Important Issues

Jul 19, 2010

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

  First Second Third Total Total

10 May 10

Difference
Management of the economy 38% 18% 7% 63% 62% +1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  16% 20% 19% 55% 50% +5%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 7% 8% 9% 24% 29% -5%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 4% 11% 9% 24% 19% +5%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 6% 8% 18% 22% -4%
Protecting the environment 5% 5% 5% 15% 13% +2%
Political leadership 6% 3% 4% 13% 12% +1%
Housing affordability 4% 4% 5% 13% 17% -4%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 12%
Controlling interest rates 3% 5% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Managing population growth 1% 4% 7% 12% 14% -2%
Treatment of asylum seekers 4% 3% 4% 11% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 5% 11% 9% +2%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 5% 8% 7% +1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 1% 4% 6% 7% -1%

*Not asked in May 2010 poll

The most important election issues were management of the economy, the quality of the health system, jobs and local industry and a quality education for all children.

Since this issue was last polled in May, health and education have increased in importance (both +5%) and Australian jobs and protection of local industry declined 5%. Comments »

Party best at Handling Issues

Jul 19, 2010

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

  Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
A fair industrial relations system 45% 24% 5% 26%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 41% 25% 4% 29%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 42% 28% 3% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  38% 27% 4% 31%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 36% 28% 4% 32%
Housing affordability 30% 24% 4% 41%
Political leadership 33% 30% 5% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 23% 23% 22% 32%
Managing population growth 24% 27% 9% 40%
Security and the war on terrorism 25% 30% 3% 42%
Management of the economy 32% 38% 3% 27%
Treatment of asylum seekers 23% 29% 11% 37%
Controlling interest rates 28% 35% 2% 35%
Addressing climate change 18% 16% 36% 29%
Protecting the environment 17% 13% 47% 23%

 Labor have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party as the best party to handle a fair industrial relations system (+21%), quality education for all (+16%), Australian jobs and protection of industries (+14%) and ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system (+11%).

 The Liberal Party’s main strengths were controlling interest rates (+7%), treatment of asylum seekers (+6%) and management of the economy  (+6%).

The Greens were thought to be the best party for protecting the environment (47%) and addressing climate change (36%). Comments »

Party Best at

Jun 15, 2010

Q. Which of the following parties – Labor, Liberal or Greens – do you think is the best party when it comes to –

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Representing the interests of Australian working people 42% 27% 6% 25%
Standing up to the big multinational corporations 32% 27% 13% 28%
Handling the economy in a way that best protects working people in Australia 36% 35% 4% 25%
Understanding the needs of the average Australian 29% 27% 9% 35%
Representing the interests of you and people like you 32% 34% 10% 24%
Having a vision for Australia’s future 29% 33% 9% 29%
Taking Australia forward, not backwards 29% 34% 9% 28%
Handling Australia’s relations with other countries 30% 38% 4% 27%
Handling Australia’s economy 30% 42% 3% 25%
Dealing with the issue of immigration 20% 41% 7% 32%
Being honest and ethical 19% 21% 15% 45%
Handling environmental and climate change issues 19% 19% 36% 27%

The Labor Party was thought to be better than the Liberal Party at “representing the interests of Australian working people” (42% to 27%) and “standing up to the big multinational corporations “ (32%/27%).

The Liberal Party was thought to be better than the Labor Party at “dealing with the issue of immigration “ (41% to 20%), “handling Australia’s economy” (42%/30%),  “handling Australia’s relations with other countries” (38%/30%),  “taking Australia forward, not backwards” (34%/29%) and “having a vision for Australia’s future” (33%/29%).

There was little difference between the Liberal and Labor Parties in terms of “handling the economy in a way that best protects working people in Australia”,  “understanding the needs of the average Australian” and “representing the interests of you and people like you”.

36% believed the Greens were best at “handling environmental and climate change issues” and 45% could not nominate a party best at “being honest and ethical”. Comments »

Trust in Groups

Jun 15, 2010

Q. And how much trust do you have in the following groups to represent the interests of people like you?

Total a lot/some trust A lot of trust Some trust A little trust No trust at all Don’t know
Environment groups 38% 8% 30% 28% 22% 11%
Unions 33% 8% 25% 27% 30% 10%
Business lobby groups 21% 4% 17% 30% 35% 15%
Religious groups 20% 5% 15% 24% 43% 13%
Mining companies 20% 2% 18% 27% 40% 13%
Banks 15% 2% 13% 26% 49% 10%
The media 14% 1% 13% 33% 43% 9%

38% said they have a lot or some trust in environment groups and 33% have a lot/some trust in unions. Banks (15%) and the media (14%) were the least trusted groups.

49% had no trust at all in banks and 43% had no trust at all in religious groups and the media.

51% of Labor voters have trust in unions and 47% have trust in environment groups. The most trusted groups for Liberal/National voters are mining companies (32%) and business lobby groups (31%). Comments »

Modelling Successful Environment Campaigning – The Lessons of the 2010 Tasmanian Election

May 28, 2010

The Tasmanian election in March created history. For the first time the Greens polled over 20% of the vote in a state wide lower house election and as a result Australia has its first Greens Minister in the new ALP/Greens government.

While the media wallowed in superficial explanations – the Greens had an ‘articulate and electable leader’ and appealed to the mythical ‘middle ground’ they completely ignored the impact of the third party ‘Our Common Ground’ campaign run by Environment Tasmania and The Wilderness Society (ET/TWS) and other community organisations.

In doing so they failed to understand the strategy behind the first environment campaign since the WA Election in 2001 that has influenced the outcome of an election. Before that you have to go back to the 1990 Federal Election. In between times environmental election campaigns have generally failed to gain traction or worse backfired harming the party supporting the environment. Comments »

Important Election Issues

May 10, 2010

Q8. 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

25 Jan 10

Difference
Management of the economy 34% 18% 10% 62% 63% -1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 20% 16% 50% 48% +2%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 11% 29% 33% -4%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 5% 8% 9% 22% 18% +4%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 3% 7% 9% 19% 23% -4%
Housing affordability 6% 5% 6% 17% 14% +3%
Controlling interest rates 5% 5% 6% 16% 15% +1%
Managing population growth 3% 4% 7% 14% *  
Protecting the environment 3% 5% 5% 13% 16% -3%
Political leadership 5% 3% 4% 12% 23% -11%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Fair immigration policies 3% 4% 3% 10% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 3% 9% 10% -1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 2% 2% 3% 7% 12% -5%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 3% 7% 9% -2%

*Not asked in January 2010 poll

 62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy is one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 29% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 Only 9% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues and 7% rate security and the war on terrorism and ensuring a quality water supply. 

 The major change since the previous survey in January, was a drop in the importance of political leadership from 23% to 12%. Ensuring a fairer tax system has risen slightly from 18% to 22%. Comments »

Population growth in Australia – statements of agreement

Mar 1, 2010

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements about Australia’s population growth?

  Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
We just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth 75% 19% 36% 39% 14% 5% 6%
Immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society 64% 29% 32% 32% 20% 9% 7%
Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population 61% 30% 24% 37% 24% 6% 8%
Having a larger population will help our economy 38% 52% 7% 31% 34% 18% 10%
Australia has the space and resources to cope with a much larger population 35% 58% 8% 27% 31% 27% 7%

 When it comes to statements about population growth, most people agree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (75%).   64% agree that immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society and 61% think Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population.  More than half (58%) disagree that Australia has the space and resources to cope with a much larger population. 

 Labor voters were more likely to agree that having a larger population will help our economy (42%) and disagree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (23%). 

 Coalition voters were more likely to agree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (82%) and agree that immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society (74%). 

 Greens voters were more likely to agree that Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population (66%).  Comments »

Approval of Environment Minister, Peter Garrett

Feb 22, 2010

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Peter Garrett is doing as Environment Minister?

  %
Strongly approve 4%
Approve 24%
Disapprove 26%
Strongly disapprove 30%
Don’t know 16%
Total approve 28%
Total disapprove 56%

 Just over half (56%) of those surveyed disapprove of the job Peter Garrett is doing as Environment Minister, 28% approve and 16% don’t know.

This gives Peter Garrett an approval rating of -28%.  

 Results followed party lines – Labor voters were more likely to approve (47%), while Coalition voters were more likely to disapprove (84%).  37% of Labor voters disapprove of the job Garrett is doing as Environment Minister. 

 Green voters were reasonably split in terms of their level of approval of the Environment Minister – 42% approve and 46% disapprove of the job Garrett is doing. 

 People aged 65 years and over were more likely to disapprove (82%) while those aged 35 – 44 were more likely to approve (35%). 

 We asked a similar question in June 2008 asking people to rate the performance of Peter Garrett – 32% rated his performance as very good/good and 47% rated it as very poor/poor. Comments »

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