Essential Research 2PP+: Coalition 48, Labor 45, undecided 8

Essential Research credits the federal Coalition with a slight lead, as more evidence emerges that Gladys Berejiklian’s embarrassment before ICAC has done her little harm with voters.

As reported by The Guardian, the latest Essential Research poll is one of the quarterly releases in which it unloads its voting intention data from the preceding period. This includes the pollster’s “two-party preferred plus” result, which uses respondent-allocated preferences for minor party and independent voters who indicate such a preference, previous election flows for those that don’t, and does not exclude those who were undecided on the primary vote. This produces a result of Coalition 48%, Labor 45% and 8% undecided. That’s all we have for now, but the full release today should have primary vote and two-party preferred plus results for the pollster’s other five fortnightly polls going back to August, which will reportedly show the Coalition leading in four but Labor ahead in a poll in early September.

Also featured are leadership ratings for the federal leaders, as well as for the state leaders based on what I presume to be small state-level sub-samples. The former record little change on the last such result six weeks ago, with Scott Morrison down one on both approval and disapproval, to 63% and 27% respectively; Anthony Albanese perfectly unchanged at 44% approval and 29% disapproval; and Morrison’s preferred prime minister lead nudging from 49-26 to 50-25.

The state results suggest last week’s unpleasantness has not done Gladys Berejiklian the slightest harm, with her approval rating at 67% – identical to the result of a YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph, on which more below. This puts Berejiklian clear of both Daniel Andrews on 54% and Annastacia Palaszczuk on 62%. Mark McGowan is on 84% and Steven Marshall 51%, though here sample sizes get very small indeed. McGowan’s rating is in line with polling elsewhere, but Marshall’s is at odds with the 68% he recorded in a much more robust poll in mid-September.

Other questions focus on the budget, finding 56% expecting it will help Australia recover from the recession and 53% that it will create jobs. However, 58% felt it would create long-term problems needing to be fixed in the future, and 62% believed current government debt and deficit would place “unnecessary burdens on future generations”. Fifty-four per cent felt it “balanced the needs of the genders”, contrary to much media analysis, but 45% thought it put the interests of younger Australians ahead of older people compared with 34% who thought it balanced. Forty-two per cent thought it put the interests of businesses ahead of employers, compared with 14% for vice-versa.

UPDATE: Full report here. The latest primary vote numbers are Coalition 39%, Labor 35%, Greens 9% and One Nation 3%, which becomes Coalition 42.4%, Labor 38.0%, Greens 9.8% and One Nation 3.3% if the 8% undecided are excluded.

In other news:

• The aforementioned YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph had Gladys Berejiklian at 68% approval and 26% disapproval, and found 60% support for her to remain as Premier, with only 29% saying she should resign. Forty-nine per cent said she had done nothing wrong, compared with 36% who felt otherwise. Thirty-six per cent were more likely to vote Coalition if Berejiklian was Premier, compared with 22% less likely and 42% no difference. The poll was conducted Friday and Saturday from a sample of 836.

• Sunday’s Nine News bulletin had grim polling for federal Labor in two of its most marginal seats, showing the Coalition leading 51.2% to 27.9% on the primary vote in Macquarie and 53.2% to 31.1% in Dobell. The poll was conducted by the Redbridge Group, which also had bad seat polling for Labor in August. However, it should be noted that the pollster is careful not to stake its reputation on its voting intention polling, with Samaras having observed that “Labor and the National Party always under-report in telephone surveys because they generally have a larger number of supporters who are difficult to engage”.

• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday considering the implications of Saturday’s results in New Zealand and the Australian Capital Territory.

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.

1,642 comments on “Essential Research 2PP+: Coalition 48, Labor 45, undecided 8”

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  1. The state results suggest last week’s unpleasantness has not done Gladys Berejiklian the slightest harm


    Because the question/s asked were likely to be dodgy as Glady’s evidence

    I doubt any of the question/s about Gladys would have been asked , do you think it was alright for Gladys to mislead the ICAC

  2. Look out Qld. The timing and genomic sequencing make it almost certain that the NZ port worker diagnosed with Covid-19 caught it from crew on a ship that had come from Brisvegas. It left NZ for Noumea and is then returning to Brisbane.

