Essential Research: COVID-19, leader attributes and more

A new poll finds a dip in the federal government’s still strong ratings on COVID-19, with only a small minority of respondents planning to skip the vaccine.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll does not include leader ratings or voting intention, but does have the following:

• The regular question on COVID-19 response finds the federal government’s good rating suffering a seven point dip to 62%, returning it to where it was for several months before an uptick in November, with the poor rating up two to 14%. The small sample results for mainland state governments also record a drop for the Victorian government, whose good rating is down ten to 49%, while the New South Wales government holds steady at 72% and the Queensland government’s drops three to 73%. As ever, particular caution must be taken with the Western Australian and South Australian results given the sample sizes, but they respectively retain the best (down three to 85%) and second best (down one to 78%) results out of the five.

• The poll finds 50% of respondents saying they will get vaccinated as soon as possible, 40% that they will do so but not straight away, and 10% that they will never get vaccinated. Variation by voting intention is within the margin of error. By way of contrast, a US poll conducted by Monmouth University last month produced the same 50% result for the “soon as possible option”, but had “likely will never get the vaccine” markedly higher at 24%. This increased to 42% among Republicans, and doesn’t that just say it all.

• The poll includes a pared back version of the pollster’s semi-regular suite of questions on leaders’ attributes in relation to Scott Morrison, but not Anthony Albanese. The consistent pattern here is that Morrison is a bit less highly rated than he was last May, but substantially stronger than he was during the bushfire crisis in January. However, he has done notably better on “good in a crisis” (from 32% last January to 66% in May to the current 59%) than “out of touch” (from 62% to 47% and now back up to 59%), whereas his gains since January on “more honest than most politicians” (now 50%), “trustworthy” (52%) and “visionary” (41%) are all either 11% or 12%. Two new questions have been thrown into the mix: “in control of their team” and “avoids responsibility”, respectively 56% at 49%.

• Respondents were asked to respond to a series of propositions concerning “the recent allegations of rape and sexual assault from women working in Parliament”, which found 65% agreeing the government has been “more interested in protecting itself than the interests of those who have been assaulted”. Forty-five per cent felt there was “no difference in the way the different political parties treat women”, though the view was notably more prevalent among men (54%) than women (37%), and among those at the conservative end of the voting spectrum (53% among Coalition voters, 41% among Labor voters and 30% among Greens voters).

• A number of questions on tech companies found an appetite for stronger regulation, including 76% support for forcing them to remove misinformation from their platforms.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1074; full results 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.

2,565 comments on “Essential Research: COVID-19, leader attributes and more”

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  1. If a large % of rape claims are not proved how can a study show only 3% of claims are false claims?
    There must be a number of claims we can’t be sure of either way.

  2. I am of the school which suggests voters can and do distinguish their vote at State and Federal elections. I have no way of telling this, but I doubt whether what is happening as far as Porter is concerned will have much impact on how Sandgrophers will vote next Saturday…………though on something I heard from the Electoral Commission, it is anticipating 60% of votes for the election will already be cast by next Saturday. This is unprecedented as far as I can work out…….At this point I see a comfortable victory for Labor but come the Federal election, things are like to be not so one-side for Labor and if they can get two extra seats in the West they will be doing well…….

  3. No one can now possible believe what is alleged the after reading this woman’s account of the rape. Think about this, think about the all the rapes you have ever heard of, the only ones that come close to what this woman alleges is only found in books and movies. The shear amount of ritual and depravity involved in this is mind blowing, can people possible think that a 17 year old boy had this sort of fantasy already to go. If it was even possibly true how could someone such an elaborate ritualistic rape then stop, this kind of fiend goes on to become a serial rapist even a killer. All you budding psychologists know how this works when someone commits a crime the likes of this that person could not possibly stop, he is on a road of no return. If true then any investigation will find a dungeon in Porters house. If you have friends who are cops ask for there gut reaction ask if they have even heard of such ritual in there entire careers . Please think about this. You are making fools of your selves.

  4. From Katharine Murphy’s Canberra’s pale, stale and male tribe is missing the moment – as it did with Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech:

    The prime minister has spent weeks acting like he thinks he’s temporarily mired in a political crisis – something he can parse intricately with his backroom and deftly turn with a rivulet of diversions and transactions and a production line of straw men.

    All the inveterate micro-managing has somehow obscured his ability to intuit what is right in front of him.

    I find it incredibly difficult to believe a micromanager was not told about the Brittany Higgins rape prior to it being front page news.

  5. From

    Zoe Rose @z_rose
    Some of you may have seen an article on @crikey_news
    – which I will not link to – asserting that ‘repressed memories’ may have played a role in Christian Porter’s alleged victims recollections.
    The article contains factual inaccuracies. Lots of them.

    Apologies if this has already been posted. I would suggest reading the entire thread if you have not already.

