Essential Report

Issues of importance

Jan 25, 2010

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
Management of the economy 36% 17% 10% 63%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 17% 17% 48%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 13% 12% 33%
Political leadership 10% 7% 6% 23%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 5% 8% 10% 23%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 5% 9% 18%
Protecting the environment 4% 7% 5% 16%
Addressing climate change 6% 5% 5% 16%
Controlling interest rates 3% 6% 6% 15%
Housing affordability 3% 4% 7% 14%
Ensuring a quality water supply 3% 4% 5% 12%
A fair industrial relations system 3% 4% 3% 10%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 4% 3% 9%

 63% of people surveyed rate management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 48% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 33% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 10% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues that would decide how they vote in a Federal election and 9% rate security and the war on terrorism.  Comments »

Party best at

Jan 25, 2010

Q. Which party do you think is best at handling each of the following issues?

  Labor Liberal Labor margin No difference Don’t know Labor margin Oct 09
A fair industrial relations system 42% 23% +19% 19% 16% +27%
Addressing climate change 35% 16% +19% 29% 19% +18%
Protecting the environment 32% 15% +17% 34% 19% +21%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 35% 22% +13% 26% 17% +17%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 32% 20% +12% 32% 17% +17%
Political leadership 36% 25% +11% 23% 16% +20%
Ensuring a quality water supply 24% 17% +7% 38% 20% +13%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  27% 21% +6% 34% 19% +10%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 30% 24% +6% 28% 18% +8%
Housing affordability 23% 19% +4% 38% 20% +9%
Management of the economy 28% 35% -7% 20% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 18% 25% -7% 38% 19% +2%
Controlling interest rates 20% 28% -8% 34% 18%

 Labor has its strongest lead over the Liberal Party when it comes to a fair industrial relations system (+19%), addressing climate change (+19%) and protecting the environment (+17%).   Labor trails the Liberal Party in terms of controlling interest rates (-8%), security and the war on terrorism (-7%) and management of the economy (-7%).  

 Since October 2009, Labor has lost the margin it had over the Liberal Party in some areas, most significantly in the areas of political leadership (-9%), a fair industrial relations system (-8%), ensuring a quality water supply (-6%).  

 Results followed party lines with Labor voters tending to favour the Labor Party and Liberal voters favouring the Liberal Party. Comments »

Economic conditions in Australia over the next 12 months

Jan 18, 2010

 Q. Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

  1 Dec 08 23 Feb 09 18 May 09 15 Jun 09 6 Jul 09 21 Aug 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10
Total better 21% 19% 25% 43% 50% 55% 66% 53%
Total worse 61% 65% 56% 37% 31% 23% 15% 19%
Get a lot better 2% 2% 2% 5% 7% 9% 8% 9%
Get a little better 19% 17% 23% 38% 43% 46% 58% 44%
Get a little worse 45% 42% 37% 28% 23% 17% 11% 14%
Get a lot worse 16% 23% 19% 9% 8% 6% 4% 5%
Stay much the same 13% 12% 13% 17% 15% 18% 15% 24%
No opinion 5% 4% 5% 3% 4% 3% 4% 4%

 Just over half (53%) of those surveyed think that over the next 12 months, economic conditions in Australia will get better, 19% think they will get worse, and 24% think conditions will get much the same. 

 The most significant differences since we last asked this question in October 2009 are in terms of a decrease in the number of people that think conditions will get better (-13%), and an increase in the number that think economic conditions will stay the same (+9%).   

 Males were more likely than females to think economic conditions will get better over the next 12 months (59% v 47%). 

 Labor voters were more likely than Coalition voters to think conditions will get better (65% v 47%).  Coalition voters were more likely to think conditions will get worse (28%). 

