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. Cud Chewer @ #652 Sunday, July 11th, 2021 – 8:30 am


    I also wonder how many other job creation schemes could be made off budget, or follow the template created for ARENA. Lets have a government agency investing in high tech transport start-ups. So we can sell sophisticated (and high speed) trains to the rest of the world.

    How about a Public-Private Partnership with the Industry Super Funds then? 🙂

  2. C@t
    Pfizer has been criticised for making that statement, some have even accused it of “marketing”

    Dr. Fauci weighs in on confusion surrounding Pfizer’s Covid-19 booster

    After Pfizer announced that it is seeing waning immunity from its coronavirus vaccine and it will seek emergency use authorization from the FDA in August for a booster dose, the FDA and the CDC released a joint statement saying boosters were not needed yet.

  3. Frednk @ #2798 Sunday, July 11th, 2021 – 6:59 am

    Insiders will be interesting today. Faced with the clusterf**k that is the current Federal government with incompetence and scandal wherever you look, how will spears behave towards Albanese.

    Or, how will Albo put Spews back in his box and tape the lid shut.
    The media is the enemy.
    Time to deal with it.

  4. I thought I heard this morning that infections are spreading beyond the south west of Sydney. Today’s presser may be interesting. The ABC is annoying because it so often serves up yesterday’s ‘news’. I want mine fresh from the oven, please.

  5. What would be good to see would that social behaviour has absorbed some infection control principles as a norm – cough and sneeze behaviour, hand washing, hand cleansing at entrances/exits, gloves (the Queen doesn’t wear gloves to keep warm, nor the Japanese) for public interaction, separation of driver and passenger (london cabs), hand cleaning in aeroplanes, etc etc etc

    But if the instant reversion to crap behaviour during a pandemic is any indication, I don’t hold much hope.

  6. Sceptic,
    ‘Yet’. How soon is now, as the song goes?

    I think the caution is around getting their nation to two shots at this point in time, rather than moving to mandating three.

  7. Andrew Gold
    The apology requested by William was never made.
    I don’t need an apology but the memory of Kay Jay deserved better particularly as his relatives may still have been reading the blog.

  8. Been There @ #2787 Sunday, July 11th, 2021 – 2:07 am


    A fucking lot of in bred weirdos to say the least.

    Can’t wait until the day we are rid of them and they become the UK’s problem.

    Like most sensible countries have done, USA, Canada for starters, couldn’t be bothered finding the rest, however those two are significant.

    Most sensible countries have dumped them.

    Erm, Canada is still a monarchy. Also just because you are not a monarchist (neither am I, btw), there’s no need for gratuitous insults.

  9. Cud Chewer @ #2240 Sunday, July 11th, 2021 – 7:36 am


    You don’t need to be a virologist to understand how these particles behave. A lot of Engineers deal with similar problems and its basic physics.

    Department of bleeding obvious..

    The problem is that the simplistic and stochastic physics models of engineering don’t encompass the messy and unpredictable emergent exceptions of disease biology. Membranes and receptor dynamics are the Maxwell’s demons of biology. Engineering hubris only goes part of the way. Virology has to encompass everything from molecular physics to political opportunism. It’s not of much comfort to grieving relatives to say “but the modelling shows that this case was an exception”.

  10. Looking over the horizon a little, the EU has launched in Digital Covid Certificate as at July 1 – well thought through and documented. And it’s not just a ‘vaccine passport’, it’s evidence of:

    1. Vaccination
    2. Negative test
    3. Recovery from C19

    You get a personal QR code which can ease your way through travel, and avoid quarantine at your destination. Lots of detail involved as you would expect from the Brussels Bureaucrats.

    Including this:

    Will the EU Digital COVID Certificate be compatible with other systems developed at international level?

    The Commission is working to make sure that the certificates are compatible with systems in countries outside the EU. The proposal is open to global initiatives and takes into account ongoing efforts of the WHO and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to establish specifications and guidance for using digital technologies for documenting vaccination status. Non-EU countries should be encouraged to recognise the EU Digital COVID Certificate when lifting restrictions on non-essential travel. The Certificates could serve as an example for other certificates currently being developed around the world.

    The Regulation allows the Commission to issue decisions recognising certificates issued by non-EU countries to EU citizens and their family members, where such certificates meet quality standards and are interoperable with the EU trust framework.

