Essential Research leadership ratings, ACT poll, Eden-Monaro wash-up

Poll respondents continue to rate incumbents generously in their response to COVID-19; an ACT poll points to a status quo result at the election there in October; and the preference distribution is finalised from the Eden-Monaro by-election.

The Guardian reports the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll includes its monthly leadership ratings, showing further improvement in Scott Morrison’s standing. He is up three points on approval to 66% and down four on disapproval to 23%, while Anthony Albanese is respectively steady at 44% and up two to 30%, and his lead as preferred prime minister is at 52-22, out from 50-27.

The small-sample breakdowns on state government performance finds the Victorian government still holding up reasonably well, with 49% rating it good (down four on a week ago, but well down on a 75% peak in mid-June), while the New South Wales government’s good rating is down a point to 61% and Queensland’s up a point to 68%. Results for the federal goverment are not provided, but will presumably be in the full report when it is published later today.

Fifty per cent now rate themselves very concerned about COVID-19, which is up seven points on a fortnight ago and has been progressively rising from a low of 25% in mid-June. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they would seek a vaccine straight away, 35% less immediately and 8% not at all. Twenty per cent believed that “hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment”.

UPDATE: Full report here. The federal government’s good rating on handling COVID-19 is down a point to 63%, and its poor rating is steady at 16%.

Other news:

• We had a rare opinion poll for the Australian Capital Territory, which holds its election on October 17, conducted by uComms for the Australia Institute. It offered no indication that the Liberals are about to break free of their status as a permanent opposition, with Labor on 37.6%, Liberal on 38.2% and the Greens on 14.6%, compared with 2016 election results of 38.4%, 36.7% and 10.3%. This would almost certainly result in a continuation of the present state of affairs in which the Greens hold the balance of the power. The poll also found overwhelming support for “truth in political advertising” laws, with 88.5% supportive and 4.9% opposed. The poll was conducted on July 20 from a sample of 1049.

• The preference distribution from the July 4 Eden-Monaro by-election has been published, offering some insight into how much Labor’s narrow victory was owed to a Shooters Fishers and Farmers preference recommendation and a higher than usual rate of leakage from the Nationals. The former was likely decisive: when Shooters were excluded at the final count, 5341 (56.61%) went to Labor and 4093 (43.39%) went to Liberal, which includes 5066 first preference Shooters votes and another 4368 they picked up during the preference distribution (including 1222 from the Nationals). When the Nationals were excluded earlier in the count, 4399 votes (63.76%) went to the Liberals, the aforementioned 1222 (17.71%) to Shooters, 995 (14.42%) to Labor and 283 (4.10%) to the Greens. This includes 6052 first preference votes for the Nationals and another 847 they picked up as preferences earlier in the distribution. That would be consistent with maybe 20% of Nationals votes ending up with Labor compared with 13% at the 2019 election, which would not quite account for Labor’s winning margin. At some point in the future, two-candidate preferred preference flow figures will tell us precisely how each candidate’s votes split between Labor and Liberal.

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.

2,756 comments on “Essential Research leadership ratings, ACT poll, Eden-Monaro wash-up”

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  1. Science communication is a particular skill, and we need people like Dr Karl who are good at it – both on TV and in the classroom. Science is inevitably filled with long technical words, and those who do it aren’t always good at translating what they do for a general audience. That fact does not give you an excuse to attack the scientists because you personally (or your semi-literate strawmen Merv and Doreen) couldn’t understand them.

    I understood every word of it, as I expect most here did.

    Merv and Doreen however, not only wouldn’t understand it, but wouldn’t even try. They don’t have to be semi-literate not to want to, either.

    All they want to know is: “Can I get the virus from breathing it in? No ifs or buts.”

    Wombat has just told us that’s impossible. That sounds like a big call to me.

    What’s dangerous about it is not strictly whether its right or wrong advice. It’s that ultimately advises people that there are certainties surrounding means of infection and that they are all worked out, and that they can let their guard down when it comes to aerosol infections. “Won’t get SARS-COV-2 …” in the street is a pretty definite statement.

    Has Wombat photographed the aerosol spread? Others HAVE and beg to differ about aerosols.

    Has he investigated every infection as it occurred to be so sure infection in those circumstances is impossible?

    I certainly haven’t. That’s why my suggestion is not to take the chance. Why is that so arrogant?

    I also observe that there is no shortage of knowledgeable medical workers who have gotten infected, despite all their knowledge, skills and PPE.

    I wouldn’t go around telling anyone they can’t be infected in pretty much ANY scenario.

  2. Nice deflection, but I wasn’t the one that got sucked in. Come on mate, you have to admit that was embarrassing.

    To tell you the true truth I wasn’t embarrassed.

    You seem to be more concerned about it than I was. It happens here on the blog all the time.

    That’s why they have parody accounts.

    You misread something and ha-ha joke’s on you. But that’s about the extent of it.

    Note I am writing in single-sentence paragraphs just to annoy you.

  3. Looks like Lancet (July 2020) disagrees with Wombat (and has reversed it’s earlier 2019 advice).

    Less-than-5um aerosols CAN spread coronavirus. Aerosol spreading could account for super-spreaders. If you’re in potentially aerosol infectious areas WEAR A MASK.


    The global pandemic of COVID-19 has been associated with infections and deaths among health-care workers. This Viewpoint of infectious aerosols is intended to inform appropriate infection control measures to protect health-care workers.

    Studies of cough aerosols and of exhaled breath from patients with various respiratory infections have shown striking similarities in aerosol size distributions, with a predominance of pathogens in small particles (<5 μm).
    These are immediately respirable, suggesting the need for personal respiratory protection (respirators) for individuals in close proximity to patients with potentially virulent pathogens.

    There is no evidence that some pathogens are carried only in large droplets. Surgical masks might offer some respiratory protection from inhalation of infectious aerosols, but not as much as respirators.

    However, surgical masks worn by patients reduce exposures to infectious aerosols to health-care workers and other individuals. The variability of infectious aerosol production, with some so-called super-emitters producing much higher amounts of infectious aerosol than most, might help to explain the epidemiology of super-spreading.

    Airborne infection control measures are indicated for potentially lethal respiratory pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

    Not sure they can be any clearer than that.

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