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. BK @ #710 Friday, June 11th, 2021 – 5:41 pm

    Christian Porter and his high-profile barrister have been ordered to pay costs running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who had accused the former attorney general of raping her three decades ago. Today justice Tom Thawley made a costs order forcing Porter and his former barrister, Sue Chrysanthou SC, to pay Dyer’s costs in relation to last month’s federal court hearing.

    Isn’t it kind of the first rule for lawyers to know the law so you don’t get caught up in it too?

  2. O’Brien using the 7 news to whinge again. Just wish someone would ask him “what would you do differently”

  3. Looks like Nicholas owens, SC might get another gig for the ABC down the road:

    The ABC has broken its silence on the highly-critical editorial the Australian published on Tuesday, Greatest enemy of truth is those who conspire to lie, saying it “made serious and unfounded allegations against two ABC journalists, Louise Milligan and Sally Neighbour, and the Four Corners team”.

    “To see the Australian use its editorial space in such a way undermines the traditions of journalism it purports to stand for,” the ABC said.

    … A former editor-in-chief of the Australian, David Armstrong, said he was “distressed” to read the editorial and the “heading and the final sentence are defamatory verbal abuse”. Former Oz journalists Patricia Karvelas, James Jeffrey, George Megalogenis, and Chip Le Grand spoke up for Milligan on Twitter; while ABC veterans Bruce Belsham, Quentin Dempster, Alan Sunderland and Jonathan Holmes backed Neighbour and criticised the editorial. “Yes, and it doesn’t matter how many good years you give they target and smear,” Karvelas said. Former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell told the Canberra Times he thought it was “very odd”.

  4. Geoffrey Edelstein Dead at 78.
    A man who saw an opportunity with the original medibank and exploited it with a significant degree of grees

  5. Smith St Melbourne named the world’s greatest street. 3 decades ago it was basically an open-air heroin market!

  6. It looks like Dr Katie Allan has been sent out to spruik the Morrison government’s preferred position with respect to dedicated quarantine facilities for returned travellers:

    If we want to make our quarantine system safer and avoid further outbreaks, building more Howard Springs-type facilities is not the answer. Daily rapid antigen tests could give us the security we need. They could help prevent quarantine workers spreading COVID-19 into the community when they return home every night from work. And returned overseas travellers could be retested post-quarantine to quickly identify those rare cases that become positive after leaving a facility.

    Their speedy results are attractive given the emergence of new highly infectious variants of concern. Their low cost – $10 a test – means they are cost-effective to deploy regularly.

    Early in the pandemic, NSW assessed the role of post-quarantine testing but experts advised the rates of becoming positive post-quarantine were too low to warrant its mandatory use. Fifteen months on, that risk equation has changed and regular post-quarantine testing could help prevent community outbreaks arising from quarantine.

  7. I wonder how Geoff Edelsten’s ex wife Gabi Grecko will take the news.

    Here she is with her new flame rapper ‘Surf School Rico’.

  8. The Australian ”The Greatest enemy of truth is those who conspire to lie…”

    That’s a bit rich coming from a Murdoch rag… unless it’s self-referential.

  9. I wholeheartedly endorse the comments of Bert, South, and others who’ve said that those who have distinguished themselves by valorous acts in the ADF are normally self-effacing. Look no further than Frank Patridge, Keith Payne, and other more contemporary Australian recipients of the VC.

    Roberts-Smith seems to type who would, after a few beers in the mess, want to share his heroic deeds in minute detail. I don’t respect or trust him.

    His evidence thus far is singularly exculpatory, saying that his fellow diggers (former & serving) want to bring him down due to jealousy predicated on the “tall poppy” syndrome. In my time, most of the people I served with would be extremely happy for anyone who received a gallantry award.

    Twenty-one former & serving ADF witnesses will give evidence against him. To contend that they’re all tarred with the brush of jealously is nothing short of “staggering”, a number of them obviously traumatised by what they saw, and they’re brave to boot, knowing full well that they’ll be ostracised.

