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%.


• 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”

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  1. doyley

    Nope. Labor is for giving up. No challenge with Labor on coal.

    Thats the facts the Bloomberg journalist has called out.

    Thats in line with the Billionaire candidate for President of the Democrats editorial policy.

    The world sees Labor for what it is. Hollow values in the chase for votes.

  2. Michael McCormack says that although CC is a factor, most of the fires are caused by Little Lucifers running around with matches, and meanwhile the gov is doing all that is necessary by meeting Paris targets.

    So there!

  3. p

    They’re not worse everywhere, of course.

    The best place to plant trees is in lowland plains rich in nutrients, with deeper soils, with equable temperature patterns, and with higher and more reliable rainfall.

    The areas which best meet these criteria are also the inner urbs areas inhabited by Greens voters who believe that solving all climate problems must fall upon the shoulders of rural and regional lifters while they continue to lean at their leisure.

    Hypocrites abound.

  4. @Boerwar

    The world is in the words of the band Midnight Oil is “And the world it won’t stand still” for us. Because other countries and even private sector here in Australia. are already doing a lot to transition to a post fossil fuels economy. Combine that with say a possible economic downturn globally, then that is going to led to a collapse in demand for our coal.

  5. Mark Kenny @markgkenny
    Skewered! The AG’s constant references to “St Vincent’s de Paul” was egregious but now we find, substantially misleading as well as. The proposed bill is dangerously illiberal. Australia: no guaranteed freedom of speech but suddenly this priority?

  6. Tristo
    It’s the numbers. Not the words. Or the dreams. Or the excuses. Or the handwringing. Or the moralizing. Or the touting. Or the moral suasion. Or the outrage. None of the above count.
    What counts is the numbers.
    The numbers are between $65 and $75 billion a year.

  7. New Quinnipiac poll.

    Zach MontellaroVerified account@ZachMontellaro
    3h3 hours ago
    New Quinnipiac University NATIONAL poll (counts for the December debate)
    Biden 29%
    Sanders 17%
    Warren 15%
    Buttigieg 9%
    Bloomberg 5%
    Yang 4%
    Everyone else at or below 3 percent

    Unsurprisingly the results are very different when only the under 35s are extrapolated.

    Ryan StruykVerified account@ryanstruyk
    2h2 hours ago
    Democratic primary voters under 35 years old via new Quinnipiac poll:

    Sanders 52%
    Warren 17%
    Biden 11%
    Yang 7%
    Gabbard 3%
    Buttigieg 2%
    Bloomberg 2%
    Everyone else 1% or less

  8. lizzie:

    It would seem PvO’s pleas to his colleagues on Sunday has lit a fire under them. Never before have I seen so many of them in the space of a few days taking Morrison’s mob to task for being untruthful and not answering questions!

  9. Poroti,

    That has previously been looked at and there is one BIG problem. Where the trees need to be planted to make a significant difference just happens to be in our prime agricultural regions. So food or trees ? The studies were from 10-12 years ago so things may have changed. I have a feeling for the worse.

    Exactly; that is why we need to do the hard thinking I alluded to.

    In this context, “plant more trees” is about as useful as “stop Adani.”

  10. ‘Dandy Murray says:
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Stationary energy at about 85% renewables by 2040 is technically plausible, and very desirable.

    Transport is harder, but commuter transport could flip very quickly if battery and electronics costs, or hydrogen production costs, come down a bit further. E.g. think 90% electric vehicle sales by 2025. This would be a big outcome. For freight, it’s less obvious how the transition will play out.

    We also need to think hard about how to get carbon out of the atmosphere. Trees and soil enrichment/sequestration seem like obvious candidates to me.’

    Construction @ 23% is difficult.
    Agriculture @ 10% is difficult.
    The biggie is contained emissions in imports.
    Do we ignore them?
    For example, our vehicle fleet is 19 million cars.
    We might get to an EV fleet in a reasonably orderly way within a decade.
    But there are massive amounts of contained emissions in vehicles imported from overseas.
    Do we ignore those emissions?

  11. Australia’s largest export has a crucial role in the climate change that’s already making spring in southeastern Australia warmer and drier, which in turn increases the odds of the extreme weather that causes severe bushfires.

    Australian coal – thermal and coking together – comprise about 4% of world coal production. Thermal coal is about half of that. It is just plain false to say “Australia’s largest export has a crucial role in the climate change.”. Total thermal coal consumption – including the 98% that does not originate in Australia – comprises 40% of fuels used to generate electricity. The rest comes from oil and gas.

    The seaborne coal trade is 18% of total world thermal coal output. Indonesia is the largest supplier of seaborne thermal coal.

