Essential Research: leadership and COVID-19 approval ratings

A narrowing lead for Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister punctuates an otherwise stable picture in Essential Research’s latest set of leadership and COVID-19 performance ratings.

The Guardian reports the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll includes its monthly leadership ratings, which find Scott Morrison’s lead over Anthony Albanese as preferred prime minister is now at 49-26, in from 55-22 last time and the narrowest it has been since early February. However, movements on leaders’ ratings are apparently more modest: Morrison is down two on approval to 64%, with his disapproval rating yet to be disclosed (UPDATE: Up five to 28%, so perhaps not as modest as that), while Albanese is steady on approval at 44% and down one on disapproval to 29%.

Fifty-nine per cent now express approval for the federal government’s handling of the pandemic, down two on a fortnight ago. The poll was conducted before Sunday’s announcement of extended restrictions in Victoria, but the small-sample breakdown for that state finds approval of the state government’s performance up three to 50%, compared with falls of two points in New South Wales to 57% and six points in Queensland to 66%. The WA government is up three to a new high of 87%, although at this point sample sizes get very small indeed: as with much else in this poll, we will have to wait for the publication of the full report this afternoon for numbers from South Australia. The latter figure aside, the following chart shows how the various governments’ favourable ratings on this measure have progressed since March:

Concerning COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities, 41% now blame the providers, down a point on a fortnight ago, with 31% blaming the federal government, up three, and 28% blaming state and territory governments, down two. The poll finds 36% support for increasing the Medicare levy from 2% to 2.65% to fund improvements to aged care, with 32% opposed and 32% uncommitted.

Forty-nine per cent favoured a proposition that Google and Facebook should have to pay for news content, compared with 38% for the alternative that “it is not up to the tech giants to support media companies” (as per the wording in The Guardian’s report). The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1076.

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.

1,463 comments on “Essential Research: leadership and COVID-19 approval ratings”

  1. Here’s a thought – pay more for your own elderly relatives aged care?

    The aged care act already mandates a number of low income/ asset beds.

  2. Here’s another thought about aged care.
    Introduce a ratings system similar to the US. Demand and enforce all homes be at least 4star. Take licenses to operate away from serial offenders.
    Read this report for details about how bad ours really are.

    https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/news-and-media/research-paper-1-how-australian-residential-aged-care-staffing-levels-compare-international-and-national-benchmarks

    In the US system, each aged care home is rated on a five-star scale. Three stars is the sector average, one to two stars is below average, and four to five stars is above average. The US star ratings are based on the amount of nurse and personal carer time per resident, adjusted for differences in residents’ care needs so that homes can be compared against each other.
    When the US system was applied to Australian data, the report found that 57.6 per cent of all Australian aged care residents are in homes with staffing that would only rate one or two stars in the US’s five-star rating system. The authors of the report consider that one or two stars represent unacceptable levels of staffing, while three stars is acceptable, four stars is good, and five stars is best practice.

    Compared to the US, we in Australia have an awfully low grade system
    https://theaimn.com/a-damming-report-on-aged-care-the-government-cannot-ignore/

  3. Just read BK’s post about him possibly having pneumonia.

    I had double pneumonia (i.e. Both lungs) myself 12years ago.
    It is a non-trivial disease.
    BK, I wish you a successful recovery.

  4. Private aged care operators should operate to the same standards as state run care, which provides 10% of beds in Victoria and was responsible for 5 of the nearly 2000 cases, (1896 sometime last week)

    Minimum nurse to patient ratios
    1 nurse to 7 patients morning
    1 nurse to 8 patients afternoon
    1 nurse to 15 patients overnight

    Budget more than $6 per day per patient for food

    Patients should still receive care of GPs and specialists

    Homes should be subject to spot checks
    The accounts of homes should be published and auditable

    Private aged care is so profitable that 6 major operators are overseas owned who entered industry since 1996 and Kerry Stokes is major shareholder of Estia one the 10 lethal homes.
    Kerry Stokes owns Channel 7, mining equipment lessor, War Memorial trustee

    Rich people pay a daily surcharge equivalent to three times aged pension for same care as their pensioner neighbours

    So I curse all those silly pensioners who voted to preserve their franking credits and negative gearing. They deserve to have their wealth sucked out of them before entry to an aged care home to spend their last 4 months of life starving and neglected

    A woman on the board of The Alfred in 1990s said average length of stay in aged care was 4 months, average weight on admission was 60kgs, average weight after 3 months was 40kgs

    Further reading
    Micheal west on ownership structures
    Rick Morton at Micheal west on bed subsidies

  5. The ratings for the WA government are just incredible. Who knew WAxit would be so popular?!

    The WA border closed on 5 April and McGowan has been sitting pretty since then.

  6. My god this is nuts!

    Just before hundreds of far-right activists recently tried to storm the German Parliament, one of their leaders revved up the crowd by conjuring President Trump.

