Essential Report

Immigration levels

Oct 26, 2021

Q. Do you think the levels of immigration into Australia over the past ten years have been…?

Oct’21 Jan’19 Apr’18 Oct’16
Much too low 5% 4% 1% 4%
A little too low 11% 7% 4% 8%
About right 36% 26% 23% 28%
A little too high 17% 23% 27% 22%
Much too high 20% 33% 37% 28%
Don’t know 11% 6% 7% 10%
TOTAL: Too low 16% 12% 5% 12%
TOTAL: Too high 37% 56% 64% 50%
  • Significantly fewer people now think levels of immigration into Australia over the last decade have been too high, compared to January 2019 and prior.
  • Over a third (37%) of people now think immigration levels are too high, compared to 56% in January 2019, 64% in April 2018 and 50% in October 2016.
  • This is driven by an increase of people who think immigration levels are about right (36% from 26% in January 2019).
  • 16% of people now think immigration levels are too low.
Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Much too low 5% 6% 4% 6% 5% 4% 7% 3% 7% 7%
A little too low 11% 12% 10% 14% 8% 12% 13% 9% 16% 11%
About right 36% 37% 35% 40% 36% 34% 38% 39% 43% 31%
A little too high 17% 16% 17% 16% 17% 17% 16% 21% 9% 13%
Much too high 20% 20% 20% 13% 20% 26% 18% 23% 10% 28%
Don’t know 11% 8% 14% 11% 13% 8% 8% 5% 15% 9%
TOTAL: Too low 16% 18% 14% 20% 13% 15% 20% 12% 23% 19%
TOTAL: Too high 37% 37% 37% 29% 38% 43% 34% 44% 19% 41%
Base (n) 1,781 875 906 533 601 647 636 610 157 220
  • Those aged over 55 are more likely than younger cohorts to think immigration levels are too high (43% to 38% of those aged 35-54, and 29% of those aged 18-34). A quarter (26%) of those over 55 think the levels are much too high.
  • Among voters, Coalition voters (44%) are most likely to think immigration levels are too high, followed by minor and independent party voters (41%). Greens voters (19%) are least likely to think this. About a third (34%) of Labor voters think the levels are too high.

Population growth

Apr 29, 2013

Q. Australia’s population has now reached 23 million and is growing by more than 300,000 a year. Do you think Australia’s population growth rate is too fast, too slow or about right?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Too fast

45%

41%

50%

45%

Too slow

5%

6%

5%

3%

About right

37%

42%

38%

32%

Don’t know

13%

11%

8%

20%

45% think Australia’s population growth rate is too fast, 5% think it is too slow and 37% about right.

Those most likely to think it is too fast were Liberal/National voters (50%), aged 45-64 (51%) and incomes under $1,000pw (55%).

Development of northern Australia

Feb 18, 2013

Q. The Liberal Party was reported to be considering a plan to increase the population of the northern regions of Australia by relocating public service jobs, increasing industry and food production and funding new projects in the north. Do you approve or disapprove of this idea?

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total approve

56%

46%

73%

42%

Total disapprove

22%

32%

12%

38%

Strongly approve

16%

10%

24%

7%

Approve

40%

36%

49%

35%

Disapprove

15%

19%

10%

27%

Strongly disapprove

7%

13%

2%

11%

Don’t know

21%

23%

15%

20%

56% said they approved on a plan to increase the population of the northern regions of Australia by relocating public service jobs, increasing industry and food production and funding new projects in the north and 22% disapproved.

73% of Liberal/National voters approved compared to 46% of Labor voters and 42% of Greens voters.

Important Issues

Jul 19, 2010

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

  First Second Third Total Total

10 May 10

Difference
Management of the economy 38% 18% 7% 63% 62% +1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  16% 20% 19% 55% 50% +5%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 7% 8% 9% 24% 29% -5%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 4% 11% 9% 24% 19% +5%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 4% 6% 8% 18% 22% -4%
Protecting the environment 5% 5% 5% 15% 13% +2%
Political leadership 6% 3% 4% 13% 12% +1%
Housing affordability 4% 4% 5% 13% 17% -4%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 12%
Controlling interest rates 3% 5% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Managing population growth 1% 4% 7% 12% 14% -2%
Treatment of asylum seekers 4% 3% 4% 11% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 5% 11% 9% +2%
Security and the war on terrorism 1% 2% 5% 8% 7% +1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 1% 1% 4% 6% 7% -1%

*Not asked in May 2010 poll

The most important election issues were management of the economy, the quality of the health system, jobs and local industry and a quality education for all children.

