Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China

A major souring in Australians’ attitudes to China but little change on coronavirus (at least since last week), according to the latest Essential poll.

Another week, another Essential Research coronavirus poll — this one focusing on attitudes to China, which have notably soured. As related by The Guardian, respondents were asked if they had a favourable or unfavourable view of China’s influences on Australian life, which produced a net rating of minus 30% on trade, compared with plus 1% last August, and a net rating of minus 40% for Chinese business operating in Australia, down from minus 21%. There were also scores of minus 26% for defence, minus 36% for politics and minus 9% for culture. Conversely, the United States scored net positive scores, albeit that these were quite a lot bigger for defence (plus 29%), business (plus 15%) and trade (plus 14%) than politics (plus 2%) and culture (plus 7%).

Asked which relationship would be more beneficial to strengthen, 42% favoured the US and 18% China, compared with 38% and 28% last August. Respondents had two bob each way on trade in that 53% thought Australia “needs to do all it can to avoid a trade war with China”, with 17% opposed, but 48% felt Australia should impose retaliatory tariffs, with 22% opposed. The poll found “more than half” believe China’s trade sanctions against Australia were motivated by the government’s call for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

The poll continued its weekly suite of questions on coronavirus, recording no change on the government’s handling of the crisis, which was rated positively by 73% and negatively by 11%. Levels of concern little changed on last week (79% either very or quite concerned, down one, and 21% either not at all or not that concerned, up one). A divide appears to be opening on restrictions, with higher responses for both lifting them as soon as possible (up five to 14%) and holding off (up two to 27%). The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1087; a full report should be published later today.

Note that below this post is a dedicated thread for the Eden-Monaro by-election, which you are encouraged to use if you have something specific to say on that subject.

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.

2,091 comments on “Essential Research: coronavirus and attitudes to China”

  1. sprocket_says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    When I was posted to Darwin in ’95 my wife applied for three jobs before we moved and was offered them all within days and they were over the moon that she was going to be there for over 6 months.

  2. nath says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm
    Of course one reason why Goward reveals the information after Hawkes’ death is that perhaps she was worried that Abeles lied to her and that she would then be open to being sued.
    ___________
    Hawke was notorious for defamation writs. What is amazing that so little has come out post his death and secondly there was so little comment about the substantial financial estate he left behind him.

  3. And this

    No , just Dan
    @dluxmaroon
    ·
    5h
    Replying to
    @DebJHolley
    and
    @sahilkapur
    Facebook is a cesspool of right wing disinformation .

  4. BiTB

    BiTB

    shellbell @ #1858 Thursday, May 28th, 2020 – 2:54 pm

    Whoever wrote the COVID evacuation plan for my son’s school is being paid by the word.

    A lawyer?

    Some poor teacher who was not quick enough to say no?

    Their slowness to speak obviously hasn’t affected their verbosity when writing.

    As Samuel Clements is reputed to have said (or WTTE)” I am sorry for writing such a long letter. I did not have time to write a shorter one”.

  5. Oakeshott Country says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:31 pm
    Should one mention $50,000, a briefcase and the Boulevard Hotel?
    _______________________________________
    Ah OC you have the memory of an elephant!

  6. BK

    And with all this talk about some kind of magic protocol that would allow travel to New Zealand. All of that gets cut off instantly if and when we start getting major outbreaks.

  7. sprocket_ says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm
    OC, same dirt file unit which tried to pin The Wall on Justice Kirby
    _______________________________________
    What next Lionel Murphy was a secular saint?

  8. ‘But Lowe had opened by stating that, given our national health outcomes were “better than earlier feared, it is possible that the economic downturn will not be as severe as earlier thought”.’

    I’ve always believed in miracles Mr Morrison said….

    Here it comes.

  9. Assantdj says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 6:44 pm
    Continuo
    I would hope that if we ever had another government smart enough to introduce a CES type agency to assist in not only placing willing participants into appropriate jobs, that they would also ensure the letter of offer included basic information such as pay and conditions. If the employer didn’t live up to the offer the employee would have something to back up any industrial dispute.
    I would also love to see the government do something proactive in the areas of job and skill training based on detailed data around true unemployment and participation rates.

    As I recollect, job vacancies included the pay/conditions that were applicable, along with all the other info….duties, location, role etc etc…

    But it was never the role of the CES to supervise these things, which lay beyond its authority. Administrative organs generally are not permitted to also exercise regulatory, supervisory or enforcement functions….as a matter of administrative law….

