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Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition

The first polling conducted since the Prime Minister's polarising parliamentary speech on sexism and misogyny finds both leaders with their highest “strongly approve” ratings in well over a year. On voting intention however, the Coalition maintains its solid lead.


This week’s Essential Research survey has Labor down a point on the primary vote to 36%, but is otherwise unchanged on last week: the Coalition on 47%, the Greens on 9% and the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred. With very good timing, it also offers us Essential’s monthly personal ratings, which unlike the voting intention figures are derived entirely from the most recent period of surveying from Wednesday to Sunday. These figures are also of particular interest in the current environment in that they involve a four (strong approval, approval, disapproval, strong disapproval) rather than two point scale. This finds Julia Gillard gaining two points on strong approval since last month to 9%, her best result since February 2011, while also gaining four points on the milder approval measure to 32%. Her combined approval rating of 41% is her highest since May 2011. Her combined disapproval rating is down three points to 51%, also her best since last May, with strong disapproval steady at 27% and the milder disapproval rating down three to 24%. Opinion of Tony Abbott would appear to have polarised even further: he is up three on strong approval to 9% – his best result since December 2010 – but also up two on strong disapproval to a new high of 31%. His overall approval is up five to 37%, and disapproval down one to 54%. Gillard has opened up a seven-point lead as preferred prime minister of 43-36, its highest since February.

The survey also gauges attitudes to the presidential election, finding Barack Obama favoured by 63% to just 9% for Mitt Romney, with Obama leading 53-18 even among Coalition voters. Respondents were found to have an overwhelmingly more favourable view of their own country than the United States with respect to access to health care and jobs, standard of living for ordinary people, and other such. The US obviously rated higher on “international influence”, but even here 17% felt able to conclude Australia’s was “better”. Respondents were also asked about climate change, with much the same result as when the question was last asked a year ago: 48% believe climate change is occurring as a result of human activity, with 39% plumping for “we are witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate”.


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4,610 thoughts on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Coalition

  1. Andrew

    Gillard has a better net approval by 6% and is up by 7 on Abbott on PPM. The trend is our friend

  2. victoria


    I noticed the block by Latika. I actually thought some valid questions were being asked. Also did Latika at any stage, link the youtube video of the PM speech?

  3. zoidlord

    It’s funny how all of the liberals backing each other, it just means there is trouble on there side.

  4. joe2

    Carried from last thread.

    [Anyone know where can find a link to the David Feeney pictures of Christine Milne???]

    Look for three tweet/pics 2 on 1 Oct and one on Oct 2.


    Peeps thought he had been hacked. But he hadn’t. Stupid, immature stuff imo.

  5. victoria


    The feeney tweets re Senator Milne who juvenile indeed.

  6. theclaw

    [Peeps thought he had been hacked. But he hadn’t. Stupid, immature stuff imo.]

    Indeed. Silly at the best of times, but remarkably stupid a few days after Alan Jones made insulting “jokes” the #1 story in Australian politics.

  7. guytaur

    “@Simon_Cullen: Fair Work Australia has confirmed that proceedings have been commenced in the Federal Court of Australia against Craig Thomson today”

  8. victoria


    They are civil charges

  9. mari

    Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | PERMALINK

    I noticed the block by Latika. I actually thought some valid questions were being asked. Also did Latika at any stage, link the youtube video of the PM speech?]
    Not that I noticed

  10. victoria

    Now that official proceedings have commenced, the Coalition can no longer comment on the proceedings without prejudicing the case

  11. Fran Barlow



    You might like to correct …

  12. guytaur

    “@Simon_Cullen: FWA says court action against Thomson relates to allegations he breached union rules & general duties of registered organisations provisions”

  13. Think Big

    [Now that official proceedings have commenced, the Coalition can no longer comment on the proceedings without prejudicing the case]

    It’s only Labor who are bound by such restrictions – I doubt it will slow doen Brandis SC one iota.

  14. guytaur

    @AntonyGreenABC: Why does everyone follow Ohio in US Presidential election? This graphs explains why http://t.co/c5YrcpLX

  15. guytaur

    “@Simon_Cullen: Craig Thomson: “I have always maintained my innocence in these matters and I continue to do so.””

  16. mari

    Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
    Any comment @DobellThommo?
    Isn’t she a sweetie?

  17. This little black duck

    Let’s join all the dots: Julia Gillard is unfit for high office because she has not condemned Craig Thomson for being bribed by Peter Slipper to procure him four unsigned cab-vouchers.

  18. guytaur

    @kieranaway: How @abcnews chalked up its first @YouTube viral video – the extraordinary @JuliaGillard remarks hits 1.5 million views http://t.co/GLhBTiaN

  19. Fran Barlow


    [The Feeney tweets re Senator Milne were juvenile indeed.]

    Agreed. Although the “emotional states” sails pretty close to the wind due to the allusion, looking at the images, it’s clear that Feeney isn’t trading on “women as emotional” — quite the opposite — he’s asserting that she’s suffering from the opposite condition — want of emotion.

    So on review I’m giving him a pass on “sexism”. He does get “juvenile”, “gratuitously disrespectful”. I hitherto had no strong impression of him, but whatever impression I had has worsened.

  20. Boerwar


    Unless sexism is in the eye of the beholder, either yourself or Ms Milne is wRONg on Mr Feeney’s efforts.

