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.

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