The media works in eight-hour news cycles, politicians live and die by three-year cycles, while the planet’s climate is working on a significantly longer time frame.
The way these three cycles interplay over the next few months will determine not only the outcome of the next federal election but whether Australia will be a beneficiary or a victim of the shift in energy use that climate change will inevitably require*.
As this week’s Essential Report shows the Government has taken a short-term hammering after it’s decision to move on a carbon price. Not only has the Government failed to win popular support for its carbon pricing scheme, this has translated into a 4 per cent turnaround in the Two Party Preferred.
Of particular concern to Labor would be the high level of strong opposition, compared to strong support for the plan and the fact that barely half of Labor voters are backing the scheme.
Q. Do you think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax until the US has established an equal or stronger carbon pricing system? (Question commissioned by Network Ten)
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens||Men||Women||Aged
45% of respondents think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax until the US has established an equal or stronger carbon pricing system and 33% think we should not delay.
Those most likely to think Australia should delay imposing a carbon pollution tax were Coalition voters (62%), men (51%) and aged 55+ (56%).
Those most likely to disagree were Greens voters (71%), Labor voters (47%) and aged 18-34 (40%).
Q. Do you support or oppose the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme from 1 July 2012, which will require industries to pay a tax based on the amount of carbon pollution they emit?
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens|
35% support the Government’s recent announcement to introduce a carbon pricing scheme and 48% oppose. The scheme is strongly supported by Greens voters (75%) and has majority support from Labor voters (54%) but is strongly opposed by Coalition voters (72%).
Respondents aged under 35 were split 36% support/37% oppose while those aged 55+ were more strongly opposed (36% support/56% oppose).
Q. Tony Abbott and the opposition claim this is a ‘backflip’ on a promise Prime Minister Gillard made before the 2010 election not to introduce a carbon tax in the next term of parliament. Which of the following statements is closest to your view:
|Total||Vote Labor||Vote Lib/Nat||Vote Greens|
|The Prime Minister has broken an election promise and should wait until after the next election before introducing a carbon pollution tax||59%||33%||86%||26%|
|The Prime Minister is showing strong leadership on an issue of national importance||27%||51%||7%||67%|
59% agree are more likely to think that the Prime Minister has broken an election promise and should wait until after the next election before introducing a carbon pollution tax and 27% believe she is showing strong leadership on an issue of national importance.
Opinions are strongly related to voting intention although a substantial minority (33%) of Labor voters agree that the Prime Minister has broken an election promise and should wait.
Q. It is expected that a tax on carbon pollution will increase the cost of electricity. Which of the following do you think should receive compensation for this increased cost?
|Should receive compensation||Should not receive compensation||Don’t know|
|Low income households||84%||8%||8%|
|Small business owners||70%||14%||15%|
|Trade exposed industries||28%||44%||29%|
|The aluminium industry||18%||56%||26%|
There was strong majority support for compensating households (especially low income households), farmers and small businesses.
Support for compensating companies and industries was relatively low. A little over one quarter think trade exposed and manufacturing industries should be compensated and only 15% think power companies should be compensated.
Although all voter groups showed similar support for compensating low income families, Coalition voters showed stronger support for compensation for all other groups – for example, 78% of Coalition voters thought all households should be compensated compared to 65% of Labor voters and 51% of Greens voters.
Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.
In this week's report:
- Federal government response to Covid-19
- State government response to Covid-19
- Views towards reopening international borders
- Views towards state border closures
- Comprehension and confidence in PM’s plan to ‘safely reopen’ Australia
- Uptake of a Covid-19 vaccine
- Necessity of mandatory vaccinations in specific situations
- Views towards easing restrictions for fully vaccinated people