 People aged 18 – 24 were more likely than those aged 55 years and over to think that economic conditions will improve over the next 12 months (61% v 52%). Comments »

Job security

Jan 18, 2010

Q. How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

  16 Feb 09 27 Apr 09 8 Jun 09 6 Jul 09 31 Aug 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10
Total concerned 62% 67% 52% 56% 53% 49% 45%
Very concerned 22% 24% 13% 15% 18% 14% 12%
Somewhat concerned 40% 43% 39% 41% 35% 35% 33%
Not at all concerned 29% 23% 35% 32% 37% 40% 40%
Don’t know 4% 5% 6% 6% 5% 6% 8%
No employees in the immediate family 5% 5% 8% 6% 5% 5% 8%

 45% of people are very/somewhat concerned that they or a member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so, 40% are not concerned at all.  This is the lowest level of concern regarding job loss that has been recorded in the Essential Report since we began tracking this question in February 2009.   

 Females were more likely than males to be very/somewhat concerned over job loss (47% v 41%).

People in part-time work were more likely than those in full-time work to be concerned over job loss (55% v 45%).

Coalition voters were more likely than Labor voters to be very/somewhat concerned (52% v 43%).  Comments »

Concern Regarding National Economic Issues

Nov 16, 2009

Q. How concerned are you personally about each of the following economic issues facing Australia today?

The issues that most people are very concerned about include food prices and inflation generally (55%), jobs going overseas (49%) and executive salaries (48%).   A significant number of people are very concerned about petrol and energy prices (45%) and affordability of housing (41%).

Coalition voters were more likely to be very concerned about food prices and inflation generally (60%), jobs going overseas (57%) and Government debt (54%).  Labor voters were more likely to be very concerned about executive wages (54%) and improving wages for low income earners (32%).

Females were more likely than males to be very concerned on most issues, in particular food prices and inflation generally (66% v 45%), improving wages for low income earners (34% v 22%) and unemployment (33% v 25%).

Comments »

Management of Economic Issues

Nov 16, 2009

Q. Between Liberal and Labor, which party do you think would be best at managing each of the following issues?

When it comes to which party is best at handling economic issues, Labor leads the Liberal party on managing the improvement of wages for low income earners (+17%), executive salaries (+9%) and the age pension (+9%).

Labor trails the Liberals in terms of managing government debt (-24%), followed by managing interest rates (-9%) and superannuation (-9%).

Perception of which party is best at managing the economic issues listed followed party lines.

Comments »

Interest Rate Rises – Personal Impact

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Will the recent increase in official interest rates make you personally better or worse off financially?

%
Total better off 15%
Total worse off 41%
Much better off 2%
A little better off 13%
A little worse off 31%
Much worse off 10%
Make no difference 40%
Don’t know 4%

41% of people think that the recent increase in official interest rates make them worse off personally, 15% think the interest rate increase will make them better off and 40% think it will make no difference to their personal financial situation.

People aged 55 years and over were more likely to indicate that the increase in official interest rates will make them better off (36%) while middle aged people were more likely to indicate that it will make them worse off (53% of 25 – 34 year olds, 54% of 35 – 44 year olds).

People in full-time work were more likely to indicate that the interest rate increase will make them worse off (55%).

Perception that the rise in interest rates will make people worse off increased with salary – 46% of people earning $600 – $1000 per week/46% of those earning $1000 – $1600 per week and 49% of those earning $1600+ per week think it will make them worse off.  55% of those earning $600 per week or less think the interest rate increase will make no difference to their personal financial situation.

Comments »

Interest Rate Rises and the Economy

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Do you think the recent increase in official interest rates indicates that Australia’s economy is getting better or getting worse?

%
Economy is getting better 53%
Economy is getting worse 12%
Neither 28%
Don’t know 7%

Just over half (53%) think the recent increase in official interest rates indicates that Australia’s economy is getting better, 12% think it is an indication that the economy is getting worse and 28% think it is not a sign that the economy is getting better or worse.

Labor voters were more likely to think the interest rate rise is a sign that the economy is getting better (61%), while Coalition voters were a little more likely than the average to think that it is a sign that the economy is getting worse (18%).  48% of Coalition voters think that the recent interest rate increase is a sign that the economy is getting better.

Comments »

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