TRENDS: Do we love the NBN?

Apr 23, 2012

Peter Lewis presents polling that shows public opinion is turning in favour of the $40 billion national broadband network.


Until now the NBN has been an abstract debate about national building and future proofing the economy on one hand, and a misguided venture designed purely to waste taxpayers’ money on the other. Now it’s about to shift from rhetoric to reality, with roll out plans for about a third of households and businesses released last week.

TRENDS: Are we crook or crooked?

Apr 2, 2012

EMC director Peter Lewis looks at the great Australian sickie.


Awareness of Superannuation Plan

May 23, 2011

Q. The Federal Government is proposing to increase superannuation payments from nine per cent to 12 per cent by 2019-20. How much have you heard about this proposal?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
A lot 4% 4% 4% 2%
Something 13% 15% 13% 17%
A little 27% 25% 32% 28%
Nothing 53% 54% 50% 53%
Don’t know 3% 2% 1% -

There was low awareness of the Government’s proposal to increase superannuation payments from nine per cent to 12 per cent by 2019-20 – only 17% say they have heard a lot or something about it.

22% of full-time workers and 16% of part-time workers have heard a lot/something about it.

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Federal politics – voting intention

May 16, 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 =1,871

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 43% 44% 44% 43%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 47% 47% 47% 46%
Labor 38.0 35% 35% 35% 36%
Greens 11.8 11% 9% 10% 11%
Other/Independent 6.6 8% 9% 8% 7%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 54% 54% 54% 52%
Labor 50.1% 46% 46% 46% 48%

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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Interest in Federal Budget

May 16, 2011

Q. Thinking about the Federal Budget – how much attention did you pay to the Federal Budget?

2009 2010 2011
Total a lot/some 66% 53% 52%
Total a little/none 31% 44% 45%
A lot 29% 18% 19%
Some 37% 35% 33%
A little 25% 29% 31%
None 6% 15% 14%
Can’t say 3% 3% 2%

Just over half (52%) of respondents said they paid a lot or some attention to the Federal Budget. This is much the same as the corresponding figure of 53% for last year’s budget.

Those most interested were Liberal/National voters (64%) and people aged 55+ (63%). Only 42% of respondents aged 18-34 paid a lot or some attention to the budget.

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Perceived Impact of Budget

May 16, 2011

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for you personally?

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for Australian businesses?

Q. Do you think the Federal Budget was good or bad for the Australian economy overall?

You personally Businesses The economy overall
2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011
Total good 22% 11% 27% 20% 36% 27%
Total bad 26% 29% 32% 25% 28% 29%
Very good 3% 2% 3% 3% 6% 4%
Good 19% 9% 24% 17% 30% 23%
Neither good nor bad 33% 44% 9% 31% 10% 25%
Bad 18% 21% 22% 19% 18% 21%
Very bad 8% 8% 10% 6% 10% 8%
Don’t know 20% 16% 31% 23% 26% 20%

Overall there was a less positive response to the 2011 budget than to the 2010 budget. The main differences were that respondents were less likely to rate the budget good and more likely to think it was neither good nor bad. The proportions who thought it was bad were similar to last year.

44% of respondents thought the Federal budget was nether good nor bad for them personally – 11% said it was good and 29% bad. The only substantial differences by demographics were that 51% of respondents aged 55+ thought it was nether good nor bad.

25% thought the budget was bad for business, 20% good and 31% said it was neither. 35% of Labor voters said it was good for business and 45% of Liberal/National voters said it was bad.

Respondents were split over whether it was good or bad for the economy overall – 27% said it was good and 29% bad. Labor voters split 50% good/9% bad compared to Liberal/National voters at 12% good/51% bad.

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Economy Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

May 16, 2011

Q. Overall, from what you have read and heard, do you think the Australian economy is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Post budget 2010 Pre budget 2011 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
The right direction 51% 45% 46% 74% 30% 46%
The wrong direction 25% 29% 29% 9% 49% 24%
Don’t know 24% 25% 25% 17% 21% 30%

Nearly half (46%) the respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 29% think it is heading in the wrong direction.

This was a little less positive than the post 2010 budget poll, but unchanged from the poll taken before the 2011 budget – which suggests that the budget has had no impact on overall perceptions of the economy.

74% of Labor voters, 30% of Liberal/National voters and 46% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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Party Best at Handling Economy

May 16, 2011

Q. Which party do you think would be best at handling the Australian economy in the interests of you and people like you?

Post budget 2010 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Labor Party 33% 30% 75% 3% 36%
Liberal Party 36% 40% 4% 84% 11%
No difference 20% 22% 17% 10% 46%
Don’t know 11% 9% 4% 3% 7%

30% think Labor the party best to handle the economy (in the interests of you and people like you) and 40% nominated the Liberal Party. This represents a shift of 7% in favour of the Liberal Party since the 2010 budget.

75% of Labor voters nominated Labor and 84% of Coalition voters nominated the Liberal Party. 46% of Greens voters said there was no difference – 36% said Labor and 11% Liberal.

Those with incomes under $600 pw favour Labor 32% to 30% while those on $1,600+ pw favour the Liberals 49% to 29%.

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Processing Asylum Seekers

May 16, 2011

Q.  The Government has announced two possible agreements with Malaysia and Papua New Guinea on asylum seekers. Under these agreements, asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia will be sent to either Malaysia or PNG for processing, and in return Australia will take a fixed number of refugees from Malaysia.

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

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Total support 40% 55% 40% 29%
Total oppose 40% 25% 49% 53%
Strongly support 11% 16% 12% 5%
Support 29% 39% 28% 24%
Oppose 20% 16% 19% 33%
Strongly oppose 20% 9% 30% 20%
Don’t know 19% 20% 12% 17%

Respondents were divided over the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia – 40% support and 40% oppose. Labor voters were more likely to support the plan (55%) while Greens voters were most likely to oppose it (53%).

There were no substantial differences by demographic groups.

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Processing Asylum Seekers

May 16, 2011

Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia if it means it will cost taxpayers substantially more than it would if we just processed asylum seekers on the mainland in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Total support 24% 35% 23% 15%
Total oppose 60% 49% 66% 69%
Strongly support 6% 8% 6% 3%
Support 18% 27% 17% 12%
Oppose 29% 31% 25% 35%
Strongly oppose 31% 18% 41% 34%
Don’t know 16% 16% 11% 16%

Respondents were more likely to oppose the plan to send asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia to PNG and Malaysia if it means it will cost taxpayers substantially more than it would if we just processed asylum seekers on the mainland in Australia – 24% support and 60% oppose.

Labor voters showed the largest shift in opinion if increased cost to taxpayers was taken into account  – their opposition increased from 25% to 49%.

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