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. DisplayName @ #619 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 12:47 pm

    BB

    Variety being the spice of life, we occasionally get “Trumpist”, “Coalist”, “Misogynist”, “Rapist”, “Pedarist” and “Bullshit Artist” added to the basic charge.

    BB is a prime example of a labelist.

    Yeah, he’s not the greatest at self-reflection and the mea culpa. 😀

  2. timbo

    Underground cabling as you say do it once. Run multiple services in the cabling trench. Power and NBN make for a cost reduction for a government. The community pays for it through taxes.

    It’s no magic bullet. However underground cabling fixes a lot of common problems and does not put the costs onto one private company trying to serve a community.

    Microgrids and renewables around towns helps big time in this space so we are talking about a very small proportion of the population that could not be served by underground cabling.

    It could even be as small as those currently using generators.

  3. timbo @ #404 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 1:04 pm

    I am very opposed to the privatisation of all utilities, health and education. It should never be done, should never have been done and should be undone, as difficult as that may be.
    However I don’t think it would have helped in this weather event. As to underground supply lines…well there are some downsides. In new suburbs – absolutely – no question. When replacing damaged or old systems – sometimes. The real issue as I understand it, is that many more trees need to be first removed before the underground wiring can be installed compared to overhead.
    On the other hand, do it once do it properly. Maybe replace it once do it properly.
    Either way if it is in public hands a single decision can be made on advice that is not concerned with profit but with best practice.

    Timbo Thanks What I driving at but much better put than I could manage atm.

  4. Kakuru @ #627 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 1:09 pm

    Tricot
    “He always caveats with “show me your evidence” ignores the proffered evidence, moves on, cherry picks something else and moves on…….”

    I once entertained the notion that this individual had a scintilla of reason, and was possibly worth engaging with. It took me a long time (far longer than it should have) to realise that he’s merely a troll and oxygen thief.

    And the worst financial adviser in Perth because he never seems to be preoccupied with work, instead having reams of time to spend here every day.

  5. poroti @ #624 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 1:03 pm

    😆 “legally insufficient” nice try from Arseholes Inc. Hang draw and quarter them as they were told of the ‘deficiencies’ very early on and still they went ahead.
    .
    Luke Henriques-Gomes
    (@lukehgomes)
    A small thing, but an important one. Government ministers and top public servants have continued to assert robodebt was merely “legally insufficient”, rather than “unlawful”. But the federal court begs to differ. pic.twitter.com/O4kAgH50Qi

    June 11, 2021

    Or, in other words, the Coalition couldn’t convince enough of the Cross bench in the Senate to make it legal.

  6. Nick Feik
    @NickFeik

    Still astounded that the govt would put $500m into the war memorial (already over-funded) while allowing the actual national archives (which needs a fraction of that) to rot through lack of funds.
    They’re not interested in history; they’re interested in honouring militarism.

  7. Jaeger @ #1058 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 11:47 am

    Kiwiland is soon to be blessed with flat packs and Swedish meat balls.

    I, Kea:

    Excellent, Grasshopper Weta!

    My lasting memory of my favorite avian overlords comes from the top bunk of the old Copeland hut in the early Jurrasic (1981). I was escaping an alpine season at Mt Cook for the wonders of the west coast (hot pools, midges and lonely hitching back to Christchurch) by going over the Copeland pass on foot & fully loaded. I was woken by the local Kea gang getting their revenge on me taking the advice of a hand written note suggesting that it would be a good idea to take my boots inside to prevent them being eaten by said keas. Their revenge for no playing was to serially crash land on the tin roof, inches from my head, slide down the pitched roof, and hang upside down from the combing to peer in me through the small window and laugh uproariously . Wonderful birds, Keas. Beutiful plumage.

  8. WTH!?!

    7NEWS Melbourne
    @7NewsMelbourne
    ·
    4h
    Prime Minister
    @ScottMorrisonMP
    has warned that borders will likely remain closed indefinitely even if Australia can lift its vaccination game. #auspol #7NEWS

  9. guytaur @ #1053 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 11:37 am

    @DougCameron51 tweets

    Another Liberal cabinet minister lines up this morning to run the lies that we’ll be overrun by refugees if the govt behaves like compassionate human beings.
    Doesn’t @Anne_Ruston @SenatorCash and @KarenAndrews know how cruel, pathetic and dumb this disgusting spin line is?

    Don’t they have any faith in the ABF to identify and perform safe turn-arounds ..??