  11. rhwombat at 8:32 am
    Over the years I’ve had to become familiar with several sets of specialist languages. It really drove home how words have very different and specific meanings in specialist environments compared to colloquial usage. Medicine being such a vast field would be like that with the dial turned up to 11.

  12. Yep. However it surprises me that this hasn’t been mentioned since its obvious.

    Shopping “off-peak” is a slippery slope to flexible working conditions and working from home…

  13. Read it too OC.

    Did you see the picture of Donaldson and his deputy inspecting a planned bonfire which had been the subject of unsuccessful litigation?


  14. Bonfires tonight and marching tomorrow. Unfortunately the province may be about to go off.

    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    Long live King Billy
    F**k the Pope

  15. A snippet from ItzaDream’s link. GBS, were he alive today , would not change his opinion too drastically 🙂

    Northern Ireland, a place George Bernard Shaw called “an autonomous political lunatic asylum.”

  16. 20 years of Insiders. They should take the anniversary as an opportunity to ditch Talking Pictures, which has far outlived its relevance and interest.

  17. poroti @ #2871 Sunday, July 11th, 2021 – 9:06 am

    A snippet from ItzaDream’s link. GBS, were he alive today , would not change his opinion too drastically 🙂

    Northern Ireland, a place George Bernard Shaw called “an autonomous political lunatic asylum.”

    It’s a shockingly insightful read, really well written. Not easy, as OC notes.

  18. Albo in Queensland – should spend the next few months going the length and breadth of the Canetoad State, trying to pry a few of those 23 LNP seats

  19. Why hasn’t our federal govt had a multi pronged vaccination program from the get go?

    – acquisition
    – production
    – distribution

    We have only focused on the first, and have failed even at that!

  20. Donaldson is a bigot. With a divided unionist party(s) he’s likely to try to rally the base by playing to sectarianism.

    The challenge will be for sf not to let that work for Donaldson politically.

  21. Hate to say it but Albo is woefully underprepared for Insiders.. all these questions should have been anticipated..

  22. The govt did spend on promoting the vaccine rollout, it’s just that they put LNP logos on all the collateral and now that the rollout is a failure, have had to pull back from advertising to limit brand damage!

  23. Oakeshott Country @ #2311 Saturday, July 10th, 2021 – 11:28 am


    Or the medical profession can take it upon itself to establish industry-wide ethical standards on the matter. What morally defensible justification is there for denying a patient access to their own medical records in the general case, even if the law technically allows it due to legislation being mute on the subject?

    Which the medical profession has done. This is the advice from Avant the biggest mutual medical indemnity insurer

    This was a hot topic in the 90s but now largely resolved. But to get back to the initial question, medical practices have a right to charge a reasonable processing fee for the release of records.

    Up to 3 minutes, max, of actual receptionist time, which is already paid for as a normal cost of doing business. Less than 50 characters of computer keyboard input, plus ~10 point and clicks. I have installed and maintained many such systems. You, I would presume, are thoroughly familiar with them. The ‘unreasonable’ fee is, in my opinion, simply a manifestation of greed.

  24. Let the cartoonists keep their few minutes. I think we can agree that daily they nail it re current issues/situation far better and more often than the so called journalists. Although I’m quite willing to support a Leake boycott. RW cartoonists can prick the balloons of some LW crap and provide a laugh but Johannes just ain’t funny/ironic/humorous.

  25. Albo getting caught on moral dilemma of “ place in the queue “ over Pfizer is unforgivable.
    He had no answer.. just ignored the question, he could have mentioned NZ approving J&J or mentioned our own AZ supply not being full utilised.

  26. With all the misery and low rent behaviour going on in Australia, it’s so welcome to have some pride in two great Australian sports stars in Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott. Everyone is so proud of them.

  27. I like the format of the interviewee first up before the panel. That way you can still watch the horse’s mouth portion of Insiders, and bail when the show gets to the chattering classes section.

  28. Speer going for a gotcha ‘when can we open up’.

    The correct answer is probably a polite form of something along the lines of “how the * would I know?”

  29. Beautiful numbers, but I feel it inevitably won’t last with what’s going on with Delta in NSW around the globe.

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