Foreign affairs and Senate preferences

A comprehensive new survey on attitudes to foreign affairs, and deeper-than-ever dive into Senate voting and the preference question.

We’re still yet to have a new poll of federal voting intention after the election, for whatever that may still be worth, but I would imagine Newspoll will be breaking its drought to mark next week’s resumption of parliament. We do, however, have one of the Lowy Institute’s occasional surveys on attitudes to foreign affairs, the results of which are attractively presented on the organisation’s website.

The headline topic of the poll is Sino-American relations, and the results point to a sharp decline in trust towards China, which a clear majority of respondents rated the “world’s leading economic power”. Even clearer majorities, of around three-quarters, believed China was pursuing regional domination, and that Australia should do more to resist its military activities even if it affected our too-close economic relationship.

However, the poll also finds a further decline in trust in the United States, to add to the body-blow it took when Donald Trump was elected. Of particular interest here are the age breakdowns. Whereas there was little to distinguish the age cohorts in their positive view of the US on Obama’s watch, respondents in their youth and early middle-age now take a substantially more negative view than older ones.

Relatedly, the highly negative and worsening view of Trump personally, while evident across all age cohorts, is most pronounced among the young. This carries through to a head-to-head question on whether respondents should prioritise strong relations with the United States or China, with a majority of those aged 18-30 favouring China, and a large majority of the 60-plus cohort favouring the United States.

Beyond that, the survey offers no end of interesting material:

• Respondents were asked about their satisfaction with democracy – which, one often reads, is in freefall throughout the western world, particularly among the young. However, the Lowy Institute’s yearly tracking of this question going back to 2012 doesn’t show any such thing. If anything, there seems to be a slight trend in favour of the response that “democracy is preferable to any other kind of government”, which is up three on last year at 65%. While the young are less sold on this notion than the old, there has been a solid improving trend among the 18-to-30 cohort, with this year’s result up six on last year’s to 55%, a new high over the course of the series.

• Evaluations were sought on a limited sample of foreign leaders, specifically concerning whether they could be trusted in world affairs. Donald Trump ranked down alongside Vladimir Putin, while Jacinda Ardern recorded near-unanimous acclaim, with 88% expressing either a lot of or some confidence. New Zealand was rated “Australia’s best friend” out of six available options by 59%, up from six since 2017.

• Brexit was rated a bad thing for the United Kingdom by 62%, a bad thing for the European Union by 70%, and a bad thing for the West in general by 58%. The UK’s rating on a “feelings thermometer” fell six points, to 76.

• Concern about climate change maintained an upward trajectory, with 61% favouring action “even if this involves significant costs”. The long-range trend on this question going back to 2006 suggests climate change is less of a problem when Labor are in office.

• Views on immigration were less negative than last year, after a significant hardening of opinion between 2014 and 2018. However, the immigration rate was still held to be too high by 48% of all respondents, and a very large majority of older ones.

The survey was conducted online and by telephone from March 12 to 25 from a sample of 2130.

The second part of today’s lesson relates to Senate preference flows, from which we can obtain no end of information thanks to the Australian Electoral Commission’s publication of the data files containing the preference order for every single ballot paper. By contrast, we’re still waiting on the two-party preference splits the AEC eventually publishes for each party in the House of Representatives. There will be a lot of analysis of this information here over the coming weeks, but for starters I offer the following:

This shows, from left to right, the rate of voters’ adherence to their favoured party’s how-to-vote-card; the rate at which minor party voters’ preference orders favoured Labor over the Coalition or vice-versa, or neither in the event that they did not number either party (“two-party”); and a similar three-way measure that throws the Greens into the mix (“three-party”).

This shows that United Australia Party voters heavily favoured the Coalition over Labor, but not because they were following the party’s how-to-vote cards, a course followed by around 0.1% of the total electorate. One Nation preferences were only slightly less favourable to the Coalition, and even fewer of the party’s voters followed the card. Since One Nation’s preferences in the lower house split almost evenly in 2016, out of the 15 seats where they ran, it seems safe to assume a shift in One Nation preferences accounted for a substantial chunk of the two-party swing to the Coalition. I will calculate Senate preference flows from 2016 for comparison over the next few days.

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.

1,777 comments on “Foreign affairs and Senate preferences”

  1. C@t will no doubt be aware of the sexual assault case currently gracing the pages of the Central Coast Advocate. A somewhat obese female shelf stacker was presenting plumbers’ cleavage to shoppers. Someone went past and rested a stick of celery in the presenting cavity

  2. Oakeshott Country @ #1154 Saturday, June 29th, 2019 – 9:59 pm

    C@t will no doubt be aware of the sexual assault case currently gracing the pages of the Central Coast Advocate. A somewhat obese female shelf stacker was presenting plumbers’ cleavage to shoppers. Someone went past and rested a stick of celery in the presenting cavity

    I’m not actually. And why would you assume such prurient matters interest me?

