Highlights of the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is lacking the really interesting stuff (the monthly leadership ratings and quarterly dump of voting intention), but covers a fair bit of ground on the budget:
• Respondents were asked whether the budget would be good or bad for various groups and interests, results for which appear to be heavily influenced by general attitudes towards the party bringing down the budget. In this cases, the budget was reckoned to be most beneficial to “people who are well off” (51% good, 8% bad) and big businesses (49% and 7%), but scored net negative ratings for people on lower incomes (30% and 33%) and “you personally” (22% and 25%). However, the budget rated more strongly across the board than last year’s, with net ratings 23% higher for the economy overall, 15% higher for families, 12% higher for younger Australians and 11% higher for average working people.
• The budget has apparently impressed respondents as being good for women, particularly compared with last year’s. Thirty-four per cent rated that it put women’s interests ahead of men’s versus 19% for vice-versa and 47% who thought it balanced, compared with respective figures last year of 14%, 31% and 54%. It would also appear easy to persuade respondents that budgets put the interests of young people ahead of old: 32% thought so this year compared with 28% for vice-versa and 40% for balanced, albeit that this is quite a lot narrower than last year’s split of 45% to 21% with 34% for balanced. As usual with a Coalition budget, many more respondents felt it put the interests of businesses ahead of employees than vice-versa (49% versus 13% with 38% for balanced, compared with 14%, 42% and 45% for last year).
• A regular question on governments’ handling of COVID-19 gave the federal government what I believe to be its weakest good rating to date of 58%, down four on last month, with the poor rating up a point to 18%. For the state governments, good ratings are down five in New South Wales to 68%, up five for Victoria to 63% and down four for Queensland to 68%.
• As did last week’s Resolve Strategic poll, and no doubt most other polls that have ever been conducted on the subject, this one finds strong opposition to an early election: 61% agreed an election this year would “just be opportunism for the Prime Minister”, compared with 39% for the alternative proposition that an early election “will be good for Australia, because a lot has changed since the last election”.
The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1100.