Descriptions of Leaders

Oct 17, 2011

Q. Regardless of how you vote, what words would you use to describe the positions taken by Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott on the issue of asylum seekers, including the recent attempt at legislating the deal with Malaysia?

Julia Gillard Tony Abbott Difference
Just playing politics 46% 47% -1
Stubborn 26% 20% +6
Unethical 24% 14% +10
Too soft 21% 7% +14
Populist 13% 14% -1
Cruel 13% 9% +4
Responsible 11% 16% -5
Fair 10% 15% -5
Too hard 10% 6% +4
Balanced 7% 11% -4
Principled 6% 11% -5
Visionary 6% 5% +1

Nearly half the respondents believe that both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have been “just playing politics” over the issue of asylum seekers.

The main differences between the leaders positions on asylum seekers were that Julia Gillard was more likely to be considered “too soft” (21% to 7%) and “unethical” (24% to 14%). Julia Gillard was also a little more likely to be considered “stubborn” (26% to 20%).

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Perceived intake of asylum seekers as a proportion of annual immigration

Sep 26, 2011

Q.  From what you have read and heard, what percentage of Australia’s annual immigration intake are asylum seekers arriving by boat?

7 Jun 2010 This week Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
50% or more 10% 12% 11% 13% 10%
About 25% 15% 11% 10% 12% 6%
About 10% 13% 10% 9% 10% 8%
About 5% 15% 16% 18% 17% 16%
1% or less 18% 25% 26% 24% 39%
Don’t know 30% 27% 25% 23% 21%

Twenty three per cent (23%) of respondents think that the proportion of asylum seeker intake by boat is 25% or more of the annual immigration intake.

Ten per cent (10%) of respondents think that the percentage of boat arrivals is about 10% of annual immigration intake and 16% believe it to be about 5%.

Twenty five per cent (25%) of respondents believe that the proportion of asylum seekers arriving by boat constitutes 1% or less of our annual immigration intake and 27% of respondents don’t know.

Greens voters are the most likely to think that the percentage was 1% or less, with 39% of Greens respondents selecting this response.

The proportion of respondents believing the proportion to be ‘1% or less’ has shifted 7 points up from 18% to 25% since 7 June 2010.

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Best way of processing of asylum seekers

Sep 26, 2011

Q. Thinking about the issue of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat, which of the following alternatives do you think is the best way to process those arriving:

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens 50% or more About 25% About 10% About 5% 1% or less
Offshore, in any other country 11% 17% 11% 5% 17% 12% 10% 8% 9%
Offshore, but only in a country where human rights are protected 31% 31% 37% 25% 27% 41% 36% 40% 30%
Onshore (in Australia) 21% 24% 11% 58% 4% 7% 19% 27% 42%
Turn the boats around 28% 21% 36% 6% 51% 39% 30% 23% 15%
Don’t know 9% 8% 6% 6% 1% 1% 5% 3% 4%

The most favoured method of processing asylum seekers was ‘offshore, but only in a country where human rights are protected’ (31%), followed by ‘turn the boats around’ (28%).

Respondents then favour processing ‘onshore in Australia’ (21%) over processing asylum seekers ‘offshore in any other country’ (11%).

Coalition voters are more likely to prefer processing asylum seekers offshore where human rights are protected (37%), as well as turning the boats around (36%).

Greens voters are much more likely to prefer onshore processing in Australia (58%).  Labor voters are more likely to prefer processing offshore in any other country (17%) and somewhat more likely to prefer processing ‘onshore in Australia’ (24%).

Respondents that believe the proportion of boat arrivals constitute ‘50% or more’ of the annual immigration intake are far more likely to favour ‘turning the boats around’ (51%).

Conversely, respondents that believe the proportion to be ‘1% or less’ are far more likely to be in favour of processing onshore in Australia (42%).

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Features of a good refugee processing system in Australia

Sep 26, 2011

Q. Thinking about asylum seekers arriving in Australia, how important do you think each of the following features are for a good refugee processing system?

