Essential Report

Important election issues

Dec 5, 2011

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

First Second Third Total 6 June 11 24 Jan 11 11 Oct 10 25 Jan 10
Management of the economy 39% 16% 7% 62% 61% 65% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 4% 8% 10% 22% 26% 26% 32% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 12% 18% 17% 47% 49% 49% 48% 48%
Protecting the environment 4% 5% 4% 13% 15% 13% 12% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 3% 4% 4% 11% 8% 10% 11% *
Political leadership 7% 6% 5% 18% 17% 16% 16% 23%
Addressing climate change 3% 4% 3% 10% 15% 10% 11% 16%
Controlling interest rates 2% 4% 5% 11% 13% 21% 17% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 11% 12% 13% 36% 32% 30% 30% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply * 2% 2% 4% 5% 6% 6% 12%
Housing affordability 3% 4% 6% 13% 16% 16% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 3% 5% 8% 16% 17% 18% 16% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 1% 2% 4% 8% 5% 6% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 2% 3% 3% 8% 5% 5% 5% *
Managing population growth 1% 3% 4% 8% 12% 11% 10% *

*Not asked

62% of people surveyed rated management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 47% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 36% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Since June, there have been only minor changes in these figures – there has been an increase in the importance of Australian jobs and protection of local industries (+4%) and declines in the importance of addressing climate change (-5%), ensuring a quality education for all children (-4%), managing population growth (-4%) and security and the war on terrorism (-4%).

Comments »

Party trust to handle important election issues

Dec 5, 2011

Q. And which party would you trust most to handle the following issues?

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 27% 45% 2% 25%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 34% 36% 5% 25%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 31% 34% 6% 29%
Protecting the environment 16% 23% 37% 24%
A fair industrial relations system 38% 34% 5% 23%
Political leadership 23% 40% 5% 33%
Addressing climate change 19% 25% 31% 25%
Controlling interest rates 24% 42% 2% 32%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 32% 35% 4% 29%
Ensuring a quality water supply 18% 30% 24% 29%
Housing affordability 23% 33% 5% 38%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 28% 37% 4% 31%
Security and the war on terrorism 21% 40% 3% 35%
Treatment of asylum seekers 17% 36% 12% 35%
Managing population growth 18% 35% 9% 39%

Labor does not have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party on any item measured.  The 9% lead it had in June on “a fair industrial relations system” has been reduced to 4%. There is also little difference between Labor and the Liberals for ensuring a quality education for all children, ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

The Liberal Party has maintained strong leads on management of the economy, controlling interest rates, political leadership and security and the war on terrorism.

Overall, there has been a slight weakening of Labor’s position since June.

Comments »

Cigarette Packaging

May 30, 2011

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the Government’s proposal to package all cigarettes in olive green and remove all brand logos?
(This question has been commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Smoke regularly Don’t smoke regularly Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total agree 49% 24% 55% 61% 40% 63% 50% 48% 54% 46% 49%
Total disagree 34% 62% 28% 27% 41% 28% 34% 33% 28% 36% 37%
Strongly agree 26% 7% 30% 35% 19% 34% 29% 23% 27% 23% 30%
Agree 23% 17% 25% 26% 21% 29% 21% 25% 27% 23% 19%
Disagree 18% 18% 18% 15% 21% 15% 17% 19% 17% 17% 22%
Strongly disagree 16% 44% 10% 12% 20% 13% 17% 14% 11% 19% 15%
Don’t know 17% 14% 17% 12% 19% 9% 15% 18% 19% 17% 13%

49% agree with the Government’s cigarette packaging proposals and 34% disagree. Strongest support comes from Labor voters (61%), Greens voters (63%) and people aged under 35 (54%).

62% of regular smokers disagree with the proposals and 24% agree.

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Turning around the Titanic

Mar 8, 2011

First published on The Drum: 08/03/2011

The media works in eight-hour news cycles, politicians live and die by three-year cycles, while the planet’s climate is working on a significantly longer time frame.

The way these three cycles interplay over the next few months will determine not only the outcome of the next federal election but whether Australia will be a beneficiary or a victim of the shift in energy use that climate change will inevitably require*.

As this week’s Essential Report shows the Government has taken a short-term hammering after it’s decision to move on a carbon price. Not only has the Government failed to win popular support for its carbon pricing scheme, this has translated into a 4 per cent turnaround in the Two Party Preferred.

Of particular concern to Labor would be the high level of strong opposition, compared to strong support for the plan and the fact that barely half of Labor voters are backing the scheme.

Comments »

Disaster Relief Fund

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Do you think the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund or do you think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Set up permanent disaster fund 63% 64% 65% 67%
Respond as disasters occur 29% 29% 31% 28%
Don’t know 7% 7% 4% 4%

63% believe the Government should set up a permanent disaster relief fund and 29% think it is better for the Government to respond to disasters as they occur.

Opinions are similar across voting intention groups.  Older respondents are more likely to support a permanent disaster fund (74% of aged 55+ support). 68% of Queenslanders also support a permanent fund.

Comments »

Government vs Private Sector

Jan 31, 2011

Q. Which of the following are better run by the private sector and which are better run by Government?

Better run by private sector Better run by Government Don’t know
Electricity 22% 61% 17%
Water 15% 70% 16%
Trains, buses and ferries 19% 68% 13%
Motorways 17% 70% 13%
Community services such as child protection 14% 71% 15%
Broadband services 53% 29% 19%
Health insurance services 48% 37% 15%
Property insurance 55% 27% 19%
Prisons 10% 76% 15%
Universities 20% 64% 16%

A substantial majority believed that the Government is better at running prisons (76%), community services (71%), water (70%) and motorways (70%). However, they are more likely to think that the private sector is better at running property insurance (55%), broadband services (53%) and health insurance (48%).

Although Liberal/National voters were a little more likely to favour the private sector on most issues, they also supported the Government running most services except for broadband services (63% private/24% Government), health insurance (59%/32%) and property insurance (65%/23%). Labor voters favoured the private sector to run broadband (44%/38%) and property insurance (50%/31%) but were split on health insurance (41% private/43% Government).

Support for Government run services was a little higher in NSW than in Victoria – e.g. electricity (64% NSW/59% Vic), water (73%/65%).

Comments »

Resources Super Profits Tax

Jun 28, 2010

Q. Which of the following approaches do you think the Government should take in their dispute with the mining companies over the proposed resources super profits tax?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Proceed with the tax as planned 11% 17% 4% 17%
Compromise a little and make minor changes to the tax 35% 52% 18% 62%
Compromise a lot and make major changes to the tax 26% 20% 41% 7%
Not proceed with the tax in any form 14% 3% 30% 5%
Don’t know 14% 8% 7% 8

Nearly half the respondents (46%) believe that the Government should proceed with the resources super profits tax unchanged or with minor changes. Only 14% oppose that tax in any form and 26% think the Government should make major changes to the tax.

69% of Labor voters want the tax to proceed unchanged or with minor changes as does 79% of Greens voters. 41% of Liberal/National voters want major changes and 30% do not want the tax in any form. Comments »

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