Essential Report

Agreement with AUKUS implications

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Australia recently announced a trilateral partnership with the US and UK (known as AUKUS) which will deliver a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

The new security pact sees Australia cancel its previous deal with France’s Naval Group to build conventionally powered submarines.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the new AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership?

  TOTAL: Agree TOTAL: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
Australia is right to build strong relations with the US and UK for its national defence 62% 8% 33% 29% 30% 5% 3%
The AUKUS partnership strains Australia’s trade relations with China who see it as a threat 55% 8% 20% 35% 37% 5% 3%
The AUKUS partnership may endanger future trade deals with France and the EU 48% 13% 16% 32% 39% 9% 4%
The AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best security and economic interests 54% 12% 26% 28% 34% 7% 5%

 

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia is right to build strong relations with the US and UK for its national defence 62% 68% 56% 49% 58% 77% 59% 78% 44% 58%
The AUKUS partnership strains Australia’s trade relations with China who see it as a threat 55% 61% 49% 49% 54% 61% 57% 57% 65% 55%
The AUKUS partnership may endanger future trade deals with France and the EU 48% 49% 47% 47% 47% 49% 53% 47% 64% 48%
The AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best security and economic interests 54% 62% 46% 45% 50% 66% 49% 72% 36% 47%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • While 62% think it is good for Australia to strengthen relations with the US and UK through the AUKUS partnership, 55% acknowledge it will strain the trading relationship with China and 48% see the risk to relationships with France and other EU countries.
  • Just over half think the AUKUS partnership is in Australia’s best economic and security interests (54%).
  • The partnership appeals to Coalition voters, who are most likely to think it is right to build strong relations with the UK and US (78%) and agree that the deal is in Australia’s best interests (72%).

National security and AUKUS partnership

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Thinking about the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership, which is closer to your view?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will make Australia more secure 45% 47% 44% 34% 40% 60% 39% 62% 30% 38%
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will not affect Australia’s security 36% 34% 37% 48% 36% 24% 39% 27% 40% 33%
The AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine partnership will make Australia less secure 19% 19% 19% 18% 24% 15% 22% 12% 30% 29%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • Less than half think the AUKUS partnership will make Australia more secure (45%). 36% think it will not affect our security and 19% think we are now at more risk.
  • Those aged over 55 and Coalition voters are most likely to believe Australia is now more secure due to the AUKUS partnership.

Managing Australia’s relationship with China

Sep 28, 2021

Q. Overall, which is closest to your view about Australia’s relationship with China?

Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Australia’s relationship with China is a positive opportunity to be realised 10% 13% 7% 14% 11% 6% 11% 10% 12% 8%
Australia’s relationship with China is a complex relationship to be managed 66% 63% 69% 65% 64% 70% 66% 66% 66% 61%
Australia’s relationship with China is a threat to be confronted 24% 24% 23% 21% 25% 24% 23% 24% 21% 31%
Base (n) 1,094 539 555 341 368 385 366 397 101 130
  • Over twice as many people think Australia’s relationship with China is a threat to be confronted than a positive opportunity to be realised (24% to 10%). However most believe it is a complex relationship to be managed.
  • Younger people aged 18-34 are more likely to see the opportunity for a positive relationship with China than those aged over 55 (14% to 6%).

Importance of international relationships

May 5, 2015

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

  Very import-ant Quite import-ant Not very import-ant Don’t know   Very impor-tant

Mar 11

Very import-ant

Nov 13

Very import-ant

Oct 14

Very import-ant

Feb 15

Change
United States 44% 41% 8% 8% 60% 59% 53% 44%
China 39% 44% 6% 10% 48% 54% 44% 41% -2
United Kingdom 39% 43% 9% 10% 56% 48% 48% 38% +1
Japan 31% 52% 6% 11% 39% 35% 31% 30% +1
Canada 24% 45% 18% 13% na na 26% 22% +2
India 22% 47% 17% 14% 26% 26% 22% 20% +2
Indonesia 21% 40% 27% 12% 31% 40% 32% 22% -1
Germany 20% 47% 19% 14% 23% 20% 22% 18% +2
Saudi Arabia 14% 40% 30% 16% na na 17% 12% +2
Russia 13% 38% 33% 16% na na 16% 11% +2

44% of respondents think it is very important to have a close relationship with the United States and 39% think it is very important to have a close relationship with China and the United Kingdom. Relations with Russia (13%) and Saudi Arabia (14%) were thought to be the least important.

A close relationship with the United States is considered very important by 51% of Liberal/National voters, 48% of Labor voters and 29% of Greens voters.

