|Has the right temperament to be Prime Minister||
|Has the right temperament to be Prime Minister|
|Would be embarrassing as Prime Minister of Australia||
|Is embarrassing as Prime Minister of Australia|
|Is someone that can effectively represent Australia’s interests||
|Is someone that can effectively represent Australia’s interests|
|Will serve my interests as Prime Minister||
|Serves my interests as Prime Minister|
|Is too influenced by their religious beliefs||
|Is too influenced by their religious beliefs|
|Is the best person to lead their party||
|Is the best person to lead their party|
|Is someone that understands the challenges facing Australian women||
|Is someone that understands the challenges facing Australian women|
|Has good parental leave policies||
|Has good parental leave policies|
|Has difficulty controlling their aggression||
|Has difficulty controlling their aggression|
The major perceived differences between the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott were that Julia Gillard was more likely to be someone that “understands the challenges facing Australian women” (+23%), “has the right temperament to be Prime Minister” (+16%) and has “good parental leave policies” (+9%).
Tony Abbott was more likely to be associated with “too influenced by their religious beliefs” (+24%), “has difficulty controlling their aggression” (+19%) and “would be embarrassing as Prime Minister of Australia” (+7%).
All this fighting and cussing in Canberra has at least silenced the elephant in the Lodge, that $28 per tonne price on carbon.
It seems weeks since Tony Abbott strapped on a reflective vest and imposed himself on a Queanbeyan lunch room, but it’s only months until the price takes affect.
At this point one of two things happens – the sky falls in and Abbott blames the carbon tax or the sky doesn’t fall in and Abbott blames the carbon tax.
So as Julia Gillard prepares to strap on the safety helmet and assume (resume?) the position, here are a few clues from the polling to help her though the difficult times ahead.
1. Never again call the Carbon Price a Tax – It’s not and your concession that a price on carbon as part of the transition to an Emissions Trading Scheme was one of the most spectacular own goals in recent political history. Language does matter.
2. Take it Back to the Science – our polling shows that the biggest single determinant on supporting action on climate change is not party affiliation, age or gender but belief in the reality of climate change. The ability of the denial movement to cloud the science on climate change was decisive. Once the facts were clouded science never really had a chance, being a discipline based on scepticism as it is. Giving science a voice and then finding a forum to spread its word may be too important to trust to the media.
3. Tell the whole Story – support for a carbon price shifts from majority opposition to majority support if the question changes from support for a price on carbon, to include the compensation and investment in renewables that are part of the package. Getting the airtime to get the whole sentence out is vital to selling the measure.
4. Focus on the Car not the Carburettor – the great myth about the carbon price is that the public went from supporters to opponents in one fell swoop of Abbott vitriol. The reality is that the decline in support was first based on confusion as the Rudd-Wong dream team (and we’re talking sleep here) got obsessed with the detail of the CPRS. After 12 months of technical debate most had lost interest and drifted into indifference and confusion. From there they were easy pickings for a scare campaign.
5. Remember the best response to a scare campaign is a scare campaign – Running the high road of caring about future generations will never trump fear and loathing. Better point out as the most carbon-exposed economy in the developed world there are huge economic dangers if we sit back and wait for others to act. Get the markets scared, there is nothing rational about denial.
6. Remember this is the great moral challenge of our times – on this K Rudd was K Rect; it was the backflip that killed him. Dealing with the challenges of climate change is why we entrust our nations to governments – we expert them to make tough decisions in our long-term interests, even if we don’t always like the medicine.
7. And finally, stop pretending you didn’t do something that was brave and right – Like taxing our natural resources, building a national broadband network and giving the disabled a better deal. These are the anchor points of a Labor Government to be proud of. If only it would let us.
