Essential Report

Approval of Julia Gillard

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister?

Kevin Rudd Julia Gillard
31 May

2010

5 Jul 19 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 14 Mar 11 Apr
Total approve 41% 48% 52% 46% 45% 45% 43% 43% 51% 48% 41% 37%
Total disapprove 47% 27% 30% 40% 37% 37% 38% 40% 36% 41% 46% 50%
Strongly approve 7% 14% 11% 13% 12% 10% 7% 10% 8% 9% 7% 7%
Approve 34% 34% 41% 33% 33% 36% 36% 33% 43% 39% 34% 30%
Disapprove 25% 13% 17% 24% 21% 20% 23% 24% 24% 25% 22% 25%
Strongly disapprove 22% 14% 13% 16% 16% 17% 15% 16% 12% 16% 24% 25%
Don’t know 12% 26% 18% 13% 19% 18% 18% 17% 14% 11% 13% 13%

37% (down 4%) approve of the job Julia Gillard is doing as Prime Minister and 50% (up 4%) disapprove – a change in net rating from -5 to -13 over the last 4 weeks.

78% of Labor voters approve (down 9%) and 12% disapprove (up 5%).

By gender – men 37% approve/53% disapprove, women 36% approve/47% disapprove.

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Approval of Tony Abbott

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader?

18 Jan

2010

29 Mar 5 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 14 Mar 11 Apr
Total approve 37% 33% 37% 41% 43% 39% 40% 39% 42% 38% 38% 36%
Total disapprove 37% 50% 47% 44% 37% 45% 40% 39% 37% 46% 47% 48%
Strongly approve 5% 8% 8% 9% 12% 8% 6% 9% 7% 8% 7% 7%
Approve 32% 25% 29% 32% 31% 31% 34% 30% 35% 30% 31% 29%
Disapprove 20% 28% 23% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 22% 24% 24% 25%
Strongly disapprove 17% 22% 24% 22% 16% 23% 18% 18% 15% 22% 23% 23%
Don’t know 26% 16% 16% 15% 19% 17% 19% 22% 20% 16% 16% 17%

36% (down 2%) approve of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader and 48% (up 1%) disapprove.

69% of Coalition voters approve and 17% disapprove.

By gender – men 40% approve/46% disapprove, women 31% approve/48% disapprove.

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Better Prime Minister

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Who do you think would make the better Prime Minister out of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott?

5 Jul 2010 20 Sep 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011 14 Mar 2011 11 Apr 2011 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Kevin Rudd v Tony Abbott

21 Jun 10

Julia Gillard 53% 47% 45% 47% 48% 44% 42% 86% 8% 75% 47%
Tony Abbott 26% 35% 34% 32% 31% 33% 33% 2% 72% 5% 30%
Don’t know 21% 18% 21% 21% 20% 23% 24% 12% 20% 20% 23%

42% believe Julia Gillard would make the better Prime Minister and 33% prefer Tony Abbott – a net decrease for Julia Gillard of 2% on last month’s figures (from +11% to +9%).

Men favour Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott 42%/38% and women 42%/29%.

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Reason for Budget Deficit

Apr 11, 2011

Q. The Federal Government is currently running a budget deficit, but intends to return to surplus in 2012-13. Which of the following do you think is most responsible for the deficit?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Poor economic management by the Government 23% 5% 43% 8%
The cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus packages 19% 19% 20% 21%
Big companies not paying their fair share of taxes 17% 29% 6% 30%
Spending on big projects like the National Broadband Network 14% 8% 18% 10%
Lower tax revenues because of the Global Financial Crisis 13% 25% 4% 19%
Don’t know 15% 14% 9% 11%

Overall, respondents believe the main reasons for the budget deficit are poor economic management by the Government (23%), the cost of the Government’s GFC stimulus (19%) and big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (17%).

Labor voters were most likely to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (29%) and lower tax revenues because of the GFC (25%) while Liberal/National voters blame poor economic management by the Government (43%). Greens voters tended to blame big companies not paying their fair share of taxes (30%).

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Measures to Return to Surplus

Apr 11, 2011

Q. In order to meet their commitment to return to surplus in 2012-13, which measures should the Government take?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase taxes for big corporations 63% 79% 51% 77%
Reduce tax breaks for high income earners 51% 57% 46% 67%
Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments 36% 33% 41% 39%
Reduce defence spending 32% 36% 26% 51%
Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits 21% 15% 31% 11%
It does not need to return to surplus so quickly 38% 39% 36% 57%

Overall, the most favoured means of returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (63%) and reducing tax breaks for high income earners (51%). Both these measures were strongly favoured by Labor and Greens voters.

Although support was less strong, these two measures were also the most preferred among Liberal/National voters.

Note, although 38% thought that the budget does not need to return to surplus so quickly, some of these respondents also agreed with some of the measures listed.

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Tony Abbott’s Welfare Proposal

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Tony Abbott has proposed changes to Australia’s welfare system – including cutting back the pension for people whose disabilities can be treated, suspending the dole for young people in areas where job vacancies have not been filled and making work-for-the-dole mandatory for those under 50 receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months.

Do you think Tony Abbott’s proposal will significantly reduce unemployment in Australia or will it just make things more difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Will reduce unemployment 36% 18% 61% 20%
Will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits 47% 67% 24% 74%
Don’t know 17% 15% 16% 6%

36% believe that Tony Abbott’s changes to the welfare system will reduce unemployment and 47% think they will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits.

The only groups more likely to think it would reduce unemployment were Liberal/National voters (61%/21%), full-time workers (43%/39%)and those on income over $1,600 pw (48%/36%). 59% of those on incomes under $1,000 pw agreed that it will just make things difficult for the unemployed and people on disability benefits.

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Party Trust to Handle Benefits/pensions

Apr 11, 2011

Q. Which party would you trust more to handle welfare issues like unemployment benefits and disability pensions?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Labor Party 34% 75% 6% 53%
Liberal Party 31% 4% 66% 8%
No difference 25% 16% 21% 26%
Don’t know 10% 55 6% 13%

34% trust the Labor Party more to handle welfare issues and 31% trust the Liberal Party more. 25% think there is no difference.

The Liberal Party is trusted more by people earning $1,600+ pw (40% to 29%) while those on incomes under $1,000 pw favor the Labor Party 39% to 22%.

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Difference between Labor and Greens Policies

Apr 11, 2011

Q. How much difference do you think there is between the policies of the Labor Party and the Greens?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
They are completely different 8% 10% 10% 12%
Different on most issues 15% 15% 16% 26%
Different of some and similar on some 41% 54% 33% 47%
Similar on most issues 14% 7% 22% 8%
They are exactly the same 5% 2% 7% 1%
Don’t know 17% 13% 13% 5%

19% think the Labor and Greens policies are similar or exactly the same, 23% think they are mostly or completely different and 41% think they are different on some and the similar on some issues.

Labor voters are more likely to think they are different on some and similar on some (54%), Liberal/National voters more likely to think they are similar or the same (29%) and Greens voters more likely to think they are different (38%).

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