Nothing to Barack about

Nov 16, 2010

First Published on The Drum 16/11/2010

If the mid-term drubbings and G20 currency fisticuffs with China are not enough, Barack Obama will return home with more bad news: Australians think his nation has lost its mojo.

While Julia Gillard and entourage were all smiles at the official photo call, they politely chose not to disclose they were representing a nation that thinks the USA is in decline.

In fact, 60 per cent of all surveyed in this week’s Essential Report see the American Empire’s influence becoming weaker, with just 20 per cent believing the USA’s influence on the world is on the rise.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Nov 15, 2010

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

sample size = 1,907

First preference/leaning to 6 months ago 4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 41% 42% 41% 42% 42%
National 2% 2% 3% 4% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43% 44% 44% 46% 45%
Labor 38% 40% 41% 39% 39%
Greens 10% 9% 8% 8% 10%
Other/Independent 9% 7% 7% 7% 7%
2PP 6 months ago 4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week

This week
Total Lib/Nat 50% 50% 50% 51% 51%
Labor 50% 50% 50% 49% 49%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Competition Between Banks

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Do you think there needs to be more competition between Australian banks or is there enough competition?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
There is enough competition 21% 21% 25% 13%
Needs to be more competition 68% 70% 68% 81%
Don’t know 11% 8% 6% 7%

68% believe there needs to be more competition between banks and 21% think there is currently enough competition.

81% of Greens voters believe there needs to be more competition.

Younger respondents are a little more likely to think there is enough competition (27% of aged 18-34) while 76% of respondents aged 55+ think there should be more competition.

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Impact of Competition on Interest rates

Nov 15, 2010

Q. If there was more competition between Australian banks, do you think this would stop the banks increasing interest rates by more than the Reserve Bank rate increases?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 47% 48% 50% 55%
No 31% 31% 34% 18%
Don’t know 22% 22% 16% 27%

47% think that if there was more competition between Australian banks, this would stop the banks increasing interest rates by more than the Reserve Bank rate increases while 31% disagree.

Older people and those on lower incomes were split in their opinions – for those aged 55+, 41% agreed and 38% disagreed while 41% of those on incomes under $600pw disagreed and 38% agreed.

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Trust to Handle Banking Issues

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Who would you trust most to deal with issues affecting the Australian banking industry – the Treasurer Wayne Swan and the Labor Party or the shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Liberal Party?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Wayne Swan and the Labor Party 33% 69% 5% 52%
Joe Hockey and the Liberal Party 38% 5% 80% 13%
Don’t know 29% 26% 14% 35%

38% have most trust in Joe Hockey and the Liberal Party to handle issues affecting the banking industry and 33% trust Wayne Swan and the Labor Party.

Those aged 55+ trust Joe Hockey more (47% to 35%) while those on incomes under $600pw trust Wayne Swan more (42% to 38%)

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Importance of Relationships with Other Countries

Nov 15, 2010

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

Very important Quite important Not very important Don’t know Very Important April 10 Change
United States 56% 34% 5% 4% 59% -3
New Zealand 54% 36% 6% 5% 56% -2
China 45% 44% 5% 6% 51% -6
United Kingdom 44% 43% 9% 4% 46% -2
Japan 30% 53% 10% 7% 40% -10
Indonesia 30% 48% 15% 7% 39% -9
India 24% 45% 23% 8% 27% -3
Germany 15% 43% 34% 9% 18% -3
South Africa 12% 35% 43% 10% 12%

More than half the respondents think it is very important to have close relationships with the United States (56%) and New Zealand (54%) and just under half think it is very important to have a close relationship with China (45%) and United Kingdom (44%).

A close relationship with the United Sates is considered very important by 65% of Liberal/National voters and 62% of Labor voters but only 37% of Greens voters. Greens voters consider relations with New Zealand (58%) and China (47%) more important.

Since this question was asked in April, the overall rating of the importance of relations with other countries has dropped – especially for Japan (-10%) and Indonesia (-9%).

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Change in Relationships with Other Countries

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know Get closer April 10 Change
China 30% 50% 9% 11% 33% -3
New Zealand 29% 58% 3% 11% 33% -4
Indonesia 23% 49% 15% 13% 30% -7
India 22% 50% 14% 14% 24% -2
Japan 21% 58% 8% 13% 24% -3
United States 20% 60% 11% 10% 24% -4
United Kingdom 20% 63% 7% 10% 24% -4
Germany 14% 62% 9% 15% 16% -2
South Africa 11% 59% 14% 16% 13% -2

30% think that Australia’s relationship with China should get closer and 29% think our relationship with New Zealand should get closer.

Labor voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (32%) and New Zealand (29%).

Liberal/National voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (29%) and China (28%).

Greens  voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (38%), Indonesia (36%) and New Zealand (36%).

Since this question was asked in April, the percentage wanting a closer relationship with Indonesia has dropped from 30% to 23%.

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Influence of the USA

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Do you think the influence of the United States in the world is becoming stronger or weaker?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total stronger 20% 23% 17% 20%
Total weaker 60% 56% 63% 73%
Much stronger 7% 8% 5% 4%
A little stronger 13% 15% 12% 16%
A little weaker 50% 49% 54% 52%
Much weaker 10% 7% 9% 21%
No change 14% 14% 16% 6%
Don’t know 7% 5% 5% 1%

The majority (60%) think that the influence of the United States in the world is becoming weaker – only 20% think it is becoming stronger.

72% of those aged 55+ think it is becoming weaker (and 15% stronger) while 27% of those aged under 35 think it is becoming stronger (and 46% weaker).

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