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”

  1. News Corp newspaper the Australian has taken a particular interest in trans and gender diverse children, and legislation being debated in Victoria to allow people to change the sex on their birth certificate.

    According to the ABC’s Media Watch, the Australian has published over 18 articles in the past month, mostly negative, on the topic.

    Headlines have ranged from “Transgender project ‘out of balance’” to “Gender reassignment? They’re castrating children”.

    The peak body for healthcare for trans and gender diverse people, the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH), called the Australian’s coverage “biased, emotive, and is not based on fact”.

    The newspaper’s coverage has set the tone for other media outlets, such as Sky News and radio station 2GB. But as with many other issues that get caught up in episodic outbreaks of Australia’s culture wars, the reality of treatment for children is a long way from the headlines.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/24/how-children-became-the-target-in-a-rightwing-culture-war-over-gender

  2. “Labor has ramped up speaking out of both sides of its mouth. We support the science re AGW and we support coal and CSG fracking.

    Huzzah!

    It has learnt nothing, zip, nada from its incoherent and muddled position prosecuted during the last federal election.”

    PegaFox News – Fair and Balanced – simply lacks the mental acuity to grasp the fundamental economic and political drivers.

    Comrades there is little point therefore engaging with it or those who subscribe to her ‘Noos Bulletin’: we need to focus on the main game. Even if it means taking a hit on our left flank.

  3. Oakeshott Country @ #1448 Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 12:23 pm

    Yes, it makes a great deal of sense that we should make a statement by gifting our largest (or second largest) export industry to our competitors.

    The world will stand up and take notice

    Do we have the political leadership, courage and foresight to setup a sustainable economy with sustainable exports as part of that …?

  4. “Do we have the political leadership, courage and foresight to setup a sustainable economy with sustainable exports as part of that …?”

    Negative. So much is clear from the outcome of the political discourse of the past 15 years. Or haven’t you been paying attention?

  5. Rick Wilson’s latest.

    It’s almost as if we need a recalibration of the insanity of the Trump era, a new set of definitions about what comprises normal presidential behavior.

    Because what’s happening now left normal five towns back, stopped for smokes and brown liquor, and tossed the GPS out the window. This week wasn’t normal, and no amount of whistling past the graveyard will make it any different.

    Donald Trump’s affect, speech patterns and overall delivery this week have been alternately horrifying and hilarious. A combination of waking hallucinations, verbal tics, lies surpassing even his usual fabulist standard, aphasias and lunatic blurtings, each public utterance was a moment where the eye of his aides either popped or rolled, depending on their level of cynicism.

    His, um, creative pronunciations of common words, mayfly attention to the most ephemeral ideas and high-tempo tweeting left people wondering if a heapin’ helpin’ of large-animal tranquilizer might be in order with the next round of KFC.

    https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-the-great-crackup-20190825-3m5btyfh3bd4jaw4dkzmgcxjfm-story.html

  6. This seems in line with Morrison and his “Stop the Boats” methods.

    Barry ‘Scrap’ Tucker @btckr
    4h

    The military generally take over when public unrest is extreme or govt is totally inept or corrupt. As global warming becomes an existential threat we might see more military takeovers. They are accustomed to cutting through the crap & imposing severe, workable solutions.

  7. ‘The military generally take over when public unrest is extreme or govt is totally inept or corrupt. As global warming becomes an existential threat we might see more military takeovers. They are accustomed to cutting through the crap & imposing severe, workable solutions.’

    Workable solutions?

    1. Half of all militaries have lost half of all wars.
    2. Military juntas do not have a good track record of delivering sustainable outcomes.
    3. Military ability to prepare for the next war is replete with cock ups.
    4. Corruption in many militaries around the world fairly accurately reflects civilian corruption. In other words, if a civilian government is corrupt, don’t expect the relevant military to be non-corrupt.

  8. AE

    Your arrogance, intolerance to different values and head-kicking style is charming. Do keep it up.

    If you believe the ALP will ever concede a few inner seats to the Greens I have a bridge to sell you.

  9. I am still waiting for a cogent and compelling rationale from the Greens to explain why they have failed totally to gain government for 30 years.
    Is it the quality of their organizational people?
    Is it their policies?
    Is it the quality of their candidates?
    Is it their inability to mount a case?
    Is it their inability to cobble together some messages that voters can comprehend and support?
    Is it their reputation for coming up with bizarre ‘solutions’?
    Is it their focus on attacking Labor?
    Is it that the voters are more intelligent than the Greens, and not the other way around which is the basic premise of most Greens communications campaigns?
    What?
    I assume that the answers the total Greens failure to form government in their own right are probably a mix of many elements.
    After all, 30 years of massive electoral bugger ups are hardly a political flash in the pan and it is likely that the causes for the Greens electoral failure has varied over time.