  21. guytaur

    How is Tony doing in Jakarta?

  22. Boerwar

    Not nearly as badly as the teeming masses, I would expect.

  23. guytaur

    “@greenat16: The South Australian Liberal MP @Rob_Lucas has blamed Lance Armstrong’s Drug cheating on the Labor party http://t.co/mxWmkHaV

  24. guytaur

    @JuliaGillard: “I’m here today to say a big thank you to you on behalf of the Australian nation for everything that you do.” PM http://t.co/oIhAr6iv

  25. lizzie

    From The Australian.
    [FAIR Work Australia has laid charges against independent MP Craig Thomson, alleging he broke industrial laws and union rules in splurging hundreds of thousands dollars of union funds on prostitutes, spousal travel, and high living.]
    I thought we’d already trawled through all this stuff and found some of it pretty shonky.

  26. Seasprite

    I think it’s worth taking a hit in the polls to expose Tony Abbott’s character, the focus has been on the PM since last election.

    The spotlight is on Tony and his opinions, Labor may get some blowback from the older conservative voter and people will feel some sympathy towards him.

    This will fade and voters will know and remember the darker side of Tony Abbott’s personality come the next election.

    The focus should now turn to policy, a good start tonight on QANDA, should any questions come up a blunt refusal to talk about anything other than policy and the economy.

  27. Marrickville Mauler

    Guytaur # 22, make that 1.6 million now. Plus the other versions.

  28. lizzie

    [Latika Bourke ‏@latikambourke
    Slipper. Thomson. Just another week in Oz politics…]

    Now, would you agree that’s a slap at Labor??? Or is it objective reporting.

  29. Von Kirsdarke

    I certainly hope Julia Gillard goes against Abbott hard in the debates next year.

    Shoot down his talking points, point out his hypocrisy and with any luck he might snap and reveal his inner thug and prove he isn’t up to the job.

    If Gillard talks to him like Biden did to Ryan last week, I doubt he’ll be able to keep his cool.

  30. lizzie


    I thought that tweet at #28 was a joke.
    Then I checked. 😮

  31. Fran Barlow


    [Unless sexism is in the eye of the beholder, either yourself or Ms Milne is wRONg on Mr Feeney’s efforts.]

    I imagine sexism can be in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes there are subtle things that a third party might miss. In this case I don’t agree that Milne is entitled to cite Feeney’s tweet pics as sexist. Stupid? Sure. But sexist? Nope.

  32. guytaur


    Exactly my reaction. Truly sometimes truth weirder than fiction.

  33. CTar1

    Senate Estimates Constitutional & Legal might be fun tomorrow.

    AGS has been scheduled for 2 hours starting at 4:30.

    Lots of Slipper/Ashby questions starring Gorgeous George I’d guess.

  34. Schnappi

    Stephen Spencer‏@sspencer_63

    Thomson charges civil – penalties are financial not criminal. He could be bankrupted, but not jailed. This won’t cause a by-election

  35. Fran Barlow

    yes … I was going to comment on that one Lizzie.

    [Labor’s record-AAA lost,OlympicDam deferred,DesalPlant mothballed,water price tripled, Armstrong drug cheat,$13b debt,$867m deficit! Enough!]

    It beggars belief. Perhaps he’s annoyed with all the Repugs in the US getting headlines for saying stupid stuff.

  36. joe2

    I don’t get how Sen Milne could say that the govt was protecting Slipper, with a big ‘if’ she was that simplistic.
    Given it was a Newslimited report.

  37. guytaur

    I think now PMJG has a higher profile. How did Howard go in reporting like this?

    @BBCWorld: Gillard due to begin India visit http://t.co/pQhB6iVR

  38. The Finnigans

    Latest Essential. PPM PM 43 Abbott 36. #MSM PM’s men problem? Men 40/40 (last 36/44) Women 47/33 (last 44/30)

    Another lie from the Canberra Press Gallery smashed that PM has men problem – latest Essential shows men are split 40-40 for PPM

  39. mari

    Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | PERMALINK

    Did you see my comment last one probably on previous thread, what we were talking about re Latika

  40. Aguirre


    Now that official proceedings have commenced, the Coalition can no longer comment on the proceedings without prejudicing the case

    Maybe they’ll be able to dig up a text from him saying he doesn’t like horses or something, and the Coalition can demand his removal from Parliament on the basis of cruelty to animals. Abbott patted a horse once, so he should be above suspicion.

  41. Fran Barlow

    Oh dear … Rob Lucas and I share the same birthday (OK he’s my senior by five years, but still).

  42. guytaur


    No I think I must have missed it.

  43. Jackol

    Schnappi –
    Hmmm. Being declared a bankrupt is just as much a disqualification from being an MP as being jailed so I’m not quite sure of the logic there.

    If it’s just about the fact that it might take longer for the civil suit to get to the point of awarding damages, and then for bankruptcy proceedings to complete then perhaps there’s a point there, but I suspect it’s all irrelevant – if Craig Thomson is not resigning from his seat, and there’s no reason to believe he would at this point, then whatever proceedings will drag on long enough that a by-election won’t be possible before the next election.

    As we’ve been saying here forever. Whatever threat action against Thomson might be to the government, it isn’t based on numbers in the house, it would just be about the political impact of the grubbiness surrounding the HSU and Thomson.


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