Essential Research and Morgan: coronavirus, superannuation and trust in business leaders

Generally favourable reaction to the government’s handling of coronavirus, a big thumbs up to access to superannuation, and yah boo sucks to Murdoch, Palmer, Rinehart and Harvey.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll focuses, naturally enough, on coronavirus, with 45% rating the federal government’s response good or very good, and 29% poor or very poor. According to The Guardian’s report, it would seem the latter tend to be those most worried about the virus, as measured by a question on whether respondents felt the situation was being overblown, with which “one third” agreed while 28% thought the opposite.

Over the course of three fortnightly polls, the proportion rating themselves very concerned has escalated from 25% to 27% to 39%, while the results for quite concerned have gone from 43% to 36% and back again. The Guardian’s report does not relate the latest results for “not that concerned” and “not at all concerned”, which were actually up in the last poll, from 26% to 28% and 6% to 9% respectively. Further questions relate to trust in various sources of information, notably the government and the media, but we will have to wait for the publication of the full report later today to get a clear handle on them. Suffice to say that Essential still has nothing to tell us on voting intention.

In other findings, 49% said they wanted the opposition to fall in behind the government’s decisions while 33% preferred that it review and challenge them, and 42% now consider themselves likely to catch the virus, up from 31% on a fortnight ago. Seventy-two per cent reported washing their hands more often, 60% said they were avoiding social gatherings, and 33% reported stocking up on groceries.

We also have a Roy Morgan SMS survey of 723 respondents, which was both conducted and published yesterday, showing 79% support for the government’s decision to allow those in financial difficulty to access $20,000 of their superannuation. As noted in the previous post, an earlier such poll of 974 respondents from Wednesday and Thursday recorded levels of trust in various Australian politicians (plus Jacinda Ardern, who fared best of all); a further set of results from the same poll finds Dick Smith, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Andrew Forrest and Alan Joyce rating best out of designated list of business leaders, with Rupert Murdoch, Clive Palmer, Gina Rinehart and Gerry Harvey performed worst. We are yet to receive hard numbers from either set of questions, but they are apparently forthcoming.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here.

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.

5,145 comments on “Essential Research and Morgan: coronavirus, superannuation and trust in business leaders”

  1. Allowable outdoor gatherings went from 500 —> 100 —> 10 —> 2 rather quickly.

    I predict we will limit gatherings to 0.02 people fairly soon 🙂

  2. There will never be a solvency problem for the federal government in terms of financial commitments that are denominated in its own currency.

    The other thing to bear in mind with the current crisis is that literally every other nation on the planet is experiencing the exact same thing at the exact same time. No one is gaining relative to anyone else; the basic standings of who has wealth and whose economy is bigger/stronger aren’t moving.

    And when the dust has settled if the world’s nations don’t agree amongst themselves to something that basically just restores the status quo back to wherever it was right before the shit hit the fan then we’re simply idiots as a species.

  3. Steven Hail has written an excellent article about the role of federal government spending in responding to the public health emergency

    Thanks Nicholas, great article.

  4. And when the dust has settled if the world’s nations don’t agree amongst themselves to something that basically just restores the status quo back to wherever it was right before the shit hit the fan then we’re simply idiots as a species.

    Doesn’t this presume that the way it was, was both fair and sustainable?

    Counterpoint: it would be batshit crazy to go back to the unsustainable, crazy unfair, neo-feudal, on the brink of collapse society we start with.

  5. DisplayName

    You remind me of an old joke. This is one of these jokes that has to be needlessly elaborated on but I’ll give you the gist of it.

    Two Irish farmers that hate each other. One of them rubs an old lamp and a genie appears. The genie says you have three wishes but there is a catch. Whatever you wish for, Mcwhathisface (the guy he hates) gets double.

    So he wishes for an enormous mansion. Zap. He gets an enormous mansion. Then he looks across the valley and he notices the guy he hates has a mansion twice as big.

    He then wishes for a dozen beautiful ladies (I’m sanitising this, this is not how I heard it). Zap. He’s surrounded by a dozen beautiful ladies. You can guess what happens next.

    Finally he gets to his third wish. He has to think long and hard.. Finally he looks to the genie..

    Can you remove one of my testicles?

  6. Cousin of a friend of my best friends daughter in the UK was self isolating for 9 days after contracting coronavirus. Talked to his cousin 12 hours ago. Sudenly got very sick and died on the way to the hospital. He was 23.

  7. Roger that’s the spooky thing about this virus. It creeps up on you slowly and the auto-immune syndrome that kills you kicks off very suddenly.

  8. WeWantPaul @ #5104 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 10:46 pm

    Doesn’t this presume that the way it was, was both fair and sustainable?

    No, just that it was.