  3. Speaking of polls, i had a very weird poll last night , I am in NSW had a mobile phone poll about Daniel Andrews, likely have been a Victorian Liberal party conducted poll

    The questions were negative

    Should Daniel Andrews resign

    Is Micheal O’brien the better leader

    and so on

  4. I suspect we are not going to get a 3rd US Presidential debate, with Dotard’s team doubling down on stupid whilst probably concerned about another off-message disaster..

  5. The state results suggest last week’s unpleasantness has not done Gladys Berejiklian the slightest harm

    I thought psephologists said that it takes a while for issues to show up in the polling?

  6. I had a weird post ACT election poll, too.
    Normally they hang up when my answering machine picks up, but this one got stuck in a loop on the first question. The preamble was cut off, so I have no idea who the poll was for.

    Questions included:
    * Where and when did you vote (e.g. early voting centre)
    * What issue was most important to you
    * Who did you vote for
    * When did you decide who you were voting for
    * Sex
    * Age group

  7. “The state results suggest last week’s unpleasantness has not done Gladys Berejiklian the slightest harm”


    The question I have after all this is this; just how corrupt do the Libs have to get for the people of NSW to consider the utterly toxic NSW Labor party as an alternative?

  8. The approval ratings for Gladys at the moment probably reflect:

    1. A feeling of a poor woman duped by a conniving conman;

    2. The fact that there is no hard evidence (yet) that Gladys was corrupt like Maguire.

  9. citizen @ #10 Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 – 7:56 am

    The approval ratings for Gladys at the moment probably reflect:

    1. A feeling of a poor woman duped by a conniving conman;

    2. The fact that there is no hard evidence (yet) that Gladys was corrupt like Maguire.

    A hotsy totsy like KK would never get away with it… the subtext to all this.

  10. Australian threatened species at risk with no recovery plans finalised in past 18 months

    The federal environment department has not finalised a single recovery plan for threatened species in nearly 18 months despite 172 remaining outstanding.

    A Senate committee has heard the department last completed a recovery plan for a threatened species in June 2019 and has no timeframe for addressing the backlog, which includes critically endangered animals such as the Leadbeater’s possum.

    Greens senators said the revelation was “appalling” and accused the Morrison government of prioritising the fast-tracking of development over environmental protection.

  11. Government gives climate-wrecking Adani millions to ‘attract investment’

    THE QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT’S sole reason for giving Adani its mega-million dollar tax holiday for its climate-wrecking Carmichael thermal coal mine is to encourage investment, according to Treasurer Cameron Dick.

    Adani confirmed to IA it doesn’t need the deferment of royalties it negotiated recently with the Government in order to make the mine in the Galilee Basin viable.

    Which invites the question: why would the government “loan” hundreds of millions of dollars to a project already underway which will add an estimated 26 million tonnes of CO2 each year to global warming at a time when climate scientists are urging an end to thermal coal mining?,14420

  12. Re Citizen @7:56.

    I believe that friendly media treatment is playing a big role. Newscorp is actively supporting and defending her. I don’t consume news on commercial radio or TV but I wouldn’t be surprised if Networks 7 and 9 were equally friendly.

    Compare and contrast. The appearance of being conned by a dodgy boyfriend (20 years previously) and lack of evidence never helped Julia Gillard.

  13. A sensible comment from a reader of the Age. The journo, Sumayya, is one of the ones whose tone is very anti-Andrews in pressers. All ABC have also spoken of the “failed hotel quarantine”, just like the “disastrous pink bats”.

    Once again @TheAge betrays its readers with spin and undermines COVID fight. How many months has ‘botched’ hotel quarantine been running smoothly since A SINGLE case escaped?

