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Federal Politics

Oct 3, 2011

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The latest Essential Research survey is a relatively good result for the government, with the Coalition’s two-party preferred vote down from 56-44 to 55-45. The primary vote has the Coalition down a point to 48 per cent, Labor up one to 33 per cent and the Greens down one to 11 per cent. While a dismal set of figures for the government in absolute terms, the primary vote is in fact Labor’s best result since June 14, while the two-party preferred is their best since July 25.

Other questions posed offer more evidence of gloom about the economy, with 58 per cent expecting conditions in Australia to worsen over the next 12 months. This is a 9 per cent increase since the question was previously asked at the start of the July, and compares with just 19 per cent who expect things to improve (down 6 per cent on last time). However, the pessimism is not quite as bad as first appears. The increase on the former figure is entirely accounted for by those who opted for “a little worse” (up 10 per cent to 41 per cent), with “a lot worse” actually down a point to 17 per cent. Respondents were also slightly less glum about their personal circumstances, with 24 per cent expecting them to get better and 41 per cent believing they will worsen. The proportion expressing concern about their job security, while high, has increased only two points to 47 per cent. Labor supporters are by far the most optimistic in relation to the economy generally, with 26 per cent believing conditions will get better and 39 per cent expecting them to worsen. Fully 72 per cent of Coalition supporters gave a negative response.

To coincide with the tax forum/summit, the survey also presented a smorgasbord of options on tax reform. By far the most popular were decreasing income tax for low income earners (81 per cent support, 11 per cent oppose) and improving tax breaks for small and medium businesses (76 per cent and 10 per cent). The idea of cutting company tax proved quite a lot less popular, with 32 per cent supportive and 41 per cent opposed. At the bottom end of the spectrum was increasing the GST, favoured by 9 per cent and opposed by 84 per cent, though “increasing the carbon tax” was scarcely more popular (19 per cent to 68 per cent). Respondents were fairly evenly split on abolishing negative gearing on new property purchases (33 per cent to 37 per cent) and repealing the fringe benefits tax (30 per cent to 28 per cent).

The News Limited tabloids also brought us results from a small-sample Galaxy poll (500 respondents) on Friday and Saturday, with a couple of posers for the government: Kevin Rudd led Julia Gillard as preferred Labor leader 57-41, while 32 per cent said they would be more likely to support Labor if the carbon price were abandoned against 14 per cent who said less likely. There will presumably be no Newspoll this week due to the long weekend.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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4027 comments

4,027 thoughts on “Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition

  1. Leyroy the previous Morgan Poll was 58/42 or 55.5/44.5 so on whichever methor you use it shows the same trend back to Labor of 1 to 2%.

  2. BH @3998,

    Rob O. commented on the pokie issue in a recent interview just after the tax forum.

    He was not impressed at all with the campaign clubs stating that legislation had not even been put forward as yet. He then went on to say wtte that if the legislation reflects what the Productivity Comission put forward then he would vote for it.

    I really think everything will be ok and this will turn out a winner. The MSM love it simply because it plays to their constant search for drama and crisis.

  3. [AlfDeakin Alfred_Deakin
    @
    @awelder Nonetheless a bad week for Abbott and oppn. His temporal success is clouding judgement of those who surround him.]

  4. [There is a need to introduce recycling of water.]

    Good idea, bemused, and it’s about time they started on it.

    DannyL – thanks for the Diane Cilento link. She did so much for theatre in Nth Qld when she came back from her UK years.

    I loved her mother who was a very gracious lady. She gave great advice over a long period of time on health/vitamins/etc.

  5. Bemused,

    You actually have an exaggerated sense of your critical faculties. There is a difference between self criticism and self indulgence.

    Very little of what you post is supportive of the Labor government and the Labor Movement. You seem to have resorted to that time honoured Labor affliction of demanding perfecton and hyper criticising when it isn’t achieved. Somehow, you think Labor would win if they just followed your sage advice.

    You are like those alleged supporters of football teams who spend the whole day at the football criticising their own players.

