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Federal Politics 2013-

Apr 15, 2014

Essential Research: 50-50

Following on from the weekend's radical Nielsen result, Essential Research records only slight changes in voting intention this week. Also featured: support for campaign advertising caps, the minimum wage and fair trade agreements, and a wary view of Palmer United's Senate balance of power.

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This week’s Essential Research fortnightly average has the parties at level pegging after two weeks with Labor leading 51-49, with Labor’s primary vote down a point to 37% and the Coalition steady at 42%. The surge to the Greens in Nielsen is not replicated, their vote up only one point to 10%, with Palmer United likewise up a point to 4%. Other findings from the poll:

• A semi-regular question on leader attributes records a slight decline in sentiment towards Bill Shorten since the question was last asked in October, with “intelligent” and “understands the problems facing Australia” down six points and “arrogant”, “superficial”, “erratic” and “narrow-minded” respectively up five, six, seven and eight. Tony Abbott’s ratings are somewhat more negative, with “arrogant” up four points and “out of touch with ordinary people” up five.

• Seventy-seven per cent oppose abolition of the minimum wage, with only 15% supportive.

• Eighty-four per cent of respondents were in favour of spending caps on campaign advertising by political parties, and 78% for caps on advertising by third parties. Opinion here was consistent by party support.

• Fifty-two per cent approve of the free-trade agreement with Japan, versus 13% who disapprove, while the respective numbers for free-trade agreements generally are 49% and 11%. Coalition supporters were most in favour on both counts, while Greens supporters were most opposed.

• Thirty-two per cent think Palmer United’s balance of power position in the Senate bad for democracy versus 27% for good and 19% for no difference. Major party supporters recorded similar responses, but 62% of those in the “others” category were approving.

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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842 thoughts on “Essential Research: 50-50

  1. victoria

    Just in time. Lol!

    Watch NOW: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are arriving in Sydney to start their #royaltour ab.co/abcnewsnow #abcnews24

  2. guytaur

    “@markjs1: Abbott asked JUST ONE tricky question ..& completely loses it!

    Gillard exposed herself to TWO ONE HOUR pressers ..& kept her cool #ausvotes”

  3. zoidlord


    Sounds like something the UK Tories would do, “increase household costs”.

    Inflation, despite being low, household costs still rising:

  4. guytaur

    Those of you highlighting the BOF thread.

    We were discussing Abbott commenting to a journalist about BOF. So its appropriate for the main blog.

  5. Patrick Bateman

    [We were discussing Abbott commenting to a journalist about BOF. So its appropriate for the main blog.]
    Yeah, that obviously has nothing to do with BOF resigning.

  6. guytaur


    Its still a discussion on the PM and Media.

  7. guytaur

    “@aussieguy48: @latikambourke @abcnews @TonyAbbottMHR obviously doesn’t like free speech at times He needs to talk to Tim @barryofarrell”

  8. guytaur

    @BernardKeane: Extra-judicial killing of an Australian in Yemen by US. Govt says nothing. http://t.co/rLINf9QLiz

  9. sceptic

    Labor & lobbyists ..
    Labor should go on front foot & accept ICAC recommendations on lobbyists. Basically clean them out


    Labor should then challenge Abbott to do the same, he can’t do that as there won’t be anyone left to run the ‘ open for business shop”

    Look no further than the ex Polly spivs that Packer has hired ( labor & Liberal)… the Askin days are still here. Then there is the Australian a Hotels Association & it’s spivs … Before ICAC after Easter
    AHA had hold over BOF & binge drinking at Kings X

  10. CTar1


    About as mad as thee come – sexually confused and poision in the workplace.

  11. zoidlord

    Retweeted by sortius
    Michael Still ‏@mikal 4m

    Only 815 premises passed this week by the #nbn rollout. That’s not great.

    I guess so called, faster, cheaper, quicker is not on the table?

