Essential Report

The polling that drives dog whistle politics … and may cure them

Mar 1, 2011

First published on The Drum: 01/03/2011

Here is the polling that is driving Scott Morrison’s subterranean attack on Muslims, confirmation that a majority of Australians are concerned about their numbers.

For too long conservative blowhards like Morrison have been running agendas that directly reference these findings but because they have remained hidden in a desk drawer they are merely debating an issue.

After much soul-searching, Essential has decided to commit an act of political interruption. We debated whether it was worth giving voice to these attitudes long and hard, but we believe getting this stuff out in the open is the only way to silence the dog whistle.

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%

Comments »

Influence of Groups

Jun 15, 2010

Q. How much influence do you think the following groups have on the policies of Australian political parties?

Too much About the right amount Not enough Don’t know
The media 53% 27% 5% 15%
Banks 50% 28% 5% 18%
Business lobby groups 40% 33% 5% 21%
Mining companies 40% 33% 10% 17%
Unions 40% 33% 12% 14%
Religious groups 38% 29% 11% 21%
Environment groups 25% 31% 29% 15%

About half the respondents believed that the media (53%) and banks (50%) have too much influence on the policies of Australian political parties.

40% believed that business lobby groups, mining companies and unions have too much influence.

Only 25% thought environmental groups have too much influence and 29% think they have not enough influence.

There were substantial differences by party preference on the influence of business lobby groups (Labor 52% too much, Lib/Nat 28%), unions (26%/61%), and mining companies (57%/26%). However, there was little difference on the perceived influence of the media (Labor 57% too much, Lib/Nat 56%) and banks (53%/51%). Comments »


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