Australian troops in Afghanistan

Nov 21, 2011

Q.  Thinking about the Australian troops in Afghanistan, do you think Australia should –

25 Oct 2010 21 Mar 2011 29 Aug 2011 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase the number of troops in Afghanistan 10% 5% 4% 3% 3% 4% 3%
Keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan 30% 30% 26% 22% 21% 29% 11%
Withdraw our troops from Afghanistan 47% 56% 64% 64% 66% 57% 76%
Don’t know 14% 9% 7% 11% 10% 10% 10%

64% (no change) think Australia should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, 22% (down 4%) think we should maintain troop numbers and 3% (down 1%) think we should increase them.

Since October last year, support for withdrawal of Australian troops has increased from 47% to 64%. There was majority support for withdrawal by all voting groups – 57% of Lib/Nat voters, 66% Labor and 76% Greens. Support for withdrawal was also similar across age groups but women were more likely than men to support withdrawal of troops (72% to 55%).

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Troops in Afghanistan

May 9, 2011

Q.  Thinking about the Australian troops in Afghanistan, do you think Australia should –

25 Oct 10 21 Mar 11 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase the number of troops in Afghanistan 10% 5% 6% 4% 8% 1%
Keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan 30% 30% 36% 37% 43% 25%
Withdraw our troops from Afghanistan 47% 56% 48% 49% 41% 65%
Don’t know 14% 9% 11% 10% 8% 9%

42% think that the Australian troops in Afghanistan should be increased or maintained and 48% think Australia should withdraw its troops. This is a significant drop (-8%) in support for withdrawal since this question was last asked in March.

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Troops in Afghanistan

Mar 21, 2011

Q.  Thinking about the Australian troops in Afghanistan, do you think Australia should –

25 Oct 2010 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase the number of troops in Afghanistan 10% 5% 7% 6% 1%
Keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan 30% 30% 26% 39% 16%
Withdraw our troops from Afghanistan 47% 56% 62% 48% 74%
Don’t know 14% 9% 5% 7% 9%

35% think that the Australian troops in Afghanistan should be increased or maintained and 56% think Australia should withdraw its troops. This is a significant shift (+9%) in favour of withdrawal since this question was last asked in October 2010.

62% of Labor voters and 74% of Greens voters support withdrawal. Liberal/National voters are split – 48% support withdrawal and 45 support increasing/maintaining troop numbers.

Males were more likely than females to state that Australia should increase the number of troops in Afghanistan (9% compared to 2% of females) or keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan (36% compared to 24% of females).

However, the majority of both males (49%) and females (63%) think Australia should withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

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Troops in Afghanistan

Oct 11, 2010

Q. Thinking about the Australian troops in Afghanistan, do you think Australia should –

Total

11 Oct 10

Labor Liberal Greens 21 June 10 March 09
Increase the number of troops in Afghanistan 13% 10% 20% 6% 7% 14%
Keep the same number of troops in Afghanistan 24% 26% 29% 14% 24% 24%
Withdraw our troops from Afghanistan 49% 50% 41% 73% 61% 50%
Don’t know 14% 14% 10% 7% 8% 12%

49% of respondents believe Australia should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, 24% think we should keep the same number and 13% think the numbers should be increased.

Support for withdrawal has dropped from the 61% recorded in June but is similar to the result recorded in March last year.

50% of Labor voters and 73% of Greens voters support withdrawal but 49% of Liberal/National voters favour maintaining or increasing the number of troops.

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Reasons for Afghanistan War

Oct 11, 2010

Q. Here are some reasons which are given for continuing to have Australian involvement in the war in Afghanistan. For each one could you tell me whether you think that is a very good reason, a fairly good reason, or not really a good reason at all.

Very good reason Fairly good reason Not a good reason at all Don’t know
To fight Al Qaeda and terrorism 34% 33% 25% 8%
To maintain our strategic alliance with the US 11% 36% 45% 8%
To build democracy in Afghanistan 30% 35% 25% 9%
To further human rights in Afghanistan, such as the rights of women 43% 32% 17% 8%

Total very good reason Labor Liberal Greens
To fight Al Qaeda and terrorism 34% 35% 44% 11%
To maintain our strategic alliance with the US 11% 12% 14% 7%
To build democracy in Afghanistan 30% 34% 34% 16%
To further human rights in Afghanistan, such as the rights of women 43% 48% 45% 38%

Respondents believe the best reasons for continuing Australian involvement in Afghanistan are to further human rights such as the rights of women (43%) and to fight Al Qaeda and terrorism (34%).

Liberal/National voters are more inclined to nominate fighting Al Qaeda and terrorism (44%) while Labor voters are more likely to think furthering human rights in Afghanistan, such as the rights of women (48%) is a very good reason.

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