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”

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  1. Sprocket

    I stopped doubting Biden On the environment after he took on the coal unions.

    Politically risky and got Biden attacked by Trump today over fracking in the daily briefing.

    What is going to be very interesting is to find out if Senator Sanders is right and Biden is going to be another FDR.

    With the collapse of the American economy I think Sanders may just be right. Especially if the Democrats end up with the White House and both houses of Congress.

  2. The point I am trying to make is that this meme floated by the Greens that Joe Biden is some do nothing Clinton clone in the pocket of Wall Street is false.

    There are detailed Joe Biden plans in key areas of importance to the world, like global leadership on the pandemic and Climate Change. And yes, Bernie is on board.

  3. Channel 10 News at 5:00

    Mr. Morrison and Mr. Dutton covering up in relation to cruise ship and mistakes about Flu and Covid 19.

    I must have my hearing recheched. The above simply cannot be correct.

    Good night all. 📺💤

  4. Children under the age of five carried major amounts of coronavirus in their upper respiratory tract, a study published on Thursday showed. Early research did not find strong evidence of children as major contributors to the spread of COVID-19.

    But now, a study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics suggests young children had a viral load 10-fold to 100-fold greater than adults in their upper respiratory tracts. This could mean children are key drivers of transmission within their communities.

    https://www.dw.com/en/children-carry-higher-levels-of-coronavirus/a-54387327

  5. Yes martini henry because you like shooting things and maybe he’s had to deal with the damage done by others shooting others.
    End of conversation.

  6. Non @ #1318 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 5:01 pm

    Player One says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Well, it should be pointed out that Labor exhibits the same trait, although possibly not to the same extent. I think it is probably a trait common to all political parties.

    Oh spare us. One day Labor are jeered for being too quiet and the next for being too out-there with their rhetoric.

    The same old same/same lament from the Greenists….pathetic.

    Your comment might make sense … if I was a Green.

  7. sprocket_ @ #1315 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 5:00 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy a mask?

    ‘Police arrest two, fine 18 at anti-mask protests in Melbourne

    There were two protests this morning at the Shrine of Remembrance against the requirement for people to wear masks in Melbourne.

    I, I will be king
    And you, you will be queen
    Though nothing will drive them away
    We can beat them, just for one day
    We can be heroes, just for one day

    https://youtu.be/lXgkuM2NhYI

    But really, ‘They Can Be Dangerous Eejits’.

  8. Bushfire Bill @ #1323 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 5:08 pm

    Player1, for her part, told me I should live each day as if it were my last, and to hell with not going to Chinese restaurants. She used the fact that there was a no outbreak linked to such businesses as proof that there never had been any danger… ignoring the obvious possibility that there was no outbreak because those restaurants, businesses and precincts had been boycotted, not despite it.

    I really have no idea what this is about. It is simply delusional. But perhaps you have confused me with someone else?

    However, I still have copies of all your “best” posts. It is hard to pick a winner amongst them. Do you want me to re-post them?

  9. Dan Andrews
    @DanielAndrewsMP
    ·
    1h
    4,200 people have claimed our $300 support payment so they can stay home while they wait for their test results.

    That’s 4,200 Victorians who aren’t at work, and aren’t potentially spreading this virus.

    And I want to thank them for doing the right thing by our state.

  10. Which Biden policy position excites you the most?

    A. No Medicare for all
    B. No green new deal
    C. No legalization of cannabis
    D. No living wage
    E. Other

    Upsetting spoiled, rich kids with ur-fascist saviour complexes, like yourself.

  11. sprocket_ @ #1352 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 5:42 pm

    The point I am trying to make is that this meme floated by the Greens that Joe Biden is some do nothing Clinton clone in the pocket of Wall Street is false.

    There are detailed Joe Biden plans in key areas of importance to the world, like global leadership on the pandemic and Climate Change. And yes, Bernie is on board.

    As is AOC, supposedly their Joan of Arc in the Democratic Party.

    But haters gonna hate. And The Greens are good haters of anyone to the right of Fidel Castro, Mao and Marx.

  12. C@tmommasays:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 5:56 pm
    But haters gonna hate. And The Greens are good haters of anyone to the right of Fidel Castro, Mao and Marx.
    __________________
    No. It’s anyone to the right… of say Cheryl Kernot.

  13. Joe Biden is a liberal (in the American sense, not the Euro or Australian way) and always has been, and up until a year ago, he was, at worst, seen neutrally by the left of the Democratic Party – but mostly seen positively (His off-the-hip speaking style and working class background was considered “refreshing” by many.)

    But, because hyperpolitical people online have to be Manichean with their worldview, he is now Satan.

  14. Nicholas, the best 2 things about Biden are:

    He will defeat Trump
    He has eschewed Greenist slogans

    The pop-left Greenists are crypto-Trumpy. Like Trump, they despise the Dems. Biden will win without succumbing to the Greenist hocus pocus. He will bring Americans together in support of a reformist and democratically enacted program. That’s what the like.

  15. P1….you are a consummate political cross-dresser. Lingerie one day, overalls the next. Blue rinse at the weekend, Green frock on weekdays. The one constant is your disdain for the red blouse.

  16. Non @ #1368 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:05 pm

    Nicholas, the best 2 things about Biden are:

    He will defeat Trump
    He has eschewed Greenist slogans

    The pop-left Greenists are crypto-Trumpy. Like Trump, they despise the Dems. Biden will win without succumbing to the Greenist hocus pocus. He will bring Americans together in support of a reformist and democratically enacted program. That’s what the like.

    So, briefly thinks Joe is a liar and a fraud re his climate policy.

  17. Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape. Unfortunately it is normal for these accusations to be trivialized, especially if the alleged assailant is powerful.

  18. How’s your fulsome support for Tara Reade going, Nicholas?

    Haha. Remember when we were basically Harvey Weinstein according to some here because we believed a fishy story smelled fishy? Fun times.

  19. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:12 pm
    Non @ #1370 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:10 pm

    P1….you are a consummate political cross-dresser. Lingerie one day, overalls the next. Blue rinse at the weekend, Green frock on weekdays. The one constant is your disdain for the red blouse.

    You’re projecting onto others again briefly.

    Wardrobe management….a vocation never taken up. I imagine you in dungarees too, and cotton shirts. I can’t see you in linen or in synthetics. You’d sweat too much for that.

  20. Non @ #1370 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:10 pm

    P1….you are a consummate political cross-dresser. Lingerie one day, overalls the next. Blue rinse at the weekend, Green frock on weekdays. The one constant is your disdain for the red blouse.

    On the contrary, I think I am one of the more consistent posters here. I lambaste equally the Liberals, Greens and Labor … when and if they deserve it.

    Perhaps this is what confuses you?

  21. RHWombat
    If you are about and can ignore the gnats, RGHC are trying to finish a history for there 80th anniversary and with the death of Charles George this has now fallen on me. Neither of us will get a mention but Smiling Death deserves a chapter – can we discuss? Any primary sources would be a godsend

  22. Non @ #1379 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:17 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:12 pm
    Non @ #1370 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:10 pm

    P1….you are a consummate political cross-dresser. Lingerie one day, overalls the next. Blue rinse at the weekend, Green frock on weekdays. The one constant is your disdain for the red blouse.

    You’re projecting onto others again briefly.

    Wardrobe management….a vocation never taken up. I imagine you in dungarees too, and cotton shirts. I can’t see you in linen or in synthetics. You’d sweat too much for that.

    Don’t ‘imagine’ me briefly – it’s creeping me out

  23. Nicholas @ #1374 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:12 pm

    Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape. Unfortunately it is normal for these accusations to be trivialized, especially if the alleged assailant is powerful.

    So, still in La La Land about it then?

    Ms Reade’s accusation was fully investigated by teams of Pulitzer Prize winning journalists with no love for Joe Biden in particular but only interesterd in a successful search for the truth. They found NO evidence, despite extensive searches of material and interviews with everyone who knew her, to substantiate her claim. Yet YOU wish to cast aspersions about that effort in your pusillanimous attempt to continue to advance your case that ‘Bernie was robbed!’ and an imposter stole his crown!?!

    You are a grub, Nicholas. As a woman, it’s men like you, not Joe Biden, that make me feel creepy. And your exploitation of Tara Reade is an abomination. You don’t support her, you just wish to see an innocent man, who was the victor over your man crush, Bernie Sanders, crushed. You are a sick Bernie sycophant. And that’s why men like you make me feel creepier than Joe Biden ever could.

  24. Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape. Unfortunately it is normal for these accusations to be trivialized, especially if the alleged assailant is powerful.

    If you insist, but you also argued that Reade’s allegation, inter alia, was going to cripple Biden’s campaign and cause him to lose. When in point of fact, the issue has disappeared from the campaign entirely, because the only people who still consider that “Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape” are those who consider accusations of rape to be credible by definition — a loud but small minority.

  25. Joe Biden has repeatedly advocated cuts to Medicare and Social Security. That is not a left-wing position; it isn’t even a liberal position.

    Joe Biden has repeatedly done the bidding of the financial services firms who are located in his state and who make large donations to his campaigns. He has made it much easier for credit card companies to engage in predatory behaviour. That isn’t left-wing. That isn’t even liberal.

    On criminal justice issues, Joe Biden was a major contributor to the Crime Bill that massively expanded the use of incarceration in response to drug offences. This policy has inflicted immense harm, especially on poor people and people of colour. The Black Lives Matter movement is a response to problems that Joe Biden did a lot to create.

