Support for Right to Protest laws

Nov 12, 2019

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding the right to protest in Australia?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 10% 51% 31% 7% 3% 9%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 31% 26% 32% 17% 15% 11%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 33% 23% 30% 18% 15% 14%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 41% 20% 28% 22% 19% 12%
  • A large majority of people agree that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society (82%), with half (51%) strongly agreeing.
  • 58% agree that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (31% disagree), and 53% agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (33% disagree).
  • Agreement was split for the statement ‘Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest’ with 47% agreeing, and 41% disagreeing.
NET: AGREE Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 84% 79% 75% 83% 86%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 60% 56% 54% 58% 62%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 54% 52% 60% 52% 48%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 50% 45% 41% 48% 52%
Base (n) 1,075 526 549 327 371 377
  • Older respondents (those aged over 55) were more likely than younger people (18-34) to agree that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society (86% to 75%), that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (62% to 54%), and that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest (52% to 41%).
  • Over 55s are less likely to agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (60% to 48%).
NET: AGREE Total Voting Intention Protest Activity
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other Participated in protest activity Not participated in protest activity
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 84% 86% 89% 85% 87% 72%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 48% 78% 33% 61% 58% 59%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 60% 47% 80% 49% 60% 41%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 39% 65% 22% 49% 47% 49%
Base (n) 1,075 325 377 107 155 682 393
  • Coalition voters were most likely to agree that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (78%) and that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest (65%). However they were least likely to agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (47%).
  • Those who have participated in a protest activity are more likely than those who have not to agree with the statements ‘The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society’ (87% to 72%) and ‘Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines oppose the proposed changes’ (46% to 27%).

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