Awareness of Malaysia Proposal

Jun 14, 2011

Q.  The Government has announced a possible agreement with Malaysia on asylum seekers. Under these agreements, asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia will be sent to Malaysia for processing, and in return Australia will take a fixed number of refugees from Malaysia. How much have you heard about this proposal?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A lot 27% 24% 34% 27%
Something 31% 38% 29% 30%
A little 29% 28% 29% 28%
Nothing 9% 8% 6% 14%
Don’t know 3% 2% 2% 1%

58% said they had heard a lot or something about the Government’s possible agreement with Malaysia on asylum seekers. Awareness was similar across voter groups.

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Support for Malaysia Proposal

Jun 14, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to Malaysia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Heard a lot Heard something Heard a little/ nothing
Total support 40% 47% 40% 27% 34% 42% 46%
Total oppose 39% 33% 45% 51% 60% 39% 28%
Strongly support 13% 13% 15% 4% 14% 11% 15%
Support 27% 34% 25% 23% 20% 31% 31%
Oppose 22% 21% 24% 31% 26% 24% 20%
Strongly oppose 17% 12% 21% 20% 34% 15% 8%
Don’t know 21% 20% 14% 23% 6% 19% 27%

40% support the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to Malaysia and 39% oppose.

Those who say they have heard more about it are more likely to oppose this proposal.  Only 34% of those who have heard a lot about it support the proposal compared to 46% of those who have heard a little or nothing. There were not substantial differences by gender or age.

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Malaysia Proposal Issues

Jun 14, 2011

Q. If Australia sends asylum seekers to Malaysia, how important are the following issues?

Very important Somewhat important Not very important Not at all important Don’t know
There must be a guarantee that asylum seekers are not be subject to cruel or inhumane treatment 58% 21% 9% 9% 4%
There must be safeguards against the development of mental health problems in detention 41% 32% 13% 9% 5%
The plan should have approval from the United Nations 37% 29% 14% 15% 6%
All countries involved should be signatories to the United Nations Refugee Convention 41% 27% 13% 12% 8%
Children arriving in Australia on their own should not be sent to other countries 36% 25% 14% 12% 12%

All issues were considered important by a majority of respondents. The most important issue concerning the proposal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia was that “there must be a guarantee that asylum seekers are not be subject to cruel or inhumane treatment” – 58% said this was very important.

There were major differences by gender – in particular on the issues that “there must be a guarantee that asylum seekers are not be subject to cruel or inhumane treatment” (very important – men 49%, women 66%) and “There must be safeguards against the development of mental health problems in detention” (very important – men 33%, women 49%)

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Federal politics – voting intention

Jun 6, 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 = 1,929

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 44% 44% 44% 44%
National 3% 3% 3% 2%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 47% 46% 47% 46%
Labor 38.0 35% 34% 34% 34%
Greens 11.8 10% 12% 12% 12%
Other/Independent 6.6 8% 8% 8% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

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

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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Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

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

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 61% 60% 76% 28%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 29% 24% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 50% 50% 51%
Protecting the environment 15% 17% 10% 52%
A fair industrial relations system 8% 12% 4% 4%
Political leadership 17% 16% 20% 16%
Addressing climate change 15% 23% 6% 45%
Controlling interest rates 13% 15% 13% 6%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 32% 28% 36% 12%
Ensuring a quality water supply 5% 5% 3% 7%
Housing affordability 16% 16% 13% 16%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 17% 14% 19% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 8% 4% 13% 1%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 12%
Managing population growth 12% 12% 12% 9%

There were few substantial differences between voters on issues they considered important. Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate addressing climate change (23%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (76%) and security and the war on terrorism (13%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (52%), addressing climate change (45%) and treatment of asylum seekers (12%).

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Party trusted to handle important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

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

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 29% 47% 3% 22%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 38% 35% 5% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 33% 35% 6% 25%
Protecting the environment 18% 21% 39% 23%
A fair industrial relations system 40% 31% 4% 24%
Political leadership 26% 38% 5% 31%
Addressing climate change 21% 24% 29% 26%
Controlling interest rates 26% 44% 3% 28%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 35% 35% 4% 26%
Ensuring a quality water supply 21% 28% 22% 29%
Housing affordability 26% 34% 4% 35%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 29% 37% 4% 30%
Security and the war on terrorism 25% 40% 3% 32%
Treatment of asylum seekers 19% 39% 11% 31%
Managing population growth 21% 36% 7% 36%

Labor is the most trusted party on only one issue – a fair industrial relations system. There is little difference between Labor and the Liberals for ensuring a quality education for all children, ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

This represents a weakening in Labor’s position over the last few months. In January Labor was trusted most to handle ensuring a quality education for all children and in October Labor also had a significant lead on protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

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Performance of Tony Abbott

Jun 6, 2011

Q. Which of the following statements is closest to your view about the performance of Tony Abbott as Opposition leader?

7 Mar 11 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Tony Abbott is performing the role of Opposition leader well and is keeping the Government accountable 41% 42% 11% 78% 13%
Tony Abbott is just opposing everything and is obstructing the work of the Government 43% 44% 78% 13% 73%
Don’t know 16% 15% 11% 10% 14%

42% believe that Tony Abbott is performing the role of Opposition leader well and is keeping the Government accountable and 44% think he is just opposing everything and is obstructing the work of the Government. These figures have not changed significantly since March and views very much follow party preferences.

45% of men think he is performing the role of Opposition leader well compared to 38% of women and 51% of those aged 55+ think he is just opposing everything compared to 40% of those aged under 35.

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Balance of Power

Jun 6, 2011

Q. Do you think the independents and Greens holding the balance of power in Parliament has been good or bad for Australia?

7 Mar 11 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good 27% 28% 40% 11% 77%
Total bad 41% 39% 19% 68% 6%
Very good 7% 9% 11% 3% 40%
Good 20% 19% 29% 8% 37%
Neither good nor bad 33% 33% 41% 21% 17%
Bad 22% 21% 13% 33% 5%
Very bad 19% 18% 6% 35% 1%

28% of respondents think the independents and Greens holding the balance of power in Parliament has been good for Australia and 39% bad. This is very similar to the results obtained for this question in March. The only substantial change is that Labor voters are now more positive – in March they responded 33% good/25% bad.

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