  6. ”I am of the school which suggests voters can and do distinguish their vote at State and Federal elections.”

    That is true enough. An often-cited example is the NSW election of 1976. Labor won against a tired and corrupt decade old Coalition Government less than five months after Malcom Fraser won in a landslide in 1975.

  7. RonniSalt Retweeted
    Dr Karen Williams MPH FRANZCP
    The article is more than tone-deaf. It’s completely misinformed & dangerous. Dissociation is a normal phenomenon seen in people who have experienced or experiencing extreme trauma & does not reflect the memories as being false in any way.
    Quote Tweet
    · 7h
    This @crikey_news article was tone-deaf & tasteless.

    The issue of recovered memory is a complex minefield.

    The article should have been written by a woman – one with experience in sexual assault allegations & psychology.

    A sensitive issue; now framed as The Hysterical Woman™️.…
    RonniSalt Retweeted
    Dr Karen Williams MPH FRANZCP

  8. Dr Karen Williams MPH FRANZCP
    Since time immemorial traumatised women have been accused of being mad, crazy , neurotic liars. This is a very low blow at someone who is not here to defend herself, knowing her friends & family as well as millions of trauma survivors are reading this.
    Quote Tweet
    Samantha Maiden
    · 2h
    Could @cporterwa Adelaide accuser been inspired by repressed memory theory? Her friends say no and her statement claims she “always remembered” but a controversial book she cited has rung alarm bells @newscomauHQ

  9. Dr Karen Williams MPH FRANZCP
    You take the opinion of one unnamed Sydney based psychologist over Dr Van Der Kolk- an internationally recognised psychiatrist and expert in trauma and founder of the Trauma Research Foundation ..Woman facepalming
    Quote Tweet
    Samantha Maiden
    · 2h
    Could @cporterwa Adelaide accuser been inspired by repressed memory theory? Her friends say no and her statement claims she “always remembered” but a controversial book she cited has rung alarm bells @newscomauHQ

  10. Steelydan says:
    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    . Please think about this. You are making fools of your selves.

    So obvious there should be no issue have an inquiry to dismiss it all, instead of having a bunch of people coming out denigrating the woman. The denigration is destroying the Morrison government.

    I see you back here tonight trying to bury the Morrison government.

  11. Dr Karen Williams MPH FRANZCP
    It is an excellent book- mostly become it is clear & logical – traumatic events result in long term psychological symptoms & treating the sum of those symptoms with just meds & not looking at the whole person in the context of their history is never going to work
    Quote Tweet
    Paul James
    · 37m
    Replying to @DrWilliams and @jessradio
    The Body Keeps the Score is an exceptional book and should be part of any psycho-education for trauma survivors. Van Der Kolk’s work bears out in reality – trust me

  12. Let’s change the focus from poor ol Porter.

    I work two jobs one as a consultant auditing community sector organisations and my 9 – 5 job is a Senior Practitioner for a Mental Health service.

    One of my team has someone they work with who has 3 kids, her partner can not have children and organised others to ‘assist’ with having children ie raping her. Her children do not know their father is not their biological father.

    This person is now suicidal, has ECT weekly and reliant on her children to take her to ECT who remind her of the rapist.

    She does not want to access the Sexual Assault Support Service due to not ‘wanting to be an imposition to those who work there.’

    I do not blame the person who is suicidal. I do not blame the worker in my team needing to de brief every time they talk to her.

    1. this should not occur
    2.why would this person not want to report.

    This is not uncommon…………..but there are variances in the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault. As a bloke one thing we need to do is listen to those telling their story instead of imposing our point of view all the time.

    Yes it can change – it needs to

  13. Zoomster,

    This may not look very neat.


    Why do any of us have to send anyone a note?”

    I was dealing with a specific attack on the NSW police investigation which the NSW police have answered. PBers may find it useful to deal with its answer rather than anon. stuff.

    [A system where most sexual assaults are not reported, where there’s a high attrition rate amongst reported cases, and where the conviction rate for those which do go through the process is incredibly low is obviously broken.

    Let’s look at how it can be fixed rather than defending it on the basis – apparently – that those involved are doing the best they can.]

    I am not defending it but the problems with it have been poured over at many, many levels by academics, victims’ groups, police, lawyers, former AG’s for years and not with a view to getting rapists off. Their efforts should not be easily dismissed.

    The Criminal Procedure law has been amended hundreds of times in NSW under ALP and LP since 1995. Earlwood can tell you whether that has been beneficial or not to victims. It has not been amended to help rapists.

    I assume police interaction with victims has improved. It has been made an issue, here, but seemingly not by family or friends yet. The police have answered and PBers can conclude what they want.

    Consent is the key problem. The cases of Hayne and de Belin tell us that. It’s everyone’s problem. We have presumably all had to determine consent in our lives, including, of course in marriage. The fact that two people have to determine it creates the opportunity for dispute.

