Essential Research leadership ratings and end-of-year review

Scott Morrison’s personal ratings maintain a downward trend, as the government scores middling ratings for its overall performance for the year.

Essential Research has published its final fortnightly poll for the year, which includes its monthly leadership ratings. Scott Morrison is down two on approval to 46% and up two on disapproval to 44%, his weakest numbers since the onset of COVID-19 and a continuation of a downward trend since March. Anthony Albanese is steady on 40% approval and up one on disapproval to 36%. Essential’s numbers for both leaders are consistently more favourable than those for other pollsters. Morrison’s lead on preferred prime minister is down from 44-28 to 42-31, the narrowest it has been all term.

The federal government’s ratings for COVID-19 response have deteriorated after a three-month improving trend, down six on good to 41% and up seven on poor to 32%. The equivalent results for the states record a one point drop in the New South Wales government’s good rating to 54%, an eight point drop in the Victorian government’s rating to 43% and a three point drop for Queensland to 57%. The Western Australian government is up four to 78% and the South Australian government is down three to 57%, with due caution to the tiny sample sizes in these cases.

Respondents were asked about the Coalition’s performance on various matters since it came to power in 2013, and were interestingly given the opportunity to indicate whether the issue was important or unimportant to them in addition to evaluating the government’s performance. Its worst results came for handling sexual assault and misconduct, with 35% from the 50% who rated it poorly considering it an important issue, and handling of corruption allegations, rated likewise by 35% from 49%. However, the government now records neutral ratings on the vaccine rollout and is rated very favourably for the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

As it does at the end of each year, the pollster asked if had been a good or a bad year for various actors, with the federal government deemed to have had a good year by 34% and a poor year by 38%. Thirty-eight per cent considered it had been a good year for them and their family compared with 23% for poor; 37% rated their personal financial situation favourably compared with 30% for unfavourably. As usual, large companies and corporations were deemed to have done best of all, at 52% for good and 21% for poor. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of around 1000.

Another poll worth noting is a Western Australian survey for Painted Dog Research, published today in The West Australian, which found more respondents considering the state’s recently announced opening up date of February 5 to be too soon (36%) than too late (18%), with 46% deeming it right. Mark McGowan was credited with a 77% approval rating, down from 88% in a previous survey in February. The poll was conducted Monday and Tuesday from a sample of 811.

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.

2,431 comments on “Essential Research leadership ratings and end-of-year review”

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  1. And, ‘just avoid mosh pits’, sounds soooo 90s. So lame. People don’t mosh in dance clubs, which is where most kids go these days. Or to festivals, where they have lots of room to dance. Though I imagine Morrison might be trying to appeal to the Metal Heads who drive utes and are Tradies. Which is entirely predictable too.

    Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021 – 6:35 am
    Comment #1586

    I bet if the government get back in, they’ve got some juicy union busting legislation up their sleeves they’re not telling anyone about. They don’t like being told what to do. By anyone.

  2. Lots of things for the opposition to milk with those results: Covid, treatment of women, corruption. And then there’s Morrison himself.

  3. rhwombat

    Bottom line: they all work – differences insignificant.
    Does that mean a third AZ is as good as 2 AZ followed by Pfizer?

  4. Morning all. If Australian voters are finally waking up to “the real Scomo”, with all his appalling attitudes to the abuse of power, women and workers, then that is some good news for Christmas.

    To say that Morrison has a questionable record on all three topics would be an understatement.

  5. ‘Shellbell says:
    Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Hammered barrister disgraces himself as legal function leading to the highest court in State having to address the following question:

    “The Court was in as good a position as the Tribunal to determine the factual issue of whether the respondent said to H the words “suck my dick”.
    Skin in the game?

  6. BW

    Pleased to report it was not me.

    The person has had his anonymity preserved for no justifiable reason at all.

    Plus the matter should have been left at the Tribunal rather than an appeal as well, IMHO.

  7. Shellbell says:
    Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Was the judgment published in time to be added to the Palm Beach summer holiday short story reading list?

  8. The Xen/Centre Alliance vote in Boothby at 2016 election was 20.66% vs Labor’s 24.52%. With no CA candidate running at 2019 election every contesting party had a positive swing. Labor was the major beneficiary picking up 7.70%, Greens 3.78%, Liberal 3.50%, the rest to minor parties.

    Jo Dyer running as a Teal is likely to fill the gap left by absence of a Xen/CA type candidate.
    If there is a Teal bandwagon effect in play it’s quite likely that Labor will be pushed into third.
    Rather than being a Labor gain as Albo suggested back in January, the Teal makes this is likely to be a Liberal retain, or “Voices Of” gain.

