Essential Report

Last 12 months

Dec 15, 2020

Q. Thinking about the last 12 months, has it been a good or bad year for each of the following?

  TOTAL: Good TOTAL:

Bad

NET   Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know  
The Australian economy 15% 62% -47   6% 9% 18% 39% 23% 3%  
Australian politics in general 24% 31% -7   7% 17% 35% 23% 10% 7%  
The Australian Government 27% 34% -7   8% 19% 31% 23% 10% 8%  
Large companies and corporations 27% 32% -5   9% 18% 32% 26% 6% 9%  
Small business 17% 60% -43   7% 10% 18% 34% 27% 5%  
Trade unions 17% 26% -9   6% 11% 37% 19% 7% 20%  
The average Australian 18% 50% -32   7% 11% 27% 38% 11% 6%  
Your personal financial situation 26% 30% -4   7% 18% 40% 20% 9% 4%  
Your workplace 21% 17% +4   7% 14% 33% 12% 5% 29%  
You and your family overall 29% 25% +4   8% 21% 42% 18% 7% 4%  
The planet 32% 36% -4   9% 23% 25% 20% 16% 7%  

 

  2020 NET 2019 NET 2018 NET 2017 NET 2016 NET 2015 NET 2014 NET 2013 NET
The Australian economy -47 -13 +6 +11 -19 -11 -13 -13
The Australian Government -7 -7 -41
Australian politics in general -7 -20 -50 -36 -53 -41 -53 -62
Large companies and corporations -5 +23 +9 +22 +5 +5 +14 -9
Small business -43 -12 +6 -2 -22 -12 -28 -45
Trade unions -9 -11 -1 -7 -18 -27 -18 -25
The average Australian -32 -4 -1 -6 -18 -14 -23 -22
Your personal financial situation -4 -2 0 +1 -8 -6 -11 -8
Your workplace (workers) +4 +14 +28 +34 +12 +14 -5 +8
You and your family overall +4 +19 +28 +27 +12 +21 +3 +18
The planet -4 -29 -19 -22 -32
  • In a generally poor year, most aspects of society received a negative net score in 2020 (more people thinking it was a bad year, than good year).
  • 2020 has been a particularly poor year for the economy (-47), small businesses (-43) and the average Australian (-32).

Economy: Revert to old ways vs opportunity for change

Oct 6, 2020

Q. Which of the following options is closest to your view on the best way for Australia to recover economically following the Covid-19 pandemic?

  Total Gender Age Group
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run 22% 23% 22% 30% 23% 15%
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy 78% 77% 78% 70% 77% 85%
Base (n) 1,066 531 535 340 341 385

 

  Total Federal Voting Intention
  Labor Liberal + National Greens TOTAL: Other
Now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run 22% 21% 24% 23% 22%
The pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy 78% 79% 76% 77% 78%
Base (n) 1,066 332 433 91 111
  • Over three-quarters of people believe that the pandemic has exposed flaws in the economy and there is an opportunity to explore new ways to run the economy (78%) with the remaining 22% thinking that now is not the time to experiment with new ideas, we should return to the way the economy was being run.
  • Preference for exploring new ideas was selected by the majority within gender (77% of men, 78% of women), ages (70% of 18-34 year olds, 77% of 35-54 year olds and 85% of those aged over 55), and voting intention.

State of the economy in next six months

Sep 22, 2020

Q. How do you think the economy will look in the next six months?

  Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The economy will improve in the next six months 25% 29% 21% 27% 29% 20%
The economy will stay the same in the next six months 39% 37% 40% 43% 37% 37%
The economy will get worse in the next six months 36% 33% 39% 30% 35% 43%
Base (n) 1,081 539 542 338 374 369

 

  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor Coalition Greens Independent / Other
The economy will improve in the next six months 25% 24% 31% 19% 19%
The economy will stay the same in the next six months 39% 35% 41% 38% 35%
The economy will get worse in the next six months 36% 40% 28% 43% 46%
Base (n) 1,081 298 460 115 104
  • A quarter of people expect the economy to improve in the next months, lower than the 36% who expect it to get worse. 39% do not expect any change.
  • Older people aged over 55 are more likely than those aged 18-34 to expect the economy to get worse over the next six months (43% to 30%).
  • 31% of Coalition voters think the economy will improve in the next six months, compared to 24% of Labor voters, 19% of Greens voters and 19% of independent/other minor party voters.

Party Trust to Handle Issues

Oct 6, 2015

Q: Which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

  Liberal Labor Greens Don’t know   Difference   Difference

Sep 2015

Management of the economy 41% 23% 4% 32% +18 +16
Ensuring a quality education for all children 28% 35% 7% 30% -7 -4
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 28% 33% 8% 30% -5 -2
Protecting the environment 18% 16% 39% 26% -21 -20
A fair industrial relations system 27% 38% 5% 30% -11 -8
Political leadership 38% 20% 7% 36% +18 +9
Addressing climate change 19% 23% 31% 27% -12 -12
Controlling interest rates 36% 22% 4% 37% +14 +16
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 28% 35% 6% 31% -7 -5
Ensuring a quality water supply 25% 20% 24% 31% +5 +7
Housing affordability 24% 31% 7% 38% -7
Ensuring a fair taxation system 31% 31% 6% 32% +4
Security and the war on terrorism 41% 19% 5% 36% +22 +20
Treatment of asylum seekers 28% 21% 17% 34% +7 +12
Managing population growth 32% 19% 9% 40% +13 +11

Note – Differences are calculated by subtracting Labor % from Liberal % – except for the two issues on which the Greens lead in which case it is Liberal minus Greens.