  14. The aforementioned YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph had Gladys Berejiklian at 68% approval and 26% disapproval, and found 60% support for her to remain as Premier, with only 29% saying she should resign. Forty-nine per cent said she had done nothing wrong, compared with 36% who felt otherwise. Thirty-six per cent were more likely to vote Coalition if Berejiklian was Premier, compared with 22% less likely and 42% no difference.

    Who would the Liberals turn to if she did go? Is there a feasible alternative party leader?

  15. @broomstick33
    #RNBreakfast David Crowe gets to the point on NZ influx and cranky State Premiers, failure of communication from the feds, ‘national cabinet’ meeting last friday cancelled because Morrison was ‘stuck’ in Qld.. but was it a plane failure or a boozy fundraiser #ScottyFromMarketing?

  16. ACT election 2020: Greens want more say on government decisions

    They were one of the only parties not to have hundreds of corflutes lining Canberra roads, and before polling day Greens officials worried they weren’t visible enough to voters to make an impact at the ballot box.

    But following Saturday’s election results, those worries went out the window as the ACT Greens proved to be the surprise story of the territory election.

    The Greens have increased their standing from two seats in the last assembly to at least four and potentially as many as six if results in the final seats yet to be declared go their way.

    Greens leader Shane Rattenbury told the media on Monday the party’s increased standing was an opportunity to have a greater say in government decisions.

  17. “How many months has ‘botched’ hotel quarantine been running smoothly”

    Does Victoria still have a quarantine program?.

  18. Confessions

    [Who would the Liberals turn to if she did go? Is there a feasible alternative party leader?]

    Rob Stokes – but they are not going to unseat a popular premier in the middle of a strong response to a pandemic

  19. How these hacks in the media continue to protect Gladys by claiming its love , when Gladys new story is that Magurie was not her boyfriend or any thing like that.

    So if its not love it must be hiding what she knew

  20. “Interesting summation of where Australian media sit..”


    A lot of them in the “Leans Right” column actually belong in the “Partisan Right”, especially the News Corp publications.

  21. Firefox @ #12 Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 – 6:56 am

    ” rel=”nofollow ugc”>

    ” rel=”nofollow ugc”>

    Any information on how big/ small each of these approvals were? Steaming or coking coal? Long term or short term projects?

    I suspect the Labor candidate has gilded the lily a fair bit (fair tactic as long as not an actual lie).

    However it seems the Greens just can’t resist the temptation to use it a stick to beat Labor.

  22. Time for Frydenberg to have a go at Ireland:

    Ireland announced some of Europe’s toughest COVID-19 constraints on Monday, shutting non-essential retail, limiting restaurants and pubs to take away service and telling people not to travel more than five kilometres from their home.
    (SMH updates at 07:51)

    And the whiteboard lady has a go at the Victorian Premier:

    West Australian senator Michaelia Cash has defended Treasurer Josh Frydenberg over his criticism of Victoria’s ongoing lockdown laws…

    Speaking on Today, Ms Cash supported her Liberal colleague, saying the Treasurer was “standing up for Victorians”.
    (SMH updates at 07:45)

    And Morrison’s mate Houston of Hillsong leans on the NSW government:

    The NSW government hopes to announce relaxed rules for places of worship soon, after the founder of the Hillsong megachurch questioned why he was only allowed to have 100 people at a service as restrictions eased.

    Speaking to Ben Fordham on 2GB, Jobs Minister Stuart Ayres said he had seen criticism tweeted by Hillsong pastor Brian Houston on Monday, complaining that indoor weddings would be allowed 300 guests from December while his church with seats for 4000 was restricted to 100 attendees.
    (SMH updates at 08:12)

  23. Shellbell

    Current advice
    “All incoming travellers must go into compulsory hotel quarantine. Even if you live at a location within a convenient travel time of the Victorian airport at which you arrived, you must enter hotel quarantine to safeguard the community.”

