Essential Research 2PP+: Labor 49, Coalition 47 (open thread)

Another poll with weakening personal ratings for Anthony Albanese, plus a flurry of results on the situation in the Middle East.

The fortnightly Essential Research results find no change for the major parties on the primary vote, with results inclusive of a 5% undecided component putting the Coalition at 34% and Labor at 32%. The Greens are up two to 12%, recovering half of a four-point drop in the previous poll, while One Nation are steady on 7%. Labor’s lead on the 2PP+ measure is 49% to 47%, the remainder being undecided, compared with 48% to 46% last time. I noted a fortnight ago that gender breakdowns from the previous poll presented the opposite from the usual pattern, which has distinctly not been repeated this time.

The survey includes bi-monthly favourability ratings, as distinct from approval ratings, in which respondents rate the leaders’ performance on a scale of zero to ten. Anthony Albanese’s reading is negative for the first time, with a four point drop in ratings designated positive (seven to ten) to 33% and a six-point increase in negative (one to three) to 35%. Peter Dutton gets his best results since November, his positive rating is up five to 32% and negative steady on 35%.

The supplementary questions largely related to international affairs, including a question as to whether Australia should provide “active assistance” to Israel or Palestine, the nature of such assistance presumably being hinted at by the either/or (or neither) response options. Seventeen per cent favoured such assistance going to Israel compared with 21% who favoured it going “to Palestine”, an ambiguous proposition under the circumstances. Thirty-five per cent rated the Israeli response proportionate, down seven from four weeks ago, compared with 25% for disproportionate, up seven. Thirty-one per cent rated themselves satisfied with the Australian government’s response, down six, with dissatisfied up one to 20%.

The Albanese government scores a 25% positive rating on its handling of international relations, with 45% for average and 30% for negative. Forty-four per cent rate Australia’s relationship with China as better since Labor came to power, compared with 11% for worse (allowance should perhaps be made here for those who consider a good relationship a bad thing). Twenty-seven per cent said active support should go to the United States in its tensions with China, compared with 6% for the opposite proposition and 67% for “stay as neutral as possible”. Thirty-nine per cent felt the AUKUS partnership would make Australia more secure, down one from March, compared with 18% for less secure (down three) and 42% for no difference (up three). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1150.

Further poll news:

• The Age/Herald provided further results from the Resolve Strategic poll on aid to the principals in the Middle East conflict, identified as Hamas and Israel in the question, with response options specifying Israel, Gaza or both equally. The results were 21%, 13% and 47% for medical and food aid, 14%, 9% and 29% for accepting refugees, and 21%, 4% and an enigmatic 8% for providing military equipment, with a respective 30%, 48% and 66% favouring providing no such aid at all.

• The weekly Roy Morgan result is the second poll published this term that fails to have Labor ahead on two-party preferred, the first being its result of three weeks ago. The primary votes are 30% for Labor, down one-and-a-half, 36.5% for the Coalition, up one-and-a-half, and 13% for the Greens, down half. The 50-50 two-party result is based on respondent-allocated preferences, which are again flowing to Labor more weakly than they did at the election. Applying the election preference flows, I make it 51-49 in favour of Labor. The poll was conducted last Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1397.

• Roy Morgan also has an SMS poll with a forced response question on whether Israel should withdraw immediately from Gaza, finding 51% for yes and 49% for no. It was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1650.

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.

809 comments on “Essential Research 2PP+: Labor 49, Coalition 47 (open thread)”

  1. Katharine Murphy on the annual Mapping Social Cohesion Report:

    ‘The new research suggests many Liberal and National voters are in a serious funk now Labor is in power.

    ‘The proportion of Coalition voters who trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time fell by 40 points between July 2021 and July 2023, from 73% to 33%.

    ‘The proportion of Coalition voters who believe their life will be worse in three or four years increased by 19 points between 2021 and 2023.

    ‘The number in this cohort who say they are pessimistic or very pessimistic about Australia’s future also increased by 27 points.’

    Those are big shifts in sentiment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/nov/18/peter-dutton-strongman-persona-matches-our-grim-times-but-has-he-fired-up-his-opponents-as-well

  2. Melbourne Mammoth @ 1.21pm
    Re: Released Refugees.
    Yes, the Australian public do care.
    Their release and continual financial support and cost to Australian taxpayers, possibly indefinitely, will always be an issue which the CLP and their media lackeys will raise on an ongoing basis.
    The Government should have worn the temporary opprobrium, from sectors of the community, once this judgement had been determined, and returned them all to their last place of residence.
    This issue would have been dealt with and be well and truly forgotten by the majority of the electorate by the time of the next election.
    The government would have been seen and acknowledged as having acted in the public interest.

  3. Big D isn’t a new persona for Australia’s opposition leader, of course. Apart from that very brief, surreal, interlude in 2018 when he wondered out loud whether or not he should smile more, Peter Dutton is a tub-thumping law-and-order populist, ready to roil, ready to rumble.

    Now I’m all for blokes finding new hobbies in midlife, but Dutton ululating about social cohesion strains credulity. Big D lives for othering. That’s his brand, his mode, his methodology.

    Check the record. Dutton didn’t seem worried about social cohesion when he declared Malcolm Fraser made mistakes in bringing some people (particularly Lebanese Muslims) into Australia in the 1970s. Or when he claimed Victorians were “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”. Or when he contended pregnant victims of rape on Nauru were “trying it on” by seeking abortions in Australia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/nov/18/peter-dutton-strongman-persona-matches-our-grim-times-but-has-he-fired-up-his-opponents-as-well

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