Essential Research and JWS Research post-election survey (open thread)

Anthony Albanese’s ratings remain high, albeit slightly less high, while JWS Research offers results from a poll conducted in the days after the election.

Essential Research’s fortnightly report continues to not feature voting intention, and its monthly leadership ratings are continuing to not feature Peter Dutton. Anthony Albanese is down one on approval to 55% in this month’s result, while his disapproval is up four to 28%. Some steam has also gone out of a post-election surge on a monthly national direction question, on which 43% find Australia headed in the right direction, down four, with wrong direction up three to 31%.

In a series of “performance of the Albanese government” questions, there was a 56-44 majority in favour of it having its priorities right, 54-46 majorities for getting things done and being in touch and 52-48 for addressing long-term problems, although a 51-49 majority felt it too idealistic. A series on “support for federal government measures is less good: 60% want the fuel excise cut extended, with only 12% supporting the government’s intention to not do so, 44% support higher JobSeeker payments, with 27% opposed, and 42% want a delay in “stage three income tax cuts, which predominantly benefits higher income earners”, with 25% opposed.

“Awareness of proposed Voice to Parliament” would appear to be fairly low, with 33% saying they had heard nothing of it in the past month and 32% saying hardly anything, compared with 5% for a lot and 29% for a fair amount. With the notion explained, 65% said they were in favour and 35% opposed. Seventy-five per cent supported a parliamentary pledge to “Australia and the Australian people”, with only 15% opting for the Queen. The survey was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1075.

Also out this week is a post-election survey report from JWS Research, conducted from a sample of 1000 in the two days after the May 21 election. Asked what was most important in deciding their vote, more chose for “the party as a whole” than for “specific policies or issues”, and fewer still for the leaders and candidates, but Coalition voters were most inclined to rate the first of these and Greens voters uniquely favoured the second.

On issue salience, there was a 53-10 majority for economic over environmental issues among Coalition voters, but a 36-29 majority the other way among Labor voters, both sets of numbers being hardly changed from a similar survey after the 2019 election. An exercise in which respondents were asked whether or not the election campaign possessed various qualities also produced results very similar to 2019: 56-16 for important over not important, 39-30 for not interesting over interesting, 38-27 for negative over positive, 42-24 for deceitful over honest, 51-22 for same old stuff over new and different. For whatever reason, impressions were more negative across the board in 2016.

Thirty-six per cent rated the Labor campaign positive and 35% negative, compared with 28% and 44% for the Coalition. From 44% who said they favoured a Labor government, 25% favoured a majority and 19% a minority government; from 33% who favoured a Coalition government, 24% favoured a majority and 9% a majority.

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.

2,356 comments on “Essential Research and JWS Research post-election survey (open thread)”

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  1. Yes, or that they be appointed in SECRET.

    Yeah the secrecy thing is the giveaway. Why keep this all a secret if it’s not an unusual arrangement?

  2. Paul The Avenger:

    What utter drivel! That is quite possibly the most embarrassing post I’ve read on PB, and I’ve been here for over a decade

    Dissent is not tolerated in China. Not even 0.1% dissent. If a political blog like this ever existed in China, with free expression of political opinion, then the participants would now all be in prison. That’s not just my opinion, it is a fact.

    Noam Chomsky was mentioned recently – he is famous for having written books criticising US foreign policy. Essentially the gist of his books is that the US enthusiastically promotes the idea of democracy while attempting to ruthlessly suppress it in certain countries when it suits them. He has a point, but he is also a free man, not a prisoner (or dead).

    Show me Chinese equivalent of Noam Chomsky and I might be prepared to take you slightly seriously.

    What avenue do Chinese people have to express dissatisfaction or dissent, other than to stand in front of tanks?

    Well said.

  3. The GG was 100% right to appoint Morrison when he asked, the appointment is definitely in the hands of the PM holding the confidence of Parliament. He was 200% wrong to conspire with the PM to keep it secret, the Parliament is entitled to hold Ministers to account (and even if the P is full of weak clowns who’d never do it) and conspiring with the PM to hide the appointment from Parliament is a massive breach of our democracy and he should be sacked immediately.

  4. Surely the ”appointment” of a minister is a ”public appointment” by definition….it is an appointment to public office, to public service….and therefore should be announced to the public.

  5. Quick thoughts on this “secret ministers” stuff. Dodgy as hell and, even if legal, completely goes against what you would consider conventional governance. The GG frankly needs to resign after this. And Morrison should hurry up and offer notice to the Speaker as well.

