Essential Research: that was the year that was

One last hurrah for 2019 from Essential Research finds an improvement in Anthony Albanese’s ratings, but little change for Scott Morrison.

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%.

Also:

• 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.

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.

1,940 comments on “Essential Research: that was the year that was”

  1. I admit I’m opposed to Sanders for no real reason. I’m simply inclined against him because of those who declare they like him and on the basis of the absolutely spurious things they say of both Sanders, his rivals, the voters and the political process.

    These voices – the ones that like Sanders as much as they like Corbyn – have never troubled themselves to actually join a political party. They do not set out to seek the support of voters in the company of other campaigners. This is too much like democracy for them. They’d rather delegate this irksome work to others, and then be pleased to reproach them when things go wrong or take the credit for any success. These voices can never lose. They are never participants. They’re know-alls who like to parade from a safe distance.

  2. Post Curtain, Chifley, my Labor heroes in descending order are Whitlam, Keating, and to a far lesser extent, Hawke. The wit of Gough was unsurpassed. For example, “Let me make quite clear that I am for abortion and, in your case Sir, we should make it retrospective.” Keating, on the other hand, is different. He’s proficient at the yarn. Thus when he accompanied the Queen on the Britannia, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of D-Day, he questioned the maker of the silverware on the banquet table. The Queen was sure that it was this or that. Keating corrected HM, stating, via the hallmark, she got it wrong, which she did. As for Hawke, I’ve always thought that he was a populist ocker. Suff me, we are in need of a Whitlam, a Keating, let down severely by ScoalMo, et al.

  3. Mavis says:
    Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    The 20th century is well and truly over. We have to make our own way now. The struggle is the same, but more difficult in a way too. I think we lack the will to fight.

  4. I remember on my first visit to Melbourne from Sydney in the mid-50’s, looking for a milk bar and finding they had all been converted into espresso coffee parlors.

  5. Bushfire Bill says:
    Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    …”Mavis, please learn to spell “Curtin”…

    Spell-check often struggles with proper nouns.

  6. RI:

    [‘The 20th century is well and truly over. We have to make our own way now. The struggle is the same, but more difficult in a way too. I think we lack the will to fight.’]

    True, though I think it’s instructive to go back to a time when the players had a vision – ala Whitlam and Keating. Hawke, with all his faults, knew how to win. I didn’t see this in Shorten, I don’t see it in Albo – he looks like one those faceless men the Tories carried on about in the 60s & 70s:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faceless_men

  7. Regarding Netflix’s “The Family” , a sobering doco on Pentecostal reach into politics, I have just discovered that our GG is also one of them, adding to quite a powerful group
    ruling of our government.
    Since they are expecting the rapture at any time, can we rely on them to govern for all our futures?
    Just in case I sound paranoid, have close family who started with the AOG back in the 70’s. I initially dismissed them as the Amway of religions but have since discovered much more sinister motives.

  8. Ah, John Crace. Many try but few succeed in being as cutting about politics and its characters:

    Dominic Cummings shuffled his way through the crowd of Tory activists before merging into the shadows to one side of the Mountbatten room in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. This was how he liked it. To be both seen and unseen. This was his victory. Boris Johnson was just his amoral, frontman clown. He knew it and Boris knew it. Without Classic Dom, the prime minister would be a nobody.

    Elsewhere, Dom’s Praetorian Guard prepared the room for the start of the impromptu 7am campaign celebration. “Can you move off the platform?” barked one minder. “You’re a health and safety risk.” There was no one within three feet of me. “I thought the whole point of Brexit was that we were going to deregulate this sort of thing,” I replied. The joke didn’t land well. It had been a long night.

    When all the faithful, many of whom were still pissed having been on the lash ever since the exit poll was declared, had been herded into position, Dom clicked his fingers. The show could begin. Moments later Needy Matt Hancock, Sajid Javid and James Cleverly were brought out as human wall-paper, before Michael Gove was sent on as warm-up act. Dom, Mikey and Boris was quite the Vote Leave reunion. Only this time the acid trip had been rather more fun.

    Gove tried his best to be statesmanlike as he addressed the nation. Tricky for someone whose insincerity is now second nature. He didn’t make it any easier by making vague promises to give more money to towns he clearly hadn’t heard of before yesterday. And insisting that the Tories were now a One Nation party when it had just kicked out its entire cohort of One Nation MPs immediately before the election was just taking the piss.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/13/classic-dom-clicks-his-fingers-and-the-celebrations-begin

  9. Big A Adrian says:
    Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Mexicanbeer: “An interesting piece by historian Dan Jones”

    Not really. Shallow, crass, neo-liberal partisan rubbish imo.-
    ———————————-
    It was simple but don’t see where it was partisan because Jones is no fan of Johnson or Brexit.

  10. Bushfire Bill:

    [‘Mavis, please learn to spell “Curtin”.’]

