Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

Essential Research at long last emerges from the voting intention wilderness, although its results going forward will be carefully rationed.

Another pollster returns from the naughty corner today to chance its arm at voting intention, which now makes three if you count the erratically published Roy Morgan series (which I incline not to myself). That pollster is Essential Research, which has remained prodigious with attitudinal polling since the May 2019 federal election, and has maintained its monthly leadership ratings, while offering no clue as to its voting intention numbers beyond the inclusion of raw figures in reporting its sub-samples.

Unhappily for we salivating dogs in the psephoblogosphere, these figures will only be published on a quarterly basis. This appears to mean that every sixth or seventh fortnightly Essential Research release will provide the fortnightly voting intention results of the preceding period. This, the pollster says, will “mitigate the tendency to report on minor movements as some sort of political horse race”. This latest release confuses the issue by providing weekly numbers through June, but I believe this is an artefact of a temporary move to weekly polling to track reactions to COVID-19.

Essential will also make a point of not excluding the undecided from its headline results, arguing the conventional practice entails a “lack of nuance”, though no doubt rivals will accuse the pollster of hedging its bets. The pollster still follows the conventional practice of prodding the initially undecided with a follow-up that asks who they are leaning towards. A proportion of these persist in declining a response, but remain in the sample with responses included for the other survey questions.

The latest primary vote numbers show the Coalition on 38% (up one), Labor on 35% (up one), the Greens on 9% (down one), One Nation on 4% (steady) and others on 6% (steady). If the undecided were excluded, the results would be Coalition 41.3%, Labor 38.0%, Greens 9.8% and One Nation 4.3%, and 51-49 to Labor on two-party preferred (for the sake of consistency with other pollsters, it’s the latter figure that I will continue to use in my headlines). Compared with the 2019 election result, this leaves Labor up nearly five points but the Coalition hardly changed, with the slack taken up from smaller parties and independents.

Labor with 47% of the decided two-party vote (up one on a fortnight ago) to the Coalition’s 45% (steady), leaving an outstanding 8% potentially to be called on to fill the gap between the reported numbers and an actual result. The pollster’s two-party numbers look to be consistent with a 2019 election preferences allocation, although the report is not specific as to whether this method or respondent allocation was used. In his piece in The Guardian, Peter Lewis of Essential Research explains: “We will now be asking participants who vote for a minor party to indicate a preferred major party. Only when they do not provide a preference will we allocate based on previous flows.“

These results are obviously a lot better for Labor than what has come through from Newspoll and Morgan, and are clearly an established peculiarity of the series. Where headline results over the past two months have shown Labor matching or exceeding their primary vote at the election despite the inclusion of a 7% to 9% undecided component, the Coalition have been coming in two to four points lower. The Greens are reckoned to be about where they were and the election and One Nation a little higher, though the latter is complicated by their tendency to only run in selected seats.

Also featured in the latest poll:

• The federal government’s ratings for COVID-19 response are unchanged at 64% good and 16% poor, and the combined response for state governments has shifted only negligibly, with good and poor both up a point to 65% to 18% respectively.

• The small-sample results for individual state governments show the Victorian government up four points on both good and poor, to 53% and 30% respectively. This still leaves it with the weakest figures out of the mainland state governments, with the Western Australian government recovering its title of strongest performer (up five to 82%) from South Australia (down three to 76%).

• On JobKeeper and JobSeeker, 69% supported businesses being retested for eligibility, with 9% opposed; 66% supported continuing payments for six months, with 12% opposed; 54% supported reducing the amount of the payments, with 21% opposed; but only 29% supported excluding casual workers, with 40% opposed.

• Forty-three per cent rated themselves very concerned about COVID-19, up seven on a fortnight ago, with quite concerned down four to 44%, not that concerned down three to 9% and not at all concerned up one to 4%.

• Fifty-six per cent favour a “suppression strategy” and 44% an “elimination strategy”.

• Sixty-eight per cent support mandatory face masks. with 13% opposed; 19% believe them very effective, 46% quite effective, 20% not that effective and 5% not effective at all.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1058.

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.

1,645 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

  1. I see that 9 media is upping it’s contribution to the Kill Dan cartel by sending in the 60 minutes hecklers to the daily press conferences.

    We can assume that 7 media, the CIA, Newscorp, Duttons Homeland Security, Kimberley Kitching and the Labor right, Nath and Charteris will respond as well….

  2. Rex Douglas

    It’s such a good idea. It will have the effect of less people willing to be tested and therefore less tests mean less covid.

