Essential Research and Roy Morgan: more coronavirus polling

Two new polls suggest early skepticism about the threat posed by coronavirus is fast disappearing.

As reported by The Guardian, Essential Research has unusually conducted a new poll just a week after the last. This effectively replicates last week’s suite of questions on coronavirus to tie in with an online forum later today involving The Guardian’s Katharine Murphy and Essential Research’s Peter Lewis.

The results show a sharp rise in concern since last week, with 53% now saying they are very concerned, after the three previous fortnightly polls had it progressing from 25% to 27% to 39%. Only 18% now say they consider there has been an overreaction to the thread, down from 33% last week, while 43% now think the threat has been underestimated, up from 28%. These results imply little change to last week’s finding that 39% thought the response about right, though we will presumably have to await publication of the full report later today for a complete set of numbers. The poll also finds overwhelming support for the restrictive measures that have been taken. The rise in concern appears to have been matched by a decline in skepticism about media reportage, which 42% now say they trust, up from 35% last week.

Also out today is a Roy Morgan SMS poll on coronavirus, showing 43% support for the view that the federal government is handling the crisis well with 49% disagreeing — a rather weak result by international standards (it is noted that a similar poll in the United Kingdom a bit under a fortnight ago had it at 49% and 37%). This poll finds an even higher pitch of public concern than Essential, in that only 15% believed the threat to be exaggerated, with fully 81% disagreeing. Relatedly, 80% said they were willing to sacrifice some of their “human rights” to help prevent the spread of the virus (evidently having a somewhat different conception of that term from my own), with only 14% disagreeing. The poll was conducted on Saturday and Sunday from a sample of 988.

UPDATE: Full report from Essential Research here. The recorded increase in concern about the virus is not matched by a change in perceptions of the government’s handling of it, which 45% rate as good, unchanged on last week, and 31% rate as poor, up two. There is also a question on concern about climate change, which refutes the hopes of some conservative commentators in suggesting it has not been affected by the coronavirus crisis: 31% say they are more concerned than they were a year ago, 53% no more or less so, and 16% less concerned. However, the number of respondents saying Australia is not doing enough to address climate change is down from 60% in November to 55%, with doing enough up one to 23% and doing too much up one to 9%. The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1086.

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.

2,376 comments on “Essential Research and Roy Morgan: more coronavirus polling”

  1. “Confessionssays:
    Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    As long as she stays 1.5m away from the sheep she should be fine.”

    Yes, but will the sheep?

  2. Grif

    “Also, if we adopt the eradication approach, what is the endgame? China is at a point of trying to figure that out and it isn’t so simple. Do we then assert a maximum effort quarantine regime?”

    That’s exactly the kind of questions I’d like to see discussed. Not just here on PB, but in the media. Obviously to do this well requires real expertise and real coal-face data. What bugs me is the national conversation isn’t up to this point.

    I have my suspicions about lingering hot spots in China. The official story is that almost all the new cases are at the border. I’d like to think that’s (mostly) true. Because it does offer hope.

  3. Greensborough Growler says:
    Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    One of the inventors of the Duckwoth-Lewis scheme in One Day Cricket has passed at age 78.

    Apparenlty the original target was 100. But it raisned.


    OK G.G., I don’t usually agree with what you have to say.

    But if we had an award for the most clever riposte on BB this year, this would be right up there.

  4. I don’t believe it and I’m willing to be corrected, but I’m sure I heard the former Minister for Aged Hair, Kero Baths, with a keen interest in choppers saying that apropos of the Morrison Government’s new policy on child care, in the absence of means-testing, it should be ashamed of itself, borrowing a line from dear Dan Tehan who said that Labor’s policy in the 2016 election was tantamount to Bolshevism. It’s amazing how much an innocent submicroscopic infectious agent can turn a former fiscally responsible party to profligacy.
    But that’s a minor concern; the real problem for the Tories is how will they turn this around when the crisis passes(?). Kevin, Swannie: please get those smirks off your respective faces.

  5. Blobbit

    “AFAIKS the issue is with making the test kits as much as anything. The factory in the story Nicholas posted can make 600k a day. Presumably they’ve been doing that awhile.”

    There are various manufacturers (15 major ones by last count) ramping up production into the hundreds of thousands per week. What we should have done in Australia is do licensing deals and set up manufacturing here. I do hear you about critical chemicals but again this is the sort of thing our government should have been doing for several weeks now. If it hasn’t…

    No, I’ll answer that. If our government doesn’t, there will quickly be a black market and it’ll be a mess.

