Essential Research 2PP+: Labor 51, Coalition 44, undecided 5 (open thread)

Essential Research offers unsurprising numbers on voting intention and prime ministerial approval, and continues to find a clear majority in favour of an Indigenous voice to parliament.

Essential Research seems to have a new routine of discreetly slipping out federal voting intention numbers without trumpeting them in their weekly report. Labor is on 35% (up two), the Coalition 30% (down one), Greens 13% (steady), others 17% (steady) with 5% undecided (down one). The “2PP+” two-party measure has Labor steady on 51%, the Coalition up one to 44% and undecided down one to 5%. The weekly report has the monthly personal ratings for Anthony Albanese, which have him unchanged at 60% approval and 27%.

A forced response question on a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament runs 63-37 in favour, in from 65-35 in August. Respondents were presented with four questions querying their understanding of the issue, which found 25% holding the incorrect view that the proposed body would be able to block parliamentary legislation, with 26% believing otherwise and 50% not sure. Forty per cent expected 2023 would be a better year for Australia, compared with 24% for worse and 25% for no difference. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1042.

Roy Morgan’s weekly video informs us that their latest federal two-party numbers have Labor’s lead out from 54.5-45.5 to 56.5-43.5.

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.

2,019 comments on “Essential Research 2PP+: Labor 51, Coalition 44, undecided 5 (open thread)”

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  1. Cat at 9.01 pm

    The so-called “Reform” outfit in the UK is not worth a tinker’s curse, particularly given the primitive electoral system for Westminster elections.

    In the latest YouGov poll the Tories are stuck at 23%, the same as they were in the last week of Oct just after Sunak became PM. Labour was then at 51% but is now at 48%.

    Labour would have to collapse more miserably than any English batting line-up has ever done to lose the next election from here, even though it is likely two years away.

    The Tories just lost 11% in a by-election in Manchester, albeit on a very low turnout.

    The “Reform” losers got 3.5%, demonstrating their complete political irrelevance.


  2. Macarthur

    “ Putin believes this is a game of chicken between him and the West, and he believes the West will blink first.”
    Indeed. Putin probably has reasonable cause to think that.

    The USA administration regularly expresses its concern to not “provoke” Putin by giving Ukraine the means to actually stop Russian aggression.

    The USA is broadcasting to the world that nuclear weapons are effective in forestalling US action. Presumably Saddam Hussein would have been much safer if he really did have nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

    Instead of maximising the ability of Ukraine to successfully prosecute the war and liberate occupied territory as soon as possible, the US seems to prefer to prolong the war and its many adverse effects.

    Despite its significant military support, the Biden administration’s policy seems to me quite bizarre. I’m sure the Chinese Government is analysing the reaction of the US to Russian aggression with some degree of satisfaction.

  3. Dr Doolittle,
    The audacity of the Reform (note to the English electorate, reform is not always good for you!) Party, beggars belief. Nigel Farage just will not go away because his type have figured out that the grift is best effected via parliaments, their treasuries and legislation. As did Trump and Morrison. To their absolute credit, the Australian electorate decided to no longer be the willing dupes for these people.

  4. Mountebank Scotland @mountebank_scot

    In the ‘Auld Alliance’ of 1295, Scotland and France agreed to be pals after the French agreed our national dish of sheep heart, lungs and liver boiled in a sheep stomach was something they’d actually eat ‘oui oui delicieux mon frère, it’s like a sheepy foie gras

  5. Rakali at 10.10 pm

    See this Varoufakis interview from 2 months ago with a Hungarian interviewer at:

    Some time ago sprocket linked an excerpt but that should be the longer version.

    As well as being directly critical of the EU’s failures, noting that the US has provided most of Ukraine’s weapons, Varoufakis suggests that US policy is to continue the war, because economically the US has benefited vis-a-vis Europe regarding energy prices.

    There are three different aspects. First, US policy will reflect US interests, which may not coincide with an early end to Putin’s war, especially since Putin is not for turning.

    Second, the US concern about avoiding any significant risk of escalation is real, and this part of US policy reflects broader interests, including that of China and everybody else. Nobody but the deluded would have an interest in minimising the escalation risk.

