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Federal Politics 2013-

May 20, 2014

Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

This week's Essential Research records a somewhat less allergic reaction to the budget than the other pollsters, and shows little change on voting intention.

Essential Research displays its trademark stability this week by failing to record the big shift evident from the other pollsters, with two-party preferred steady at 52-48 and Labor up only one point on the primary vote to 40%, with the Coalition steady on 40%, the Greens down one to 8% and Palmer United steady on 5%. The results on the budget are also somewhat less spectacular than those seen elsewhere, with 30% approval and 52% disapproval, and 40% deeming it good for the economy overall against 32% for bad – quite a bit different from the 39% and 48% registered by Newspoll. The budget was deemed bad for working people by 59% and good by 14%; bad for those on low incomes by 66% and good by 11%; bad for families by 62% and good by 11%; bad for older Australians by 66% and good by 10%; bad for younger Australians by 55% and good by 16%; but good for people who well off by 45% and bad by 16%.

Response was also sought in relation to particular budget measures, of which the least popular was the raise in the pension age (61% opposition, 17% support), followed by deregulation of university fees (58% opposition, 17% support). Opinion was evenly balanced on making Newstart recipients wait six months (41% opposition, 39% support), while there was a net positive response to making graduates pay HELP loans more quickly (53% support, 23% opposition). Cuts to foreign aid had 64% supportive and 13% opposed, while those to the ABC had 27% supportive and 41% opposed. Fifty-six per cent believed there was a “budget emergency” against 32% who did not, but only 24% believed the budget addressed it, against 56% who did not.

The other relative latecomer to the budget poll party was yesterday’s fortnightly Morgan face-to-face plus SMS result, which was more in line with other polls in having Labor up 1.5% to 38.5%, the Coalition down 2.5% to 35%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer up a point to 6.5%. Whereas Morgan polls usually combine two weekends of polling, this one was entirely from Saturday and Saturday, so all the responses are post-budget and the sample is somewhat smaller than usual. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead was up from 53.5-46.5 to 56.5-43.5 on 2013 election preferences, and 55-45 to 57.5-42.5 on respondent-allocated preferences.

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crikey whitey

Abbott’s day of reckoning. Budget 2014.

As with Work Choices.

Work Choices was passed by the Howard Government in 2005 and came into effect in March 2006.

A The passing and implementation of the new laws was strongly opposed by the left side of politics, particularly the trade union movement. Critics argued that the laws stripped away basic employee rights and were fundamentally unfair. The Australian Council of Trade Unions consistently ran television advertisements attacking the new laws.

Work Choices was a major issue in the 2007 federal election, as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) vowed to abolish it. Labor under Kevin Rudd subsequently won the election, with Work Choices being one of the biggest issues of the campaign, and repealed the entirety of the WorkChoices legislation shortly after assuming office.


I might well add that the expanded availability of work since the 1990’s, including part-time and casual work, is considered to be the single most important factor in raising the welfare of low-medium income households. The tax-and-transfer system by itself is not enough to support low income households.

We have an economy that is not generating as much demand for labour as there are workers available and real wages have been falling as a result. The cuts to social incomes proposed by the LNP have to be considered in the context of persistent labour market softness and against the very high cost of housing.


I woke up. Bugger.

Anyway, restless, curious about something, I’m not sure why, I turned to the ABS.

In particular, I turned to the data…ABS Labour Force, Australia. Here is a little to enjoy with breakfast.

Aggregate Monthly Hours Worked ; Persons ; Series ID A3346490L, 000’s of hours, monthly, trend FLOW

Month & Hours

Jul 2011 1591083.0
Aug 2011 1596695.5
Sep 2011 1599874.7
Oct 2011 1599848.5
Nov 2011 1597806.1
Dec 2011 1596260.8
Jan 2012 1595999.7
Feb 2012 1597118.8
Mar 2012 1598786.1
Apr 2012 1600089.3
May 2012 1599731.6
Jun 2012 1597046.4
Jul 2012 1593568.0
Aug 2012 1590745.5
Sep 2012 1590075.4
Oct 2012 1590505.4
Nov 2012 1591429.6
Dec 2012 1592205.2
Jan 2013 1592879.2
Feb 2013 1594161.1
Mar 2013 1596399.0
Apr 2013 1599436.6
May 2013 1602746.3
Jun 2013 1605695.7
Jul 2013 1606857.8
Aug 2013 1606460.4
Sep 2013 1605238.2
Oct 2013 1604801.1
Nov 2103 1605115.5
Dec 2013 1605333.5
Jan 2014 1604947.2
Feb 2014 1603077.0
Mar 2014 1599898.6
Apr 2014 1595710.2

Looking back, we can see the month in which the most hours were worked was July 2013 when 1,606,857,800 hours were recorded. Essentially, labour demand has been gradually ebbing since then and in April this year 1,595,710,200. This is a reduction of 0.7% over the period.

In most months since July 2011 hours worked were greater than in April 2014, the exceptions being the period from July 2012 to February 2013. But the attrition in hours worked since the peak now means that absolute labour demand (expressed as hours worked) has hardly grown in the nearly-three years since July 2011.

At the beginning of the period, the labour force totaled 11,818,100 persons. In April 2014 it totaled 12,285,200, an increase of 3.8%. This increase in the workforce has been accompanied by a decline in the participation rate and in the employment to population ratio.

The intensity of labour demand – the availability of work for each worker in the market – has been slowly eroding, a trend that corresponds with the decline in real wages published by the ABS on Wednesday.

This also corresponds with job vacancy survey published by the Department of Employment yesterday which shows continued muted demand for workers.

Doubtless this goes at least part of the way towards accounting for the visceral reaction of voters to the abominable fiscal apostasy of the LNP.


Crikey Whitey
Did the link for New Mathilda a little while ago, getting retweets
Off for dinner now on a beautiful evening

Take care

crikey whitey


Great demos around the country. Like the good old days.

Nice to see the peasants revolting.

You take care and enjoy.

I am sure it’s beautiful. I have friends from those parts.

Speak in 24 hours, I guess.

crikey whitey

Mari, not sure how to link it to twitter.

It is this anyway. Now in The Age. I imagine if you looked at trending, Tony Abbott/daughter/scholarship you would find it.


Crikey Whitey

Just turned on the TV EuroNews and guess what was on the demonstration in Sydney about Abbott, went on for quite a while. Lovely to watch 😀

Give me the link and I will tweet

Take care my lovely lady

crikey whitey


Them thar is Real Solutions.


Italian Democratic Party

From Wikipedia …

“The party stresses national and social cohesion, green issues, progressivism, progressive taxation and Europeanism. “

crikey whitey

Ah! There you are, Mari!

Hoped you were okay. Great that you have made it to an island.

Don’t worry about the tweet stuff, the Age has got it.

More disgraceful Abbott stuff.

crikey whitey

Once you give me a few tips, I will see how I can apply them to the Australian situation.


Crikey Whitey

You called? What would you like me to tweet? I am at your service maa’m

Have just arrived on Lopud Island lovely

crikey whitey

Too coool, Cog.

Are the Italian and or other Dems working on a platform against or for the crooks, the IMF, the austerity, Burlesquone, corruption, the mafia or what?


Yes, church bells are never far away. However, the light of democracy is shining even brighter than Francis’s at the moment. European elections are on Saturday and, here in Italy at least, the socialists (Democratic Party but members of the European Socialist grouping) are in the lead in the polls.

Now making out what is in William’s avatar is another story.

crikey whitey

Sorry to go on.

But some clown (female) rang that station earlier and suggested that the woman who called Abbott was angry or defensive or some such because she had failed to declare her earnings to Centrelink.

Pleased to say that the radio bloke could barely restrain his laughter at this ludicrous and bizarre notion.

The Age of Women’s Lib has yet to arrive for some.

crikey whitey

Radio News now says ‘Abbott winking AND SMIRKING’ my emphasis about sex worker calling in.

crikey whitey

William’s Avatar appears to have some spiritual connection.

You would think…

crikey whitey

Well, there we have it.

Loss of faith, on my part.

You are so much closer to Pell. And vicariously, Francis.

May he keep shining the beautiful light.