Essential Research: leadership ratings and climate change

The first public poll of the year finds little change on leaders’ ratings, but more sanguine attitudes on climate change policy than prevailed a year ago.

Essential Research has opened its account for the year with a poll that include its monthly-or-so leadership ratings, which record only slight changes on the end of last year: Scott Morrison is down a point on approval to 61% and up two on disapproval to 30%, Anthony Albanese is down one to 42% and up four to 33%, and Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister goes from 50-24 to 51-25.

The survey also posed some semi-regular questions on climate change, finding a striking increase in the view that Australia is doing enough to address it (from 19% a year ago to 35%) and a corresponding decline in the view that not enough is being done (from 62% to 42%), with the “doing too much ” response up two to 10%. Despite this, 58% of respondents believed climate change related to human activity (up two on a year ago) against 32% who considered it part of normal climactic fluctuation (steady).

The other questions in the survey for the most part aren’t particularly political, relating to COVID-19 vaccine uptake and Australia Day. The change to the words of the national anthem finds 54% support and 16% opposition, with 30% on the fence.

In other poll news, The Australian yesterday related that polling conducted by Community Engagement for the CFMEU suggested Labor was in big trouble in the Hunter region seats of Paterson (Liberal up from 32.5% to 42.9%, Labor down from 41.1% to 30%, Greens down from 6.9% to 6.8%, and One Nation down from 14.2% to 6.9%, Nationals on 1.8%) and Shortland (Liberal up from 37.4% to 44.9%, Labor down from 41.1% to 28.3%, Greens down from 8.3% to 6.2%, One Nation on 8% and Nationals on 1.3%). The polls were conducted in November from samples of 955 per electorate. Given the evident interest of the client of putting pressure on the opposition leadership over coal mining, and all the other qualifications that apply to reports of private polling, a degree of caution is advised.

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.

2,129 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings and climate change”

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  1. Why isnt Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Sky News, Team Murdoch
    going “Berserk” about the massive debt,
    would they be this silent if it was Labor?

  2. Cameron says:
    Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 7:59 pm
    Why isnt Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Sky News, Team Murdoch
    going “Berserk” about the massive debt,
    would they be this silent if it was Labor?
    D’oh of course conservative commentators are going to take a conservative pov. Why r u surprised? It’s the money power at work.

  3. I think this was the bridge too far for US AG Bill Barr:

    During his final weeks in office, former President Trump asked then-Attorney General Bill Barr and other top Department of Justice officials to file a Supreme Court lawsuit to overturn the presidential election, but they refused, The Wall Street Journal reports. Trump’s lawyers went as far as writing a brief for Barr and others to submit but senior DOJ officials refused, according to the report. Courts struck down dozens of Trump’s legal team’s bogus attempts to invalidate the results of the 2020 election.

    Top DOJ officials appear to have put their jobs on the line to protect the integrity of the department amid the chaos of the transition. Senior employees managed to prevent Trump from firing acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at the time and replacing him with a stronger ally—an idea Trump was entertaining—by promising a mass resignation if the former president went through with it.

  4. People complaining about the ALP not having enough policies are failing to see that it is the quality not the quantity that matters because last time the ALP had many policies aimed at different vested interest groups most of whom were already ALP voters. ALP supporters often moan about the Liberals offering little but that is the point what they offer is targeted at where elections are decided while the ALP is talking to itself.

  5. Listening to white house press conference. Vaccine orders in the USA are worth nothing. The defense procurement act has been provoked

  6. Taylormade:

    [‘Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    A bit harsh.’]

    Not really. Where we the so-called wets when it counted? They were lily-livered. Now old pa whoever comes out with a mea culpa of sorts. I’m unconvinced.

  7. Barney in Tanjung Bunga says:
    Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    frednk @ #2059 Sunday, January 24th, 2021 – 5:13 pm

    Listening to white house press conference. Vaccine orders in the USA are worth nothing. The defense procurement act has been provoked
    Is it angry, or just a bit annoyed?


  8. “ Oh, so releasing policy during a pandemic is not so silly after all?

    Glad we at least got that sorted.


    The sense in Australia is that we are now coming out of one. True or false. That’s the perception, imo.

    That’s why SfM is out on pre-election manoeuvres. That’s why Albo is stepping up a notch.

    Between now and national conference, Albo will likely lay down some markers. He was out there today robustly calling out Morrison saying that the government has no alternative than to adopt ‘net zero 2050’. For example.

