Essential Research: coronavirus restrictions and conspiracy theories

A poll suggests a significant proportion of the population believes coronavirus was engineered in a Chinese laboratory, but other conspiracy theories remain consigned to the fringe.

Courtesy of The Guardian, some headline results of another weekly Essential Research poll on coronavirus, the full report of which should be published later today. This includes regular questions on federal and state governments’ handling with the crisis, of which we are only told that respondents remain highly positive, and on easing restrictions, for which we are told only 25% now consider it too soon, which is down two on last time and has been consistently declining over five surveys.

Beyond that, the survey gauged response to a number of what might be described as conspiracy theories concerning the virus. By far the most popular was the notion that the virus “was engineered and released from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan”, which has received a certain amount of encouragement from the Daily Telegraph but is starkly at odds with the scientific consensus. Agreement and disagreement with this proposition was tied on 39%.

Thirteen per cent subscribed to a theory that Bill Gates was involved in the creation and spread of the virus, with 71% disagreeing; 13% agreed the virus was not dangerous and was being used to force people to get vaccines, with 79% disagreeing; 12% thought the 5G network was being used to spread the virus, with 75% disagreeing; and 20% agreed the number of deaths was being exaggerated, with “more than 70%” disagreeing. The poll also found 77% agreed that the outbreak in China was worse than the official statistics showed.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1073.

UPDATE: Full report here.

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.

3,318 comments on “Essential Research: coronavirus restrictions and conspiracy theories”

  1. One person’s idea of “shrill” is another person’s passion to offer a different vision that advocates for a fairer, more secure, and more equitable society.

  2. “How do you lose $60bn and where does this leave Australia?”

    Groping around down the back of the couch trying to find it????

  3. Crowe’s headline and article in a mainstream paper – Greens’ mammoth investment plan to prevent a ‘lost generation’ is a positive one and the content is without emotive hyperbole about teh evil Greens. How times have changed.

  4. Rex

    Why must one be locked into a party line ?

    Why can’t one just judge each candidate on their ballot paper according to one’s true values and standards ?

    This was exactly what Milton Friedman was saying – political parties are nasty union, thug-like things.

    Of course the wink-wink nudge-nudge part was that the newspapers would do a very nasty scurrilous number on any non-Friedmanite candidate, so the voters would duly understand that they could not vote for any of the immoral, treasonous bastards. So who are you left with but the economic rationalist right? At least they are honest about the fact that you cannot expect any help from the government.

  5. imacca
    It leaves Straya with $60,000,000,000 less dollars pumped into the economy during these “unprecedented times©” . The result ? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

  6. Confessions @ #2750 Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – 8:39 pm

    C@t:

    I think it was you who mentioned Val Demings and Katie Porter as possible Veeps. Just listening to Charlie Sykes’ podcast and they are two who pop up as solid potentials for Biden in his discussion with his guest.

    https://podcast.thebulwark.com/julia-azari-on-mavericks-and-the-veepstakes

    Yes, I listened to it this afternoon! I personally think Katie Porter may not get the nod because she is from California and so doesn’t tick any of the demographic boxes, except being female. She’d make a great Senator from California when Dianne Feinstein finally retires though.

    I’m leaning towards Val Demings. Even though she hasn’t had much political experience she has been Police Chief in her district in Florida. Plus the Democrats tried her out in the Impeachment and she passed that test with flying colours.

    I also think Kamala Harris would be better as AG. There’s going to be one big mess to clean up there.

    Also, Joe Biden was prepared to be Veep to a One Term Senator. 🙂

  7. Douglas and Milko

    economic rationalist

    Oh yeah baby , economic rationalism my pick as cream of the crop of branding. Oppose an economic rationalist ? Guess that means you are irrational. A most excellent “Have you stopped beating your wife” type name.

  8. I met Jack Mundey. Just the once. He had purple shoes with extra high heels and soles, cos he were a short-arse. He wore beige-coloured, tight fitting synthetic long strides and a red-and-white striped tee with a leather jacket, dark, shiny, with cuffs turned up and bright buttons. The leather was probably not real, come think of it. He was articulate, funny, energetic, new and hip. I liked him a lot. He had a gleam in his eye and a curly smile on his lips. He stuck it up everyone when he spoke. I wanted to be Jack Mundey for a minute or two. He was that charismatic. In the 70s revolt worked. He was the proof, in his lifted boots and with his taut butt – taut like steel reinforcing – wide chest, good looking biceps, and his cemented hands. A worker who wanted to say No. Great.

    I wonder what he’d make of us all now. He was never a Labor man. He was a Comm. I knew lots of Comms. They were on a mission, it seemed. That’s right. They were missionaries, evangels. They nearly all wore tight jackets and cloaked themselves with a sense of unstated purpose. I liked the Comms. But they’re all gone now. Drugs I think, and life itself. I really did admire Jack. He was it.