  6. Bushfire Bill @ #2144 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 7:59 pm

    Fair dinkum, if an asteroid the size of Everest was approaching Earth, someone here would be claiming that comparing it to Everest was racist against the Nepalese, insensitive to Tibetan territorial considerations and religious beliefs, disrespectful to the hundreds of Sherpas who had sacrificed their lives, in denial of the creeping de-glacification of the Himalayas, and that calling it “Everest” was an unwelcome and anachronistic harking back to racist colonial times.

    Still smarting, BB? 🙂

  7. beguiledagain @ #2204 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:04 pm

    Greensborough Growler says:
    Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    One of the inventors of the Duckwoth-Lewis scheme in One Day Cricket has passed at age 78.

    Apparenlty the original target was 100. But it raisned.


    OK G.G., I don’t usually agree with what you have to say.

    But if we had an award for the most clever riposte on BB this year, this would be right up there.


  8. “And, maybe if we took a little more notice of what Hanson had to say in ’97 none of this shit would have happened.”

    Which bit? The incoherent bit? Or the patently wrong bit?

  9. Good news
    Curve is flattening

    Bad news
    SA is running out of N95 masks (This is more than rumour)
    SA Health modelling shows peak in Oct (this is rumour)

    Overall looks like a death by a thousand cuts.

  10. I don’t think Pauline would be so cocky in the Phillipines…

    “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned in a televised address that violators of the country’s lockdown measures could be shot dead, Reuters reported.

    “My orders to the police and military … if there is trouble and there’s an occasion that they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead,” Duterte reportedly said.

    “Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you,” he added.

  11. Player One @ #2224 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:19 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #2220 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:17 pm

    Redlands Mowerman @ #2213 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:11 pm

    And, maybe if we took a little more notice of what Hanson had to say in ’97 none of this shit would have happened.

    Yeah, like lying in a paddock really makes a difference.

    I guess it’s better than lying in Parliament.

    Good, but predictable.

    That’s why I didn’t go with it.


  12. My how this headline must help morale in the US. Oh and a big welcome to the term Human Remains Pouches . Scotty from “don’t use the term lockdown’ Marketing would definitely approve. 🙂
    Pentagon Seeking 100,000 Body Bags for Civilians in Crisis

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested 100,000 body bags, known as Human Remains Pouches,

  13. So, COVID-19 will just do what Influenza does, that is if we return to ‘normal’ behaviours.

    That is, go round the world, following the seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemishpheres, probably piggy-backing on planes, trains, automobiles and cruise ships (should the industry survive), and mutating as it goes to keep itself alive.

    I believe that a vaccine will have to be developed for every COVID season, like we have done for Influenza, however, the number of people who should qualify for it for free in society should be broad and deep as it is more dangerous to the human race than influenza.

  14. cc
    I don’t know. I didn’t see the modelling and don’t know what assumptions it was based on.
    If SA just keeps adding 20-40 a day, yes u can see why the peak is so far away. I think we might go into zone quarantining soon like WA. The Barossa and APY lands are segregated. We aren’t so far gone like NSW that it’s pointless. I’ve heard Broken Hill and Wilcannia want to be separate from NSW.

  15. Hey all youse Millenials and Gen Xers gloating at the plague demise of the Boomers, hold the champagne 🙂

    Many New York Coronavirus Patients Are Young, Surprising Doctors

    Younger adults in New York City are being hospitalized with Covid-19 infections at surprisingly high rates, said doctors and other health-care workers treating them, undermining earlier assumptions about who’s most at risk from the new coronavirus

  16. I’ve heard Broken Hill and Wilcannia want to be separate from NSW.

    Broken Hill has wanted to separate from NSW for years now.

  17. C@t
    The virologists are pretty confident a coronavirus vaccine would just be given once with a booster at twelve months as the strains aren’t as different as the H and N variables in the flu virus.

  18. fess
    Wilcannia is even more of a problem due to its very high proportion of indigenous residents. It would be devastating there.

  19. Cud chewer,

    South Korea has insignificantly fluctuating average of 100 cases a day over the last 10 days with a total number of 9976 confirmed and 5828 recovered. They will need to consider an endgame before we do. But yes, they are not China.

  20. Player One @ #2241 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:31 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #2238 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:29 pm

    Player One @ #2233 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:27 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #2232 Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 – 9:24 pm

    Good, but predictable.

    I try to tailor my ripostes to my audience 🙂

    Whatever audience you are tailing to has lots of buttons missing.

    You read my stuff.

    Just saying … 🙂

    I love to laugh!

  21. BB
    We are dreading it getting into this community. Social distancing in the store is practised. There is the truck which comes twice a week – mail and stores – to worry about. But social distancing is near impossible. The only way is to keep it out.

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