Since this question was asked in February, there has been little change in importance of relations for all countries.

Trust in the Government’s handling of international relations

Feb 24, 2015

Q. How much trust do you have in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations? 

 

 Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

 

Nov 2013

Jun 2014

Oct 2014

Total a lot/some

33%

13%

66%

12%

21%

41%

35%

40%

Total little/no trust

62%

84%

31%

85%

71%

53%

59%

53%

A lot of trust

12%

2%

28%

7%

20%

17%

17%

Some trust

21%

11%

38%

12%

14%

21%

18%

23%

A little trust

22%

23%

23%

19%

21%

18%

16%

18%

No trust

40%

61%

8%

66%

50%

35%

43%

35%

Don’t know

5%

2%

4%

2%

8%

7%

5%

6%

 

Overall, 33% (down 7% since October) have a lot or some trust in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations and 62% (up 9%) have a little or no trust. Only 12% (down 5%) have “a lot of trust” and 40% (up 5%) have no trust.

Labor (61%) and Greens (66%) voters were far more likely to have ‘no trust’. 28% Liberal/National voters have “a lot of trust”- down from 44% in October.

Trust in the Government’s handling of international relations

Nov 25, 2014

Q. How much trust do you have in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations? 

 

 Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

 

Nov 2013

Jun 2014

Oct 2014

Total a lot/some

38%

15%

79%

7%

24%

41%

35%

40%

Total little/no trust

57%

82%

19%

93%

75%

53%

59%

53%

A lot of trust

15%

2%

38%

4%

20%

17%

17%

Some trust

23%

13%

41%

7%

20%

21%

18%

23%

A little trust

20%

22%

16%

18%

28%

18%

16%

18%

No trust

37%

60%

3%

75%

47%

35%

43%

35%

Don’t know

6%

4%

2%

1%

2%

7%

5%

6%

15% of people have “a lot of trust” in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations.

37% have no trust.

Labor (60%) and Greens (75%) voters were far more likely to have ‘no trust’. Liberal/National voters were far less likely (3%) to have no trust. 38% of Liberal/National voters have “a lot of trust”.

Since this question was asked in October, those saying they have a lot or some trust has decreased by 2% and those saying they have little/no trust increased by 4%.

Importance of international relationships

Oct 28, 2014

Q. How important is it for Australia to have a close relationship with the following nations?

 

Very 

Quite 

Not very 

Don’t know

 

Very 

Mar 11

Very 

Nov 13

Very 

Jun 14

Change

United States

53%

37%

5%

4%

60%

59%

57%

-4

United Kingdom

48%

41%

7%

4%

56%

48%

48%

China

44%

45%

6%

6%

48%

54%

46%

-2

Indonesia

32%

46%

15%

7%

31%

40%

35%

-3

Japan

31%

51%

11%

7%

39%

35%

32%

-1

Canada

26%

47%

20%

7%

na

na

28%

-2

India

22%

46%

24%

8%

26%

26%

23%

-1

Germany

22%

43%

27%

8%

23%

20%

21%

+1

Saudi Arabia

17%

38%

35%

10%

na

na

na

na

Russia

16%

39%

37%

8%

na

na

na

na

More than half the respondents think it is very important to have close relationships with the United States (53%). Relations with Russia (16%) and Saudi Arabia (17%) were thought to be the least important.

A close relationship with the United States is considered very important by 67% of Liberal/National voters, 50% of Labor voters and 41% of Greens voters.

Since this question was last asked in June, there has been a 4% decrease in the rating of the importance of relations with the United States.

Trust in the Government’s handling of international relations

Oct 28, 2014

Q. How much trust do you have in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations? 

 

 Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

 

Nov 2013

Jun 2014

Total a lot/some

40%

16%

82%

19%

26%

41%

35%

Total little/no trust

53%

81%

15%

80%

71%

53%

59%

A lot of trust

17%

1%

44%

2%

8%

20%

17%

Some trust

23%

15%

38%

17%

18%

21%

18%

A little trust

18%

24%

13%

10%

20%

18%

16%

No trust

35%

57%

2%

70%

51%

35%

43%

Don’t know

6%

3%

3%

1%

2%

7%

5%

17% of people have “a lot of trust” in Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government to handle Australia’s international relations.

35% have no trust.

Labor (57%) and Greens (70%) voters were far more likely to have ‘no trust’. Liberal/National voters were far less likely (2%) to have no trust. 44% of Liberal/National voters have “a lot of trust”.

Since this question was asked in June, those saying they have a lot or some trust has increased by 5% and those saying they have no trust decreased by 6% – a similar position to the poll in November last year.

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