  9. Pegasus

    Crowe’s headline and article in a mainstream paper – Greens’ mammoth investment plan to prevent a ‘lost generation’ is a positive one and the content is without emotive hyperbole about teh evil Greens. How times have changed.

    Of course. The AFR article by BK this morning saying that the Greens and the Coalition were working together to wedge Labor was the beginning of the normalising of the alliance between the Greens and the Coalition. Crowe is building on this meme.

    We social democrats know when we have been beaten. The Australian Greens are going down the same path as the Austrian Greens. It does not matter if you sup with the devil, as long as you destroy those nasty, centrist social democrats who introduced things like medicare.

  10. D&M

    The AFR article was written by Phillip Coorey. Unlike Crowe, the language he used indicates his bias, for example “audacious bid to pilfer younger voters from Labor”.

    Re-posting……
    ————————-

    News flash – the Greens party is a political party in its own right with its own policy positions and platform. It is not a faction of the Labor party and is not required to run its policies by Labor or the Coalition.

    The Greens party is responsible for prosecuting its vision and policies in the same way Labor is responsible for communicating its vision and policies.

    Phillip Coorey – Morrison, Greens to sandwich Labor

    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/morrison-greens-to-sandwich-labor-20200520-p54uxa

    Morrison is laying the groundwork for another campaign of the Coalition growing the economy and keeping taxes low.
    :::
    Otherwise, the political strategy will be to draw a contrast with Labor, whose language – so far at least – suggests its recovery plan will be based on the demand side: the big-spending, big government approach that has nursed the country through the crisis.
    :::
    The Greens are also in on the plan to subject Labor to a Malachi Crunch. On Monday, Greens leader Adam Bandt set the demand-side standard when he released his party’s economic recovery strategy.

    Highlights of the Invest to Recover Plan include increasing the debt from 29 per cent to 44 per cent of GDP to enable the construction of 500,000 units of public housing, keeping the JobSeeker rate at $1115 and, in an audacious bid to pilfer younger voters from Labor, offering those under 30 free university or TAFE places, apprenticeships, or taxpayer-funded jobs on nation-building and environmental projects.

    The legislated stage two and three income tax cuts would be canned.

    Bandt knows Labor won’t and can’t match his proposals, and that’s the point.

    On the other side, Morrison is laying the groundwork for another campaign of the Coalition growing the economy and keeping taxes low, versus Labor’s “tax and spend”.

    —————————–
    Bandt’s “point” is a Green New Deal:

    A Green New Deal is a government-led plan of massive investment and action to build a clean economy and a caring society. Under a Green New Deal, the government takes the lead in creating new jobs and industries, getting to zero-emissions as soon as possible and delivering universal services to ensure nobody is left behind.

    https://greens.org.au/greennewdeal

  11. Peter van Onselen
    @vanOnselenP
    ·

    So we have the biggest blown budget in history and the biggest accounting error in history…in the one year! Wow

  12. Yep in a nutshell

    Dennis Atkins
    @dwabriz
    ·
    1h
    Examine all the excuses and whoopsies on $60b snafu & it’s clear the reporting error line is bollocks. They got the assumptions & forecasts wrong by a factor of two. This lot run the economy. #megablowout

  13. It would appear that maybe we have a spare $60 billion do do some good. Create real jobs, build stuff, for example. Maybe extend to casual staff…

    EDIT: David Speers talking about the issue on The Drum. How plausible is it that no one cottoned onto the fact that hundreds of applications were overstated by a factor of 1500?

  14. Rex Douglassays:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:31 pm
    Douglas and Milko @ #2734 Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – 8:22 pm

    Rex Douglas

    So how long do Labor have to be no good for you to drop your membership ?

    So, luckily Rex, you have the perfect political party, that you do not even need to criticise in private, let alone on PollBludger.

    Give us a hint so that we can all drop our current party memberships and join this political party without sin.

    Ot are you just towing the Friedmanite line (aka the Chicago boys) that politicians are beyond contempt, and only a great disdain for all politician and politics is the correct reaction.

    Why must one be locked into a party line ?

    Why can’t one just judge each candidate on their ballot paper according to one’s true values and standards ?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I think most of us actually do that. I know I do. Which is why I am committed to voting 1 Labor, 2 Greens, 3 Animal Justice and my following preferences determined by how progressive the following candidates are.
    If you are determined to see political action and programs put into place, you need to elect a party which is the closest to doing all of that. That means being aligned to a particular party.

  15. Pegasus says:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm
    CI

    And Mundey ended up a Greens party member.

    Yeah. I know. He was never a Labor man. Libkin from the get-go. He was a Comm, and outlived his use-by date I guess.