  3. Then how do you know what liberal lies the denizens of the Coast are being told?
    As I have previously said Anne Charlton didn’t appear in its pages in the 18 months she was the candidate

  4. Bad day for BT
    “As the tale began to wrap up, Barrett wanted one final confirmation that Taylor had bugged the opposition.

    “Just to back over this so there’s no ambiguity about what happened here, he bugged the dressing room of an opposition before he played the game in the VFA?” Barrett asked.”

  5. luck Rupert and his propaganda. The Coalition has tried this line and now Mordor Media is using this to sell the tax cuts to to top income earners. Gee I wonder why they never mention how few get to share the 30%. Scum.

    .
    .
    .
    TAX

    Wealthy to get less than 30 per cent of tax cuts
    Australians earning more than $180,000 will get less than a third of the government’s $324.6bn personal income tax cuts.

    By ROSIE LEWIS
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/wealthy-to-get-30pc-of-tax-cuts/news-story/180590a42bf36601a17acb27f1f05bfa

    .
    People in the very top income bracket (as measured by the census) earn at least $156,000 a year — or $3,000 a week — before tax.

    At census time, there were about 596,531 people in Australia above that income level — or 3.8 per cent of income earners.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-21/income-calculator-comparison-australia/9301378

  6. @deniseshrivell
    12h12 hours ago

    “No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He represents as the instrument of National Will. When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys’ #auspol

  7. I think “worship” by Labor is a touch exaggerated.

    Peter Garrett@pgarrett
    Jun 28

    Played Paris last night, as around us Europe coming undone in extreme heat: roads and rail lines melting, tempers fraying – taste of things to come. Yet in Oz major parties still worship coal – OBSCENE. “France records all-time highest temperature of 45.9C

  8. BK

    Honestly, there’s not much in the papers this morning that wasn’t posted yesterday, but I’ll post what I’ve found. Not counting NewsCorp, of course.

  9. Thank you, BK. 🙂

    I’ve got more cartoons I can put up. Also I’ve just read a couple of good articles that I will put here, not from the usual sources. 🙂

  10. Salon regular Lucian Truscott scorches Trump and his treatment of border children

    This is the week it became accurate to compare Trump to Hitler

    From the “controversy” of AOC calling out concentration camps to the disgusting treatment of immigrant children

    The presidency of Donald Trump has been one horror after another — the endless lying, the coddling and worship of dictators, the rank incompetence and corruption of the people he has chosen to run government departments, the saber-rattling and about-facing with various enemies, the repeated attacks on voting rights and free speech and a free press, the countenancing of rank racism and white supremacy in Charlottesville and elsewhere, the personal corruption and grifting at his resorts and golf clubs, the reverence for a celebration of ignorance, the disdain for science and expertise, the constant tweeting and spewing of hate and stupidity and racism and misogyny and xenophobia — the list goes on. Add your own outrages at will.

    I’ve spent my entire life trying to figure out how the entire nation of Germany, all of its ordinary citizens living in cities and towns and villages across the country, could have stood by while their own government rounded up people and stuck them in hastily built, disgusting concentration camps, and then proceeded to kill them by gas or bullets or starvation or overwork or disease or simple filth and neglect.

    This was the week I think I finally understood it. What happened in Nazi Germany didn’t affect their own lives, it happened away from them, it happened to “others,” to people who were not like them, whom they had been conditioned to hate, and it happened at the direction of a leader they admired and revered. And it happened with the overt or tacit approval of their fellow citizens all around them.

    MORE : https://www.salon.com/2019/06/29/this-is-the-week-it-became-accurate-to-compare-trump-to-hitler/

  11. poroti @ #588 Sunday, June 30th, 2019 – 3:32 am

    luck Rupert and his propaganda. The Coalition has tried this line and now Mordor Media is using this to sell the tax cuts to to top income earners. Gee I wonder why they never mention how few get to share the 30%. Scum.

    The comments are astounding. Most appear to be written by those for whom English is a 2nd or 3rd language and simple arithmetic is a foreign country.

    Warren
    Hypocrisy, your name is Labor. Labor’s past polices for NDIS, Health, Education and so called climate change were advocated for 10 years into the future with no funding, no implementation plans. Either Labor capitulates now on this mandate or be damned for years to come.

    Dennis
    Was the models done by the same people who done the models for the last election loosing policies of Bill and co? Keep slaying the big end of town – sure to help you loose the next election!

