Essential Report

Approval of Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the recent agreement between the Federal and State Governments for the Federal Government to provide 50% of growth funding for Australia’s healthcare system?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 67% 81% 62% 74%
Total disapprove 9% 4% 15% 4%
Strongly approve 18% 31% 10% 25%
Approve 49% 50% 52% 49%
Disapprove 6% 4% 10% 3%
Strongly disapprove 3% * 5% 1%
Don’t know 24% 15% 24% 21%

Two-thirds of respondents approved of the recent agreement between the Federal and State Governments for the Federal Government to provide 50% of growth funding for Australia’s healthcare system and only 9% disapproved. All voter groups showed strong majority approval.

Older people were more supportive than younger people – 71% of those aged 55+ approved compared to 60% of those aged under 18-35. By state, Victoria had the highest approval at 72%.

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Impact of Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you think this funding agreement will result in a better or a worse healthcare system or will it make no difference?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 49% 67% 39% 65%
Total worse/no difference 34% 20% 49% 20%
A lot better 8% 16% 4% 8%
A little better 41% 51% 35% 57%
Make no difference 28% 19% 38% 18%
A little worse 3% 1% 5% 1%
A lot worse 3% * 6% 1%
Don’t know 16% 13% 12% 16%

About half the respondents thought the agreement will result in a better healthcare system. Two thirds of Labor and Greens voters thought it would result in a better system but Liberal/National voters were more likely to think it would make no difference or be worse.

Although showing higher approval of the agreement, older people were more likely to think it would make no difference or be worse – those aged 45+ were split 49% better/40% no difference or worse compared to aged 18-44 at 50% better/29% no difference or worse.

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Liberal Party Support for Healthcare Agreement

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you think Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should support or oppose this health care agreement between the Federal and State Governments?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should support 51% 72% 36% 69%
Should oppose 11% 2% 20% 6%
Should neither support nor oppose 10% 5% 16% 4%
Don’t know 28% 20% 28% 20%

Half the respondents thought Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should support the health care agreement and only 11% thought they should oppose it. Only 20% of Liberal/National voters thought Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party should oppose it – 36% though they should support it and 44% thought they should do neither or had no opinion.

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Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Do you think that Julia Gillard has been a better or a worse leader than Kevin Rudd?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total better 28% 47% 13% 30%
Total worse 33% 18% 48% 35%
A lot better 7% 15% 2% 3%
A little better 21% 32% 11% 27%
No difference 33% 32% 37% 30%
A little worse 15% 10% 17% 23%
A lot worse 18% 8% 31% 12%
Don’t know 6% 3% 2% 5%

Overall, respondents were split over whether Julia Gillard has been a better or worse leader than Kevin Rudd – 28% thought she had been better, 33% worse and 33% no different.

Labor voters were more likely to think she had been better (47%/18%) while Liberal/National voters though she had been worse (13%/48%). Greens voters were split 30% better/35% worse and 30% no different.

By gender – men split 24% better/37% worse compared to women 31% better/29% worse.

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Taxing Mining Company Profits

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Would you approve or disapprove of higher taxes on the profits of large mining companies?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 56% 75% 36% 83%
Total disapprove 27% 13% 49% 6%
Strongly approve 21% 32% 6% 46%
Approve 35% 43% 30% 37%
Disapprove 20% 11% 35% 4%
Strongly disapprove 7% 2% 14% 2%
Don’t know 17% 13% 15% 11%

There was majority approval of higher taxes on the profits of large mining companies – 56% approved and 27% disapproved. Labor and Greens voters showed very high approval while Liberal/National voters split 36% approve/49% disapprove.

There were no significant differences by demographic groupings (age/income/work status).

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Taxing Mining Company Profits

Feb 21, 2011

Q. Would you approve or disapprove of higher taxes on the profits of large mining companies if the funds raised were used to provide higher superannuation for all workers?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 56% 68% 44% 84%
Total disapprove 24% 14% 39% 8%
Strongly approve 20% 33% 8% 37%
Approve 36% 35% 36% 47%
Disapprove 16% 11% 25% 4%
Strongly disapprove 8% 3% 14% 4%
Don’t know 20% 18% 17% 8%

When asked whether they approved of higher taxes on the profits of large mining companies if the funds raised were used to provide higher superannuation for all workers, 56% approved (no change) and 24% disapproved (down 3%).

Labor voters were slightly less supportive if the funds were tied to super increases (approval down 7%) while Liberal/National voters were more supportive (approval up 8% and disapproval down 10%).

Full-time workers split 58% approve/27% disapprove, part-time workers 57% approve/17% disapprove and those not working 53% approve/25% disapprove. Highest disapproval was shown by workers earning over $1,600 per week – 56% approved but 32% disapproved.

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Memo Tony: Shit’s happening

Feb 15, 2011

First published on The Drum: 15/02/2011

That philosopher to the common-folk, Tony Abbott, is this week dealing with his own slings and arrows as he enters the political twilight zone of disapproval from which some never return.

Despite ongoing difficulties within the Labor Government, Abbott is showing no signs of establishing himself as anything more than an attack dog whose fortunes rise when he runs negative on issues that happen to also be currently unpopular with the public.

This leaves him exposed when he has a bad week, such as the past one when he split his front bench by attempting to come up with a way of paying for flood reconstruction by cutting back anti-terrorism programs before nearly jobbing a TV reporter.

As this week’s Essential Report shows the response has been a sharp rise in disapproval to 46 per cent and drop-off in approvals to 37 per cent. To put this into perspective, the ALP moved on Kevin Rudd when his disapproval rating hit 47 per cent, with 41 per cent approval.

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Tony Abbott is doing as Opposition Leader?

18 Jan 29 Mar 5 Jul 16 Aug 20 Sep 18 Oct 22 Nov 20 Dec 17 Jan 2011 14 Feb 2011
Total approve 37% 33% 37% 41% 43% 39% 40% 39% 42% 38%
Total disapprove 37% 50% 47% 44% 37% 45% 40% 39% 37% 46%
Strongly approve 5% 8% 8% 9% 12% 8% 6% 9% 7% 8%
Approve 32% 25% 29% 32% 31% 31% 34% 30% 35% 30%
Disapprove 20% 28% 23% 22% 21% 22% 22% 21% 22% 24%
Strongly disapprove 17% 22% 24% 22% 16% 23% 18% 18% 15% 22%
Don’t know 26% 16% 16% 15% 19% 17% 19% 22% 20% 16%

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Responsibility for Hospitals

Feb 14, 2011

Q. Would you support or oppose the Federal Government taking over the responsibility for hospitals from the State Governments? (Question commissioned by Network Ten)

14 Feb 2011 Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens 15 Feb 2010
Total support 48% 56% 48% 45% 58%
Total oppose 14% 12% 19% 12% 10%
Strongly support 21% 28% 18% 21% 26%
Support 27% 28% 30% 24% 32%
Neither support nor oppose 22% 22% 20% 21% 19%
Oppose 9% 9% 12% 6% 7%
Strongly oppose 5% 3% 7% 6% 3%
Don’t know 16% 10% 12% 21% 13%

48% support the Federal Government taking over the responsibility for hospitals from the State Governments and 14% oppose. This is a significant weakening in support since this question was asked in February last year.

However, a majority of Labor voters still support a Federal take-over, as do nearly half the Coalition and Greens voters.

Older voters were more likely to support a Federal take-over of hospitals – aged under 35’s split 37% support/14% oppose compared to aged 55+ at 52% support/20% oppose.

Download the Network Ten Essential Question of the Week. (661 KB pdf)

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