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.