  6. When trying to explain any sort of behaviour it is sometimes best to explore motives.

    Why did SFM want these extra ministries?
    Why would he keep it secret?

    I think the answer to those questions will come out soon. He appears to be short of friends that matter – so I think the truth will out.

    What did Trump intend to do with the documents he held and refused to return?
    I can only think of treason at the moment. He does owe an extraordinary amount of money to Russians.

  7. This whole mess really is classic Scomo. Imagine if he had just announced he was taking those extra portfolios at the time. At most, he might have copped a day or two’s worth of criticism – assuming anyone bar the most dedicated political tragics even heard about this amidst the wall-to-wall Covid coverage – before everyone moved on and forgot about it. The (seemingly) needless secrecy has turned this from a somewhat odd and unorthodox but probably justifiable decision into a genuine scandal.

  8. LongMemory82:

    Technically yes – the monarch is supposed to follow the PM’s advice on this – but as no Australian governor-general has ever been sacked, it’s never really been tested.

  9. Paul the Avenger at 8.35 pm and Asha at 8.54 pm

    Chinese who have worked out how to think for themselves beyond the official propaganda have some options other than being crushed by tanks. The Chinese state’s control of the internet is fierce but not total. Briefly in late February five Chinese history professors expressed their criticism of Putin. See:

    There is a phenomenon probably pervasive now in China that previously was widespread in the USSR after Stalin, increasingly so as repression intensified after the invasion of Czechoslovakia 54 years ago. It is called “double-thinking”. People say one thing publicly and quite the opposite privately, i.e. among trusted friends etc. It surely existed also in the Liberal Party under ProMo, before Humpty fell.

  10. No possible basis for having 2 Ministers in same portfolio. Recipe for confusion and chaos. Would having been laughing stock if made public. And hard to see how it can be constitutionally appropriate. Why not have 2 prime ministers.

  11. There are so many questions. Morrison and everyone who knew will have some explaining to do.

    But the GG. Did he do something different wrt protocol or norms after commissioning Morrison? Did he fail to do something he would normally do – put the activity in his public diary or list it in the program? In other words, was he actively keeping this a secret from Parliament and the public?

    If so, was he advised to do so by the PM? Are there limits to this sort of “advisory” catch all? The PM can’t just advise the GG to do anything he wants him to do – can he? The advisory role must surely be for specific purposes.

    Or, did Morrison just “ask” him to change his normal procedure (assuming he normally would list this sort of thing in public records) and was Hurley only too happy to oblige?

    This relationship and the roles between a PM and the GG is too complicated for my understanding. But I would have thought a request or advice by the PM to the GG to keep the commissioning of a minister secret to be so controversial, so out of step with the intent of the advisory role and so adverse to the public interest that he shouldn’t have felt obliged to obey.

    From what I have heard, the constitutional experts on radio haven’t addressed this yet.

  12. Dr Doolittle says:
    Monday, August 15, 2022 at 9:26 pm
    Paul the Avenger at 8.35 pm and Asha at 8.54 pm

    Chinese who have worked out how to think for themselves beyond the official propaganda have some options other than being crushed by tanks. The Chinese state’s control of the internet is fierce but not total. Briefly in late February five Chinese history professors expressed their criticism of Putin. See:

    There is a phenomenon probably pervasive now in China that previously was widespread in the USSR after Stalin, increasingly so as repression intensified after the invasion of Czechoslovakia 54 years ago. It is called “double-thinking”. People say one thing publicly and quite the opposite privately, i.e. among trusted friends etc. It surely existed also in the Liberal Party under ProMo, before Humpty fell.


    “Briefly in late February” says it all. Briefly. That’s as far as it can ever get at the moment, Dr Doolittle.

    And of course people might think dissenting thoughts or air them among trusted friends, but that’s as far as it goes. I certainly never said that dissent didn’t exist in people’s minds.

    Dissent in the Liberal Party? Perish the thought! Mind you, ProMo should watch for out for buses …

  13. A couple of innocent questions on this scandal…

    1. If one of the prime purposes of the Governor General’s role is to provide confidence to the people of Australia that the processes of government are legitimate and proper, how does colluding with the Prime Minister to keep unprecedented duplicate ministerial appointments hidden from the public align with this purpose?

    2. Who was the last Governor General that engaged in secretive behaviour that related to government appointments?

  14. Morrison took the “Worst PM Ever” title from Abbott around mid-2021 for me. That was when it became obvious that he was completely bereft of any ethics, had no regard for the national interest and couldn’t be bothered even *trying* to do his job competently.