    Opinionated hand wringers are the disease that afflicts the Labor Party. Basically, you need to get over yourself and stop presenting as a Liberal enabler and start providing support if you are to be seen as sincere.

  6. There are no pokies in Crook’s electorate, nor is he beholden to NSW Clubs in order to win re-election, so he stands to lose nothing in supporting Wilkie’s bill.

  7. Doyley – thanks. I did see the Oakeshott LL interview. Tony Jones made a fool of himself, I thought. Oakeshott turned every ‘gotcha’ back onto Jones and I loved the last one where he said he’d just watched ‘The Hamster’ and related Jones’ questions to what he’d seen.

    Will try to have a look at the productivity report because I can’t remember whether it recommended mandatory precommitment or not. I know a lot of the public is onside (according to polling) but individual pollies are a different kettle of fish – especially if they live in marginal seats which are heavily under the influence of the Clubs.

  8. Doyley yes I know and Windsor is the only one of the three who has shown any real opposition against the legislation.

    Katter will probably vote with Labor for reasons associated with his new party in QLD. He needs to get up the nose of the LNP.

    I think the legislation will pass the HR and Greens support will ensure it gets through the Senate which probably explains why Abbott has already started distancing himself from it.

  9. DavidWH & Doyley

    Another reason for any of those three to vote for it, is to prevent any chance of an early election, which would lose them their once in a lifetime balance of power postion and/or their seat. A factor to consider for any future deal breaking bill or confidence motion for the rest of this term.

  10. al palster

    [Abbott welcomes manufacturing plan. The internal Lib research must be showing up the Dr No issue – and its starting to hurt.]

    Dr No has received word from Mordor. Even better Sinodinos from this article will be gung ho for Work Choices MkII. Where Sinodinos envisages,just like MkI, joyful workers will gambol in fields of clover holding aloft their “individualised wage arrangements”.
    [Tony Abbott must show some of Kevin Rudd’s sunny disposition
    Arthur Sinodinos From: The Australian October 06 ]

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/tony-must-show-some-of-kevins-sunny-disposition/story-e6frgd0x-1226159581343

  11. GG @ 4012

    Very little of what you post is supportive of the Labor government and the Labor Movement. You seem to have resorted to that time honoured Labor affliction of demanding perfecton and hyper criticising when it isn’t achieved. Somehow, you think Labor would win if they just followed your sage advice.

    I don’t know where you get all that from, probably out of your own head.

    Policy gets developed and improved by looking at what can be done better, not by saying all is perfect.

    As far a s the policy issues going through Federal Parliament at present, I am, if you will forgive me for saying so, 110% in support.

    The only problem I have is that it took a minority govt to force the poker machine issue.

    As a former Labor leader once said: “The Labor Party is not a mutual admiration society.”

  12. Those latest Morgan figures of LNP 46.5 ALP 35.5 GR 10 OTH 8 would translate to a 53/47 party preferred (rounded) if using the preference flows from the last election.

  13. Ordinarily I’d say Morgan has a “house bias” towards the ALP in his face to face polls, so this might place the figure around 56-57/44-43, where it has been tracking with the phone pollsters; but he is so erratic, I just take his polls at face value now and say “who the hell knows?”

  14. Aristotle

    [Those latest Morgan figures of LNP 46.5 ALP 35.5 GR 10 OTH 8 would translate to a 53/47 party preferred (rounded) if using the preference flows from the last election.]

    Which would make it a very winnable position for an incumbent government.

  15. [There are no pokies in Crook’s electorate, nor is he beholden to NSW Clubs in order to win re-election, so he stands to lose nothing in supporting Wilkie’s bill.]

    And remember that there is a real distaste for the whole concept of Pokies in clubs/pubs or outside of the casino in W.A. Its something we have never had and the efforts over the years to get them introduced have all failed.

    I’d think that Crook will make some effort to be seen to be voting with Wilke on this, rather than with the Govt. I suspect there will be much hyperventilation in the press about the “threat” that this issue represents to the Govt but in the end the legislation will get through.

    You know, post budget time next year could get pretty boring for the press gallery. If Abbott’s still around they may turn full on him out of having nothing much else to discuss??