  10. I would not be worried if Kirby was at the Wall, it was his legal inventiveness in professional liability that concerned me

  11. “A Federal Court Judge who as a lawyer represented Greens messiah Bob Brown in the Tasmanian Wielangta EPBC Court case and Environment East Gippsland against Vic Forests in the Brown mountain case, has now (May 27) made a ruling in favour of the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum Inc against VicForests based on the EPBC Act. Debbie Mortimer argued for Bob Brown that threatened species were under threat from the Regional Forest Agreement. An argument tossed out by the Full Federal Court on appeal, now as a judge she is claiming that RFA’s are exempt from the EPBC Act only under certain conditions when it comes to alleged threatened species. This is despite the 2009 Independent review of the EPBC Act found that while the RFA provisions of the Act read like an exemption, they are not, operating more akin to a licence with authorisation issued on the terms outlined in the RFA.”

    https://www.facebook.com/Support-Tassies-Timber-People-165600243510822/
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/brown-champions-beetle-in-distress-20051206-ge1dik.html?fbclid=IwAR1pDRAhnUYRoWNikB27ebCu2DGAjJY0DoBB6roRReN4iWOWFthuHjrk0X8

  12. Allowing franking credits beyond a taxpayer’s actual tax liability is absurd and unsustainable. Australians were confused by the policy, however, and the Coalition’s lies about it. Labor should just abolish them once safely in office, not announce the policy in advance. After all, the Coalition never tells us in advance what they’re going to cut and what they’re going to sell off. They just do it.

  13. Steve777 says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:43 pm
    Allowing franking credits beyond a taxpayer’s actual tax liability is absurd and unsustainable. Australians were confused by the policy, however, and the Coalition’s lies about it. Labor should just abolish them once safely in office, not announce the policy in advance. After all, the Coalition never tells us in advance what they’re going to cut and what they’re going to sell off. They just do it.
    _____________________________
    So its ok to lie to win office steve777? The ends justifies the means?

  14. “sprocket_ says:
    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:28 pm
    A list of what Rupert is ‘boning’ tonight – will this wean some of these geographies off the KoolAid?”

    The “Canberra Star” is mentioned in that list. It was started in 2019 as online only with one journo appointed. It operates as part of the DT so if you click on one of the few headlines, you are taken to the DT and of course cannot read the story without a DT subscription.

    This doesn’t really seem a formula to maintain readership and whatever advertising dollars are available online. Still, I’m sure that Murdoch has some cunning plan!

  15. I for one, am very disappointed the Leader ‘newspaper’ will cease. The wonderful glossy quality and weight of the paper used is unsurpassed as a liner for the tray in my bird cage. Truely a great lose.

  16. ”So its ok to lie to win office steve777? The ends justifies the means?”

    It works for the Coalition.

    But who said anything about lying?

  17. OC

    Is New Zealand the Ireland of the South Pacific?
    Dire poverty is prevented through the emigration of a large proportion of the population

    A good question which I do not have the answer to.

    I know that Eire has got out of its situation of dire poverty – and yes it was dire. In the 1970s my family sent money back to relatives in Eire. We were sent photos of nicely kept graves in return. For some reason this seemed important.

    Now, I contemplate moving back, to Galway, and without COVID-19 would be there within 2 years. Eire is now more socially equal than Australia, despite the basically slightly centre-right governments of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael since forever.

    Perhaps NZ can export its unemployed workers, build a strong social society, and then want them to come back?

    But, I have no Fkn idea.

    We have entered a new tabula rasa phase of history. I can make guesses, based on the 1920s or 1930s as to what will happen, but I am watching avidly to see how it actually turns out.

  18. OK, I had to look it up. ”Tabula rasa”, a blank slate, an absence of preconceived ideas or predetermined goals. The rules are there that are no rules.

  19. German soccer, Korean baseball and UFC are the only sports being broadcast to the world – now to be joined by our very own Rugby League.

    So there will still be baseball and soccer worth watching.

  20. Redlands
    She should have recused herself, IMO.
    That said, the fact seems to be that VicForests broke the terms of the RFA in a material way. Specifically, they broke the rules which should have protected an endangered species, the Possum.
    This voided their licence to operate in an outsourced way under the EPBC Act.
    Therefore the EPBC Act now operates directly, not indirectly via the RFA.
    On the facts before us it is difficult to see that the coupes in question are consistent with the survival of the Possum.

  21. Nath,
    One important thing I have learned from you is that laziness is a positive feature.

    Thank you for reinforcing my idea that the quickest way forward is the easiest way forward: Just cut to the chase; 10% of the effort solves 90% of the problem etc.

    So, you will understand when I do not quote your previous post which was from an outlet that adheres to the 4th International (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_International_(post-reunification)) Surely this is a bit dated?

    I agree with many of their aims, but if you are waiting for the Australian Socialist Alternative (the people of the Red Flag), who are the current Australian adherents to the fourth international, to bring about social equality in Australia, then you are taking a very inefficient part to said aim.

