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. Rational Leftist @ #1399 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:42 pm

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

    Exactly. It’s what journalists get up in the morning for, to get to the bottom of stories.

    Well, maybe not the editor of The Daily Telegraph. 😀

  2. You really don’t want to understand what Rhowombat was saying about about aerosol transmission, do you?

    What Wombat was saying about aerosol transmission was that a Lancet article stated there was “no evidence” it caused infections. Therefore walking down a crowded street packed with tourists from China bore no risk of getting infected, as I had said I would not be doing (along with 90% of Chinese customers – a fact which is completely ignored by the other side of this debate. Were those people, mostly of Chinese ethnicity, racists too?)

    Therefore, he reasoned, I must be using aerosol transmission as an excuse to exhibit racism, not as a precaution against infection.

    I don’t care what the Lancet said, or rather implied. “No evidence” does NOT mean “Not possible”. I understand the difference. What it really means to me is “More investigation required”.

    I was correct. Aerosol transmission turns out to be as near to a real thing as it can be, absent an actual photograph of a cell at the instant of aerosol infection.

    It is, and was, perfectly appropriate for me to adopt the side of caution, as I did, without being publicly labelled as a “racist yabberer” for doing so.

    Take the contrary case: what if I was wrong? What harm would have I done to anyone by being over-cautious? In the case of a virus, about which we still know next to nothing, how can over-caution be a bad thing?

    You don’t do your case any good at all by persisting in trying to (unsuccessfully) trip me up with semantics and fake Socratic method Barney.

  3. It seems Christian Porter and Palmer in some kind of “understanding” re the HC action…..And Palmer has the front to accuse McGowan of putting politics before the welfare of Oz….These guys do not surprise me, but the fact that so many in our community are sucked in shows our education system, especially when it comes to critical thinking, has failed

  4. 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.

    The fact that an accuser’s story has changed in some respects, or changed in emphasis, or included more detail later, is a common part of these stories. It doesn’t not make the story incredible.

    The fact that an accuser has said positive things about the accused after the alleged offence is also quite common, and doesn’t make the story incredible.

    The fact that Reade didn’t get along with a landlord in her past doesn’t say anything about whether her story about Biden is credible. It is a pernicious myth that a credible accuser needs to be unblemished in every aspect of their life.

    Those stories that you cite peddle tropes and myths that are used to discredit accusers. They are not careful evaluations of her claims. Not by a long shot.

  5. Nicholas says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    The fact that an accuser’s story has changed in some respects, or changed in emphasis, or included more detail later, is a common part of these stories. It doesn’t not make the story incredible.

    The fact that an accuser has said positive things about the accused after the alleged offence is also quite common, and doesn’t make the story incredible.
    ___________
    These are certainly true in the Weinstein case, such was their fear of his power in the film industry. Or just fear of him generally.

    Personally, I don’t like to take sides in sexual assault allegations. If the police don’t lay charges I think there’s nothing to talk about. There’s really no other way of rationally approaching them that doesn’t become political.

  6. GG – as I hear it, the feral camels do more damage than most other feral animals………………Apparently they are particularly destructive of water resources…..

  7. Seems some ALP leaners are looking for some hope in the states with Joe, perhaps to compensate for the vacuum and mediocrity from both the ALP and the LNP here. Good luck to all sane people in the US right now.

    ALP leaners seem to have been getting some treatment from Joel and the Otis group on behalf of coal interests as well, trying to pull them in line.

    It seems even the Aus grid operator, AEMO, is on board and optimistic on a renewables rapid transition with their Integrated System Plan. Pretty well lays out a plan, released yesterday, much as per Greens energy policy.

    Change is happening, locally and globally, and the fed ALP and LNP are in lock step with their fossil fuel donors, where many pollies have also found advisers, staffers or post-political sinecures.

    Even given the mediocrity and ineptitude of the govt, it looks like coal power will be gone by 2040 at the latest. With a bit of real effort and policy it could be well before then. Even better to get going on such a plan right now.

    Some of the states, even NSW, are now moving a bit like they can see the writing on the wall.

    World’s fastest energy transition: AEMO maps path to 94 per cent renewables
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/worlds-fastest-energy-transition-aemo-maps-path-to-94-per-cent-renewables-26955/

    AEMO actually has an interactive map based on their ISP report where you too can explore the plan which includes the end of coal power

    https://www.aemo.com.au/aemo/apps/visualisations/map.html

  8. Nicholas @ #1407 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:50 pm

    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.

    The fact that an accuser’s story has changed in some respects, or changed in emphasis, or included more detail later, is a common part of these stories. It doesn’t not make the story incredible.

    The fact that an accuser has said positive things about the accused after the alleged offence is also quite common, and doesn’t make the story incredible.

    The fact that Reade didn’t get along with a landlord in her past doesn’t say anything about whether her story about Biden is credible. It is a pernicious myth that a credible accuser needs to be unblemished in every aspect of their life.

    Those stories that you cite peddle tropes and myths that are used to discredit accusers. They are not careful evaluations of her claims. Not by a long shot.

