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The latest weekly Essential Research survey shows no change on last week, bar a one point drop in the Greens vote to 10 per cent: the Coalition is on 49 per cent of the primary vote and Labor on 32 per cent, with the Coalition’s two-party lead at 56-44. Essential also found plenty of interesting questions to ask about the Labor leadership. Respondents were asked to evaluate the performance of various actors during the challenge, with Kevin Rudd coming out least badly (33 per cent good, 35 per cent poor), “Labor Party ministers” the worst (10 per cent and 52 per cent), the media also very poorly (14 per cent and 43 per cent), Julia Gillard not well at all (23 per cent and 49 per cent) and Tony Abbott hardly better even if it might be hard to recall what he did exactly (25 per cent and 40 per cent).

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said the leadership challenge was bad for the government and 47 per cent that it has made them less likely to vote Labor (64 per cent among Coalition supporters, obviously including many who wouldn’t vote Labor in a pink fit), against 13 per cent who said it was a good thing and another 13 per cent (or perhaps the same 13 per cent) who they were more likely to vote Labor. A question on Kevin Rudd’s future produces a miraculously even three-way split with 29 per cent saying he should stay in parliament and again challenge for the leadership, 28 per cent saying he should stay in parliament and not challenge for the leadership and 30 per cent saying he should resign from parliament.

Respondents were asked to indicate whether they supported the Australian system of leaders being elected by MPs (36 per cent), American-style presidential primaries (31 per cent) and British-style election by both MPs and party members (11 per cent). Fifty-six per cent believed MPs should be guided by public opinion in leadership contests against 30 per cent by who they believed was the best person. The poll also points to a slight increase in support for an early election since the end of January, up three to 44 per cent with support for a completed term down two to 46 per cent.

We have also had Newspoll publish results from last week’s polling on the most important political issues and the best party to handle them. Such figures are invariably very closely associated with voting intention, and since this was a 53-47 poll result, it finds Labor improving considerably since the question was last asked as part of the poll of October 7-9, which was a 57-43 result. Labor has recovered big leads on its traditional strong suits of health, education, industrial relations and climate change, and closed the gap on the economy, interest rates and national security. Full tables from GhostWhoVotes.


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2,780 thoughts on “Essential Research: 56-44 to Coalition

  1. William Bowe

    Mick, are you trying to establish some kind of record for being the world’s biggest imbecile? Shows … On’s … comment … has … been … deleted! If there’s any part of that which is too complicated for you to understand, then for God’s sake please stop coming here.

  2. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    On Foxtel at the moment is a program about a vet who helps out in third world type countries. At the moment he is showing some farmers a better way to castrate horses.

  3. Centre

    [eventually the wretched things would be worthless.]

    Exactly! 🙂

    You do realise that many people are entertained by pokie machines and are prepared to spend their money accordingly. Also many realise the contributuion that their entertainment provides to essential sevices such as hospitals and public transport etc…

  4. Scringler


    I am now in permanent decline. Too many numbers. As an innumerate, I’ll now have my curry.

    That woman is amazing, although I can’t really understand it, but admiration is due. It’s like the admiration due to a woman who can stand up, cold, and sing a Scots lullaby or an Irish lilt – and make strong men cry.

  5. Bushfire Bill

    Went to see a friend today who is dying in a hospice. They can’t do any more for him, unfortunately (cardio myopathy – but never smoked a ciggie in his life… it was the drugs and the alcohol that done it).

    He is 63, but looked closer (seriously) to 93. I was shocked to see how much he has aged in the 12 months since we’ve seen him. I hope my shock didn’t show (I don’t think it did… but he’d be used to it by now anyway, I guess).

    Her Indoors and I told him happy tales of his grandkids which he seemed to really enjoy. A little bit of the old Kel came back when we recounted The Saga Of The Christmas Bike and The Little Brother And The South African Princesses yarns (getting ever more detailed and lengthy with each telling).

    We’d only heard he was in palliative care last night and the word was he had days to live, which may be true, but he hasn’t quite given up yet. He’s not fighting it – in fact he said he was “elated” he was dying, the burden had been so heavy for the past year or two – but he doesn’t want to croak just yet, either.

    We had been sent as an advance guard, to get someone close to him there in the ward before it was too late. The immediate rellies are coming down from up the Coast on the weekend. Our task was to survey the scene, reassure him comfort and family were on the way and to keep him cheerful in the meantime. We needn’t have bothered. Kel was fine. He’s reached “Acceptance”.

    I rang his ex-wife to tell her (as I had promised) how he was, what to expect and how things appeared to us. She’s one of the rellies coming on the weekend.

    Kel has been married three times, with a family from two of them. None of the half-siblings like each other. In fact they seem to actually hate each other. Then there’s the ex, the one that I rang, who gave me a mouthful of who didn’t send Xmas prezzies to whom, who didn’t wash up after Easter, who told whom off, and who swore at whom using language that would make a sailor blush.

