Important election issues

Jul 30, 2012

Q.  Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

 

First

Second

Third

Total

30 Jul 12

5 Dec 11

6 June 11

25 Jan 10

Management of the economy

38%

16%

10%

64%

62%

61%

63%

Ensuring a quality education for all children

5%

10%

11%

26%

22%

26%

23%

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

10%

19%

18%

47%

47%

49%

48%

Protecting the environment

3%

4%

4%

11%

13%

15%

16%

A fair industrial relations system

4%

3%

5%

12%

11%

8%

*

Political leadership

11%

7%

7%

25%

18%

17%

23%

Addressing climate change

3%

3%

3%

9%

10%

15%

16%

Controlling interest rates

2%

2%

5%

9%

11%

13%

15%

Australian jobs and protection of local industries

13%

15%

13%

41%

36%

32%

33%

Ensuring a quality water supply

*

1%

2%

3%

4%

5%

12%

Housing affordability

3%

5%

5%

13%

13%

16%

14%

Ensuring a fair taxation system

4%

7%

7%

18%

16%

17%

14%

Security and the war on terrorism

1%

1%

3%

5%

4%

8%

9%

Treatment of asylum seekers

3%

4%

3%

10%

8%

5%

*

Managing population growth

2%

3%

3%

8%

8%

12%

*

*Not asked

64% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 47% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 41% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Since December, there has been an increase in the importance of political leadership (+7%), Australian jobs and protection of local industries (+5%) and ensuring a quality education for all children (+4%).

I’m Melting, I’m Melting

Jul 26, 2012

Lost, sometimes, in the debate over the carbon tax — which usually focuses on how much the tax will cost us (The Empty Suit, leader of the Coalition, is in deep trouble here, by the way, because it turns out the cost to the average person will be pretty modest, despite his fear-mongering) — is what happens if we don’t reduce carbon emissions. Here’s a picture that tells it all.

On your left is the Greenland ice sheet on July 8th. On your right is the Greenland ice sheet on July 12th — four days later.

Translation:  In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12.

Need we say more? Tony Maher, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union national president, had it right, by the way.


@jonathantasini

Tries Lies: More Carbon Porkies to Come

Jun 27, 2012

First published on The Drum 26 June 2012

The ‘lie’ at the heart of Labor’s carbon tax has assumed legendary status. Never mind that the realities of the supposed falsehood are highly contestable – Labor’s carbon pricing scheme is arguably not a tax at all – “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” has become the iconic political lie of our times.

Its ruthlessly successful exploitation by the Abbott Opposition has spawned a political craze in exposing opponents’ lies, in the hope of replicating this highly successful case study in trust-related brand damage.

But what about the Opposition’s penchant for stretching the truth on impacts of the carbon tax?

George Brandis’s assertion the carbon tax was responsible for 1900 job cuts at Fairfax was a cracker, but only a natural extension of years of dubious claims the carbon tax would wipe towns off the map, spark mass shut-downs of industry and send families to the wall under crippling power prices.

With not much else to look forward to, Labor hopes the sun rising on July 1 – towns and families intact – will expose the Opposition’s spurious rhetoric about the carbon tax. Who is calling us liars now, you liars?

The collapse in trust in politics as we’ve reported on before, is a defining feature of our current political culture, driven largely by the kind of negative politics that have characterised the carbon debate.

In this environment, Labor has been unable to win back support for its carbon pricing scheme, with support levels on the eve of its introduction at the same low level they were towards the start of last year.

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s carbon pricing scheme which, from July 2012, will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

 

7 Mar 2011

23 May

1 Aug

21 Nov

Total

25 Jun 2012

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total support

35%

41%

39%

38%

35%

67%

13%

74%

Total oppose

48%

44%

51%

53%

54%

21%

81%

21%

Strongly support

9%

14%

15%

14%

14%

28%

4%

38%

Support

26%

27%

24%

24%

21%

39%

9%

36%

Oppose

19%

15%

19%

17%

19%

12%

24%

13%

Strongly oppose

29%

29%

32%

36%

35%

9%

57%

8%

Don’t know

18%

15%

10%

10%

11%

12%

7%

6%

 

If there’s a positive for Labor there, it’s that it has been able to win the support of its base on this issue, with two-thirds of Labor voters (admittedly a small pool – link to table) supporting the policy.