    Is the ABF just an under-funded bit of bullshit cosplay ..?

    Honestly, this mob with its sadistic treatment of AS and it’s sadistic treatment re robodebt … what a bunch of utter crackpot sicko’s.

  10. C@t, while I often think unflattering thoughts about my fellow bludgers, that statement of mine was intended as a joke :P.

    Labelist as in a label-phobe, because you know, the (over) use of labels and ‘ists’ was raised.

    No it’s not as punny as it could be :P.

  11. Green Machine says:
    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 10:52 am
    “In this, they resemble you, who are overtly and proudly Labor-phobic.”

    Incorrect. I am proudly pro-progressive.

    In theory only. In practice, the Greens align their strategies to complement the strategies of the reactionaries. In fact, you are an ensign of the reactionary party. The intention and the effect of G politics is to prevent Labor from achieving power. This is a declared aim of your so-called progressive mob.

  12. The Tasmanian Government recently put in place a solar powered energy solution for public housing on the Tasman Peninsula.

    It’s still connected to the grid but in an area that had common blackouts that public housing complex suffers far fewer blackouts and reduces the energy bills for the residents.

    Have renewables with community batteries and the need to run high powered transmission lines across vast distances disappears.
    The local community can have the power lines underground.
    No trees falling on them and no bushfire risk.
    An increased quality of life for those communities.

  13. DisplayName @ #640 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 1:25 pm

    C@t, while I often think unflattering thoughts about my fellow bludgers, that statement of mine was intended as a joke :P.

    Labelist as in a label-phobe, because you know, the (over) use of labels and ‘ists’ was raised.

    No it’s not as punny as it could be :P.

    Okay, but I’ve been wanting to point that out for a while. Sorry I used you as the vehicle to do it. Except for Zerlo and Quoll, who seem to love going off like a frog in a sock, generally, post KayJay, most of us have been trying to tone it down. Not only that but I wanted to point out that there’s more than one way to be ‘istist’. 🙂

  14. If punching someone is bullying, then the bullying element of the Defo action is starting to look a bit leaning one way. The other interesting thing to note here is that BRS has casually given testimony that one of his fellow soldiers… well, read it for yourself.

    BTW, BRS’ nickname was ‘RS’.


    …Roberts-Smith did concede he punched Person 10 following a failed mission in the Chora Valley, saying he regretted hitting his comrade, but that he was frustrated because Person 10 had jeopardised the mission by firing indiscriminately, including at an Afghan woman and child.
    …’

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jun/11/ben-roberts-smith-tells-defamation-trial-that-victoria-cross-put-a-target-on-my-back

  15. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Nick Feik
    @NickFeik

    Still astounded that the govt would put $500m into the war memorial (already over-funded) while allowing the actual national archives (which needs a fraction of that) to rot through lack of funds.
    They’re not interested in history; they’re interested in honouring militarism.
    ——————–
    They are just not conservatives.

    True conservatives value history this lot don’t.

  16. Being politics I better hammer it home.

    The Liberal government of Tasmania is using solar power in a microgrid with a community battery to prevent power blackouts. In one of the most famous cold weather climates of Australia. The Tasman Peninsula.

    Solar power more reliable than coal or hydro power so called base load power as determined by the Liberal Party of Tasmania.

  17. I fully support the idea of putting power underground and this would be a great nation building initiative the ability to also patch the NBN network at the same time makes it even more desirable. Maybe start with bushfire and flood prone areas to cut down on the current cost of remedial work. I would also like to see new built communities have solar with a community battery as standard. Maybe instead of giving out first home owner grants the government could fund and legislate new built community’s to be self sufficient with power.
    From a householders point of view this would mean no more power bills and they would have more disposable income to improve the economy. Developers would hate it because the price rise that always accompanies a home buyer grant would no longer exist.

  18. Guytaur
    The WA government has replaced power lines to some farm communities with solar with battery backup. This was after all the power lines got burnt out a couple of years ago. It was going to take forever and a significant spend to replace the power lines which were at the far end of the grid. The farmers involved are really happy with the outcome as they usually had numerous blackouts and now have reliable power.
    As part of its power overhaul WA is also planning to place solar on all schools within the state, this is also welcome because the power bills put a large dent in the schools operating budgets.

  19. “Sally Neighbour
    @neighbour_s
    ·
    2h
    Here we go, folks. Next on #4Corners ‘The Great Awakening: A Family Divided by QAnon’. Here’s a preview”

    Thanks for the buildup, ScottyFromMarketing.

