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Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

A budget eve widening of the Coalition's electoral deficit from Essential, while a private poll finds cabinet minister Christian Porter struggling in his marginal seat on the fringes of Perth.


The regular Essential Research result is the only entry in an inevitably quiet week of opinion polling, to be followed by a post-budget deluge next week. This result is a good one for Labor, who tick up a point on two-party preferred to lead 54-46, with the Coalition down one on the primary vote to 37%, Labor up one to 38%, the Greens up one to 10% and One Nation maintaining an ongoing trend in dropping a point to 6%. Despite that, the regular monthly leadership ratings find Malcolm Turnbull up two on approval to 37%, although he is also up one on disapproval to 48%. Bill Shorten is up one on each, to 34% and 45%, and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 39-28 to 39-31.

Other findings relate to the government’s university funding, with university funding cuts (28% to 56%) and student fee hikes (30% to 60%) heavily opposed, but lowering the threshold for student loan repayment slightly favoured (47% to 44%). Thirty-one per cent rated that students should pay a lesser share of the cost of their degrees, 20% thought it should be more, and 37% thought the current ratio (42% paid by students, 58% by the government) was about right. The poll also finds 71% rating a return to a budget surplus as important, versus only 19% for not important.

One other poll tidbit: the Financial Review reports a poll conducted by WA Opinion Polls for Labor-aligned communications company Campaign Capital finds cabinet minister Christian Porter trailing 52.2-47.8 in his Perth outskirts seat of Pearce, from a swing of 5.8%. The primary vote numbers make no distinction between “other” and “unsure”, so I’m not exactly sure what to make of them, but for the record they have Labor on 38.0% (34.3% at the election), Liberal on 33.8% (45.4%), the Greens on 8.0% (11.0%) and One Nation on 10.4% (uncontested). The poll was conducted a fortnight ago from a sample of 712.


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1,323 thoughts on “Essential Research: 54-46 to Labor

  1. Dan Gulberry

    and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 39-31 to 39-28.

    You might want to correct that.

  2. briefly


    Politics in Europe now turn on a renewal of the mandate of and for the EU. Nationalist and class-based affiliations are being sublimated by pan-European commitments. At least in part, the re-commitment to European institutions has to be seen as a reaction to Brexit, Putin and Trump.

  3. briefly

    Hopefully the next time Abbott tries to undermine Turnbull his preselection will be opposed by a moderate and modernist female alternative. This would help expunge the loony voices, who could then try to find refuge with Hanson, Bernardi or the Lib-Dems, none of whom have a future in government.

  4. don

    player one @ #1825 Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    steve777 @ #1778 Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    P1 @9:26PM: Jeezus H Christ! What dies the ‘H’ stand for?

    ‘Hominum’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christogram


    I told you before, the H in Jesus H. Christ stands for Harold.

    As in:

    “Our Father, which art in Heaven, Harold be thy name”

  5. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Would I be right in saying that this budget an its messaging suggest that the Coalition has had its rhetoric all wrong for the last decade?

    The SMH editorial gives the budget mantra 2 out of 3.
    Michelle Grattan says that Morrison has delivered a surprisingly big taxing budget that pays for the last burial rites of the 2014 toxic Abbott legacy.
    The new $6 billion tax on banks would likely be passed straight onto customers, says a major investment bank.
    Susie O’Brien says that the budget is more of a fairytale more of rhetoric than reality. Google.
    Labor describes it as “a budget for millionaires”.
    Paul Bongiorno says “The budget numbers are vulnerable to the charge that this is a big-taxing, big-spending splash. There’s little doubt that is the way Tony Abbott in opposition would have attacked it. Will he saddle up to ride that horse again?”
    Here’s Greg Jericho’s detailed analysis of the budget.
    I think this article says that the 20/21 surplus is obtained by separating the “good debt” spending out of the equation. So with the stroke of a pen they have redefined “surplus”. Have I got this one wrong? And are the assumptions for wages growth (and therefore economic activity) a little heroic?
    Katharine Murphy says Morrison’s statement is meant to draw a line under the disaster of 2014 and give the government a conversation to take to voters. But they may not be listening.
    Alan Kohler has a good look at the budget and concludes that unless the government moves to put a price on carbon the politics of the 2017 budget will come crashing down around them. Google.

  6. Norwester

    Libs internal polling must have been putrid for them to come up with this budget and its narrative.
    Possible they may get a short term bounce from some of the headline announcements, but there are several measures that are going to start to bite many people in coming weeks. Nothing there for the disengaged/swing-able voters.

    Is the $50B giveaway to big corporates their only job creation policy? It certainly appears that way. Maybe a few people believe that.
    Nothing about the climate.
    Housing policy given a poodle clip rather than the serious adjustment it needs.

    Biggest take out for me is the walking away from their debt and deficit mantra. Amazing that they invested so much in that bull for years and now attempt to sidle away from it.
    They have no idea what to do for the benefit of the majority of Australians.

  7. BK

    Section 2 . . .

    The Turnbull government has gambled its fortunes on a big-spending, big-taxing budget as it seeks to unwind the damage of the Abbott years and reclaim the political agenda from the Labor opposition.
    Peta Credlin writes that Last night, the Howard-Costello era ended. In its place, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison delivered a budget that owes more to the ghost of Labor leaders past than it does to Liberal fundamentals of debt reduction, prudent spending, lower taxes and smaller -government. She concludes by inferring that it’s a NewsPoll budget. Google.
    Here’s Andrew Bolt’s big spit over the budget. Google.
    Bolt is not the only right winger to have a big spit. Have a look at what the lovely Judith Sloan has to say!. Google.
    Rob Burgess in The New Daily writes “Reading this year’s budget paper is like waking from a bad dream – from the era in which the Tony Abbott-led Coalition junked good policy for political gain, and pursued bad policy for ideological reasons. The 2017 budget draws a line under the attacks that undermined the Rudd and Gillard government’s attempts to manage the fallout of the global financial crisis.”
    Jennifer Hewett – Welcome to big government Morrison style. Google.
    Mark Hawthorne looks at what the budget means for the big banks who, he says, are seething over the lack of consultation.
    Laura Tingle writes that this is a budget that will have Labor ‘spewin’: it is a budget that Labor could only dream of bringing to the parliament, knowing full well that a Coalition opposition would never tolerate half the things in it. Google.
    The Department of Human Services will shed nearly 1200 jobs next financial year. That will really boost service levels!

  8. BK

    Section 3 . . .

    Cattle class in American Airlines. No thanks!
    And another US airline’s efforts show up the anger just beneath the surface of many Americans.
    Richard Wolffe plays a game in which he substitutes Clinton for Trump in looking at the Flynn scandal. It would be impeachment all the way he says.
    Looks like WA Labor got it right when they went after the Perth Lord Mayor.
    The Turnbull government has denounced Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs that has left thousands dead, declaring Canberra is “deeply concerned” about reports of extrajudicial killings. Well they’ve got that right!
    Deaths from the misuse of prescription drugs are becoming an epidemic. Last year in Victoria, more people died from prescription overdose than in car accidents or from illicit drugs like heroin. A clinical pharmacy lecturer issues a salutary warning.
    Economists fear the $300 billion retail sector may be on the verge of recession after sales dipped again in March, confirming feedback from retailers that consumers have cut spending as living costs rise. This is not good. Google.
    Why doctors should be prescribing generic drugs.
    Will Macron be France’s Napoleon III?
    The man behind yesterday’s extra¬ordinary public assault on Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce is a senior member of at least two Perth-based religious organisations. and he had previously been a candidate for the Nats. Google.

  9. BK

    Section 4 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    In a brief defending its ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries, President Donald Trump’s Justice Department approvingly cited a segregation-era Supreme Court decision that allowed Jackson, Mississippi, to close public pools rather than integrate them.

    Broelman on THAT Labor advertisement.
    David Rowe and a certain hitch-hiker.
    A ripper from Mark Knight!
    Jon Kudelka and temptation.
    David Pope has his say about the budget and its effect on young people.

  10. don

    Curse the firewall.

    But to be serious, (though I prefer the Harold interpretation) your reading comprehension of Wikipedia is atrocious.

    Here is the entry you are looking for:

    In the Latin-speaking Christianity of medieval Western Europe (and so among Catholics and many Protestants today), the most common Christogram became “IHS” or “IHC”, denoting the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, iota-eta-sigma.
    The Greek letter iota is represented by I, and the eta by H, while the Greek letter sigma is either in its lunate form, represented by C, or its final form, represented by S. Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, “JHS” and “JHC” are equivalent to “IHS” and “IHC”.
    “IHS” is sometimes interpreted as meaning “Jesus Hominum (or Hierosolymae) Salvator”, (“Jesus, Saviour of men (or: “of Jerusalem” in Latin) or connected with In Hoc Signo.

    Such interpretations are known as backronyms

    In other words “IHS” or “IHC”, denote the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus. Nothing to do with “hominum” which was invented later, and is wrong.

  11. don

    And Bemused, although the gremlins have other methods for triggering it, the firewall in that case was invoked because of the square brackets, as you suggest.

  12. phoenixRED

    Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to investigate President Donald Trump’s business dealings with Russia

    The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was intrigued by James Clapper’s refusal to answer a question about the president’s business dealings with Russia, which the former director of national intelligence suggested could jeopardize an ongoing investigation, reported CNN.


  13. Trog Sorrenson

    Thanks BK
    Couldn’t watch the budget, didn’t have the stomach, but there appears to be nothing to address the energy situation – a major economic driver – or the environment. (see Kohler article). The national energy market is falling down around their ears, but all they can think of is Snowy 2.0, a project that almost certainly will not go ahead.

  14. phoenixRED

    How could Pence lead the transition and not know Flynn was compromised? Maddow reacts to Yates testimony

    “We had known before (Monday) that whatever happened with Mike Flynn, the White House has been telling a story about him that does not add up or make sense,” Maddow said

    “That was a problem for them before (Monday), it became a much bigger problem for them after (Monday’s hearing). Before (Monday), we knew that he had inexplicably waited 18 days after being warned about Mike Flynn before they fired him. (Monday), that delay became all the more inexplicable and even a little bit scary.”


  15. Trog Sorrenson

    If the Libs insist on retaining their company tax cuts for big business, while at the same time running up debt, then they have retained a strategy that Labor can drive a train through. A complete reversal of the “Libs are good economic managers” bullshit.

  16. phoenixRED

    10 important questions raised by Sally Yates’s testimony on the ‘compromised’ Michael Flynn

    Sally Yates’s riveting testimony Monday raised far more questions than it answered. Most of all, it cast fresh doubts on Donald Trump’s judgment.


  17. Trog Sorrenson

    “Liberals are good economic managers” and “Clean coal” are also backronyms.

  18. lizzie

    Just before 7am, I heard Chris Bowen being interviewed by Fran on RN. Whew! A volley of shots giving him no time to answer before she launched into the next spray. Thank goodness he has the experience to be patient until he had a chance to speak.

    It doesn’t matter whether which ‘side’ she is on, I don’t agree with that aggressive interview technique. (Years ago, I heard her use the same on Howard in Opposition.)

    Anyway, I gathered that the Libs still won’t admit on paper that their 2014 Budget was wrong. They’re still blaming the Senate for not putting ‘savings measures’ through.

  19. adrian

    Oh geez, Annabelle Crabbe’s expert analysis on the budget is a bit hard to take this early in the morning.

  20. poroti

    FFS looks like this rebranding is the latest marketing wankery. Sure helped Truffles eh ? Also a nice bit of Tory double standards on display. just as our lot thunder about an evil “Labor tax” but a “Liberal levy” it tres bon check out the energy cap vs freeze.

    Pointing across the despatch box in 2013 at his political rival, David Cameron derided Ed Miliband for wanting to live in a “Marxist universe” with his “gimmick” to freeze energy bills for Britain’s consumers, fed up with rip-off gas and electric bills. Nearly four years later, …….. “Theresa May’s team” as she has rebranded the party – will cap energy prices.


  21. adrian

    I notice that the SMH is using Michelle Grattan as a strike breaker.

  22. Trog Sorrenson

    The best thing that could happen to Annabelle Crabbe, as she heads through the forest with her basket full of goodies, is for the Wolf to get her.

  23. victoria

    Morning all
    I am now really interested to hear Shortens budget in reply.

    I caught up with your post from yesterday re Trumps tweets. They do definitely give a great insight into how Trump is coping. His tweets yesterday confirmed once again that he knows he is in deep shit.

  24. Greensborough Growler


    Nah, I don’t think a Greens supporter could ever catch her.

  25. Sohar

    ‘I notice that the SMH is using Michelle Grattan as a strike breaker’ Scab is another term that could be employed.

  26. lizzie

    The LNP have really got it in for Victoria, haven’t they? Are they jealous because it’s growing fast? I suppose it’s Labor, so they want the citizens to suffer (and it’s Shorten’s home state, too – horrors!).

  27. guytaur

    Good Morning

    Despite the Murdoch press going Labor Lite this is a good budget for getting Labor elected.

    With the tax cuts still the centrepiece trickle down is still the order of the LNP day.
    I look forward to Labor’s reply. By going the drug testing rout a whole nasty can of worms is being opened. First result we can predict. More people begging on the streets and an increase in crime as drug addicts get more desperate.

    Repudiating the Abbott 2014 budget including increasing taxes on stogie cigars will see an increase division in the LNP. So some interesting times ahead there. The Abbott 2GB budget in reply is going to be interesting.

    Lastly zero mention of climate change. Thus energy policy remains unaddressed. So more failures to come.

  28. guytaur

    JessicaYellin: Bombshell.

    FBI director has a 10 year term. twitter.com/nbcnightlynews…


  29. guytaur

    MikeCarlton01: Wow. Panic at the White House. Trump fires FBI Director James Comey politi.co/2pwUmae

  30. Greensborough Growler

    Comey sacking has been confirmed.

  31. lizzie

    The Treasurer continued his dispute with the Victorian government into the budget papers, noting that “the infrastructure funding for Victoria includes funding it would have received had the Victorian government reached an agreement with the government under the Asset Recycling Initiative by the June 30, 2016, deadline”.

    The $3 billion for any state government that builds the East West Link remains an item in the federal budget.

    The Victorian state government response to their allocation was less than positive.

    “This budget proves Malcolm Turnbull is Sydney-centric and anti-Victoria”, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allen said on Tuesday. “He owes Victorians $1.45 billion and he has once again shortchanged our state”.


  32. guytaur

    So who is going to be the new FBI director? Jared Kushner? Eric Trump?

  33. Greensborough Growler


    Vladimir Putin

  34. guytaur



    Might as well be. FBI independence gone now.

  35. guytaur

    SamDickfos: CNN reporter just said subpoenas were about to be issued in the Russia-Trump campaign investigation.

  36. rhwombat

    So Sessions has fired on Fort Sumter. This means Woah!
    This will end in impeachment – or at least ignominious resignation a la Nixon.

  37. guytaur

    CNN: Toobin on Trump firing Comey: “This is not normal. This is not politics as usual.” cnn.it/2ptiUjs snpy.tv/2qXqlRe


  38. phoenixRED

    John Schindler‏Verified account @20committee

    Firing your secret police chief because he’s investigating you is the stuff of banana republics. America as I knew it is gone.

  39. guytaur


    You would like to think so. However with Republican held Congress I would not be so sure.

  40. confessions

    Yes Rhwombat, Comey’s dismissal was a recommendation of the AG and Deputy AG.

  41. victoria

    Is anyone surprised by what Trump has done!

  42. rhwombat

    Trying again:
    So, Sessions has fired on Fort Sumter Comey. This means Woah! I hope the Dems (or Trump’s Russian owners) burn Mar a Lago to the ground.

    This will end in ignominious resignation – a la Nixon – Trump won’t do impeachment, but the Repiglicans will lose Congress next year.

  43. guytaur


    It certainly screams guilty. Thats for sure.

  44. victoria


    And John Schindler has said in past if Trump sacks Comey. It would be a constitutional crisis

  45. guytaur

    Snowden: Set aside politics: every American should condemn such political interference in the Bureau’s work. nytimes.com/2017/05/09/us/…


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