Since this issue was last polled in May, health and education have increased in importance (both +5%) and Australian jobs and protection of local industry declined 5%. Comments »

Party best at Handling Issues

Jul 19, 2010

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

  Labor Liberal Greens Don’t know
A fair industrial relations system 45% 24% 5% 26%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 41% 25% 4% 29%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 42% 28% 3% 27%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  38% 27% 4% 31%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 36% 28% 4% 32%
Housing affordability 30% 24% 4% 41%
Political leadership 33% 30% 5% 33%
Ensuring a quality water supply 23% 23% 22% 32%
Managing population growth 24% 27% 9% 40%
Security and the war on terrorism 25% 30% 3% 42%
Management of the economy 32% 38% 3% 27%
Treatment of asylum seekers 23% 29% 11% 37%
Controlling interest rates 28% 35% 2% 35%
Addressing climate change 18% 16% 36% 29%
Protecting the environment 17% 13% 47% 23%

 Labor have a substantial lead over the Liberal Party as the best party to handle a fair industrial relations system (+21%), quality education for all (+16%), Australian jobs and protection of industries (+14%) and ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system (+11%).

 The Liberal Party’s main strengths were controlling interest rates (+7%), treatment of asylum seekers (+6%) and management of the economy  (+6%).

The Greens were thought to be the best party for protecting the environment (47%) and addressing climate change (36%). Comments »

Population by 2050

Jul 5, 2010

Q. It has been estimated that Australia will have a population of 36 million by 2050. Do you think this will be good or bad for Australia?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total good 16% 17% 18% 16%
Total bad 55% 50% 63% 58%
Very good 3% 4% 3% 3%
Good 13% 13% 15% 13%
Neither good nor bad 21% 26% 15% 22%
Bad 32% 32% 35% 36%
Very bad 23% 18% 28% 22%
Don’t know 8% 7% 5% 4%

55% believe that having a population of 36 million by 2050 will be bad for Australia – 16% think it will be good for Australia.

The concern about this level of population is fairly similar across voter groups – although Liberal/National voters (63%) are more likely to think it is bad than Labor voters (50%). Comments »

Population Growth

Jul 5, 2010

Q. On average, Australia’s population increases by about 300,000 per year (less than 2%). Do you think this is too high, too low or about right?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Too high 48% 44% 52% 59%
Too low 4% 3% 6% 7%
About right 35% 39% 35% 31%
Don’t know 12% 13% 6% 3%

Nearly half (48%) believe that the current rate of population growth is too high and only 4% think it is too low – 35% think it is about right.

Labor voters are split (44% too high compared to 42% about right or too low), but a majority of Liberal/National voters (52%) and Greens voters (59%) think it is too high.

Important Election Issues

May 10, 2010

Q8. 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

25 Jan 10

Difference
Management of the economy 34% 18% 10% 62% 63% -1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 20% 16% 50% 48% +2%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 11% 29% 33% -4%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 5% 8% 9% 22% 18% +4%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 3% 7% 9% 19% 23% -4%
Housing affordability 6% 5% 6% 17% 14% +3%
Controlling interest rates 5% 5% 6% 16% 15% +1%
Managing population growth 3% 4% 7% 14% *  
Protecting the environment 3% 5% 5% 13% 16% -3%
Political leadership 5% 3% 4% 12% 23% -11%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Fair immigration policies 3% 4% 3% 10% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 3% 9% 10% -1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 2% 2% 3% 7% 12% -5%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 3% 7% 9% -2%

*Not asked in January 2010 poll

 62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy is one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 29% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 Only 9% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues and 7% rate security and the war on terrorism and ensuring a quality water supply. 

 The major change since the previous survey in January, was a drop in the importance of political leadership from 23% to 12%. Ensuring a fairer tax system has risen slightly from 18% to 22%. Comments »

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