    Third, the specific problem of nuclear weapons deserves careful and critical analysis, not sweeping generalisations. Putin has been boasting about his nuclear weapons, but to what effect? He has made the Chinese anxious, leading to back-channel discussions between China and the US about how to limit the risk of escalation. Yet nothing Putin has said to incite fear has stopped his reversals on the battlefield in recent months.

    So the statement that “the USA is broadcasting to the world that nuclear weapons are effective in forestalling US action” is simplistic. The US has acted to ensure Ukraine will not be defeated. It could have done more but there are two constraints. One is the risk of escalation, which must be minimised, lest the destruction occur on a huge scale. The other is US interests, as perceived in Washington. From what Sec of Defense Austin has said, the US aim is to weaken Russia so much that a recurrent invasion is excluded. This aim might be seen in Washington as requiring a longer rather than a shorter war.

    The problem is that action to “liberate occupied territory as soon as possible” is far from simple. Ukraine is in the current position of massive misery because Putin’s war was not avoided. No major participant in Putin’s war has been prepared to fight it well. Certainly the Ukrainians have done better than the Russians, but they were also poorly prepared, even in very simple ways: e.g. by not having installed LED lights throughout.

    And, historically, the biggest mistake the Ukrainians made was in the coup in 2014 that led to Putin seizing Crimea. “His takeover of Crimea was opportunistic, unplanned and based on a snap assessment of fast-moving events.” (Owen Matthews, Overreach p 97)

    While the Ukrainians will wish to regain Crimea, Russia would fight against that much harder than to retain control of the Donbas. The US knows that. Whatever happens in Putin’s war, it would not have started if Russia had not earlier won control of Crimea.

  6. It could be put that by winning the toss and inviting South Africa to bat first, Australia gave South Africa a decided advantage

    Yes, the deck was green – but it remained green on Day 2

    The moisture remained because of atmospheric conditions resulting in indentations in the pitch due to the ball pitching when bowled (at good pace)

    These indentations which saw the ball behaving as it did appeared during the first innings of the game (South Africa batting) and were more pronounced when Australia batted, then when South Africa batted a second time and Australia batted a second time

    Noting South Africa made 150 in its first innings and failed to get to 100 in their second innings – the ball deviating as it was from the ever increasing number of indentations

    So there was deviation and variable bounce

    Get in line with that and play fair

    Mind you this is what uncovered District pitches thru up back in the day – leaving plenty of bruising

    So I would put that by being sent in, South Africa had the better of the batting conditions because, initially, there were no indentations then fewer than there were when Australia commenced their first innings

    Noting the reputation of the South African pace attack (and I would put it is only inferior to the Australian pace attack) why was such a pitch presented?

    Anyway the Test is over in less than 2 days and it is on to Melbourne (what sort of deck will be presented there, and in Sydney?)

    It will not be rolled dirt devoid of pace and bounce (that being the province of certain other Nations)

    As an observation (and biased!), Australia has the superior pace attack (with Hazelwood to return), the better spinner despite Lyon at the pace he delivers at, the far superior batting line up and the better Keeper/batsman

    So 3-0 given everything remaining equal

    And on to Lords and who awaits

    And Dr D, what you quote is essentially what my total lack of knowledge sees my opinion being

    Except for a couple of things which I won’t waste time with except to say if Ukrain is “winning” the War I would hate to see the outcome if they were “losing”

    Simply, 2 ego driven nut cases where there is only damage – including to the Global economy

  7. And with First Past the Post voting in the UK, Reform are splitting the Tory / Conservative / Right-wing vote, making it easier for Labour.

  8. Is NZ politics any less adversarial, two-party than ours? Sure, they have four general parties. But Nat and ACT go together like the Liberals and the Nationals. And their Greens have no bargaining power whatsoever, widely treated as just an augment to Labour (even when there’s a minority government). Meanwhile their politicians definitely seem as adversarial as any of ours, while our politically active members of the public tend to see the good in many parties/candidates. Frankly the Kiwis seem more polarised than Australians – and they don’t have Murdoch to blame it on.

