Essential Research coronavirus latest

Confidence in the federal government and other institutions on the rise, but state governments in New South Wales and Queensland appear to lag behind Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.

The Guardian reports Essential Research’s latest weekly reading of concern about coronavirus finds satisfaction with the government’s handling of the crisis up two points to 65%, its best result yet out of the five such polls that have been published (no sign yet of the poor rating, which hit a new low of 17% – the full report later today should reveal all).

Last week’s question on state governments’ responses was repeated this week, and with due regard to sample sizes that run no higher than around 320 (and not even in triple figures in the case of South Australia), the good ratings have been 56% last week and 61% for New South Wales; 76% and 70% for Victoria; 52% and 63% for Queensland; 79% and 77% for Western Australia; and 72% and 66% for South Australia. Combining the results gives New South Wales 58.5% and Victoria 73% with error margins of about 3.7%; Queensland 57.5% from 4.6%; Western Australia 78% from 5.5%; and South Australia 69% from 6.9%.

Also included are Essential’s occasion question on trust in various institutions, which suggests that all of the above might be benefiting from a secular effect that has federal parliament up from 35% to 53% and the ABC up from 51% to 58%. The effect is more modest for the Australian Federal Police, up two points to 68%. In other coronavirus-related findings, the poll finds “half of all voters think it’s too soon to even consider easing restrictions“, with a further 14% saying they are prepared to wait until the end of May; that 38% said they would download the virus-tracing app, with 63% saying they had security concerns and 35% being confident the data would not be misused.

UPDATE: Full report 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.

1,133 comments on “Essential Research coronavirus latest”

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  1. You know, I reckon, now that Morrison has had a taste of being our Dear Leader he’s going to find it very hard to let go of the reins and return the nation to a parliamentary democracy.

  2. Where are Trump’s critics in the Republican Party!?! Has Coronavirus attacked their tongues and stopped them working!?!

    Washington: US coronavirus deaths topped 45,000 on Tuesday doubling in a little over a week as cases climbed to over 800,000, according to a Reuters tally.

    The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, almost four times as many as Spain, the country with the second-highest number.

    Can you imagine the wall of sound from the Repugs if this happened on a Democrat POTUS’ watch!?!

  3. lizzie @ #653 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 10:27 am


    He was never a fan of democracy in the first place. I dread the future.

    Exactly. Have you noticed how he is absolutely unaccountable to the press and, by extension, to the nation already? If he doesn’t like or want to answer a question he just gives it a glib brush-off? No one in the CPG challenges him on it, of course. He has to be believed that he is so invested in dealing with COVID-19 that his attention must not be distracted!

    What a load of hogwash! He always seems to have enough time to promote his religion via social media, or his cooking, or some other fluff and nonsense, though. He’s certainly able to disassociate himself from dealing with COVID-19 for long enough to do that, however.

    He’s dangerous. He’s even sucked in lackwits like so-called Labor man, mundo, fcs.

  4. @MichaelWestBiz

    Hearing Virgin’s PRs have been running the line in biz press that Chinese buyers are circling … scare the government into forking out cash

  5. lizzie @ #634 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 8:18 am

    I have an aversion to dogs dressed as if they were dolls. Winter coats, maybe, in a cold climate, but that’s all. Let them be dogs, that’s enough for me.

    Yep, I have the same problem with the way some people dress children.

    When I was in Vietnam, we had an event at a kindergarten that I was teaching at. One of the the performances was a song and dance routine by several girls. They were dressed in something resembling a Vegas Cabaret.
    I asked, one of my friends whether they would ever dress like that.
    She looked at me horrified and replied, “No way.”
    I then queried, why it was right for the girls to be dressed so.
    She got the point.

  6. mundo says:
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 10:20 am

    nath @ #609 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 9:42 am

    I doubt that Bill Shorten has read many books.

    Probably the lamest comment you’ve ever made.
    Says somebody he refers to himself in the third person.

  7. Re Elimination/ eradication….

    As my partner wisely pointed out, we haven’t eliminated/ eradicated small pox, leprosy, plague, measles etc … despite billions spent and repeatedly getting very close.
    Victory has been prematurely declared many times.