    While being cautious not to predict an outcome of this Stokes’ funded litigation, if this is the best R-S has got, I think he’s treading on very thin ice indeed.

  10. ‘How To Look Busy While Doing Absolutely Fuck All’, By Scott Morrison

    One of the things I’ve learned since being in the top job is that Aussies love a do-er. Someone who rolls their sleeves up, gets their hands dirty and chips in to get the job done.

    Sounds like a lot of hard work if you ask me.
    Much better to just give the impression you’re working and get paid half a mil a year to do sweet FA. Here are a few tips I asked my secretary to type up:

  11. Steve777
    Standard Rupert shit. A couple of days back The Australian thought they were just the people to lecture the ABC about journalistic standards.

  12. Mavis,

    No other VC recipient has ever been put under the same scrutiny as BRS.

    There are plenty in the cancel culture who want to destroy a hero.

  13. ABC news using some of the code words for suicide for Edelstein but not the definitive Beyond Blue statement

  14. “There are plenty in the cancel culture who want to destroy a hero”

    I wouldn’t have thought cancel culture was much of a thing in the ADF.

  15. Steve777

    Damn that’s slow.

    Hopefully it will soon pick up. I seem to remember manufacturing patent licences being approved for Australia in June.

  16. @MikeCarltonO1 tweets
    Hi @AlanTudgeMP. Remember saying this about Robodebt a few years ago: ?

    “We’ll find you, we’ll track you down and you will have to repay those debts and you may end up in prison.”

    Anything you’d like to add ?

    @sspencer tweets
    Simple test. If a politician says on #robodebt “Labor did it too” they are lying and know they are lying. If a journalist repeats this, unchallenged, they are not a journalist.

  17. Greensborough Growler

    There are plenty in the cancel culture who want to destroy a hero.

    If the stories of his fellow SAS troopers are true he is no hero. People can want all they like but the people who can and may ‘destroy’ are definitely non ‘cancel culture’ people , BRS himself and his fellow SAS troopers .

  18. C@t
    Rupert wouldn’t know the truth if it bit his formaldehyde embalmed arse.
    This has all the hall marks of a primitive strike to deflect from Scotts irrational beliefs.

  19. A sensible contribution I missed from this morning

    @Bowenchris tweets

    The Morrison Govt is leaving Australia terribly exposed to carbon tariffs because it refuses to act on climate change. Good climate policy is good jobs policy. Carbon tariffs would impact on Australian jobs and investment, especially in the regions.…

  20. Greensborough Growler:

    Friday, June 11, 2021 at 7:15 pm


    No other VC recipient has ever been put under the same scrutiny as BRS.’]

    That’s true and there’s an ostensible reason for that. And that’s due to the supposition that those who know him well are troubled by what they’ve witnessed.

    [‘There are plenty in the cancel culture who want to destroy a hero.’]

    That’s true too. But I think his credibility is suspect.
    Look, for example, at the pic of him holding hands
    with a solicitor, who swore a “crucial” affidavit in his proceeding against his former wife.

    Solicitors don’t normally hold hands with their clients; though counsel occasionally does.

  21. A reminder Labor and yes I am probably repeating a comment already made.

    The Robodebt scandal alone should see the end of the LNP government.

    See the Netherlands example.
    @michellegrattan tweets

    Liberals’ Dan Andrews questions are a perfect case study in how to manufacture fake news… via @ConversationEDU

  22. Mavis,

    I’m sure this matter entertains you.

    An Australian soldier behind enemy lines in a real war making harsh life and death situation makes decisions adverse to comfortable middle class life is not something I will question.

    We put him there . We are the ones that are responsible,

  23. Edelstein did jail time for organising a hit man to break a patient’s hands and perverting the course of justice. Before AHPRA he was struck off in NSW and later in Victoria from memory there were accusations of doona therapy but I am not sure if this was confirmed

  24. BRS is a product of the ADF leadership and Govt.

    Every sickening account you hear just consider who’s really responsible.

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