Essential Research: leadership ratings and COVID management

Downward trends continue for federal leaders’ ratings and perceptions of COVID-19 management at both federal and state level.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll includes the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, which finds Scott Morrison’s approval down one to 57% and disapproval up four to 36%, while Anthony Albanese is respectively steady on 39% and up one to 36%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister is at 48-28, narrowing from 50-24 last time. The pollster’s regular question on the handling of COVID-19 gives the federal government its weakest result since the beginnings of the series in March last year, with its good rating down five to 53% and its poor rating up six to 24%.

The trends for the leadership ratings are COVID-19 questions are worth noting: the former can be found at BludgerTrack, which no longer registers a recovery for Morrison after his slump in May, but also now records Anthony Albanese in net negative territory for the first time; the latter is shown in the chart of the Essential Research series below.

However, it’s not just the federal government that Essential Research finds to be down from its earlier peaks on COVID-19 management: the Victorian government’s good rating is down 15% amid the state’s latest lockdown to 48% (the federal government is also down 15% in the state, to 42%), and recent results for the other state governments are all down around six points from where they were at the start of the year, ranging from 65% for Queensland to 75% for Western Australia.

The poll also finds 40% view the federal government less favourably than they did a year ago, compared with 25% for more favourably and 35% for the same; 43% of the view that the vaccine rollout is being conducted efficiently (unchanged since April), 67% that is is being done safely (up four) and 54% that it will be effective at stopping the virus (up two); and 55% agreeing the Victorian government is raising valid concerns about the federal government’s vaccine rollout performance compared with 45% for the alternative option that it is seeking to shift the blame.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1104. This being Essential’s first result since the launch of the Australian Polling Council code of conduct, it comes with a separate disclosure statement containing detail of the poll’s response options for voting intention, from which we learn that state and Senate voting intention questions were included even if we may never see the results, and that the poll is weighted for age, gender, location and party identification (a somewhat contentious practice in the latter case).

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.

1,336 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings and COVID management”

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  1. Has Taylormade condemn the Victorian Liberal Party for spreading the insane conspiracy theories about Daniel Andrews
    ————————————
    But, but, but, the delightful, if forgettable, Liberal Treasurer in Waiting, plus her no more memorable “leader”, say they’re not spreading any rumours. Just asking the questions people have brought up. Where’s the harm in that? Straight out of the (softer version of the) US Republican election fraud playbook.

  2. Pizza Shops in Collins Street?

    Actually there is a charming basement cafe called Il Solito Posto about a block down from Spring Street.

    A lovely place.

    Nothing to see there, folks.

  3. Marcos De Feilittt
    Is it owned by George Soros, are there tunnels underneath it , has Dan Andrews ever been there ? The 8chan Libs demand answers 😆

  4. Mike Carlton
    @MikeCarlton01
    ·
    9h
    Now that @LouiseStaley has proclaimed that politicians have to cop tough personal questions, I think it’s fair to ask where she got this shit outfit, what it cost and why she bought two sizes two small. Also name of hairdresser.