But despite Labor’s focus on selling the compensation elements of the carbon pricing reform, the public has bought the cost-of-living scare, with 71% believing their cost of living will increase moderately or a lot. A further 20% thought there would be a small increase and just 2% thought there would be no impact. Power, petrol, groceries and fruit and veg – people are expecting the introduction of the carbon tax to be a disaster for their hip pockets.

Q. And what impact do you expect the carbon tax to have on each of the following?

 

 

Increase a lot

Increase a little

Stay much the same

Decrease a little

Decrease a lot

Don’t know

Energy prices

67%

26%

4%

*

3%

Fuel prices

53%

31%

11%

1%

*

4%

Grocery prices

41%

41%

14%

1%

4%

Fresh fruit and vegetable prices

39%

39%

18%

*

*

4%

Unemployment

31%

27%

32%

2%

1%

8%

Interest rates

22%

18%

38%

8%

1%

13%

And herein lies the risk for Tony Abbott.

With the happy bonus that most of us aren’t really too sure what the carbon tax actually is, we can expect plenty more Brandis-style water-muddying as the carbon tax is blamed for job losses, power price rises, divorces and bad haircuts caused by completely unrelated factors.

But what if the Opposition can’t deliver carbon tax Armageddon? What if people accept that any moderate increases in prices have been offset by the one-off ‘cashforyou’ payments and associated support packages? Or, and this may be stretching it, what if the media starts questioning come of the tenuous links between price rises and carbon that the Opposition attempts to exploit?

If the world doesn’t end on Sunday, will people shift their opinion of the Carbon Tax or, worse still for Abbott, start to wonder whether they have been played for fools? Already the rhetoric is shifting from ‘death strike’ to ‘python’s grip’ but is this sustainable as a basis for the daily high-vis vest photo opp that has become the Oppostion’s modus operandi.

Another potential porky lies in the Opposition Leader’s promise to repeal the carbon tax.Abbott has pledged ‘in blood’ there would be no carbon tax under the government he leads.

Currently, we’re fairly evenly split on whether a pledge in blood is actually a core promise, with a slight majority believing he’ll go through with it.

Q. If they won the next election, how likely do you think it would be that Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party would repeal the carbon tax?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total likely

44%

28%

64%

42%

Total unlikely

40%

62%

22%

41%

Don’t know

17%

11%

14%

17%

 

But what if he can’t get the numbers through the Senate? What if he is forced to negotiate and, God forbid compromise, with those holding the balance of power? Will this be a case of a politician dealing with the hand they are dealt or just another example that all politicians lie?

While it’s easy to dismiss the dealing in truth and lies as business as usual politics, but in turning it into a Weapon of Mass Destruction it will be interesting to see if the Opposition leader has not set set his own future government onto a path of Mutually Assured Destruction.

 

 

Approval of Marine Reserves

Jun 25, 2012

Q. The Federal Government recently announced plans to protect large areas of Australia’s marine environment in a network of marine reserves. Do you approve or disapprove of these plans?

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total approve

70%

79%

62%

89%

Total disapprove

13%

8%

22%

1%

Strongly approve

35%

45%

23%

64%

Approve

35%

34%

39%

25%

Disapprove

9%

6%

15%

1%

Strongly disapprove

4%

2%

7%

Don’t know

16%

13%

16%

10%

70% approved of the Federal Government’s plans to protect large areas of Australia’s marine environment in a network of marine reserves and 13% disapproved.

Approval was similar across all demographic groups – no group recorded approval lower than 65%.