    This is all broadly speaking well understood in Australia’s coal provinces.

  12. Boerwar @ #52 Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 – 6:36 am

    The areas which best meet these criteria are also the inner urbs areas inhabited by Greens voters

    So your solution is to bulldoze these so-called “inner-urbs” and plant trees there. That doesn’t matter though because, according to you, only Greens live there. Definitely none of your* “real people”, and definitely no Labor voters either.

    *Actually that isn’t your phraseology at all, you ripped it off from Sarah Palin.

  13. NSW Lib Minister breaks ranks with the increasingly demented, reality-challenged w*nkers he works with.

    ‘Mr Kean, who spoke at the Smart Energy Summit in Sydney on Tuesday as smoke blanketed the city, said the weather conditions were “exactly what the scientists have warned us would happen”.

    “Longer drier periods, resulting in more drought and bushfire,” Mr Kean said. “If this is not a catalyst for change, then I don’t know what is.”‘

  14. Bark beetles have been responsible for enough CO2 emissions (by way of decaying wood) to offset the totality of Canada’s emissions reductions programs to date.

    I have yet to see calculations but I dare say that CO2 emissions caused by the bushfires in 2019 alone would offset any scale of tree planting that is feasible. Add broad scale clearing, loss of soil crust consequent to our burgeoning feral animal populations, loss of soil carbon from agriculture, and we are probably carbon emissions positive from all that.

    Not that anybody is counting…

  15. So your solution is to bulldoze these so-called “inner-urbs” and plant trees there. That doesn’t matter though because, according to you, only Greens live there. Definitely none of your* “real people”, and definitely no Labor voters either.

    *Actually that isn’t your phraseology at all, you ripped it off from Sarah Palin.

    Jeesus, jump all the way to the ridiculous why don’t you. How helpful.

  16. The Australian Greens policy is Zero/2030. Shoebridge has edged that out out Zero/2040. The ten year discrepancy is neither here nor there, in practical terms.

    The Greens will continue to deliver their normal real world outputs.

  17. Boerwar,
    I will get back to you after I have read Jeremy Rifkin’s, ‘The Green New Deal’.

    Suffice to say and contrary to your didactic position about coal, and don’t forget I believe that metallurgical coal should continue to be mined until such time as alternative metal-making methadologies are firmly in place, Jeremy Rifkin has done the calculations and he believes that the number and type of jobs that can replace coal mining and not be replaced by AI and Robots, far outweighs those jobs lost in coal mining.

    Firstly, and most appositely, coal miners can, if they want to, go on to mine all the rare earths that are needed to power all the new batteries needed and to construct all the new technology we will be using in the future. Or, as he pointed out, a LOT of new workers will be needed to retrofit all our old buildings with the new, globally-connected Internet of Things. Not to mention the manufacturing base that will be required to make the ‘Things’.

    So, without putting hard numbers on it, because they are fungible anyway, I can see that >$75 Billion/year of national income CAN be generated. If only we had a national government that was forward-thinking, instead of filled with a bunch of dinosaurs facing their own extinction event and refusing to face up to the future.

  18. Kevin Rudd, “I’m here to help.”

    My government did not collapse – it was torn down
    The Australian people lost faith in politics on the day of the coup, when they witnessed a government fall prey to the backroom wheeler-dealers guided by personal ambition, writes Kevin Rudd

    “As you would recall, there was no great scandal that brought my leadership to an end. It was a premeditated coup led by a small group of faceless men from the factions, seizing on Julia Gillard’s own personal ambition to reach the top, who took the opportunity to advance their own interests.”

  19. DP
    I was making a factual observation about the best place to grow trees.
    The general point I was making is that, as usual, the ‘solutions’ offered by the Inner Urbs is for something to be done by somebody else, somewhere else.

    These are the very same people who produce no food, no water and no ecosystem services. They take clean air, good soil, clean water, nutrients and turn it into dirty air, concreted soils, dirty water and shit.

    Having noticed that the system, of which they are the peak consumers, is ultimately unsustainable and that THEIR amenity and THEIR standards are at long term risk, they turn their minds to forcing others to take some considerable levels of pain. The political expression of this state of mind is the Greens Party.

  20. This government is utterly reprehensible. Look at the feverish God-botherers more worried about making religious discrimination lawful as the country gets toasted.

    They’re just a pack of nutjobs.

    Hey dont we have an opposition? Maybe they could say something about it.

  21. I noticed the ignorant Attorney General, Porter, refer about 20 times to the St Vincents de Paul Society.

    I wonder why he emphasised always this Catholic charity which does NOT discriminate in membership nor in employment on religious grounds as the exempler of the discrimination favoured by the Government.

