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. I was pondering, yesterday, who is the most vile and sinister among Alan Jones, Ben Fordham and Steve Price and of course the answer is Ray Hadley who is, while shouting, egging on both the Prime Minister re Qld and the Deputy Premier over koalas.

  2. Shellbell

    They are all bad. Having said that, Steve price belled the cat other night on the Project. He said senior Liberals were briefing business leaders to get out in the media to bash Premier Andrews.

    Gotta say that surprised me

  3. If the party who is in government can not get numbers to govern (nationals on the cross bench)
    Either the premier or leader of the opposition can ask the governor to force a election, (labor is now the party with Majority)

  4. Terms of a Legislative Assembly

    Section 24 of the New South Wales Constitution Act 1902 states that a term of the Legislative Assembly is four years, unless it is dissolved sooner under section 24B of the Act.

    Under section 24 of the Constitution Act a Legislative Assembly expires on the Friday before the first Saturday in March, four years after the previous general election.

    Section 24A of the Constitution Act states that general elections take place on the fourth Saturday in March, following the expiry of the Legislative Assembly three weeks earlier.

    Section 24B of the Constitution Act states that the Governor may, by proclamation, dissolve the Legislative Assembly sooner than the prescribed four-year period under certain circumstances (e.g. if a motion of no confidence in the Government is passed by the Legislative Assembly, or if the Assembly rejects a bill which appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government).

  5. Tom McIlroy
    @TomMcIlroy
    ·
    1h
    AusPost issued ‘please explain’ over One Nation delivery

    AusPost issued ‘please explain’ over One Nation delivery
    Chief executive Christine Holgate is under pressure over the delivery of One Nation stubby coolers to locked-down public housing tenants in Melbourne.
    afr.com

  6. Shellbell @ #1201 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 3:24 pm

    I was pondering, yesterday, who is the most vile and sinister among Alan Jones, Ben Fordham and Steve Price and of course the answer is Ray Hadley who is, while shouting, egging on both the Prime Minister re Qld and the Deputy Premier over koalas.

    What a rogues’ gallery. Price seems to have benefitted a little from his time with Waleed and co, so he’s now the least bad.
    I guess Hadley is the most downright nasty, but frankly I think Ben Fordham is the slimiest one of them all.
    Jones? Surely everyone knows he’s batshit crazy, even his fans.

  7. “if you don’t deliver those packages we will call the police”

    Not a threat? Christine Holgate, seriously?

    Christine Holgate gets paid millions of dollars to make imbecilic statements like this.

  8. Shellbell says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:33 pm
    Interesting situation.

    Who wants an election in NSW?

    ———————–
    Good question

    The election will tell whether nsw liberals/nationals are the gold standard of handling the corona virus (ruby princess)

  9. Spray,
    Maybe not. The COVID thing is less of an emergency. her ‘good’ governance may just be her undoing. Kind of like Rudd not getting any love for the GFC response untill 10 years later.

  10. Spray says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Regardless of who wants one, Gladys would romp it in at the moment, as would

    ———–

    Disagree she and Morrison are the main two losing support

  11. Rex Douglas @ #1189 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 3:03 pm

    Scott @ #1182 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 2:54 pm

    I still remember when Turnbull took over from Abbott as prime minister people were saying politics will be back to a competent federal government nothing could be worser then Abbott.

    Since Turnbull and now Morrison the federal government is more incompetent than it was under Abbott

    Morrison isn’t very good at hiding his deficiencies is he …?

    Clearly he doesn’t like other political leaders out-shining him – leaves him looking as a VERY insecure personality.

    That insecure personality also shows up in the way he blusters in pressers for but cuts and runs halfway through.

    The guy isn’t a strong leader once you look past the facade. Someone like Keating would’ve completely expose him I reckon.

    ‘Morrison isn’t very good at hiding his deficiencies is he …?’
    From the majority of voters?
    Yep?

  12. The business lobby is very sensitive about the optics of companies taking JobKeeper money and paying it to executives as bonuses.

    Listed companies’ $1.8b JobKeeper take raises judgment questions

    Investors should consider the culture, values and judgment of ASX300 companies that paid big bonuses and dividends after a new report finds a lack of rigour and transparency in the JobKeeper scheme.

    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/asx-s-1-8b-jobkeeper-take-raises-serious-questions-of-judgement-20200910-p55u99

  13. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:39 pm
    A gentle reminder.

    .

    Going to an election is not the go to option with fixed terms. That’s the whole point of fixed terms

    ————–

    The governor can call the election if the premier or leader of the opposition (who has the majority) advises the governor , there can be no certain of stable government , election is required

  14. south @ #1215 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 3:38 pm

    Spray,
    Maybe not. The COVID thing is less of an emergency. her ‘good’ governance may just be her undoing. Kind of like Rudd not getting any love for the GFC response untill 10 years later.

    In terms of managing the virus, they would frame it as a simple comparison between the two main states. And like it or not, that will play out differently in the general public than how it plays out on PB.