  12. A belated good morning.

    A global social media app has taken the unusual step of removing a number of lewd and discriminatory posts exchanged during a recent Liberal Party state council event, and has blocked some users responsible for them.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/social-media-app-blocks-lewd-offensive-posts-linked-to-liberals-20190629-p522it.html
    The Morrison government will try to push its $158 billion tax cuts through Parliament as early as possible this week when MPs return to Canberra, setting up a potentially awkward rush for new independent senator Jacqui Lambie, on whom the vote will hang.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/incoming-senator-jacqui-lambie-under-the-pump-to-pass-tax-cuts-20190629-p522jy.html
    Haworth acknowledged that cutting speed limits would upset rural residents and could prove unpopular, but said drivers were failing to understand the extent to which speed increased safety risks.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/29/victoria-urged-to-lower-speed-limits-as-road-death-toll-jumps-50
    Hartcher urges Morrison to get an agenda for governing. And this was what the first of Morrison’s speeches this week – the first of his agenda trailers – addressed. He acknowledged a slowing world economy and a sluggish Australian one, blaming drought, the housing slump and Labor’s election agenda.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-gropes-towards-an-agenda-if-only-he-s-not-trumped-20190628-p522dl.html
    From 1 July, all small businesses employing fewer than 20 staff in will face sweeping changes in the way they interact with the Australian Tax Office. Up to half of those affected may be unaware of the changes.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-s-migrant-business-owners-say-they-re-struggling-with-1-july-tax-law-changes?cid=news:socialshare:twitter
    Was this really a ‘snub’?
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/serena-williams-unaware-ashleigh-barty-was-world-no-1-20190629-p522mb.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1561835929
    Trump said the US would not impose further tariffs in a trade war that other world leaders have warned could threaten the global economy,
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/29/us-china-trade-talks-back-on-track-says-trump
    We can pretend the PM has the ability to suppress corrosive ambition in his team. But that would be fantasy
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/29/election-scott-morrison-authority-colleagues-could-take-it-away
    Jeremy Corbyn has raised concerns about the neutrality of the civil service after anonymous senior officials claimed he was too frail to become prime minister and may resign as Labour leader over health concerns.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/29/labour-hits-back-at-reports-of-frail-jeremy-corbyn-health
    It might seem ambitious for an incoming House of Representatives crossbencher to be talking about changing the conversation about power in Australia, but Helen Haines is determined to try.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/29/kingmaker-or-not-the-new-member-for-indi-is-determined-to-shift-the-dial-in-canberra

  13. As NYT’s Griffith writes: “Despite data showing that long hours improve neither productivity nor creativity, myths about overwork persist because they justify the extreme wealth created for a small group of elite techies.”

    Perhaps the most dangerous element of overwork is that those who can’t get left behind.

    Claire Cain Miller recently dissected how Western women are more highly educated than ever, yet the “jobs that require those degrees have started paying disproportionately more to people with round-the-clock availability”.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-29/why-you-should-not-live-like-a-chief-executive/11247592

  14. Thanks Lizzie for the Roundup.

    I happen to like Peter Fitzsimon’s work and so ——
    👇👇👇👇👇👇
    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/i-have-a-word-for-john-edwards-it-starts-with-an-f-and-ends-in-a-d-20190628-p522dw.html

    Okaaayyyy. That’s all clear then. Glad you cleared that all up. But look, can I have a word, too, along the same lines as last time?
    For I can feel a word coming on … it starts with an “f” … and ends in a “d” …
    Fraud? That’s it! FRAUD!

    Dammit Peter – I thought I was in for a rerun similar to the old one
    Q. Crossword. What’s a word the starts with SH and ends with IT ❓ Often found at the bottom of the canaries cage.
    A. Shellgrit ❗

    Peter’s joke of the week.

    Joke of the Week (Not necessarily funny to all.)

    Two Irishmen living in Sydney.

    One visits the other who is living in a high-rise building.

    “Why do you like it here?”

    “I like the craic.”

    Among Peter’s quotes of the week –

    “Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him.” – Max Hastings, Boris Johnson’s former boss, who insists the one-time journalist is utterly unfit to be British prime minister.

    A very good morning to all. ☮☕

  15. Is this what free trade is all about ? (I have no proof of the veracity of this Tweet.)

    There’s a abattoir in the Hunter that is sending MASSIVE amts of beef to the US for, wait for it, hamburgers. Prime Oz beef in burgers. They send the boxes thru a shredder, cardboard and all….

  16. How good are these cartoons!?!

    Alan Moir is back to his best:

    Trying this for The UK Guardian cartoon for today:
    https://imgur.com/FPHP9Ao

    Matt Golding on how times change:

    Matt Golding on the mobile phone ban:

    Matt Davidson on shouldering the burden of a house and a family:

    Former Deputy Secretary of the Immigration Department, Abul Rizvi, writes this informative article on the heroic assumptions behind the Morrison government’s economic projections. The devil is in the well-hidden detail:
    https://insidestory.org.au/the-numbers-game-2/

    Here’s an article on the convenience Australians have always wanted when they vote, by Peter Brent:
    https://insidestory.org.au/voting-for-the-future/

    This is a really good article by Satyajit Das on how to restore reasonable levels of growth in the economy within resource and environmental constraints:
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-world-needs-shock-therapy-20190629-p522i6.html

    Enjoy!

