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health care, up since January from 31% to 55%; the economy, up from 25% to 47%; unemployment, for which the result went unpublished in January (it was at 18% in December) and is now at 39%.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. —— Sorry, you’ll have to try Qld instead ——
    Unfortunately, the place is crawling with Queenslanders.

  2. He concluded: “We need members contributing to a policy debate and the support of our Party through this crisis, and as such I intend to do that by reprimanding a man who isn’t”.

    Starting to sound like a storm in a Petri dish, isn’t it?

    Has the Tsar been warned yet?

  3. Simon Katich @ #2630 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 8:34 pm

    Puffy, any chance tourists will be allowed back into places like the Kimberly any time soon? Like… um.. September… for peeps from, oh, let’s say South Australia?

    I do not know Simon K. This place is locked down tighter than Ned Kelly’s cell. Though the community has had to close its roadhouse/fuel station to part time because there are no tourists, and the roadhouse is one of their money-earners.

    Personally, I would not make any definite plans for September. If the states start easing lockdowns and there is a flare up, it would not take long for Communities to slam the front gate shut again.

    You can ask William for my PB email address and I can let you know if I hear anything. As the organiser of SA Chapter Knees Up, I have a few PB email addresses and I have never and would never abuse the privilege.

    And when we can all get together again I promise to organise another SA Chapter of Pollbludger and The Pub for those interested. We have not had one for a couple of years now, which is my fault.

    Something to look forward to.

    lol, no-one I met looked how I imagined!

  4. One quote for Shellbell..

    Mason CJ
    20 April 1995
    “one of the attractions of the Law, as I saw it in my younger days, was that it offered all the certainty of mathematics as a discipline, a view from which I was later forced to retreat when, as a law student, I began to study Constitutional Law and I became acquainted with the old learning on section 92 of the Constitution”

  5. Cud Chewer

    I was in Sweden in 2003 and again in 2012. The depredations of neoliberalism were starting to show. My friends there tell me the country is turning to shit.


    It’s extraordinary how the neo-liberal depravity gets voted in.

  6. Cud Chewer says:
    Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 9:26 pm
    There’s always Xmas Island.. I’m told the weather there is nice

    Simon Katich says:
    Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm
    Can I drive there?

    You could head to Xmas in a leaky fishing boat. Border Force would probably accommodate you.

    On the other hand, you could be despatched to Nauru. It’s nice and warm there.

  7. sprocket

    “ I began to study Constitutional Law and I became acquainted with the old learning on section 92 of the Constitution”

    I gave up studying law for a number of reasons but one was my inability to comprehend the High Courts attempt to camouflage their obvious political ideology with legal verbiage. I lost respect for the whole edifice which was really about “who gets what”.

    That, plus I couldn’t abide most of the other law students.

  8. Oakeshott Country:

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

    Well, you do tend to carry on from time to time, dear. I share to some extent the views of old BB, before he changed his screen persona – that is, all professions are open to examination, and in particular, medicine and the law.

  9. I’m hoping we can visit the rellies in Bunno by September. Can’t see us letting eastern staters in by then.

    Every month McGowan keeps them out is worth a couple of percentage in votes at the next election.

  10. Turnbull has learned the miseries of having enough support to win a party room vote, but not quite enough to establish authority over the actual, y’know… party.

    Almost everything he proposed was white-anted by his own mob… not an election, not a people’s vote… his OWN mob.

    OK, so he had a narrow squeak against Shorten Labor, but not much worse (actually only one seat worse) than his backslapping successor who, as he was was expressing “ambition” for his then boss, was setting the scene for his own ambition by telling his followers to vote for the other bloke, thus forcing Turnbull to step down.

    How Malcolm must feel now that he’s seen everything he ever claimed to have stood for wiped out by a Bible-bashing munter like Morrison and his sociopathic, potato-headed mate, Dutton. Strike true thou bloody dagger! Even Hunt is being spoken of favourably.

    Sheee-it! What has the world come to?