  15. Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    22m
    Q: The Premier wanted you to do this press conference? QLD CMO: “No”. Q: Did the Premier ask you to? CMO: “No, the premier’s office didn’t. My team here did” #auspol #COVID19Aus
    4
    5
    23

    Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    25m
    The QLD CMO is asked how Canberra is a hotspot given no cases for two months? “Canberra is defined as a hotspot because it is in the middle of New South Wales,” she says #auspol #COVID19Aus
    4
    10
    27

    Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    27m
    QLD CMO: “They are very risky environments for the spread of the virus because the nature of the service and what happens, and secondly because of the people that tend to attend those funerals … I don’t want to see Queenslanders dying from COVID-19 that I could have prevented”.
    1
    5
    14
    Show this thread

    Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    27m
    QLD CMO: “Because the last thing I would want to happen, is to have an outbreak at a funeral and by definition, there are always older people attending funerals. They are the people, we know, will always attend funerals”.
    2
    2
    7
    Show this thread

    Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    27m
    QLD CMO: “Although I understand the enormous toll this is taking on people who are coming here to Queensland to attend a funeral of a loved one, whether that be a relative, or a friend, they can’t do that until they have been in quarantine for 14 days”.
    1
    2
    7
    Show this thread

    Katharine Murphy
    @murpharoo
    ·
    27m
    QLD CMO: “I have always been very, very careful in making sure that anybody at a higher risk of having COVID-19, does not attend a funeral. Those are people who come from hot spots, interstate, or anybody who comes from overseas”.

  16. If I were Christine Holgate, I would have quoted that the stubby holders breach the Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide and therefore couldn’t be sent 😉

  17. Morrison is a piece of crapola. Politicising then pandemic in QLD. The CHO has a lot on their plate right now, and they have to get out to explain his pathetic games

  18. Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:48 pm
    Nationals MP Leslie Williams is not joining the revolt to the crossbench, giving Libs 36 votes (against ALP 36). Williams is MP for Port Macquarie, home of the koala hospital #nswpol #koalas— Linda Silmalis (@LindaSilmalis) September 10, 2020

    ———-

    Labor has 38 seats not 36

  19. Scott

    You have to convince the Governor negotiations are irretrievably compromised.

    Labor can argue it can negotiate a majority as the major party without an election. Usually by presenting the numbers and confirming it with a vote on the floor of the house.

    The problem is the Nationals are saying they are backing confidence and supply.

    That is they still have the majority.

    The argument for forming government and an election are the same.
    Labor will only go for an election if they cannot form government without one due to votes of confidence.

    That’s why I think this election talk is way too overblown. We are not the UK destroying fixed term parliament to win a Brexit election. Yet.

  20. AusPost issued ‘please explain’ over One Nation delivery
    Chief executive Christine Holgate is under pressure over the delivery of One Nation stubby coolers to locked-down public housing tenants in Melbourne.

    Did Pauline really think that the locked down residents would really want stubby holders advertising PHON and herself?

    Perhaps her next move will be to send autographed photos of herself to covid-19 patients in hospital. “You’re not really sick because covid is a hoax.”

  21. Reason why Gladys Berejiklian is on the nose in NSW

    The economy in NSW has collapse

    Handling of ruby princess

    Scandals in the nsw government

    the final nail will be if she weakens to the national party over the koalas

  22. citizen @ #1230 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 3:52 pm

    AusPost issued ‘please explain’ over One Nation delivery
    Chief executive Christine Holgate is under pressure over the delivery of One Nation stubby coolers to locked-down public housing tenants in Melbourne.

    Did Pauline really think that the locked down residents would really want stubby holders advertising PHON and herself?

    Perhaps her next move will be to send autographed photos of herself to covid-19 patients in hospital. “You’re not really sick because covid is a hoax.”

    Happy to be educated but I’m not sure how the MCC, or anyone, can refuse AusPost deliveries …?

  23. Victoria says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm
    Scott

    I think Labor has 36 seats
    Greens 3
    Shooters party 3
    Indi. 3

    ———–

    Yes you are right

    Apologies to rex

  24. Scott

    While we are doing hypotheticals.

    If Berejiklian knows her political career is over she can advise the Governor the Liberals will be voting confidence to Labor.

    It’s extremely unlikely but not impossible

  25. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:58 pm
    Scott

    While we are doing hypotheticals.

    If Berejiklian knows her political career is over she can advise the Governor the Liberals will be voting confidence to Labor.

    It’s extremely unlikely but not impossible

    ——————————————————-

    True , if she did that would get the nationals and the federal libs/nats and their media propaganda units into a frenzy

  26. Started to listen to Barnaby (Karvelas) and somehow the preservation of the koala has something to do with not being allowed to shoot a snake.

    Quality debate!

  27. Rex Douglassays:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I’d love to have seen a Morrison vs Keating political contest.
    __________________
    I have a feeling that Keating would have forced Morrison to reveal if he is a Young Earth or an Old Earth Creationist. I still can’t believe that no journalist has yet to ask Morrison about his views on Creationism/Evolution.

  28. DWH

    Yes and being Premier means you get the first vote to prove support or lack of it.

    Labor cannot get any Governor particularly a Liberal appointed one to go to an election unless Labor can prove that support does not exist.
    If the next vote shows Labor has the support government changes without an election.

  29. I know I’m not the only one who see sheer hypocrisy in Morrison’s tears given his past history in refusing to let asylum seekers attend their relatives’ funerals – or in his cruelty toward AS altogether.

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