Essential Report

Government Handling of the Economy

Aug 15, 2011

Q. How do you think the Australia Government has handled our economy over the last few years?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total well 54% 82% 34% 81%
Total poorly 39% 13% 62% 12%
Very well 9% 22% 2% 16%
Quite well 45% 60% 32% 65%
Quite poorly 26% 11% 39% 8%
Very poorly 13% 2% 23% 4%
Don’t know 7% 6% 4% 7%

54% think the Australian Government has handled the economy very well or quite well over the last few years and 39% very poorly or quite poorly. 82% of Labor voters, 81% of Greens voters and 34% of Liberal/National voters think the Government has handled the economy well. 62% of Liberal/National voters think the Government has handled the economy poorly.

60% of those aged under 35 think the Government has handled the economy well, compared to 51% of those aged 35-54 and 51% of those aged 55+

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Likelihood of Another GFC

Aug 15, 2011

Q. How likely do you think it is that there will soon be another Global Financial Crisis (GFC) similar to the one that occurred in 2009?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total likely 47% 39% 53% 41%
Very likely 20% 17% 22% 12%
Fairly likely 27% 22% 31% 29%
About 50/50 39% 40% 40% 36%
Not very likely 8% 12% 5% 15%
Don’t know 7% 9% 2% 9%

47% believe that another GFC is very or quite likely and a further 39% think it is a 50/50 possibility.

There were no significant differences across demographic groups.

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Stimulus Spending

Aug 15, 2011

Q. If there is another Global Financial Crisis, do you think the Australian Government should undertake the same sort of stimulus spending they did in response to the 2009 GFC?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Yes 36% 48% 26% 56%
No 39% 24% 56% 23%
Don’t know 25% 28% 18% 21%

In the event of another GFC, 36% support stimulus spending and 39% oppose. About half of Labor and Greens voters support stimulus spending but over half of Liberal/National voters oppose.

Lower income earners are more likely to support stimulus spending – those earning under $1,000pw split 43% support/32% oppose while those earning over $1,000pw split 34% support/42% oppose.

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Ratings of the Economy

Aug 8, 2011

Q. From what you have read and heard, how would you rate the state of the economy of Australia?

And how would you rate the state of the economy of the USA?

And how would you rate the state of the economies of the European countries?

Australia USA Europe
Total getting better 32% 5% 5%
Total getting worse 37% 84% 70%
Getting a lot better 7% 1% 1%
Getting a little better 25% 4% 4%
Neither getting better nor worse 28% 7% 14%
Getting a little worse 27% 26% 27%
Getting a lot worse 10% 58% 43%
Don’t know 2% 4% 10%

A majority believe that Australia’s economy is getting better but the economies of USA and Europe are getting worse.

53% of respondents think the Australian economy is getting better and 12% think it is getting worse. 62% think the USA economy is getting worse and 53% think the economies of European countries are getting worse.

For Australia, 63% of Labor voters, 66% of Greens voters and 44% of Liberal/National voters think the economy is getting better. Younger respondents were most optimistic about the Australian economy  – 60% of those aged under 35 think it is getting better compared to 46% of those aged 55+.

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Trust to Handle Economy

Aug 8, 2011

Q. Which party would you trust most to handle the economy if there was another Global Financial Crisis (GFC)?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
The Labor Party 27% 77% 3% 41%
The Liberal Party 43% 6% 86% 3%
No difference 19% 13% 9% 42%
Don’t know 10% 4% 2% 13%

43% said they would trust the Liberal Party most to handle the economy if there was another GFC, 27% would trust the Labor Party most and 19% said there was no difference.

Those aged under 35 were more likely to think there was no difference (25%) while those aged 55+ were more likely to prefer the Liberal Party (54%)

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The Economy – Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

Jul 4, 2011

Q. Overall, from what you have read and heard, do you think the Australian economy is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction?

17 May 10

(Post 2010 budget)

9 May 11

(Post 2011 budget)

4 Jul 11 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
The right direction 51% 45% 37% 66% 21% 49%
The wrong direction 25% 29% 43% 15% 65% 20%
Don’t know 24% 25% 20% 19% 14% 31%

37% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 43% think it is heading in the wrong direction. Since this question was asked just after the 2011 budget, “right direction” has dropped 8% and “wrong direction” increased 14%.

66% of Labor voters, 21% of Liberal/National voters and 49% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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Party Best at Handling Economy

Jul 4, 2011

Q. Which party do you think would be best at handling the Australian economy in the interests of you and people like you?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
The Labor Party 26% 75% 2% 35%
The Liberal Party 43% 1% 86% 11%
No difference 23% 19% 9% 43%
Don’t know 8% 4% 3% 10%

43% think the Liberal Party would be best at handling the Australian economy in their interests and 26% nominated the Labor Party. 23% think there is no difference.

The Liberal Party is considered better by all income groups , although more by those on higher incomes. Those earning less than $600 per week favour the Liberal Party 37%/29%, while those earning $1,600+ per week favour the Liberal Party 51%/21%.

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The economy

Jul 4, 2011

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 15 Jun 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10 29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10 18 Oct 10 4 April 11 4 Jul 11 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 21% 43% 66% 53% 54% 33% 40% 27% 22% 37% 15% 34%
Total worse 61% 37% 15% 19% 19% 31% 30% 37% 49% 28% 65% 34%
Get a lot better 2% 5% 8% 9% 9% 5% 6% 4% 3% 8% 1% 1%
Get a little better 19% 38% 58% 44% 45% 28% 34% 23% 19% 29% 14% 33%
Get a little worse 45% 28% 11% 14% 13% 23% 20% 27% 31% 22% 37% 26%
Get a lot worse 16% 9% 4% 5% 6% 8% 10% 10% 18% 6% 28% 8%
Stay much the same 13% 17% 15% 24% 22% 30% 24% 27% 25% 33% 18% 29%
No opinion 5% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7% 6% 8% 4% 3% 2% 3%

Optimism about Australia’s economic outlook has declined again in the last 3 months. 22% think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months and 49% think they will get worse – a net decline of 17% since this question was last asked in April. This is the most negative result recorded since December 2008.

Younger people are more optimistic than older people – of those aged under 35, 29% think conditions will get better and 42% worse – for those aged 55+, only 15% think it will get better and 58% worse.

37% of Labor voters think conditions will get better and 28% worse while 15% of Coalition voters think conditions will get better and 65% worse.

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