  24. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Here’s Katharine Murphy’s breakdown of the Essential poll.
    Josh Butler tells us about the explosive scandals revealed in yesterday’s Estimates hearings. (These hearings do make for fascinating viewing!)
    Paul Bongiorno writes that a little noticed mid-term review by Australia’s Auditor General of his own work goes a long way to highlighting why the Morrison government has cut Grant Hehir’s funding. In a nutshell, Mr Hehir takes his statutory independence too seriously and has exposed unethical performance in the federal public service that he sheets home to the culture of the government itself.
    Crikey’s David Hardaker writes that Berejiklian had another dysfunctional relationship, and that’s the one with ICAC.
    And Alexandra Smith reveals that the NSW Premier is under pressure to overhaul funding for the corruption watchdog as Labor and crossbench MPs move to capitalise on her appearance at an inquiry into her former lover Daryl Maguire.
    From a legal perspective, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian delivered a gala performance at ICAC. Citing a loss of memory more than 150 times to questions put by counsel allowed the Premier to distance herself from implications that she may have had knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s corruption. Daniel Anstey reports.
    The AFR says that open warfare has erupted between Daniel Andrews and Josh Frydenberg amid a growing suspicion inside the Morrison government that the timid reopening of the state economy stems from a lack of confidence in its COVID-19 testing and tracing regimes.
    And Jennifer Hewett says that Daniel Andrews is a strong political performer despite his government’s many failings in dealing with the coronavirus. So to distract critical attention, he is accusing Josh Frydenberg of playing political games.
    Michelle Grattan tells us how the New Zealand arrivals have injected new irritation into federal-Victorian tensions.
    Here is a very good explanation of the differences between NSW and Victoria with respect to their Covid-19 situation.
    Lee Duffield looks at the election in Queensland and the pandemic and sees it as play it safe or ‘let ‘er rip’.–play-it-safe-or-let-er-rip,14425
    The Andrews government is examining scaling back the botched hotel quarantine program and using monitoring devices for some returned travellers when Victoria opens up to international flights.
    These two experts say that Daniel Andrews is correct to take a cautious approach.
    Kate Aubusson reports that Morrison’s idol, Hillsong pastor Brian Houston, has said the selective easing of restrictions was “getting to the point of discriminatory”, and urged church leaders to unite in calling for larger congregations in places of worship.
    “Are Peta Credlin’s corona-performances journalism?”, asks journalism academic Dennis Muller. I love his closing paragraph.
    Australia’s post-Covid jobs snapback is all about part-time work says Greg Jericho who, as usual, backs up his assertions with good evidence.
    Troy Bramston explains why he thinks Berejiklian’s position is untenable.
    Michael McGowan explains how legal experts have warned that Gladys Berejiklian is likely to have breached the state’s ministerial code of conduct by failing to disclose her secret relationship with the disgraced former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
    Several charities and Sydney’s elite private schools have been donating thousands of dollars to the NSW Liberal party over the past three years in the form of buying tickets to expensive dinners to gain access to Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Callum Foote reports.
    A bill is before Federal Parliament to enable the Australian Defence Force, Reserves, foreign military forces and foreign police to be used in Australian emergencies. Bevan Ramsden explains why he says it should be opposed.,14424
    Adam Morton describes Kevin Rudd’s vision for a green recovery out of the pandemic.
    Katie Burgess reports that public service sick days decreased, and job satisfaction climbed during the work-from-home period.
    Lisa Visentin writes that Google is targeting federal MPs with briefings aimed at convincing them not to vote for laws that would force digital giants to pay for news.
    The editorial in the SMH says that free movement across borders would be a just reward for Australians, but that will be as good as it gets for quite a while.
    John Quiggin posits that there is a real possibility that solar PV and other renewable technologies could fulfil the promise made decades ago by the promoters of nuclear power: that it will deliver electricity “too cheap to meter”.
    According to Charlotte Grieve, the federal government has launched a two-week consultation process for changes to laws that would remove the need for listed companies to host physical shareholder meetings. This is consistent to this government’s attitude to transparency and accountability, is it not?
    Journalists and advocacy groups could face compulsory questioning by ASIO as part of a proposed expansion of the spy agency’s powers, according to external legal advice prepared by leading barristers. Daniel Hurst reports.
    Katina Curtis reports that the Auditor-General sent police evidence about a $32.8 million land purchase because he believed the Commonwealth may have been defrauded. It will be a very interesting money trail that gets uncovered.
    A senior federal government bureaucrat has conceded public servants might have tried to cover up actions that led to taxpayers spending $30 million for land worth a fraction of that price at Western Sydney Airport.
    Euan Black writes that jobs should have come back much faster during the pandemic than previous recessions, but economists say they will take much longer because a lack of government support.
    This is a good contribution from Jenna Price in which she urges young women wanting a career in politics to choose a good partner. She uses Jacinda Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford as an exemplar.
    This essay from several authors outlines how Covid-19 has exposed the catastrophic impact of privatising vital services.
    Trump took a sledgehammer to US-China relations. This won’t be an easy fix, even if Biden wins, writes Griffith University research fellow, Hui Feng.
    Crown Resorts’ woes are cascading, its share price is collapsing, and the wealth of its major shareholder James Packer is shrinking. Elizabeth Knight tells us that the pressure continues to get piled on.
    The AFR’s James Thomson writes that the feared regulator AUSTRAC is the latest body to examine Crown’s dealings with Asian junket operators, who have long been suspected of links to organised crime.
    Joseph Ibrahim tells us how we fix aged care in Australia.
    Nick Bonyhady tells us that unused medals left over from former prime minister Tony Abbott’s doomed reintroduction of knights and dames have cost the taxpayer about $135,000 after their value was written off years after the abolition of those ranks. Nice work, Tone!
    The Daily Telegraph has right royally stuffed up the Daly M medal by announcing its winner hours before the “count”.
    All US testing sites are legally required to report their results, positive and negative, to public health agencies. But state health officials say many rapid tests are going unreported, which means some new COVID-19 infections may not be counted.
    Facebook insists it has learnt its lesson after the 2016 election that saw Russian agents and other opportunists attempt to manipulate the result. But critics are not so sure.
    Black Americans are voting early in person and by mail in droves, prompting one analyst to say it is because Trump is a threat to their very existence, writes Amy Gardner.
    Now the idiot Trump brands Fauci as an idiot and a disaster.
    I think this lawyer deserves nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    Cathy Wilcox