    “Trump is in Berlin!” the woman shouted from a small stage, as if to dedicate the imminent charge to him.

    She was so convincing that several groups of far-right activists later showed up at the American Embassy and demanded an audience with Mr. Trump. “We know he’s in there!” they insisted.

    Mr. Trump was neither in the embassy nor in Germany that day — and yet there he was. His face was emblazoned on banners, T-shirts and even on Germany’s pre-1918 imperial flag, popular with neo-Nazis in the crowd of 50,000 who had come to protest Germany’s pandemic restrictions. His name was invoked by many with messianic zeal.

    It was only the latest evidence that Trump is emerging as a kind of cult figure in Germany’s increasingly varied far-right scene.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/world/europe/germany-trump-far-right.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  7. Channel nine news actually showed their Facebook poll results last night.
    It was the one linked here. Question was whether or not you support the vic restrictions
    and roadmap.

    Surprising
    Result 71/29 in favour.

  8. Vic:

    I reckon only Qld would rival us for parochialism. 😀

    But essentially WA hates being told what to do by eastern staters. McGowan is therefore not going to be punished for refusing to fall in line with Morrison’s border reopening request, and all WAers were behind him in the fight against Clive Palmer.

  9. The kleptocracy on show….

    ‘Donald Trump helped himself to art treasures he fancied in the US ambassador’s historic 1842 mansion in Paris when he visited two years ago —and had them shipped to the White House with him on Air Force One, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

    Trump had extra time on his hands during his visit to Paris to commemorate the centennial of the end of World War I when he controversially skipped a trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery outside the city. The cancellation is now causing a world of trouble for Trump since The Atlantic reported that he blew it off after calling the fallen heroes “losers,” according to their sources.

    The White House has confirmed — but downplayed — Trump’s highly unusual art “caper,” Bloomberg noted.

    Trump spent some of the six hours of his newly found free time after skipping out on the cemetery visit by “shopping” for art in the ambassador’s mansion where he was staying, Bloomberg reported.

    The following day Trump pointed out a Benjamin Franklin bust, a Franklin portrait and figurines of Greek gods, which he ordered to be returned to Washington with him. They were valued at $750,000, according to Bloomberg. He reportedly quipped that the mansion would get the art back in six years.

    Ambassador Jamie McCourt was “startled,” while others were amused and astonished, according to Bloomberg.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/trump-helped-himself-to-art-from-ambassadors-mansion-in-paris-for-white-house_au_5f56a6c6c5b62b3add446af2?ncid=tweetlnkauhpmg00000001

  10. David Crowe
    “Victorians have been let down badly in this crisis. Some have responded by feeling a sense of solidarity with Andrews, but no politician deserves unthinking loyalty. The state needs this pressure on its Premier and its government to do better”
    ________________
    Nailed it.

  11. From last night…. I have been struck on the ribs by a Geoff Lawson gentle long hop (off a short run). Does that count?

    It bloody should.

    And got drunk with M Slater (which shouldn’t – he was a Cadbury’s).

  12. Taylormade

    Everyone always needs to be better and could be better.

    The media need to be better.

    The PM needs to be better.

    You and I need to be better.

    How is that news?

    How is making motherhood statements ‘nailing it’?

  13. I lost a chess game to a Russian master who was drinking, smoking and playing 25 matches simultaneously. He won 24 and drew one.

    Second to go.

  14. WTF? Trump doesn’t need the military to dump on him, he’s quite capable of doing it himself lol!

    Wolf Blitzer@wolfblitzer
    ·
    2h
    TRUMP: “I’m not saying the military’s in love w/ me. The soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t, because they want to do nothing but fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs & make the planes & make everything else stay happy.”

  15. Zoomster

    Funny that taylormade has absolute nothing to say about the dismal failures of Morrison and co on aged care and covidsafe app, just to name a few

  16. zoomster @ #28 Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – 5:54 am

    Taylormade

    Everyone always needs to be better and could be better.

    The media need to be better.

    The PM needs to be better.

    You and I need to be better.

    How is that news?

    How is making motherhood statements ‘nailing it’?

    Because it matches Taylormade’s superficial, self-centred mind.

  17. Taylormade says:
    Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 7:46 am
    David Crowe
    “Victorians have been let down badly in this crisis. Some have responded by feeling a sense of solidarity with Andrews, but no politician deserves unthinking loyalty. The state needs this pressure on its Premier and its government to do better”

    —————

    The same david crowe who attacked the banking royal commission , and jumped from one libs/nat propaganda unit (newsltd) to another one in fairfax (liberal party donors )

  18. I’m certain Andrews has always known who he has been dealing with.

    Tony Windsor
    @TonyHWindsor
    ·
    12h
    Glimpse of the real Scott Morrison today in his dumping on Victoria to gain political distance ….reminds me of his forging an amendment to a piece of legislation in my name and presenting to me as a demand to support ..when I refused he told me to get f…ed. Premiers beware.

