Double dissolution election (maybe) minus nine weeks

To tide us over through a quiet spot, a closer look at the Australian National University’s latest survey on issues of public concern.

We’re about half-way between the weekly BludgerTrack and when I’m anticipating the next opinion poll, this being the period of pre-budget calm before the storm, and a new thread is wanted. So I’ve decided to hang this one off the latest ANUpoll survey, an exercise conducted by the Australian National University two or three times a year to gauge the public mood on a specific area of public policy, and track the salience of various issues over time. The subject of the latest instalment, which was conducted by phone from a sample of 1200 in February and March, is tax and equity in Australia. Among various findings on tax that would be familiar from those who follow Essential Research, the report also finds support for increased spending on social services at its highest level since the series began in 1987. The report also finds that, in spite of everything, 56% consider the existing system “moderately fair”, on top of another 4% for “very fair”, while 22% rate it “not too fair” and 18% “not at all fair”.

The survey also features regular questions in which respondents are asked to name the first and second most important political problems, out of a list that presently includes 27 options. To make this easier to interpret, I’ve condensed results into various categories, which are hopefully generally self-explanatory (particularly economy/budget, environment and better government – security/external covers wars, terrorism, defence and immigration, while services covers health and education and such). The progress of these results since 2008 is shown in the chart below.

2016-04-30-anupoll

From which a number of points are clearly worth noting. Concern about service provision mounted to giddy heights after the 2014 budget, but promptly returned to normal after Malcolm Turnbull became prime minister. The combined result for the various economic issues is at a low point in the latest survey, having peaked in the years immediately following the global financial crisis. Security/external and crime/society, which are largely conservative concerns, are on an upward trend. “Better government”, I’m guessing, was a popular response among Coalition supporters while Labor was in power, but is not a correspondingly popular choice for Labor voters now it’s the Coalition’s turn.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,251 comments on “Double dissolution election (maybe) minus nine weeks”

  1. [Question is. Where is the money coming from?]

    This question only really ever applies to Labor. We’d be hearing nothing else if these proposals were coming from the Gillard government for example.
    The willingness of the media to fall in line with whatever shonky narrative the coalition chose to run with in any given week is truly astounding.

  2. It’s quite obvious Morrison has nothing to do with the actual budget since he’s been out in front of the cameras electioneering instead of checking his numbers and writing his speech.

  3. Considering it has risen astronomically under the fibs. The chutzpah of this mob is breathtaking……….

    Tao de Haas
    40m40 minutes ago
    Tao de Haas ‏@TaodeHaas
    “The debt & deficit disaster” has magically disappeared, so now this Loony Govt thinks it can afford tax cuts? Vote LNP? Got to be crazy.

  4. I couldn’t have put it better.

    As Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers said this morning: “If there is one defining feature of this Turnbull government, it’s that it says one thing and does something entirely different. Now, after two-and-a-half years of pain, two-and-a-half years of cuts, two-and-a-half years of attacks on middle Australia and people on low incomes, we’re sixty-one days from an election and the Turnbull government wants the Australian people to think they’ve had some conversion and that all of a sudden they care.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/federal-budget/budget-2016-live-from-parliament-house-20160501-gojnw4.html

  5. jenauthor

    I cant stand lustening or watching Morrison. He creeps me out. So i wont bother with the budget speech.

  6. My memory may well be failing me, but I can never remember a government introducing tax cuts which only start above average weekly earnings, and forget about the rest. If they do that, they have totally lost their senses. It will be a disaster.

  7. Good Morning

    The budget fist full of dollars is not a vote winner. Why? Its unfair. The fist full of dollars is at most a break even for loss on super concessions for the wealthy.

    The LNP base a small part of it at that. As Peter Martin points out $80 000 not your typical wage.

    So those cuts to services from 2014 are still assumed and the only conclusion is that the budget continues to be unfair because its a do nothing budget and Abbott and Hockey did all the work in 2014.

    Thats the reality and I don’t doubt Labor will be telling it along with the Greens and any one else with common sense analysis not political spin.

  8. I cant wait to see what Labor’s official response to budget is going to be. Is it going to be a calm and measured one or are the gloves going to come off?

  9. The willingness of the media to fall in line with whatever shonky narrative the coalition chose to run with in any given week is truly astounding.

    Budget early? Meh.

    Record, long election campaign? Pffft.

    Policies lying around like broken toys? So what?

    Senate voting system changed? And your point is…

    States collect income tax, then they’re not? Brilliant tactic

    Turnbull turns his back on his entire belief system? Yada-yada.

