Essential Report

Military Intervention in Libya

Mar 28, 2011

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the military intervention in Libya being undertaken by the US, France, Italy, Canada and others?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total approve 57% 64% 63% 53%
Total disapprove 22% 20% 22% 23%
Strongly approve 18% 20% 22% 14%
Approve 39% 44% 41% 39%
Disapprove 14% 15% 12% 12%
Strongly disapprove 8% 5% 10% 11%
Don’t know 21% 17% 15% 24%

57% approve the military intervention in Libya while 22% disapprove. A majority of all voter groups approve – although Greens voters are more likely to be undecided (24% don’t know).

65% of men approve compared to 49% of women. By age – those aged 55+ approve 69%/18% and aged 18-44 approve 51%/23%

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Importance of Relationships with Other Countries

Mar 28, 2011

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

Very important Quite important Not very important Don’t know Very Important 15 Nov Change
New Zealand 69% 24% 4% 3% 54% +15
United States 60% 33% 5% 2% 56% +4
United Kingdom 56% 35% 6% 3% 44% +12
China 48% 42% 6% 4% 45% +3
Japan 39% 47% 9% 4% 30% +9
Indonesia 31% 43% 20% 6% 30% +1
India 26% 42% 26% 5% 24% +2
Germany 23% 42% 29% 6% 15% +8
South Africa 16% 36% 39% 8% 12% +4

More than half the respondents think it is very important to have close relationships with the New Zealand (69%), United States (60%) and the United Kingdom (56%) and just under half think it is very important to have a close relationship with China (48%).

A close relationship with the United States is considered very important by 70% of Liberal/National voters and 57% of Labor voters and 48% of Greens voters.

Since this question was asked in November, there have been substantial increases in the rating of the importance of relations with New Zealand (+15%), United Kingdom (+12%) and Japan (+9%).

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Change in Relationships with Other Countries

Mar 28, 2011

Q. Would you like to see Australia’s relationship with these countries get closer, stay the same or become less close?

Get closer Stay the same Become less close Don’t know Get closer

15 Nov

Change
New Zealand 37% 55% 3% 5% 29% +8
China 32% 52% 9% 7% 30% +2
Japan 26% 59% 8% 7% 21% +5
United Kingdom 25% 62% 7% 5% 20% +5
United States 24% 61% 11% 5% 20% +4
Indonesia 21% 51% 20% 8% 23% -2
India 19% 53% 18% 9% 22% -3
Germany 18% 62% 10% 10% 14% +4
South Africa 13% 59% 17% 11% 11% +2

37% think that Australia’s relationship with New Zealand should get closer and 32% think our relationship with China should get closer.

Labor voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with China (31%) and New Zealand (31%).

Liberal/National voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (42%) and United States (34%).

Greens voters are most likely to favour closer relationships with New Zealand (43%), China (38%) and Japan (34%).

Since this question was asked in November, the percentage wanting a closer relationship with New Zealand has increased 8%, and increased 5% for Japan and the United Kingdom.

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Updated: NSW State Voting Intention

Mar 23, 2011

Q. If a State 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?

First preference /leaning to Total Men Women Sydney Other NSW Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
Sample 971 481 490 622 349 309 391 271
Labor 23% 23% 24% 20% 29% 21% 24% 25%
Liberal/National 55% 56% 53% 60% 46% 55% 54% 55%
Greens 11% 11% 11% 11% 10% 14% 9% 9%
Independent/Other 11% 10% 12% 10% 15% 10% 13% 11%
2PP
Labor 34% 33% 35% 29% 42% 32% 35% 34%
Liberal/National 66% 67% 65% 71% 58% 68% 65% 66%

NB.  The data in the above tables comprise 3-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 separately distributing the votes of the Greens and the Independents/other parties according to their preferences at the previous election. This calculation excludes exhausted votes.

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Nuclear boosters now in meltdown

Mar 22, 2011

First published on The Drum: 22/03/2011

Beyond its gob-smacking human tragedy and the looming economic catastrophe, the Japanese tsunami has thrown a radioactive wildcard into the global debate over climate change.

The fallout from the meltdown of Japanese nuclear reactors will undermine the until-now successful attempts by the nuclear industry to reposition itself as part of the global warming solution.

As this week’s Essential Report shows, the public had been coming around to the idea that developing nuclear power in Australia was acceptable. This has changed dramatically over the past seven days with one quarter of all Australians changing their position.

Q. Do you support or oppose Australia developing nuclear power plants for the generation of electricity?


27 Jan 09 20 Dec 10 Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total support 43% 43% 35% 29% 46% 18%
Total oppose 35% 37% 53% 58% 43% 78%
Strongly support 14% 16% 12% 10% 17% 7%
Support 29% 27% 23% 19% 29% 11%
Oppose 21% 21% 21% 23% 22% 15%
Strongly oppose 14% 16% 32% 35% 21% 63%
Don’t know 22% 19% 13% 13% 11% 5%

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To tax or not to tax, that is the question

Mar 21, 2011

First published on The Drum: 15/03/2011

Context is everything. All of a sudden Labor’s political predicament does not seem as dire; no-one is dead or missing; nuclear reactors aren’t melting down; the only after-shocks are electoral.

The enormity of the Japan catastrophe wipes everything else from public consciousness, allowing a wounded prime minister and her team to step back from the limelight, reflect and regroup.

As this week’s Essential Report shows, there is a path to repairing the damage the government has suffered and a way of setting up a debate that could, in the long-term, see it regain the political initiative.

Like so much in politics, the secret lies in the questions you ask. Ask whether people support a price on carbon and the answer is a decisive ‘no’.

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Federal politics – voting intention

Mar 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 = 1,947

First preference/leaning to Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Liberal 40% 44% 45% 44%
National 3% 3% 2% 3%
Total Lib/Nat 43.6 43% 47% 47% 46%
Labor 38.0 39% 36% 35% 36%
Greens 11.8 11% 10% 10% 10%
Other/Independent 6.6 7% 7% 8% 8%
2PP Election

21 Aug 10

4 weeks ago 2 weeks ago Last week This week
Total Lib/Nat 49.9% 49% 53% 54% 53%
Labor 50.1% 51% 47% 46% 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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The Carbon Tax

Mar 21, 2011

Q. Thinking about the proposed carbon tax, do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
A carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity 79% 8% 47% 32% 6% 2% 13%
The cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax 78% 11% 26% 52% 10% 1% 11%
A carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution 42% 43% 13% 29% 21% 22% 14%
A carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy 41% 38% 14% 27% 20% 18% 22%

79% agree that a carbon tax will substantially increase the cost of electricity but 78% agree that the cost of electricity will increase substantially even without a carbon tax.

Respondents were evenly divided over whether a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution (42% agreer/43% disagree) and whether a carbon tax will increase investment in renewable energy (41% agree/38% disagree).

Males (84%) were more likely than females (74%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax will substantially increase the costs of electricity.’

Females (53%) were more likely than males (41%) to agree or strongly agree that ‘a carbon tax is an effective way to force large polluting companies to reduce their carbon pollution.’

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