  8. we haven’t eliminated/ eradicated small pox, leprosy, plague, measles etc

    Leave smallpox off that list – it is officially eradicated.

    If you meant to say no virus has been made ‘extinct’, that would be true due to the keeping of active samples in certain labs.

  9. ok, if we are talking books, list a top 5. Straight off the bat, without cogitating about it to produce some worthy titles to make you look intellectual.

    OK, I’ll start:

    Huckleberry Finn
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    First Man in Rome
    The Aubreii (Master and Commander Series)

  10. 1984 by George Orwell
    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    If This Is a Man by Primo Levi
    The Earth Abides by George Stewart
    The Magnificent Century by Thomas B Costain

  11. Lizzie, ‘Sir John Houghton, renowned climate scientist who led IPCC reports, dies at 88 from coronavirus. (Washington Post)’

    It seems this virus is very selective. Killing good people and letting others, that are not so good, off. (Thinking of you Boris).

  12. Torchbearer @ #661 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 10:46 am

    Re Elimination/ eradication….

    As my partner wisely pointed out, we haven’t eliminated/ eradicated small pox, leprosy, plague, measles etc … despite billions spent and repeatedly getting very close.
    Victory has been prematurely declared many times.

    Umm we have eradicated smallpox. And we don’t have outbreaks of leperosy and plague in Australia. And we can’t manage to get rabies either.

  13. I’ve just been cleaning out my son’s bookcases (the one who went to America). He had ALL of Patrick White’s novels, ALL of Anthony Burgess’ novels, ALL of Charles Dickins’ novels, ALL of Joseph Conrad’s novels and The Brothers Karamazov. Plus shedloads more, literally (we had converted the double garage for his living space). And he never bought a book unless he was going to read it. Though he only got half way through The Brothers Karamazov before he went to America.

    He was also a fan of Don deLillo and Houillebecq.

  14. Godel, Escher, Bach – Douglas Hofstadter
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M Pirsig
    Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
    The Ecology of Wisdom – Arne Naess
    War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

  15. Wind in the Willows.
    The Gold Coast and
    The Gate House Nelson de Mille
    Pride and Prejudice
    When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
    The Count of Monte Cristo

    Smoko ☕

  16. Torchbearer @ #660 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 10:46 am

    Re Elimination/ eradication….

    As my partner wisely pointed out, we haven’t eliminated/ eradicated small pox, leprosy, plague, measles etc … despite billions spent and repeatedly getting very close.

    Eradication isn’t required if you can develop a vaccine (or a reliable cure). As was done for most of those examples (though it’s the TB vaccine that’s used for leprosy, and it’s only somewhat effective).

    Andrew_Earlwood @ #664 Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 – 10:58 am

    ok, if we are talking books, list a top 5.

    House of Leaves
    Ender’s Game
    Mistborn (any of the first 3; nothing after)
    The Name of the Wind
    Cat’s Cradle

  17. What use is a “strategic reserve” stored abroad?

    Angus Taylor MP
    · 18h
    We will take advantage of the historically low oil prices to enhance our fuel security. Contract negotiations with the US to access storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are progressing well & we expect to have this finalised shortly.

  18. Some of my favourite reads :

    The Caine Mutiny – Herman Wouk
    The Winds Of War – Herman Wouk
    War And Remembrance – Herman Wouk
    Word Of Honour – Nelson DeMille
    Bomber Command – Max Hastings

  19. Keep em coming. There’s several on those lists that I haven’t read. Which is good because after I get through rereading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire I’ll be looking for new material.

    Actually, this will be the first time I read all 72 chapters of Decline and Fall from start to finish. It’s a great book, which I’ve read and annotated numerous times. But only in parts – ie. I’ve read those parts dealing with the Principate numerous times. Also the 3rd century crisis. The rest I’ve cherry picked depending on my historical interests at the time.

    It’s always been on my ‘to do’ list – I’d I ever ended up in jail, or bed ridden with a chronic illness to reads the lot in order. Covid19 provides an unexpected opportunity.