    Not saying that reform isn’t warranted, but trying to push reform through on the back of the C19 pandemic is probably a surefire way to ensure that we don’t come to any global consensus on exit strategy. “Let’s just go back to where we were” seems more palatable, at least as far as governments are concerned.

  9. “Let’s just go back to where we were” seems more palatable, at least as far as governments are concerned.

    Only for the ones that were on top, I reckon.

  10. Roger that’s the spooky thing about this virus.

    To me there is a lot spooky about this virus:

    * The tests and the proportions of false negatives (in particular) and false positives as well. Maybe this was just an early thing and the smart ones have got in and fixed this, but it did seem to be a feature early on.

    * Asymptomatic cases – a sleeper killer with our testing regime, if you don’t have a known risk vector, and you don’t show signs (in fact are we evening testing people with known risk vectors but no symptoms?), you aren’t going to be tested.

    * Immunity: how strong is it, how long does it last? I’ve seen suggestions of not much, or very short. These suggestions again might have been early errors, or better understood now, but I’ve not seen it dealt with sensibly (perhaps Swan does this, i should do his pod). This isn’t a trivial issue. I don’t understand vaccines, but if without vaccines the actual virus only gives you a short window (less than 6 months) of immunity, how long can the vaccine do?

  11. It’s Time @ #5100 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 8:33 pm

    Danama Papers @ #5091 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 10:18 pm

    Confessions @ #5055 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 7:21 pm

    Once you’ve had covid19 can you get it again?

    Apparently, yes.

    Not proven yet, at least for the current strain.

    Not disproven either. At this stage it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume it can be caught twice, or even multiple times. Until an effective vaccine is released.

  12. “Only for the ones that were on top, I reckon.”

    Maybe. Though I suspect some of the people now out of work may prefer a return to what was.

  13. a r

    I can’t see a global consensus on exit strategy. The best we can hope for is the wealthier, better governed nations (that last phrase excludes the US) adopt a mass testing exit strategy. That of course means permanent travel bans or quarantines wrt other nations.

  14. Not saying that reform isn’t warranted, but trying to push reform through on the back of the C19 pandemic is probably a surefire way to ensure that we don’t come to any global consensus on exit strategy. “Let’s just go back to where we were” seems more palatable, at least as far as governments are concerned.

    Yeah ok. I do a lot of guillotine jokes, and I think there is a real risk we end up in this kind of violent end of an age. But I don’t want it.

    “Let’s just go back to where we were” seems a sure fire way to bring out the guillotines.

    “Let’s start where we were before, taking into account what has changed, and do MUCH MUCH MUCH better” seems to be a way of starting a managed sensible evolution, without guillotines.

  15. WWP

    I think we will eventually get to the point of having one or three vaccines that are sufficient effective that the herd immunity effect will prevent mass re-occurrences of this particular bug. But that’s probably not going to be meaningful until early to mid next year. And of course poor/weak nations will become reservoirs.

  16. ar

    The problem with that theory is reality has sent a wrecking ball through a particular economic theory that one side of politics has been relying on.

    Call it neo liberalism. Capitalism or whatever you want. It’s time has come to an end.

    It’s not a case of reform. It’s recognising Keynesian Economics is the new conservatism.

    It’s at such a point that the US is going to have Universal Medicare and a proper social security system in place. In the US to save airlines the government may even have to start taking equity in companies.

    Known as nationalisation.

    It’s nice and romantic talking about a return to normal but that’s not recognising the change that the virus has forced on society. It’s not going to be temporary. Much as the right wants to believe it will be.

  17. “Not disproven either. At this stage it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume it can be caught twice”

    Which is another reason for a strategy that combines very tight movement controls, mass testing and sealed borders – aiming for near eradication locally.

  18. It’s at such a point that the US is going to have Universal Medicare and a proper social security system in place. In the US to save airlines the government may even have to start taking equity in companies.

    Why do you assume this? I think the US is much, much more likely to decay into a far right wing dictatorship. IMHO there are just too many, too brainwashed there for a progressive consensus majority to emerge through existing (perverted) democratic institutions. I think they go the way Putin took Russia. I think Biden is more likely to drive that than Trump (who is genuinely just too stupid).

  19. Danama Papers @ #5114 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 11:03 pm

    It’s Time @ #5100 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 8:33 pm

    Danama Papers @ #5091 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 10:18 pm

    Confessions @ #5055 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 7:21 pm

    Once you’ve had covid19 can you get it again?

    Apparently, yes.

    Not proven yet, at least for the current strain.

    Not disproven either. At this stage it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume it can be caught twice, or even multiple times. Until an effective vaccine is released.

    There are a handful of reports of possible instances of reinfection. That’s out of 145,000 recovered cases. And explanations for those possible reinfections include false positive or false negative results through the testing regime.

    If reinfection was likely, you’d expect to see cases increasing again in China which has had infections for the longest time. No sign of suchh an increase.

