Essential Research 2PP+: Coalition 46, Labor 47, undecided 7

A big gender gap on an otherwise finely balanced result on voting intention from Essential Research, plus Newspoll follow-ups on leaders’ attributes and COVID-19.

The Guardian reports Essential Research has unloaded its latest quarterly-or-so dump of voting intention results, which should presumably appear in full later today. According to the pollster’s headline “2PP+” measure, which leaves a hole marked “undecided” in its two-party preferred, the Coalition and Labor are both on 46% while undecided is at 7% (presumably the failure to sum to 100 is down to rounding). We are also told that the Coalition is on 39% of the primary vote with Labor on 34%, but this too would be from a set of numbers including an undecided component of around 7%.

There is also a particularly wide gender gap in the latest results, though I’m not clear if they are basing this entirely on the latest poll result or from a quarterly accumulation like the ones familiar from Newspoll. The Coalition trails Labor by 37% to 31% on the primary vote among women, which converts to 50% to 38% on 2PP+, whereas the January result had the Coalition leading 37% to 33% on the former measure and 47% to 44% on the latter. Conversely, the Coalition leads Labor among men by 47% to 31% on primary and 55-42 on 2PP+.

This was all in addition to the usual fortnightly release from Essential Research, which offered yet more data on COVID-19. Forty-three per cent now think the vaccine rollout is being done efficiently, down from 68% in late February, while 63% think it is being done safely, down from 73%, and 52% think it will be effective at stopping the virus in the country, down from 64%. Forty-five per cent rate felt the rollout was proceeding more slowly than they would like, which is in fact a seven-point improvement on a fortnight ago: among this group, 48% felt the federal government most responsible, up six points.

There have also been two further tranches of results from Newspoll’s weekend poll, one of which related that the Morrison government’s handling of COVID-19 was rated positively by 70% (down from 82% in June) and negatively by 27% (up from 15%), and that 53% were satisfied with the vaccine rollout compared with 43% who were unsatisfied. The other set of results related perceptions of the two party leaders according to nine character traits. Compared with the last such results in August, Scott Morrison was held in slightly lower regard overall, the biggest movement being a ten point drop on “understands the major issues”. Anthony Albanese’s ratings were stable – the only one on which he scored better than Morrison was “arrogant”, a quality attributed to Morrison by 52% and to Albanese by 40%.

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.

1,179 comments on “Essential Research 2PP+: Coalition 46, Labor 47, undecided 7”

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  1. Cud Chewer says:
    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 8:49 pm


    The way to have handled franking credits would have been to simply set a cap on the amount. That way there’s absolutely no way to confuse the issue. Set the cap at (say) $50k. That way you can tell people “it will only affect a few thousand people”.

    When you get into power, gradually reduce the cap.

    Agree 100%. There would have been no reason to reduce it too far, does it matter if your get the check from treasury because you own shares or because you are on the pension?

  2. Labor should simply have abolished excess franking credits (not all franking credits) once safely ensconced in office, not announced it in advance. In the election campaign, in response to the question only ever asked of Labor, “where’s the money coming from?”, say “we’ll fix Coalition waste and mismanagement”, citing any one of numerous examples.

  3. Why even bother discussing Franking Credits and Negative Gearing policy!?! Unless you want Labor to lose the next federal election as well. Even with a modification here and a tweak there.

    Sheesh. Some people just don’t get politics. They get pie-in-the-sky really well it seems to me.

  4. Billionaires get to use all their franking credits but retirees who had planned their retirement income including the benefit of the franking credit refunds didn’t. Genius.

  5. Bucephalus @ #1157 Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 – 9:28 pm

    retirees who had planned their retirement income including the benefit of the franking credit refunds didn’t. Genius.

    People already in that position would have retained their benefits. Such was my understanding of the proposal, anyways; existing users would be grandfathered.

    People not yet in that position would do well to plan their retirement income around owning intrinsically valuable assets that produce reliable income rather than relying on quirky tax loopholes that can be amended or repealed at any time. It’s not a bad lesson to be teaching. But it is an esoteric and difficult to concisely articulate one. Poor choice for an electoral platform, probably. And/or, demonstrably.