  20. Fiction
    The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson
    Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
    Foundation – Isaac Asimov
    The Lord Of The Rings – JRR Tolkien
    The Throwback – Tom Sharpe

    The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich – William L Shirer
    The Naked Ape – Desmond Morris
    Den Of Thieves – James B Stewart
    The Road To Wigan Pier – George Orwell
    Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein

    Apocalypse Now
    One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
    Monty Python And The Holy Grail
    Citizen Kane
    The Lord Of The Rings (when viewed as a single 10 hour movie)

    TV Shows
    Breaking Bad
    The West Wing
    The Sopranos
    Game Of Thrones

    Black Sabbath
    Pink Floyd
    Porcupine Tree

    There, that should stir up some controversy – or not.

  21. “As my partner wisely pointed out, we haven’t eliminated/ eradicated small pox, leprosy, plague, measles”

    You mean eradicated, as in world wide. All I care about right now is what happens within Australia.

  22. Five books that are worth everyone’s time IMO (nothing overly-intellectual)

    I concur with others re Catch 22 (wellspring of all modern comedy, including Monty Python, etc., but also incredibly moving: a work of great genius)

    War and Peace (hard to get into, but well worth persisting with. Tolstoy could somehow get into the minds of almost every type of person: plus some animals, eg: the Tsar’s horse)

    Emma by Jane Austen (a novel about pretty much nothing at all, but, once you’ve read it, you feel like you know all the characters and can imagine all of their houses)

    The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (but all the Philip Marlowe novels really: subsequently much-copied, but no imitator possesses his mastery over the English language)

    And, because I love detective novels so much, a second one:
    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (and most of the rest of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures, especially the short stories)

  23. The Culture series – Iain M Banks
    Game of thrones – I resisted for a long time, but they are page turners
    Anything by Jane Austen
    The Kinsey Milhone books by Sue Grafton
    Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles

    Hmmm, not cultured enough.

    MB: “The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler (but all the Philip Marlowe novels really: subsequently much-copied, but no imitator possesses his mastery over the English language”

    Yep. I reread all his stories about once every 5 years or so.

  24. Just ask MB. It’s all Dan’s fault. And StoppedclockBill keeps telling them to stay away from Chinese restaurants.

    What are you talking about? It’s against the law to attend a restaurant. They’re all closed.

    This is the kind of drive-by comment made to just keep the accusation going for its own sake. Designed to offend and troll up trouble, not to inform.

    A clinical paper was linked here last night describing in detail, with illustrations, a situation in a restaurant in February where one person infected another ten, in the time it took to finish lunch.

    The infecting person was asymptomatic. He or she had travelled from Wuhan. It was determined the virus was spread via the air-conditioning system to surrounding tables.

    I proposed the very sensible policy of avoiding Chinese restaurants and precincts having recently arrived back from Sydney at Lunar New Year (pre lockdown) and after witnessing for myself the literally thousands of tourists from China in the city at that time. Melbourne ditto.

    We now know that, via direct flights, there was a large contingent in that number of visitors direct from Wuhan. It was logical to assume that some of those travellers would be intending to attend Chinese restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne, many of them located in well known Chinese precincts like the Dixon St area, Chatswood, Eastwood, Box Hill, Little Bourke St. etc.

    These areas lost 90% of their business almost overnight. It was clear that not only non-Chinese customers like myself, but – in vast majority – local Chinese customers (along with their overseas guests) were also fuelling and supporting this boycott.

    I was called a “racist” by a hit-squad of commenters here. Their comments were obviously hurtful, and designed to be so. They were also untrue, which made them and their constant repetition all the more mischevious.

    Yet, subsequent government policy and now regulations have confirmed the soundness of my advice and the wisdom of the initially spontaneous boycott, including the majority Chinese contingent that participated in it.

    The bottom line is that Chinese travellers leaving China at Lunar New Year for destinations all over the world, including Australia, spread coronavirus far and wide, resulting in the present pandemic. There were probably earlier spreads also, but Lunar New Year was clearly the Big Event. It was only after Lunar New Year that the virus got a stranglehold on the world.

