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. Poroti

    Yes. We could argue that Morrison has learnt some of his craft from Trump. And we all know how that is working out for the USA and by extension the globe.

  2. casey briggs
    @CaseyBriggs
    ·
    40m
    The Deputy Premier of NSW wants to be the Deputy Premier of NSW while being “effectively” on the crossbench
    casey briggs
    @CaseyBriggs
    ·
    43m
    But of course this depends on how The Nationals decide which bills are “important” to regional areas. They’ve given themselves the wiggle room to vote in favour of bills that might otherwise be defeated.
    Show this thread
    casey briggs
    @CaseyBriggs
    ·
    46m
    The NSW Nationals say they’re abstaining on government bills. Which means Labor + Greens + 1 independent can block any legislation
    Quote Tweet

    Political Alert
    @political_alert
    · 58m
    The NSW Nationals party room has today agreed they will no longer attend joint party room or parliamentary leadership meetings and will abstain from voting on government bills but reserves the right to support bills and motions important to regional NSW #nswpol

  3. Josh Butler
    @JoshButler
    ·
    49m
    QLD government: in a fight with the federal govt
    VIC govt: in a fight with the federal govt
    NSW govt: in a fight with the NSW govt

    good day for the federation

  4. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10:34 am

    An interesting story for the UK pass it along to Labour.

    https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/abbotts-long-battle-against-gay-rights/197554

    Abbott’s political successes are an artefact of Bob Brown’s hostility to Rudd and his determination to oppose the CPRS bills in 2009. Brown conspired with Joyce, Minchin and Abbott to defeat Rudd. He won in the Senate. Abbott went on to defeat Labor and become PM. The destruction of the CPRS bills not only heralded ongoing tribulation over climate change policies. It made Tony Abbott. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Brown knew what he was doing.

  5. ”Morrison now using a funeral in Queensland to score political points against Labor. It’s hard to know how low the PM can go to scoop into the bottom of the barrel of public decency. #auspol“

    I wonder if it will emerge that the complainant has Liberal Party connections.

  6. Briefly

    Abbott’s political failure was his homophobia. It get him voted out of his own seat. Thus having to seek UK government rescue.

    Meanwhile we are enjoying the LNP in political trouble in NSW.
    With some luck Labor NSW government will be a reality soon.

  7. bill
    Rory McEwan was an absolute dud, Bob Such was genuine and Perer Lewis was a nut.

    Agree BK, Peter Lewis was the nearest thing to Bob Katter SA’s ever had.

  8. I doubt Labor will be able to muster the numbers to form a Government in the House as I doubt Labor will support the Koala Legislation. So, an early Election might be needed. The Libs might go after Nats seats now that there is not a Coalition.

    I’d say Gladys needs to play really hard ball and call the Nats bluff. Otherwise, she might be finished.

  9. Non
    “Abbott’s political successes are an artefact of Bob Brown’s hostility to Rudd and his determination to oppose the CPRS bills in 2009. ”

    Hear hear!

    A prime example of how the Greens are worse than useless. CPRS would have worked, but the Greens opposed it because it wasn’t perfect. Their purist ideology gave us PM Abbott.

  10. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 12:56 pm
    Briefly

    Abbott’s political failure was his homophobia. It get him voted out of his own seat.

    Abbott is a social, ethical and political dinosaur. He’s also crazy. This did not stop Brown from first courting and then supporting him. The Greens were too smart by half in 2009. They have not learnt.

  11. JL @ #1090 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 12:24 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 6:12 am
    1. people are dying with covid, not of covid.

    Discuss.

    Reductio ad absurdem.

    That is all.
    ______________________________
    Do try to inform yourself before posting such ignorant rubbish.
    https://theconversation.com/died-from-or-died-with-covid-19-we-need-a-transparent-approach-to-counting-coronavirus-deaths-145438

    Do try to not be such a nasty person when you post an article by a lawyer who essentially says in that article what we have already been informed of by other medical sources. That is, that whilst a person may be noted to have COVID-19 and to have died, that there are co-morbidities that need to be taken into account when determiniing the specific cause of dath, whether it be from the direct effects of COVID-19 itself, or whether the COVID-19 excaerbated underlying conditions which caused death, or a third option, whether COVID-19 synergised underlying medical conditions or triggered a worsening of them to the point of death, as it has been reported that COVID-19 is a blood-borne virus that has effects on all organ systems. Also a disease that we still don’t know everything about yet.

    Now, JL, as I was the only one to reply to your demand to discuss this topic, yet when I did all I got was abuse in return, don’t expect me to bother again if you subsequently demand we ‘discuss’ something you bring up here. Although maybe I should instead have said it was hair-splitting about something we were already aware of.

  12. It only took 4 years

    Miles Taylor
    @MilesTaylorUSA
    ·
    9h
    As I’ve said repeatedly, virtually everyone with half a brain and a fraction of a conscience in the Administration felt this way about the President. The dam is breaking.
    ‘Dangerous’ and ‘unfit’: Trump’s former national security advisers say he has ‘no moral compass’ in…
    President Donald Trump’s former top Cabinet officials are among his harshest critics in journalist Bob Woodard’s new book “Rage,” providing some of the most brutal assessments of the commander in…
    cnn.com

  13. Dont forget the SA Libs, they are in a diabolical world of pain now, with multiple ICAC investigations only just beginning….after a week of resignations.

  14. Back to the Virus, NSW had seven new cases today. The seven-day moving average is a bit over 7.

    The daily average of new Covid cases in NSW since mid-July is a bit over 11. The daily cases have been jumping around, with the seven day moving average showing moving in waves above and below the mean of 11.

