Essential Research: leadership ratings and COVID management

Downward motion for Anthony Albanese and the Berejiklian goverment in the latest Essential poll.

First up, note that below this post is a review of recent happenings in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany by Adrian Beaumont.

Now to the fortnightly Essential Research poll, which includes the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings. Scott Morrison’s position has not further declined since last month, with his approval down one to 50% and disapproval steady on 40%. However, Anthony Albanese, who has long done relatively well out of this pollster in consistently recording net positive ratings, has taken a seven-point tumble on approval to 34%, while his disapproval is up three to 38%. The change on preferred prime minister is more modest, with Morrison’s lead out from 46-28 to 45-26. The effects of all this on the BludgerTrack trends can be observed here.

The stabilisation in Morrison’s personal ratings are not matched in the regular question on the government’s response to COVID-19, which has approached net negative territory for the first time with an eight-point drop in good to 38% and a four-point rise in poor to 35%. The Berejiklian government’s good rating of 47% is down seven points on what was already its worst result last month; the Victorian government is up five to 54%; and the Queensland government is down two to 60%. The Western Australian and South Australian ratings of 82% and 73% are off unreliably small samples, but both are well in line with their long-term averages.

Respondents in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia were asked about the lockdowns in their states, the survey period having begun before the Queensland lockdown. Fifty per cent of New South Wales respondents felt the government had not locked down hard enough, compared with 11% for too hard and 39% for about right. By contrast, 71% of Victorian and 85% of South Australian respondents felt their governments had it about right. However, there is some evidence of a shift in attitudes in Victoria in that more felt the lockdown too harsh (23%) than not harsh enough (6%). The respective results in South Australia were 6% and 9%, a difference well within the margin of error.

The poll sample had two bob each way on lockdown support: 47% believed the federal government was doing enough compared with 37% for not enough and 6% for too much, yet 66% supported the return of JobKeeper with only 11% opposed. The lockdown protests of the weekend before last had 18% support with 67% opposed (which is at least more favourable than the numbers reported from New South Wales by Utting Research). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1057.

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.

1,202 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings and COVID management”

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  1. As for Insiders, the rot started with the change in host.

    A shame that the 7:30 report is resuming regular hosting duties as well.

    But they too shall pass 🙂

  2. Flaneur:

    Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    [‘Unless it’s based on common civility.’]

    He has the right to express his opinion – even a Tory has that right?

  3. C@tmomma:

    Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 9:40 pm


    You’ve become very opinionated lately. Not all of them soundly-based.’]

    We share much in common but occasionally go against the grain – sobeit. Always remember, I know where you’re coming from & respect your Labor credentials, but we will have tiffs from time to time.

  4. Flauner,

    I remember when you were a campaign officer, then a team official and ultimately someone who walked in some brochures.

    Your claim to fame in the end was you are post box!

  5. Flaneur:

    Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    [‘I understand the question is “Coorey shouldn’t be disparaged”.’]

    Even the Right has the right to be Right-wing nut jobs. Indeed – vide Article 10.

  6. Mexicanbeemer says:
    Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 2:58 pm
    I will remember that comment when i am standing over a ballot paper.


    Geniuses, fools and every adult citizen in between all have one vote each.

  7. Greensborough Growler @ #1177 Thursday, August 5th, 2021 – 10:57 pm


    Trust me. You’re a wanker.

    Surely that was not in question. I accept your concession in the the topic under discussion though.

    And … here we go again…

  8. Way too busy earlier today. Just catching up.

    According to
    43.8% of Australians over 16 years have had at least one vaccination shot.
    21% of Australians over 16 years have had both shots

    That’s roughly 35% and 17% in real, population as a whole, terms.

    Yesterday, there were 221 thousand vaccination shots. There are 24 days to the end of August. So, if this rate were to continue that would be another 5.3 million shots.

    Apportioned 60/40 (first/second) this would bring the figures up to 47% single shot and 26% fully vaccinated, population as a whole.

    Given that the efficacy of a single dose is 30% and the efficacy of a 2nd dose is about 70% (mix of AZ and Pfizer), we can do the following sum.

    26% of the population at 70% efficacy
    21% of the population at 30% efficacy
    53% of the population at 0% efficacy

    This averages out at 25% efficacy for the whole country. In other words, its equivalent to 100% of the population being vaccinated with a 25% effective vaccine, or 25% of the population being vaccinated with a 100% effective vaccine.

    So will the effective rate of retransmission (Reff) be reduced by 25% by the end of August? Well, no. Because the present situation has already factored in the level of vaccination we already have.

    Where are we at right now? An average of 17% efficacy, or the equivalent of 17% of the population vaccinated with a 100% effective vaccine.

    The difference between now and the end of August is actually about 10%

    So if R0 were 5.0, then its now 4.15 (before public health measures) and it will be 3.75 by the end of August.

    If the current effective R (Reff) after all the lockdown measures is 1.2 then by the end of August it will be 1.08 by the end of the month.

    Bottom line is that vaccination won’t make the outbreak controllable until late September/mid October. It requires lots of people to actually get fully vaccinated since the efficacy of one dose is less than half of the efficacy of two doses.

    Even if we factor in a ramping supply of vaccine, you still gotta schedule all these people, give them at 3 or 4 weeks, vaccinate them again and then wait another couple of weeks for it to take full effect.

    Meaning either

    1. This lockdown will be here until December
    2. This lockdown is released earlier than this and we find out what it was like in the rest of the world.

    Fuck you, Gladys

  9. Greensborough Growler:

    Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 10:57 pm


    Trust me. You’re a wanker.’]

    I see you’re back on the nasty pills. Really, pal, you need to come to the regrettable conclusion that you’re losing it, turning many off with your aggression. As I’ve said previously, I think you’re only tolerated by virtue of your $300 contribution.

  10. cud chewer,

    We have a virtual Christmas already planned. I would be miffed if they let NSW go to hell in a hand basket beforehand. Click and collect would be compromised for a start.

    That said, I am always willing to be surprised on the upside, At this stage, the NSW government is mandating the least form of restrictions that are politically acceptable. Changing that equation would be welcome.

  11. Griff

    I’m annoyed that there clearly are things Gladys could do to tighten restrictions (that might coax R to just under 1) yet when the media press her on it she deflects and just defers to vaccination. Its rather like she actually doesn’t want to get cases down to zero.

    I’m even encouraged by Scomo taking a new tack, but it seems to have provoked absolutely no change on Gladys’s part. There’s always hope but what we’re doing right now is slowly sliding off that cliff. What does it take for contact tracing to factor itself out of the equation? Its already sick.

    Also, Gladys was asked about contact tracing some days ago and lied, pretending it was working fine and adding that it would be resourced appropriately. WTF? If it were being resourced appropriately they need to hire thousands of tracers just to do the grunt work. Its just not happening. Its total bullshit.

    Since Feb 2020 I’ve had 6 weeks in which I was free to connect with my friends (and some of my family) in Sydney. Rest of the time I’ve been “occupying” myself. My contempt for Gladys is visceral. No competent leader should ever do this.

  12. Cud Chewer:

    Friday, August 6, 2021 at 12:22 am


    Have a minty.’]

    I’m not sure a minty will make me more interesting than you. Perhaps a malteser?

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