Royal Commissioner

Sep 8, 2015

Q. Dyson Heydon, the head of the Royal Commission into trade unions has ruled that he will continue as the head of the Royal Commission after being accused of bias for agreeing to appear at a Liberal Party fund-raiser. Do you think Dyson Heydon should continue as Royal Commissioner or should he stand down?

Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Should continue 32% 14% 62% 17% 23%
Should stand down 42% 64% 16% 66% 50%
Don’t know 27% 22% 22% 17% 27%

The largest proportion of Australian’s believes that Dyson Heydon should stand down (42%), however 32% think he should continue. 27% can give no opinion.

Amongst Liberal/National voters the majority (62%) think he should continue, while amongst Labor (64%), Greens (66%) and Other voters (50%) the majority think he should stand down.

Note: by way of comparison the question below was published in the Essential Report on the 25th August 2015. 

Q. Reports that the Trade Union Royal Commissioner, Dyson Heydon, had accepted an invitation to speak at Liberal Party event has led to allegations of conflict of interest. Which of the following statements is closest to your view?

Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
There is a conflict of interest and he should step down as Royal Commissioner 38% 56% 18% 55% 45%
There is no conflict of interest and he should continue as Royal Commissioner 25% 9% 50% 6% 21%
Don’t know 37% 35% 32% 39% 34%

Is Royal Commission biased?

Sep 8, 2015

Q. Do you believe the Royal Commission into Trade Unions is biased against unions and the Labor Party?

Total     Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other
Yes – biased against unions 5% 6% 4% 2% 7%
Yes – biased against Labor Party 7% 9% 7% 16% 6%
Yes – based against both unions and Labor 24% 43% 4% 43% 26%
No – not biased at all 29% 11% 60% 6% 21%
Don’t know 35% 31% 26% 33% 40%

29% of Australians – the largest proportion who gave an answer – believe that the Royal Commission into Trade Unions is not biased.

However, 35% could not give an opinion.

24% believe the Royal Commission is biased against both unions and the Labor Party, while a further 5% believe it to be biased against just unions and 7% biased just against the Labor party.

Royal Commission into trade unions

Aug 25, 2015

Q. Do you think the Royal Commission into Trade Unions is a legitimate investigation into union practices or is it a political attack on unions and the Labor Party?

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

A political attack on Labor and the unions

27%

52%

6%

42%

25%

A legitimate investigation of union practices

39%

17%

70%

14%

41%

Don’t know

34%

31%

24%

44%

34%

39% think the that the Trade Union Royal Commission is a legitimate investigation of union practices and 27% think that it is a political attack on Labor and the unions. 34% did not know.

Views were related to voting intention – 70% of Liberal/National voters think it is a legitimate investigation of union practices while 52% of Labor voters think it is a political attack on Labor and the unions.

40% of full-time workers and 35% of part-time workers think it is a legitimate investigation of union practices.

Other political advertising

Apr 15, 2014

Q. And would you support or oppose a limit on the amount other organisations or individuals (e.g. trade unions, business groups) can spend on advertising in elections?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

Total support

78%

75%

80%

87%

78%

Total oppose

11%

14%

11%

8%

12%

Strongly support

48%

48%

51%

48%

52%

Support

30%

27%

29%

39%

26%

Oppose

7%

10%

6%

6%

8%

Strongly oppose

4%

4%

5%

2%

4%

Don’t know

11%

11%

8%

6%

10%

Support for a limit on selection advertising spending by other organisations was a little lower than for political parties. 78% support a limit on the amount other organisations can spend on advertising in elections and 11% oppose. Labor voters (75%) were a little less supportive than Liberal/National voters (80%) and Greens voters (87%).

Next 12 months

Dec 17, 2013

Q. Thinking about the next 12 months, do you think 2014 will be a good or bad year for each of the following?

 

Total good

Total

bad

 

Very good

Good

Neither good nor bad

Bad

Very bad

Don’t know

The Australian economy

27%

37%

2%

25%

31%

27%

10%

6%

Australian politics in general

21%

45%

2%

19%

29%

25%

20%

6%

Large companies and corporations

30%

30%

4%

26%

32%

22%

8%

8%

Small business

17%

41%

1%

16%

34%

30%

11%

8%

Trade unions

11%

37%

2%

9%

38%

24%

13%

14%

The average Australian

23%

34%

1%

22%

38%

26%

8%

5%

Your personal financial situation

31%

25%

3%

28%

39%

18%

7%

4%

Your workplace*

36%

21%

4%

32%

39%

16%

5%

3%

You and your family overall

41%

16%

7%

34%

38%

11%

5%

5%

* working people

Respondents are more likely to be positive about 2014 for “you and your family” (41% good/16% bad), “your workplace” (36%/21%) and “your personal financial situation” (31%/25%).

Compared to their opinions of 2013, they expect improvements for “Australian politics in general” (up 11% to 21% good), “large companies and corporations” (up 5% to 30%) and “small business” (up 7% to 17%) – although all of these are off low base figures.

Importance of unions

May 20, 2013

Q. And how important are unions for Australian working people today?

 

19 Mar 2012

10 Sept 12

Total

20 May 13

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Work full time

Work part time

Total important

56%

52%

56%

80%

38%

70%

54%

57%

Total not Important

35%

38%

36%

12%

59%

23%

39%

36%

Very important

19%

16%

21%

35%

8%

38%

18%

26%

Quite important

37%

36%

35%

45%

30%

32%

36%

31%

Not very important

27%

28%

24%

11%

36%

18%

25%

27%

Not at all important

8%

10%

12%

1%

23%

5%

14%

9%

Don’t know

9%

10%

8%

7%

3%

7%

7%

7%

The majority of respondents regarded unions to be important for Australian working people today (56%), whilst 36% believe that they were not important.  Belief that they are important increased 4 points from 52% in September 2012 to 56% in this week’s results.