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Medical experts say with the world starting from a base of zero immunity to COVID-19, Australia’s tough restrictions must remain in place until most of the population has been vaccinated.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/uk-variant-data-promising-widespread-vaccination-still-the-key-to-reopening-20210608-p57z4h.html
    The Age reckons Melburnians will be restricted to travelling no more than 25 kilometres from their homes as part of new eased restrictions to come into effect from Friday.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/no-travel-beyond-25km-from-home-under-likely-eased-restrictions-20210608-p57za9.html
    Epidemiologist, Anna Peeters, put it to us that to defeat COVID we need to think outside the bureaucracy box. She makes a lot of sense.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/to-defeat-covid-we-need-to-think-outside-the-bureaucracy-box-20210608-p57yzc.html
    Health officials in NSW have had to reiterate advice over Covid-19 after a number of businesses in Byron Shire were witnessed asking vaccinated customers not to enter their premises under the misapprehension they could shed the virus. What bloody idiots!
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/08/vaccine-wont-give-you-covid-health-officials-battle-anti-vaccination-messages-in-northern-rivers
    Unlike other vaccine rollouts, the Morrison Government’s COVID vaccine rollout hasn’t been distributed by the states, but by Liberal-aligned private companies. Andrew P Street follows the money.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/morrisons-vaccine-rollout-fail-mates-versus-the-states,15170
    Australians have been forgiving of the government’s Covid response, but we may have reached our limit writes Peter Lewis who points out that approval for the Morrison government has taken a 15-point hit in Victoria, languishing under 50% for the first time since the pandemic began.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2021/jun/08/australians-have-been-forgiving-of-the-governments-covid-response-but-we-may-have-reached-our-limit
    Fergus Hunter gives us more information on the big sting that netted hundreds of criminals.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/mass-raids-arrests-across-australia-after-police-sting-dismantles-encrypted-app-used-by-criminals-20210607-p57yya.html
    Professor of politics, Rodney Tiffin, writes that Morrison is treading a tightrope, and the more that Australians find out about Pentecostal beliefs, the more they will realise how distant those views are from their own. He says, “If you think you are the instrument of God, it is a short step to thinking that whatever advances your cause is justified.”
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7288623/scott-morrison-believes-he-is-fighting-the-good-fight/?cs=14264&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
    Stephen Loosely says that there is nothing to stop the opposition moving into the centre-right and outflanking the Coalition. He says Hawke and Keating did it for 13 years.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/labors-chance-to-seize-centre-and-win/news-story/f8e76524f5a0de2289d35f65db7fdaa6
    Medicare needs to change with the times, but rushing this could leave patients with higher gap fees, explains Stephen Duckett.
    https://theconversation.com/medicare-needs-to-change-with-the-times-but-rushing-this-could-leave-patients-with-higher-gap-fees-162250
    Australian police want suspected drug kingpin Hakan Ayik, who the police set up to distribute the clever encryption app, to turn himself in and be extradited home from his Turkish base to face charges after an extraordinary law enforcement operation fooled global organised crime figures into using an app that was secretly controlled by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation. He’s a marked man in the criminal world.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/he-s-essentially-set-up-his-own-colleagues-pressure-on-australia-s-most-wanted-man-after-raids-20210608-p57z6g.html’
    Josh Butler tells us that a controversial Australian anti-encryption law was a key factor in a combined AFP and FBI sting operation that took down hundreds of criminals, but Scott Morrison and federal authorities are staying tight-lipped on how it was used.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/06/09/afp-fbi-operation/
    Ahead of the G7, Daniel Hurst writes that Scott Morrison is resisting international pressure to lock in more ambitious climate commitments, declaring Australia opposes setting targets for certain parts of the economy or “false deadlines for phasing out specific energy sources”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jun/08/scott-morrison-digs-in-against-deeper-cuts-to-emissions-ahead-of-g7-summit
    Meanwhile, Christopher Knaus reveals that internal documents released under FoI show the branch responsible for the federal government’s aged care Covid-19 response was left with just three staff members at times in the pandemic’s early stages. Now THAT’s Gold Standard!
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jun/09/three-people-tasked-with-australias-aged-care-covid-response-during-early-stages-of-pandemic
    The ABC’s economics reporting is becoming as bad as in Rupert Murdoch’s tawdry tabloids and Fairfax/Nine pro-Coalition pamphlets, argues Alan Austin.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abc-news-economics-department-shows-incompetence-with-false-information,15167
    Here’s Michaela Whitbourn’s report on Ben Roberts-Smith’s day in court yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/ben-roberts-smith-seeking-millions-in-damages-for-smashed-reputation-20210608-p57z28.html
    Katina Curtis tells us that Jo Dyer, a friend of the Christian Porter accuser has vowed to keep telling her story until there’s an inquiry.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/assembling-her-army-friend-of-porter-accuser-vows-to-keep-telling-her-story-until-there-s-an-inquiry-20210607-p57yog.html
    Bruce Haigh explains why he thinks Australian democracy is fading fast. He says it all started with John Howard.
    https://johnmenadue.com/australian-democracy-is-fading-fast/
    A cynical Ross Gittins begins this contribution with, “I find it hugely encouraging. Don’t know if you’ve heard the glad tidings but, on his road to Damascus – or, in this case, Paris – our own Mathias Cormann, former senator and minister for finance, has experienced a miraculous conversion. He’s gone from persecutor of those who care about climate change to being a leader of the cause.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/my-new-hero-mathias-cormann-now-valiant-for-truth-and-on-the-winning-side-20210608-p57z11.html
    Some of Australia’s highest earners pay no tax, and it costs them a fortune, explains Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2021/jun/08/some-of-australias-highest-earners-pay-no-tax-and-it-costs-them-a-fortune
    The pandemic has shown that radical changes can be made to the health system, and they can be made quickly. Rachel Clun writes about the AMA’s ideas on how to bring them about.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-impossible-australian-medical-association-s-plan-for-reforming-healthcare-20210608-p57z4e.html
    COVID is hurting all of us, but it is time to put our children first, urges Julie Szego. What she am criticises is the lack of urgency in making schools COVID-safe to minimise the risk of future closures.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/victoria/covid-is-hurting-all-of-us-but-it-is-time-to-put-our-children-first-20210608-p57z5c.html
    Anne Hyland writes that the peak bodies representing more than 200,000 Australian accountants have hit out at Josh Frydenberg’s controversial proposal to weaken the influence of shareholder advisory groups, as the nation’s top business lobby detailed its support for the overhaul.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/accountants-join-revolt-over-frydenberg-s-proxy-advice-reforms-20210608-p57z1f.html
    Andrew Leigh has published new research suggesting the world’s largest asset managers, such as BlackRock and Vanguard, and local super fund giants may be inhibiting competition in Australia by owning large stakes in rival businesses.
    https://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/labor-s-andrew-leigh-takes-on-blackrock-vanguard-20210608-p57z0j
    Anthnony Galloway reports that senior officials warned Peter Dutton that allowing special forces troops to keep their meritorious unit citation from Afghanistan despite credible allegations of war crimes against a small clique of soldiers posed a risk to Australia’s moral authority.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/defence-warned-keeping-afghanistan-honours-posed-unacceptable-risk-to-moral-authority-of-the-adf-20210608-p57z4w.html
    Stories abound of sad and degrading treatment of disabled Australians on the NDIS; from misleading tactics to prohibit eligibility to therapies cut unilaterally. Natasha May reports on a scheme which was meant to uplift but is failing many of the country’s most disadvantaged people.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/di-was-in-constant-pain-from-her-multiple-sclerosis-yet-still-rejected-by-the-ndis/
    Climate change is making ocean waves more powerful, threatening to erode many coastlines, explain these contributors to The Conversation.
    https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-making-ocean-waves-more-powerful-threatening-to-erode-many-coastlines-160998
    David Shearman writes, “When Mr Morrison arrives at the G7 Leaders Summit later this week he will have before him a report on Biodiversity and if he reads and understands it he will realise that Australia’s reformed gross domestic product would almost certainly be in negative territory and likely to fall further because of our poor record in maintaining natural resources.
    https://johnmenadue.com/mr-morrison-the-g7-summit-and-the-report-biodiversity-natural-capital-and-the-economy/
    Noise pollution from drilling for oil and gas offshore devastates marine life, affecting not only food sources but oxygen levels. But neither the federal government nor NOPSEMA, which has environmental responsibility for approving offshore projects, takes such damage into account. Suzanne Arnold reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/regulators-ignore-marine-noise-pollution-from-oil-drilling/
    According to Charlotte Grieve, NAB has launched an internal program to overhaul its approach to monitoring suspicious customers after a series of internal audits were knocked back by AUSTRAC.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nab-s-secretive-project-apollo-to-fix-financial-crime-loopholes-20210608-p57z1c.html
    As the ex-president hints at running once again, his future could lie in the courtroom, not the Oval Office. He’s Teflon Don no more, at least when it comes to court.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/08/trump-legal-threat-investigations-courts

