An off week in the fortnightly cycles for both Newspoll and Essential Research, but we do have three fairly detailed sets of attitudinal polling doing the rounds:
• Ipsos has results from its monthly Issues Monitor series, which records a dramatic escalation in concern about the environment. Asked to pick the three most salient out of 19 listed issues, 41% chose the environment, more than any other. This was up ten on last month’s survey, and compares with single digit results that were not uncommonly recorded as recently as 2015. Cost of living and health care tied for second on 31%, respectively down three and up six on last month. The economy was up one to 25%, and crime down one to 21%. On “party most capable to manage environmental issues across the generations”, generations up to and including X gave the highest rating to the Greens, towards whom the “boomer” and “builder” generations showed their usual hostility. The poll was conducted online from a sample of 1000.
• A poll by YouGov for the Australian Institute finds 79% expressing concern about climate change, up five since a similar poll in July. This includes 47% who were very concerned, up ten. Among those aged 18 to 34, only around 10% expressed a lack of concern. Fifty-seven per cent said Australia was experiencing “a lot” of climate change impact, up 14%; 67% said climate change was making bushfires worse, with 26% disagreeing; and only 33% felt the Coalition had done a good job “managing the climate crisis” (a potentially problematic turn of phrase for those who did not allow that there was one), compared with 53% who took the contrary view. The poll was conducted January 8 to 12 from a sample of 1200; considerable further detail is available through the full report.
• The Institute of Public Affairs has a poll on Australia Day and political correctness from Dynata, which has also done polling on the other side of the ideological aisle for the aforesaid Australia Institute. This finds 71% agreeing that “Australia Day should be celebrated on January 26” (55% strongly, 16% somewhat), and 68% agreeing Australia had become too politically correct (42% strongly, 26% somewhat). Disagreement with both propositions was at just 11%. A very substantial age effect was evident here, but not for the two further questions relating to pride in Australia, which received enthusiastic responses across the board. I have my doubts about opening the batting on this particular set of questions by asking if respondents were “proud to be an Australian”, which brings Yes Minister to mind. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the poll is the demographic detail on the respondents, who were presumably drawn from an online panel. This shows women were greatly over-represented in the younger cohorts, while the opposite was true among the old; and that the sample included rather too many middle-aged people on low incomes. The results would have been weighted to correct for this, but some of these weightings were doing some fairly heavy lifting (so to speak).
Elsewhere, if you’re a Crikey subscriber you can enjoy my searing expose on the electoral impact of Bridget McKenzie’s sports sports. I particularly hope you appreciate the following line, as it was the fruit of about two days’ work:
When polling booth and sport grants data are aggregated into 2288 local regions designated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there turns out to be no correlation whatsoever between the amount of funding they received and how much they swung to or against the Coalition.
I worked this out by identifying the approximate target locations of 518 grants, building a dataset recording grant funding and booth-level election swings for each of the ABS’s Statistical Local Area 2 regions, and using linear regression to calculate how much impact the grants had on the Coalition vote. The verdict: absolutely none whatsoever.