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. From the Guardian

    [Michelle Landry, the LNP member for Capricornia in Far North Queensland, and Queensland senator Matt Canavan, have written to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to request her “urgent consideration for shutting North Queensland’s borders”.]

    The border is just north of the Gold Coast or Noosa?

  2. According to Juliette O’Brien national numbers have gone up 370/380/380 the last three days.

    It’s early days and this data will jump around its underlying trend. In any case, 3 days data is not enough to draw any solid conclusions. However, those numbers might just possibly indicate a leveling off in the rate of growth. It looks linear (1,2,3,4..) rather than exponential (1,2,4,8…).

    Of course we’ll need to see more numbers before we can make that judgement.

  3. frednk

    Its worse than that. Morrison hasn’t a clue. There’s an assumption amongst some (including the CMO) that the virus will eventually infect most of the population. There’s no understanding that it can be halted and even eradicated whilst only infecting a fraction of a percent.

  4. poroti @ #2342 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 5:16 pm

    No chance. All those multi neg geared rental property owning Boomers will be flat out at home re rolling all the 3 and 4 ply rolls into single ply rolls to sell you.

    Quite likely. And even then they’ll probably short-change you by only rolling up 150 sheets and saying it’s 300!

    Bastards! 🙁

  5. Bill Bowtell AO
    @billbowtell
    ·
    3m
    I have heard from a bus driver in Queensland that thousands of FIFO workers are still travelling to and from mine sites.They are flying in and out of capital cities to work in the Bowen Basin. The local hospitals completely unequipped for COVID. Is this so @AnnastaciaMP ?

  6. Well, I’ve got 2.5 normal sized toilet rolls, plus four double-length rolls, plus I found one in the boot of the car the other day, all bought before things got weird. I’m hoping that will be enough to see me through to the time when those who are panic-buying have run out of storage room (or customers).

  7. Cub CHewer

    The CMO doesn’t seem to have a grip on basic maths, or my assumption that a recovered carrier can no longer be a carrier is wrong.

  8. Dandy Murray @ #2338 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 4:41 pm

    MB,

    What I would consider to be exponential growth would be one where the rate of growth itself is frequently doubling (or more). Since the overall numbers got reasonably large in mid-March, we have seen jumps in the rate of growth around nearly 80 on 16 March to 226 on 21 March to 370 on 24 March. It’s now been reasonably steady for 3 days. And it would need to jump dramatically again soon – to something like 800 per day – for me to consider the rate of growth to be truly exponential.

    If you say the rate is the percentage change d/d, as is standard, then in exponential growth that rate is constant. The absolute value of the change (flow) grows in proportion to the cumulative value (stock) – and both follow exponential curves. In fact the rate of change of the rate of change is also exponential, and so on, and so on.

    As you say, the absolute value of the change doubles every few days, because it is growing exponentially.

    If you started from zero, and doubled the result every turn, you would still end up with zero. You would have to start with 0+a where a = >0 so would the calculation be n = 0+1(a>0) and whatever notation makes it increase exponentially?

    I am mostly self taught as far as algebra is concerned, so please forgive my gaps in knowledge or logic.

  9. Gladys was on the Ch 10 TV news suggesting draconian measures could be implemented if the number of infections rose too high.

    I wonder if her credibility has been dented by the cruise ship debacle, making people a little weary of placing faith in her.

    NSW Health is certainly ramping up its efforts at the moment. They have started doing temperature checks on people arriving at Sydney Airport, following the video this morning of people herded together to go through Border Force checks.

    Ch 10 news also said people arriving and showing symptoms are being taken to the Swissotel to spend two weeks at government expense. However the the hotel is still accommodating regular guests, one of whom was unhappy to be informed of this by the Ch 10 news crew.

  10. frednk

    The basic assumption that the CMO and many like him are working under is that the virus will spread and infect most of the community at some point. They haven’t any idea that the virus can be halted in its tracks. They’re pretending that limited measures will get R0 down to under 1.0 – a heroic assumption. They have also convinced themselves that “most cases are of overseas origin” – in other words they think that community spread is limited. Another dangerous assumption.

  11. Shellbell @ #2350 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 4:29 pm

    From the Guardian

    [Michelle Landry, the LNP member for Capricornia in Far North Queensland, and Queensland senator Matt Canavan, have written to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to request her “urgent consideration for shutting North Queensland’s borders”.]

    The border is just north of the Gold Coast or Noosa?

    North of Noosa. Noosa is not part of “the real” Queensland. We already established that.

  12. citizen I’ll take it more seriously when they are doing temperature checks on basically everyone every day – Singapore style. And remember some people won’t get a temperature and some won’t even get symptoms but still be infectious.

    Oh and if they are going to rent hotel rooms, they need to rent every room, not mix regular guests.

  13. And again..

    The thing that the media should be laser focused on is testing and whether or not the government is going to buy/source/manufacture tens of millions of tests.

