Essential Report

Measures Government should take to Return to Surplus

Nov 28, 2011

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

April 4 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase taxes for big corporations 63% 72% 81% 65% 86%
Reduce tax breaks for high income earners 51% 59% 63% 57% 64%
Reduce defence spending 32% 37% 32% 37% 67%
Cut “middle class welfare” such as the Baby Bonus, first home buyers grant and Family Tax Benefit payments 36% 35% 31% 40% 29%
Cut spending on unemployment and disability benefits 21% 21% 15% 28% 13%
It does not need to return to surplus so quickly 38% 58% 65% 56% 61%

The most favoured measures for returning the budget to surplus were increasing taxes for big corporations (72%) and reducing tax breaks for high-income earners (59%).

Labor voters were more likely to support increasing taxes for big corporations (81%).

Liberal/National voters were more likely to support cutting spending on unemployment and welfare benefits (28%), and cutting “middle class welfare” (40%).

Since this question was last asked in April, support has increased for increasing taxes for big corporations (+9%) and reducing tax breaks for high income earners (+8%).

However, the major change since April has been a substantial increase in support for the position that the Government does not need to return to surplus so quickly – up 20% to 58%. This position is supported by 65% of Labor voters and 56% of Liberal/National voters.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Oct 24, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

Sample size = 1,888  respondents

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 46% 45% 45% 45%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6% 49% 48% 48% 48%
Labor 38.0% 32% 33% 33% 32%
Greens 11.8% 12% 10% 11% 11%
Other/Independent 6.6% 8% 9% 8% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 56% 55% 55% 55%
Labor 50.1% 44% 45% 45% 45%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Opinion of Government Decisions

Oct 24, 2011

Q. Thinking about some of the major decisions the Federal Government has made over recent years, do you think the following decisions have been good for Australia or bad for Australia?

Total good Total Bad Very good Good Neither good nor bad Bad Very bad Don’t know
Introducing the GST 39% 30% 10% 29% 24% 17% 13% 7%
Privatising Qantas 23% 44% 4% 19% 20% 31% 13% 13%
Privatising Telstra 20% 53% 4% 16% 16% 32% 21% 10%
Privatising the Commonwealth Bank 26% 42% 7% 19% 19% 25% 17% 13%
Floating the dollar 46% 11% 13% 33% 22% 7% 4% 21%
Free trade agreements 41% 21% 11% 30% 21% 13% 8% 18%
Compulsory superannuation 79% 7% 42% 37% 10% 4% 3% 5%
Medibank (now Medicare) 76% 6% 38% 38% 12% 4% 2% 6%

Only the Government decisions to introduce compulsory superannuation (79%) and Medibank (76%) were considered good for Australia by a majority of respondents – although opinions of floating the dollar (46% good/11% bad), free trade agreements (41%/21%) and the GST (39%/30%) were more likely to be positive than negative.

The decisions to privatize three major national enterprises were more likely to be considered bad. Although Labor voters were more negative about privatisations, Liberal/National voters were also more likely to describe them bad for Australia – Qantas 47% bad/34% good, Telstra 49%/29% and Commonwealth Bank 38%/36%.

47% of Labor voters thought the introduction of the GST was bad while 50% of Liberal/National voters thought it was good.

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Reversing Past Government Decisions

Oct 24, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose the Federal Government taking any of the following decisions

Total support Total oppose Strongly support Support Oppose Strongly oppose Don’t know
Abolishing the GST 35% 43% 14% 21% 24% 19% 21%
Buying back Qantas 43% 34% 13% 30% 23% 11% 22%
Buying back Telstra 47% 33% 16% 31% 22% 11% 20%
Buying back the Commonwealth Bank 41% 36% 13% 28% 24% 12% 23%
Regulating the dollar 32% 36% 10% 22% 22% 14% 32%
Increasing trade protection 59% 20% 20% 39% 13% 7% 21%
Making superannuation voluntary 24% 64% 9% 15% 26% 38% 13%
Privatising Medicare 11% 74% 4% 7% 26% 48% 17%

When asked whether these decisions should be reversed, 59% supported increasing trade protection and 47% supported buying back Telstra. There was very strong opposition to privatizing Medicare (74%) and making superannuation voluntary (64%). No other issues had clear majority support or opposition.