    At least Abbott gave a shit. I feel like he was genuinely trying to be as good a PM as he could be. He was terrible, of course, but at least he tried. It’s something.

  15. Evening all. Just catching up on the latest installment of the amazing adventures of The Kirribilli Hillbilly.

    Prof Anne Twomey gives a good run down of the legal issues involved on secret Ministers. She agrees with Albo’s criticism. She thinks there are too many conflicting stories to be sure exactly what Morrison did and if it is Ok. But running through three possible scenarios, all are problematic, some illegal.

    There will be court cases over this for sure.

    If Morrison and Hurley wind up being called as witnesses, surely Hurley’s position as GG is untenable?

  16. poroti @ #2312 Monday, August 15th, 2022 – 9:25 pm

    The New York Times begs to differ.
    No, There Isn’t Evidence That Trump Owes Money to Russia
    David Enrich
    Oct. 13, 2020, 11:10 a.m. ETOct. 13, 2020

    Ok…but the question still stands.
    What did Trump intend to do with the documents he held and refused to return?
    To me, this is the issue. Why would he need them so much as to refuse to return them even when required by law to do so?

  17. Two faces have I

    The public Scott Morrison: “That’s not my job!”

    The private Scott Morrison: That will be my job…and this one too…and that one as well.

  18. Jennifer Rubin on Trump:

    The documents at issue supposedly include material so confidential it merits a top secret rating (TS/SCI) that no president — let alone an ex-president — can wish away.

    Former FBI special agent and lawyer Asha Rangappa dismisses Trump’s assertion that he declassified everything: “The claim is bogus because clearly the current position of the United States government is that these documents are classified. This is controlling, whatever he did before he left office.” She adds, “He has no classification authority as of Jan. 20, 2021. Trump forgets that whatever awesome powers and immunities he held as president now belong to [President] Biden.”

    Indeed, this nondefense bolsters the conclusion that Trump knew the documents were classified. “It is an admission because it would mean Trump had knowledge of the content of the documents, and that he apparently planned to remove them once relabeled,” observes Ryan Goodman, national security law expert and co-editor of Just Security.

    … If the reported facts are true, Trump knowingly took the country’s most sensitive secrets, refused to give them back and, through his lawyer, falsely attested he had no such documents. Whatever his ultimate motive (e.g., selling secrets, showing he’s somehow still in power), no senior civilian official, let alone the president, has ever engaged in such appalling conduct. And the GOP not only defends him but smears and endangers the FBI through deliberate disinformation. No national party has ever done that, either.

    Whatever criminal indictments follow, all but MAGA cultists should acknowledge that neither Trump nor his party is fit to hold office.

  19. Poroti

    Of all the comments made on this board regarding Trump over the years including the latest top secret documents shit show.
    You decide to respond to the comment that Trump owed money to Russia.
    You felt it very necessary to correct the record on his behalf.

    How very noble of you,

  20. the clear difference to me between Morrison and Abbott was at least Abbott had principles that guided him. Crap principles, but principles nonetheless. Morrison was completely shameless. He would sell his own grandmother if he thought he could get political mileage out of it.

    Everyone’s probably forgotten that time when he objected to the government helping relatives bury the victims of a smashed asylum seeker boat on Christmas Island… or when he tried to blame the death of an asylum seeker during a riot on Manus Island on the salvos.

  21. What else has Morrison secretly sworn himself in as?

    A carpenter (possibly, The Carpenter)?
    A curry chef (with a flair for salmonella)?
    A welder (who loves the smell of burning eyeballs)?
    A hairdresser (who only thinks of God when shampooing)?
    A dickhead who pours beer on his head to impress boofheads at the footy?

  22. “What Trump wanted with the documents is the $64k question.”

    Honestly, i dont think Trump will have taken those documents to sell them. That would be way too blatant self serving arseholeness even for him ……….. do i believe i just said that??

    Anyhow…… I think it more likely that is information there that he believes (doGs…i almost typed thinks) could be useful in terms of controlling / influencing people in US or international politics or US public service or the Media.

  23. “Morrison was completely shameless. He would sell his own grandmother if he thought he could get political mileage out of it. ”

    Well Abbott did say he would sell his arse to the then cross-benchers if that would make him PM?? 🙁

  24. Would all of the bigwigs in the various departments have had to report confidentially to Scomo so that no one could undermine him?

