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. CC, I find exponential curves on log scales easier to understand. Exponential curves on a linear scale all look much the same. But, for you I’ll have a go. For now, please accept the graph below. 🙂

    Shellbell
    These are the data I am working with.
    DATE&TIME    Count    Increase
    2020-03-22 17:00    1,315    214
    2020-03-23 17:00    1,709    394
    2020-03-24 17:00    2,136    427
    2020-03-25 17:00    2,423    287
    2020-03-26 17:00    2,799    376

  2. Late Riser I’d be reluctant to read too much into that just yet. Statistically significant? Possibly. Give it 2 or 3 more days.

    If there is a reduction in the exponent then its got everything to do with the community response that started happening early last week and little to do with what the government has done more recently.

  3. lizzie @ #2393 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 6:12 pm

    @bkbaguley
    ·
    2m
    Tony Burke argued strongly against the outrageous LNP motion to prorogue the Federal Parliament until August!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfV2NPrLLg8&feature=youtu.be

    Please Labor, please.
    Just this once.
    Stick something as PJK would say ‘like shit to a blanket’
    Don’t shit up about it.
    Not like the NBN.
    Not like ‘wheat for weapons’
    Not like all those other die in ditch issues you went to water on.
    You
    Have
    Nothing
    To
    Lose.

  4. “It is estimated there are currently 7000 Australian travellers in Indonesia, including 4700 in the holiday hotspot of Bali, though this number is a big drop from the usual figure of around 30,000 in Indonesia.”

    I’m surprised there are still that many people there.

  5. Right on Mundo,

    The ALP should make a really big thing of this. Have plenty of their members, socially distanced, fly to Canberra and protest. Talk about Churchill and the war etc.

    But they won’t. They are fairy floss.

  6. Classic quote from that video I just posted at 8:27

    So if people are sufficiently worried, there’s much less to worry about, but if no one is worried, that’s when you should worry.

    Think about it.

    The outcome we get has everything to do with the actions of individual people. The more they understand the threat and the more they take it seriously and do simple things like wash their hands and stay at home, the better the outcome.

    And the problem I’ve had from the very beginning is the way the government has screwed up the messaging. So much so that we have a large part of our society just acting like there’s nothing to worry about. That’s self correcting eventually (as the bodies pile up), but it shouldn’t be that way.

  7. 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?

    So many inconsistencies.
    Capricornia is in central Queensland, centred around Rockhampton.
    Far north Queensland is usually considered north of Cairns, 1,000 km north of Rockhampton.
    North Queensland is considered Mackay to north of Townsville.
    Culturally the north is just north of Noosa and the west is west of Ipswich.

  8. lizzie @ #2358 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 4:34 pm

    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 ?

    Well aren’t they still FIFO from interstate into the Pilbara?

  9. For those discussing exponential growth, etc

    Re-posting a link I provided this morning….it has clear explanations, including wwhat is exponential growth…. presenting graphical info……..linear….logarithmic scale.

    ————

    What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight

    See how coronavirus is spreading around the world — and what lessons we can take from the countries beating the virus.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-26/coronavirus-covid19-global-spread-data-explained/12089028

  10. Listening to the debates on the TV, I get the idea that there are two different strategies being discussed. One might be characterised as do the maximum and hope you are wrong, and other as do the minimum and hope you are right. ??

    CC…soon.

  11. [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”.

    Let’s start a petition asking for his request to be met and made permanent.

  12. Kanbah Mick

    “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.”

    Well, congratulations I guess, but this isn’t truly racist.
    You see you have successfully avoided labeling whole countries/racial groups and have focused on the individuals (the Governments) at fault.

    You could make your argument MORE clear, by just saying ‘I despise Governments that do X’
    That would be absolutely non-racist AND has greater clarity as people will not be confused by long lists of countries.

  13. Queensland border restrictions

    https://www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions

    Exemption for FIFO workers

    FIFO workers in construction, commercial fishing, forestry, mining, petroleum, energy or agribusiness industries are still allowed to enter Queensland to work without having to undertake self-quarantine.

    However, they will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for, and that they are entering Qld to go directly to work.

    The companies they work for in Queensland will also have to provide a health plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer that ensures adequate hygiene and safety requirements to limit the transmission of COVID19.

    Includes all other exemptions and details re closure of border.

  14. Investors bracing for fresh euro zone debt crisis
    Karen MaleyColumnist
    Mar 26, 2020 – 5.15pm

    Mario Draghi has gone as the head of the European Central Bank, and most of the key political players have changed, the obvious exception being German chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, is the only EU leader from the European debt crisis a decade ago to stick around for the coronavirus crisis. AP

    But as the euro zone lurches ever closer to a fresh debt crisis, the central question remains the same: will the fiscally prudent northern states – especially Germany and the Netherlands – be prepared to backstop the borrowings of countries like Italy and Spain.

    As always, there are the interminable meetings that fail to reach agreement. On Tuesday night, a meeting of European Union finance ministers failed to come up with ways to tackle the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Few hold out any hopes for a break-through. Although the euro zone has agreed to suspend its strict rules on budget deficits in order to allow billions of euros in extra spending to mitigate the devastation of the coronavirus, key countries – including France, Italy and Spain – believe that a lot more needs to be done.