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  6. Rafael Epstein
    @Raf_Epstein
    ·
    4m
    The whole pandemic politics comms battle.. in just the one newspaper.

    @theheraldsun has their reporter in contact tracers briefing – health dept opening up and saying ‘look how well we are doing’
    and
    @JoshFrydenberg continues what i’d call a low level attack

  7. A couple of people commented on seeing ‘Hamilton’ . It seems the writer has very unfairly besmirched Hamilton’s mother.
    .

    OPINION
    The mega-musical Hamilton does a great disservice to its hero’s mother.

    “How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman … grow up to be a hero and a scholar?” So opens Hamilton the current must-see of musicals. …………….

    …………….Going back a few steps, the writer and star of the American version of the musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was inspired to write the musical while lying on a beach reading Alexander Hamilton, the biography written by historian Ron Chernow.

    It turns out, on a reading of said biography, that although Hamilton’s political enemies may have called him the son of a whore as a way of taunting him for a difficult childhood, his mother, Rachel Hamilton, was in fact a store-owner in a time and place where it was rare for women to run businesses. His mother is clearly the parent from whom Hamilton inherited the brains, drive and energy……….

    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/musicals/the-mega-musical-hamilton-does-a-great-disservice-to-its-hero-s-mother-20210608-p57z65.html#comments

  8. So Josh’s wife hasn’t complained, but he’s got a problem?

    As he admits, he hasn’t even been there, so how does he know (if his wife isn’t complaining) that school closures are causing major traumas? He wouldn’t be able to interact with families other than his own, either.

  9. U.S.-traded crude oil closed above $70 for the first time in two and a half years on Tuesday, another sign that oil has avoided the mini-slump hitting other commodities in the past few weeks.

    West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. benchmark, settled up 1.2% to $70.05. It was the highest close since Oct. 16, 2018. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, settled 1% higher at $72.22 per barrel.

