Search results for "climate"
Feb 8, 2011
Essential Research

What if the hippies are right?

First published on The Drum: 08/02/2011

When the floods have receded, the cyclone has blown, the bushfires have burned out and Sydneysiders can sleep again, one question will remain: what if the hippies are right?

Willingness to convince the public there is a link between extreme weather and climate change will go a long way towards determining whether the Prime Minister can meet her own KPI of securing a price on carbon.

Recent history shows that the public responds to the need for action on climate change when warnings are being reinforced by their own experiences and observations. It is no coincidence that support for action peaked in the middle of the last drought and fell away as weather patterns returned to something close to normal.

Now we have a summer from climate apocalypse central casting – but as this week’s Essential Report shows – climate change is barely on the radar.

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Feb 1, 2011
Essential Research

Ask not what you can do for your country

First published on The Drum: 01/02/2011

The nation opened their hearts to Queensland as floods threatened communities and cities over summer, but now they are being asked to open their wallets it appears to be a very different story.

After more than two decades of being conditioned to expect prosperity without sacrifice, Australians seem in no mood to kick the can when it comes to rebuilding Queensland’s infrastructure.

In the first public polling of attitudes towards the proposed floods levy, Essential Research has found majority opposition to the modest impost proposed by the Prime Minister.

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the Government introducing a one-off levy on taxpayers to pay for damage caused by the recent floods?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Qld NSW Vic Other states
Total approve 39% 63% 23% 48% 46% 35% 37% 43%
Total disapprove 53% 31% 73% 41% 46% 57% 56% 51%
Strongly approve 12% 24% 3% 19% 11% 10% 12% 14%
Approve 27% 39% 20% 29% 35% 25% 25% 27%
Disapprove 24% 20% 28% 21% 21% 25% 27% 22%
Strongly disapprove 29% 11% 45% 20% 25% 32% 29% 29%
Don’t know 8% 6% 5% 10% 9% 8% 6% 9%

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Jan 24, 2011
Essential Research

Important election issues

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

One Two Three Total Total 11th Oct 10 Total 25th Jan 10
Management of the economy 37% 18% 10% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 5% 10% 11% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 13% 20% 16% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 3% 6% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 4% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 6% 5% 5% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 3% 3% 4% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 5% 8% 8% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 10% 8% 12% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 2% 3% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 5% 5% 6% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 6% 8% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 2% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 2% 5% 4% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

65% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 49% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 30% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Only 10% rate addressing climate change as one of their three most important issues and 6% rate ensuring a quality water supply.

Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in the importance of controlling interest rates (from 15% to 21%) and a decrease in the importance of addressing climate change (from 16% to 10%).

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Jan 24, 2011
Essential Research

Important election issues

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 65% 63% 77% 47%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 33% 20% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 52% 47% 37%
Protecting the environment 13% 12% 6% 42%
A fair industrial relations system 10% 18% 5% 8%
Political leadership 16% 11% 25% 14%
Addressing climate change 10% 10% 5% 22%
Controlling interest rates 21% 17% 22% 19%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 30% 33% 32% 18%
Ensuring a quality water supply 6% 4% 6% 5%
Housing affordability 16% 15% 13% 21%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 18% 17% 19% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 5% 5% 8% 5%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 15%
Managing population growth 11% 8% 12% 9%

Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate ensuring a quality education for all children (33%) and a fair industrial relations system (18%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (77%) and political leadership (25%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (42%), addressing climate change (22%) and treatment of asylum seekers (15%).

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Jan 24, 2011
Essential Research

Party best handling important election issues

Q. And which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 33% 43% 2% 22%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 39% 33% 4% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 33% 33% 7% 27%
Protecting the environment 16% 19% 40% 24%
A fair industrial relations system 40% 30% 5% 25%
Political leadership 28% 37% 4% 31%
Addressing climate change 18% 20% 34% 28%
Controlling interest rates 22% 40% 2% 35%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 36% 33% 4% 27%
Ensuring a quality water supply 21% 28% 20% 31%
Housing affordability 26% 30% 7% 37%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 28% 35% 4% 32%
Security and the war on terrorism 23% 37% 4% 36%
Treatment of asylum seekers 20% 33% 12% 35%
Standing up for regular Australian working families 41% 27% 6% 25%
Managing population growth 21% 36% 7% 37%
Making sure Australian working people got fair treatment at their workplace 41% 29% 6% 25%

Labor is trusted most to handle a fair industrial relations system (40%), ensuring a quality education for all children (39%) and standing up for regular Australian working families (41%).

The Liberals are trusted most to handle management of the economy (43%), controlling interest rates (40%), political leadership (37%) and security and the war on terrorism (37%).

In October, Labor was considered substantially better to handle 5 of the issues surveyed and Liberals 5 issues – compared to this survey where Labor leads on 4 issues and Liberals on 8 issues. The Liberals have now established a lead on political leadership (+9%), water supply (+7%), and taxation (+7%).

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Dec 21, 2010
Essential Research

Polls don’t kill people, people kill people

First Published on The Drum 21/12/2010

If our politicians are feeling bloody and bruised after a torrid year of spills and thrills, spare a thought for the one group on the national stage that had a harder time of it in 2010 – the humble pollster.

This was the year when hand wringing about the malign impact of political research became a national sport; if there was a problem with politics, political research was the cause. We were to blame for the uninspiring election campaign; for the dumbing down of political reporting; for robbing the ALP of its soul.

So as a purveyor of the Dark Art I want to end the year with a plea for understanding for the minority group I am part of, stealing the catchcry of the Shooters Lobby in the 1990s to proudly declare ‘polls don’t kill people, people kill people’.

Before doing so, I will readily admit that political research can be put to poor use – running focus groups to get ‘permission’ from the electorate to pursue particular policies is to misunderstand the point of such research.
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Nov 30, 2010
Essential Research

The NBN and the Spirit of Christmas

First Published on The Drum 30/11/2010

The magic of Christmas lies in the expectation. You hang out the stocking, leave a piece of cake and a stubbie for Santa and head off to bed.

When you wake up, there it is laid out for you, something shiny and new that you really, really wanted.

In this spirit it should come as no surprise that the Federal Parliament’s final act of the year was the passage of legislation enabling the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the embodiment of Labor’s hope that something better lies around the corner.

And there are grounds for optimism. In an era of cynicism with nearly every aspect of politics – and despite a concerted Opposition attack – this week’s Essential Report shows strong and increasing support for the network.

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Oct 26, 2010
Essential Research

So where is the Left?

First Published on The Drum 26/10/2010

If political progressives want to stop the ALP from drifting to the Right, energetically backing the decision to move women and children out of immigration detention looks like a good place to start.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Immigration minister Chris Bowen took the new minority government’s first truly brave decision last week, yet all they got was a sullen acceptance from a Left still acting like jilted lovers after the disappointments of the election campaign.

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