Ipsos Issues Monitor and much else

An Ipsos issue salience poll finds environmental concerns elbowed aside by health care and the economy. Also: prospects for elections amid coronavirus in Queensland and the Northern Territory, finalisation of the Brisbane City Council election, and a Greens plebiscite on leader selection.

Ipsos has published its latest Issues Monitor survey results, in which respondents are presented with 19 issues and asked to identify the three of greatest concern. This is conducted monthly but published haphazardly: the last set of results was published on the precipice of our new era back in January, but the accompanying chart in the latest release allows you to at least eyeball the results from February and March. The big news in January was an unprecedented concern about the environment in the wake of the bushfires, pushing that issue to the top of the pile for the first time. It has now been put into the shade by a massive surge of concern about three issues: health care, up since January from 31% to 55%; the economy, up from 25% to 47%; unemployment, for which the result went unpublished in January (it was at 18% in December) and is now at 39%. The environment is now equal fourth on 22%, down from 41%, where it ranks alongside cost of living, down from 31%.

The Ipsos release also features results on the best party to handle the five aforesaid issues, which are consistent with an improved standing for the Coalition since December, the last time comparable figures were published. Most striking is its improvement on its traditional weak spot of health care, on which it now leads Labor by 34% (up eight) to 29% (steady), with the caveat that 7% favoured the Greens and most of those would presumably have Labor as a second preference (a further 3% favoured another party). The Coalition has also widened its lead on the economy, up seven to 43% with Labor down to 22%, the Greens on 5% and others on 3%, and gained five on cost of living to 34%, with Labor steady on 29%, the Greens on 7% and others on 4%. It also holds a lead over Labor of 34% to 28% on unemployment, with the Greens on 6% and others on 3%, no figures from December being available for comparison in this case. On the environment, the Coalition is up four to 23%, Labor is down one to 17%, the Greens are on 28% and others are on 6%.

The poll was conducted online from a sample of 1000, and was presumably conducted over the previous fortnight, but all we are told is that the numbers are for April.

Further news:

• The count for the Brisbane City Council election is now all but complete, confirming a repeat of the 2016 result with the Liberal National Party winning 19 seats to Labor’s five and the Greens’ one, plus independent Nicole Johnston in Tennyson. The Greens came within an ace of taking Paddington off the LNP but no cigar, with LNP incumbent Peter Matic prevailing by 11,064 (50.7%) to 10,753 (49.3%) after preferences, a margin of 311 votes. Unlike at state elections, optional preferential voting prevails at Queensland’s local government elections, in this case to the advantage of the LNP since many preferences that might otherwise have flowed between Labor and the Greens instead exhausted. As Antony Green notes on Twitter, this certainly made the difference in Paddington, and might have saved the LNP from Labor in their three most marginal wards. LNP incumbent Adrian Schrinner’s winning margin over Labor’s Pat Condren for the Brisbane lord mayoralty was 286,297 (56.4%) to 221,309 (43.6%).

• Annastacia Palaszczuk has raised the prospect of Queensland’s October 31 state election being held entirely by post, as has been advocated by Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington. The ABC reports the next update of federal government modelling on the spread of the virus in around two weeks will guide a decision that is “expected in the next month”. However, it appears the Northern Territory election will proceed in a more-or-less normal fashion on August 22, with the Northern Territory News ($) reporting the local electoral commission does not consider a postal election an option because “postal services were still limited in many remote communities”. It is accordingly “looking to accommodate social distancing at the upcoming election by opening up more early voting centres, encouraging postal voting and extending early voting times”.

• The Greens are in the process of conducting a plebiscite of party members on how it will choose its leaders in future, the three options being the status quo of election by the party room, the “one member one vote” model of a straight ballot of party members, and Labor’s approach of a 50-50 model in which the result is evenly split between the two approaches. The party’s three former leaders, Bob Brown, Christine Milne and Richard Di Natale, jointly wrote a column in The Guardian that beseeched members to reject “one member one vote”, noting the disastrous consequences the model eventually had for the Australian Democrats, and gently suggested the status quo was to be preferred. A counter-argument was subsequently advanced in the same publication by five party luminaries, including current Senator Mehreen Faruqi and former Senator Scott Ludlam.

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.

2,719 comments on “Ipsos Issues Monitor and much else”

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  1. What I’d really love to see is Malcolm Turnbull sue News Corp for hundreds of millions in damages for publishing excerpts from his stolen book. He doesn’t have to win, just tie them up for years. He could represent himself. The subsequent book could be called ‘Rupecatcher’. 😀

  2. Yet again, Morrison is being hoist by his own petard. He has employed some very tricky individuals who deploy all the tricks of the hacker trade and data mining and analytics for HIS political benefit. Well, you can be too clever by half, Scott.

    Hardie Grant chief executive Sandy Grant said the firm would press the matter this week and could subpoena Senator Payne after her comments on the ABC’s Insiders program saying she “received and deleted” a copy of the e-book.

    “When I watch a senior government minister saying they received stolen goods but can’t help us know where they came from, you despair,” Mr Grant said. “The bookshops in their electorates are closed or struggling, our staff are working reduced hours or being stood down and they seem to see that theft as something they can ignore. Would they ignore someone stealing from the local servo?”

    Mr Grant said the adviser to Mr Morrison had made “certain admissions” to be pursued along with the referral to the police.

