Essential Research leadership ratings

Yet more strong leadership ratings for Scott Morrison, although most give greater credit for COVID-19 management to their state and territory leaders.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll includes the pollster’s more-or-less monthly reading of the leadership ratings, which record a four point increase in Scott Morrison’s approval rating to 65% and a two point drop in disapproval to 28%. Anthony Albanese is respectively down two to 40% and steady on 33%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister increases slightly, from 51-25 to 52-24.

Also featured are the pollster’s regular questions on federal and state government handling of COVID-19, with the added twist of a question asking who respondents felt had performed better out of the Prime Minister and their Premier or Chief Minister. This found 52% favouring their state or territory leader compared with 30% for Scott Morrison. The poll nonetheless gives the federal government its strongest result for handling of the pandemic in at least six months, with 69% rating it good (up two on a fortnight ago) and 12% as poor (down two).

The state government results are little changed for the three states with passable sample sizes: the New South Wales government’s good rating is up a point to 72%; Victoria’s is down two to 59% (the state’s lockdown was announced on the third day of the six-day polling period); and Queensland’s is down two to 76%. Western Australia’s is at 88%, the highest reading in at least six months, after the conclusion of that state’s lockdown, which is up eight on the previous poll, conducted shortly before the lockdown began. However, here the sample size is below 200 and the margin of error as high as 10%. The same applies to South Australia’s 79%, down one on last time.

The poll also has questions about Craig Kelly’s recent behaviour, although I wonder about a question wording that says Kelly has been “sharing Covid-19 misinformation”, the consistently negative tone of the propositions being put to the respondents, and the lack of clear response options along the lines of “who’s Craig Kelly?”. The results find 41% agreeing that Morrison has showed poor leadership, without offering clarity on how many disagreed and how many had no opinion, and 56% agreeing Kelly was “more interested in sharing Covid-19 misinformation and building his media profile than representing his constituency”.

The full report features still further questions on COVID-19 and one on a 2050 net zero carbon emissions target. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1109.

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.

2,424 comments on “Essential Research leadership ratings”

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  1. There are several things wrong in our news industry’s reporting of their fight with tech:

    1) They should disclose on every article that they benefit from the government’s legislation.

    2) They should disclose on every article that they are writing about their competition.

    3) They do not inform us of their own power to influence the narrative in Australia and their close ties to Australian politicians. Who has more power in Australia? Our government, our news industry or these foreign tech companies? Who’s really bullying who? Instead of throwing around all this subjective, emotional language regarding their competition, how about an objective analysis of the web of power and influence in Australia and where everyone sits it it? Themselves and the tech companies (and everyone else, why not).

    4) They do not reliably inform us that Australia is taking the unprecedented step of redefining linking as using and that not paying for linking is standard practice, hence Google/Facebook rejecting having to pay is not unusual. It’s merely ordinary behaviour rather than evidence of an abuse of market power. “They won’t negotiate” is not evidence of market power. I won’t pay for their news and that’s not negotiable, so what?

    5) They do not provide any evidence for their claims that they provide more value to the tech companies than the other way around. They object to that evidence being collected by the tech companies. “They stole our ad revenue” is not evidence.

    6) They don’t tell us that the 10% to 15% revenue they claim is not just floating around, but potentially subsidises the online presence, tools and activities of thousands to millions of individuals, groups, organisations and communities. Unusually, they have never asked their favourite “where will the money come from” question that they never forget to ask in other contexts.

    7) They have offered no way to check that the money they claim will actually go where they say it will –
    “public interest journalism”. Of course it can’t actually be traced.

    8) They only report on the disadvantages of new media and the strengths of old media. There are no articles that perform a balanced analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of both traditional media and new media platforms. For example, social media provides a voice for people who would not otherwise have one.

    I realise that, in a debate, these kinds of selective practices are standard, but these guys tell us that they are more than just debators, that they are professional information wranglers. That they are objective, unbiased, neutral, non-judgemental, fair, thorough, accurate, etc. They have not lived up to the standard they claim for themselves, and this inspires very little confidence that they deserve the money they claim.

  2. Dandy Murray @ #2282 Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – 4:22 pm

    Logic is not her strong point, SK.

    Btw, for shin splints, my experience was it (and a bundle of other things) came down to collapsing arches and excess ankle roll. A podiatrist sorted it out.

    It has gone away with rest. I will monitor it and keep your advice in mind if it returns. For now I am putting it down to some really tough netball games against older bigger nasty teams (draw and win) and two extra long sessions of netball rep trials and weekly volleyball and a school softball tryout. With new shoes. And a low pain threshold – which is good because it meant she rested it at an early stage.

  3. While none of our major media outlets have an individual monopoly on news, together they are all running the same narrative. Isn’t this an informal monopoly or cartel they have formed together? Aren’t they, as a group, abusing their dominant market position in Australian news to influence the national narrative against their competition?

  4. Kylie Chan makes it clear that Morrison assaults Jane…..

    “Blow-by-blow: She has arthritis so she holds her hand
    She turns it around to give him the finger (deliberately being cheeky)
    He grabs her hands and she folds up with pain
    She says ‘That hurt!’ While they laugh
    He’s still got his hand on her and she wails ‘Why???'”

