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. The reason we are seeing some Labor posters push the election option is clear.

    You can not argue you can’t trust the Greens if you have formed a minority government with them due to the division over Koalas in the LNP.

    These posters are telling you they would rather be in opposition than govern with Greens support.

  2. @SerkanTheWriter
    ·
    2h
    It’s a sad day when any journalist loses their job. In other news, Joe Hildebrand has been fired from Channel Ten’s shitshow Studio 10.

  3. Lizzie,
    That’d be a killer question in QT.
    For Dutton and the PM.
    Did the PM almost come to tear about keeping asylum seekers in jail when their family died.

  4. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    These posters are telling you they would rather be in opposition than govern with Greens support.
    ———————

    I dont agree with that , i don’t mind Labor and the greens working together whether its in government or opposition

  5. southsays:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:27 pm
    Lizzie,
    That’d be a killer question in QT.
    For Dutton and the PM.
    Did the PM almost come to tear about keeping asylum seekers in jail when their family died.
    ____________________________
    I’ve never seen anything more cold than when the little Tamil girl in detention begged Julia Gillard to be considered a ‘child of Australia’ and be removed from detention on Manus. Gillard rejected the idea that the girl could ever be a child of Australia. Of course now she swans around the world as a self declared advocate for children. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  6. Former Ambassador to China talking to Karvelas is extremely critical of the Morrison gov’s handling of the relationship. Says it’s the worst he’s ever seen it, and it’s the fault of Morrison.

  7. Scott

    Sorry if you are just running hypotheticals.

    However its the effect of talking about going to elections. It means Labor doesn’t have the numbers or is refusing to negotiate to get the numbers.

    Assuming the LNP split has lost the numbers.

  8. Easily fixed:
    Liberal party 35
    BC’Fen fun party 3
    McGirr 1
    Piper 1
    Leslie Williams 1
    Just need 4 more nationals to come across due to a realisation that The Nationals are at the precipice stage of their long decline and an election is the last thing they need
    And you have a new coalition

  9. guytaur

    It doesn’t matter how much negotiation Labor does with the cross benches, unless, of course, it agrees with The Nats about koalas, it can only get into power via an election.

  10. Josh Butler
    @JoshButler
    ·
    51s
    Police cars revolving lightGladys Berejiklian statement on the Nationals koala drama – has given them until 9am tomorrow to say whether they stay in cabinet or sit on the crossbench

    “They cannot do both. If required, I will attend Government House tomorrow and swear in a new Ministry” #auspol

  11. OC

    Long decline is right.

    Being the party arguing for killing Koalas is going to hasten that in regions around the country.

    No matter if Berejikilian holds on or not.

  12. Adam Bandt
    @AdamBandt
    ·
    18m
    As NSW gov ministers demand the right to kill more koalas, just remember that Scott Morrison is right now trying to change the law to hand over all responsibility for environmental protection to these people.

  13. guytaur says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 4:38 pm
    Scott

    Sorry if you are just running hypotheticals.

    However its the effect of talking about going to elections. It means Labor doesn’t have the numbers or is refusing to negotiate to get the numbers.

    Reason why i like to see a election is , to see what the public will do during the corona virus

    Are they still gullible to the libs/nats propaganda media units , or are they going to actually wake up and see how badly the libs/nats are governing and not the gold standard as Morrison claims

  14. Zoomster

    Wrong. Labor can form support without backing kill the koala policy.

    Greens Alex Greenwhich. Then you don’t need many more.

    It all depends on Berejikilian losing National support and Labor having more appeal than the Liberals.

    Remember I am only saying election is not the first option for Labor. You only do that if you don’t want to govern with the Greens support.

  15. As is often the case Tony Windsor had some perspective on the Barilaro/Nats Koala meltdown on the World Today, at 4 to 8 minutes
    He seems to think Gladys really can’t step back for them now

    He’s straight onto how Barilaro has been looking for some cover, describing their failures on water and caving particularly on CSG as anti-farming, sold out to the fossil fuel and mining industry.
    The bastards claiming they give a stuff about regions and agriculture whilst waiving through coal and CSG projects, ignoring the Darling-Barka river and other water issues.
    In NSW they’ve lost seats to SFF, Greens and Labor as well as a few regional indies over recent elections, they really must be the most moribund of the old parties.

    https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/the-world-today/12629246

  16. south @ #1251 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 4:27 pm

    Lizzie,
    That’d be a killer question in QT.
    For Dutton and the PM.
    Did the PM almost come to tear about keeping asylum seekers in jail when their family died.

    Mundo has been wondering where the commentary about asylum seekers and detention centres has been during all this crap about how everyone’s doing it sooooo hard in the lock down. Oh woe is us having to stay home for a few weeks.
    Gee I wonder if we’ll come out of this supercharged with compassion for refugees?

  17. guytaur

    Any Nat willing to negotiate on koalas is going to give their vote to Gladys.

    Without defecting Nats, there is no path to power for Labor without an election.

    It has nothing to do with partisanship, it’s maths.

  18. Opposition Leader Jodi McKay said Ms Berejiklian did not have the confidence of the Labor Party, calling on her to address the crisis within two hours.

  19. Oakeshott Country @ #1260 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 4:41 pm

    Easily fixed:
    Liberal party 35
    BC’Fen fun party 3
    McGirr 1
    Piper 1
    Leslie Williams 1
    Just need 4 more nationals to come across due to a realisation that The Nationals are at the precipice stage of their long decline and an election is the last thing they need
    And you have a new coalition

    Herding cats is what it would be!

