Essential Report

Federal politics – voting intention

Apr 4, 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 =1,860

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 44% 44% 43% 43%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 47% 46% 46% 46%
Labor 38.0 36% 36% 37% 36%
Greens 11.8 10% 10% 10% 10%
Other/Independent 6.6 7% 8% 7% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 53% 53% 52% 53%
Labor 50.1% 47% 47% 48% 47%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 2-week averages derived 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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State of the Economy

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Compared to other developed countries (e.g. USA, UK, Japan, European nations) how would you rate the current state of the Australian economy?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good 69% 82% 66% 75%
Total poor 7% 2% 9% 1%
Very good 24% 37% 15% 38%
Good 45% 45% 51% 37%
Average 21% 14% 24% 21%
Poor 4% 2% 5% 1%
Very poor 3% 4%
Don’t know 3% 2% 1% 2%

69% believe that, compared to other developed countries, the current state of the Australian economy is good and 7% think it is poor. 82% of Labor voters think it is good compared to 75% of Greens voters and 66% of Liberal/National voters.

Those on higher incomes are more likely to think it is good – 75% of those on $1,600+ per week compared to 66% of those under $600 per week.

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Federal Budget

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Thinking about the next Federal Budget, overall do you think the Government should increase, maintain or cut spending on services and programs?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Increase spending 15% 16% 13% 20%
Maintain spending 49% 58% 46% 54%
Cut spending 22% 14% 31% 15%
Don’t know 14% 12% 10% 11%

49% think the Government should maintain spending in the next Federal Budget, 22% think spending should be cut and 15% think it should be increased.

By voting intention, 74% of Labor voters and Greens voters think spending should be maintained or increased compared to 59% of Liberal/National voters. 31% of Liberal/National voters think spending should be cut.

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Federal Budget Surplus

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Do you think it is more important for the Government to return the budget to surplus by 2012/13 as planned – which may mean cutting services and raising taxes – OR should they delay the return to surplus and maintain services and invest in infrastructure?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Return to surplus by 2012/13 14% 16% 16% 9%
Delay return to surplus 69% 72% 70% 72%
Don’t know 17% 12% 13% 19%

69% support delaying the return to surplus if it means cutting services and raising taxes – while 14% think it is more important to return to surplus by 2012/13.

78% of those aged 45+ support delaying the return to surplus.

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The Economy

Apr 4, 2011

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 4 April 11 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 21% 43% 66% 53% 54% 33% 40% 27% 38% 25% 23%
Total worse 61% 37% 15% 19% 19% 31% 30% 37% 26% 48% 33%
Get a lot better 2% 5% 8% 9% 9% 5% 6% 4% 7% 3% 3%
Get a little better 19% 38% 58% 44% 45% 28% 34% 23% 31% 22% 20%
Get a little worse 45% 28% 11% 14% 13% 23% 20% 27% 22% 33% 27%
Get a lot worse 16% 9% 4% 5% 6% 8% 10% 10% 4% 15% 6%
Stay much the same 13% 17% 15% 24% 22% 30% 24% 27% 32% 23% 35%
No opinion 5% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7% 6% 8% 4% 5% 8%

Optimism about Australia’s economic outlook has declined substantially in the last 6 months. 27% think economic conditions in Australia will get better over the next 12 months and 37% think they will get worse – a net decline of 20% since this question was last asked in October. This is the most negative result recorded since December 2008.

Younger people are more optimistic than older people – of those aged under 35, 34% think conditions will get better and 27% worse.

38% of Labor voters think conditions will get better and 26% worse while 25% of Coalition voters think conditions will get better and 48% worse.

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Personal financial situation

Apr 4, 2011

Q. Over the next 12 months do you think your personal financial situation will get better, get worse or stay much the same?

29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10 18 Oct 10 4 April 11 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 40% 29% 33% 32% 37% 29% 40%
Total worse 23% 31% 29% 31% 28% 35% 21%
Get a lot better 8% 5% 6% 7% 7% 7% 7%
Get a little better 32% 24% 27% 25% 30% 22% 33%
Get a little worse 17% 21% 21% 22% 21% 24% 16%
Get a lot worse 6% 10% 8% 9% 7% 11% 5%
Stay much the same 33% 37% 32% 32% 32% 33% 34%
No opinion 4% 4% 5% 5% 3% 3% 6%

32% think their own personal financial situation will get better over the next 12 months and 31% worse – 32% think they will stay much the same.

This is a little less optimistic than the October result – a decrease from net +4% to +1%.

Among full-time workers, 40% think their situation will get better and 27% worse while those who are not working are more pessimistic – 25% better/32% worse/36% much the same.

For those aged 55+, 15% expect their financial situation to get better and 39% worse while for those aged under 35, 48% expect it to get better and 24% worse.

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Job security

Apr 4, 2011

Q. How concerned are you that you or some member of your immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so: very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

16 Feb 09 27 Apr 09 8 Jun 09 5 Oct 09 18 Jan 10 29 Mar 10 28 Jun 10 18 Oct 10 4 April 11 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 62% 67% 52% 49% 45% 39% 43% 40% 43% 39% 46% 42%
Very concerned 22% 24% 13% 14% 12% 10% 9% 11% 11% 9% 12% 7%
Somewhat concerned 40% 43% 39% 35% 33% 29% 34% 29% 32% 30% 34% 35%
Not at all concerned 29% 23% 35% 40% 40% 45% 38% 42% 43% 43% 44% 53%
Don’t know 4% 5% 6% 6% 8% 7% 12% 10% 8% 9% 4% 2%
No employees in the immediate family 5% 5% 8% 5% 8% 9% 7% 7% 7% 9% 5% 3%

43% were concerned that they or some member of their immediate family will lose their job in the next year or so and 43% were not at all concerned – a net negative movement of 2% since the last survey in June.

Those on higher incomes (40% concerned/54% not concerned for incomes of $1,600+) were more optimistic than those on lower incomes (46% concerned/40% not concerned for incomes of $600-$1,000).

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Support for Carbon Tax if Compensated

Mar 29, 2011

Q. If the Government compensated households by cutting income tax and increasing welfare payments, would you be more likely or less likely to support the proposed carbon tax?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Men Women Age

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged 55+
Total more likely 38% 58% 26% 49% 37% 40% 43% 38% 34%
Total less likely 16% 10% 23% 14% 20% 12% 16% 16% 15%
Much more likely 14% 26% 7% 20% 15% 14% 16% 15% 12%
Somewhat more likely 24% 32% 19% 29% 22% 25% 27% 23% 22%
Somewhat less likely 5% 6% 6% 4% 7% 3% 6% 6% 4%
Much less likely 11% 4% 17% 10% 13% 8% 10% 10% 11%
Makes no difference 35% 24% 46% 26% 35% 35% 26% 36% 46%
Don’t know 11% 8% 5% 11% 8% 13% 15% 10% 6%

38% of respondents agreed they would be more likely to support the proposed carbon tax if the Government compensated households by cutting income tax and increasing welfare payments, 16% said they would be less likely to support it and 35% said it would make no difference.

Those most likely to support the tax were Labor voters (58%), Greens voters (49%) and younger respondents (43% of people aged 18-34). 46% of Coalition voters and 46% of those aged 55+ said it would make no difference to their view.

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