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. Pegasus says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 4:29 pm
    Nobody, I mean nobody, ever, ever tells the Greens Party what to do.

    briefly just ranted (not for the first time) and told the party and its supporters to GAGF. What a charmer and how incredibly persuasive.

    The Rexologist should GAGF. They are riding shotgun for the Lib-Libs at all times. They have nothing to say to Labor that could be worth hearing.

  2. The Greens, as a party, can do whatever it likes with its preferences. The Green voters decide to send 80% of them to Labor, regardless.

    This is because the majority of Green voters see themselves as disillusioned Labor voters, and see their vote for the Greens as a protest vote, to send Labor a message.

  3. Oh, and your semi-regular friendly reminder that the most anti-Green characters around here are the very same ones who saw fit to vote Liberal in 2013!

  4. briefly

    How did you feel about Labor and its support of the workers when PM Rudd and PM Gillard spewed their pro-ABCC rhetoric around, viz wtte there is a need for a tough cop on the beat.

    I worked as a volunteer unionist for over 2 years on the Your Rights at Work campaign which in reality meant I was working for the ALP, instead of volunteering for the Greens.

    I didn’t repeat the same mistake in 2019. The ACTU’s htv card advocating vote #1 ALP validated my decision and also pissed off a lot of other unionists.

    Unions need to break their ties with the ALP rather than the other way around. Then they can campaign on workers rights and other related issues regardless of who is the government of the day.

  5. Mr S….

    The Lib-kin are an anti-Labor expression. There are many anti-Labor brands in the market. For a while they faced almost no competition. But the choices have been enlarged on the pop-Right end of the spectrum.

    They have probably peeled as many votes from Labor as they’re ever likely to. They do well to hold their market share. They do it by campaigning against Labor all the time….to stop their core PV drifting back to home base.

    The overall effect of this campaign is to hurt Labor. The Greens couldn’t care about that. They have a hundred rationalisations for their campaign.

  6. 11 billion tons of ice melted in Greenland — in just one day

    Europe’s historic heat wave has moved to Greenland, melting its ice sheets at dramatic rates. Eleven billion tons of ice melted across the country on Wednesday alone — its biggest melt this season.

    July may have been the hottest month in recorded history, according to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer,” he said Thursday.

    82% of Greenland’s surface is covered in ice. The country is home to the second biggest ice sheet in the world, next to the Antarctic. These two ice masses combined hold enough frozen water to raise global mean sea level by 65 meters if they were to suddenly melt.

  7. are the very same ones who saw fit to vote Liberal in 2013!

    Let’s not forget those who, spruiked for the Informal Party to not cast a valid vote. How constructive was that!

  8. zoomster @ #1608 Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 2:45 pm

    Pegasus – once again demonstrating that climate change is not her number one issue.

    Well that’s not exactly news because if climate change was your number one issue you’d never vote Green. You’d vote Labor as the only political party of government with the will and capacity to respond meaningfully to it.

  9. My memory was that only a cigarette paper separated Garrett’s ass from the Red Leather when he stood for the Trotskyists (sorry, Nuclear Disarmament Party).
    His break into parliament came thanks to the Terrigals deciding to do in Laurie Brereton. Aber, die Zeit fur Rache war gekommen. Laurie combined with Faulkner and co, and publicly announced Garrett as the candidate to take the seat to the left. Johno Johnson KCSG wasn’t having this and announced the Right’s own possible celebrity candidate …. Dr Karen Phelps. Fortunately Garrett got the job.
    Lessons from this:
    1. Garrett never had much link with the traditional ALP party machine
    2. The unwavering partisanship shown on this blog is in sharp contrast to the fluid loyalties of many people who find their way into parliament

  10. ‘Pegasus says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    RDN opined The Greens would form government in 20 years time.

    Nothing wrong with optimistic hyperbole and is no different to the hubris of the majority of Laborites here before the last federal election and on many other occasions.’

    Comical Di Natale.

    Having failed electorally for 30 years he casually adds another 20 years.

  11. Mr Squiggle
    Its an interesting question but I think part of the reason is that while you would think voting patterns change but in reality they don’t.

