Interest Rate Rises and the Economy

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Do you think the recent increase in official interest rates indicates that Australia’s economy is getting better or getting worse?

%
Economy is getting better 53%
Economy is getting worse 12%
Neither 28%
Don’t know 7%

Just over half (53%) think the recent increase in official interest rates indicates that Australia’s economy is getting better, 12% think it is an indication that the economy is getting worse and 28% think it is not a sign that the economy is getting better or worse.

Labor voters were more likely to think the interest rate rise is a sign that the economy is getting better (61%), while Coalition voters were a little more likely than the average to think that it is a sign that the economy is getting worse (18%).  48% of Coalition voters think that the recent interest rate increase is a sign that the economy is getting better.

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Cause of Interest Rate Rises

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Which of the following statements most closely reflects your opinion on the cause of the recent increase in official interest rates?

%
The Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation 30%
It’s just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis 18%
The Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy 15%
The Federal Government has managed the economy badly and so rates are rising 9%
The world economy is the biggest factor in interest rates, not the Australian economy 9%
House prices are rising and pushing up interest rates 5%
Don’t know 15%

When it comes to what the public perceive are the causes of the recent increase in official interest rates, 30% think that the Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation and 18% think that interest rate rises are a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis.  15% think that the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy.

Only 9% think it is because the Government has managed the economy badly.

Coalition voters were more likely to think that the Reserve Bank independently setting interest rates to avoid inflation is the cause of the recent increase in interest rates (39%).  Labor voters were more likely to think the increase in interest rates is because the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy (28%).  Green voters were more likely to think the recent interest rate rises are just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis (24%).

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Economic Conditions in Australia

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

Just over half (53%) think that over the next 12 months, economic conditions in Australia will get better, 23% think they will get worse and 21% think they will stay much the same.

The number of people that think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months has decreased thirteen percentage points since we last asked this question in October this year, and the number that think economic conditions will get worse has increased eight percentage points.  However, the current results are very similar to the August survey results and considerably more positive than results recorded up to June.

Labor voters were more likely to think economic conditions will get better (65%), Coalition voters were more likely to think they will get worse (30%) and Green voters were more likely to think conditions will stay much the same (34%).

People earning $1600 per week or more were more likely to think economic conditions will get better (60%), while people earning $600 – $1000 per week were more likely to think they will get worse (32%).

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Federal Government Handling of Asylum Seekers

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Thinking about the way the Federal Government has handled the asylum seeker issue recently, do you think they have been too tough, too weak or have they taken about the right approach?

%
Too tough 9%
Too weak 52%
Taken about the right approach 28%
Don’t know 11%

Just over half (52%) think that the Federal Government has been too weak in how it has handled the asylum seeker issue recently, 28% think the Government have taken the right approach and 9% think they have been too tough.

Males were more likely than females to think the Federal Government has been too weak (55% v 49%).

People aged 55 years and over were more likely than 18 – 24 year olds to think the Government’s action has been too weak (64% v 32%).

Labor voters were more likely to think the Federal Government has taken about the right approach (43%), Coalition voters were more likely to think the Government has been too weak (76%) and Green voters were more likely to think the Government’s approach has been too tough (33%).

43% of Labor voters think the Federal Government has been too weak in its handling of the asylum seeker issue recently.

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Party Best at Handling the Issue of Asylum Seekers

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Which party do you think would be best at handling the issue of asylum seekers?

%
Labor 23%
Liberal 27%
No difference 37%
Don’t know 13%

27% of people surveyed think Liberal is the best party at handling the issue of asylum seekers, 23% think Labor is and 37% think there is no difference in how the two major parties would handle the issue.

Attitudes followed party lines – Coalition voters were more likely to prefer Liberal (65%) and Labor voters more likely to prefer Labor (65%).

54% of Green, 38% of Labor voters and 24% of Coalition voters think there is no difference between how Liberal or Labor would handle the issue of asylum seekers.

People aged 55 years and over were more likely to think Liberal would be best (36% Liberal to 22% Labor), while people aged under 35 were more likely to think Labor would be best at handling the issue of asylum seekers (27% Labor to 20% Liberal).

Males were more likely to think Liberal would be the party best to handle the issue (31%), while females were more likely to think there is no difference (40%).

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Oil Leak Near The Kimberley Coast

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Thinking about the oil rig off the Kimberley coast which has recently caught fire after leaking oil and gas into the ocean for 10 weeks – do agree or disagree that if the oil spill had occurred near an area like the Great Barrier Reef, the Federal Government would have done much more to prevent damage to the marine environment?

%
Total agree 75%
Total disagree 7%
Strongly agree 41%
Somewhat agree 34%
Somewhat disagree 6%
Strongly disagree 1%
Don’t know 17%

75% of people agree that the Federal Government should have done much more to prevent damage to the marine environment after the recent oil spill off the Kimberley coast.

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Federal Politics – Voting Intention

Oct 12, 2009

Q. If there was a Federal election held today, to which party would you probably give your first preference?

Q. If you ‘don’t know’ on the above question, which party are you currently leaning to?

*1845 sample size

NB.  The data in the above table is derived from our weekly first preference voting question.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ as their first preference are not included in the results.

* Sample is the culmination of two week’s data.

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Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition

Oct 12, 2009

Q. Which statement do you think most accurately reflects Malcolm Turnbull’s time as leader of the Opposition?

More than half (58%) of people surveyed think that Turnbull has shown he hasn’t got the temperament, patience and judgement to be a leader of a major party.   42% think that despite all the criticism, Turnbull is capable of being the leader of the Opposition and given more time to develop his skills and experience, he could be a good leader of Australia.

Results reflected party lines – Labor voters were more likely to think that Turnbull hasn’t got the temperament to be a leader of a major party (78%), while Coalition voters were more likely to think Turnbull is capable of being leader, and given more time to develop his skills and experience, he could be a good leader (68%).  However, a significant number of Coalition voters think that Turnbull hasn’t got what it takes to be a leader of a major party (32%).

People aged 55 years and over were more likely to think that Turnbull is capable of being a good leader, he just needs more time (50%), while respondents aged 25 -34 were more likely to think Turnbull hasn’t got what it takes to be a leader of a major party (69%).

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