  10. “Scottsays:
    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 6:36 am
    Has Taylormade condemn the Victorian Liberal Party for spreading the insane conspiracy theories about Daniel Andrews

    Is Victorian Liberal Party ‘Taylormade’ to spread Conspiracy theories?

  11. Sheoakbloke
    @Sheoakbloke1
    ·
    9m
    Dan Tehan on the Victorian opposition’s conspiracy questions re. Dan Andrews.
    “Oppositions have the right to ask questions and good on Louise Staley for asking them”
    Tell me Dan, why then does your government have to use “I move that the member no longer be heard” so many times

  12. Louise Staley, she of the ‘hard personal questions’ for Dan Andrews drawn from right wing online sewers, has a chequered history in the Liberal Party – which she has overcome to be the putative alternate Treasurer for Victoria…

  13. Ven
    The writer was on the money with

    For all these reasons, should the opportunity arise to demonise him in the wider community, his opponents will grab it,….

    Come on down the avalanche of bullshit over ‘THAT’ handshake with The Rodent.

  14. I’ll start criticising the conspiracy theories about Dan Andrews’ injuries when the left start criticising the conspiracy theories about the PM having anything to do with Qanon.

  15. The one new locally-acquired case is linked to the current outbreaks and has been quarantining during their infectious period.

  16. So Josh’s wife hasn’t complained, but he’s got a problem?

    As he admits, he hasn’t even been there, so how does he know (if his wife isn’t complaining) that school closures are causing major traumas? He wouldn’t be able to interact with families other than his own, either.

    Schools are one of the few captive audiences for pollies.

  17. A couple of people commented on seeing ‘Hamilton’

    “Come From Away” is the musical for people who don’t like musicals. (TM)

  18. BK
    As Scotty and the Vic opposition would tell you, the extra 7 days was not needed , an overreaction and then mumble something about NSW and ‘gold standard’ .

  19. Good Morning

    @Kon_K tweets

    A reminder today @karenandrewsmp under section 195A of Migration Act has the unfettered power to release family on permanent visa back to Biloela. The test is simply is it in “public interest” to do so. I cannot think in 20 years of a stronger example of it being so #hometobilo

  20. @AlboMP tweets

    It costs 34% more to see your doctor today than it did when the Liberals came to power.

    And now they want you to pay more by cutting Medicare funding for surgeries that Australians need. Cutting Medicare is in the Liberals’ DNA. Labor will fight them every step of the way.

  21. @POTUS tweets

    Folks, the Delta variant — a highly infectious COVID-19 strain — is spreading rapidly among young people between 12 and 20 years old in the U.K. If you’re young and haven’t gotten your shot yet, it really is time. It’s the best way to protect yourself and those you love.

  22. @kevinbonhan tweeted 9 hours ago
    Scott Morrison has now lost 21 #Newspoll netsat points in the last 3.5 months.

    John Howard lost this many or more as fast or faster in:

    1996
    1997
    1998
    1999/2000
    2000
    2001
    2002
    2002/3
    2005

  23. BK says:
    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:00 am

    “So, the extra seven days has been a success. What would have been the case if it had not been extended?”

    Given that the close contacts would have stayed in isolation – everyone else would have got on with their lives.

  24. guytaur says:
    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:10 am

    “It costs 34% more to see your doctor today than it did when the Liberals came to power.”

    It’s appropriate that Albo isn’t bulk billed but most people don’t pay because they are bulk billed. Almost 90% of GP appointments are free.

  25. Bucephalus
    You of course knew for sure all chains of infection had been discovered and contained. Oh and you don’t need to be a ‘close contact’ to catch The Plague.

  26. Buce just for you.

    @POTUS tweets

    Folks, Wall Street didn’t build this country — the great middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class.

    @BobPersis tweets
    50 yrs of tax cuts failed to trickle down

    Trickle down economics
    Trickle down economic
    Trickle down economi
    Trickle down econom
    Trickle down econo
    Trickle down econ
    Trickle down eco
    Trickle down ec
    Trickle down e
    Trickle down
    Trickle dow
    Trickle do
    Trickle d
    Trickle
    Trickl
    Trick

  27. guytaur says:
    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:31 am.

    “@POTUS tweets

    Folks, Wall Street didn’t build this country — the great middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class.”

    That’s such a stupid tweet. Without Wall Street where would the funding have come from? Thin air?

  28. Rick Morton
    @SquigglyRick
    ·
    3m
    I do feel the need to say, however, that I believe we are just days away from Louise Staley flinging herself down a flight of stairs in Sorrento in a bid to forensically recreate the circumstances into which she is doggedly inquiring.

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