    I do like Comms. I’m very sentimental in that way. I think it’s because my father warned me against them. So my attachment to the Bolshies was/is an act of rebellion. I am attracted to everything my father was opposed to. Except the war. We were as one about that. No war. No guns. No Anzac Flags. No ceremonial salutes. I think that gave me permission to like the Comms, who by my time we’re not much more than a curiosity. So harmless really, just relics.

    It’s a family thing with my Dad. Red sheep. Acts born from deepest sorrow and unspeakable loss. Too cruel. The quest for unification is deep. The pain of the split never fades. I can’t stand splitters. Don’t they know? Do they not know the price paid for their selfishness? For their failures of patience and understanding?

    Jack Mundey was a rebel. I liked that. He was small of build – nuggety – but he was also a giant in his heart. What would he make of us now. We’ve all decided to fight each other and die waiting rather than stand up and say No. We will die like Jack. Well past our use-by dates.

  16. Continually Insufferable says:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:53 pm
    I wanted to be Jack Mundey for a minute or two. He was that charismatic. In the 70s revolt worked. He was the proof, in his lifted boots and with his taut butt – taut like steel reinforcing – wide chest, good looking biceps, and his cemented hands.
    ________
    that must have been some butt to be remembered 50 years later!

  17. A Green New Deal is a government-led plan of massive investment and action to build a clean economy and a caring society. Under a Green New Deal, the government takes the lead in creating new jobs and industries, getting to zero-emissions as soon as possible and delivering universal services to ensure nobody is left behind.

    This is utterly doomed to fail because it is advanced by the Libkin. The Greens…the kamikaze of Australian hopes.

  18. poroti says:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    nath
    They were as Patsy said “Bums so tight he was bouncing off the walls.”
    ______
    I bet Briefly dry humped his leg.

  19. Continually Insufferable

    You are as the name on the tin says BUT I really do agree with your objection to the Green New Deal name bullshit. The “Green” is blue green algae toxic and puhleeese, the cultural cringe of pinching the ‘New Deal’ bit . Not to mention 1% of feck all would know what the actual New Deal was all about.

  20. I dip my lid to Jack Mundey. At the time, in a back street in the Cross, he fought developers, most unkeen on preserving its unique heritage. As for the Cross per se, one rarely frequented the “Texas Tavern” nor the “Taxi Club”(?). Vale, Jack.

  21. Mavis

    [‘But, as a quick outline…’]

    I’d hesitate to think when you went long-form!

    Yes, I know. Which is why I had to become a physicist rather than a historian, or philologist.

    Nobody has the patience to read the turgid prose I write.

    So now I write in the elegant language of mathematics.

    And still my contemporaries lambast me for my verbosity.

    I have a strong belief that every step of a derivation should be fully spelled out, or else how do I know the author is not just fudging it.

    But apparently, my fellows believe that it is OK to go from one step to something much further down the derivation line, by saying “it is trivial to show that (apparently about half a page of derivation that one is supposed to have at one’s fingertips)”, or worse “it is clear that (apparently 1 – 2 pages of derivation -again should I have this at my fingertips, or is it easy to discover ?).

    But when I have been trying to do physics in anger, I often find that the buggers who ascribe to the above definitions are actually completely wrong in their derivations, mixing units between SI and cgs – really!!.

    This does not sound particularly important, but the conversion between SI and American Imperial units (surely an oxymoron, but I do not have a better way to describe it) led to the crash of one of the NASA Mars missions. apparently the LHS of the equation was in different units to the RHS of the equation.

    Yeh, so I do carry on.

  22. Don;t worry Briefly. I’m sure your suffering will soon be over. Meanwhile the Greens will live long and prosper. Suck shit.

  23. Peg

    A Green New Deal is a government-led plan of massive investment and action to build a clean economy and a caring society. Under a Green New Deal, the government takes the lead in creating new jobs and industries, getting to zero-emissions as soon as possible and delivering universal services to ensure nobody is left behind.

    Wow! If you have got the current Federal government to agree to this, then I will be very impressed and very supportive.

    Although I will be looking at the detail in the agreement. It sounds so different to anything the federal Coalition has talked about until now.

  24. Have to say I don’t understand the obsessional hatred of the Greens exhibited by some here. Sure, they’re people I don’t vote for, although in my blue-ribbon “Liberal” electorate I would consider strategically voting for the Green candidate if I thought that they could win.

    They did make some stupid decisions (CPRS, Malaysia Solution), but that was because they misjudged, not because they’re evil. And can’t people see that Green-Lib same-same is as stupid as the Greens’s Labor-Liberal same-same?

    But the true enemy hold power in Canberra and seem to be entrenched there. Labor needs to convince the voters to change this. A mixture of positive programs, inspiring hope and attacking the real enemy, the corrupt, incompetent, mendacious and often malevolent Coalition and those who own them.