    Crude “National Security” ad campaigns run in the caretaker period? “It’s election season, dummy.

    (This last from Prune Face on Insiders last Sunday).

    It’s the “Whatever it takes” season.

  10. K17 I can only think they REALLY want to lose the election to clean out the old wood. A risky tactic but if Turnbull thinks govt is like a company, he might feel a restructure is the only way to gain control of the party. If the RWNJs lose, or go close to losing their electorates, then he might think his coterie can rebuild ‘in Malcolm’s own image’

    It’s what happens in the corporate world

  11. victoria

    The budget reply speech is the de facto ALP campaign launch. Guaranteed prime time coverage. Of course the gloves will be off.

  12. Kevin

    They wil;l probably link the tax cut to the changes in superannuation so it will not seem so unfair.

    If hopwever they do JUST bring in tax cuts for the over $80,000 the words heads and ricks are linked.

  13. A risky tactic but if Turnbull thinks govt is like a company, he might feel a restructure is the only way to gain control of the party.

    The only problem with that is that it’s the reactionary Old Guard who’ll be most likely to keep their seats. They’re hanging around waiting for their next dibs at the gravy train.

  14. Sky News Australia
    15m15 minutes ago
    Sky News Australia ‏@SkyNewsAust
    .@ScottMorrisonMP says special appropriations bills will be introduced to parliament today to ensure supply #auspol

    Sky News Australia
    17m17 minutes ago
    Sky News Australia ‏@SkyNewsAust
    Treasurer @ScottMorrisonMP says the government will support jobs and growth in what is not going to be a typical budget #auspol

  15. Yes BB, on the other had were it Labor:

    Gillard trips over: National embarrassment:
    Carbon ‘tax’: End of the world as we know it.
    Global Warming: Surely you jest.
    Gonski, Medicare funding: Where’s the money coming from? Debt and deficit disaster.
    Gillard’s misogyny speech: Meh…
    GFC rescue: School halls waste, pink batts disaster.

    The script writes itself.

  16. Yes, it is the ‘Whatever it takes’ season. And the result is highly predictable: one or two seats changing hands either way in a number of states, with the government down three or four seats overall in the Reps and the Senate far less interesting than before.
    Sadly.

  17. Well, well, well …. we learn a little about Green voting yuppies in the Age today. They are shifting their kids out of ‘reffo’ schools in a display of racism disguised as something else.

    Natalie Sims was told not to send her son Daniel to Fitzroy Primary School.

    Other local mothers called her “brave” for sending him to a school where the students were mostly Somali and Muslim from commission housing nearby.

    “There was a suggestion that I wasn’t being careful enough with my child’s education,” says Ms Sims.

    But Daniel thrived. He loved school, made lots of friends, and in grade six last year, was accepted into the accelerated program at University High.

    “White flight” is shaping education in Melbourne’s inner city state schools, leading to unofficial segregation along race and class.

    In the Greens-voting socially liberal enclaves of the inner north, white middle class families have deserted the schools closest to the remaining commission housing towers, while competing for spots in a handful of schools seen to have greater prestige.

    Schools such as Fitzroy Primary, Carlton Primary School and Mount Alexander College in Flemington have become catchments for poor students of African heritage, many of whom live in the flats. Between 71 to 94 per cent of students attending these schools speak a language other than English at home.

    The average median house price in some of these school’s suburbs teeters around $1 million, yet about 60 to 80 per cent of students at these schools are among the poorest in the state.

    They’ve been called “sink schools” – schools drained of affluent families and high achieving students.

    White families with higher incomes are opting to enrol their children in over-subscribed schools a few suburbs away.

    They favour Clifton Hill, Princes Hill and Merri Creek primary schools, where 79 to 84 per cent of families are among the state’s richest.

    These schools – with just 10 to 30 per cent of students speaking a language other than English at home – offer accelerated programs, overseas trips and boast above-average NAPLAN scores.

    Abselom Nega, an Ethiopian refugee and community leader, is alarmed by this trend.

    “The white parents don’t send their kids to these schools because all they see is black kids,” says Mr Nega, who sits on the board of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

    “They may not view it as racism, but it is … you can sugar coat it, and put it differently, but I won’t.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/white-flight-race-segregation-in-melbourne-state-schools-20160430-goj516.html

  18. Massola virtually saying that whatever Shorten and Bowen do or say, the Coal will be re-elected. His reasoning? The Rudd Gillard years were so-oo bad in every way . Massola doesn’t give an inch on “Labor can’t manage an economy”.