  19. That article by Crowe appears to be a bit of a glass jaw response to those ill informed and naive punters out there who actually support Andrews and are rejecting the MSM meme.

    “ What would Australians living in the real world actually know about such things ?” Crowe laments. “ Listen to us ! Listen to us ! Why won’t you listen to us ? “

    Interesting.

  20. reminds me of his forging an amendment to a piece of legislation in my name and presenting to me as a demand to support

    Isn’t that….illegal? And that’s without even getting into the ethics of the matter!

  21. Yep it’s also a kind of Glenn Greenwald level conspiracy.

    Maggie Haberman@maggieNYT
    ·
    3h
    The White House is aware that they don’t have a bench of top military officials willing to defend the president. But denigrating them as mainly serving the military-industrial complex is quite something.

  22. Fess

    My level of disdain for Morrison has reached the point where if he appears on my TV screen, I switch over. That’s what I usually do with Trump

  23. Confessions @ #37 Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – 6:05 am

    reminds me of his forging an amendment to a piece of legislation in my name and presenting to me as a demand to support

    Isn’t that….illegal? And that’s without even getting into the ethics of the matter!

    I’d imagine there’d only be issues if it was presented to Parliament for consideration.

    Not very bright, especially to try against someone like Windsor who would have little issue standing up and saying, that’s not mine.

  24. Yep. Morrison has showed himself to be a bona fide piece of crapola

    Caro
    @Carocazz
    ·
    58m
    @ScottMorrisonMP
    Dan Andrews has had many chances on that podium to criticise you, and never once has he done that. Yet you put the knife in at any opportunity. It’s un-Australian, it’s un-Prime-Ministerial, and totally de-moralising and divisive. Please, grow up!
    Quote Tweet

    Tony Windsor
    @TonyHWindsor
    · 1h
    To play politics with a virus such as Covid 19 is to choose political advantage above not only the health of the community but also to weaken the confidence of the community in those attempting to control the spread. Let’s back Victorians to beat this thing.
    Tony Windsor Retweeted
    John Hewson
    @JohnRHewson
    ·
    1h
    No more cheap shots. If Morrison doesn’t like/accept Andrew’s pathway let him detail his alternative for which he can then be held fully accountable-be sure to focus on aged care his clear responsibility

  25. Yep, and that too.

    John Hewson
    @JohnRHewson
    Did I spot a pot calling a kettle black- Morrison attacking Victorian contact tracing when his much heralded and exaggerated COVID App failed? Surely just another distraction?
    7:10 PM · Sep 7, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

  26. The ones to blame for the corrupt foreign media owned and controlled Libs/nats being in government are those voters who keep on falling gullible to the libs/nats political propaganda units (newsltd and other pro coalition media) propaganda

  27. Absolutely. People are hurting and now is not the time to be cutting support. Saving lives and ensuring that everyone has a decent quality of life free from poverty should be the priority, not corporate profits and tax cuts for the rich.

  28. [‘Fast forward more than a decade, and Scott Morrison – even in the era of Donald Trump – will also be yearning desperately for a Republican victory come November.’]

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/scott-morrison-is-yearning-for-a-donald-trump-victory-20200906-p55sxe.html

    And it’s not only climate change. I’m not sure a Biden Administration will take kindly to
    Morrison crawling to Trump, where most world leaders know he’s a piece of work.

  29. Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #41 Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – 6:13 am

    Confessions @ #37 Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – 6:05 am

    reminds me of his forging an amendment to a piece of legislation in my name and presenting to me as a demand to support

    Isn’t that….illegal? And that’s without even getting into the ethics of the matter!

    I’d imagine there’d only be issues if it was presented to Parliament for consideration.

    Not very bright, especially to try against someone like Windsor who would have little issue standing up and saying, that’s not mine.

    Just shows how brazen they are in flouting rules, laws etc. ‘Whatever it takes’.

  30. Here are some cartoons for today:

    Matt Golding:

    Dionne Gain:

    Cathy Wilcox:

    Andrew Dyson:

    Michael Leunig:

    Alan Moir:

    From the US:
    Clay Jones, Tucson Weekly:
    Dumbkirk

    Pat Bagley:

    Ann Telnaes, Washington Post:

    Sorry I can’t find more!

  31. Simon Katich @ #26 Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 – 7:50 am

    From last night…. I have been struck on the ribs by a Geoff Lawson gentle long hop (off a short run). Does that count?

    It bloody should.

    And got drunk with M Slater (which shouldn’t – he was a Cadbury’s).

    Hmmm, got me curious SK. Let me ask a coded message in the interests of privacy. Do words like Jungle, Disco and Orca mean anything to you, cricket-wise?

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