  17. lizzie

    With the exchange rate between US$ and the Sth Pacific peso being what it is our stuff would look pretty cheap inexpensive ( 🙂 ) to them.

  18. lizzie @ #1181 Sunday, June 30th, 2019 – 8:00 am

    Did Mr Morrison know that things were already going pear-shaped? What were his Treasury officials saying behind closed doors? Mr Frydenberg certainly found out.

    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/hospital-pass-josh-frydenberg-and-the-coalition-as-ahem-superior-economic-managers/

    As Abul Rizvi points out, Morrison’s projections, aided and abetted by the politicised Treasury, are based on heroic assumptions and unspoken policies.

  19. C@t

    Changes to the tax system are central to addressing inequality. Some members of the 1 per cent now openly promote the idea of a reasonable wealth tax. Fair taxation of capital gains and carried interests should be discussed.

    Finally, the social safety net will require change to ensure it is tenable. Unsustainable pension and healthcare arrangements are already being reduced by bankruptcy or negotiation.

    Seems to me that Morrison is already proceeding in the opposite direction.

  20. lizzie @ #1188 Sunday, June 30th, 2019 – 8:31 am

    C@t

    Changes to the tax system are central to addressing inequality. Some members of the 1 per cent now openly promote the idea of a reasonable wealth tax. Fair taxation of capital gains and carried interests should be discussed.

    Finally, the social safety net will require change to ensure it is tenable. Unsustainable pension and healthcare arrangements are already being reduced by bankruptcy or negotiation.

    Seems to me that Morrison is already proceeding in the opposite direction.

    There will come a time of reckoning. He and Frydenburg and Treasury can’t fudge the books forever. Reality bites eventually.

    Also, it was interesting to read that the next Intergenerational Report is due to be handed down next year. That needs to be truthful as well. We’ll see.

  21. Japan is about to resume catching whales for profit, in defiance of international criticism.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48592682

    Andrew Laird@ReclaimAnglesea
    14m14 minutes ago

    (Did you raise this with #Japan at the #G20 ⁦@ScottMorrisonMP⁩? Our poor record on #ClimateAction has weakened our moral authority, but even so you should’ve called this out #auspol #whaling)

  22. Something has to be done about the cockroaches of the sea lizzie. Thank God the Japanese are acting to deal with the plague.

  23. In contrast to others who’ve occupied the Lodge, Julia Gillard rarely speaks about Labor, domestic politics, or indeed, anything that might cause her ALP successors grief.

    In an interview that was designed for a discussion of mental health – and of football’s role in improving outcomes – the former prime minister and Beyond Blue chair briefly broke with her own self-imposed policy.

    She says the immediate reactions to a result are not as accurate as a review after several months.

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/gillard-s-take-on-labor-s-election-fear-campaigning-is-easier-now-20190628-p522dk.html

  24. The Alabama case of the pregnant woman convicted of manslaughter who lost her baby after she was shot in the stomach by another woman.

    In a Friday statement, the office of District Attorney Lynneice Washington said they have not decided whether Jones will be prosecuted for manslaughter, face a lesser charge or be cleared in the death of her fetus. A grand jury looked at actions by both women and declined to indict Ebony Jemison, the woman who fired the shot, prosecutors said. The jurors instead returned an indictment for Jones.

    In a phone interview late Thursday, Jemison’s mother, Earka, told The Post that her daughter was cleared by the grand jury because evidence and testimony was presented to suggest that Jones started the fight, causing Ebony to fire a warning shot out of fear. Jones worked at the same company as Ebony Jemison and the fetus’s father, and tension developed between the two women, according to Jemison’s mother.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/29/bullet-miscarriage-an-unthinkable-question-whos-victim-who-is-blame/?utm_term=.1dfe38f31102&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

    That you can get away with firing a warning shot with a gun in America is one thing, but getting away with that warning shot injuring another person causing them to miscarry is another! America is stuffed!

  25. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, June 30, 2019 at 9:02 am
    Lars Von Trier @ #1196 Sunday, June 30th, 2019 – 8:40 am

    Something has to be done about the cockroaches of the sea lizzie. Thank God the Japanese are acting to deal with the plague.
    You are a cockroach of this blog. What a reprehensible attitude to whales.
    ___________________________________________
    You don’t do irony do you c@t? I for one will not rise to your provocation (and this early in the morning too)

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