    In response to my outlining of my reasons for recommending a boycott, I was told that the virus could not be spread through the air. This has by now been comprehensively debunked. A story even today in the SMH reports that scientifically rigorous studies show the virus can persist in the air for many hours. Many other medical sources confirm this.

    If the response to this is “That’s not 100% proved,” my answer is (and was at the time): “Who wants to play the lab rat to find out for sure?”

    I was told Chinese restauranteurs were offended. There were articles written in newspapers to that effect, and quoted here. How much like ancient history these look now! When you read their complaints carefully the restaurateurs and business proprietors weren’t so much “offended” as they were whingeing that their big revenue week of the year – Lunar New Year – had gone bust.

    In any case I wasn’t out to offend. I was not advocating yelling at Chinese people in the street or on public transport to “Go home!” I was advocating caution, when we didn’t know enough about the virus to be anything but cautious. Conversely, my critics were in effect saying that they did know enough about it to be confident you couldn’t catch it via inhalation, and that Chinese people – who at the time represented 99.8% of infections worldwide – had nothing to do with it (ergo, only a “racist” would avoid them). How quaint that seems now.

    The wealthy restauranters, and a few dupes in the media, used “racism” as a cover, but in reality it was their own Chinese customers (hint: the ones wearing the face masks in the street) who were doing the boycotting, with a few local non-Chinese “stragglers” like myself making up the numbers. The fact of enthusiastic Chinese support in the boycott is still ignored by my critics. It’s far easier to just chant “Racism!”, no matter the realities.

    I was also told that, anyway, the virus did not spread here via restaurants, so my “racist” panic-mongering was misplaced.

    Excuse me, but I say this proves my point. Although the boycott was unofficial (indeed pooh-poohed, even by medical and educational “authorities”, who at the time were advising governments to keep schools and universities open for lucrative business), the fact that at least the on-shore Chinese “leisure and travel” industry was spontaneously closed down almost overnight, protected us from at least one potentially major infection vector. It’s a pity the cruise ship industry wasn’t similarly closed down: we all know what happened there. The virus on those ships didn’t just spring up out of nowhere.

    Even more esoteric arguments were put up casting doubt on the origin of the virus. It was claimed it may have started in Iran, or had been circulating in the Italian and other nations’ countrysides, undetected for months. Without getting into a shitfight over which bat in which cave infected which pig, or camel, or pangolin and when exactly, the exact origin is, to a great extent, unimportant.

    It’s where it spread from that matters. And to that question there is only one answer: Wuhan, China, at Lunar New Year time, late January to early February 2020. Australia, and the world, experienced its largest influx of Chinese tourists and students, many direct from Wuhan on Dreamliners, 777s and Airbus A380s precisely then.

    As to the comments made last night implying that I should have asked for a floor-plan, requested the tables to be spread out, or opened a window if I was worried about anti-infection conditions in a particular restaurant, they are picking nits off the backs of nits. If you’re worried about a restaurant’s sanitary conditions you stay away from it, not go out of your way to visit it because people might think you’re a “racist” if you don’t.

    It’s all very well to accuse me of being overly defensive, even as sniping comments like the one quoted at the top continue to be made, and the true factual situation – scientifically, socially and politically – of what things were like in Australia at the time becomes more clearly in support of my position.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t respond. I’d certainly have saved myself a lot of grief if I hadn’t. But to not respond, to allow a lie to continue to survive simply out of fear that the lie will be repeated, despite the facts, is just as stupid.

    Here’s why…

    Finger-pointing, labelling and casual, drive-by condemnation by those who regard their position on morality as the final word on any given subject, followed by subsequent mindless repetition of such easy mantras – as if every aspect of the human condition can be packaged up in a neat slogan or a thoughtless sneer – is absolutely killing politics to the Left of the ideological spectrum.

    It’s not as if the Right doesn’t do it too. The difference is they have the money and the power. They own the newspapers and the television stations. They can afford to employ the Cambridge Analalyticas of the world. They bought the right to heckle.