  5. “Rex Douglas says: Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:29 pm
    Rumour has it the Forth Bridge is going down ….”

    (Allegedly the security service code for “Prince Philip is dead”: a counterpart to “London Bridge down” for Lizzie Windsor.)

    Rex’s rumour doesn’t appear to be correct: at least not yet.

    But perhaps the rumour arose from the fact that the actual Forth Bridge was closed down for an extended period at peak hour on Friday night UK time to allow emergency service workers to rescue someone who appeared to be contemplating suicide.

  6. Why was she so uncooperative in providing a nice morale boosting photo op?

    It’s sad that even little old ladies are letting Scott down when he’s working so hard for the nation.

  7. From The Chaser

    “You see, I have no issue with woman who do what they are told. What happened with Jane was that she was told what to do by the nearest man, which to her credit she did do. But then she thought it would be ok to do something without asking a male’s permission and that can be very dangerous for a woman. Do I regret hurting her? Sure why not. But I think we can all agree it was wrong of to try and banter and be funny while she is a woman with men around.”

    “The women in this country need to understand is that they have gotten a bit out of line ever since Tony left. They are getting a bit to talkative if you ask me.”

  8. Andrew_Earlwood @ #2347 Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – 6:44 pm

    @ Dave:

    “ Facebook’s thuggery shows why we must move fast to fix it”

    Clicked on that link to be met with a paywall.

    Many paywalls are java based. Some others are just cookies.

    “One Click JavaScript Toggle” an addon for Chrome –

    This is not bad, can toggle on/off with various tabs.

    For Firefox –

  9. Steve777 @ #2354 Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – 7:08 pm

    Will PB (or maybe BK) be required to pay old media for Dawn Patrol?

    Nope. They are just links.

    The media can close access off if they want. AFR had a paywall 20 years ago that you couldn’t get through, but clicks are ‘part’ of their numbers that advertising rates are based on – so they want clicks as long as the non payers doesn’t get too far out of hand.

  10. dave

    Nope. They are just links.

    Links are included in the definition of “using” under the new legislation.

    However, BK (or PB) are unlikely to be designated a “responsible digital platform” under the new code. Unless they start behaving irresponsibly, flash around wads of cash, and paint themselves a target :P. Which should really make them an irresponsible digital platform, trust politicians not to get the naming right.

  11. A survey of seniors indicates that senior Australians are concerned about climate change and would invest in “green bonds” to address it.

    One should always take these things with a grain of salt. Obvious question: if they’re so concerned, why do seniors vote Coalition by and large? Maybe someone’s running a flag up a pole to see who salutes.

    In any case, I wouldn’t trust the current Government not to use the funds to keep the old game going: “clean” coal; carbon capture and storage; gas; spending on ineffective, diversionary feel-good stuff like encouraging individual energy saving; and token gestures like Direct Inaction that mostly help out Liberal mates. I wouldn’t be investing. I’m not “senior”, just old.

  12. So Dave’s answer to the 9Faix pay wall is to hack it. Whilst simultaneously berating Facebook for being a thug for providing free services to old media in the form of click bait traffic which they can’t commercialise properly. Lols.

    Let’s also put the ‘poor Lil’ community groups and picnic service announcements’ trope to bed. It’ll be fixed. It pretty much already is. No one died. Nothing bad happened. Now we can all back to watching cute cat memes in peace.

  13. dave

    Link ?

    Only if you promise not to charge me for it. I don’t mind if William pays though.

    If the direct pdf links don’t work (they didn’t when I first tried, but now they seem to), choose a html version of one of the readings, then click download pdf.

    52B Making content available
    (1) For the purposes of this Part, a service makes content available if:
    (a) the content is reproduced on the service, or is otherwise placed on the service; or
    (b) a link to the content is provided on the service; or
    (c) an extract of the content is provided on the service

  14. DisplayNamesays:
    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Nope. They are just links.

    Links are included in the definition of “using” under the new legislation.

    However, BK (or PB) are unlikely to be designated a “responsible digital platform” under the new code. Unless they start behaving irresponsibly…”


  15. Forcing Facebook and Google to make payments to news businesses in order to improve the financial viability of those businesses is stupid. Facebook and Google don’t actually owe those businesses anything and it is unhelpful framing to claim that we can only have robust journalism if huge corporations pay for it.

    The reality is that good quality journalism that provides context, perspective, perceptive questions, and important facts that otherwise wouldn’t come to light is a public interest question, not a matter that we can or should expect corporate behemoths to prioritize.

    We should expand Australian Government funding for journalism beyond the ABC. It would be great if we had investigative journalists examining development applications and zoning rules in every local government in the nation. It would be great if there were a large number of journalists who had expertise in particular areas of public policy so that they knew which questions to ask and where to look for relevant facts.

    Relying on corporate funding for journalism is a fool’s errand. Sure, in the past corporate funding sometimes did lead to great journalism. But that was a lucky accident, not a feature of the model.

