Essential Research: leadership ratings, foreign and industrial relations

Some gloss comes off Scott Morrison’s still impressive personal ratings, and respondents prove broadly favourable to the government’s handling of disputes with China.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is presumably the last of the year, features the pollster’s monthly-or-so leadership ratings: Scott Morrison is down four on approval to 62%, his weakest result since April, and up three on disapproval to 28%; Anthony Albanese is up three on approval to 43% and down four on disapproval to 29%; and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is at 50-24, narrowing from 53-24.

As it does at the end of every year, the pollster asked respondents if they felt it had been a good or a bad year for various actors, which produces appropriately extraordinary results, particularly so for the Australian economy (a net rating of minus 47%), small business (minus 43%) and “the average Australian” (minus 32%). However, the minus 7% result for “Australian politics in general” was quite a lot better than any recorded over the previous seven years.

Respondents were also asked if Australia’s relationships with various foreign players should become more or less closer, or remain the same. This produces a notably negative result for China, with 49% wanting a less close relationship, 15% more close and 20% the same. Closer relationships are generally desired with, in descending order, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the European Union. Sixty-two per cent considered Australia “the innocent victim of Chinese assertion in restricting trade on certain products, but a non-trivial 38% felt Australia had “made itself a target by publicly criticising the Chinese government”. Fifty-six per cent felt Scott Morrison was right to demand an apology from the Chinese government over the recent Twitter spat, leaving 44% of respondents (the smart ones) favouring the alternative that he “should have let the issue be handled
through diplomatic channels”.

A question on the federal government’s proposed workplace relations reforms finds 52% expecting they will favour employers and businesses, 17% that they will favour employees, and 31% that they will strike a balance between the two. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1071.

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.

844 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings, foreign and industrial relations”

Comments Page 15 of 17
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  1. Zoomster
    Since Jaclyn Symes is from your part of the world so how do you think she is going because from what i can see she comes across well?

  2. Up to four Liberal members face possible expulsion after the KordaMentha report. The report, sources said, will have a huge impact on the party.— John Ferguson@theoz (@fergusonjw) December 17, 2020

    Vic Libs in turmoil.

    Taylormade and DimTim to the rescue…

  3. Lizzie says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:41 pm
    Morrison said earlier :
    “I’m not worried about NSWales. ”
    His confidence in Gladys is touching but he didn’t look very happy.

    Morrison is deserting the gold standard metropolis over Christmas. He stated a day or two ago that the family was moving to the Lodge in Canberra and then taking a holiday ‘down the south coast’.

    I don’t suppose Player One has a booking for a daggy dad with wife and two daughters??

  4. “Gold standard state”?

    The gold foil covering the rusty iron and pitted cladding of Gladys’s state has started flaking off badly since Saint Scotty of the Marketing made that idiotic statement.

  5. [‘While anyone would be better than Albo, if you want my 2c worth it probably has to be Shorten.’]

    Well, if that’s your best, you’re wrong. It’s with regret to suggest that no Labor pollie has grit, the salesmanship of Morrison – so sad!

  6. I’m no Lib supporter. But, Robert Clark is clearly trying to root out corruption in the Liberal Party processes.

    So, he deserves credit.

    Whether his efforts withstand the vested interests and messianicly committed who are running rampant at the moment, is worth watching.

  7. rhwombatsays:
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:51 pm
    BK @ #711 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 7:37 pm

    This outbreak in Sydney could get pretty ugly pretty quickly.

    “It already has. Mask up. If this is a point source outbreak from an imported strain that spread via the Avalon RSL 5 days ago (which is possible), then it may stay contained, like the Parafield outbreak within a week. If the 17 are iceberg tips and the virus has escaped the insular peninsular, then Christmas is going to be difficult in NSW. My mother is in an RCF in Mona Vale. Much depends on the genomics.”

    The test of the “gold standard” will be how they deal with this. Contact tracing will be critical.

    Hopefully, the cases can all be linked and that the “index case” is found and an external source found.

    The reaction of other state premiers will also be instructive. Panic stations anyone?

  8. Morrison said earlier :
    “I’m not worried about NSWales. ”

    Well of course not. Remember his golden rule -Unless it jeopardizes Scrott in some way he doesn’t give a shit.
    He will already have booked the bus Gladys may need to get chucked under and written down 101 reasons why it is nothing to to with his government.

  9. Lizzie @ #700 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 6:59 pm

    I believe that Labor would have a strong front bench in government, much more capable and intelligent than the current set of grifters, but they need an inspiring leader to throw pixie dust in the eyes of the voters to beat Scotty.