Q. Which political party do you think best represents the interests of –
|Families with young children||34%||31%||5%||29%|
|Working people on average incomes||40%||32%||5%||23%|
|Working people on low incomes||43%||27%||6%||24%|
|Working people on high incomes||13%||63%||2%||22%|
|People on welfare||38%||23%||8%||30%|
|Small businesses and self-employed||20%||47%||4%||29%|
|The next generation of Australians||19%||31%||17%||33%|
|Rural and regional Australians||18%||34%||11%||36%|
The Labor Party is considered the party which best represents the interests of working people on low and average incomes, people on welfare and pensioners. The Liberal Party is considered best at representing the interests of people on high incomes, big business, small business and self-employed, rural and regional Australians and the next generation. The Greens’ main strengths are in representing the next generation, indigenous people and ethnic communities.
There was little difference between the major parties in terms of representing the interests of families with young children, students, indigenous people and ethnic communities.
Q. Who do you think has the best approach to funding the damage from the recent floods across Australia?
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens|
|Julia Gillard and the Labor Party||36%||79%||4%||55%|
|Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party||28%||3%||60%||8%|
Q. Who would you trust most to manage the program of rebuilding infrastructure after the recent floods across Australia?
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens|
|Julia Gillard and the Labor Party||36%||78%||3%||63%|
|Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party||35%||5%||75%||6%|
Overall, respondents tend to favour the approach of Julia Gillard in funding the flood damage – 36% prefer the Labor Party approach, 28% the Liberal party and 36% don’t know.
However, in terms of managing the rebuilding of infrastructure, 36% favour Julia Gillard and the Labor Party and 35% favour Tony Abbott and the Liberal party.
Nations may rise and fall by the sweep of history but governments are decided at the kitchen table, where all politics becomes not just local, but personal.
This is the place where bills and mortgage payments are pored over, family budgets are scrutinised, jobs and school are discussed. It is the space in family life where things have to add up.
Anyone trying to dig Labor out of its current hole could start by turning their attention to the kitchen table, because if this week’s Essential Report is anything to go by, Labor is in the middle of an increasingly messy food-fight.
EMC’s consulting pollster Vic Fingerhut has penned this memo to Democrats in the lead-up to Congressional elections. His words of wisdom ring true here too.
Despite the feel good messages from the Democratic campaign committees, if messaging frames and context of voter choice on election day remain as they are today, we are heading for disaster.
Two weeks ago, I sent you a memo underlining the fact that while our opponents have a simple and clear frame for the short-term issues in the current election, we have had none.
And despite the millions spent on our side…nothing has changed.
Q. If another global financial crisis develops in the next few years, which leader and party do you think would be best to handle it?
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens|
|Julia Gillard and the Labor Party||42%||88%||5%||66%|
|Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party||35%||2%||80%||6%|
42% think Julia Gillard and the Labor Party would be best at handling another global financial crisis if it was to develop and 35% think Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party would be best.
Those aged 25-54 prefer the Labor Party over the Liberals 46% to 30%, while those aged 55+ prefer the Liberal Party 48% to 36%. (more…)
Q. Regardless of which party is elected to Government (i.e. has a majority in the House of Representatives), which of the following Senate options do you think would be best for Australia?
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Liberal/ National||Vote Greens|
|The Government has a majority in the Senate||29%||41%||33%||5%|
|The Opposition party has a majority in the Senate||10%||3%||21%||2%|
|The Greens and the independents (like Xenophon and Fielding) together hold the balance of power in the Senate||27%||25%||27%||35%|
|The Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate||12%||14%||3%||50%|
Opinions about the balance of power in the Senate are mixed. 29% prefer the Government to have a majority and 27% prefer the Greens and independents combined to hold the balance of power. Only 12% want the Greens on their own to hold the balance of power and 10% would prefer the opposition to have a majority. Overall, 39% want one of the major parties to have a majority and 39% want minor parties to hold the balance of power.
85% of Greens voters want the Greens or Greens and independents to hold the balance of power compared to 39% of Labor voters and 30% of Liberal/National voters. (more…)