Liberal/National voters supported buying back Telstra (47% to 39%), were split on Qantas (43%/41%), but opposed buying back the Commonwealth Bank (39%/44%).

Although Coalition voters were more likely to think free trade agreements were good for Australia (41%/25%), they were also more likely than Labor voters to support increasing trade protection (64%/19%) – 59% of Labor voters supported more trade protection and 21% opposed.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Oct 17, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

Sample size = 1,905  respondents

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 46% 45% 45% 45%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6% 49% 48% 48% 48%
Labor 38.0% 32% 33% 33% 33%
Greens 11.8% 10% 11% 10% 11%
Other/Independent 6.6% 9% 9% 9% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 56% 55% 55% 55%
Labor 50.1% 44% 45% 45% 45%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Oct 10, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

Sample size = 1909  respondents

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 46% 46% 45% 45%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6% 49% 49% 48% 48%
Labor 38.0% 32% 32% 33% 33%
Greens 11.8% 10% 12% 11% 10%
Other/Independent 6.6% 10% 8% 9% 9%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 56% 56% 55% 55%
Labor 50.1% 44% 44% 45% 45%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Oct 3, 2011

Q. If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward?

Q. If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?

Sample size = 1909  respondents

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 46% 46% 46% 45%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6% 49% 49% 49% 48%
Labor 38.0% 30% 32% 32% 33%
Greens 11.8% 11% 10% 12% 11%
Other/Independent 6.6% 10% 9% 8% 9%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 57% 56% 56% 55%
Labor 50.1% 43% 44% 44% 45%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived from the first preference/leaning to voting questions.  Respondents who select ‘don’t know’ are not included in the results.  The two-party preferred estimate is calculated by distributing the votes of the other parties according to their preferences at the 2010 election.

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Trust in various Australian institutions

Sep 26, 2011

Q. How much trust do you have in the following institutions?

Total Trust Total No Trust A lot of trust Some trust A little trust No trust Don’t know
The High Court 72% 19% 33% 39% 13% 6% 10%
The Reserve Bank 67% 24% 23% 44% 17% 7% 10%
Courts in general 65% 26% 19% 46% 18% 8% 9%
Charitable organisations 61% 30% 18% 43% 22% 8% 9%
Federal Parliament 55% 36% 15% 40% 21% 15% 10%
The ABC 46% 44% 12% 34% 31% 13% 10%
Environment groups 45% 46% 11% 34% 28% 18% 9%
Trade unions 39% 52% 10% 29% 30% 22% 10%
Business groups 38% 51% 6% 32% 34% 17% 10%
Religious organisations 29% 62% 9% 20% 27% 35% 9%
Please note: ‘Total Trust’ is an aggregate figure achieved by adding ‘A lot of trust’ and ‘Some trust’ together.  ‘Total No Trust’ is an aggregate figure achieved by combining ‘A little trust’ and ‘No trust’.

The institution in which respondents place the most trust is the High Court with 72% of respondents stating that they either have ‘a lot of trust’ or ‘some trust’ in the High Court.  The High Court is followed by the Reserve Bank (67%), Courts in general (65%) and Charitable organisations (61%).

Federal parliament features below these top four, ranking 5th with 55% of respondents having either ‘a lot of trust’ or ‘some trust’, followed by the ABC which ranked in sixth place (46% total trust).

The institutions for which respondents had the most distrust were trade unions (52% no trust), business groups (51% no trust) and Religious organisations, which attracted the highest proportion of distrust (62% no trust).

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