    Tasmania has had a go at consent, NSW is dawdling.

    Maybe people should cross-text consent to create some record.

    [As I’ve repeatedly said, in the past it’s been recognised that the legal system wasn’t coping with certain issues, and the legal system was altered as a result.

    Our divorce laws were altered because it was obvious that having to find one party at fault wasn’t working; the Family Court was set up because it was obvious that adversarial systems didn’t result in the best outcomes for children; compulsory insurance was introduced as part of people’s driving license fees because it was recognised that having to prove someone at fault in order to get support after an accident was leading to absurdities (such as unborn foetuses having to sue their mother).]

    The Family Court is still adversarial on custody and property rights although it has some mitigation systems eg children advocates.

    The other examples are civil systems which, not in every respect but mostly, are about resource distribution. They are ripe for regulation.

    We don’t regulate the fact finding process of determining guilt or innocence. We entrust it to the same type of people who come here. Should they know more about the accused’s background or will that see accuseds convicted on the basis of things they are not charged on (and for which they may have already been penalised)?

    “It is clear that, when it comes to sexual assault, the legal system isn’t working.

    It needs to change – and appealing to people who are doing their best to paper over the cracks will just lead to more plaster being applied, rather than the walls torn down and rebuilt.”

    There is not going to be tearing down or rebuilding so long as accuseds have rights to presumptions of innocence, the burden of proof and the right to silence (although that has been lightly loosened in NSW). Cases will still involve a victim going to police telling what happened, the accused being afforded the opportunity to reply, the double filtering of police and prosecutor deciding what to do, an open court system and people being judged by their peers.

    If you want laser like reform, consent and the accused’s criminal history being shared with the fact finders is where I would start.

  14. It will be interesting to see if Professor Van Der Kolk responds to this characterisation of him by The Australian’s Jamie Walker as “a devotee of discredited recovered memory therapy”

    Quite possibly actionable I would have thought.

  15. I personally would love I mean absolutely a full investigation but I understand that the Government has to act like grown ups and stick to silly things like the rule of law, presumption of innocence and all that sort of drivel. Bloody stick in the muds. Love to see Porters dungeon. He could be one of the worst serial rapists the world has ever know, must have stopped writing his name in the mirror condensation after each rape though maybe started using a symbol like in a Patricia Cornwell Novel.
    What a joke.

  16. Steve777….would be more than happy for the tired, shonky Morrison government to be vanquished. Up until recently Morrison was probably pining for an October “thank me for saving you from Covid 19” kind of election, but these dreams have bitten the dust for him I fancy…..

  17. Shellbell

    Thanks for the detailed answer.

    I think I’m wondering whether the court system is the appropriate mechanism, at least to begin with. I’m not sure making tweaks here and there is cutting it.

    I don’t know enough about the field to be confident in suggesting a way forward (if I were an MP, I’d be looking at some kind of review) but am wondering whether, at least in the initial stages, some kind of reconciliation (it’s the wrong word, the nuance is wrong, hope people get what I mean though) process is initiated.

    I’m also not sure that countries which don’t worry about presumptions of innocence – most of Europe, really – are hellholes. It does us no harm to at least question whether some of these sacred beasts deserve to be sacred. It certainly does us no harm to LOOK at what other possible approaches could be taken.

    Our current one is, looking at stats on paper (let alone human cost) not working. I don’t think amendments here and there are going to solve that. They don’t seem to have so far.

    I don’t doubt the good intentions or the hard work – what suggests that something more radical is needed is the stats.

  18. Greensborough Growler:

    [‘Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 4:52 pm’]

    Unless you’ve got evidence to the contrary.

    No, I don’t… But if the powers that be were attempting to limit the damage, a quick move to Sydney to join a PR company would’ve assisted said endeavour. Certainly, given the alleged circumstances, he should not have been within a boar’s roar of V2. I don’t think the accused’s entry to Reynold’s office of itself would have been a sacking offence, as he must have had a security pass to gain entry at least to the Parliament. And it would be interesting to ascertain if he was given a reference and by who; it’s doubtful he’d walk into a new job without one. I guess we’ll find out in due course.

  19. And now for something completely different:
    Seeing how it’s Saturday night I’m hoping one of the tech gurus can help.
    TPG recently generously upgraded my internet from 50mbs to 200.
    Of course it’s only for 6 months but hey. I’m not complaining. They said I didn’t need to do anything but the fastest speed I’ve seen with Speedtest was high 50s.
    I’m testing via wireless connection so is there something I need to do with the configuration? Or am I only likely to see this higher speed via a direct connection?

  20. With regards ‘disassociation’ and ‘repressed/recovered memory’, I’ve discussed this with Mrs Sprocket who is an experienced counsellor and trained psychologist. In short, it is complex.