  25. nath says:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm
    Don;t worry Briefly. I’m sure your suffering will soon be over. Meanwhile the Greens will live long and prosper. Suck shit.

    Contempt. Thank you. That means such a lot, coming from you, who specialises in it. You’re a pimp. I could not give a shit what you think.

  26. D&M…..the LibNats have not bought into the Green program. Not at all. They will use it to discredit Labor….or at least to try.

    The Libkin will use it to assail Labor. Nothing will happen. We are fucked.

  27. Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy Help Launch Global Green New Deal Project With Worldwide Invitation

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/20/naomi-klein-and-arundhati-roy-help-launch-global-green-new-deal-project-worldwide

    “The time to build the future we deserve is now, and international solidarity is the tool we need to begin its construction.

    Authors Arundhati Roy and Naomi Klein took part in a virtual conversation on Tuesday to help launch a Global Green New Deal project to foster internationalism and visualize possibilities for a new and better world for people and the planet.

    The online event, entitled “Into the Portal, No One Left Behind,” was co-sponsored by The Leap, War on Want, and Haymarket Books. Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, moderated the discussion.

    “We knew our system was broken. But the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the cruelty of the global economy, and deepened the visceral injustices of our societies,” organizers said in the conversation’s event description. “The time to build the future we deserve is now, and international solidarity is the tool we need to begin its construction.”

  28. nath

    Don;t worry Briefly. I’m sure your suffering will soon be over. Meanwhile the Greens will live long and prosper. Suck shit.

    But what do the Greens really stand for other than PASOKification?

    Standing with the Coalition to save a few forests but throw the rest of us under a bus, as Bob Brown did with John Howard in 2004?

  29. Pegasus says:
    Friday, May 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm
    Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy Help Launch Global Green New Deal Project With Worldwide Invitation

    A sad farce. Really, too sad for words. The campaign of the Greens to discredit and disable Labor – decades long in the making – has made this completely unobtainable in Australia. Completely. The Green stamp is a kiss of death.

    We are fucked.

  30. What is the Global Green New Deal?

    https://www.c40.org/other/the-global-green-new-deal
    ———–

    The Green New Deal is going global

    https://theconversation.com/the-green-new-deal-is-going-global-115961

    “In proposing a Green New Deal, the Canadian coalition joins a growing movement that aims to dramatically shift the scope and speed of action to address the current ecological crisis.

    While many will associate the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman United States congresswoman from New York, the idea has actually been floating around for more than a decade. It’s also not an exclusively American idea.
    :::
    If the idea of a Green New Deal has been around since 2007, why all the fuss about it now? And is everyone who is using the term actually talking about the same thing?”

  31. Victoria @ #2771 Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – 9:07 pm

    Yep in a nutshell

    Dennis Atkins
    @dwabriz
    ·
    1h
    Examine all the excuses and whoopsies on $60b snafu & it’s clear the reporting error line is bollocks. They got the assumptions & forecasts wrong by a factor of two. This lot run the economy. #megablowout

    I told you it smelled fishy to me!

  32. CI

    If the Greens party ceased to exist tomorrow, you and your fellow travellers would undoubtedly find another scapegoat to blame for Labor’s failings and failures.

  33. Incompetent government doesnt mean anything to the punters.They have now had 7 years of incompetency and still they just as popular as 12 months ago.

  34. Steve777

    Have to say I don’t understand the obsessional hatred of the Greens exhibited by some here. Sure, they’re people I don’t vote for, although in my blue-ribbon “Liberal” electorate I would consider strategically voting for the Green candidate if I thought that they could win.

    They did make some stupid decisions (CPRS, Malaysia Solution), but that was because they misjudged, not because they’re evil. And can’t people see that Green-Lib same-same is as stupid as the Greens’s Labor-Liberal same-same?

    But the true enemy hold power in Canberra and seem to be entrenched there. Labor needs to convince the voters to change this. A mixture of positive programs, inspiring hope and attacking the real enemy, the corrupt, incompetent, mendacious and often malevolent Coalition and those who own them.

    I mostly agree with you, but the Greens rhetoric has recently pivoted to saying the the ALP is worse than the Coalition.

    However, I like proof before I decide. I am still watching.

    So, I am watching what happens in upcoming elections.

    Will the Greens preference against Labor?

    1) Yes, always, because Labor are Social Fascists,
    2) Only in seats where peferencing the Coalition will unseat a Labor member, or
    3) No, they will continue to believe, that holding their noses, Labor is better than the Coalition.

    I will keep a close watch and do the statistics before I decide that the Greens really do see the Coalition as the better partners to further their aims.

  35. Steve777,
    Direct your sermon at The Greens. Just stop for a moment and re-read what nath just said to briefly, and then come back and tell me which political party has the problem getting on with the other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *