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.

 

 

Republic

Jun 12, 2012

Q.  Are you in favour or against Australia becoming a republic?

 

Jan 2010

March 2011

Oct 2011

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

In favour

41%

39%

41%

39%

56%

27%

54%

Against

32%

34%

33%

35%

22%

51%

21%

No opinion

27%

27%

26%

27%

22%

22%

25%

39% favour Australia becoming a republic and 35% are against – showing only a little change since this question was asked in October 2011 (from net +8 to net +4 in favour). 27% have no opinion.

Those most in favour were respondents aged 45-64 (45%), people earning $1,600+pw (45%), Labor voters (56%) and Greens voters (54%).

Those most against were aged 65+ (58%) and Liberal/National voters (51%).

36% of respondents aged under 35 had no opinion.

Federal politics – voting intention

May 14, 2012

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 = 1,904 respondents

First preference/leaning to

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

16/4/12

2 weeks ago

30/4/12

Last week

7/5/12

This week

14/5/12

Liberal

45%

46%

47%

47%

National

3%

3%

3%

3%

Total Lib/Nat

43.6%

48%

50%

50%

50%

Labor

38.0%

31%

31%

29%

30%

Greens

11.8%

11%

11%

11%

11%

Other/Independent

6.6%

9%

9%

9%

9%

 

2PP

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Last week

This week

Total Lib/Nat

49.9%

56%

57%

58%

57%

Labor

50.1%

44%

43%

42%

43%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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. These estimates have a confidence interval of approx. + or – 2%.

Comments »

Federal politics – voting intention

May 7, 2012

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 = 1,909 respondents

First preference/leaning to

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

10/4/12

2 weeks ago

23/4/12

Last week

30/4/12

This week

7/5/12

Liberal

47%

45%

46%

47%

National

3%

3%

3%

3%

Total Lib/Nat

43.6%

50%

49%

50%

50%

Labor

38.0%

31%

31%

31%

29%

Greens

11.8%

11%

11%

11%

11%

Other/Independent

6.6%

9%

9%

9%

9%

 

2PP

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Last week

This week

Total Lib/Nat

49.9%

57%

56%

57%

58%

Labor

50.1%

43%

44%

43%

42%

 

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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. These estimates have a confidence interval of approx. + or – 2%.

Comments »

TRENDS: Seeing through the feel-good mining ads

Apr 30, 2012


Peter Lewis says the public no longer believes that mining has personal benefits – despite an expensive ad campaign from the industry.

The long-running ‘This is our story’ campaign is the soft side of the anti-mining tax’s shock-and-awe bombardment of 2010 that delivered the head of a prime minister and a windfall approaching $20 billion for its sponsors.

But in the intervening 18 months, the national tone has changed from one where the mining industry’s success was seen as central to the national interest to one where the question appears to be: is this ‘our’ story or just theirs?

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3968928.html

Federal politics – voting intention

Apr 30, 2012

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 =  1,910 respondents

 

First preference/leaning to

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2/4/12

Last week

16/4/12

This week

23/4/12

This week

30/4/12

Liberal

46%

45%

45%

46%

National

3%

3%

3%

3%

Total Lib/Nat

43.6%

48%

48%

49%

50%

Labor

38.0%

33%

31%

31%

31%

Greens

11.8%

11%

11%

11%

11%

Other/Independent

6.6%

8%

9%

9%

9%

 

2PP

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Last week

This week

Total Lib/Nat

49.9%

55%

56%

56%

57%

Labor

50.1%

45%

44%

44%

43%

 

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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. These figures have a confidence interval of approx. + or – 2%.

Comments »

Federal politics – voting intention

Apr 23, 2012

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 = 1,892 respondents

First preference/leaning to

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

26/3/12

2 weeks ago

10/4/12

Last week

16/4/12

This week

22/4/12

Liberal

45%

47%

45%

45%

National

3%

3%

3%

3%

Total Lib/Nat

43.6%

47%

50%

48%

49%

Labor

38.0%

34%

31%

31%

31%

Greens

11.8%

10%

11%

11%

11%

Other/Independent

6.6%

9%

9%

9%

9%

 

2PP

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Last week

This week

Total Lib/Nat

49.9%

54%

57%

56%

56%

Labor

50.1%

46%

43%

44%

44%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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.

Comments »

Federal politics – voting intention

Apr 10, 2012

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 = 1,902 respondents

First preference/leaning to

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

12/3/12

2 weeks ago

26/3/12

Last week

2/4/12

This week

10/4/12

Liberal

46%

45%

46%

47%

National

3%

3%

3%

3%

Total Lib/Nat

43.6%

49%

47%

48%

50%

Labor

38.0%

31%

34%

33%

31%

Greens

11.8%

10%

10%

11%

11%

Other/Independent

6.6%

10%

9%

8%

9%

2PP

Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Last week

This week

Total Lib/Nat

49.9%

57%

54%

55%

57%

Labor

50.1%

43%

46%

45%

43%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from 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.

Comments »

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