Managing the economy

Aug 26, 2014

Q. Which party – Labor or Liberal – do you think is best when it comes to:

 

Labor

Liberal

No Difference

Don’t Know

Difference (Labor v. Liberal)

 

Difference May 2014

Representing the interests of Australian working families

48%

17%

25%

11%

+31%

+27%

Representing the interests of you and people like you

35%

27%

27%

11%

+8%

+10%

Standing up for the middle class in Australia

30%

28%

27%

15%

+2%

+14%

Representing the interests of the large corporate and financial interests

9%

59%

19%

13%

-50%

-41%

Being more concerned about the interests of working families in Australia than the rich and large business and financial interests

47%

15%

24%

14%

+32%

+29%

Handling the economy overall

23%

37%

27%

14%

-14%

-14%

Handling the economy in a way that tries to take the interests of working families into consideration as much as it takes the interests of the large corporate and financial groups

34%

23%

27%

15%

+11%

+10%

Handling the economy in a way that best helps small business

24%

32%

27%

17%

-8%

-5%

Handling the economy in a way that best helps the middle class

25%

32%

28%

14%

-7%

+1%

Handling the economy in a way that helps you and people like you the most.

32%

27%

27%

14%

+5%

+8%

Labor was more likely to be selected as the party best at all of the items, except for ‘Representing the interests of the large corporate and financial interests’ (59% Liberal, 9% Labor), ‘Handling the economy overall’ (37% Liberal, 23% Labor), ‘Handling the economy in a way that best helps small business’ (32% Liberal, 24% Labor) and ‘Handling the economy in a way that best helps the middle class’ (32% Liberal, 25% Labor).

Since this question was asked in May, the main shifts have been for “Standing up for the middle class in Australia “ (Labor down 12%), “Handling the economy in a way that best helps the middle class” (Labor down 8%) and “Representing the interests of the large corporate and financial interests” (Liberals up 9%).

The angry fish that could change Australia

Jul 6, 2010

First published on The Punch 6/7/2010

There is a wildcard hanging over the upcoming election, a factor outside the control of the any politician – it resembles an angry fish, and it is looking for someone to bite.

Question: Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions  in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same? Source:  Essential Report

Question: Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same? Source: Essential Report

It is the long-term trend line on people’s economic confidence, and it shows that after we sounded a collective sigh of relief last year, we are beginning to fear the worst again, a sense of economy insecurity that can affect our work, our home lives – and the way we look at politics.

The story of the fish charts the highs and lows of first term Labor, it also offers some tantalising clues about what happens next. Why a fish? As the graph above shows, the competing stories of confidence and despondency have taken a wild journey over the past two years.  With fear surging as the GFC hit, curtailing as stimulus stabilised the economy, but now rising again.

Kevin Rudd inherited a nation fearing the worst – the US sub-prime was not just a theory – big banks collapsed, homes were lost, mass lay-offs. As the word ‘contagion’ was bandied around – it emerged that many Australian local councils had unwittingly invested in the toxic loans to bad security risks. Economists warned us of our unsustainable levels of household debt. The notion of economic carnage in Australia was real.

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