    On foreign policy Joe Biden has championed several extremely misguided wars that involved a lot of war crimes and that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    It is absurd to claim that Joe Biden is of the left, or is a liberal. Joe Biden is a moderate Republican who has devoted himself to serving his donors, and to helping his family cash in on his political connections. He embodies much that is obscene about America’s political system. He is not as terrible as Donald Trump, but he is an odious figure, and not someone who can be trusted to put the public first.

  26. Rational Leftist @ #1375 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:13 pm

    How’s your fulsome support for Tara Reade going, Nicholas?

    Haha. Remember when we were basically Harvey Weinstein according to some here because we believed a fishy story smelled fishy? Fun times.

    Yeah, Nicholas hoped we’d forgotten as he sidled back onto PB recently.

    Nope. Nope. Nope.

  27. If you insist, but you also argued that Reade’s allegation, inter alia, was going to cripple Biden’s campaign and cause him to lose. When in point of fact, the issue has disappeared from the campaign entirely, because the only people who still consider that “Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape” are those who consider accusations of rape to be credible by definition — a loud but small minority.

    Hi William – in a society that consistently took accusations of rape seriously, Tara Reade’s story would have been evaluated carefully. The fact that it wasn’t doesn’t reflect on the credibility of her story. It reflects on the power dynamics involved in the case, and the way that the society treats these situations in general.

    I have never advanced the view that all accusations are automatically credible.

    The fact that only a minority of people take an issue seriously doesn’t mean that the issue is not serious.

  28. Nicholas @ #1391 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:29 pm

    If you insist, but you also argued that Reade’s allegation, inter alia, was going to cripple Biden’s campaign and cause him to lose. When in point of fact, the issue has disappeared from the campaign entirely, because the only people who still consider that “Tara Reade made a credible accusation of rape” are those who consider accusations of rape to be credible by definition — a loud but small minority.

    Hi William – in a society that consistently took accusations of rape seriously, Tara Reade’s story would have been evaluated carefully. The fact that it wasn’t doesn’t reflect on the credibility of her story. It reflects on the power dynamics involved in the case, and the way that the society treats these situations in general.

    I have never advanced the view that all accusations are automatically credible.

    The fact that only a minority of people take an issue seriously doesn’t mean that the issue is not serious.

    Yada, Yada, yada!

  29. I also remember how much fun it was, as a stutterer, to be told repeatedly by some people on here (including somebody who wears the fact they work in the disability sector on their sleeve) that stuttering is a major sign of cognitive decline.

  30. Nicholas @ #1388 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:23 pm

    Joe Biden has …

    All ancient history, you grub.

    Now, maybe you might actually like to read about Joe Biden’s Health Care Plan, instead of just running your mouth and continuing to prove what an amoral idiot you are?

    https://joebiden.com/healthcare/

    In fact, it looks very much like Australia’s system, without the cuts to services brought about by the Coalition since they have been in power.

    Here is an independent assessment by a reputable commentator, who compared Sanders’ plan with Joe Biden’s:

    Sanders has made his healthcare plan – Medicare for All – the centerpiece of his campaign. Biden’s alternative – a variant of the public option approach – has received less publicity. It’s time for an update, based partly on a longer commentary on Biden’s plan that I wrote last summer.

    The polls

    In a March 4 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Sanders touted the growing popularity of Medicare for All. “The last poll that I saw,” he said, “60 or 70 percent of the American people believe in a Medicare-for-All, single payer program.” We don’t know what poll he was referring to, but going by the widely cited Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, support for Medicare for All was running at 56 percent in January, up from 51 percent last June. That doesn’t quite meet Sanders’ numbers, but his general point about the popularity of Medicare for All appears to be valid.

    It turns out, though, that a public option polls even better. Kaiser puts support for a public option at 68 percent, as of January.

    What is more, it seems many supporters of Medicare for All don’t understand the difference between the two plans. Writing this week for Axios, Kaiser’s Drew Altman notes that 47 percent of those polled think that people would be able to keep their employer-sponsored insurance under Medicare for All, and 48 percent think they would be able to keep their private coverage. Neither is true. Support for Sanders’ plan drops in polls where those points are clarified.

    So what, exactly, is in Joe’s plan?

    https://www.niskanencenter.org/joe-bidens-healthcare-plan-an-update/

  31. Hi William – in a society that consistently took accusations of rape seriously, Tara Reade’s story would have been evaluated carefully.

    Here are three careful evalutions of Tara Reade’s story. Careful evaluations such as these are the reason Reade’s allegations were a story in March, but aren’t now.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/15/tara-reade-left-trail-of-aggrieved-acquaintances-260771

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/us/politics/joe-biden-tara-reade-sexual-assault-complaint.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    https://medium.com/@eddiekrassenstein/evidence-casts-doubt-on-tara-reades-sexual-assault-allegations-of-joe-biden-e4cb3ee38460

  32. The idea that every mainstream journalist would bury a credible scandalous story about a presidential candidate is absurd.

  33. Spray, it is entirely amoral to perpetuate an accusation of rape against an innocent man here. Or don’t you agree, you think that’s okay?

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