Essential Report

Immigration and Religion

Feb 28, 2011

Q. When a family applies to migrate to Australia, should it be possible for them to be rejected purely on the basis of their religion?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should be rejected on basis of religion 19% 17% 24% 10%
Should not be rejected on basis of religion 65% 67% 63% 85%
Don’t know 15% 16% 13% 5%

65% believed that when a family applies to migrate to Australia, they should not be rejected purely on the basis of their religion and 19% think it should be possible to reject purely based on religion. There were no substantial differences across age and gender groups.

Liberal voters were a little more supportive of being able to reject based on religion (24%) and Greens voters were strongly opposed (85%).

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Concern about Muslims (pre information)

Feb 28, 2011

Q. Are you concerned about the number of Muslim people in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 57% 50% 69% 32%
Total not concerned 38% 46% 28% 68%
Very Concerned 28% 21% 37% 12%
Somewhat concerned 29% 29% 32% 20%
Not very concerned 21% 23% 19% 27%
Not at all concerned 17% 23% 9% 41%
Don’t know/Refused 5% 4% 2%

57% were very or somewhat concerned about the number of Muslim people in Australia while 38% were not very or not at all concerned. Concern is higher among Liberal/National voters (69%) and lower among Greens voters (32%).  72% of people aged 55+ say they are concerned.

Level of concern is related to perceptions of the number of Muslim people in Australia. The table below shows that those who think there are higher numbers of Muslims in Australia are much more likely to be concerned.

Estimated % Muslims in Australia
Total 1-2% 3-5% 6-10% Over 10%
Total concerned 57% 44% 52% 68% 79%
Total not concerned 38% 54% 46% 31% 19%

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Fastest Growing Religion

Feb 28, 2011

Q. Which of the following religions do you think has grown the fastest in Australia during the 10 years between 1996 and 2006, when the last national census was taken?


Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Christianity (including Catholic, Uniting Church, Anglican, etc) 8% 7% 11% 7%
Hinduism 3% 2% 3% 4%
Islam (Muslim) 57% 58% 64% 50%
Buddhism 5% 3% 4% 11%
Judaism (Jewish) * 1%
Don’t know/Refuse 27% 29% 19% 27%


57% believe that Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia. This perception is broadly similar across all age/gender groups – although a little higher for Liberal/National voters (64%) and those aged 55+ (65%).

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Muslims in Australia

Feb 28, 2011

Q. What percentage of Australian residents do you think are Muslim?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
1% 6% 6% 7% 8%
2% 11% 10% 14% 9%
3-5% 26% 26% 25% 37%
6-10% 20% 19% 22% 18%
More than 10% 19% 20% 19% 17%
Don’t know 18% 20% 13% 11%

17% think that Muslims make up 1-2% of Australia’s population, 26% think they make up 3-5% and 39% think it is over 5%. The actual figure is 1.7% – meaning 65% have over-estimated the number of Muslims in Australia.

There were only minor differences between age, gender and voter groups.

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Concern about Muslims (post information)

Feb 28, 2011

Q. The 2006 Census figures show that in fact the fastest growing religions in Australia are Hinduism, Buddhism and then Islam.   Presently, only 1.71% of the Australian population identifies as Muslim.  In light of this information, how concerned are you about the number of Muslim people in Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total concerned 50% 43% 62% 22%
Total not concerned 45% 54% 35% 76%
Very Concerned 22% 18% 29% 11%
Somewhat concerned 28% 25% 33% 11%
Not very concerned 26% 27% 24% 32%
Not at all concerned 19% 27% 11% 44%
Don’t know 5% 4% 4% 1%

After being given some information about the number of Muslims in Australia, 50% said they were still very/somewhat concerned and 45% said they were not very or not at all concerned. This represents a 7% fall in level of concern from the question asked before this information was given to respondents.

All demographic and voter groups showed a similar fall in level of concern.

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Politicians Raising Race/Religion Issues

Feb 28, 2011

Q. Do you think some politicians raise issues of race and religion for political purposes just to generate votes or do you think these politicians are genuinely concerned about Australia’s future?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Some politicians raise issues of race and religion for political purposes just to generate votes 61% 66% 55% 80%
These politicians are genuinely concerned about Australia’s future 27% 21% 37% 14%
Don’t know 12% 12% 7% 5%

61% believed that some politicians raise issues of race and religion for political purposes just to generate votes and 27% thought these politicians are genuinely concerned about Australia’s future.

Those most likely to think these politicians are genuinely concerned about Australia’s future were Liberal/National voters (37%) – and among people aged 55+, 34% thought these politicians are genuinely concerned about Australia’s future and 58% thought they use race and religion for political purposes.

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Trust in Federal Leaders

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Who do you trust most to deliver good policies for Australia’s future?
(Question commissioned by Network Ten)

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Julia Gillard 40% 81% 5% 62%
Tony Abbott 31% 1% 72% 2%
Don’t know 29% 18% 23% 36%

40% have most trust in Julia Gillard to deliver good policies for Australia’s future and 31% trust Tony Abbott most.

Opinions closely follow party preference although Julia Gillard is overwhelmingly trusted more by Greens voters (62% to 2%).

Women are less trusting of Tony Abbott – 40% of men trust Julia Gillard and 36% trust Tony Abbott while 41% of women trust Julia Gillard and only 26% trust Tony Abbott.

Younger people are also less likely to trust Tony Abbott – those aged 55+ trust Tony Abbott (44%) more than Julia Gillard (36%) while those aged under 35 trust Julia Gillard more (42% Gillard/24% Abbott).

Download the Network Ten Essential Question of the Week. (1.1 MB pdf)

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Federal politics – voting intention

Feb 21, 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 = 1,913

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 42% 43% 41% 40%
National 3% 3% 3% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 45% 46% 44% 43%
Labor 38.0 37% 38% 40% 39%
Greens 11.8 11% 10% 10% 11%
Other/Independent 6.6 7% 7% 6% 7%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 51% 51% 50% 49%
Labor 50.1% 49% 49% 50% 51%

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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