Essential Research: leader ratings and protest laws

Discouragement for Newspoll’s notion of an Anthony Albanese approval surge, plus a mixed bag of findings on the right to protest.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll still offers nothing on voting intention, though it’s relative interesting in that it features the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings. Contrary to Newspoll, these record a weakening in Anthony Albanese’s ratings, with approval down three to 37% and disapproval up five to 34%. Scott Morrison also worsens slightly, down two on approval to 45% and up three on disapproval to 41%, and his preferred prime minister read is essentially steady at 44-28 (43-28 last month).

Further questions relate to the right to protest, including the finding that 33% would support laws flagged by Scott Morrison that “could make consumer or environment boycotts illegal”, while 39% were opposed. Fifty-eight per cent agreed the government had “the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts business”, with 31% for disagree; but that 53% agreed that “protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines”, with 33% disagreeing.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1075 respondents chosen from an online panel.

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.

1,832 comments on “Essential Research: leader ratings and protest laws”

  1. I see the toxic the Greens dare to exist still rules this blog.

    Totally ignoring the review into the election loss. That looming power shift to the left must be hurting the Labor right very badly.

  2. Wednesday will be a stinker everywhere and catastrophic fire danger in the Mount Lofty Region. That is to allow for BKs badlands. I was out there this morning …. very dry. Here it is lush green and my bush paddock still wet under foot.

    When driving past have you noticed the sea of green that is the summer active redleg grass in our seed production area?

  3. When driving past have you noticed the sea of green that is the summer active redleg grass in our seed production area?

    No! I missed it.
    Remind me again where to look?

  4. Mr Denmore

    The news story happening in plain sight. Our political system is so corrupted by money and favours, we are unable to deal effectively with climate change. So why is @bernardkeane the only one reporting it?

  5. Ah!
    No! I missed it.
    Remind me again where to look?
    As you leave the township heading to Birdwood it is on the left hand side just after leaving the 50kph zone. There is a big sign out the front of it.

  6. Next to Oval Rd BK?

    I was just spruiking your efforts to some farmers in Hartley.

    Will you be cutting it early for bushfire season or just give it a good firebreak?

  7. BK

    As you leave the township heading to Birdwood it is on the left hand side just after leaving the 50kph zone. There is a big sign out the front of it.

    This sign ?

  8. Confessions @ #1710 Monday, November 18th, 2019 – 6:02 pm

    Jonathan Yuan@jyuanathan
    3h3 hours ago
    via @Timodc: “If you had any doubt that Trump was a human repellent spray for suburban voters who have a conservative disposition, Republicans getting wiped out in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisville and Lexington should remove it.”

    ‘fess, I listened to some Repugs defending Trump on the weekend talk shows in the US and now they are trying to convince everyone that the Ukraine business should never have been exposed as Donald Trump should be allowed to do whatever he wants to, in secret!

  9. C@t:

    The evolution of the Trump Defence almost always invariably goes like this:

    – it didn’t happen
    – ok it happened, but not like you said it did
    – alright, it happened like you said it did, but Trump didn’t know he was doing it
    – (after Trump brags about doing illegal thing) so Trump did know, so what? It’s not a breach of the constitution
    – it’s a breach of the constitution, but it isn’t illegal
    – it’s illegal, but Trump has presidential immunity

  10. OK. I dont often take that road but I will make a special detour next time.

    I cut some of my native grass in the fire breaks. Seemed wrong as it was green as and now cut, dry. I could rake it… but cant burn it in fireseason and cant be arsed loading a trailer and taking it to Heathfield…. or filling all the green bins in the street.

    Besides, I want the seeds to spread.

  11. Socrates @3:13pm

    Thanks for that link to the National Faster Rail Authority. Hilarious! Like you I had not heard of any of the key managers listed before. After some time on Google I note that three are bureaucrats taken out of the Federal DIRDC. I note that two list a background in resource management and fisheries. That will help planning rail lines, I’m sure

    I could tell you some stories about how DIRD managed the original Phase 1 and 2 HSR Studies that I’m a bit reluctant to repeat on here. Lets just say that the Phase 2 HSR Study was deliberately engineered to fail – and I have that on the authority of some of the people who worked for the Study.