    The platform will be thrashed out at national conference.

    More markers will be laid down in the budget reply.

    Folk will have a very good sense of what Labor has on offer by the time the election is called.

    Specific policies will be announced and detailed just before and during the campaign.

  9. Google’s claim is not a threat. It’s a statement of belief (possibly mistaken) that their search service will become unviable if Australia proceeds with the legislation in the current proposed form. People who interpret it as a threat are the sort of people who are unbothered by such behaviours as extortion, bribery, graft, blackmail and other forms of corruption. You want to do business in Australia? You slip a few to our mate Murdoch, nudge nudge, wink wink.

    To understand Google’s claim as a threat, you first have to ignore Australia’s own behaviour. Australia is making a claim on 10 to 100 times the amount of money our news industry potentially contributes to Google’s ad revenue (i.e. the ads people are served when they search for news) and that’s before you even take into account the value those businesses gain from search. If you do take that into account, then arguably our news industry should be paying Google and not the other way around.

    The point of a search engine is not just a “cheap” index, it’s to efficiently match producers and consumers, i.e. reduce both their costs in finding each other. It’s not just the volume of clicks, it’s the gain from efficiently directing clicks. Google earns as much as it does because its value to the economy in efficiency gained is that significant. Businesses are willing to pay significant money to Google due to that increased efficiency.

    Google *targets* its ads – that’s part of being efficient – which means that news searches are independent from the advertising of other industries. You don’t see ads for steak when searching for news or vice versa, unlike a tv channel or newpaper where you’re bombarded with largely irrelevant information. So the news industry can’t claim (as they incorrectly do) any responsibility for driving clicks on ads other than news ads, or the few billion dollar value of the ads of other industries – none of which are recognised in this legislation.

    Furthermore, the whole process is being set up under the unproven and unjustified assumption that the news industry drives a significant proportion of Google’s ad revenue. Google has no chance in hell when facing a biased Australian arbitrator of convincing them otherwise. If Google brings to the arbitrator the fact that the our news industry owes them, that will be considered bad faith and Google fined. Australia insists it’s the other way around. So there. Heads I win, tails you lose. No wonder Google considers it unworkable.

    Of course, Google may suck it up, pay Australia its pound of flesh, and maybe discover they can make things “work” (to some extent), even if somewhat painfully.

    Also, by the way, what’s the point of linking to *news* articles (written by people in the *news* business) for analysis? Do you honestly believe they’re objective, unbiased, nonpartisan observers? They’re directly involved and beneficiaries of the legislation. The word for what they write is propaganda.

  10. ‘Mavis says:
    Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 7:56 pm


    Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    [‘A decent Liberal.’]

    You’re far too kind, cobber. There’s nothing decent, kind about a Tory. My stones, he’s older than, in political terms, Methuselah – you’re far too forgiving, easily swayed. And it’s little wonder that he’s attempting to correct the record in his dotage.’

    He’s a decent human being. He is openly repudiating Morrison’s race baiting by setting out an alternative vision for Australia.

  11. boerwar
    1. No, my understanding is they will be fined for omitting links to news businesses.
    2. 10x more than Murdoch, on less than half the gross revenue, but they both appear to be dodging some amount of tax as both have potentially Australian revenue being counted elsewhere. I guess this is a case of whether you prefer your domestic robber baron to the foreign robber baron :-P.

    You are welcome.

  12. Google pays SFA but perhaps the Coalition shouldn’t complain as they are probably the ones who made the tax evader friendly rules. I think BHP is another tax bludger using Google’s ‘Singapore trick”.
    Google Australia’s latest financial accounts shows it paid almost $100 million in tax in 2019, which is far higher than previous years.

    But the tax paid on profits needs to be considered in the context that the company did not locally count $4.8 billion in gross revenue, mostly from advertising.

    Much of this revenue still gets booked offshore in Singapore, under “Google Asia Pacific”

  13. Display Name wrote, upthread, re. Messrs. Google, Facebook at al:

    You want to do business in Australia? You slip a few to our mate Murdoch, nudge nudge, wink wink. etc. etc. etc.

    Why hasn’t this been tried in America and the UK? If Murdoch rules, and tells governments what they are to do, and when, why not start where they not only have real power, but use it overtly, with high ratings?

  14. Our Master who art in America,
    Rupert be thy name,
    Thy money come,
    Thy will be done in Australia, as it is in New York

    Give us this day our daily news
    and forgive us our bigotry
    As we forgive those who rob the country blind
    And lead us not unto Labor
    But deliver us from socialism, Amen.