  20. @jocksjig
    ·
    1h

    Yep so the “daughter kept from fathers funeral routine”is coordinated… Canavan and others are all on somewhere promoting it as we speak….. The authentic polls we are not allowed to see must be pretty bad for Morrie and his thugs……

  21. So NSW politics gone BOOM! I wonder how the Rupertarium is covering it. Hmmm let’s check the Daily Telegraph, sure to be some shouty headlines there. Top story ? Matty Johns rating mungo ball players.What about no2 spot ? Nope, Hawi murder trial.Oh there it is down a bit further down non big lettering with the anodyne……

    Revolt: NSW Nats boycott Coalition over koala policy

    Much higher prominence than The Strayan gave it

  22. That’s my line in the sand.
    And if you don’t like it, I’ll draw another line in the sand.
    Says our Glad.

    She’s lost this argument already.

  23. Zoomster

    This whole hypothetical is that the LNP is no more in NSW.

    It’s open warfare.

    It’s more likely Liberals will back Labor on koalas than the Nationals.
    Remembering it’s government legislation the Nationals are revolting against.

  24. A reminder to Labor people.

    As the right attacks your majority government in Victoria and Queensland it will do the same to a NSW minority government.
    However it’s going to be Labor along the eastern seaboard if the Liberals lose the numbers in the house.

    Tasmania and South Australia will be the exceptions.

    Gillard managed it for years and did not have a pandemic helping her politically. A pandemic that is already winning the science battle.

    You have a lot to gain little to lose at negotiating for government in NSW

    Edit: And yes so do the Shooters and the Greens.

  25. The Greens can offer to support either Labor or the Liberals. If they favour the Liberals their PV will drop by 2/3. I’d like to see that. But even more, I’d like to see them declare they will not be seeking alliance or a confidence deal with Labor. That would be huge advantage for Labor.

  26. The maths is the same though – if Jodi McKay wants to form a government she needs 47 out of 93 votes on the Assembly floor. The Nats have just enough members to hold the balance of power in their own right – neither Labor nor Liberals can govern without their support.

    They might be mad at Gladys but are they going to give confidence to Labor?

  27. https://www.pollbludger.net/2020/09/08/essential-research-leadership-covid-19-approval-ratings/comment-page-26/#comment-3478685

    The Greens will back the ALP. They know the very strong 2PP support for the ALP of the voters and members. The Greens are not centrists confused, disagreeing or disingenuous about which side they are on, unlike the Democrats or DLP, despite all you George W. Bush style beating of a “your either with us or against us” nature.

  28. Lol!

    See new Tweets
    Conversation
    Tim Wilson MP
    @TimWilsonMP
    How good is
    @GladysB
    ! The best Premier in the nation by a country mile. Calm. Guts. Love it!
    5:17 PM · Sep 10, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
    11
    Retweets

  29. mimhof

    Some Liberals could defect.

    Party split like this is what created Joh for PM and kept Labor in power. You don’t need many Rob Oakshott or Tony Windsor types

    Labor does not need the whole of the parties to defect. Just enough so it can have the confidence and supply.

    Then if the LNP does not have that support and Labor cannot gain it then an election might happen.

    We have seen so called rock solid support crumble before.

  30. There was a story on ABC 720 Perth radio yesterday about a Western Australian couple, with two kids back home with grandparents, stuck in the Ukraine while there to collect their twins from a surrogate mother.

    Horror situation, stuck in flat with plenty of food and money and twins, can’t hack it, toddlers in Australia cry during skype and regular telephone contacts, psychiatric overload, “won’t somebody think of the children”, etc, etc. Mother sobs uncontrollably throughout interview.

    Now here’s the thing. Towards the end of this mise en scene, between sobs, the mother asks why doesn’t the Federal Government rescue them, they are unconscionable, Aussies are all about a fair go, why won’t Morrison’s mob give them a fair go, why, why?

    Did Morrison discuss this issue on Hadley’s show this morning? Did he tear up? Like about the funeral just across the border?

  31. “Labor does not need the whole of the parties to defect. Just enough so it can have the confidence and supply.”

    And “just enough” means eleven MLAs. If you count the three Greens, now it’s eight. Who are they?

  32. Dave Sharma
    @DaveSharma
    ·
    3h
    A simple plea for compassion, humanity and common sense … how can this be bullying??

    It’s all in the tone. And I’ve never connected Morrison with compassion, humanity and common sense.

  33. Coming soon The Grinch Who Stole Xmas, starring Dan Andrews as the Grinch. 🙂
    .
    Woolies issues Christmas warning
    Crisis meeting with Victorian government warned lockdown means supermarkets may not be able to meet demand for what what’s shaping as the biggest Christmas on record.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&dest=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fbusiness%2Fcompanies%2Fvictorias-stage-4-restrictions-risk-christmas-shortages-woolworths-chief-says%2Fnews-story%2Fb254bbc3485c7fd991c10a2f2a63249c&memtype=anonymous&mode=premium
    .

  34. John Hewson
    @JohnRHewson
    ·
    7m
    Nats so quickly put their hands out for assistance in droughts, floods, fires etc. and Australians are always overwhelmingly willing to help but Nats are slow to recognise any responsibilities for nature conservation and in their land clearing-NSW Koalas due for extinction 2050

  35. If the numbers fall, look at what’s dropped to the ground, assess the cost, and decide.

    Otherwise, the worse that can happen is an early election against a dis-unified rabble of incompetents.

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