    What i mean by that is roughly a third of the electorate is solid progressive/left lending, another third is conservative/right lending and another third swing, but its more complicated than that with many people on the left side holding conservative views towards certain issues while many people on the conservative side hold pro-social/ progressive ideas.

    This is where I think we find the Greens problem because they tend to see the world in black and white. Take Julian Burnside, did anyone know he was a Liberal voter for twenty odd years, I am sure many on the right saw him as a leftie and most on the left would have seen him as being aligned on refugee policy.

    You bring up Dunkley. The current boundaries are closer to the 1990s boundaries than they have been for a while and if you look at the booths around Frankston/Karingal/Langwarrin you can see the ALP has gone from a period of strength in the early 1990s to struggling during the Howard years to now being back to where they were in the early 1990s.

    This kind of shows that voting patterns tend to move in a range over time as the swinging third moves while the other two thirds don’t really move at all. I find the Greens do best when there is a major social issue for them to lash onto, currently there isn’t an issue, before people bring up climate change, that is already baked into their support base.

    The Greens are essentially focused on the converted.

  12. Remember how the non-existent Death Tax helped to lose Labor the election? Well…

    The typical inheritance is now worth around $500,000 – an estimate that doesn’t even include superannuation – and beneficiaries are usually in their late 50s.

    Inheritances are tax-free and mostly serve to make the rich richer, according to the Grattan Institute, which says Australia is an outlier among OECD countries in that it “actively subsidises” inheritances via superannuation tax breaks and the special treatment of the family home in the age pension assets test.

    All this makes death taxes a likely point of debate as part of the government’s forthcoming review of retirement incomes.

    Although the terms of reference have yet to be announced, the Actuaries Institute has waded in early, calling for serious consideration of a universal death duty.

  13. I am reminded that a unknown loyalist called Michael Daley was one of the candidates considered by Johno before both sides decided to play celebrity candidates

  14. OC
    Garrett, whom I know to be a fundamentally decent man, took the fall for Rudd on pink batts.
    It would not surprise me if he ran for the Greens.
    Which would be a sad waste of a good man.

  15. zoomster says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 4:50 pm


    Climate change.
    So you support the ALP climate change policies which are only slightly better than that offered by the Coalition. Nice.

  16. OC

    ALP factional loyalists are loyal until they are not. Allegiances are totally fluid. If an ambitious individual perceives there is an impediment to climbing the ladder and gaining preselection for a safe seat, they will swap sides without batting an eye. Pragmatism rules.

  17. All this makes death taxes a likely point of debate as part of the government’s forthcoming review of retirement incomes.

    I’ll be very surprised if it happens. The coalition will never piss off older voters, one of their significant voting blocs.

  18. nath

    I support slightly better climate change policies which have a chance of being implemented – too late, but still better than the Liberals (as you admit) and far earlier than any other party can offer.

    Meanwhile, I continue to push for more urgent action.

    You, apparently,* are willing to wait around for pie in the sky solutions, which, even if they were implemented, would be far too late.

    *I say apparently because I know you’re not really a Green, but pretend to be one to encourage the likes of peg and Rex to post here. It’s just one of the things you do to irritate people.

  19. ALP voters with climate change as their number one issue might as well just vote for the Coalition. At least the Coalition’s policies have a chance of being enacted, seeing that the ALP have no hope of ever getting into government.

  20. zoomster.
    I say apparently because I know you’re not really a Green, but pretend to be one to encourage the likes of peg and Rex to post here. It’s just one of the things you do to irritate people.
    I vote Green but I am not a member. Climate change is not my number one issue, although it is my second. Poverty and particularly child poverty is my number one issue.

    I know you would like to push more single mothers into poverty and get a few of them into part time jobs for fear of going hungry. Very neo-liberal of you.

  21. lol zoomster believes I am encouraged by nath and rex to post here.

    How upsetting it must be for you that I have persisted in posting despite your ongoing attempts since 2009 to deter me with derision and misrepresentations.

    No win for you there. How galling.

  22. zoomster says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 5:07 pm


    As I’ve said before, it’s pretty obvious you’re actually a Liberal.
    really. Seeing that I’ve posted nothing but contempt for religious conservatism I’m interested in why you think that. Oh, because I detest Bill Shorten. So of course I must be a liberal.