  10. Confessions says: Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Rick Wilson’s latest.

    It’s almost as if we need a recalibration of the insanity of the Trump era, a new set of definitions about what comprises normal presidential behavior.

    **************************************************

    Salon regular Lucian Truscott is on the same wavelength as Rick Wilson :

    Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like

    Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.

    This is what it feels like to live in a dictatorship. Our nation may not actually be a dictatorship, at least not yet, but it feels like we’re living in one. We are dominated by a man who beats us senseless with an everyday drumbeat of horrors.

    https://www.salon.com/2019/08/24/mass-rallies-crazy-decisions-grandiose-posturing-this-is-what-living-in-a-dictatorship-feels-like/

  11. Labor has learned from the May election. We must differentiate ourselves from the Greens.

    The Greens and the Liberals are antithetical to Labor’s values, goals and interests. They have to be opposed.

  12. Briefly shows the moneyed corpinterest position. Paid and bought by the plutocracy.

    Be against the environment the policy to address the issues are the enemies of Labor.

  13. “AE

    Your arrogance, intolerance to different values and head-kicking style is charming. Do keep it up.

    If you believe the ALP will ever concede a few inner seats to the Greens I have a bridge to sell you.”

    Shenanigans. I embrace a plurality of values. We need to make common cause. The real problem is the intorelance of the inner city to the hopes, aspirations and values of those who live in the other suburbs and regions. We (both Team Red and Team Green) need them as much as we need each other. However, your team refuses to even consider the point, tell alone agree with it. In those circumstances, and as an emergency measure Labor must break off with your team.

    That is not to say that we concede anything to you, but we should expect to receive some collateral damage as we recalibrate and refocus both our mission and message.

    You should rejoice Peg: the ammunition you will get to attack Labor from the left flank in the cities (thus helping your true bourgeoisie mates in the Liberal Party) will be boundless: Gladys Liu thanks you for your service in advance.

  14. The federal government’s goal should be to help the state governments to make the public schools so good that hardly anyone chooses to send their child to a private school. Highly quality education is a public good that should be guaranteed to everyone. It is wrong of the federal government to instead reinforce inequality of wealth and income by providing generous public funding to schools that are already amply resourced.

  15. ‘If you believe the ALP will ever concede a few inner seats to the Greens I have a bridge to sell you.’

    Why should they? It’s the voters who decide who holds the seats, not the party.

    If the Greens want these seats, they’ll have to win them – just like any other party.

    The arrogance of demanding that seats be given to a certain party is gobsmacking.

    Even the Libs/Nats contest seats, and they’re in Coalition.

  16. Nicholas

    Wait for it Labor will sell out public education yet again.
    I am surprised they are sticking by Medicare so far.

    The sellouts of the base since the election have been massive

  17. “Labor has learned from the May election. We must differentiate ourselves from the Greens.

    The Greens and the Liberals are antithetical to Labor’s values, goals and interests. They have to be opposed.”

    Steady on there a bit, Comrade. Ultimately we will need to make common cause with some aspects of the Greens, but we need to break off at the moment and mend the fences in our own backyard first.

  18. boerwar

    Still remaining mute in the face of frednk’s ignorance and inability to grasp why the sacred trees are important to First Australians.

    Sacred trees

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/like-losing-my-son-why-trees-threatened-by-western-hwy-are-so-sacred-20190824-p52kcq.html

    These are the remnants of Djab Wurrung culture. Through colonisation and changes wrought by European farming, Djab Wurrung land has been dug up, trees cut down and rivers and billabongs drained.

    But pockets of sacred landscape remain.

    This is one of them.

  19. Eddy Jokovich @EddyJokovich
    ·
    12m
    Great leading question by ABC reporter to allow Liberal MP to load up on Labor factions, dump on WA Labor for walking out on Welcome To Country (they didn’t – and BTW, WA Liberals refused to even have a welcome to country). But #ABCNews24 shouldn’t let facts get in the way.

  20. Andrew_Earlwood @ #1395 Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 10:13 am

    Ultimately, after the dust has settled, Labor and the Greens must make common cause. Not just with each other, but they have to embrace the voters who have gone missing from both Team Red and Team Green.

    Team Red isn’t very good at the moment at doing that. So much is clear.

    Team Green refuses to acknowledge the basic political imperative however. … Unless of course, as we have long suspected, Team Green actually doesn’t give a fuck about achieving anything: only in being seen to be ‘on the right side’. Whatever that means.

    The Greens seem to suffer the extraordinary delusion that any voters they can drive from Labor will come to them.