  12. badcat

    Bazza’s gone: The internet laughs

    Internet reacts to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s resignation over a bottle of wine


  13. guytaur

    @political_alert: Transcript of WA Senator Louise Pratt’s press conference today: http://t.co/YbnAdp2jcH #auspol #WAvotes

  14. hairy nose

    The sheer hypocrisy of Abbott – in 2012 he accused Julia Gillard of “acting criminally” and now he baulks at accusations of corruption against BOF….


  15. hairy nose

    where is everybody?

  16. zoidlord

    @Hairy Nose/818

    In the O’Farrell resigned thread.

  17. Tricot

    Confessions – as I pointed out in a previous post regarding Nahan – not only did he outline the price increase for electricity but also conceded that ‘electricity prices for consumers had risen by 80%’ – that is 80% in their time of office.

    More significantly, despite all of Abbott’s efforts, Nahan did not mention the CT once in this little attempt to soften up the WA electorate.

  18. Dee

    I realize this was probably posted but love this opening paragraph.
    [Perhaps the reason Joe Hockey gets so excited about the age of entitlement whenever he travels overseas is because he needs to leave Australia to find an example of it, writes Greg Jericho.]


  19. confessions


    Nahan probably realises that carbon pricing figures very little in the spiralling costs of living.

  20. spur212

    State by State 2PP’s by respondent allocated preferences from that Nielsen earlier this week:

    NSW: ALP 51, L/NP 49 (MoE 4.6%)
    VIC: ALP 56, L/NP 44 (MoE 5.3%)
    QLD: ALP 57, L/NP 43 (MoE 5.9%)
    SA/NT: ALP 56, L/NP 44 (MoE 9.0%)
    WA: ALP 52, L/NP 48 (MoE 7.9%)

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by region:

    Capitals: ALP 56, L/NP 44 (MoE 3.3%)
    Other: ALP 52, L/NP 48 (MoE 4.3%)

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by gender:

    Males: ALP 53, L/NP 47 (MoE 3.7%)
    Females: ALP 56, L/NP 44 (MoE 3.7%)

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by age breakdown:

    18-24: ALP 65, L/NP 35 (MoE 8.2%)
    25-39: ALP 61, L/NP 39 (MoE 6.0%)
    40-54: ALP 55, L/NP 45 (MoE 4.9%)
    55+: ALP 44, L/NP 56 (MoE 4.0%)

    via http://mumble.com.au/pdfs/federal/nielsen/Nielsen%20Poll%20Table%2010-12%20Apr%202014.pdf

  21. zoidlord

    sortius ‏@sortius 23s

    100Mbps @ 100m with vectoring, laughable #NBN @triplejHack

  22. sohar

    I don’t understand those breakdowns – works out 54+ to Labor, not 52.

  23. sohar

    I thought this blog was for NRL and AFL, why are we talking about politics?

  24. zoidlord

    Retweeted by sortius
    rascuache ‏@rascuache 6m

    Turnbull criticises Bloggers on @triplejHack for acting like they’re “Guru’s”. Next sentence “I’ve blogged about this”. Hypocrite #NBN

  25. fredex


    That’s an interesting table of 2PPs.

    I was curious as to how much the Greens have contributed to the ALP 2PP so I took the Nielsen numbers for the Green at a preference rate to the ALP of 80% [actually for the 2013 election it was 82% overall] and put the Greens ‘donation” [rounded] to the ALP 2PP in brackets [] with the header G after the ALP 2PP number and removed the LNP for clarity’s sake.
    See below.

    State by State 2PP’s by respondent allocated preferences from that Nielsen earlier this week:

    NSW: ALP 51 [G 12]
    VIC: ALP 56 [G 16]
    QLD: ALP 57 [G 9]
    SA/NT: ALP 56 [G 9]
    WA: ALP 52 [G 22]

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by region:

    Capitals: ALP 56 [G 14]
    Other: ALP 52 [G 14]

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by gender:

    Males: ALP 53 [G 14]
    Females: ALP 56 [G 14]

    Respondent allocated 2PP’s by age breakdown:

    18-24: ALP 65 [G 21]
    25-39: ALP 61 [G 18]
    40-54: ALP 55 [G 12]
    55+: ALP 44 [G 8]

    * Note: the numbers for the Greens are not their primary vote but the estimated preference vote delivered to the ALP.

