Support for Right to Protest laws

Nov 12, 2019

Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements regarding the right to protest in Australia?

  NET: Agree NET: Disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Unsure
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 10% 51% 31% 7% 3% 9%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 31% 26% 32% 17% 15% 11%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 33% 23% 30% 18% 15% 14%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 41% 20% 28% 22% 19% 12%
  • A large majority of people agree that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society (82%), with half (51%) strongly agreeing.
  • 58% agree that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (31% disagree), and 53% agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (33% disagree).
  • Agreement was split for the statement ‘Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest’ with 47% agreeing, and 41% disagreeing.
NET: AGREE Total Gender Age
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 84% 79% 75% 83% 86%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 60% 56% 54% 58% 62%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 54% 52% 60% 52% 48%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 50% 45% 41% 48% 52%
Base (n) 1,075 526 549 327 371 377
  • Older respondents (those aged over 55) were more likely than younger people (18-34) to agree that the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society (86% to 75%), that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (62% to 54%), and that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest (52% to 41%).
  • Over 55s are less likely to agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (60% to 48%).
NET: AGREE Total Voting Intention Protest Activity
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other Participated in protest activity Not participated in protest activity
The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society 82% 84% 86% 89% 85% 87% 72%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses 58% 48% 78% 33% 61% 58% 59%
Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines 53% 60% 47% 80% 49% 60% 41%
Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest 47% 39% 65% 22% 49% 47% 49%
Base (n) 1,075 325 377 107 155 682 393
  • Coalition voters were most likely to agree that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it disrupts businesses (78%) and that the Government has the right to limit citizen protests when it is contrary to the national interest (65%). However they were least likely to agree that protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines (47%).
  • Those who have participated in a protest activity are more likely than those who have not to agree with the statements ‘The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of a democratic society’ (87% to 72%) and ‘Protestors should have the right to pressure banks not to invest in companies that are building coal mines oppose the proposed changes’ (46% to 27%).

Support for Right to Protest laws

Nov 12, 2019

Q. Scott Morrison has flagged changing the law to stop environmental and other civil society groups or consumers campaigning against big resource projects. This change could make consumer or environmental boycotts illegal.

Based on what you understand, to what extent do you support or oppose the Prime Minister’s proposal?

    Gender Age
  Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Strongly support 14% 18% 11% 12% 11% 19%
Somewhat support 19% 20% 18% 23% 16% 18%
Neither support, nor oppose 28% 24% 31% 29% 33% 22%
Somewhat oppose 15% 13% 17% 12% 18% 15%
Strongly oppose 24% 25% 23% 24% 22% 26%
NET: Support 33% 38% 29% 35% 27% 37%
NET: Oppose 39% 38% 40% 36% 40% 41%
Base (n) 1,075 526 549 327 371 377
  • Overall, there was more opposition to support for the Government’s proposals stop environmental and other civil society groups or consumers campaigning against big resource projects (39% to 33%). 28% neither support nor oppose the proposals.
  • Support was highest among men (38%) and those aged 55+ (37%).
  Total Voting Intention Protest Activity
Labor Coalition Greens NET: Other Participated in protest activity Not participated in protest activity
Strongly support 14% 9% 26% 1% 11% 15% 13%
Somewhat support 19% 15% 30% 11% 13% 16% 23%
Neither support, nor oppose 28% 27% 24% 13% 30% 22% 37%
Somewhat oppose 15% 17% 12% 18% 18% 16% 14%
Strongly oppose 24% 32% 8% 57% 29% 31% 13%
NET: Support 33% 24% 56% 12% 23% 31% 36%
NET: Oppose 39% 49% 20% 76% 47% 46% 27%
Base (n) 1,075 325 377 107 155 682 393
  • Just over half of Coalition voters support the Government’s proposals (56%). The proposal receives lower support among Labor (24%), Greens (12%), and minor party/independent voters (23%).
  • Those who have participated in a protest activity are more likely than those who have not to oppose the proposed changes (46% to 27%).

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