Essential Report

Rating of Economy

Jun 20, 2011

Q. Australia is currently experiencing a boom in the mining industry. Apart from mining, how would you rate the rest of Australia’s economy?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good 31% 44% 21% 49%
Total poor 26% 12% 35% 17%
Very good 4% 6% 2% 8%
Good 27% 38% 19% 41%
Average 40% 42% 43% 34%
Poor 18% 9% 23% 15%
Very poor 8% 3% 12% 2%
Don’t know 3% 2% 2% 1%

31% rate the Australian economy (excluding mining) as good and 26% rate it poor. 40% rate it average. Labor voters (44% good/26% poor) and Greens voters (49%/17%) are most positive about the economy. Liberal/National voters rate the economy 21% good/35% poor.

36% of those aged 18-34 rate the economy good compared to 25% of those aged 55+.

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Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

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

One Two Three Total 24 Jan 11 11 Oct 10 25 Jan 10
Management of the economy 34% 18% 9% 61% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 6% 10% 10% 26% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 15% 15% 19% 49% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 6% 5% 15% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 2% 3% 3% 8% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 6% 6% 5% 17% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 6% 4% 5% 15% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 3% 5% 5% 13% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 9% 11% 12% 32% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 1% 3% 5% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 4% 6% 6% 16% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 3% 6% 8% 17% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 4% 8% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 2% 4% 6% 12% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

61% 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 32% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Since January, there has been an increase in the importance of addressing climate change (from 10% to 15%) and a decrease in the importance of controlling interest rates (from 21% to 13%).

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Cost of Living

Jun 6, 2011

Q. What do you think is the main reason for the increasing cost of living?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
The strong Australian dollar 17% 30% 9% 17%
Excessive company profits 18% 24% 10% 27%
Lack of competition 14% 18% 9% 24%
Economic management of the Federal Government 28% 8% 51% 9%
Economic management of State Governments 6% 3% 8% 6%
Wage increases 4% 3% 4% 3%
Don’t know 14% 14% 8% 14%

28% believe that economic management of the Federal Government is the main reason for the increasing cost of living. 18% blame excessive company profits and 17% the strong Australian dollar. Only 4% said wage increases.

Most of those blaming the Federal Government were Liberal/National voters. Labor voters nominated the strong Australian dollar and excessive company profits while Greens votes said excessive company profits and lack of competition.

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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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