  25. I said after the election that it will be interesting to see what comes out about the Morrison government after Scomo is no longer in power to threaten them into silence.

    Hearing he was secretly minister for up to 4-5 portfolios (Laura Tingle revealed tonight) makes me wonder what else will come out. This is only starting.

  26. How can Dutton weather this? Surely there should be pressure on him to speak up in defence of his former leader? If not defend then at least explain? How can ‘I dunno’ be an acceptable response? from the leader of the liberal party? He was the minister for defence at the time and he did not know?
    I think Dutton and the party should hold the can for this. It should not end with the former pm and GG scuttling off to a comfortable obscurity. How can the Labor movement make this stick to the Coalition for the long term?

  27. Being a Minister is a legislatively powerful position. The office holder has important discretionary decisions to make.

    It is inconceivable that “the Minister” referred to in enabling legislation was a reference to 2 or more “job -sharers” who were both minister.

    Once Hurley had commissioned a person as minister for health, until that commissioned ended, by death, election out of office, retirement, etc it was not legally possible for another person to be commissioned as the same minister.

    That Hurley acquiesced in this scandal, and allowed it to be secret, is a complete failure of his function as gg. He should have taken advice independent of the AG, and required the advice of the solicitor-general also. He must go. How can we Australians have the confidence in him that is a requirement for his role when he has allowed such calumny?

  28. Some of Morrison’s unexplained absences from public view may have been when he was secretly interfering in the work of other ministers.

  29. Jan 6,
    Interesting point about the GG and what records he kept.

    This is why I don’t like the military holding the GG office. That career of blind order following, and secret keeping.

  30. Potentially five ministries that should have been none.

    Hawaii Five-0.

    Book ’em Albo, murder* one.

    * Of political integrity.

  31. Hurley has to go. He is the GG, not the PM of the day’s lackey.

    To have more than once person serving as minister is laughable.

    Morrison’s commented that he has withdrawn from day to day politics suggests perhaps he should resign form parliament. What is he doing there.

    What a fustercluck!

  32. As a former CDF, a past governor of NSW, and now the Governor-General, Hurley has displayed conduct that makes him most unsuited for high office. He personally lobbied Morrison for a charitable gift of some $18m, appeared in an ad for a company that built his private home in Canberra, and now we learn that he signed off on a secret deal with Morrison whereby he shadowed at least three ministers, relying on a rather questionable section of the Constitution – s.64.

    A few points. The energy company has a matter before the Federal Court based on judicial review of Morrison’s decision
    to block its commercial activities off the coast of NSW, based it would seem on political imperatives – seats. And there’s likely to be more of these, which could cost the public purse heaps.

    The ad he agreed to appear in represented very poor judgment on his part, as his recommendation may’ve caused others to follow his lead. If one of the houses the company built went
    pearshaped, he will have brought his office into disrepute. Overall, even a minor official would not have been so reckless.

    But his greatest sin was to append his signature to documents that are clearly in breach of at least Westminster conventions, ostensibly on the advice of the then but now disgraced Attorney. He should have told Morrison he wouldn’t have a bar of it or at least direct him to make them public.

    Albanese should consider sacking him. All it needs is a letter to
    the Queen, who by convention, should follow his advice. How
    many more chances does Hurley deserve? One further issue is that at her platinum anniversary celebrations when asked if Australia should become a republic, he replied (wwtte) that it probably should but only after her death. This was either inept of him or maybe he’s a closet republican.

  33. Anne Twomey makes a good point that by s.19E of the Acts Interpretation Act, the decision of a minister in purported exercise of a power when the power is in fact exercisable by another minister is not invalid just because the deciding minister did not have the power.

    It is obvious the mischief sought to be avoided by this provision. I do not see how it could apply to validate the act of a person who happened to be another minister but who was purporting to be the minister they were not. I guess there will be litigation to work out how far s.19E can apply.

  34. Windhover (or any other lawyers present)

    Thanks for the comments on Hurley’s position which confirmed my suspicions.

    I was also wondering about Christian Porter. Morrison defended him so zealously. Perhaps his enabling the secret ministries via his legal advice is why.

    My question is, if Porter’s legal advice presented to Hurley did not canvas all the issues arising from secret ministries has Porter acted correctly?

    As AG Porter is not only a politician but a legal officer. Has he fulfilled his legal duties in that position in signing off on secret ministries, given how comprehensively Anne Twomey has demolished their legal foundations?

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