  22. The pandemic is going to disrupt social, personal and economic life. Economically, the disruption to production, to supply chains, to the composition and sources of demand, to work patterns and to incomes will be pervasive. The biggest impact will be the smashing of real wages. This is not meant to happen in Lib orthodoxy. But it is being felt everywhere. Motors that have worked to lift real wages in the past – international trade, new investment, liberalisation – will not work nearly so well in a pandemic. Some of these processes will probably have to be reversed, which will only make the falls in real wages even worse.

    Industrial economies have not exhibited prolonged declines in real wages since the 1930s. The measures adopted then just made everything much worse and much more prolonged. If policies adopted now do not focus on stabilising and supporting real wages and sharing working hours among all workers, then demand – and production/employment/investment – will probably be notably retarded. This could persist for years if the wrong choices are made.

    At the same time, the disruption to investment being caused by environmental stresses will also tend to repress real wages…and thence to repress demand, production, investment and so on.

    Public health and environmental pressures are coming from outside the economic order rather than from within it. It seems to me it will not be possible to handle the economic pressures without first properly handling the extra-economic forces.

  23. D&M
    Ireland’s population is still only 75% of the level of 1841!
    There was a continuous decline between the Great Famine and the Republic’s entry into Europe which converted it from subsistence agriculture to a high tech tax haven. NZ doesn’t have an EC fairy godmother but has a poor man’s version in us.
    I was on holiday there last year and was talking to someone who had been in the RNZAF. I made the point that this had not had a defence capacity since the 1980s and her reply was that NZ could always rely on the charity of its friends.

  24. Perhaps NZ can export its unemployed workers, build a strong social society, and then want them to come back?

    NZ has a tax to GDP ratio some 3 – 5% pa higher than Australia. That extra tax takes a lot of pressure off the Govt. It is no progressive wonderland by any means, and one of the worlds best PM’s only scrapped through on an unexpected alliance. Although she is doing a lot better, with the electorate, than the last world quality leader who snuck through on unexpected alliances.

  25. bw

    All history is tabula rasa until it happens.

    Yes, definitely. I am having trouble putting into words what I feel about our current era.

    My guess is that history will move in our era more like it did between 1912 (when Virginia Woolfe said she felt the world changed forever) and 1948 (when, for the Western world, the post-WWII Keynesian consensus really commenced).

  26. Mortimer had no basis upon which to recuse herself.

    That she may have appeared as counsel for brown in a similar matter with even identical issues involved could not lead a reasonable observer to conclude she was not going to deliver a decision in accordance with law.

    Judges have sat on appeals from their own judgment and at least once in England, overturned their earlier decision.

  27. Yes, definitely. I am having trouble putting into words what I feel about our current era.

    I’m not sure it is clear yet whether we are at a significant inflection point or whether it is just an unpleasantness on the already inevitable path to the fall of our sick neo-feudal society.

  28. I’m not sure it is clear yet whether we are at a significant inflection point or whether it is just an unpleasantness on the already inevitable path to the fall of our sick neo-feudal society.

    For some color, Bernie MIGHT have been an inflection point, Biden is not. Not close, not in your wildest dreams.

  29. D&M.
    I posted that excerpt without comment because I’m not sure what Sally McManus is up to but I thought a critical perspective on the recent IR manoeuvres was worth looking at. I am not a communist or even much of a socialist really. It’s hard to keep a straight face as a socialist when you spend as much time as I do in a jacuzzi. So I stand as a Social Democrat who lives cash!

  30. OC

    Ireland’s population is still only 75% of the level of 1841!
    There was a continuous decline between the Great Famine and the Republic’s entry into Europe which converted it from subsistence agriculture to a high tech tax haven. NZ doesn’t have an EC fairy godmother but has a poor man’s version in us.
    I was on holiday there last year and was talking to someone who had been in the RNZAF. I made the point that this had not had a defence capacity since the 1980s and her reply was that NZ could always rely on the charity of its friends.

    I fear you are correct. Also the NZ health system, I am told by friends, is not something someone accustomed to a developed world health system would be happy with. Not sure if this is correct or not.

    But I do wish them well.

    For Eire, there is no way they would turn their back on the EU, and the sooner I can become a permanent resident there and vote in elections, including EU elections, the happier I will be. I am already an Irish citizen, so I just need to check rules.

    I am a great fan of the EU, for all its faults. They are a communal organisation, with tries to make sure everyone is looked after.

  31. I fear you are correct. Also the NZ health system, I am told by friends, is not something someone accustomed to a developed world health system would be happy with. Not sure if this is correct or not.

    I don’t know about the nature and quality of care inside a hospital but when I landed in Christchurch and headed into a pharmacy for some codine, the pharmacist encouraged me to get NZ scripts for that and about 3 other medicines I was taking because it would cost me something like $6 for a six month supply. She laughed at me like an idiot when I told her what they cost in Australia. And obviously the nanny state took codine away from us.

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