    Now that his enemies have leaked his book – How in the fuck did they get a copy, anyway? Did they get it sent to them from the harbourside mansion “as a courtesy”? – what else is there left? His deal with 9-Fax is gazumped (unless there’s something more to be revealed, which I doubt). ScoMo has expressed disinterest (he’s got a pandemic to deal with, after all). And the cat’s out of the bag, scandalwize.

    Now there’s a call for his own party to excommunicate him. And the Australian people reckon Morrison’s better than sliced bread.

    No wonder Turnbull was “depressed” after he got so right royally rogered, without the Vaseline.

  11. Simon K,
    When I was up here in Winter in 2019, it was 28 degrees and dry every day. And I am on the coast with some of the most beautiful beaches on earth. The sand is tiny crushed up seashells. I want to take a truck-load home for my garden. The fishing is superb. I would swap an Adelaide frozen Winter for a stay up here any time.

    Bonus is the whole community is locked in, so no-one is confined to their houses as long as they do not go to Broome. And the taste of fresh caught oyster baked over an open fire….. I am also hearing the stories of the old Grandmothers. So very interesting. but as a Grandma myself our stories of our feeding and bringing up our kids etc creates a common bond. lol kids be kids, everywhere.

    If I get back in time for a freezing wet Adelaide Winter I am not going to be a happy camper.

  12. Meant to post this a while back..


    “In the last 10 years buybacks, takeovers and other schemes made executives rich, but left companies cash-poor and leveraged to the hilt. When COVID-19 hit, corporate America could with sincerity claim it needed immediate aid to keep doors open and financial markets afloat.

    But the scope of the rescue is as massive as it is in significant part because private-sector cash that might otherwise have buffered the damage had already been stripped out of the economy. As Marcus Stanley of Americans for Financial Reform puts it, “We’re starting to routinise the process of privatising gains and socialising losses.” “

  13. Simon K,
    Jack splutter splutter RUSSELL! What???? All power to Jacks, but we are Tenterfield Terriers. Being referred to as a JR? It will not do, I say, it will not do AT ALL.

    I need a swig of brandy, the shock is just too, too much!

  14. Simon Katich

    WA – secession by stealth.


    Australia is now over populated for honest and effective government. It’s only going to get worse as the growth cultists shovel them in to boost their bottom line.

    It needs to break up into seperate political entities of about 5 to 7 million.

    The local national entities can still then join in a “common market” while maintaining local responsibility.

  15. ”I wouldn’t be surprised if Morrison did propose FTTH and large and small scale renewable energy projects as part of infrastructure recovery. As Sheridan said this morning, Morrison does not really have a political ideology that couldn’t be changed according to the circumstances.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Morrison sprouted wings and flew around the room. Or at least I’d be less surprised than I would were he to support renewables or FTTH.

  16. Puffy, last time I went to Broome it was for a Gibb River Rd trip. Stayed near Cable beach for a few days first. But had caught swine flu on the plane – which ended that.

  17. Malcolm had a chance to stand up for a decent NBN and get shafted, or stay and screw it up and get shafted anyway. If he wanted a decent legacy then trying to save the NBN, and going out and campaigning against The Liberal Party when they eroded FTTH, would have been a good one.

    Ah but Ambition, it be the death of Conscience.

  18. Bushfire Bill @ #2573 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 7:15 pm


    ABC TV News now being racist: speculating as to why RAAF C5 cargo plane held up (Specification: “prevent landing with intent to embarrass”) in Vanuatu by a Chinese A320.

    Can we have a scratch PB Green Mafia team assemble at Gate #4 please.

    Note: PPE equipment will not be necessary. Your social conscience will protect you.


    They are probably being factual, not racist. Unlike some PB posters not a million miles from here.

  19. Simon Katich @ #2672 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 9:32 pm

    Puffy, last time I went to Broome it was for a Gibb River Rd trip. Stayed near Cable beach for a few days first. But had caught swine flu on the plane – which ended that.

    I usually catch a flu for the first week here, but this time I wore plastic gloves in the airport and onto the plane, and took them off when I was seated. I did the reverse when deplaning, plus hand sanitiser of course.

