Likelihood of more spending cuts – Labor Government

Aug 26, 2013

Q. If the Labor Party win Government, how likely do you think it is that they will be able to pay for their policies and election commitments without making more cuts in spending after the election?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Very likely

7%

13%

2%

8%

Somewhat likely

20%

42%

3%

28%

Somewhat unlikely

24%

27%

18%

38%

Very unlikely

35%

8%

67%

13%

Don’t know

14%

11%

10%

14%

59% think it is unlikely that a Labor Government will be able to pay for their policies and election commitments without making more cuts in spending after the election – only 27% think it is likely.

35% of Labor voters think it is unlikely.

Government decisions

Jun 24, 2013

Q. Thinking about the decisions the Labor Government has made over the last few years, do you think the following decisions were good or bad for Australia?

 

Total good

Total bad

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

Sep 12 good

Sep 12 bad

Expanding dental health services for people on low incomes

73%

8%

28%

45%

15%

4%

4%

5%

77%

5%

Increasing the tax free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200

72%

8%

34%

38%

15%

5%

3%

5%

75%

4%

Increasing the age pension

67%

14%

27%

40%

16%

10%

4%

4%

70%

11%

Protecting large areas of Australia’s marine environment in a network of marine reserves

66%

10%

27%

39%

19%

6%

4%

5%

67%

8%

Introducing the National Disability Insurance Scheme

63%

9%

26%

37%

20%

5%

4%

8%

58%

5%

Increasing superannuation from 9% to 12%

62%

14%

24%

38%

19%

10%

4%

5%

68%

9%

Stimulus spending to tackle the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)

50%

26%

21%

29%

19%

17%

9%

5%

54%

22%

Introducing a tax on large profits of mining companies

49%

27%

21%

28%

20%

15%

12%

5%

49%

25%

Building the NBN (National Broadband Network)

48%

28%

22%

26%

18%

15%

13%

6%

43%

28%

Paid parental leave

48%

22%

14%

34%

24%

13%

9%

5%

52%

20%

Spending on new school buildings during the GFC

47%

26%

12%

35%

20%

15%

11%

6%

53%

22%

Implementing the recommendations of the Gonski report to increase education funding

46%

22%

17%

29%

23%

12%

10%

9%

54%

8%

Abolished WorkChoices

42%

27%

23%

19%

22%

17%

10%

10%

42%

27%

Introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change

32%

48%

14%

18%

16%

18%

30%

4%

28%

51%

The two most popular decisions of the Labor Government are ‘expanding dental health services for people on low incomes’ (73% total good) and ‘increasing the tax free threshold from $6,000 to $18,000 (72% total good).  The least popular decisions were ‘Implementing the recommendations of the Gonski report (46% total good), ‘Abolished WorkChoices’ (42% total good) and ‘introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change’ (32% total good).

The only issue which received a net negative response was ‘introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change’, where 48% of respondents believed it to be bad for Australia.

Since this question was previously asked last September, perceptions of most decisions have become a little more negative – with the exceptions of the “carbon tax” which shifted from 28% to 32% ‘good’, the ‘NDIS’ which shifted from 58% to 63% ‘good’ and building the NBN which shifted from 43% to 48% ‘good’.

The largest negative shifts were for the ‘Gonski recommendations’ (down 8% to 46%), increasing super (down 6% to 62%) and spending on schools during the GFC (down 6% to 47%).

Government’s management of economy

May 6, 2013

Q. How would you rate the government’s management of the Australian economy compared to how governments in other countries around the world have managed their economies?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total good

39%

71%

14%

62%

Total poor

32%

4%

58%

10%

Very good

11%

26%

1%

18%

Good

28%

45%

13%

44%

Neither good nor poor

24%

21%

24%

22%

Poor

17%

4%

31%

6%

Very poor

15%

*

27%

4%

Don’t know

5%

3%

3%

6%

39% think that government’s management of the Australian economy compared to how governments in other countries around the world have managed their economies has been good/very good and 32% think it has been poor/very poor.

Next election

Jan 29, 2013

Q. Do you think the Labor Government should run its full term until later in 2013 when the next Federal election is due or should a new election be held now?

 

5
Sept
11

5
Dec
11

30
Jan
12

5
Mar
12

30
Apr
12

Total

29
Jan
13

Vote ALP

Vote Lib

Vote Greens

Should run to later in 2013

40%

47%

48%

46%

48%

51%

84%

25%

76%

Should hold election now

48%

41%

41%

44%

42%

35%

4%

66%

12%

Don’t know

12%

12%

10%

10%

10%

14%

12%

8%

12%

51% think the Labor Government should run its full term until later in 2013 and 35% think an election should be held now. 14% don’t know.