  20. poroti:

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Re. your earlier pic of Dutton. I’ve got a pic of him on my desktop that makes him look so unattractive that the ‘puter says “No” when I attempt to publish it. Australians will not countenance a baldie in the Lodge. Even McMahon & Howard had some hair on the back & sides, not forgetting the latter’s rather interesting eyebrows. No offence to the follicularly challenged.

  21. Assantdj @ #1126 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 1:29 pm

    Guytaur
    The WA government has replaced power lines to some farm communities with solar with battery backup. This was after all the power lines got burnt out a couple of years ago. It was going to take forever and a significant spend to replace the power lines which were at the far end of the grid. The farmers involved are really happy with the outcome as they usually had numerous blackouts and now have reliable power.
    As part of its power overhaul WA is also planning to place solar on all schools within the state, this is also welcome because the power bills put a large dent in the schools operating budgets.

    Interestingly, in SA on certain hot windy days the network operator will shutdown power to some of these high risk areas.

    IMO, subsidising and installing these systems is a great thing that could have other beneficial flow on effects. Just one minor benefit is the cost and loss of habitat of cutting back the trees that grow near the lines.

    Next they should subsidise mini airships for theses peeps as the cost of maintaining the road network to the more out of the way places is exe and getting exeier now they are making them more reliable bushfire escape paths.

  22. Recon
    “I wonder if the 4 Corner’s story will get much beyond ‘PM has a dickhead for a mate’. ?”

    The PM’s mate also has a dickhead for a mate.

  23. Recon

    A far more interesting story would be the insidious behaviour of the Pentacostal church. And the way its already influenced Scumo’s decisions.

  24. Kakuru says:
    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Recon
    “I wonder if the 4 Corner’s story will get much beyond ‘PM has a dickhead for a mate’. ?”

    The PM’s mate also has a dickhead for a mate.
    ____________
    🙂 That’s for the week after.

  25. When hiking in the NZ mountains you are always warned that
    a) dont leave your stuff unattended or the Keas will steal it,
    b) you aussies are useless and our mountains are seriously serious – you will either die a terrible death or need rescuing on all of the trails you want to go on. Only kiwis are tough enough and only kiwis fast and fit enough to walk any route in the signposted time.

  26. The culture wars are hotting up.

    “The frustration and concern with the ABC is as strong as it’s ever been. It routinely gets raised in the party room and no one ever gets up to defend them,” the MP s

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/how-four-corners-became-the-story-in-the-government-s-abc-wars-20210610-p58003.html

    A big no comment from Scott on forthcoming 4 Corners will I assume mean another deformation case after next Monday

    Truth will be the defence

  27. Luke Henriques-Gomes
    @lukehgomes
    ·
    39m
    You have to say this week has really held a mirror up to the country. Cruelty towards the Biloela family. “Shameful” $1.7bn in unlawful debts against 400,000 welfare recipients. And no consequences. Bleak stuff.

    We’re a shit country until we decide we’re not.

  28. Luke Henriques-Gomes
    @lukehgomes
    ·
    2h
    The key quote from Justice Murphy: “The proceeding has exposed a shameful chapter in the administration of the Commonwealth social security system and a massive failure of public administration.”

    God’s work.

  29. Assantdj wrote:

    I fully support the idea of putting power underground and this would be a great nation building initiative the ability to also patch the NBN network at the same time makes it even more desirable.

    As well as supporting alternative means of electricity generation, and yes, building a proper NBN for the Regions, the government should be encouraging industries that actually use the power that’s generated, and that can use the NBN… together, preferably.

    Since becoming a Regional myself I have seen the wonderful lifestyle possible: no traffic, no crowds, no tolls, no pollution, and a far better social amenity being just some of the benefits.

    What we lack is high quality jobs. Sure there’s a bit of a building boom on in some areas at the moment (tradies are kings up this way). Inland areas are getting some rain with consequent good prices for the moment. On our recent travels we saw the best (places like Broken Hill, Dubbo and Tamworth) and the worst (Peterborough, Nyngan, Wilcannia) where any prosperity they have is fragile, fleeting and fast disappearing.

    But even the slower towns and districts have amazing potential for to be both power generation centres and industrial hubs for more and better industries than just digging up dirt, agriculture and government services.

    NSW is run by a government whose primary planning g aim is to build up Sydney as the premier metropolis of the southern Pacific. The entire engine of government runs on maintaining teeming crowds, streaming on expensive public and private transport arteries into a few streets in the Sydney CBD, with the rest of the city reserved for dormitory suburbs and ancillary service industries.