    What what could Labor possibly hope to gain by tarring Dwyer as a Labor-aligned candidate?
    It may keep enough voters from switching from Labor and Liberal to Teal to prevent Dyer finishing 2nd.
    Avoiding the ignominy of being relegated to third in a seat Labor believed it could win would be reason enough. Remaining in 2CP contention at least gives ALP a chance of picking up the seat.

  9. I assume there will be severe consternation in Washington at the prospects.

    “Chile’s future as a greener, fairer country, depends on the success of efforts to rewrite the country’s dictatorship-era constitution, president-elect Gabriel Boric said on Tuesday.”

    I gather the current constitution enshrines US neo-liberalism as a constitutional requirement for Chile!

  10. In breaking news……

    Hayden O’Connor

    The Liberal Party is the Voices for the Nationals.

    is just a front for Barnaby Joyce.
    #auspol #VoteJoshOut

  11. My leading suspicion is a plotter from the fossil fuel loving OTIS Group has outed Dyer and Ryan.

    It’s in their interests to maintain strength in parliamentary fossil fuel puppet numbers.

  12. Even the “voices of” websites are cookie-cutter operations.

    Almost like an invisible hand is guiding them.

    Of course Labor has nothing to do with them – they’ve said so.

  13. LVT

    It’s a bit sad, all the Liberals have left is personal abuse.

    Shake and bake overcrowded hospitals, simple maths, NSW by the end of January?
    Is it faith that make Morrison and Perrottet so politically stupid, or is that just the excuse?
    Will the federal election be a WA type wipe-out?
    Will personal abuse solve the problem?

    So many questions.

  14. Lars Von Trier says:
    Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Even the “voices of” websites are cookie-cutter operations.

    Almost like an invisible hand is guiding them.

    Of course Labor has nothing to do with them – they’ve said so.

    The Liberals are making it easy for Labor voters to strategically vote for the Teals. Strategy from the same marketing group that came up with shake and bake?

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Morrison has indicated mass vaccination hubs will be key to getting booster shots to millions of Australians under a recalibration of the program as state and federal governments weigh up modelling showing thousands could be hospitalised daily at the peak of the Omicron wave. NSW and Victoria are at odds over calls to reintroduce mask mandates but support a faster booster rollout.
    In this stylish contribution on the latest Covid development, Julie Szego writes, “In Australia, our COVID record is admirable, our leaders less erratic. Scott Morrison squawks impotently about freedom, while the most ardent flag-bearer for freedom of the British kind – the dystopian American kind has no place in any civilised discussion – is the fresh-faced NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.”
    Finn McHugh writes that Omicron an inconvenient truth as Scott Morrison spruiks ‘common sense’.
    The SMH editorial says that NSW is facing some tough choices before boosters are on track.
    As we face Omicron with soul-deep weariness, that sense of uncertainty rises again, laments Lenore Taylor.
    Tory Shepperd tells us that Families could be barred from aged care visits in Australia due to lack of clear Covid guidelines.
    Lisa Visentin reports that at yesterday’s Senate inquiry two Christian education groups say the ability to discipline a teacher who becomes divorced, is unfaithful to their partner, or enters a same-sex relationship is an example of how faith schools could exercise their right to employ staff who reflect their religious values. And they want US to pay for that “privilege!”
    At the heart of Senator Rex Patrick’s attack on a senior public servant was that the public service needs to be more independent and impartial, writes Andrew Podger who says that PM&C is damaging the integrity and reputation of the public service.

    “No, there is no wages growth over the next four years”, writes Michael Pascoe.
    Looking forward to a break, Ross Gittins tells us that by September, the total annual leave owing to Australian employees had reached a record 185 million days, up almost a quarter on a year earlier.
    The Australian’s Paul Garvey reports that lobbyists who commit a serious breach of the industry’s code of practice will be barred from offering their services for up to three months under what some in the lobbying industry have described as “the Julie Bishop rule”.
    Australia’s election watchdog is taking legal action against Liberal National MP Andrew Laming for five social media posts in the lead-up to the last election that did not declare they were authorised by the Queensland politician.
    Two years ago, on 16 December, MP Michael McCormack, the then Deputy Prime Minister, was appointed Acting Prime Minister whilst the country burned. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s whereabouts were unknown and despite predictable and growing outrage over a number of days, his office refused to confirm his where he was. Rumours swirled that he was holidaying in Hawaii. His office denied them.,15877
    Companies voluntarily buying up carbon offsets amid a flurry of pledges to hit net zero emissions by 2050 have pushed up Australia’s official carbon price by 180 per cent over the past year, explains Elouise Fowler.
    Scott Morrison is still expecting Australians to vote Liberal despite poor performance at COP26 and no climate policy, writes Geoff Dyer.,15876
    Next year’s election will not only decide who leads the nation, it will also decide who is the next chief justice of the High Court, writes Michael Pelly.
    David Estcourt reports that the AFP is predicting a rise in human trafficking as eased border restrictions drive a surge in international travellers in and out of the country.
    Daniel Hurst has a scoop where he reports that Australia’s defence department wrote to France’s Naval Group a week before the submarine contract was sensationally cancelled, acknowledging the successful completion of one requirement for moving to the next stage of the project.
    The Senate’s legal affairs committee is now holding a special inquiry into the performance and integrity of the administrative appeals system, including the selection process for AAT members and the importance of transparency and parliamentary accountability. It is due to report by the end of March. The AAT’s administrative head is leaving the job three months early.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that US financial regulators are so concerned about the perceived threat to financial stability and investors of stablecoins that they are warning they will act unilaterally if Congress doesn’t legislate.
    The images of devastated emergency personnel at the scene of the fatal accident at a primary school has highlighted the gruelling work faced by first responders, explains Fortem Australia’s John Bale.
    Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican and the first sitting member of Congress to be requested to provide documents and sit for an interview with the committee investigating the Capitol riot, said yesterday he would not comply with the panel.

