Change in Interest in Federal Politics

May 2, 2011

Q. Over the last few years has your interest in following Federal politics increased or decreased?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
Total increased 29% 30% 35% 32% 37% 26% 25%
Total decreased 11% 11% 6% 15% 11% 12% 11%
Increased a lot 8% 10% 10% 7% 11% 7% 8%
Increased a little 21% 20% 25% 25% 26% 19% 17%
Stayed much the same 56% 56% 59% 54% 47% 60% 62%
Decreased a little 6% 7% 4% 7% 4% 6% 8%
Decreased a lot 5% 4% 2% 8% 7% 6% 3%
Can’t say 4% 3% * 7% 3% 1%

56% say their interest in following Federal politics has stayed much the same, 29% have more interest and 11% less interest.

Respondents aged 18-34 were more likely to have more interest in following Federal politics (37%) while older voters’ interest was more likely to have stayed much the same.

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Trust in Media

May 2, 2011

Q. How much would you say you trust each of the following media sources to provide you with the news and information you want about Australian politics?

A lot/some trust
Total a lot/some trust Total not much/no trust A lot of trust Some trust Not much trust No trust at all Don’t know Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
ABC TV 76% 15% 29% 47% 9% 6% 9% 73% 77% 79%
SBS 70% 15% 24% 46% 10% 5% 15% 69% 72% 67%
ABC radio 69% 17% 25% 44% 11% 6% 14% 66% 71% 71%
Daily newspapers 53% 40% 6% 47% 31% 9% 7% 52% 53% 52%
Commercial TV 45% 48% 4% 41% 35% 13% 7% 42% 48% 44%
Sky News 41% 25% 7% 34% 17% 8% 34% 46% 42% 34%
Commercial radio 40% 48% 4% 36% 34% 14% 12% 34% 44% 41%

The most trusted media for news and information about politics were ABC TV (76%), SBS (70%) and ABC radio (69%). The least trusted were commercial radio and commercial TV (both 48% not much or no trust).

Those aged 18-34 tended to have more trust in Sky News (46%) but less trust in commercial radio (34%).

The major differences by voting intention were that Liberal/National voters have more trust in commercial TV (52%), Sky News (48%) and commercial radio (49%).

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Perceptions of Media

May 2, 2011

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
The media usually reports the news accurately 35% 54% 2% 33% 41% 13% 12%
The media usually reports all sides of a story 21% 69% 1% 20% 46% 23% 10%
The media is too critical of government and politicians in Australia 29% 57% 4% 25% 46% 11% 14%
These days I rely more on the internet than newspapers and TV for my news and information about politics. 44% 46% 12% 32% 37% 9% 10%
I trust the media more than I trust politicians 37% 43% 4% 33% 33% 10% 20%
I trust politicians more than I trust the media 16% 65% 1% 15% 44% 21% 18%
The media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable 45% 43% 3% 42% 31% 12% 12%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Liberal Party 19% 55% 4% 15% 44% 11% 26%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Labor Party 23% 50% 5% 18% 41% 9% 25%
The media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies 70% 18% 21% 49% 15% 3% 12%
There is too much coverage of politics in the media 34% 52% 7% 27% 45% 7% 14%
The media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues 40% 48% 2% 38% 36% 12% 12%
I follow the news closely every day 57% 38% 10% 47% 32% 6% 6%

The majority of respondents disagree that the media usually reports all sides of a story (69%) and that the media reports the news accurately (54%).

However, they tend to trust the media a little more than they trust politicians – 37% agree they trust the media more and 16% agree they trust politicians more.

The results also indicate that respondents want more rather than less coverage of politics – only 34% agree that there is too much coverage of politics and 57% disagree that the media is too critical of government and politicians.

Respondents were divided over whether the media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable (45% agree/43% disagree) and tended to disagree that the media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues (40% agree/48% disagree).

70% agree that the media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies.

A minority of respondents think the media are biased – 23% think they are biased in favour of the Labor Party and 19% in favour of the Liberal Party.

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Childcare Rebate

Apr 27, 2011

Q. The Federal Government currently pays parents 50 per cent of money they spend on childcare via its childcare rebate. Which of the following policies would you support most?