  19. Labor has attacked the credibility of Scott Morrison’s $5 billion infrastructure plan, accusing the Coalition of once again “rediscovering” western Sydney on the eve of a federal election.

    The Treasurer has told The Australian that the infrastructure plan would also lift growth by pouring $2.2bn into NSW and $2.4bn into Victoria for road and rail projects, with support for transport plans in other states and territories.

    Queensland will get money for the Ipswich Motorway, countering a Labor funding promise made days ago, while there will be new funds for South Australia and $750 million for Western Australia.

    The Victorian funding will help develop the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Murray Basin Rail projects, while the NSW projects include the Sydney Metro and the Parramatta Light Rail, all funded from the Asset Recycling Scheme set up to finance state work.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/budget-2016/infrastructure/labor-attacks-scott-morrisons-5-billion-infrastructure-plan/news-story/0e924edf3eba0fb28a708232da60f670

  20. Yes, it is the ‘Whatever it takes’ season. And the result is highly predictable: one or two seats changing hands either way in a number of states…

    Disagree. Too much has been upended and usurped just so Turnbull can get the conditions that most suit him for re-election.

    This might be OK with the Press Gallery. But their starting point is that the Turnbull government should be returned (or perhaps Labor shouldn’t be elected… take your pick), so whatever they do to achieve this is perfectly reasonable and explainawayable. After all: “”It’s the election season, dummy.”

    However, the polls show that the punters aren’t swallowing this line. The trend is away from Turnbull and his tactics, towards Labor and their strategy.

    The Budget looks like being a dog’s breakfast, a grabv-bag of gimmes and giveaways, using a tube of Spak Filler to paper over the cracks when they should have used a bucket of the stuff. It’s an Instant Makeover, and probably won’t hold water, after the first couple of weeks of the election campaign. There’s no narrative or plan for the long term, just a scheme to get them through the inspection… they hope.

    They’ve has 3 years to get this right. THREE years! And their policies are still just a series of tick boxes that they hope will look impressive enough for 5 minutes to get them over the line.

    Talk about “asset recycling”. What about slogan recycling? The Liberals and their mates in the Gallery are still fighting the last election, using the tired old boogey-men of that time: Carbon Tax, Boats, Debt & Deficit etc.

    Everything was supposed to be so exciting. It’s never been a better time to be alive, remember? And what do we get? The same old shit, served up as nouvelle cuisine. while Turnbull spruiks innovation and energy, the people running his campaign go under the house and find the dusty old corflutes leftover from the last election.

    It shows a lack of imagination from the Coalition. While they might be trying to make out they’re driving a late model convertible, its VIN number says “2013”.

    Labor has moved on. The Liberals have not.

  21. BB – Agree. When Turnbull started talking about “30 Minute Cities” or whatever, the electorate finally knew he was full of s… If all he’s got to offer is blue sky, it’s time for him to go.

  22. At ~$250/ year, the Bracket Creep Tax Cut looks like it’s going to be ‘The Sandwich OR A Milkshake Tax Cut’.

    What it really is is the Turnbull government buying a ‘Tax Cut’ headline.

  23. ABC News Sydney ‏@abcnewsSydney · 3m3 minutes ago

    #BREAKING: The New South Wales Parliament has been evacuated because of a security incident.

  24. I wish that I shared a number of posters’ optimism.
    The majority of the media will spruik this budget as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and much will depend on how many buy the spin.
    It may seem transparent to us, but if you are not paying all that much attention, you might just buy it.

  25. adrian – You could say the same thing about the 2014 budget. People worked that out pretty fast. Further, it’s not hard to ask yourself the question: Where’s my tax cut? and work out the answer – none.

  26. Carp again.

    The virus only affects European carp and is expected to kill 95 per cent of the species of fish in the river system over the next 30 years.

    But commercial carp fisherman Garry Warrick said the species’ numbers in Israel had rebounded since the virus was released.

    “I think in Israel it’s come back 50 per cent in numbers, which is a bit different to what they are saying is going to happen in Australia,” Mr Warrick said.

    “It’s a different environment, different water. It’s untested and unproven at the moment.

    Mr Warrick was sceptical the project would see the 95 per cent success rate as touted by the Federal Government.

    “My biggest fear is the pollution,” he said.

    “If the numbers of carp I know, which are around thousands of tonnes of them, if they died in quick succession, then there’s going to be that many dead fish around there won’t be enough people to clean it up and I know the fish factory that I supply, they won’t take dead carp.

    “So I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.”