    With the predominant conversation topic being “house prices” (with “bloody tolls”, “ugly apartments everywhere” and “I hate traffic” as close runner ups), Sydney has turned into a nest of agitated, overcrowded, ants competing brutally with each other for space, education opportunities and breathable air. If only some of its industry could be removed to the far calmer, less crowded, more beautiful regional areas, it would benefit both.

    Whitlam at least tried to decentralize, but the pressure from the cities to concentrate on premium property prices in their CBDs (over-simplified, but I hope you get my drift), pulled the rug out from that admirable policy. That, and the fact that communications and energy solutions had not arrived then.

    But they have now. Why not use the coming technological revolution – that has the capacity to provide power and communications, time-saving and social amenity – to disentangle our futures from “house prices” no-one can afford and the proclivities of CBD-based donors whose imaginations don’t stretch much further than building shoddy blocks of apartments, digging holes and profiting off the theft of other people’s water resources?

    We should be developing Australia, not squatting on it and scratching a living selling off precious resources which is only a way of making other countries rich.

  30. “As well as supporting alternative means of electricity generation, and yes, building a proper NBN for the Regions, the government should be encouraging industries that actually use the power that’s generated, and that can use the NBN… together, preferably.”

    We are on it, fella. See the Townsville renewables, hydrogen and manufacturing announcement from the Qld Labor govt, linked earlier.

  31. …. We should be developing Australia, not squatting on it and scratching a living selling off precious resources, as a way of making other countries rich.

    Excellent post. But it is much easier to just play the Coalition game of hammock-spiv-allowances.

    And the media just love poking holes in any politician trying to plan for the future. They have that part down pat. Holding a political party to account for doing nicks – that seems to be well beyond them.

  32. A recipient of the Victoria Cross or the Victoria Cross for Australia receives an annuity of $4,614.00. What cheapskates. Pommies get £10,000 per year.

  33. One sort of interesting question in relation to Keas is this: ‘Are they truly mountain parrots or is that all the habitat left to them as they destroy their way towards extinction?

  34. Take care around Keas they are smarter than they look 🙂

    Kea are the first animals outside the great apes to show they understand probability
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-03-04/nz-kea-parrot-understand-probabilities/12018464
    .
    INCREDIBLE VIDEO SHOWS PARROT INTELLIGENCE RIVALS THAT OF HUMAN INFANTS
    Polly wanna master the concept of probability.
    https://www.inverse.com/science/incredible-video-shows-parrot-intelligence-rivals-that-of-human-infants

  35. Bushfire Bill
    You only have to listen to Morrison bleating about workers not going into the CBDs and how detrimental this is to the business and property owners who are losing out to know that any move to the regions is doomed to fail.
    It would appear we are in a catch 22, our infrastructure is built around the difficulties related to power distribution, transport and communications. These things should not stop us from moving towards another model but will lead to the displacement of wealth amongst those who are currently benefiting from the old model. These people are also those that drive the media and the lobbying, and it doesn’t stop there because many people have gained wealth by owning property close to or accessible to these major centres.
    Covid has put a bit of a bump in the road, people have worked out they can move away and still work, educate themselves and their families while having a better quality of life. Unfortunately it will take much more than this to see a reversal of the trend and while I hope we may one day have a government that invests realistically in a more regional approach it probably won’t be in my lifetime.

  36. I spoke about this relatively new Shingles vaccine a month or so ago. It’s now available in Oz but is not on the free list. It’s apparently more efficacious than Zostavax (which is free for those 70 & above) and those with compromised immune systems:

    [‘In 2016, Zostavax, a live vaccine, was added to the national immunisation program – but only free for those over 70 and take-up has been less than a third. This week, a new vaccine, Shingrix, with better efficacy, hit the Australian market but it is only available privately, around $500 for complete coverage of two doses.

    ‘Professor Macartney said the last time manufacturer GSK applied for Shingrix to be made available on the national program, it was rejected, and supply to Australia was delayed. The cost is prohibitive.

    “It has a lot of promise but it does need to be made available in a way people can access and afford it,” she says. “There is an unmet need, particularly in the over 50s and people with compromised immune systems.”]

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/i-sat-in-a-dark-room-for-six-weeks-vaccine-hope-for-australia-s-fastest-growing-disease-20210611-p5809n.html

  37. boerwar
    They are happily Alpine but were also found down on the ‘lowlands’ and in the north Island until the Maori turned up.

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