According to shadow Finance minister Helen Coonan,

Essential Research is the Labor Party’s pollster just as Crosby Textor is considered the Liberal Party’s pollster.

Any publicly released polling from Essential Research must therefore have a reference to them being the Labor Party’s pollster if it is to be considered as authoritative.

We do not accept any public polling released by Essential Research because it is our view that the Labor Party or one of its affiliates has commissioned the polling.

Which possibly explains the disastrous results of Essential Research’s polling today on whether the public preferred Labor or the Coalition’s economic management. Or why Essential Research might be consulting their lawyers.

Meantime Peter Dutton bowed to the inevitable and has returned to Dickson, his tail between his legs.  He will run there after failing to obtain preselection for the Gold Coast seat of MacPherson.  Malcolm McKerras is tipping that Dutton will hang on in Dickson but on current polling numbers Dutton will be only one of a number of shadow ministers fronting up at Centrelink after the next election.

Which is the unfortunate part about Helen Coonan’s smack at Essential Research.  Apart from all those results showing respondents preferred Labor’s handling of the economy, Essential reported a 58-42 2PP outcome. That of course might be considered biased compared to Newspoll, which offered a 59-41 2PP outcome.  Coming from the Liberal Party’s in-house journal The Australian, it’s a bit harder to dismiss.

The atmosphere in Parliament so far this week is deathly dull.  Neither Question Time nor Estimates has much bite except on asylum seekers.  I suspect it’s because the Coalition know they are in diabolical trouble and can’t figure out what to do.