Processing Asylum Seekers

May 16, 2011

Q.  The Government has announced two possible agreements with Malaysia and Papua New Guinea on asylum seekers. Under these agreements, asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia will be sent to either Malaysia or PNG for processing, and in return Australia will take a fixed number of refugees from Malaysia.

Do you support or oppose the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Total support 40% 55% 40% 29%
Total oppose 40% 25% 49% 53%
Strongly support 11% 16% 12% 5%
Support 29% 39% 28% 24%
Oppose 20% 16% 19% 33%
Strongly oppose 20% 9% 30% 20%
Don’t know 19% 20% 12% 17%

Respondents were divided over the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia – 40% support and 40% oppose. Labor voters were more likely to support the plan (55%) while Greens voters were most likely to oppose it (53%).

There were no substantial differences by demographic groups.

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Processing Asylum Seekers

May 16, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia if it means it will cost taxpayers substantially more than it would if we just processed asylum seekers on the mainland in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Total support 24% 35% 23% 15%
Total oppose 60% 49% 66% 69%
Strongly support 6% 8% 6% 3%
Support 18% 27% 17% 12%
Oppose 29% 31% 25% 35%
Strongly oppose 31% 18% 41% 34%
Don’t know 16% 16% 11% 16%

Respondents were more likely to oppose the plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia if it means it will cost taxpayers substantially more than it would if we just processed asylum seekers on the mainland in Australia – 24% support and 60% oppose.

Labor voters showed the largest shift in opinion if increased cost to taxpayers was taken into account  – their opposition increased from 25% to 49%.

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Federal Budget

Apr 5, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Australian Government’s proposal to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total support 37% 47% 33% 38% 42% 32% 40% 37% 35%
Total oppose 38% 27% 46% 38% 39% 36% 29% 39% 46%
Strongly support 11% 13% 9% 5% 12% 9% 8% 11% 13%
Support 26% 34% 24% 33% 30% 23% 32% 26% 22%
Oppose 18% 16% 20% 22% 18% 18% 17% 20% 18%
Strongly oppose 20% 11% 26% 16% 21% 18% 12% 19% 28%
Don’t know 25% 25% 21% 25% 19% 32% 31% 24% 20%

Opinions on the Australian Government’s proposal to establish a regional processing centre for asylum seekers in East Timor are evenly divided – 37% support the proposal and 38% oppose.

Strongest support comes from Labor voters (47%) and those aged 18-34 (40%). Strongest opposition comes form Liberal/National voters (46%) and those aged 55+ (46%).

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Important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

One Two Three Total Total 11th Oct 10 Total 25th Jan 10
Management of the economy 37% 18% 10% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 5% 10% 11% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 13% 20% 16% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 3% 6% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 4% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 6% 5% 5% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 3% 3% 4% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 5% 8% 8% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 10% 8% 12% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 2% 3% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 5% 5% 6% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 6% 8% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 2% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 2% 5% 4% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

65% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 49% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 30% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Only 10% rate addressing climate change as one of their three most important issues and 6% rate ensuring a quality water supply.

Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in the importance of controlling interest rates (from 15% to 21%) and a decrease in the importance of addressing climate change (from 16% to 10%).

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Important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 65% 63% 77% 47%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 33% 20% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 52% 47% 37%
Protecting the environment 13% 12% 6% 42%
A fair industrial relations system 10% 18% 5% 8%
Political leadership 16% 11% 25% 14%
Addressing climate change 10% 10% 5% 22%
Controlling interest rates 21% 17% 22% 19%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 30% 33% 32% 18%
Ensuring a quality water supply 6% 4% 6% 5%
Housing affordability 16% 15% 13% 21%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 18% 17% 19% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 5% 5% 8% 5%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 15%
Managing population growth 11% 8% 12% 9%

Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate ensuring a quality education for all children (33%) and a fair industrial relations system (18%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (77%) and political leadership (25%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (42%), addressing climate change (22%) and treatment of asylum seekers (15%).

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Party best handling important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

Q. And which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 33% 43% 2% 22%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 39% 33% 4% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 33% 33% 7% 27%
Protecting the environment 16% 19% 40% 24%
A fair industrial relations system 40% 30% 5% 25%
Political leadership 28% 37% 4% 31%
Addressing climate change 18% 20% 34% 28%
Controlling interest rates 22% 40% 2% 35%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 36% 33% 4% 27%
Ensuring a quality water supply 21% 28% 20% 31%
Housing affordability 26% 30% 7% 37%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 28% 35% 4% 32%
Security and the war on terrorism 23% 37% 4% 36%
Treatment of asylum seekers 20% 33% 12% 35%
Standing up for regular Australian working families 41% 27% 6% 25%
Managing population growth 21% 36% 7% 37%
Making sure Australian working people got fair treatment at their workplace 41% 29% 6% 25%

Labor is trusted most to handle a fair industrial relations system (40%), ensuring a quality education for all children (39%) and standing up for regular Australian working families (41%).

The Liberals are trusted most to handle management of the economy (43%), controlling interest rates (40%), political leadership (37%) and security and the war on terrorism (37%).

In October, Labor was considered substantially better to handle 5 of the issues surveyed and Liberals 5 issues – compared to this survey where Labor leads on 4 issues and Liberals on 8 issues. The Liberals have now established a lead on political leadership (+9%), water supply (+7%), and taxation (+7%).

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So where is the Left?

Oct 26, 2010

First Published on The Drum 26/10/2010

If political progressives want to stop the ALP from drifting to the Right, energetically backing the decision to move women and children out of immigration detention looks like a good place to start.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Immigration minister Chris Bowen took the new minority government’s first truly brave decision last week, yet all they got was a sullen acceptance from a Left still acting like jilted lovers after the disappointments of the election campaign.

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Moving children out of detention centres

Oct 25, 2010

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the Federal Government’s decision to move children and their families out of immigration detention centres and allow them to live in the community while their cases are being processed?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 33% 42% 24% 63%
Total disapprove 53% 45% 67% 28%
Strongly approve 11% 15% 4% 39%
Approve 22% 27% 20% 24%
Disapprove 24% 22% 29% 12%
Strongly disapprove 29% 23% 38% 16%
Don’t know 13% 13% 9% 8%

53% disapproved the Federal Government’s decision to move children and their families out of immigration detention centres and allow them to live in the community while their cases are being processed and 33% approved.

63% of Greens voters approved, 67% of Liberal/National voters disapproved and Labor voters were split 42% approve/45% disapprove.

By gender – men 38% approve/50% disapprove, women 28% approve/57% disapprove.

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