    A couple of interesting points. In the 2010 Phase 1 Study the Terms of Reference had an entire paragraph describing how Newcastle to Sydney would be a specific focus and referring to this part as the “spine” of the network. This is why the Phase 1 Study has an entire chapter on Sydney to Newcastle and a specialised model dealing with commuters. The bureaucrats from DIRD didn’t like how this was going and removed the reference to Sydney-Newcastle from the terms of reference for the Phase 2 Study. Essentially at some point, a decision was made behind close doors to push Sydney to Melbourne and the Phase 2 Study then made it so.

    I can also walk you through how the basic data is suspect and the critical flaws in the demand modelling. If you spend a lot of time going into the Phase 2 Study like I have, you’l end with the following conclusion: This smells like Utopia. There really are some dodgy bits – and all of it consistent with a team trying to push Sydney to Melbourne at the cost of Newcastle to Wollongong.

    Did you know that they expected more people to use the Southern Highlands station (out in the bush 7 km northeast of Mittagong) than would use the Newcastle station? I finally tracked that down and the reason is unprofessional at the least.

    Reading through the list of NFRA “projects” it is the usual rebadging and claiming credit for State projects. I note Geelong – Melbourne is listed as the highest priority. Given that the current line runs broad gauge diesels capable of 210 but limited to 160 by track, and the last third of the route is in suburban Melbourne, how will they ever average 160 km/hr for this journey? I do not see any easy fix for this unless there is to be a new, separate route connecting to Melbourne CBD. And other lines to Parkes and Shepparton when there is no serious plan to service Woolloongong or the Sunshine Coast??

    Yes, its mostly about looking like you’re a functional government when you don’t give a shit.
    Mind you, there are some rail industry people who do talk up the prospects of “fastish” trains and because they make unreasonable claims about doing this on the cheap, they get the ear of the Canberra bureaucrats.

    While I’m here I’ll mention that the 2017 Faster Rail Prospectus was, to put it politely, predictable.

    Three consortia won a share in $20 million to each develop a business case. For he benefit of the readers here I’ll go into a bit of detail. You can see the results on that page I just linked.

    CLARA (Consolidated Land and Rail) is a real estate speculation outfit who won the Victorian share of the money. There were also questions over CLARA’s finances after they were awarded the money. No sane person would think that this scheme has any merit or any chance of success, yet the bureaucrats assessed the scheme as “high quality”.

    Transport for NSW won the NSW portion of the spoils. TfNSW simply recycled some older ideas regarding building a new route (new tunnels/bridges) between Mount Kuring-gai and Woy Woy. Something that they have commissioned numerous studies on since 2000. What’s interesting is that they make the misleading claim of an hour time saving. In reality the time saving will be around 20 minutes. And the Federal government website (page linked above) cheerfully reproduces this falsehood. In any case, TfNSW after having accepted the money, then wen and obsoleted the entire project by appointing Professor McNaughton to head a four corridor fast rail study that includes Newcastle to Sydney.

    Queensland of course has the North Coast Connect consortium. A group led by property developer Stockland. This was for a fastish train from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. Of all the schemes that the Feds wasted money on through this Prospectus, this one was the least idiotic. But the claim of a 45 minute train was based on building an entirely new corridor (and tunnel) into Brisbane. Otherwise its just a “fastish” train – and its still estimated by my colleagues as running into the billions and it just simply doesn’t have a business case.

    How do I know all of this? I was involved as lead architect for another consortium.

    As for Geelong. There already exists a reasonably fast path through Newport. All that is missing is a few km of tunnel and a viaduct following Footscray Road. Of course the official cannon has a fast(er)ish train going via Sunshine. But I very much doubt anyone will have the clarity of thought to go down this path.

    There is a potential opportunity for HSR access to the north (Seymour, Shepparton, Albury) via Tullamarine. It would involve some compromise over a more direct route to the north, but it would be cost effective in that it would also deliver a very fast airport link. Again, no one pays me for this.