    I think you’ve put your finger on two rich seams that could be mined to good effect: corruption and incompetence.

  10. Other states are meeting tonight to discuss the NSW outbreak:

    Key decision making committee for health emergencies meeting tonight on NSW outbreak

    Australian Health Protection Principal Committee has scheduled a two-hour long meeting late on Thursday night to discuss the fresh outbreak in NSW. Last month Victoria closed the border with South Australia when 15 new cases developed there.
    13 minutes ago (Age headline)

  11. @poroti from previous thread:

    “ steve davis
    Yep, it will be all big brave Scrott standing up for Strayan values , unyielding in the face of those commie Chinese.Brave brave Sir Scrott.

    Battling ‘The Yellow Peril’ always plays well here.”


    You realise that Malcolm Turnbull (on the advise of wormtongue) willing aided and abetted by the Reichpotato and SfM devised the current China ‘agents of influence’/‘yellow peril’ gambit back in 2017 when Lucien was still having an existential case of the shits over Shorten nearly winning the 2016 over the ‘save Medicare’ SMS shenanigans on Election Day. ‘Shanghai Sam’ anyone.

    The LNP honestly believed that the relationship with China was purely transactional and that Xi wouldn’t mind in the slightest with China being hung out so that the Liberal party could attack Labor. As risible as I found that gambit, given the amount of CCP money that had been embedded in the LNP over the previous 5 years (Julia Bishop Glorious Foundation anyone) or the way that Abbott/Hockey and then Turnbull/Morrison waved the sale of the port of Darwin sale through, it now seems clear that Xi went absolutely ballistic and as a consequence Australia is likely fucked. Not just in trade, but geopolitically as well.

    Up until last year I always thought that the great – nuclear capable – superpowers would use the South China Sea as the focal point of the same gambit that the USSR and 1950s and 60s America played out in Berlin, Korea and Cuba. It seems obvious to me that that great game will be played out over Australia’s future. Thanks to SfM volunteering us to be a willing pawn. We are fucked.

  12. PaulTu

    What the other premiers should be doing is what we should have been doing all along – testing everyone that flies. At least WA is now setting a precedent for that.

    The “gold standard” was severely tested when we hit a couple of super spreaders in July. They only need a bit of bad luck. Since then NSW has radically eased restrictions. This thing can blow up in days.

    The worst part is that the index case may remain a mystery. That resets the clock.

    The best thing that could happen is that its determined to have arrived overseas. Think about it. The cleaner? The van driver? Either way it becomes very embarrassing for the “gold standard” state. Or, another escape from the border we never knew about. Very, very embarrassing.

  13. I saw a short bit of news in Qld that hospitals and aged care are now closed to visitors from somewhere that I missed in NSW. I haven’t found anything yet on the official web sites. (dinner calls)

  14. C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 8:32 pm
    Cud Chewer @ #682 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 7:33 pm


    The Patonga Ferry? I’m sure you can scare them away!
    No, the Palm Beach to Wagstaffe and Ettalong Ferry!

    I will be standing guard at the ferry terminal forthwith!

    Where is the Border Force when the gentle folk of the Central Coast need them?

  15. citizen @ #717 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 8:34 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 8:32 pm
    Cud Chewer @ #682 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 7:33 pm


    The Patonga Ferry? I’m sure you can scare them away!
    No, the Palm Beach to Wagstaffe and Ettalong Ferry!

    I will be standing guard at the ferry terminal forthwith!

    Where is the Border Force when the gentle folk of the Central Coast need them?

    I iz better than them all!


  16. Q: Many of us said at the time that Morrison would end up regretting making his Gold Standard pronouncement.

    He repeated it today…FFS!!

  17. A_E

    ,,,then Turnbull/Morrison waved the sale of the port of Darwin sale through

    Ah you reminded me of something that nearly saw me run off the road on the way to work recently. RN’s AM prog. was to discuss the trade kerfuffle with China and proudly announced they will be interviewing on the topic the $800,000 man, Andrew Robb !!!!

  18. Does anyone know who else gets special treatment (home isolation) beyond diplomats.

    One suggestion on Facebook was an “A lister”.

  19. The reaction of other state premiers will also be instructive. Panic stations anyone?
    Here in SA it is the Police Commissioner that makes the decision. Because…. ah, f it, y’all know what I think ‘bout that.

  20. Late Riser

    Corruption and incompetence seem to be two words Albo finds it impossible to pronounce.