    All the Left has (or think they have) is platforms like Twitter and blogs like this: pretty poor alternatives. If there is anything more pathetic to hear it’s a story that starts out with the words “Twitter has exploded today with outrage over…”, or “The blogosphere is in uproar after…”. The Left doesn’t own Twitter, people like Donald Trump do. All the Left can do is run around behind them like yapping puppies, biting them harmlessly on the ankle, encouraging them and their supporters even more.

    That’s why I respond to the yappers and the snipers. I try to do it with reason and as near to the truth as I can manage with the information available. Sometimes I lose my cool and make a fool of myself in doing so, and for that I do apoligize.

    But it’s important, at least to me, that the Left understands the ridicule they attract from their half-cocked, constantly manufactured rolling waves of outrage, their nitpicking and fault-finding over absolutely everything, absent facts, absent care, absent anything but the illusiory cheap thrills of the mass pile-on.

    And now, back to my painting.

  25. Indeedy

    Love the Evangelicals out there preaching that they are not going to have something invisible control their lives.

    Give it a sec.

  26. Blobbitt: “Hmmm, not cultured enough.”

    Iain Banks was a tremendous writer: both his science fiction and his other novels. Hysterically funny use of English in the way that only Scots can deliver

  27. Re: eradication- I was talking globally (obviously since I refered to spending billions)….
    The point was just how persistent these things can be- and how eradication can take decades.
    For small pox, I actually meant polio, that had an outbreak only 4 years ago.

  28. The Mists Of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley
    Mort – Terry Pratchett (or anything by him, really)
    Ringworld – Larry Niven
    The Golden Globe – John Varley (it helps if you have read Steel Beach first)
    Ottoman – Alan Savage

  29. Meha – both Emma and Sherlock Holmes nearly made my list. Rumpole. As did Lord of the Rings. The Power of One. Hornblower. Robert Graves ‘I Claudius’. William Faulkner’s works.

    But now I’ve gone and thought about it.

    The five I listed reflected the ‘Wow. This is really good stuff’ moments in my reading history. The first two were high school texts. Shogun I read just after I did my HSC. The others later on in life.

    McCollough’s First Man in Rome probably had the most significant impact on my life. Because it started a life long obsession with all things to do with Ancient Rome. It’s definitely not the best Roman Novel I’ve read. It’s not even the best in the series (IMO The Grass Crown was best). Probably the best three Roman era novels I’ve read are Robert Graves ‘I Claudius’, The Cicero Triology by Robert Harris, Murder on the Appian Way by Steven Sailor (although that’s a toss up with several other titles in his Gordianus series) and the E-book ‘Marching With Caesar’ by RW Peake. Scullard and Carey’s History of Rome is the best textbook and my bible.

    War and Peace. I got through the it in the end, but the process was too ‘stop start’ to enjoy.

    Maybe with an extended period at home, I’ll give it another read.

  30. “meher babasays:
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 11:34 am
    Blobbitt: “Hmmm, not cultured enough.”

    Iain Banks was a tremendous writer: both his science fiction and his other novels. Hysterically funny use of English in the way that only Scots can deliver”

    Yeah. Interestingly he often justified his slumming writing Lit Fic as allowing him the freedom to write his science fiction. I have to admit shedding a tear when he died.

    A couple of other authors – Terry Pratchett (I wish he were alive to write a book on all this) and Ian Rankin

    Another one “Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet”

  31. pegasus @9:02

    Quoting form the Guardian.

    Dr. Nick Coatsworth.

    ““I’m using the word “suppression”, and I’ll tell you why I’m doing that. The problem with using words like “elimination” and “eradication” is that we are a non-immune population. So, you have to be so sure that you’ve got to that point that you would need to extend your restrictions for so long to get to that point, that I think that that would, you know, lead to Australians having to be under social restrictions for too long to get there. That’s an honest view.”

    Its also a poorly argued, illogical, unscientific view.

    He says Australian’s population is non-immune. True. But this is not a rational argument against elimination. Then he claims to get to elimination means extending restrictions for too long. Does it? Where’s the fucking evidence? Where’s the modelling? Is it 2 weeks longer? or 4? Does that matter given the benefits of extra business and consumer confidence? Can I get my money back on this useless government?

    The cracks are showing…

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