    Problem solved. How ingenious

  3. ” Breaking: The Australian Club – a private gentlemen’s club frequented by former prime ministers – has closed its doors after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19”

    Is the Australian Club like the ”Gentlemens’ Club” in the local shopping strip?

  4. Victoria @ #1252 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 3:06 pm

    Rex Douglas

    It’s such a good idea. It will have the effect of less people willing to be tested and therefore less tests mean less covid.

    Problem solved. How ingenious

    Precisely.

    We all know that less testing means lower numbers and we can all get back to work for the 1%ers.

  5. poroti says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm
    What happens when you achieve WuFlu elimination ?

    The term wu flu is offensive. It’s Trumpy and it’s phobic. The naming adopted by WHO should be used imo.

  6. I doubt care what the religious faith is, but is this a wise decision?

    See new Tweets
    Conversation
    ABC News
    @abcnews
    Sydney mosque granted COVID-19 exemption for 400 to attend Eid celebrations
    Sydney mosque granted COVID-19 exemption for 400 to attend Eid celebrations
    Hundreds of Muslim worshippers will mark one of Islam’s holiest days at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque after the NSW Government granted it a temporary exemption from COVID-19 restrictions.
    abc.net.au

  7. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:06 pm
    I see that 9 media is upping it’s contribution to the Kill Dan cartel by sending in the 60 minutes hecklers to the daily press conferences.

    The pandemic is the biggest story of the decade. It’s folly to think the media will not play it for all it’s worth.

  8. ”…Love the freedom cafe post.
    I think making fun of the people who have weird ideologies is far more effective than trying a rational discussion”

    Ridicule, used wisely and sparingly, can be a powerful tool.

  9. lizziesays:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 2:39 pm
    Carole Lee
    @Redcar51
    This from the 60 minutes program they are doing an expose re security guards in VIC hotels by Sarah Arbo. No wonder she was at the press conference. Subtle aren’t they?
    ________________________
    Bastards!

  10. The Australian Club ain’t no strip joint..

    ‘Standard of Dress:

    Members and gentlemen guests should wear a long sleeved jacket and tie (business attire) and ladies may wear a dress, skirt, tailored trousers with a jacket, or evening pants in the Club.

    Members and guests resident in the Club may wear smart casual dress appropriate to their destination when entering or leaving the Club. Denim is not permitted.’

    https://165macquariestreet.com.au/

  11. A Queensland financial adviser who the Tax Office claims illegally prepared tax returns for up to 3000 clients faces up to $13 million in fines after the Federal Court found he and two of his companies had acted as an unregistered tax agent.
    Justice Darryl Rangiah also found against Kent Scott Hacker, 71, on two counts of contempt of court.
    The Tax Practitioners Board launched a Federal Court action against Mr Hacker and his companies Naleview and One Stop Global Staffing in February last year, after the Tax Office seized copies of computer records which showed tax returns had been prepared for up to 3000 clients, many of which overstated claims for work expenses by thousands of dollars.
    Mr Hacker gave an undertaking to the Federal Court in March 2019 that he would stop providing tax services to clients – only to be caught out five days later preparing another tax return.
    The Tax Practitioners Board made a contempt of court application for three breaches, to which Hacker’s company pleaded guilty, only for the board to discover later that Hacker went on to commit five further breaches.
    Justice Rangiah found Mr Hacker had breached the Tax Agent Services Act 45 times and his two companies 42 times, with penalties yet to be determined.
    “It is quite extraordinary that each time Mr Hacker admitted to being in contempt of court, he went on to unlawfully lodge additional income tax returns for clients,” Tax Practitioners Board chairman Ian Klug said.
    Offences under the Tax Agent Services Act carry penalties of a maximum $55,500 for each breach for individuals and $277,500 for each breach for companies.
    The board’s only recourse against unregistered agents has been to mount costly court actions for civil penalties.
    Mr Klug last year said high risk practitioners and unregistered agents “have significant reach into the community, and are linked to about 4600 controlled entities and 2.9 million associated clients”.
    “Early analysis of 2018 tax returns for these clients alarmingly suggests overclaiming of work-related expenses to the tune of $1 billion,” he said.

  12. Victoria says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    It is a good decision. They have planned very well for it.

    Should be more of it.

  13. I follow the covid live app. That is where you see all the data of testing, active cases etc.

    NSW only has 217 active cases at present. Virtually nothing compared to Victoria which has 5700 active cases.

    Yet there are now 8 ICU patients in NSW.

    Scratches head.

