The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll includes the regular monthly leadership ratings, their principal item of interest in between their quarterly dumps of voting intention numbers. The pollster included a bonus result for Scott Morrison’s leadership ratings in the last fortnightly poll by way of discerning any emergent gender gap in light of recent events. The results chart a steady decline for Scott Morrison, from 62% a month ago to 57% a fortnight ago to 54% now, and a corresponding rise in disapproval from 29% to 35% to 37%. While he remains well in positive territory, a distinct downturn can be observed in the BludgerTrack polling trend. The gender gap that opened a fortnight ago, which you can read about here, has neither narrowed nor widened.
Anthony Albanese records his weakest personal ratings in a while, with approval down two to 39% and disapproval up two to 34%. GhostWhoVotes, who monitors these things, points out that breakdowns by voting intention have him down five on approval among Labor voters to 55% and up six on disapproval to 22% – this is from a sub-sample of 483 and a margin of error of about 4.5%, so make of it what you will. In any case, he has taken a reasonable bite out of Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister, which narrows from 52-26 to 47-28.
The remainder of the survey is mostly about COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout, including the regular question on the quality of the federal and state governments’ responses. The federal government’s good rating is down eight points to 62% and its poor rating is up five to 17%, though this isn’t a whole lot different to the situation before the government’s numbers surged in mid-November for whatever reason. The ratings for the five mainland state governments are down as well, by two in the case of New South Wales to 73%, four for Victoria to 58%, three for Queensland to 72%, seven for Western Australia to 84% and ten for South Australia to 75% (with progressively increasing caution required for small sub-sample sizes). As with the federal results though, these numbers don’t look that remarkable when compared with their form over the longer term.
Respondents were also asked how confident they would have been about COVID-19 management “if a Labor government under Anthony Albanese had been in power”, with an uninspiring 44% rating themselves confident and 37% not so. Fifty-two per cent felt the vaccine rollout was proceeding too slowly, with 19% happy with the situation and 20% signing on to the seemingly odd proposition that it was happening too fast. For those in the former category, 42% held the federal government mostly responsible, 7% state governments, 24% international supply chains and 18% “unavoidable delays in the production of vaccines”.
There are a whole bunch of further questions on the vaccine rollout, interstate travel and the end of the JobKeeper and JobSeeker supplements, plus one on paid parental leave, which you can read about in the full release.