    Matt Golding

    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre

    John Spooner

    Mark Knight

    David Rowe

    Andrew Dyson

    John Shakespeare

    From the US

  25. All the evidence thus far suggests that turn out is going to be through the roof this year. Last night I linked to a podcast from the Lincoln Project. They said that, as with the 2018 midterms, the on election day vote is going to favour the Republicans and then early and mail vote will favour Democrats, which is important to remember on election night as the count begins.

    Thousands of voters flocked to the polls throughout Florida on the state’s first day of in-person voting Monday despite heavy rains across the state, adding to the evidence that Americans are unusually eager to cast ballots in this year’s presidential election.

    In Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg and many other Florida communities, voters lined up before polls opened to cast their ballots in person at the first available moment.

  26. The Daily Mail Australia is definitely in the wrong place. It has a Left-leaning editor who is prepared to break stories about the Coalition and their dodgy practices way before any other news outlet. And they are good quality stories too. You just have to look past the Kardashian klickbait.

  27. Re Sprocket @8:13.


    I’d agree that the SMH is near the centre. From what I can see from here, the Age probably leans right. I’d put most ABC news and current affairs near the centre.
    The Daily Telegraph is partisan right, as is the Australian. If they ever ‘leaned’ right, they’ve long since toppled over.

  28. Confessions

    Don’t think he is but don’t know. The religious type are in the minority although they have heaps of kids – Perrottet has 6 and I think Damien Tudehope has 9?

  29. ajm
    18 mines were approved and I don’t think they do ‘tiny’ and ’boutique’ when it comes to coal mines. Rather than whinge about the eeevil Greens think about the ‘walking both sides of the street’ aspect of Labor. Straddling barbed wire fences tends to be electorally painful. Both sides see reason to distrust the position.

  30. Am expecting Justice Coates to request more time this afternoon.
    Final report will be ready for public release around 5.30pm Christmas Eve.

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