her allegiances split, and her vote could not be taken for granted by either side.

    If Mr Cox wins, it is more likely to be business as usual.

  5. “The problem is Labor has to stand up.”

    Labor will stand up. Just not for you.

    Different values, you see. Divorcing itself from the obsessions of the pop left is the best thing Labor can do to connect with its missing base and get back on track with its historic mission.

  6. Victoria @ #96 Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 – 9:25 am

    Of course they should. But guytaur wants Labor to rant and rave that Morrison is connected at the hip to Trump etc.
    Not a productive move under the current conditions playing out. Would you agree?

    To the extent that there’s no election until 2022, certainly.

    Morrison-Trump same-same doesn’t have much relevance in day-to-day Aussie politics (aside from the Iran thing). And for it to work in 2022 Trump would need to win in 2020 (if he doesn’t he’ll be forgotten and irrelevant and politically useless by then), a prospect firmly in the “the cure is worse than the disease” category.

  7. How the US right-to-life movement is influencing the abortion debate in Australia

    As the abortion decriminalisation bill gradually makes its way through the NSW parliament, opponents have been increasingly drawing on their long relationship with the right-to-life movement in the United States to lobby against the measure and try to push for more restrictive amendments.

    This has been a trend in the anti-abortion movement in Australia for a while now. Activists have adopted some of the most successful elements of the US movement’s rhetoric and tactics in recent years in an effort to influence the debate in Australia.

    The Australian public is strongly pro-choice. …

    The Australian right-to-life movement is tiny compared to the US, but their views have an outsized place in the abortion debate because of their vocal political and religious allies.

  8. Lizzie,

    7NEWS Melbourne @7NewsMelbourne
    Households will be offered cash to switch off their air conditioners and help prevent blackouts this summer.

    This was tried last year. It worked.

    The real problems are Victoria’s very unreliable coal-fired plant and NSW (and to an extent SA) intransigence on doing just about anything useful.

  9. I can’t understand why anyone should be coy about showing Trump and Morrison being joined at the hip. Certainly our local Daily Telegraph – once known as The West Australian, has as its screaming front page, a huge cartoon of Trump, pointing his figure and touted with “I WANT WA” in big letters with the WA in even bigger letters. The gist, inside, is that ‘PM Scott Morrison will discuss (with Trump) ‘enormous job opportunities’ for the US to import rare earths. This is shouted out by the West as ‘a jobs saviour’……………………..Inside also, is a cosy photo of Trump and Morrison literally looking as though they are joined at the hip…………
    As an aside, Morrison is still being kind of revered as having won the ‘miracle’ election while which sits nicely with the ‘saviour’ stuff above about jobs. If it is good enough for Stokes and his rag to make Trump and Morrison modern-day Bobsey Twins, it’s good enough for me………….We had no problems with naming the Three Amigos (one a Labour Prime Minister) at the time of the Gulf Wars. Why worry now?

  10. WWF UK @wwf_uk
    · 9h
    There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the #AmazonRainforest?

  11. frednk

    You must have missed Flanagan’s this where he said in the article

    That neither the government nor Labor party would at present even contemplate such things is beside the point. That we must compel them is.

    He is making the argument it is up to us, ordinary citizens, to take matters into our own hands and demand our supposed leaders take real and urgent action to tackle AGW.

  12. Why would you focus on connecting Morrison to Trump now, when there is every chance the latter won’t be around next time Australia goes to the polls?

  13. Barney

    It sticks thats why.

    Remember how the LNP labelled Keating the Grim Reaper. He was never able to fully shake the label.

    Labor calling Morrison Trump’s lapdog will stick

  14. FDOTM nails it. His critics would probably disparage him as a member of the “pop left” or use other popular prejorative labels such as “extremist”, “greenie”.

  15. Looking at the media (not Murdoch) reaction to child rapist Pell losing his appeal, there seems to be an undercurrent of sympathy for Pell, or at least a willingness to give voice to those who still maintain his innocence.

    I cannot imagine any other convicted child rapist in this country being given such consideration.

  16. ‘Our president is deeply mentally ill’: Biographer says ‘blowhard’ Trump truly believes his narcissistic babbling

    On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” Trump biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist David Cay Johnston told anchor Kate Bolduan that President Donald Trump’s self-congratulatory rant was indicative of mental illness.

    “David, you’ve studied Trump for years. You’ve also called him a ‘world-class narcissist,’” said Bolduan. “How does that play into everything that we’re hearing from the president today, from ‘I’m the chosen one’ to ‘I’m the second coming of God’ to declaring the Danish leader can’t talk like that against the president of the United States?”