  20. Cud Chewer @ #5118 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 11:08 pm

    WWP

    I think we will eventually get to the point of having one or three vaccines that are sufficient effective that the herd immunity effect will prevent mass re-occurrences of this particular bug. But that’s probably not going to be meaningful until early to mid next year. And of course poor/weak nations will become reservoirs.

    Smallpox was eliminated.

  21. WWP

    I don’t think Donald Trump is going to win.
    The US gun culture is mad. However it’s basic thesis is citizens have to be armed to prevent a government dictatorship.

    I fear you are right but if so democracy has died and along with it our ability as the public to respond to injustice without a resort to violence.

    If that does happen I make no predictions about our economic future. I assume we will keep democracy. However long term screwing the people medieval style will collapse. We have made some irrevocable progress as a species.

  22. Maybe there’s a majority of people in the US who agree with the proposition that losing a few tens of thousands of people is an acceptable price.

    In the end, most people won’t die.

  23. WWP

    To be clear.

    I think the Democrats whenever they return to power will be radical.
    To return to normal they have to be. To undo the damage to the Constitution alone radical reform of the judicial appointments has to happen.

    That’s because I don’t think my fear is the truth about the Democrats.

  24. Blobbit @ #5129 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 11:56 pm

    Maybe there’s a majority of people in the US who agree with the proposition that losing a few tens of thousands of people is an acceptable price.

    In the end, most people won’t die.

    I am sure that will be the attitude of the wealthy towards the poor, the able toward the disabled, the young towards the old, the purple towards the green, the religious towards the atheists or vice versa or maybe even women towards men (as men so far die of it more than women and not so many of men are needed in society any more.)

  25. “Do you think that agreement would stretch to several million deaths?”

    Probably not, but to be honest I’m not entirely sure.

  26. The optimistic case is that the Chinese example will apply in other countries: that lockdown will work to quickly suppress transmission and then normal social and economic functioning will be able to resume. The poorest countries will find this the most difficult to accomplish, but with the (enlightened-tho-self-interested) support of the wealthy countries, eventually the adoption of lockdowns, therapeutics and vaccines will work to extinguish the virus even among the very poor.

    The pessimistic case is that lockdowns will not prove to be durably adequate; that pandemic recurs and that lockdowns have to be repeated; that efficacious therapeutics cannot be found and that vaccines are not fully effective against a virus that begins to mutate.

    In the former case the damage to social, political and economic systems will not be permanent. We will certainly be able to restore things over time. But if the pandemic cannot be resolved then the future will become very difficult to predict.

    It’s possible that a global society struck by recurring pandemic would become quite chaotic. For a start the economy would cease to function properly. In a chaotic economy the labour force could decline in terms of its quality, quantity and technical productivity. This would certainly be reflected in declines in economic output – that is, since output and income are by definition the same thing, into absolute declines in income of all kinds. Income repression would doubtless spark conflict over the distribution of income in and between industrial economies in ways that have not been seen since the 1920s and 30s. At an extreme level, sectors in even advanced economies would be reduced to periods of subsistence-level output. This is about to occur in nearly every industrial economy right now.

    We have not had a protracted phase of real wage declines and allied deflationary expectations since the 1930s…a period marked by enormous political upheaval, the rise of totalitarian, militarist regimes and eventually by massive military conflict. Maybe this awaits us.

    But maybe it would not be like this. Maybe if the global labour force were significantly reduced then a new wave of investment in intelligent machines – machines that could replace the lost labour force – would necessarily occur, real output would be maintained in absolute aggregate terms, per capita incomes would rise and the available labour force would eventually be fully absorbed in a high-income, modernised global economy.

    Somehow I’m not optimistic about that. The liquidation of productive capacity, of private savings and real wage destruction appear to be overwhelming at this point. The best we can say is it’s too early to tell. In the meantime, economic and social dislocation is kicking off.

  27. Blobbit @ #5126 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 11:26 pm

    Maybe there’s a majority of people in the US who agree with the proposition that losing a few tens of thousands of people is an acceptable price.

    In the end, most people won’t die.

    Perhaps. But if you’re talking about the US and just letting the virus wash through its population of 330 million you’re not measuring deaths in tens of thousands. You’re measuring them by the million. Even in an “optimistic” scenario where only 20% of the population catches it.

  28. E. G. Theodore @ #5051 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 7:14 pm

    Inflexion point:

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Not sure we want that as a false dawn!

    While growth is initially exponential, ultimately it will be an S-curve, with the inflection point being the point where exponent reduces to a number less than 1.
    ?resize=768%2C451&ssl=1

  29. a r + Blobbit

    Also, the more overwhelmed the health care system is, the higher the mortality rate will be.
    Not just from covid19 but also all the other people who needed help in hospital for other reasons.