    But the hard electoral reality is that a critical chunk of those voters are already on the right of Labor and will never (and I mean never) vote Green, and will instead move their votes even further to the right, thus reducing the combined centre-left vote, and helping to keep it out of power.

    Labor are in the impossible position of having to appease fundamentally irreconcilable and destructive electoral forces to either side of them.

    The right are keenly aware of all this, and gleefully, ruthlessly, and very profitably exploit the living bejeebus out of it.

    The measure of success for any political entity is how much of their core policy they get implemented. By that measure the Greens have been a catastrophically regressive failure for the Oz polity.

    Until the Greens grow up and come to terms with the absolute necessity of making the often gut-wrenching principle-shredding compromises required to get and exercise real power, the centre-left will remain impotent, and Oz will remain at the mercy of the increasingly reactionary and brutal hard right.

    At this point I see no evidence that the Greens are even considering such matters, let alone acting constructively on them.

  21. Confessions says: Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    phoenixRed:

    Did you watch Real Time yesterday? Bill Maher was also on the same page.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytQXasWZe5Q

    **************************************

    Actually – in honesty Confessions – I passed on this weeks Real Time after reading a report of what Bill had to say about the death of David Koch – was unnecessarily cruel and beneath Bill …

  22. JM

    Labor are in the impossible position of having to appease fundamentally irreconcilable and destructive electoral forces to either side of them.

    The right are keenly aware of all this, and gleefully, ruthlessly, and very profitably exploit the living bejeebus out of it.

    As do the political Greens.

  23. JM

    Hello to Minority Labor Government of the future for you.
    So much Labor right thinking that assumes voters will take the sell outs over the authentic parties because you are called a majority party.

    The shock of the last election for Labor was the minors of both left and right winning. That was to the advantage of the LNP in Queensland. Assuming your left base will remain after betraying Ged Kearney “I will fix from the inside” is your problem.

    Kearney has proven the Greens by election campaign to be correct.

  24. The Greens Party – a political party in its own right with its own policy agenda that it stands up for and advocates for. Just like Labor, just like the Liberals, just like the Nationals, just like every other minor and micro party.

    I understand why supporters and members of the political duopoly continue to be in denial about this and believe Australia ought to be a two-party state.

  25. “At this point I see no evidence that the Greens are even considering such matters, let alone acting constructively on them.”

    That’s why Labor needs to decisively break with them JM.

    A national plan to end long term unemployment, lift incomes and build infrastructure is IMO the pathway for Labor to effectively distinguish itself between the feckless LNP and the arrogant out of touch inner city Greens. It is the pathway back to securing 77+ seats. Government and all that comes with that.

  26. phR

    ‘Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like’

    Bullshit. This chap is a fool.

    1. The legal system still operates more or less like it is supposed. Several aspects of it are openly investigating the POTUS.
    2. The MSM can still publish just about anything it wants to about the POTUS. And does.
    3. Death squads are not out and about murdering political enemies of the POTUS.
    4. In dictatorships the military is totally subordinate to the dictator. There is little or no evidence for this in the US. In fact we could mount a reasonable case that one solid bulwark against the POTUS is the US military.
    5. There are no concentration camps targetting the political enemies of the POTUS.
    6. Political satire of the POTUS is alive and will.
    7. Mass rallies by groups opposing the POTUS happen without any real trammel.

    As for crazy decisions, you don’t need a dictatorship for governments to deliver crazy decisions. Look at the Greens. They want to close down the ADF, destroy whole industries by fiat and pay for the shambles by printing endless amounts of money.

    As for grandiose posturing. After the last election but one Di Natale promised everyone that the Greens were on track to form government.

  27. The Greens do have to lift their game significantly in engaging with the electorate.

    They have a reasonably good and logical overall message to send but they need to find a voice from inside or outside the party that can engage voter support because support is earned rather than expected.

  28. What has Ged Kearney been saying lately? Anything? I speculate she has been receiving much negative feedback from her inner city constituents.

  29. ‘Pegasus says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    The Greens Party – a political party in its own right with its own policy agenda that it stands up for and advocates for. Just like Labor, just like the Liberals, just like the Nationals, just like every other minor and micro party.’

    Of course. No-one is arguing that the Greens have not got the right to fail politically. But that does not answer the question of WHY the Greens have failed to form governments in their own right after 30 years of trying.

    What are your views on why the Greens have failed?

  30. Confessions says: Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    phoenixRed:

    He did admit at the time he’d cop stick for his views on Koch. If nothing else he was honestly forthright.

    *************************************************

    I can live with him intently disliking the man or even “Good Riddance” …… but to wish someone a painful death was just a bit unnecessary ……

  31. Pegasus @ #1449 Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 12:19 pm

    Labor has ramped up speaking out of both sides of its mouth. We support the science re AGW and we support coal and CSG fracking.