    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/investors-bracing-for-fresh-euro-zone-debt-crisis-20200326-p54e3c

  15. Queensland miners fear Fifo workers could pose a threat during coronavirus pandemic

    Local workers and their families are concerned that thousands of fly-in, fly-out workers continue to cycle through mine sites

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/25/queensland-miners-fear-fifo-workers-could-pose-a-threat-during-coronavirus-pandemic

    Central Queensland mineworkers say they have boycotted shifts out of concern that thousands of fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) workers continue to cycle through work camps and mine sites, in stark contrast to ever-increasing gathering and travel restrictions that have affected other industries.
    :::
    “There are still thousands coming in and thousands coming out every week, from Townsville and [Brisbane and the Gold Coast] where there are all [coronavirus] cases,” one miner from Dysart told Guardian Australia. He has not been back to work for several days out of concern for his own health.

    “They’re still just flying and driving people in. That’s the hypocrisy for me – the government is telling people not to go to a cafe or restaurant and stay home.
    :::
    A Fifo mineworker who has declined work in the past few weeks for personal health reasons said the camps and mine sites appeared to have proactive plans in place, but his main concern was the potential for transmission of the virus on flights and bus rides to the camp sites.

  16. The Guardian

    A second man has died from Covid-19 in Western Australia, according to reports. This brings the number of deaths from the virus in Australia to 13. Four of those deaths, all of people in their 70s, were announced today.

  17. Simon Katich

    I am aware that SA had far less a problem on availability of the reagent than other states. I am also aware that ill people with no contact with OS were being tested if they were sick enough and pushed hard enough. They were just warned that they would have to wait a little longer AND would have to isolate while they waited.

    SA has been testing (almost) all respiratory swabs (sent to SA Pathology) for COVID-19, including those suspected of flu or whatever else. So the GP just had to decide whether to order a swab done (or do it, rather). I am not sure whether SA Pathology decided this as an internal decision, or whether it was publicised at the time. Nice work, I say!

    BTW – how is traffic at the Kingscote collection point?

  18. Meher,

    If the doubling time is consistently shortening, you are seeing super-exponential growth.

    My understanding of the biology is that can’t be explained by natural spread alone.

    (My understanding of the biology is nothing special.)

  19. It’s Time

    But there’ll be no one to cover the nanna nap period!

    They got that covered. Davidwh makes an excellent roadblock during the nananap period.

  20. Sarah Macdonald
    @sarahvmac
    ·
    27m
    Caller on @abcsydney now who got off plane from Jakarta yesterday. Full of people who were coughing and sick. They just got off with a pamphlet no temp checks or testing still. Crowded airport. Tough on borders when????

  21. Blobbit @ #2407 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 3:19 pm

    “It is estimated there are currently 7000 Australian travellers in Indonesia, including 4700 in the holiday hotspot of Bali, though this number is a big drop from the usual figure of around 30,000 in Indonesia.”

    I’m surprised there are still that many people there.

    I’m surprised anyone would want to travel to Australia. 🙂

  22. C@tmomma

    I still haven’t been able to figure out HOW a hairdresser cuts your hair whilst observing Social Distancing?

    No problems if you go to Edward’s salon.

  23. Pegasus

    Perhaps the most interesting bit in that article you linked to..

    The town of Vo at the centre of the outbreak leapt into action after its first COVID-19 death, testing the entire town, which showed 3 per cent of people were infected despite most not showing symptoms. After two weeks of strict quarantine, the researchers carried out another round of mass testing in Vo. The rate of COVID-19 infection had dropped from nearly 3 per cent to 0.41 per cent.

    It confirms to me two things.
    Firstly, the real rate of infection in Australia is quite likely many times higher than the official number of diagnosed cases.
    Secondly, mass testing, even of people without symptoms, works.

    The single most galling thing I find about our response in Australia is the bullshit answers given to why we aren’t testing a lot more.

  24. Its Time

    I have never had someone cutting my hair wearing a mask and usually they don’t have gloves.

    I’m going to get shaggy…

  25. Blobbit @ #2431 Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 5:42 pm

    Let’s see if this works

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    There are some slight undulations.

    Out of curiosity, if you plot the average daily temperature across the southeast corner of Australia (and then probably shift it rightwards 10-14 days) do the undulations inversely correlate with the temperature variations?

  26. “There are some slight undulations.”

    Yes. Nothing to get excited about. There’s a strong trend in the last 3 days of WA data, going from a doubling period of about 4.5 days to a new one of around 5.5 days. I’d want to see that continue for a good few more days before I got too excited.

    “Out of curiosity, if you plot the average daily temperature across the southeast corner of Australia (and then probably shift it rightwards 10-14 days) do the undulations inversely correlate with the temperature variations?””

    Que? Not sure if that’s just a suggestion of GIGO? Or are you suggesting a correlation? I don’t really know what happens in the “eastern states”.

  27. KMick …………….your rant against a stack of political systems has nothing to do with racism….just plain cynicism about the nature of politics world-wide…….

  28. Actually, looking at the last 3 days of WA data, the doubling period is more like 7 days, out from 4.5.

    I need to be more careful with my curve fit 😉

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