Government Decisions and Policies

Aug 29, 2011

Q. Thinking about what the Labor Government has done over the last few years, do you approve or disapprove of the following Government actions?

Total approve Total disapprove Strongly approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Increased funding of health services 89% 5% 42% 47% 3% 2% 6%
Increasing the age pension 78% 14% 34% 44% 8% 6% 8%
Increasing superannuation to 12% 75% 13% 28% 47% 9% 4% 12%
Managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low 70% 21% 21% 49% 12% 9% 10%
Spending on new school buildings 68% 24% 19% 49% 15% 9% 8%
Introducing a national disability insurance scheme 63% 13% 18% 45% 9% 4% 24%
Stimulus spending to tackle the GFC 61% 28% 21% 40% 15% 13% 11%
Paid parental leave 60% 30% 19% 41% 17% 13% 10%
Introducing a tax on large profits of mining companies 58% 29% 27% 31% 16% 13% 13%
Building the NBN (National Broadband Network) 54% 34% 19% 35% 17% 17% 12%
Stopping live cattle exports until welfare concerns were addressed 53% 34% 24% 29% 17% 17% 12%
Abolished WorkChoices 51% 33% 23% 28% 21% 12% 16%
Sending asylum seekers to Malaysia 39% 45% 17% 22% 20% 25% 16%
Introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change 33% 53% 15% 18% 14% 39% 14%

Government decisions and policies with highest approval were increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (78%) and increasing superannuation to 12% (75%).

Only two of the actions listed received less than majority approval – sending asylum seekers to Malaysia was 39% approve/45% disapprove and introducing a carbon tax to tackle climate change was 33% approve/53% disapprove.

Labor voters showed majority approval of all decisions and policies, Greens voters showed majority approval for all except sending asylum seekers to Malaysia (21% approve/63% disapprove).

Liberal/National voters approved of half the items listed – increased funding of health services (89% approve), increasing the age pension (79%), increasing superannuation to 12% (71%), managing the economy to keep unemployment and interest rates low (54%), spending on new school buildings (54%), introducing a national disability insurance scheme (60%) and paid parental leave (52%).

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Important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

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

Total Labor Liberal/ National Green
Management of the economy 61% 60% 76% 28%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 26% 29% 24% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 49% 50% 50% 51%
Protecting the environment 15% 17% 10% 52%
A fair industrial relations system 8% 12% 4% 4%
Political leadership 17% 16% 20% 16%
Addressing climate change 15% 23% 6% 45%
Controlling interest rates 13% 15% 13% 6%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 32% 28% 36% 12%
Ensuring a quality water supply 5% 5% 3% 7%
Housing affordability 16% 16% 13% 16%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 17% 14% 19% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 8% 4% 13% 1%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 12%
Managing population growth 12% 12% 12% 9%

There were few substantial differences between voters on issues they considered important. Compared to the average, Labor voters are more likely to rate addressing climate change (23%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (76%) and security and the war on terrorism (13%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate protecting the environment (52%), addressing climate change (45%) and treatment of asylum seekers (12%).

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Party trusted to handle important election issues

Jun 6, 2011

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

Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
Management of the economy 29% 47% 3% 22%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 38% 35% 5% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 33% 35% 6% 25%
Protecting the environment 18% 21% 39% 23%
A fair industrial relations system 40% 31% 4% 24%
Political leadership 26% 38% 5% 31%
Addressing climate change 21% 24% 29% 26%
Controlling interest rates 26% 44% 3% 28%
Protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries 35% 35% 4% 26%
Ensuring a quality water supply 21% 28% 22% 29%
Housing affordability 26% 34% 4% 35%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 29% 37% 4% 30%
Security and the war on terrorism 25% 40% 3% 32%
Treatment of asylum seekers 19% 39% 11% 31%
Managing population growth 21% 36% 7% 36%

Labor is the most trusted party on only one issue – a fair industrial relations system. There is 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.

This represents a weakening in Labor’s position over the last few months. In January Labor was trusted most to handle ensuring a quality education for all children and in October Labor also had a significant lead on protecting Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

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Economy Heading in the Right/Wrong Direction

May 16, 2011

Q. Overall, from what you have read and heard, do you think the Australian economy is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction?

Post budget 2010 Pre budget 2011 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
The right direction 51% 45% 46% 74% 30% 46%
The wrong direction 25% 29% 29% 9% 49% 24%
Don’t know 24% 25% 25% 17% 21% 30%

Nearly half (46%) the respondents think that Australia’s economy is heading in the right direction – 29% think it is heading in the wrong direction.

