Essential Report

Federal government response to Covid-19

Oct 26, 2021

Q. Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  25/10 11/10 27/09 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03
Very poor 12% 12% 12% 16% 16% 13% 16% 13% 12% 10% 6% 7% 5%
Quite poor 19% 18% 18% 20% 20% 22% 19% 19% 17% 14% 12% 10% 7%
Neither good nor poor 24% 25% 25% 21% 24% 24% 28% 23% 26% 22% 25% 21% 18%
Quite good 32% 32% 34% 28% 29% 32% 28% 32% 33% 38% 40% 40% 39%
Very good 14% 13% 11% 15% 10% 9% 10% 14% 11% 15% 18% 22% 31%
TOTAL: Poor 31% 30% 30% 35% 36% 35% 35% 31% 30% 24% 18% 17% 12%
TOTAL: Good 46% 45% 45% 43% 39% 41% 38% 46% 44% 53% 58% 62% 70%
Base (n) 1,781 1,097 1,094 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,098 1,100 1,099 1,104 1,100 1,368 1,124

 

TOTAL: Good 25/10 11/10 27/09 13/09 30/08 16/08 02/08 19/07 05/07 07/06 24/05 12/04 15/03
NSW 50% 48% 48% 41% 34% 34% 39% 49% 44% 62% 56% 66% 69%
VIC 34% 37% 39% 39% 35% 37% 33% 39% 40% 42% 57% 55% 65%
QLD 46% 50% 44% 43% 45% 44% 40% 46% 48% 54% 56% 63% 69%
SA 52% 46% 42% 54% 48% 45% 48% 51% 48% 58% 66% 62% 78%
WA 46% 49% 48% 51% 51% 53% 37% 51% 42% 49% 56% 65% 75%
  • 46% of people rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak as quite good or very good (similar to earlier this month), with 31% rating it as quite poor or very poor.
  • The only state to record an improvement in positive rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 is South Australia (52% from 46% earlier in October).

Federal government’s role in increasing employment and jobs

Oct 26, 2021

Q. Which of the following is closer to your view of the federal government’s role in relation to employment and jobs?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The federal government’s role is to reduce taxes and red tape so businesses can employ more workers 35% 42% 29% 34% 35% 36% 30% 44% 31% 38%
The federal government’s role is to invest behind local industries to create more jobs 44% 44% 43% 40% 43% 47% 49% 42% 48% 46%
Unsure 21% 14% 28% 26% 22% 18% 21% 14% 21% 16%
Base (n) 1,781 875 906 533 601 647 636 610 157 220
  • More people think the federal government’s role is to invest behind local industries to create more jobs than to reduce taxes and red tape so businesses can employ more workers (44% to 35%). 21% are unsure on their preferred role.
  • Men are more likely than women to think the federal government’s role is to reduce taxes and red tape so businesses can employ more workers (42% to 29%).
  • Coalition voters are also more likely to agree with this viewpoint than all other voters combined (44% to 32% respectively).

Confidence in federal government’s long-term plans

Aug 17, 2021

Q. Please indicate which is closest to your view about the federal government’s plan for each of the following issues:

TOTAL: I’m confident the federal government has a long-term plan, and it’s clear to me what this plan is Aug’21 May’21
Minimise the long-term impact of remote learning on children and young people’s education 18%
Reduce the national deficit 18% 16%
Reopen international borders 21% 21%
Establish quarantine facilities 23% 21%
Protect children and young people from getting Covid-19 25%
The Covid-19 vaccine rollout 26% 25%
  • Since May, the federal government has not convinced any more people it has a long-term plan to deal with the major challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 26% say they are confident the government has a plan, and it’s clear what it is for the vaccine roll-out (25% in May), 23% are clear on the government’s plans for quarantine facilities (21% in May), and 21% think there is a clear long-term plan to reopen international borders (21% in May).
I’m confident the federal government has a long-term plan, and it’s clear to me what this plan is I’m confident the federal government has a long-term plan, but it hasn’t been communicated well I’m not confident the federal government has a long-term plan
Minimise the long-term impact of remote learning on children and young people’s education 18% 39% 43%
Reduce the national deficit 18% 40% 42%
Reopen international borders 21% 38% 41%
Establish quarantine facilities 23% 37% 40%
Protect children and young people from getting Covid-19 25% 37% 38%
The Covid-19 vaccine rollout 26% 39% 35%
  • There is uncertainty about the federal government’s long-term plans, or a perception that these plans have not been communicated clearly to the public.
  • 43% of people aren’t confident there is a long-term plan from minimising the long-term impact of remote learning on children and young people’s education. 39% are confident a plan exists but think it hasn’t been communicated well.
  • Over a third (35%) are not confident the federal government has a long-term plan for protecting children and young people from getting Covid-19. A further third (39%) are confident a plan exists but think it hasn’t been communicated well.

