Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election?

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 61% 60% 76% 28%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 29% 24% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 50% 50% 51%
Protecting the environment 15% 17% 10% 52%
A fair industrial relations system 8% 12% 4% 4%
Political leadership 17% 16% 20% 16%
Addressing climate change 15% 23% 6% 45%
Controlling interest rates 13% 15% 13% 6%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 32% 28% 36% 12%
Ensuring a quality water supply 5% 5% 3% 7%
Housing affordability 16% 16% 13% 16%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 17% 14% 19% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 8% 4% 13% 1%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 12%
Managing population growth 12% 12% 12% 9%

There were few substantial differences between voters on issues they considered important. Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate addressing climate change (23%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (76%) and security and the war on terrorism (13%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (52%), addressing climate change (45%) and treatment of asylum seekers (12%).

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Position on Climate Change

May 30, 2011

Q. Do you agree that there is fairly conclusive evidence that climate change is happening and caused by human activity or do you believe that the evidence is still not in and we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate which happens from time to time?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Nov 09 Dec 10
Climate change is happening and is caused by human activity 52% 71% 34% 78% 53% 45%
We are just witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate 36% 20% 54% 14% 34% 36%
Don’t know 12% 8% 12% 8% 13% 19%

52% agree that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity and 36% believe that we may just be witnessing a normal fluctuation in the earth’s climate. This is a significant increase in the belief that climate change is happening and caused by human activity since December last year (and a return to the levels recorded in November 2009).

By age groups, those aged under 35 split 64%/24% and those aged 55+ split 47%/48%.

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Who Will Pay Carbon Tax?

May 26, 2011

Q. Thinking about Carbon Tax, how would you expect it will be paid? (This question has been commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Industries will have to absorb the costs 14% 17% 9% 22% 14% 13% 16% 14% 10%
Consumers will end up paying it because industry will increase prices 63% 54% 79% 40% 63% 63% 59% 65% 65%
Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated for any price increases 13% 17% 8% 32% 13% 13% 12% 11% 16%
Don’t know 10% 11% 4% 6% 10% 11% 13% 10% 8%

Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents believe that consumers will end up paying the carbon tax because industry will increase prices – 14% think industries will have to absorb the costs and 13% think industries will pay but consumers will be compensated for price increases.

Greens voters are least likely to think that consumers will end up paying for it (40%). Otherwise perceptions are similar across demographic groups.

Of those who think consumers will end up paying, 30% support the scheme and 58% oppose.

Of those who think industry will absorb the costs, 74% support the scheme and 21% oppose.

Of those who think Industries will pay and consumers will be compensated, 74% support the scheme and 19% oppose.

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Tony Abbott and Climate Change

Mar 21, 2011

Q. As far as you know, do Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change or are they opposed to taking any action?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Support action to address climate change 36% 27% 59% 31%
Are opposed to any action to address climate change 33% 47% 17% 48%
Don’t know 29% 26% 24% 21%

Overall, respondents were divided over the position of Tony Abbott and the Coalition on climate change – 36% believe they support action to address climate change and 33% think are they opposed to taking any action.

Those that intend to vote Lib/Nat were far more likely to believe that Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change (59%).

Those that intend to vote for Labor (47%) or the Green (48%) were more likely to state that Tony Abbott and the Coalition are opposed to any action to address climate change.

Males (42%) were more likely than females (34%) to state that Tony Abbott and the Coalition support action to address climate change.

Females (39%) were more likely than males (19%) to state ‘Don’t know.’

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Turning around the Titanic

Mar 8, 2011

First published on The Drum: 08/03/2011

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.

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Action on Climate Change

Mar 7, 2011

Q. Do you think the Government needs to take action on climate change as soon as possible, should they wait a few years before taking action or don’t they need to take any action at all?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Need to take action as soon as possible 47% 60% 33% 85%
Can wait a few years before taking action 24% 19% 33% 8%
Don’t need to take any action 19% 9% 29% 3%
Don’t know 11% 12% 5% 4%

Nearly half of respondents (47%) believe that the Government needs to take action on climate change as soon as possible, 24% think they can wait and 19% think they do not need to take any action.

52% of respondents aged under 35 think they need to take action as soon as possible compared to 44% of those aged 55+.

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Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Does the extreme nature of the recent floods and cyclone make it more or less important for Australia to take action to address climate change or does it make no difference?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total more important 49% 60% 35% 83%
Total no difference/less important 47% 38% 63% 14%
Much more important 27% 35% 16% 59%
A little more important 22% 25% 19% 24%
Makes no difference 44% 37% 57% 12%
A little less important 1% * 1% 2%
Much less important 3% * 6%
Don’t know 4% 2% 2% 4%

49% believe that the extreme nature of the recent floods and cyclone make it more important for Australia to take action to address climate change and 47% think it makes no difference or is less important.

Opinions tend to be related to voting intention – 60% of Labor voters and 83% of Greens voters believe it is more important, while 63% of Liberal/National voters think it makes no difference or is less important.  55% of respondents aged under 35 think it is more important compared to 39% of those aged 65+

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Floods and Climate Change

Feb 7, 2011

Q. Do you think the recent floods across Australia were linked to climate change or were they just a natural occurrence?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Linked to climate change 31% 42% 18% 68%
Just a natural occurrence 59% 49% 76% 28%
Don’t know 10% 9% 6% 4%

31% believed that the recent floods were linked to climate change and 59% think they were just a natural occurrence.

Those most likely to think they were a natural occurrence were aged 55+ (72%) and residents of Queensland (69%). Among those aged 18-34, 43% thought the floods were linked to climate change and 44% thought they were a natural occurrence.

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