2011 Outlook – Politicians

Dec 20, 2010

Q. Do you think 2011 will be a good or bad year for each of the following politicians?

Total good Total poor Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
Julia Gillard 28% 36% 5% 23% 23% 26% 10% 12%
Tony Abbott 29% 27% 5% 24% 32% 20% 7% 13%
Kevin Rudd 21% 30% 3% 18% 35% 21% 9% 14%
Malcolm Turnbull 20% 21% 3% 17% 41% 17% 4% 18%
Bob Brown 20% 30% 4% 16% 31% 18% 12% 19%

There were no strong expectations one way or the other that 2011 would be good or bad for politicians.

Overall, there were negative expectations for Julia Gillard (-8% net), Kevin Rudd (-9%) and Bob Brown (-10%) while respondents were divided over Tony Abbott (+2%) and Malcolm Turnbull (-1%).

Comparing these results with last week’s questions, respondents expect 2011 to be worse than 2010 for Julia Gillard (net +24% in 2010 compared to

-8% in 2011) and Bob Brown (+17% in 2010/-10% in 2011).

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Wikileaks – Release of Material

Dec 20, 2010

Q. The online organisation Wikileaks, which is headed by the Australian Julian Assange, has released diplomatic material leaked to it by an American source.  It has also provided this material to other media which have also published information about the leaks. Do you approve or disapprove of Wikileaks and media outlets releasing this material?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 53% 55% 51% 80%
Total disapprove 25% 30% 30% 5%
Strongly approve 20% 21% 17% 35%
Approve 33% 34% 34% 45%
Disapprove 14% 16% 18% 3%
Strongly disapprove 11% 14% 12% 2%
Don’t know 22% 16% 19% 15%

53% approve Wikileaks and other media outlets releasing leaked US diplomatic material and 25% disapprove – 22% do not have an opinion.  There was majority approval from supporters of each major party.

There was also majority approval from all age groups – aged under 35 54% approve/17% disapprove, aged 35-54 51% approve/26% disapprove, aged 55+ 56% apperove/34% disapprove.

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Wikileaks – Australian Government Response

Dec 20, 2010

Q. The Australian Government has condemned the release of the Wikileaks material and the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called it “grossly irresponsible” and “illegal”. Do you approve or disapprove of the response of the Prime Minister and the Australian Government to the publication of the Wikileaks material?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 32% 45% 28% 17%
Total disapprove 46% 38% 54% 66%
Strongly approve 11% 18% 8% 1%
Approve 21% 27% 20% 16%
Disapprove 27% 24% 31% 32%
Strongly disapprove 19% 14% 23% 34%
Don’t know 21% 17% 17% 17%

46% disapprove of the Australian Government’s response to the publication of the Wikileaks material and 32% approve – 21% have no opinion. A majority of Coalition (54%) and Greens voters (66%) disapproved while Labor voters were more likely to approve (45%/38%).

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Wikileaks – Australian Government Support for Julian Assange

Dec 20, 2010

Q. The US Government is reportedly intending to lay charges against Julian Assange as head of Wikileaks. Should Julian Assange receive support and assistance from the Australian Government if he is charged with an offence by the US or another country?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should receive support and assistance 50% 52% 50% 76%
Should not receive support and assistance 26% 29% 27% 14%
Don’t know 24% 19% 23% 10%

50% believe that Julian Assange should receive support and assistance from the Australian Government if he is charged with an offence by the US or another country and 26% think he should not – 24% have no opinion. A majority of voters for each of the major parties believed that Government support should be given.

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Nuclear Power

Dec 20, 2010

Q. Do you support or oppose Australia developing nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity?

27 Jan 09 20 Dec 10 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 43% 43% 41% 56% 25%
Total oppose 35% 37% 41% 31% 65%
Strongly support 14% 16% 16% 22% 5%
Support 29% 27% 25% 34% 20%
Oppose 21% 21% 23% 20% 33%
Strongly oppose 14% 16% 18% 11% 32%
Don’t know 22% 19% 17% 13% 10%

43% support Australia developing nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity and 35% oppose. These figures are almost identical to the results obtained when this question was last asked in January 2009.

Coalition voters show majority support (56%/31%), Greens voters are strongly opposed (25%/65%) and Labor voters split 41%/41%.

There are substantial differences by gender – 63% of men support and 26% oppose but women oppose 48% to 25%.

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No names rule in media jungle

Dec 14, 2010

First Published on The Drum 14/12/2010

Here is the word cloud that will prick a thousand egos – and restore some reality to the debate about the future of the media.

In an era of celebrity journos building Twitter empires and media business models inspired by the porn industry, the truth is that very few members of the public have any idea who is writing or reporting their daily news.

That’s what Essential Research found while working with the Media Alliance’s Future of Journalism Project – when asked to name  a journalist, the vast majority of respondents could come up with only one name: ‘Don’t Know’.

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Climate change? Scepticism becomes mainstream

Dec 7, 2010

First Published on The Drum 07/12/2010

It was a year ago today that the hottest gig in global warming opened in Copenhagen, amidst expectations that the world’s leaders would rise above their geographical interests and make a stand for the future.

Twelve months on and the hopes of Copenhagen seem as retro as a Midnight Oil album, the world has opted to sleep even when our beds are burning.

While the lack of political action over the past year has been well documented, this week’s Essential Report picks up another dynamic that is both a response to and a driver for this inertia. For the first time, we have found less than 50 per cent of Australians think climate change is real.

Dec 10 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 45% 53% 32% 76%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 36% 27% 53% 14%
Don’t know 19% 20% 15% 10%

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