    “Kate, Donald really does believe that he is superior to the rest of us,” said Johnston. “He has himself talked about how the Trumps believe they are genetically superior to the rest of us. Notice how he calls everybody who in any way doesn’t bow down to him an idiot, a fool, they don’t know what they’re doing.”

    “Given how common mental illness is, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that at some point we’re going to have a mentally ill president,” added Johnston. “That’s what we’ve got now.”

  17. The reality is that Labor and Crean were all over the place when it came to Iraq. Now, eventually they did sort themselves out and come to oppose it. That’s good and should be acknowledged. But lets not kid ourselves and pretend that Crean or the Labor party he lead were some great champions for peace. They were an incredibly weak opposition when Australia desperately needed them to stand up to a government full of war criminals.


    Australian Labor leader Crean backs Iraq war

    For all its political twists and turns in the last few weeks, Labor has come full circle. The party has never opposed the criminal and illegal US-led war on Iraq on a principled basis. It accepted Washington’s phony pretext—Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction—as good coin, and maintained a polite silence on the Bush administration’s predatory ambitions in the Middle East. The ALP merely wanted UN authorisation. Even then, Crean left open the option for Labor to support a unilateral US strike—in the event of a veto in the UN Security Council.

    The outpouring of antiwar opposition in Australian cities in mid-February, as part of the global protest movement, caught Labor by surprise. When Crean told a rally in Brisbane on February 16 that Labor would support an invasion of Iraq if it had UN support, he was loudly jeered. With opinion polls registering a majority opposed to war, Labor attempted to make up ground lost to the Greens by turning up the volume on its antiwar rhetoric—without altering its political line in any fundamental way.

    On March 16, when the US and Britain failed to get the backing of the UN Security Council, Labor had to make a decision. A majority in the UN Security Council clearly opposed a second resolution for war. With antiwar protests mounting, Crean declared any assault on Iraq without UN approval was “illegal”. For three days he fulminated against Howard in parliament, at the National Press Club and in a nationally broadcast television address. But as the war unfolded and the media campaign to “support our boys” intensified, Crean retreated, accepting the deployment of troops, and thus the war itself, as a fait accompli.

    It was left to Labor frontbencher Bob McMullan to offer a pathetic justification for the party’s complete capitulation. Speaking to the media after the shadow cabinet meeting last week, he declared: “If the Labor Party was the government there would be no Australian troops in Iraq, but the Howard government will not be withdrawing them. So our consistent position is if the government won’t withdraw them we hope they come back safely and as soon as possible.”

    In fact the opposite is the case. If Labor were in office, it would be functioning in precisely the same criminal manner as the present government. In 1990, the Hawke Labor government earned the dubious distinction of being among the first in the world to back the first Gulf War and commit Australian forces to it. Over the last decade, the ALP has uncritically backed every intervention and adventure by US imperialism—from Kosovo to Afghanistan—as well as the Howard government’s own neo-colonial foray into East Timor.

    Of course, only the Greens were actually brave enough to face down the mass murdering tyrant GW Bush and his lap dog Johhny Coward.

    This photo says it all really. Here we can see the thugs from the Coalition lead by the mass murdering Coward physically assaulting Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle while they shield Bush (appropriately, in the far right of the photo) from the free speech that he claimed to love. What a sick joke. So much for our democracy when this is how two elected Senators were abused in their own parliament.

  18. It is not just Labor, and it’s not just Queensland …


    Hunter Energy has bought the former Redbank power station near Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley and is planning to acquire existing generation assets to help shore up power supplies.

    Joel Fitzgibbon must be ecstatic over this.

  19. Urban Wronski @UrbanWronski
    Morrison labels Iran’s harassment of commercial oil tankers a “threat to our economy”, accusing Iran of “destabilising behaviour”. Neither is true. ScoMo’s simply slavishly doing the bidding of an incompetent and corrupt Trump administration, captured by anti-Iran neo-con hawks.

  20. simon holmes à court @simonahac
    queensland #LNP has thought up 3 brilliant* strategies for the grid recently:
    • build coal power stations
    • build nuclear power stations
    • cut the interconnector with NSW

    *not brilliant — in fact all 3 ideas lead to higher⬆️ power prices.

    Energy may be a political football, but it turns out that the electricity grid is a little bit more complicated than a game of footy, which Pitt and his colleagues in LNP appear to think this game is about.