    On the topic of Wollongong. Back in 2013 I had a long phone conversation with Richard Farmer (the bureaucrat in charge of the Phase 2 HSR Study) regarding the absence of of a Wollongong connection. Where they fucked up in the Study was that they for some reason insisted on Wollongong being a stop on the way to Canberra, rather than being connected via a spur. Nowhere in the text of either report is the spur option considered, or even hinted at. Yet Mr. Farmer assured me on the phone that yes they had. I don’t believe him.

    Btw the HSR network I developed included a spur to Wollongong. Allowing a 45 minute transit from Wollongong to the center of the Sydney CBD (not to Central) and 43 minutes to Parramatta. All via Wilton and Campbelltown.

  12. frednk

    The Geelong and Ballarat share duel tracks

    I think you mean “dual” tracks. Duel tracks make me think of jousting – which could be a fun new sport if it involves trains 🙂

  13. The philosopher Diogenes (c.412-323 BCE) was described by Plato as ‘a Socrates gone mad’. He lived in a barrel & believed man must embrace nature & reject shame. He openly masturbated in public, saying “If only it were so easy to soothe hunger by rubbing an empty belly”.

  14. Cud Chewer
    Monday, November 18th, 2019 – 6:48 pm
    Comment #1700

    Thanks VM for your information over the last couple of days.

    There were also questions over CLARA’s finances after they were awarded the money. No sane person would think that this scheme has any merit or any chance of success, yet the bureaucrats assessed the scheme as “high quality”.

    How are are sane persons kept from these “high quality” fuckups? Heavily armed bureaucrats posing as defenders of the faith perhaps ❓

    These projects will be keeping the same people or their descendants in clover long after I’m dead. I now project my thoughts and prayers towards them (revisiting seven plagues of Egypt).

    Plagues of Egypt

    •1.1 1. Blood: Ex. 7:14–24.
    •1.2 2. Frogs: Ex. 7:25–8:15.
    •1.3 3. Lice or Gnats: Ex. 8:16-19.
    •1.4 4. Wild animals or flies: Ex. 8:20-32.
    •1.5 5. Pestilence of livestock: Ex. 9:1–7.
    •1.6 6. Boils: Ex. 9:8–12.
    •1.7 7. Thunderstorm of hail and fire: Ex. 9:13–35.
    •1.8 8. Locusts: Ex. 10:1–20.

    Goodnight all. 📺💤

  15. I moved this motion to support the Central Coast calling on the Government to cancel approvals for an enormous coal mine right in the middle of the Central Coast's water supply.Surprise surprise, the major parties backed the fossil fuel companies over the community… #auspol— Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) November 18, 2019

    Our society is “trapped” by the major party backers.

  16. I do hope that the Greens put some flesh on their Zero/2030 thing over the National Conference Omerta Sessions.

    Perhaps they added ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the millions of jobs they are going to create by way of compensating for the tens of thousands of lives they are promising to uproot with their current swathe of destructive policies.

    Perhaps Whish-Wilson should go to Hong Kong to assess whether even a Light Mobile Force is simply far too much defence spending?

  17. @guytaur

    I agree fully with you concerning the attitude towards the Greens by some on this blog. Because the real lib-kins are right-wing populists such as One Nation and Jackie Lambie, who have repeatedly demonstrated that they are anti-worker. The Greens on the other hand have demonstrated that they are pro-worker. The test I use wither a politician or political party are pro-worker, is that they support workers rights to organize and strike. Because I argue these measures are often the only way to improve wages and conditions.

  18. With Shorten trying to rally the Victorian Right around a mantra of ‘fight, fight, fight’ with no mention of the leader Albanese:

    Laura Jayes
    ‏ @ljayes
    After Shorten’s rousing weekend speech, Albanese subtly reminds him of the loyalty he received for 6 yrs.

  19. Tristo

    Yes. Some have really bought the right wing propaganda that’s its coal or jobs. Not phase out coal invest in keeping job opportunities. So they overlook who is on what side of unions free speech and the patriotism of dissent.

  20. Only about a fortnight to go before the Can the Plan Convoy hits town.
    If you don’t like the MDB Plan, and very many of you have criticized it roundly, it is not too late to register.
    Electric utes are not specifically banned, nor are vegans.
    It is a broad church sort of convoy.

  21. CudChewer

    Love your work, Comrade. The non-building of VFT over the last few decades is a blight on our polity. I do agree that the burgeoning coastal cities/towns to the north and south of Sydney – under 300km – are the ones most likely to meet business case break even.

