Poll respondents with attitudes

New poll results from around the place on attitudes towards climate change, Australia Day and things-in-general.

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.

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.

2,074 comments on “Poll respondents with attitudes”

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  1. Again with CC and this Newcastle to Sydney HSR!

    What’s the bet CC lives in Newcastle and wants to get into the Sydney CBD quicker than anyone else.

  2. Cud Chewer:

    [You could otoh choose to engage the substance. That would be nice.’]

    I could but I don’t think I could – perhaps therein lies the problem? In the event, I’m most likely envious of your youth, my cognitive decline. It’s almost like Custer’s last stand.

  3. CC

    The way to win office is to show empathy for people while pointing out the threats to their security from LNP action or inaction so that perceptions of those threats outweigh any vague disquiets about Labor.

    Pretty much what Albanese is doing.

    Only need to shift a few percent at the margins

  4. ajm @ #1991 Saturday, January 25th, 2020 – 7:38 pm

    Congratulations on your victory over a strawman.

    Take that, strawman! 🙂

    I’m pretty sure there was no intention to make the pledge compulsory.

    Could be. The article is scant on actual details (and sounds like the ‘loyalty pledge’ speech hasn’t even happened yet, despite the headline?):


    Though beneath a certain age calling for children to take the pledge isn’t vastly different from compulsory due to 1) deference to authority, 2) peer pressure, 3) parental pressure, and 4) limited understanding of what the oath actually is/means.

    But it’ll take the actual speech to know what’s being suggested.

    I’m more concerned about Albanese’s support for keeping Australia Day on 26 January than I ma about loyalty pledges.

    Fair point. Albanese’s like the gift that keeps on giving…to the wrong side.

  5. The way to win office is to show empathy for people while pointing out the threats to their security from LNP action or inaction so that perceptions of those threats outweigh any vague disquiets about Labor.

    That’s simply not enough.

    People believe in a bunch of wrong things.

    People can’t understand what threat the LNP is to them personally because of this.

    People are complacent, misinformed. They can’t rationally judge their own self interest.
    Just having a nice soothing leader isn’t going to cut through all the bad ideas and beliefs.

  6. Great stuff from The Onion:

    WASHINGTON—Slamming the campaign for promoting the popular podcaster’s backing, liberals said Friday that Bernie Sanders’s acceptance of Joe Rogan’s endorsement sends a dangerous message that the candidate is trying to win the 2020 presidential election. “This is just the Sanders campaign opening the gates to a plurality of people who would vote for him and help him win the presidency,” said political commentator Scott Griffin, who called the campaign’s promotion of Rogan’s endorsement a true “mask off” moment, exposing Sanders’s goal of winning the Democratic primary and eventually the general election. “It’s very unnerving to see a Democratic candidate like Bernie Sanders try to court voters from varying constituencies and demographics. It’s like his whole strategy is beating Trump. We saw hints of this in 2016, but I’m truly sickened to see it rearing its ugly head again. I’m all for creating a Democratic majority, but not if we have to accept more people than the other side has.”


  7. Celebrity endorsements usually don’t mean much but Joe Rogan has a huge audience from a very wide spectrum. Not many podcasts feature Mike Tyson, Jordan Peterson, Richard Dawkins, Bernie Sanders, Alex Jones and Edward Snowden.

  8. Northcliffe’s connection with Western Australia was as the promoter, with Premier “Moo Cow” Mitchell of the Group Settlement Scheme. Hordes of sturdy but impoverished WHITE English workers were enticed to settle in the Wheatbelt and South West where most rapidly went broke trying to farm small lots

  9. Cud Chewer says:
    Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 12:33 pm
    No EGT

    I want the Greens to come to terms with the fact that if they want a better country, they need to support Labor. I don’t care about “endorsements”. I care about what is being done in practice.

    The single most important thing that the Greens could do (that would make it more likely for Labor to win) is to go out and meet and talk to ordinary voters and educate them – things like pointing out that new technology will make them and their kids better off.

    The single best thing the Greens could do is dissolve themselves.

  10. On The New South Wales Day Honours list:

    Multiple Liberal politicians received honours this year: former Queensland premier Campbell Newman, former New South Wales premier Barry O’Farrell, former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu and former immigration minister Amanda Vanstone.

    FMD. What have any of that lot done for the betterment of the Australian people.


  11. Cud,
    You’ve never actually done any of that ‘Labor Party engagement with the people at shopping centres’ thing, have you?

    I have. And you know what? It’s the most dispiriting thing I have ever done. Virtually no one wants to engage with you and have the sort of conversations you have been proselytizing about for the last few weeks.

    In fact, people go out of their way to avoid you. The dropped eyes when you try to catch their attention, the walking fast past you, the taking the long way around your table so as to not get near enough to get caught up with you. Or they just keep looking at their phone.

    Sure, you get people who want to talk but that is essentially an exercise in preaching to the choir.

    It’s not all you crack it up to be.

  12. So, let’s get this straight shall we. Briefly has spent the last 8 months telling everyone how Labor should move as far away from the Greens in a policy sense as is possible so no Green tinged voter could ever vote for Labor (and vice versa). Now he’s telling us that the Greens should disband altogether. Somehow that will make every Green leaning voter vote for Labor.

    The only way the Greens are going to dissolve is if a) Labor manages to convince their voters that Labor better represents their ideals which ain’t gonna be easy while Labor is trying to woo One Nation and Liberal voters; or b) A new party emerges that better represents Greens voters ideals.

    The big problem with point b is that this new party may very well lure a lot of Labor voters away as well, and eventually end up as the new Opposition party.

  13. C@t

    I’m well aware of these problems. Which is why I want a discussion about how to go about it in far more calculated and professional manner. For a start you have to give people a reason to come to you. Yes, we’re selling something, but come talk to us and we’ll explain why you’ll benefit.

    Its the sort of thing that ordinary volunteers aren’t going to get much fun out of unless there is systematic backup from the organisation itself. And yes that does include paid advertising. It may also involve giving people a very specific topic. It does mean having well organised displays and videos.

    And yes, C@t, I’m not naive about this. There are a lot of psychological reasons why people will avoid you. That’s why it needs to be dealt with by experts.

    And yes, C@t, there are other ways to engage people and get them talking and lead them towards your desired social media channels and web portals that aren’t the stereotypical bailing people up on a street, also. The reason I don’t go into this in detail is because a) I want to see if anyone cares in the first place and b) getting lectured that I write too much detail.

    I’m not an expert. I’m just saying that Labor cannot avoid having to up its game. It cannot win if it continues to do exactly what its done before, charismatic leader or not. People are just not going to understand what’s in it for them if they are clueless about a set of basic facts.

  14. And btw at one point I was actually standing on a street engaging people on a specific issue (the NBN – back in 2010 when the NBN could have been rescued). It would have been nice to have professional, organisational backup. I’m one of Turnbull’s “fibre zealots”.

  15. I was in Sydney today and on the train with lots of Chinese tourists. Should I be worried?

    Your odds are pretty good. But try to avoid kissing anyone.

  16. Danama Papers says:
    Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 12:52 am
    So, let’s get this straight shall we. Briefly has spent the last 8 months telling everyone how Labor should move as far away from the Greens in a policy sense as is possible so no Green tinged voter could ever vote for Labor (and vice versa).

    The point is that for as long as Labor and the Greens are conflated in the minds of voters there will be attrition from Labor to the LNP. If Labor is to rebuild its plurality it must regain the support of voters who have drifted to the Right. This is the electoral arithmetic. The pop-left matter only insofar as they drive voters to the Right.

  17. C@T
    Don’t be too disheartened when people do that because I’m guilty of doing those things but then I don’t have anything to say and I already know who I am voting for and its possible that could be the case for the people you see.

    I can’t remember who said it but someone one said they find the first time they knock on someone’s door they usually don’t answer it or just close it once they know who it is but by the second or third time they see you they become more approachable which is why country MP’s have it easier than city based MP’s because they only need to be seen in the main street or at the local sports club or hanging around with the right groups.

  18. Beemer a couple of other things worth mentioning on this subject. The first is that if you wait for an election and then show up with a party badge and party pamphlets you’re far more likely to be shunned. The second is more subtle. What you’re trying to get done is to get people to reconsider basic ideas and facts. To do that you need to make it clear to people that you are dealing with a specific issue. For example, you could be representing yourself as giving out information on what you’re likely to see when you buy a car 5 years from now. Draw people in. Then point out that their electric ute will be just as capable as their present petrol vehicle. That sort of thing. And while you’re at it give them some other information. That’s a whole different thing to rocking up with election slogans and pamphlets covered in your party logo. This kind of thing requires sophistication, resources and expertise at all levels. And its not about playing the same old game over and over.

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