  14. Steve777 says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    ” Breaking: The Australian Club – a private gentlemen’s club frequented by former prime ministers – has closed its doors after a staff member tested positive to COVID-19”

    Is the Australian Club like the ”Gentlemens’ Club” in the local shopping strip?
    ————————————————–
    Steve777
    It is more like the Melbourne Club with nice rooms with lovely art on the walls, it looks and feels very Victorian era.

  15. Is the Australian Club like the ”Gentlemens’ Club” in the local shopping strip?

    Given it’s members include one Cardinal that until recently was a convicted pedo I suspect it’s a “Gentlemen’s” club in much the same way as the old “Costello’s” in Kings Cross was. i.e. Woman not allowed but the occasional young fellow is welcome.
    Having said that a lot of that Cardinal’s most vocal defenders are also members of said club.

  16. Wendy Harmer
    @wendy_harmer
    Ditto on
    @abcsydney
    breakfast. We ask and ask and ask. No dice with PM
    @ScottMorrisonMP
    who also represents Sydney’s Cook electorate, but turns down every request.
    Both turn up on 2GB.
    And then we get accusations of “bias”.

    It’s frustrating & unfair.
    Quote Tweet

    Hamish Macdonald
    @hamishNews
    · 5h
    When are you next planning to do interviews with anyone other than 2GB or your weekly spot on Breakie TV @PeterDutton_MP ?

    Why do you turn down so many opportunities for actual scrutiny and accountability?

  17. Victoria says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:14 pm
    I doubt care what the religious faith is, but is this a wise decision?
    @abcnews
    Sydney mosque granted COVID-19 exemption for 400 to attend Eid celebrations
    Hundreds of Muslim worshippers will mark one of Islam’s holiest days at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque after the NSW Government granted it a temporary exemption from COVID-19 restrictions.

    This is absolutely a wrong decision by Gladys. It sends a terrible message to the community that she is willing to bend the rules for some but not others. Footy OK (allowing Morrison to attend) but a BLM rally in open parkland is not. Any gathering of 400 people in an enclosed space is a perfect incubator for the virus, regardless of whether it is a place of worship or concert venue etc.

  18. Well, the ABC could always invite an ALP worthy on instead.

    It’s surprising that the ABC hasn’t become aware of that possibility.

  19. Dreyfus would be superb.

    He always exudes a quiet dignity, quick wit, measured tone, and knowledge of his subject.

    Something the ABC could never extract from the two clowns they are so anxious about.

  20. Vic State Government still recruiting casual workers for the quarantine regime:

    Crucial roles assisting returned travellers and security staff in Melbourne hotel quarantine have been advertised on casual and temporary staffing app Sidekicker, despite subcontracting of casual workers being identified as an issue that might have contributed to the outbreak in hotels and the second wave of coronavirus in Victoria.

    The inquiry setup to examine errors with hotel quarantine,which may be responsible for every single currently active case of coronavirus in the state, will examine the decisions made around the use of contractors, including the suitability of the service providers and the people overseeing contractors.
    Nearly all coronavirus cases now in Victoria may have link to hotel quarantine, inquiry told
    Read more

    Guardian Australia has learned that as recently as this week, Spotless Group was recruiting on the Sidekicker app for casual customer service liaison officers to work under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services, Alfred Health and Spotless.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/31/melbourne-hotel-quarantine-jobs-advertised-on-casual-staffing-app-sidekicker

  21. citizen says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    It’s actually four separate locations with a maximum of 100 in each. They have done what is required.

  22. Bucephalus

    Life isn’t free? dumb idiot. Life is precious, and we need to mitigate every risk.

    In my line of work, this is called Risk Management.

  23. steve davis says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    I thought the Australian Club was a strip joint.
    ———————-
    There might be a strip club somewhere with that name but the Australia Club is more of a posh club. In one of my earlier jobs my team was invited for lunch and it is like walking into a nicely decorated Victorian era mansion with an austere atmosphere with its dark painted walls expensive furniture and fine art work.

    https://theaustralianclub.com.au/

  24. Just watching ABC TV now, and it looks like an entire family have been infected with coronavirus after sitting in Korean restaurant across from the Queensland Coronettes.

    Funny that. I was called racist for suggesting that you could risk catching the virus just by sitting in restaurants near an infected person. I believe it was Dr. Wombat who called me a “racist yabberer” for even suggesting that aerosol transmission was possible with coronavirus.

    Wombat showed us an article in a learned Journal, The Lancet I think it was, that stated “there was no evidence” about aerosol transmission. Presumably, people exercising caution – even over-caution – and realising that “there was no evidence” didn’t mean “can’t possibly happen” were not genuinely exercising caution. They were just using that as an excuse to express hatred of Chinese people (along with 90% of actual Chinese people, who also kept away). The three A380s full of Chinese New Year tourists – direct flights from Wuhan, incidentally- in Sydney at the time, when 99.9% of infected people were from Wuhan were apparently completely irrelevant to the “racist” labelling binge.