Opinions have shifted away having an early election since this question was polled in April 2012.

Groups better off under Labor or Liberal Government

Sep 3, 2012

Q. Do you think the following groups of people would be better off under a Labor Government or a Liberal Government?

 

Better off under a Labor Government

Better off under a Liberal Government

Makes no difference

Don’t know

Difference

(Labor minus Liberal)

Pensioners

36%

20%

29%

15%

+16

Unemployed people

41%

14%

29%

15%

+27

People with disabilities

36%

16%

30%

17%

+20

People and families on low incomes

44%

17%

25%

13%

+27

People and families on middle incomes

26%

33%

28%

13%

-7

People and families on high incomes

11%

54%

21%

13%

-43

Single parents

39%

16%

29%

16%

+23

Average working people

32%

27%

28%

13%

+5

Large corporations

9%

57%

20%

14%

-48

Banks and other financial institutions

9%

47%

27%

16%

-38

Small businesses

21%

37%

26%

16%

-16

Families with children at public school

38%

19%

28%

15%

+19

Families with children at private school

14%

44%

27%

16%

-30

Recent immigrants to Australia

35%

17%

30%

17%

+18

Farmers and other agricultural producers

19%

32%

31%

19%

-13

Respondents were substantially more likely to think the following groups would be better off under a Labor Government – unemployed, low income families, single parents and people with disabilities.

They were substantially more likely to think the following groups would be better off under a Liberal Government – large corporations, high income families, banks and financial institutions, families with children at private schools.

Groups better off under by Respondent Category 

Respondent category (respondent or family member is in this category) Groups better or worse off

Better off under a Labor Government

Better off under a Liberal Government

Makes no difference

Don’t know

Difference

(Labor minus Liberal)

Pensioners Pensioners

41%

25%

26%

8%

+16

Unemployed Unemployed people

42%

13%

30%

15%

+29

Have a disability People with disabilities

44%

18%

31%

8%

+26

On low income People and families on low incomes

44%

17%

26%

13%

+27

On middle income People and families on middle incomes

25%

37%

27%

11%

-12

On high income People and families on high incomes

16%

58%

15%

11%

-42

Single parent Single parents

38%

19%

27%

16%

+19

Working Average working people

30%

29%

29%

12%

+1

Work for a large corporation Large corporations

11%

57%

18%

14%

-46

Work for a bank or other financial institution Banks and other financial institutions

23%

45%

16%

16%

-22

Work for a small business Small businesses

24%

37%

25%

14%

-13

Self-employed or own a small business Small businesses

24%

40%

20%

17%

-16

Have children at public school Families with children at public school

39%

17%

27%

16%

+22

Have children at private school Families with children at private school

21%

42%

22%

15%

-21

Recent immigrants to Australia * Recent immigrants to Australia

63%

9%

20%

9%

+54

Farmers and other agricultural producers Farmers and other agricultural producers

27%

38%

19%

17%

-11

* small sample – less than 100

This table shows groups affected mainly held views similar to the total sample. The main exceptions were that people with disabilities were more likely to think they would be better off under Labor, people working in banks/finance were more likely to think banks/financial institutions would be better off under Labor and people with children at primary school were more likely to think they would be better off under a Labor Government.

Labor’s Woes

Jul 16, 2012

If you offer people two options to choose from–vote for a lite version of political ideology or the real thing–most people will vote for the real thing. It’s an emotional reaction–not entirely rationale. And, therein, my friends, lies a big problem faced by Labor.

I thought about Labor’s problem this morning after reading a fine column by Ross Gittins, entitled, “Prejudices rule when judging Labor”. I think Gittins misses, or under-emphasizes, two very important points. But, let’s start with what he gets right:

The conundrum is why so many people could be so dissatisfied when almost all the objective indicators show us travelling well: the economy growing at about its trend rate, low unemployment, low inflation, rising real wages, low government debt – even a low current account deficit.

That is correct. We got it good here (see: US unemployment above 8 percent, for example). Hang on to that thought for a moment…

And:

Similarly, only the one-eyed could believe an Abbott government would have much better policies. It’s likely to be less populist in government than it is opposition but, even so, Tony Abbott is no economic reformer.