    Discussion by anonymous commenters on a relatively niche political blog (populated almost exclusively by rusted on voters) with most of a year before an election will not change more than a single digit number of votes in the whole election. And that is being charitable to its vote changing power. So we can discuss it safely knowing it will not risk re-election of the Coalition.

    The franking credits policy was certainly a disaster. It cut the wrong bit, disproportionately from the lower end more voters could identify with. Cutting from the top with high caps (say $100,000p.a.), covering all tax brackets (not just those bellow the company tax rate), would have been much easier to sell.

    The franking credits debacle also harmed the negative gearing debate, making it less about first home buyers and more about general revenue. First home buyers are far more sympathetic than general revenue.

  7. Interesting what turns up with a quick Google search about Indue. Pretty much answers your questions about why the Coalition is so keen on it, but this has been known for some years and most people dont seem to care.,13148

  8. I get franking credits from a modest share portfolio. I have a tax free superannuation pension. I don’t qualify for a part pension and I’m in the happy position to say that I wouldn’t claim it if I could because I wouldn’t want to be stuffed around by Centrelink.

    I worked hard, I did well. I don’t need concessions or handouts. I didn’t plan my retirement security on the basis of the indefinite continuation of tax rorts. In a sensible tax system I would be paying income tax on the income portion of my pension, against which I could offset franking credits, resulting in a modest amount of income tax which would in no way affect my security. Lots of retirees are in a similar position, many much better.

  9. “And the complete stuff up of the vaccination program showed how useful private enterprise is when it comes to complex program delivery.”
    The Federal and State governments have stuffed up the vaccine program, not private enterprise.


    Actually, , had an excellent point (for once). The vast majority of voters are not Keatingite tax policy wonks, nor are they high level financial planners of the don`t plan on tax breaks kind (particularly when, as they are voters, they have some say over tax breaks). There are lots of voters who want to retire before pension age to whom the ALP`s negative gearing policy was an anathema.

    Targeting franking credits cuts at the rich, with a cap on overall franking credit usage (say $100,000), would not target the vast majority of voters would either loose nothing or not much.

  11. Tom I agree. The sensible policy, and I believe Labor could have sold this with a sensible ad campaign, would have been to put a threshold on franking credit refunds which could then have been gradually reduced over time.

  12. “the negative hearing policy was grandfathered.”

    Alert!!! Urgent!! Time to crowdfund our davidwh a sense of humor !!!!

  13. Re Tom @9:57

    Targeting franking credits cuts at the rich, with a cap on overall franking credit usage (say $100,000), would not target the vast majority of voters would either loose nothing or not much.

    The $100,000 – does that refer to the size of the share portfolio? If the dividends were equivalent to about 5% of its value, the franking credits would be about $2,000 p.a, say $40 per week.

  14. C@t

    A serious question. Should Labor have gone into the last election without any revenue measures? And then faced the inevitable relentless attacks – “how are you going to pay for that?” and “you’re just going to send us into debt” and so on.

    How do you propose Labor overcomes this?


    No. The $100,000 refers to the franking credits themselves. (Maybe $100,000 is a bit high though.)

    If it I was proposing a limit based on share portfolio size, it would have been higher. A portfolio based limit on franking credits is a mind boggling idea, complicated to implement and prone to variable effects on the actual franking credit sizes.

  16. CC
    The ALP should tell everyone that they will see the benefits in their superfund balance I don’t get why the ALP has difficulty in selling the message that everyone’s superfund buys government debt.


    They don`t have difficulty doing it because they don`t waste their time trying. Investment strategies of super funds including government bonds isn`t a vote winner. Government debt in super funds would only change a significant votes if it was going to harm the fund balances (because the funds would tell their members).

  18. TomTF&B
    It might not be a vote winner but it could counter the argument that the debt is a burden on future generations because if its going towards building wealth then its not a burden.

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