University Funding

May 9, 2017

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the following changes to university funding proposed by the Federal Government?

  Total approve Total disapprove   Strongly Approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Reducing funding to universities by $2.8 billion 28% 56%   7% 21% 33% 23% 15%
Increasing student fees by $2,000 – $3,600 for a 4-year degree 30% 60%   7% 23% 32% 28% 11%
Requiring students to begin repaying loans once their salary reaches $42,000 instead of $55,000 47% 44%   14% 33% 24% 20% 10%

56% disapproved of the proposal to reduce university funding by $2.8 billion, and only 28% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (80% disapprove), ALP voters (69%) and those with a university degree (65%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (45% approve) those aged 65+ (40%) and males (34%).

60% disapproved of the proposal to increase student fees, and only 30% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (84% disapprove), ALP voters (73%) and those aged 18-24 (71%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (51% approve) and those aged 65+ (46%).

47% approved of the proposal to require students to repay their loan earlier, and 44% disapproved. Those most likely to approve were those aged 65+ (68% approve), Liberal/National voters (67%) and other party/independent voters (57%). Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (68% disapprove) and those aged 18-24 (59%).

Education Cuts

May 9, 2017

Q. The Government is proposing to increase student fees for university education by 7.5% over 4 years and cut University funding by 2.8 per cent. To what extent do you agree with these statements about the proposed changes?

  Total agree Total disagree   Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
The changes are needed to reduce the Federal Budget Deficit 34% 41%   11% 23% 17% 21% 20% 7%
These changes will make it harder for young people to enter the housing market 53% 22%   24% 29% 18% 15% 7% 6%
Universities have plenty of funding. They can absorb a cut without it damaging the quality of education. 37% 30%   10% 27% 23% 18% 12% 9%
With university fees up, penalty rates reduced, and housing affordability becoming harder, young people have cause to feel they are under attack. 61% 17%   29% 32% 17% 10% 7% 5%
University education should be free for all Australians, just like it is for primary and secondary school 45% 29%   24% 21% 20% 19% 10% 5%
These changes will make it harder for Australia to become more innovative. 49% 21%   23% 26% 21% 14% 7% 7%
A government that cuts university funding while delivering business a tax cut has the wrong priorities 57% 16%   32% 25% 21% 10% 6% 6%

The most widely agreed with statement was “With university fees up, penalty rates reduced, and housing affordability becoming harder, young people have cause to feel they are under attack”. Those most likely to agree with this statement were Greens voters (82%) and ALP voters (76%). Those most likely to disagree were those aged 65+ (28% disagree) and Liberal/National voters (27%).

The most widely disagreed with statement was “The changes are needed to reduce the Federal Budget Deficit”. Those most likely to disagree with this statement were also Greens voters (73% disagree) and ALP voters (54%). Those most likely to agree were also Liberal/National voters (54% agree) and those aged 65+ (49%).

Student Contributions to University Fees

May 9, 2017

Q. Currently, on average, university students pay 42% of the full cost of their degree and the Government pays 58%. Do you think that students should pay more, should pay less or is the current share about right?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other  
Should pay less 31%   37% 18% 63% 26%  
Should pay more 20%   13% 34% 7% 24%  
Current share about right 37%   41% 38% 24% 39%  
Don’t know 12%   9% 10% 6% 11%  

37% thought that the current share of students’ cost of education is about right. Those most likely to think this were ALP voters (41%) and those aged 55-64 (41%).

31% thought that students should pay less. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (63%), those aged 18-24 (38%) and those aged 25-34 (38%).

20% thought that students should pay more. Those most likely to think this were Liberal/National voters (34%) and those aged 65+ (31%).

Budget Surplus

May 9, 2017

Q. How important is it that the Government returns the budget to surplus? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Total important 71%   63% 87% 49% 78%
Total not important 19%   28% 9% 43% 13%
Very important 31%   21% 47% 8% 38%
Somewhat important 40%   42% 40% 41% 40%
Not very important 15%   23% 7% 33% 11%
Not at all important 4%   5% 2% 10% 2%
Don’t know 10%   9% 4% 8% 9%

71% thought that returning the budget to surplus was important. Those most likely to think this were Liberal/National voters (87% important), those earning over $104,000 (78%) and those working full time (76%).

19% thought that returning the budget to surplus was not important. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (43% not important) and ALP voters (28%).

Budget Surplus or Spending

May 9, 2017

Q. Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus as soon as possible – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Return to surplus as soon as possible, cut services, raise taxes 18%   12% 28% 7% 16%
Delay return to surplus, maintain services, invest in infrastructure 65%   75% 59% 81% 67%
Don’t know 18%   13% 12% 12% 17%

65% thought it was more important to delay a return to surplus, maintain services and invest in infrastructure. Those most likely to think this were Greens voters (81%) and ALP voters (75%).

18% it was more important to return to surplus as soon as possible. Those most likely to sat think were Liberal/National voters (28%), those aged 65+ (22%) and those earning over $104,000 (22%).

Federal voting intention

May 2, 2017

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? If don’t know – Well which party are you currently leaning to?

  Total   Last week 25/4/17 2 weeks ago 18/4/17 4 weeks ago 4/4/17   Election 2 Jul 16
Liberal 35% 34% 33% 35%
National 2% 3% 3% 2%
Total Liberal/National 38%   37% 36% 37%   42.0%
Labor 37%   36% 37% 36%   34.7%
Greens 9% 10% 10% 10% 10.2%
Nick Xenophon Team 3% 3% 3% 3%
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation 7% 8% 8% 8%
Other/Independent 6% 6% 7% 6% 13.1%
2 party preferred
Liberal National 47%   47% 46% 47%   50.4%
Labor 53%   53% 54% 43%   49.6%

Sample = 1,801. The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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 2016 election.

Direction of economy

May 2, 2017

Q. Overall, how would you describe the current state of the Australian economy?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Dec ‘16
Total Good 30%   28% 44% 22% 19%   23%
Total Poor 29%   30% 22% 38% 43%   36%
Very good 3%   4% 4% 1%   2%
Good 27%   24% 40% 22% 18%   21%
Neither good nor poor 36%   37% 33% 35% 37%   37%
Poor 23%   24% 17% 27% 34%   28%
Very poor 6%   6% 5% 11% 9%   8%
Don’t know 5%   4% 1% 5% 2%   4%

Overall, 30% thought that the state of the economy was good (up 7% from December). 29% thought it was bad (down 7%).

44% of Liberal/National voters thought the state of the economy was good, compared to 28% of Labor voters, 22% of Greens voters, and 19% of other/independent voters.

Direction of economy

May 2, 2017

 Q. From what you have read and heard, do you think the Australian economy is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction? 

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Dec ‘16
The right direction 29%   25% 45% 18% 16%   26%
The wrong direction 41%   48% 31% 56% 55%   45%
Don’t know 30%   28% 23% 26% 29%   29%


Overall, 29% thought that the economy is heading in the right direction (up 3% from December), and 41% thought it was heading in the wrong direction (down 4%).

Liberal/National voters were more likely to think the economy is heading in the right direction (45%) than Labor (25%), Greens (18%) and independent/other voters (16%).

Men were more likely to think that the economy was heading in the right direction (36%) than women (23%).

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