    There was something else Wombat told us all as well: about how you couldn’t possibly catch the virus out in the open, just walking down the street. Which is probably why wearing masks in public is now required by law in Victoria, and creeping into NSW, at least in retail. Just think: all those stupid people wearing masks, like the racists they obviously are. It’s clearly a plot by Chairman Dan to enslave us all.

    Why don’t these fools subscribe to The Lancet?

  25. For all the RW types who scoffed before the last election that tradies would never buy an electric ute:

    Side profile images of the upcoming reborn Hummer have been revealed by General Motors in the US overnight.

    And before anyone is wondering why GM is reviving a brand that symbolised gas guzzlers and excess, it’s worth noting these will be fully electric vehicles.

    In a video posted to the GMC website, the silhouettes of a twin cab pick-up and an SUV wagon can be seen.

    GMC claims the new Hummer will have “up to” 1000 horsepower (745kW) and 11,500 foot-pounds of torque (15,591Nm) – although a final motor torque figure is still to be announced, we should expect it to be in the neighbourhood of 1000 to 1500Nm.

    A 0-60mph (96.5kmh) acceleration time of 3 seconds is claimed, which would make it one of the fastest cars on the road, let alone being a quick time for a pick-up truck.

    For context, a new Porsche 911 does the 0 to 100kmh dash in about 4 seconds and a V8 Holden Commodore took about 5 seconds to complete the same feat.

    The vehicle’s initial launch was postponed earlier this year, however according to GM the car will now be available for pre-order sometime from September to December this year.

    https://www.drive.com.au/news/electric-hummer-teased-by-general-motors-123994.html?trackLink=SMH3

  26. It is amazing, after 16 years in opposition, it has only taken two years in power for five senior Lib members here in SA to be caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Couldn’t they have just kept their noses clean for one term…and focussed on policy rather than the personal spoils?
    They really have a born to rule, born to pillage attitude when it comes to our money.

  27. Fulvio Sammut
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    C’mon, Mex, surely they’ve got a print of Chloe up on a wall there somewhere!
    ——————————
    Fulvio Sammut
    I only saw a few rooms so i am sure there could be because there was art work from that era so it wouldn’t be out of place.

    For those that don’t know Chloe.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlo%C3%A9_(artwork)

  28. It is amazing, after 16 years in opposition, it has only taken two years in power for five senior Lib members here in SA to be caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    It certainly only took a few minutes for the Qld nationals to prove they were still as corrupt as in the Joh days in 2012 when Newman got in.

  29. Bushfire Bill

    You were called racist for other reasons not because of being in a Asian restaurant or whatever.

    Only humans are stupid enough to bring this up, the virus does not discriminate!

  30. We had so far:

    Cats die of COVID
    Dogs die of COVID
    Doctors in Hopsital

    And millions of people either died or have COVID including highest paid people in power.

  31. Howard’s first term saw a minibus load of ministers resign. All fixed when the ministerial code of conduct was changed. Changed to , well there did not really seem to be one after it was ‘fixed’.

  32. The Guardian on the Daily Terrors editor Ben English attacking Andrews.

    Challenged on playing politics in the time of a pandemic, English told Mediaweek’s James Manning the role of newspapers was “not to whitewash things so everyone can feel good and sing Kumbaya. It is to fearlessly lift the lid on how these things happen.”

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

  33. Lizzie
    The Victorian era was a contradiction with its morals often being at odds with Queen Victoria’s real personality. Melbourne took that even further with many members of the temperance movement also being corrupt

  34. mikehilliard @ #1295 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 4:28 pm

    The Guardian on the Daily Terrors editor Ben English attacking Andrews.

    Challenged on playing politics in the time of a pandemic, English told Mediaweek’s James Manning the role of newspapers was “not to whitewash things so everyone can feel good and sing Kumbaya. It is to fearlessly lift the lid on how these things happen.”

    Except when it’s the Morrison government’s failures.

  35. So, Herman Cain, African American supporter of Donald Trump, owner of a pizza chain, attendee at the Tula Rally for Trump, and former Republican candidate in the Primaries for POTUS, has died from COVID-19.

    I wonder if Donald Trump will even go to his funeral, or dispose of his loyalty and support like a used tissue?

  36. C@t

    Except when it’s the Morrison government’s failures.

    That would be the whitewashing and singing Kumbaya 🙂

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