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. I think – based on years of running around campaigning, in admittedly a conservative area – that even Australians who don’t profess any religious beliefs still like their leaders to be Christians. There seems to be a perception that that makes them better people.

    I was given a book to read over for comment by the author a few months ago. He’s an out and out bogan, with no religious background at all (church is for weddings and funerals), but the heroine in his book is described as a better person than those around her because she teaches Sunday School.

  2. Morrison’s proclamation that users of social media are being guided by the “evil” one is another example of divisive identity politics.

    With the vast majority of people now using social media, why is Morrison pissing off all those voters that worship at the altar of righteous indignation.

    I don’t believe Lars is evil. He’s just confused.

  3. Lars Von Trier says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 7:05 am
    Sadly looks like a close loss for Albo in 2022.


    Labor looking good at 36%+ primary vote , Labor looking like a majority government with a primary vote 38%+

  4. Morrison’s proclamation that users of social media are being guided by the “evil” one is another example of divisive identity politics.

    Social media is like debt and deficit – theirs is good, yours is bad.

  5. Zoom

    I also encountered a few pentecostals after I left catholicism. To be fair, they were much less overtly materialistic than the Hillsong crowd. But my perception was even then that a lot of people drifted through pentecostalism, being attracted by social contacts (they were very active recruiters), trying it, then leaving. It would be interesting to know what percentage of “believers” stayed long term.

    The charismatic aspects of pentecostalism did nothing for me spiritually either. It seemed as though a lot of adults were desperately trying to convince themselves they were having a religious experience, after being hyped up by the music. There was no convincing belief system at the core. IMO any “religion” that does not start with an honest process of self-examination of conscience is not very credible.

    I also became a firm atheist around then. I found reading Plato and Aristotle’s ethics a far more convincing explanation of right and wrong than anything I’d read from any religion.

    I also tried a Buddhist prayer weekend retreat, complete with genuine Tibetan monk. That was much more genuinely spiritual than the pentecostal service. Highlight was being taught to meditate by a former catholic nun.

  6. I don’t know if this is an evil twist in the tail, but Annika Smethurst, after all she has been put through by this government, is writing the biography of Scott Morrison!

  7. zoomster:

    I too was brought up christian, went to Sunday school and all. But once I hit high school realised it was all a load of crap and mum stopped making us go to church.

    I’m atheist and have been my entire adult life.

  8. I don’t believe Lars is evil. He’s just confused.

    Not too sure about that. Does he use social media?

    Actually, is PB “social media”?

    The Daily Telegraph, Sky News and 2GB are “anti-social media”, the first two guided and directed by the “Evil One” (who lives in New York).

  9. Most of the pronouncements here about Pentecostal Churches show an almost completely biased view based on no actual knowledge of them.

    They are a growing part of the religious community in Australia with many adherents being immigrants in low socioeconomic areas. If the ALP wants to keep on losing then keep up the uneducated vindictive abuse.

  10. Soc,
    My son also recently dipped his toes into Pentecostalism at the local Evo church (he was chasing a girl and her parents made her go every Friday night, so he went too). He agreed with your summation that the ‘Church’ was full of lots of smug people who flaunted their wealth and believed their good fortune was due to singing songs and the waving of hands around, as opposed to the reality that it was a very supportive network for local businessmen to work through. A bit like why people choose to send their kids to Private Schools, especially if they’re not smart particularly. It’s the networks you gain access to that foster your success.

  11. Bucephalus
    Very true. I was going to ask if people thought the ‘Taliban’ were the cause of their woes or that the ‘Taliban’ moving in was a sign of the rot within, their ill health allowing an infection to take hold.

  12. Steve777

    Social media is like debt and deficit – theirs is good, yours is bad.

    A gold koala stamp for that observation ! 😆

  13. The “Prosperity Gospel” is a relatively recent innovation, mostly from the USA in the 20 century. It is controversial among Christians, including Evangelicals. Many Christians regard it as heresy. Certainly it bears no resemblance to anything I was taught in Catholic school or ever heard in Church when I attended in my younger days.

  14. Bucephalus says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:28 am
    Scott says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Now do the ALP, genius.


    Already did

    Labor will be looking good to form any kind of government at 36%+, 38%+ it will be majority government

    and of course if Labor primary vote is less than 36% , they will be sweating

  15. One theme on here is people who haven’t set foot inside a church for decades commentate on religion as experts – largely based on childhood attendance at church/ sunday school/ catholic school etc.