    Being a pedant, I should be taken to task. As old GG suggests, I should consider abstinence.

  11. Mavis,

    It’s not a matter of being pedantic, or not. It’s a matter of being a phoney, or not.

    If Curtin was your No. 1 Hero, you would know how to spell his name.

  12. Lizzie,

    Just catching up, but your post is very poignant to this close-to-Green Square dweller.

    @tanya_plibersek
    I’m a big fan of public transport, but I can’t get excited by the decision to spend $3B on a tram which is slower than a bus, yet refuse to add a station on the metro line which goes under Green Square, soon to be the most densely populated part of Sydney.

    Us locals are asking for a station on the Metro near Sydney Park (near Green Square). There are now some 50 K people in apartments living in the general area, with no public transport (except buses that are so crowded that no one can get on them).

    However, our wonderful Coalition Berejiklian Government refuses to discuss the matter. There is a stop in Waterloo, right near Redfern Station, and the next stop is Sydenham, around 10 km away.

    Why would any sensible government refuse to provide metro stops for Green Square and Sydney Park, to move the some 50 K of people who have moved into the general area?

    One of the reasons I stopped my subscription to Crikey was their editorial line that the NSW Coalition Government was the best and most competent government in Australia.

    People who write for Crikey obviously do not live in NSW.

    And aside from public transport implementation fuck-ups, I have to live with the growing homeless population around me. I really help as much as I can, but with the Berejiklian government shutting down homelessness services in the inner city, and particularly shutting down domestic violence services all throughout NSW, I cannot make much of a difference.

    A whole-of-society, governmental approach is needed. It would not even. be that expensive.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Crikey keep begging me to again become a subscriber. I have tried explaining to them why I cannot support their polemic against the Victorian state Labor Government , while they are so supportive of the very cruel state Coalition NSW government, when it comes to the homeless, domestic violence victims, or anyone who just needs a helping hand.

  13. Aqualung,

    The Green Square station is already
    struggling to cope now. The Waterloo station is nowhere near the bulk of the new units in that area and presumably Botany Road will be the epicentre of yet another orgy of unit building.
    The 304 and 343 buses service the bulk of the new units and are pretty well full most of the day now.
    CoS bought land for a light rail right of way to this area.
    This should have been the state government priority not duplicating an existing transport service. All that was required for the existing transport service ie the buses, was to provide priority and more dedicated lanes which would have cost a fraction of the money wasted.
    Disclosure: I’m one of those horrible bus drivers that Constance can’t wait to get rid of to the private sector so he doesn’t have to soil himself dealing with.

    Bloody well said!! Do you ever drive the 343 route? It is how I go from Waterloo to Kingsford.

  14. Aqualung never actually described the route he was trying to take. Nor where he thought a metro station should be. So its hard for me to respond to that.

  15. Aqualung,

    And when I go back to the 304 next week my bus will be half full at the second stop at Gadigal and Day Streets and almost certainly full at Bourke Street. Long walk to Waterloo from there.

    Generally I catch the 302 / 303, but I can definitely catch the 304, with a small walk. I will be the shabby middle-aged woman using the cotton conference bag to take my computer and other goods and chattels between Waterloo and Kensington.

  16. BB:

    Please stop carrying on. I spelled Curtin’s name wrong – leave it at that. Unless, that is, you want to up the ante, which you did earlier with your over-the-top attack on Cat. You seem to delight in being provocative. I won’t further indulge your predilection.

  17. Poroti,

    I wish EVERYBODY with a functioning brain could listen to an interview of JK Galbraith by Philip Adams which included an explanation by JK of the motives behind the setting up of the ‘Welfare State” post WWII. JK was there ! Any way , it was basically as a means to avoid the populace taking up extreme politics as happened pre war. It has been pretty depressing over the years to watch the “welfare state” provisions being dismantled and remembering his words .

    The crazy thing is he said the motive behind ensuring such protections of the “workers” was to protect the wealth of the elite. The very people who seem behind today’s dismantling. Their “altruism” at the time based on the fact that the war and the results of the mob being attracted to extreme politics saw them suffer the greatest ‘destruction of wealth”. 100% behind the Iron Curtain.

    Thanks so much for this post. I am a great fan of J.K. Galbraith. He never compromised his Keynesian principles (seen as the slippery slope to Communism back in the day, and now by the Friedmanites).

    He helped build the European social democracies that Marx and Engels could only dream about.

  18. The welfare state is dying because it has become more about looking after those running the system instead of helping the people in need of support. This was highlighted by the first productivity commission into the NDIS which was very critical of the disability sector and how its focus was on itself more than the disabled.

  19. Mavis @ #1925 Saturday, December 14th, 2019 – 10:55 pm

    BB:

    Please stop carrying on. I spelled Curtin’s name wrong – leave it at that. Unless, that is, you want to up the ante, which you did earlier with your over-the-top attack on Cat. You seem to delight in being provocative. I won’t further indulge your predilection.

    He has his bete noirs. And he has given himself licence to abuse them, as and when he feels like it. Male or female. I think he’s just plain rude and a bully.

  20. Mavis
    “ Please stop carrying on. I spelled Curtin’s name wrong”

    Actually if we are really getting worried, the adverb should be “incorrectly” in this case….even “wrongly” will not do, heaven forfend “wrong”.

    *Runs away*

  21. CC

    D&M would you care to speculate on where Aqualung wants to get from and to?

    Happy to do this tomorrow – tired and will go to sleep tonight. Also, please take what I have written below in a light-hearted senses – I have had a difficult day.

    The 301 / 302 / 303 / 304 are my major bus routes for getting to work, and so I will bore you senseless with routes, stops, and the number of people to be expected at each stop.

    The 343 and 348 are also special subjects of mine, because if you do not get the stop and time right, you cannot get on the bus (full).

    Did I also mention that I am a female scientist (and mother), and that my son has some sort of non-specific autism. It was only about 10 years after his diagnosis that I discovered that in the 1950s and 1960s some genius noticed that the male progeny of female scientists (small number statistics), were very likely to be autistic. This was thought to be because the scientific mothers were “cold”

    So, yeah, my detailed knowledge of the local bus timetables will allow me answer your questions in great detail tomorrow.

  22. D&M ok I will have to make some assumptions.

    Firstly, the 304 route follows Bourke and Crown. These are congested roads. The congestion comes from ordinary passenger vehicles many of which are seeking a route into the CBD or through it. Giving buses more priority will help, but there are a lot of slow intersections. Ultimately the problem is unfettered access to the CBD.

    Now the “bulk of the units” that Aqualung is referring to is (best guess) those centred around Lachlan and Bourke. Ok, so what is the ideal public transport network for this area? So lets just start by assuming that there is no bus. From Lachlan/Bourke its a 12 minute walk to Green Square station and a 15 minute walk to the metro station at Waterloo. Ok, not perfect, but this isn’t particularly onerous or even exceptional. There’s lots of addresses in Sydney where you need to walk this far just to get on a bus. Let alone get to a station that’s itself a few minutes from the CBD.

    Note that Lachlan/Bourke is also 16 minutes walk from a potential metro station at Zetland and it is 16 minutes walk from the light rail stop at Ward Park. This is absolute luxury compared to where I come from.

    Now, is there a cause for a light rail line in the area? Absolutely. And there are far less costly ways to do some form of light rail than what was attempted in the CBD. I’d like to see Bourke Street taken over complete by light rail and pedestrians. And I’m sure that’s going to be controversial. Yes the Council has its own idea of a route, but some of that may need changing thanks to the new metro stations (plural).

    Its also worth considering whether, in addition to a metro station at Zetland (southern end of Delfries) whether there is cause for another station in the northern end of Waterloo (Coles). I’m only speculating here. Anyhow a couple of other points.

    Firstly Green Square station was a bit of an afterthought and built to a budget. Its capable of accepting more passengers. Firstly it needs an upgrade (more escalators). Secondly you need to provide relief to the airport line and there are two ways to do this. One is to extend Metro West to the airport – that’s going to take a lot of passengers out of trains before they reach Green Square. The second and major one is to run high speed rail to Campbelltown. Give people a 20 minute trip from Campbelltown to the CBD and that will also take a large load off trains going through Green Square.

    Secondly, a lot of bus routes take endless tortuous paths to the CBD and mostly ignore the rail network. We need a lot more localised bus routes that act as frequent feeders to the train network. There’s a bit of that going on in the 304 for example, but there’s lots of worse examples.

    In the end though, if you’re within 10-15 minutes walk of a train station (as will be nearly all of the area west of the M1 and east of the rail line) then you’re doing pretty well.

  23. D&M I don’t find myself in the Waterloo area on a regular basis although I do have colleagues that work near Green Square. As someone who is a compulsory public transport user (I don’t have the eyesight to drive) the first thing I pick up on when walking around the area (I have been to Coles Waterloo a couple of times) is how much nicer the area would be with high quality direct pedestrian links to the stations. As you can tell, I’m not a fan of buses. They are a necessary evil but I would say that the mark of a good bus network design is short routes.

  24. Fiona Katauskas
    @FionaKatauskas
    ·
    10h
    It’s so depressing that after all the incredible things humans have done for the last tens of thousands of years we’re going to go out in such a stupid, mean-spirited and entirely preventable way

  25. My top Australian political heroes:

    John Hunt (was a Coward)
    Brian Trumble
    Nic Grinder
    Joe Bejockey Peterson
    Matteus Rose Corman
    Sir Robert Mingus
    Dick Caught

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