  15. Dr. Dena Grayson
    @DrDenaGrayson
    ·
    3h
    BombBOOM.
    @JoeBiden
    on
    @realDonaldTrump
    ’s FAILED response to #coronavirus: “He *knew* and purposely played it down. Worse, he LIED to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to the country for months

  16. From the relative safety of WA I wake every morning and instantly check to see the numbers from the eastern states. I am now wondering which would be worse from a mental health perspective.
    Living in Victoria where you know that movement has been minimised and strong actions are being taken to get on top of the spread or further north where everyday, at any time of the day you may discover that in the week previous you had attended a site that has since been identified as having had a positive person. The fact that NSW isn’t reducing movement would indicate that spread could pop up anywhere.
    I know we can’t all be in lockdown forever but this extended period of daily case numbers that have now gotten into hospitals in NSW is concerning.
    The continued support of lockdown by Victorians might be because it at least makes you feel safer. I know I worry about my nephew and family in NSW more than my relatives in Victoria.

  17. See new Tweets
    Conversation
    PRGuy
    @PRGuy17
    New Roy Morgan poll out today shows Murdoch has severely lost influence on Victorians with 70% of respondents approving of the way Premier Daniel Andrews is handling his job. #IStandWithDanAndrews
    10:54 AM · Sep 10, 2020·Twitter Web App
    34
    Retweets

  18. 70% of Victorians approve of the way Premier Andrews is handling is job, but 76% say the Victorian Government should compensate small business. The third Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey on Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions shows 70% approval of Premier… #vicpol http://ow.ly/2Vvk30r9173

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/vic/2020/09/10/victoria-covid-toll-700/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News%20Alert%20-%2020200910
    “…..a survey has found broad support among Victorians for Melbourne’s curfew – and strong support for Mr Andrews’ handling of the pandemic.
    A Roy Morgan survey of 2325 Victorians found 63 per cent supported the curfew. It was conducted earlier this week, five weeks after the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions for Melbourne and only days after Mr Andrews announced a two-week extension to the lockdown.
    A similar survey taken a week earlier had support for the curfew at 61 per cent.
    Of those surveyed this week, 70 per cent also said they supported Mr Andrews’ work as premier”.

  19. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:06 pm
    Briefly must be a National

    Ditto Kakaru. It’s all in the timing.

    You are the bludger that raised Abbott’s unfitness today. You. No-one else.

    Abbott is without any question whatsoever the worst PM we have ever had. He owes a very significant part his success to Bob Brown. His homophobia is not the only thing about him that is objectionable but it is one that is profoundly important in my family.

  20. Victoria
    That is the crux of my thoughts. Knowing everyday that disaster is looming but never knowing if and when it might strike. In Victoria i think that that possibility is considered and being dealt with. In NSW I fear that they could become victims of their own complacency.
    To hear Morrison tell it, they have the best defence and they will control it. Personally if it was that easy why are they still having cases pop up weeks after the initial pub event.

  21. The NSW parliament has fixed four-year terms with the election held on the fourth Saturday in March, although the Governor may dissolve the house sooner on the advice of the Premier.

    So I think an election can happen as soon as the Premier wants one, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Fixed terms have applied since 1995 with the cycle never having been broken.

  22. Steve

    Yes that’s how I see it.

    It’s why I think an alliance with the Shooters is first cab off the rank for Berejiklian if she wants to return fire.
    Then the Greens and maybe Alex Greenwhich.

    Barilaro has to be confident of his numbers.
    Edit: it could of course be misplaced confidence. So make the Shooters as second cab.

  23. Now is the time for Albo to come in and start shitting on the NSW government.
    They have bigger things to worry about and they spend their time playing games like this. etc etc.
    Stir the pot Albo, Stir the pot!

    What we really want to see here is Morrison try and get involved.

  24. South

    What we want to see is the Federal Nationals joining their NSW colleagues.

    Morrison losing his majority would make for interesting political times. So for minimum effort the possible payoff could be great.

  25. Victoria says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    See new Tweets
    Conversation
    PRGuy
    @PRGuy17
    New Roy Morgan poll out today shows Murdoch has severely lost influence on Victorians with 70% of respondents approving of the way Premier Daniel Andrews is handling his job.
    —————————————
    Victoria
    More like he hasn’t had influence for years but the left has refused to accept the evidence which we have seen at federal and state elections going back to the 80s and 90s because the Liberals have only won 3 state elections since 1982 and only twice winning the federal TPP since 1990.

  26. Mexicanbeemer

    The fiberals together with the media generally have behaved disgracefully during this pandemic. They have not once considered the well being of the public, but politicised the pandemic from the get go.

    I have never seen anything quite so disgraceful.

  27. south says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 1:38 pm
    Now is the time for Albo to come in and start shitting on the NSW government.
    They have bigger things to worry about and they spend their time playing games like this. etc etc.
    Stir the pot Albo, Stir the pot!

    ———————

    Albanese too busy appeasing the media ,

  28. I’d say Gladys needs to play really hard ball and call the Nats bluff. Otherwise, she might be finished.

    Correct. An ultimatum to Barilaro along the lines of “confirm your party members in Cabinet will be voting with the Government, or I will be requesting the Governor dismiss them as ministers immediately” seems to be called for.

  29. “Wouldn’t a vote of no confidence trigger an election?“

    Can’t quickly find a reference, but I expect that the Premier could advise the Governor to call one. I think that the Governor would first ask the Opposition Leader if he/she could form a Government to see out the remainder of the term and call an election if this fails.

    I can’t see a motion of no confidence happening, however.

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