Essential Report

Agreement with AUKUS implications

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Australia recently announced a trilateral partnership with the US and UK (known as AUKUS) which will deliver a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

The new security pact sees Australia cancel its previous deal with France’s Naval Group to build conventionally powered submarines.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the new AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
Australia is right to build strong relations with the US and UK for its national defence 62% 8% 33% 29% 30% 5% 3%
The AUKUS partnership strains Australia’s trade relations with China who see it as a threat 55% 8% 20% 35% 37% 5% 3%
The AUKUS partnership may endanger future trade deals with France and the EU 48% 13% 16% 32% 39% 9% 4%
The AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best security and economic interests 54% 12% 26% 28% 34% 7% 5%

 

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia is right to build strong relations with the US and UK for its national defence 62% 68% 56% 49% 58% 77% 59% 78% 44% 58%
The AUKUS partnership strains Australia’s trade relations with China who see it as a threat 55% 61% 49% 49% 54% 61% 57% 57% 65% 55%
The AUKUS partnership may endanger future trade deals with France and the EU 48% 49% 47% 47% 47% 49% 53% 47% 64% 48%
The AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best security and economic interests 54% 62% 46% 45% 50% 66% 49% 72% 36% 47%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • While 62% think it is good for Australia to strengthen relations with the US and UK through the AUKUS partnership, 55% acknowledge it will strain the trading relationship with China and 48% see the risk to relationships with France and other EU countries.
  • Just over half think the AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best economic and security interests (54%).
  • The partnership appeals to Coalition voters, who are most likely to think it is right to build strong relations with the UK and US (78%) and agree that the deal is in Australia’s best interests (72%).

National security and AUKUS partnership

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Thinking about the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership, which is closer to your view?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will make Australia more secure 45% 47% 44% 34% 40% 60% 39% 62% 30% 38%
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will not affect Australia’s security 36% 34% 37% 48% 36% 24% 39% 27% 40% 33%
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will make Australia less secure 19% 19% 19% 18% 24% 15% 22% 12% 30% 29%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • Less than half think the AUKUS partnership will make Australia more secure (45%). 36% think it will not affect our security and 19% think we are now at more risk.
  • Those aged over 55 and Coalition voters are most likely to believe Australia is now more secure due to the AUKUS partnership.

Managing Australia’s relationship with China

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Overall, which is closest to your view about Australia’s relationship with China?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia’s relationship with China is a positive opportunity to be realised 10% 13% 7% 14% 11% 6% 11% 10% 12% 8%
Australia’s relationship with China is a complex relationship to be managed 66% 63% 69% 65% 64% 70% 66% 66% 66% 61%
Australia’s relationship with China is a threat to be confronted 24% 24% 23% 21% 25% 24% 23% 24% 21% 31%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • Over twice as many people think Australia’s relationship with China is a threat to be confronted than a positive opportunity to be realised (24% to 10%). However most believe it is a complex relationship to be managed.
  • Younger people aged 18-34 are more likely to see the opportunity for a positive relationship with China than those aged over 55 (14% to 6%).

Federal government response to Covid-19

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02
Very poor 16% 16% 13% 16% 13% 12% 10% 6% 7% 5% 6% 5% 4%
Quite poor 20% 20% 22% 19% 19% 17% 14% 12% 10% 7% 8% 7% 11%
Neither good nor poor 21% 24% 24% 28% 23% 26% 22% 25% 21% 18% 24% 19% 19%
Quite good 28% 29% 32% 28% 32% 33% 38% 40% 40% 39% 39% 42% 42%
Very good 15% 10% 9% 10% 14% 11% 15% 18% 22% 31% 23% 27% 25%
TOTAL: Poor 35% 36% 35% 35% 31% 30% 24% 18% 17% 12% 14% 12% 14%
TOTAL: Good 43% 39% 41% 38% 46% 44% 53% 58% 62% 70% 62% 69% 67%
Base (n) 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,098 1,100 1,099 1,104 1,100 1,368 1,124 1,074 1,109 1,092

 

TOTAL: Good 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03
NSW 41% 34% 34% 39% 49% 44% 62% 56% 66% 69% 64%
VIC 39% 35% 37% 33% 39% 40% 42% 57% 55% 65% 51%
QLD 43% 45% 44% 40% 46% 48% 54% 56% 63% 69% 66%
SA 54% 48% 45% 48% 51% 48% 58% 66% 62% 78% 68%
WA 51% 51% 53% 37% 51% 42% 49% 56% 65% 75% 66%
  • 43% of people rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak as quite good or very good (39% two weeks ago), with 35% rating it as quite poor or very poor.
  • Positive rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has increased in NSW from 34% a fortnight ago to 41%, in VIC from 35% to 39%, and in SA from 48% to 54%.

State government response to Covid-19

Sep 14, 2021

Q. How would you rate your state government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

TOTAL: Good 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02
NSW 46% 40% 42% 47% 54% 57% 69% 68% 73% 75% 72% 72% 71%
VIC 50% 44% 56% 54% 49% 50% 48% 63% 58% 62% 49% 59% 61%
QLD 65% 67% 66% 60% 62% 61% 65% 68% 72% 75% 73% 76% 78%
SA 67% 76% 68% 73% 68% 67% 67% 71% 75% 85% 78% 79% 80%
WA 87% 78% 87% 82% 77% 86% 75% 77% 84% 91% 85% 88% 80%
  • Positive rating of the state government’s response to Covid-19 has increased in both NSW and VIC by 6 percentage points respectively (now 46% and 50% respectively).
  • After weeks of falling ratings, this is the first improvement seen in both states since the first half of August. However, we are yet to see these ratings recover to their high levels in the first quarter of the year.
  • While still a relatively high rating, positive rating of the SA government’s response to Covid-19 has dropped by 9 percentage points to 67% in the last fortnight.
  • Contrastingly, positive rating of the WA government’s handling of Covid-19 has increased 9 percentage points to 87%. Both SA and WA ratings reflect those seen a month ago.
  • Positive rating of the QLD government is at 65%, consistent with last month (66%).

Views towards reopening international borders

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Thinking about reopening Australia’s international borders, which of the following is closer to your view?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
We need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high 20% 24% 17% 20% 23% 19% 12% 26% 18% 24%
We need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening 45% 43% 48% 46% 45% 45% 48% 46% 47% 43%
We cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them 34% 34% 35% 35% 32% 36% 40% 27% 34% 33%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
We need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high 24% 22% 18% 14% 15%
We need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening 49% 47% 42% 47% 39%
We cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them 27% 30% 40% 40% 46%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • When thinking about reopening Australia’s international borders, 45% think we need to accept some deaths but must take every reasonable step to minimise deaths, even if it means slowing our reopening.
  • A third (34%) think we cannot accept any deaths that could be prevented by keeping our borders closed until it’s safe to reopen them. 20% think we need to accept some deaths to reopen our borders as the cost of remaining closed is too high.
  • Men are more likely than women to think the cost of remaining closed is too high (24% to 17%), as are Coalition voters compared to all other voters (26% to 15%).

Views towards state border closures

Sep 14, 2021

Q. Thinking about state border closures, which of the following is closer to your view?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary 41% 39% 42% 37% 44% 40% 46% 33% 41% 41%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated 37% 39% 35% 45% 36% 31% 33% 42% 36% 39%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated 23% 22% 23% 18% 20% 29% 21% 24% 23% 20%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145
  • 41% of people think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary.
  • On the other hand, 37% think these states should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated, and 23% think this should be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated.
  • Those aged 18-34 are more likely than older cohorts to think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated (45%, compared to 36% of those aged 35-54 and 31% of those over 55).
  • Those aged over 55 are the most likely to think this should only be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated (29% to 20% of those aged 35-54 and 18% of those aged 18-34).
  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary 28% 31% 55% 47% 67%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated 46% 39% 30% 36% 17%
States with low or no Covid-19 cases should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated 25% 30% 15% 17% 16%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • Western Australians and Queenslanders are the most likely to think states with low or no Covid-19 cases should be allowed to keep their borders to other states closed for as long as they think is necessary (67% and 55% respectively).
  • NSW residents are most likely to think these states should be required to reopen their borders to other states when 80% of the adult (16+) population is fully vaccinated (46%).
  • Victorians are most likely to think opening state borders should be required when 80% of the total population (including children) is fully vaccinated (30%).

Comprehension and confidence in PM’s plan to ‘safely reopen’ Australia

Sep 14, 2021

Q. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has a “safe plan to ensure that Australia can open up again with confidence”.

Thinking about this statement, which of the following applies to you?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I understand the plan and have confidence in it 26% 34% 19% 30% 27% 23% 18% 40% 23% 19%
I understand the plan but don’t have confidence in it 39% 38% 40% 38% 38% 40% 49% 30% 40% 43%
I’m aware of the plan but don’t understand it 15% 14% 17% 15% 13% 17% 12% 17% 19% 14%
I’m not aware of the plan 20% 14% 25% 16% 22% 20% 21% 13% 19% 24%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 341 374 385 367 389 103 145

 

  State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
I understand the plan and have confidence in it 32% 26% 23% 22% 23%
I understand the plan but don’t have confidence in it 38% 43% 35% 38% 41%
I’m aware of the plan but don’t understand it 17% 14% 15% 18% 14%
I’m not aware of the plan 14% 17% 27% 22% 22%
Base (n) 352 274 217 89 111
  • About 4 in 10 (39%) say they understand the PM’s plan to ‘safely reopen’ Australia but don’t have confidence in it. In comparison, about a quarter (26%) say they understand the plan and have confidence in it.
  • 20% aren’t aware of this plan, and 15% are aware of it but don’t understand it.
  • Men are almost twice as likely as women to say they understand the plan and have confidence in it (34% to 19% respectively). Whereas women are more likely than men to say they aren’t aware of the plan (25% to 14%).
  • Besides men, those aged 18-34 (30%) and Coalition voters (40%) are more likely than others to say they understand and have confidence in the PM’s plan.
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