Essential Research leadership and COVID polling

The shine continues to come off Scott Morrison’s COVID-boosted personal ratings, plus new evidence of a softening in support for the Coalition among women.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll includes the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, which gives Scott Morrison his weakest results since the onset of COVID-19 – down six on approval to 51% and up four on disapproval to 40%, with his lead as preferred prime minister narrowing slightly from 48-28 to 46-28. Anthony Albanese is up two on approval to 41% and down one on disapproval to 35%. These numbers have been fed into the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, sharpening Morrison’s established downward trend.

Approval of the federal government’s response to COVID-19 has also deteriorated, with a nine point drop in the good rating since last month to 44% and a six point increase in poor to 30%. Among respondents in New South Wales, the good rating for the federal government has slumped from 62% to 44%, and that for the state government is down from 69% to 57%. A range of other questions are featured on matters relating to COVID-19, including findings that 36% would be willing to get the Pfizer vaccine but not AstraZeneca (5% said vice-versa); that 40% believe the vaccine rollout is being down efficiently, down from 43% a month ago (and 68% earlier in the year); and that 64% believe it is being done safely, down from 67%.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1099; full results can be viewed here.

Elsewhere, the Age/Herald yesterday published results aggregated from the three monthly Resolve Strategic polls which compared current voting intention with how respondents recalled having voted in 2019, and found women were more likely to have shifted away from the Coalition (down four points to 37%) than men (down one to 41%). On the subject of Resolve Strategic, Macquarie University academic Murray Goot casts a critical eye over its (and to a lesser extent Essential Research’s) attitudinal polling in Inside Story and takes aim at its refusal to join the Australian Polling Council and adhere to its transparency standards.

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.

3,546 comments on “Essential Research leadership and COVID polling”

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  1. If Scott Morrison thinks he can hide away from scrutiny behind some military boob with fruit on his suit, he’s got another think coming! 😡

    And THEN come out from behind the curtains during the election campaign all happy chappy and everyone’s best mate, he’s got a bigger think coming! 😀

  2. Morrison is also in hiding that gladys is not the gold standard as they keep saying , it will be another political lost if the lockdown is extended

  3. Interesting statistic:

    The majority of Sydney’s cases in this outbreak have been in people aged under 40 – too young to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – and most of the city’s cases last month were unvaccinated.

    Fifty-eight per cent of cases recorded to 8pm on Sunday were aged 39 and under, and more than a third were in their 20s and 30s. There have been 330 local cases reported in NSW since June 16.

  4. Also, not so great news on the Pfizer front:

    On Tuesday it was revealed a sixth resident and third nurse at SummitCare Baulkham Hills had tested positive. The resident was the wife of a known case at the north-west Sydney aged care facility, and had already been transferred to Westmead Hospital as a precaution. She had received both doses of Pfizer.

    Though it is probably the case that the symptoms will be lower grade.

  5. The facts about the privileged few at St Joseph’s Hunters Hill:

    About 150 of St Joseph’s 200 year 12 students are boarders. Many come from Sydney families and choose to live at school – paying up to $50,000 a year for tuition and board – while others come from rural and regional areas. About four per cent of the students are Indigenous, and the year 12 cohort is about 200 students.

    So, only 8 should have received a jab.

  6. Sceptic says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 7:02 am
    Sydney’s lockdown extended by a week, students to learn online, well that was always going to happen.

    It should have been for 4 weeks from the beginning

  7. Michael Rowland

    The letter writers to the
    clearly aren’t buying the government’s defence of its heavily-criticised commuter car park fund…

  8. Morning all. Interesting to see the quality of National Party candidates for Federal parliament shows no sign of changing any time soon. As well as the AVO Ross Cadell was Barnaby Joyce’s former campaign manager and oversaw the investigation into his sexual harassment allegations. No conflict there. He sounds well qualified for the current parliament.

  9. And obviously Gladys leaked her lockdown decision to friendly papers (not even the ABC) so she did not have to front a news conference over it.

    Have a good day all.