    There is potentially connection between early trauma and later psychosis, which can manifest in narcissistic syndrome, ‘multiple personalities’, depression and other conditions.

    In the example of Porter and his alleged victim KT, Porter may be traumatised by his arsehole father and brutalised upbringing. (This relates to many of the clients Mrs Sprocket deals with, who display various degrees along the narcissism spectrum, the badder sociopath ones being in jail). The victims of these types, mostly females, are best advised to avoid them, go no contact.

    But it’s not that easy, and is complicated by marriage, children, finances, sex, family, culture, support services, legal ramifications… and ‘love bombing’ from the perpetrators. Why does a man bash his partner, and then show up with a bunch of flowers? What is known as ‘the reset’. How does the woman feel? What does she do? How does she react?

    The Porter/KT case could be worth exploring to determine better policy and approach to wicked problem areas such as domestic violence, PTSD in ‘normal Australian society’, mental health, and the character flaws in (mostly) male perpetrators.

  21. Yep – Quarsar thank you

    My concern is they are not listened to and as my mate said if it isn’t prosecuted it isn’t real…….that is bullshit.

    It is prevalent in every socio economic area across Australia , involves nuance. But it impacts people significantly.

    We ae now more concerned about the accused and the crimanal system. The ‘criminal system’ needs to catch up to what is happening.

    Those who are obsessed with defining themselves with the criminal system should change their narrative to acknowledge the reality and the need to change.

  22. I doubt it’s an accident that the most revolting person abusing KT chooses a handle named after a dildo. Can’t stop shoving it up women.

  23. This guy does empathy like a crow does white.

    Like a crow does white – great expression. Don’t think that I’ve come across it before.

  24. [‘It sounds absurd but there’s a compelling case that Scott Morrison has a ‘don’t know, don’t tell’ policy with himself.

    Watching him grapple with the diabolical policy, political and ethical issues of sexual crime and misbehaviour and the lack of care for Australians in aged care, some shocking conclusions are hard to escape.

    Morrison is incurious in a wilful way, forcing himself to compartmentalise inconvenient and uncomfortable events and information.

    This was on full display in his handling of the Brittany Higgins and Christian Porter matters.’]

  25. I see Hard,Steamy and Noxious Indefatigable is now seeing who bites Dungeon Fantasy bait? Would be funny if it wasn’t clearly sick. 🙁

  26. One of the things I’ve noticed about Portergate (has anyone else called it that yet?) is all the links to the Liberal Party. I’m guessing this is because most of the protagonists were high school debaters from elite private schools.

    I believe my high school used to send a debating team to Country Week, but I can’t remember them ever having much in the way of success. Nor can I recall it being part of our curriculum.


    Worth a read. Interesting the way she puts it:

    “The cry “believe women” doesn’t mean the abandonment of law. It means the precise opposite – the abandonment of bias, and the equal application of the law.”

    I think there are a lot of men who are frightened at a fundamental level that “believe women” does mean abandoning a presumption of innocence, and that fear makes them oppose any reform and fairness in terms of treatment of assault victims.

  28. Our neck of the woods had a two car Gay Mardi Gras parade around the block tonight, with one car carrying a drag queen in a king cab ute and the other with someone waving a rainbow flag out the window.

    Tres cute. 🙂

  29. Tom @ #2266 Saturday, March 6th, 2021 – 8:08 am

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #2253 Saturday, March 6th, 2021 – 10:37 am

    Lynchpin @ #2250 Saturday, March 6th, 2021 – 7:32 am

    Tingle gets to the nub of it:
    “This overlooks the obvious problem in this particular case: that the woman at the centre of the case died last year, apparently by suicide, without making a formal complaint — which meant any suggestion in the Prime Minister’s calls to leave the matter with police, that this could put an end to it, was disingenuous at best.”

    I think Morrison was hoping it would take the police longer to make a decision.

    Just a comment on your latest location. As a kid I lived in Tanjung Tokong, just up the road from you. Number 3 Jalan Meranti to be precise.

    Sorry Tom,

    I’m in Indonesia, not Malaysia.

  30. C@t

    Our neck of the woods had a two car Gay Mardi Gras parade around the block tonight, with one car carrying a drag queen in a king cab ute and the other with someone waving a rainbow flag out the window.

    Tres cute.

    Loverly 🙂

    My daughter and I were out in the backyard a few minutes ago looking at the biggest disco light show ever, over the Sydney Showground.

  31. Yesterday I was in the car for about half an hour, and turned on Sydney ABC 702. James Valentine pointed out that Mardi Gras has been going for over 4 decades, and asked for songs that people associated with Mardi Gras, along with stories.

    Lots of interesting music.

    One particularly caught my attention. Music that was played with the 1978 protest:

    Also, very proud to know someone who marched in 1978 (Cousin’s partner).

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