As reported by The Guardian, the latest Essential Research poll is one of the quarterly releases in which it unloads its voting intention data from the preceding period. This includes the pollster’s “two-party preferred plus” result, which uses respondent-allocated preferences for minor party and independent voters who indicate such a preference, previous election flows for those that don’t, and does not exclude those who were undecided on the primary vote. This produces a result of Coalition 48%, Labor 45% and 8% undecided. That’s all we have for now, but the full release today should have primary vote and two-party preferred plus results for the pollster’s other five fortnightly polls going back to August, which will reportedly show the Coalition leading in four but Labor ahead in a poll in early September.
Also featured are leadership ratings for the federal leaders, as well as for the state leaders based on what I presume to be small state-level sub-samples. The former record little change on the last such result six weeks ago, with Scott Morrison down one on both approval and disapproval, to 63% and 27% respectively; Anthony Albanese perfectly unchanged at 44% approval and 29% disapproval; and Morrison’s preferred prime minister lead nudging from 49-26 to 50-25.
The state results suggest last week’s unpleasantness has not done Gladys Berejiklian the slightest harm, with her approval rating at 68% – identical to the result of a YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph, on which more below. This puts Berejiklian clear of both Daniel Andrews on 54% and Annastacia Palaszczuk on 62%. Mark McGowan is on 84% and Steven Marshall 52%, though here sample sizes get very small indeed. McGowan’s rating is in line with polling elsewhere, but Marshall’s is at odds with the 68% he recorded in a much more robust poll in mid-September.
Other questions focus on the budget, finding 56% expecting it will help Australia recover from the recession and 53% that it will create jobs. However, 58% felt it would create long-term problems needing to be fixed in the future, and 62% believed current government debt and deficit would place “unnecessary burdens on future generations”. Fifty-four per cent felt it “balanced the needs of the genders”, contrary to much media analysis, but 45% thought it put the interests of younger Australians ahead of older people compared with 34% who thought it balanced. Forty-two per cent thought it put the interests of businesses ahead of employers, compared with 14% for vice-versa.
UPDATE: Full report here. The latest primary vote numbers are Coalition 38%, Labor 35%, Greens 9% and One Nation 4%, which becomes Coalition 41.3%, Labor 38.0%, Greens 9.8% and One Nation 4.3% if the 8% undecided are excluded, which would actually suggest a very slight two-party lead to Labor on 2019 election preference flows.
In other news:
• The aforementioned YouGov poll in the Sunday Telegraph had Gladys Berejiklian at 68% approval and 26% disapproval, and found 60% support for her to remain as Premier, with only 29% saying she should resign. Forty-nine per cent said she had done nothing wrong, compared with 36% who felt otherwise. Thirty-six per cent were more likely to vote Coalition if Berejiklian was Premier, compared with 22% less likely and 42% no difference. The poll was conducted Friday and Saturday from a sample of 836.
• Sunday’s Nine News bulletin had grim polling for federal Labor in two of its most marginal seats, showing the Coalition leading 51.2% to 27.9% on the primary vote in Macquarie and 53.2% to 31.1% in Dobell. The poll was conducted by the Redbridge Group, which also had bad seat polling for Labor in August. However, it should be noted that the pollster is careful not to stake its reputation on its voting intention polling, with Samaras having observed that “Labor and the National Party always under-report in telephone surveys because they generally have a larger number of supporters who are difficult to engage”.
• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday considering the implications of Saturday’s results in New Zealand and the Australian Capital Territory.