Party trust to handle important election issues

Jun 18, 2012

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

 

Labor

Liberal

Greens

Don’t know

Difference

18 Jun 12

Difference

5 Dec 11

Management of the economy

26%

44%

3%

27%

-18

-18

Ensuring a quality education for all children

33%

35%

5%

26%

-2

-2

Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system

30%

36%

7%

27%

-6

-3

Protecting the environment

17%

21%

38%

24%

+17

+14

A fair industrial relations system

36%

30%

6%

28%

+6

+4

Political leadership

21%

37%

7%

36%

-16

-17

Addressing climate change

18%

24%

31%

27%

+7

+6

Controlling interest rates

22%

40%

3%

35%

-18

-18

Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries

29%

35%

6%

31%

-6

-3

Ensuring a quality water supply

16%

28%

23%

33%

-12

-12

Housing affordability

22%

33%

5%

39%

-11

-10

Ensuring a fair taxation system

26%

36%

5%

32%

-10

-9

Security and the war on terrorism

18%

40%

4%

38%

-22

-19

Treatment of asylum seekers

16%

36%

13%

36%

-20

-19

Managing population growth

17%

36%

7%

40%

-19

-17

Note – Differences are calculated by subtracting Liberal % from Labor % – except for the two issues on which the Greens lead in which case it is Greens minus Liberal.

Labor does not have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party on any item measured. The Liberal Party has maintained strong leads on management of the economy, controlling interest rates, political leadership and security and the war on terrorism.

There is little difference between Labor and the Liberals for ensuring a quality education for all children, ensuring the quality of Australia’s health systerm and protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries. Overall, there has been very little change in these results since December.

Creating a Climate for Change on Carbon

Mar 12, 2012

It’s only months until a price on carbon takes affect so here are some clues from the polling to help Labor though the difficult times ahead.


Support for Carbon Pricing Scheme

Sep 19, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s proposal to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?

7 March 14 March 28 March 18 April 23 May 30 May 14 June 11 July 18 July 1 Aug Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 35% 38% 34% 39% 41% 38% 38% 35% 39% 39% 37% 67% 13% 76%
Total oppose 48% 49% 51% 49% 44% 48% 49% 53% 49% 51% 52% 22% 80% 14%
Strongly support 9% 12% 12% 13% 14% 14% 13% 11% 15% 15% 14% 31% 2% 34%
Support 26% 26% 22% 26% 27% 24% 25% 24% 24% 24% 23% 36% 11% 42%
Oppose 19% 17% 19% 15% 15% 19% 19% 19% 16% 19% 17% 13% 23% 8%
Strongly oppose 29% 32% 32% 34% 29% 29% 30% 34% 33% 32% 35% 9% 57% 6%
Don’t know 18% 13% 15% 12% 15% 15% 13% 12% 12% 10% 12% 12% 7% 10%

The majority of respondents are opposed to the Government’s carbon pricing scheme, with 52% either opposed or strongly opposed to its introduction.   Opposition to the scheme has moved up 1% since the last time the question was polled on 1 August 2011.   Total opposition has moved up by 4% since the Government announced the scheme six months ago, from 48% total oppose to 52% total opposed.

Total support for the scheme is 37%, down 2% from 39% since the last time the question was asked on 1 August 2011.  However, overall, support has risen by 2% in the six months since the Government’s announcement, from 35% to 37% total support.

Twelve per cent (12%) of respondents ‘don’t know’, up 2% from 1 August 2011, but down 6% since the announcement six months ago.

Those aged 18-24 years old are the most likely to support the scheme (46% total support).  Those aged 55-64% are the most likely to oppose it (59% total oppose).

Comments »

Support for Carbon Pricing Scheme with compensation and investment in renewables

Sep 19, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose this carbon pricing scheme if the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners for increased prices and to invest in renewable energy?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 50% 77% 27% 84%
Total oppose 37% 12% 61% 9%
Strongly support 20% 41% 4% 40%
Support 30% 36% 23% 44%
Oppose 15% 8% 23% 4%
Strongly oppose 22% 4% 38% 5%
Don’t know 13% 10% 11% 7%

Total support for the carbon pricing scheme rose sharply by 13 points to 50% when respondents were asked whether they supported the scheme if the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners and to invest in renewable energy.

Conversely, total opposition for the scheme fell by 13% to 37% total opposed.

The reference to compensation and investment in renewables has the effect of shifting total support up by 10% amongst Labor voters (77%), up 14% amongst Lib/Nat voters and up 8% amongst Green voters.

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