  14. Shellbell

    Working at home seems to bring Wine O’Clock forward in the day

    a
    As it is a point of honour not to start drinking alcohol before the sun is over the yard-arm, except for days of celebration, my Wine O’Clock starts at 12pm and finishes at sunrise the next day.

    One must have standards, I say!

  15. As it is a point of honour not to start drinking alcohol before the sun is over the yard-arm

    So can you always drink in Crows Nest?

  16. Emma Dawson
    @DawsonEJ
    ·
    8m
    Why is Gigi Foster on @RadioNational right now being allowed to spread misinformation about the risk to young people from #coronavirus? Saying we should keep going to pubs & just quarantine old people and go for a herd immunity response because of damage to the economy?!Pouting face#auspol

    Hot tip: don’t take medical advice from economists.

  17. Exponential growth means getting faster and faster. For example, infections doubling every 5 days, then doubling every 4 days and so forth. Obviously you want the reverse to be true.

    However, you can certainly have a steady rate of growth that is also unsustainable.

  18. “Do it in linear rather than log”

    I’d rather see it as a log scale, makes it much easier to see.

    I’ve been plotting the WA numbers. Definite slope change (better) with the last three days points. I’ll wait for a week’s days before I get too excited.

  19. @Douglas and Milko
    I’m glad someone appreciated the reference 🙂
    It’s actually a little eerie having recently re-read it, and having a pentecostal PM, the virus and more.
    Thankfully noone is riding around with a Hydrogen bomb as a sidecar.
    Am currently tackling Cryptonomicon. Also picked up Gibson’s latest the other day.

  20. Historyintime @ #2378 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 4:53 pm

    Exponential growth means getting faster and faster. For example, infections doubling every 5 days, then doubling every 4 days and so forth. Obviously you want the reverse to be true.

    However, you can certainly have a steady rate of growth that is also unsustainable.

    One way to visualise exponential growth is as a steady acceleration. The velocity goes up steadily but the distance travelled increases exponentially. You could think of the daily new cases as the velocity. For the past 2 weeks the number of daily cases has been going up, with yesterday being the only exception.

  21. Curve Update 2020-03-26 5PM (Qld time)
    Projected: 3,250
    Reported: 2,799
    Regression coeff: 0.9974
    Tomorrow’s projected value: 3,951
    Comment: This is the second day the reported cases have been clearly less than the projected curve. The increases for the last 4 days have been: 394, 427, 287, 376. If tomorrow is a third day of undershoot I will start a new curve fit, backdated to yesterday.

    —————-
    DATA SOURCES
    2,766 https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
    2,774 https://www.covid19data.com.au/
    2,799 https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-current-situation-and-case-numbers

  22. No point beating around the bush. NSW is about 50% of all new cases and will largely dictate exponential growth or flattening of the curve.

  23. Now if you want to see something interesting.. skip to 6:54 on the video where it shows that even small rates of contact between clusters can have a large effect on overall infections.

    And what is the ideal cluster size? A household. (Assuming you can’t detect/isolate individuals)

    And what is the ideal rate of “communication” between clusters? Zero.

    Present government policy doesn’t come anywhere near limiting the rate of contact between people (and between clusters and non infected groups). Because with most people still going about their usual lives (a fair description of the present policy) there is going to be far too much contact and far too much transmission to have any hope of controlling the virus.

  24. “Davidwh says:
    Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 5:58 pm
    We want a barrier at the Bribie Island bridge. Essential services only.”

    You could organise a citizen’s militia to guard the bridge from invaders?

  25. Historyintime
    I think it is like this:
    x = ab^(t/r)
    a = the initial value.
    b = growth factor.
    r = is the time for the growth to occur.
    It strict maths terms:
    The assumption made by the CMO is that b =2. If the re-infection rate is 1, then r is very large. ab^0 = 1.
    If the re-infection is less than 1 then of interest is the time it takes to halve for example and b has to be adjusted accordingly.

  26. “Shellbellsays:
    Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 6:07 pm
    No point beating around the bush. NSW is about 50% of all new cases and will largely dictate exponential growth or flattening of the curve.”

    Indeed. But purely from a “will I die” point of view, now there is limited movement between states, I’m also interested in what’s happening locally.

  27. I am a racist! An unapologising racist of the worst kind.
    I despise the Chinese government for its anti democratic, violent suppression of Tibetans and Uighers and other minorities it sadly has power over.
    I despise the Iranian government for its despotic behaviour against its people and its support for terrorism across the world.
    I despise the Saudi Arabian government for its despotic behaviour against its people and its support for terrorism around the world.
    I despise the Brazilian government for itshuman rights violations and political use of murder for the sake of power.
    I despise the Indian government for its formenting religious violence as a tool for political power.
    I despise the Burmese government for its corruption and for formenting religious violence as a tool for political power.
    I despise the Cambodian government ditto.
    And ditto several other governments for ditto reasons.

    I am troubled by my uttercontempt for the governments of Russia, Hungary and sundry other mostly white nations for mostly ditto reasons. It doesn’t match my racist dislike for swarthy nations for some reason.

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