    Cartoon Corner

    Peter Broelman

    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    John Shakespeare

    Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox

    Glen Le Lievre

    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    From the US

  16. Next the Colossal Fossil will resort to “rip, shit or bust”

    I am waiting

    And Laming has an interesting CV, the son of a Liberal MP to boot

    On the surface a fine candidate – allowing for the constant movements in positions which may have been an indication of what has played out

    Mind you, Laming continues to have the full support of the Colossal Fossil no matter the allegations put

    As do others accused of improprieties

    And, as my wife oft quotes, the problem with common sense is that it is not common

  17. Credibility test for Lars Von Lieberal…

    Which is more likely: Labor secretly controls Teals OR Scumbag secretly approves the messaging of Palmer, Kelly and Christensen (with its appeal to the angry white vote), but slaps two of them on the wrist to APPEAR to disapprove?

  18. There’s simply no credible logic as to why Labor would want Voices Indys taking seats given Labors fossil fuel policies for a start.

    Make no mistake, the two major parties will work together to maintain the two party system.

  19. Guardian updates has pieces on Morrison appearing on Ch 7 this morning. Also quotes Marles on ABC slamming Morrison over vaccine supply at this time.

    Also, Andrews will interrupt his leave to attend the national cabinet. A nice contrast to Morrison’s escape to Hawaii.

  20. bakunin @ #20 Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021 – 7:48 am

    Rather than being a Labor gain as Albo suggested back in January, the Teal makes this is likely to be a Liberal retain, or “Voices Of” gain.


    NXT preferences split60/40 in favour of Labor in 2016.

    Dwyer does not yet have the profile of a NXT/CA candidate which peaked in 2016 across the State so she might struggle to win second spot on PV.

    Going by Antony Greens guesstimate that incumbency is worth 1.5% in PV, retirement costs the party holding the seat the same drop in PV.

    If the Liberal PV falls down to 45% or lower in Boothby this time around it should be game on.

    Therefore, my take is that this is more likely to be a Labor or Indy gain for a few reasons including the historical fact that Indy’s favour Labor over the Coalition in preferences when they are excluded (according to Kevin Bonham the average is 66.8% to Labor).

  21. WB from Essential Research:
    Scott Morrison is down two on approval to 46% and up two on disapproval to 44%, his weakest numbers since the onset of COVID-19 and a continuation of a downward trend since March. Anthony Albanese is steady on 40% approval and up one on disapproval to 36%. Essential’s

    So Morrison Net approval rating: +2
    Albanese Net approval rating: +4

  22. “Essential’s numbers for both leaders are consistently more favourable than those for other pollsters. ”


    Is the gap between them similar in the others or is Essential an outlier in that too?

    Wish Essential would go back to releasing voting intention numbers all the time. They used to be the best pollster in that regard but these days it’s usually just leadership ratings and Covid etc… Hopefully they ramp things up a bit next year for the election.

  23. Schemozzle in NSW:

    Doctors say they have been thrown under the bus with last-minute changes and mixed messaging creating an avalanche of patients looking to them for isolation clearance.

    In a matter of days and without consultation, general practitioners say they’ve been asked to support and manage patients in the community with COVID.

    However, those patients are also now turning to them for “medical clearance” or “de-isolation certificates” before they come out of isolation.

    GPs say they are already struggling to keep up with their usual patient case load with many staff in isolation themselves due to COVID, and others on annual leave.

  24. Its not all doom and gloom out there on the wages front.
    Notified yesterday that I am receiving a pay rise. Effective 1st of Jan.
    Follows on from one on the 1st of July.
    Was told it was to keep pace with market rates and my commitment to the company.

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