The fortnightly Essential Research poll is out and, perhaps unsurprisingly for what will surely be its last survey for the year, it does not break its post-election habit of not publishing numbers on voting intention. What it does have is the monthly leadership ratings, which record little change for Scott Morrison (approval steady at 45%, disappoval up two to 43%) and favourable movement for Anthony Albanese (up two on approval to 39%, down six on disapproval to 28%). There is no preferred prime minister rating, but we do get evaluations on how the leaders have performed since the election: 11% say Scott Morrison has exceeded expectations, 41% that he has met them and 47% that he has fallen short of them, with Albanese’s respective ratings being 8%, 48% and 44%.
• The regular end-of-year question on for whom this has and hasn’t been a good year suggests people leaned positive about their own circumstances, albeit less so than last year; that it was a much better year for the government, which is hard to argue with on a purely political level; that it was a bad yet still much better year for “Australian politics in general”, the improvement presumably relating to the lack of a prime ministerial leadership coup; and that things were unambiguously positive only for large companies and the Australian cricket team.
• After two years of legalised same-sex marriage, 47% say it has had a positive impact, 15% negative and 38% neither.
• There remains negative sentiment towards unions, whom 49% say have too much power compared with 37% who disagreed. Fully 68% thought union officials should be disqualified merely for breaching administrative laws, with only 18% in disagreement, while 51% thought unions should be disqualified for taking unprotected industrial election, with 32% disagreeing. However, 62% agreed the government was “more concerned about the actions of union officials than the CEO’s of banks and other corporations”.
• Thirty-five per cent thought Scott Morrison should have stood Angus Taylor down from cabinet with 17% supporting his position, while 48% conceded they had not been following the issue.
• There was overwhelming support for the establishment of a federal ICAC, at 75% with only 8% opposed.
The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1035 respondents drawn from an online panel.