Economy Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

May 16, 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?

Post budget 2010 Pre budget 2011 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
The right direction 51% 45% 46% 74% 30% 46%
The wrong direction 25% 29% 29% 9% 49% 24%
Don’t know 24% 25% 25% 17% 21% 30%

Nearly half (46%) the respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 29% think it is heading in the wrong direction.

This was a little less positive than the post 2010 budget poll, but unchanged from the poll taken before the 2011 budget – which suggests that the budget has had no impact on overall perceptions of the economy.

74% of Labor voters, 30% of Liberal/National voters and 46% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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Party Best at Handling Economy

May 16, 2011

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

Post budget 2010 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Labor Party 33% 30% 75% 3% 36%
Liberal Party 36% 40% 4% 84% 11%
No difference 20% 22% 17% 10% 46%
Don’t know 11% 9% 4% 3% 7%

30% think Labor the party best to handle the economy (in the interests of you and people like you) and 40% nominated the Liberal Party. This represents a shift of 7% in favour of the Liberal Party since the 2010 budget.

75% of Labor voters nominated Labor and 84% of Coalition voters nominated the Liberal Party. 46% of Greens voters said there was no difference – 36% said Labor and 11% Liberal.

Those with incomes under $600 pw favour Labor 32% to 30% while those on $1,600+ pw favour the Liberals 49% to 29%.

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The Economy – Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

May 9, 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)

Total Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
The right direction 51% 45% 75% 27% 51%
The wrong direction 25% 29% 7% 51% 17%
Don’t know 24% 25% 17% 22% 33%

45% of respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 29% think it is heading in the wrong direction. Since this question was asked just after the 2010 budget, “right direction” has dropped 6% and “wrong direction” increased 4%.

75% of Labor voters, 27% of Liberal/National voters and 51% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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State of the Economy

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Compared to other developed countries (e.g. USA, UK, Japan, European nations) how would you rate the current state of the Australian economy?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good 69% 82% 66% 75%
Total poor 7% 2% 9% 1%
Very good 24% 37% 15% 38%
Good 45% 45% 51% 37%
Average 21% 14% 24% 21%
Poor 4% 2% 5% 1%
Very poor 3% 4%
Don’t know 3% 2% 1% 2%

69% believe that, compared to other developed countries, the current state of the Australian economy is good and 7% think it is poor. 82% of Labor voters think it is good compared to 75% of Greens voters and 66% of Liberal/National voters.

Those on higher incomes are more likely to think it is good – 75% of those on $1,600+ per week compared to 66% of those under $600 per week.

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The Economy

Apr 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 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 21% 43% 66% 53% 54% 33% 40% 27% 38% 25% 23%
Total worse 61% 37% 15% 19% 19% 31% 30% 37% 26% 48% 33%
Get a lot better 2% 5% 8% 9% 9% 5% 6% 4% 7% 3% 3%
Get a little better 19% 38% 58% 44% 45% 28% 34% 23% 31% 22% 20%
Get a little worse 45% 28% 11% 14% 13% 23% 20% 27% 22% 33% 27%
Get a lot worse 16% 9% 4% 5% 6% 8% 10% 10% 4% 15% 6%
Stay much the same 13% 17% 15% 24% 22% 30% 24% 27% 32% 23% 35%
No opinion 5% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7% 6% 8% 4% 5% 8%

Optimism about Australia’s economic outlook has declined substantially in the last 6 months. 27% think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months and 37% think they will get worse – a net decline of 20% since this question was last asked in October. This is the most negative result recorded since December 2008.

Younger people are more optimistic than older people – of those aged under 35, 34% think conditions will get better and 27% worse.

38% of Labor voters think conditions will get better and 26% worse while 25% of Coalition voters think conditions will get better and 48% worse.

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Important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

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 Total 11th Oct 10 Total 25th Jan 10
Management of the economy 37% 18% 10% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 5% 10% 11% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 13% 20% 16% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 3% 6% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 4% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 6% 5% 5% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 3% 3% 4% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 5% 8% 8% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 10% 8% 12% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 2% 3% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 5% 5% 6% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 6% 8% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 2% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 2% 5% 4% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

65% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 49% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 30% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Only 10% rate addressing climate change as one of their three most important issues and 6% rate ensuring a quality water supply.

Over the past 12 months there has been an increase in the importance of controlling interest rates (from 15% to 21%) and a decrease in the importance of addressing climate change (from 16% to 10%).

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Important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

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)

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 65% 63% 77% 47%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 33% 20% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 52% 47% 37%
Protecting the environment 13% 12% 6% 42%
A fair industrial relations system 10% 18% 5% 8%
Political leadership 16% 11% 25% 14%
Addressing climate change 10% 10% 5% 22%
Controlling interest rates 21% 17% 22% 19%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 30% 33% 32% 18%
Ensuring a quality water supply 6% 4% 6% 5%
Housing affordability 16% 15% 13% 21%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 18% 17% 19% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 5% 5% 8% 5%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 15%
Managing population growth 11% 8% 12% 9%

Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate ensuring a quality education for all children (33%) and a fair industrial relations system (18%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (77%) and political leadership (25%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (42%), addressing climate change (22%) and treatment of asylum seekers (15%).

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Party best handling important election issues

Jan 24, 2011

Q. And which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 33% 43% 2% 22%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 39% 33% 4% 24%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 33% 33% 7% 27%
Protecting the environment 16% 19% 40% 24%
A fair industrial relations system 40% 30% 5% 25%
Political leadership 28% 37% 4% 31%
Addressing climate change 18% 20% 34% 28%
Controlling interest rates 22% 40% 2% 35%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 36% 33% 4% 27%
Ensuring a quality water supply 21% 28% 20% 31%
Housing affordability 26% 30% 7% 37%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 28% 35% 4% 32%
Security and the war on terrorism 23% 37% 4% 36%
Treatment of asylum seekers 20% 33% 12% 35%
Standing up for regular Australian working families 41% 27% 6% 25%
Managing population growth 21% 36% 7% 37%
Making sure Australian working people got fair treatment at their workplace 41% 29% 6% 25%

Labor is trusted most to handle a fair industrial relations system (40%), ensuring a quality education for all children (39%) and standing up for regular Australian working families (41%).

The Liberals are trusted most to handle management of the economy (43%), controlling interest rates (40%), political leadership (37%) and security and the war on terrorism (37%).

In October, Labor was considered substantially better to handle 5 of the issues surveyed and Liberals 5 issues – compared to this survey where Labor leads on 4 issues and Liberals on 8 issues. The Liberals have now established a lead on political leadership (+9%), water supply (+7%), and taxation (+7%).

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