    Huzzah!

    It has learnt nothing, zip, nada from its incoherent and muddled position prosecuted during the last federal election.

    It’s an improvement on the Greens who talk out of their arse.

  32. Boerwar

    I am happy for you to continue focusing on those irrelevant Greens as I enjoy your creative writing. Introducing new material every week is a good way to ensure reader engagement.

  33. ‘Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    The Greens do have to lift their game significantly in engaging with the electorate.

    They have a reasonably good and logical overall message to send but they need to find a voice from inside or outside the party that can engage voter support because support is earned rather than expected.’

    True. For 30 years the Greens have failed to earn support from 90% of Australia’s voters. But WHY has it failed to earn support for 30 years. Lack of a ‘voice’ seems a small explanation for a remarkable political phenomenum: the longest run of massive electoral failure by any Party in the history of Federation.

  34. “Hello to Minority Labor Government of the future for you.
    So much Labor right thinking that assumes voters will take the sell outs over the authentic parties because you are called a majority party.”

    You have problems counting past single figures obviously: However Labor focusing on a national plan of economic hope has the real potential to deliver another 20 seats to labor in the middle and outer suburbs of of major cities and big regional centres.

    Such a plan would have the authenticity of the Whitlam Program.

    It would be hugely popular, Especially if labor sheds its adherence to pop left ideas that have no attraction, in those regions. Even if you snatch a few inner city seats Labor could easily govern in its own right.

    Edited to add: of course, once in Government Labor would have to deal with the cross bench in the senate, including the Greens, but it could do so from a position of strength.

  35. Peg
    Its not a duopoly, surely the Greens don’t think the Libs and ALP agree to share power because that is absolutely not the case but for some reason some Greens don’t understand that politics is a contest of ideas so instead of moaning about being challenged, the Greens need to actually just engage the issue because only then can the Greens increase their support beyond its current level.

  36. Pegasus

    Not seen anything from Kearney.

    As for Andrew Earlwood we saw his ignore the Greens they are irrelevant play it out in NSW. Labor lost another expected election. Lack of authentic alternative led to Independent’s not Labor winning National party seats.

    We know from other elections Labor can win National Party seats. In fact before the Greens can. Now we might see Independent or Green seats as the Nationals and Labor work against farmers with Climate policy

  37. ‘zoomster says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    ‘Go for it girl! But you will need to play with yourself.’

    Hmmm…….

    Not necessary.’

    Well said.

  38. Andrew_Earlwood @ #1487 Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 1:21 pm

    “Hello to Minority Labor Government of the future for you.
    So much Labor right thinking that assumes voters will take the sell outs over the authentic parties because you are called a majority party.”

    You have problems counting past single figures obviously: However Labor focusing on a national plan of economic hope has the real potential to deliver another 20 seats to labor in the middle and outer suburbs of of major cities and big regional centres.

    Such a plan would have the authenticity of the Whitlam Program.

    It would be hugely popular, Especially if labor sheds its adherence to pop left ideas that have no attraction, in those regions. Even if you snatch a few inner city seats Labor could easily govern in its own right.

    Labor being under the spell of the thermal coal mining vested interest of the CFMMEU is hardly an advantage.

  39. Ah, here’s Guytaur.
    What is your explanation for the longest run of electoral failure by any political party in the history of federation?
    After all, if the Greens can find an explanation they can move forward with some hope that their political fortunes will not stay in the toilet forever.

  40. Gosh it’s beginning to be like the pre-2010 federal election around here.

    The charmers and head-kickers of the ALP right fulminating and employing their metaphorical steel-capped boots getting stuck into the handful of individuals who do not agree with their orthodoxy.

    Times are a-changing.

    The planet is burning. Timid incrementalism does not cut it any longer.

  41. Boerwar says:
    True. For 30 years the Greens have failed to earn support from 90% of Australia’s voters. But WHY has it failed to earn support for 30 years.
    _______________________
    Avoiding the obvious stupidity, the Greens have been an incredible success. Who in say 1990 would have predicted their rise in votes and upper and lower house seats? The Greens have been far more successful than the Australian Democrats. Of course the question now is where to next? Will the Greens just level off? Keep their fairly regular Senate representation and the odd lower house Seat? It’s possible. It is is still a good position. They should be doing everything possible to maximise their Senate vote and seek the BoP. It should be the number one priority.

  42. ‘The charmers and head-kickers of the ALP right fulminating and employing their metaphorical steel-capped boots getting stuck into the handful of individuals who do not agree with their orthodoxy.’

    Alternatively, other posters disagreeing with other posters.

    Seriously, if you want blind agreement with everything you post, I’d suggest trying another blog.

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