  16. Based on this poll Labor’s primary vote has not moved in the last 2 years, ie its had no impact at all against the Great White Father.

  17. If by a miracle Labor could get 40% or more in the primary vote, Labor would be close to over 90 seats in the house of reps

  18. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:28 am

    My son also recently dipped his toes into Pentecostalism at the local Evo church (he was chasing a girl and her parents made her go every Friday night, so he went too).

    Now that is what I call a solid reason.

    Reminds me of when I was a kid of that age. When asked where do I want to sit Cheekily said, next to a red head. Low and behold a red head showed up ( bless the lord). Got a religious ear bashing for two hours, interesting, but did not swap numbers.

  19. Lars Von Trier @ #72 Friday, April 30th, 2021 – 8:39 am

    One theme on here is people who haven’t set foot inside a church for decades commentate on religion as experts – largely based on childhood attendance at church/ sunday school/ catholic school etc.

    So, are you a committed Christian who practices their faith religiously and attends church regularly?

  20. Lars Von Trier
    Oh do tell us all the hot gos from within about what it is really like inside. Obviously we cannot believe a thing church leaders say in public eh .

  21. ‘Steve777 says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Re Poroti @7:57

    And how many of [declared Christians] are ‘tick the box’ rather than ‘devout’ ?

    According to this, less than 15% of professed Christians regularly attend Church. That would be a guide to the number of the “devout”:’

    Probably not entirely accurate, although I don’t know the stats.
    Anecdotally, I know several christians whom I would describe as ‘devout’ but who no longer have much regard for their established churches. They do not ‘attend’ regularly. The tendency is to be community-focused and/or ‘charismatic’ in the sense of developing a personal and deep spiritual relationship with Jesus.
    Basically this (loose) group is intent on cutting out the middle man.

  22. Cat

    Yes the business connections between the older male members was very strong in the pentecostalist group I experienced. Hence my reference to the “self-help group”.

    One final comment. I railed last weekend at the outrageous SA-NSW – Commonwealth gas deal in return for funding for a grid interconnector. Now we see Commonwealth funding foir a gas plant in NSW. Coincidence? I think not. One dodgy deal sets up the demand case for the other. So as I suspected, SA power consumers will be paying for jobs in NSW, when we do not need the gas. Labor still hiding in the corner over that one.

    Have a good day all.


    At a recent appearance at the Australian Christian Churches conference Scott Morrison referred to social media as evil, and said he believed he was doing God’s work as Prime Minister. Those comments have ignited debate over the role of faith in political leadership. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Prime Minister’s Pentacostal faith and how it fits with some of his policy decisions.

  24. ‘It’s the networks you gain access to that foster your success.’

    Went to a few Rotary club meetings.

    Suggested to Labor that we should take a similar approach – encourage Labor members to support Labor businesses, which in turn strengthens networking and the sense of community.

    (Thought at time: lacking these kinds of networks is what hampers women in politics. Also thought: women wouldn’t put up with the childish cr*p).

  25. Religion… bah. Make believe practiced by adults….the facile pursuit of the spurious by the delirious. It’s just about impossible to take seriously anyone purporting to be a convinced adherent. They are either simpletons or they’re faking it.

  26. lizzie

    I’m seriously contemplating blocking even old friends on facebook because I’m tired of all the sh*t about crystals, the Universe, alternative medicine, etc etc.

    If someone’s going to be religious, they may as well take up a religion….

  27. Religions and their followers feel and are quite free to caste aspersions at the character and fate of atheists, assorted heathens and followers of other religions. Can’t see a problem with it being a two way street.

  28. I’ve lived on Sydney’s lower North Shore for decades but have never been inside any of the local churches. I attend Church occasionally for family events, happy and sad ones, the next one being happy, my grand nephew’s Christening in a few weeks time.

    I still have an interest in religion, it’s a fascinating topic. This is especially so when it enters into public life and even more so when its followers seek to guide, even direct the affairs of the nation and determine the laws that bind all of us.

  29. Global Cartoon Wrap – Bumper crop alert!:

    From the UK:

    Steve Bells’ final Strip after 40 odd years – so it’s a 21 BUM salute!