    I listened to this for 15 minutes. All I had done was what I promised to do: see Kel, pass on the family’s thoughts, affection and regards, give him hope to last to the weekend and phone back with a report. I didn’t need the so-and-so hates such-and-such crap. At the end of 15 minutes with no end in sight, I simply said, “Hey… I don’t care, just leave that stuff in the car park. Kel doesn’t need it right now.”

    So then it was my turn to cop an earful. What did I know about anything? How dare I interfere? Who cared about my f**king opinion? Screaming and shouting down the phone for 20 seconds, and then the line went dead. She’d hung up on me.

    I understand that grief can hit us in many and varied ways, and this was probably the ex-wife’s way of telling me she was hurting so bad. So I didn’t get upset and didn’t get angry and I didn’t try to ring her back.

    I just hope she really does leave the emotional garbage in that carpark. Three women fighting over him – his ex-wife and his two daughters – would upset him, I’m sure, so close (as he is) to his final few thoughts.

    God help us if one of the other two ex’s turns up. It could get really ugly then.

  6. Mick Collins

    It all I ask william, balanced moderation.
    If some one makes an unprovoked adhominen attack then I’m going to bite back

  7. Dr John

    [ The government has not pulled this surplus pledge out of its bum of that I am sure. It is the right call for the current circumstances. ]
    Doyley at some stage the continuous Australian natural disasters must start kicking in.

  8. Gaffhook

    Did you see the post by Leroy at 121 on the Qld thread about Newman upping heavy transport rego.

  9. Bushfire Bill

    [William Bowe
    Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    You are quite correct, BB.]

    I think this means William likes me. Thank you William. I like you too.

  10. Greensborough Growler


    Time to move on, comrade.

    William could have flagged his actions. He didn’t.
    William could be more consistent with his moderating. But he’s not.

    Such is life!

    Reacting to Showsy like you have, means he’s winning.

  11. gusface

    bushfire, william

    get a room


  12. This little black duck

    That we gotta have a surplus may be political (yep!) but it will also keep the Moodys of the world placated and make sure that our interest on loans from overseas is as low as it can be.

    If we go to AA+ just watch out for the screams.

  13. The Finnigans

    [I think this means William likes me. Thank you William. I like you too.]

    BB, are you planning to have a holiday with Bilbo?

    Frankie might get jealous

  14. poroti

    Dr John
    The PM looked pretty emphatic today when she said the current floods will not impact on this years surplus. Next year however ? Mind you after a disaster there has to be a boost to anything associated with rebuilding.

  15. Bushfire Bill

    [bushfire, william

    get a room]

    The regard William and I have for each other is on an altogether higher plane. You probably wouldn’t understand, Gusface. Not many people do.

  16. This little black duck


    It’s platonic, really!

  17. deblonay

    An absurdity
    Fron Counterpunch///
    a US academic asks how could a small middle eastern country dominate the world’s greatest super-power and bring the US close to WW111
    well it does..along with bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing too !!

    and perhaps with a big big rise in your petrol bill ?


  18. shellbell

    BB’s story reminds me of wife’s late uncle. He had a similar family background with extensive dislikes.

    One of his estranged daughters showed up at the hospice seeking an advance on her share of the estate.

    My wife was appointed joint executor, a position she renounced because of the brawling amongst beneficiaries and the decision by the deceased’s solicitor to invest the assets of the estate in a non-interest bearing account.

  19. Dr John

    [ On Foxtel at the moment is a program about a vet who helps out in third world type countries. At the moment he is showing some farmers a better way to castrate horses.
    Ouch. ]
    Puff – many years ago I went with my father to visit a knock-about horse trainer called Ross McDonald (still in the game) whom had horse stables in a down town Melbourne suburb called Mentone.
    As we walked down the driveway big Ross walked out of the barn covered in blood. My father yelled out what’s going on Rossco and he yelled backed he’d just geldered a stallion. Never forget.

  20. The Finnigans

    [It’s platonic, really!]

    Ducky, not sure. i heard it was tectonic.

  21. Diogenes

    This is strictly a Qld matter but it is a general issue.

    Anyone know the ins and outs of this.

    [A COURT is yet to decide whether millions of Queensland election ballot papers will be reprinted after Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) lodged an injunction because it objects to how its name appears on them.

    The party, founded by federal north Queensland MP Bob Katter, had the matter heard in both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in Brisbane today.

    It wants the court to order the Queensland Electoral Commission to reprint millions of ballot papers printed with the party’s abbreviated name, “The Australian Party”.]


  22. ShowsOn

    I like to think of A Frankers’ place as the Senate.

    We are the House of Reps.

  23. ruawake

    The press and especially the Libs have ignored the really deep spending cuts that Swan has made.

    This is why the Libs funding shortfall (hole is such a nasty term when Joe Hockey is around) is a really hue issue. There is no low hanging fruit, Medibank Private and Aus Post are the only things left to sell, it is really tricky.