  15. BB
    I didn’t say Murdoch rules and tells governments what to do. I said they’re mates. They’re mates doing mates a favour. Maybe the US and UK governments have more integrity than ours :-P. Maybe they’re not quite as matey as Aussies tend to be. Maybe tech is the new black and media is passe in those countries. Mate, who knows.

    Also, I didn’t write upthread re Facebook. Let’s make it clear: If a business reuses, publishes or otherwise aggregates others’ content on their site (where obviously users will be clicking on the aggregators ads and not on the content creators ads) then they should pay for it. Google’s news platform (rollout now delayed in Australia for reasons) should naturally be required to pay our news businesses for their content.

    We’re talking about *search links*, and why this is issue is likely to only affect Google’s *search service* (if we accept their claims :-P). I do wonder about google maps though. It has geospatial search, and offers links to sites of local businesses and such. Also not sure what’s up with Youtube, maybe they already have come to an understanding regarding videos?

  16. The Age 24/01
    Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said Victorians had to begin taking responsibility for their actions when at the beach while understanding that missing millions of swimming lessons throughout the year was taking a toll.
    Crisp would have more credibility if his evidence to the hotel inquiry wasn’t so wishy washy.
    Damaged goods, we need a cleanskin in that role.

  17. Is there anywhere an article that explains in detail what this Google legislation actually does?

    If Google can be fined for omitting links, how is that framed exactly? One interpretation says that Google can simply omit all links to any news source. However, if the legislation effectively forces Google to pay for links it doesn’t want, surely there’s a High Court challenge in that?

  18. DN, I was hoping you’d say something like,

    “The US, UK and Australia are all in Murdoch’s pocket, but Australia more than the other two.”

    “Australia is smaller and more tightly controllable. Australia has great potential as a laboratory.”

    “If a few Australian businesses have to be sacrificed in finding out how to do business with Google, then so be it. No harm done.”

  19. BTW

    Does anyone know if the Murdoch entity (Foxtel? whatever?) that contains Sky News applied for Job Keeper last year?

    Could it have had done so with regard to the application criteria?

    What a hoot if it did?

    Has this been discussed before?

  20. LVT
    “The ABC apparently will now officially call Jan 26 – Invasion Day.”

    This is not actually true. Where did you read it? The Australian?

  21. Laughtong
    There has been a wind change and the fire is now heading back in the general direction of Verdun but the freeway is in its oath. I don’t know how serious it is though.

  22. “Hey, Scomo, let’s get one of you looking across the water into a bright future. Now grab the rails and look strong. That’s the way.”

    I don’t think people appreciate just how much time and effort is required to capture these unguarded/spontaneous moments by Scomo.

  23. By the way, my understanding is that the French laws (cited by some as proof that Google is being unreasonable in Australia) do not apply to links.

    That’s Google’s sticking point in Australia. They were also reluctant in France. They weren’t necessarily being reasonable or in the right, then, but that doesn’t mean they are the unreasonable ones and in the wrong now.

  24. Just watched Dirt Music which I enjoyed although it was panned by the critics. Not everyone appreciates a love lost/l0ve found movie.

    Odd that a movie of a Tim Winton book all based in WA (looks pretty) would have a Scottish actress and Yank actor playing the Aussie leads.

  25. There are two questions:
    1) Why won’t our legislation apply to all search?
    2) Why won’t it apply to all links regardless of who is linked to?

    We could (if we insist that Australia is doing this on principle) pass legislation that operated on general principles regarding all search and all links to all industries. We’re not. We’re targetting specific businesses, and the legislation benefits specific businesses within a specific industry.

    The French laws, btw, referred to EU laws regarding copyright and such, i.e. they were underpinned by some kind of general guiding principle.

    If we insist that there are general principles regarding fair payment for content here then that’s what we should be doing. Or rather, if there were such principles, that’s what we would be doing. We’re not, because there aren’t. Or at least, those principles may be the facade, but they aren’t the agenda.

  26. Daily Mail is NOT Murdoch.

    Jonathan Harmsworth is the aristocratic owner of Britain’s gossipy tabloid, the Daily Mail. Known formally as the Viscount Rothermere, Harmsworth, controls the Daily Mail & General Trust–the corporate parent of the newspaper and

  27. Player Onesays:
    Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    nah nah P1, you thinking Labor will win 2000 elections if Labor does what you say.

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