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

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Maintaining the child care rebate at current levels 22% 23% 23% 25% 21% 22% 33% 18% 14%
Limiting the rebate to families earning less than $150,000 per annum 42% 46% 41% 44% 42% 42% 38% 42% 47%
Scrapping the rebate and paying the money directly to child care providers to contain costs and improve services 21% 25% 18% 18% 25% 18% 12% 24% 26%
Don’t know 15% 13% 11% 14% 12% 18% 17% 16% 12%

Only 22% favour maintaining the child care rebate at current levels – 42% think it should be means tested and 21% think it should be scrapped and the money paid directly to child care providers. There were no significant differences by voting intention.

Those aged 18-34 were more likely to support maintaining the rebate at current levels (33%) as were people earning over $1,600 pw (31%).  Limiting the rebate to families earning less than $150,000 was supported by 55% of people earning $1,000-$1,600 pw.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Apr 27, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

sample size =1,837

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 43% 43% 43% 43%
National 3% 3% 3% 4%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 46% 46% 47% 47%
Labor 38.0 37% 35% 35% 35%
Greens 11.8 10% 11% 11% 10%
Other/Independent 6.6 7% 8% 8% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 52% 53% 54% 54%
Labor 50.1% 48% 47% 46% 46%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Attributes of the Labor Party

Apr 27, 2011

Q. Here is a list of things both favourable and unfavourable that have been said about various political parties. Which statements do you feel fit the Labor Party?

6 Jul 09 14 Mar 10

27 April 11

% change
Will promise to do anything to win votes 57% 63% 72% +9%
Divided 30% 36% 66% +30%
Out of touch with ordinary people 44% 48% 61% +13%
Moderate 65% 63% 51% -12%
Too close to the big corporate and financial interests 46% n.a.
Have a vision for the future 43% n.a.
Understands the problems facing Australia 62% 54% 40% -14%
Looks after the interests of working people 39% n.a.
Extreme 25% 26% 38% +12%
Has a good team of leaders 60% 52% 34% -18%
Clear about what they stand for 28% n.a.
Keeps its promises 44% 33% 20% -13%

The Labor Party’s main attributes were – will promise anything to win votes (63%), divided (66%) and out of touch with ordinary people (61%).
Since these questions were last asked in March 2010, all of Labor’s positive attributes have declined and the negative attributes increased. Main changes since last March were divided (up 30% to 66%), has a good team of leaders (down 18% to 34%) and understands the problems facing Australia (down 14% to 40%).

Note that the 2PP voting intention for 14 March 2010 was 56%-44% to Labor compared to the current 46%-54%.

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Attributes of the Liberal Party

Apr 27, 2011

Q. And which statements do you feel fit the Liberal Party?

6 July 09 14 Mar 10

27 April 11 % change
Will promise to do anything to win votes 67% 72% 65% -7%
Too close to the big corporate and financial interests 60% n.a.
Moderate 50% 50% 55% +5%
Out of touch with ordinary people 62% 58% 54% -4%
Understands the problems facing Australia 44% 43% 51% +8%
Divided 74% 66% 49% -17%
Have a vision for the future 48% n.a.
Clear about what they stand for 44% n.a.
Has a good team of leaders 29% 31% 40% +9%
Looks after the interests of working people 38% n.a.
Extreme 36% 38% 36% -2%
Keeps its promises 28% 23% 33% +10%

The Liberal Party’s main attributes were – will promise anything to win votes (65%), too close to the big corporate and financial interest (60%), moderate (55%) and out of touch with ordinary people (54%).

Since these questions were last asked in March 2010, most of the Liberal Party’s positive attributes have increased and the negative attributes decreased. Main changes since last March were – divided (down 17% to 49%), keeps its promises (up 10% to 33%) and has a good team of leaders (up 9% to 40%).

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Attributes of the Greens

Apr 27, 2011

Q. And which statements do you feel fit the Greens?


Extreme 61%
Out of touch with ordinary people 60%
Will promise to do anything to win votes 52%
Clear about what they stand for 51%
Have a vision for the future 49%
Understands the problems facing Australia 36%
Divided 35%
Looks after the interests of working people 31%
Keeps its promises 31%
Has a good team of leaders 29%
Moderate 28%
Too close to the big corporate and financial interests 22%

The Greens’ main attributes were – extreme (61%), out of touch with ordinary people (60%), will promise to do anything to win votes (52%) and clear about what they stand for (51%). Compared to the major parties, the Greens were rated more highly for being clear about what they stand for and having a vision for the future.

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