Yup. The Empty Suit, leader of the Coalition, is vapid, entirely void of anything to say that is either true, new or useful about the future.

It gets even more bizarre. The Empty Suit, and his shills in business, are so craven, they resort to the Big Lie, as Gittins observes:

So, for instance, a favourite commercial tactic at present is to search for, and give false prominence to, all stories that portray our almost-dead union movement as a threatening monster about to engulf big business.

Boosting productivity equals making industrial relations law more anti-union. End of story. [emphasis added]

Ah, yes, the Big Labor fear campaign. Again, The Empty Suit is fully engaged with the American Disease–the Big Labor threat figures prominently in the US where Republicans use it at every turn, even though “Big Labor” is, representing 7 percent in the private sector and maybe 11 percent overall, more like “Big Labor”.

The Prime Minister also has a host of other issues, not the least of which is sexism in politics–there is always a higher barrier women have to leap over when it comes to the judgement of the chattering media and know-it-alls (see: Hillary Clinton–after all, though she may have actually believed in it, her vote for the Iraq War was, at least, partially driven by the conventional wisdom that, to run for president, she had to look “strong” i.e., appear to be willing to spill blood like a man…well, that didn’t work out too well but I digress).

But, Gittins sidesteps two really fundamental points. First, remember where we started? That given the choice between ideological “lite” and the real thing people opt for the real thing. So, for example, if you run around harping, stupidly, about the need to have a balanced budget, which Labor is doing, you sound just like The Empty Suit.

For the love of God, there is no friggin’ debt crisis or even a serious debt problem–as Gittins points out. The end result of sounding like The Empty Suit–government spends too much and needs to cut back–is that (a) it leads to bad policy and people losing their jobs because of an obsession with cutting public sector jobs and (b) voters actually start believing the nonsense.

And voters are inclined, then, to vote for the real thing–because The Empty Suit, and his chorus of ideological midgets, actually hate government.

Second, and to the bigger point–and a bit wonky. People vote not based on reason, but emotion.  It is a huge–fatal–mistake to hang on to polls that say Labor’s actual policies are supported. That is a path to defeat.

May I suggest people read “The Political Brain” by Drew Westen. Here is the upshot:

In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven’t decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates’ policy positions.

The political types, and the wonky types, might not like that. But, if you ignore what people emotionally feel, you are dead politically. And, it seems like this is what Labor is banking on to save its bacon–once people focus on how great are policies are (see: carbon pricing), all will be good.

Nope.

Twitter @jonathantasini

Attributes of the Labor Party

May 28, 2012

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

 

28 May 12

% change

Divided

30%

36%

66%

73%

+7%

Will promise to do anything to win votes

57%

63%

72%

70%

-2%

Out of touch with ordinary people

44%

48%

61%

58%

-3%

Moderate

65%

63%

51%

50%

-1%

Looks after the interests of working people

39%

47%

+8%

Understands the problems facing Australia

62%

54%

40%

46%

+6%

Have a vision for the future

43%

41%

-2%

Too close to the big corporate and financial interests

46%

36%

-10%

Extreme

25%

26%

38%

31%

-7%

Clear about what they stand for

28%

31%

+3%

Has a good team of leaders

60%

52%

34%

29%

-5%

Keeps its promises

44%

33%

20%

22%

+2%

The Labor Party’s main attributes were – divided (73%), will promise anything to win votes (70%), out of touch with ordinary people (58%) and moderate (50%).
Main changes since last April were – too close to the big corporate and financial interests (down 10% to 36%), looks after the interests of working people (up 8% to 47%), divided (up 7% to 73%), extreme (down 7% to 31%) and understands the problems facing Australia (up 6% to 46%).

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Interest Rates

May 21, 2012

Q. As far as you know, are interest rates currently higher or lower than when the Labor Government was elected in 2007?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total higher

20%

17%

24%

14%

Total lower

35%

44%

36%

42%

A lot higher

4%

3%

6%

1%

A little higher

16%

14%

18%

13%

About the same

18%

17%

22%

12%

A little lower

25%

31%

26%

31%

A lot lower

10%

13%

10%

11%

Don’t know

26%

21%

19%

33%

20% of respondents think interest rates are currently higher than when the Labor Government was elected in 2007 and 35% think they are lower. 18% think they are about the same.

Respondents most likely to think interest rates are lower were men (44%) and those aged 55+ (51%). 39% of respondents aged under 35 didn’t know.

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