    Adds a bit of nuance to the numbers I reckon, and acknowledges just how much poll support travels to the ALP via the Greens.

  26. fredex

    [I don’t understand those breakdowns – works out 54+ to Labor, not 52.]
    The 52:48 is on prefs at last election.
    Nielsen stated that preferences from respondents gave 54.5 : 45.5 to the ALP.

  27. sohar

    Thanks, I thought that was the case. Are previous preferences the only acceptable standard? Things change, and I would be more inclined to accept what people say now, not what they might have thought months or years ago.

  28. Tom the first and best


    Apparently history shows that the preferences from the previous election are the more accurate means to arive at a 2PP vote.

  29. sohar

    With so many new minor parties and independents getting a bigger share of the voting pie I’m not sure the past can be applied accurately. The mix changes so quickly these days – not like the past when there were only a few major players.

  30. Socrates

    Seeing that the Windsors are in town, I have just discovered the reason for the O’Farrell resignation. Barry is a republican! He could not stand the fawning media attention the royals were sure to get. The only way he could keep them off the front page, and avoid boring official dinners, was to resign!

    Good on you Barry. Now come out loud and proud for the cause.

    Well OK I may exaggerate, but it is more plausible than the stated reasons for Barry going.

  31. Tom the first and best


    Apparently that is actually not the case though.

  32. Phil Vee

    Meanwhile back in the real world……..

    Indonesia’s top military commander says Australia has agreed to stop turning back asylum boats to Indonesia, but the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, insists the government’s policy remains unchanged.

    Military Commander General Moeldoko said on Wednesday that his Australian military counterpart, presumably Chief of Defence David Hurley, had told him that no more boats would be returned to Indonesia.
    Of the orange lifeboats used to return three boatloads of asylum seekers since January, General Moeldoko said: ‘‘The Australian military commander has promised not to do it again.’’

    Asked to confirm the quotes, the General’s spokesman went further. ‘‘When the commanders talked to each other, the Australian military commander said that if another asylum seeker boat arrived in Australia, then Australia would deal with the problem internally,’’ the spokesman said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/indonesia-disputes-boat-policy-20140416-zqvnl.html#ixzz2z2q4vq7h

  33. rummel

    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm | PERMALINK
    How the bottle leaked: did someone target Barry O’Farrell?]

    Looks like it. I think WWIII is going to break out in NSW Politics with all the “MAD” nukes going off around the joint.

    No point holding back now Bazza!

  34. mexicanbeemer

    Finally a Liberal appears

    Rummel well done on being the first Liberal sighted here since the news broke, sadly we don’t have any prizes unless there a $3k bottle of wine lying around the back of William’s couch.

  35. Kevin Bonham


    Nielsen: Greens 17: What Is This?

    Weekly polling roundup.

    I appeared before JCSEM today and had a brief Barry moment on the question of whether or not I had read the constitution of the Pirate Party. The hearing went very well and there should be movement on the Senate reform front within a month or so. I’ve recapped the hearing briefly here:


  36. rummel

    Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm | PERMALINK
    Finally a Liberal appears

    Rummel well done on being the first Liberal sighted here since the news broke, sadly we don’t have any prizes unless there a $3k bottle of wine lying around the back of William’s couch.]

    Well mexicanbeemer, you must have been late to the party as i was around when the news broke 🙂

  37. zoidlord

    Mal claims noone rolling out FTTP, well here is another one:

    “The recent announcement that AT&T is bringing its GigaPower product to communities in North Carolina is great news for those areas. But it also indicates that local leaders are beginning to understand the importance of network upgrades in their communities.”

    And yet we are in reverse.