80% of Labor voters and 70% of Greens voters believed that unions were important for Australian working people today, while Coalition voters were the most likely to regard unions as not important (59%).

The majority of full time workers (54%) and part time workers (57%) regarded unions as important for Australian working people today.

 

Trust in organisations and institutions

Oct 22, 2012

Q. How much trust do you have in the following institutions and organisations?

 

Total

trust

26 Sep 11

Total

trust

12 Jun 12

Total trust

22 Oct 12

A lot of trust

Some trust

A little trust

No trust

Don’t know

% change

The High Court

72%

60%

63%

26%

37%

21%

10%

6%

+3

The ABC

46%

54%

59%

20%

39%

26%

8%

6%

+5

The Reserve Bank

67%

49%

53%

16%

37%

28%

12%

8%

+4

Charitable organisations

61%

50%

53%

9%

44%

33%

10%

5%

+3

Environment groups

45%

32%

36%

8%

28%

35%

24%

6%

+4

The Commonwealth Public Service

  49%*

30%

33%

6%

27%

41%

16%

10%

+3

Your local council

na

na

32%

4%

28%

39%

22%

6%

na

Religious organisations

29%

27%

31%

7%

24%

28%

35%

6%

+4

Newspapers

na

26%

31%

4%

27%

45%

20%

4%

+5

Online news media

na

23%

28%

4%

24%

45%

20%

6%

+5

TV news media

na

21%

26%

5%

21%

44%

26%

4%

+5

Federal Parliament

55%

22%

26%

4%

22%

37%

32%

5%

+4

State Parliament

na

na

25%

4%

21%

37%

33%

5%

na

Business groups

38%

22%

25%

3%

22%

45%

21%

9%

+3

Trade unions

39%

22%

23%

5%

18%

32%

36%

9%

+1

Political parties

na

12%

16%

2%

14%

36%

42%

6%

+4

Note: ‘Total Trust’ is an aggregate figure achieved by adding ‘A lot of trust’ and ‘Some trust’.
* This Commonwealth Public Service figure is from a question asked in 6 Feb 12.

Overall, there have been small increases in trust across all organisations since this question was last asked in June. However, there has been no significant change in the rankings.

Respondents had most trust in the High Court (63%), the ABC (59%), charitable organisations (53%) and the Reserve Bank (53%). They had least trust in political parties (16%), trade unions (23%), business groups (25%) State Parliaments (25%), Federal Parliament (26%) and TV news media (26%).

Compared to the average, Labor voters had more trust in Federal Parliament (40%), the High Court (67%), the ABC (68%), the Reserve Bank (61%), the Commonwealth Public Service (42%), trade unions (41%), environment groups (48%) and local councils (39%).

Liberal/National voters, compared to the average, had more trust in religious organisations (37%) and business groups (32%) but less trust in Federal Parliament (21%), Commonwealth Public Service (28%), trade unions (14%) and environment groups (27%).

Trust in Institutions

Jun 12, 2012

Q. How much trust do you have in the following institutions and organisations?

 

Total

trust

26 Sep 11

Total

trust

12 Jun 12

A lot of trust

Some trust

A little trust

No trust

Don’t know

% change

The High Court

72%

60%

20%

40%

24%

9%

7%

-12

The ABC

46%

54%

15%

39%

31%

10%

6%

+8

Charitable organisations

61%

50%

8%

42%

35%

10%

5%

-9

The Reserve Bank

67%

49%

13%

36%

30%

14%

7%

-18

Environment groups

45%

32%

6%

26%

35%

25%

7%

-13

The Commonwealth Public Service

  49%*

30%

4%

26%

42%

18%

9%

-19

Religious organisations

29%

27%

5%

22%

30%

37%

6%

-2

Newspapers

na

26%

3%

23%

46%

23%

5%

na

Online news media

na

23%

2%

21%

45%

25%

6%

na

Federal Parliament

55%

22%

3%

19%

37%

36%

6%

-33

Trade unions

39%

22%

3%

19%

32%

37%

9%

-17

Business groups

38%

22%

2%

20%

46%

24%

8%

-16

TV news media

na

21%

3%

18%

43%

30%

5%

na

Political parties

na

12%

2%

10%

31%

52%

5%

na

Note: ‘Total Trust’ is an aggregate figure achieved by adding ‘A lot of trust’ and ‘Some trust’.

* This Commonwealth Public Service figure is from a question asked in 6 Feb 12.

 

Respondents had most trust in the High Court (60%), the ABC (54%), charitable organisations (50%) and the Reserve bank (49%). They had least trust in political parties (12%), TV news media (21%) Federal Parliament, trade unions and business groups (all 22%).

Trust in all institutions (except the ABC) declined since this question was asked last year. The major changes were a collapse in trust in Federal Parliament (-33%) and substantial declines in trust in the Commonwealth Public Service (-19%), the Reserve Bank (-18%), trade unions (-17%) and business groups (-16%).

Compared to the average, Labor voters had more trust in political parties (19%), Federal Parliament (34%), the High Court (67%),  the Reserve Bank (57%), the Commonwealth Public Service (42%), trade unions (36%) and  environment groups (43%).

Liberal/National voters, compared to the average, had more trust in religious organisations (33%) and business groups (27%) but less trust in Federal parliament (17%), the ABC (46%), trade unions (14%) and environment groups (21%).