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    It looks done and dusted that Sydney’s lockdown will be extended by a week and school students will learn from home for the start of term as the NSW government buys itself more time to bring the COVID-19 outbreak under control.
    And Sydney’s health system is under “red alert” with visitors blocked from entering hospitals and aged care facilities as more than 500 healthcare staff have been placed in isolation after an unvaccinated student nurse tested positive to COVID-19.
    According to Rachel Clun, large workplaces could begin vaccinating their own staff from September, the same time the vaccination rollout also opens up to younger Australians, as the new COVID-19 taskforce boss works on an updated rollout plan. Woolworths has put its hand up.
    Bevan Shields explains how the UK is now a test tube for a future where jabs replace COVID restrictions.
    In a rather strange contribution, Chris Uhlmann says that Australia’s politicians need to take back control from the experts and weigh the idea of whether what we are doing now is simply prolonging the crisis, and the long-term harm.
    “Professor Raina McIntyre thinks it is “essential”. Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly suspects it is inevitable. And one of the developers behind AstraZeneca’s vaccine thinks it’s morally wrong”, writes Liam Mannix about the vaccination of children for Covid.
    Morrison’s ‘new deal’ for a return to post-COVID normal is not the deal most Australians want, says Bill Bowtell.
    Tom Burton reports that vaccine boosters may be needed sooner to protect against more infectious variants, after early evidence emerged the Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against infection from the delta variant.
    With a lamentable, even disgraceful vaccination rate, confusion over how best to deal with the AstraZeneca supply, vague promises about the arrival of other COVID-19 vaccines, and a degree of complacency, half of Australia found itself in lockdown conditions earlier this month, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark writing about the secrecy and calamity of the rollout.
    The Conversation explains that we probably can’t eliminate COVID in Australia forever. As we vaccinate, we should move to a more sustainable strategy.
    Greg Bailey writes about the Murdoch coverage of the pandemic – a dumping for Dan and a free ride for Gladys.
    Paul Kelly begins this assessment of Morrison’s current situation with, “Having unveiled a new national cabinet road map intended to run far into next year, Scott Morrison now confronts his most difficult political challenge this term with a vaccine rollout long limited by supply and a growing list of political opponents, federal and state, to threaten his survival. The Prime Minister’s problem is lack of control. He lacks the means to solve the vaccine problem any time soon.”
    “Scott Morrison encapsulates the retreat from values, the lack of regard for truth, for decency and the long-term public interest. Those he leads or those in the public service obliged to do his will can hardly be blamed for using his example as their inspiration”, says Jack Waterford.
    Peter Lewis has a cracker of an evaluation of Morrison here. It’s an entertaining read.
    The RBA has taken the first step towards normalising monetary policy. But it was the babiest of baby steps as the bank hopes for an even stronger recovery, explains Tony Wright.
    Ross Gittins tells us about what he sees as the real reason the budget is projected to stay in deficit for the next 40 years. He puts it down to the nobbling of the taxation system.
    The Reserve Bank risks falling behind others getting back to normal. The longer its set-and-forget policy continues, the more likely it will undermine recovery, opines the editorial in the AFR.
    The pork barrelling and cost blowouts on suburban train station carparks are only the latest example of Australia’s state and federal governments rushing major transport projects to market, say the Grattan Institute’s Marion Terrill and Lachlan Fox.
    Samantha Hutchinson reports that a long-running investigation into the “super-spreading” of Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir has netted $30,000 in settlement payments and drawn in top ranking Coalition leaders in a “family tree” revealing who received the manuscript and forwarded it on.
    The old school tie has lost potency, but a private education still opens doors, argues Julie Szego.
    According to Tom Rabe, a steering malfunction that caused a Sydney ferry to veer into the path of a larger vessel on Sydney Harbour was not reported to the relevant safety authority until it occurred again months later. Hmm, another Gold Standard of privatisation?
    The SMH editorial urges for the reopening of the debate on assisted dying.
    Alexandra Smith reports that Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s voluntary assisted dying bill will permit religious-run hospitals and aged care homes to refuse to offer it on their premises in a bid to soften the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to the laws. Arrggghhh!
    Meanwhile, the former Liberal chief minister Kate Carnell has urged Zed Seselja to put his personal views aside and back the ACT’s right to legislate on euthanasia. Ms Carnell made the comments as NT Country Liberal Senator Sam McMahon insisted there was nothing stopping Labor’s Katy Gallagher from pushing to include the ACT in her new bill to restore territory rights.
    Declassified diplomatic cables have shown that Bob Hawke was an informant to the U.S. while head of the Australian trade union movement, writes A L Jones.,15262
    David Crowe writes that Indigenous groups have urged the federal government to embrace a stronger plan to legislate a voice for First Australians in national decisions, amid growing fears of a conservative backlash that blocks the change before the next election.
    Sarah Martin reveals that the Nationals’ top pick for the Senate in New South Wales, Ross Cadell, was the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order application made against him by police on behalf of his former wife.
    Rachel Lane predicts that taxpayers are likely to be left to pick up the tab for more aged care funding for many more people.
    Elizabeth Knight says that Myer’s directors are headed for the ‘throw out bins’ as the retailer’s muscled-up shareholder Solomon Lew gets ready to press the trigger on a board cleanout.
    The French company building Australia’s $90 billion fleet of new Attack Class submarines has appointed Jane Halton, who reviewed Australia’s hotel quarantine system, to its local board as it tries to reset its troubled relationship with the federal government. No doubt she’ll be more helpful to them than Sophie Mirabella was to ASC.
    The Victorian opposition wants a fresh inquiry into the state’s embattled gaming regulator after allegations it failed to police criminal conduct at Crown casino. They might have a point here.
    The new “Your Future, Your Super” legislation avoided the most egregious of changes proposed by the LNP Government. YFYS will simplify and streamline the $3 trillion super system, fix “zombie accounts” and spark fund takeovers, writes Harry Chemay. The changes go some way to addressing a key question posed during the Hayne Royal Commission: “what do trustees do in the dark with our super?”
    Zoe Samios tells us that a “very concerned” Telstra has agreed to pay $25 million in refunds for more than 50,000 customers after it failed to notify them of slower than promised NBN speeds.
    John Collett reports that retirees are flocking to reverse mortgages to tap equity in their homes.
    The Morrison Government’s koala policies of extinction have finally been exposed by its own bureaucracy with the release of two major koala conservation policy documents, reports Sue Arnold.,15260
    Joe Biden’s top adviser on Asia says China’s aggressive stance towards Australia appears to be “unyielding” and that he does not foresee a thaw in tensions between the two nations anytime soon, writes Matthew Knott.
    Doug Dingwall writes, “Australia’s diplomacy needs “a shot in the arm” after being left “underdone” by successive governments, as the nation faces the most uncertain strategic environment in decades, former senior defence and security official Duncan Lewis says. Major General Lewis, who retired from the public service in 2019 after roles leading ASIO and the Defence Department, also said Australia must be careful not to compromise its interests in managing its relationship with China.”
    Donald Trump may have showered Ivanka Trump with adoration all her life and given her a job in his White House, but none of that would stop her from cooperating with prosecutors if it would keep her out of prison, said Mary Trump, the former president’s niece.
    “The Trump kids look likely to turn on their dad – and I suspect Ivanka will go first”, says Arwa Mahdawi.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    Cathy Wilcox

