Essential Report

Change in Relationships with Other Countries

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know Get closer April 10 Change
China 30% 50% 9% 11% 33% -3
New Zealand 29% 58% 3% 11% 33% -4
Indonesia 23% 49% 15% 13% 30% -7
India 22% 50% 14% 14% 24% -2
Japan 21% 58% 8% 13% 24% -3
United States 20% 60% 11% 10% 24% -4
United Kingdom 20% 63% 7% 10% 24% -4
Germany 14% 62% 9% 15% 16% -2
South Africa 11% 59% 14% 16% 13% -2

30% think that Australia’s relationship with China should get closer and 29% think our relationship with New Zealand should get closer.

Labor voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (32%) and New Zealand (29%).

Liberal/National voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (29%) and China (28%).

Greens  voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (38%), Indonesia (36%) and New Zealand (36%).

Since this question was asked in April, the percentage wanting a closer relationship with Indonesia has dropped from 30% to 23%.

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Influence of the USA

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Do you think the influence of the United States in the world is becoming stronger or weaker?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total stronger 20% 23% 17% 20%
Total weaker 60% 56% 63% 73%
Much stronger 7% 8% 5% 4%
A little stronger 13% 15% 12% 16%
A little weaker 50% 49% 54% 52%
Much weaker 10% 7% 9% 21%
No change 14% 14% 16% 6%
Don’t know 7% 5% 5% 1%

The majority (60%) think that the influence of the United States in the world is becoming weaker – only 20% think it is becoming stronger.

72% of those aged 55+ think it is becoming weaker (and 15% stronger) while 27% of those aged under 35 think it is becoming stronger (and 46% weaker).

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Same Sex Marriage

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Do you think people of the same sex should or should not be allowed to marry?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should be allowed to marry 53% 57% 45% 80%
Should not be allowed to marry 36% 32% 45% 12%
Don’t know 11% 10% 10% 8%

Same-sex marriage is supported by just over half (53%) of respondents and 36% are opposed.

Those most likely to think people of the same sex should be allowed to marry are female (59%), aged under 55 (60%) and Greens voters (80%).

Those most likely to think people of the same sex should not be allowed to marry are male (42%), aged 55+ (57%) and Liberal/National voters (45%).

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Wild Rivers Legislation

Nov 15, 2010

Q. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he will introduce a Private Members Bill into Federal Parliament to overturn the Queensland Government’s Wild Rivers laws, which seek to prevent over development such as dams and mines from damaging unspoilt river systems. Mr Abbot claims the Wild Rivers laws deny Aboriginal landowners the opportunity to benefit economically from the land. Do you agree or disagree with the Wild Rivers laws?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total agree 43% 44% 48% 55%
Total disagree 21% 23% 22% 18%
Strongly agree 16% 17% 17% 30%
Agree 27% 27% 31% 25%
Disagree 13% 13% 16% 8%
Strongly disagree 8% 10% 6% 10%
Don’t know 36% 33% 31% 26%

43% agree with the Queensland Government’s Wild Rivers laws and 21% disagree – and 36% don’t know.

Those most likely to agree are Greens voters (55%) and people on incomes over $1,000pw (48%).

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Approval of the Opposition Leader

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Do you strongly approve, approve, disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job Malcolm Turnbull is doing as Opposition Leader?

29% of people surveyed approve of the job Malcolm Turnbull is doing as Opposition Leader and 50% disapprove.   Turnbull’s approval rating has increased slightly since we last asked this question (+2%), and his disapproval rating has seen a slight decrease (-3%).

Approval followed party lines – Coalition voters were more likely to approve (56%), while Labor voters were more likely to disapprove (70%).   28% of Coalition voters disapprove of the job Turnbull is doing as Opposition Leader.

Malcolm Turnbull’s net rating of -21% is a 5 point improvement on the September result and his best result since May.

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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.

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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.

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Cause of Interest Rate Rises

Nov 9, 2009

Q. Which of the following statements most closely reflects your opinion on the cause of the recent increase in official interest rates?

%
The Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation 30%
It’s just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis 18%
The Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy 15%
The Federal Government has managed the economy badly and so rates are rising 9%
The world economy is the biggest factor in interest rates, not the Australian economy 9%
House prices are rising and pushing up interest rates 5%
Don’t know 15%

When it comes to what the public perceive are the causes of the recent increase in official interest rates, 30% think that the Reserve Bank independently sets interest rates to avoid inflation and 18% think that interest rate rises are a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis.  15% think that the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy.

Only 9% think it is because the Government has managed the economy badly.

Coalition voters were more likely to think that the Reserve Bank independently setting interest rates to avoid inflation is the cause of the recent increase in interest rates (39%).  Labor voters were more likely to think the increase in interest rates is because the Federal Government has managed the economy well and the rate increase is a sign of a strong economy (28%).  Green voters were more likely to think the recent interest rate rises are just a correction to the historic low interest rates during the Global Financial Crisis (24%).

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