    Europeans living under PR talk about “spite voting” when they mean “give my vote to the party who I prefer” because there is no preferences (except in Malta, that has a two party system to rival all two party systems, and Ireland). If they vote for a party who receives 3.2% of the vote then the ballot goes into the toilet – and government might go to the wrong side as recently in Israel. Tactical voting is mandatory in most PR systems. How is that any different than Americans living under FPTP talking about “wasting their vote”? It is hard to see the benefit in switching from a system where you can give your vote to any candidate you want, safe in the knowledge that it will count, to a system where voters literally consider expressing their honest opinion to be an act of spite.

    Dr Klaas Woldring is also misleading when he suggests that SMD are uniquely subject to malapportionment. Spain, for instance, is badly malapportioned and uses PR. The Australian Senate is also badly malapportioned and uses PR. Any system with districts can be subject to malapportionment.

    Another case where his wrong is that he says PR has never been abandoned except briefly in Italy. France, for instance, briefly had PR and then abandoned it. NSW had PR and then abandoned it. South Australia had PR and then abandoned it. Some Canadian provinces had PR and then abandoned it. The claim that Australians don’t have PR because we don’t have experience with it is also off, since almost every election this century – except the Queensland and NT parliaments – voters have been electing a chamber by PR. Australian voters and politicians are accustomed to the benefits of PR as much as any other democracy. Rather than making misleading claims, why can’t we evaluate PR because of its actual benefits? This is crafting a democracy, it shouldn’t be some marketing campaign where misleading claims that are clarified in 2-pt light grey text in the footnotes of another document are considered acceptable.

    The growth of the crossbench shows the strength, not the weakness, or our voting system. It is absurd to say that because it allows for change in behaviour and outcome, therefore we need change in the system. There are good arguments for PR, but this just doesn’t even come close. If we adopt PR in the lower house, we have to go in with open eyes.

  9. And just to add on cricket, when you look at scorecards and see the new ball being taken by spinners then there is something wrong

    And we are deprived of seeing class fast bowlers, fast bowlers who are the history of the game with their reputations and records over generations

    New ball in hand

  10. Rakali and MacArthur

    I wonder if there isn’t a broader picture re US assistance in Ukraine. I’ve long noted incidents where some countries take advantage of periods of international discord to undertake actions when major nations are elsewhere involved and distracted.

    Given China’s threats on Taiwan, I wonder if the US is holding back from over-committing in the Russia/Ukraine war, instead providing intelligence, weapons and training to Ukraine while keeping open the option of responding to China should it be required. Actively fighting on two fronts is particularly risky and dangerous.

  11. Cronus, I agree any country would wish to avoid significant conflict on two fronts if at all possible, the US included. This makes your hypothesis a valid one.

    On the other hand, the longer Russia remains a live threat to NATO’s eastern flank, the greater China’s opportunity to engineer exactly the sort of two-theatre conflict we’re talking of. Once Russia is disposed of as a threat, the US could focus entirely upon Chinese designs in the Asia-Pacific.

  12. Doolittle @10:59

    A lot of people seem to think that Crimea is a harder proposition than Donbas. The strategic reality is the other way around.

    Crimea is effectively an island. Only two things need to occur. One is Ukraine reaching the Azov coast (presumably via Melitopol but there are other routes). The other is Ukraine makes the Kerch bridge once again impassable and they have both the means and motive to do so – if not today then certainly when they have access to the Azov coast. Crimea will be cut off and its defeat will be inevitable.

    In contrast, the populated part of Donbas has multiple rail and road connections with Russia and it is a lot harder for Ukraine to cut Russia’s lines of communication.

    It’s pretty clear (and I can easily find you links to military experts saying this) that Crimea will be liberated first and the end game will involve Donbas.

    Putin’s mindset has little to do with military reality. Once Crimea is isolated, there is nothing he can do. He knows it too.

  13. At every AFL match I attend, usually up to 15 games per season, Men’s and Womens, before entering the ground, whether it is Giants Stadium, the SCG or Henson Park, security staff check every bag for dangerous objects, usually asking for glass containers.
    Does this occur at soccer matches?
    I was astounded to learn, last night, that sand filled buckets are kept on the sidelines for the express purpose to douse flares – which are hurled onto the pitch.
    Surely, by a proper security process, these items should be confiscated before they are brought into the ground.
    Furthermore, The Victorian Police statement that the 134 officers in attendance at this match was far greater than those deployed for a near 100 000 crowd at the AFL.

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