    Mr Warrick said the EPA did not allow large quantities of dead carp to be buried.

    He warned the breaking down of the fish in large quantities would pollute waterways, which could affect other species of fish.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-02/carp-eradication-program-could-cause-pollution-problems/7374658

  27. COTMOMMA – But it’s a shocking headline because it gives a tax cut to some but most miss out. Those who miss out will be angrier than those who get it will be happy.

  28. What is this crap about “bracket creep”? Wage inflation is the lowest it’s been since last century, but the top end of earners – naturally – haven’t slowed down much. Also there seems to be some rhetoric around that people moving into a higher tax bracket get slugged on all of their earning. If someone on around $80000 gets a pay rise and lobs into the higher tax bracket? The extra tax being paid by that person is 4.5% on their pay increase only. So, if they move from $80k to 85k, they pay a whole $225 per year more. About 60c per day.
    Instead, to avoid these people paying a few cents extra in tax, raising the tax bracket by $5k gives the same tax cut to people earning between $80k and $5000000000. Gifts to the relatively wealthy from the Liberals again. I smell bacon.

  29. “Once again ABC news and current affairs sounded like its political reporting came direct from the PM’s office. If it wasn’t for a brief snippet from Albo, once again the opposition didn’t exist.”
    In theory this shouldn’t be the case in an actual election campaign, but I doubt the ABC as any regard for the rules.

  30. And, of course, to justify not giving a tax break to those below $80,000, Sco-Mo is going to crap on about rewarding the earners, the builders, the creators, etc etc. In other words, he’s saying that those below $80,000 are bludgers who deserve nothing. That is NOT good politics.

  31. P1

    I almost put that as the heading to my post.
    Possibly the carp will recover, just like rabbits after calici, having polluted the river and ruined the tourist industry there. 🙁

  32. bemused
    You’re oversimplifying. The Greens primary in Melbourne 2013 was 42.6. Going by polling location the highest I can see is ~55%.

    There’s just not enough information to conclude that it’s mostly Greens parents switching their children out.

  33. ‘adrian – You could say the same thing about the 2014 budget.’

    Yes, but by that stage people were well and truly over Abbott. They may be willing to give Turnbull the benefit of the doubt.

  34. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN @ #1036 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    COTMOMMA – But it’s a shocking headline because it gives a tax cut to some but most miss out. Those who miss out will be angrier than those who get it will be happy.

    Yeah the ones who miss out will be saying, “Where’s MY milkshake!?!”

    Though I will add that I heard that the Coalition, in a cynical attempt to win over the female vote again since they have been treated like crap and helpmeets by the Coalition over the last 3 years (and that’s just the Liberal female MPs!), they are going to do some trivial little vote-buying exercise with part of the Super they get off the Ultra Wealthy.

    As I said last night, this Budget is a poorly-disguised vote-buying exercise papered over their ideology until they can get over the election line. Hoodwinking the electorate is a Coalition specialty. It’s about the only thing they are good at any more.
    They will then say they have a mandate and will, yet again, turn around after the election and go their own merry way and do whatever the hell they want, whetther they informed the electorate before the election or not.

  35. DisplayName @ #1042 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

    bemused
    You’re oversimplifying. The Greens primary in Melbourne 2013 was 42.6. Going by polling location the highest I can see is ~55%.
    There’s just not enough information to conclude that it’s mostly Greens parents switching their children out.

    I merely quoted the report. Take it up with The Age reporter and the people quoted in the report.
    But it does fit closely with the Green voting yuppie attitudes others have discussed here.

  36. lizzie @ #1041 Monday, May 2, 2016 at 10:44 am

    P1
    I almost put that as the heading to my post.
    Possibly the carp will recover, just like rabbits after calici, having polluted the river and ruined the tourist industry there.

    However, what I have heard is that there is a new version of the Calici virus about to be unleashed on the rabbit population. Which is what I guess will happen to the Carp virus, once they become immune to it’s effects it will be tweaked, now that they have the basic building block virus, and used afresh.

  37. COTMOMMA – My guess is that most women won’t give a stuff about a few peanuts they’ll get that they can’t spend until they retire. How insulting

  38. bemused
    You did not merely quote the report. This is your preface to the quote.

    Well, well, well …. we learn a little about Green voting yuppies in the Age today. They are shifting their kids out of ‘reffo’ schools in a display of racism disguised as something else.

    You don’t get to agree with someone without borrowing their assumptions. Your assertion is based on an unexplained assumption that the school switching demographic is proportional to voting patterns. Can you justify that assumption?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *