Essential Facts For Reading Our Poll

Aug 11, 2010

The Essential Report has been drawing a bit of comment in recent days, notably for failing to chart a perceived collapse in Labor support in week two of the campaign.

We were in the firing line on the Insiders on Saturday, where George Megalogenis noted that ,as an online poll, we have a different methodology to the major poll, so should not be treated with the same level of credence.

It is true that the Essential Poll uses a different model to the established pollsters – unlike phone-polling, we draw on a community panel of about 100,00 votes established by Your Source.

So why are the Essential numbers different to the phone pollsters? Comments »

The Punch: Remembering ‘Abbott’s dad’: top 10 Howard era memories

Aug 11, 2010

First Published on The Punch 10/8/2010

Goldfish have a neat survival mechanism to prevent them ever getting bored – by the time they have swum around the bowl they have forgotten the previous lap. It makes them a lot like voters at election time.

This is why we are grateful when our failed candidates enter the fray to remind us of why we voted against them. And while Mark Latham has rightly been drawing attention, like onlookers to a car crash, another leader took centre stage over the weekend to take us back to meaner and trickier times.

As he moved in to give Tony Abbott a man-hug at the Liberal launch, John Howard reminded us of many of Australia’s most forgettable moments. Given that Abbott is running on a “re-elect the Howard Government” ticket it is worth dwelling on our former Prime Minister’s Ten Most Notable Contributions to the Nation.

Downward Envy – John Howard trained Australians to look down the chain when we were feeling low – welfare cheats, single mums, dole bludgers, these were the people making life hard for decent Australians. As profit levels soared and CEO wages sky-rocketed, we tut-tutted the Paxtons. Comments »

The Punch: Why the election has got nothing to do with you

Jul 27, 2010

First Published on The Punch 27/07/2010

If you are a political junkie like me, chances are you found Sunday night’s debate a little like watching a nil-nil draw without even the climax of the penalty shoot-out. About the only thing more boring than the debate is the pundits who say the debate was boring.

It’s the curse of Australian elections, if you are engaged in politics and have a defined set of ideological values, then the campaign has very little to do with you.

Put another way, if you are reading The Punch the parties don’t really care what you think. Comments »

The real leadership story: Abbott remains unelectable

Jun 22, 2010

First published in The Punch 21st June 2010

This is the week when another round of disastrous opinion polls was meant to spark a mass uprising within the Labor Caucus, as members convinced they were facing one-term oblivion hitched their wagon to Julia Gillard.

Everything was in place, a bunch of unsourced comment pieces predicting a move on the PM, an early Newspoll published in Monday’s Australian. And then? Well apart from a slight narrowing in preferred PM, no real movement in the polls.

Entering the spirit of leadership speculation, Essential Research asked our own series of leadership questions. What emerges is a completely different story – the failure of Tony Abbott to convince voters he is the man to lead the Coalition to the election. Now before you all start flaming me (again) for being a Left-ist agent of the evil ALP, let’s have a look at the questions we asked. Comments »

Buckets of Gold and Fifty Paces

Jun 9, 2010

The last time a determined interest group took on a federal government, EMC was behind the wheel – driving the ACTU Rights at Work campaign.

This time the attack is coming from the mining industry, and if reports are to be believed, the miners are forking out in three months $100 million – about four times the three year budget for the Rights at Work campaign.

Having worked on a campaign that most agree shifted government, it’s worth asking – is the Miners campaign as effective? Are the winning the hearts and minds of the battlers? In short, are they going to change the government?

Here are few lessons we learned from Rights at Work, and my initial reactions on how the mining lobby is faring. Comments »

Political Ads are All About Turnaround

Jun 4, 2010

When the Australian Workers Union decided to inject itself into the national debate on the resource Rent Tax, they called EMC with a challenging brief.

With a 48 hour turn around we were asked to script produce and deliver a 30 second TV ad that would rebut the increasingly shrill complaints of the mining lobby.

Working with Milko Productions, EMC adapted a concept we had been working on for some time – the notion that the mining industry is defined by what it takes out of Australia. Comments »

Modelling Successful Environment Campaigning – The Lessons of the 2010 Tasmanian Election

May 28, 2010

The Tasmanian election in March created history. For the first time the Greens polled over 20% of the vote in a state wide lower house election and as a result Australia has its first Greens Minister in the new ALP/Greens government.

While the media wallowed in superficial explanations – the Greens had an ‘articulate and electable leader’ and appealed to the mythical ‘middle ground’ they completely ignored the impact of the third party ‘Our Common Ground’ campaign run by Environment Tasmania and The Wilderness Society (ET/TWS) and other community organisations.

In doing so they failed to understand the strategy behind the first environment campaign since the WA Election in 2001 that has influenced the outcome of an election. Before that you have to go back to the 1990 Federal Election. In between times environmental election campaigns have generally failed to gain traction or worse backfired harming the party supporting the environment. Comments »

Polling to the People

May 18, 2010

The Essential Report is fast becoming one of the nation’s most-quoted polls – after all it’s regular, it’s insightful and it’s free.

The fact that EMC has been able to produce and promote the poll highlights much that is good with the capacity of new media to create and share information.

So how do we get to give away so much polling every week?

Well it starts with relationships. Your Source are one of the companies who pioneered the development of online panels. They have built up a panel of more than 70,000 participants, who receive incentives (redeemable credits to shop at Myer) and work a weekly national omnibus, mainly for commercial clients. Comments »