    So dear Nicky, you’re not backing down on the nonsense you wrote about Biden?

    You are prepared to trade your credibility because of your ego.

    Thanks for the confirmation.

  9. Scout @ #1413 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 6:56 pm

    P1 – longer than you.

    LOL! I don’t think so.

    Your posting is not balanced, that’s ok but do not get all righteous.

    You have never heard me point out that the Greens population policy makes no sense? Or their migration policy?

    I could go on … but there’s no point. Your mind is clearly closed.

  10. It’s of interest to note that Trump said today that Oz is having a bad time (wwtte) with C.19 relative to the US, shortly after Payne and Renolds departed the US without rolling-over to Pompeo’s demands, the boffins in
    DFAT implicitly acknowledging that he’s (Trump) is spent force (?).

  11. Crankmomma dealing out more of her Cold War rhetoric, her right wing Grouper Petticoat continues to show. What a right wing nut job!

  12. Diogenes says:
    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Why isn’t Victoria ramping up its lockdown?
    _________
    Because we are run by idiots. In Melbourne, if you test positive you can go out during the day for fresh air. Maybe touch the railing of your apartment stairwell. Touch a lamp post outside your house. Go to a park and sneeze. If there is a strong wind the virus might float over rooftops. It’s a disaster here. And I think if will get worse.

  13. Can I add ‘Irrational ‘Leftist to the above description? Well I’m going to anyway cause he’s right wing nut job too.

  14. clem attlee:

    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    [‘ABC putting the boot into Labor now. Sell this right wing propaganda cell off now, its their ABC’]

    I’m not that sure that Ita’s got her heart in it, coming from a commercial background.

  15. Mavis @ #1431 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 7:16 pm

    clem attlee:

    Friday, July 31, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    [‘ABC putting the boot into Labor now. Sell this right wing propaganda cell off now, its their ABC’]

    I’m not that sure that Ita’s got her heart in it, coming from a commercial background.

    You’ve always been a nasty piee of work!

  16. So A women just comes out an just says I been hit on, by Biden. At the start of the election campaign.

    Conflict of Interest much ?

  17. Briefly is going to be upset. On the ABC Newsradio (I think that’s where I heard it). Jacinda Ardern Is in talks with the Greens about a coalition.
    This with Labour in position to win outright.

    Ardern wants to strengthen her majority.

    If you listen to Briefly that will see her defeated.

  18. Diogenes

    Why isn’t Victoria ramping up its lockdown?

    Good question. If the current lock down conditions were having an effect they would have been evident days ago .

  19. clem attlee @ #1434 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 7:22 pm

    GG, politics is not some abstract game,it’s everything and apologists for the system need to be humiliated wherever possible.

    You’re the one off loading a load of abstract cobblers. So, you just enjoy being humiliated. All politics in Australia is local and completely focussed on wifm.

    If you haven’t worked that out. You don’t really understand how the game is played.

  20. Politics is central to life, its not some game GG. You seem to act as if it’s just side red versus side blue and so long as side red parks more arses on the Treasury benches than everything is fine and ideology is irrelevant. You need to be humiliated and humiliated often, to paraphrase Gone with the Wind.

  21. Morrison and Dutton looking very dodgy over Ruby Princess:

    The Australian government has hit out at “outlandish” claims that it covered up the role of federal officers in informally clearing passengers to disembark the Ruby Princess cruise ship after confusing flu and Covid-19 test results.

    But Labor stepped up its calls on Friday for the government to allow federal officials to give evidence before the New South Wales-ordered special commission of inquiry, after documents revealed commonwealth lawyers had resisted a summons for an agriculture department official to appear for questioning.

    The opposition’s home affairs spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, accused the government of “covering up the events that happened on the Ruby Princess” in March.

    “When Scott Morrison said his government would ‘cooperate’ with the New South Wales special commission of inquiry, he wasn’t telling the truth. It was just another marketing line from Scott Morrison,” Keneally told reporters at the overseas passenger terminal in Sydney’s Circular Quay on Friday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jul/31/coalition-denies-covering-up-border-force-role-in-letting-ruby-princess-passengers-go

  22. Erlier we had discussions about the relationship between Palmer & Porter. Don’t forget that Palmer used to be Joh’s Chief of Staff. He has always been scheming with the conservatives to the detriment of the ALP.

  23. clem attlee @ #1443 Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 7:40 pm

    Politics is central to life, its not some game GG. You seem to act as if it’s just side red versus side blue and so long as side red parks more arses on the Treasury benches than everything is fine and ideology is irrelevant. You need to be humiliated and humiliated often, to paraphrase Gone with the Wind. Maybe you’re right in that I do love arses.

    Politics is central to life? So is Religion. So is your football team. So is your job. So is your family. So is your aspiration. So is your………

    Ultimately it reverts to red or blue. That’s how politics is played in Australia.

    You can play your theoretical concept games to your hearts content.

    I live in the now.

  24. Re Porter+Palmer.Porter has more than a bit of Quinceland connections. His dad was ‘Chilla’ Porter and grand pappy was in Joh’s cabinet.

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