  16. PaulTu
    Under the new code, if you are designated a “responsible digital platform” by the relevant minister, then you will need to pay for providing links to news content from “registered news businesses” as determined by the ACMA. You will also need to decide whether you will link to *all* news businesses (registered or not) or *no* news businesses so as to not “differentiate” between them (or face a fine for being a discriminatory bastard, aka a bad person).

    I believe the minister makes his determination by counting all the shiny things hanging off an organisation’s various appendages

    So PB (rather than BK) will probably escape having to pay for the links us bludgers post thanks to William’s modesty in showing off his bling.

  17. @LateRiser

    Thank you for posting that link at 7:55pm. It is compelling and would resonate widely. Every so often, commercial news surprises me.

  18. Ta for that DisplayName

    Status – Before Reps

    Did the changes pass both Houses or are the new laws still pending as I cannot see a –

    As passed by both houses: Final text of bill agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate which is presented to the Governor-General for assent.

  19. Tom

    I’m not sure it can be counter productive, because I don’t think facebook particularly cares whether they give news media a free ride or not.

  20. My qEnergy bill. Note rates. Somewhat below published ‘standard’ rates. I don’t know why. I just shopped around, and lobbed on them.

    NSW Central Coast. Ausgrid area.


    News content was a significant part of Facebook, almost certainly increasing the amount of time people spent actively on Facebook and thus the number of ads they see on Facebook. It also extremely likely to have been providing data for ad targeting. Both those things are revenue factors for Facebook. I would be very surprised if they actually did not strongly want the government to back down, on revenue grounds.

  22. So, after the week Morrison has had, his approval rating goes up. I give up. If this is true, then Australia is a far worse place than I thought it was.

  23. Roy Orbison @ #2389 Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – 9:38 pm

    So, after the week Morrison has had, his approval rating goes up. I give up. If this is true, then Australia is a far worse place than I thought it was.

    Not me.
    I’m not surprised anymore.
    Many of us see, hear and read stuff average voters never do.
    Their opinions and attitudes are formed by watching Kochie and Karl and reading the Daily Toiletpaper.
    Smirko will romp in later this year.
    There’s absolutely nothing Labor can do about it.

  24. poroti @ #2336 Sunday, February 21st, 2021 – 5:08 pm

    What a place.
    His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.

    Kinda his fault for signing up for an electric plan that doesn’t provide a fixed (or at least, capped) per kWh price.

    Though also the market is broken if the price of a commodity that normally costs cents can suddenly jump up to thousands of dollars. Or rather, a market is the wrong model to use. It’s not like generation costs suddenly increased when a bunch of generators dropped off the network. It’s not like any amount of throwing cash at the remaining generators was going to solve the underlying problem of there no longer being enough generation available to meet demand.

    They should probably just count all of the actual generation costs for the month, add a 10% markup (because capitalism demands profit), divide that by the total number of kWh generated, and then everybody pays that as their per-kWh rate for the month.

  25. 63/33/4 to 64/32/4 is pretty much rounding error. The last half a dozen of those are pretty much exactly the same. (For Morrison’s performance, not better PM.)

  26. Honestly this Better PM metric is the most contrived irrelevant useless stat Newspoll produces.
    Primary vote and 2PP is where its at. And Labor’s primary is improving since May 2019 by 4+ or whatever, and 2PP is level at the moment.

    But The Australian will mainly focus on the made up useless Better PM stat because it takes attention away from Labors improving primary and the fact that Scott Morrison’s government is one of only a few in the world that is not riding high in polling throughout COVID.

  27. So, the Joker wins his 9th AO men’s singles final. Not a particularly entertaining match and he only wins $US2,138,125, a whopping reduction of 33.25% from last year’s purse, with more money allocated to earlier rounds. And it seems that despite some early concerns, C.19 contagion has not been a factor. Sur Paris.

  28. This might be a silly question, but will this law actually do what the Government and its corporate backers are implying – to make public interest journalism stronger in Australia – because I have my doubts? I mean most of the money will be going to profitable publically listed Entertainment Corporations so they can supposedly continue to operate their unprofitable news subsidiaries. But won’t these corporations just give the money they receive to their shareholders while simultaneously continuing to cut funding to public interest journalism? Or does the law stipulate that any money they receive from these forced agreements must be used for providing public interest journalism?

  29. Seeing Albanese has never been PM how can people judge?
    That’s like asking people if I should be captain of Australia instead of Tim Paine.
    (I can assure anyone who is asked I won’t lie when my teammates are caught cheating. )
    Opinion poll bullshit.

  30. will this law actually do what the Government and its corporate backers are implying – to make public interest journalism stronger in Australia

    Do NewsCorp outlets provide legitimate “public interest journalism”, in your opinion? They’ll get the lion’s share of the proceeds. So the outcome mostly depends on how you feel about that.

    I’d say it just means we all get plastered with even more biased nonsense and right-wing propaganda. Which will now continue receiving guaranteed funding from Google/Facebook/etc. even if literally nobody is actually willing to pay to read it.

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