    Is it a threat to the Society that the Liberals wants to make religious discrimination mandatory?

  22. Nearly all that $65-$75 billion a year will be stripped from rural and regional areas.

    It is not just coal.

    The Greens’ policies will have swingeing impacts on many other major and minor economic activities in rural and regional areas.

    If you want to be really safe from the Greens smashers do what Di Natale has done and build yourself a million plus pad in the Inner Urbs.

    The notion that Australia’s coal miners can all go and mine rare earths is, to put it bluntly, 100% pure bullshit.

  23. @SamwiseSW tweets

    NEW POLL for #GE2019

    Con 339
    Lab 231
    SNP 41
    Lib Dem 15
    BXP 0

    But they say hung parliament “within the margin of error”. Past few days have been very good for Labour.

  24. lefty e

    There are no votes for the Labor Party in automatically bad mouthing all things religious.

    The Fundies were a loss group for Labor in the last election.

  25. That poll looks like a smashing loss for Corbyn’s Labour to me. 100 seats less than the Tories. But others would know better. A pity for Corbyn and a gift to Johnson that the Greens are pissing their votes up the wall.
    Are they seeking a repeat of when they gifted the POTUS to Bush instead of Gore?
    When will they learn?

  26. If the Government admits it was breaking the law when it engaged in systematic extortion of the poorest in our society I assume we can look forward to that fine professional body of political plods, the AFP, making a few arrests.

    I jest!

  27. Labor’s attempt to win over the rabid far-right isn’t working at all. Just read the comments on this article. Keep in mind that only News Corp subscribers can comment, meaning the comments are from extreme right-wingers who get pumped full of Murdoch’s propaganda on a daily basis.

    For those of you not using a paywall blocker, here’s some of the comments from the people that Labor is trying to win over by sucking up to the mining industry…

    I’d be rethinking that strategy of chasing far-right voters if I were Labor. They will still hate you even if you back Adani. They don’t trust you and they never will. They’re still going to vote for the LNP or PHON or some other far-right party. Labor is selling out the environment for nothing.

  28. BW

    The Greens and Labor and some sections of the LNP badmouthed all things religious according to Lyle Shelton.

    The Marriage Equality survey won.

    Labor has to do some work to convince marginal Labor seat voters that they are not a threat to their religion thanks to the propaganda of the Fundies.

    However your basic premise is wrong. Labor wins standing up the the Fundies. Australians hate religion intruding into the public sphere.

  29. BW

    You show your true colours. You prefer a hard Brexit rather than good news for Corbyn.

    Thus you prefer extreme right wing populists to a socialist Prime Minister in a Democratic system.

    You really should join the Nationals or One Nation with that outlook.

  30. It’s simple.
    Labor has made up its mind not to try to appeal to extremist nutters.
    Labor is not going to piss off ordinary, normal voters who are not mad-as-cut-snakes ideologues.
    Get used to it.

  31. “That poll looks like a smashing loss for Corbyn’s Labour to me. 100 seats less than the Tories. But others would know better. A pity for Corbyn and a gift to Johnson that the Greens are pissing their votes up the wall.
    Are they seeking a repeat of when they gifted the POTUS to Bush instead of Gore?
    When will they learn?”


    This coming from the guy who admitted to preferring the right-wing Lib Dems over Labour.

    The UK Greens are voting tactically with the goal of electing Corbyn and removing the Tories. The membership of the party had a vote on it and decided that that’s what they were going to do.

    On the other hand, your Lib Dem leader, Swinson, has previously ruled out supporting Corbyn as PM. Although, she’ll probably back down on that if a hung Parliament does occur. She’ll have to if she wants to stop Brexit.

  32. BW

    Then you should be pleased at the news that the polls are showing hung parliament in margin of error territory.

    That means Hard Brexit has lost. Johnson will be emperor with no clothes or power PM again.
    Another election with a referendum inevitable before that.

  33. The notion that Australia’s coal miners can all go and mine rare earths is, to put it bluntly, 100% pure bullshit.

    Sometimes, Boerwar, your simplistic ripostes are what are the bs being spread.

    Any solution for the replacement of thermal coal mining is not expected to happen overnight, 20 years or so was the timeline I heard spoken about. But it will happen.

  34. Cat

    Yes. Thus the Greens position of a Just Transition going into the last election.

    Of course apparently this makes them “extremist nutters”

  35. Has Firefox responded to Cud Chewer’s expert historical analysis of Greens’ political mistakes, which he posted yesterday? Or has Firefox just started the day with a new box of rants?

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