    The US population is 327 million people. If you took that 20% figure (probably optimistic) and then applied a 5% mortality (this seems reasonable from what we’ve seen in Italy), then you’re talking about 3.27 million deaths. And that’s probably a lower bound.

    Then we can add the civil disorder, food riots, gun deaths, looting, and all the other complications of a society gone to hell.

  30. “Then we can add the civil disorder, food riots, gun deaths, looting, and all the other complications of a society gone to hell.”

    Just to start off, I’m not advocating the US approach.

    I suspect the US would probably accept more deaths than most countries. No idea where the limit is in terms of what they’ll accept.

    Two things here – the belief in personal freedom, and the belief in God.

    The US may just go “well, short loads of us are going to die. Can’t be helped”

    Just look at the recent reaction from NY when it was suggested that the state might need to have is borders closed.

  31. Another must-view video. Its long but its worth it.
    An interview with a South Korean expert.
    Goes into a lot of basic questions about the virus and it explains in exact detail what South Korea has done so well and all of its procedures and protocols.
    One interesting thing is he says, yes wearing a mask does actually reduce your chances of catching the virus. Skip to 16:00 if you want to see this bit.
    In South Korea you can get tested if your doctor thinks its a good idea. Also you can rock up and get tested for about $140USD. If you test positive, you get your money back.
    Also every person arriving at Incheon airport gets tested.
    Another factoid. Until March 23, South Korea had done 338,000 tests. How did we stack up at that date?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAk7aX5hksU


  32. Nicholas says:
    Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Therefore CGSs are not a burden on the federal government. There will never be a solvency problem for the federal government in terms of financial commitments that are denominated in its own currency.

    Agree.
    But those few who think that laws don’t apply to them and came back from skying in the USA without testing and isolation, the cruise ships and a federal government that didn’t stop it; Liberal mates you know what; are going to cost this country dearly. The Government debt is going to be a measure.

  33. E. G. Theodore @ #5072 Sunday, March 29th, 2020 – 10:49 pm

    Itza:

    – it seems that the helmet interfaces for NIV as critical for safety and are only widely used in Europe. So we can’t safely use them here even if we could get them, due to total lack of experience (what about HIV pts?)
    – A completely healthy anesthetist claimed somewhere to have experimentally intubated himself with a tube fitted with a camera and light… Presumably alone as it sounds like an illegal experiment. Is it even possible?

    – Unrelated to COVID – I have particular affection for prone (without intubation of course). I have an IGAM flap from buttouck to close the perineal defect after pelvic exenteration in 2017. Plastics says no sitting for six weeks, hence postural BP drop (postural hypotension?) in attempting to mobilise directly from lying down to standing (weird thing was mobilised for 100m+ around the ward 3 days into recovery, then couldn’t mobilise at all for a week, then for another week, due to risk of fainting). Solved by me with validation by the (very attractive, female in my case) plastics fellow by using:
    – 1) on side on bed ;
    – 2) move to prone on bed to raise head and wait for BP to stabilise;
    – 3) step off bed so legs move down whilst head moves up, thus (apparently) avoiding BP drop and allowing mobilisation at will and up and down the stairs in the hospital three days later.
    Bonus was the plastics fellow insisted on getting into prone on the floor and simulating the procedure to ensure she understood what I was proposing!

    All hail lady plastic fellows. There was a visiting oculoplastic (plastic surgery in the periorbital area) fellow from Rotterdam via London who had a PhD in hand surgery working with a surgeon I had a regular list with in a big city hospital, and when she walked in for the first time, all stunning 6 ft of her, jaws dropped. She had actually done some cat walk modelling in London. We became good friends.

    Helmets weren’t widely used in the HIV crisis – gloves (double) and masks mainly, and eye shields. Needle stick injury was the big fear. That time saw the development of retractable needles – after cannulation, a click saw the needle withdraw into its protective plastic shield, rather than having to dispose of it directly into a ‘sharps bin’. They (helmets) are being worn here, available and used; experience not a factor, but the issue with assisted non-intubated ventilation would be the need for a negative pressure room, and staffing. It is absolutely recommended against because of he high risk of soiling.

    Dio and OC are more in the field than I, though I am getting feed back from colleagues and the College and Society.

    Fiberoptic (flexitube with light) intubation is widespread, especially when anatomically challenging. However, it is completely unsuitable in Covid-19 because it is slow and highly aerosolising. It is perfectly possible to intubate yourself that way, and totally with the remit of most anaesthetists, as anyone who knows them could well attest. Wild child isn’t the half of it. They are an incredible group, insight into which is all but impossible unless you are an insider. I give you the anaesthetist in the cave rescue episode.

    All the best with the flap. It sounds like a great success, and congratulations to all, not least the patient patient with the postural drops. btw, compression stocking can assist, and we have even used airforce pressure suits in times past for assisting blood pressure stabilisation in strange positions.

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