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. Andrew_Earlwood,
    Would you mind terribly not to refer to Joe Biden as ‘Sleepy Joe’? It’s actually accepting the premise of the Russian disinformation campaign to keep referring to him like that.

  2. Alex Hart
    @alexhart7
    ·
    1h
    Also – Nats emergency partyroom meeting has wrapped. Told no resolution on what to do, discussion about diff strategies inc ministers still voting with Govt (and keeping jobs) but backbenchers not. Barilaro still has their support. #nswpol
    @7NewsSydney
    Quote Tweet

    Alex Hart
    @alexhart7
    · 1h
    I’m told Premier @GladysB walked in to room with Barilaro/Toole/Mitchell/Taylor and said words to the effect “I’ve never been so disgusted in the 3+ yrs working with you. Either withdraw your threat or I want your resignations on my desk at 9am tomorrow morning.” Then walked out.

  3. I can only rest when all the stuff is put away at this end and the second sortition occurs and we probably donate what we can’t use. But you can guarantee I will be putting my feet up asap. 😀

  4. Morrison on his other favourite media outlet tonight . He’s worried about Australia “losing our humanity”, something that doesn’t seem to have troubled him previously.

    Morrison resumed his attack against Queensland on Sky News on Thursday night, saying the premier and health officials needed to use more discretion in their decision-making.

    “Today just hurt,” the Liber leader said. “We have got to find a better way to deal with the heart here.”

    The prime minister – who has been locked in a pitched battle with the premiers for weeks over border closures – said he was “mystified” by Queensland’s decision. Asked whether Australia was in danger of “losing our humanity”, Morrison replied: “The way these decisions are being made, we are in danger of that.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/10/queensland-premier-says-she-wont-be-bullied-by-pm-over-border-exemptions

  5. I can only rest when all the stuff is put away at this end and the second sortition occurs and we probably donate what we can’t use. But you can guarantee I will be putting my feet up asap.

    We still had a dozen boxes left to unpack, after 2 years here. Still have one after 33 months.

    These things can take years.

  6. “We all love koalas and want to save them, but farmers losing 20% of their property value is too high a price to pay.”
    ————
    BS. Everybody has to deal with restrictions on their land and their businesses. This is a tantrum from the difficult child used to getting their way.

    What next…. hunting down and shooting government inspectors and then demand we feel sorry for them?

  7. Bushfire Bill @ #1410 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 9:06 pm

    I can only rest when all the stuff is put away at this end and the second sortition occurs and we probably donate what we can’t use. But you can guarantee I will be putting my feet up asap.

    We still had a dozen boxes left to unpack, after 2 years here. Still have one.

    These things can take years.

    I have a son who keeps urging me on. Though I’m not averse to it most of the time. 🙂

  8. Morrison on his other favourite media outlet tonight . He’s worried about Australia “losing our humanity”, something that doesn’t seem to have troubled him previously.

    Australia lost its humanity during the long Howard years – maybe around 2001.

  9. I am liking Lucy Turnbulls response

    Dave Sharma
    @DaveSharma
    ·
    6h
    A simple plea for compassion, humanity and common sense … how can this be bullying??
    Quote Tweet

    news.com.au
    @newscomauHQ
    · 6h
    The Queensland premier says she “refuses to be bullied by the Prime Minister” after a woman was barred from attending her dad’s funeral.
    https://news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/palaszczuk-accuses-morrison-of-bullying-her/news-story/a28c0fd9152a6271c5157624cdee3685
    Stephen Spencer Retweeted
    Lucy Turnbull AO
    @LucyTurnbull_AO
    Replying to
    @DaveSharma
    Dave, this is about more than one very sad story. There are thousands and thousands of sad stories. So many Australians have been unable to hold their loved ones’ hands as they slipped away. So many Zoom funerals. Each and every story a tragedy.
    5:28 PM · Sep 10, 2020·Twitter for iPhone
    17
    Retweets

  10. ———
    Jesus this implosion in NSW is essentially about protecting koalas!
    ———
    I reckon it is more like the old joke where the arsehole tries to prove it is the most important part of the body.

  11. What next…. hunting down and shooting government inspectors and then demand we feel sorry for them?

    Right wingers are all in favour of law and order – ‘til they aren’t.

    BLM protesters – lock em up
    Covidiot “freedom fighters” – exercising their democratic rights

  12. Confessions @ #1415 Thursday, September 10th, 2020 – 9:09 pm

    Jesus this implosion in NSW is essentially about protecting koalas!

    WTAF?!

    I think that it goes deeper than that. The Nationals are trying to please two masters. The Mining and Agribusiness industries and those people of the land that love the land who have been traditional Nationals/Country Party voters for generations, who traditionally found a balance between respecting the natural environment and their farming practices, though it could always have been better.

    So since The Nationals in NSW have been led by a man who came out of a non-traditional ‘country’ area which resembles an exurban regional area as opposed to a ridgy didge country area, and who is not a former farmer but a former small businessman, the lines around what The Nationals represent these days have become very blurred and John Barilaro has just taken an ‘all development and expansion’ is good attitude and to hell with the consequences for flora and fauna, who can’t vote.

  13. David Speers
    @David_Speers
    Sounds like Berejiklian has called Barilaro’s bluff.
    Quote Tweet

    Kieran Gilbert
    @Kieran_Gilbert
    · 1h
    Then John Barilaro says he’s not going to blow up the government and they’re not going to walk away from their ministries twitter.com/kieran_gilbert…

    Scott Hayes
    @sconesbie
    ·
    46m
    Replying to
    @David_Speers
    Either way it’s not good for the Nat’s or Libs.

    1- Premier stands firm, Nat’s lose.
    2- Premier doesn’t follow through. Libs look stupid.
    3- Nat’s stand firm. Libs lose.
    4- Nat’s don’t follow through. Nat’s look stupid.

  14. Let’s Just say 2020 is the year that keeps on giving us stranger and stranger things.
    And I thought the Kingdom of Westralia nutcases were going to be the strangest thing of the year but I think Koala Killing might top that.

  15. Simon Banks
    @SimonBanksHB
    There have been many Australians that have missed the funeral of a loved one due to border restrictions

    All these cases are hard – all bring pain and grief

    Yet no evidence
    @ScottMorrisonMP
    has asked a Liberal Premier to politically intervene – why?
    Joan Sparkes will be laid to rest today, but her son can’t be there to say goodbye
    Damian Sparkes’s mother will be laid to rest today, but he won’t be there. He is one of many Australians missing out on farewelling their loved ones at funerals due to coronavirus border restrictions.
    abc.net.au

    https://amp.abc.net.au/article/12575238?__twitter_impression=true
    7:19 PM · Sep 10, 2020·Twitter Web App

  16. Time for Boris to call on his new trade negotiator to shirtfront Ms Pelosi:

    Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, has warned that Britain will be unable to secure a trade deal with the US if it does anything to undermine the treaty that brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence.

    “If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/10/politics/nancy-pelosi-brexit-congress-uk-gbr-intl/index.html

  17. The PM needs to debrief his DPM about Monday’s Q&A session, the part about him promising the Federal Government is seriously looking into how to go about arranging a plan to seriously explore a way to try and manage to repatriate Australians hopelessly trapped overseas, since our glorious PM imposed restrictions on numbers who could return each week.

    Did I say seriously?

    Scotty the fraud does fake empathy so well.
    (Lotsa practice)

  18. Cohen on Trump’s mad plan to remain in the WH for as long as he wants:

    President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen said Wednesday evening that Trump isn’t joking when he floats the notion of attempting to stay in the White House beyond two terms.

    “Donald Trump believes that he should be the ruler — the dictator of the United States of America. He actually is looking to change the Constitution. When Donald Trump jokes about 12 more years … he is not joking. Donald Trump does not have a sense of humor,” Cohen told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight.”

    “So I want you to understand that when he says 12 more years, if he wins he is going to automatically day number one start thinking how he can change the Constitution for a third term, and then a fourth term, like what he said to President XI and like what he said to so many other people. It’s why he admires the Kim Jong Uns of the world.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/10/politics/michael-cohen-trump-cnntv/index.html

  19. Simon Katich says:
    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Non, I believe the country might be a better place if the Liberals were able to regularly form government on their own. There is nothing liberal or rational about the Nationals and the unholy alliance has sucked dry almost everything liberal and rational from the Liberal Party. Together they r a political and planetary cluster F that keeps winning elections.

    They certainly bring out the worst in each other, SK. In WA the Nationals are marginally less reactionary than the Liberals but they have very little influence.

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