    Faulkner said the Lib were falling into a fiscal trap at the 2010 election. how right was he?

  24. poroti

    The Finnigans
    [It’s platonic, really!

    Ducky, not sure. i heard it was tectonic]

    Plutonic ? Plutonic = Relating to the underworld or the god Pluto

  25. gusface


    can one be a member of both?

  26. Bushfire Bill


    It’s platonic, really!]

    William, don’t give into their grubby gotchas. Keep mum. The special thing you and I have between us is too good for these squalid… {sigh}… bloggers.

    You are “Julia” and I am your “Sir Bob”. What we know is strictly ours, and ours alone.

  27. lizzie

    Mick Collins

    I was v. pleased that William deleted your comment.
    That wasn’t ad hominem, it was disgusting. There is a difference.

  28. Puff, the Magic Dragon.


    It is a privilege to share the end of someone’s life, as close to sacred as you can get. On those last hours, my mother said she was sorry she could not stay with my husband and me. I said whatever happened in that room that day was (in our case, I stress) for husband and wife, (everyone else had been or not arrived) and it was.

    I remembered writing that I resented every day that passed since because it was one day further away from that which I could never be again, Arthur’s wife.

    You are a good person, BB.

  29. Doyley

    Dr John @1857,

    It does seem to keep on happening.

    However, I would think that the Natural Disaster relief payments available would be well budgeted for.

    As well I would also think a significant amount of infrastructure damage from last year has yet to be repaired and rebuilt with the same areas, especially in Queensland, hit again. So the monies allocated would not yet have been spent in many areas thus limiting any double up of repairs and rebuilding.

    Just my take anyway.


  30. gusface


    hey my apols for spilling the beans

    i promise not to release the video……..

  31. shellbell


    Sandy Street SC of the NSW bar (son, grandson and greatgrandson of NSW Chief Justices) has appeared for BK’s party and fired up some high wide and handsome legal arguments which are taking some time to address as I understand it.

    They include constitutional issues which if they have merit (I dont know) scare the bejesus out of judges and can drag in Solicitors General etc.

    If he is successful, the election may be adjourned for 10 weeks or so.

  32. Rossmore

    BB your actions were admirably restrained. Every now and again on pb out pops some wonderfully evoked vignettes of the stuff and messiness of daily life and occassionally the deeply profound, Crickey Whitey’s moving account of the adoption of her child the other day moved me to tears.

  33. poroti


    [I like to think of A Frankers’ place as the Senate.]
    WOT “unrepresentitive swill” ? Sacre beaujolais and merde !!

  34. Bushfire Bill

    [My wife was appointed joint executor, a position she renounced because of the brawling amongst beneficiaries and the decision by the deceased’s solicitor to invest the assets of the estate in a non-interest bearing account.]

    Invest? In a NON interest-bearing account. Who was this fiscal genius? Joe Hockey?

  35. This little black duck


    That plate movement was KFC Joe going for the next course.

  36. BK

    [Sandy Street SC of the NSW bar (son, grandson and greatgrandson of NSW Chief Justices) has appeared for BK’s party and fired up some high wide and handsome legal arguments which are taking some time to address as I understand it.]
    What have I done????

  37. ShowsOn


    can one be a member of both?]
    Gussy, you’re a Country Member.

  38. gusface

    yeah BK

    what have u done!!!

  39. The Finnigans

    [can one be a member of both?]

    Gussie, of course you can be at both places at the same time if you are travelling at the speed of light.

  40. shellbell

    Big hat wearing BK

  41. This little black duck

    What have I done????

    You hired a BobKat?

  42. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Dr John.
    After watching the program, I can only assume he didn’t use emasculating clamps to control the bleeding after removing the testicles.

  43. Diogenes


    It said Katter’s case was too hard for the Qld Supreme Court today and they sent it to the Court of Appeal as it was a constitutional matter.

    Sounds like ending up in the High Court. And that could take a while.

  44. confessions


    [Is that a self descriptor?]

    No. Why?

  45. The Finnigans

    [That plate movement was KFC Joe going for the next course.]

    Ducky, Bilbo has issued a Fatwa, no more fat joke unless is about Prof. Clive Palmer.

    You’ll be hauled infront of the Mullahs for the 50 lashes.

  46. This little black duck

    Well, you can be a particle and a wave. See the light?

  47. ruawake

    Australia’s hospice system and our attitudes to death are poor. We will all die, dignity is what is lacking in many cases.

  48. poroti



    yeah BK

    what have u done!!! ]
    Yeah, what have you done and have you stopped doing it ? 🙂

  49. gusface


    I think I am one of the leading ones, or so i am oft told on twitter

    tho it troubles me that peeps shorten the spelling somewhat


  50. CTar1

    [and can drag in Solicitors General etc]

    Where is the new Maurice?


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