    Remember how he denied being aware of corruption. That drew a gasp from the front row.

  21. Hmm.

    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other government officials are being allowed to skip government-mandated hotel quarantine when returning from abroad, instead spending two weeks at home.

    In mid-July, Australian government officials working overseas were given a special exemption when returning to Australia from government business, allowing them to quarantine in private at their own homes.

    The exemption is particularly useful for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which has roughly 2,939 of its 5,988 staff working overseas, according to its most recent annual report.

  22. Good news! Sussan Ley gets dropped in the merde she created, again!

    The Federal Court has overturned Environment Minister Sussan Ley’s decision to reject an appeal for the protection of six trees in the path of a highway upgrade in western Victoria.

    Key points:
    This is the third time the Government has had its decision on the protection of sacred trees in the path of the Western Highway upgrade overturned
    The Federal Court found that Sussan Ley made errors in her conclusions about the impact the upgrade would have on the trees
    During the hearings Justice John Griffiths drew a comparison between the Western Highway works and a decision to upgrade a road near Gallipoli
    Today Justice John Griffiths ruled that a fresh decision on the matter be made by a relevant party other than Ms Ley — and that the Federal Government cover the applicants’ costs.

    The appeal for protection was made by Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy members Sandra Onus and Marjorie Thorpe.

    The 12.5-kilometre section of the highway duplication project between Buangor and Ararat had already been put on hold because of a separate action in the Victorian Supreme Court.

    An injunction on that matter remains in place and a trial is scheduled to begin in February.

    Planning errors, protests and litigation by landowners have all delayed the works, leaving the project years behind schedule.

    Today’s ruling marks the third time the Government has had a decision on the matter overturned since the first application for protection was lodged in 2018.

  23. Van Badham on Albanese:

    Rumours that the Liberals have polls that show them winning seats from Labor at the next election are given credence both by Morrison’s disinterest in the public scandals and controversies of ministers like Stuart Robert, Angus Taylor, Alan Tudge and Christian Porter, as well as his party’s recent introduction of the radical “IR omnibus” legislation. It takes data, not just chutzpah, to believe you can retain government while allowing cuts to working people’s pay.

  24. C@tmomma @ #753 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 8:47 pm

    Where’s Oakeshott Country to defend the honour of ‘Gold Standard’ Gladys?

    OC has consistently defended Kerry Chant and others staffing the very professional NSW Health PHN system, most of whom have worked very hard despite the political charges placed upon them – including the Ruby Princess debacle. I concur. Like me he has worked with many of them, and recognises the pressure that they are under, and the unreasonable expectations and partisan claims that they are subject to by a wide range of forces – both within the Rum Corps State, and without. It’s all very well to snipe in blogs or other media contests, but there are real consequences for real people independent on politics that have to be dealt with in the here and now, not with a view to (any) upcoming election or opinion poll. Brad Hazzard has also functioned reasonably well (so far) under considerable pressure – mostly from his less moderate colleagues. Gladys Berejiklian is a tarnished figurehead, who will soon be gone, but she has not (to my knowledge) actually interfered with the task of trying to cope.

  25. rhw

    I don’t necessarily think that some of the decisions that were made regarding easing restrictions – particularly in clubs and pubs – were entirely the work of Kerry.

  26. Anthony Klan

    Nek minnit……..mega global insurer + reinsurer Lloyds of London announces it (and its 100-plus affiliates) will cease investing in, or insuring, coal mines and coal-fired power plants….If only there was somehow all of this could have been foreseen…

  27. Cud Chewer @ #724 Thursday, December 17th, 2020 – 7:37 pm


    Yep, but what QLD should be doing is following WA’s lead and testing all arrivals.

    Our acting Premier indicated a decision would be made shortly. I didn’t catch the question he was answering, but the context was the outbreak in NSW. Based on how it was managed before, I’d guess a border closure is likely and peeps are currently scrambling. We’ll see soon enough.

  28. Am I (as a Victorian) getting paranoid?
    Flicked the TV on (rare event) to see the score in the cricket – it’s a quiet night here.
    Channel 7 news came on while the players had drinks.
    Andrews government criticised for the tower lockdowns.
    Not a peep about the 17 covid cases in Sydney.
    Had they mentioned both – I would hardly have noticed.
    But with other states considering closing borders to NSW I’d have thought they’d lead with
    that and also mention the enquiries findings re towers shutdown.
    Do you think, just maybe the MSM is running cover for Lib states?
    Na, they wouldn’t do that – I am getting paranoid.

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