Change in views towards federal government

Jun 8, 2021

Q. In the last year have your views towards Scott Morrison’s federal government become more or less favourable?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
I view Scott Morrison’s federal government less favourably than I did a year ago 40% 40% 39% 44% 40% 36% 54% 24% 51% 49%
I view Scott Morrison’s federal government more favourably than I did a year ago 25% 29% 22% 24% 28% 24% 19% 39% 17% 17%
My views on Scott Morrison’s federal government have not changed 35% 31% 39% 32% 32% 41% 27% 37% 32% 34%
Base (n) 1,104 542 562 347 364 393 346 404 108 141

 

State
NSW VIC QLD SA WA
I view Scott Morrison’s federal government less favourably than I did a year ago 34% 48% 39% 37% 45%
I view Scott Morrison’s federal government more favourably than I did a year ago 27% 25% 24% 34% 19%
My views on Scott Morrison’s federal government have not changed 39% 27% 37% 29% 35%
Base (n) 349 278 225 89 108
  • 40% of Australians say they now view Scott Morrison’s federal government less favourably than they did a year ago. A quarter (25%) say they view this more favourably than they did a year ago, and 35% say their views on the federal government have not changed.
  • Compared to other Australians, Victorians are more likely to say they view Scott Morrison’s federal government less favourably than they did a year ago. Just under half (48%) of Victorians say this, followed by 45% of Western Australians, 39% of Queenslanders, 37% of South Australians and 34% of those in NSW.

Federal government response to Covid-19

Mar 16, 2021

Q. Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  15/03 01/03 15/02 01/02 30/11 16/11 02/11 05/10 21/09 07/09 24/08 10/08 27/07
Very poor 5% 6% 5% 4% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 8% 6% 7% 6%
Quite poor 7% 8% 7% 11% 8% 9% 10% 12% 13% 12% 11% 8% 11%
Neither good nor poor 18% 24% 19% 19% 19% 18% 24% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 20%
Quite good 39% 39% 42% 42% 41% 41% 39% 39% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Very good 31% 23% 27% 25% 26% 26% 22% 21% 21% 18% 22% 24% 24%
TOTAL: Poor 12% 14% 12% 14% 13% 15% 15% 18% 18% 19% 17% 16% 16%
TOTAL: Good 70% 62% 69% 67% 67% 67% 61% 60% 61% 59% 61% 63% 64%
Base (n) 1,124 1,074 1,109 1,092 1,034 1,010 1,063 1,066 1,081 1,076 1,068 1,010 1,058
  • Rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has bounced back up to 70%, the highest rating seen in the last six months.
  • This result is driven by the increase within Victoria (65% rating quite or very good, up from 51% earlier in the month).

Federal government response to Covid-19

Mar 2, 2021

Q.  Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  01/03 15/02 01/02 30/11 16/11 02/11 05/10 21/09 07/09 24/08 10/08 27/07
Very poor 6% 5% 4% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 8% 6% 7% 6%
Quite poor 8% 7% 11% 8% 9% 10% 12% 13% 12% 11% 8% 11%
Neither good nor poor 24% 19% 19% 19% 18% 24% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 20%
Quite good 39% 42% 42% 41% 41% 39% 39% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Very good 23% 27% 25% 26% 26% 22% 21% 21% 18% 22% 24% 24%
TOTAL: Poor 14% 12% 14% 13% 15% 15% 18% 18% 19% 17% 16% 16%
TOTAL: Good 62% 69% 67% 67% 67% 61% 60% 61% 59% 61% 63% 64%
Base (n) 1,074 1,109 1,092 1,034 1,010 1,063 1,066 1,081 1,076 1,068 1,010 1,058
  • Rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has fallen to 62% since last month, the lowest rating we’ve seen since November last year.

Federal government response to Covid-19

Feb 16, 2021

Q. Overall, how would you rate the federal government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak?

  15/02 01/02 30/11 16/11 02/11 05/10 21/09 07/09 24/08 10/08 27/07 13/07
Very poor 5% 4% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 8% 6% 7% 6% 6%
Quite poor 7% 11% 8% 9% 10% 12% 13% 12% 11% 8% 11% 10%
Neither good nor poor 19% 19% 19% 18% 24% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 20% 20%
Quite good 42% 42% 41% 41% 39% 39% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%
Very good 27% 25% 26% 26% 22% 21% 21% 18% 22% 24% 24% 24%
TOTAL: Poor 12% 14% 13% 15% 15% 18% 18% 19% 17% 16% 16% 16%
TOTAL: Good 69% 67% 67% 67% 61% 60% 61% 59% 61% 63% 64% 64%
Base (n) 1,109 1,092 1,034 1,010 1,063 1,066 1,081 1,076 1,068 1,010 1,058 1,054
  • Rating of the federal government’s handling of Covid-19 has increased to 69% since last month, the highest rating in the last six months.

Views towards federal vs state government responsibility to manage Covid-19 hotel quarantine system

Feb 16, 2021

Q. Which of the following statements about Australia’s international borders and the Covid-19 hotel quarantine system for returning travellers is closest to your view?

  Total Federal Voting Intention
Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
It should be the federal government’s responsibility to protect Australia’s international borders and manage the hotel quarantine system 62% 63% 59% 57% 67%
It should be each state governments’ responsibility to quarantine travellers returning within their borders and the federal government should be left out of this 38% 37% 41% 43% 33%
Base (n) 1,109 359 428 101 131
  • More people think it should be the federal government’s responsibility to protect Australia’s international borders and manage the hotel quarantine system, than those who think it should be each state governments’ responsibility to quarantine travellers returning within their borders (62% to 38%).
  • The view that this should be a federal rather than state government responsibility is consistent across all voting intentions.

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

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