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. max

    Thanks. I highly doubt it – I work in the legal industry. We got an email a few days ago advising that the number of days people would need to come into the office increased to 4. There I was thinking the number would go down to 2. However, for the time being, I may need to settle being in the educational or general administrative sectors.

    I hope you’re enjoying the holiday period

  2. Dr Daya Sharma
    · 4h
    This is the modern day equivalent of responding to cholera outbreaks in London by saying: “everyone’s going to get cholera anyway; we need to stare it down”, instead of fixing sewerage.

  3. Ruminating on the current COVID situation across Australia my biggest fear (not helped by awaiting (a) test and (b) a result) is that lockdowns may have to be reintroduced particularly in SA, Victoria and especially NSW.

    There may simply be no choice if we want to protect our most vulnerable in the community.

    When? If not next week then mid-January. How long? Who can tell? Whether a short circuit breaker of a week with severe travel restrictions, closure of all hospitality (including take away) and non-essential retail, masks indoors and outdoors, suspension of all sport would work remains to be seen. Perhaps a more nuanced approach may work but I doubt it. We may have to go hard and do a month or more. The population at large will not wear it.

    Border closures would I think be definitely considered sooner rather than later. I can see WA keeping the border closed to the rest of the country for the next six months if not longer.

    Certainly it will be interesting to see if the mask mandates in Victoria and the reintroduced mandate in NSW starts to see a reduction of numbers.

    Observing from Melbourne the explosion in numbers in NSW and the utter indifference shown by the government as to that state’s plight is bewildering and horrific. Reading stories that many businesses in the CBD of Newcastle have closed due to staff shortages (in COVID iso) and people (i.e. customers) staying away in droves speaks volumes that the ‘experiment’ so loudly demanded by the business sector / hospitality sector has backfired badly is very disheartening.

    Hopefully 2022 will be a better year than 2021 in terms of COVID but now I’m not sure. We could really face a dystopian future very shortly where whole swaths of the economy are ravaged due to staff being furloughed / stood down / isolated for some time as a rolling effect (as was exhibited by the Jetstar cancellations on Friday 24.12. I hope I’m wrong.

    Interestingly the Victorian opposition has been very quiet in the last few days as has the ‘anti-vax / QAnon / pick your conspiracy’ loons… I’m wondering if they have suddenly realised that things may be going very pear shaped very quickly…

    Sorry to be so maudlin.

    And the English team today have barely put up a fight against some excellent Australian bowling on day 1 at the MCG.


  4. This is the modern day equivalent of responding to cholera outbreaks in London by saying: “everyone’s going to get cholera anyway; we need to stare it down”, instead of fixing sewerage.

    But dealing with sewerage is everyones’ responsibility…

  5. Very negative sentiment from Hazzard, that: “We’re all gunna get it, so why bother?”

    It’s making a virtue of NSW’s poor health management.

  6. Speculating how Hazzard & Perrottet would come out on the survey. They seem to be neither able to see the whole picture, nor the details of the situation.

  7. This time last year many people were hoping for a better 2021, arguing that it couldn’t get much worse than 2020. I remember wondering at the time if 2020 might just be the start of a horrible decade.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. However, it does strike me that we are in a bind. The current regime of isolating contacts does not seem feasible long term if or when Covid-19 becomes endemic. And, without border restrictions, I can’t see how COVID-19 doesn’t become endemic.

    The we will have the arms race between vaccines and virus mutations.

  8. I was out shopping for a Christmas ham the other day and realised that I haven’t seen a ham steak in a pub in decades. Does such a dish still exist in Australia?

  9. DoPe’s going full tilt boogie, taken off the hand brake and damn the torpedoes:

    NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has urged the public to press ahead with plans to holiday in regional areas recovering from bushfire and other natural disasters, despite escalating COVID-19 cases forcing many people to cancel or delay trips.

    I mean, who wouldn’t want to spread it all over NSW?

  10. C@tmomma @ Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    As I grow older I become increasingly certain that I am less certain now than I was as a youth 🙂

  11. I blame Scott Morrison – he abrogated any responsibility (his signature flaw) and gave it all to the States to manage.

    Great to take the credit when numbers and cases in the States looked ok, but when it all goes to shit – well it’s all the fault of the States.

    Watching Ch10 News now, it is a fuckin’ shit show, with different rules in different States, testing rules and requirements causing frustrating lines, and the people totally pissed off. Not to mention over 100 Aged Care facilities with Covid.

    Where is Scott? Where is Greg Hunt? (In the exit lounge) Where is the Minister for Aged Care? What a debacle – totally fucked up the management of the pandemic.

  12. Bushfire Bill, Victoria, bc…

    If things really become pear shaped in coming weeks I would hazard (pardon the pun) that Perrottet’s position as NSW Premier would become untenable and that he would be dumped for ???? The new incumbent would have really no choice but to implement an immediate lockdown statewide.

    Furthermore if states start deploying hard and rolling lockdowns to try and stem the increase in cases Morrison’s position too would be under a cloud particularly if he ‘goes to ground’ over the holidays. Is the deputy PM back from the USA? Dutton surely must be considering his position and whether he could make a tilt at the top position.

    Right now Australians are calling for a national, coordinated, measured response with some soothing and calming dialogue with the population over Omicron but once again the states are doing the heavy lifting (with the exception of NSW).

    Crowds at Chadstone today were down on previous years and the crowd at the MCG was around 56,000 or so … well down on predictions. Perhaps people are heeding the message to temper their activity or have decided to go bush for a break on the chance that further lockdowns are on the horizon.

  13. This is going to be a bad disaster. Looking at it politically, everyone in Melbourne did all the isolation for nothing. I don’t yet have an instinct for if this is going to blow back on Dan or Scomo or both as everyone is just super shitty.

    Anyway, It’s going to be a good time to be in the coffin building industry I think. Though on second though, I suspect they are made abroad and shipped here, so being a large item they are probably facing supply chain issues.

    Going to be a shit house summer

  14. Sprocket @ 1915

    Agree the PM is a disgrace. He has failed us. His government has failed us. The LNP have failed us.

    To quote a certain actor: “Resign or be prosecuted” (attrib. Arnold S in ‘Raw Deal’)

  15. South
    We were always going to return to normal at some stage and that was why the vaccine rollout was important but the real problem has been the lack of planning and clear messaging by our politicians.

  16. Mexicanbeemer ,
    Yes, I agree, but a third dose of vaccine for everyone first would have been nice. I know a lot of people who got AZ, including me who are swinging in the wind till the end of Jan or Feb to be able to get a booster. With an doubling rate of 2 days it seems like a lot of people are being put in a really dangerous place with little to be able to do about it.

  17. Boerwar at 7:23 pm
    My back is against the rear cave wall already. After 3 days the heat has seeped in to everything and there’s another couple of days to go. Soooo jealous of friends in Quebec , they were ‘suffering’ under a ‘loverly’ -4 C .

  18. South
    Yes and our politicians missed an opportunity to close borders to international arrivals when Europe was seeing surging cases but our politicians have made a mess of this pandemic making lockdowns worst than they should have been. This pandemic has exposed how useless our political class is.

  19. Aqualung says:
    Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 7:48 pm
    Kirribilli House needs to go. Either flog it off or turn it into a museum.

    SfM won’t need it when he ascends in the Rapture. Or perhaps he can take it with him to denote his important status.

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