    I did not pick up any cold or flu bugs this time, nor the dreaded Covid, not that I was thinking of it then. I read somewhere touching the backs of the plane seats when moving around heightened the chance of picking up bugs, and I used the gloves because I would automatically grab the seatbacks going up and down the aisle. Might or might not be the reason I did not get my usual cold or flu.

  20. Rakali @9:37.
    ”It’s extraordinary how the neo-liberal depravity gets voted in.”

    No one ever votes for it. They vote for tax cuts. They vote to stop brown people on boats. They vote for this or that bauble offered during election campaigns. They vote against ”political correctness”.

    And they lie their way into office with the support of the media.

  21. Puffy

    Fraudband was Malcom’s idea. Well, he may have got it from some of his mates – especially those in Telstra who he then moved to the NBNco board.

  22. SK
    If you come this way again, and I am here, I can direct you to some interesting spots. I want to explore further into the Kimberly one day.

  23. ”A senior adviser to Scott Morrison has apologised for sending unauthorised copies of Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir to 59 friends.”

    He spent $1500 of his own money? I don’t think so. Whose?

  24. Steve777

    A senior adviser to Scott Morrison has apologised for sending unauthorised copies of Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir to 59 friends.”

    59 friends??? That’s a lot of accidents!

    Shouldn’t the AFP investigate?

    I’m joking, of course, the Australian Federal Liberal Police doesn’t get involved in those sort of misdemeanours.

  25. Rakali @ #2636 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 9:08 pm

    Cud Chewer

    “ Looks like Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem doesn’t it…”

    Oh dear, i have no idea what you are talking about!!

    Read Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, one of the cleverest books ever written.

    Or, absorb this:
    1. In any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of arithmetic can be carried out, there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F.

  26. “Simon Katichsays:
    Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 9:50 pm
    WA – secession by stealth.”

    I heard a rumour the virus was actually created by Fiona Stanley in a secret Eastern States Repulsion Lab, as a part of the plan.

  27. How could Morrison not know and approve? Seems to happen a lot lately with Morrison and his Ministers. I actually don’t think they care if they are caught.

  28. Drive to the Kimberley if you can, mindful of all the ‘ifs’ in the if. The vast distances, the endless flatness and never never horizons, days after days of overarching skies day and night, all imprint a perspective not only of how far it really is, but how unfathomable and big this place we call ours is, and really isn’t.

  29. 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?

  30. Windhover @ #2596 Sunday, April 19th, 2020 – 8:19 pm

    A friend of mine, and his wife, both tested positive to c19. Part of a Banyule cluster brought on by a superspreader kitchen hand on the weekend Sir Moron was going to go to the footy. Both had quite different symptoms and outcomes.

    She had a hacking cough temp but recovered after 10 days. He had no cough, recurrent temperature but recovered after 12 days only to relapse thereafter with pneumonia and hospitalisation. Finally out of hospital and recovered.

    He was tested 6 times – 3 times police, 3 times negative whilst in fact at all testing times being positive. The tests are not accurate even if done properly (requiring a swab up each nostril) and are often not done properly.

    I told you there were false negatives, Cud.

  31. And, just when Morrison is riding high, Turnbull goes for the throat punch via his publishers’ lawyers:

    Malcolm Turnbull’s publisher will escalate a legal row with the Morrison government over a “massive” breach of copyright by targeting senior ministers who received pirated copies of the former prime minister’s new book.

    And, as per standard operating procedure, Morrison’s mob shut up tighter than a duck’s arse:

    The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age contacted the senior adviser several times over the weekend but he declined to comment, while the Prime Minister’s press office declined to answer a series of questions over the affair.

    Mr Turnbull said the adviser had admitted sending the pirated book to 59 people, while the government said he had apologised for doing so.


    Plus, the small business bookshops of Australia, via their spokesman, are not happy ScoMo!

    I saw a copy of ‘Spycatcher’ on my son’s bookshelf over the weekend, I wonder if I should read it to see how this might play out? 🙂

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