    South Africa:

    New Zealand:

    “Look at the Danger of your Left”

    Mark Rutte being served:

    Downing St Make-over:

    Retired generals sign a controversial forum in Valeurs Actuelles

    This year, Georges Brassens would be one hundred years old

    100 days of Biden:

    Covid-19: the reopening of schools, a risky “bet” for Macron?

    Around the world:

  30. zoomster
    I reckon there is a ‘true believer’ personality type. Doesn’t matter what the cause/faith is they feel the need to have one . Seen several people and read of others who jump from belief system to belief system, even if almost diametrically opposed to their former beliefs.

  31. Looks like Vic Labor is heading to Court over removing preselection rights for its members, unions etc.

    Should be an interesting case. zoomster you can join ex parte/ party.

  32. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:45 am

    You want my religious CV?


    Started as a child in Methodist Church every Sunday. Methodists became Uniting Church. UC started left wing political preaching so parents moved us to Anglican where I was confirmed and an altar server. First Youth Group was UC but switched to Baptist Youth Groups. Started going out with a Baptist girl so attended her quite Pentecostal Church. Went to a Church based high school and topped RE even beating the Dux. Attended lots of Church camps and Scripture Union Camps.

    My parents were on the Anglican Church vestry committee and my Mother still regularly plays the organ. We attend that church for major events.

    We send our children to Church run schools and agree to support the ethos of the schools. Attend regular services at both more so my sons as he is a student of the pipe organ in the Chapel.

    My sister and her husband are Pastors in a very large Happy Clapper Pentecostal Church (I think there are ten Pastors) on the Gold Coast that spends millions in the community in meals programs, buying and refurbishing units for pregnant single teenager Mums in particular, disaster relief both in Australia and the SW Pacific and lots of other stuff.

    Is that ok by you?

  33. zoomster

    I’ve had success in being treated by a (skilled) acupuncturist, but have never found much result from most ‘alternatives’, which are always horrendously expensive. As for crystals – pah!

  34. Re religion. I am a regular attendee at two parishes, one about 250 kms nw of Canberra in a very politically conservative area, the other in southern Canberra in a relatively progressive electorate. I am also a member of Vinnies, having volunteered withnthem for a few decades.
    Nearly 30% of Australians state they are Catholics, and about 5% of them attend services on an occasional basis from my observations and anecdotal evidence. In the rural parish most of the attendees are the traditional whitebread Aussies that have been the backbone of the church for ever, but a small number of Africans, Asians and Latin Americans are slowly filtering in. I believe the latter are possibly more conservative politically and socially than the “whitebreads”, and that numbers are fairly stable for the moment after crashing significantly from the 60s through to about 2000.
    In Canberra the rate of attendance is even lower, and Africans, Asians and Latinos are a bigger part of the congregation and increasing, as are younger nmembers albeit from a low base. The political views of the southern Canberra parish probably roughly mirror the electorate within which it is located (hardly surprising!). Ethnic origin plays a large part in political views, Canberras large Croat community being well known for their extreme right wing leanings while the Fijian Indian cohort tend towards the left as do Chileans.
    Within the Vinnies organisation views are skewed a little by a membership that is not wholly Catholic (our parish group of about 30 or so has a couple of Muslims, a Buddist, a lapsed Baptist and a few non believers of various intensity), and an interventionist ethos I don’t think would sit well with the average Hillsonger. We don’t realld talk politics much as such, but I know a few members are active members of the ALP, a couple are active members of the Libs (Seselja group). A couple of apolitical members I know were active unionists in their day but have shied away from the ALP over the years because of perceived antagonism to their religious views.
    Through Vinnies I have had a lot of interaction with other religious groups, especially Anglicare and Uniting Care. They run excellent organisations which do great good work in the community, but struggle for volunteers in congregations that are dwindling rapidly, a problem we will surely also face in a decade or so. Many of their parishes have ceased to exist in the last decade or so, including including both their churches in my suburb.
    There was a very large Evangelical barn church operating under various managements for about 25 years in my suburb, but it has been unoccupied for some years now. They strike me as being a bit like night clubs in that they are trendy for a while, perhaps under a popular leader, but are unable to remain so. I have contact with a lot of former congregants who either fell by the way or went on to another group elsewhere.
    That will do for now.

  35. U.S. COVID update:

    – New cases: 57,371 ……………………………. – New deaths: 869

    – In hospital: 40,380 (-414)
    – In ICU: 10,180 (-89)

    589,167 total deaths now

    ( India reports 386,654 new coronavirus cases / 3,501 new deaths )

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