    I bet the junior woodchucks in the PMO thought it a jolly jape and all ‘Black Ops Yay!’ to hack into the e-book version of Turnbull’s memoir and pirate a copy and widely distribute it. Well, Turnbull won’t lie down and let the AFP roll over him. He will want to make sure that he who laughs last, laughs best. And the laughter won’t be coming from the PMO, it will be coming from Point Piper. Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold.

  3. Mavis Davis:

    The pomposity of the medical profession sometimes equals that of legal practitioners. Please come down from your high perch.

    I’m reminded of the story involving (as I recall) Clarence Darrow (a lawyer) and an unnamed physician, discussing their respective professions:

    Physician: It has to be said, Clarence, your profession don’t exactly make Angels of Men!
    Darrow: Yes, you have the advantage of us there…

  4. OC:

    What you said was “ The pomposity of the medical profession sometimes equals that of legal practitioners. Please come down from your high perch.”

    Which implies all the profession is pompous and I in particular had to change my ways.

    I read it as: the lawyers always pompous; the docotrs only sometimes…

  5. And I will leave you with this that can be filed under, ‘there’s always a quote or a Tweet’:

    “Intellectual property theft cannot be justified,” Mr Morrison said in a speech last June.


  6. JobKeeper will hide impact of 3.4m jobless

    Up to 3.4 million people could soon be out of work across Australia but the JobKeeper wage subsidy will obscure much of the impact of the unemployment rate rising to between 10 per cent and 15 per cent, new research by the Grattan Institute finds.

    Examining the impact on employment from coronavirus restrictions, the authors of a new institute paper released on Sunday suggest two-thirds of jobs in the hospitality industry could be lost while the jobs of many workers in retail trade, education and training, and the arts was at risk.

    “We calculate that between 14 and 26 per cent of Australian workers — 1.9 million to 3.4 million people could be out of work in the coming weeks as a direct result of the spatial distancing measures now in place, if they aren’t already,” the institute says.

    “Unemployment will rise substantially in the coming months, but the commonwealth government’s new JobKeeper wage subsidy will obscure much of the impact. Nonetheless, we expect the unemployment rate will rise to between 10 and 15 per cent.”

    Lower-income workers were twice as likely to lose their jobs than the highest income-earners, while younger people and women were also likely to be hit harder as they were more likely to be employed in occupations and industries most affected by the response to COVID-19.

    The employment estimates are based on existing restrictions remaining in place until June 30. “If the level of restrictions is changed, this would obviously affect the number of people who will lose their jobs,’ the paper says.

    The authors say that each of their methods yields slightly different results “but all are in broad agreement: somewhere around a fifth to a quarter of workers are likely to be out of work as a result of the COVID-19 policy response”.

    “Our preferred method suggests about 26 per cent of workers will be out of work. In February 2020, 13.01 million people in Australia were employed — so 3.43 million Australians could lose work,” they said.

  7. Diog, Fulvio conferred the title on me after I listed some of my accurate virus predictions going back as far as January.

    Even some of my critics grudgingly conceded I’d been right.

    One of them tried to take her endorsement back, but it was too late. I’d already banked the cheque.

  8. Aqualung

    Good to find a fellow admirer of the Leeds team from the Revie era 🙂

    And thanks for the pic of the Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’ banner .. from the 1972 centenary FA Cup final, against Arsenal, if I’m not mistaken

  9. C@tmomma @ #2692 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 9:00 pm

    Steve777 @ #2690 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 10:54 pm

    Singapore had nearly 600 new cases today, with just under 6600 total cases. That doesn’t look good. A second wave?

    I read that COVID-19 has a self-correcting function so that it reproduces almost perfect copies of itself, which makes mutations less likely than occur with the influenza virus. However, this sort of news makes that seem improbable. Also, I read that a COVID-19 sample from Brazil showed 17 mutations from the original. What to believe?

    My understanding is that they can identify clusters of infection by the minor mutations that occur.

  10. Wake me up I must be dreaming .. Sky News presenter, of all people, having no nonsense from the odious Iain Duncan Smith earlier today

    Clifford Slapper
    Iain Duncan Smith telling bare-faced lies on Sky, and trying to shout down the presenter when he tries to correct him. Surely one of the most odious, despicable liars and malicious opponents of humanity and compassion throughout recent years. Disgusting specimen.


  11. There is another virus still prevalent in the world!

    Adam Wagner
    Very worrying news
    Quote Tweet

    Martin Lee QC aged 81, former chairman of HK Bar Association, leading Hong Kong democracy campaigns since I was there in the 1980s, has been arrested with a no. of other pro democracy lawyers. Please share with as many legal and other contacts as you can.

  12. Ray (UK) @ #2711 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 10:51 pm


    Good to find a fellow admirer of the Leeds team from the Revie era 🙂

    And thanks for the pic of the Norman ‘Bites Yer Legs’ banner .. from the 1972 centenary FA Cup final, against Arsenal, if I’m not mistaken

    Add another to the list.

    When I was about 7 or 8, my mum wrote to the office at Elland Rd and said I was a big fan, and asked if they could get copies of autographs of the team.

    They sent back a letter on official LU stationery with the autographs of everyone who was in the squad at the time. Bremner, Charlton (J), Lorrimer, Cooper, Madely, Hunter, et al including Don Revie himself.

    I still have it in a picture frame, and despite it probably being worth a shiny penny or three nowadays, it is NOT for sale. I’ll sell my arse on the streets before I sell that.

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