The Liberal Party is trusted more to handle security and the war on terrorism (+22), management of the economy (+18), political leadership (+18) and controlling interest rates (+14). The Labor Party is trusted more to handle a fair industrial relations system (-11) and Australian jobs, protection of local industries (-7), ensuring a quality education (-7) and housing affordability (-7).

Main changes since this question was asked last month have been an improvement for the Liberal Party on political leadership (up net 9 points), and improvement for the Labor Party on housing affordability (up 7) and treatment of asylum seekers (up 5).

Economy heading in right or wrong direction

Sep 1, 2015

Q. Do you think Australia’s economy is heading in the right or wrong direction?

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

May 2010

May 2011

Jun 2012

Apr 2013

Apr 2014

Aug 2014

May 2015

The right direction

35%

22%

62%

21%

26%

51%

45%

43%

36%

39%

35%

35%

The wrong direction

41%

52%

21%

61%

52%

25%

29%

32%

39%

34%

41%

40%

Don’t know

24%

26%

16%

189%

21%

24%

25%

25%

25%

26%

24%

25%

35% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction and 41% think it is heading in the wrong direction. This represents no significant change since this question was asked in May.

22% (up 3%) of Labor voters, 62% (down 5%) of Liberal/National voters and 21% (up 12%) of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction. 52% (down 6%) of Labor voters, 61% (down 4%) of Greens voters and 47% of those earning less than $600pw think the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

Concern about economic issues

Sep 1, 2015

Q. How concerned are you personally about the following economic issues?

Very concerned

Somewhat concerned

Not so concerned

Not at all concerned

Don’t know

Very concerned Feb 2015

Change

Cost of electricity and gas

52%

33%

10%

3%

3%

47%

+5

Housing affordability

46%

33%

14%

4%

4%

39%

+7

Cost of food and groceries

42%

39%

13%

3%

3%

35%

+7

Cost of petrol

42%

36%

14%

4%

3%

24%

+18

Job security

35%

39%

15%

6%

5%

29%

+6

Wealth disparity

35%

33%

19%

7%

6%

30%

+5

Unemployment

34%

42%

15%

6%

3%

30%

+4

Value of the Australian dollar

32%

39%

21%

4%

4%

24%

+8

Tax levels

32%

37%

21%

6%

5%

24%

+8

Interest rates

28%

34%

24%

10%

5%

19%

+9

The current budget deficit

25%

39%

24%

7%

6%

27%

-2

National debt

24%

37%

27%

7%

5%

27%

-3

Economic issues of most concern were cost of electricity/gas (52% very concerned), housing affordability (46%), cost of food and groceries (42%) and the cost of petrol (42%). Since February there have been increases in concern about almost all issues – especially cost of petrol (up 18%, although concern was unusually low in February), interest rates (up 9%), tax levels (up 8%), value of the dollar (up 8%), housing affordability (up 7%) and cost of food and groceries (up 7%).

Trust most to handle the economy

May 26, 2015

Q. Who would you trust most to handle Australia’s economy – The Treasurer Joe Hockey or the Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen?

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other/ Indep- endent

Aug 2014

Mar 2015

May 2015 Pre- budget

Joe Hockey

29%

6%

65%

5%

22%

34%

26%

30%

Chris Bowen

23%

47%

7%

28%

18%

23%

25%

22%

Don’t know

47%

47%

28%

67%

61%

43%

49%

48%

29% have more trust in Joe Hockey to handle Australia’s economy and 23% have more trust in Chris Bowen. 47% don’t know who they would trust more.

These results are little changed since this question was asked in the week prior to the Federal Budget.

Economy heading in right or wrong direction

May 19, 2015

Q. Do you think Australia’s economy is heading in the right or wrong direction?

 

 

Total

 

  Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   May 2010 May 2011 Jun 2012 Apr 2013 Apr 2014 Aug 2014
The right direction 35% 19% 67% 9% 23% 51% 45% 43% 36% 39% 35%
The wrong direction 40% 58% 14% 65% 58% 25% 29% 32% 39% 34% 41%
Don’t know 25% 23% 19% 27% 19% 24% 25% 25% 25% 26% 24%

35% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction and 40% think it is heading in the wrong direction. This represents no significant change since this question was asked last August.

19% (down 5%) of Labor voters, 67% (up 11%) of Liberal/National voters and 9% (down 17%) of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction. 58% (up 4%) of Labor voters, 65% (up 11%) of Greens voters and 48% of those earning less than $1,000pw think the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

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