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 wouldn’t be hyperventilating about the prospect of a Labor government in NSW short of an election win. How would the Nats supporting a Labor government help on koalas. Nationals just behaving as usual and trying to exert more muscle. If anything Labor might be wise to say that they will support sensible koala protection. That would really set the Libs and Nats at each other.

  2. FS

    Yes we see the damage.

    The ACT has shown us. Labor has managed its budget well working with the Greens. They keep getting re-elected. I hope they do again but must admit being long term is against them.

    I suspect they will do well because of the relative quiet in the media. I expect we would hear lots about it if the LNP was expected to be competitive

  3. I just watched MicMac on Monday’s Q&A (again) called Border Wars, looking for a clue to official government thinking.
    Sure enough, when tragic cases of people stranded overseas are exposed, our Deputy PM said:
    “There are so many thousands of compassionate cases……..and we are doing everything we can to put those vulnerable people at the front of the queue. ………… We are working on it.”
    But when asked about plan and time frames, there was…
    um
    “we are working on it”
    So Scotty the bully harasses the Labor PMs over people stuck a few days in local quarantine, but refuses to charter aircraft to fly home desperate Australians.
    Scotty has spent $350M on 1800 chartered flights flying lobsters, crayfish, fresh fruit and veges out of Australia, but not one cent, since he capped flights home, bringing home Australians.

    https://iview.abc.net.au/show/qanda

  4. “Our PM moved to tears as a Premier chooses politics over people”.

    Ten seconds at the start of Nine News is enough to tell you who won the politics today. Again.

  5. The NSW Liberals are regarded as too left wing by Murdoch, Shoutback radio, probably half the Liberal backbench, probably most of their party members (those who join the Liberals these days tend to be very right wing) and probably most of their core voters.

  6. poroti @ #1296 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 5:46 pm

    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.

    Great shop at Aldi and also save at least 30% on a similar basket of goods.

  7. A response to the Tim Wilson tweet I posted earlier supporting Gladys.

    Donna..an unquiet Australian.
    @simpsubhswf
    ·
    19m
    Replying to
    @TimWilsonMP

    @murpharoo
    and
    @GladysB
    How good is
    #iCare
    #Ferries don’t fit & oh yes & asbestos
    #Trains don’t fit
    #LightRail $500m blowout
    #RubyPrincess
    #PowerHouse debacle
    #Stadiums debacle
    #SchoolMaintenance backlog
    #homelessness
    NWPS & RFS underfunding so #Bushfires
    #extinctions
    Yes, sure, such a great Premier

  8. I like how everyone talks about the nations ‘being cranky’

    It’s very funny. No one takes them seriously.

    And it’s funny to here Whacka Williams talk about lack of state parks management when the LNP were the ones to scale back the departments that do the management.

  9. 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.

    Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are complete frauds on human rights issues. They have no credibility at all. I wonder how much quetiapine they need to be able to sleep at night. Or perhaps lack of empathy is a trait that they share alongside inability to oppose LNP policies.

  10. Nicholas @ #1315 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:24 pm

    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.

    Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are complete frauds on human rights issues. They have no credibility at all. I wonder how much quetiapine they need to be able to sleep at night. Or perhaps lack of empathy is a trait that they share alongside inability to oppose LNP policies.

    Mediocre intellectual whinger, whinges.

    When are you going to have a go at being elected and convince the Community of the merits of your ideas?

    Let me know. I’ll be lined up to laugh and laugh and laugh.

  11. Greensborough Growler @ #1316 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:30 pm

    Nicholas @ #1315 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:24 pm

    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.

    Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are complete frauds on human rights issues. They have no credibility at all. I wonder how much quetiapine they need to be able to sleep at night. Or perhaps lack of empathy is a trait that they share alongside inability to oppose LNP policies.

    Mediocre intellectual whinger, whinges.

    When are you going to have a go at being elected and convince the Community of the merits of your ideas?

    Let me know. I’ll be lined up to laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Me too. Nich and nath always bring up minor blips in Labor governing, never the perennially egregious Coalition behaviour. They are frauds.

  12. C@tmommasays:

    10 seconds at the start of 9 News tells you which Liberal is the Chairman of the Board at 9 News. Again.
    ________________
    I’m sure Peter Costello is really invested in helping Scott Morrison be the best PM he can be.

  13. C@tmomma @ #1319 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:44 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1316 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:30 pm

    Nicholas @ #1315 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:24 pm

    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.

    Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are complete frauds on human rights issues. They have no credibility at all. I wonder how much quetiapine they need to be able to sleep at night. Or perhaps lack of empathy is a trait that they share alongside inability to oppose LNP policies.

    Mediocre intellectual whinger, whinges.

    When are you going to have a go at being elected and convince the Community of the merits of your ideas?

    Let me know. I’ll be lined up to laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Me too. Nich and nath always bring up minor blips in Labor governing, never the perennially egregious Coalition behaviour. They are frauds.

    They are perennial losers without the actions to back up their fiery rhetoric.

    Lot’s of talk. Not very much progress.

  14. Joe Hildebrand has been ‘boned’ from his gig as token male clown on Ch10 mornings. But that’s not how he sees it…

    ‘After “a huge amount of thought”, Joe Hildebrand will not only depart from Studio 10, but leave the network entirely tomorrow, as Ten’s shake up of the morning show continues to take effect.

    Hildebrand had been in discussions with the company’s management about another role at the network after his role on the Studio 10 was called into question at the same time talent such as co-host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling, and Tim Bailey were cut.

    On this morning’s episode, he spoke of the “plenty of people” at Ten who have lost their job, and the show’s audience of “pensioners” and “housewives” who are “the people I love”.

    “We all know the show’s getting a bit of a shake up,” he said.

    “Channel 10 and my lovely bosses asked me if I’d stay on in a new role. We talked about it really openly and warmly, about what that might look like. And they were really keen and they were really lovely about it, so don’t lash out at them. But I just thought, probably just better to draw a line under this amazing, little story … and give the new show, whatever it may look like, the chance to breathe and have a fresh start without me hanging around.”

    https://mumbrella.com.au/joe-hildebrand-will-leave-network-ten-altogether-says-hes-giving-new-look-studio-10-a-chance-to-breathe-on-penultimate-appearance-642488

  15. Anthony Cornelius Meteorologist

    Polar Low Brings “Category 4 Like” Winds to Antarctica!

    What a wild night at Casey (an Australian research outpost) last night! Wind gusts peaked at 248km/h!!! That’s the equivalent winds of a category 4 tropical cyclone – however it wasn’t a tropical cyclone, rather a very intense polar low! The pressure though was also similar to a category 4 tropical cyclone, with pressures falling into the 930s in Casey itself this morning! EC (chart courtesy of windy.com) analysed it at 936mb.

    I believe the area east of Casey is elevated which would have helped strengthen the winds in Casey itself (possibly due to a type of lee-wave coming off the escarpment), but 248km/h is an incredible wind gust! And it was windy for much of the night with wind gusts exceeding 160km/h even last night. 248km/h is also the highest wind gust ever recorded in Casey (previous record was 241km/h), and from a quick glance is possibly the strongest wind gust ever recorded at an Australian research station there.

    Check out those apparent temperatures too, falling to nearly -40C thanks to the wind chill!

    Casey, Antarctica:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDT60803/IDT60803.89611.shtml

  16. sprocket_ @ #1321 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 6:54 pm

    Joe Hildebrand has been ‘boned’ from his gig as token male clown on Ch10 mornings. But that’s not how he sees it…

    ‘After “a huge amount of thought”, Joe Hildebrand will not only depart from Studio 10, but leave the network entirely tomorrow, as Ten’s shake up of the morning show continues to take effect.

    Hildebrand had been in discussions with the company’s management about another role at the network after his role on the Studio 10 was called into question at the same time talent such as co-host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling, and Tim Bailey were cut.

    On this morning’s episode, he spoke of the “plenty of people” at Ten who have lost their job, and the show’s audience of “pensioners” and “housewives” who are “the people I love”.

    “We all know the show’s getting a bit of a shake up,” he said.

    “Channel 10 and my lovely bosses asked me if I’d stay on in a new role. We talked about it really openly and warmly, about what that might look like. And they were really keen and they were really lovely about it, so don’t lash out at them. But I just thought, probably just better to draw a line under this amazing, little story … and give the new show, whatever it may look like, the chance to breathe and have a fresh start without me hanging around.”

    https://mumbrella.com.au/joe-hildebrand-will-leave-network-ten-altogether-says-hes-giving-new-look-studio-10-a-chance-to-breathe-on-penultimate-appearance-642488

    Tea Lady didn’t suit his schedule.

  17. Happy to see channel 10 got rid of one newsltd hack there are few more that need to go not only from ch10 , ABC and in the rest of the media’a landscape in Australia.

    Bring on the corruption commission

  18. Can’t help wondering whether Friendly Jordie – with his hundreds of thousands of subscribers, especially among the young – and his #koalakiller hashtag, plus his repeated attacks on Barilaro have anything to do with the clusterfuck in NSW Coalition politics at the moment.

    Has #koalakiller gotten to Gladys, and is Barilaro pissed off at the continual sniping? 2GB have done a couple of items on Jordie’s campaign, including having Jordan himself on for a long form interview.

    I dunno. But I’d like to think that the toxic blend of Liberals, Nations, koala protection (and don’t they need it?), hashtags, and half a million Jordie subscribers might have some significance.

    If Gladys sacks the Nat ministers tomorrow, Labor should bring on a vote of no confidence in the government based on the chaos of a fractured ministry.

    Let’s see the Nats support Gladys against the careers of their own recently sacked ex-ministers, LOL.

  19. Jaeger,

    I went to school with Anthony. He’s such a gentle soul – I was shocked when I met him 10 years later and he said he was a storm chaser!

  20. T.S. Eliot, with reference to modern (the ’20s, ’30s) poetry & literature, said that life is about two (maybe three?) modern concerns: boredom & the horror & the glory of life – in no particular order. He further suggested, that life’s long, not short as the Roman poets would have us believe. Perhaps he saw things as they are?

  21. On this morning’s episode, he spoke of the “plenty of people” at Ten who have lost their job, and the show’s audience of “pensioners” and “housewives” who are “the people I love”.

    Or, iow, the voting demographic the Coalition target and who Joe was pleased to help out with his presence on the show.

  22. I think this latest stunt attacking the Qld premier by the corrupt foreign own and controlled libs/nats with their propaganda media units has backfired on them

  23. I went to school with Anthony. He’s such a gentle soul – I was shocked when I met him 10 years later and he said he was a storm chaser!

    😀 I don’t know him, but his weather information is very good. (Ditto Ken Kato.)

  24. Killing Koalas?
    That is what they are going to die in a ditch over?
    How many of their 13 members are likely to lose if they have to fight a three cornered contest against the Liberals? I can’t see many of those northern coast seats being too in favor of an anti-koala agenda. Heck a majority in almost all rural seats would not be keen on that.
    So have the Nationals just committed political suicide on R U OK day?

  25. Yep. The Nationals are losing seats to the Liberals, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and even The Greens and Labor on the coast of NSW because The Nationals are increasingly being seen as the Miners and Big Ag Party.

    I mean, if you look at the argument John Barilaro is trying to make, he is saying that commercialisation of the land supercedes any other consideration. That’s just wrong and shouldn’t be allowed to triumph in this battle that the Koalas are the avatar for.

  26. B.S. Fairman @ #1337 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 7:22 pm

    Killing Koalas?
    That is what they are going to die in a ditch over?
    How many of their 13 members are likely to lose if they have to fight a three cornered contest against the Liberals? I can’t see many of those northern coast seats being too in favor of an anti-koala agenda. Heck a majority in almost all rural seats would not be keen on that.
    So have the Nationals just committed political suicide on R U OK day?

    Maybe Barilaro is doing Federal aspiarations by suicide of his NSW parliamentary life.

    Backs down, gets sacked , resigns, and then re-emerges at 2022.

  27. Although there’s scant evidence yet of the electorate weaning off Morrison, for such a disingenuous man, it’s bound to happen. In that respect, I agree with BB’s analyses.

  28. Scott @ #1336 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 7:17 pm

    I think this latest stunt attacking the Qld premier by the corrupt foreign own and controlled libs/nats with their propaganda media units has backfired on them

    Just like it backfired on Trump, who tried to attack the states by politicising COVID-19. What they both don’t realise is that normal political tactics don’t resonate with the electorate at times like this. In fact it is rebounding on them for the simple reason that you don’t play politics with people’s health. Didn’t the Coalition learn the lesson from ‘Mediscare’ in 2016?

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