Essential Research budget expectations polling

Mixed messages on the imminent federal budget, plus polling from WA on border closures and secession.

The most interesting poll of the day is YouGov’s Queensland state poll, which you can read about here, but we do also have some results from the fortnightly Essential Research poll courtesy of The Guardian, focusing on expectations for the budget. Fifty-one per cent of respondents expected it would benefit the well off and 30% expected it would benefit those on low incomes, but only 25% thought it would benefit them personally. Thirty-five per cent expected it would be good for the economy compared with 31% for bad.

More interestingly, 78% signed on to the proposition that now was a good time to “explore new ways to run the economy”, with only 22% opposed. Sixty-nine per cent favoured “direct investment by government in job creation and in projects with the objective of improving living standards” when it was offered as an alternative to “deregulation to encourage employment and tax cuts for wealthy Australians”, which some may consider a false binary. The full report should be out later today.

In other poll news, The West Australian has been dealing out further results from the poll of 3500 respondents that recorded a 16% swing on state voting intention to Labor – remembering that this was a poll of five selected marginal seats, and not of the entire state. The poll found support for Western Australia’s hard border at 77% with 14% opposed, and support for secession at 28% and opposition at 55%, with 17% somehow unclear of their opinion.

UPDATE: Full results from Essential Research poll are available on the website, although there isn’t the usual PDF file at this point. Regular questions on COVID-19 suggest a softening of concern over the past fortnight, with very concerned down six to 30%, quite concerned up seven to 52%, not that concerned steady on 15% and not at all concerned down one to 4%. Perceptions of government performance in response are little changed, with the federal government on 60% good (down one) and 18% poor (steady), and good ratings for state governments on 65% in New South Wales (down two), 45% in Victoria (down two) 69% in Queensland (up one), 83% in Western Australia (down one) and 81% in South Australia (steady), with due regard to the small sub-sample sizes here.

UPDATE 2: PDF file 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.

1,860 comments on “Essential Research budget expectations polling”

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  1. Refusing to answer questions about whether she thought the NSW Premier was wrong to lobby against the health advice on her own campaign trail in Mundingburra, Ms Frecklington described it only as a “matter for her”.
    This makes me wonder what’s going on behind closed LNP doors. I also wonder if this is a sign the LNP are worried.

  2. Gnath:

    Kind of ironic though that a print works established by the AWU went on to be the seed that led to the creation of Frank Packers’ Empire.

    I think you will find Clyde Cameron’s article on this to be to your liking.

  3. Kerry packer saved Westpac and perhaps the whole Australian banking system in circa 1991 when he rode in on a white horse and bought millions of options to buy Westpac when the market price had fallen below the prospectus price in an underwritten rights issue

    Sure he made a motza out of it when his move emboldened the market but it took some balls from KP. The full story never seems to get told

  4. gnath:

    Is it true that the Fijians weren’t even paid for their labour? Kind of ridiculous to talk about safety, workers compensation (what is that without wages?) and medical benefits. Clearly the operations were exploitative to the extreme.

    It is not true, and taking that particular line of attack is a rather stunning demonstration of ignorance

    There are many reasons to attack the Emperor Mining Corp (particularly after the mid-1950s and subsequently, when Western Mining became involved)

    A former Senator of Fiji called Atu Emberson-Bain has written a PhD thesis (and subsequently a book published by Cambridge University Press) on the relation between Mining and Labor in Fiji. She is critical, but not on the grounds that employees weren’t paid wages (and in fact to some extent on grounds implied by the fact that they were)

    Prior to the Theodore mining group (and certain other companies), labor was supplied in-kind by villages (who were then compensated corporately) and individual workers were not paid significant wages. This previous regime had various effects, both undesirable (e.g. it funneled money through village Chiefs and hence led to corruption) and desirable (e.g. it provided retirement accommodation in the village). Theodore replaced this with wages paid to employees (or in fact a mixed model where the villages provided the retirement function in-kind). Dr Emberson-Bain tends to under-weight the advantages of wage payment and over-weight the advantages of the village system. Additionally, she adduces the example of industrial agriculture wherein village food production for consumption was replaced by (undervalued) cash crop production. This is a much more solid argument, but of course not directly relevant to mining.

    The main basis of Dr Emberson-Bain’s criticism of mining is that it replaced a previous system (which did not pay wages) with one that did. This has led to various effects (both desirable and undesirable) and it is a matter of weighting to determine whether the overall result is positive. One should note however that a non-wage labour system is unlikely to be viable in 2020, so the shift to wages would have happened at some point prior to that.

    From the 1950s onwards Emperor has had a series of tax reductions and exemptions provided by the government, plus “creative accounting” more recently . The main argument used by successive governments was that wages paid by Emperor were a significant contributor to Fiji’s economy, which is hardly consistent with wages not being paid. In fact the generally good relations between the company and wage earners tended to provide support for the continuation of the “national champion” concessions. There is somewhere an analysis of this by some ANU (?) economists “Mining Taxation in Fiji: the Case of the Emperor Gold Mines” which concludes (I think correctly) that the long term continuation of the subsidies (ironically on the basis of the significant wages paid by the mines) has been to decrease real profitability and hence retard ongoing development. This conclusion is not relevant to the initial establishment and in any event is an example of the exploitation of government incompetence, rather than of exploitation of labor (though of course the former is likely to lead to the latter, and I expect it did so in this case). Interestingly, the authors also note that the (ridiculous) gold mining tax exemption in Australia was only abolished in 1990! and so Emperor was arguably insisting simply on the application of Australian investment conditions to Fiji, which could be considered reasonable at the time (albeit wrong, hence the 1990 repeal)

    One of the criticisms levelled at Emperor in the 1980s was that “houses built in the 1930s to accommodate single workers are now dilapidated and accomodating families of ten”. No doubt a valid criticism, but has the corollary that the accommodation in built in the 1930s was of good quality for a single man and that the problem was that it had not been maintained and expanded.

    Theodore’s business career was built on his immense abilities which enabled him to finance and build companies that benefited all. The main problem is of course that this relied on him personally, rather than being institutionalised politically via something like the post-WW2 German model. There are many reasons why this was prevented from occurring.

  5. E. G. Theodoresays:
    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 2:38 am

    Is it true that the Fijians weren’t even paid for their labour? Kind of ridiculous to talk about safety, workers compensation (what is that without wages?) and medical benefits. Clearly the operations were exploitative to the extreme.

    It is not true, and taking that particular line of attack is a rather stunning demonstration of ignorance
    Well that may be the case, but it is not my assertion but arose from Ross Fitzgerald’s biography of Theodore where he states that the “bulk” of the wages “paid” to Fijian miners were actually deposited in the treasuries of the Catholic and Methodist churches.

    R Fitzgerald. The Life of E.G Theodore, p. 369

  6. The Spectator Index
    POLL: US Presidential Election, nationwide.

    Biden: 45
    Trump: 40

    (The Hill/HarrisX)

    The Spectator Index
    UNITED STATES: The country’s 50 richest people now own as much wealth as the poorest 165 million.

    (Via Bloomberg)

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