    Joe Benke

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Peter Broelman

    John Spooner

    From the US

  11. Chris Uhlmann’s Age article linked by Frednk @7:01 entirely misses the point. Only about 8% of the population is fully vaccinated, while 70% are fully unvaccinated, as vulnerable to Covid as they were in March last year, more so given we face a much more contagious variant. Had the Federal Government competently handled the vaccine acquisition and rollout we would have been in a far better position to avoid lockdowns, ease restrictions and would have been able to reopen earlier.

  12. The natural immune system of a person infected with an early strain of COVID-19 last year is not as effective in fighting new variants as it is against the strain they originally contracted, new research has found, suggesting vaccination would provide broader protection.

    The Australian research, to be published on Wednesday in the peer-reviewed health research journal PLOS Medicine, has been touted as one of the world’s most comprehensive studies of the body’s own immune response against COVID-19.

    The research team from the University of Sydney and University of NSW Kirby Institute studied antibodies in the blood of people who were infected by early variants of the virus last year.

  13. “Scott Morrison encapsulates the retreat from values, the lack of regard for truth, for decency and the long-term public interest.

    Sounds pretty much what to expect from someone steeped in prosperity theology, wealth is a sign of ‘godliness’. Jeebus ‘blesses believers’ by giving them wealth and power. So helping out those with wealth and power is obviously the right thing to do as they are ‘blessed by god”. All the rest are obviously not worth it, if they were god would have blessed them with wealth and power.

  14. Woolies to provide vaccinations? Why stop there? Pharmacy is low hanging fruit. Optical too, although there is less ability to siphon public monies. How about sorting out aged care? All contracts confidential mind you. National security risk of course.

    Still, they may find it difficult to gain charity status, so religions still have that in their favour 😉

  15. As for Chris Uhlmann, his commentary this morning would be satirical if written by another author.

    His past efforts to tilt at windmills “rob the young of education, income, opportunity and hope”.