Very important Important Not very important Not at all important Don’t know Total Important Total Not Important
Stopping the boats 52% 22% 11% 8% 7% 74% 19%
Keeping costs down 47% 34% 11% 2% 6% 81% 13%
Protecting human rights 42% 38% 9% 5% 6% 80% 14%
Avoiding prolonged detention 35% 33% 13% 12% 8% 68% 25%
Making sure children have their claims processed in Australia 26% 32% 18% 13% 11% 58% 31%
Allowing Australian courts to review claims 22% 34% 16% 16% 12% 56% 32%
Approval from the United Nations 22% 32% 20% 16% 11% 54% 36%
Making sure asylum seekers are not returned to the countries they have fled 20% 29% 18% 20% 13% 49% 38%

Please note: ‘Total Important’ is an aggregate figure achieved by adding ‘Very Important’ and ‘Important’ together.  ‘Total Not Important’ is an aggregate figure that has been achieved by adding ‘Not very important’ and ‘Not at all important’ together.

The most important feature of a ‘good refugee processing system’ is ‘keeping the costs down’, with 81% of respondents regarding this to be either very important or important, followed by ‘protecting human rights’ (80% total important).

Seventy four per cent (74%) of respondents believed that ‘stopping the boats’ is an important feature and 68% regard ‘avoiding prolonged detention’ to be an important feature.

Amongst the least important features of a good refugee processing system is ‘approval from the United Nations’, with only 54% regarding this to be important and 36% viewing it as not important.

Making sure asylum seekers are not returned to the countries they have fled was the least important attribute, with only 49% believing it to be important and 38% regarding it as not important.

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Processing Asylum Seekers

Sep 12, 2011

Q. Thinking about the issue of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat – do you think they should be processed in Australia or should they be sent to another country for processing?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Process in Australia 36% 44% 27% 73%
Sent to another country 53% 44% 65% 15%
Don’t know 11% 12% 8% 12%

53% favour sending asylum seekers to another country for processing and 36% favour processing them in Australia. Liberal/National voters strongly favour sending them to another country (65%), Greens voters strongly favour processing them in Australia (73%) and Labor voters are split (44%/44%).

Respondents aged under 35 are split (43% Australia/41% another country) but older respondents strongly favour processing overseas (aged 55+ = 62% another country/32% Australia).

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Concern about Asylum Seekers

Aug 8, 2011

Q. How concerned are you about the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Very concerned 43% 36% 54% 12%
Somewhat concerned 24% 27% 27% 17%
A little concerned 15% 17% 11% 26%
Not at all concerned 15% 19% 7% 44%
Don’t know 2% 1% 1% 2%

43% were very concerned and 24% somewhat concerned about the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat. 30% were only a little or not concerned.

60% of those aged 55+ were very concerned compared to 26% of those aged under 35.

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Awareness of Arrival of Asylum Seekers

Aug 8, 2011

Q. As far as you know, has the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat, increased or decreased over the last 12 months?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total increased 62% 51% 74% 36%
Total decreased 7% 10% 5% 11%
Increased a lot 36% 24% 50% 7%
Increased a little 26% 27% 24% 29%
Stayed about the same 20% 28% 14% 33%
Decreased a little 6% 8% 5% 9%
Decreased a lot 1% 2% * 2%
Don’t know 11% 11% 6% 20%

62% believe that the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat has increased over the last 12 months, 20% think it has stayed the same and 7% think it has decreased. 74% of Liberal/National voters think it has increased compared to 51% of Labor voters and 36% of Greens voters.

Of those who think it has increased, 59% said they were very concerned (in answer to the previous question) – and of those who think it has stayed the same or decreased, only 18% were very concerned.

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Concern about Asylum Seekers (based on information about arrivals)

Aug 8, 2011

Q.  Actually, the number of asylum seekers reaching Australia by boat has fallen by more than half in 2011 compared to 2010. Based on that information, now how concerned are you about the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Very concerned 33% 24% 43% 9%
Somewhat concerned 25% 27% 30% 11%
A little concerned 20% 23% 17% 26%
Not at all concerned 19% 25% 8% 50%
Don’t know 3% 2% 1% 3%

When told that the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat had fallen by more than half, 33% said they were very concerned (down 10% from the earlier question), 25% somewhat concerned (up 1%) and 39% a little or not concerned (up 9%).

The shifts were similar across all demographic groups.

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