  22. Wassup PBers!

    I’ve been at an electricity policy talkfest today. Important people here, even old Angus is coming along tomorrow.

    A proposal for increasing NEM energy capacity by 2000% was put forward. Embodying direct electric exports, ammonia and hydrogen, and green steel, based on a massive rollout of renewables.

    It was taken as uncontroversial.

  23. Tristo
    The Greens are not pro-worker, they might support the right of unions but only in certain cases and differently don’t support many traditional industries most notably parts of the mining sector and logging.

  24. nath, this may surprise you, but the Victorian experiment at the national leader level has failed. The rest of us just won’t vote for the socialist republic.

    Which is evidenced by the serial failure of the only remaining Mexican – the Black Wiggle, and his Pancho Bandt.

  25. Well, well, well. The story so far…

    1. Hastie sank the slipper into the Chicoms.
    2. Hastie then applied for a study tour.
    3. China knocked back the visa application, along with some snarking and some advice to repent.
    4. Hastie said, ‘Not repenting so nyah, nyah, nyah.’
    5. Morrison said, ‘Fair enough, too.’
    6. Morrison suspends human rights program in China along with the message that there is no point.

    The Chinese have been playing product, corporate and commodity reward and punishment games on Australia for some time now.

    The Hastie/Morrison two step seems to me to be a particularly inept way of resolving outstanding issues with China. Do they really think that any of their grandstanding is going to shift Xi’s attitudes to human rights? This guy executes thousands of people a year.

    But perhaps the intended recipients are the Chinese-Australian voters in Liu’s seat? Is Morrison really sacrificing the national interest for personal political power? A la Trump?

    We will find out in due course, no doubt.

    The quickest and easiest punishment is for Xi to tell one million Chinese tourists who currently visit Australia they can go anywhere for their overseas holidays as long as it is not Australia.

  26. sprocket_ says:
    Monday, November 18, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    nath, this may surprise you, but the Victorian experiment at the national leader level has failed. The rest of us just won’t vote for the socialist republic.
    The contortions you get into by attempting to be an ALP mouthpiece are extraordinary.

    Anyway, wasn’t it Bowen that came up with the economic plan?

  27. @Mexicanbeemer

    I should have meant that One Nation et all, are much more anti-worker than the Australian Greens are. Especially given that employers in both the forestry and mining sectors are more than happy to eliminate jobs through automation. Not surprising since the employers (which I know from personal experience) main aim is to make as much profit as they can.

    At least the Greens support the right for workers to organised and strike. In order to achieve higher wages and improved conditions. However I can’t say that for either One Nation or Jackie Lambie at the very least.

  28. Mexican

    No matter what else you think of them the Greens are not voting in parliament to take away the rights of workers. If anything they want their rights to be increased.

    That’s a world away from other parties other than Labor.
    That’s the bottom line Labor should remember

    Edit: For unions it’s Labor then the Greens then other parties out of the current mob in the Senate.

  29. I’m not saying she’s wrong, but what are the scientific concerns and how are the environmental approvals deficient?

    This should be the front line of any objection to any mine proceeding, not tacked on as an apparent final afterthought.

  30. I also love that your calling Shorten a socialist! But I suppose if your a centrist you can just bend with the wind left or right as the times suit you.

  31. Buyer’s remorse happens when you vote against Shorten for Morrison, McCormack, Hanson, Katter, Palmer or Di Natale and you get Morrison.


  32. Tristo
    Pauline is basically a Liberal in exile as is Palmer and quite possibly Lambie but she seems more open minded on welfare policy.

    The Greens can try to claim they are a working class party but that isn’t where the Greens achieve much of their vote from but it depends on the definition of working class because some people hold to the
    older more narrow definition.

  33. Mexican

    I did not claim the Greens were a working class party. I don’t think they do either.

    So I just don’t get your point.

    My point was about who supports union rights

  34. Apart from the mixed metaphores, it sounds like Morrison is relying heavily on using Drano to bust the congestion in the pipeline.

    Scott Morrison

    Busting congestion to get people home sooner and safer, driving jobs and boosting the economy — that’s why we’re delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline.

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