  16. Doug Cameron
    Listening to @JoshFrydenberg this morning still lauding @GladysB and attacking the Victorian Govt while running the “Team Australia” claptrap as he creates division and confusion.
    The Morrison Govt is a reprehensible rabble incapable of leadership, self reflection or honesty.

    Perhaps someone should remind Joshie that he will need Victorians to vote for him in the next election.

  17. A question.
    I’m trying to understand Julia Bank’s description of scummo as being like ” menacing controlling wallpaper”.
    Does it mean no escaping? Everywhere you look?Covers all cracks and blemishes?
    Any suggestions?

  18. As for the Joeys thing, just remember that 163 parents would have had to fill authorisation forms before the jabs. The process would have taken some time, it was no accident…

    I just hope that somebody who administered the vaccine still has the emails.

  19. Rnm1953says:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 8:28 am
    A question.
    I’m trying to understand Julia Bank’s description of scummo as being like ” menacing controlling wallpaper”.
    Does it mean no escaping? Everywhere you look?Covers all cracks and blemishes?
    Any suggestions?

    It’s probably meant to be Orwellian:

  20. The Nationals’ top pick for the Senate in New South Wales, Ross Cadell, was the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order application made against him by police on behalf of his former wife.

    Cadell, a former state director of the NSW Nationals who oversaw the Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment investigation, was endorsed by the party for the guaranteed Senate spot in June despite senior figures being aware of the 2014 AVO application as part of the candidate vetting process.

    However, it is understood that the grassroots party membership that voted on who should represent them in the Senate was not made aware of the AVO application against Cadell.

  21. BKsays:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 8:39 am
    That was a devastating bunch of UK cartoons!
    They rarely fail to deliver in the UK cartoons in terms of quality.
    We’re lucky that we are able to find out what’s happening around the world in a bit more detail now a days…

  22. Morrison continues to prove what an imposter he is.

    Being absent for a week and putting military brass in front to show that somehow there is a strategic plan for the vaccine.

    This is beyond a frickin parody.

  23. Trump’s bizarre theory of how he’ll be reinstated as president is ‘very, very hard’ to explain: NYT reporter

    New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Tuesday told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that former President Donald Trump is still obsessed with being “reinstated” as president, although she struggled in explaining how Trump thinks it’s going to happen.

    Haberman started off by saying Trump was “laser-focused” on the widely criticized “audits” that his supporters are conducting in numerous swing states.

    Once the results of these “audits” are released, Haberman claims, Trump believes that America will have no choice but to let him back into the White House.

  24. The way to bring transmission down is to stop the movement of people.
    Why are non essential retail stores open to the public.
    Click and collect or online delivery works very well during lockdown.

  25. Murdoch (Oz and DT) is starting to write articles critical of the Morrison vaccine roll out disaster. Gladys still the golden girl.

    A sign of something?

  26. Jaeger commented

    Has Sussan Ley visited the GBR?

    Australia demands world heritage experts visit Great Barrier Reef ahead of ‘in danger’ list decision

    Environment minister calls for ‘due process’ to be followed before 21-country United Nations committee rules on the reef

    The illustrating photo shows a brown dying crumbling reef

  27. PhoenixRed

    Trump as always is grifting. The party is happy to go along with it until they are not.
    Trump has always played the bullshit game.

    Only problem for him is that finally it will be determined that he has become delusional, as mental impairment will indeed be a reality for him.
    The irony of it all.

  28. Q: Morrison wallpaper….Does it mean no escaping? Everywhere you look? Covers all cracks and blemishes?

    All of the above..and a lot more!

  29. Unfortunately they bought the lie that somehow contact tracing would keep up with this virus.

    Contact tracing is great so long as we have only a limited number of cases. I expect that the tracers would be quickly overwhelmed no matter how good they are if numbers quickly escalate.

  30. citizen @ #43 Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 – 8:59 am

    Murdoch (Oz and DT) is starting to write articles critical of the Morrison vaccine roll out disaster. Gladys still the golden girl.

    A sign of something?

    Herald Sun has been being critical of Morrision as well. They still hate Dan though and can’t accept that he and Sutton got most things correct

  31. Socratessays:
    Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at 7:26 am
    Morning all. Interesting to see the quality of National Party candidates for Federal parliament shows no sign of changing any time soon. As well as the AVO Ross Cadell was Barnaby Joyce’s former campaign manager and oversaw the investigation into his sexual harassment allegations. No conflict there. He sounds well qualified for the current parliament.

    National party under the leadership of Joyce is not even pretending to follow public probity.
    This is new level of brazenness. They are the true inheritors of Trump legacy.

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