Galahs And Polls

Walk into a pet shop and the resident galah will be talking about microeconomic reform. So said Paul Keating some 20 years ago as the last Labor government went about some significant policy renovation.

GalahsIn 2010 the galahs instead seem to be interpreting opinion polls. Recent weeks have been especially trying for us simple souls attempting to work out whether Kevin Rudd is a dead duck.

In January, The Australian reported that Newspolls covering October-December 2009 showed the Rudd government in a landslide winning position with 57 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote. The Morgan poll also said Labor was on 57 per cent. An Essential Research poll in January said Labor was ahead of the Coalition by 56 per cent to 44 per cent.

These figures were essentially what we had been reading for over two years. They indicated a newly-elected government coasting to re-election against an Opposition that couldn’t surpass the mid-40s. [Read more…]

Australians Speak: Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

The Lowy Institute for International Policy has conducted a major poll to gauge the attitudes of Australians on foreign policy issues.

The survey, Australians Speak: 2005, was launched today by Allan Gyngell, Executive Director of The Lowy Institute.

Remarks at the poll launch by Allan Gyngell, Executive Director, Lowy Institute for International Policy.

We’re releasing today the first of what we intend to be a regular series of Lowy Institute polls on the way Australians look at the world. We’ve called it “Australians speak: 2005”. This is the most comprehensive such survey undertaken in this country. Our objective was not so much to poll Australians’ attitudes on current issues – although we want to do some of that – but to ask questions that will let us understand some of the deeper issues of how Australians think about the world and our place in it and how they want us to act in it. Assertions are frequently made by politicians and commentators, journalists and analysts, about how ordinary Australians think – we wanted to find out how accurate these assertions are. [Read more…]

Another Poll Shows Coalition In Trouble As Ryan By-Election Nears

An AC Nielsen-AgePoll published today provides more gloomy news for the coalition, only days away from a crucial by-election test in the Brisbane electorate of Ryan.

The Nielsen poll has the coalition’s primary vote at 32%, statistically even with the 30% rating published last week by its competitor, the Morgan Poll.

Nielsen has the ALP on 45% of the primary vote and a massive 59% on a two-party-preferred basis. If replicated in an election, these figures would reduce the coalition to a mere rump in the House of Representatives.

Significantly, the Nielsen poll shows a hardening of opposition to the GST, with 51% of respondents expressing disapproval of the tax.

Poll Shows Support For Howard Slipping Amongst Young People

A new poll published today in The Australian shows that younger voters, the so-called “Generation X-ers” aged between 18 and 24, have deserted the Howard government in favour of the ALP.

The poll also shows that national support for the government is at 45% to the Opposition’s 43%, effectively putting the major parties at level-pegging.

Support for the ALP amongst 18-24 year olds is 45%, compared to 42% for the government, a shift of 9% in the past three months.

Polls such as this need to be treated with caution, but there does now appear to be a trend towards the ALP in a number of polls. This shift is supported by the results of this year’s state elections in Victoria and New South Wales.

Politics in 2000 will be dominated by the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 and the accompanying personal income tax cuts. The Howard government is attempting to make a mark in social policy areas, whilst the Opposition is debating the merits of relying on an anti-GST backlash as compared to developing a comprehensive set of new policies for the election scheduled for 2001.

A swing of 1% against the government would cost it around 10 seats and deliver government to Kim Beazley. A 2% swing would cost it another 10 seats. It is generally agreed that the next election is there to be won or lost by either side.