    And don’t think they don’t have influence – they have forced the government to commission a nuclear inquiry, and have put a stop to any sensible policy that might have been promoted – the Coalition is now too scared to talk energy efficiency and electric vehicles thanks to this crew..

  21. Firefox,

    The justifications for the first Gulf War were completely different to those for the second. To try and say anything different is to demonstrate your inability to think rationally past your biases.

    Also with the Government having committed troops in the second War, it is more than reasonable to support those troops in the hope of minimising the danger of the ridiculous position the Government had placed them in.

    It was not their choice to go.

  22. a r says:
    Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Barney in Makassar @ #133 Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 – 11:01 am

    Also with Government having committed troops in the second War, it is more than reasonable to support those troops in the hope of minimising the danger of the ridiculous position the Government had placed them in.

    The best way to do that would be to bring them all home.

    Having been part of fucking the place up, surely there exists a responsibility to restore a functioning Society?

  23. #WeatheronPB. It’s getting very dry and dusty around Sydney after a long spell of dry, sunny, windy days. Bellambi, right on the coast about 70 km to the South, has not recorded a drop of rain in 45 days. That’s very unusual around here, almost certainly a record dry spell.

  24. The best way to support our troops is to not send them to be killed in unnecessary wars. The best way to support our troops who have already been sent into battle is to withdraw them immediately so that they are no longer being placed at unnecessary risk or placing the innocent civilians of the country they are in at risk.

    This nonsense that we have to support a war once it’s started because of the troops is just offensive bullshit.

  25. Barney

    It makes such sense to follow the guy saying “I am the Chosen One. The King of Israel” into war.

    If he was not President at the least we would be confiscating his car keys.

  26. “Having been part of fucking the place up, surely there exists a responsibility to restore a functioning Society?”

    You cannot bring democracy to a country via the barrel of a gun. Allowing a war to rage for years and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians is not how you go about “restoring a functioning society”.

    And as for taking responsibility for fucking Iraq up, you’re damn right we should. That includes taking responsibility for the innocent asylum seekers THE COALITION CREATED who have been fleeing Iraq after we went in and fucked up their country.

  27. Tony Koch @TonyKoc69285191
    The Courier Mail has discovered an “integrity crisis” in the Qld government because an ALP MP took months to declare a 1 night stay at a developer’s residence. God help these poor souls if they ever break a real story. Getting more sorry by the day.Such low-grade crap. #auspol

  28. “Firefox,

    And yet you conflate the first and second Gulf Wars as being the same!”

    Perhaps you should go a re-read that post. I was quoting an article, the author of which was making the point that Labor supported the first Gulf War. Nowhere did the author say that it was for the same reasons as the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Nowhere. You have made that up yourself, along with wrongly attributing it to me when I was actually quoting a linked article.

  29. Another must hear Minefield : Shoshana Zuboff on Surveillance Capitalism – which also links with her essay on the same subject on the ABC Religion & Ethics site. Thank Dog the ABC can still do this stuff. I’m off to get her book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.

  30. lizzie @ #141 Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 – 11:32 am

    Tony Koch @TonyKoc69285191
    The Courier Mail has discovered an “integrity crisis” in the Qld government because an ALP MP took months to declare a 1 night stay at a developer’s residence. God help these poor souls if they ever break a real story. Getting more sorry by the day.Such low-grade crap. #auspol

    This will keep happening with increasing frequency and hysterical rhetoric until the Queensland state election.

  31. On McCormacks apology to Pacific Islanders. If you feel the need to add a postscript ‘if any insult was taken’ to an apology it is no apology at all.

  32. Jeez the stockmarket is a funny old beast.

    Qantas (QAN) profit for 2019 financial year down 17%. It’s shares are up today by 3.37%;
    Webjet (WEB) profit for 2019 financial year up 46%. It’s shares are down today by 10.11%;

    Go figure.

  33. I see The Greens’ partisans are going off like frogs in a sock about the Straits of Hormuz commitment by Morrison and so desperate are they to tie Labor in to the decision they have been trawling their files all the way back to the early 2000s.

    Desperate much, guys?

    Maybe, if you are going to be fair, and I know it’s a big ask for immature one-eyed Greens partisans, but before you continue on your merry way putting your vegan Docs into Labor some more, you might like to read this:

  34. Denise Shrivell @deniseshrivell
    “In QLD, coal mining is just 1.1% of all QLD jobs. Coal mining comes in far behind far bigger employers like health, education, retail, agriculture, public administration, construction, as well as accommodation & food services’ #auspol >

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