This was a little less positive than the post 2010 budget poll, but unchanged from the poll taken before the 2011 budget – which suggests that the budget has had no impact on overall perceptions of the economy.

74% of Labor voters, 30% of Liberal/National voters and 46% of Greens voters think the economy is heading in the right direction.

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Party Best at Handling Economy

May 16, 2011

Q. Which party do you think would be best at handling the Australian economy in the interests of you and people like you?

Post budget 2010 Post budget 2011 Vote Labor Vote Liberal/ National Vote Greens
Labor Party 33% 30% 75% 3% 36%
Liberal Party 36% 40% 4% 84% 11%
No difference 20% 22% 17% 10% 46%
Don’t know 11% 9% 4% 3% 7%

30% think Labor the party best to handle the economy (in the interests of you and people like you) and 40% nominated the Liberal Party. This represents a shift of 7% in favour of the Liberal Party since the 2010 budget.

75% of Labor voters nominated Labor and 84% of Coalition voters nominated the Liberal Party. 46% of Greens voters said there was no difference – 36% said Labor and 11% Liberal.

Those with incomes under $600 pw favour Labor 32% to 30% while those on $1,600+ pw favour the Liberals 49% to 29%.

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The Economy

Oct 18, 2010

 Q. Over the next 12 months do you think economic conditions in Australia will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

  1 Dec 08 15 Jun 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10 29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10 18 Oct 10
Total better 21% 43% 66% 53% 54% 33% 40%
Total worse 61% 37% 15% 19% 19% 31% 30%
Get a lot better 2% 5% 8% 9% 9% 5% 6%
Get a little better 19% 38% 58% 44% 45% 28% 34%
Get a little worse 45% 28% 11% 14% 13% 23% 20%
Get a lot worse 16% 9% 4% 5% 6% 8% 10%
Stay much the same 13% 17% 15% 24% 22% 30% 24%
No opinion 5% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7% 6%

 40% think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months and 30% think they will get worse – a net improvement of 8% since this question was last asked in June.

 Younger people are more optimistic than older people – of those aged under 35, 50% think conditions will get better and 20% worse.

 54% of Labor voters think conditions will get better and 15% worse while 32% of Coalition voters think conditions will get better and 42% worse. Comments »

Important election issues

Oct 11, 2010

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

One Two Three Total Total 10th May 10 Total 25th Jan 10
Management of the economy 38% 15% 9% 62% 62% 63%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 6% 12% 14% 32% 19% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 14% 21% 13% 48% 50% 48%
Protecting the environment 3% 4% 5% 12% 13% 16%
A fair industrial relations system 3% 5% 3% 11% 10% *
Political leadership 6% 5% 5% 16% 12% 23%
Addressing climate change 4% 3% 4% 11% 12% 16%
Controlling interest rates 4% 6% 7% 17% 16% 15%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 12% 30% 29% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 3% 2% 6% 7% 12%
Housing affordability 5% 4% 8% 17% 17% 14%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 5% 7% 16% 17% 14%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 3% 6% 7% 9%
Treatment of asylum seekers 1% 2% 2% 5% * *
Managing population growth 2% 3% 5% 10% 14% *

*Not asked

62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy as one of their three most important issues, followed by 48% ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system, 32% ensuring a quality education for all children and 30% Australian jobs and protection of local industries.

Only 11% rate addressing climate change as one of their three most important issues and 6% rate ensuring a quality water supply.   The major change since the previous survey in May, was an increase in the importance of ensuring a quality education for all children from 19% to 32%.

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Important election issues

Oct 11, 2010

Q. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

Total Labor Liberal Green
Management of the economy 62% 59% 74% 46%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 32% 37% 26% 23%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system 48% 53% 47% 43%
Protecting the environment 12% 12% 8% 27%
A fair industrial relations system 11% 18% 6% 14%
Political leadership 16% 16% 17% 10%
Addressing climate change 11% 15% 4% 35%
Controlling interest rates 17% 11% 22% 12%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 30% 34% 27% 15%
Ensuring a quality water supply 6% 4% 8% 13%
Housing affordability 17% 12% 16% 20%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 16% 12% 20% 16%
Security and the war on terrorism 6% 3% 8% 2%
Treatment of asylum seekers 5% 3% 5% 10%
Managing population growth 10% 7% 13% 9%

Labor voters are more likely to rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system (53%), ensuring a quality education for all children (37%) and a fair industrial relations system (18%) as important.

Liberal/National voters attach more importance to management of the economy (74%) and controlling interest rates (22%) while Greens voters are more likely to nominate addressing climate change (35%) and protecting the environment (27%).

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