    Garret lost(by ~57,000 votes) because the ALP preferenced the Democrats ahead of the NDP and under group ticket voting, the preference flow was tight enough.

    If the current ATL preferencing system had been used, it would have been a much closer race.

  24. zoomster says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 5:07 pm


    As I’ve said before, it’s pretty obvious you’re actually a Liberal.
    I actually think you’re a National.

  25. Hi Mexican BMW,

    For what its worth, I thought Julian Burnside was positioned by the Greens HQ as a male candidate with a legal background trying to capture the Doctor’s wives demographic. It was never going to work.

    I take your point about the three large voting blocks but for me that just means the Greens should have moved upwards from @10%, even if that block of voters would be capped somewhere around one third.

    Out of the last Federal election, I found it interesting that the Animal Justice Party and Sustainable Australia increased their combined vote to over 1%. Both groups of voters would normally be Green voters, and find better representation in non-Green parties

  26. WA Labor state conference

    Tensions have again flared at the WA Labor conference, a day after the party was embarrassed by a walk-out and heckling and booing of senior office holders.

    Key points:
    Members of two unions refused to stand for Anthony Albanese after his conference speech
    Mr Albanese has been trying to have Victorian union boss John Setka expelled from the party
    Tensions also erupted over the Government’s plans to build a new port in Kwinana
    Drama over the party’s position on the Fremantle Port and heavy criticism of the McGowan Government’s policies followed a mixed reaction to the keynote speech by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.

    Members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and the Maritime Union of Australia pointedly refused to join in a standing ovation for Mr Albanese, amid tension over the leader’s push to expel Victorian union boss John Setka from the party.

  27. Michael Springer @MichaelSpring17
    @AnnastaciaMP announced today the QBuild initiative which will along with restoring TAFE drive proper apprenticeships and build infrastructure throughout Qld. Over 300 new jobs immediately created and important regional projects undertaken. This is a good govt.

  28. Mr Squiggle

    I don’t think Burnside was a mistake as he was a good fit for that electorate, the problem seems to be that on one hand Burnside and the doctors wives are the target, however in the next breathe the Greens will attack the same group for being wealthy and privileged which of course they are but in doing so they shot themselves in the foot.

    It is as though they are not entirely sure who their base is or how to diversify its base. It is both a positive and negative problem to have as the majors know full well. It is a difficult balancing act that all parties face but I think in time the Greens will see further growth but it will bounce around with the emergence of parties like the Animal Justice Party.

  29. zoomster says:
    Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 5:27 pm


    Oh yes, that issue we established you’d done absolutely nothing about.

    You must be so proud.
    I’ve done a few things. Alot more than you’ve done on climate change. I can’t really recall you posting much on your number one issue if at all. If you ask me your number one issue is providing a bit of snark and plenty of nit picking. At these things you at least have some passion. 🙂

  30. Boerwar
    I tend to agree with that, had Burnside been the independent with Yates as the Green or with the Greens sticking their first candidate with no Yates then the result might have been much tighter.

  31. The Greens should’ve kept Burnside’s campaign local. The minute he was thrust onto the national stage, his arrogance and inexperience led him to gaffe after embarrassment for the party, to the point he had to be shoved in a closet.

  32. Oh dear zoomster, showing your true colours once again. Reverting to type pre-2010 …. the same juvenile jibes.

    Some people never move on or never grow up.

  33. lizzie
    Sunday, August 25th, 2019 – 5:22 pm
    Comment #1638

    The trees were their homes.

    I have come to believe that consciousness is a curse. What constitutes much of this blog reinforces that view (me iincluded).


    George Pell has decided to appeal his case to the High Court, setting the scene for a final legal battle over the senior Catholic cleric’s child sex abuse convictions.

    Sources have told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that Pell made the decision after receiving unanimous advice from his legal team that the dissenting opinion of Victorian Supreme Court Justice Mark Weinberg provided reasonable grounds to have his convictions overturned.

    Pell has 21 days from last Wednesday’s Court of Appeal judgement to formally lodge an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. It is likely that a short hearing to determine his application will be listed for this year.

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